324: Master Ninja II
by Wyn Hilty
A reference to Show 104, Women of the Prehistoric Planet.
Walk like an Egyptian, conka-chonk.
A reference to the song “Walk Like an Egyptian” by the Bangles. Sample lyrics: “All the old paintings on the tombs/They do the sand dance don't you know/If they move too quick (oh whey oh)/They're falling down like a domino …”
I think it’s the Blue Man Group.
The Blue Man Group is a theatrical collective whose shows consist of three mute performers in black clothes and blue face paint. They started out as street performers in New York City in the 1980s and got their own theatrical show in 1991. There are currently four Blue Man Groups performing in various cities across the country.
Oh, no, look, it’s Catfish Hunter warming up.
Catfish Hunter (1946-1999) was a pitcher for the A’s and later the Yankees in the 1960s and 1970s. He retired in 1979 at the age of 33. Twenty years later he died of Lou Gehrig’s disease. Sorry.
There’s no Kosugi like Sho Kosugi like no Kosugi I know.
A take on the song “There’s No Business Like Show Business” from the musical Annie Get Your Gun. Sample lyrics: “There's no business like show business/Like no business I know/Everything about it is appealing/Everything the traffic will allow/Nowhere could you have that happy feeling/When you aren't stealing that extra bow …”
Dodge trucks. Ram tough.
“Dodge trucks: ram tough” is an old advertising slogan for the Dodge trucks manufactured by Chrysler.
Crystal Bernard persuasion.
A reference to the song “Crystal Blue Persuasion” by Tommy James and the Shondells.
You’ll be a Henson rat like me.
Jim Henson (1936-1990) was a puppeteer and the creator of the Muppets, the half-puppet, half-marionette creatures who appeared on the TV shows Sesame Street and The Muppet Show. One of his popular characters was Rizzo the Rat.
“It’s been a long time.” Since I rock and rolled?
A reference to the song “Rock and Roll” by Led Zeppelin. Sample lyrics: “It's been a long time since I rock and rolled/It's been a long time since I did the stroll/Ooh, let me get it back, let me get it back, let me get it back/Mm-baby, where I come from …”
I love buddy films. This is just like The Last Boy Scout.
The Last Boy Scout is a 1991 film starring Bruce Willis as a detective who teams up with a quarterback (played by Damon Wayans) to solve a murder.
Sounds like the Chicago Transit Authority.
Chicago Transit Authority was the original name of the band Chicago, and the title of their 1969 album. (Thanks to Matt McDonald for this reference.)
"Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen." Do not take the green acid.
The Woodstock Music & Art Fair was a three-day festival in August 1969, considered to be a seminal moment in pop culture and a generational touchstone. More than 500,000 concert-goers descended upon Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel, New York, to hear musical acts including Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Who and Jimi Hendrix. Famously, announcements were made over the P.A. system warning attendees, "[We're told] that the brown acid is not specifically too good." The announcement was included on later soundtrack albums of the concert and thus passed into legend. (Thanks to Casey Scott for this reference.)
Hey, look, it’s Francis Ford Coppola.
Francis Ford Coppola is a highly respected film director known for such classic movies as The Godfather and Apocalypse Now.
Hey, look, it’s Malcolm X.
Malcolm X (1925-1965) was a radical black leader during the 1960s who preached racial pride and black separatism, as opposed to civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., who wanted to see blacks better integrated into mainstream (read: white) society. In 1965 he was shot to death during a rally; three Black Muslims were convicted of his murder.
It’s Meat Loaf!
Meat Loaf is a large singer/songwriter who peaked in the 1970s with such songs as “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.”
[Sung.] Ebony and ivory …
A line from the song “Ebony and Ivory” by Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney. Sample lyrics: “Ebony and ivory live together in perfect harmony/Side by side on my piano keyboard, oh lord, why don’t we?”
It’s Scott Hamilton!
Scott Hamilton is a figure skater who took home the gold medal from the 1984 Olympics. After that competition he turned professional, touring with his own skating company for 15 years before retiring.
Pearl Drops is a brand of whitening toothpaste that uses the slogan “Mmmm … it’s a great feeling.”
It’s a Ringfest.
Ringfest is a pop music festival held every summer in Cologne, Germany.
Go, Charlie Brown, go!
Charlie Brown is the hapless protagonist of the comic strip “Peanuts” by Charles Schulz (1922-2000). In the 1975 TV special You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown, Charlie and Snoopy enter a motocross race together. (Thanks to Sitting Duck for this reference.)
Big Jim Seaborn?
Possibly a reference to Jim Seaborn, a hockey player with the Chicago Cardinals.
"Terry Brown is in the lead." And there’s Linda Ronstadt behind them on roller skates!
Linda Ronstadt is an American pop singer who hit her peak of popularity during the 1970s with such hits as “When Will I Be Loved” and “It’s So Easy.” Jerry Brown, the onetime governor of California and presidential hopeful, dated Ronstadt for a time in the 1970s. (Thanks to Bill Stiteler for spotting the Jerry Brown reference.)
William Katt, Freddy Mercury.
William Katt is an actor best known for playing the title role in the TV series The Greatest American Hero, which aired from 1981-1983. Freddie Mercury (1946-1991) was the flamboyant lead singer for the British rock band Queen.
Looks like Tony Scott directed.
Tony Scott (1944-2012) was a film director known for big-budget, glossy action fare like Top Gun and The Last Boy Scout (see above note).
This week on Then Came Bronson.
Then Came Bronson was a TV series that ran from 1969-1970. It starred Michael Parks as a young man traveling through America searching for personal meaning. According to the Amazing Colossal Episode Guide, “Frank Conniff loved it.”
F.I.S.T. with Sylvester Stallone.
F.I.S.T. is a 1978 film featuring action star Sylvester Stallone as a man working his way up through the ranks of the Teamsters. It was written by schlockmeister Joe Eszterhas.
Oh, it’s a Clifford Odets play.
Clifford Odets (1906-1963) was a playwright and screenwriter who works tended to focus on the underprivileged and their struggles against the ruling class. In the 1950s he was investigated by the House Un-American Activities Committee but escaped being blacklisted and continued to work in Hollywood until his death in 1963.
No, a Tom Bodett play.
Tom Bodett is the longtime spokesperson for the Motel 6 chain, who utters the famous catchphrase, “We’ll leave the light on for you.”
