K10: Cosmic Princess

by Trey Yeatts

Is it just me, or whenever I see that ITC sign you think of The Muppet Show? [Imitating Kermit the Frog.] It’s The Muppet Show with our very special guest star Fozzie Bear!
The Muppet Show was a television program created by puppeteer Jim Henson. It aired in the United States but was produced in the U.K. and ran from 1976-1981. The host of the show was Kermit the Frog (performed by Henson), and Fozzie the Bear (performed by Frank Oz) was a resident comic. The distributor of The Muppet Show and Space: 1999 was Incorporated Television Company (ITC), a British company that lasted from 1954-1998.

My God, they’re in the land of Dairy Queen.
A reference to an old advertising jingle for the Dairy Queen chain of restaurants: “In the land of Dairy Queen, we treat you right!” Commercials for the chain in the 1970s featured closeups of sundae toppings as though they were mountains.

Land of the Lost, lost, lost. –Just a routine expedition.
A portion of the lyrics to the Land of the Lost theme song from the 1974-1976 Saturday morning children’s sci-fi series.

[Sung.] Be-beee, ba-dee-deep. Titanium.
A paraphrase of the song “Mah Na Mah Na,” written by Piero Umiliani for the Italian film Sweden: Heaven and Hell. The song became known in the English-speaking world when it was performed by the Muppets on The Ed Sullivan Show and Sesame Street in 1969. In 1976, it was performed by the Muppets again on the premiere episode of The Muppet Show. The Muppet Show soundtrack album hit number one in 1977 largely due to this song’s popularity.

There’s one ball of titanium that’s not to be trifled with. –Trifle? –Truffles. Truffles. –Triffids?
The Day of the Triffids is a science fiction novel written by John Wyndham and published in 1951. In the story, aggressive and intelligent plants called Triffids take over the world. It has been adapted for film and television several times, most recently in 2009.

That’s no titanium ball. That’s a battlestation. –No, it’s a strange light coming off the planet.
A paraphrase of a line from the 1977 film Star Wars: “That’s no moon. It’s a space station.”

Maybe it’s just Mitch Miller in search of a song.
Mitch Miller (1911-2010) was a musician, producer, and record company executive. In the 1960s, he hosted the NBC TV show Sing Along With Mitch (1961-1966).

It’s Fido from The Prisoner, only he’s airborne.
In the 1967 cult British TV show The Prisoner, Rover (not Fido) was the white ball that prevented Patrick McGoohan’s character from escaping The Village.

It’s the Good Witch of the North. Are you a good witch or a bad witch?
Glinda was the Good Witch of the North in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. She was played by Billie Burke. “Are you a good witch or a bad witch?” was one of her first lines in the film.

[Sung.] In the land of Dairy Queen, we treat you right.
See note on Dairy Queen, above.

Who wants a Fudge Bomb?
A Fudge Bomb Pop is a brand of frozen confection-on-a-stick produced by Blue Bunny, consisting of a banana-flavored layer between two layers of fudge—a staple of ice-cream trucks everywhere.

That’s a Mr. Buster burger, buster burger bomb. –Really?
The Hunger-Buster Burger is a sandwich sold at Dairy Queen locations in Texas.

It’s Mr. French!
Mr. French (played by Sebastian Cabot) was the valet who helped his bachelor employer care for three orphans on the TV show Family Affair, which aired from 1966 to 1971.

The space ship Gillespie.
John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie (1917-1993) was a trumpet player, bandleader, and jazz singer. Gillespie was famous for using a “bent” trumpet: the instrument’s bell was bent upward at a 45-degree angle instead of straight ahead.

They have such mod outfits. –Everything’s groovy on the Moon. –Maxis, minis, midis. –Vinis, vidis, vicis. –Bells and flares.
“Mod” (short for “modernist”) was a youth subculture in 1960s England. Maxi skirts came down to the ankles. Miniskirts were barely longer than the wearer’s underwear. Midi skirts were mid-calf length. The Latin phrase “Vini, vidi, vici” (“I came, I saw, I conquered”) is attributed to Julius Caesar after his brief conflict with Pharnaces II in modern Turkey. Bells and flares refer to pant styles with widening cuffs near the ankles.

