105: The Corpse Vanishes
by Trey Yeatts
Another Republic serial?
Republic Pictures was a movie studio established in 1936, known primarily for producing hundreds of serials, including a bunch of Zorro and Lone Ranger serials, as well as the first superhero films ever made, though they did release several classic films (including Rio Grande and The Quiet Man). The studio went under in 1959, though the name was revived in 1986.
What’s that symbol mean over there? I always wondered that. –It means Gold’n Plump. –Gold’n Plump turkey? –Uh, yes. This is, in fact, a Gold’n Plump turkey of a movie.
Gold’n Plump is a Minnesota-based poultry processor founded in 1926. The symbol Joel is pointing to is the old MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) logo, created in 1922 to represent the business interests of the studios and distributors. For most of its existence, the MPAA has been known as the administrator of its oft-criticized ratings system.
It’s a Wham-O Magic Window.
The Wham-O Magic Window was a novelty produced from 1973 to 1979. It was a plastic oval that contained tiny white and colored crystals that flowed when turned without ever getting mixed together.
Evil Michelin Men continue to use the constant heat ray, which sounded like a Chevy horn.
The Michelin Man is an advertising figure for Michelin tires; designed in 1898, he is intended to look as if he is made out of a stack of tires. His given name is Bibendum, which first appeared in 1908. Want to know why he’s white? Before 1912, rubber tires were beige or grey-white. Modern tires are black because carbon is added to the rubber to strengthen them. Chevy is the short name for automaker Chevrolet. It was founded in 1911 and bought by General Motors in 1917.
Quick. Up this hill. Try not to look like Mr. Peanut. –Or Mister Salty. –Or Mr. Drip. –Or Mr. Bubble.
Mr. Peanut is the aristocratic advertising mascot of Planters snack foods. He is a stylized yellow peanut who was created by a schoolboy for a 1916 contest, although an artist later added the top hat, monocle, and cane. Mister Salty was a brand of thin pretzel stick snacks produced by Nabisco from the 1960s to the 1980s. The mascot was a twisted pretzel snack that wore a sailor’s cap. Created in Denmark during World War II for the Esso oil company, Drip and Drop were mascots shaped like oil drops. Drip (a.k.a. Mr. Drip) came to the United States in 1958 and was used for several years. Mr. Bubble, the ad mascot for the kids’ bubble bath, debuted in the late 1960s and has been used, almost unchanged, ever since.
Jim never drinks coffee on our home planet.
A reference to a series of commercials for Yuban coffee that aired in the 1970s, which dealt with insecure wives who didn’t understand why their husbands wanted a second cup of coffee at a neighbor’s house, but never at home.
Alien terrain supplied by Tyco.
Tyco Toys, famous for its H-O scale trains, was founded by John Tyler in 1926 (the name is a contraction of “Tyler Company”). Since 1997, Tyco has been a division of Mattel.
I’ll take that, Mr. Bond.
A reference to Ian Fleming’s iconic spy character, James Bond. Fleming got the name from the author of a book called Birds of the West Indies (he was an enthusiastic birdwatcher).
How come he doesn’t land on his head? –He knows better. –He’d stick there like a lawn dart.
Lawn darts (sometimes sold as javelin darts, compressed to just jarts) were outdoor toys that consisted of large metal-weighted darts with plastic fins. The object was to toss the darts into the sky so they would land within a plastic ring. Due to obvious safety concerns (one girl died; thousands were injured), the United States banned them in 1988. Canada followed suit in 1989.
Medic! Oh, looks like the Macy’s parade gone awry.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is an annual event dating back to 1924, when the department store first sponsored the procession. The parade is well known for their balloons of popular characters; however, the majestic procession of inflatables was downsized after a series of accidents and injuries in the 1990s. Today, the balloons are limited in size and must be kept lower to the ground.
Taking a lot of flak. –Kinda reminds me of Das Boot. –Das Moon Boot. –Yeah.
