306: Time of the Apes
by Wyn Hilty
Looks like a Sesame Street segment, kinda.
Sesame Street is a long-running PBS program aimed at preschoolers, which uses puppets, animation, and live actors to teach numbers, letters, and the like. It has been on the air since 1969.
Original story by Sasquatch. Adapted from a play by Koko and a novel by Chuckles.
The Sasquatch, a.k.a. Bigfoot, is a legendary ape-like creature supposed to haunt the Pacific Northwest and western Canada. What is generally considered the best evidence for its existence—an amateur film taken in 1967—has been the subject of fierce debate as to its authenticity. Koko is a Western Lowland Gorilla who, under the care of her trainer Francine Patterson, has famously mastered about one thousand signs based on American Sign Language and is able to communicate with humans using the signs.(Thanks to Matthew Kerr for the Koko reference.)
Isaac Asimov (1920-1992) was a highly respected science-fiction novelist and science writer best known for his Foundation trilogy. Along with Robert Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, he was considered one of the “Big Three” of science fiction.
Hey, where’s B.J.?
B.J. and the Bear was a television series that ran from 1979-1981, about the adventures of a trucker (B.J.) and his pet chimpanzee (the Bear).
Who took these photos, anyway—Diane Arbus?
Diane Arbus (1923-1971) was a photographer who got her start in fashion but who became renowned for her portraits of people on the fringes of society: strippers, nudists, transvestites, dwarfs and giants, and other similarly marginalized groups. Her work is disturbing, not least because it is impossible to tell whether the photographer is sympathetic or condescending toward her subjects. Arbus committed suicide in 1971.
[Sung.] Every day’s a holiday with …
Probably a reference to the song “Jolly Holiday” from the musical Mary Poppins; the actual lyric is “Oh, it’s a jolly holiday with Mary,” but it is frequently misquoted as “Every day’s a holiday with Mary.”
Hey, it’s Jame Gumb’s van.
Jame Gumb was the serial killer known as Buffalo Bill in the 1991 horror flick The Silence of the Lambs; the part was played by Ted Levine. In the film, he drives a van that he uses to kidnap his victims.
It rubs the lotion on its skin …
A famous line spoken by Jame Gumb in The Silence of the Lambs (see previous note): “It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again.”
“It’s about time.” It’s about space.
A line from the X song “I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts.” Sample lyrics: “It’s about time/It’s about space/It’s about some people in the strangest place.” (Thanks to Kevin Rietmann for this reference.)
I love you, Margaret. –Frank, not now.
A reference to the passionate love affair between Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan (played by Loretta Swit) and Frank Burns (played by Larry Linville) on the TV series M*A*S*H, which aired from 1972-1983.
Seems like a lot of work to go through to make an Eggo frozen waffle, doesn’t it?
Eggo is a brand of frozen waffles that can be heated up in the toaster. They are manufactured by Kellogg’s.
Play Misty for me.
Play Misty for Me is a 1971 film starring Clint Eastwood as a DJ being stalked by an obsessed fan.
RadioShack is a chain of electronics stores based in Fort Worth, Texas. They filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2015.
Kitty! It’s Snowball!
Possibly a reference to the cat on the animated TV series The Simpsons, which first aired in 1989.
Snowballs are a type of snack cake consisting of a cake that has cream filling and is covered with a layer of marshmallow and coconut.
Rug Doctor—steaming mad at monkeys.
The Rug Doctor is a brand of carpet steam-cleaning machines available for rent at retail stores. Its longtime advertising slogan is “Steaming mad at dirt!”
They’re using Grecian Formula.
Grecian Formula is a hair dye for men that promises to gradually get rid of gray hair over a period of weeks—thus presumably making it less obvious that you dye your hair. It is manufactured by Combe Inc.
It’s William Burroughs.
William Burroughs (1914-1997) was a writer of experimental novels, of which the most famous is Naked Lunch. He became one of the seminal voices of the Beat generation in the ‘50s. He was also an enthusiastic user of recreational drugs, especially morphine, to which he was addicted.
Yeah, we turned him into a Hummel. Check it out.
M.I. Hummel is a company producing collectible figurines based on the drawings of Sister M.I. Hummel, a Bavarian nun. They first became popular after World War II and have been produced for more than sixty years.
“Some even tell us that they were dreaming.” Of a white Christmas?
A reference to the Christmas song “White Christmas,” written by Irving Berlin in 1942. Sample lyrics: “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas/Just like the ones I used to know/Where the treetops glisten/And children listen/To hear sleigh bells in the snow …”
Johnny B. Goode!
A reference to the Chuck Berry song “Johnny B. Goode.” Sample lyrics: “Deep down Louisiana close to New Orleans/Way back up in the woods among the evergreens/There stood a log cabin made of earth and wood/Where lived a country boy named Johnny B. Goode.”
It keeps the hot side hot and the cold side cold.
This is an old advertising slogan for McDonald’s McDLT burger, which was briefly popular during the 1980s. The burger came in a two-sided styrofoam container, with one side holding half the bun and the meat, and the other side holding the other half of the bun, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise.
How do it know?
This is the punch line to an old joke about the hick and the thermos; when it is explained to the hick that a thermos keeps hot things hot and cold things cold, he looks puzzled and asks, “How do it know?”
Krakatoa is a volcano in Indonesia that erupted with stunning force in August 1883, destroying most of the island and exploding with a sound so loud it was heard 3,000 miles away. The eruption killed roughly 36,000 people on neighboring islands, most of them dying in the massive tsunamis generated by the eruption.
Oh, wow. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? They’re going to end up being an Irwin Allen production.
Irwin Allen (1916-1991) was the television and movie producer behind such shows as Lost in Space, The Time Tunnel, and Land of the Giants.
