K19: Hangar 18
by Trey Yeatts
Why is it that made-for-TV movies always look different? –It wasn’t a made-for-TV movie. –It wasn’t? –It’s American Pictures, from the people who gave you The Lincoln Conspiracy. –Oh.
Hangar 18 was actually produced by Sunn Classic Pictures, not American Pictures. Sunn did produce 1977’s The Lincoln Conspiracy, based on the book of the same name, which claimed the sixteenth president was killed by a group of politicians led by his secretary of war, who were upset at his proposed lenient Reconstruction plans for the South.
See, he’s a famous star. –Gary Collins? –And the other guy’s a famous star. –He was in Teen Wolf, I think. –Yeah, and he also was a spokesperson for the incredible, edible egg. –Yeah, see? Here’s the disposable crewmember. –The president didn’t even give him a special “hello.”
Gary Collins is an actor best known for hosting the television talk show Hour Magazine from 1980 to 1988. He starred in the short-lived 1972 paranormal series The Sixth Sense and in 1970’s Airport. James Hampton is an actor who did, in fact, star as Michael J. Fox’s character’s dad in the 1985 film Teen Wolf (and the TV series that followed), as Leroy in The Doris Day Show, and as Dobbs in F Troop. “The incredible, edible egg” is a well-known advertising slogan devised for the American Egg Board in 1977.
They’re playing Pong. –It’s Breakout.
Atari’s Pong was one of the first video games and the first to achieve mainstream success. It was essentially an electronic version of table tennis: each player had a “paddle,” and they bounced a little “ball” between them. The arcade version appeared in 1972 and the home version in 1975. Breakout, which debuted in 1976, was also an Atari game. It featured a sliding paddle (like Pong) at the bottom of the screen, which the player used to deflect a bouncing ball into a brick construct at the top of the screen to remove it brick by brick.
Did you say “Lunch?”
Far Out Space Nuts was a 1975 Sid & Marty Krofft children’s series that lasted for just sixteen episodes on CBS. It starred Bob Denver (Junior) and Chuck McGann (Barney) as NASA janitors who were unwittingly launched into deep space. In the title sequence, Junior and Barney are loading food into the capsule’s system when Junior presses the “launch” button. Thus, “I said ‘Lunch,’ not ‘Launch'!”
“According to the radar, that thing is right over us.” –Gary Burghoff is there?
Gary Burghoff is an actor who played Corporal Walter “Radar” O’Reilly in the 1970 film M*A*S*H and in the first seven seasons of the TV series based on the movie; he was the only regular cast member to appear in both.
It wants our Tang.
Tang is an orange-flavored, powdered drink mix that became famous when NASA first used it in John Glenn’s 1962 Mercury spaceflight and in many subsequent missions. It was invented in 1957 by William Mitchell, who also invented Pop Rocks. It is manufactured by Kraft Foods.
Quick, call the cable company. –They’re never gonna get the Disney Channel now.
Disney Channel is a cable network that was launched in 1983. It carried family programming and movies and was a premium cable channel for years, meaning consumers had to pay extra to get it. This added a bit of cachet to the network. By the end of the decade, the premium was gone, but their family programming blocks (including a revived Mickey Mouse Club) remained.
The aliens probably wanted some of their Tang.
See previous note.
He was a new prune-flavored Tang. –Prune Tang. That’s so funny. Oh, ha ha ha.
See previous note.
James Coco. –I’m cuckoo for cocoa. Floss.
James Coco (1930-1987) was a portly actor who appeared in Murder By Death and The Dumplings. Beginning in the 1960s, General Mills ran a series of commercials for its Cocoa Puffs cereal featuring Sonny the Cuckoo Bird, an animated bird in a striped shirt who squawked, “I’m cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs! Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!”
Race Bannon County.
Roger T. “Race” Bannon was the bodyguard and pilot for the Quest family on the animated series Jonny Quest (1964-1965 and 1986-1987). He was voiced by Mike Road in the original series and Granville Van Dusen in the newer series.
Belushi! Must have been his first role.
John Belushi (1949-1982) was a comedian and actor best known for his run on the first four seasons of NBC’s Saturday Night Live, as well as roles in Animal House (1978) and The Blues Brothers (1979).
Hey, that’s no place for a classic. –How do you think they started the Cadillac Ranch?
Cadillac Ranch is an art installation in Amarillo, Texas, consisting of ten Cadillacs (arranged in order from 1949 to 1963, the better to show the evolution of the Caddy’s characteristic tail fin) half-buried nose-first in concrete, covered in dirt, and set at the same angle as the slope of the Great Pyramids. It was created in 1974 by the art group Ant Farm.
We came for your Pop-Tarts. Take me to your toaster.