“Flak” is a term for anti-aircraft fire that comes from the German word “Fliegerabwehrkanonen.” By the 1960s it had come to metaphorically mean “criticism.” Das Boot (The Boat) is a 1981 film about the crew of a German U-boat during World War II. Moon Boots are a brand of Italian-made nylon snow boots, bearing the words “Moon Boot” in giant gaudy lettering. They come in lots of primary colors, which make them good for people who like to color-coordinate their winter garb. They run about $90 a pair.
A princess phone. How cute.
The princess phone was a compact telephone introduced by Bell Telephones in 1959. It was intended to be kept in the bedroom (to this end, it had a lighted dial that could be seen in the dark) and was marketed primarily to women in a range of attractive designer shades, including (of course) pink.
Set it for stun.
The phaser energy weapons used by the protagonists on Star Trek could be set either to stun or to kill. There were multiple stun settings, which led to disorientation at the lowest and prolonged unconsciousness at the highest.
Daddy, what’s Vietnam?
Ah, the 1980s. Without the Internet, people had to buy overpriced libraries of books from the Time-Life Company cataloging stretches of history. In a commercial for their History of the Vietnam War series, a father and son are at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., and the son asks, “Daddy, what’s Vietnam?” Buy the books and find out.
Set that on stun.
See previous note on phasers.
Can’t believe those thugs are taking orders from a guy dressed in spandex.
Spandex (also known as Lycra or elastane) was developed by DuPont’s Joseph Shivers in 1959. The name originates with the fiber’s elasticity: “Spandex” is an anagram of “expands.”
Walkie-talkie big enough, pal?
Walkie-talkie is the common term for a handheld transmitting and receiving radio. Invented in 1940 and produced by Motorola, “walkie-talkie” originally referred only to the backpack-mounted model. The first handheld transceivers were also produced by Motorola in 1940, but these were called “handie-talkies.” The “walkie-talkie” name stuck, however, and persists today in a myriad of different consumer products.
They’re at 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 Pyramid of Giza. It was created in 1974 by the art group Ant Farm.
Meanwhile, hundreds of miles away.
Variations of this phrase originated with cards inserted in silent films of the early 20th century. In westerns, this was often “Meanwhile, back at the ranch ...” Once audio became a common component, the phrase was still used by narrators in films, radio, and television shows. Most recently, it was used in the various Superfriends animated series of the late 1970s. Narrator Ted Knight would say, “Meanwhile, back at the Hall of Justice ...” or “Meanwhile, at the Legion of Doom ...”
Another good shot of me. I look like Gene Hackman.
In five decades, actor Gene Hackman was nominated for five Oscars; he won twice, for The French Connection (1971) and Unforgiven (1992). He also played Lex Luthor in the Christopher Reeve Superman films.
I just wanna read the article on Data.
Lieutenant Commander Data, played by Brent Spiner, was the pale-skinned android crew member on Star Trek: The Next Generation, which aired from 1987-1994.
Litterbug, litterbug. –Harelip, harelip.
“Harelip, harelip” is the punch line to a joke about a lonely guy who wants to meet women but is self-conscious about his wooden eye. (Thanks to Amy Kessler for this reference.)
A corpse is a horse, of corpse, of corpse.
A parody of the theme song to the 1961-1966 CBS sitcom Mister Ed, which was about a talking horse. The tune is based on a song by 19th-century composer Emile Waldteufel.
It’s the Little Rascals music again.
In the 1920s and 1930s, producer Hal Roach created a series of short comedy films about a group of poor neighborhood children, dubbed Our Gang. More than 220 shorts featuring 41 child actors were eventually produced. In the 1950s, many of the shorts were recycled for television and packaged under the name The Little Rascals.
Do the rabbit. –I can’t do that. –It looked more like Abe Lincoln.
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) was the sixteenth president of the United States, who guided the nation through the Civil War (1861-1865) and was assassinated shortly after its end by disgruntled Southerner John Wilkes Booth. You can make a shadow puppet of Lincoln, if you’re interested. You can also make JFK, Fidel Castro, and Charles De Gaulle.
Or Abe Vigoda, really.
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).
Wallace Fox. I’d like to hunt him down and skin him and make him into a little rug.
Wallace Fox (1895-1958) directed 84 films during his career, including this and a few entries in the “East Side Kids” series.
