1102: Cry Wilderness
by Wyn Hilty
Is Visto International a company or the font they used?
Visto International only produced three films in the 1980s, including this one. The other two were horror films: Bloody Wednesday (1987), a flick about a mentally ill man living in a haunted hotel, and Night Train to Terror (1985), in which God and Satan pass the time on a train journey by telling each other scary stories. All three were written by Philip Yordan, who also co-wrote some good movies, including El Cid (1961) and Battle of the Bulge (1965).
Homo erectus galifianakis.
Homo erectus, meaning “upright man,” was an early species of hominid dating to the Pleistocene, as far back as 1.8 million years ago. They walked upright on two legs (hence the name), used fire, and made stone tools such as hand axes. They died out arou nd 200,000 years ago, replaced by Neanderthals and Homo sapiens (i.e., us). Zach Galifianakis is a hirsute, bearded comedian and actor known for such films as The Hangover series; he also hosts a well-known talk show, Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis, on the Funny or Die website.
Harry Potter and the Hendersons?
The series of children’s fantasy novels about Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, all of whose titles begin with Harry Potter and the …, has sold more than 450 million copies worldwide, making it the best-selling book series in history. Harry and the Hendersons, meanwhile, was a 1987 comedy film starring John Lithgow as the head of a family that encounters Bigfoot in Seattle. Critics were lukewarm, but it did well at the box office. There was also a syndicated TV series spinoff by the same name that aired from 1991-1993 with Bruce Davison in the Lithgow role.
This one could use a little manscaping, actually—that and some man hedge-trimming.
The term “manscaping,” referring to trimming or shaving a man’s body hair, dates back only to 2003 and was popularized by the original Bravo reality TV show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (2003-2007). (Netflix rebooted the series in 2018.)
Made possible by a generous grant from the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Foundation.
The original Ripley’s Believe It or Not! was a syndicated cartoon strip called "Champs and Chumps" that first ran in 1918; the title was changed to "Believe It or Not" the following year. A successful radio show followed in 1930, and a live TV show premiered on NBC in 1949; both were hosted by Robert Ripley himself until his death a few months after the TV show debuted. Robert St. John took over for the second and final season in 1950. Ripley also hosted a number of theatrical shorts in the 1930s. In the 1980s, Jack Palance hosted a revival show that aired from 1982 to 1986 on ABC, with a robust afterlife on cable, and from 2000-2003 Dean Cain hosted yet a third version. All the series focused on the strange and bizarre: people with unusual talents, strange news stories, odd things in nature, unexplained phenomena, etc. The phrase “made possible by a generous grant” is commonly seen among nonprofits like PBS, museums, theaters, and other organizations that rely on donations to fund their activities.
Oh, holy Sasquatch, teach me your ways. I am but a vessel for your wisdom.
Sasquatch is another term for Bigfoot, a legendary ape-like creature supposed to haunt the Pacific Northwest and western Canada. The word comes from the Salish tribe of the Pacific Northwest and was first used in 1929.
Young Kristy McNichol as you’ve never seen her!
Kristy McNichol is an actress whose career peaked in the late 1970s and early 1980s, in such films as Little Darlings (1980) and The Pirate Movie (1982). She later appeared as a regular on the TV series Empty Nest (1988-1995).
“Where’s Paul?” Paul is dead. Check the album cover.
For years, an urban legend has circulated that Paul McCartney of the Beatles was killed in a car crash in the mid-1960s and secretly replaced with a double. In 1969, theories arose that Beatles album covers contained secret clues hinting at McCartney’s death, and fans began feverishly scouring their record collections. Among the suggested hints found: on Abbey Road, McCartney is the only band member barefoot and, with his right foot forward, is out of step with the others, who all have their left feet forward.
Kennedy Elementary presents The Book of Mormon.
The Book of Mormon is a 2011 stage musical about two young Mormon missionaries in Uganda. It was written by Trey Stone, Matt Parker, and Robert Lopez; Stone and Parker are the pair behind the animated TV show South Park, while Lopez was the composer for the songs in Disney’s monster hit Frozen. Book of Mormon was Stone and Parker’s first stage musical, although they had written musical films before; it turned out to be an enormous hit, setting Broadway ticket sales records and winning nine Tony Awards.
Finally, I can get some headspace and enjoy my thermos of beef bouillon. Huh?
Thermos is a genericized trademark referring to a vacuum flask canister that protects the desired temperature of the product contained therein. Invented in 1892 by Scottish physicist Sir James Dewar, the product was first sold in 1904 by German company Thermos GmbH. In 1963, the U.S. declared that the name Thermos was synonymous with these types of containers, essentially nullifying the trademark.
Yes, economic uncertainties are making CDs a bad investment. I hear and obey.
In this case, CD stands not for compact disc, but certificate of deposit, a financial product in which a sum of money earns a set rate of interest over a set period of time. The tradeoff is you get a higher interest rate, but you can’t withdraw the money until the CD “matures”—usually in a few years. If you do so anyway, you’ll pay a steep penalty. If the economy is looking dicey, you’re probably better off keeping your money accessible.
“I met him last summer. –Where?” Cabo.
Cabo San Lucas is a city on the south end of the Baja Peninsula, on the western coast of Mexico. A popular tourist destination for its beaches, diving, fishing, and resorts, it has a population of about 70,000 people, not counting the 1.8 million tourists who pass through each year.
“And then he gave me this.” A wicked tribal tattoo.
Tribal tattoos are solid black designs, usually of thick, flowing lines forming an abstract pattern. There are more specific types of tribal tattoos, such as Maori or Hawaiian. Some people opine that tribal tattoos have become a cliché, but they remain a popular choice.
At auction, 30 to 40 dollars.
Antiques Roadshow originally aired as a one-shot documentary on the BBC in 1977; it was so popular it was turned into an ongoing series. Many other countries have since aired their own versions of the show, including Germany, Sweden, Canada, and the United States (PBS, which produces the American version, also airs the original British show). The format has remained consistent: hopeful owners bring their household treasures to a traveling group of antiques appraisers, who tell them if their belongings are worth anything. The most valuable item ever appraised on the original British series was an original, small-scale model of an Antony Gormley statue called Angel of the North, worth £1 million.
“He loved Coca-Cola.” Hated Pepsi.
Coca-Cola and Pepsi are the two main rivals in the soft drink industry in the United States. Both Coke and Pepsi were originally developed in the 1880s, and the two companies have been intensely competing for market share for decades. In the 1970s, Pepsi began running the “Pepsi Challenge,” a blind taste test in which people chose Pepsi over Coke. In the 21st century, Coke still dominated the carbonated beverage market, but Pepsi held a higher share of the “refreshment beverage” market overall, with most of its sales coming from non-carbonated drinks like Gatorade.
“I never told him. –Why not?” Because he hasn’t come back from buying cigarettes yet.
In films and literature, an old trope for parental abandonment, particularly with fathers, is that they “went out to buy cigarettes and never came back.” In the series finale of 30 Rock, for example, Tracy Jordan’s father reappears after a 35-year absence—carrying the cigarettes he went to the store to buy. And in the pilot episode of Black Dynamite (the animated TV series), the title character’s father says, “Now, I could lie to you and say, ‘I’m just goin’ out for a pack of cigarettes.’ But the truth is, I’m leavin’ you to raise eight-year-old Black Dynamite by yourself.”
Sorry you had to see that, Bigfoot. I’m going to the leprechaun exhibit. Byeeee.
Leprechauns only occasionally appeared in Irish folklore and bore little resemblance to the green-clad Irish stereotypes most people are familiar with today. Prior to the 20th century, in fact, leprechauns dressed in red.
You know what this exhibit needs? A tube top. Yeah. –Yeah, I think so too.
The tube top, a sleeveless women’s top that is essentially an elastic tube wrapped around the torso, first became popular in the 1970s. Fashion designer Elie Tahari claims credit for introducing the tube top to America in the early ‘70s. The style saw something of a revival around the beginning of the 21st century. In the U.K., incidentally, tube tops are known as boob tubes.
[Darth Vader breathing, James Earl Jones imitation.] Let the hatred flow through you.
Probably a reference to Emperor Palpatine’s line to Luke Skywalker from the 1983 film Return of the Jedi: “Good! Use your aggressive feelings, boy. Let the hate flow through you.” However, this is clearly an imitation of James Earl Jones as Darth Vader, so it may also be a reference to Vader and Luke’s duel scene at the end of The Empire Strikes Back (1980), although Vader’s line there is not quite the same: “Obi-Wan has taught you well. You have controlled your fear … now release your anger. Only your hatred can destroy me.”
How dare you look at me with that tone of voice!
The line “Don’t look at me in that tone of voice” is often attributed to author Dorothy Parker but is actually from an 1884 cartoon in the British humor magazine Punch. It has since cropped up in many different forms, from a country song by Gene Watson to the 2007 movie Good Luck Chuck.
“Paul!” I loved your letter to the Corinthians.
The New Testament contains a series of letters, or epistles, generally believed to have been written by the apostle Paul to various Christian congregations, advising them on matters of doctrine. He wrote two such letters to the church in Corinth, which he had founded in C.E. 50, that are included in the Bible. These are called the First and Second Epistles to the Corinthians, or simply First and Second Corinthians. The letters discuss issues like marriage, celibacy, the Eucharist, and the truth of Christ’s resurrection. There is a third letter, but it is not considered canonical, and is part of the collection of New Testament apocrypha.
The last Borders bookstore customer.
The first Borders bookstore opened in 1971 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Over the next few decades, the chain expanded around the world. As 2010 opened, there were about 500 Borders stores in the United States alone. By September 2011, they had all closed, putting nearly 20,000 people out of work.
Dear Great Pumpkin: Everyone’s cray cray.
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is a classic TV Halloween special starring the gang of kids from the comic strip “Peanuts,” created by Charles Schulz. First aired in 1966, Great Pumpkin is about Linus’s hope that this Halloween he will finally see the Great Pumpkin, a mythical figure he insists distributes toys to children, and to whom he writes a letter every year, much like kids write letters to Santa. The word “cray cray,” meaning “crazy,” was popularized by Andrew Gunadie, also known as gunnarolla, in a 2011 YouTube music video. Seven months later he posted a second video, “Cray Cray Is Dead,” decreeing it should be replaced with “cray.” Nonetheless, it has persisted.
The Real World: Princeton Academy. When schoolboys stop being polite and start getting real.
The MTV show The Real World, which first aired in 1992, is generally credited with creating the modern reality TV show craze. The first season set the mold for all the rest: seven young, attractive strangers thrown together in a shared living space for several months, and the resulting conflicts, drama, drinking, flirting, and hookups were filmed and aired for the nation’s viewing pleasure. The first show was set in New York City’s Soho; subsequent seasons have taken place in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Honolulu, and elsewhere. The opening narration for the show, with minor variations, says, “This is the true story of seven strangers picked to live in a house … to find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real.” “Princeton Academy” may refer to Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart, a K-8 Catholic school for boys in Princeton, New Jersey, which opened in 1998 and serves about 200 students.
This Palace of Versailles sleepover is awesome!
The Palace of Versailles, located a few miles southwest of Paris, was originally built by Louis XIII as a hunting lodge. Under Louis XIV, however, it was hugely and grandiosely expanded into a royal palace and surrounded by elaborately landscaped gardens. The palace was unbelievably luxurious. At one point the king had more than 200 pieces of furniture made of solid silver—including a throne, benches, statues, candelabras, etc. Mirrors, gilt, bronze, marble, paintings, carpets, and tapestries rioted wherever you looked. All this richness nearly bankrupted the country; the king had to melt down his famous silver furniture not long after it was completed.
So Paul’s bunkmate is … Powder?
Powder is a 1995 film about a young, pale, bald boy with strange powers, played by Sean Patrick Flanery. The film caused a great deal of controversy when it came out due to the revelation that the director, Victor Salva, had been convicted of sexually abusing a 12-year-old actor on his previous film, and the subsequent media coverage left a bad taste in the minds of many filmgoers.
Maybe that light’s coming from the new Kenny Rogers Roasters.
In 1991 country musician Kenny Rogers (1938-2020) and former KFC CEO (and former Kentucky governor) John Brown opened a chain of rotisserie chicken restaurants called Kenny Rogers Roasters. The chain went bankrupt in 1998 and was sold; several years later all its U.S. locations were closed, although a number of locations still operate in Asia. In the eighth season of Seinfeld, in an episode called “The Chicken Roaster,” a Kenny Rogers Roasters restaurant opens across the street from Jerry’s apartment building, and the light from the giant red neon chicken on its sign begins keeping Jerry and Kramer awake and driving them insane.
