K12: Fugitive Alien
by Trey Yeatts
Looks like a Stratolounger lowback.
Stratolounger is a brand of recliner first produced by the Stratford Company in the 1930s. In 2002, Caye Home Furnishings purchased the rights and still makes the Stratolounger line.
It’s piloted by Art Linkletter and the Fugitive Alien.
Art Linkletter (1912-2010) was a radio and TV host known for such shows as People Are Funny and The Art Linkletter Show. He is perhaps best known for his segment “Kids Say the Darndest Things.”
Takahashi, [Sung.] west of Java.
Krakatoa, East of Java is a 1969 film about the catastrophic eruption of the volcano Krakatoa in 1883. Unfortunately for the makers of the film, Krakatoa is in fact located west of the island of Java.
It’s Yul Brynner! –[Imitating.] Don’t smoke. –Now that I’m dead, don’t smoke. –Don’t fly in formation. I’m dead now because I flew in formation.
Yul Brynner (1920-1985) was an actor best known for roles in The King and I, The Ten Commandments, and The Magnificent Seven. He was a well-known smoker (having started at the age of 12), and after being diagnosed with lung cancer, he appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America and said he wished he could make an anti-smoking commercial. After he died, a portion of that interview became a PSA for the American Cancer Society that included the lines, “Now that I’m gone, I tell you, don’t smoke. Whatever you do, just don’t smoke.”
Hey, aren’t those X-Wing fighters from Star Wars? –Very close. –George Lucasaji.
X-Wing fighters were the Rebellion’s spacecraft of choice in destroying the Galactic Empire’s Death Star in 1977’s Star Wars, directed by George Lucas.
He’s got the Oakland Raiders there? They don’t have a chance. The Rams are favored by like eight.
The Oakland Raiders are a National Football League team that, from 1982 to 1994, was renamed the Los Angeles Raiders. The St. Louis Rams are another NFL team, but at the time this episode aired, they were the Los Angeles Rams. They moved to St. Louis in 1994.
He’s gonna have to hire Hair Club just to get it to stick to his head. –Maybe he should consider reupholstering. –Or a punch job.
Hair Club for Men is a company dedicated to baldness cures; it offers everything from bald-friendly shampoos to hair transplants.
He must have the cameraman from Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was a 1961 film directed by Irwin Allen. It featured the super-high-tech nuclear vessel Seaview. It was made into an ABC television series that ran from 1964 to 1968.
If you got ’em, smoke ’em. Smoke ’em if you got ’em.
“Smoke ’em if you got ’em,” meaning, essentially, “We’ve got some time to kill, so you might as well take a smoke break.” (Or sometimes, in a darker context, “We’re about to die, so what does lung cancer matter now?”) Its origin dates back to soldiers in World War II. (Thanks to Daisy for this reference.)
[Sung.] I could’ve dropped all night.
A paraphrase of the song “I Could Have Danced All Night” from the musical My Fair Lady, sung by the heroine, Eliza Doolittle.
Barbie is a fashion doll created in 1959 by Ruth Handler and manufactured by Mattel. It was named after her daughter, Barbara. Ken Sean Carson is Barbie’s boyfriend; he was introduced in 1961.
[Sung.] There’s a star man waiting in the sky.
These are part of the lyrics to the 1972 song “Starman,” by David Bowie.
He’s really bugging him.
A possible reference to something U2 lead singer Bono said in the 1988 concert film Rattle and Hum: “Am I bugging you? I don’t mean to bug ya.” Or it's possibly just a reference to the timeless sibling torment of almost, but not quite, touching, tickling, or punching another sibling, and when a complaint is made, saying "What? I'm not touching you!"
Yes, hi, this is George Lucas. I’d like to report a theft. A big theft. Remember the Death Star sequence in my film?
See above note.
Who does your hair? –Warner Brothers. Well, they’re Seven Arts. One could be a makeup artist or hairdresser. –The same guy who does Yosemite Sam’s mustache.
Warner Brothers is one of the largest film studios in Hollywood. It was founded by four brothers (Harry, Albert, Sam, and Jack) in 1903 when they opened a theater in New Castle, Pennsylvania. In 1967, Warner Bros. was purchased by Seven Arts. This was short-lived, as the Kinney National Corporation bought out Seven Arts in 1969. In 1989, the studio merged with Time Inc. and the duo was bought by AOL in 2000. Yosemite Sam is a diminutive gunslinger known from dozens of appearances in Warner Bros. animated shorts, wherein he squared off primarily against Bugs Bunny. Sam and his huge red mustache first appeared in 1945’s “Hare Trigger.”
Luke Skywalker prefers peyote.
