K08: Gamera vs. Guiron

by Trey Yeatts

Night of the Kondo.
Night of the Condor is a book in the Nick Carter Killmaster series of spy novels. Coincidentally, a Harlequin romance novel written by Sara Craven uses this same title. It, too, was published in 1987.

I hear Don Ho did the music for this. –Don Ho-hum.
Don Ho (1930-2007) was a Hawaiian singer familiar to many through his regular gig at Duke’s nightclub in Waikiki, although he also appeared in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York, and elsewhere and released a number of albums.

And a Manwich is a meal.
An ad slogan from the 1970s for Hunt’s Manwich Sloppy Joe sauce.

It means we’re going to Disneyland. –To see Pluto.
Disneyland is a Disney theme park located in Anaheim, California. It first opened in 1955. Pluto is a Disney animated dog character that first appeared in 1930. Unlike his fellow canine Goofy, Pluto is not anthropomorphized.

I think it’s made by Tasco.
Tasco is a Florida-based manufacturer of optical equipment, including binoculars and telescopes.

It’s Zigra and he’s coming back!
Zigra was Gamera’s primary foe in Show K07, Gamera vs. Zigra.

Looks kinda like a flying Denny’s. –I hope they have a breakfast special.
Denny’s is a budget chain of restaurants found across the length and breadth of this fair land. It was founded in 1953 by Richard Jezak and Harold Butler as Danny’s Doughnuts in Lakewood, CA.

It’s the Robinson family.
John, Maureen, Judy, Penny, and Will Robinson were the main characters (along with Don West, Zachary Smith, and Robot) in the CBS TV series Lost in Space (1965-1968). The family unit itself was adopted from the 1812 novel The Swiss Family Robinson, written by Johann David Wyss.

Now it looks like a Howard Johnsons.
Howard Johnson is a chain of restaurants and hotels instantly recognizable from highways across the nation thanks to their distinctive orange roofs.

[Sung.] We’re having Beefaroni! It’s made from macaroni! We believe in Gamera! We believe in Gamera!
A paraphrase of the lyrics to an ‘80s commercial for the popular Chef Boyardee macaroni product: “We’re having Beefaroni! Beef and macaroni! Beefaroni’s full of meat, Beefaroni’s really neat, Beefaroni’s fun to eat, Hooray for Chef Boyardee!” As you can see, this served as the inspiration for the lyrics to Joel’s famed “Gamera” song.

Surrender Dorothy?
A reference to the famous skywriting sequence in The Wizard of Oz, in which the Wicked Witch spells out “Surrender Dorothy” with her broom in the sky.

Those damn meddling kids.
A reference to the animated TV series Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! (CBS/ABC, 1969-1978), which introduced the phrase “And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids” into pop culture.

Look at the eyebrows on that guy. He’s got Groucho Marx eyebrows. –I bet Groucho’s pissed. But he doesn’t need them anymore.
Groucho Marx (1890-1977) was an American comedian known for his rapier wit, glasses, cigar, and heavily painted eyebrows and moustache. He was considered the leader of the Marx Brothers, with whom he appeared in thirteen films. He later hosted the radio and television game show You Bet Your Life, without the exaggerated makeup, although he did grow a neat moustache of his own.

Kinda looks like a Chinese Pee-wee Herman. –Oh good. We need another one. –Pee-Li Herman.
Paul Reubens (1952-2023) was a comedian known for his child-adult persona of Pee-wee Herman. He starred in two movies in the 1980s, and in the Emmy Award-winning children’s TV series Pee-wee's Playhouse (CBS,1986-1990). Reubens later performed other roles in various movies and TV shows, but continued with the Pee-wee character, including in 2016 for the Netflix movie Pee-wee’s Big Holiday.

Kids say the darndest things, you know? –And in different languages.
Art Linkletter (1912-2010) was an entertainer who hosted the television variety series House Party from 1952-1969. At the end of each show, Linkletter would interview a child so the audience could laugh at its adorable utterances. In 1957, Linkletter wrote a book about his conversations with children titled Kids Say the Darndest Things. From 1998-2000, Linkletter co-hosted a show with comedian Bill Cosby also called Kids Say the Darndest Things; Cosby later produced his own collection of kids’ sayings under the same title.