On November 15 and 16, 1864, when General William Sherman’s Union troops took Atlanta, the city had been virtually abandoned by its residents, many of them having been forcibly removed by Sherman’s army. The Union soldiers spent those two days utterly destroying the city; a survey taken after the army left showed that in the city center, out of a previous 3,600 homes, only 400 survived. The burning of Atlanta was consistent with how the Union army had treated previous Georgia cities: Cassville, Rome, and Marietta had all been destroyed as well. When Sherman left the smoldering remains of Atlanta, he began his infamous March to the Sea, which ended five weeks later in Savannah. (That city surrendered, and escaped destruction.) The 1939 film Gone with the Wind included a highly dramatic scene of Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara escaping the burning of Atlanta, although that version laid the blame for the fire on the Confederates, claiming it happened as they evacuated in early September.
I wish they’d let us leave during Bonnaroo.
The Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival is a four-day festival held every June in Manchester, Tennessee. The first festival, held in 2002, focused on jam bands and folk rock, but later diversified into indie and classic rock, hip-hop, country, electronica, and multiple other genres. Artists who have played Bonnaroo include Phish, Neil Young, The Flaming Lips, Arcade Fire, Kanye West, and Arctic Monkeys.
Sweetums, is that you?
Sweetums is the large, hairy, ogre-like Muppet originally performed by Richard Hunt, then by John Henson (from 1991 to 2005), and currently by Matt Vogel. In the 1979 Muppet Movie, after meeting them at a used-car dealership, Sweetums trails Kermit and the other Muppets throughout the film, trying to catch up with them so he can join them in their quest for stardom in Hollywood. In the 2011 film The Muppets, the Muppets find Sweetums at the same car dealership, and leave him behind once again, chasing after their car as they drive away, shouting, “Oh, not again!”
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, occurs when a person is exposed to a severely traumatic event, such as combat, a sexual assault or other violent attack, a car crash, or a natural disaster. Symptoms of PTSD include recurring thoughts and nightmares related to the traumatic event, increased irritability and difficulty sleeping, and an exaggerated fight-or-flight response.
This is the first Windows operating system …
Microsoft Windows, produced by the Microsoft Corporation, was announced in 1983 but not officially released until 1985. Windows 1.0 was rather poorly received; critics disliked its slow performance and its heavy reliance on using a mouse, which many users did not own at the time. Windows 2.0, released two years later, fared much better.
All I see is our sticky Purple Kush garden.
Purple Kush is a strain of marijuana originally developed in Oakland, California, a cross between Hindu Kush and Purple Afghani. As its name would suggest, it is a broad plant with purple leaves. The “sticky” refers to the resin produced by the plant, which is heavy with THC and is used for making hashish. Purple Kush is an indica strain, useful for treating pain and insomnia.
I had to get out of my Dame Edna drag for this!
Edna Everage is a satirical character created and portrayed by Australian comedian Barry Humphries. Originally conceived as a slightly chichi suburban housewife, the character became more outlandish and garish as she grew in popularity. Humphries has been portraying the character on and off since the 1950s.
[Imitating.] Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to the Grotto with the bunnies.
An imitation of Hugh Hefner, a.k.a. “Hef,” (1926-2017) the founder of Playboy magazine and one of the last bastions of the 1960s bachelor lifestyle. He famously attired himself in a red dressing gown. Playboy operated a string of clubs from 1960 to 1991; cocktail waitresses who worked at the clubs were referred to as “bunnies,” and wore outfits that included a strapless bodysuit with a bunny tail on the rear, a suit collar around the neck, and a headband with black bunny ears. In 2006 a new club opened in Las Vegas, and others followed around the world; they had all folded by 2014, although a casino in Los Angeles opened a Playboy lounge that year with Playboy bunnies as waitresses. Hefner’s Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles features the Grotto in its back yard: a pool and enclosed hot tub designed to look like a natural water feature. In the 1970s the Grotto was the site of legendary and hedonistic orgies.
Time for a blanket party. Get him, guys!
A blanket party is a form of hazing, often used at military academies. The victim is covered by a blanket held down at the corners, and the hazers then beat him with sticks, batons, or socks filled with something heavy (a bar of soap, a padlock, etc.). The film Full Metal Jacket has a scene in which a blanket party is given to Private Leonard Lawrence during basic training, after the platoon has been punished for Lawrence’s repeated mistakes.
Go back to bed, Draco!
Draco Malfoy is one of the chief antagonists in the series of Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling. The son of one of the old wizarding families, Draco initially tries to be Harry’s friend, but when Harry rejects him for his snobbishness and bigotry, Draco becomes his bitter enemy. Draco is described in the books as pale, with light blond hair and “ice grey” eyes. He was played by Tom Felton in the films.
Ah, the majestic mountains of the Pacific Northwest.
The Pacific Northwest is a region encompassing the northwestern United States (Washington and Oregon) as well as British Columbia in Canada. There are multiple mountain ranges in the Pacific Northwest, including the Cascade Range, the Olympic Mountains, and the Columbia Mountains. The highest peak is Mount Rainier, at 14,410 feet.
When it comes time for insurance, Paul, I want you to remember Hartford Fund!
The Hartford, an insurance and investment company, was founded in 1810 in Hartford, Connecticut. Its logo shows a stag with enormous antlers. Commercials that aired around 2005 featured a large stag striding majestically across the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Paul, at some point in your life, you might have to resort to YouTube to finish your film. That is okay.
YouTube, the Internet video-sharing service, was created in 2005 by three former PayPal employees. The following year Google bought the site for $1.65 billion. In 2017, 300 hours of videos were uploaded to YouTube every minute, and 5 billion videos were watched every day. About 1.3 billion people use YouTube—an average of 30 million visitors per day.
Aw! It’s an NRA rave!
The National Rifle Association, or NRA, is a national organization dedicated to promoting gun ownership. It is a powerful lobbying organization, successfully and fiercely resisting any and all gun control measures. A rave is a dance party featuring electronic music mixed by a DJ; they often continue all night or even longer, fueled by ecstasy, ketamine, and other club drugs. Raves originated with the acid house parties of the 1980s, although the term was used earlier in 1950s London to describe the parties of the beatniks.
“That’s enough for me!” And that’s amore!
“That’s Amore” is a 1953 song written by Harry Warren and Jack Brooks. It was performed by Dean Martin in the 1953 Martin & Lewis comedy The Caddy, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. The song was released as a single and became a major hit, topping out at number two on the charts. It became a signature tune for Martin, who performed it frequently for the rest of his career. Much as Frank Sinatra said his signature song “Strangers in the Night” was “a piece of crap,” Martin was known to call’ “That’s Amore” “ridiculous.” But it was a ridiculous hit, and still frequently pops up in movie soundtracks today.
[Beastly howl.] S’cuse me, that’s the ringtone for my wife.
Old-fashioned landline telephones originally rang by receiving an electric current to indicate an incoming call, which rang an actual bell inside the phone. After 1975, manufacturers began offering third-party electronic ringtones for landline phones, which included snippets of music or novelty ringers, such as a quacking duck or a car horn. The first customizable cell phone ringtones were offered in Japan in 1996; the first downloadable ringtones were available in Finland two years later. Now custom cell phone ringtones are big business, although sales peaked in 2007 at $714 million, as consumers figured out how to create them on their own.
Oh, awesome, I love The Roots.
Hip-hop group The Roots formed in 1987 in Philadelphia while Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter were still in high school. Their first album was released in 1993; their 1999 album Things Fall Apart went platinum and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap Album, while their song “You Got Me” won for Best Rap Performance. They have appeared as the house band for Jimmy Fallon since 2009, first on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and then on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Screw it. Let’s head over to the nice Arby’s.
Arby’s is a chain of fast-food restaurants known for its signature roast-beef sandwiches. The company was founded in 1964 and today has more than 3,000 locations worldwide.
So he walked all the way to Aspen, Colorado?
Aspen, a small town in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, was originally a mining town. In the 1950s it was developed as a ski resort and quickly became a mecca for celebrities and the idle rich, with the shopping district sprouting boutiques like Dior, Gucci, and Prada. The median home price in Aspen is around $5 million.
Autobots, roll out! Sorry, that was just wishful thinking.
The Autobots are the group of sentient robots on the side of truth and justice in the Transformers universe (fighting against the evil Decepticons). They are led by the noble Optimus Prime, who can transform into a Freightliner semi-truck. In the animated TV show (1984-1988), Optimus would lead the other Autobots into battle by commanding, “Autobots, transform and roll out!” For the live-action film series directed by Michael Bay, this was shortened to “Autobots, roll out!”
Hi, Large Marge!
In the 1985 film Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, Pee-wee Herman (Paul Reubens) hitches a ride in a semi driven by a large, flannel-clad woman known as Large Marge (Alice Nunn), who tells him the story of a fatal traffic accident. It turns out to be her own, as she transforms into a horrifying specter; Pee-wee later discovers a shrine to her at a truck stop.
The Lich is a character on the animated TV show Adventure Time, a green-skinned, undead monster with hollow black eyes, although he sometimes takes the form of a giant baby named Sweet P. Lich as undead monsters are a common trope in fantasy fiction and games; the word derives from the Old English word for “corpse.”
Great! Now maybe they’ll turn down the music. –I know, right? I feel like I’m living upstairs from Rascal Flatts.
Rascal Flatts is a country music group founded in 1999, consisting of Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus, and Joe Don Rooney. Their hits have included “Bless the Broken Road,” which spent five weeks atop the country charts, “Take Me There,” and “Fast Cars and Freedom.”
This is like Ice Road Truckers, only less staged.
Ice Road Truckers is a reality show that first aired on History in 2007. It focused on the lives of the truckers who drove the “ice roads” in northern Canada and Alaska, bringing supplies to remote communities by traveling over frozen lakes and rivers. The opening credits of the show feature a truck falling through the ice, which is in fact a miniature model in a studio; the sequence led to rumors that the show was faking footage.
This is like if Bob Ross painted an action sequence. And it’s just as relaxing.
Bob Ross (1942-1995) was the bearded, curly-haired, and much-loved host of the PBS show The Joy of Painting, which aired from 1983-1994. He taught a method of painting landscapes that was quick, simple, and allowed virtually anyone to pick up a brush and produce a work of art. His soothing delivery and cheerful attitude (“happy little trees” was a common phrase) made him a YouTube star many years after his death.
He’s running through an MMORPG. I wonder what mobs spawn here. Confusion … Despair … oh, and this guy.
MMORPG stands for Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game, a game in which hundreds or thousands of players play and interact online. The first MMORPGs started up in the late 1990s, with games like Everquest and Ultima Online. The current behemoth is World of Warcraft, which controls 58 percent of the market. “Mobs” are NPCs (non-player characters, controlled by the computer, that can interact with players); the name derives from “mobile” and can refer to a single NPC or a group of them. “Spawning” refers to the in-game creation of either a player character or a mob, which usually takes place at a set location within the game, referred to as a spawn point. The term was first used in the first-person shooter Doom.
Rowsdower? –That’s Zap Razzdower [sic] to you.
Zap Rowsdower was the beefy, mulleted Canadian drifter who accompanied teenage boy Troy McGreggor on the latter’s quest for his father in Show 910, The Final Sacrifice. He was played by Bruce J. Mitchell (1945-2018).
[Imitating.] One of these days … bang! Zoom!
An imitation of Ralph Kramden, the “everyman” bus driver played by Jackie Gleason in a series of sketches titled “The Honeymooners” on the DuMont Network’s Cavalcade of Stars and then on CBS’s The Jackie Gleason Show from 1950 to 1957. Honeymooners sketches appeared in other shows and TV specials off and on until 1978.
Ecch, leaves again? Craft service is terrible on this shoot! And that’s coming from a raccoon!
In movie, TV, or video production, craft service provides food and beverages to the cast and crew, either in a studio or on a set or location. (Craft, in this case, refers to the various skilled trades working on a production, such as prop makers, set designers, hair and makeup artists, etc.) Craft service is available at all times during a production, as compared to catering, which provides full meals at specific times.
Quiet, Carl. There are walkers about.
“Walkers” is the term for zombies on the popular AMC TV show The Walking Dead, which first aired in 2010. Carl is the young son of former sheriff Rick Grimes in both the show and the comic book the series is based on; he is played by Chandler Riggs on TV.
Snausages are a bite-sized dog treat shaped like tiny cocktail weenies. They are available in several flavors: beef, beef and cheese, and bacon and cheese. There was an extensive running gag on Snausages in Show 510, The Painted Hills, which starred Lassie.
“I love you, Dad.” And I love rabies.