Whoa, must be the father of the bride. Gloomy Gus. –Sensitive guy.
Sure, you know what “Gloomy Gus” means, but do you know whence it came? Gloomy Gus was a character in the comic strip “Happy Hooligan” by funny page pioneer Frederick Burr Opper. It first appeared in print in 1904; contemporary to the strip, USC football coach Elmer Henderson (1889-1965) was nicknamed “Gloomy Gus” because he badmouthed the team’s prospects before every game. Oddly enough, he holds USC’s best career percentage: 45-7-0.
[Imitating Bela Lugosi.] Thank you. I love cake. Ooh, the frosting is delicious.
An imitation of Bela Lugosi (1882-1956), born Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó. The Hungarian actor is best known for playing Count Dracula, first in a Broadway play and then in the 1931 classic film. Lugosi was typecast in horror roles for many years, partly due to his accent, and toward the end of his life found a friend and employer in schlock director Ed Wood.
Wow, Life Savers. Thanks.
Life Savers is a brand of candy first made in 1912 by Ohioan Clarence Crane to provide a treat that could withstand heat better than chocolate. The first available flavor was peppermint, and a wide variety of flavors and even variations (including gummy) have been produced since then. Despite urban legend, the candy was not designed with a hole in the center to save the lives of choking children. Instead, they were designed to resemble lifebuoys: the rings found along the railings of sea vessels so they can be tossed to people who fall overboard.
And some Life Savers.
See previous note.
“I think you’re making much ado about nothing.” Hey, I thought Shakespeare wrote that.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was one of the most influential writers in English history. He wrote thirty-eight plays and hundreds of sonnets and poems. Thanks to his writings, whole genres of dramatic presentation were opened up and thousands of words and phrases coined. Much Ado About Nothing is a play written by Shakespeare in 1598; it s considered among his best comedies.
“I’ll remember those words, stooge.” –[Imitating Curly.] Woo-woo-wooo. Nyah, nyah, nyah.
An imitation of Curly Howard (b. Jerome Lester Horwitz; 1903-1952) of the Three Stooges. Curly was famous for his wide assortment of peculiar noises and sound effects.
[Sung.] I’m getting buried in the morning. Get it? “Buried.”
A corruption of the song “Get Me to the Church on Time” from the musical My Fair Lady. (It’s supposed to be “married,” not “buried.”)
He really is a stooge. –[Imitating Curly.] Woo-woo-woo.
See previous note on Curly Howard.
Keep your space cushion. Check your blind spot. Hands at ten and two.
Traditionally, drivers have been told to keep their hands at the ten o’clock and two o’clock positions on the steering wheel. Since airbags became common, however, some groups, such as the AAA, have recommended that drivers keep their hands lower on the wheel, at the nine and three or even eight and four positions, to keep their hands and arms from colliding with their face if the airbag deploys.
Five minutes, Mr. Lugosi. –[Imitating.] I’m going to jump out of this truck and scare the pants off everybody. Bleh!
See above note on Bela Lugosi. Incidentally, Lugosi never said “Bleh!” as Dracula. This appears to originate with comedian Gabriel Dell, who performed a popular Dracula impersonation on The Steve Allen Show.
Saturday Night Live ran a series of skits in its first season that parodied the then-recent film Jaws. The segments began with the familiar John Williams theme, followed by a ringing doorbell. The lady of the apartment would go to the door and ask who was there, and the person on the other side would mumble things like, “Candygram,” “Pizza delivery,” and so on, until the door was opened. That’s when Chevy Chase, in a foam shark suit, would lean inside and “eat” the resident. Occasionally, just to change things up, the shark would admit that it was, in fact, a land shark.
It’s Nelson Eddy.
Singer/actor Nelson Eddy (1901-1967) made a string of hit films with Jeanette MacDonald in the 1930s and ‘40s, including Naughty Marietta and Rose Marie. The latter film, about a Canadian Mountie searching for an escaped prisoner, became an iconic image of Mounties and the basis for later parodies like Dudley Do-Right. His best-known songs include “Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life” and “Indian Love Call.”
