415: The Beatniks

by Wyn Hilty

Why, Bill never eats my plaster cake at home.
A reference to an old series of commercials for Folger’s crystals, in which a woman muses to herself, “He never has a second cup at home”—referring to her husband’s sudden inexplicable enthusiasm for coffee.

“Mrs. Harvey.” She’s a big rabbit, you see …
Harvey is a 1950 movie starring Jimmy Stewart as a man with an invisible friend: Harvey the six-foot rabbit.

Hey, it’s Daddy-O!
A reference to Show 307, Daddy-O.

It’s diamonds on my windshield and tears from heaven. I’m pulling into town on the interstate, Pulling a steel train …
Several lines from the Tom Waits song “Diamonds on My Windshield.” Sample lyrics: “Pulling into town on the interstate/Pulling a steel train in the rain/The wind bites my cheek through the wing/Fast flying, freeway driving/Always makes me sing …”

Ed Wood!
Ed Wood Jr. (1924-1978) was a legendarily bad film director; several of his movies were made into MST3K episodes, including Show 613, The Sinister Urge, and Show 423, Bride of the Monster.

Oh, no, they’re gonna do kabuki theater!
Kabuki is a traditional form of Japanese theater that combines singing, dancing, and mime into a highly stylized art form. Actors (all kabuki performers are male) wear spectacular costumes and elaborate makeup.

Let's do some crimes!
"Let's go do some crimes, man" is a line from the 1984 film Repo Man, starring Emilio Estevez and Harry Dean Stanton. (Thanks to Michael Grutchfield for this reference.)

I want a new Ray Stevens tape.
Ray Stevens is a musician/comedian known for his novelty songs such as “The Streak” and “Ahab the Arab.”

They robbed Paul Wellstone.
Paul Wellstone was a senator from Minnesota, considered one of the only progressives in the U.S. Senate. He spent his political capital on causes like affordable health care, family leave, and farmers’ concerns. In 2002 he, his wife, and his daughter were killed in a plane crash.

Hey, did you get me a Zagnut?
Zagnut is a brand of candy bar consisting of peanut butter covered with coconut. It is manufactured by Hershey’s.

The Boatniks! Okay!
The Boatniks (1970) is a film comedy about three inept jewel thieves.

Where’s Joe Flynn?
Joe Flynn (1924-1974) was a comic actor who was best known for playing Captain Wallace Binghamton in the TV show McHale’s Navy, which aired from 1962-1966.

Travis Bickle? Sometimes I wish the rain would come down and wash away all the scum of the city.
Travis Bickle, played by Robert De Niro, is the eponymous antihero of the 1976 film Taxi Driver: a bitter, mentally unstable Vietnam vet. One of the famous lines from the film is “Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets.”

Sandra Bernhard.
Comedian Sandra Bernhard is an actress and writer who is to some extent famous for being famous. She has appeared in a number of movies (including The King of Comedy and Hudson Hawk) and had a well-publicized friendship with Madonna. She also appeared for several seasons on Roseanne.

Drink your bottle of A.1. and shut up.
A.1. is a brand of steak sauce manufactured by Kraft Foods.

Well, let’s see … three Twinkies, a Mars Bar …
Twinkies are a yellow, cream-filled snack cake manufactured by Hostess. Mars Bars are a type of candy bar consisting of caramel, nougat and almonds coated in chocolate; they are manufactured by Mars Inc.

Now I’ve got to call Toots Shor.
Toots Shor was the owner of the eponymously named restaurant, the place to see and be seen in New York City in the 1940s. Baseball greats, entertainers and other celebrities frequented the place. Shor did not manage his money well, however, and died penniless in 1977.

She’s one of the Snoop sisters.
The Snoop Sisters was a 1972 TV movie starring Helen Hayes and Mildred Natwick as two mystery writers who find themselves trying to solve the real-life murder of a former Hollywood star.

Just one fun-size Snickers?
Snickers is a brand of candy bar consisting of peanuts, nougat, caramel, and chocolate. It was first sold in 1930.

Don’t play Maureen McGovern.
Maureen McGovern is a singer best known for her performance of “The Morning After” from The Poseidon Adventure.

It’s gonna be a Strauss waltz, okay?
Johann Strauss the Younger (1825-1899) was an Austrian composer known especially for his waltzes, of which “The Blue Danube” is the most famous.

[Sung.] Rock candy baby, you’re mine.
A reference to Show 307, Daddy-O.

