111: Moon Zero Two
by Trey Yeatts
Hey, the cartoon has landed.
“Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed” was astronaut Neil Armstrong’s first non-technical transmission back to Earth once the Apollo 11 Lunar Module landed upon the Moon.
Is this a Pink Panther movie?
The Pink Panther movies starred comedian Peter Sellers as the bumbling Inspector Jacques Clouseau (the titular “Pink Panther” is a large pink diamond that is the center of the plot of the first film and appears in several of the others). Sellers eventually starred in five Pink Panther movies; several others were made after his death in 1980. The credit sequences for the movies featured a cartoon panther. The response to the character was so positive it was given 124 animated shorts, ten television series, and several prime-time specials. He has also been licensed to sell insulation and promote breast cancer awareness.
No. I think it’s a NASA simulation, kinda like?
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration was established in 1958 when it took over from its predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), amidst alarm over the Soviet launch of Sputnik. NASA has overseen every mission to space authorized by the U.S. government, including the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, and Space Shuttle missions, as well as more than a thousand unmanned probes sent to various other worlds and into deep space.
Hey, is this Petulia [sic] Clark singing?
Petula Clark is an English singer who had her biggest hit in 1964 with “Downtown.” Clark also had hits such as “I Know a Place,” “A Sign of the Times,” and “Don’t Sleep in the Subway.” She was also an actress, appearing in 1969’s Goodbye, Mr. Chips. “Downtown” was written by Tony Hatch and hit number 1 in the U.S., number 2 in the U.K., and topped several other charts around the world. It has since been covered by artists such as Dolly Parton and The B-52’s.
Titles by Mrs. Reedy's third grade.
Joel Hodgson's nursery school teacher was Mrs. Reedy.
You look like Goldie Hawn on Laugh-In. Except for the hair. –And the body.
Goldie Hawn is an actress who has starred in many films, including Private Benjamin, Foul Play, and Cactus Flower (for which she won an Oscar). Before that, she played the “quirky, dim blonde” stereotype to the hilt on the 1968-1973 sketch comedy show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, where she was known both for her trademark giggle and for her way of filling out a skimpy bikini.
Hey, it’s ‘60s glasnost.
Mikhail Gorbachev was the general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991, just before the USSR collapsed; his term was marked by a desire for more openness (“glasnost”), which eventually led to greater freedoms for the Soviet people.
Hey, that’s Old Glory he just ... aw …
“Old Glory” is a nickname for the American flag first coined in the 1820s by William Driver, a U.S. ship captain. The name was originally for his personal flag, which is now on display at the Smithsonian Institution.
Are those the Blue Meanies?
Blue Meanies are the antagonists in the Beatles film Yellow Submarine, who hate music and, essentially, anything good and fun.
[Imitating.] Oh, that’d be wrong, Paul.
The 1968 animated film features the music and animated likenesses of The Beatles (Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr) but not their voices, which were performed by other actors. (The Beatles appear as themselves in a live-action epilogue.)
[Imitating.] I’ve got a hole in me pocket.
In one scene, the “Nowhere Man,” Jeremy, is kidnapped and taken to the Sea of Holes; one of these holes ends up in Ringo’s pocket.
Hey, it’s Donald Trump. He’s chasing the good guys away. That doesn’t make sense. –It makes perfect sense.
As a New York City real estate mogul, Donald Trump hit it big in the 1980s with the construction of mammoth buildings such as the Trump Tower (built in 1983). In the early 1990s, he ran into severe financial problems but had rebounded by the end of the decade. Since then, he’s become a reality TV star, conservative pundit, and pop-culture punch line, often thanks to his oddly artificial hairstyle. After a particularly contentious presidential campaign in 2016, during which he ran as the Republican candidate, Trump was elected 45th president of the United States.
Ah, Houston, I just spotted an animated cartoon on the surface of the Moon. [Radio static sound] Come in?
The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (née Manned Spacecraft Center) in Houston, Texas, is NASA’s flight control station for missions once the rockets have cleared the launch tower in Florida. It opened in 1961 and has provided in-flight operational guidance to all manned NASA missions since Gemini 4.
It’s an orbiting Garden Weasel. And an orbiting space ferret. (Laughs) Space ferret. Get it?
The Garden Weasel is a gardening tool that has been advertised on television for years (it was introduced in 1976). It is a cultivator designed to break up soil and root up weeds, preparing the ground for planting.
He’s got the Nintendo Power Glove there.
Nintendo is a Japanese company founded in 1889 (!) by Fusajiro Yamauchi to make playing cards. The name entered the American consciousness when their Nintendo Entertainment System—a video gaming platform—was sold in North America in 1985. The Nintendo Power Glove was an NES controller first sold in 1989. It re-created hand movements on screen, but it was criticized for its clumsiness and difficult controls. It didn’t sell at all well, but that didn’t stop the hype. That same year, the Fred Savage film The Wizard, which was financed by Nintendo, featured a Power Glove that bestowed god-like powers on all who wielded it. The movie didn’t do too well either, earning only $14 million in its U.S. release.
Darn those space coons. They got into the garbage again. Honey, we’re getting those Rubbermaid cans. This isn’t going to happen again. I’m not going in for this.
Rubbermaid was founded in 1920 in Ohio by a group of businessmen and named Wooster Rubber Company. They originally sold balloons. In 1933, James Caldwell received a patent for his rubber dustpan and branded it Rubbermaid. Wooster and Rubbermaid merged the following year. Today, they are known for their sturdy garbage and food storage containers.
Maynard Ferguson’s out there somewhere.
Maynard Ferguson (1928-2006) was a Canadian jazz musician noted for his trumpet work and his stint with Stan Kenton’s orchestra.
Sorta seems like a waste of cargo space to bring along a conga band.
The conga is a style of Cuban music (and an accompanying dance) introduced to the United States by Desi Arnaz in the late 1930s.
Darn coons in my rickin’-frackin’-soomin’-hoomin’ ...
An imitation of how Looney Tunes mainstay Yosemite Sam swears. The character was voiced by Mel Blanc.
Oh, he’s got VPL in a bad way.
“Visible panty line,” or VPL, refers to the outline of underwear visible through a woman’s clothing. The phrase appears to have originated within the military, and it was first printed in a 1967 novel about the Vietnam War. The term was popularized in the 1977 Woody Allen film Annie Hall.
Moon Control to Major Tom?
A reference to singer-songwriter/glam rock pioneer David Bowie’s 1969 hit single “Space Oddity.” It is best known for the lyrics referring to the failed mission of fictional astronaut Major Tom. As a result, the song is often colloquially named “Ground Control to Major Tom.” It was released five days before Apollo 11 launched and ten days before it landed on the Moon. Sample lyrics: “Ground Control to Major Tom/Commencing countdown, engines on/Check ignition and may God's love be with you.”