Luke Skywalker (played by Mark Hamill) is the main protagonist in the first three Star Wars films, beginning in 1977; thirty years later, he reprised the role in the reboot of the franchise. The peyote cactus is native to southern Texas and northern Mexico. It has hallucinogenic properties and is used in the religious ceremonies of some Native American faiths.
It’s not over. Buck up, little buddy.
In his role as Skipper on Gilligan’s Island, Alan Hale referred to Gilligan as “little buddy.”
Sleep. Starfields will make him sleep.
A paraphrase of the Wicked Witch's line in The Wizard of Oz (1939): “Poppies. Poppies will put them to sleep.”
He looks like Spot from Our Gang.
Pete (not Spot) was the pit bull featured in many episodes of Hal Roach’s Our Gang short films from 1929-1946. The dog was easily recognizable because of a distinctive ring around his left eye. Pete (or Petey) was initially played by Pal the Wonder Dog (who had the ring naturally). Other dogs took the role after Pal died in the early ‘30s, but they had to have the ring dyed on their fur to match.
He looks like “Phantom of a Paradise,” that Paul Williams movie? –Actor, songwriter, elf. –Midget.
Paul Williams is a singer/songwriter known for such hits as “We’ve Only Just Begun” and “The Rainbow Connection.” He is extremely short (five feet nothing). Phantom of the Paradise is a 1974 musical directed by Brian De Palma. Williams starred as the satanic record producer Swan in the film and provided the singing voice of the Phantom, played by William Finley.
Now he has a Major Matt Mason outfit on. More like Jeff Storm.
Major Matt Mason was an astronaut action figure produced by Mattel in the mid-1960s. Because its release was coincident with the rise of the American space program, it proved very influential on children, including actor Tom Hanks, who has said he wants to play Mason in a film. There was no “Jeff Storm” among Mason’s crew, but there was a Sergeant Storm and a Lieutenant Jeff Long; presumably Joel and the ‘bots conflated the two.
[Sung.] Magnetic fields forever. Let me take you down ‘cause I’m sticking to, magnetic fields. –Nothing is real. And nothing to get polarized about. –And no refrigerators to stick on. –Living is easy when you’re a magnet Oreo. –Holding up some kid’s artwork. It says, “I love you, Mom,” but you can’t believe it anymore.
Paraphrased lyrics to the Beatles’ 1967 classic “Strawberry Fields Forever.” The actual lyrics are: “Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see./It’s getting hard to be someone but it all works out./It doesn’t matter much to me./Let me take you down, ‘cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields./Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about./Strawberry Fields forever.” Oreo is a brand of sandwich cookie made by Nabisco since 1912. Over 491 billion cookies have been sold since then.
Milton Berle! Jackie Mason! Ummm. Ummm.
Milton Berle (1908-2002) was a popular comedian known as “Mr. Television” for his early success in that medium. Comedian Jackie Mason (1928-2021) had tremendous success on Broadway with a string of one-man shows. He also appeared in TV shows and movies, including The Ed Sullivan Show and The Jerk.
[Sung.] Everybody was kung-fu fighting! Star Wolf was fast as lightning. –And it sure was exciting. –And they all had expert timing.
A paraphrasing of lines from Carl Douglas’s hit 1974 song “Kung Fu Fighting.” Sample lyrics: “Everybody was kung fu fighting/Those cats were fast as lightning/In fact it was a little bit frightening/But they fought with expert timing.”
And why did they change Darrins in the middle of Bewitched?
Darrin and Samantha Stephens were the mortal-and-witch couple on TV’s Bewitched, which ran from 1964-1972. From 1964 to 1969, Darrin was played by Dick York, until a back injury he had suffered ten years prior caused him to leave the show. He was replaced by Dick Sargent, who stayed in the role until the show ended in 1972. (Hold on. Dick York, Dick Sargent, Sergeant York ... Wow, that’s weird.)
At least they have Pong on this ship. Or is that Nintendo?
Pong was one of the first, if not the first, video games. It was essentially an electronic version of table tennis: each player had a “paddle” and they bounced a little “ball” between them. The arcade version appeared in 1972; the home version in 1975. The Nintendo Entertainment System was a home video game console that debuted in 1985. It revitalized and revolutionized the home gaming industry after the gluttonous crash of 1983 (a.k.a. “The Atari Debacle”).
[Sung.] Shake it up, baby! –Shake it up, baby. –Twist and blow ‘em up! –Twist and blow ‘em up. –Shake it, shake it, shake it baby now. –Shake it. Baby. –Turn them inside out. –Inside out. –Ooooh! Aahhhh, ahhhhh, aaaaahh!