Sounds like the Jeopardy! music.
Jeopardy! is a popular TV game show that has been on the air in various forms since 1964. More than 9,000 episodes have aired. The theme music (especially “Final Jeopardy”) is known the world over.

You should’ve phrased the movie in the form of a question.
On the television game show Jeopardy!, contestants are required to phrase their answers “in the form of a question.”

A killer rabbit. –It’s got fangs like this and a mean streak a mile wide.
These are paraphrases of lines from the 1974 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail regarding the Rabbit of Caerbannog.

Stop. Wait. Come back.
A line from the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

Hi, I’m Ron Howard and I’m in Grand Theft Spaceship.
Ron Howard, as an actor, is best known for his roles in The Andy Griffith Show (1960-1968) and Happy Days (1974-1980). The 1977 comedy-chase film Grand Theft Auto was Howard’s directorial debut. Since then, he has directed more than twenty films and been involved in dozens more in a production capacity.
They’re here.
A famous line from 1982’s Poltergeist, said by young Carol Anne to her parents as ghosts spoke to her through the TV.

[Sung.] He’s the one that’s full of spice. He’s the one that’s full of beef. He’s the one that’s really neat.
See note on Beefaroni, above.

[Sung.] It’s a small turtle, after all. It’s a small turtle after all.
A paraphrase of the lyrics to the song “It’s a Small World.” The song was commissioned by the Walt Disney Company for the 1964 New York World’s Fair (and the theme park ride of the same name that opened in 1966). Originally, the ride was supposed to play a cacophony of many national anthems, but Walt Disney told composers Robert and Richard Sherman to make one song to represent everyone.

We must have taken Evelyn Wood.
Evelyn Wood (1909-1995) was a teacher who developed a method of reading very quickly, which she dubbed “speed reading.” Unfortunately, subsequent studies have shown that while followers of Wood’s method do indeed read faster, their comprehension decreases proportionately.

Why are most of our viewers watching this on a Sony TV?
Sony Corporation is a consumer electronics company founded in 1946 and based in Japan. It is one of the largest corporations in the world.

Looks like a turtle pizza. –And pasta.
A reference to a commercial that MST3K stars Trace Beaulieu and Josh Weinstein did for one of the show’s first sponsors on KTMA-23, the Twin Cities restaurant Pizza & Pasta.

Looks like the Lego Moon Base.
Legos are a brand of children’s toy consisting of rectangular bricks that snap together to create almost anything: houses, cars, animals, people, etc. In the mid-1970s, Lego began producing the Space series: a collection of bricks with an outer space/astronaut theme. Various sets included Rocket Base, Moon Landing, Rocket Base, Command Base and more. (None was specifically called “Moon Base.”)

It looks like one of those magic crystal growing sets.
Often sold under the names Magic Rocks, Chemical Garden, Crystal Garden, etc., so-called “magic crystals” are sold with packets of multicolored metal salts and a pouch of sodium silicate solution. When mixed properly, the salts react with the solution and grow into “stalagmites” three to four inches tall (although often I found that the results didn’t match the package’s promise).

Would’ve worked, too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids.
See note on Scooby-Doo, above.

Oh no! It’s Gaos!
Gaos was Gamera’s foe in Show K06, Gamera vs. Gaos.

It’s amazing what you can do with a can of Kem-Tone Paint.
Kem-Tone was the first commercially successful water-based interior paint, introduced by Sherwin-Williams in 1941 due to the shortage of oil-based paints required for wartime production. It quickly became one of the best-selling paints in the United States.

It’s Bette Davis!
Bette Davis (1908-1989) was an Oscar-winning actress whose career spanned many decades; she was known for her dark, deep-set eyes and her sultry on-screen persona.

Looks kinda like an Eeyore on acid. –Yore on acid? –Eeyore on acid. From Winnie-the-Pooh? –From LSD Milne?
Eeyore is the melancholy stuffed donkey in the Winnie-the-Pooh books written by A.A. Milne.

[Sung.] Buffalo wings, will you come out tonight, come out tonight.
“Buffalo Gals” is an American song written in 1844 by blackface minstrel John Hodges.