He’s got Playtex Living Elbows. Look at that.
Playtex is a brand name formerly associated with women’s garments but which now includes hygiene and infant care. The company was founded in 1932 and is named Playtex after “perforated latex”: their method of layering latex rubber with cloth. Since the 1950s, Playtex has made gloves, which were later branded “Playtex Living Gloves.” Coincidentally, Playtex made components for NASA spacesuits in the 1960s, including the one Neil Armstrong wore on the Moon.
Hey, look. There is a man in the Moon.
The image of the man in the Moon is formed by the lunar maria, ancient “seas” of dark basalt. There are various mythological explanations for his presence; medieval Christians believed he was Cain.
There’s a space Blue Light Special in quadrant B9.
Kmart is a discount store chain started in 1962 by Sebastian Kresge. They became famous for their “Blue Light Specials” in the 1990s: 15-minute deals announced over the store’s PA system. In 2002, the company filed for bankruptcy, in 2004 they merged with Sears, Roebuck & Company, and is now owned by Transform SR Brands LLC. It should be noted that the actual phrase referring to brothels is “Red Light District,” which originated in the late 1800s when brothels were marked by red-colored lamps.
I’m here for the Gumby wedding.
Animator Art Clokey created Gumby, the green, lopsided claymation figure, in 1955. The television show starring Gumby, Pokey, and friends aired original episodes for seven years, from 1956 to 1963. A Gumby short, “Robot Rumpus,” aired as part of Show 912, The Screaming Skull. Clokey also created Davey and Goliath for the Lutheran Church.
Test your love? Flaming! Great.
Penny arcade “Love Tester” machines have been around for more than a century. They involved depositing a coin in the slot and gripping a handle, then watching a sequence of lights flash and bells sound until one level of love was selected at random (levels ranged from something like “Blah” to “Hot Stuff”). Later machines became somewhat digital, and some models measured skin conductance to derive a more “scientific” conclusion.
Wow. It’s Castro.
Fidel Castro (1922-2016) was the longtime socialist leader of Cuba. After his revolutionary army took power from dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959, he began cutting rents for the poor, nationalizing industries, accepting aid from the Soviet Union, and in general getting up the nose of the stridently anti-communist United States. He stepped aside as Cuba’s president in 2008, handing the reins to his brother, Raúl.
Where’s the Armor All?
Armor All is a brand of auto care products started in 1972, which include cleaners, protectants, polishes, and more. The protectant is designed to keep vinyl, rubber, and plastic looking new.
Wow, did he get that shirt at a Molly Hatchet concert?
Molly Hatchet is a Southern rock band that formed in 1975; its hit albums include Flirtin’ with Disaster and Double Trouble Live. The Frank Frazetta painting on the cover of Molly Hatchet’s sophomore album Flirtin’ with Disaster depicts a gnarled, muscular warrior with enormous wings on either side of his helmet.
Thumbelina is the heroine of an 1835 fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, about a woman who wishes for a child and gets one about the size of a thumb—hence her name.
“I’m looking for Mister ...” Goodbar?
Looking for Mr. Goodbar is the name of a 1975 novel by Judith Rossner and a 1977 Oscar-nominated film about a murdered New York City schoolteacher. It was based on the 1973 murder of teacher Roseann Quinn, who was stabbed to death after she brought home a man she met in a bar. Mr. Goodbar itself is the name of a peanut-laden version of a Hershey bar, first introduced in 1925.
Oh, hi, Gumby.
See above note on Gumby.
Here, I don’t need it. I already have Pete Rose.
Pete Rose is considered one of the greatest baseball players ever to play the game, and his records (for hits, games played, at-bats, singles, and outs) still stand. He played for the Cincinnati Reds for most of his career, which lasted from 1963 to 1986. In the late 1980s, after he had retired, allegations swirled that Rose had bet on baseball games while still a player, specifically against his own team. (In 2004 Rose finally admitted to betting on his team, but adamantly denied he had ever bet against them.) He was placed on the permanent ineligibility list, the Reds cannot formally retire his number (14), and he cannot be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
They dress their stewardesses like Nazis.
The National Socialist German Workers’ Party, popularly known as the Nazi Party, was the fascist political party started by Anton Drexler in 1920 and led by Adolf Hitler from 1921 until 1945. The Nazis had many of their uniforms made by the company that eventually became high-fashion menswear designer Hugo Boss.
“Magazine?” Yes, it is.
A running gag on the short-lived 1982 absurdist comedy TV series Police Squad! : whenever Leslie Nielsen, who played Detective Frank Drebin, offered someone a cigarette, they would reply, “Yes, it is,” or "Yes, I know."
When did you join the guard? –[German accent.] Right after I turned in the Von Trapp family.
The Von Trapp Family Choir (or Trapp Family Singers) was an Austrian group of singers made up of a widower, his seven children, and Maria, a tutor who later became their stepmother. They escaped Austria during the Anschluss, the 1938 annexation of their country into Germany. Their story became the 1959 Rodgers & Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music, and later the famed 1965 film of the same name.
She looks like Dot Vader.
Dots is a type of gumdrop candy produced by Tootsie Roll Industries. They were first sold in 1945. Darth Vader was the primary villain in the original trilogy of Star Wars films. He began life as Anakin Skywalker, a student of Obi-Wan Kenobi who was corrupted by the Dark Side of the Force to become a Dark Lord of the Sith, second only to his master, Emperor Palpatine (a.k.a. Darth Sidious). The man in the suit was most often Welsh bodybuilder David Prowse; his voice was provided by James Earl Jones. In total, ten actors have played Darth Vader, including Sebastian Shaw (Return of the Jedi, when his mask is removed), C. Andrew Nelson (extra special edition footage), and Ben Burtt (the breathing).
“... told me you fly over to far side occasionally. I wondered if you know my brother ...” Gary Larson.
“The Far Side” is a comic created by Gary Larson that ran in nearly 2,000 newspapers at its peak. It was characterized by surrealistic humor, anthropomorphized characters (often cows), heavyset women with horn-rimmed glasses & beehive hairdos, cavemen, and many other staples. It lasted fifteen years, from 1980 to 1995. A 2019 revamp of "The Far Side's" online site began including occasional new material from Larson.
“That’s what the man said.” Don’t you listen to what the man says.
“Listen To What the Man Said” is a 1975 hit single by the rock group Wings, written by Paul and Linda McCartney. Sample lyrics: “And love is fine for all we know/For all we know, our love will grow/That's what the man said/So won't you listen to what the man said.”
Yeah, but on the good side, there’s no Howie Mandel.