Ossie Davis (1917-2005) was a black actor, director, and activist who found recognition late in life acting in a number of Spike Lee’s films. He was also active in the civil rights movement, delivering the eulogies for both Malcolm X (see above note) and Martin Luther King Jr.
Hey, Pippi Longstocking.
Pippi Longstocking is the heroine of a series of children’s books by Astrid Lindgren. Pippi is a girl with superhuman strength and enormous wealth who lives alone and has many adventures with the neighbor children.
When Welcome Back, Kotter is canceled.
Welcome Back, Kotter was a TV series that aired from 1975 to 1979. It starred Gabe Kaplan as a teacher in an inner-city high school.
That does it, Flintstone!
Fred Flintstone was the animated star of The Flintstones, an animated TV show that first aired from 1960 to 1966. Loosely based on The Honeymooners, a sitcom starring Jackie Gleason, the initial series was followed by a heap o’ TV movies and a 1994 live-action film starring John Goodman.
You killed my sister.
A reference to the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. The actual line: “Who killed my sister? Who killed the Witch of the East? Was it you?”
Stan Lee is a writer and comic book publisher who helped create the Marvel universe and took that company from a small publishing concern to a giant media conglomerate.
Hey, it’s Chico Marx.
Chico Marx (1887-1961) was the oldest of the Marx Brothers, the comedy team that became famous in a series of stage shows and films, including Duck Soup and Animal Crackers.
Hey, it’s Lucy.
A reference to the famous “Job Switching” episode of the TV sitcom I Love Lucy, in which Lucy gets a job on an assembly line at a candy factory.
Ahhh, Ricky, I got ptomaine.
An imitation of Lucille Ball (see previous note).
Wilford Brimley, safecracker.
Wilford Brimley is a portly, grandfatherly actor who appeared in a notable series of commercials for Quaker Oatmeal in addition to such films as Cocoon and The Natural.
I am the walrus. I think.
A reference to the Beatles song “I Am the Walrus.” Sample lyrics: “Sitting on a cornflake, waiting for the van to come/Corporation T-shirt, stupid bloody Tuesday/Man, you been a naughty boy, you let your face grow long/I am the eggman, they are the eggmen/I am the walrus, goo goo g’joob.”
She’s got a Landers sister quality.
Judy and Audrey Landers were actresses who did a series of guest appearances on various television shows during the 1980s.
Boy, that Gideon writes a good novel.
Gideons International is a Christian organization that places Bibles in hotel rooms, hospitals, prisons, and schools. It was founded in 1899 by three businessmen and began placing Bibles in 1908.
Hey, he sounds like a Resusci-Annie.
Resusci-Annie is a realistic mannequin that has been used to train people to perform CPR since 1960. Her face is based on the death mask of a young drowning victim pulled from the Seine in France at the turn of the century. Since her identity was never established, romantic stories circulated in which she threw herself into the river due to unrequited love, and copies of her death mask became a popular decoration throughout Europe.
He looks like a Resusci-Annie.
See previous note.
“Whatever happened to …” Baby Jane.
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? is a 1962 film about a former child actress with a grudge against her wheelchair-bound sister. It starred Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.
A reference to the TV show Cheers (1982-1993), in which the entire bar would yell “Norm!” when bar regular Norm Peterson (played by George Wendt) entered.
Hey, look on the wall. It’s Milton Berle’s netted slingshot briefs.
Milton Berle (1908-2002) was a popular comedian known as “Mr. Television” for his success in that medium. I should point out that Tom Servo’s underwear collection contains “one pair of Joe Namath netted slingshot briefs.” It may also be a somewhat risqué reference to the rumor that Berle was, um, generously endowed in the underwear department. (Thanks to Tonya Crawford for pointing out the reference to Berle's ... endowments.)
That’s why the lady is a tramp.
A reference to “The Lady Is a Tramp” by Frank Sinatra. Sample lyrics: “She gets too hungry for dinner at eight/She likes the theater and never comes late/She never bothers with people she'd hate/That's why the lady is a tramp …”
“My hearing is excellent.” Because I have the Whisper 2000.
The Whisper 2000 was basically a directional microphone that was advertised by mail order during the 1990s as allowing the owner to eavesdrop on nearby conversations.
“You just be sure lover boy’s on his way out of town.” I love that band!
Loverboy was an extremely popular hard rock band during the early 1980s, with hits such as “Working for the Weekend” and “Hot Girls in Love.”
“I’ll be seeing you.” Yeah, right, in all the old familiar places.
A reference to the song “I’ll Be Seeing You,” which has been recorded by Bing Crosby, among many others. Sample lyrics: “I'll be seeing you in all the old familiar places/That this heart of mine embraces all day through/In that small café, the park across the way/The children's carousel, the chestnut trees, the wishing well …”
Uh-oh, it’s Dave Lennox.
Probably a reference to appliance manufacturer Dave Lennox.
Looks like Annie Lennox.
Annie Lennox is a Scottish singer who rose to fame as the voice of the Eurythmics, an immensely popular band during the 1980s. After the band broke up in 1990, she launched a successful solo career.
Tim, this is for the seafood lover in you.
“Red Lobster, for the seafood lover in you” is the longtime advertising jingle for the Red Lobster chain of seafood restaurants.
Just like Hooper.
Hooper is a 1978 film starring Burt Reynolds as a stuntman at the top of his game, dealing with an up-and-coming stuntman who worships him. Can they pull off the greatest stunt ever by working together?
Yeah, or Kenny Rogers in Six Pack.
Six Pack (1982) was a movie about an itinerant racecar driver (country singer Kenny Rogers) who finds himself playing father figure to six Hollywood-adorable orphans.
Or E.T. No, wait.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 film about an adorable alien who gets stranded on earth, and a group of kids’ efforts to get him back home.
Oh, what is he, Obi-frickin’-Wan Kenobi?
Obi-Wan Kenobi is a character from the 1977 sci-fi film Star Wars. The part was played by Alec Guinness (1914-2000).
“My brother was that close to putting a union in that cannery.” Then he became the president ofPoland.
Lech Walesa is a Polish labor organizer who helped found Poland’s first independent labor union and who later became president of Poland in 1990, after the communist government of that country collapsed.
“You’re saying Webster killed your brother?” Emmanuel Lewis killed her brother?
Webster was a TV series about a football player who adopts the orphaned son of a teammate. The son, Webster Long, was played by the diminutive actor Emmanuel Lewis. The series ran from 1983-1989.