It’s merely a flesh wound.
A line from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, from the scene in which King Arthur (Graham Chapman) faces off against the mysterious Black Knight (John Cleese).

I’m not dead yet!
A line from a different scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, in which a man is trying to dump his protesting elderly relative on the plague cart.

Oil can!
“Oil can!” are the first words said by the rusted Tin Man in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.

It’s a Ginsu monster. –It can cut through a tin can and still slice through Gaos like a hot knife through butter.
Ginsu Knives is a brand of cutlery marketed in endless television commercials during the 1970s and ‘80s. Nearly every commercial featured one of the knives cutting through an aluminum can and then immediately slicing into a delicate tomato. (Ironically, the “Japanese” knives were actually manufactured in Ohio.)

I don’t think we’re in Tokyo anymore, Toto.
A paraphrase of the line “Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore,” from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.

[Sung.] Everybody’s gone surfin’ ...
A line from the 1962 Beach Boys song “Surfin’ USA,” written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love.

It’s Allen Funt. –In another form.
Allen Funt (1914-1999) was the producer and host of the television series Candid Camera, which aired in various incarnations between 1948 and 1967. The basic premise of the show was to place unsuspecting people in embarrassing and bizarre situations and then film the wacky results. At the end of the ordeal, Funt would pop up with the cheery catchphrase “Smile! You’re on Candid Camera!” On a revived version of the show that aired in 1998, Funt’s son Peter acted as host.

We think the joke will be on them.
A line often used by Allen Funt in setting up clips in the aforementioned Candid Camera.

It was George Lucas’s Jawas without the hoods.
George Lucas is the director of the 1977 film Star Wars, and Jawas are the diminutive desert dwellers of Tatooine seen in that movie, known for their scrounging of droids and landspeeders.

Wonder if she can get HBO on that hat?
HBO (Home Box Office) is a premium cable channel in more than 150 countries. Primarily known for showing movies, HBO has also begun making original series in the past two decades to great acclaim. The birthdate of HBO is considered to be November 8, 1972, which is when proprietor Charles Dolan’s “Green Channel” underwent a name change with Time Life financial backing and began broadcasting over microwave towers.

I’ll take a UHF antenna to pick up TV 23. The big guy will like that.
UHF, meaning “Ultra High Frequency,” was the medium for many offbeat television stations in the heyday of broadcast television. Among these was the home of Mystery Science Theater 3000, KTMA-23. It signed on in 1982 as a pay-per-view service before becoming a traditional UHF station in 1987. “The big guy” would be KTMA’s then-general manager, Donald O’Connor, who filed for bankruptcy in 1989. By that time, MST3K had been shopped successfully to what was then called the Comedy Channel.

The cone of silence.
A reference to the spy spoof TV series Get Smart, which aired from 1965-1970. Whenever top-secret information had to be imparted, Maxwell Smart and his chief would lower the cone of silence over their heads, making it impossible for them to hear each other at all.

I want a Lassie movie.
Lassie was a hyperintelligent collie who starred in an eponymous TV series, which aired from 1954-1974, as well as a series of movies. She can be seen in Show 510, The Painted Hills.

A reference to the lead child in Show K05, Gamera.

Even a monster can change his tune. –I can name that monster in three movies. –Two movies. –Name that monster. –Gaos. –You got me.
Name That Tune was a popular game show that began on NBC Radio in 1952 before transitioning to television the following year. In it, contestants challenged each other to recognize a familiar song in as few notes as possible. The show aired off and on in both primetime and daytime formats until 1985.

Gamera’s just copying Puff the Magic Dragon.
“Puff the Magic Dragon” is a 1963 song by Peter, Paul & Mary. In 1978, it was made into a 30-minute live action/animated film that was followed later by two made-for-TV sequels.

Little Onkyo Paper loved that rascal Gamera.
A paraphrase of a line from “Puff the Magic Dragon” (see previous note): “Little Jackie Paper loved that rascal Puff.” Onkyo Corporation is a Japanese manufacturer of consumer electronics.

[Sung.] Kondo, Kondo, Kondo ...
“Quando, Quando, Quando” is a 1962 Italian pop song by Tony Renis and Alberto Testa. It was played by Murph & the Magictones in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers and sung by Bill Murray in the 1981 film Stripes. In case you’re wondering, the title translates as “When, When, When.”