I love the sound of breaking glass. —Especially when I’m lonely.
A line from the 1978 Nick Lowe song “I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass.” Sample lyrics: “I love the sound of breaking glass/Especially when I’m lonely/I need the noises of destruction/When there’s nothing new.” (Thanks to John B. for this reference.)
If a tree falls in Japan and no one is there …
A variation on the old Zen koan, “If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?”
Johnny Carson’s Malibu home.
Tonight Show host Johnny Carson (1925-2005) was a longtime resident of the coastal community of Malibu, California. The area is subject to frequent landslides, and fires, and occasional earthquakes, and I’m guessing his home was damaged in one of them, but I was unable to confirm it.
I feel the plot move under my feet.
A paraphrase of the song “I Feel the Earth Move” by Carole King. Sample lyrics: “I feel the earth move under my feet/I feel the sky tumbling down, tumbling down/I feel my heart start to trembling/Whenever you're around.”
Whoa! Suddenly we’re at the Fillmore!
The Fillmore is a legendary concert venue in San Francisco that hosted some of the biggest acts of the era during the 1960s: Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, etc., etc.
Do not attempt to adjust your TV set.
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.”
It’s the Daleks!
The Daleks were a race of cybernetic creatures on the British sci-fi television series Dr. Who. First introduced in 1963, they became immensely popular in Britain, launching a wave of Dalek merchandise over the next two years.
“Exterminate! Exterminate!” was the war cry of the Daleks (see previous note).
“Uncle Charlie!” What the heck do you want, kid? Chip! Ernie! Where the heck is Preston Sturges?
On the TV sitcom My Three Sons, after the actor who played eldest son Mike left the show, producers brought in an adopted son, Ernie (played by Barry Livingston), alongside remaining sons Robbie and Chip, to keep the cast in line with the show’s title. Uncle Charley (William Demarest) acted as the housekeeper of the household and as the full-time caretaker for Ernie. Preston Sturges was a writer and director known as the father of screwball comedy, with such classic films as The Great McGinty and The Lady Eve. (Thanks to James O’Blivion for the My Three Sons reference.)
[Sung.] Hello … hello … hello … Hello!
A classic Three Stooges routine, in which they pop out from behind one another, each saying hello in turn.(Thanks to Aaron Drewniak for this reference.)
It’s a whole planet of Ron Perlmans.
Ron Perlman is a burly actor best known for playing Hellboy in the movie series of that name. He has appeared in many other movies and TV shows, including Alien: Resurrection and Sons of Anarchy.
Make my day.
“Go ahead—make my day” is the iconic line spoken by Dirty Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) in the 1983 film Sudden Impact.
Looks like a De Palma film.
Brian De Palma is a film director known for such works as Dressed to Kill (1980) and Scarface (1983). His works tend to be quite violent and have been accused of misogynistic leanings. (Reader James O’Blivion points out that De Palma also commonly has rotating shots in his films similar to the one Joel and the bots are watching here.)
Hey, here comes the Scopes Monkey Trial guy.
The Scopes Monkey Trial was the trial in 1925 of high school teacher John Scopes, who stood accused of violating Tennessee’s Butler Act, which forbade the teaching of evolution in public schools. The trial pitted former presidential candidate and fundamentalist William Jennings Bryan against defense lawyer Clarence Darrow. Although Scopes was eventually found guilty of violating the law, it was generally agreed that Darrow won a moral victory and made the fundamentalist argument look weak and foolish.
Now, you magnificent son of a bitch …
A reference to a line in the 1970 film Patton, spoken by George C. Scott: “Rommel, you magnificent son of a bitch, I read your book!”
Mystery guest, enter and sign in please.
A reference to the TV game show What’s My Line?, which aired from 1950-1967. On the show, the final round was always reserved for a “mystery guest,” who was a celebrity of some stripe, and who would enter and sign their name on a chalkboard (unseen by the contestants).
I like you. I’m going to kill you last.
A paraphrase of a line from the 1985 Arnold Schwarzenegger film Commando. The entire exchange:
Sully: Here’s twenty dollars to get some drinks in Val Verde. It’ll give us all a little more time with your daughter.
Matrix: You’re a funny man, Sully. I like you. That’s why I’m going to kill you last.
Refers to a famous line from the Peter Falk/Alan Arkin movie The In-Laws: “Serpentine, Sheldon, serpentine!”
Oh, meanwhile, in the Emerald Forest …
The Emerald Forest is a 1985 film starring Powers Boothe as a man searching for his lost son in the rain forests of Brazil.
There's John Boorman.
John Boorman was the director of The Emerald Forest (see previous note). (Thanks to E. Dineen for this reference.)
Well, look up there! Ned Beatty!
Ned Beatty is a portly character actor who has appeared in more than 100 movies and TV shows over the course of his career. One of those movies was the 1972 film Deliverance, directed by John Boorman (see previous notes). (Thanks to E. Dineen for pointing out the Boorman connection.)
“Stay together!” That’s what Al Green said. I agree.
A reference to the Al Green song “Let’s Stay Together.” Sample lyrics: “Let’s stay together/I’m, I’m so in love with you/Whatever you want to do/It’s all right with me/’Cause you make me feel so brand new/I want to spend my life with you.”
Prepare to meet Kali … in hell!
A line from the 1984 film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
Must get to my utility belt …
Batman, a superhero staple of comic books who has also appeared in movies, on television, and in animated shows, wears as part of his costume a belt around his waist known as his utility belt. It has pouches containing various gadgets that help Batman in his crusade against crime. These gadgets vary, but examples include the Batarang, a boomerang shaped like a bat, and a reel of super-thin cable to help Batman climb walls and swing from rooftops.