See previous note on the land shark. As for Candygram itself, it is a telegram service started by Western Union in the 1960s that operates by sending its messages along with a box of chocolates. Many other companies have operated using that name.
[Imitating Lugosi.] Now for my famous metamorphosis illusion. I enter the back of the hearse, no one’s looking and ...
See above note on Bela Lugosi. Metamorphosis is an illusion that is credited to John Nevil Maskelyne but was made famous by Harry Houdini. In metamorphosis, the assistant is chained and placed inside a locked trunk. In a quick motion, the magician lifts a curtain in front of him, and the two seem to instantly trade places. It is a stunning illusion.
See previous note on the land shark.
Ponch, Jon, follow ‘em.
CHiPs was a TV series about two motorcycle cops with the California Highway Patrol, Officer Frank “Ponch” Poncherello (Erik Estrada) and Officer Jon Baker (Larry Wilcox). It aired from 1977 to 1983.
That wouldn’t happen if he had Thrush pipes on it, I'm sure of it.
Thrush is a maker of automotive parts, primarily mufflers. It's been in business since 1966.
Meanwhile, back at the Addams Family home.
See above note on “Meanwhile …” The Addams Family is a group of eccentric and macabre characters created by cartoonist Charles Addams in 1938. They were popularized in an eponymous ABC television series from 1964 to 1966, several animated series, a sequel live-action series, and a few live-action films. The Addams Family house first appeared in the cartoons, where it was a condemned wreck. In the ‘60s TV series, it was more of a mansion, located at 0001 Cemetery Lane.
Oh, that must be Stanley, their garage door opener. Always trying to help people do things right.
The longtime advertising slogan of Stanley Works, now Stanley Black & Decker, is “Stanley helps you do things right.” The company was founded in 1843.
Hey, there’s Billy Barty and Cloris Leachman.
Billy Barty (1924-2000), who plays the imp in Show 806, The Undead, was a prolific actor who also crusaded for societal acceptance of little people. He founded Little People of America in 1957 to work toward that goal. He appeared in more than eighty films and TV series during his lengthy career. The actor here, however, is Angelo Rossitto, who also appeared in Tod Browning’s classic Freaks. Cloris Leachman is an actress who has won many awards (an Oscar for The Last Picture Show) and many memories, thanks to her roles on TV (The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Phyllis) and in film (Young Frankenstein).
It’s a soapbox racer.
So-called soapbox racers were first made in the early 1930s by children who attached wheels to empty soapboxes and orange crates and used gravity to propel themselves downhill. The races continue to this day, more organized, and the vehicles are made from plastic and fiberglass.
Here comes Meals on Wheels.
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.
She’s practicing for her role as Camille.
Camille is a Parisian courtesan, created by Alexandre Dumas, who nobly dies of consumption for the good of her aristocratic lover. The work was adapted for the big screen several times throughout the silent movie era, culminating in an Academy Award-winning version starring Greta Garbo in 1936.
You know, it’s not just for breakfast anymore.
The phrase “It’s not just for breakfast anymore” is a slogan for the Florida Orange Juice Growers Association.
Love-ly, love-ly. Love-ly, love-ly.
An imitation of the “Necktie Killer,” played by Barry Foster, in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1972 film Frenzy.
When a hunchback comes along ... –You must whip him. –He’s playing with your corpse. –Unless you whip him. –He will not go away ... –You must whip him. –Whip him. Whip your hunchback.
An extensive parody of Devo’s 1980 hit single “Whip It.”
Or Saran Wrap? –Or Tupperware?
Saran is a thin, transparent polymer best known for its usage in Saran Wrap, the clingy and clear film used to cover foodstuffs. It was invented in 1933 and originally used as a spray to weatherproof fighter planes. Saran Wrap came along in 1949. Tupperware is a brand of plastic storage containers that are traditionally sold at “Tupperware parties,” in which a sales representative (usually a woman) makes her pitch to a group (again, usually women) gathered at someone’s home. The single mom who came up with the strategy was made Tupperware’s VP of marketing. They were first manufactured in 1946.
Next time we play TV tag.