Lines from the song “Twist and Shout.” Sample lyrics: “Well, shake it up, baby, now (shake it up, baby)/Twist and shout (twist and shout)/C’mon c’mon, c’mon, c’mon, baby, now (come on baby)/Come on and work it on out (work it on out) …” The Top Notes recorded their version in 1961. The Isley Brothers recorded their hit version in 1962. The Beatles’ cover was released in 1964 and enjoyed a resurgence in 1986 after the song was featured in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
“Rocky? Are you OK? Say something.” –Adrian!
In the 1976 film Rocky, boxer Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) calls for his wife, Adrian (Talia Shire), from the ring after having lost the championship fight. He screams, “Adrian!”, in case you couldn’t guess.
This is for the whoopee cushion. –This is for the clackety teeth. –This is for all the Gamera movies.
A reference to the five films Joel and the ‘bots riffed previously. Gamera is a popular Japanese franchise of “kaiju” (“monster”) movies about a giant flying turtle who befriends children and occasionally stomps Tokyo.
I’m a little bit country; he’s a little bit rock & roll.
“I’m a Little Bit Country” is a song by Marty Cooper, but made famous by Donnie and Marie Osmond’s 1976-1979 television variety show.
Think they’ll land on the Pan Am Building? –I don’t see how they possibly could. –It’ll probably be the Sony Building.
The MetLife Building (originally the Pan Am Building) is a 59-floor building located in New York City. It was built in 1963 and bought by Metropolitan Life Insurance in 1981. Pan Am’s headquarters remained on a few floors within the structure until the airline itself ceased operations in 1991. Sony is a Japanese electronics company founded in 1946. There is a Sony Building in New York City (a.k.a. Sony Tower) and a Sony Building in Tokyo.
Graceland! Go to Graceland.
Graceland is Elvis Presley’s famed mansion and estate located in Memphis, Tennessee. It was built by the Moore family in 1939. His parents bought the home in 1957 with $100,000 that Presley gave them. Elvis died in a bathroom there in 1977. In 1982, it opened to the public as a museum after the inheritance left to his wife, Priscilla, had dwindled. After only one month, Graceland had made back all the money that was invested. In 1991, it was made a National Historic Landmark. Annually, there are between 500,000 and 800,000 visitors to the estate, depending on the economy and other tourist concerns.
Kinda looks like the set of the old Dean Martin Show.
The Dean Martin Show aired on NBC from 1965 to 1974 and starred the famous crooner. When Martin was approached to do the show, he made wild demands so the show wouldn’t happen; Martin wanted the freedom to keep doing movies and performing club gigs. Surprisingly, NBC agreed to Martin’s high salary request and his demand that he only had to be there to tape the show. Nothing was reshot: if a line or stunt was flubbed, it stayed in the show and was aired that way. Trivia note: the show had a stable of famous dancers known as the Golddiggers.
I can run and jump. Walk down the hall. –I can make a reflection on this shiny new floor. I think they use Mop & Glo.
Mop & Glo is a brand of floor cleaner manufactured by Reckitt Benckiser.
You’re like an interstellar Bamm-Bamm.
Bamm-Bamm Rubble was the adopted son of Barney & Betty Rubble on the ‘60s animated sitcom The Flintstones. He was a perpetual toddler with white hair and a club. His shtick consisted of slamming the club on the ground and yelling, “Bam! Bam!” until the whole house shook. Various voice actors provided the “Bam” over the years. He finally grew up to be a teen for The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show produced by Hanna-Barbera, which aired from 1972 to 1973. In that show, his voice was provided by Jay North (yes, TV’s Dennis the Menace).
Like a Japanese Tennessee Ernie Ford.
Born Ernest Jennings Ford, Tennessee Ernie Ford (1919-1991) was a singer and television host. Musically speaking, his biggest hit was “Sixteen Tons,” released in 1955.
I killed a man for squeezing my cheeks. Tennessee Ernie.
See previous note.
Tiparillos are small cigars with a plastic filter tip. They were first produced in 1962 by the Alabama-based General Cigar Company.
‘Cause you look like Jim Backus, that’s why. The guardian of this ship.
Jim Backus (1913-1989) was an actor best known for portraying millionaire Thurston Howell III on Gilligan’s Island and voicing the animated character Mr. Magoo.
It’s sake time.
Sake is a rice-based alcoholic beverage made in Japan for many centuries. It is often referred to as “rice wine,” but this is technically incorrect. Because rice is a starch, sake would more appropriately be referred to as “rice beer.”
You’ve just conquered Earth. Time for the best tasting beer you can find. –[Sung.] When you’ve got the time, we’ve got rice wine. –Sake tastes too good to hurry through.
Paraphrasing of advertising slogans for Miller High Life, mostly from the 1970s. “Time to head for the best tasting beer you can find” and “When you’ve got the time, we’ve got the beer” are the actual slogans.
