K17: Time of the Apes
by Trey Yeatts
Very exciting. Sandy Frank; another big thrill for me.
Sandy Frank is a film and television producer. In the 1960s and ‘70s, Frank imported, redubbed, and distributed dozens of Japanese films, including the Gamera series.
Feature concept? William L. Cooper must’ve also done Planet of the Apes.
William L. Cooper Jr. (1922-1987) was an editor who worked on Sandy Frank projects, including Fugitive Alien (MST3K Shows K12 and 310), Fugitive Alien II (K03 and 318) and Mighty Jack (K14 and 314). Cooper had nothing to do with the quintessential man-ape movie, Planet of the Apes (1968). It was based on a novel by Pierre Boulle, with Rod Serling co-writing the screenplay, and starred Charlton Heston as an astronaut thrown thousands of years into the future who lands on a planet to find it ruled by talking apes. (Spoiler alert: it’s Earth.)
Oh, look. It’s Shelly Winters and Ernest Borgnine. –And their son, Binky.
Shelley Winters (1920-2006) was a hefty actress who appeared in such films as The Diary of Anne Frank (for which she won an Oscar) and The Poseidon Adventure. She often said that her late-life weight gain was intentional so that she could get more roles, as there weren’t as many overweight actresses in Hollywood. Ernest Borgnine is an American film and TV actor, perhaps best known for his role as Quinton McHale in the 1960s series McHale’s Navy. He won an Oscar for his title role in the 1955 movie Marty. Borgnine and Winters co-starred in the 1972 disaster film The Poseidon Adventure.
Uncle Charley? –William Demarest. –What happened to Bub? –Dead. –Bub is dead? –Bub is dead. Bub is Fred. –Walked right into that one.
Uncle Charley was a character on the 1960-1972 sitcom My Three Sons. The show was about a widower struggling to raise his three sons with the help of their maternal grandfather, Bub O’Casey, played by William Frawley (1887-1966). When Frawley fell ill in 1965 and the studio wasn’t able to get insurance for him, he was replaced by Uncle Charley, played by William Demarest (1892-1983). After Demarest was hired on the show, Frawley would continue to visit the set. He did not hide his resentment of his replacement, and Frawley was eventually asked to stay away. Frawley also played Fred Mertz on the classic sitcom I Love Lucy (1951-1957).
Gamera is a popular Japanese franchise of “kaiju” (“monster”) movies about a giant flying turtle who befriends children and occasionally stomps Tokyo. Five of his films were riffed upon earlier at KTMA and later in season three.
I wonder if this soundtrack is available on 8-track?
Officially known as Stereo 8, 8-track tapes were cassettes of magnetic tape in an infinite loop. They were developed in the early 1960s by Bill Lear (of Lear Jet fame) and released in 1964. They caught on because, until then, the only means of owning music were vinyl records or cumbersome reel-to-reels, and neither of those was terribly portable. They were popular until the mid-1970s, when standard compact cassettes finally replaced them as the desired form of totable audio entertainment. Complaints included low audio quality, the inability to rewind, the inability to go to a specific song, songs switching in the middle of play to a different track ... actually, it’s a wonder they were ever popular.
Monkey pudding pops.
Jell-O Pudding Pops are frozen pudding on a stick, famously marketed by Bill Cosby in commercials in the 1980s. They have since been absorbed by the Popsicle brand.
Those aren’t monkeys. –Those are possum. –I think they’re lemurs. –No, this isn’t Peru. –It’s not Kansas, either.
Nope, not lemurs (which are native to Madagascar). The primates we’re seeing (in order) are a galago (a.k.a. bushbaby), two owl monkeys, and a loris. Galagos are native to Africa; these owl monkeys are native to South America (including Peru); loris are native to Asia and India. I’ll go ahead and point out here that “monkey” and “ape” are not interchangeable terms, though both are primates. The shorthand to know which is correct: monkeys have tails; apes don’t. “It’s not Kansas, either” is a paraphrasing of a famous line from 1939’s The Wizard of Oz. The original line, said by Dorothy (Judy Garland) to her dog, Toto (Terry the Dog), is, “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”
A little freezer burn. –He’s Ore-Ida. –Mmm-mmm. Birds Eye Monkey.