In this variation on the classic game of freeze tag, a player becomes “unfrozen” when another player touches them and says the title of a TV show.
“He lives up at Brookdale now.” He lives at a mall?
Brookdale Center was a shopping mall in suburban Minneapolis. It opened in 1962 and closed in 2010 after years of decline.
Something stupid this way comes.
A parody of a line spoken by the second witch in William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth. The actual line is “By the pricking of my thumbs,/Something wicked this way comes.”
[Sung.] I’m a little teacup, short and stout. Hey. Boss! The plane! The plane! I mean, the babe! The babe!
“The Teapot Song” was written in 1939 by George Harold Sanders and Clarence Z. Kelley. Kelley ran a dance school for children and used the song to teach his younger students pantomime. Hervé Villechaize (1943-1993) was a midget actor who became famous for the line “De plane! De plane!” on the TV show Fantasy Island, which he appeared on from 1978-1983. He became depressed and worked very little after leaving the series, ultimately killing himself in 1993.
I think you have to be under 43 inches to ride on that ride.
Most roller coasters and many other theme park rides have signs posted stating the height (and, sometimes, weight) requirements to be allowed entrance to the attraction. The limitations are for safety reasons: riders must be of a certain size to fit the restraints properly or risk being thrown from the ride. In July 2011 an Iraq War veteran lost his life on a roller coaster in New York; he was a double amputee and was missing both legs, and thus fell well under the height restriction. He was allowed to go up anyway, and fell to his death.
But she’s got a ticket to ride. –She don’t care.
“She’s got a ticket to ride, and she don’t care” is a line from the 1965 Beatles hit “Ticket to Ride.”
It’s an E ticket though, and you know how short those E ticket rides are.
Disney theme parks used to have “E tickets” or “E coupons” that gave ticket holders access to the newest or most popular attractions. The system was abandoned in 1982.
Think we’ll see Stanley? –No, I think it's Genie, the garage door opener.
The Genie Company is a maker of automatic garage door openers, which they first produced in 1954.
He used to play at the Ice Capades.
Ice Capades was a touring entertainment company that created theatrical productions centered around ice skating. Shows often featured retired Olympic champions and officially licensed characters from various popular TV shows and movies. In 1940, the first shows began in Hershey, Pennsylvania. It went out of business in 1995.
“We have nothing to fear.” –But fear itself.
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” is a famous line from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first inaugural speech in March 1933.
[Sung.] The weather started getting rough ...
A line from the theme song to the 1964-1967 sitcom Gilligan’s Island.
[Imitating Lugosi.] She’s got legs and she knows how to use them.
A line from the 1983 hit single “Legs” by ZZ Top.
I think she’s looking for the other two Andrews Sisters. –Patty and Maxene?
The Andrews Sisters was a swing and harmony group that sold 75 million albums in a forty-year span. Their most famous song was “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” (recorded in January 1941, before the United States’ entry into World War II). The sisters were LaVerne (1911-1967), Maxene (1916-1995), and Patty (1918-2013).
People rarely walk out on International Coffees.
General Foods International Coffees is a line of flavored instant coffee first released in the 1970s. It fully entered the pop consciousness thanks to a series of ads in the late 1980s with two women reminiscing about a French waiter … what was his name … Jean-Luc!
Doc. Dopey. Sneezy.
These are three of Snow White’s seven diminutive companions in the 1937 animated Disney film. The other four are Bashful, Grumpy, Happy, and Sleepy. In the original Grimms’ fairy tale, Snow White’s seven dwarves are unnamed. Other names considered for the Disney version: Jumpy, Hickey, Baldy, Gabby, Lazy, Tubby, and Burpy.
I’ve got to go back here to talk to the Lion and the Witch.
A reference to the C.S. Lewis allegorical fantasy novel The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, published in 1950 as the first in the Chronicles of Narnia series.
She awakes with the worst breath of the day.
“They wake with the worst breath of the day” is a line from a series of Scope mouthwash commercials that ran in the 1970s.
Night of the Living Shadows.
A play on George Romero's 1968 zombie classic Night of the Living Dead.
You might say she's dressing for distress.