Pop-Tarts are a brand of ready-made pastries that you heat in the toaster. They are manufactured by Kellogg’s. They were first introduced when, in 1963, Post unveiled their pre-made pastries called Country Squares. Post wasn’t ready to mass-produce theirs, but Kellogg’s managed to develop and crank out Pop-Tarts just six months later in 1964.
The Bell UH-1 Iroquois is a helicopter used by the United States Army and Marines beginning in 1956. They became famous through their use in the Vietnam War (and in the slew of movies and TV shows about the war that followed). The original designation for the Iroquois was “HU-1,” thus the colloquial name “Huey.”
Martin Mull is a comedian and actor known for his roles in many TV shows, including Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (1976), its spinoff shows Fernwood 2 Night (1977) and America 2-Night (1978), and Roseanne (1988-1997).
It’s an Oldsmobile.
Dodge is a brand of vehicles produced by Chrysler. The Dodge Brothers Company (before being bought by Chrysler) first made automobiles in 1914. Oldsmobile was an auto manufacturer founded by Ransom Olds in 1897. The brand was sold to General Motors in 1908. Due to shortfalls in sales and profitability, GM phased out the Oldsmobile brand in the early 21st century, with the final vehicle being assembled in 2004.
Thank you, Farina.
Farina was a character in dozens of Hal Roach’s Our Gang shorts from 1922 to 1931. In the first few films, the character would alternate from being a boy to being a girl. Once Farina grew up, he was occasionally portrayed as being Buckwheat’s older brother. Farina was played by Allen Hoskins (1920-1980).
He’s drinking Helsinki Formula.
Helsinki Formula is a brand of “scalp health” products, including shampoos, cleansers, and baldness aversion creams. Robert Vaughn hosted commercials and infomercials for it in the 1980s.
Think he’s eating Cream of Wheat right now?
Cream of Wheat is a wheat farina porridge that was first sold in 1893. It is produced by Kraft Foods.
There should be a magazine show in this for everyone.
See note on Gary Collins, above.
Is Philbin in this?
Regis Francis Xavier Philbin is a media gadfly best known for hosting Live with Regis & (someone) since 1988, when the show went national from its L.A. roots. Philbin began in the television business when the business itself was still young. In 1999, Philbin hosted the prime-time debut of the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? According to the folks at Guinness, Philbin has logged the most hours on television of anyone ever (16,100 by 2008, and still counting). In 2011, he announced his retirement from Live with Regis & Kelly.
“90 knots.” –Don Knotts. [Talking over each other.] –Knots Landing. –Rolling knots.
Don Knotts is a comedian who has played a wide variety of roles over the course of his lengthy career. He is perhaps best known for his role as landlord Ralph Furley on the 1970s TV sitcom Three’s Company and for his bumbling deputy Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show; he also appeared in a string of comedy movies. Knots Landing was a prime-time soap opera, a spinoff of Dallas; it followed the melodramatic antics of a California family and their friends. It ran from 1979-1993. A rolling hitch knot is a knot tied from a rope to another rope or a rod. They’re primarily used in sailing.
Ice cream for everybody. Good Humor.
Good Humor is a brand of ice cream treats first marketed in 1920. The “Good Humor Man” became an American institution, as kids across America lined up during the summer to buy ice cream from the men who drove the trucks with the tinkling bells.
It’s Stuart Pankin.
Stuart Pankin is a character actor who has taken many roles in both films and television shows, including CHiPS, Night Court, Fatal Attraction, and Mannequin Two: On the Move.
I think their hair all came out of the same mold. –Well, mold, anyway. –This is the reverse image of his over there. Devo hair.
On the cover of their 1981 album New Traditionalists, the members of the New Wave group Devo are wearing plastic skull caps made to resemble perfectly coiffed haircuts.
See above note on Helsinki Formula.
Is that Dr. Bellows?
Dr. Alfred Bellows was a character on the 1965-1970 NBC sitcom I Dream of Jeannie. He was played by Hayden Rorke (1910-1987), not the guy on the screen.
Showers. Hot and cold running water. –Mr. Coffee.
Mr. Coffee is a line of appliances from Sunbeam, specializing primarily in automatic-drip coffee machines. They were first made in 1972.
Starting to get kind of a Kirk Douglas chin about him, though.
Kirk Douglas (1916-2020) was a tough-guy actor known for his cleft chin and his roles in such classics as Paths of Glory(1957) and Spartacus (1960).
The ex-Miss America.
Miss America is an annual scholarship pageant, started in 1921 as a beauty contest (though they’ve since attempted to distance themselves from that). Currently, contestants from each of the fifty states (plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) are judged on the personal interview, talent, swimsuit, evening wear, and onstage question.