You know, in the Land of Dairy Queen, you could get slapped with a Mr. Misty Meanor if you do something wrong. Get it? Mr. Misty Meanor. –What color is the sky in your world, Joel?
See above note on the Land of Dairy Queen. Mr. Misty was the name of Dairy Queen’s line of flavored ice slush drinks, first sold in 1961. Later on, the line was renamed Misty Slush and finally Arctic Rush. “What color is the sky in your world?” was a line uttered by Dr. Frasier Crane (played by Kelsey Grammer) to postman Cliff Claven (played by John Ratzenberger) on the popular 1980s sitcom Cheers.

All the Mr. Misty flavors. –It’s a rainbow of flavors ... –In every bite.
See previous note.

We don’t have very much money for the other ship; let’s use a Pepsi bottle.
Pepsi is a major brand of cola, the chief competitor to Coca-Cola. It was first made in North Carolina in 1898 by pharmacist Caleb Bradham and sold as “Brad’s Drink.”

I feel like William Shatner doing that.
Actor William Shatner played Captain James Tiberius Kirk on the TV series Star Trek (1966-1969) and in the series of movies based on the show.

And they said there’s no such thing as a vacuum in space. –That sucked, Joel. –No, they said space is a perfect vacuum. –No, Kirby is a perfect vacuum.
Kirby Company is an Ohio-based maker of vacuum cleaners and other home accessories. Founded in 1914 by inventor Jim Kirby, the vacuums have been sold predominantly by door-to-door salesmen, and this has led to more than a few legal problems.

Where are Buffy and Jody?
Another reference to characters on the TV show Family Affair (see above note).

Pay no attention to the man behind the test tubes.
“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” is a line from the classic 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.

It’s a mood orb.
Mood rings, a fad in the 1970s, contained elements not unlike a liquid crystal thermometer, which reacted to the wearer’s body temperature. The colors corresponded to the emotional state of the person, according to some. They were invented in 1975 by Marvin Wernick and Joshua Reynolds.

[Sung.] In the land of Dairy Queen, we treat you right.
See above note.

They’re going down in the Dilly Bar Swamps. –Mr. Misty marsh.
Dilly Bar is soft-serve ice cream dipped in chocolate and sold at Dairy Queen. See above note on Mr. Misty.

You know, they’re married in real life.
Stars Martin Landau and Barbara Bain were, indeed, married from 1957 until 1993.

No, they’re going to flush his brains. –Is that what they use in Mr. Mistys? That’s extraordinarily icky, Joel.
See note on Mr. Misty, above.

Is that Patrick Duffy? –No, they wanted him, though. –Derrick Duffy. –It’s Duff Duffy.
Patrick Duffy is an actor best known for playing Bobby Ewing on the CBS prime-time soap Dallas (1978-1991).

Someone’s been playing with an Erector Set down there.
Erector Set is a toy construction set first produced by AC Gilbert in 1911. It contains small metal beams, nuts, bolts, screws, and mechanical parts such as gears.

[Sung.] Oompa, loompa, da-dee-dee-dum. If you’re pink you’ll work in a tomb. Oompa, loompa, da-dee-dee-doo. If you are big and blue you’ll see.
A paraphrase of lyrics in the “Oompa-Loompa Song,” from the 1971 movie musical Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, based on the Roald Dahl children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The Oompa-Loompas are diminutive men who work in the candy factory and spontaneously burst into song at odd moments.

Hey, it’s Chewbacca! Who would have thought?
Chewbacca was the furry Wookiee copilot of the Millennium Falcon in the series of Star Wars movies.

They’re all employed by Kmart.
Kmart is a discount store chain started in 1962 by Sebastian Kresge. They became famous for their “Blue Light Specials” and the phrase “Attention Kmart shoppers.” In 2002, the company filed for bankruptcy and in 2004, they merged with Sears, Roebuck & Company.