She’s come from the Miss Hathaway school of glamour.
Jane Hathaway was secretary to scheming banker Milburn Drysdale on The Beverly Hillbillies, a TV sitcom that aired from 1962-1971. The role was played by Nancy Kulp (1921-1991).

The rich taste of brain.
A reference to an old slogan for Brim coffee: “Fill it to the rim with the rich taste of Brim.”

[Sung.] I’m singing in the brain ...
“Singin’ in the Rain” is a song written by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown and first performed in the 1929 Hollywood Music Box Revue. It was performed on film by Cliff Edwards, Jimmy Durante and Judy Garland before being immortalized by Gene Kelly in the 1952 film Singin’ in the Rain.

I bet Carl Sagan doesn’t like these films, either.
Carl Sagan (1934-1996) was an astronomer and the author of several books on popular science. He was also the host of the popular PBS science program Cosmos in 1980.

Like the witch in “Hansel & Gretel.” Fatten them up first.
“Hansel and Gretel” is a Germanic fairy tale recorded most famously by the Brothers Grimm. In the original story, a woodcutter beset by famine leads his children into the wilderness to die. Instead, the siblings become lost and find a house made of cake and bread. The home is owned by a hag who turns out to be cannibalistic witch. The children are captured and fed to fatten them up, but the children outsmart the witch, eventually tricking her into entering the oven herself to die.

And the couch turns into a Weber grill.
Weber is a brand of backyard grills; they make both charcoal and gas grills, but the rounded shape of their classic charcoal grill is the best known.

The new de-brainer by Ronco. Takes the brains out of any child. Them’s good eatin’.
Ronco is an American company best known for producing kitchen gadgets and marketing them on pervasive commercials and infomercials. Popular products include the Veg-O-Matic, the Pocket Fisherman and the Inside-the-Shell Electric Egg Scrambler. It was started by Ron Popeil in 1964.

Because parts is parts.
A reference to an ‘80s commercial for the fast-food chain Wendy’s. In it, employees at some “other” fast food restaurant asserted that their chicken was processed chicken parts cobbled together. “What kind of parts?” Doesn’t matter. Parts is parts.

Regular or extra crispy?
For decades, regular or extra crispy were your only two ordering options when procuring dinner from KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) fast-food restaurants.

Hard and crunchy on the outside. Soft and chewy on the inside.
This appears to be a slogan for some kind of candy bar, but it’s unclear which one.

There goes Mack the Knife-head.
“Mack the Knife” is a ballad written by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht for 1928’s Threepenny Opera. It tells the tale of a highwayman and his crimes. Popular versions were recorded by Louis Armstrong in 1956 and Bobby Darin in 1959.

Lawn darts!
Lawn darts (sometimes sold as Javelin Darts, compressed to just Jarts) were outdoor toys that consisted of large metal weighted darts and 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, the United States banned them from sale in 1988. Canada followed suit in 1989.

Thinks it’s a giant Rolo.
Small, caramel-filled chocolate candies, Rolos were first produced in 1937 in the U.K. by Mackintosh. In the U.S., they are currently made by Hershey.

Rich taste of snow.
See note about Brim, above.

Time to call the bathyscope. There’s one in France. I don’t think we can get it here in an hour, though.
A paraphrase of lines from Show K07, Gamera vs. Zigra.

Jerry Mathers!
Jerry Mathers is an American actor best known for his role in the TV series Leave It to Beaver (1957–1963).

Rub the Buddha.
Budai (colloquially known as the Fat or Laughing Buddha) is a Chinese folk deity that has been adopted into both Buddhist and Taoist traditions. Statues of Budai are not uncommon around the world, and tradition holds that rubbing the statue’s belly brings wealth and good luck.

The actress’s voice sounds like something from a Tide commercial: “I could not believe the way my clothes had come out.”
Tide is a brand of laundry detergent first introduced in 1943, when it quickly became the best-selling detergent in America. It is manufactured by Procter & Gamble.