An Erector Set.
The Erector Set is a toy construction set first invented by A.C. Gilbert in 1911. It contains small metal beams, nuts, bolts, screws, and mechanical parts such as gears.
Bet he wishes he was back on F Troop.
See above note on James Hampton.
It’s a bad Burt Reynolds lookalike.
Burt Reynolds (1936-2018) was an American actor best known for his roles in the films Smokey and the Bandit (1977), Deliverance (1972), and Cannonball Run (1981), as well as a leading role on the TV series Evening Shade (CBS, 1990-1994). He co-created the game show Win Lose or Draw (CBS, 1987-1989), where the original set was modeled after Reynold’s living room, and he was married to Loni Anderson for five years (it didn’t end well). Women of a certain age will no doubt remember him lounging on a bearskin rug as the centerfold of the April 1972 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.
Was that Terence Trent D’Arby at the gate? –No, it’s one of the United Faces of Benetton. –Oh. –They all kinda look like Terence Trent D’Arby.
Terence Trent D’Arby was a pop musician who emerged in the late 1980s with hits such as “Wishing Well” and “Sign Your Name.” None of his subsequent albums did as well as his debut, however, and he quickly sank into obscurity. “United Faces of Benetton” was an ad campaign for the clothing company United Colors of Benetton.
Castle Grayskull, I think.
On the 1983-1985 animated series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Castle Grayskull was the center of mystic power on the planet Eternia, from which Prince Adam drew his power to become the ridiculously enmuscled He-Man.
Looks like a stack of Marshall amps.
Marshall Amplification is a British company, and their amplifiers are one of the best-known brands in the music industry. The company was founded in 1960 by Jim Marshall, who was urged to get into the business by Pete Townshend and other now-famous guitarists.
I imagine them looking like ELO. –Or Boston. –Looks like a Kirby. –Or Reddy Kilowatt.
Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) was a British progressive rock group, active from 1970 to 1986. Hit singles included “Livin’ Thing” (1976), “Telephone Line” (1977), and “Don’t Bring Me Down” (1979). Boston is an American rock group that started in 1976. Their hits include 1976’s classic “More Than a Feeling.” Kirby Company is an Ohio-based maker of vacuum cleaners and other home accessories. Founded in 1914 by inventor Jim Kirby, the vacuums have been sold predominantly by door-to-door salesmen, and this has led to more than a few legal problems and accusations of unethical behavior. Reddy Kilowatt is a “corporate spokestoon” created in 1926 for the Alabama Power Company. A small figure that looks like a lightning bolt, Reddy has been licensed by more than two hundred companies and has appeared in cartoons, on stationery, on billboards, and in newspaper and magazine ads. Reddy is currently the property of the Northern States Power Company, which bought the character in 1998.
No, we’re in the conference room. See, Harry doesn’t know anything. But I’m just wild about Harry.
“I’m Just Wild About Harry” is a song written in 1921 for the musical Shuffle Along. At the time, it broke taboos about depicting romance between Black characters. In 1948, Harry Truman used it as his campaign song. It was also used frequently in Warner Brothers’ Looney Tunes animated shorts.
How about the “Three Pigs”? That’s always a good story.
“The Three Little Pigs” is a fairy tale about talking porcine compatriots who build domiciles with materials of varying durability. A lupine antagonist pursues the characters by exhaling vigorously upon the homes, therefore obliterating them, at least until he arrives at the final structure built with ceramic masonry. Undaunted, the ne’er-do-well attempts to gain entry by climbing down the chimney and lands in a pot of boiling water, wherein he is parboiled. The story first appeared in print in 1843, but it’s thought to be much older than that.
I want a soda. C’mon. –I just want some Saltines.
Saltines is another name for soda crackers. In 1801, they were first produced by the Josiah Bent Bakery in Massachusetts. They gained popularity over the years and were later manufactured under the name “Saltines” by Nabisco until the name became a genericized trademark in the early twentieth century.
Get a grip, Darren.
Darren McGavin (1922-2006) was an actor best known for playing the title role in the supernatural TV series Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974) and the role of the father in the 1983 holiday classic A Christmas Story. (“It’s a major award!”)
What a stupid-looking spaceship. –Looks kinda like the set of Metallica. The band. –Cover of a Boston album. What if they opened it up and Meat Loaf was in there? –I like ketchup on my meatloaf.
Metallica is a heavy metal band founded in 1981. One of the best-selling rock acts ever, Metallica had major hits with 1985’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and 1991’s “Enter Sandman.” They drew the ire of tech-savvy fans when they successfully sued now-defunct free music sharing program Napster in 2000. (Napster still exists as a pay subscription service.) See above note on Boston. Meat Loaf is a large singer/songwriter who peaked in the 1970s with such songs as “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.”