And they’re all here tonight on Tattletales!
Tattletales was a TV game show during the 1970s on which celebrities and their spouses competed to see which pair answered the most questions with the same answers; kind of like the Newlywed Game. It aired from 1974-1978; an updated version aired from 1982-1984.
Noah Webster (1758-1843) was a lexicographer, writer, and editor who published his famous American Dictionary of the English Language in 1828. His name has become synonymous with dictionaries.
Thank you for flying Northwest. Enjoy your stay in Fargo.
Northwest Airlines is a passenger airline based in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Fargo is a small city in North Dakota, population about 90,000.
Susan Sarandon is an actress known for her roles in such films as The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Bull Durham.
Oh, are they going to sing “Matchmaker” now?
“Matchmaker” is a song from the musical Fiddler on the Roof. Sample lyrics: “Matchmaker, Matchmaker/Make me a match/Find me a find/Catch me a catch/Matchmaker, Matchmaker/Look through your book/And make me a perfect match.”
Hi, Frodo. Hi, Axl. Hi, Divine.
Frodo Baggins is the hero of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic epic fantasy Lord of the Rings. Axl Rose was the lead singer for the rock band Guns n’ Roses and a superstar during the 1980s. Divine (1945-1988) was a cross-dressing actor who appeared in a number of filmmaker John Waters’ movies, including Pink Flamingos and Polyester.
Hey, Huey Lewis.
Huey Lewis was the lead singer for Huey Lewis and the News, a rock band that was huge during the 1980s with hits like “I Want a New Drug.”
Hooker’s a good cop!
One of the writers’ favorite phrases, this is a reference to the 1980s cop show T.J. Hooker, which aired from 1982-1986.
He asked me! I’ll wear that strapless Ed Asner …
Ed Asner is an actor best known for his portrayal of crusty journalist Lou Grant, first on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977) and later on the eponymous spinoff Lou Grant (1977-1982).
Grantsburg, Wisconsin. Workers chafing under the spiked heel of capitalism.
Grantsburg is a tiny town in Wisconsin, population about 1,000.
Maxi Priest is a British reggae artist best known for his 1990 hit “Close to You.”
[Sung.] Look for the union label … Come on, everybody! Come on, Pete Seeger! Weavers, join in! Woody?
A line from an old commercial jingle written for the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU). Full lyrics: “Look for the union label/When you are buying a coat, dress or blouse/Remember somewhere our union's sewing/Our wages going/To feed the kids and run the house.” Pete Seeger is a folk singer who wrote such famous protest anthems as “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” and “If I Had a Hammer.” The Weavers were a folk group (of which Pete Seeger was a member) that tended to sing songs in support of unions and other leftist causes. “Woody” is probably Woody Guthrie, another folk singer best known for penning “This Land Is Your Land.”
Old black eyes is back.
“Old Blue Eyes Is Back” was the title of a 1973 comeback special by legendary crooner Frank Sinatra.
Dominus vobiscum, everyone.
“Dominus vobiscum” is a form of devout salutation employed at the beginning of certain formal prayers in the Catholic Church.
It’s Studs Terkel, not working.
Studs Terkel (1912-2008) was a writer and broadcaster who was especially known for his embrace of oral history. In 1974 he published a book called Working, which relied on oral history to divine people’s attitudes toward their jobs.
I have heard the stories of the Thuggee cult.
"I have heard the evil stories of the Thuggee cult" is a line from the 1984 film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. The Thuggees were a cult operating in India between the 13th and the 19th centuries. They worshiped Kali, the Hindu goddess of death and destruction, and had a tendency to murder travelers by strangling them with nooses. Many of their victims were well-to-do, and some Thuggees became quite rich through the practice of their religious ritual. (Thanks to Tonya Crawford for the Indiana Jones reference.)
Howard Johnson’s right!
A line from the 1974 film Blazing Saddles.
Delta Burke is an actress best known for her role in the television series Designing Women, which ran from 1986-1993.
Attica! Attica! Attica! Attica!
There was a famously horrible prison riot at Attica prison in New York in 1971, but the chant is a reference to the 1975 movie Dog Day Afternoon, starring Al Pacino. In the film, Sonny (Pacino) tries to rile up a mob to help him escape from a police cordon around the bank he is robbing by reminding them of the riot.
Hmm, Tahitian Treat. Hope the meeting didn’t start yet.
Tahitian Treat is a fruit-punch-flavored soft drink manufactured by Dr Pepper/Seven Up.
You took the last Tahitian Treat, old man.
See previous note.
Jimmy Carl Black.
Kevin Murphy in the Amazing Colossal Episode Guide: “Jimmy Carl Black was one of the Mothers of Invention since they were substantially the Soul Giants in 1964. … He called himself ‘the Indian of the group’ because he was Native American. He played drums and dressed up in ladies’ clothes on the album We’re Only in It for the Money, and it scared me a little when I was young. I’m over that now.”
No, it’s Shawn Phillips. And Tim Robbins.
Shawn Phillips is a popular musician who released a string of albums in the 1970s, including Contribution and Faces. Tim Robbins is an actor known for his roles in films like Bull Durham and Bob Roberts. (Thanks to reader Ray Frost for identifying the Shawn Phillips reference.)
They hit Mr. Bubble! Oh, no!
Mr. Bubble is a brand of bubble bath.
Sunday, at Great Lakes Dragaway in Union Grove, Wisconsin!
The Great Lakes Dragaway is a racetrack located in southwestern Wisconsin, about 10 miles north of the Illinois/Wisconsin state line.
A Garden Weasel!
The Garden Weasel is a gardening tool that has been advertised on television for years (it was introduced in 1976). It is a cultivator designed to break up soil and root up weeds, preparing the ground for planting.
A reference to Show 104, Women of the Prehistoric Planet.
He’s off the ramp!
From the Amazing Colossal Episode Guide: “This comment pays homage to Joe Keyes, Minneapolis cumLos Angeles comedian/actor. In his act, the comment refers to Jesus showing off by performing water sports with no boat.”
An imitation of K.I.T.T., the talking car from the TV show Knight Rider, which aired from 1982-1986. The car’s voice was supplied by William Daniels.
I saw that in a Mapplethorpe photo.
Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989) was an American photographer known for his homoerotic photographs of nude men. In 1990, a planned retrospective of his work at a Washington, D.C., museum was canceled after conservatives kicked up a ruckus over the “pornographic” content of some of the photos. That same year, the curator of a museum in Cincinnati, Ohio, was arrested on obscenity charges over the exhibit; he was later acquitted.
I’ll harm you!
“I’ll harm you!” is a line uttered by comedian Joe Besser (1907-1988) in his persona of Oswald, a bratty character he portrayed on The Abbott and Costello Show (1952-1953).
Hey, look, Ignatz was here.
Ignatz Mouse was a character in the comic strip “Krazy Kat,” created by George Herriman. The phrasing is reminiscent of "Kilroy was here," a graffiti that became popular during World War II.
Bil Keane ransacked the apartment. Or Billy did it.
Bil Keane (1922-2011) was the creator of the comic strip “Family Circus.” Keane periodically published cartoons that looked as if they were drawn by a small child, claiming that they were drawn by “Billy,” the seven-year-old son in the strip.
Dr Pepper lip gloss. Mmm.
The cosmetics maker Bonne Bell makes Lip Smacker lip gloss with the flavor of Dr Pepper, the popular soft drink.
Then Came Bronson. The van years.
See note on Then Came Bronson, above.
Tonight? Oh, I was gonna watch my dad’s show.
A reference to Eight Is Enough, which starred Dick Van Patten as family patriarch Tom Bradford. I should correct a misconception here: Dick Van Patten is not Timothy Van Patten’s father; the two are in fact half-brothers. The writers’ mistake is understandable; Dick is 31 years older than Timothy.
Oh, I think it’s a Janet Jackson video. Rhythm Nation.
A reference to the Janet Jackson song “Rhythm Nation” from the album of the same name. Sample lyrics: “People of the world today/Are we looking for a better way of life/We are a part of the rhythm nation.”
I stopped for a Heath Bar—want a bite?
Heath Bars are a candy bar consisting of English toffee covered in milk chocolate.
“We’ve had a break-in.” They were dressed as plumbers.
During the bad old days of the Nixon White House, there was a team of shadowy operatives known as the Plumbers (because they were in charge of stopping leaks). They included E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy. In 1972, a group of Plumbers were caught breaking into the Democratic national headquarters, located in a little hotel called the Watergate.
Hey, this looks like the end of Easy Rider, doesn’t it? –Good.
Easy Rider is a 1969 film about two counterculture bikers in search of America. At the end of the movie (spoiler alert), the main characters are shot to death by a couple of rednecks in a pickup truck.
What’s this? The end of Master Ninja? Tune in tomorrow, same ninja time, same ninja station.
An imitation of the announcer from the 1966 TV series Batman, starring Adam West. The announcer, who was voiced by executive producer William Dozier, would close each episode by urging viewers to tune in again, “same bat time, same bat channel.”
You killed him. Hail Dorothy!
“Hail Dorothy!” is what the guards and monkeys shout after she disposes of the Wicked Witch of the West in the classic 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.
I can see clearly now the rain is gone.
A line from the Johnny Nash song “I Can See Clearly Now.” Sample lyrics: “I can see clearly now, the rain is gone/I can see all obstacles in my way/Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind/It's gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)/Sunshiny day.”
A line from the animated TV series The Simpsons.
The wizard’s not in.
A reference to the scene in The Wizard of Oz in which Dorothy and her friends attempt to get past the doorkeeper to the Emerald City.
The mediocrity of the long-distance runner.
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner is a 1962 film about a young man sentenced to a reformatory who finds solace in running.
Oh, no, it’s Jim Fixx! Sorry, bad joke.
Jim Fixx was a fitness expert whose 1977 book The Complete Book of Running helped start America’s love affair with jogging. In 1984, he died of a heart attack while running, a fact that many people find ironic.
You know, his brother was the bionic boy.
The Bionic Boy was a 1976 made-for-TV movie starring Vincent Van Patten (Dick’s son) as a young boy injured in a landslide who gets various bionic parts. It was a pilot for a TV series that never went anywhere. He is not Timothy’s brother, however; since Timothy and Dick are half-brothers, Vince is actually Timothy’s nephew.
[something] for UNICEF.
UNICEF is the United Nations Children’s Fund, an international organization that works to protect children around the globe.
Say, you know how to whistle, don’t you?
A reference to Lauren Bacall’s famous line in To Have and Have Not: “You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and ... blow.”
From reader Ken Diggs: “Chic jeans--pronounced "chick" insted of "sheek" as you might expect--was a popular women's jeans label in the ’80s. This brand was famous for having, like, 30 different sizes, and they advertised that there is a Chic jean to fit ANY woman. Nice lookin' jeans actually.”
The Stephen King book club.
Stephen King is a horror novelist known for works like The Shining and Salem’s Lot.
How do you like our little film? Something seems a little … fishy!
An imitation of the Crypt Keeper, the decayed host of the TV horror series Tales From the Crypt.
Are those Skylon Air Max? Thought so.
The Air Skylon is a brand of running shoe produced by Nike, which also produces another line of running shoes called the Air Max.
Charles Moffett feared not.
A reference to a line in Show 206, Ring of Terror: "Lewis B. Moffitt feared not." (Thanks to Tom Carberry for this reference.)
Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him.
A line from Act V, Scene 1 of Hamlet, in which Hamlet is reminiscing over the skull of his former jester, which is often misquoted as “Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him well.” The line (in part): “Alas, poor Yorick!--I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is!”
Oh, they’re doing Blood Simple.
Blood Simple is a 1984 film by Joel and Ethan Coen, about a rich man who hires a killer to do away with his wife and her lover. In one scene in the film, a man buries a body he thinks is dead—but isn’t.
No tears and no hearts breaking, no remorse.
A line from the Steely Dan song “Haitian Divorce.” Sample lyrics: “O/No hesitation/No tears and no hearts breaking/No remorse/O/Congratulations/This is your Haitian divorce.”
It was you behind the dictionary capers!
See note on Noah Webster, above.
No tears and …
See previous note on “Haitian Divorce.”
I’m not dead yet!
A line from the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, in which a man is trying to dump his protesting elderly relative on the plague cart.
Dirt man. In color.
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!”
I hope he doesn’t soil his ninja robes!
See note on the Crypt Keeper, above.
Have you learned the plot? Enjoy!
See note on the Crypt Keeper, above.
No, no, that’s the Rosetta Stone, don’t!