Raccoons, along with foxes, skunks, coyotes, and bats, are a primary carrier of rabies in North America. Rabies is particularly prevalent among raccoons in the eastern U.S.; they account for about 35 percent of all animal rabies cases overall. Other fun problems you may encounter from exposure to raccoons include the roundworm parasite and leptospirosis, which can cause kidney damage, meningitis, liver failure, and death.
All right, let’s head off to Supercuts, huh? I’m buying.
Supercuts is a chain of low-priced hair salons founded in California in 1975. They are currently owned by Regis Corporation, with 2,400 locations across the United States.
How is it that the bobcat is out of focus, but everything around him isn’t? [Imitating.] Welcome home, Paul! Arrrrrgh!
An imitation of Robert “Bobcat” Goldthwait, a comedian, actor, voiceover artist, TV director, and filmmaker. In his early standup career, he used a twitchy, growling, maniacally screeching persona to deliver his dark jokes. That character became widely known, thanks to his appearances in numerous Police Academy movies (starting with Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment in 1985). Goldthwait has since become a screenwriter and director of such films as Shakes the Clown (1991) and World’s Greatest Dad (2009) and has directed many episodes of Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Chappelle’s Show. He still does standup, but has long since retired his screeching maniac shtick.
If that guy is Ted Nugent, I’m dead.
Ted Nugent is a hirsute hard-rock guitarist known for such hit albums as Cat Scratch Fever and Double Live Gonzo! He is equally well known for his right-wing political views, pro-gun advocacy, strong anti-drug stance, and love of hunting. Nugent owns a large hunting ranch in Michigan and another in Texas, where he offers paid hunts for deer, wild boar, and other animals.
Ha-ha, Dad! Chase me! I’m precocious and filled with wonder! We are but stardust!
“You remind me of me, precocious and full of wonderment” is a line from the 2006 Will Ferrell film Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. “We are but stardust” has a few possible origins. Astronomer and host of the 1980 PBS science show Cosmos Carl Sagan liked to talk about how we were all made of atoms forged in the stars, but he phrased it a little differently: “The cosmos is within us. We are made of starstuff.” Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who hosted the 2014 remake of Cosmos, had a similar statement: “We are chemically connected to all molecules on Earth. And we are atomically connected to all atoms in the universe. We are not figuratively, but literally, stardust.” There’s also a 1970 song by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young called “Woodstock” that begins “We are stardust, we are golden/We are billion-year-old carbon/And we got to get ourselves back to the garden …”
You can’t spell “dad” without ADD!
Attention deficit disorder, or ADD, is a behavioral disorder characterized by restlessness, inability to sit still, and trouble concentrating. (ADD is an older term for the disorder, which has been known as ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, since 1987.) ADHD is most commonly diagnosed in children, although since it was first classed as a disorder in 1980 it has increasingly been seen in adults. There are those who think the disease is overdiagnosed, especially in children.
I’m nocturnal. I shouldn’t be out here. I might be ill.
Some people think that seeing a nocturnal animal out and about during the day is a sure sign that the animal has a disease such as rabies. This is not necessarily the case. Some nocturnal animals, such as raccoons, are known for often being active during daylight hours, particularly during the spring and summer when the nights are shorter and their babies are young. Opossums are sometimes found in trees during the day after having sheltered there from a predator; they will wait until the next night before returning home. However, if you see a nocturnal animal during the day that is also behaving oddly—staggering, walking in circles, or acting unusually aggressive or tame—steer clear and call animal control.
Does a bear crap in the woods? Well, keep watching.
Along with “Is the Pope Catholic?”, “Is a frog’s ass watertight?”, and “Does a one-legged duck swim in circles?”, “Does a bear shit (or crap) in the woods?” is a rhetorical question meant to imply that the answer is yes.
[Imitating.] Oh. Oh, gosh. I’m sorry. Excuse me, Mr. Bear. I just realized I’m very late for an appointment of NOT A BEAR!
Possibly an imitation of Woody Allen, the nebbishy comedian/actor/writer/director whose most famous films include Annie Hall (1978), Manhattan (1980), and Broadway Danny Rose (1985). He often plays a deeply neurotic, easily flustered character.
[French accent.] Allo, I am not a sexual predator, but simply a reflection of my era.
Pepe Le Pew, the womanizing skunk from the classic Looney Tunes cartoons, has become a somewhat polarizing figure since he was created in 1945. At the time, he was seen as a parody of the “French lover” stereotype (and in fact was based on the character Pepe Le Moke, played with panache by Charles Boyer in the 1938 film Algiers). Today, with increased societal awareness of and decreased tolerance for the problems of sexual harassment and date rape (as in the #MeToo Twitter campaign of 2017), his hijinks seem a lot less amusing.
We thought it’d be funny to intercut Paul’s stalking footage with film of a skunk.
Candid Camera was a TV show that aired in various incarnations between 1948 and 2014 on all three major U.S. television networks at one time or another, two cable outlets, and in syndication. The basic premise of the show was to place unsuspecting people in embarrassing or bizarre situations and then film their reactions with a hidden camera. At the end of the ordeal, host Alan Funt (1914-1999) would pop up with the cheery catchphrase “Smile! You’re on Candid Camera!” On a revived version of the show that aired in 1998, Funt’s son Peter acted as host.
[French accent.] I wish they’d pair me up with the honey badger so we could get a third voice going.
See previous note on Pepe Le Pew. “The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger” was a viral video originally posted on YouTube in 2011. The footage was taken from a 2007 National Geographic wildlife documentary, but it was overdubbed by YouTuber Randall with new narration, including the instantly memetic phrase “Honey badger don’t care.” The video boasted 40 million views by the end of the year.
Little does Paul know we’ve got a real skunk waiting in the bushes. We think the joke will be on Paul.
See previous note on Candid Camera.
[Imitating.] Honey badger don’t care.
See previous note.
Looks like we got us a laugh circle. It’s fun!
Possibly a reference to hasyayoga, or laughing yoga, in which participants gather in groups to engage in long stretches of forced laughter, which the founder, Indian doctor Madan Kataria, theorized had the same health benefits as spontaneous laughter. Sitting in a circle and making eye contact while laughing is one exercise in hasyayoga.
[Imitating.] I love to laugh! Loud and long and clear!
A fragment of the song “I Love to Laugh” from the 1964 Disney musical film Mary Poppins. It was performed by Uncle Albert (played by Ed Wynn, whom Crow is imitating here), who would levitate when he laughed. Sample lyrics: “I love to laugh/Loud and long and clear/I love to laugh/It’s getting worse every year.”
“It’s only a cougar.” Only a cougar? Well, that just shattered my self-esteem. Also, cougar is an ageist concept, thank you.
The slang term “cougar” became popular after 2001 with the publication of the book Cougar: A Guide for Older Women Dating Younger Men, written by Valerie Gibson. There is some evidence that the term originated in Canada, where a regional website existed beginning in 1999 called Cougardate.
I’ll just stick a Post-it note here as a reminder.
Post-It notes are small pieces of notepaper with a slightly sticky substance along one edge, allowing them to stick to paper or other surfaces but still be easily removed. They were introduced by 3M in 1980, although the adhesive that makes them possible was invented back in 1968.
“Now we’ll have to come back for this one too.” Yeah. We’d better move along. There are still about 400 species of North American mammals we need to encounter before the act break.
According to the Smithsonian, nearly 700 species of mammals make the North American continent their home. That number jumps to nearly 750 if you throw sea mammals in there.
Oh, well, there’s your problem right there. You got yourself a Stallone. Hey, get outta here! Get outta here, Stallone!
Sylvester Stallone is an action star whose films include Rocky (1976), Rambo: First Blood (1982), and The Expendables (2010). He is also a screenwriter (he was nominated for an Oscar for the screenplay for Rocky) and director (he directed several of the Rocky films, Rambo, and The Expendables).
Come on, save some Montauk Monster for the rest of us.
In 2008, four people on the beach in Montauk, New York, found the remains of an animal washed onshore. One of them took a picture, and the photo quickly set the Internet on fire with speculation; cryptozoologist Loren Coleman dubbed it the Montauk Monster. The best guesses of experts: the animal was either a dead dog or raccoon that had been at sea long enough to be somewhat mutilated; however, the carcass had disappeared so could not be examined further.
“I have. Help yourself. I’ve plenty to spare.” I got the bucket meal.
The KFC bucket meal was first offered in 1957, marketed as a way for housewives to get out of having to cook dinner: 15 pieces of chicken, biscuits, and a pint of gravy. The chain still offers bucket meals, but they come in a greater variety of sizes and offer side dishes as well as chicken and biscuits.
Someone trained at the table of Scut Farkus!
Scut Farkus is the neighborhood bully who torments the protagonist, Ralphie, in the 1983 comedy film A Christmas Story, and ultimately has the tables turned on him. Farkus was played by Zack Ward in his first film role; Ward went on to appear in dozens of TV shows, including American Horror Story and Dollhouse, as well as multiple films.
The word poltergeist means “noisy ghost” in German; in folklore, a poltergeist is a ghost capable of physically moving objects and making noises. Poltergeist activity often centers around a specific person, usually an adolescent; skeptics point out that teenagers are known for playing pranks, and witness accounts have typically been exaggerated to enhance the “impossibility” of the poltergeist’s activities.
That’s my jam right there. Huh? Get it?
“Oh my God, this is my jam!” was originally squealed when a person’s favorite song came on the radio. It was later extended to favorite objects of all kinds. The phrase is now used only by old people (i.e., anyone over thirty), unless it is being said ironically.
Down with the oppressors! Occupy log cabins!
In 2011, a protest movement known as Occupy Wall Street began in Zuccotti Park, in New York City’s financial district. The protest began in September in response to a poster published by Adbusters magazine; their goals were to draw attention to income inequality, corruption, greed, and the influence the financial industry had over the government. Although the protesters were driven out of the park a month later by police, many of the issues they raised are still part of public discourse today.
You went from Guardians of the Galaxy to this?
Rocket Raccoon is a Marvel Comics character who first appeared in the 1976 Marvel Preview #7, created by Bill Mantlo and Keith Giffen. His name comes from the 1968 Beatles song “Rocky Raccoon.” He was rarely seen after that until he became part of the Guardians team when that comic was relaunched in 2008. Since then he has of course appeared in the Marvel Comics films (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and starred in two comics series of his own.
How do you think I feel? I was Ranger Rick!
Ranger Rick is a children’s magazine published by the National Wildlife Federation. Its namesake mascot is a small raccoon.
Go home, raccoon, you’re drunk.
“Go home, X, you’re drunk” is an Internet meme, usually used in image macros. Its first-known appearance was on the humor site Natuba in 2008, but it started becoming widely used in 2012, with multiple image macros appearing on Reddit and other sites.
Product placement—Heinz paid for them to use Hunt’s ketchup in this scene.
Product placement in films occurs when companies pay a filmmaker to prominently display their products, in hopes that filmgoers will then race out to buy them. Sometimes this is successful: when Steven Spielberg made E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, his production company went to Mars Inc. about using M&Ms in the scene where Elliott lures the little alien to his house. Mars refused, for whatever reason, and Hershey’s jumped at the chance to place Reese’s Pieces in the film. After the movie came out, sales skyrocketed (numbers vary, from a 65 percent increase to 200 percent). Heinz was founded in 1869 by Henry Heinz; it merged with Kraft in 2015. Heinz ketchup dominates the American market, controlling a 60 percent share; Hunt’s, founded in 1888, comes in second.
Rambo: First Ketchup.
First Blood (1982) was the first film in the Rambo movies, which starred Sylvester Stallone (see above note) as Vietnam vet John Rambo. On a visit to a small town, Rambo goes up against brutal cops, the state police, and ultimately the National Guard, armed only with a tank top, his biceps, and an M60 machine gun.
C’mere, you little disease vector.
See above note on rabies.
“I’ve tracked and killed all over the world.” And I have a dental practice in Minnesota, too.
Cecil the lion was one of the most popular animals at the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. Unfortunately, he also ranged outside the park, which was protected land, and in 2015 Walter Palmer, a dentist and big-game hunter from Bloomington, Minnesota, who had paid a guide $50,000 for the trip, shot and killed Cecil with an arrow. The killing sparked international outrage; protesters targeted both his home and his dental practice. He closed the office for several weeks and then returned to work. Apart from his Yelp reviews, which are predictably terrible, he seems to be continuing his life as usual.
“This beast is intelligent.” And he sings beautifully.
The 1991 animated musical Beauty and the Beast was Disney’s first crack at the “tale as old as time,” with lyrics by Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken. Actor Robby Benson supplied the Beast’s voice in the film. In 1994 a version was produced on Broadway, this one starring longtime stage actor/singer Terrence Mann as the Beast. A live-action film followed in 2017 with Dan Stevens in the role.