Howie Mandel is a standup comedian and actor who was a regular on the TV series St. Elsewhere and later hosted the game show Deal or No Deal. He has been a judge on the reality/talent TV series America’s Got Talent since 2010.
In the future, bras will grow on the Moon. Cross my heart.
Playtex Cross Your Heart Bras is a line of brassieres made since the 1950s; in the 1970s buxom actress Jane Russell was their spokesperson.
Hey, it’s the original Space Mountain. What do you know? And look, the line’s still long.
Space Mountain is the name of Disney theme parks’ popular space-themed indoor roller coasters; the first opened in Walt Disney World in 1975. Some were retooled as “Hyperspace Mountains” after Disney bought Star Wars.
Crush it and flavor it, you’ve got a Slurpee.
Slurpee is the name of convenience store 7-Eleven’s brand of flavored ice drinks first sold in 1967. The Slurpee was not created by the chain. Instead, 7-Eleven licensed slushy drinks from the Icee Company and just changed the name. For real fun, check out the 45 single 7-Eleven gave out free with the purchase of a Slurpee in 1970, which was titled “Dance the Slurp.”
D-cups as far as the eye can see.
D-cup is a measurement of breast size dating back to 1932, when the A through D scale was created by S.H. Camp & Company. The largest breast size on record is 38KKK. Yeah, they’re fake. The largest natural breasts weigh in (literally) at 102ZZZ and 65 pounds. Each. The proud owner, Annie Hawkins-Turner, suffers from gigantomastia, a disorder affecting the breast connective tissue.
Yeah, yeah, sure. Don’t you have to go make some elfin cookies?
A reference to the Keebler Company, the largest U.S. cookie and cracker maker, founded in 1853 by Godfrey Keebler in Philadelphia. The Keebler Elves are a group of bakers introduced in ads in 1968; they have since become some of the most recognizable advertising icons in existence.
She looks like an Oompa-Loompa.
The Oompa-Loompas are diminutive men who work in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory and spontaneously burst into song at odd moments but with strangely appropriate lyrics and well-planned dance moves. They first appeared in Roald Dahl’s 1964 children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, where they were described as African pygmies. That didn’t go over well, so in later editions Dahl changed their appearance to white skin with golden hair. In the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, they were orange skinned with dark green hair (but white eyebrows); in the 2005 film, they were played by Deep Roy, a Kenyan-English actor of Indian descent.
It’s LEGO Moon Base.
In the late 1970s, LEGO began producing the Space series: a collection of bricks with an outer space theme. Sets included Rocket Base, Moon Landing, and more, but none specifically called “Moon Base.”
They’re wearing Othello game pieces on their head.
Reversi is a board game featuring discs that are colored white on one side and black on the reverse. It was invented in 1880s England. In the early 1970s, the game was produced in Japan and marketed as Othello, named after the Shakespearean play wherein the Moor Othello is in conflict with the Caucasian Iago. Pressman Toy Corporation makes the game in the United States.
Hey, it looks like Liza Minnelli and Lola Falana had a garage sale.
Liza Minnelli is a singer and actress. Daughter of Judy Garland, Minnelli is known for her starring role in Cabaret and many stints on Broadway. Lola Falana is a singer and actress discovered in the mid-1960s by Sammy Davis Jr., who gave her roles in several films, including A Man Called Adam. Throughout the 1970s, she hosted several variety specials and TV series, as well as co-starred in The New Bill Cosby Show. In the late 1970s she was the highest-paid female performer in Las Vegas.
Pampers punch? Ick.
Pampers are a brand of disposable diaper created in 1961 by Procter & Gamble researcher Vic Mills because he hated changing his new grandchild’s cloth diapers.
Pizza Time Theatre.
Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theatre was the original name for the pizza and games chain founded in 1977 by Nolan Bushnell (also the founder of Atari). As of 2009, there were 542 locations. After some financial woes in the 1980s, Pizza Time Theatre was bought by competitor Showbiz Pizza Place, which later changed the name of all their locations to Chuck E. Cheese’s. Due to the COVID pandemic, the chain declared bankruptcy in 2020.
Moon Zero Mostel.
Zero Mostel (1915-1977) was a stage and screen actor best known for his role in the 1968 film The Producers. He was blacklisted in the 1950s, thanks to his refusal to name names for the commie-hunters in the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). His career recovered starting in the late 1950s, and he starred on stage in Fiddler on the Roof and in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
Hairpieces by Alexander Calder.
Alexander Calder (1898-1976) was an artist best known for his colorful and elaborate mobiles.
L. Ron Hubbard? Old Mother Hubbard?
L. Ron Hubbard (1911-1986) was a writer known for his pulp fiction and the sci-fi tome Battlefield Earth. Throughout the 1940s and ‘50s, Hubbard had financial difficulties and told multiple people in the late ‘40s that the easiest way to make money was to start a religion. Less than ten years later, Scientology was born. “Old Mother Hubbard” is an English nursery rhyme first printed in 1805 about an elderly matron searching for a treat to appease her canine, only to find that his repertoire of tricks is nigh-inexhaustible.
Then I’m not gonna to be Community Chest any more.
Community Chest is one of two types of cards (the other being Chance) available in the board game Monopoly, drawn when the player’s token lands on the appropriate space. The cards were named after a charity called Community Chest, which was the original name for the United Way.
Fourth floor. Tyrannical tycoons. Loose women.
For many years, manually operated elevators in high-rise buildings required employees to work the lever. In department stores, the operator would often announce to the elevator’s passengers what products and services were available on each floor.
Works every time.
“It works every time” was an advertising slogan for Colt 45 Malt Liquor, associated with the brand’s ambassador, actor Billy Dee Williams, from 1986 to 1991. The ads were criticized for marketing high-alcohol malt liquor to low-income audiences, and for their implied message that Colt 45 helped to make women more sexually available. Nonetheless, the campaign was revived in 2016, featuring a 78 year old Williams.
I’m just wild about Harry.
“I’m Just Wild About Harry” is a song written by Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake for the 1921 musical Shuffle Along. At the time, it broke taboos about depicting romance between Black characters. In 1948, Harry Truman used it as his presidential campaign song. It was also used frequently in Warner Brothers’ Looney Tunes animated shorts.
An auto on the surface of the Moon? It’ll never work.
Possibly a reference to the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV), first deployed on the Moon's surface in 1971 during the Apollo 15 mission.
“Do you know asteroids, Mr. Kent?” Sure. I have Atari.