Look, if you can’t work out thirty minutes a day, you don’t deserve a hot date.
Pop singer Sheena Easton used this line in a series of commercials shilling Bally Fitness Center’s “30 Minute Workout.” (Thanks to Bill Stiteler for tracking down this reference.)
Aren’t you glad you used Dial? Don’t you wish everybody did?
The longtime slogan for Dial soap was “Aren’t you glad you used Dial? Don’t you wish everyone did?”
Hey, it’s Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters.
Ken Kesey (1935-2001) was a writer whose most famous work is the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. He was also a strong advocate of using drugs to free one’s mind from its conventional patterns, especially LSD. In 1964 Kesey drove cross-country in a bus with a group of like-minded people dubbed the Merry Pranksters. The group eventually settled outside San Francisco and began throwing wild LSD parties that included the likes of the Hell’s Angels. The story of the Merry Pranksters’ bus trip was told in Tom Wolfe’s book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.
Hi, I’m William Conrad for First Alert. Don’t let this happen to you. Paper windows just aren’t safe. Use the door. Thank you.
Portly actor William Conrad starred in a series of commercials for First Alert smoke detectors during the 1970s.
Hey, Keith Richards at home.
Keith Richards is the lead guitarist for the Rolling Stones. He has had widely publicized problems with drug addiction, particularly heroin.
A line from the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
[Sung.] Tradition … tradition!
A line from the song “Tradition,” from the musical Fiddler on the Roof. Sample lyrics: “Tradition, tradition! Tradition!/Tradition, tradition! Tradition!/Who, day and night, must scramble for a living/Feed a wife and children, say his daily prayers?/And who has the right, as master of the house/To have the final word at home?”
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) is considered by many as the founder of modern art and one of the greatest geniuses the art world has ever known. He painted in many different styles over the course of his long career, of which the most famous is Cubism. His well-known works include a portrait of Gertrude Stein, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, and Guernica.
Yes, Mr. Colby.
Colby is a type of cheese similar to cheddar, first produced in Wisconsin about a century ago. It has a milder flavor than cheddar.
Limburger on line two.
Limburger is a semi-soft cheese known for its strong, distinctive odor. Originally produced in Belgium, it is now largely a German cheese.
He’s Oscar Wilde!
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was a Victorian poet and playwright best known for his stage comedies Lady Windermere’s Fan and The Importance of Being Earnest, as well as for his legendary wit. Wilde was one of the central figures in the Aesthetic movement of the late 19th century, which emphasized the importance of beauty and art. Although he had a wife and children, he was also involved in a series of relationships with male prostitutes, and was ultimately accused of sodomy over his close friendship with Lord Alfred Douglas and sentenced to two years of hard labor. He died a few years after his release from prison in 1897.
Give me Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier. Thank you.
Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier is a 1954 film starring Fess Parker as the legendary outdoorsman.
[Sung.] I cannot stay … I must be going.
A line from the song “Hooray for Captain Spaulding,” from the 1936 Marx Brothers movie Animal Crackers. Sample lyrics: “Hello, I must be going/I cannot stay, I came to say, I must be going/I’m glad I came, but just the same I must be going.”
[Sung.] 99 banana daiquiris on the wall/99 banana daiquiris …
A variation on the old school field trip standby “Ninety-Nine Bottles of Beer on the Wall.”
Ho-ho-ho-hold the bus! It’s the Banana Splits Show! Fall in, Fleegle, Bingo, Droople and Snork!
The Banana Splits were animal rock musicians on a Saturday morning kiddie show in the late 1960s. They lived in Hocus Pocus Park, where their cuckoo clock always read 6:55. The band consisted of Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper (not Droople), and Snork.
Uh-oh, it’s Prince! His Royal Purpleness!
The Minneapolis musician Prince was one of the seminal musical talents of the 1980s; in particular, his albums 1999, Purple Rain, and Sign o’ the Times were phenomenally successful. True to the title of his album Purple Rain, he often dressed in the color purple.
It is Prince.
See previous note.
Green Mountain. I can’t believe I’m still in Green Mountain.
This is a paraphrase of a line from Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 movie Apocalypse Now, spoken at the beginning of the film by Martin Sheen: “Saigon. Shit! I’m still only in Saigon.”
Got a lovely bunch.
“I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts” is a song that has been performed by many singers: Danny Kaye, Monty Python, and the Muppets, among others. Sample lyrics: “I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts/There they are standing in a row/Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head/Give ’em a twist/A flick of the wrist/That’s what the showman said.”
Steven Seagal in Shoot the Monkey.
Steven Seagal is a martial artist and tough-guy actor who has appeared in such action films as Hard to Kill and Under Siege.
It’s Mike Nesmith. He was a monkey too.
Michael Nesmith was one of The Monkees, the 1960s musical group that had their own TV show from 1966-1968.
Hey, just like Ed Ames on The Tonight Show.
In a famous appearance on The Tonight Show, singer and actor Ed Ames (Mingo on Daniel Boone) demonstrated his technique for throwing tomahawks; his throw struck the cowboy target directly in the crotch, and the audience roared.
Dang! We got us a family!
A paraphrase of a line from the 1987 film Raising Arizona: “What, are you kiddin’? We got us a family here!” (Thanks to Kevin Rietmann for this reference.)
Are you a Hatfield or a McCoy?
The great Hatfield-McCoy feud of the 19th century has become a popular icon in American history. Devil Anse Hatfield and Randolph McCoy were settlers along the border between West Virginia and Kentucky. The feud apparently began with an argument over some hogs and rapidly escalated into violence. By the time a truce was called in 1891, a dozen members of both families had been killed.
Join us. Join us.
A reference to the famous line from the 1981 camp horror classic The Evil Dead.
There goes Sheriff Lobo!
