Monday, August 18, 2014

505 - The Magic Voyage of Sinbad

First Broadcast - 7 pm Saturday, Aug 14 1993
#7 in Mighty Jack's Top 100
Excellence Level: Best in Show
Movie Pain: Low - Imaginative Russian adventure
Riffing: Intelligent comedic writing - I laughed so hard I wet 'em!
Skits: Most are wildly funny

This Russian production is set in the good old days - back when you could buy a man with a hat! And while it carries the name "Sinbad" in the title, it has nothing to do with that legend. The movie is actually based on the folklore of a guy named "Sadko": In this story, our fair hero tries to bring happiness to his homeland, buuut, he doesn't do such a good job of it (still, with the blue bird Sinbad brought back with him, the people of Cobusan can get a good nights sleep).

Like others of this type (Day the Earth Froze, Jack Frost) Sinbad is a fun, imaginative film, and the gang seems to be enjoying themselves thoroughly. The episode really clicks when the riffing focuses on observational humor derived from the films inherent strangeness. Such as a wrestling bear, which in the hands of J&TB's becomes a Dan Haggerty intervention. Or in the wisecracks inspired by a silly underwater musical scene with a henpecked Neptune and some sorry looking Muppets. The biggest guffaws? Came during the sea storm, as one riff after another had me doubled over and breathless with laughter. Joel especially, was on fire.

One thing about Joel that I like, was his delivery, the inflection of his voice. The scene when Sinbad is casting his net for the golden fish and coming up empty, twice; Joel has our frustrated hero saying, "What is this!"  The words in and of them-selves aren't funny, but the way Joel speaks the line brings one of the movies biggest laughs.

The host segments are aces, with great invention exchanges. So while Sinbad cops out on his little scheme in the end, this experiment doesn't and delivers a boatload of happiness.

Host Segments
Intro: The SOLtie awards upset Servo. Invention: The Mads offer up Chinder-wear and Frank scratches an itch. On the SOL, it's the rat pack chess set. Segment 1: Jesters gadding about. Segment 2: J&TBs don beards and crack wise. Segment 3: Crow's quest ends in disaster. End:The bots are amazed by Joel's puppet and "Fisty" greets Frank. Stinger: Sinbad's laughing horse.

MST Hour Segments
Part 1: Mr. Perkin’s strikes a manly pose and compares Mr. Bad to his uncle Phil. In segment 2 Jack question's Sinbad's grasp of economics. During credits Jack celebrates, "I won!" and takes a nasty spill (did Mike get hurt doing that stunt?) Part 2: Perkins is dressed as a jester and juggles as he gives a recap and shares his circus dreams. The second half has our host considering the catfish... and something smells. Credits roll as Jack goes fishing - he catches a crew-member.

Notable Riffs
"One man free, but still there were thousands more." - "Guess I should have brought more hats." - Narrator/Servo as Sinbad
* "Say that's an odd way to go to communion." - Joel
* "You seem so gloomy." - "Here, have some Prozac." - Morgiana/Crow
* "What do you see here?" - "I see a suspicious stain." - Tripod/Servo as Sinbad
"Oh that guys got the wrong concept of a pony ride." - Joel
* "It's Rock 'em Sock 'em chickens!" - Joel
* "Welcome to manic-depressiville!" - Crow
* "I like it, it's blue and funny." - Joel as boy
"And I shall be there, bringing you my golden fish." - "Oh, wow!" - Morgiana/Joel
* "Gentlemen! Ours is a society based on ancient traditions!" - "Really? I thought we just sold each other fish." - Servo/Crow
"Have you got the bird of happiness?" - "Well, we've got a pretty friendly chicken." - Sinbad/Crow
* "If you find a melody, Sinbad, hop on." - Joel
"I know all about your Luberia." - "Hey! That cleared up." - Morgiana/Crow
* "It seems as though my doom is imminent. So, how are you?" - Crow
"Sadly, Sinbad wandered to the edge of the enchanted sea..." "...and had a magic B.M." - Narrator/Servo
"Sir... Sir, we may be underwater, but we still have standards." - Crow
* "Take it to the bridge, Sinbad! Drop it in the water." - Crow
* "Uh oh -- I broke him." - Crow
"I glued you to the boat and put rods in your legs for a reason!" - Joel
"You guys were shameful before he got here." - Crow
"There he is now, he's standing on an air mattress!" – Joel, after Sinbad jumps into Ocean.
* "I can't tell if that's a Magritte or a hole in the wall!" - Joel
Joel (singing) "Jim Dandy to the rescue!"

Riff Explained
"What fresh hell is this?" - Servo
This riff references a telephone greeting spoken by Dorothy Parker (1893-1967). A writer and critic who was well known for her quick, acerbic wit.

Stuff & Nonsense
"Sadko" was originally released in 1952. In 1962 Roger Corman purchased the rights to the film and hired 22 year old Francis Ford Coppola to adapt the script for American audiences (some sources also report that Francis had a hand in re-editing the movie as well).

* It took me a while to notice this, but Frank and Forrest swap Chinderwear. After Joel shows his experiment, the scene shifts back to Deep 13 and now Frank is wearing Clay's Chinderwear and vice versa

* This episode was used in Comedy Central's "Pick the Wisecrack" contest. They showed the scene where the Sea Princess says... "You seem so gloomy", then you had 3 choices from which to pick from. A: "Who knew the Grail wasn't dishwasher safe?" B: "Is it codpiece burn?" And C: "Here, have some Prozac". The winner took home $5,000, a large screen TV and an appearance on the turkey day marathon.

Available on DVD: Volume 20

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