Ore-Ida is a maker of frozen French fries and other potato products. The company was founded in 1952 by brothers Nephi & Golden Grigg and named after their home base in Idaho and nearby Oregon, where their processing facility was located. In 1953, the Griggs developed bite-sized potato bits they named “Tater Tots,” which is a trademarked name. Birds Eye is a company that sells frozen vegetables, meats, and more. It was founded in 1922 by Charles Birdseye, who developed a process to quick freeze foods while preserving their quality, based upon his observations of the Arctic cold.
They’re human Popsicles.
Popsicle is the best-selling brand of frozen confection and consists of fruit-flavored slurry frozen on a stick. It began in 1905 when 11-year-old Frank Epperson accidentally left a cup of flavored soda water (with a spoon in it) outside overnight. The next morning, he found it had frozen. Years later, in 1923, he began selling “Epsicles” on a California beach. His children consistently asked for “Pop’s sicle,” and he changed the name.
To be a Fudgsicle.
In the Popsicle family, chocolaty, creamy Fudgsicles were developed in the early 20th century. As late as 1940, they were called Fudgicles.
You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.
A line often uttered by David Banner (played by Bill Bixby) on the CBS TV series The Incredible Hulk (1977-1982). This was usually spoken as some thug throttled him. Soon after, his clothes ripped, he put colored contact lenses in and became a green-colored Lou Ferrigno.
This must’ve cost a couple of bucks. –At least a couple of bucks. Maybe four. –There was a sale at Knox Lumber.
Knox Lumber was a chain of stores based in Missouri but with locations in Minnesota. It was founded in 1961 and closed down in 2001.
They’ve been frosted. They look like you, Crow. –Let’s not talk about that. That’s an ugly period of my past. –Oh, Tannencrow.
Earlier in the season, Trace Beaulieu was out of town for two tapings, so Crow was frozen during a host segment and became the SOL’s Christmas tree for Shows K05 (Gamera) and K06 (Gamera vs. Gaos). He was thawed in K07 (Gamera vs. Zigra). “O Tannenbaum” (“O Christmas Tree”) is a Christmas song of German origin that dates back to the late 1500s/early 1600s.
Like drinking a Slurpee real fast. –Ice cream body aches.
Slurpee is the name of convenience store 7-Eleven’s brand of flavored ice drinks, first sold in 1967. The Slurpee was not created by the chain. Instead, 7-Eleven licensed slushy drinks from the ICEE Company and just changed the name.
Fake-y. Whoa! –This is better than the Omnitheater.
Omnitheater (or OMNIMAX) is the name given to dome movie projections usually found at museums. Developed by Canada’s IMAX Corporation, the first film shown in OMNIMAX was Voyage to the Outer Planets in 1973. The name gradually fell out of use in favor of “IMAX Dome,” though many museums still use the older term.
Tramp? Robbie? –Chip? –Ernie? –Mike? –Mike and Bub went off together and, um ... –Dodie? –Barbara.
More references to the previously mentioned sitcom My Three Sons. Tramp was the Douglas family’s dog. Mike (Tim Considine), Robbie (Don Grady), and Chip (Stanley Livingston) are the titular three sons, while Ernie (Barry Livingston) was an orphan who was adopted in 1965 once Considine left the show. Barbara Harper (Beverly Garland, well known to MST3K fans) was a high school teacher of Ernie’s whom their father, Steve (Fred MacMurray), fell in love with and married. Dodie was Barbara’s daughter, played by Dawn Lyn.
[Sung.] Come and knock on our door.
This is the opening line to the theme song of the long-running ABC sitcom Three’s Company (1977-1984).
Hey, hey, we’re the Monkees.