Looks like their ship was designed by Giger. –What? –There’s a little Geiger counter down at the bottom. –I thought you meant H.R. Giger.
Hans Geiger (1882-1945) was a German scientist who in 1908 co-invented the Geiger counter, used to detect alpha rays. It was improved in 1928 to detect beta and gamma rays as well. H.R. Giger (1920-2014) was a Swiss surrealist artist who is best known for designing the titular xenomorph in the 1979 film Alien, as well as other memorable sets and creatures in that film. He also redesigned the Alien creature for use in the 1993 sequel Alien³.
I said, “Lunch. Not launch.”
See above note on Far Out Space Nuts.
They’re waiting for Prince to come out. [Sung.] I was dreaming when I wrote this ...
Minneapolis musician Prince (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. The line “I was dreaming when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray,” is from his 1982 hit “1999.”
Looks like the Land of Dairy Queen in there.
A reference to an old advertising jingle for the Dairy Queen chain of restaurants: “In the land of Dairy Queen, we treat you right!” Commercials for the chain in the 1970s featured close-ups of sundae toppings as though they were mountains: rivers of hot fudge, avalanches of peanuts, that sort of thing.
Probably be Bob Uecker.
Bob Uecker is a former baseball actor, 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, however, after Johnny Carson dubbed him “Mr. Baseball” and he appeared in commercials for Miller Lite. He also played family patriarch George Owens on the TV sitcom Mr. Belvedereand appeared in the baseball movie Major League. He has served as the voice of the Milwaukee Brewers for forty years.
How come all these spaceship interiors look like they were made in a Vac-u-form? –The doing of the Vac-u-company.
Vac-u-form was a craft toy made by Mattel in the 1960s. It heated sheets of plastic and, with a vacuum, sucked the pliable polymer over various molds. Yes, there’s no way this could be sold for kids today.
It’s a giant Roach Motel. –For scientists. –Scientists check in but they can’t check out. –Better than those No Scientists strips. –Those get caught in your hair.
Roach Motel is a brand of insect trap produced by Black Flag since 1976. The name has become a brand eponym (not unlike Band-Aids) for all manner of paper boxes with scent bait and sticky insides. Roach Motels became very popular thanks to their ad campaign with the famous tag line, “Roaches check in, but they don’t check out!” Fly strips (or fly ribbons or fly paper) are pieces of paper coated with a scented, sticky film hung from the ceiling or on walls, meant to attract and then trap insects.
Nice job on the foil rings in the back. That’s where the money goes. –R.J. Reynolds.
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company was founded in 1875 and is based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It’s the second largest tobacco company in the nation, behind Altria (née Philip Morris).
Hey, three on an elevator. Bad luck.
“Three on a match is bad luck” is an old military superstition that you should never light three cigarettes off one match, with the theory being that with the first cigarette the enemy would see the light, with the second the enemy could aim, and whichever unlucky soul lit the third cigarette would be shot dead. Apparently the superstition was around during the 19th century, but it was widely spread and reinforced after World War I by a shrewd match manufacturer, who reasoned that if people believed it was unlucky to light multiple cigarettes off one match, they would use a lot more matches.
Uncle Fester! Ahhhhh!
Uncle Fester is a character on the television series The Addams Family, which aired from 1964-1966. The role was played by Jackie Coogan. In the feature films based on the TV show, Christopher Lloyd played Fester. The TV show was based on a series of cartoons by artist Charles Addams that ran in The New Yorker magazine.
[Sung.] They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky, they’re altogether ooky, the Addams Family. Hangar 18 [snap, snap]. Hangar 18 [snap, snap]. Hangar 18, Hangar 18, Hangar 18 [snap, snap].
An imitation of the theme song to The Addams Family TV series., written by Vic Mizzy.
Franz Kafka (1883-1924) was a German writer, most of whose works were published posthumously and against his wishes. Most of his writing, such as The Trial and The Castle, reflects a feeling of alienation from one’s fellow men.
Race Bannon County.
See above note on Race Bannon.
Make those briefs short. –Make them Joe Namath netted slingshot briefs.
Joe Namath was a football quarterback who played for the New York Jets and Los Angeles Rams. In 1974, he appeared in a commercial for Beautymist pantyhose, saying explicitly, “Now, I don’t wear pantyhose ...” Well, you know, except to film that commercial. As for the origin of “netted slingshot briefs,” I can’t say, although I should point out that Tom Servo’s underwear collection contains “one pair of Joe Namath netted slingshot briefs.”
It’s Jackie Coogan. –It’s a Tor Johnson festival.