Asteroids was an arcade game that debuted in 1979 at the beginning of the arcade craze. It featured simple vector graphics: an arrowhead-shaped spaceship fires dots at small, medium, and large asteroids and the occasional UFO. It sold more than 70,000 units and earned approximately $500 million in quarters. Atari is the video game and consumer electronics brand founded by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney in 1972. The name came from the Japanese board game Go, in which “atari” means “to hit the target.” In 1977, they released the famed Atari 2600 (initially called the VCS: “Video Computer System”) and soon became the fastest-growing company in the United States. After the release of the Atari 5200 in 1982 came the Video Game Crash of 1983, wherein the market was saturated with often-inferior games and personal computers were on the rise. The company became splintered among its varied divisions and corporate maneuvering led to its demise in 1984. Various companies have purchased the brand and produced games with the name in the ensuing years.
Doesn’t he look like the head of KAOS? –Yeah, I was just thinking that. –Bernie Koppel? The guy from That Girl.
KAOS was the name of the evil organization on the 1965-1970 spy spoof series Get Smart. Siegfried, the Vice President in Charge of Public Relations and Terror at KAOS, was played by actor Bernie Kopell, who is best known as Dr. Adam Bricker on The Love Boat (1977-1986). He also played Jerry Bauman in the 1966-1971 ABC sitcom That Girl, which starred Marlo Thomas as a struggling actress in New York City.
“You mean crash it [an asteroid into the moon], and that’s against the law in a big way.” He’s right. Just ask John Landis.
John Landis is a director of such classic films as National Lampoon’s Animal House, The Blues Brothers, and An American Werewolf in London. This riff is a dark, dark reference to 1983’s Twilight Zone: The Movie, the first segment of which was directed by Landis. During filming of a Vietnam War-era sequence, a helicopter crashed, decapitating actor Vic Morrow and also killing the two child actors he was carrying. Landis and four others were charged with involuntary manslaughter but were acquitted in a jury trial. The parents of the children sued and ultimately settled out of court, as did Morrow’s children. The accident resulted in stricter safety measures and more stringent oversight of child labor in films in the state of California.
This is me, playing Breakout.
Breakout was an Atari game that debuted in 1976. It featured a controllable paddle at the bottom of the screen used to deflect a bouncing ball into a “wall” at the top of the screen to remove it brick by brick. Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, in their pre-Apple days, built a prototype of the game for Atari.
Is that Richard Kiel’s stupider brother?
Richard Kiel (1939-2014) was a seven-foot-tall actor best known for his role as the henchman Jaws in two James Bond films: The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979). MSTies know and adore him as the prehistoric caveman who just wants to be loved in Show 506, Eegah! and as the no-nonsense alien scientist “Dr. Kolos” who falls in love with a blind Earth girl in Show 420, The Human Duplicators. Kiel’s big-screen debut was a small part in Phantom Planet (1961), riffed in Show 902.
I love Sapphire. She’s great.
Probably a reference to Sapphire Stevens, wife of George “Kingfish” Stevens in the long-running radio, film, and TV series Amos ‘n’ Andy.
Well, that's my birthstone. I'll do it.
That means he was born in September. Also, he’s either a Virgo or a Libra.
Don Pardo, show him what he’ll win!
Don Pardo (1918-2014) was a longtime radio and television announcer whose career began in 1938. He first rose to fame as the original announcer of The Price Is Right from 1956 to 1963 and then as the announcer for the original version of Jeopardy! from 1964 to 1975. Beginning in 1975, he announced for NBC’s late-night sketch series Saturday Night Live for every season save one (1981-1982). He retired in 2004, but he continued to record his cast introductions from his home studio in Arizona until his death ten years later. He worked for NBC for 70 years.
Shhnoopers and Blahhbbers!
Snooper and Blabber is a short cartoon that appeared on The Quick Draw McGraw Show from 1959 to 1962. Super Snooper (cat) and Blabber Mouse (mouse) were sleuths voiced by Daws Butler; Blabber spoke with a speech impediment, thus Josh’s impersonation.
Oh, thank you, Vidal Sassoon. [Imitating.] I don’t look good, and you don’t look good.
An imitation of Vidal Sassoon (1928-2012), a British hairstylist who created influential hairstyles, including the revival of 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. “If you don’t look good, we don’t look good” was their longtime ad slogan.
It’s her tribute to Bronko Nagurski.
Bronko Nagurski (1908-1990) was a professional football player and heavyweight wrestler in the 1930s, known for his intimidating size and brute force.
She was in Yards of Leather, I think.
Yards of Leather is the name of a bondage-centric pornographic film apparently devised by Best Brains, because I can’t find a real movie (porn or otherwise) by that title.
Looks like these guys got suited up for a foosball game.
Foosball is a table-top game set up like a game of soccer. Each rank of players is controlled by a metal rod that is pulled and spun to kick a small ball toward the opposing player’s goal. It was invented by Englishman Harold Searles Thornton in 1922; his initial mockup consisted of laying matches across the top of a matchbox.
You gotta marry her, Bill. She’s got the wedding bell blues.
“Wedding Bell Blues” is a song originally written and released by Laura Nyro in 1966. It didn’t go anywhere until it was covered by The 5th Dimension in 1969, when it became a number one hit. Sample lyrics: “Come on and marry me Bill/I got the wedding bell blues.”
Up, up and away.
“Up, Up and Away” is a 1967 song also released by The 5th Dimension; it reached the top ten.
[Accent.] Hokay, Meester Fawlty.
An imitation of Manuel (Andrew Sachs), the Spanish waiter in the Torquay, England, hotel Fawlty Towers in the classic BBC sitcom of the same name.
“What nationality is he?” He’s from Barcelona.
See previous note. Basil Fawlty (John Cleese) frequently excused Manuel’s failings to guests with this line.
“We’re all foreigners up here.” Some more than others.
In George Orwell’s 1945 allegorical novella Animal Farm, a group of farm animals seek to create a just and equal society, which doesn’t quite work out. One of their commandments, “All animals are equal,” is amended to “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
Slap in the road tape, dude, and get the JD from under the seat.
Jack Daniel’s (sometimes abbreviated as just “Jack” or “JD”) is a brand of Tennessee whiskey, first produced by founder Jack Daniel in 1875 (although the label claims 1866).
He travels with roller derby queens. It’s great.
Probably a reference to the 1973 Jim Croce song “Roller Derby Queen.” Roller derby is a sport in which teams of (usually female) players on roller skates compete to score points while racing around a track, either flat or banked. It began in the 1930s as a skating marathon and evolved into a popular sport that endured until the early 1970s. A 1971 match at the Oakland Coliseum drew a crowd of 38,000. Roller derby lay moribund for 30 years before being revived as a popular amateur sport. By 2009 there were more than four hundred amateur roller derby leagues worldwide.
Oh, it’s Esther Williams. She’s in a fish bowl.