Oscar Wilde.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was a Victorian poet and playwright best known for his stage comedies Lady Windermere’s Fan and The Importance of Being Earnest, as well as for his legendary wit. Wilde was one of the central figures in the Aesthetic movement of the late 19th century, which emphasized the importance of beauty and art. Although he had a wife and children, he was accused of sodomy over his close friendship with Lord Alfred Douglas and sentenced to two years of hard labor. He died a few years after his release from prison in 1897.

“With a crazy chick.” Who? Frances Farmer?
Frances Farmer (1913-1970) was a glamorous actress who appeared in a number of movies during the 1930s. However, she had a notorious temper, an abrasive personality, and a problem with alcohol. During the 1940s she was repeatedly hospitalized for mental illness, although in retrospect it is unclear just how mentally ill she was.

Shipoopi, shipoopi, shipoopi!
A reference to the song “Shipoopi” from the musical The Music Man. Sample lyrics: “Shipoopi, Shipoopi, Shipoopi/The girl is hard to get/Shipoopi, Shipoopi, Shipoopi/But you can win her yet.”

“Don’t cry for me.” Argentina.
“Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina” is a song from the musical Evita, about the life of Eva Peron. Sample lyrics: “Don't cry for me Argentina/The truth is I never left you/All through my wild days/My mad existence/I kept my promise/Don't keep your distance …”

You know, he sold more records than Elvis or the Beatles.
Elvis Presley (1935-1977), the King of Rock and Roll, was one of the most popular musicians from the 1950s until his death in the late 1970s. He was a teen idol in the late 1950s, helped usher in the era of rock and roll, became a movie star, created an enormous and opulent home at Graceland in Memphis, developed problems with drug abuse, and finally died of a heart attack at the age of 42. The Beatles were a staggeringly influential British rock band, consisting of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. They produced a lengthy string of number one hits, inspired countless bands, caused riots among female teenage fans, annoyed the Establishment and generally set the stage for the rock & roll revolution of the 1960s.

“Get in touch with Morrissey, and …” Tell him to stop crying.
Morrissey was the lead singer for British post-punk band The Smiths. After that band broke up, he went on to have a very successful solo career.

Sing Sing.
Sing Sing is one of the most notorious prisons in America, constructed during the 19th century and founded on a philosophy of isolation and repression. It is located in Ossining, New York.

I represent Jackson Pollock, Jasper Johns …
Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) was an American painter known for his famous “drip” technique that he used to create his best-known works. Jasper Johns is one of the most respected artists of the second half of the 20th century, whose paintings of flags, targets and maps rocketed him to the top of the art scene in the late 1950s.

Meanwhile, at the same time, at the Gotham City Bank …
An imitation of the announcer from the 1966 TV series Batman, starring Adam West. The role was voiced by executive producer William Dozier.

[Sung.] Dick Van Dyke Show theme.
This is the theme to The Dick Van Dyke Show, a TV sitcom that aired from 1961-1966.

Oh, he’s the Satch of the group.
Legendary jazz trumpeter Louis Armstrong was nicknamed “Satchmo,” short for “Satchelmouth,” which may have referred to his infectious grin or to the way his cheeks blew up when he played.

I … am … Iron … Man …
This is the opening line to “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath, off their 1972 album Paranoid.

All right, you’re going to go into that A&P and you’re going to tell the lady what you took.
A&P is a supermarket chain located mainly in the Northeast.

“Thanks, Helen.” For making us laugh about love again.
“Thank you, Neil Simon, for making us laugh at falling in love … again” was an advertising tagline for the 1977 film The Goodbye Girl.

Arthur Miller!
Arthur Miller (1915-2005) was an American playwright known for such classic works as Death of a Salesman and The Crucible.

[Sung.] A summer place …
A line from the theme from A Summer Place by Percy Faith & His Orchestra. Sample lyrics: “There's a summer place/Where it may rain or storm/Yet I'm safe and warm/For within that summer place/Your arms reach out to me/And my heart is free from all care …”

Good thing they’re shooting him from the waist up, huh?
When Elvis Presley appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, his energy and sexually suggestive moves shocked the audience; for his third and final appearance on the show, he was shot only from the waist up to spare Ed’s viewers the sight of his swiveling hips.

He kind of reminds me of the singing weatherman.
The Singing Weatherman was a character on The Muppet Show, a puppet variety show that aired from 1976-1981.

Inside Daisy Clover.
Inside Daisy Clover is a 1965 film about a teenager who yearns to be a Hollywood star. It starred Natalie Wood in the title role.