The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo was a 1979-1981 television series about a corrupt sheriff; it was a spinoff of B.J. and the Bear (see above note). It starred Claude Akins as Sheriff Elroy P. Lobo.
Hey, Steve Tyler from Aerosmith.
Steven Tyler is the lead singer for the rock band Aerosmith. He is known for his flamboyant style and large mouth (and, in the early days, his habit of bringing a bottle of Jack Daniels onstage with him).
An imitation of bumbling Marine Gomer Pyle (played by Jim Nabors) on the TV series Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. His long-suffering sergeant, Vince Carter, was played by Frank Sutton.
Oh, great, it’s a planet of owls. —And they are not what they seem. Get it?
“The owls are not what they seem” is a line from the surreal TV series Twin Peaks, which aired from 1990-1991.
I heard one call my name.
I Heard the Owl Call My Name is a novel by Margaret Craven about a young vicar sent to live among the Indian tribes of the Pacific Northwest.
Eddie Munster was the young son on the TV series The Munsters, which aired from 1964 to 1966. He was played by actor Butch Patrick.
The Invaders. In color.
The Invaders was a 1967-1968 TV series about a man’s efforts to expose the aliens that had insinuated themselves into every level of government. It starred Roy Thinnes. Rat Patrol was a TV series set in North Africa during World War II, which aired from 1966 to 1968. At the beginning of every episode, the show bragged that it was being broadcast “In Color!”
Corn dodgers! I love ‘em!
Corn dodgers are a traditional southern recipe consisting of dollops of cornbread batter fried in oil.
This music sounds like it’s from Sketches of Spain.
Sketches of Spain is a jazz adaptation of a classical piece, performed by jazz trumpeter Miles Davis and Gil Evans.
Or Sketches of Spam.
Spam is a canned, processed pork product made by the Hormel Foods Corporation. It has been around since the 1930s and is very popular in Hawaii.
Ooh, that’s good weed.
An imitation of Art Fern, an unctuous character created by Johnny Carson during his tenure as host of the Tonight Show.
Nicolas Cage in Wild at Heart.
Wild at Heart is a 1990 film directed by David Lynch and starring Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern as a young couple on the run from hired killers.
He’s a crispy critter, kid.
Crispy Critters was a frosted cereal that came in the shapes of various animals; it was popular during the 1960s and made a brief comeback in 1988. It was manufactured by Post.
Wow, there was a bear with a ranger hat on, and he kept screaming “Only you!”
Smokey the Bear is the longtime spokescreature for the U.S. Forest Service. He was created in 1944 to preach the message of fire prevention, with the slogan “Only you can prevent wildfires.”
Tis a far, far better thing I do than I have ever done.
This is a line from the end of Charles Dickens’ novel A Tale of Two Cities; the man who speaks it is going to his death, sacrificing himself in place of another man.
Sounds like Pres and his horn section there.
Lester “Pres” Young was a jazz saxophonist who played with Count Basie and who turned Kansas City into a major jazz center in the 1930s.
Colonel Sanders? What happened?
Colonel Harland Sanders was the man who, in 1940, came up with the famous “original recipe” and founded Kentucky Fried Chicken. He died in 1980.
And look, here’s Peter Newell.
Possibly a reference to the children’s book author/illustrator and comic artist who flourished around the turn of the century, with works like Topsys and Turvys and The Slant Book.
Hey, who is that back there on the stake? John of Arc?
Joan of Arc (1412-1431) is a national heroine of France and a Catholic saint. In the 15th century, as a teenager convinced that God had entrusted her with a holy mission, she led the French army against the English. She was ultimately captured by the English and burned at the stake for heresy.
Gamera was a giant, fire-breathing turtle that starred in a series of Japanese monster movies. MST3K did several Gamera movies, including Show 304, Gamera vs. Barugon, and Show 308, Gamera vs. Gaos.
“Silence.” Of the lambs.
Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 horror film about a young FBI agent (Jodie Foster) and her relationship with an imprisoned serial killer, Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins).
See above note.
“Silence.” Of the lambs.
See above note.
It puts the lotion on its skin …
See above note on Silence of the Lambs.
Meanwhile, on Chimps …
CHiPs was a TV series about two motorcycle cops with the California Highway Patrol, played by Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox. It aired from 1977-1983.
Hey, it’s a Shriner!
The Shriners are a fraternal organization known for their circuses, good works, and silly-looking fezzes.
You will kill me!
A paraphrase of Sting's maniacally over-the-top line in Dune (1984): "I WILL kill him!" (Thanks to Kevin Rietmann for this reference.)
Bethlehem! Sort of.
Bethlehem is a city on the West Bank. It is significant in the Christian religion as the traditional birthplace of Jesus.
The king of apes rides in style in the new Buick Skylark.
The Buick Skylark is a model of car that first appeared as a limited production model in 1953 and 1954. It then disappeared until Buick reintroduced it in 1961 as a sport coupe. It stayed in production until 1972.
It’s a Masonic temple.
Freemasonry, or the Masons, is a secret fraternal organization with about five million members worldwide. Their meeting places are called temples.
Oh, they have a special handshake.
Masons have a number of special handshakes to identify themselves to other members and also to indicate what rank they have attained in the organization.
Oh, too many White Castles last night.
White Castle is a chain of fast food burger restaurants founded in 1921. Its burgers are also available through vending machines and in the frozen food sections of grocery stores.
A bug zapper! I checked in but I can’t check out!
The longtime advertising slogan for Roach Motels is “Roaches check in—but they don’t check out.”
Now get in there and test that luggage.
In 1970 the American Tourister luggage company began to air a series of commercials in which a gorilla beat the hell out of one of their suitcases to demonstrate its durability. The ads ran for fifteen years. Unfortunately for the company, many people remember the ads as plugging Samsonite luggage.