Swimmer Esther Williams (1921-2013) went into acting after her hopes of competing in the 1940 Olympics were dashed by the outbreak of World War II. She became famous in a string of films in the 1940s and 1950s that featured elaborate aquatic musical numbers. She retired from acting in the 1960s and started a profitable line of women’s swimwear.
Then a sherry, medium dry.
Sherry is a fortified wine—meaning extra alcohol, usually in the form of brandy, is added—with origins in the Andalusia region of Spain.
Would you turn off Peter and the Wolf, please?
Peter and the Wolf is a 1936 music composition for children by Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953). In the story, Peter encounters a forest wolf that has eaten his duck friend; against his grandfather’s advice, he tricks the wolf and captures it in a trap. The piece is famous for its use of different instrumental leitmotifs for each character; the strings represent Peter, for instance, while the French horns play the Wolf.
The Importance of Being Earnest. That’s where I saw him.
The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People is a play, first produced in 1895, written by Oscar Wilde. It is generally considered his finest work. The play is a satirical farce that tells the story of two young men who have adopted lying as a way of life: one has invented an imaginary friend named Bunbury, who affords him an excuse to escape London for the country, and the other has invented a brother named Ernest who allows him to visit London to see his sweetheart. Hijinks, misunderstandings, and romantic liaisons ensue. The play has been adapted for film and television several times.
Gentleman Caller, actually. But these rockets, as I was saying ...
In Tennessee Williams’ play The Glass Menagerie, the character of Jim is Laura’s “gentleman caller.” (In fact, the original title of the play was The Gentleman Caller.)
There’s a sale at Penney’s.
A line from the 1980 comedy film Airplane! While air traffic control personnel are reading the papers for news of the stricken airplane’s woes, the manic Johnny (played by the late Stephen Stucker) peers over their shoulders and exclaims, “There’s a sale at Penney’s!” “Penney’s” is itself an abbreviation for the department store J.C. Penney, established in 1902 by James Cash Penney.
Hey, it’s Randolph Mantooth.
Randolph Mantooth is an actor best known for playing paramedic Johnny Gage in the NBC medical drama Emergency! (1972-1977).
Is that rayon they’re wearing? –Naugahyde!
Rayon is a manufactured fiber first produced in 1890s France as an alternative to silk. It is made by extracting cellulose from wood pulp. Naugahyde is a brand name of artificial leather made up of layers of knit fabric and plastic coating. It was first made in Naugatuck, Connecticut (hence the name), in the 1930s.
Hey, it’s Hee Haw: 1999.
Hee Haw was a syndicated country variety show hosted by Buck Owens and Roy Clark. The show featured cornpone humor and appearances by virtually every major star in country music, including Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Loretta Lynn. It ran from 1969-1992. The British syndicated sci-fi series Space: 1999 (1975-1977) was set on a moon base; it starred real-life couple Martin Landau and Barbara Bain.
Pretty soon they’ll get those big foam “we’re number one” hands.
The foam finger was invented by high school teacher Geral Fauss, who had the kids in his industrial arts class make plywood versions as a school fundraiser in 1978; he later founded Spirit Industries and sold foam hands commercially.
Anybody know where a guy can get some Armor All around here?
See above note on Armor All.
This looks like The Benny Hill Show.
The Benny Hill Show was a British sketch comedy series that ran in various forms between 1969 and 1991 in more than 140 countries. The series was characterized by risqué humor of the burlesque-show variety, high-speed chases set to bouncy music (most famously “Yakety Sax” by Boots Randolph), and lots of curvaceous women in skimpy bikinis.
Well, what was his handle?
“Handle” is CB radio slang for your nickname or call sign.
And an air freshener. You know, their rocket fuel contains no ethanol.
Ethanol is a form of alcohol that is frequently used as a fuel additive. Until corn subsidies and federal fuel guidelines forced the addition of ethanol to the fuel supply, many gas stations advertised their lack of ethanol because it can damage certain kinds of engines.
Hey, Buffalo Bob.
Buffalo Bob Smith (b. Robert Schmidt; 1917-1998) was the host of the NBC children’s series The Howdy Doody Show from 1947 until 1960.
Cheese it! It’s the gator babe.
“Cheese it!” (meaning “Quiet!” or “Stop it!”) first appeared in print in O. Henry’s 1908 book The Voice of the City, but it was being used in the 1800s in the United Kingdom. As to its origin, it may be a variant of the word “cease.”
Don’t rock ‘em sock ‘em us anymore.
Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots by Marx has been a popular kids' game since 1964. Two plastic robots, the Red Rocker and the Blue Bomber, duke it out in a boxing ring; a blow to the chin causes their head to pop up, winning the round. The game was invented by Chicago-based toy design firm Marvin Glass and Associates. In his prop-comic standup days, Joel would challenge hecklers to a round of Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots. After he won the match, he’d admit he’d cheated by gluing or taping his robot's head down.
Hey, it’s Major Kong!
Slim Pickens played Major T.J. “King” Kong, a character in the 1964 Cold War satire Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. His demise is one of the most famous climaxes in the history of film: he straddled a nuclear bomb and rode it, rodeo-style, from the plane all the way down to the Soviet target, thus launching World War III.
Is that what they call a crotch rocket?
“Crotch rocket” is a slang term for a sport motorcycle, usually of the annoying, high-pitched variety.
In space, no one can hear you yawn.
A paraphrase of the famous tagline for the 1979 film Alien: “In space no one can hear you scream.”
Get some tape while you’re at it, and bring me back a soda. Anything but Mr. Pibb.
Mr. Pibb is a soft drink manufactured by the Coca-Cola Company to compete with Dr Pepper. The drink was first produced in 1972 (under the name “Peppo”); however, in 2001, it was renamed Pibb Xtra and slightly reformulated with added cinnamon.
Don’t lose your happy thoughts.
In the book Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie, Peter tells the Darling children that thinking happy thoughts is the key to being able to fly, but he is lying; the real secret is fairy dust.
[Imitating Kermit.] It’s not easy being green.
Kermit the Frog is a Muppet created by Jim Henson for the Washington, D.C.-area television puppet show Sam and Friends in 1955. He was the host of The Muppet Show and the subsequent Muppet feature films, and he appeared frequently on Sesame Street. Kermit was voiced by Henson until Henson's death in 1990; Steve Whitmire has portrayed Kermit since then. “Bein’ Green” is a popular song Kermit has performed on Sesame Street and The Muppet Show. Big Bird sang it at Henson’s memorial service.
I’m curious, but yellow.