This is one from Ginsberg’s ballad years.
Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) was a poet and the founding father of the Beat movement, whose angst he expressed in works like “Howl.”

Next up: Geechy Guy.
Michael “Geechy Guy” Cathers is a standup comedian who got his start on Star Search, where he beat out fellow comedian Ray Romano. He is a regular in Las Vegas.

Death of a stage manager.
Probably a reference to the Arthur Miller play Death of a Salesman.

Larry Tate!
Larry Tate was a character on the television series Bewitched, which aired from 1964-1972. The role was played by actor David White (1916-1990). Tate was the neurotic boss of Darrin Stevens, who was played at various points by Dick York and Dick Sargent.

Yeah, just like It’s a Wonderful Life. Harry Bailey. Very funny.
It’s a Wonderful Life is a 1946 Frank Capra movie starring Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, a man who learns what life would have been like had he never existed. Harry Bailey is George’s younger brother; the part was played by Todd Karns.

Anjelica Huston!
Anjelica Huston is a stately actress known for her roles in such films as Prizzi’s Honor and The Grifters.

 “Helen.” Hayes? Gurley Brown? Keller? Wheels?
Helen Hayes (1900-1993) was an actress who appeared in a string of movies during the 1930s and went on to have a second successful run as an elderly actress in movies such as Candleshoe and The Snoop Sisters. Helen Gurley Brown was the editor in chief of Cosmopolitan magazine for 32 years, beginning in the 1960s. She also wrote a famous book called Sex and the Single Girl. Helen Keller (1880-1968) was a writer and educator who was deaf and blind. She ultimately learned to speak and graduated from Radcliffe College in 1904. She became a champion for the cause of educating physically disabled students. Helen Wheels wrote tunes for Blue Oyster Cult in the 1970s and also toured with her own band, the Helen Wheels Band.

Keith Moon, no!
Keith Moon (1946-1978) was the drummer for the rock band The Who. He died young after overdosing on anti-seizure medication.

Send up some more cream soda. And some Chuckles.
Chuckles are round, fruit-flavored jelly candy that come packaged in long, narrow trays. A vending-machine staple.

Sid and Nancy.
Sid Vicious (1957-1979) was a member of the English punk rock band the Sex Pistols. In 1978, he was charged with murdering his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, but died of an overdose before the case could come to trial. Their story was told in the 1986 film Sid and Nancy, starring Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb.

Oh, Hudson, Wisconsin?
Hudson, Wisconsin, is a small town just across the border from Minnesota. Population: about 9,000.

Domino’s.
Domino’s is a chain of pizza delivery stores located nationwide. It was founded in 1960.

No Magic Fingers for you, young man.
Magic Fingers is a contraption that makes a bed vibrate and is a staple of low-budget motels everywhere.

He’s the shakiest hotel manager in the west.
The Shakiest Gun in the West is a 1968 comic western starring Don Knotts as a dentist who unwittingly becomes a gunfighter.

The next John Byner.
John Byner is an actor and standup comedian known for his role as Detective Donahue on the TV series Soap.

Hey, my first hit record’s out already. Play me for me.
Play Misty for Me is a 1971 film starring Clint Eastwood as a DJ being stalked by an obsessed fan.

Felix, where’s the Eagle Snacks?
Eagle Snacks were a popular brand of snack food made in the 1980s by Anheuser-Busch.

He hit Big Jake!
A reference to Show 202, Sidehackers. (Thanks to Larry Ham for this reference.)

Hey, I was watching She’s the Sheriff!
She’s the Sheriff is a TV sitcom starring Suzanne Somers as Sheriff Hildy Granger. The show aired from 1987-1989.

Heinz 57 for me.
Heinz 57 is a brand of steak sauce. The number 57, immortalized in the Heinz slogan “57 varieties,” had mystical significance to the company’s founder.

Yeah, my name’s Jack Daniel's, all right?
Jack Daniel's is a brand of Tennessee whiskey.

He’s an evil Gilligan!
Gilligan was the hero of the TV sitcom Gilligan’s Island, which aired from 1964-1967. The role was played by Bob Denver.

“Someone’s coming.” I think it’s love.
A line from the Kenny Rogers song “Something Is Burning.” Sample lyrics: “Something's burning/Something's burning/Something's burning/And I think it's love.”

I think we’re here, Michael.
An imitation of K.I.T.T., the talking car from the TV show Knight Rider, which aired from 1982-1986. The car’s voice was supplied by William Daniels.