See above note on Uncle Fester. Tor Johnson (1903-1971) was a Swedish wrestler and “actor” who was often a staple of Ed Wood films. Tor appeared in several MST3K episodes, including Show 320, The Unearthly.
I don’t think he should have taken his suit off. He could pick up space herpes. –Spores of space. –I picked up a packet of space herpes last night when we were in town. –I always throw the gum away but I save the cards.
Back in the days when baseball cards were popular for kids to collect and trade, they were often sold in packs of five or so with a powdered stick of gum so poor in quality that it shattered when placed in your mouth, occasionally even cutting your cheek or gums (that’s what happened to me, anyway). Responding to collectors tired of having to clean gum powder off their cards, manufacturers eventually stopped putting gum inside.
A video alien jukebox. –I bet they’re on CD.
CD, or compact disc, is a polycarbonate disc with binary data burned onto it and sandwiched between plastic discs and a reflective disc designed to reflect the laser that reads the data. They were designed in the late 1970s as a smaller-scale spinoff of Laserdisc video technology by Sony. In 1982, the first CD sold in stores was Billy Joel’s album, 52nd Street. At this time, the discs themselves were $30 or more and the players were $900. By 2007, more than 200 billion CDs had been made but their decline was in full swing as downloadable music files were taking hold.
Charlie’s Angels was a T&A series that aired from 1976-1981. It featured a revolving cast of beautiful women who worked as private eyes under the direction of the unseen “Charlie,” voiced through an intercom or speakerphone by John Forsythe (1918-2010).
I think I need to go to Acapulco with her. –Call the other Angels.
See previous note. Acapulco is a city on the Pacific coast of Mexico that became famous as a resort destination in the 1950s, with many Hollywood stars choosing to vacation there from nearby Southern California.
Trippy. Infinity lights. –You can get that at RadioShack. –Spencer’s. The prop master shops at Spencer’s.
Often called an “Infinity Mirror,” these kitschy devices employed an optical illusion to make it appear that lights within the panel extended off into infinity. Remember Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan? That scene in Captain Spock’s quarters when Admiral James T. Kirk is trying to get him to take command? Behind the meditating Vulcan’s head is an infinity mirror, as sold in Spencer Gifts for decades. Spencer Gifts is a retailer of lewd T-shirts, black light posters, adult sex games, lava lamps, and such, found in malls across the nation. They were founded in 1947 in New Jersey. RadioShack is a chain of electronics stores based in Fort Worth, Texas, and founded in 1921.
Wow, a Bang & Olufsen.
Bang & Olufsen is a Danish electronics company that manufactures audio equipment, such as sound systems, televisions, and telephones, among other consumer electronics. The company was founded in 1925.
A crispy critter. Well, that’s only about a billion-dollar piece of machinery. –No, just a Pepsi machine.
Crispy Critters was originally a breakfast cereal during the 1960s. The cereal failed, but the name survived as firefighter slang for a burned body. Pepsi is a major brand of cola, the chief competitor to Coca-Cola. It was first made in 1898 in North Carolina by pharmacist Caleb Bradham and sold as “Brad’s Drink.”
This guy work on Green Acres?
Green Acres was a TV sitcom that ran from 1965 to 1971. It starred Eva Gabor (1919-1995) as Lisa Douglas, the socialite wife of an attorney, played by Eddie Albert (1906-2005), who tries to adapt to life in the rural town of Hooterville.
That’s why they call me Crazy Joe. I’m so darn crazy. I’m really crazy. I’m so crazy, I’m bringing these prices down to two, two, two dollars a day. Crazy Joe.
Derived from the 1970s New York retailer “Crazy” Eddie Antar, who operated an electronics store. In 1975, copying the shtick of early TV pitchman Earl “Madman” Muntz, radio DJ Jerry Carroll first appeared in a commercial as the frenetically screaming “Crazy Eddie,” later emulated in various parodies and in local commercials around the country. These ads catapulted the brand into stardom, and he eventually had forty-three stores. In 1987, however, Antar was investigated for illegal billing practices, and he fled to Israel in 1990. He later returned, served eight years in prison and was released in 1999.
You know, Crow, you could call the ASPCB.
A corruption of the abbreviation for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Obviously, because of his spanking in an earlier host segment, Servo is advocating a ‘bot-centric group.
VHS or Beta?
VHS (Video Home System) is a format of video storage using magnetic tape contained within a plastic cassette. It was developed by electronics company JVC and launched in 1976. Betamax, or Beta for short, was a competing format developed by Sony that had been released the previous year. A “format war” ensued over the next several years (including other minor formats like Sanyo’s V-Cord and Panasonic’s VX) from which VHS emerged victorious, thanks to the lower price and longer recording time of cassettes. While dead to consumers in North America, Beta was used in television production for more than a decade afterward, and it continued to be used in South America and Japan until 2002. In the U.S., the last major Hollywood film released on VHS was A History of Violence in 2006; today, only blank VHS cassettes are produced.