What is this—Planet of the Fops?
Planet of the Apes—which, needless to say, Time of the Apes is a rip-off of—is a 1968 film starring Charlton Heston as an astronaut trapped on a world where apes are the rulers and humans are the slaves.
Reese’s Peanut Butter … delicious … ow!
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are a candy made by Hershey’s consisting of a peanut butter filling surrounded by a layer of chocolate. They were introduced in the 1920s.
Then you do the hokey-pokey and turn yourself around. That’s what it’s all about. I’m outta here.
A reference to the classic kids’ song “Hokey-Pokey.” Sample lyrics: “You put your right foot in/You put your right foot out/You put your right foot in/And you shake it all about/You do the Hokey-Pokey/And you turn yourself around/That’s what it’s all about!”
Now let me see if I’ve got this right: You put your right shoe in and your left shoe off and you … uh …
See previous note.
Trick or treat for UNICEF.
“Trick or Treat for UNICEF” is an annual fund-raiser for the children’s advocacy group that began in 1950; basically, instead of collecting candy, kids collect money for UNICEF.
Are those monkey boy jeans you’re wearing?
“Excuse me, are those Bugle Boy jeans you’re wearing?” is an old advertising slogan for Bugle Boy jeans.
You know what he’s afraid of? He’s afraid he’s going to run into David Hedison going the other way.
David Hedison is an actor who is best known for playing Captain Lee Crane on the TV series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, which aired from 1964-1968. He also guest-starred on a huge number of TV series during the 1970s and 1980s, including Fantasy Island and The Love Boat.
Give a hoot. Don’t pollute.
“Give a hoot, don’t pollute” is the longtime slogan of Woodsy Owl, the spokescreature for the USDA Forest Service. Woodsy has been urging environmental action since 1970.
No, how about a Bloody Mary?
A Bloody Mary is a cocktail consisting of vodka, tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, pepper, and celery salt, garnished with a stalk of celery.
From the 1979 synthopop atrocity “Pop Muzik,” perpetrated by the German new wave group M. Sample lyrics: "New York, London, Paris, Munich/Everybody talk about pop music/Talk about, pop music/Talk about, pop music/Pop pop pop pop music …" (Thanks to Erik Topp for this reference.)
Ahhh, Lucy, I need a screwdriver, ahhh.
A reference to Lucille Ball, star of the TV series I Love Lucy and The Lucy Show. A screwdriver is a drink consisting of vodka and orange juice.
Tonight, on Crime Dog.
Probably a reference to McGruff the Crime Dog, spokescreature for the National Crime Prevention Council, who teaches children how to stay safe.
You can tell by the way I move my stuff I’m a woman’s ape, no time for talk. Uh uh uh uh, staying erect, staying erect. Uh uh …
A paraphrase of the Bee Gees song “Stayin’ Alive” from the disco musical Saturday Night Fever (1977). Actual lyrics: “Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother/You’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive/Feel the city breakin’ and everybody shakin’/And we’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive …”
He looks like Teddy Ruxpin up close.
In the mid-1980s there was a craze for an animated teddy bear named Teddy Ruxpin. When you slipped a special tape cartridge into Teddy, he began moving in time to the story on the tape. Eventually more than forty stories were produced.
Simian Night Fever.
A reference to the 1977 film Saturday Night Fever, in which Tony Manero (played by John Travolta) haunts discos and dreams of a life outside his native Brooklyn.
So, you’ve been to Cost Cutters again.
Cost Cutters is a chain of affordable hair salons.
That trick never works. –Nothing up my sleeve.
In a running gag in the Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoons, Bullwinkle would continually try to pull a rabbit out of a hat, over Rocky's protests that the trick would fail. Bullwinkle would forge ahead regardless, replying either, "Nothing up my sleeve ... presto!" or "This time for sure ... presto!" Needless to say, the trick never turned out as planned. (Thanks to Kevin Rietmann for this reference.)
Tar? You’re soaking in it! Look at those hands.
“You’re soaking in it” was the slogan in a series of commercials for Palmolive dish soap that aired from 1966 to 1992, in which maternal beautician Madge the manicurist (played by Jan Minor) informs her shocked clients that they’re soaking their hands in Palmolive liquid soap.
Bedtime for Bonzo. C’mon, kids.
Bedtime for Bonzo is a legendarily bad 1951 movie starring future president Ronald Reagan as a professor who tries to teach a chimp morality.
We’re going to hide in this Jiffy Lube stand.
Jiffy Lube is a chain of oil-change centers with thousands of locations nationwide.
“Famous Potatoes” is the slogan that appears on Idaho license plates.
Hey, I saw this in a Three Stooges movie once. Come on.
The Three Stooges were a comedy trio, with varying lineups, that appeared in more than 200 short films. They were known for extreme slapstick comedy that frequently turned quite violent.
An imitation of the Three Stooges (see previous note).
You know, I thought I smelled Aqua Velva.
Aqua Velva is a brand of aftershave.
[Whistled.] Colonel Bogey March.
The “Colonel Bogey March” is one of the most famous marches ever written. It was composed by Kenneth Alford in 1914 and became even more widely known after it was featured in the movie The Bridge on theRiver Kwai.
It’s a Donovan video.
Donovan was a British folk singer popular in the 1960s, with such hits as “Sunshine Superman” and “Mellow Yellow.”
[Sung.] Walking in the grass … the sunlight in her hair …
Paraphrase of a line from the Donovan song "Hampstead Incident." Actual lyrics: "Crystals sparkle in the grass, I polish them with thought/On my lash there in my eye a star of light is caught/Fortunes told in grains of sand, here I am is all I know/Candy stuck in children's hair, everywhere I go." (Thanks to Erik Topp for this reference.)