Suddenly it’s The Last Picture Show.
The Last Picture Show is a 1971 film about two teenagers in a small, dying Texas town after World War II.

Wipeout!
From the song “Wipe Out” by the Surfaris.

This is sort of a gender-bending Camille.
Camille is a 1936 movie starring Greta Garbo and Robert Taylor. Based on a novel by Alexandre Dumas, it tells the story of a courtesan in Paris who falls in love with a young man but leaves him in order to not ruin his life; in the end she falls into poverty and ill health but discovers that her lover still cares for her.

Have you ever had Spaghetti-Os?
Spaghetti-Os are a brand of canned spaghetti in tomato sauce popular with kids. They are manufactured by Campbells.

The famous Red Buttons death scene.
Red Buttons (1919-2006) was an old-style vaudeville comedian who got his start working the Borscht Belt and eventually had his own variety show, The Red Buttons Show, in the 1950s.

He’s got his holster on—he knows he’s going to the Big Valley.
The Big Valley was a television series that aired from 1965 to 1969. It starred veteran actress Barbara Stanwyck as the head of a ranch in 1870s California. Peter Breck, who plays Mooney in The Beatniks, played Stanwyck’s son Nick Barkley on the show.

Hey, he’s following a makeover in Glamour.
Glamour is a women’s fashion magazine .

There are a million stupid stories in the naked city, and this is the stupidest one.
A reference to the famous tag line from the TV series The Naked City: “There are eight million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them.”

[Sung.] Everybody’s talkin’ at me …
A line from the song “Everybody’s Talkin’” written and originally recorded in 1966 by Fred Neil. A 1969 version by Harry Nilsson became a Top 10 hit and won a Grammy Award after it was featured in the movie Midnight Cowboy. Sample lyrics: “Everybody’s talkin’ at me/I don't hear a word they’re sayin’/Only the echoes of my mind ...”

[Sung.] Stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive …
A line from the Bee Gees song “Stayin’ Alive” from the disco musical Saturday Night Fever (1977). Sample lyrics: “Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother/You’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive/Feel the city breakin’ and everybody shakin’/And we’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive …”

[Sung.] 867-5309 …
A line from the song “867-5309 (Jenny)” by Tommy Tutone. Sample lyrics: “Jenny I got your number/I need to make you mine/Jenny don't change your number/867-5309, 867-5309, 867-5309, 867-5309.”

Hudson 3-2700 …
Hudson 3-2700 was the phone number for Boushelle Carpet Cleaners, which advertised incessantly on Chicago television in the 1960s and 1970s.

General Boushelle.
General Boushelle Inc. is the current name of Boushelle Carpet Cleaners (see previous note).

[Sung.] I’ve been walking these streets so long …
A line from the song “Rhinestone Cowboy,” which was written by Larry Weiss and became a country and pop hit for Glen Campbell in 1975. Sample lyrics: “I've been walking these streets so long/Singing the same old song/I know every crack in these dirty sidewalks of Broadway/Where hustle is the name of the game/And nice guys get washed away like the snow and the rain.”

Kolchak, the night stalker.
Kolchak: The Night Stalker was a short-lived 1974 TV series starring Darren McGavin as reporter Carl Kolchak, who investigated supernatural occurrences in Chicago.

8:45. I was outside Frank Gannon’s house. He didn’t know I was there looking in.
The TV series Dragnet, which starred Jack Webb as Sergeant Joe Friday, had two separate runs. The first, which aired from 1951-1959, also starred Ben Alexander as sidekick Officer Frank Smith. The second incarnation (1967-1970) co-starred Harry Morgan as Officer Bill Gannon. So “Frank Gannon” is an amalgamation of Joe Friday’s two sidekicks. (Thanks to Thomas Mossman for explaining the whole exhausting sidekick mess.)

Does Janice Rossi live here?
A reference to a scene in the 1990 film Goodfellas, when Karen Hill (Lorraine Bracco) goes to the apartment building where her husband’s mistress, Janice Rossi (played by Gina Mastrogiacomo), lives and begins ringing all the tenants’ buzzers. (Thanks to John Stavrianos for this reference.)

Oh, Scientology.
Scientology is an “applied religious philosophy” created in 1952 by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard. The Church of Scientology positions itself as an alternative to psychiatry and claims Scientology can solve all sorts of mental health problems. The church has attracted its share of critics over the years, who say its claims are exaggerated and its methods unscrupulous.