Ah, the interocitor’s calling. Everyone look busy.
The 1955 sci-fi film This Island Earth, which was mocked in MST3K: The Movie, begins with the square-jawed Dr. Cal Meacham building a mysterious device called an interocitor out of parts that have been sent to him. It’s claimed that the interocitor can do all sorts of wonderful things, like “laying … highway at the rate of a mile a minute,” but we only see it used as a fancy video phone. That, and self-destruct.
Why are you dressed like a Coke can?
Coca-Cola cans have consistently kept the red-and-white color scheme and their cursive logo throughout their history, but their design has changed many times. The white “swoosh” seemingly being referenced here first appeared in 1970.
“I’m not ignorant.” I’m just a Coke can.
See previous note.
“Tell me more, kid.” Like does he have a car?
A line from the song “Summer Nights,” from the musical Grease, written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. In the original 1972 Broadway production, it was sung by Barry Bostwick and Carole Demas, while in the 1978 film, it was performed by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. The 1978 version was released as a single and hit number one in the U.K. (number five in the U.S.). Sample lyrics: “Tell me more, tell me more/Did you get very far?/Tell me more, tell me more/Like does he have a car?”
Yeah, I’m an elite branch of Special Forces. We call ourselves the Bowl Cuts.
The U.S. Army Special Forces was formed in 1952 as the military became more interested in unconventional warfare tactics. They focus on clandestine, guerrilla warfare, counter-terrorism, reconnaissance, hostage rescue, and other special operations. Their nickname comes from their distinctive headgear: the Green Berets. A bowl cut (also known as a pot haircut, helmet haircut, or mushroom cut) is a hairstyle known for being cheap and easy—and therefore often inflicted on children. It looks as if a bowl was placed over the person’s head and all visible hair below the bowl was cut short or shaved. Moe from The Three Stooges sported a classic bowl cut.
It’s really Duluth out there.
Duluth is a small city in northern Minnesota. It is a port city, located on the western shore of Lake Superior. As of 2016, its population was just under 90,000.
[Rapped.] This speech is my recital/I think it’s very vital/To rock (a rhyme)/That’s right (on time)/It’s tricky is the title/Oh …
Lyrics from the 1987 song “It’s Tricky” by Run-D.M.C., from their album Raising Hell. All the members of the band—Jason Mizell, Darryl McDaniels, and Joseph Simmons—were known for wearing heavy, flashy gold rope chains.
My cyborg doppelgänger should be visiting everyone’s bedrooms by now.
A doppelgänger is an apparition in the form of a person’s double; in German folklore, seeing your doppelgänger is a sign that you will soon die.
Aww, looks like the Rainforest Cafe is closed.
The Rainforest Cafe is a theme restaurant/store chain whose ersatz trees and ambient nature sounds can be found in concrete and glass shopping malls in several countries, including the U.S.
Um, he found the DHARMA Initiative.
The DHARMA Initiative was the secret scientific research project located on the island that was the setting for the show Lost (2004-2010). DHARMA stood for Department of Heuristics And Research on Material Applications; in the show’s complex mythology, the Initiative had collapsed by the time the show began, overrun by the island’s natives. The Initiative had a number of stations dotted around the island, many of which were built underground.
The stunt show at Universal Studios is pretty dark this season.
Universal Studios is a theme park in Hollywood, California, that features various rides and other attractions with movie themes, such as Jurassic Park and Harry Potter. One such attraction is a stunt performance show based on the colossal 1995 Kevin Costner flop Waterworld.
Okay, you got this, stay calm, just lift the wallet and go. Harry in your pocket, nothing fancy, just a standard snatch and grab.
Harry in Your Pocket is a 1973 film starring James Coburn as a skilled pickpocket running a team of thieves.
Why do I smell Fiddle Faddle and B.O.?
Fiddle Faddle is a snack similar to Cracker Jacks but introduced 70 years later: caramel or toffee-covered popcorn mixed with peanuts. B.O., as an abbreviation for body odor, dates back at least to the 1920s.
So this is the Golden Corral, huh? Nice. What’s that smell? Breakfast?
Golden Corral is a chain of restaurants offering all-you-can-eat buffets. They were founded in 1973; as of 2017 there were about 200 locations.
“We were at the hotel looking for you, sir.” Instead of Jay Leno’s garage.
Jay Leno is a standup comedian and the host of The Tonight Show from 1992-2014. He is well known as a collector of cars and motorcycles, having amassed nearly 300 of them. Leno keeps his collection in a series of hangars at the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, dubbed Jay Leno’s Big Dog Garage. Starting in 2015 Leno began hosting a show on NBC called Jay Leno’s Garage, which reviews classic and restored cars, sports cars, motorcycles, and so on.
“Make me understand.” Nyah.
An imitation of Edward G. Robinson (b. Emanuel Goldenberg, 1893-1973), an American actor who earned his chops playing gangsters and other tough guys during the 1930s and ‘40s. He had a particularly distinctive nasal and staccato speaking style. Some of his best-known films include Little Caesar (1931), Double Indemnity (1944), Key Largo (1948), and The Ten Commandments (1956). (In that last film, he played a bad guy, naturally: an Israelite who works as an overseer for the Egyptians, betrays Moses, and ultimately gets swallowed up in a crevice by the wrath of God.)
Oh, for fun, somehow I never get tired of going on Splash Mountain. I can’t wait to see our photo!
Splash Mountain is a log flume ride located at several of the Disney amusement parks. The first one opened in 1989 at Disneyland in Anaheim. The final drop on the ride goes 50 feet into a pool of water, reaching speeds of 40 miles an hour. Halfway through the drop, a camera takes pictures of the riders, who are offered a chance to purchase the pictures upon departing the ride. Some women have taken advantage of the moment to lift their shirts; the resulting photos, dubbed “Flash Mountain,” were censored by Disney but eventually made their way online.
Beautiful Niagara Fall.
Niagara Falls is actually three waterfalls, located on the border between Ontario and New York: Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls, and the Bridal Veil Falls. As you would guess from the name, the American Falls is in New York, as is Bridal Veil Falls; Horseshoe Falls actually straddles the border. Niagara is a popular tourist attraction, drawing millions of visitors annually on both sides of the border.
It’s a Thomas Kinkade painting come to life. So horrible!
Thomas Kinkade (1958-2012) marketed himself as “The Painter of Light.” He painted placid scenes of lakes, rivers, forests, and sunsets, all romanticized and glowing. He then merchandised them like crazy, printing editions of up to 100,000 and opening galleries to sell his prints exclusively. Kinkade’s sentimental paintings were very popular with evangelicals (he was an evangelical Christian himself). But he also had a long-standing drinking problem, and his death at age 54 was due to a combination of alcohol and Valium.
Perfect. Let’s set up for that Herbal Essence commercial.
Herbal Essences is a line of beauty products produced by Clairol: shampoos, conditioners, hairsprays, and so on. Their TV ads showed women showering and sudsing their hair under a waterfall in a lush tropical setting.
Guys, our table’s ready!
Restaurant pagers—small devices that buzz or flash when your table is ready—came into use in the late 1980s, when many popular mid-range restaurants like the Cheesecake Factory stopped accepting reservations. Pagers allowed patrons to roam around rather than having to sit in the restaurant lobby waiting for their name to be called.
Hey, does anyone have an Android charger? [All.] No. -Nope. -I have an iPhone. -Apple guy, sorry.
Although Apple’s iOS dominated the mobile market for years by virtue of getting there first, Google’s Android has surpassed it worldwide. Between the two, they control 99 percent of the mobile market. That said, as of 2018, Apple still reigns supreme in the U.S. For now.
The long-abandoned set of Nickelodeon’s Legends of the Hidden Temple.
Legends of the Hidden Temple was a game show that aired on Nickelodeon from 1993-1995. Clearly patterned after the booby-trapped temples in Indiana Jones films, the competitions between teams of children aged 11-14 were a combination of physical challenges and Jeopardy!-style quizzes.
The Hollywood Bowl: 200 Million Years B.C.
The Hollywood Bowl is an amphitheater in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles, famous for its arched bandshell. One Million Years B.C. is a 1966 film starring Raquel Welch as a cavewoman in a fetching leather bikini, fending off dinosaurs and volcanoes with equal aplomb. The film is a remake of the 1940 movie One Million B.C., which starred Victor Mature and Carole “The Chest” Landis in the Welch role.
I’ve got a rucksack full of sapphire orbs, okay? We need to put one in the statue’s eye socket—you know, to open a secret door or something, on account of this being like Indiana Jones and all.
Probably a reference to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), the second film in the series of adventure films starring Harrison Ford. The MacGuffin in the movie is a group of five Sankara stones, oblong stones with diamonds inside that the Thuggee cult is trying to retrieve. The three stones the cult has already found are being kept in alcoves in a large stone statue that looks like a skull: two in the eye sockets and one in the nose cavity.
What’s this? Somebody’s sasquatching their every move.
See note on sasquatch, above.
I don’t know why, but I’m suddenly craving a can of Coke. How about you guys?
See above note on Coke.
It’s the same nutritional value as drinking fresh juice!
This is true, actually. Soda contains about 50 grams of sugar per serving, usually derived from high fructose corn syrup (although the good stuff gets it from cane sugar, which contains sucrose, fructose, and glucose). Fruit juice contains on average 45 grams per serving, also from fructose. Fructose is fine if you get it from eating fresh fruit, when its impact is slowed down by the fruit’s fiber content. In juice, it gives you the same high and caloric impact as straight soda. Better stick to water.
Look, I’ve got hypoglycemia.
Hypoglycemia is the medical term for low blood sugar, the symptoms of which include shaking, anxiety, sweating, dilated pupils, and more.
They’re not really a pack it in, pack it out kind of family, are they?
“Pack it in, pack it out, leave no trace” is a principle holding that campers and hikers who visit the wilderness should leave no sign that they were there. Anything they bring with them should leave with them: all trash, food scraps, food wrappers, etc. should be carried back out in their backpacks. Human waste should be carefully buried away from campsites and trails if outhouses are not available.
Hey, Jonah, what’s a radio? –It’s like a podcast you can’t control.
Podcasts started in the early 2000s and became more widespread after Apple’s iTunes began supporting them in 2005. They range from talk shows to comedy shows to old-fashioned radio-style dramas. Jonah Ray is of course one of the co-hosts of The Nerdist Podcast, which debuted in 2010, along with Chris Hardwick and Matt Mira.
Come on, Paul, humans don’t belong on the Planet of the Apes.
Planet of the Apes was a 1968 film, based on a 1963 novel by French author Pierre Boulle, about “a planet where apes evolved from men.” Multiple sequels and remakes followed, including a poorly received 2001 remake by director Tim Burton, and a much better-liked 2011 reboot.
[Imitating.] Hey, guys! Guys, wait for me! I want to go to Hollywood too!
See above note on Sweetums.
The Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyykk. Or the state of Washington.
Kashyyykk was introduced to the Star Wars universe in the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special of 1978, in which Chewbacca and Han Solo visit Kashyyykk to celebrate Life Day. It was seen again in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, when Yoda went to the planet to help defend it from invasion during the Clone Wars. The planet is heavily forested, although it has some areas of open plains, conveniently available for large battles. Western Washington state has dense pine forests as well as some rainforests; however, the side of the state east of the Cascade Range is much more arid, featuring grasslands, steppes, and even some deserts.
[Sung.] Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s off to hunt we go/To kill some things and harm some things … (Bots: Meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow …)
“Heigh-Ho” is a song from the animated Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). Actual lyrics: “Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s off to work we go …” There are actually two different versions; the other goes “… it’s home from work we go.” The meowing may be a reference to a popular series of TV commercials for Meow Mix cat food, which featured a bouncy jingle of just the word “meow” repeated by onscreen cats—which was actually performed by professional singer Linda November. They first aired in 1974.
Are we being chased by orcs?
In the 2001 Peter Jackson film The Fellowship of the Ring, there is a sequence in which the Fellowship is traveling down the river Anduin by boat. The film cuts back and forth between the boats and a group of Uruk-hai (a variety of orc created by the wizard Saruman) that is running through the woods attempting to catch them. The two groups (spoiler alert) ultimately meet in battle at Parth Galen, where Boromir is killed, Merry and Pippin are captured, and the party is split up for the rest of the trilogy.
Where—where’s my mark again?
Your “mark” refers to the place where an actor must stand in order for the lighting, sound, and camera work to capture them correctly without being out of frame or out of focus. Usually there is an actual physical “mark,” such as a piece of tape on the ground, to show the actor where to stop. Part of acting is learning to find your mark without appearing to look for it, by counting steps or by noting your relative position to props or scenery.