It’s alien for CBS.
CBS is one of the four major U.S. broadcast television networks. It began as a conglomerate of sixteen radio stations called the United Independent Broadcasters in the mid-1920s. UIB was bought by William Paley in 1928 and renamed Columbia Broadcasting System (which was officially pared down to just CBS in 1976). In 1995, Westinghouse bought the network, then Viacom bought it in 2000. Today, CBS is controlled by Sumner Redstone’s National Amusements.
Hey, a vend-o-matic.
“Vend-o-matic” is a common name given to a large array of vending machines. In the past, these types of coin-operated facilities were literal walls of glass fronts protecting foodstuffs to be dispensed with pull knobs. Today, there are several vending machine companies that call themselves some variation of “Vend-o-matic.”
“This is a symbol for ...” –CBS.
CBS’s symbol is a stylized eye, first used in 1951 and not redesigned since—unlike, say, NBC’s peacock, which has undergone numerous makeovers throughout the years.
He’s got one of those symbols on his neck. –That’s his Star Trek fan club bolo tie.
Star Trek is a classic television sci-fi series that aired on NBC from 1966 to 1969. In the years after the show was cancelled (and its popularity grew in syndication), many fan clubs sprang up around the nation, including one facilitated by Gene Roddenberry (the show’s creator) with his merchandise company, Lincoln Enterprises. Once Paramount Pictures began to realize the popularity of the show, they created an official fan club. Bolo ties (or shoestring ties) are synonymous with Western wear and date back to the late 1800s.
Somebody had their Weber here.
Weber is a brand of backyard grills; they make both charcoal and gas grills, but the rounded shape of their classic charcoal grill is the best known.
Fashion by Members Only.
Members Only was a brand of poly/cotton windbreaker jackets with unnecessary snaps and straps that were very popular in the 1980s.
[Imitating Tonto.] Mmmm. Deer. Pass through here. Two, three days ago. –Put your ear to it.
In Hollywood films for the better part of a century, Native Americans who spoke English were portrayed as using it in this staccato and broken fashion. No example of this surpasses that of the Lone Ranger’s sidekick, Tonto, as portrayed on radio from 1933 to 1954 by John Todd and on television from 1949 to 1957 by Jay Silverheels. Indian trackers were a common character type in Western films and television shows, and one of their supposed talents was the placing of their ear to the ground to find out who or what might be nearby.
Those guys from the Watchtower show up everywhere.
The Watchtower is the official magazine of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, an apocalyptic Christian sect known for proselytizing door to door and for their rejection of blood transfusions and birthday parties. Its first issue was printed in 1879, and with a print run of 42 million issues, it’s the most widely circulated magazine in the world.
Baf! Pow! Pow! Oof!
In the campy 1966-1968 ABC TV series Batman, fight scenes were often punctuated with cartoonish splashes of color and onomatopoetic words such as “Boff!,” “Pow!” and “Zap!” This helped the producers avoid criticism for the show being too violent, as the words covered the screen and no punches or kicks were shown to connect.
I bet he hasn’t punched anyone out since Hour Magazine had those ... –Skinheads.
See above note on Gary Collins.
They think they’re on The Streets of San Francisco or something.
The Streets of San Francisco was a crime-drama TV series that aired from 1972-1977. It starred Karl Malden and Michael Douglas and was produced by Quinn Martin.
The guys from U.N.C.L.E. will want to know too, I think.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was a TV series that aired from 1964 to 1968. It starred Robert Vaughn as Napoleon Solo, the top agent for the United Network Command for Law Enforcement, who battled the evil forces of the Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity, or THRUSH.
How do you explain Slim Whitman and Wayne Newton? –Acid rain? –I’ll buy that.
Slim Whitman is a yodeling country singer known for his 1952 hit “Indian Love Call,” which was used to implode Martian brains in Tim Burton’s 1996 film Mars Attacks! Wayne Newton is a singer who has only had a few radio hits, most especially 1963’s “Danke Schoen.” But in Las Vegas he is one of the most popular entertainers in the city’s history, earning $1 million per month at his peak. He filed for bankruptcy in the 1990s but quickly recovered financially. Acid rain is the result of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide pollutants in the atmosphere. The precipitation that follows is hazardous to plants and animals. It first came to the public’s attention in the 1970s, and governments around the world have worked since then to reduce the pollutants involved.
I s’pose he’s gonna tell us they built Apache Plaza, too. –No one’s taking credit for that. –Only after the tornado. –The aliens could have been living in Riverplace for years and no one would have known it. –Aliens have.