I Am Curious (Yellow) is an avant-garde 1967 Swedish film primarily about social change that led to landmark court proceedings in the United States regarding the definition of pornography: when it was shown in Boston in 1969 (after finally being released from Customs, where it had been seized), the police confiscated it as obscene, and the case got all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled the film could legally be shown. What caused all the fuss? Largely the scene in which Lena, the film’s female protagonist, gently kisses her lover’s flaccid penis.
[Imitating Fozzie.] Ah, frog and a bear, together again. Wocka, wocka, wocka!
Fozzie Bear (performed by Frank Oz until 2000; Eric Jacobson thereafter) is a Muppet comic who first appeared on The Muppet Show in 1976. “Wocka, wocka, wocka” is his catchphrase.
Where’s my Mr. Pibb, though?
See above note (even though Crow explicitly said, “Anything but Mr. Pibb.”).
Thirteen. –Eight. –Two million. – Forty nine. –One. –Three. –Five. –Hut, hut. –Seven. –Hut, hut!
In football, “hut” is often called by quarterbacks when initiating a play. It is believed that “hut” was woven into the game thanks to its use as an accent in military marches and orders (for example, “Atten-hut!”). Before “hut” became the standard, “hip,” “hup,” or any number of other monosyllabic interjections could have been used, depending on where you were. And before that, words like “hut” and “hip” were used to herd around domesticated animals, like sheep. Hmmmm ...
Eight six seven five three oh nine.
“867-5309 (Jenny)” was a 1982 top ten hit by Tommy Tutone. The phone number itself has caused headaches for people unfortunate enough to be assigned it ever since.
Space sounds by Chuck Mangione.
Chuck Mangione is a prolific horn player who had an international instrumental hit in 1978 with “Feels So Good.” He was also a recurring character on the animated sitcom King of the Hill.
Yahoo. A real yahoo.
The word “yahoo” originated in Jonathan Swift’s satirical novel Gulliver’s Travels, where it was the name of a race of brutish subhumans.
Wow. They’re so versatile. It’s kinda like Swan Lake A-Go Go.
Swan Lake is a Russian ballet composed by Pyotr Tchaikovsky in 1876 about a cursed princess. Also a reference to the infamous 1965 horror film Monster A-Go Go, dealt with in Show 421.
They made some extra cash by selling this set to Donny & Marie.
Donny & Marie was a variety show that aired on ABC from 1976 to 1979 and starred singing Mormon siblings Donny and Marie Osmond. The hosts were 18 and 16 years old when the show first aired.
“A double moonflower please.” In a dirty space tumbler!
In the 1945 Bob Hope and Bing Crosby “road picture” Road to Utopia, Hope and Crosby enter a saloon, trying to pass themselves off as tough guys. Hope orders a lemonade, then catches himself and adds “In a dirty glass!” (Thanks to Preemie Maboroshi for this reference.)
Is that Norm Crosby? –Or Crorm Nosby.
Norm Crosby is a Borscht Belt-style comedian known especially for his malapropisms, such as drinking “decapitated” coffee and speaking from his “diagram.” He made regular appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and other variety shows in the 1960s and ‘70s.
Space get-up works every time.
See above note on Colt 45.
He’s gonna have to file Chapter 13 with all those Moon drinks.
Under the United States Bankruptcy Code, a filing for Chapter 13, Title 11 means that an individual is allowed a court-guided plan to reorganize their debts. While this allows for debt consolidation, a Chapter 13 filing can cause problems for the person’s credit rating for seven years.
Hey, Florence Henderson hairdo. Looks like she did it with Wesson oil.
Florence Henderson (1934-2016) was an actress best known for playing quintessential mom Carol Brady on the TV sitcom The Brady Bunch (1969-1974). She was a spokesperson for Wesson from 1976 to 1996, a brand of vegetable oil widely available in supermarkets. It was first made by David Wesson in the 1890s and was the first commercially available all-vegetable shortening made from cottonseed oil.
“It’ll only be a three-day trip. I’ll be back in time.” That’s what the Skipper said.
Alan Hale Jr. (1918-1990) played the Skipper in the 1960s CBS sitcom Gilligan’s Island. The cast of Gilligan's Island were famously stranded after “a three-hour tour.” Hale also appeared in three movies riffed by MST3K: Show 106,The Crawling Hand; Show 622, Angels Revenge; and Show 810, The Giant Spider Invasion.
Hey, watch the Slush Puppie machine.
Slush Puppie is a brand of frozen treat sold in gas stations and convenience stores around the country. It is akin to snow cones, but there is a proprietary flavored syrup that is mixed with water and then frozen, producing the unique flavored ice pellets dispensed later on. They were first sold in 1970.
And always look like Dennis Hopper.
Dennis Hopper (1936-2010) was an actor known for his hippie ways and roles in Easy Rider (1969), Apocalypse Now (1979), and Blue Velvet (1986).
He gave him a snuggie. –In space, no one can hear a wedgie.
“Snuggie” here does not refer to the sleeved blankets that became popular around 2008-2009, but is an alternate term for a “wedgie,” the pulling of one’s underwear up and well into one’s crack. See note on Alien, above.
Look out, Big Bird!
Big Bird is a character on the classic children’s television show Sesame Street, which has aired on PBS since 1969. He is an eight-foot-two-inch yellow bird, sometimes described as a canary or golden condor. The character has been performed by Caroll Spinney since the series began, with apprentices filling in from time to time.
Oh, Magic Screen!
Magic Screen was the anthropomorphized rolling drawing board with the occasional psychedelic display that appeared on the CBS Saturday morning series Pee-wee’s Playhouse (1986-1990). Pee-wee Herman (Paul Reubens) would most often play “Connect the Dots” with Magic Screen by jumping inside it and playing with whatever construct Screen devised. It was voiced by Alison Mork.
Picked up the spare.
In bowling, two rolls of the ball are allowed to each player each frame. If on the first roll the player fails to knock down all of the pins but succeeds on the second roll, then that player scores a spare (as opposed to a strike: knocking them all down on one go). This means that the person has scored ten points for the frame, plus the number of pins knocked down on his or her next roll.
The Old West? In space, no one can art direct.
The “Old West” generally refers to the period in American history that took place in the second half of the 19th century, when the United States was completing its expansion to the Pacific coast. This was the era of wagon trains, frontier towns, cattle drives, outlaws, Indian raids, cowboys—all the Hollywood Western staples. See note on Alien, above.
Do you think this permanent wave is a good idea for my hair? –Looks like Big Boy.
Bob’s Big Boy is a California-based chain of diners started in 1936 by Bob Wian. The chain’s mascot is a chubby boy with a thick head of hair and spit curl wearing red and white checkered overalls while holding aloft a large burger. Wian modeled the mascot on a six-year-old regular customer, Richard Woodruff.