The Rosetta Stone is a stone with writing on it in three languages: hieroglyphic Egyptian, demotic Egyptian, and Greek. It was discovered in the town of Rosetta in 1799; in 1822, a scholar named Jean-Francois Champollion used the Rosetta Stone to finally unlock the meaning of the difficult hieroglyphic language.
Rock, paper, scissors.
Rock, Paper, Scissors is a popular children’s game in which each child forms one of three shapes with their hand: rock, paper, or scissors. Paper beats rock, rock beats scissors, and scissors beats paper.
I was just reaching for the Snickers bar in the glove box, boss.
Snickers is a brand of candy bar consisting of peanuts, nougat, caramel, and chocolate. It was first sold in 1930.
Here, buddy, this is for Dom DeLuise.
Dom DeLuise (1933-2009) was a chunky comic actor known for his roles in such films as Blazing Saddles and The Cheap Detective.
Hey, Little John!
In the traditional tales of Robin Hood, the outlaw leader meets a man named Little John on a bridge. When neither will give way to the other, they agree to fight with quarterstaffs to settle the dispute. Little John defeats him, and the two wind up fast friends.
Well, are you digging this theme?
See note on the Crypt Keeper, above.
No, I was really dead, Tim. I’m the Reanimator.
Re-Animator is a 1985 horror flick about a medical student who discovers a way of bringing dead tissue back to life. It was based on the H.P. Lovecraft story "Herbert West—Reanimator." (Thanks to Tonya Crawford for mentioning the H.P. Lovecraft story.)
Reading Of Mice and Men.
Of Mice and Men is a short novel by John Steinbeck about two drifters, one of whom is very strong but a bit slow in the head, who get jobs working on a ranch in California. Things go tragically awry.
“Take my hand!” I’m a stranger in paradise!
A reference to the song “Stranger in Paradise” by the Supremes. Sample lyrics: “Take my hand/I'm a stranger in Paradise/All lost in a wonderland/A stranger in Paradise.”
Next week on Mannix.
Mannix was a television series starring Mike Connors as Joe Mannix, a private eye in Los Angeles who indulged in frequent car chases, shootouts, and fistfights. It aired from 1967-1975.
Hey, look, Bud Cort’s up at the top of the cliff playing a banjo.
Bud Cort is an actor best known for his performance as Harold in the film Harold and Maude. At the end of the film, he plays a banjo and skips along the top of a cliff.
Matt Houston. In color.
Matt Houston was a TV series about a private investigator (played by Lee Horsley). The show aired from 1982-1985. See note on Rat Patrol, above.
[Sung.] Those magnificent men in their flying machines …
Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines is a 1965 adventure/comedy about an international air race.
Timothy Van Patten is Sky King.
Sky King was a TV series during the 1950s about the adventures of plane-flying rancher Sky King and his niece Penny. It aired from 1951-1962.
Brought to you by Nabisco.
From 1955-1962, Nabisco was the sponsor of the TV series Sky King (see previous note).
Enjoy Red Wing shoes.
Red Wing is a Minnesota-based shoe company that makes athletic shoes and work boots.
I like to watch.
“I like to watch” is a line from the 1979 movie Being There, starring Peter Sellers as a simple gardener.
What is this, the Dating Game?
The Dating Game was a TV game show created by Chuck Barris, in which three bachelors would compete to win the favors of an unseen woman. It ran from 1965-1986. There have been a couple of other incarnations since the original went off the air.
Senator Beauregard Claghorn was a character on the radio program The Fred Allen Show. A blustery southernor, he was famously parodied by the Warner Brothers cartoon character Foghorn Leghorn. The role was played by Kenny Delmar.
“Garden party?” You think Rick Nelson’ll be there?
A reference to the Rick Nelson song “Garden Party.” Sample lyrics: “I went to a garden party to reminisce with my old friends/A chance to share old memories and play our songs again/When I got to the garden party, they all knew my name/No one recognized me, I didn't look the same.”
Xanadu: stately home of Charles Foster Kane. Cost: no one can say.
This phrase (and variations thereof) was one of the writers’ favorites. It is a reference to the 1941 film Citizen Kane, directed by, produced by, co-written by, and starring Orson Welles as Charles Foster Kane.
Looks like a Paul Klee painting.
Paul Klee (1879-1940) was a Swiss painter whose small, abstract works are difficult to pigeonhole in one art movement or another. They have elements of Cubism and many were heavily influenced by his love of mosaics.
Oh, the military’s wearing Zubaz now.
Zubaz are a brand of weightlifting shorts. Introduced in 1991, they quickly became popular for their bright colors and flashy designs.
Not Sybil Danning, but an incredible simulation.
Sybil Danning is the platinum blonde veteran of many a dreadful B-movie, including Chained Heat and Battle Beyond the Stars. The origin of the phrase appears to be from Beatlemania, a stage show that features four cast members impersonating the Beatles and playing their most famous songs. The show’s slogan: “Not the Beatles, but an incredible simulation!”
Say uncle. –David McCallum.
David McCallum, the actor playing the villainous Castile in Master Ninja II, played Illya Kurakin in the TV series The Man From U.N.C.L.E., which aired from 1964-1968.
She’s Skeletor’s sister! Shellytor.
Skeletor was the skeletal arch-enemy on the animated TV series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, which aired from 1983-1985.
Get Noel Harrison to do it.
Actor and singer Noel Harrison played Mark Slate in the Man From U.N.C.L.E. spinoff series The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.
David Eisenhower was the grandson of President Dwight D. Eisenhower and the husband of Richard Nixon’s daughter Julie.
Who’s winning the Dodger game?
The Dodgers are Los Angeles’ professional baseball team.
She kind of looks like Stevie Nicks in that. –I wouldn’t recognize her without a big bottle of Wild Turkey, though.
Stevie Nicks is a singer and songwriter who sang with Fleetwood Mac before embarking on a very successful solo career. She had well-publicized problems with cocaine and alcohol before entering rehab in 1986.
Greasy kid’s stuff.
Either a reference to the song by Steve Vai or the children’s public radio music show. Take your pick.
“Johnny.” Be good.
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.”
She threw on a dashiki and blew my ninja mind.
A reference to the 1970s blaxploitation film Ghetto Freaks, about a black man in New York City who seduces white women into being his love slaves. A line in the trailer intones, “A sweet funky black chick is all he wanted, but a freaked-out white chick in a dashiki blew his mind.” (Thanks to Matthew Woelfle for this reference.)