Apache Plaza was a mall in St. Anthony, Minnesota (near Minneapolis) that opened in 1961 and closed in 2004. In 1984, a tornado hit the southern side of the mall, damaging several stores and injuring a few dozen people. Riverplace is an office and retail complex, also in St. Anthony, on the bank of the Mississippi River.
Maybe they’re just a couple of yahoos from Arkansas. They built it from vacuum cleaner engines from Boys’ Life.
Boys’ Life is the official youth magazine of the Boy Scouts of America, first published in 1911.
Cold fusion. You can do it in a mayonnaise jar on Funk & Wagnalls’ porch.
“Cold fusion” is the name given to nuclear energy production at or near room temperature. In March 1989, scientists Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons claimed to have discovered how to achieve this and the media latched on, thinking that abundant and cheap energy was right around the corner. By the end of the year, though, these claims were debunked. Essentially, the scientists just screwed up. Carnac the Magnificent was a character played by host Johnny Carson during his run on the Tonight Show. Carnac was a mind-reader with an enormous turban, who would magically divine the answers to questions written inside sealed envelopes. Those answers, of course, were kept in that jar on the encyclopedia publishers’ porch, according to sidekick Ed McMahon.
What about the Giants winning the pennant in ‘69 or ‘52?
The San Francisco Giants are a Major League Baseball team first established in 1883 as the New York Giants before their 1958 move west. Just so’s you know, they didn’t win the National League pennant in either 1952 (the NY Giants lost to the Brooklyn Dodgers) or 1969 (NY Mets beat the Atlanta Braves).
Oh, man. –Hangar 18! We have a winner! Johnny, tell him what he’s won.
Likely a reference to Johnny Olson (1910-1985), a radio and television announcer whose career spanned four decades. He is best known for his announcing work on game shows such as Truth or Consequences, Match Game, and The Price Is Right.
They took Barry ZeVan.
Barry ZeVan is a former television meteorologist in the Minneapolis area known for his zany forecasts. He appeared on stations KSTP (in the 1970s) and WTCN, later KARE (beginning in the 1980s).
[Sung.] Freeze 'em. Nothing's better in warm weather. Freeze 'em...
Joel may be singing the ad jingle for Welch’s Monster Freez’ems. On supermarket shelves in the ‘70s, Welch’s Monster Freez’ems offered four flavors of fruit juice liquid (with 20% real juice!) and a selection of classic monster shaped molds. Kids would fill the molds with the juice, add a stick, and make their own frozen popcicle treats. (Thanks to Jason Harder for this reference.)
It’s after eleven. They want to know where their children are.
“It’s _____ o’clock. Do you know where your children are?” is a phrase used in public service announcements beginning in the 1960s and throughout the ‘70s. The phrase first gained fame at Buffalo, New York, television station WKBW when it was used to introduce the local news at 11 p.m. in the early 1960s, leading to the PSAs. After being the target of jokes and parodies for years, it was phased out of PSAs, though some TV stations still use it to introduce their newscasts. It was likely inspired by the nineteenth-century Scottish nursery rhyme “Wee Willie Winkie”: “Are the weans in their bed, for it’s now ten o’clock?”
City on Fire!
A reference to the 1979 Canadian film used in Show K16.
It’s guys from Foreman & Clark.
Foreman & Clark was a chain of department stores that opened in 1909 and closed in 1999.
Boy, those rental guys are really upset. –They try harder. –When you’re number two, you pack a gun.
Avis Rent a Car System was founded in Michigan in 1946, and by 1953 it was the country’s second-largest car rental company. In 1962, still number two, they adopted the corporate motto, “We try harder.” Early ads included the line, “When you’re number two, you try harder.”
He was in Walt Disney’s Condorman, you know?
Condorman is a 1981 Disney-produced film about a comic-book artist who invents real-life gadgets for his comic characters and is recruited by his friend Harry (played by James Hampton), a CIA agent, to engage in some spy work and then the Soviets get involved and shenanigans ensue. The film was critically panned and performed poorly at the box office.
Stick to egg ads.
See above note.
[Imitating Ted Baxter.] Sorry, Lou. –[Imitating Lou Costello.] I’m a baaaaaad boy.
The first line is an imitation of Ted Baxter (played by Ted Knight, 1923-1986), a newscaster on the classic CBS sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977), speaking to his boss, producer Lou Grant (played by Ed Asner). The second is an imitation of comedian Lou Costello (1906-1959) and his well-known catchphrase. His comedy partner, of course, was Bud Abbott (1895-1974).
I’ll find it, and when I do, I’ll become the most famous actor in the world. Maybe have my own talk show. –Maybe marry a beauty queen.
