Sunday, August 17, 2014

502 - Hercules

First Broadcast - 7 pm Saturday, July 17th 1993
#66 in Mighty Jack's Top 100
Excellence Level: Gold
Movie Pain: Medium - The film has been hacked to pieces, but I still liked it.
Riffing: Wildly funny
Skits: Ditto

Standard Herculean fare with muscle-headed mythology twisted all out of shape to form some kind of disjointed (yet strangely enjoyable) story. Stars arguably the best Herc, Steve Reeves (Though I'm partial to Reg Parks lazy version).
The Riffing is just a little bit sharper than what was heard in other flicks from this genre. The opening scene with the runaway chariot got the experiment off to a funny start and I enjoyed the many literary and pop culture references that were heard throughout. I also got a big kick out of the bits with the Lion (Scruffy?) and the visit to Amazon island. I imagine that if you're into these muscle bound experiments, you should enjoy this one as well.
The skits are very good: Instant karma (The John Lennon fan in me loved it!), Servo's new constellations and Crow's take on Match Game, all display a sharp and knowing wit, while watching Clay n' Frank get beaten up by Dr. F's new portable desk is basic slapstick at its finest.

Host Segments
Intro: The crew of the SOL are at a loss for words. Invention: Dr. F's Cellular Desk. On the SOL it's Instant Karma. Segment 1: New constellations. Segment 2: Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds. What gives? Segment 3: Crow's one man show, "Match Game". End: A visit from a few Amazon Moms. Frank plays with Forrester's desk. Stinger: "He's like something from out of a bad dream!"

Notable Riffs
* "But... wait a minute; my head is a mass of muscle." -Joel as Hercules
* "Hey, it's my piece of meat, I'll bite it where I want to!" - Crow as Hercules
* "Hi! We came to get Scruffy, our pet lion -- OH MY GOD!" - Joel as a Greek soldier
* "I love my dead Greek son!" - Servo as King Pelias 
* "Now, don't you kids get drunk and go swimming under the dock. (Doodly doodly doodly...) Help! I'm drunk and I'm swimming under the dock" - Servo
* "Now that the Golden Fleece is gone, he must officiate." - "EWWWW!" - Iole/All
* "Pretty please, with Herc on top?" -Crow as Hercules
* "This island bites. It's, like, totally Amazon-less." - Servo as a Greek sailor
* "Wait -- this is ancient Greece. They didn't have ruins yet" - Crow
* "It's a Gore Vidal fantasy" - Servo
* "Hey everybody, I just invented the shirt." - Joel
* "Oh don't look at the naughty man..." - Joel
* "That dress melts my fillings." - Crow as Hercules
* "Yeah, I'll clean up the Lion" - Joel
* "The Andrea Dworkin memorial cemetery." - Crow (on graveyard full of men)
* "Oh knock it off Jerkules." - Joel
* "Oh I thought they said Golden Graham not golden ram" - Joel
* "I can't go on" - "I'll go on" - King/Joel (referencing Beckett)
* "Even the archers are beautiful" - Crow (Referencing the film "Caberet")
* "I’m Herc and I’m irked" - Joel
* "Stay away from their powerful hind legs" - Crow
* "Come on wake up you boozy old sex fiend, they’re gonna kill us all!" - Servo
* "Looks like it’s a big brawny, hairy, glistening, two-fisted, manly day!" – Joel using manly voice

Riff Explained
"Pardon me while I have a strange interlude" - Crow
Groucho said this in the Marx Brothers film, "Animal Crackers". Groucho, in turn was doing a parody on the Eugene O'Neill play called "Strange Interlude"; which used the device of having a character face the audience and voice their inner thoughts.

* The Wild Ride: This is the title of the tune Servo hums while Iole's chariot rides out of control at the beginning of the episode. It was written by Bernard Herman for Alfred Hitchcock's "North by Northwest" and is heard when a drugged (drunk) Cary Grant is driving wildly to escape his captors.

Stuff and Nonsense
* This movies cinematographer, Mario Bava, also acted as director and screenwriter for MSTs final episode, "Diabolik". His son, Lamberto, directed season nine's "Devil Fish"

* Lydia Alfonsi, who portrayed the Sybil, can also be seen in "Life is Beautiful" playing Guicciardini.

* Strangely. this was the first episode shown for season 5. It premiered on 7/17/93 while show #501 aired a week later, 7/24/93.

Available on DVD: Volume 32

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