Chicago. The coldest city in the north. –Pays to have ChapStick. –That’s Suzy ChapStick now.
ChapStick is a lip balm developed in the 1880s by Dr. Charles Browne Fleet. It is manufactured by Wyeth. Skier Suzy Chaffee made a commercial for ChapStick in 1978 in which she was dubbed “Suzy ChapStick.”
She’s sorry now. –She’s Connie Francis? [Sung.] She’s sorry now.
“Who’s Sorry Now?” is a song written in 1923. Several versions were produced before singer Connie Francis recorded hers in 1958. It has since become the most famous version of the tune.
The seventh constellation: Barney Rubble.
Barney Rubble was Fred Flintstone’s best buddy on the animated TV series The Flintstones, which aired from 1960-1966. Voiced by Mel Blanc, Barney was based on the character of Ed Norton (played by Art Carney) from The Honeymooners.
I didn’t know Floyd the Barber did voice work.
Floyd Lawson was Mayberry, North Carolina’s barber on the TV sitcom The Andy Griffith Show from 1961 to 1967. In his first appearance, the character was portrayed by Walter Baldwin. In every subsequent episode, he was played by Howard McNear (1905-1969), who brought a trademark vocal style to the part. The character was based on a man named Russell, who cut Andy Griffith’s hair at the barber shop in his hometown of Mt. Airy, North Carolina, on which Mayberry was based.
Doesn’t he look like Tennessee Ernie?
See above note.
How’s Opie? Bring Opie by. Ooooh, yes. Oooh, ooh.
An imitation of Floyd the Barber (see above note). Opie Taylor was Sheriff Andy Taylor’s son on The Andy Griffith Show. He was played by Ron Howard.
This is Apollo. Mr. T as Clubber Lang.
Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) was the heavyweight champion against whom Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) fought in 1976’s Rocky. He defeated Balboa then but lost the title in the 1979 sequel, Rocky II. After his defeat in that film, he became friends with Balboa and later became his manager in 1982’s Rocky III. In 1985’s Rocky IV, Creed came out of retirement for an exhibition fight against Soviet boxer Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren). Drago killed Creed in the ring. Mr. T (Laurence Tureaud) is an actor known for his distinctive mohawk and his role as B.A. Baracus on the 1980s TV series The A-Team. In Rocky III, he played boxer Clubber Lang, the role where his catchphrase “I pity the fool” became well known.
He’s Dolph Lundgren, playing the Russian boxer.
Dolph Lundgren is a Swedish action star whose breakout role came in the 1985 film Rocky IV (see previous note), wherein he played ‘roided-up Soviet boxer Ivan (“I must break you”) Drago, who killed Apollo Creed in the ring before losing to Rocky Balboa at the end. Lundgren also played He-Man in the roundly derided 1987 film He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.
What’s this? –Adrian.
See above note.
“He’s rough and ready, all right.” But those are cartoon characters.
The Ruff & Reddy Show was an animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera from 1957 to 1960. Don Messick voiced the intelligent cat, Ruff, and Daws Butler voiced the dimwitted dog, Reddy (yes, that seems backwards to me, too).
Who do we really have to work with? The cast of Head of the Class.
Head of the Class was an ABC sitcom that ran from 1986 to 1991. It starred Howard Hesseman as the teacher of a group of gifted students in a New York high school. Hesseman was replaced by Scottish comic Billy Connolly in the last season. The students ran the gamut of high school clichés: nerd, funny fat guy, sensitive drama girl, tough guy with a heart of gold, Mike Tyson’s wife (Robin Givens), and so on.
[Steve Austin’s bionic sounds.]
An imitation of the sound effect that was used on the TV series The Six Million Dollar Man (1974-1978) whenever title character Steve Austin (Lee Majors) ran in slow motion, which was used to indicate that he was actually running very, very fast.
He moves kinda like “That Girl.”
That Girl was a television series that aired from 1966-1971. It starred Marlo Thomas as Ann Marie, an aspiring actress struggling to make it in New York City.
The closer she gets, the better she looks.
“The closer he gets, the better you look” was an advertising slogan for Nice ‘N Easy hair-coloring products. They were first introduced in 1965 by Clairol and are presently manufactured by Procter & Gamble.
The Pannekoeken girl. –Care for some cocoa?
Pannekoeken Huis Restaurants were a Minnesota chain of restaurants featuring Dutch décor and cuisine, especially pannekoeken: Dutch pancakes with fruits or meats cooked along with the batter. Waitresses, and girls featured in advertising, wore traditional Dutch jumper-like outfits. At one point there were ten restaurants, but the chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1996 after the Minnesota Dept. of Revenue, seeking payment of back taxes, raided the restaurants and seized cash, furniture, and equipment. There is now one independently owned Pannekoeken Huis restaurant in Minneapolis.