Maybe it’s Ruth Buzzi and Jim Nabors.
Ruth Buzzi is a comedian best known for her appearances on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, which aired from 1968-1973. Jim Nabors is an actor best known for playing Gomer Pyle on The Andy Griffith Show and later on its spinoff, Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. He has also had a successful singing career. The two of them appeared together on a short-lived TV series called The Lost Saucer, a kids’ show about a flying saucer produced by Sid and Marty Krofft that aired from 1975-1976.
Who do you think you are? You look like a Hostess Cup Cake, Pepe.
Hostess Cup Cakes are a chocolate snack cake with vanilla cream filling and chocolate icing, with seven white icing squiggles on top. They have been around since 1950.
“He’s an officer.” And a gentlemonkey.
An Officer and a Gentleman is a 1982 film starring Richard Gere as a young man struggling to make it through a tough flight school to become a naval officer.
There’s some good security. Is this Watergate?
In June 1972, five men were arrested breaking into the Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. The widening spiral of investigation that followed led to the indictments of a number of White House aides, and it eventually became clear that President Richard M. Nixon had been involved in the attempt to cover up the White House’s involvement in the Watergate plot. He resigned in order to avoid certain impeachment by the House of Representatives.
“I couldn’t get any closer.” Didn’t have any Certs.
Certs are a brand of breath mints manufactured by Cadbury Adams. I believe “Get closer” is an old advertising slogan for Certs.
Today we’ve got three separate views of love, monkey style.
On the TV series Love, American Style, which aired from 1969-1974, there would be anywhere up to four short vignettes about love starring various celebrity guest stars.
That kid looks like Roseanne.
Roseanne is a comedian who starred in her own TV sitcom, also called Roseanne, from 1988-1997, in which she played the a blue-collar mother struggling to keep her family together.
Is he going to tell people he spilled Nair on his face?
Nair is a brand of hair removal products made by Church & Dwight Co.
Neil Peart on drugs.
Neil Peart is the drummer for the progressive rock band Rush.
NOTE: The following annotations are supplied by guest annotator Erik Topp. Let’s all give him a hand!
People try to put us d-d-down …
Line from the Who song “My Generation,” off their 1965 album of the same name. Sample lyrics: “People try to put us d-down (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)/Just because we get around (Talkin’ ’bout my generation) …”
Talk about pop music. —Everybody talkin’ ’bout …
See note on “Pop Muzik,” above.
Sounds like a Lovin’ Spoonfuls song.
The Lovin’ Spoonful was a pop rock band formed in 1965. They released several top ten hits, including “Do You Believe in Magic?” and “Summer in the City,” before they broke up in 1968.
He really shocked the monkey.
“Shock the Monkey” is a song by Peter Gabriel. Sample lyrics: “Something knocked me out the trees/Now I’m on my knees/Cover me, darling please/Monkey, monkey, monkey/Don’t you know when you’re going to shock the monkey …”
The Weatherball flash is green … —No plot foreseen.
Paraphrase of a jingle associated with the Northwestern National Bank Weatherball in downtown Minneapolis. From 1949 to 1982, the illuminated Weatherball used a color code to indicate the next day’s weather forecast.
Sounds like Johnny One Note on his Emenee Magic Key organ.
“Johnny One Note” is a song from the 1932 Rodgers and Hart musical Babes in Arms. During the 1950s and 1960s, Emenee Industries produced a variety of toy instruments, including several miniature chord organs.
Hello. –Hello. –Hey, where’s the other guy?
See note on the Three Stooges, above.
“There’s a guard there!” An elite Republican Guard.
Better led, better trained, and better equipped than most of the Iraqi armed forces, the Republican Guard was noted for its loyalty to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, who relied on it to suppress dissent in other units of the armed forces and among the civilian population. The Guard was dissolved in 2003, along with the rest of the Iraqi army, after the Iraq War.
Oh, that’s what you’re doing to your … ow! Thank you, have a nice day … Thank you for shopping at Wal-Mart!
Wal-Mart is the largest chain of retail stores in the United States. The first store was opened in 1962 by Sam Walton, offering discount merchandise at low prices. Walton opened many of his stores in small towns, where they often drove local merchants out of business by undercutting their prices. By the time of Walton’s death in 1992, there were more than 1,700 Wal-Mart stores.
How about a little sugar for Godot?
Waiting for Godot is a play by Samuel Beckett in which two vagrants pass the time waiting for an individual named Godot to show up. He never does.
An ape by any other name would smell as bad.
Paraphrase of lines from Juliet’s soliloquy from her window in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet.”
See above note on Evil Dead.
The Blue and the Gray.
The Blue and the Gray is a 1982 TV miniseries that related events of the Civil War through the experiences of a war correspondent.
The apes of the Old West. That’s John Wesley Ape. He once flung crap at a man just for snoring too loud.
In an old Time-Life commercial that ran during the 1970s to advertise their series of Old West books, the voiceover talked about a man who was “so mean he once shot a man just for snoring.” The man in question was John Wesley Hardin (1853-1895), a Texas outlaw who killed at least 21 men between 1868 and 1877, when he was sent to prison. He was pardoned in 1894 and shot in the back of the head by an El Paso policeman the following year. In Hardin’s autobiography, published posthumously, he bragged about having killed a man in his hotel room in Abilene, shooting twice through the wall to get the man to stop snoring.
It’s the wackiest war in the Congo.
The Wackiest Ship in the Army is a 1960 film starring Jack Lemmon as a lieutenant who takes command of a ship full of misfits during World War II. The movie later served as the basis for a short-lived television series.
McHale’s Navy Goes to the Planet of the Apes on today’s matinee movie.