A famous line from the 1993 film Jurassic Park, spoken by gamekeeper Robert Muldoon (Bob Peck). While attempting to kill a velociraptor, he realizes it has deliberately revealed itself to distract him from another raptor, which has sneaked up on him from the side. Muldoon utters his last words and tries to turn his gun on the new threat, but is too slow, and the second raptor kills him.
“Hey, Paul!” Ever see a man get disemboweled before?
Possibly a reference to the 1980 comedy movie Airplane! Captain Oveur (Peter Graves), while giving a little boy (Ross Harris) a tour of the flight deck, repeatedly steers the conversation in wildly inappropriate directions: “Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?” “Joey, have you ever been to a Turkish prison?” “Joey, have you ever seen a grown man naked?”
Brace yourself, Paul. We’re in the splash zone.
In scientific terms, the splash zone, also known as the sublittoral zone, is the area above the high tide point; it is splashed with seawater, but it is never fully underwater. Some types of organisms flourish here, including lichens and some sea snails. However, in the entertainment sense, as it’s being used here, the splash zone is the first few rows at a show, such as a dolphin show at a water park, that can expect to get wet. (If you’re attending Evil Dead: The Musical, described as “Sea World with blood,” you might want to take that free poncho.)
Grizzly Man 2: The Power of Love.
Grizzly Man is a 2005 documentary by Werner Herzog about a man named Timothy Treadwell, who was an amateur bear enthusiast: he lived among a group of grizzly bears for 13 summers in Alaska, claiming he had gained their trust. This worked out great for him, until it didn’t: in 2003 Treadwell and his girlfriend, Amie Huguenard, were killed and partially eaten by a grizzly. “The Power of Love” is a 1985 song by Huey Lewis and the News, written for the film Back to the Future; it was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song.
[Laughter.] I suppose this is funny to mountain people. This is their Seinfeld.
Seinfeld was a television sitcom starring comedian Jerry Seinfeld that aired from 1989-1998. It was consistently one of the top-rated shows throughout its run—not bad for a show that purported to be about “nothing.”
Geez, did these guys do the laugh track for Two and a Half Men?
Laugh tracks, or prerecorded soundtracks of people laughing added to sitcoms to make them seem funnier, have become less common. Shows like 30 Rock, Arrested Development, and Parks and Recreation have managed to be funny without using them. However, more traditional sitcoms still use them. The laugh tracks used by Two and a Half Men (CBS, 2003-2015) and The Big Bang Theory (both produced by Chuck Lorre) have come in for particular criticism, although Lorre insists he uses a live studio audience for both shows and does not enhance their chuckles with prerecorded laughter. Some people remain skeptical.
What, did they run all the way to Mayberry?
The opening credits of The Andy Griffith Show (CBS, 1960-1968) showed Griffith and his young son Opie (Ron Howard) walking down a dirt road surrounded by pine trees, a landscape strongly reminiscent of the one onscreen here. Mayberry, North Carolina, was the name of the small town where they lived on the show; it was based on Griffith’s hometown of Mount Airy, North Carolina.
[All.] Serpentine! Serpentine! Serpentine!
A reference to a scene in the 1979 comedy The In-Laws, in which CIA agent Peter Falk tries to teach mild-mannered dentist Alan Arkin how to dodge a hail of bullets: “Serpentine, Sheldon, serpentine!” The film was remade in 2003 with Michael Douglas and Albert Brooks in the Falk and Arkin roles.
What kind of fur is this? –Ah, yes. Glad you asked. This is the fur of the wily JNCO.
JNCO jeans (an acronym standing for “Judge None Choose One”) were popular in the 1990s, a California brand of wide, wide, wide-legged denim pants (with leg openings up to 50 inches) that were most popular among men and boys. They peaked in 1998; an attempted comeback in 2015 failed.
Acid-washed. Still warm.
Acid-washed jeans were a fashion hit in the late 1980s. It was a treatment designed to make new jeans look naturally faded. It was not that authentic looking. The process continues today, only now they put rips in the cloth too, and the chemical treatment is less obvious.
Young Guns 3: the one nobody wanted to see.
Young Guns is a 1988 movie Western starring a good slice of the hunky teen actors of the 1980s: Emilio Estevez and his brother Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland, Dermot Mulroney, and Lou Diamond Phillips. In the less hunky category, the film also featured Terence Stamp, Brian Keith, and Jack Palance. It retold the story of Billy the Kid during the Lincoln County War in New Mexico, and was apparently relatively historically accurate. The film did well at the box office, earning $45 million on an $11 million budget. A 1990 sequel, Young Guns II, starred Estevez, Sutherland, Phillips, and newcomer Christian Slater, and did equally well, earning $44 million on a $10 million budget. However, there was no third film in the series.
Sad, really. Some poor hipster will never read the liner notes of a Tame Impala record again.
Tame Impala is a psychedelic rock band from Australia whose debut album, Innerspeaker, was released in 2010. Songs include “Let It Happen” and “Sundown Syndrome.”
Hey! I found a comedy schnozz with a mustache over here! Think there’s a connection?
Plastic glasses with a false nose and a mustache attached are also known as “Groucho glasses,” as they are based on the stage appearance of comedian Groucho Marx. They were first marketed in the 1940s.
Oh, no! Bigfoot had a Slip ‘N Slide!
The Slip ‘N Slide, a long sheet of plastic with a tube on one side, designed to accommodate a garden hose, is essentially a backyard water slide. It was invented by an upholsterer named Robert Carrier and first sold in 1961 by Wham-O, which also sells such classic toys as the Frisbee and the Super Ball. Wham-O warns that adults should not use the Slip ‘N Slide, btw, as they risk injuring their backs and necks due to their larger size; leave it to the kiddos.
Shouldn’t they give the kid an orange vest or something?
Hunter orange, also known as blaze orange, is a bright orange color that can be worn as a vest, a hat, a jumpsuit, or other garment above the waist. The idea, of course, is to make sure that other hunters don’t mistake you for a deer and begin firing wildly. Many states have laws requiring you to wear a certain amount of blaze orange; those that don’t (such as Alaska and Idaho) still strongly encourage it.
[Sung.] “Freeze Frame.”
This sounds like a not particularly good attempt at the keyboard riff from “Freeze-Frame,” a 1982 song by the J. Geils Band, from the 1981 album of the same name. It hit number four on the charts and followed their huge number one hit “Centerfold.”
See previous note.
Check it out—we’ve discovered the primordial soup! Bigfoot must be nearby.
“Primordial soup” is the colloquial name for the theory that the early oceans on Earth (and by early, I mean four billion years ago) contained vast amounts of simple chemicals and compounds. When electrified by lightning or simply excited by sunlight, these chemicals would group and form amino acids, the simplest building blocks of life. The theory was first proposed by Russian biochemist Alexander Oparin in 1924.
[Huge footprint.] Oh, my God. LeBron James was here.
LeBron James is a professional basketball player who, except for a brief fling with the Miami Heat, has spent his pro career with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He is considered one of the best players in NBA history. Like most pro basketball players, he is on the large side: 6-foot-8-inches tall, and wears a size 15 shoe.
To Sid Grauman—weird!
Sid Grauman (1879-1950) built two landmark theaters in Hollywood: the Chinese Theatre and the Egyptian Theatre, both of which have become tourist attractions. The Chinese Theatre (sometimes known as Grauman’s Chinese Theatre or Mann’s Chinese Theatre) is particularly well-known due to the collection of celebrity hand- and footprints in cement in front of the theater, a tradition started by Grauman. Many of the early ones bore dedications to Grauman, who was known to the actors, like this one from Myrna Loy: “To Sid, who gave me my first job” (Loy started as a dancer at the theater).
Um, I made that! Last summer! When I was carrying my transistor radio and a can of Coke! Ehh, yeah, that’s the ticket! Yeah!
See above note on Coke. “Yeah, that’s the ticket” was the catchphrase of Saturday Night Live character Tommy “The Liar” Flanagan. He was portrayed by Jon Lovitz from 1985 to 1990.
Who’s Sid Grauman?
See previous note.
He stole that gun from the shooting gallery at the state fair.
Originally, shooting galleries at carnivals used actual .22 rifles. Once the liability problems killed that, the rifles were replaced with BB guns or (even safer) guns that shot a continuous stream of pressurized water.
This looks like a state park—I think I can see a swing set back there.
A sly callback to the original series: For Show 420, The Human Duplicators, one of the writers proposed the joke “It looks like a state park.” On a later run-through, they realized it wasn’t actually a joke—the footage onscreen literally looked like a state park. From then on, any riff that simply described what was happening in the movie was referred to as a “state park joke.”
The theme song to the TV western Rawhide (1959-1966) was written by Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington and performed by Frankie Laine. The song is about a cattle drover, and famously punctuated by the sound of a cracking whip.
A reference to the much-beloved “Dead Parrot Sketch” from the eighth episode of the first series of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Among the many excuses, diversions, and distractions the pet shop owner (Michael Palin) puts forward to thwart John Cleese from returning his deceased bird is “Beautiful plumage.”
Ann Wilson from Heart?
Sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson founded and front the rock band Heart. The group was formed in 1973 and has had several hits, including “Magic Man,” “Barracuda,” and “Crazy on You.” Ann has long dark hair; Nancy has long blond hair.
Ehh, I’m thinking of investing in a miniature golf course.
Miniature golf is exactly what it sounds like: a miniature version of the game of golf. It started in the late 19th century as a lawn game and gradually evolved into the form we know today, with small windmills, statues, water hazards, underground tubes, and all the other hoopla that has made the game a perennial favorite with children. Coincidentally, a Bigfoot-themed miniature golf course opened in Branson, Missouri, the month after this episode aired: Bigfoot Adventure Golf.
Ah, yes. Wikipedia, the print edition, at last.
While Wikipedia, the online collaborative encyclopedia, is famous as a constantly changing and evolving compendium of human knowledge, there has actually been a print edition. Sort of. “Print Wikipedia” was a 2015 art project by artist Michael Mandiberg, exhibited at the Denny Gallery in New York City. Mandiberg printed 106 of the 7,473 volumes of Wikipedia as it existed on April 7, 2015; the other volumes were displayed on wallpaper on the gallery walls. There was also a 36-volume index of contributors and a 91-volume index. Estimated printing costs for all 7,473 volumes were $500,000.
Come on, Paul. It’s time for the Best Friends Club.
There is a sketch comedy video series based out of Los Angeles called The Best Friends Club. Started in 2013, their videos can be found on aggregate comedy websites like Funny or Die. There is also a children’s book titled The Best Friends Club, written by Elizabeth Winthrop and illustrated by Martha Weston, originally published in 1989.
Embrace the prophecy of Time-Life Books!
Time-Life is a book and music marketing company founded in 1961; for decades it specialized in series of books (called libraries) that were shipped monthly to subscribers. Sample libraries included The Old West, The Library of Photography, and The Good Cook. Some customers complained about deceptive advertising practices by the company. Its book division closed in 2003; the company now focuses on music, videos, and entertainment, such as cruises.
This is the worst Airbnb I’ve ever seen.
Airbnb, an Internet company that allows people to rent out their apartments/homes/cottages/etc. as short-term housing, was founded in 2008 and is now a $2.6 billion company. The company has been involved in a number of controversies, including concerns about safety and studies showing that it drives up rental prices.
“Look at these tracks!” You look at them. I’m bitter.
“You do it, I’m bitter” is a longtime MST3K catchphrase, dating back at least to season 3.
[German accent.] Zis is actual footage of the actors attempting to escape the production of Cry Wilderness. I’m Werner Herzog in case you are wonderink.
See above note on Grizzly Man. In addition to directing, Herzog narrated the film, which used a considerable amount of footage shot by Treadwell as well as interviews with his family and friends and bear experts.
Oh, so this is where they’re holding all the Guns N’ Roses reunions.
Guns N’ Roses were popular from the late 1980s to the early ‘90s. This was the era of Appetite for Destruction and Use Your Illusion, and also the era when their original guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan were still with the band. They left in 1993, and the band did not release another album until 2008. That was the underwhelming (and wildly expensive) Chinese Democracy. However, in 2016 Slash and McKagan rejoined the band (former drummer Steven Adler appeared at several performances as well) and they launched their Not in This Lifetime … Tour.
Dave Koechner, Wallace Shawn, and Brian Posehn!