It’s Paul Lynde.
Paul Lynde (1926-1982) was a comedian who was known for playing Uncle Arthur on the TV show Bewitched. He was also a longtime guest on the game show Hollywood Squares, occupying the center square from 1968-1981.
Making a Xerox copy of them.
Xerox Corporation was founded in 1906 in Rochester, New York, as a manufacturer of photographic paper and equipment. Xerox became a household name thanks to their pioneering work in the field of document copying. Their first automatic copying printer, the Copyflo, was marketed in 1955. By the early 1980s, Xerox copiers dominated the marketplace and led to the company’s name becoming a brand eponym. The name comes from the word “xerography,” which is made from the Greek words “xeros,” meaning “dry,” and “graphia,” meaning “writing.”
The Japanese polka party with Lawrence Welkasaki.
Bandleader Lawrence Welk (1903-1992) hosted The Lawrence Welk Show from 1955-1982. Welk was born in North Dakota ... so if you’re wondering where he got that accent, his parents were ethnic Germans from the Ukraine.
Power, power, power! We’ll turn Ken into a giant mud pit! Tractor pulls are really dumb, Joel.
An imitation of many monster truck, tractor pull, etc. commercials that seemed to be all over the television in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
It’s sister Suzy. Brother John. Martin Luther. –Uncle Michael. –Andy Gibb. –Open the door ... –[Sung.] And let them in!
A paraphrase of lyrics from Paul McCartney & Wings’ 1976 song “Let ‘Em In.” The names refer to members of McCartney’s family and friends. “Martin Luther” is a reference to John Lennon, who, apparently, the other Beatles occasionally called “Martin Luther Lennon.” “Andy Gibb” (1958-1988) replaces the original line “Auntie Gin.” Gibb was a British singer, teen idol and younger brother of the Bee Gees’ Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb.
“I know Ken’s a lot stronger than we are. There’s a reasonable scientific explanation for that.” Good breeding. Wheaties. Oat bran.
Wheaties is a General Mills cereal known for its association with athletes and sports. Marketed as “The Breakfast of Champions,” the wheat and bran flake mixture was first sold in 1924. As for “good breeding,” here’s a historical note: up until the 1990s, the University of Minnesota was home to the Dight Institute for Eugenics Research (later renamed Dight Institute for the Promotion of Human Genetics), named after medical professor Charles Fremont Dight (1856-1938), who donated his entire estate to the University. Dight was an enthusiastic proponent of eugenics—human breeding—persuading the Minnesota legislature to pass a sterilization law in 1925, and writing a fan letter to Adolf Hitler in 1933 praising the Nazi’s efforts to “stamp out mental inferiority.” (Thanks to Voidisyinyang for the correct wording and the University of Minnesota bit.)
You dirty rat. You killed my brother. –That’s the best John Wayne I’ve ever heard.
An impression of James Cagney (1899-1986) in the 1932 film Taxi! As a matter of fact, Cagney never actually said the line this way. The real line was: “Come out and take it, you dirty, yellow-bellied rat, or I’ll give it to you through the door!” John Wayne (1907-1979) was born Marion Robert Morrison and became an American movie icon through dozens of roles in westerns and war films.
Darth Vader was the primary villain in the original trilogy of Star Wars films. He began life as Anakin Skywalker, a student of Obi-Wan Kenobi who was corrupted by the Dark Side of the Force. The man in the suit was most often Welsh bodybuilder David Prowse; his voice was provided by James Earl Jones.
[Sung.] Mime after mime.
A paraphrase of Cyndi Lauper’s uncharacteristically melancholy ballad “Time After Time,” released in 1984.
They have the best hot dogs on that side of the galaxy. Chicago Red Hots, just like Mom used to buy.
Chicago Red Hots are a variety of hot dogs sold in many places but popularized in the Windy City. Usually it is a beef wiener topped with chopped onions, tomatoes, a pickle spear, peppers, relish, and mustard.
That ship would be an effective weapon in the War on Drugs. –How’s that? –You fly that thing up to a crackhouse, there’s no way they’re going to put up a fight.
The “War on Drugs” is the concerted effort on the part of the United States government to enforce the prohibition of illicit drugs. Though the phrase “War on Drugs” was first used by President Richard Nixon in 1971, the laws that fuel the campaign date back to 1914. With the arrival of crack cocaine in America’s cities in the 1980s, the “War on Drugs” became much more visible and eventually decried as drug abuse and associated crimes continued apparently unabated. In 2009, President Barack Obama’s “Drug Czar” Gil Kerlikowske announced that they would not be using the “counterproductive” phrase any longer.