McHale’s Navy was a TV sitcom about a group of bumbling misfits aboard a PT boat in World War II. It starred Ernest Borgnine as Lt. Commander Quinton McHale. The show aired from 1962-1966. Also see above note on Planet of the Apes.
Hey look! Caddyshack! Oh, no, that’s Pepe.
Caddyshack was a 1980 comedy set in an exclusive golf club. One of the subplots centered on the activities of a mischievous gopher.
Halt! Who goes there? Who played Dr. Zaius in Planet of the Apes?
Dr. Zaius was one of the intelligent apes in Planet of the Apes (see above note); the part was played by Maurice Evans.
Well, it was about this time that the old ape boys got themselves into a heap of trouble over at the Cooter’s Place. See, they were pickin’ nits off each other and …
An imitation of the folksy narrator from the TV series The Dukes of Hazzard, which ran from 1979-1985. The narrator, dubbed “The Balladeer,” was played by country-music artist Waylon Jennings, who also performed the show’s theme song, “Good Ol’ Boys.”
It’s a madhouse!
“It’s a madhouse! A madhouse!” is a line from Planet of the Apes, spoken by Charlton Heston.
Oswald’s been shot!
On November 24, 1963, local nightclub owner Jack Ruby shot JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald in the basement of a Dallas police station, where Oswald was being transferred to the county jail. To reach the basement, Ruby walked down a car ramp.
Home? Where my thoughts escape me? Home? Where I comb my facey?
Paraphrase of the 1966 Simon and Garfunkel song “Homeward Bound.” Sample lyrics: “Home, where my thought’s escaping/Home, where my music’s playing/Home, where my love lies waiting/Silently for me …”
Lassie was a hyperintelligent collie who starred in an eponymous TV series, which aired from 1954-1974, as well as a series of movies.
Uh, excuse me, ma’am. Brawny wants his shirt back.
Since 1974, rolls of Brawny paper towels have featured the smiling visage of a rugged yet handsome outdoorsman, presumably a logger for Georgia Pacific.
Aw, and it’s Toots Thielemans on the mouth harp, too.
Jean “Toots” Thielemans is a Belgian harmonica player whose music has been heard in such films as Hard Rain (1998) and Jean de Florette (1986).
BJ? Hawkeye? Trapper John?Characters from the TV show M*A*S*H (see above note). B.J. Hunnicut was played by Mike Farrell; Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce was played by Alan Alda; “Trapper” John McIntyre was played by Wayne Rogers.
It’s Don Knotts in the Shakiest Ape in the West.
The Shakiest Gun in the West is a 1968 comic western starring Don Knotts as a dentist who unwittingly becomes a gunfighter.
Get back to the Ponderosa and tell Hoss we’re in trouble, and get me some chicken-fried steak!
Ponderosa was the name of the ranch on the TV show Bonanza. Eric “Hoss” Cartwright was the name of the character Dan Blocker played on the series, which aired from 1959-1973.
My name is Inigo Montoya.
Inigo Montoya, played by Mandy Patinkin in the 1987 film The Princess Bride, endlessly rehearsed the speech he would recite to the six-fingered man who killed his father: “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
“I must have my revenge!” And you must have your Valium too, buddy! Calm down.
Valium is a tranquilizer that was widely prescribed during the 1970s. Its popularity waned after some patients began experiencing problems with addiction and others suffered significant side effects.
He’s waiting for Godo, I think. Godot.
See above note on Waiting for Godot.
It’s the House on the Rock.
From the ACEG: “The House on the Rock, located outside Spring Green, Wisconsin, is that state’s most popular and blatant tourist attraction. It’s a huge place built atop a sixty-foot rock, filled with bizarre stuff like massive ‘band organs’ (frightening automated music machines featuring creepy figurines); the world’s largest model whale; the world’s largest carousel; and on and on in room after room. … Spring Green is also the site of Taliesin, home of Frank Lloyd Wright. Jordan built his monstrosity partly as a conscious insult to Wright.” (Thanks to Kevin Rietmann for this reference.)
Live, damn it, live! You never gave up on anything in your life, now live!
A paraphrase of a line from the 1989 movie The Abyss, starring Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. The actual line, spoken by Harris as he’s trying to resuscitate the drowned Mastrantonio: “Goddamn it, you bitch! You never backed away from anything in your life! Now fight! Fight! Fiiiight!”
Oh, it’s Earl Warren's “Single Ape” theory.
Earl Warren served as chief justice of the Supreme Court from 1953-1969. He also chaired the Warren Commission, the presidential commission assigned to investigate the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The Commission determined that a single bullet struck Kennedy in the back and exited through his throat before hitting Connally in the back; it then exited through Connally’s chest and broke his right wrist before lodging shallowly in his thigh. Conspiracy theorists have referred to this sarcastically as the “magic bullet” theory, arguing that the bullet, which was recovered at the hospital, could not appear nearly as pristine as it did if it had caused all that damage. They use this to bolster their argument that there was more than one shooter at Dealey Plaza that day. (Thanks to Basil for the single bullet theory reference.)
I did it! I finally did it! Damn me all to hell!
Paraphrase of Charlton Heston’s final lines from Planet of the Apes. Actual lines: “Oh my God. I’m back. I’m home. All the time, it was … We finally really did it. You maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!”
I don’t feel very good. I’m going to go rent Faces of Death.
Faces of Death was a 1987 mockumentary that combined faked death scenes with footage of actual fatalities. One particularly bizarre scene involved tourists in Egypt enjoying a “local delicacy”: they split open the head of a live monkey and consumed the brain directly from the skull.
Oh, Lou, Lou ...
An imitation of Ted Baxter sobbing to his boss, Lou Grant, on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which aired from 1970-1977. (Thanks to Kevin Rietmann for this reference.)