[Sung.] The leader of the gang …
A paraphrase of the song “The Leader of the Pack” by the Shangri-Las. Sample lyrics: “Is she really going out with him?/Well, there she is, let’s ask her/Betty, is that Jimmy’s ring you’re wearing?”

General Hospital.
General Hospital is a forever-running soap opera that has been on the air since 1963. Several General Hospital shorts were done on MST3K, including one on this episode.
           
Mrs. Calabash.
“Good night, Mrs. Calabash—wherever you are” was the longtime catchphrase of comedian Jimmy Durante, who ended his shows with it.

L’il Abner!
“Li’l Abner” is a comic strip created by Al Capp, about a bunch of hillbillies. It first appeared in 1934.

Fantasygram.
I was unable to find a specific service called “Fantasygram,” but it appears to be a reference to that tasteful variation on the singing telegram, the “strippergram,” in which a victim’s friends pay to have a stripper show up at his home or office and put on a brief show.

Mystery guest, enter and sign in please.
A reference to the TV game show What’s My Line?, which aired from 1950-1967. On the show, the final round was always reserved for a “mystery guest,” who was a celebrity of some stripe, and who would enter and sign their name on a chalkboard (unseen by the contestants).

That’s it, see? See?
An imitation of actor Edward G. Robinson (1893-1973), who made a career out of playing gangsters and other toughs in films such as Little Caesar and Key Largo.

Ladies and gentlemen, Williams and Ree.
Williams and Ree, a.k.a. "The Indian and the White Guy," are a Midwestern comedy duo. (Thanks to Tanya Armstrong for this reference.)

Charles Whitman!
Charles Whitman (1941-1966) was a student at the University of Texas in Austin when, on the morning of August 1, 1966, he killed his wife and his mother, went to the bell tower on campus, and opened fire with a high-powered rifle. About an hour and a half later, police shot and killed him. Altogether, Whitman murdered 16 people and wounded 31 more. An autopsy revealed that Whitman had a brain tumor, but it is uncertain how much that contributed to his actions.

[Sung.] They really have a hold on you …
A reference to the song “You Really Got a Hold on Me” by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles; it was later covered  by the Beatles on their album With the Beatles. Sample lyrics: “Baby/I don't want you/But I need you/Don't wanna kiss you/But I need to/Oh, ho, ho you do me wrong now/My love is strong now/You've really got a hold on me …” (Thanks to superdeeduper51 for the Smokey Robinson reference.)

When you’re backed up by George Benson—wow!
George Benson is a jazz guitarist known for such compositions as “This Masquerade.”

He’s pals with that Meyer Lansky character.
Meyer Lansky (1902-1983) was a Jewish crime figure, the leader of a major crime syndicate that had major interests in gambling, including financing the development of Las Vegas. He was indicted but never convicted on a number of charges and wound up dying of lung cancer as an old and very rich man.

She looks like Donald Sutherland in drag.
Donald Sutherland is a blond actor who has appeared in such films as M*A*S*H and Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Tonight on Crossfire …
Crossfire is a political-affairs show in which four panelists get together to discuss/argue about the issues of the day. It first aired in 1982.

[Sung.] Batman theme.
This is the theme song to the campy TV series Batman, which aired from 1966-1968.

Just “Cathy.”
“Cathy” is a comic strip by Cathy Guisewite about a young woman who is perpetually overweight and eternally frazzled.

Read the super quiz, man.
“Isaac Asimov’s Super Quiz” is a syndicated newspaper feature consisting of various trivia questions, with a different theme every day.

They shoot horsefaces, don’t they?
They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? is a 1969 film about a group of contestants participating in a dance marathon.

This is the scene that got him the part in The Big Valley. Right here.
See note on The Big Valley, above.

Mannix.
Mannix was a television series starring Mike Connors as Joe Mannix, a private eye in Los Angeles who indulged in frequent car chases, shootouts, and fistfights. It aired from 1967-1975.

Oh, he hit Allan Sherman!
Allan Sherman (1924-1973) was a song parodist known best for his rendition of “Hello Muddah Hello Faddah.”

[Sung.] Meet George Jetson …
A line from the theme song to the animated television show The Jetsons, which aired from 1962-1963. Sample lyrics: “Meet George Jetson/His boy Elroy/Daughter Judy/Jane his wife.”