Three balding actors. Dave Koechner is known for playing sportscaster Champ Kind in Anchorman and obnoxious salesman Todd Packer on The Office. Wallace Shawn played the scheming Vizzini in The Princess Bride and supplied the voice of the anxious dinosaur Rex in the Toy Story films. Brian Posehn was a regular on Mr. Show with Bob and David and plays Bert Kibbler, a geologist with a crush on Amy, on The Big Bang Theory.
Levi Strauss never intended a pair of jeans to go through whatever he’s done to them.
Levi Strauss (1829-1902) was a German immigrant who founded the first company to sell riveted denim jeans in the U.S. Early jeans were sold mostly to the working classes, who appreciated their sturdiness; they did not make inroads into youth culture until the 1950s.
He’s a Louis C.K./Chris Elliott mashup.
Two balding, bearded comedians. Louis C.K. started out as a comedy writer, moved into doing his own standup, and eventually starred in his own critically acclaimed TV show, Louie. The show was canceled in 2017 after multiple women accused C.K. of sexual harassment. Chris Elliott, son of legendary comedian Bob Elliott, was a writer and performer on Late Night with David Letterman and has gone on to appear in multiple TV shows and films.
We regret nothing! –Nothing!
In the Simpsons episode “Itchy and Scratchy: The Movie,” a drawbridge opens and a man waiting in line to see the film plummets to his death, screaming, “I regret nothing!”
Dibs on the bike! No takebacks!
Dibs is generally a childhood method of laying claim to a toy or a position by yelling out “Dibs!” In most English-speaking nations, this is referred to as “bags” and dates back to the mid-1800s. As for the origin of the word “dibs,” theories vary. Two leading thoughts: 1) an abbreviation of the Yiddish phrase “fin dibsy,” meaning “lay claim,” and 2) that “dibs” derives from the word “divvy,” meaning to divide up.
Flagrant misuse of the 180-degree rule. Penalty: 20 yards.
The 180-degree rule is a rule of filmmaking that helps orient the audience in space. If two characters are talking, picture a line running between them. You may now place your camera anywhere in a 180-degree arc from that line. In other words, you have a semicircle on one side of them to work with, but you can’t cross over to the other side of the line. Similarly, if you’re filming a car chase and the car crosses from right to left on the screen, the car had damn well better enter from the right side of the screen on the next shot.
I passed through the weather portal to Canada. I’m in Manitoba now. Good day.
Manitoba is a province in central Canada, with a climate ranging from Arctic tundra in the north to warm summers and cold winters in the south. Its capital is Winnipeg.
Jim, you got one of those American Spirit cigarettes?
American Spirit is a brand of cigarette sold since 1982; it is now owned by Reynolds American. Its selling point was an “all-natural” cigarette without additives (needless to say, it still causes lung cancer). In 2017 it was forced by a lawsuit to stop using those claims in its advertising. Its logo shows a silhouette of a Native American in a war bonnet, holding a peace pipe.
So they’re on opposite ends of the tunnel now with guns? It’s like a surprise duel!
Dueling with pistols first became popular in 18th-century England (before then, swords were the preferred weapon). Dueling was officially illegal at that time, but the courts often let it pass with a wink and a nod as an “affair of honor.” The last fatal duel in England took place in 1852; the survivor was convicted of manslaughter and spent seven months in prison. By World War I the practice was almost entirely obsolete.
I’m gonna be pissed if this cave turns out to be a painting by Wile E. Coyote.
Wile E. Coyote is a character in the old Warner Brothers short cartoons, who perennially tries to catch and consume the Road Runner with various elaborate schemes; one such scheme (seen in their first short, 1949’s Fast and Furry-ous) involved painting an image of a tunnel on a large rock to trick the Road Runner into smashing into it. Both characters were created by Chuck Jones and Michael Maltese.
Hey, we’re almost up to my laughing place. [Chuckles.]
One of Joel Chandler Harris’s Uncle Remus stories is titled “The Laughing Place.” In it, Br’er Rabbit is captured by Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear, but tricks them into taking him to “his laughing place”—which turns out to be a cave full of bees. Br’er Rabbit escapes in the painful commotion. In the 1946 Disney film Song of the South, based on Harris’s tales, one of the songs is titled “Everybody Has a Laughing Place.”
Dad, please don’t carry me like I’m an American Girl doll.
The American Girl line of 18-inch dolls was first released in 1986 by the Pleasant Company (founded by Pleasant Rowland) and has since become a multibillion-dollar behemoth. The dolls are grounded in various historical eras and come with back stories, books, clothing, shoes, jewelry, furniture, etc.
[Sung.] It’s the eye of the me, it’s the thrill of the me.
“Eye of the Tiger” is a 1982 song by Chicago rock band Survivor that served as the theme song for the film Rocky III. It won a Grammy Award and an Oscar nomination for best song.
“Look, it’s going down the gully.” The Ferngully.
Ferngully (official title: Ferngully: The Last Rainforest) was an animated movie released in 1992. It exploited growing concern over the fate of the rapidly disappearing rainforest—not quite as good as actually doing something about the rapidly disappearing rainforest, but better than nothing. Many have noted a striking similarity between characters and plot elements in Ferngully and the 2009 blockbuster Avatar.
Rob Riggle’s little brother is right, let the kid stay.
Rob Riggle is a large, beefy comedian and former Marine Corps reservist best known for his work as a longtime correspondent on The Daily Show. He has also worked with the Upright Citizens Brigade, was briefly a cast member on Saturday Night Live, and has appeared in a number of films and TV shows.
Execute Order 66.
“Execute Order 66” is a line from the 2005 film Star Wars: Episode III—Attack of the Clones. Emperor Palpatine says it when ordering his clone troopers to turn on the Jedi and kill them—the beginning of the end for the Jedi order.
[Sung.] And the sasquatch in the cradle with the silver spoon …
See note on sasquatch, above. This is a parody of the 1974 song “Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin. Sample lyrics: “And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon/Little boy blue and the man in the moon/’When you coming home, dad?’ ‘I don’t know when/But we’ll get together then/You know we’ll have a good time then.’”
Hey, Paul, you ever try an American Spirit?
See note on American Spirit cigarettes, above.
Smoke bomb hat!
Smoke bombs, a type of firework that produces quantities of smoke when lit, were created in 1848 by inventor Robert Yale, who based them on a 13th-century Chinese firework.
“Bigfoot warned me.” Also Big Bird, Bob’s Big Boy, and Biggie Smalls.
Big Bird is a character on the classic children’s television show Sesame Street, which has aired on PBS since 1969. He is an eight-foot-two-inch yellow bird, sometimes described as a canary or golden condor. The character has been performed by Caroll Spinney since the series began, with apprentices filling in from time to time. Bob’s Big Boy is a California-based chain of diners started in 1936 by Bob Wian. Biggie Smalls, a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G. (b. Christopher Wallace; 1972-1997) was a rapper in the 1990s, one of the central figures of the East Coast rap scene. He was also central to that decade’s East Coast-West Coast hip-hop feud, and was killed in a drive-by shooting in 1997 at the age of 24. His death may have been in retaliation for the murder of West Coast rapper Tupac Shakur, killed six months earlier.
“I gave him the radio.” And he gave me Lyme disease.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted to humans by tick bites. It is named after Lyme, Connecticut, where many cases were identified in the 1970s. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, depression, and rashes. If left untreated, the bacteria may affect the heart and nervous system. Using a lit cigarette or match is a common means of getting a tick to disengage itself from the skin.
And if that wasn’t enough, he’s also teaching me Common Core.
The Common Core State Standards Initiative, which dates to 2010, was an effort to standardize public education curriculum across the United States. Most states adopted the standards over the next several years, but reaction to them has been mixed, with the new methods of teaching math and the increased emphasis on standardized testing coming in for particularly harsh criticism from parents.
This movie is about Bigfoot in the same way that Waiting for Guffman is about Guffman. –Or Godot.
Waiting for Guffman is a 1997 mockumentary directed by/written by/starring Christopher Guest, about a community theater troupe in a small Missouri town eagerly awaiting the arrival of a Broadway producer to critique their show. Spoiler alert: he never arrives. In Samuel Beckett’s classic absurdist play Waiting for Godot (1953), the two tramps Vladimir and Estragon are similarly hanging around awaiting the title character, who never turns up.
Lake Minnetonka is a large lake about 15 miles from Minneapolis. It is a popular destination for boating, fishing, and other recreational activities.
Well, add Nessie to the list, I guess.
The Loch Ness Monster, affectionately dubbed “Nessie,” is a legendary creature, thought by some to be a surviving dinosaur, that supposedly inhabits Loch Ness in Scotland. Numerous sightings, including several photographs, have been reported, although the most famous photo, taken in 1934, has since been revealed as a hoax. Several scientific expeditions have uncovered no hard evidence.
I just figured it out. They’re on Solaris.
Solaris is a 1961 science-fiction novel by Stanislaw Lem, originally written in Polish, about scientists on a research station in orbit around a planet who realize the sentient planet is in turn studying them. It has been filmed several times: in 1968 for Russian television; in 1972, again in Russian, this time for theatrical release; and in 2002 by American director Steven Soderbergh.
Worst Ninja Turtle cosplay I’ve ever seen.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are a quartet of tongue-in-cheek superheroes created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. They started out in comic books and eventually graduated to their own animated series (plural) and live-action movies. The turtles are named Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello, and Raphael. Cosplaying (a portmanteau of “costume” and “play,” coined in Japan in 1984) is a hobby in which people dress up like fictional characters, often from games, comics, or anime. The costumes can get extremely elaborate and are often displayed at conventions.
Uh, did we smash cut to the afterlife?
A smash cut is an abrupt cut in the middle of a scene, often used for deliberately jarring or comedic effect. For example, a smash cut might be used in a horror film just before the knife makes contact with the victim. Gilligan’s Island often used smash cuts: a character would firmly declare their resolve to never, ever do something, and the smash cut would immediately show them doing it. The show used the device so much it became known as a “Gilligan cut.”
It’s like The Walking Dead petting zoo.
The Walking Dead, which follows a band of survivors after the zombie apocalypse, started in 2003 as a comic book series. In 2010 it was adapted for television and began airing on AMC as a phenomenally popular TV show; its fifth-season premiere earned the largest-ever audience for a basic-cable show up to that time.
[Imitating.] Yeah, keep it moving, hot shot. Nyah.
See above note on Edward G. Robinson.
Which Instagram filter is that? Walden?
Instagram is a social network, founded in 2010, that allows users to post photos and videos. As of 2017, it boasted 800 million users. One of the popular features of the service is digital filters, which apply various color/lighting/blurring/other effects to your pictures. Walden is one of the most popular filters; it brightens the center of the photo and adds a blue tint to the image.
Land O’Lakes princess is busted.
Land O’Lakes is an agricultural co-op founded in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1921. It produces a wide variety of foods, but is mostly known for its butter, with its image of an Indian maiden holding a box of butter on a plate. Her name is Mia, incidentally.
“You died 13 years ago. I saw you sealed up in a cave.” Well, Happy Easter.
In the Christian tradition, Easter is a celebration of Jesus’s resurrection from death after his crucifixion. As told in the New Testament, his body is placed in a tomb and the entrance sealed with a large rock; when his disciples come to the tomb the day after the Sabbath, they find the rock rolled away and the tomb empty.
Do you like Werther’s Originals?
Werther’s Originals are a rich caramel-flavored candy sold in grocery stores around the country. They are stereotypically a favorite among the elderly.
“What’s that around your neck?” Albatross. It represents my guilt.
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is a long poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, first published in 1798. The poem tells the story of a sailor on a ship that strays into dangerous waters; it is led to safety by an albatross, until foolishly the sailor shoots the bird with a crossbow, killing it. The other men on the ship angrily force him to wear the dead bird around his neck as a symbol of his guilt, but it is too late: one by one all the crew members die, except for Albatross Boy. He lives on, forever, cursed to wander the earth and keep telling his story. (He does get to ditch the albatross eventually, though.)
“They got him trapped in a gully.” Ferngully?
See note on Ferngully, above.
“Go.” Also, keep an eye out for the po-po. They don’t know I’m up here.
There are several competing explanations for the origin of the slang term “po-po,” meaning “police.” One theory places it in 1980s California, where teams of bike police on the beaches wore uniforms with the letters “PO” on the back. Another theory claims it originated in Portland, Oregon: POrtland POlice.
This might work out. Paul will now get eaten by Ewoks and the movie ends.
In the 1983 film Star Wars: Episode VI—Return of the Jedi, Chewbacca, Han Solo, Luke, and C-3PO are caught in a net trap set by the Ewoks. The Ewoks initially plan to eat them, but Luke convinces them he possesses “great magic” by levitating C-3PO, and the Ewoks agree to spare them, and ultimately join the Rebel fight against the Empire. The excessively cute, teddy bear-like Ewoks were not especially liked by many Star Wars fans; there was much grumbling that George Lucas created them solely as a merchandising cash-grab.