I’m interested if it would start every time in the winter. –Well, you would plug it in. Get a tank heater in there. Starts up like a ‘74 Celica. –You’re making me miss the old Slant 6. –The Swinger? –Yeah. –Yeah, but it kept us in air.
Toyota Celica was the name given to a series of coupes, sports cars, and compacts. Celicas were produced from 1970 to 2006. Slant 6 is the name given to one of the Chrysler Corporation’s best-known engines, so named because its six pistons are inclined at a thirty-degree angle from vertical. The Dodge Swinger was a two-door variant of the four-door Dodge Dart. The Swinger was available from 1968 until 1976.
They look like Killer Bees.
The Killer Bees were Saturday Night Live’s first recurring characters. The cast members dressed in baggy yellow and black striped costumes, wore springy antennae, and often appeared at inopportune times. They made appearances in twelve episodes over the show’s first three years.
[Sung.] Oh-weee-oh, yo rup.
An imitation of the guards outside the Wicked Witch of the West’s castle in The Wizard of Oz.
Looks like a library in Pasadena, California. –That looks like a Jeep from the same place.
Jeep is the oldest brand of SUV, first produced by Chrysler during World War II. Like most SUVs, they became popular among suburbanites during the 1990s.
Feel like doing a Suzuki Samurai impression? –Love to. Gimme a countdown. –10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. –Aahhh! (pause) Help me up. Did it work? –I don’t know.
The Suzuki Samurai is a lightweight 4x4 that in 1988 became notorious for having a tendency to roll over in accidents. The attorneys general of several states sued the company for misleading advertising boasting about the safety of the car. At least 200 people have died and more than 8,000 have been injured in accidents involving Samurai rollovers; however, Suzuki has settled all cases thus far out of court and has avoided admitting any wrongdoing, despite evidence that the company knew of the car’s tendency to roll over as early as 1985.
Don’t you have like a Highlights magazine or something I can wait with? I can find the presidents’ faces, I know I could. –They’re already like Goofus & Gallant.
Highlights is a children’s magazine that has been published since 1946 and is most often seen in doctors’ waiting rooms. “Goofus & Gallant” is a cartoon featured in Highlights since 1948 and created by Garry Cleveland Myers and Anni Matsick. Children are taught social lessons by emulating the good example provided by Gallant and avoiding the shenanigans of Goofus.
[Imitating horn.] Da da daaa-duh-dum, da dee da-da da-da dum. –You’re exciting my gumballs.
This tune is well known in the United States as “snake charmer music” or “belly dancing music.” In fact, the song is called “The Streets of Cairo,” and it was written in 1893 by Sol Bloom (who later became a congressman) for an attraction in the World’s Columbian Exposition (a.k.a. the Chicago World’s Fair, which celebrated the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s arrival in the New World). Other titles this tune is known by include “The Poor Little Country Maid,” “The Girls in France,” and “The Southern Part of France.”
He’s got hair kinda like Bo Derek used to wear.
Bo Derek is an exceptionally beautiful leading lady known for her parts in such films as 10 (1979) and Bolero (1984).
They’re playing Space Baccarat.
Baccarat is a card game often played in international casinos. It was featured in Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels and in early James Bond films.
Mini-chickie carcass. Man-made chickens, but they’re new! –From Tyson.
Tyson Foods is the world’s second largest processor of chicken, beef, and pork. It was founded in 1896 and is based in Springdale, Arkansas. "Man-made chickens, but they're new!" is a paraphrase of a line from David Lynch's Eraserhead (1977). The actual line is: "We've got chicken tonight. Strangest damn things. They're man-made. Little damn things, smaller than my fist, but they're new!"
Sounds like music from Get Smart. –I think it’s I Dream of Jeannie, actually. –Or else it’s the Banana Splits. –Missed it by that much.
Get Smart, a television series which aired from 1965-1970, was a spoof of spy films created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry. Don Adams (1923-2005) starred as Maxwell Smart (Agent 86), who occasionally uttered the phrase, “Missed it by that much,” when something didn’t quite go according to plan. I Dream of Jeannie (1965-1970) is a TV sitcom about an astronaut who stumbles on a bottle containing a female genie. It starred Larry Hagman and Barbara Eden. The Banana Splits were animal rock musicians on a Saturday morning kiddie show in the late 1960s. They lived in Hocus Pocus Park, where their cuckoo clock always read 6:55. The band consisted of Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper, and Snork.
He’s made killing allies a hobby. Which is admirable, but not very smart. –Admirables make excellent televisions. –And fences make good neighbors.
