Friday, August 22, 2014

614 - San Francisco International

First Broadcast - 7 pm Saturday, Nov 19 1994
#63 in Mighty Jack's Top 100
Excellence Level: Gold
Movie Pain: Low - Smug TV melodrama
Riffing: Wildly funny
Skits: Solid, good humor

Apparently, a day at the airport is so crammed with excitement, so fraught with danger and smug thrills; that its stories simply cried out for the grandeur of a televised series: And thus, "San Francisco International" was born.

Typical events at the airport include messing with the minds of high ranking Government officials, kidnappings, an elaborate heist, and a kid who steals an airplane as a means of bringing his broken family back together. That's all in one-day mind you; I can't imagine what the rest of the series offered.

Mushy mouthed David Hartman and Pernell Roberts (who oozes smug through every pore) lead an all-star TV movie cast that elicit M&TB's creative spirit. And while the jokes didn't hit me at a jackhammer pace (there are so/so patches), the experiment is loaded with some of the most acute riffing the gang has ever done.

Trace gets the first big laugh (Snuggles the Bear), but Mike & Kevin soon sparkle with loads of quotable quips of their own. The end scene with young Davey piloting a plane and Pernell talking him down provides one belly laugh after another. It is an illustration of the MST writers at their finest. (As a matter of fact, the scenes with Davey were consistently funny). This episode also includes a crate full of guest stars in the "Urkel" host segments (Though Mike looks more like Drew Carey to me).

Host Segments
Intro: Crow and Servo debate about nothing in particular. Segment 1: The Mads make like construction workers. Mike pulls the board gag on the bots. Segment 2: Mike's Urkel gets laughs from Pitch, Jan in the pan and Santa. Segment 3: Huggy Bear & Rooster get a kick out of Mike's Urkel. Segment 4: Nuveena joins in the laughter, but Torgo doesn't and that kills the mood. End: Letters and Dr. F's ears are growing. Stinger: Pernell sez, "My job, My way".

Notable Riffs
"Gee, they over booked the credits" - Servo
"I've never spanked a member of the Ponderosa." - Mike
"My job, my way" - "Mylanta"- Pernell/Servo
* "As far as anyone in that room is concerned, they better think you're talking to her, understand?" - "Leave me alone, you're suffocating me! Like that?" - Kidnapper/Mike as Ross
"Come on, kid, get your act together. Just read Catcher in the Rye and deal with it" - Crow
"Davey, let me introduce you to these federal agents. They are what you young people call 'bad asses.'" - Crow
* "Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned: I have rubbed Pernell's toupee all over my naked body!" - Crow
"Hello Father" - "Hello Mudda" - Miss Bennett/Mike
"It's Pernell's elaborate trick to demonstrate the need for men's room phones." - Crow
"What you should be thinking about..." "Is Joan Lunden" - Kidnapper/Crow
"...flight 223 is returning to the terminal" - "Because David Hartman thought it felt mushy" - intercom voice/Crow
"AHH, the hand of God!" - Crow as Davey
* "Oooh, so she would actually have to turn the knob to get out." - Crow
* "So convenient to have a Hostage Inn right near the airport." - Mike
"Terror at sea level." - Servo
"How do I know you've really got her?" - "Hold your face up to the radio" - Frank/Crow
"That bitch; I'm the hostage!" - Crow
"This is what lonely people did before sci-fi conventions." - Crow
"Child with a messy divorce, runway 2" - Servo
* "Uh Davey, I need to know where your dental records are?" - Crow as Pernell

Riffs Explained: TV Style!
"Uncle Tonoose!" - Crow
One of the politicians in the airplane at the beginning of the movie, looks similar to Danny Thomas. Crow's riff refers to a character in Danny's sitcom "Make Room For Daddy" (1953-64). Uncle Tonoose was played by Hans Conried

"Chain Link, Julie, Pete!" - Mike
Said while bad guy crawls over a chain linked fence: Link, Julie and Pete were characters in the television show "The Mod Squad". About a trio of hip, young crime fighters.

"Is this anyway to run a TV movie? You bet it is!" - Mike
Andrea Dromm was a model/actress who portrayed Yeoman Smith in the Star Trek (Original Series) episode, "Where No Man Has Gone Before". Dromm was best known for a 1960s National Airlines TV commercial, in which she played a sexy stewardess and delivered the popular catch-phrase "Is this any way to run an airline? You bet it is."

Stuff and Nonsense
The congressman seen at the beginning of the film was played by Frank Gerstle. Most noted by MSTies as the Doctor in the "Atomic Brain". This was Franks final appearance, he died from Cancer on February 23rd, 1970.

Also, the guys weren't kidding, Lloyd Bridges did take over Pernells part when this went to series.

Available on DVD: Volume 32