Right about now there’s an AMBER Alert going out.
The AMBER Alert system (AMBER is an acronym for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response) is an emergency alert system used in the United States in cases of child abduction. (There are similar programs in other countries.) It was founded in 1996 and named after 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was abducted and killed in Texas that year. Her killer was never found. The alerts are sent out by radio, TV, text message, email, and electronic traffic signs and billboards. The system has been credited with returning more than 600 children to their parents. Some studies have questioned its effectiveness, however, referring to it as “crime control theater.”
I guess I could push something through the net. Go-Gurt, string cheese … Easy Mac.
These are all convenience foods favored by kids. Go-Gurt is a brand of low-fat yogurt that comes in a tube, which can be squeezed into the mouth instead of needing a spoon to eat. String cheese is a perennial lunchbox favorite: a type of mozzarella that is heated and then stretched, making it possible to peel off thin strips from the stick of cheese. Easy Mac is a microwavable cup of mac and cheese from Kraft: just add water and nuke.
“Radio One calling. Radio One. Over.” It’s Prairie Home Companion.
A Prairie Home Companion was a long-running comedic and musical program heard Saturday nights on National Public Radio. It started in 1974 (named after an earlier program with no direct relation) and was created and hosted by Garrison Keillor, whose dulcet tones introduced musical acts, narrated humorous productions and provided news from the fictional Minnesota town Lake Wobegon. Musician Chris Thile took over in 2016, and the show was later renamed Live From Here.
“Quadrant 847. Over and out.” Just as I thought. Fire up the Stargate!
Stargate is a sci-fi franchise that began with the 1994 film of the same name by Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin. The film introduced the central concept of a series of ancient gates that allow people to teleport from one planet to another, as well as a race of aliens masquerading as gods. Several TV shows and TV movies followed; although the original film was not particularly successful, the TV shows amassed a devoted following. “Quadrant” is standard technobabble in numerous sci-fi franchises, most famously in Star Trek, which divided the galaxy into the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta Quadrants. Stargate occasionally mentioned quadrants, but more common were individual planets with designations like “PSY-294” and “P4X-646,” which may be what the writers are thinking of here.
She’s got ThunderCats claws.
ThunderCats was an animated children’s TV show that aired from 1985-1989. It was about a group of humanoid, cat-like aliens who fled their dying planet for adventures on a new world. A 2011 revival of the show was unsuccessful, lasting only one season; a CGI film was proposed in 2008 but never made.
He’s mint in bag, A+ condition.
These are terms used to describe vintage collectibles, such as trading cards, toys, comics, etc. “Mint condition” means the item looks brand-new: no scuffs, bent corners, or other signs of age or use. “Mint in bag” (or more commonly, “mint in box”) means the item is still in its original packaging, although not necessarily that the package has never been opened. “A+ condition” seems to be a more loosey-goosey term, thrown around by sellers to mean “really good.”
Thanks. My dad was the MGM lion. I don’t like to talk about it, though.
The MGM lion is the mascot of Metro Goldwyn Mayer and has appeared in production title cards for the film studio since 1917. The actual names of the lions used in the roaring clip, in order of appearance, are Slats, Jackie, Telly, Coffee, Tanner, George, and Leo.
Chewie, is that you? Is it Life Day already?
See note on the Star Wars Holiday Special, above.
[Sung.] Stop in the name of foot/Before you break my foot/Think it o-o-ver …
The Supremes were a musical trio in the 1960s that recorded such hits as “Where Did Our Love Go” and “Baby Love.” The three members were Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson, and lead singer Diana Ross, and all three were famous for their dramatic, choreographed dance moves and exaggerated hand motions while performing. “Stop! In the Name of Love” was a hit for the group in 1965. Sample lyrics: “Stop! In the name of love/Before you break my heart/Think it over/Think it over …”
Tiger, woods. There. I said it. I’m glad.
Tiger Woods is considered one of the greatest and most successful golfers of all time. He went pro at the age of 20 and was ranked number one in the world less than a year later. He held that spot for a record 683 weeks over the course of his career—one of the many records he set.
“That’s ghost town.” G-G-G-G-G-G-Ghosts?
Probably an imitation of Norville “Shaggy” Rogers, the scruffy, cowardly, and eternally hungry human companion of anthropomorphic Great Dane Scooby-Doo in the Scooby-Doo franchise of animated TV series, direct-to-video movies, and feature films, beginning in 1969 with Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! on CBS. Originally voiced by radio host Casey Kasem, the role has been voiced by several others, including Matthew Lillard, who portrayed Shaggy in two Scooby-Doo live-action feature films.
Why is someone from the New Jersey Transit Authority on their radio?
The New Jersey Transit Corporation, better known as NJ Transit, runs the public transit system (buses and trains) in the state of New Jersey. It was founded in 1979 and carries nearly a million riders every weekday.
“What happened?” Deus ex lack-of-machina.
“Deus ex machina” is Latin for “god out of the machine.” It is a (usually frowned upon) literary device wherein a problem is solved quite suddenly by the introduction of a new element, seemingly out of nowhere.
“We’ve run out of gas.” Why don’t you put a tiger in your tank? Ha-ha! I’ve been waiting all day to say that.
“Put a tiger in your tank” was an advertising slogan for Esso gas stations, meant to emphasize the power of their Esso Extra gasoline. It was coined by copywriter Emery Smith in 1959, but it really took off in 1964, when Esso launched an ad campaign featuring an adorable cartoon tiger. The ads were so popular that the company began selling stuffed tiger tails for motorists to attach to their cars’ trunks. They sold 2.5 million of them.
Meals on wheels! My favorite!
Meals on Wheels is a national organization that delivers food to those in need—often the elderly or disabled. The first Meals on Wheels organizations sprang up in the United Kingdom during World War II, when many people lost their homes to German bombing raids and were unable to cook for themselves.
I don’t remember Jumanji being this terrifying.
Jumanji was originally a 1981 picture book by Chris Van Allsburg, in which children playing a jungle-themed board game discover the elements of the game appearing in their house. The book was made into a film starring Robin Williams in 1995, and remade (this time with the board game having become a video game) in 2017, starring Dwayne Johnson and Jack Black.
Would you be interested in donating to the World Wildlife Fund, please?
The World Wide Fund for Nature (still known as the World Wildlife Fund in Canada and the U.S., although it changed its name everywhere else in 1986) is a global nonprofit conservation organization, the largest in the world. It works to preserve the environment and save endangered species.
Hey, you’re not Mowgli.
Mowgli is the hero of several stories in The Jungle Book, a collection of stories by British author Rudyard Kipling that was first published in 1893. Mowgli was raised by wolves in India and aided by a friendly bear named Baloo and a panther named Bagheera. His chief antagonist is a tiger named Shere Khan. Although he loves life in the jungle, he ultimately returns to live with humans. Live-action adaptations were filmed in 1937, 1942, 1994, 1997, and 1998. The most famous adaptation is an animated film by Disney released in 1967; a big-budget live-action/CGI adaptation came out in 2016.
Wait, we forgot to tease the tiger about Frosted Flakes! Aw.
Tony the Tiger is the longtime spokescreature for Kellogg’s Sugar Frosted Flakes (along with many other cereals, Kellogg’s dropped the word “Sugar” from its name in the mid-1980s when consumers became more health-conscious), with his catchphrase “They’re grrrrrreat!” The advertising icon was first created in 1952.
These guys may dress a bit weird, but I can assure you, these Megaforce dudes are badass.
Megaforce is a 1982 action film directed by Hal “Smokey and the Bandit” Needham, considered among the worst films ever made. It stars Barry Bostwick, of Rocky Horror Picture Show fame, as a motorcycle-riding tough guy. Enough said. The costumes, incidentally, were designed by Mattel.
I wonder if this place has one of those old-timey photo booths. I love those.
The first photo booth appeared on Broadway in New York City in 1925. It cost 25 cents for eight photos, which took roughly 10 minutes to develop, and was used by nearly 300,000 people in the first six months. Modern photo booths, which you can find in arcades and movie theater lobbies, use digital photography. Photo booth rentals are increasingly popular at weddings and other special occasions as well.
I never should have walked away from that sweet gig working for Siegfried and Roy.
Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn are German-born former entertainers known for their illusions and Las Vegas show featuring white tigers. In 2003, Horn was critically injured by one of their tigers during a show. In 2009, after more than five years on hiatus, they staged a final performance and retired.
Those lights are for Jim’s seasonal affective disorder. I get that.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression related to the time of year; for most people, symptoms of depression, low energy, trouble sleeping, and problems concentrating (among others) begin in the fall and continue throughout the winter. One cause is believed to be the drop in sunlight during the winter months, which can cause serotonin levels in some people to fall. One effective treatment is light therapy, in which patients sit close to a special lamp or light box that mimics natural sunlight.
My braid’s been drinking, not me.
“The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me)” is a 1976 song by singer/songwriter and actor Tom Waits. Sample lyrics: “The piano has been drinking, my necktie is asleep/And the combo went back to New York, the jukebox has to take a leak/And the carpet needs a haircut, and the spotlight looks like a prison break/And the telephone’s out of cigarettes, and the balcony is on the make.”
[Imitating.] I’m Garth Marenghi, and this is my Darkplace.
An imitation of the opening narration on the short-lived British comedy show Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace (2004). It purported to be an unearthed, never-aired horror TV show from the 1980s (complete with dated hair and clothing, terrible production values, and wooden acting). A sample: “I’m Garth Marenghi. Author. Dreamweaver. Visionary. Plus actor. You’re about to enter the world of my imagination. You are entering my Darkplace.” The show was created and written by Matthew Holness (who also starred as Marenghi) and Richard Ayoade; Ayoade would go on to greater success on the cult hit TV series The IT Crowd. The Sci-Fi Channel aired the series in the U.S. in 2006.
Pididdle (or padiddle, or pediddle, or perdiddle) is a game played on car trips. There are a number of variants, but the basic rule is this: the first person to spot a car with one headlight burned out and shout “Pididdle!” scores a point. (Some other versions: “padunkle” is a car driving at night without headlights, while “pidaddle” is a car with one taillight burned out.)
I never should have left Pawnee Parks and Recs.
The Parks and Recreation Department in the city of Pawnee, Indiana, was the setting for the TV sitcom Parks and Recreation (2009-2015). The main character, eternally optimistic deputy director Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), frequently clashed with her boss Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman), an anti-government libertarian who believed his own department should be privatized. Swanson was known for his luxuriant mustache, and after the show ended Offerman grew a beard to match.
I’m voting for Walter Mondale.
Walter Mondale was vice president of the United States under President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), and in 1984 he became the Democratic nominee for president. Ronald Reagan was the incumbent president at the time and was widely popular, perceived as having led the country out of the recession that had plagued the 1970s. The election was one of the most lopsided in modern times. Reagan won nearly 59 percent of the popular vote and 49 out of 50 states. The electoral college vote was 525-13. Poor Mondale won only the District of Columbia and one state—his home state of Minnesota.
Ooh, Temple Run! I love this game!
Temple Run is a 2011 Indiana Jones-esque video game, originally released as an app on iOS and later released on Android. It is an “endless running” game, in which the character continually moves forward; the player attempts to retrieve a golden idol from a temple while under attack from demonic monkeys. It quickly became one of the most popular games on the iPhone, as well as the top-grossing app (thanks to in-game purchases). Several sequels have been released.
Man, I ordered the special floodlight backpack from SkyMall, and I feel, I feel a little overdressed.
SkyMall, founded in 1990, was a catalog marketer known for publishing an in-flight magazine chock-full of a seemingly random assortment of products, including a garden statue of Bigfoot (surprisingly relevant), a baseball bat-shaped pepper grinder, and a helmet to regrow your thinning hair using lasers. At one point, SkyMall had a circulation of 20 million, reaching 88 percent of U.S. airline passengers. Alas, the company filed for bankruptcy in 2015, although they still have a website.
Goonies never say die, die, die.
The 1985 comedy-adventure film The Goonies, directed by Richard Donner and executive-produced by Steven Spielberg, is about a group of kids who get drawn into a wild adventure after they discover a pirate treasure map. “Goonies never say die!” is probably the most famous line from the movie. It’s said by Mikey (Sean Astin) in response to one of the other kids suggesting that their friend Chunk (previously captured by the bad guys) might be dead.
If Short Round shows up, I’m throwing myself out the airlock.