Try new Mentor Menthol. For the kid in all of us.
“For the kid in all of us” was a tagline used in Oreo cookie commercials in the 1980s.

Are we not miners? –They’re Devo.
Devo was a geek-rock proto-new-wave band, known for their bizarre costumes and stage antics, that hit their peak of popularity in the 1980s. Their 1978 debut album was titled Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!

Looks like a giant Chicken McNublets. –What’s a Nublet? –Chicken McNibbler.
Chicken McNuggets are fried chicken bits served at McDonald’s fast food restaurants.

Sorry, Mr. French.
See note on Mr. French, above.

Everything you’ve tried turns to chili for our Brazier chili dogs, here at Dairy Queen.
In Dairy Queen restaurants, the device used to cook their food was a brazier; the company turned the name into a brand in 1957.

So, it was all a dream.
The “it was all a dream” ending is a Hollywood cliché dating back to the very earliest days of film (we’re talking George Méliès), but given the MST writers’ tastes, it’s probably a Wizard of Oz reference.

Just can’t beat the big taste of Kit Kat.
The Kit Kat bar is a candy bar manufactured by Hershey’s, consisting of two wafer-like cookies covered in a thin coating of chocolate. It was first produced in the 1930s.

She buy that dress at the Ice Capades or something?
Ice Capades was a touring entertainment company that created theatrical productions centered on ice skating. Shows often featured retired Olympic champions and officially licensed characters from various popular TV shows and movies. In 1940, the first shows began in Hershey, Pennsylvania. It went out of business in 1995.

She’s the lady and the tiger.
“The Lady or the Tiger” is a short story by Frank Stockton, first published in 1882. It tells the story of a king who punishes offenders by putting them in an arena with two doors: behind one is a beautiful woman, and behind the other is a ferocious tiger. If the offender opens the door with the woman, he is set free to marry her on the spot; if he opens the door with the tiger, he is devoured. One day the king discovers that a young man has been having an affair with his daughter, the princess; enraged, he orders that the young man be thrown into the arena and his daughter be forced to watch. The princess knows which door conceals the lady and which door the tiger, and her lover waits for her to show him which door to choose. If she tells him to pick the door with the lady, she must watch the man she loves marry another woman; if she chooses the door with the tiger, she must watch him be torn to shreds by a wild beast. She makes her choice, points to a door, and watches him stride confidently over to it and open it. The story ends with the line, “Which came out of the opened door—the lady, or the tiger?”

The Land of Baskin-Robbins.
A paraphrase of Dairy Queen’s old slogan. Baskin-Robbins is a chain of ice cream retail stores founded in 1945. It has more than 5,000 locations worldwide.

He’s like a member of Facial Hair Club for Men.
Hair Club for Men is a company dedicated to baldness cures; it offers everything from bald-friendly shampoos to hair transplants.

A Peanut Buster Parfait.
Peanut Buster Parfait is a frozen treat sold at Dairy Queen.

I’ll crush their heads like grapes. –Grape Crush, delicious.
Crush is a soft drink that comes in a variety of flavors, including grape. It was first sold as Ward’s Orange Crush by Clayton Powel in 1916. The brand is currently owned by Dr. Pepper Snapple Group.

Quite the test pattern they’ve got there. –Looks like a dartboard.
Back in the days when American television stations stopped broadcasting late at night, test cards or test patterns appeared on screen (along with a steady tone) after the national anthem was played until the resumption of the broadcast day. Most test cards included grids, geometric shapes, and gray scales. More recent test patterns consisted of a series of vertically arranged colored rectangles. The most famous test card is known as the Indian Head test card, first used in 1947.

He’s no James T. Kirk, but he’ll have to do.
Captain James Tiberius Kirk (played by William Shatner; see above note) was the commander of the USS Enterprise in the original Star Trek TV series (1966-1969), the animated series (1973-1974), and seven feature films.