Hey, the medium is the message, jerk.
“The medium is the message” is an aphorism coined by media critic Marshall McLuhan, meaning that the form of a message (television, radio, print, etc.) determines the way in which that message will be perceived.

Hello dere!
“Hello dere!” is the catchphrase of standup comedian Marty Allen, half of the comedy team Allen and Rossi.

Helen Tracy telephone. Brought to you by Ken-L-Ration.
Ken-L-Ration is a brand of dog food.

He just signed the Hudson Brothers.
The Hudson Brothers were a pop group during the 1970s, consisting of siblings Bill, Mark, and Brett Hudson. Their more popular songs included “So You Are a Star” and “Rendezvous.” They also had a couple of short-lived TV variety shows during the mid-1970s.

Danny Aiello!
Danny Aiello is a burly actor who has appeared in such films as Moonstruck and Once Upon a Time in America.

Ovitz, I’m going to bury you …
From 1975-1995, Michael Ovitz was the founder and head of the Creative Artists Agency and one of the most powerful talent agents in Hollywood. In 1995 he left to become the president of Disney, a position he held for only 14 months before being dismissed.

Hey, you’re Paul Frees!
Paul Frees (1920-1986) was a well-known voiceover actor who supplied the voices for, among many others, the Pillsbury Doughboy and Boris Badenov. He was also the screenwriter for The Beatniks.

Well, they did say something about the La Brea Tar Pits.
The La Brea Tar Pits are a tourist attraction in Los Angeles, an open pit where asphalt bubbles to the surface from the large petroleum deposits under the LA Basin. The pits have proved a treasure trove of preserved fossils from the prehistoric era, including mammoths and saber-toothed cats.

In Dianetics.
Dianetics is a method for alleviating mental distress that was created by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard. It is closely associated with the Church of Scientology, also founded by Hubbard (see above note).

Let’s create this scene from Videodrome.
Videodrome is a 1983 film about a mysterious TV program that causes permanent brain damage in its viewers.

Hmm. National 2-9000.
National 2-9000 was the telephone number for Lincoln Carpets, a Chicago-based carpet company. It was prominently featured in their ads.

Left me fumbling with the blues … hey, baby …
A line from the Tom Waits song “Fumbling with the Blues.” Sample lyrics: “Friday left me fumblin' with the blues/And it's hard to win when you always lose/Because the nightspots spend your spirit/Beat your head against the wall …”

Hmm, this is Juicy Fruit.
Juicy Fruit is a brand of fruit-flavored chewing gum manufactured by Wrigley.

[Sung.] Meet George Jetson …
See note on The Jetsons, above.

The Ventures just drove by.
The Ventures were a rock instrumental group popular in the United States during the 1960s and in Europe and Japan during the 1970s and 1980s. They were known for such songs as “Walk-Don’t Run” and the theme to Hawaii Five-O.

Well, what do you know? It says right here that soup is good food.
“Soup is good food” is an old advertising slogan for Campbell’s soups.

Here, man. Read Erma Bombeck, man.
Erma Bombeck (1927-1996) was a humorist who had a popular syndicated newspaper column for decades.

I am not a punk, I’m a new romantic, all right?
The New Romantics were a musical movement that evolved in response to punk. They emphasized clubbing, glamour and fashion over the punks’ anarchism, spiky hair and grungy clothes.

And then we can ride Yoshi to the Mushroom Kingdom.
A reference to the video game Super Mario Bros. Yoshi were the race of intelligent dinosaurs that inhabited the Mushroom World; the Mushroom Kingdom was the gateway to the Mushroom World.

You know, this is how I imagine Dean Moriarty.
Dean Moriarty is the reckless hero of the Jack Kerouac beat novel On the Road.

Bernardo, no!
Possibly a reference to the musical West Side Story; Bernardo is the leader of the Sharks and the brother of heroine Maria. (Thanks to Jenny Grant for this reference.)

This one’s for Stella Adler.
Stella Adler (1901-1992) was the founder of an influential acting school, the Stella Adler Theater Studio (later renamed the Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting).

Well, Baretta or Toma should be here any minute.
Baretta is the New York undercover detective played by Robert Blake on the television show by the same name; it aired from 1975-1978. Toma (played by Tony Musante) was the titular character on the TV series Toma, which aired from 1973-1974. (Thanks to Kenneth Morgan for the Toma reference.)

[Sung.] Meet George Jetson … Jane his skirt …
See note on The Jetsons, above.

Morrissey was in this! No wonder it was so depressing.
See note on Morrissey, above.

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