Short Round was Indiana Jones’s diminutive sidekick in the 1984 film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. He was portrayed by 13-year-old actor Jonathan Ke Quan.
To prepare for this scene, Paul actually moved into the play tunnels of Chuck E. Cheese for an entire month.
Chuck E. Cheese’s is a chain of family restaurants, founded in 1977, combining pizza, video games, animatronic animals “playing instruments,” and the ninth circle of hell. A regular feature at the restaurants is a system of linked plastic tunnels resembling a large Habitrail. It is a favorite location for elementary school birthday parties.
[Sung.] Let’s do it. Let’s fall in love.
“Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall in Love” (also known as “Let’s Do It”) is a song by Cole Porter, originally written for his 1928 musical Paris, his first Broadway hit. Porter reused the song in the show Wake Up and Dream and in the film version of Can-Can, and it has been recorded by many artists, including Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Joan Jett (for the film Tank Girl), and Alanis Morissette.
Wow, a downstairs? No, wait. It’s an upstairs. Did M.C. Escher design this set?
M.C. Escher (1898-1972) was a renowned Dutch graphic artist known for his mind-bending works that appear to fold space upon itself and transcend logical expectations. His 1953 lithograph Relativity depicts a building with multiple staircases, which function in various gravity-defying ways.
Yes, I know it makes me look like a Jeep, but that’s the whole point. I like Jeeps.
Jeep is the oldest brand of SUV, first produced by Willys-Overland during World War II (now the brand is a division of Chrysler). Thanks to their wartime ubiquity, Jeep became a genericized trademark for just about any kind of small, no-frills vehicle.
[Sung.] Oh, the wonderful thing about tiggers is ... [Spoken.] Nothing. We’re tigers. We maul things.
“The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers,” composed by Richard M. Sherman with lyrics by Robert B. Sherman, is the theme song of Tigger in the Disney version of Winnie the Pooh. It was first performed by Paul Winchell as Tigger in the 1968 animated film Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, which was also the first appearance of Tigger in one of the Disney films. It has appeared in many films since then. Sample lyrics: “The wonderful thing about tiggers/Is tiggers are wonderful things!/Their tops are made out of rubber/Their bottoms are made out of springs!”
Would you please get going? Art Carney could aim faster than you.
Art Carney (1918-2003) was an Academy Award-winning actor best known for playing Ed Norton in The Honeymooners. He didn’t appear in a lot of action films, but he did fondle firearms in a couple of movies: in Going in Style (1979) he played a senior citizen who decides to rob a bank as one last hurrah, and in Firestarter (1984) he fends off evil government agents with a rifle.
Think this is where all those E.T. games get buried.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial was a 1982 video game for the Atari 2600 console. It was one of the earliest video game/movie tie-ins, and given the enormous commercial success of the film, it was expected to be a hit. Atari rushed out the game in only a few weeks to have it ready for Christmas, and manufactured between 4 million and 5 million cartridges. However, the game was poorly reviewed, and although it sold reasonably well, that only added up to sales of 1.5 million units. The E.T. disaster contributed directly to the video game market crash of 1983 and helped lead to Atari’s demise. In the aftermath, an urban legend arose that all the millions of unsold games had been buried in a landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico. The stories circulated for years, until a documentary company got permission to dig in the landfill and look for the games—they finally found them in 2014. One of the copies of E.T. recovered from the landfill now resides in the Smithsonian.
It’s a promotional dart from Citizens State Bank & Trust.
Citizens State Bank was established in 1900 in Ellsworth, Kansas, and became Citizens State Bank and Trust Company in 1974; there are four locations in Kansas and one branch in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Back in the pen and paper age, banks often gave away promotional items such as pens and calendars to attract customers.
Dr. Zaius, you’re nude.
Dr. Zaius, played by Maurice Evans, is the main antagonist in the first two Planet of the Apes films (see above note). He is horrified by the idea of an intelligent human, partially because he knows the true history of Earth. He is not evil, however; he is simply trying to protect his people.
Luke, use the force.
Presumably a reference to the scene in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope in which Luke Skywalker first trains with a lightsaber, although Obi Wan Kenobi does not actually say the famous line “Use the force, Luke” in that scene. The line comes later, in voiceover, during the climactic scene in which the Rebels attack the Death Star.
Hey, gold struck him. It’s a switcheroo.
Switcheroo is an old magic trick in which the magician passes two objects rapidly between his hands. It involves no sleight of hand—merely lots of dexterity and practice.
Oh no! Dad’s allergic to Styrofoam. I’ve got to save him!
Styrofoam is a brand of plastic foam frequently used as a packing material and first made in 1941; it is manufactured by Dow Chemical.
This is how Kirk died. It can’t be happening to me.
Actor William Shatner played Captain James Tiberius Kirk on the TV series Star Trek (1966-1969) and in the series of movies based on the show. Kirk died at the end of the 1994 film Star Trek Generations: a bridge collapses and falls from a rocky cliff, taking him with it, although he survives long enough to give a big final speech.
Remember, Paul, pretend to not be able to lift Styrofoam with your knees, not your back.
See previous note on Styrofoam.
Y’all Yeti for this? [Sung.] Big big big, foot foot foot, big big, foot foot, big big big, foot foot foot foot, big big big, foot foot foot foot.
The Yeti, a.k.a. the Abominable Snowman, is the Nepalese equivalent of Bigfoot: a large, apelike creature said to haunt the Himalayas. The song is “Get Ready for This” by 2 Unlimited, which was a club hit in 1991 for the Dutch dance-pop group. The song has since gone on to a second life at sports events and was the theme to the 1996 Michael Jordan film Space Jam. Its only lyric is the line “Y’all ready for this?”
[Imitating.] He came from somewhere back in her long ago …
A line from the 1979 Doobie Brothers song “What a Fool Believes,” off their album Minute by Minute, sung by their lushly bearded front man, Michael McDonald. It hit number one and won two Grammy Awards, for Song of the Year and Record of the Year. Sample lyrics: “He came from somewhere back in her long ago/The sentimental fool don’t see/Tryin’ hard to re-create/What had yet to be created once in her life …”
All right. You’re in the NRA workout video: Jogging With Guns in the Wilderness. You got your hat on? Good. 'Cause you’re gonna need it.
See above note on the NRA.
Was that a fog horn in a creepy place like this? Carnival of Souls cruise lines.
Carnival of Souls was a 1962 horror flick that starred Candace Hilligloss as the sole survivor of a deadly car accident. Or is she? The film was made on a remarkably slim budget ($33,000) and has gained a solid cult following, become a Halloween favorite, and been cited as a major influence by such filmmakers as David Lynch and George A. Romero. It was the sole feature directed by Herk Harvey, filmed during a three-week vacation from his regular job as a director and producer of educational films for Centron. RiffTrax Live eviscerated the film for a Halloween show in 2016. The Carnival Cruise Line is one of the largest cruise companies in the world, with ships sailing to Alaska, Mexico, and the Caribbean, among other destinations.
I made it. I’m on Big Rock Candy Mountain.
“Big Rock Candy Mountain” is a song recorded by Harry McClintock in 1928, who claimed to have written it decades before when he was a train-hopping hobo. His version was a tad more risqué than the popular ones released by Burl Ives in 1949 and by Dorsey Burnette in 1960. Sample lyrics: “In the Big Rock Candy Mountains/You never change your socks/And the little streams of alcohol/Come trickling down the rocks …”
It’s like I’m entering a dream sequence. I wonder if I’ll end up wanting to kill Superman.
A reference to the odd dream sequence in the roundly panned 2016 film Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, in which Bruce Wayne gets a look at a grim, post-apocalyptic future haunted by a murderous Superman; he comes out of it determined to kill Superman if necessary. The two heroes later battle almost to the death, but fortunately their moms were both named Martha, so they’re cool.
I drank too much chamomile tea.
Chamomile (a yellow flower in the daisy family) has been used in medicine for centuries. It is sweet-tasting, so chamomile is a popular choice in herbal teas, and is often used as a sleep aid. Celestial Seasonings’ chamomile blend tea is literally called Sleepytime Tea. Clinical evidence is scarce, but suggests the effect may be due to a compound in chamomile called apigenin, which binds to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain. (Benzodiazepines are sedating drugs like Valium.)
Oh, good. Red Hawk finally got an “Afterlife Alert.” That makes me feel better.
Life Alert Emergency Response was founded in 1987. The company sold a pendant with a button that automatically called the company when you pressed it; they could then contact emergency services for you if you needed help. The service was marketed to seniors who wanted to remain in their homes. Life Alert entered pop culture history for their TV ads, which featured the elderly “Mrs. Fletcher” uttering the immortal line “I’ve fallen … and I can’t get up!” (A similar line was used by rival service LifeCall, which went out of business in 1993.)
Until this moment, I never knew myself.
This is a line from the 1813 novel Pride and Prejudice by British author Jane Austen. It is a pivotal moment in the book: Elizabeth Bennet (the person speaking here) had earlier rejected Mr. Darcy’s proposal of marriage, calling him proud and cruel. In turn he gives her a letter, refuting all her accusations of the day before and forcing her to reevaluate her own character and her unjust prejudices against him.
Dude, are you seriously trying this in front of Willie Nelson?
Willie Nelson is a country music singer best known for “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain.” He sports a long beard and braids. His lengthy career includes a string of hits, duets, and extensive touring. He has also had difficulties with the IRS, which seized his assets in 1990 for failure to pay taxes, and has been arrested several times for possession of marijuana.
Alfred Hitchcock’s The Bird.
Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 thriller The Birds centers on a mysterious and lethal series of bird attacks in a small California town. It starred Rod Taylor and Tippi Hedren.
Not my face! Ah! Ah, my beautiful face! Ah, my pretty face!
“My face! My beautiful face!” has become something of a trope over the years, as it has shown up in multiple movies and TV shows: Inside Out, The Simpsons, The Emperor’s New Groove … However, the earliest appearance I could find was in the 1968 Jane Fonda film Barbarella, where it’s said by the Black Queen (Anita Pallenberg).
This went all Greek mythology very quick.
Probably a reference to the story of Prometheus. Prometheus was a Titan, one of the forerunners of the famous Greek gods (Zeus, Athena, Apollo, etc.). He was something of a trickster god, and his defining moment was defying Zeus to steal fire and give it to humanity. Zeus punished him by chaining him to a rock and having eagles rip out his liver; as an immortal, of course, it grew back every day, so the eagles could eat it again … and again … and again … In some versions of the myths Hercules eventually frees him.
Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here on Epic Records and tapes.
The 1975 album Wish You Were Here was the ninth studio album released by the British rock band Pink Floyd. Songs included the title song, “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” and “Welcome to the Machine.”
Does anyone else have a weird rash?
Possibly a reference to Baylisascaris, or roundworm, one of the more commonly transmitted parasitic diseases between raccoons and humans. Gastrointestinal symptoms (abdominal pain, diarrhea) and pulmonary issues (cough, shortness of breath, asthma) are more common, but one variety of roundworm infection is visceral larva migrans, which is accompanied by a rash. Also by the aforementioned abdominal pain, hepatomegaly (enlarged liver), and pneumonitis (inflammation in the lungs). Raccoons are awfully cute, but it’s probably better to coo over them from a safe distance.
It is not safe to be a Domino’s delivery guy in this area.
Domino’s is the second largest pizza chain in the United States (behind Pizza Hut) and has more than 10,000 outlets in 70 countries. Pizza delivery (or any house-to-house delivery job) is in fact risky: they work alone, they carry cash, they work at night, and they sometimes have to go into high-crime areas. And, of course, there’s always the chance of a car accident.
“Pinocchio’s my favorite.” That’s why my acting is so wooden.
Pinocchio, the little wooden puppet who wanted to be a real boy, was the creation of Italian author Carlo Collodi. He first appeared in print as a serial in 1881; the book was published in 1883. The first film adaptation was not the famous 1940 Disney version but a 1911 Italian silent film.
Maybe if I mirror his energy, it’ll end this awkward conversation once and for all.
Mirroring is the subconscious act of imitating another person’s nonverbal behaviors in order to establish a connection with them. For example, in a conversation, you could begin to replicate the other person’s body movements and gestures without actually being aware of it, but both you and them will feel more comfortable. Mirroring begins in infancy, as babies begin to mimic their parents.
“Of course, if you believe, truly believe, it doesn’t matter how old you are.” What if I only half believe and get Botox?
Botox, short for the botulinum toxin, is a lethal neurotoxin. There are multiple types of the toxin: A and B have medical uses, while type H is the single deadliest substance known to man. Botox is used to treat muscle spasms and migraines, but it is also used to paralyze facial muscles and thus smooth out wrinkles, making people appear younger.