It’s mandatory to wash your hands before returning to the Land of Dairy Queen.
See above note.

He’s trying to reinvent the Fizzie. –You can’t improve on genius.
Fizzies are tablets dropped into a glass of water to produce a sweetened, flavored soda. First invented by the Emerson Drug Company in the 1950s, Fizzies lasted into the late 1970s before disappearing. Amerilab Technologies resurrected the brand and product in the mid-1990s.

So that’s what it sounds like when doves cry.
A paraphrase of a line from Prince’s 1984 song “When Doves Cry.”

Thank God it was only Styrofoam and not real rocks.
Styrofoam is a brand of plastic foam frequently used as a packing material and first made in 1941; it is manufactured by Dow Chemical.

A little mini Mount Rushmore, it looks like. Thinking of the styling of that human head.
Mount Rushmore is a mountain in the Black Hills of South Dakota that features the gigantic heads of four presidents, each about sixty 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.

When she’s really mad she becomes Liza Minelli. –And Dudley Moore.
Liza Minelli, the daughter of Judy Garland, is a singer and actress best known for her starring role in Cabaret and many stints on Broadway. Dudley Moore (1935-2002) was an English comedian best known for his roles in Arthur (in which Minelli played his romantic interest) and 10.

What do you think? Liza Minelli: real or an incredible simulation?
“An Incredible Simulation” is the tagline from Beatlemania, a stage show that features four cast members impersonating the Beatles and playing their most famous songs.

At least she won’t have any mosquitoes bugging her. –It’s electronic Off!
Off! is an insect repellent made by SC Johnson.

A little house. –A newspaper. –Electrolysis. –How about some rawhide chews? –Or Blue Suede Shoes.
“Blue Suede Shoes” is a classic rock and roll song written and recorded by Carl Perkins in 1955. It was most famously covered by Elvis Presley the following year.

Hey, mate. Paul Hogan.
Paul Hogan is an Australian actor best known for his portrayal of Crocodile Dundee in two mid-1980s movies (and another from 2001).

So you’re no Art Linkletter.
Art Linkletter is a TV host known for such shows as People Are Funny and The Art Linkletter Show. He is perhaps best known for his segment “Kids Say the Darndest Things.”

A good Oxy 10 case study.
Oxy 10 is a brand of acne treatment medicine that comes in a variety of forms: spot treatment, face wash, cover-up gel, and so forth.

She’s obviously suffered the heartbreak of psoriasis. –And the myth of fingerprints.
“The heartbreak of psoriasis” was an advertising phrase used by now-defunct Tegrin Medicated Soap beginning in the 1960s. “All Around the World or the Myth of Fingerprints” is a song from Paul Simon’s 1986 album Graceland.

[Sung.] Swamp Thing. Un-un-un-un, un. You make my heart sing.
Swamp Thing is a comic-book creature made of sentient vegetable matter. It first appeared in 1971 and was later made famous by respected comic writer Alan Moore. In 1982 it was made into a film starring Ray Wise and Adrienne Barbeau. The song Servo is corrupting is “Wild Thing,” written by Chip Taylor and recorded by The Wild Ones in 1965. It was covered by British band The Troggs in 1966.

The Cowardly Lion.
The Cowardly Lion was a character in L. Frank Baum’s “Oz” series of children’s book and was played by Bert Lahr in the famed 1939 film adaptation of The Wizard of Oz.

[Sung.] If I only had a brain.
“If I Only Had a Brain” is a song performed by Ray Bolger as the Scarecrow in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.

So it was all a dream.
See above note.

Don’t shoot to kill ... –Shoot to piss off. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
“Yeah, that’s the ticket” was the catchphrase of Saturday Night Live character Tommy "The Liar" Flanagan. He was portrayed by Jon Lovitz from 1985 to 1990.

Looks like a shag carpeting monster. –The Shaggy D.A.
The Shaggy D.A. was the 1976 sequel to the 1959 Disney film The Shaggy Dog. In D.A.,Wilby Daniels—who was the teen with a magic ring that turned him into a dog in the first film—is grown up and seeks to rid his town of crime by becoming district attorney. The film was remade in 2006.