I said, “Bug Light.”
Anheuser-Busch ran ads in the 1980s in which someone would ask for a light; receive a flashlight, a lightbulb, a match, etc.; and respond with an exasperated “I said ‘Bud Light!’”
Your Odor-Eater. Thank you very much.
Odor-Eaters is the name for a line of foot hygiene products created by Herbert Lapidus in the early 1970s. The namesake invention is an insole made of latex and carbon to neutralize foot odors.
I'm afraid you’re over your credit limit. Do you have a Dr. Scholl’s pad on you?
Dr. Scholl’s is a foot care brand started in 1906 by podiatrist William Scholl.
Oh, man. She’s cherry, man. Sven put on some Thrush Glasspacks, man. He’s got some twin headers with a forty-four barrel. Screams. –The van’s pretty nice, too.
Thrush is a maker of automotive parts, primarily mufflers; the Glasspack is one particular muffler line they offer. They’ve been in business since 1966. “Twin headers” refers to two exhaust pipes coming off the engine. “Forty-four barrel” is the millimeter measurement of the carburetor system.
How do you like my new Moon sounds tape by Philip Glass?
Philip Glass is a minimalist composer known for his operas (Einstein on the Beach) as well as his film scores (Koyaanisqatsi, A Brief History of Time).
Yeah, I know! Let’s sing car songs! You know, like “The Wiener Man” song. Yeah ‘I know a Wiener Man/He owns a hot dog stand/He...’ Sorry. How 'bout another one?
“The Wiener Man” is a campfire song popular with scout-aged children. Sample lyrics: “I know a weiner man/He owns a weiner stand/He sells most anything from hot dogs on down/One day i'll join his life/I'll be his weiner wife/Hot dog, I love that weiner man.”
And so, they set out in the Wiener Car in search of the giant kielbasa.
An oblique reference to the Wienermobile, an advertising vehicle shaped like a hot dog on a bun, used to promote Oscar Mayer wieners. The first Wienermobile was made in 1936 by Oscar Mayer’s nephew, and they still exist in some form today.
Hey, there’s Jacques Cousteau.
Jacques Cousteau (1910-1997) was a French ocean explorer and co-developer of the Aqua-Lung. He wrote a number of popular books and produced numerous films about the world’s oceans and marine life. His heavily accented narration on the documentary television series The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau (syndicated, 1968-1975) has often been parodied.
[Sung.] I wanna be his wiener wife. –I wanna join his wiener life.
More lyrics from the aforementioned song “The Wiener Man,” also known as “Weenie Man.”
Hey, nice steps. Looks like they should have boxing gloves at the end of them.
A boxing glove on an extending metal arm is a common trope in comics and cartoons; it was one of the Joker’s standard weapons against Batman.
Looks like they’re kinda crawling out of the Tupperware orange.
Tupperware is a brand of plastic storage containers still sold at the “Tupperware parties” famous in the 1950s, in which a sales representative (usually a woman) makes her pitch to a group (again, usually women) gathered at someone’s home. They were first made in 1946.
They left their dome light on. Someone’s gonna have to get a jump start. Triple A’s even gonna charge them for that one.
Triple A, a.k.a. the American Automobile Association (AAA), is an organization providing roadside assistance and other travel services to its members (roughly 58 million at last count). It was founded in 1902 in Chicago, Illinois. Jump starts are included in the membership, but sometimes, if a member gets stuck in a particularly remote area, Triple A may charge an additional fee.
Oh, brother. Her brother lived in a Porta-Potty.
Porta-Potty is one of several brand names for portable toilets usually placed at outdoor events.
Wish I had me one of them plows. Could do driveways.
An imitation of actor George C. Scott (1927-1999) in his role as General Buck Turgidson in the 1964 Stanley Kubrick dark comedy Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Upon learning the Russians have a “doomsday machine,” Turgidson growls “Gee, I wish we had one of them doomsday machines.”
A setup like that is bound to scare off trick-or-treaters.
The Halloween practice of trick-or-treating—children going door-to-door dressed up and asking for food or candy—dates back to the Middle Ages, when it was called “souling.” In the modern era, it first appears in print in 1895 Scotland, where it was called “guising.” In 1911, it was mentioned in Alberta, Canada, and then in 1920, it was referred to in Chicago. Thanks to the “Baby Boom,” trick-or-treating caught on in neighborhoods across the U.S. after World War II.
Oh, him. He’s always there. It’s a space lawn jockey. Everyone’s got 'em at the end of their driveway.
A lawn jockey is a small statue of a Black man in horse-racing gear, holding a lantern. They are controversial and often seen as racist, but they are still made and sold.
See this? It’s his Nintendo. He would’ve wanted me to have it. Well, if he'd've known me. I’m keeping it.
The Nintendo Entertainment System was a home video game console that debuted in 1985. It revitalized and revolutionized the home gaming industry after the gluttonous crash of 1983 (a.k.a. “The Atari Debacle”). The NES was followed in 1990 by the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), the Nintendo 64 (N64) in 1996, the Nintendo GameCube in 2001, and the Nintendo Wii in 2006. Nintendo also produced the Gameboy (released in 1989) and the DS (released in 2004) portable gaming devices, two of the best-selling video game systems ever.
Oops. Looks like we’ve got company. It’s the unwelcome wagon.
Welcome Wagon International has been greeting new homeowners with a bundle of coupons and ads from local businesses since 1928. For more than fifty years the company employed “hostesses” that made the home visits in person; in the U.S. that ended in 1998, when the company bowed to changing demographics and acknowledged that with so many two-income families, there was often no one home to meet a hostess. Welcome Wagon Canada continues to use home visits.
They come in great flavors, too. There’s Raspberry Red, Burnt Umber, and, of course, Chartreuse.
“Raspberry Red,” “Lemony Yellow,” “Blueberry Blue,” and “Orangey Orange” were names for some of the original eight colors of Trix cereal, as mentioned in their advertisements. The cereal was introduced in 1954 by General Mills. Other colors that have been added to Trix cereal over the years: Grapity Purple, Banana Yellow, Strawberry Red, and Raspberry Blue. “Burnt Umber” is a dark orange-brown color. “Chartreuse” is a yellow-green color.
Is there a seven-second delay? Can I swear?
In radio and television broadcasting, during “live” shows, broadcasters often used a tape delay to prevent profanity from making it on the air and exposing them to hefty FCC fines. This delay is often referred to as a “seven-second delay.” Modern broadcasters now use a digital delay system, which, in the hands of a skilled operator, can cut out only the profanity, with no tell-tale silence or “bleeping.”
Works every time.
See above note on Colt 45.
Well, you got Lime Green. Just Raspberry Red and Lemon Yellow to go. –But remember: Trix are for kids.