The American appliance brand Admiral was one of the major manufacturers of televisions in TV’s early days. The brand is now manufactured by Whirlpool and sold only at Home Depot stores. “Good fences make good neighbors” is a line from the Robert Frost poem “Mending Wall.”
Chef Boyardee makes pretty good ravioli, too.
Chef Boyardee is a line of canned pasta products. Chef Ettore Boiardi opened an Italian restaurant in 1924 in Cleveland and found his popularity The American appliance brand Admiral was one of the major manufacturers of televisions in TV’s early days. The brand is now manufactured by Whirlpool and sold only at Home Depot stores. overwhelming. In 1928, he opened a factory to begin producing his pastas more quickly and marketed his name as “Boy-Ar-Dee” to help Americans with the pronunciation. The rest is history.
See above note.
He’s got darker skin than Wayne Newton, that guy.
Wayne Newton is a singer who has only had a few radio hits, most especially 1963’s “Danke Schoen.” But in Las Vegas he is one of the most popular entertainers in the city’s history, earning $1 million per month at his peak. Like other Vegas-style entertainers of his era, Newton sports a perpetual dark tan, although some of that color may be due to his part-Native American ancestry.
[Sung.] I recall Central Park in fall. How you tore your dress, what a mess.
A paraphrase of lyrics from “Danke Schoen” (see previous note).
Set it for stun.
In Star Trek, whenever the leader of a Starfleet landing party didn’t want to harm an alien life form, they would order that the crew’s phasers be set for stun. The offending aliens would then only be knocked out when shot. Nerd trivia: “phaser” is a holdover acronym for “PHASed Energy Rectification.”
Wham. Bap. Pow.
In the campy 1966-1968 ABC TV series Batman, fight scenes were often punctuated with cartoonish splashes of color and onomatopoetic words such as “Boff!,” “Pow!,” and “Zap!” This helped the producers avoid criticism for the show being too violent, as the words covered the screen and prevented the audience from seeing the punches and kicks actually connect.
Now they’re at the Hoover Dam.
Hoover Dam, at 726 feet, is the tallest concrete arch dam in the United States. It is located on the Colorado River at the border between Arizona and Nevada. It is used for irrigation, flood control, and power generation. The naming of the dam is a story unto itself. It was originally known as Boulder Dam because it was supposed to be located in Boulder Canyon; though this was no longer the case, the press referred to it as Boulder Dam for years. At a 1930 ceremony, a Cabinet member took it upon himself to name it Hoover Dam after then-President Herbert Hoover, which was rather unusual since traditionally such honors are reserved for ex-presidents. Once Franklin D. Roosevelt became president, his administration went back to calling it Boulder Dam, since Hoover was not of their political party and many blamed him for the length of the Great Depression. Finally, in 1947, Congress passed legislation formally naming it Hoover Dam.
Now they’re on a miniature version of the Golden Gate Bridge.
The Golden Gate Bridge is a six-lane orange suspension bridge that crosses the San Francisco Bay’s opening into the Pacific Ocean. It was completed in 1937 and before long became the most popular place in the world to commit suicide.
He should have magnetized them properly. –[Sung.] Magnetic Fields ...
See above note.
Now that they got rid of the Johnny Reb Cannon.
Johnny Reb Cannon was a 1961 plastic toy artillery piece manufactured by Remco. It could fire plastic cannonballs up to 35 feet.
[Sung.] Hey, hey, we’re the Monkees.
A line from the theme to The Monkees TV show, which aired from 1966-1968. Sample lyrics: “Here we come/Walking down the street/We get the funniest looks from/Everyone we meet/Hey, hey we’re the Monkees …”
The desert. Ending of all life.
A paraphrased callback to the Gamera films, which opened with shots of the undulating sea (“the beginning of all life”).
Why doesn’t he toss the guy and go get him, toss him again and get there that way? –’Cause he’s a kindler, gentler Space Wolf.
In his 1988 nomination acceptance speech to the Republican National Convention, then-Vice President George H. W. Bush said he wanted the prosperous people of America to commit acts of kindness and that cynicism should not prevail, saying, “I want a kinder and gentler nation.” The phrase was repeated and parodied for years.
That’s the beauty of it. It’s the only starship that burns off aftershave.
Bacchus was an aftershave lotion sold in the 1970s. It was named after the Roman version of the Greek god Dionysus, the god of wine and intoxication. Dionysus was known for his bitchen parties.
With the rich smell of aftershave.
See previous note.
Amana Radar Range? What better way to excite the molecules in your meat? It’s like having a little Los Alamos in your home.
Radarange was the first microwave oven in the world. Produced in 1947 by Raytheon, it was six feet tall, weighed 750 pounds, and cost $5,000. In 1967, after acquiring the company Amana, they released the first home model and sold it at the low, low price of $495.