Here’s your paper moon, buddy.
Paper Moon is a 1973 film about a Bible-peddling scam artist who finds himself lumbered with a young child; it starred father-and-daughter team Ryan and Tatum O’Neal.
I used to be Bond. James Bond. Now I’m in movies. Bad movies.
George Lazenby, who plays Mallory in Master Ninja II, played James Bond in the 1969 film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service—his only outing as the suave superspy.
Lord Bond. Not bad.
See previous note.
“John Peter McAllister.” That’s my name too.
A reference to the old scouting song “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt.” Sample lyrics: “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt/His name is my name too/Whenever we go out/The people always shout/There goes John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt/Dah dah dah dah, dah dah dah …”
I’m also an Amway salesman—go on.
Amway is a multilevel direct marketing company that was founded in 1959. Over the decades, the group has been accused of being a pyramid scheme and many cases went to court around the world, but none proved successful.
Okasa’s a good cop!
See note on T.J. Hooker, above.
“News of my death was somewhat exaggerated.” Ooh, Lee Van Cleef and Mark Twain unite.
In a note to a friend in 1897, American author and humorist Mark Twain wrote the following: “The report of my illness grew out of his illness; the report of my death was an exaggeration.” The quote is often rendered as “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”
You were the worst James Bond.
See note on George Lazenby, above.
The man in the crowd with the multicolored mirrors on his hobnail boots.
A line from the Beatles song “Happiness Is a Warm Gun.” Sample lyrics: “The man in the crowd with the multicolored mirrors/On his hobnail boots/Lying with his eyes while his hands are busy/Working overtime …”
A reference to Show 104, Women of the Prehistoric Planet.
Very interesting, but cuckoo.
An imitation of comedian Arte Johnson on the TV sketch comedy show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In (1968-1973), who would appear dressed as a German soldier to inform the audience that the preceding sketch was “Very interesting, but stupid!”
Hey, look, Brian Jones is in that.
Brian Jones was a founding member of the Rolling Stones. He died in 1969 at the age of 27, three weeks after leaving the band; the cause of death was drowning.
Man, that looks like the Brady house, doesn’t it?
The Brady Bunch was a TV series that ran from 1969-1974. It revolved around the adventures of a large step-family. The Brady house was the quintessential of late 1960s/early 1970s décor.
Boy, you know, Malcolm Forbes really knew how to throw a party.
Malcolm Forbes (1919-1990) was an American publisher of the magazine that bears his family’s name. It is one of the most successful business magazines on the market, and its annual list of the richest people in America is widely known even among those who do not read the magazine.
Hey, Larry Bird’s dad.
Larry Bird played basketball for the Boston Celtics for 13 years, beginning in 1979.
Oh, he shot a Wacky Wall Walker onto the side of that helicopter.
Wacky Wall Walkers were a fad product during the early 1980s. Shaped vaguely like an octopus, they would stick to walls and slowly “walk” their way down to the floor without falling off.
Wow, he’s driving an Aston Martin.
James Bond has driven an Aston Martin in seven films.
No, it’s a Martin and Lewis, or a John Astin and Martin.
Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis were a phenomenally successful comedy team during the 1950s, starring in a string of movies that included Sailor Beware and Living It Up. John Astin is an actor best known for his role as family patriarch Gomez Addams on The Addams Family TV series, which aired from 1964-1966.
Tetris. For Game Boy.
When Nintendo released its portable game machine Game Boy in 1989, the addictively simple game Tetris was packaged with it, after a legal battle arcane enough to give you migraines. The game itself was created in the mid-1980s by a Russian programmer.
I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.
A reference to an old Alka-Seltzer commercial featuring a man bemoaning, “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing,” and being reproached by his smug wife, “You ate it, Ralph,” who then recommends Alka-Seltzer to take the sting out.
Edward James Olmos! Almost.
Edward James Olmos is a Hispanic actor known for his parts in Zoot Suit and Miami Vice, among many others.
Your father, your brother Vincent, and your aunt Joyce are here to bail you out. Get out of here.
See notes on Dick Van Patten and Vincent Van Patten, above. Joyce Van Patten is actually Dick Van Patten’s sister, which would make her Tim’s half-sister.
McCloud was a television series starring Dennis Weaver as a rural lawman who joins a big city police force. It ran from 1970-1977.
Michael, this is K.I.T.T. I need to be on the set of St. Elsewhere by four.
K.I.T.T. was the talking car on the TV series Knight Rider, which aired from 1982-1986. William Daniels, who supplied the car’s voice, also played the fussy, uptight Dr. Mark Craig on the TV series St. Elsewhere (1982-1988)
I didn’t want Ted Turner to hear this, but he wants to colorize The Second Hundred Years—what do you think?
In the 1980s, media mogul Ted Turner announced plans to use “colorization” technology to add color to the classic black-and-white films in his library—films that included It’s a Wonderful Life, The Maltese Falcon, and Casablanca, to name a few. There was an immediate uproar, with many in the entertainment industry arguing that adding color would bastardize the original vision of the filmmakers. Turner went ahead with his plans, but colorized movies never really caught on. The Second Hundred Years is a 1927 short comic film starring Laurel & Hardy as convicts who mistakenly tunnel their way into the warden’s office. (Reader Chris Eckart suggests this may be a reference to a 1967 TV series of the same name, starring Monte Markham in a dual role as a gold prospector and his grandson.)
G. Gordon Liddy was the special counsel for President Richard M. Nixon’s re-election campaign in 1972, the Committee to Re-elect the President, or CREEP. On June 17, 1972, five men were arrested for breaking into the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters at the Watergate in Washington, D.C.; the resulting scandal led to Nixon’s resignation to avoid being impeached. The five, along with Liddy and E. Howard Hunt, a former White House aide, were charged with burglary and wiretapping; Liddy was convicted and spent four and a half years in prison. He later became the host of a conservative radio talk show and earned fresh notoriety in 1994 when he advised listeners to aim for the head when shooting at ATF agents.
“Who?” That’s what I’m asking! Third base!
A reference to an old Abbott and Costello routine, titled “Who’s on First?”
“They call themselves freedom fighters.” The contras?