A line from the theme to The Monkees TV show, which aired from 1966-1968. Sample lyrics: “Here we come/Walking down the street/We get the funniest looks from/Everyone we meet/Hey, hey, we’re the Monkees …”
Johnny, he’s got your gun.
Probably a reference to the 1939 novel (and 1971 film) Johnny Got His Gun, an anti-war piece about a World War I soldier who has lost all of his limbs and much of his face. He communicates by banging his head on the bed.
I always thought Mike Nesmith was the most talented of the Monkees.
Michael Nesmith was one of The Monkees, a 1960s musical group that had their own TV show from 1966-1968. He wrote many songs used in the series and released as singles, but once his relationship soured with the producers and management, he withheld his best writings until after he left the group. He later co-founded the influential (but not commercially successful) country-rock group First National Band. On a different note, his mother, Bette, invented the correction fluid Liquid Paper in 1951.
Where’s Charlton Heston when you really need him?
See above note on Planet of the Apes.
Let’s buy these guys a tripod, what do you say? –I’ll chip in. –Chip? Ernie? –Bert? –Cookie Monster? –Grover.
See above note on the My Three Sons characters. Bert and Ernie are Muppet roommates on the long-running PBS children’s show Sesame Street; they first appeared in 1969, played by Frank Oz and Jim Henson, respectively. Currently, they are played by Eric Jacobson and Steve Whitmire. Cookie Monster was created for a 1966 cereal commercial that never aired, but the Muppet was used the following year in an IBM film and on The Ed Sullivan Show. In 1969, he appeared in commercials for Munchos chips and in the first episode of Sesame Street. He had a hit song with “C Is for Cookie” in 1971. Oz portrayed Cookie until 2000, when David Rudman took over. Grover is another Oz-originated character who first appeared in 1967 on The Ed Sullivan Show in a Christmas sketch and later appeared on Sesame Street. His Super Grover alter ego has proved very popular over the years. Eric Jacobson took over this role as well.
Blind man’s bluff. –Well, it’s a bluff or a cliff or something. –Now, you blindfold the monkeys and lead them around.
Blind man’s bluff, sometimes called blind man’s buff, is a children’s game, a variant of tag, in which the person designated “it” is blindfolded and tries to find and tag the other players in the room.
It’s like a bad Nissan ad. –As opposed to a good Nissan ad.
Nissan is Japan’s third-largest automaker, behind Toyota and Honda. It was founded in 1933 and took its name from a combination of parts of the words “Nippon Sangyo,” (“Japan Industries”).
Oh, bridge over the River Kwai. –Kwai do you say that? –Because, ... ugh. Walked into that again.
The Bridge on the River Kwai is a 1957 film set in World War II about British soldiers captured by the Japanese and forced to build a railway in Thailand. (It’s based on the novel The Bridge Over the River Kwai by Pierre Boulle.) The film stars William Holden and Alec Guinness.
[Whistling “Marine’s Hymn.”] –That’s the wrong tune. –[Whistling “Colonel Bogey March.”] –How do you get your blowport to pucker like that? –My special program. –Oh. –It’s all internal.
The “Marine’s Hymn” is the official anthem of the United States Marine Corps. Its lyrics are based on phrases used for centuries to describe the Marine’s work (“To the shores of Tripoli ...”) while the music itself comes from the 1859 French opera Geneviève de Brabant. The “Colonel Bogey March” was written in 1914 by British Army bandmaster Lieutenant F. J. Ricketts about a superior who would whistle instead of saying “Fore!” as he teed off on the golf course (“Colonel Bogey” was the name given to the scoring system at the time). The march became very popular in the U.K. and its territories, and soldiers often sang it with crude lyrics. During World War II, the most popular variation was called “Hitler Has Only Got One Ball.” Due to the vulgarity, the lyrics were never sung in River Kwai.
More bad hair in this than in an Ewok adventure. Or an Eva Gabor salon.