A likely reference to the 1975 best-selling book Dress for Success by John T. Molloy.
Dr. Denton? –Dr. Scholl? Dr Pepper?
Dr. Denton’s was a brand eponym for sleeper pajamas for much of the 20th century. They were manufactured by Michigan Central Woolen Company in 1865 and designed by Whitney Denton (not a doctor—they added “Dr.” to the name to imply educated endorsement). Once the product took off, the company changed its name to Dr. Denton Sleeping Garment Mills. That company no longer exists, but the product name has changed hands several times. Dr. Scholl’s is a foot care brand started in 1906 by podiatrist William Scholl. Dr Pepper is a soft drink manufactured by the Dr Pepper/Seven Up corporation. It was first introduced in 1885.
“A horrible-looking creature.” Oh that's just Stanley. The gnarled but loveable garage door opener.
Stanley no longer makes garage door openers; they sold the rights to a company that then filed for bankruptcy in 2001.
I got a bad feeling about this, Joel. I got a sense there’s a long basement scene coming up.
“I have a bad feeling about this” is a phrase that has appeared (with some variation) in every Star Wars film thus far.
Here’s the cast of Carnival Story.
Carnival Story is a 1954 film with the tag line, “The story of a woman’s shame!” It’s about a female pickpocket who becomes ensnared in the machinations of a carnival barker.
Little leg of the dog that bit him.
The saying “hair of the dog that bit you,” meaning have a drink to cure a hangover, comes from the belief that you could cure rabies with a potion containing fur from the rabid dog.
Character actor Burgess Meredith.
Oliver Burgess Meredith (1907-1997) was a notable American actor. His best-known role was as Mickey “Mick” Goldmill, Rocky Balboa’s trainer in the series of Rocky movies starring Sylvester Stallone.
[Imitating Vidal Sassoon.] Now, I would do something completely different. You see, teasing the hair takes protein out. Using Protein 21 religiously helps put back some of the protein that shampooing takes out. It’s one heck of a shampoo.
An imitation of Vidal Sassoon, a British hairstylist who brought back the bob in the 1960s and developed hair care products that were sold by Procter & Gamble beginning in the early 1980s. He often appeared in ads for his products.
[Imitating Lugosi.] That felt great. Now I clean up with a little Lava ... –Real lava.
Lava soap is a heavy-duty hand cleaner originally developed by the Waltke Company in 1893. Currently, it’s manufactured by WD-40. The soap contains ground pumice to act as an abrasive in cleaning the skin.
We gotta go. Carry me back to the ol’ Satellite, Joel.
“Carry Me Back to Old Virginny” was written by African-American musician James Bland in 1878 and is about a former slave who struggles in the post-Civil War economy. It was Virginia’s state song until 1997, when it was retired because the lyrics were deemed offensive (specifically, the word “darkey”).
This was no boating accident.
A paraphrased line from the 1975 film Jaws, spoken by Richard Dreyfuss’ character, Dr. Matt Hooper: “This was no boat accident!”
Yeah, like the little wiener between the fingers trick.
Also known as the floating finger illusion, this is caused by your brain trying to force two overlapping images from your eyes to correspond, and getting it wrong.
Nah, she writes for “Cappy Dick.”
“Cappy Dick’s Young Hobby Club” was a comic strip created by Robert Cleveland that featured puzzles, riddles, and games for children. There were also several books published by “Cappy,” most of which had titles like The Stay at Home Children’s Book.
Thank you, Shecky.
Shecky Greene is a comedian known for his nightclub standup act, mostly in Las Vegas.
“And I saw a dead man, too.” [All.] And his hair was perfect.
A line from Warren Zevon’s 1978 hit song “Werewolves of London.”
And now, right here in our very office, a talented young doctor, please welcome ...
An imitation of TV pioneer and entertainment impresario Ed Sullivan (1901-1974), host of The Ed Sullivan Show, a vaudeville-like showcase that was must-see TV from 1948 to 1971 (though it was titled Toast of the Town until 1955) on CBS. A former entertainment columnist, Sullivan was notably lacking in charisma or stage presence, and along with poor posture (“What the hell is wrong with his neck?” was a common question), he had a retinue of stilted and hackneyed phrases he used to promote or introduce acts. Among them: “Right here, on this very stage …”
Cigars, cigarettes, Tiparillos.