The contras were the armed opponents of Nicaragua’s Sandinista government during the 1980s. They received tremendous amounts of help from the CIA, which, under the Reagan administration, opposed the left-leaning Sandinistas. Reagan continually referred to the contras as “freedom fighters,” memorably comparing them to the United States’ founding fathers. When Congress refused to appropriate any more money to aid the contras, Reagan’s men turned to other sources, which led to the Iran-contra scandal of 1986-1987.
Oh, it’s the groovy goolies.
Sabrina and the Groovy Goolies was a short-lived 1970 animated series about a rock band made up of monsters.
Everyone was there. Yoko brought a walrus and there was magic in the air.
A line from the Ricky Nelson song “Garden Party” (see above note). Sample lyrics: “Yoko brought a walrus/There was magic in the air/Over in the corner/Much to my surprise/Mr. Hughes hid in Dylan's shoes/Wearin' his disguise.”
He’s driving around in his fabulous new Aston Martin!
See note on Aston Martin, above.
Could these have come from ancient astronauts?
An imitation of Rod Serling as the narrator of In Search of Ancient Astronauts, a 1973 TV “documentary” about the possibility that space aliens visited the Earth thousands of years ago, helping the Egyptians build the pyramids and the like.
Shaken, not stirred.
In the James Bond series of films, Bond famously drinks his martinis “shaken, not stirred.”
Oh, he must be president of the Audubon Society.
The Audubon Society is a conservation organization that helps preserve wildlife and wildlife habitats, especially birds.
Xanadu, stately home of … oh, forget it.
See note on Citizen Kane, above.
Wait a minute—it’s Bryan Ferry, taking pictures.
Bryan Ferry is a British musician who rose to fame during the 1970s as the lead singer for Roxy Music. He has also had a successful solo career.
She’s reading Little Drummer Girl.
The Little Drummer Girl is a novel by John Le Carre about an actress who gets caught up in an Israeli spy mission.
Oh, I’ve seen this show. It’s The Master, with the James Bond nobody remembers.
See note on George Lazenby, above.
See note on Bryan Ferry, above.
Microsoft service, could you hold for an hour?
Microsoft is one of the most dominant tech companies in the PC biz, although it is reviled as frequently as it is admired for what its critics call monopolistic practices. I have never heard that its tech support was better or worse than any other company, although tech support in the industry as a whole is pretty dismal.
Oh, shut up, Mr. Bond.
See note on George Lazenby, above.
“Munich ’72 taught us that.” Oh, we remember that—that was at the Olympics.
At the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany, there was a terrorist attack that left 11 Israeli athletes dead. The games were suspended for a day, but after that they went on, although the surviving Israelis returned home rather than competing. The Palestinian group Black September was responsible for the attack.
Look at all the things he can do with his Spirograph.
Spirograph is a drawing toy first sold by Kenner in 1966, consisting of plastic disks with holes in them, which could be used to draw interesting spiral designs. The advertising jingle for Spirograph in the 1970s was: “I don’t believe it/I just don’t believe it/The things I can do with my Spirograph.”
Oh, no, it’s Queen Latifah again.
Queen Latifah is one of the most successful female rap artists of the 20th century. She has also acted in a number of films, including Jungle Fever (1991), and hosted a short-lived talk show, The Queen Latifah Show (1999).
Music by Zamfir.
Gheorghe Zamfir is a Romanian musician famed for his skill on the pan pipes. He has recorded a number of albums of panflute music, which were extensively advertised on television.
This guy’s got a knife in his didgeridoo.
The didgeridoo is a wind instrument used by the Aborigines of Australia, generally considered the oldest wind instrument in existence. It looks like a long, hollow stick, which is sometimes painted with symbols.
I bet Holiday Inn has a policy on this kind of stuff.
Holiday Inn is a chain of inexpensive family hotels originally founded in 1952.
Oh, I see you’re using the Danish counter. I thought it was wise considering the terrain.
A reference to a line in the 1987 film The Princess Bride. The relevant dialogue:
Inigo: You are using Bonetti’s defense against me, ah?
Man in Black: I thought it fitting, considering the rocky terrain.
See note on Garden Weasel, above.
Bruce Lee press-on nails.
Bruce Lee (1940-1973) is considered by many the greatest martial arts star ever immortalized in film, for his performance in such films as Enter the Dragon and Game of Death. Lee press-on nails are a brand of artificial women’s fingernails. They are made by Lee Pharmaceuticals.
Oh, man, and Designing Women’s on in half an hour!
Designing Women was a television sitcom about a group of women who ran an interior decorating business. It aired from 1986-1993.
Jump back! Erase myself!
A reference to the James Brown song “(Call Me) Super Bad.” Sample lyrics: “Sometimes I feel so nice, good Lord!/I jump back, I wanna kiss myself!/I've got soul, huh, and I'm super bad, hey!/I said I'm super bad …”
Where has my little dog gone?
A line from the children’s song “Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone,” based on a poem by Septimus Winner. The entire song: “Oh where, oh where has my little dog gone/Oh where, oh where can he be/With his ears cut short and his tail cut long/Oh where, oh where can he be?”
Please, it’s Shake n Bake, and we helped.
A reference to the old Shake n Bake commercials, in which a woman would tell her husband that they used Shake n Bake to make dinner, and her little daughter would pipe up, “And I helped!”
Come on, it’s original recipe. Eat!
“Original recipe” is the name used for the secret recipe of Kentucky Fried Chicken, invented in 1940 by Colonel Harland Sanders.
I’m missing All My Children.
All My Children is a forever-running soap opera that first aired in 1970.
Come on, everybody, sing. [Sung.] Get a bucket of chicken … Finger lickin’ …
“Finger-lickin’ good” is the longtime slogan for Kentucky Fried Chicken. I assume this is an old advertising jingle for the fast-food chicken chain.
It’s the Colonel!
See note on Harland Sanders, above.
A reference to the Stan Freberg song "John and Marsha," which in itself is probably a reference to an ad campaign that ran during the 1950s for Snowdrift shortening.
“Poor little rich girl.” The Gloria Vanderbilt story.
Gloria Vanderbilt was the daughter of American railroad heir Reginald Vanderbilt, and on his death she inherited a $4 million trust fund, which was the subject of bitter and prolonged legal squabbling among her relatives. As an adult, she became most famous for her line of designer blue jeans.
You ever see Food of the Gods, buddy?
Food of the Gods is a novel by early science fiction writer H.G. Wells. It deals with the effects on society of a new kind of genetically engineered food that makes people, animals, and plants grow to huge proportions—basically a cautionary tale of scientists run amok.