Ewoks are the oft-maligned, diminutive teddy-bear folk that populated the forest moon of Endor in 1983’s Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. In 1984, they got their own TV movie with Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure, followed by a Saturday morning animated series, Star Wars: Ewoks (1985-1986) and another TV movie, Ewoks: The Battle for Endor, in 1985. Eva Gabor (1919-1995) was a Hungarian socialite and actress best known for her starring role in the sitcom Green Acres (1965-1971).
Chewbacca was the furry Wookiee who co-piloted the Millennium Falcon in the series of Star Wars movies.
A barrel of monkeys. –At least that much fun.
The game Barrel of Monkeys was created by Lakeside Toys in 1965. Players attempt to link plastic monkeys in a chain using their arms. The phrase “more fun than a barrel of monkeys” dates to the early 1800s and was often given as “a wagon-load of monkeys,” perhaps relating to a traveling circus.
All these guys look like Ernie Kovacs.
Ernie Kovacs (1919-1962) was a television comedian whose groundbreaking style influenced the creators of shows like Saturday Night Live, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Sesame Street, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, Late Night with David Letterman, and many more. In the late 1940s, he hosted the nation’s first early morning TV show, Three to Get Ready, in Philadelphia. In the 1950s, Kovacs presented a slew of TV and radio series and specials. He was at the height of his popularity when he died in a car accident while trying to light one of his trademark cigars.
It’s Darth Monkey.
“Darth” is the prefix in code names given to followers of the Dark Side, specifically Sith Lords, in the Star Wars universe. Examples include Darth Maul, Darth Tyranus, Darth Sidious, and, of course, Darth Vader.
I think I saw Ape Vigoda. –Something’s FISHy about that.
Abe Vigoda (1921-2016) was an actor best known for his portrayal of Sergeant Phil Fish on the TV series Barney Miller (1975-1982) and its spinoff, Fish (1977-1978). In his later years, he attained a level of cult stardom with the younger set thanks to his many appearances on Late Night with Conan O’Brien.
Oh, no. The horrible shaking bush. –It’s God trying to speak.
A reference to a story in the Bible (Exodus 3) wherein God speaks to Moses via a bush that is engulfed in flame but not consumed. St. Catherine’s Monastery, built in the sixth century at the foot of Mt. Sinai, contains a bramble bush that was believed by followers to be the burning bush.
What are they eating? –Looks like Ape-Nuts. –Sounds painful. –Not if you chew them right.
Grape-Nuts is a cereal first produced in 1897 by Post that contains wheat and barley (not grape or nuts). The cereal’s name comes from the maltose formed during the baking process, which at the time was called “grape sugar.”
Caught in a trap?
“We’re caught in a trap” is a line from the 1969 Elvis hit “Suspicious Minds.” The song was written by Mark James.
Kid looks like Chaka from Land of the Lost.
Land of the Lost was a Saturday morning children’s sci-fi series that ran from 1974 to 1976. It was about the Marshall family (dad, son, and daughter) who went over a waterfall and into an alternate universe populated by dinosaurs and lizard-like Sleestaks. The show saw a short-lived reboot in 1991 and a film in 2009. Chaka was a child Pakuni—an ape-like humanoid that lived in the alternate universe with the Marshall family.
Bring in King Kong. Kick some butt.
King Kong (1933) is a classic film about a giant gorilla on an island in the South Pacific that is captured and brought to New York City. It was remade in 1976 and again in 2005.
Dodo? Is this a good name? –Lando-do.
The dodo was a species of large, flightless bird that lived on the island of Mauritius. They became extinct in the 1700s. Lando Calrissian is a character in two Star Wars films (Episodes V & VI). Played by Billy Dee Williams, he was a gangster and smuggler, a colleague of Han Solo’s until he became the administrator of the tibanna gas mining operations on Cloud City, Bespin. He was also the original owner of the Millennium Falcon until he lost it to Solo, fair and square.
No not really. He’s pretty rare, still. –Crispy critter.
Crispy Critters was originally a breakfast cereal during the 1960s. The cereal failed, but the name survived as firefighter slang for a burned body.