Gary Collins has been married to former Miss America Mary Ann Mobley since 1967.
[Sung.] Your career, will take a thud, unless you kneel ... –And what? –Scarf? –Milk Duds?
A paraphrased line from the 1985 Frank Zappa song “Yo Cats.” The actual lyric is, “Your career could take a thud, unless you kneel and scarf his pud.” Yeah, that’s why Joel stopped. Milk Duds are a caramel candy coated in chocolate. They were first produced in 1926 and got their name when an employee described their attempt to produce perfectly round pieces as a “dud.” They are currently made by Hershey. In 2008, Milk Duds could no longer legally be described as containing milk chocolate because they stopped using cocoa butter.
[Sung.] His career will take a thud ... –Unless he sits and drinks a Bud.
See previous note. “Bud” is the colloquial form of Budweiser, the lager made by Anheuser-Busch (now Anheuser-Busch InBev) since 1876. It was named by Dongand Busch after a brewery town in Czechoslovakia, Böhmisch Budweis. Beers produced in this part of Europe are named by adding “-er” to the end of the town’s name, thus a “Budweiser” beer already existed in Europe. This is why the American brand is only called “Bud” in Europe and parts of Asia.
This would be a lot better on CD.
See above note.
That was Twiki, from Buck Rogers.
Twiki was a diminutive robot on the TV series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979-1981), which starred Gil Gerard as an astronaut who awakens 500 years in the future. The robot’s voice was supplied first by legendary voiceover artist Mel Blanc, and later by Bob Elyea.
It’s fantastic. They’re zeroing in on the RCA Building.
The GE Building is a 70-story New York City skyscraper that was built in 1933. The primary tenant was the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), and the building was so named until 1988, two years after GE bought RCA. The building serves as the headquarters for NBC and as the centerpiece of Rockefeller Plaza. In fact, you probably know the shorthand for this building’s address thanks to an NBC sitcom: “30 Rock.”
Here’s us in front of Paul Bunyan.
Paul Bunyan is a bit of Canadian/American “fakelore” (false folklore). The story began in the 1830s about a French-Canadian who led a group of lumberjacks against British oppressors, but this person was not gigantic, nor did he have a giant blue ox companion. These facets were not added until 1916 in pamphlets for the Red River Lumber Company. Yes, one of America’s best-known legends was, in fact, created for advertisements. Regardless, the tales of the giant lumberjack and Babe the Big Blue Ox caught on for generations. Throughout the American northwest and along the American-Canadian border, large Paul Bunyan and Babe sculptures dot the highways as tourist traps. There’s a popular one in Akeley, Minnesota.
When in Southern California, visit Knott’s Berry Farm. –Don Knottsberry Farm.
Knott’s Berry Farm a theme park in Buena Park, California, offering roller coasters, dark rides and water rides to around 4 million visitors a year. In the 1920s, Walter Knott began selling berries and pies from a roadside stand, and by the 1930s, they had a restaurant and storefront. In 1940, they began adding on attractions, which led to the slogan, “America’s First Theme Park.” In the 1990s, the Knott family sold the food business to ConAgra (which later sold it to J.M. Smucker Co.) and the amusement park to Cedar Fair. See above note on Don Knotts.
Klaatu. Theeala. Nikto. Klaatu, Barada, Nikto.
Joel initially messed up but then corrected himself to give the code phrase from the 1951 sci-fi classic The Day the Earth Stood Still. The robot Gort was programmed to wield destruction if anything should happen to the humanoid alien, Klaatu (played by Michael Rennie), so Klaatu told Patricia Neal’s character the phrase to stop it.
Nowhere safer. Unless you want to catch a Learjet upside the head.
Learjet was a manufacturer of business aircraft that was founded in 1960 and bought in 1986 by Bombardier Aerospace. The name entered the public consciousness as a brand eponym for just about any kind of small private jet.
And that’s the name of that tune.
Name That Tune was a popular game show that began on NBC Radio in 1952 before transitioning to television the following year. In it, contestants challenged each other to recognize a familiar song in as few notes as possible. The show aired off and on in both primetime and daytime formats until 1985.
Hey, look, Shelley Winters.
Shelley Winters (1920-2006) was a hefty, two-time Oscar-winning actress who appeared in Show K16, City on Fire.
Flames R Us.
A reference to the toy chain Toys “R” Us. It was started by Charles Lazarus as Children’s Supermart in 1948. In 1957, Lazarus shifted the focus of his store away from baby furniture and toward toys and opened the first Toys “R” Us in Rockville, Maryland.
Movie on Fire.
A reference to Show K16, City on Fire.
I said a Bud Light.
A reference to a 1980s-era advertisement for Bud Light, the light beer made by Anheuser-Busch.