A stranger in a strange land.
Stranger in a Strange Land was the title of Robert A. Heinlein’s best-selling 1961 science fiction novel. The phrase itself comes from Exodus 2:22: “And she bore him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land.”
She’s not going to start singing “Ebony and Ivory,” is she?
“Ebony and Ivory” is a 1982 hit single by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder that commends the piano keyboard as a model of racial harmony.
Wait a minute! It’s Darren McGavin! —I knew it!
Actor Darren McGavin is best known for his performance as the title character in the short-lived 1974 TV series Kolchak: The Night Stalker and as the father in the 1983 film A Christmas Story.
How about a Hickory Farms gift box?
Hickory Farms is a mail-order specialty foods company that specializes in perfunctory gift baskets of processed meat and dairy products.
I’ve got to get this outfit back to Prince.
See note on Prince, above.
Any of you guys ever been to the Dells? This kind of reminds me of it. —We can ride the ducks.
From the MST3K Amazing Colossal Episode Guide: “... that paradise of water playlands, that miniature golf hot-bed—the Wisconsin Dells.” The Dells is a middle American resort complete with go carts, miniature golf courses, water rides, and a host of other icons of wholesome family fun.
It’s a U-Store-It!
U-Store-It is a chain of self-storage facilities, one of the largest in the country; it boasts somewhere around 37,000 locations nationwide.
Miles Davis is in there.
Miles Davis was a jazz trumpeter who played a seminal role in jazz movements in the 1950s and 1960s.
Beware of the Balrog. —Isn’t that from Lord of the Rings?
In The Fellowship of the Ring, the first book of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic fantasy trilogy The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf the wizard confronts a demonic creature called a Balrog deep under the earth in the mines of Moria; Tolkien describes it as a being of shadow and flame.
This week only at the Omnitheater!
The 1978 expansion of the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul housed three new exhibit halls and the new William L. McKnight-3M Omnitheater.
It’s the Joshua Light Show!
The Joshua Light Show is a visual effects display that is closely linked with psychedelic rock of the late ’60s. The effect is created by projecting light through a gently agitated pool of immiscible colored liquids.
I’m Frances Farmer!
Frances Farmer was a glamorous actress who appeared in a number of movies during the 1930s. However, she had a notorious temper, an abrasive personality, and a problem with alcohol. During the 1940s she was repeatedly hospitalized for mental illness, although in retrospect it is unclear just how mentally ill she was.
“Catherine! Johnny!” Nope, Catherine is Vivien Leigh and Johnny is John Berryman now.
Actress Vivien Leigh struggled with the effects of bipolar disorder throughout her adult life. John Berryman was a poet and professor of literature. Before committing suicide in 1972, he acquired a reputation for his volatile personality and heavy drinking.
Fashions by Issey Miyake! —And it shows!
Issey Miyake is a Japanese clothing designer known for his high-tech designs.
Hey, it's a scene from The Miracle Worker!
The Miracle Worker is a teleplay by William Gibson that describes the relationship between Ann Sullivan and her deaf and blind pupil, Helen Keller. It was later made into a Broadway play and a feature film.
Oh no! It's Anthony Braxton and Don Cherry! Run!
Anthony Braxton is a prolific avant-garde composer and musician given to using diagrams for the titles of his works. Don Cherry is a jazz trumpeter known for his improvisational style and “astringent tonal qualities.”
It's William Conrad for First Alert!
See note on First Alert, above.
This is like an Obsession commercial: If I'm an ape, then pronounce me guilty! —Between apes and men lies Obsession.
A takeoff on a couple of pretentious Calvin Klein Obsession perfume commercials: “If Obsession is a sin, let me be guilty” and “Between love and madness lies ... Obsession.”
Do you know where Buffy and Cissy are?
A reference to two characters from the TV show Family Affair, which aired from 1966 to 1971. It starred Brian Keith as “Uncle” Bill Davis, a carefree swinging bachelor who suddenly found himself in custody of three orphans (Jody, Buffy, and Cissy), whom he cared for with the assistance of his supercilious valet, Mr. French.
James Bond. [Sung.] James Bond theme.
James Bond is the urbane secret agent created by British author Ian Fleming and immortalized in a lengthy series of movies by Sean Connery, Roger Moore, and others. The films are known for their spectacular (and highly implausible) action sequences. The theme was written by Monty Norman and arranged by John Barry.
Hey, it's the guys from Clockwork Orange. The droogs.
In Anthony Burgess’s 1962 novel A Clockwork Orange, bands of foppishly dressed thugs called “droogs” roam the streets of Britain in a dystopian vision of 1995. Stanley Kubrick adapted the work for film in 1971.
No, no, no. I think it's a group of Castro impersonators.
Fidel Castro is 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.
Our Mystery Guest is … who’s that?
See above note on What’s My Line?
See note on Roseanne, above.
“Only seven days?” In May.
Seven Days in May, a 1962 novel by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II, tells the story of a planned coup d’état by the U.S. military to avoid disarmament under a treaty with the Soviet Union. A film version was released in 1964.
“I have data that corroborates your story.” He’s now working for Star Trek.
Lieutenant Commander Data, played by Brent Spiner, was the pale-skinned android crew member on Star Trek: The Next Generation, which aired from 1987-1994.
He must have taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque.
“I should have made a left toin at Albukoykee” is a famous catchphrase of Bugs Bunny, star of the long-running series of animated shorts by Warner Brothers. He was created in the 1930s by a team of animators including Friz Freleng, Chuck Jones, and Tex Avery and voiced by longtime WB voice artist Mel Blanc. He is one of the most popular and enduring animated characters of all time, rivaled only by Mickey Mouse.