We had some butane left over from City on Fire. –We can’t blame City on Fire on the Japanese. –It’s Prometheus who discovered the thing.
City on Fire is the 1979 Canadian film riffed in Show K16. In Greek mythology, Prometheus was a Titan who angered Zeus by stealing fire and giving it to mortals. Prometheus was punished by having his liver torn out by eagles only to have it grow back overnight.
See above note on the Sith Lords.
Looks like Karl Malden.
Karl Malden (1912-2009) was an actor who won an Oscar for his role in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) and had acclaimed roles in On the Waterfront (1954), How the West Was Won (1962), Patton (1970), and more. He may best be remembered for his role as Lieutenant Mike Stone in the 1972-1977 series The Streets of San Francisco, as well as being the spokesman for American Express TV ads in the 1970s and ‘80s.
Oh, cue the other effect. –My God, it’s a Styrofoam plate! –And it’s just hovering there.
Styrofoam is a brand of plastic foam frequently used as a packing material and first made in 1941; it is manufactured by Dow Chemical.
He’s the president? –The excellency. –George Bushman. –Yeah.
George H. W. Bush (1924-2018) was the 41st president of the United States, from 1989-1993. Given that this episode aired in 1989, they could not be referring to George W. Bush (43rd president, 2001-2009).
Was that Prince? –I think so. Prince Chimp. –Chaka.
Prince (Prince Rogers Nelson, 1958-2016) was one of the seminal musical talents of the 1980s; in particular, his albums 1999, Purple Rain, and Sign o’ the Times were phenomenally successful. He was based in Minneapolis. See above note on Chaka.
[Sung.] Godo tell Aunt Rhody. Godo tell Aunt Rhody.
A paraphrase of the children’s song “Go Tell Aunt Rhody.” Actual lyrics: “Go tell Aunt Rhody/Go tell Aunt Rhody/Go tell Aunt Rhody/The old gray goose is dead.”
Good God, hunh!
James Brown (1933-2006) was known as the “Godfather of Soul.” His hits include “I Got You (I Feel Good)” (1965), “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” (1965), and “Living in America” (1986). Brown often punctuated his songs with the phrase “Good God!” and grunts.
Is this society a banana republic?
Not a reference to the clothing store, but a phrase used to describe a small, usually tropical, politically unstable nation reliant on limited agriculture or another natural resource and ruled by some level of despot.
[Sung.] You must take the Ape Train. –Boy, I wish you hadn’t have said that. –You gotta. Or your head explodes. –That in your program? –Yeah.
“Take the ‘A’ Train” is a jazz song written by Billy Strayhorn in 1939 that soon became the signature tune of Duke Ellington’s orchestra. Ella Fitzgerald famously released several versions of it over the years.
Tickets? We don’t need no stinkin’ tickets.
A paraphrase of the famous line from the 1948 film The Treasure of the Sierra Madre: “Badges? We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges.”
This is a movie first. I’ve never seen someone so nonchalant about a flying saucer. –Well, got a whole planet full of hairy guys. I s’pose nothing really too exciting. –Close encounter of the Sandy Frank kind. –Close encounter of the nerd kind.
See note on Sandy Frank, above. Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a 1977 film written and directed by Steven Spielberg about humanity’s encounter with UFOs.
What is that? “The Girl from Ape-anema?” –I think so. –[Sung.] All and punched and young and hairy ...
“The Girl from Ipanema” is a bossa nova song that became a worldwide phenomenon in the mid-1960s. It was written about (then) fifteen-year-old Helô Pinheiro, an attractive girl who walked by the songwriters in Rio de Janeiro’s Ipanema district every day. She later became a model and businesswoman. The English lyrics for the first verse go like this: “Tall and tanned and young and lovely/The girl from Ipanema goes walking/And when she passes/Each man she passes/Goes aaah!”
Looks like Smokey the Bear’s hat.