It’s Jerry Garcia.
Jerry Garcia (1942-1995) was the singer, songwriter, and lead guitarist for the Grateful Dead.

It’s the Beast.
Beauty and the Beast was a television drama that aired on CBS from 1987-1990. Featuring a modern take on the fairy tale, it starred Linda Hamilton as Catherine (the Beauty) and Ron Perlman in cat-like makeup as Vincent (the Beast).

Boff! Pow! Zap! –Splortch! Fwap! Ga-zoing!
In the campy 1966-1968 ABC TV series Batman, fight scenes were often punctuated with cartoonish splashes of color and onomatopoetic words such as “Boff!,” “Pow!” and “Zap!” In MAD Magazine, cartoonist Don Martin’s (1931-2000) strips featured bizarre, similarly onomatopoetic terms such as “Splortch!,” “Fwap!” and “Ga-zoing!”

The only monster in the world who needs Cruex for her face.
Cruex is a brand of medicated spray used for the treatment of tinea cruris (a.k.a. jock itch).

It’s Jim Backus. –Chew Backus.
Jim Backus (1913-1989) was an actor best known for portraying millionaire Thurston Howell III on Gilligan’s Island and voicing the animated character Mr. Magoo. (See note on Chewbacca, above.)

They look like the guys who make [sung] Cinnamon Toast Crunch!
First produced in 1984 by General Mills, Cinnamon Toast Crunch is a brand of breakfast cereal. Early advertisements featured three baker mascots singing the name of the cereal.

They’re carving where no man has carved before.
A paraphrase of the famed “mission statement” of the USS Enterprise on Star Trek: “To boldly go where no man has gone before.”

Carve Wars.
A reference to the obscure science fiction film Star Wars, released in 1977.

[Sung.] The Heartbeat of America.
From 1986 to 1992, “The Heartbeat of America” was General Motors’ advertising slogan for the Chevrolet line of vehicles.

She became Burl Ives. –No, she’s scrambled eggs.
Burl Ives (1909-1995) was an actor, writer, and singer. He has transcended generations, thanks to his role in voicing Sam the Snowman in 1964’s Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, a Rankin & Bass stop-motion animated TV special. For that special, he recorded “A Holly Jolly Christmas” and “Silver and Gold.”

A Troll doll.
Troll dolls (originally called Leprocauns) were a toy fad in the mid-1960s. The diminutive plastic figures featured large eyes and tufts of brightly colored hair. They enjoyed brief resurgences in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s. In 2005, a short-lived TV series called Trollz aired, and in 2010 DreamWorks announced plans for a feature film based on the dolls.

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 Company makes the game in the United States.

It’s a goalie. It’s a lamp. –It’s Jason.
Jason Voorhees is the central villain in the Friday the 13th series of films—twelve as of 2009. The supernatural mass murderer is best known for wearing a hockey mask, though that wasn’t actually used until the third film.

She’s thinking, “I wanna be back on Mission: Impossible.” –This plot will self-destruct in five seconds.
Both Martin Landau and Barbara Bain starred in the spy drama Mission: Impossible(1966-1973) on CBS and ABC. Near the beginning of each episode, a hidden taped message would be played for the team leader (either Mr. Briggs or Mr. Phelps). Once the details of the mission had been divulged, the voice would say, “This tape will self-destruct in five seconds.” It would usually smoke and fizzle shortly thereafter.

Too stupid to live. –Too young to die.
“James Dean” is a song written and recorded by The Eagles in 1974 about actor and cultural icon James Dean (1931-1955). One line in the song is: “You were too fast to live, too young to die.”

He’s got one of the Banana Splits cars.
The Banana Splits were animal rock musicians on a Saturday morning kiddie show in the late 1960s. The band members were named Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper, and Snork; each of them had their own brightly colored convertible with a pair of sunglasses welded on the hood.