A reference to a Tiparillo TV commercial from the 1960s (back in the bad old days when they still let you advertise smokes on TV), in which a cigarette girl like the one in the film circulates through a swank nightclub, cooing, “Cigars, cigarettes, Tiparillos?” Tiparillos were short, thin cigars with a plastic tip. They were first produced in 1962 by the Alabama-based General Cigar Company. Cigarette girls were a fixture of restaurants, clubs, and casinos in the early to mid-20th century. They usually sported tiny skirts, tiny hats, and a large rack ... containing various products, hung around their necks by a strap.
[Imitating Lugosi.] A date that will live in infamy.
Another FDR quote, this one from his December 8, 1941, address to Congress asking for a declaration of war, the day after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.
Cloris Leachman, ladies and gentlemen. Give her a big hand. Cloris Leachman.
See above note.
Hey, it’s Lee Harvey Oswald, you guys. Oh, they nabbed him.
Lee Harvey Oswald (1939-1963) was the man who, on November 22, 1963, shot and killed President John F. Kennedy with a sniper rifle in Dallas, Texas. He was arrested in a movie theater about an hour later, and was killed two days after his arrest by local nightclub owner Jack Ruby.
It’s the Notre Dame fight song.
The University of Notre Dame du Lac (usually just Notre Dame) is a Catholic university located near South Bend, Indiana. It was founded in 1842. Their sports teams are known as the Fighting Irish, and their fight song is titled “Victory March.” It was written in 1908 by brothers and alumni Michael and John Shea. The tune is copyrighted by the university, but many other schools use it for their own sports teams.
He asked me!
A line from the ending of a Monty Python’s Flying Circus sketch (“Cosmetic Surgery”), wherein Mr. Raymond Luxury-Yacht (pronounced “Throatwobbler Mangrove” and played by Graham Chapman) sees a plastic surgeon (played by John Cleese) about his enormous nose. Once the doctor points out that the nose is actually false, he invites Luxury-Yacht to come on a romantic camping holiday with him, and Luxury-Yacht joyously exclaims, “He asked me! He asked me!”
It's the sleeper and that's a legal submission hold.
“Sleeper hold” is the name given to a type of chokehold, most often used in wrestling, that knocks out the opponent.
Everyone on stage for the big Cossack number. Five minutes.
In entertainment, the Cossack ethnic group native to the Ukraine and southern Russia is known for their crouched, high-kicking dance, called the hopak.
There’s that Laurel & Hardy music again.
Laurel & Hardy was a comedy team that produced a string of classic shorts and feature films from the 1920s through the mid-1940s. The stout Oliver Hardy (1892-1957) played a childish, bossy, fussy character opposite Stan Laurel’s (1890-1965) thin, gentle incompetent. “The Dance of the Cuckoos,” composed by Marvin Hatley, was used as the theme song for most of the comedy duos’ films.
Cloris is the only one left.
See above note. Cloris Leachman appeared in three Mel Brooks comedies: Young Frankenstein, High Anxiety, and History of the World Part I.
Turn off the Little Rascals music, too.
See above note. The song “Good Old Days,” written by Leroy Shield and used for both the Our Gang and Little Rascals films, was first used in the 1930 Our Gang short Teacher’s Pet.
Hey, Cloris. What's up? Oh, yikes!
See above note. In 2008, Leachman became the oldest competitor on Dancing with the Stars. She was 82 at the time.
Due to the nature of this film, no one will be admitted during the tragic punching scenes.
Advertisements for Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic Psycho used the slogan “No one … BUT NO ONE … will be admitted to the theatre after the start of each performance!” The phrase was copied frequently in ensuing years, often by campy horror director and producer William Castle.
[Imitating the end notes of the Three Stooges theme.]
An imitation of the “Three Blind Mice” music frequently used in the Columbia Pictures The Three Stooges shorts released from 1934 to 1959 (some shorts used variations and even different themes altogether).