Smokey the Bear is the longtime spokescreature for the U.S. Forest Service. He was created in 1944 to preach the message of fire prevention, with the slogan “Only you can prevent wildfires.”
You can’t shoot down a flying saucer. –With a Kleenex you can.
Kleenex is a brand of facial tissue made by Kimberly-Clark. It was introduced in 1924 and has become an informal brand eponym for all such facial tissues.
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.
Gay-bor? Zsa Zsa or Eva? –Both. –Av-zsa.
Zsa Zsa Gabor (1917-2016) was Eva Gabor’s (1919-1995) sister. She, too, was a socialite and actress, but she wasn’t as well known for her acting as her sister. In 1989, she got into a legal kerfluffle when she slapped a Beverly Hills police officer after having been pulled over. She’s was married nine times.
Oh, it’s Sammy Davis Jr. Monkey.
Sammy Davis Jr. (1925-1990) was a Las Vegas staple and a member of Hollywood’s Rat Pack. He was known for his sense of style and a predilection for audacious jewelry.
[Imitating Grape Ape.] Naked Ape.
Grape Ape (voiced by Bob Holt) was a forty-foot-tall purple gorilla who would often say his name, with a bass rumble, twice. That was his catchphrase. He appeared on the Hanna-Barbera-produced ABC Saturday morning series The Great Grape Ape Show from 1975 to 1978.
See the Academy Awards the other night? –No, I missed it. –This was up for Best Picture. –This was? –Yes. –What, they didn’t make any other films that year? –And it still didn’t win.
Given that this episode first aired on April 2, 1989, the Academy Awards ceremony they’re referring to would be the 61st, which aired on March 29. The Best Picture nominees were The Accidental Tourist, Dangerous Liaisons, Mississippi Burning, Rain Man, and Working Girl. Rain Man won.
Actually, apes and men have the same amount of hair on their body. Did you know that, Servo? –Uh, yeah. That’s a lie. –No, it’s just men have really tiny hairs.
Crow is actually correct, if we’re talking about gorillas and humans. Human hair is smaller and finer than that of other primates.
Ebony and ivory?
“Ebony and Ivory” is a 1982 hit single by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder that commends the piano keyboard as a model of racial harmony.
Apparently, he was allowed to roam the rest of the planet when he was a child. –Yeah, but he didn’t cross the Forbidden Zone.
The Forbidden Zone was a desolate area depicted in the Planet of the Apes series of films, the result of nuclear warfare.
Bob Uecker is a former baseball player, sports commentator, and occasional actor. During his five-year career, he played for the Milwaukee Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, and Atlanta Braves. His real fame came later after Johnny Carson dubbed him “Mr. Baseball,” and he appeared in commercials for Miller Lite. He also appeared in the sports comedy film series Major League.
[Imitating Final Jeopardy theme.] –What is total oblivion? –[Buzzer noise.]
An imitation of the music heard during the final round of the long-running TV game show Jeopardy! (1964-’75, ‘78-’79, 1984-present). Dubbed “Final Jeopardy,” contestants wager an amount of their winnings before providing the question to the answer presented by host, Alex Trebek. (No, not the answer to the question. That’s how Jeopardy! rolls.)
Isn’t she the girl who wanted a Coke in that Gamera movie? –I think so.
Coca-Cola is the leading brand of cola in the world. It was first marketed as a refreshing soft drink by John Pemberton in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1886 in response to the area’s recently passed prohibition laws. Yes, those early versions of Coca-Cola contained cocaine. They’re referencing Show K07, Gamera vs. Zigra, wherein a child kept bugging adults for the drink. But it's not the same actress; I checked.
It’s Tinker Bell! She’s alive! –Clap your hands!
A reference to a scene toward the end of J.M. Barrie’s play Peter Pan, in which the audience is asked to clap if they believe in fairies, in order to save the dying Tinker Bell’s life.
Why did Sandy Frank think this film was worth saving? –He’s always been a pillar of good judgment.
See above note on Sandy Frank.