[Sung.] Flipping like a pancake, poppin’ like a cork, Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper and Snork. Tra-la-la, la-la-la la ...
A portion of the lyrics from the aforementioned Banana Splits theme song, titled “The Tra La La Song (One Banana, Two Banana).”

The closer he gets, the creepier he looks.
“The closer he gets, the better you look,” was an advertising slogan for Nice ‘N Easy hair-coloring products. It was first introduced in 1965 by Clairol and is presently manufactured by Procter & Gamble.

The closer she gets, the better she looks.
See previous note.

He has dreadlocks! –It’s Bob Marley!
Bob Marley (1945-1981) was a Jamaican singer-songwriter whose brand of rock-influenced reggae became famous around the world. He also played a prominent political role in his native country, working for peace among the warring factions there.

It’s like the theme song to Shaft. Who’s the black, rasta-haired space creep who’s a sex machine to all the chicks? –Shaft. –John Shaft. Can you dig it? That Shaft is one bad ... –Joel! –I’m just talkin’ ‘bout Shaft.
A paraphrase of the theme to the 1971 blaxploitation film Shaft, written and recorded by Isaac Hayes. Actual lyrics: “Who’s the black private dick/That’s a sex machine to all the chicks?/Shaft! … You see this cat Shaft is a bad mother—/Shut your mouth!/But I’m talkin’ about Shaft.”

I’d like to see him go up against Gamera. He’d play him like a fiddle.
Gamera is a giant flying turtle monster featured in eleven Japanese films and five previous episodes of MST3K.

Oh, emergency oxygen sticks. How convenient.
The Church Lady was a character played by Dana Carvey on Saturday Night Live from 1986 to 1990 (with a few special appearances in following years). The character was the pious and uptight host of a talk show, “Church Chat.” “How convenient!” was one of her catchphrases.

Bingo! –Hold your cards. –We’re going for blackout bingo, now.
Bingo is a game played with a small card, on which are printed numbers in a grid arrangement; an announcer calls off numbers, and if a player has that number on his card, he covers it with a small marker. When he has covered a whole row vertically, horizontally, or diagonally, he calls out “Bingo!” The game has traditionally been the domain of little old ladies, who routinely play several cards at a time. “Blackout Bingo” is achieved when every square on the card has been covered.

[Hummed.] The witch’s theme from Wizard of Oz.
This is the theme for the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz.

The Dennis Hopper segment of the film.
Dennis Hopper (1936-2010) was an actor known for his gonzo appearances in Easy Rider, Blue Velvet, and Speed. According to Rolling Stone magazine, Hopper was “one of Hollywood’s most notorious drug addicts” for twenty years.

Like being on LSD: Lousy Space Dramas.
LSD is the shorthand for the chemical lysergic acid diethylamide, a hallucinogenic drug whose usefulness in psychiatric treatment has been the subject of much debate. It was first synthesized by Albert Hofmann in 1938.

A bunch of lines and static! –They’re getting Outer Limits.
A reference to the famous opening narration of the TV anthology series The Outer Limits, which aired from 1963-1965: “There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We can reduce the focus to a soft blur, or sharpen it to crystal clarity. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to ... The Outer Limits.”

[Sung.] Your boyfriend’s back and you’re gonna be sorry.
“My Boyfriend’s Back” was a 1963 hit for the girl group The Angels. The original line is: “My boyfriend’s back and you’re gonna be in trouble (Hey-la-day-la my boyfriend’s back).”

But her eyebrows aren’t. They look like little Cocoa Puffs. –Cocoa Puffs? I’m cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!
Beginning in the 1960s, General Mills ran a series of commercials for its Cocoa Puffs cereal featuring Sonny the Cuckoo Bird, an animated bird in a striped shirt who squawked, “I’m cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs! Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!”

As the sun sets in the Crab Nebula, we go to commercial. And what a good commercial it will be.
The Crab Nebula is the remains of a supernova visible in the constellation Taurus. It is located about 6,500 light years away.