No, switch to Gilligan’s Island. I want to watch Brady Bunch! But M*A*S*H is on.
Gilligan’s Island was a CBS sitcom that aired from 1964 to 1967. It was about a group of people stranded on a desert island who tried to escape using coconut-based electronics and bamboo. In the years after the show was cancelled, it became more popular in syndication, leading to two animated series, three reunion TV movies, and a short-lived musical. The Brady Bunch was a TV series about the adventures of a large step-family that ran from 1969-1974. This, too, spun off in multiple forms: an animated series, a variety show, two reunion TV movies, and two short-lived sequel series. M*A*S*H was originally a 1968 novel by Richard Hooker that became an acclaimed 1970 film by Robert Altman. This then became the hugely successful TV series that ran from 1972 to 1983—three times longer than the Korean War itself. Like the others, the series was followed by a spinoff series and a sequel series.
You say something? –Huh? –“96 Tears.”
“96 Tears” was a number one hit pop song by the group ? & the Mysterians (a.k.a. Question Mark & the Mysterians), released in 1966.
The Breck Girl.
The Breck Girl was an advertising icon for Breck shampoo, first appearing in 1937 and launching Breck’s first national advertising campaign in 1946. There were numerous Breck Girls over the years; actress Kim Basinger was even a Breck Girl early in her career.
This is a paraphrase of the famous line from the 1971 film Dirty Harry, starring Clint Eastwood. The full line: “I know what you’re thinking: Did he fire six shots or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I’ve kinda lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?”
Run away! Run away!
A line from the 1974 movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
[Sung.] Ah kah nee moko, ah kah nee mooohhh-kohhh. Sushi Toyota. Nissan Sentra.
(Japanese gibberish, I’m assuming.) Toyota Motor Corporation was founded by Kiichiro Toyoda as a spinoff of his father’s company in 1937. Today, it is the world’s largest automobile maker in sales and production. Nissan is Japan’s third-largest automaker, behind Toyota and Honda. The Sentra is a compact automobile produced by Nissan since 1982. In Japan, the Sentra is marketed as the “Nissan Sunny.”
The eyes say, “No, no, no.” But the gun says, ... –“Bang, bang, bang.”
A reference to the old line, “Your lips may say ‘No, no,’ but your eyes say, ‘Yes, yes.’” Most people seem to think this dates back to some old film noir, but the earliest appearance I could find was in the 1977 Neil Simon film The Goodbye Girl.
Love stinks. Yeah, yeah.
A line from the song “Love Stinks,” released in 1980 by rock group The J. Geils Band.
Some girl. Supposed to be good for you. –I’m not gonna try it. –You try it. –Let’s get Rocky. –He’ll try anybody.
A reference to an old TV ad for Life cereal, which ran from 1972-1984, making it one of the longest-lived commercials ever. In the ad, two boys are arguing over which of them has to try a new cereal first. Suddenly, inspiration strikes: they’ll get their younger brother, Mikey, to try it. “He hates everything!” Except Life cereal, evidently: “He likes it! Hey, Mikey!” The role of Mikey was played by John Gilchrist, who appeared in more than 250 commercials over his career; the older brothers were played by his actual siblings. Gilchrist now works as an advertising executive.
Oh, you’re a member of the space club. That’s supposed to mean something? –I bet he doesn’t have a decoder ring.
Secret decoders were inexpensive children’s toys, often mailed out as promotions for radio serials, that would enable listeners to decode a secret message transmitted as part of the program. One of the most famous was for the Captain Midnight radio show. Although the decoders often were rings, and have survived in the popular imagination as “secret decoder rings,” there were also many decoder pins or badges.(Thanks to Voidisyinyang for the closer look at rings vs. pins.)
What about Gopher from the Love Boat? Did he make it?
Burl “Gopher” Smith was “Your Yeoman Purser” on the ABC television series The Love Boat from 1977 to 1986. He was played by Fred Grandy. From 1987 to 1995, Grandy served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Iowa. From 1995 to 2000, he was the CEO of Goodwill Industries. Since 2003 he has hosted a conservative morning talk show on DC-area radio station WMAL.
Captain Joe. –Captain Joe’s a good Joe. He’s a USS Joe from the Joe Corps. –GI ... –Joe. –The toughest Joe. –We used to call him Dirty Joe. –That’s enough.
G.I. Joe is an action figure made by Hasbro, possibly the original action figure. It was introduced in 1964 as a poseable toy aimed at boys and was wildly successful for about ten years. The line faded away in the mid-’70s. An early ‘80s relaunch saw renewed popularity in the redesigned figures and a long-running animated series.