Future. Lingerie. Toaster ovens.
For many years, elevators in high-rise buildings required employees to manually operate them. In department stores, the operator would often announce to the elevator’s passengers what products and services were available on each floor.
Oh, that bottle effect from the other movie. Cool. –Hullabaloo. –Psychedelic.
Hullabaloo was a musical variety show that aired on NBC from 1965 to 1966. It often featured the latest and “hippest” musical acts. The show was known for its practice of having a different celebrity guest host each week and for its stable of Hullabaloo Dancers.
It was all a bad dream. You were there. You were there, too.
A reference to the scene at the end of The Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy wakes up back in Kansas with her family and friends gathered around her bed.
[Sung.] Blinded by the light ...
A partial lyric from the 1973 Bruce Springsteen song “Blinded by the Light,” later remade by Manfred Mann in 1977. Mann’s version became a No. 1 Billboard hit.
Mother! –Johnny! Catherine! –John-Boy! –Auntie Em! Mr. Whipple! –Mr. Hooper. Mr. Bubble. –Mr. Rogers. –Mr. Coffee. –Mr. Drip. –Mr. Potato Head. –Hey, I resemble that remark.
John-Boy (Richard Thomas) was a character on the long-running TV series (and seven TV movies) The Waltons. Auntie Em was Dorothy’s caretaker in The Wizard of Oz. Mr. Whipple (Dick Wilson, 1916-2007) was the character who admonished grocery store shoppers not to squeeze the Charmin toilet paper in more than 500 ads from 1964 to 1985 (with a brief return in 1999 and 2000). Mr. Hooper (Will Lee, 1908-1982) was the owner of Mr. Hooper’s store on the children’s show Sesame Street. When the actor died in 1982, the show’s producers decided to say that Mr. Hooper had also died, allowing them to teach children about life, death, and grief. The shop on the show still bears his name. Mr. Bubble is a line of bath products first made in the early 1960s. Fred Rogers (1928-2003) was the soft-spoken host of the long-running children’s show Mister Roger’s Neighborhood (1968-2001). Rogers was also a Presbyterian minister. Mr. Coffee is a line of appliances from Sunbeam, specializing primarily in automatic-drip coffee machines. They were first made in 1972. Mr. Potato Head is a classic children’s toy first introduced in 1952. It is manufactured by Hasbro. “I resemble that remark” is a line from a Three Stooges routine.
Bee-beee ba-dee-bee. Corroborate.
A paraphrase of the song “Mah Na Mah Na,” written by Piero Umiliani for the Italian film Sweden: Heaven and Hell. The song became known in the English-speaking world when it was performed by the Muppets on The Ed Sullivan Show and Sesame Street in 1969. In 1976, it was performed by the Muppets again on the premiere episode of The Muppet Show. The Muppet Show soundtrack album hit number one in 1977 largely due to this song’s popularity.
[Sung.] Godo tell it on the mountain.
A paraphrase of the spiritual “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” dating back to the 1860s. Many versions were recorded by artists over the years, but one of the most notable would be 1963’s “Tell It on the Mountain” by folk singers Peter, Paul & Mary, who turned it into a commentary on the civil rights struggle of the 1960s.
“Godo went to a different world.” –With Denise Huxtable from The Cosby Show? –Oh, yeah.
The Cosby Show was an NBC sitcom that aired from 1984 to 1992, starring comedian Bill Cosby as an affluent African-American father of five children. Denise Huxtable was his second oldest daughter, played by Lisa Bonet. After the third season of The Cosby Show, the character left home for fictional Hillman College, which was documented in the spinoff series A Different World. Denise Huxtable was the focus of the show for only the first season (Bonet left to have a baby with her then-husband, Lenny Kravitz), but the other characters proved to be popular and it ran for five more seasons, often tackling controversial subjects, such as race relations, date rape, and AIDS.
The land of misfit toys.
A reference to the 1964 Rankin-Bass Christmas special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The island is a place where broken and unwanted toys are sent.