“Trix are for kids” was the longtime tagline for the cereal, due to the constant quest of the animated Trix Rabbit (introduced in 1959) to get his paws on the cereal, only to be thwarted by meddling kids. See previous note on the cereal’s colors.
Hey, slippery guy, he’s playing possum. Told ya.
“Playing possum” is the idiomatic term for defense thanatosis, meaning pretending to be dead to protect oneself. The Virginia opossum is the best known example of this, but sometimes this defense ends up killing them when they play dead in front of an oncoming car. Poor, dumb animals.
Yeah, it’s got lawn attachments, a Blaupunkt stereo, factory air ... the works.
Blaupunkt (meaning “blue dot”) is a German manufacturer of high-end electronics founded in 1923.
What? Are they driving through Snack Canyon?
In the 1970s, Coca-Cola ran an animated ad in movie theaters in which a group of penguins discovered “Snack Canyon” and reveled in the delicious beverages they found there.
Boy, I must have the zactlies. My suit’s pretty steamy.
“Zactlies” is a bit of charming slang: after a night of drinking, one wakes up with a taste in one’s mouth (or a smell on one’s breath) that tastes (or smells) “zactly” like one’s, ahem, anus.
He asked her! He asked her! Boy, I wish I was him.
A likely reference to 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 (obviously false) nose. Once the doctor removes the plastic nose, he asks Luxury-Yacht if he’d like to go on a camping holiday with him and Luxury-Yacht exults, “He asked me! He asked me!” The last line is probably a riff on the TV drama Then Came Bronson, which aired from 1969-1970; it starred Michael Parks as Jim Bronson, a young man traveling across America. The Amazing Colossal Episode Guide’s list of the 50 Most Obscure References includes this exchange from the show: “Hey, where you going, man?” “Nowhere in particular.” “Man, I wish I was you.”
“What are you going to do now?” I’m going to Disney World.
In the 1980s, Disney ran an ad campaign asking athletes after a triumphant game what they were going to do next, to which they would declare, “I’m going to Disney World!” Disney World is a family resort in Orlando, Florida, that opened for business in 1971 and includes Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.
Suicide doors is a colloquial term for doors that open in the opposite direction of most car doors. Supposedly they earned their name due to the extreme danger they posed passengers if they popped open in transit.
The day the music died.
“The Day the Music Died” refers to the February 3, 1959, airplane crash that killed pop stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson. It was immortalized in the 1971 hit “American Pie” by Don McLean.
She just flopped down on that Formica.
Formica is a brand of heat-resistant plastic laminate developed by two Westinghouse engineers in 1912. They were trying to create an artificial replacement for the mineral mica, used in electrical insulation. Thus, the material was created “for mica.”
She’s really got sort of a Julie Andrews quality, doesn’t she? –Yeah, I think she got that skullcap from Thoroughly Modern Millie.
Julie Andrews is an English actress and singer best known for her roles in musicals such as Mary Poppins (1964) and The Sound of Music (1965). She also played the title role in 1967’s Thoroughly Modern Millie, a film about a flapper who sets out to marry her wealthy boss.
It’s a brand new car!
An imitation of any number of game shows, often The Price Is Right, wherein a new car was offered up as the ultimate prize for guessing how much a bottle of shampoo costs.
[German accent.] Hogan! I wouldn’t say any more about that if I were you.
An imitation of Colonel Wilhelm Klink, the inept commander of the German prison camp on the CBS sitcom Hogan’s Heroes (1965-1971); the part was played by Werner Klemperer (1920-2000).
Never trust a man with a collar made of Shinyl Vinyl.
Shinyl Vinyl was a line of no-wax floors produced by the Congoleum Corporation in the 1970s.
Even Raspberry Red?
See above note on Trix.
I’m sorry. I was dreaming about rabbits.
Probably a reference to the character Lennie Small in Of Mice and Men, a 1937 short novel by John Steinbeck. The strong but simple-minded Lennie has a love for soft things (especially rabbits) but doesn’t know his own strength, and ... let’s just say things go tragically awry.
Hey, are those French cuffs?
French cuffs are a style of extra-long shirt sleeve cuffs, usually regarded as formal wear and requiring cuff links to keep closed.
Bury my turtle hat at Wounded Knee.
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is a 1970 book by Dee Brown on the history of American Indians in the late 1800s. That period is characterized by the displacement of native peoples by herding them off their ancestral lands and the frequent use of force against them by the superior U.S. military. A prime example would be the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890 South Dakota, where 150 unarmed Sioux men, women, and children were killed by the U.S. Cavalry.
“When was the last time we abandoned a project without any profit?” Stonehenge.
That would make for about 45 centuries of continuous profitability, given Stonehenge’s construction date of between 3000 and 2000 BCE. Located in Wiltshire, England, the site is marked by dozens of huge, 50-ton stones. Modern theories on its purpose range from astronomical to religious.
Now, could someone get me a medium sherry. A nice one? Thank you.
See above note.
Should I make coffee, too, Mr. Hefner?
Hugh Hefner (1926-2017) was the founder of Playboy magazine and one of the last bastions of the 1960s bachelor lifestyle.
[Imitating.] Yes. [Snort.]
An brief imitation of the distinctive nasally voice of veteran character actor Peter Lorre, who specialized in playing weasly foreign bad guys in such classic noir films as The Maltese Falcon (1941) and Casablanca (1942).
Music to shoot thugs by.
Music to (Whatever) By is a style of album title dating back several decades—the best selling was probably 1966’s Music to Watch Girls By from The Bob Crewe Generation. Others include Music to Shave By, Music to Suffer By, Music to Strip By, and Music to Be Murdered By.
I can fly! I can fly! I’m the luckiest boy in the world!
In the 1981 HBO Special The Pee-wee Herman Show, created by Paul Reubens—which eventually led to the Emmy Award winning children’s show Pee-wee’s Playhouse (CBS, 1986-1990)—Pee-wee's greatest wish is to be able to fly. By the end of the show his wish is granted, and he’s seen flying (using deliberately cheap video effects) while declaring “I’m the luckiest boy in the world!”
[Imitating.] Klink, you idiot!
On Hogan’s Heroes, Col. Klink reported to General Burkhalter (played by Leon Askin), before whom Klink would typically be made to look like a fool by the POWs.
Works every time.
See above note on Colt 45.
Yah! Yee-ha! Yah! –Whooo!
See above note on Major Kong.
What’s that one song? –Oh, “The Wiener Man” song? –Yeah, how’s that go? –Oh, um ... –We have to get out of here. –“I wanna be your wiener man. I will be your wiener man.” –Yeah.
See above note on “The Wiener Man.”