I wouldn’t want to be a Japanese gyro. Not for no reason, not for no how.
A paraphrase of lines spoken by both the Emerald City’s palace guard and the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz. The original line by the palace guard is, “Orders are, nobody can see the Great Oz. Not nobody, not no how!”

There we are. Guiron the Reanimator.
Re-Animator is a 1985 horror film starring Jeffrey Combs as Herbert West, a man who discovers a reagent that brings the dead back to life. It was based on the 1922 short story “Herbert West—Reanimator,” by famed horror writer H.P. Lovecraft.

I wonder if he’s got other heads in his back. Like a Swiss Army Monster. –First he’d cut him up and then he’d fork him. –Yeah, there’d be a toothpick in there. –And he could fork himself.
A Swiss Army Knife is a tool resembling a standard pocket knife, though it carries many other devices, including scissors, a corkscrew, screwdrivers, etc. First produced in Switzerland in 1897, it was called “Offiziersmesser” (“Officer’s Knife”), and dubbed the “Swiss Army Knife” by American soldiers during World War II who had trouble pronouncing the name.

It’s a piledriver!
The piledriver is a professional wrestling maneuver wherein one wrestler turns the opponent upside-down and falls to the mat in a seated position, forcing the opponent’s head into the mat.

He got a bronze medal for this, didn’t he? In Munich?
In 1972, the Summer Olympics were held in Munich, Germany. The ceremonies were marred by an attack on the Israeli athletic delegation by a group of Palestinian terrorists. Eleven athletes were killed. When it comes to rewarding Olympic victors, bronze medals are awarded to athletes who place third.

The triple reverse. –Handstand. –The dismount. –The giant Tsukahara! –He didn’t do a release move. –The kids seemed to like it.
Mitsuo Tsukahara is a Japanese gymnast who has won five Olympic gold medals, one silver and three bronzes.

And that’s the name of that tune.
See note on Name That Tune, above.

Now I know how Fay Wray felt.
Fay Wray (1907-2004) was an actress best known for being the shrieking object of King Kong’s affections in 1933’s King Kong.

[Sung.] We believe in Gamera! Gamera is really neat! Gamera is filled with beef!
See note on Beefaroni, above.

[Sung.] Up, up and away! In my beautiful flying turtle.
“Up, Up and Away” is a song written by Jimmy Webb and recorded by The 5th Dimension in 1967. The original lyric is, “Up, up and away—in my beautiful balloon.”

What else is a giant, flying mutated, fire-spinning turtle gonna do ... –Get a job at McDonald’s. –True. Doing what? –Being the grill. They’ve hired worse.
McDonald’s is the world’s largest chain of hamburger-centric fast-food restaurants. The first restaurant was opened in 1940 by Richard and Maurice McDonald in San Bernardino, California.

I think they should carve him up and make sunglasses for Mount Rushmore. Just an idea.
Mount Rushmore is a mountain in the Black Hills of South Dakota that features the gigantic heads of four presidents, each about 60 feet high, carved out of the granite of the mountain: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt. Work on the memorial began in 1927 and was finished in 1941 under sculptor Gutzon Borglum.

They could tear him in two and make great big headphones for that giant chief Cherokee they’re building. –Crazy Horse? –Crazy Horse, yeah.
The Crazy Horse Memorial is a monument that has been under construction in the Black Hills of South Dakota since 1948. Crazy Horse himself was an Oglala Lakota warrior who waged war on the U.S. government in the 1870s and was involved in the Battle of Little Big Horn. Controversy has ensued over the monument because Crazy Horse never wanted to be photographed, and many claim that the idea of leveling a mountain to create an image of him is against the man’s ideals and spirit.

Gamera-mania! –Not the real flying turtle but an incredible simulation.
A paraphrase of the slogan for Beatlemania, a stage show that features four cast members impersonating the Beatles and playing their most famous songs. The slogan: “Not the Beatles, but an incredible simulation!”

Look, it’s Superman! No, it’s Underdog! No, it’s a plane!
Superman is the quintessential comic-book hero. He first appeared in Action Comics in 1938. Underdog was a superhero canine in a 1964-1973 animated series and a 2007 live action/CGI hybrid film. “It’s a plane!” is part of a classic Superman line from the opening to The Adventures of Superman radio serial that ran from 1940 to 1951 (“Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman!”).