A reference to Show 104, Women of the Prehistoric Planet.
And the digger and the dealer and the dog as well.
A paraphrase of the Hoyt Axton song “Della and the Dealer.” Actual lyrics: “If that cat could talk, what tales he'd tell,/About Della and the Dealer and the dog as well/But the cat was cool/And he never said a mumblin' word.”
Hey, sounds like Chicago’s in the back of the van.
Chicago was a popular rock band during the 1970s and 1980s, known for such hits as “Saturday in the Park” and “Hard to Say I’m Sorry.”
You get up that rope, Seeger!
An impression of Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley (Louis Gossett, Jr.) in An Officer and a Gentleman (1982). One of the officer cadets, Casey Seeger (Lisa Eilbacher), has trouble with the wall section of the obstacle course.
Watch now, as they go up the roof a celebrity will stick his head out.
A reference to a recurring gag on the campy TV series Batman (1966-1968). As the dynamic duo "climbed" a wall with their Bat Ropes, occasionally someone would spot them and open a window for a chat. Celebrities who appeared in these cameos included Jerry Lewis, Dick Clark, and Sammy Davis Jr. (Thanks to Randy J. for this reference.)
Where did he get this thing? Hudson Hawk?
At the end of the legendarily bad 1991 caper film Hudson Hawk (spoiler alert), Bruce Willis and Andie MacDowell escape from a castle in a glider contraption that looks much like the one in the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci.
A reference to Show 301, Cave Dwellers.
Come on, hurry. I’ve got to get this tux back to Gingiss.
Gingiss Formal Wear is a chain of tuxedo rental shops, the source for proms and wedding parties everywhere.
Dudley Do-Right is a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, constantly battling his arch-nemesis, Snidely Whiplash. He made his first regular appearances in 1961 as part of The Bullwinkle Show, and eventually got a show of his own. In 1999 the character was adapted into a live-action movie starring Brendan Fraser.
Oh, Dave, Shaggy wants his beard back.
Shaggy was a scruffy, goateed character on the Scooby-Doo animated TV series, which first aired in 1969. He was voiced by Casey Kasem, the well-known syndicated DJ.
An imitation of William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk on the TV series Star Trek, which aired from 1966-1969. Mr. Spock was his second-in-command.
Hey, a shot in the dark!
A Shot in the Dark is a 1964 film starring Peter Sellers as the bumbling Inspector Jacques Clouseau.
[Sung.] James Bond theme.
This is the famous theme to the James Bond films, composed by Monty Norman (although there has been some controversy about this fact, with composer John Barry claiming he actually wrote the theme).
Lose the tux, will you? It’s starting to smell like Fritos.
Fritos are a brand of corn chip manufactured by Frito-Lay.
Oh, I’ve got a headache this big.
From a series of TV commercials for Excedrin pain reliever, in which the sufferer would say, “I’ve got a headache this big, and it’s got Excedrin written all over it.”
Time Tunnel. In color.
The Time Tunnel was a short-lived 1966 TV series about two young scientists who become “lost in time,” each week showing up at some important historical event (the sinking of the Titanic, the siege of Troy, etc.). See note on Rat Patrol, above.
Hey, an RF cable. Thanks, Tim.
RF, or radio frequency, cable is an older kind of cable that carries a composite video and audio signal; it has largely been replaced by S-video cable.
“Start the executions.” Without me.
Start the Revolution Without Me is a 1970 film starring Gene Wilder and Donald Sutherland as two sets of identical twins who swap identities on the brink of the French Revolution.
Blondes have more guns.
A reference to the old saying “Blondes have more fun.”
My Thom McAns!
Thom McAn is a brand of leather footwear sold in your finer Kmarts nationwide.
[Sung.] What goes up … must …
Probably a reference to the song "Spinning Wheel" by Blood, Sweat & Tears. (Thanks to David Morris for this reference.)
Ha-ha, Silly String!
Silly String was a novelty created by inventor Julius Samann in 1969. It is a non-toxic foam that comes in an aerosol can and sprays out in a “string” form when fired at an unsuspecting victim. It has come to be a Halloween tradition in some parts of the United States; the city of Los Angeles has considered banning it from its streets due to its popularity and ookiness.
“You’ll never know.” [Sung.] Just how much I …
A line from the Frank Sinatra song “You’ll Never Know.” Sample lyrics: “You'll never know just how much I miss you/You'll never know just how much I care/And if I tried, I still couldn't hide my love for you/You ought to know, for haven't I told you so/A million or more times?”
Fresh from his triumph at the 1984 Olympics, gold-medal-winning gymnast Kurt Thomas made an enjoyably bad movie called Gymkata (1985), in which he offers to go to a country called Parmistan and wrestle a bunch of ninjas and fight off zombies armed with pitchforks so the American military can plonk down a missile base over there. Fortunately for him, the country has a lot of gymnastic equipment just lying around in alleys and open fields that he can use to defeat the bad guys.
Ryder rents, loser transports.
Ryder is a brand of rental trucks used for moving household goods and whatnot.
A reference to Show 104, Women of the Prehistoric Planet.
I don’t think U-Haul recommends that.
U-Haul, like Ryder, supplies rental trucks for do-it-yourself movers.
“I should have known better.” With a girl like you.
A reference to the Beatles song “I Should Have Known Better.” Sample lyrics: “I should have known better with a girl like you/That I would love everything that you do/And I do, hey hey hey, and I do.”
Oh, fly Air America.
Air America was a secret airline operated by the CIA that supplied covert operations in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. It flew photo reconnaissance missions, dropped off and extracted American military personnel, delivered food to Laos, and ran search-and-rescue missions looking for downed American pilots. In 1990 Mel Gibson made a movie called Air America based on the CIA airline’s exploits.
One Adam-12, stop the movie.
“One Adam-12” was how the police dispatcher opened her bulletins on the TV cop show Adam-12, which ran from 1968-1975. The part was played by Shaaron Claridge, who worked as an actual dispatcher for the Los Angeles Police Department.
You taste just like Monte Markham.
Monte Markham is an actor who has appeared in dozens of movies and TV shows. From 1989 to 1992, he played Captain Don Thorpe on Baywatch. He was also a regular on Melrose Place.
[Sung.] He’s got thighs like a hamster … Whoo! Jump back! Kiss myself!
See note on “Super Bad,” above.