523: Village of the Giants

by Wyn Hilty

[Sung.] Wild, wild rebels.
A reference to Show 207, The Wild Rebels.

Man, I love these Blublockers.
Blublockers are a brand of sunglasses that brag that they block UV and blue spectrum light rays.

Oh, Madonna, what are you up to now?
Madonna is a pop singer and cultural icon, a woman whose skill at manipulating the media and outrageous lifestyle often overshadowed her music. She first rose to fame in the early 1980s with such hits as “Lucky Star” and “Material Girl.” Before long she had reinvented herself as a torchy platinum blonde, the first of many such transformations in her career. Other personas have included hippie, jock, and, recently, children’s book author.

This is everything Laugh-In could have been.
Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In was a sketch comedy series that ran from 1968-1973.

It could have been based on Profiles in Courage.
Profiles in Courage is a book written by then-Senator John F. Kennedy, about eight senators who performed acts of moral courage. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1957. However, after it came out, there were questions about whether Kennedy had actually written the book; one newspaper columnist named one of Kennedy’s research assistants, Theodore Sorenson, as the actual author. Both Kennedy and Sorenson denied the claim, but questions linger.

Oh, by Theodore Sorenson?
See previous note.

Beau knows awkward dancing.
“Bo knows ...” was a catchphrase in a series of Nike TV commercials that ran in 1989 and 1990, in which pro baseball and football player Bo Jackson played various sports and famous athletes in each sport proclaimed, “Bo knows baseball,” “Bo knows football,” “Bo knows tennis,” etc. (Thanks to Sarah McKinney for this reference.)

Jack Nitzsche. That which does not kill you makes you more musical.
“That which does not kill me makes me stronger” (sometimes rendered simply as “What does not kill me makes me stronger”) is a line from the 1889 book Twilight of the Idols by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900).

So, guys, what stage of the Wonder Years do you think this is, anyway?
The Wonder Years was a TV series that aired from 1988-1993; it starred Fred Savage as a young boy growing up during the 1960s.

Somehow this film is a metaphor for the Vietnam War.
The Vietnam War (1955-1975) was a clash between the government of South Vietnam and its United States ally against the communist government of North Vietnam, which was seeking to unite the country under its rule. The United States was drawn into the war as part of its Cold War effort to stave off “communist aggression” throughout the world. In this case it failed: after it finally pulled out in 1975, the North Vietnamese quickly overwhelmed the remaining South Vietnamese resistance. The conflict cost the U.S. billions of dollars, the credibility of the government in the eyes of its citizens (the term “credibility gap” stems from this era), and the lives of more than 50,000 Americans.

The rain pelted the hovercraft as it approached Torian 5.
An imitation of William Shatner as the narrator of the TV series Star Trek, which aired from 1966-1969.

Senator Kennedy, you all right?
Ted Kennedy (1932-2009) was a long-time senator from Massachusetts, one of the few old-school liberals in Congress. In 1969, he drove his Oldsmobile off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, drowning his passenger, a young woman named Mary Jo Kopechne. The senator did not report the accident for hours, and although his family connections protected him from any criminal repercussions, the scandal came close to ending his political career.

Oh, this is where Thelma and Louise landed.
Thelma & Louise is a 1991 film about two women who embark on a crime spree and bond a lot. At the end of the film (spoiler alert), they drive their car off a cliff rather than allow themselves to be captured by the police.

You could learn a lot from a dummy.
“You could learn a lot from a dummy” was the longtime slogan of a pro-seatbelt ad campaign run by the U.S. Department of Transportation and starring Vince and Larry, the crash test dummies. The ads ran from 1985-1999.

Ever heard about turkeys in the rain?
As legend would have it, turkeys are so stupid that they look up into the sky when it rains and consequently drown. This is not true, although it is true that turkey chicks often die during storms—but from cold and exposure, not from drowning.

[Sung.] Here’s to good friends, tonight is kind of special …
A jingle for Lowenbrau beer that aired during the early 1980s.

If it rains much more, it will turn into Sea Hunt.
A reference to the TV show Sea Hunt, which starred Lloyd Bridges as scuba diver Mike Nelson (hey!). It aired from 1958-1961. Lloyd Bridges is the father of Village of the Giants star Beau Bridges.

Hey, that’s the Monkey. –I thought it was the Jerk.
The Monkey and the Jerk were both part of the go-go dancing craze of the 1960s. There were dozens of variants of go-go dancing; in addition to the two mentioned here, there was the Mashed Potato, the Hand Jive, the Shimmy, and the Creep.

[Sung.] Woman … woman, woman, woman, woman, woman …
Probably a reference to the song "Woman" by the Beau Brummels.

A reference to Show 519, Outlaw.

He’s contracted dance fever from Deney Terrio.
Dancer Deney Terrio was host of the TV series Dance Fever from 1979 to 1985. He won fame as the man who taught John Travolta his famous disco moves for the film Saturday Night Fever.

[Sung.] Mr. mojo risin’ …
A line from the Doors song “L.A. Woman.” Sample lyrics: “Mojo risin', gotta mojo risin'/Mr. Mojo Risin', gotta keep on risin' /Risin', risin' …”

Mmm, mud-honey.
Mudhoney is a 1965 film directed by schlock-master Russ Meyer, about a man with a shady past who gets entangled in an unhappy family’s turmoil.

Hey, Blatz! I love Blatz!
Blatz is a brand of beer brewed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is manufactured by Pabst.

You’ll get the Pigskin Preview and also the Year in Sex.
A reference to two annual issues of Playboy magazine. (Thanks to Scot Penslar for correcting this reference.)

They’ll need all-temperature Cheer to get those pants clean.
All-Temperature Cheer is a brand of phosphate-free laundry detergent.

Unreleased footage from The Piano.
The Piano is a 1993 film starring Holly Hunter as a woman who refuses to speak, and who communicates only through the music she plays on her piano.

[Sung.] A summer place … summer place …
A line from the theme from A Summer Place by Percy Faith & His Orchestra. Sample lyrics: “There's a summer place/Where it may rain or storm/Yet I'm safe and warm/For within that summer place/Your arms reach out to me/And my heart is free from all care …”

That's a Thor turntable with a Conrad-Johnson amp. Stasis class A.
Thor Audio is a company that makes preamplifiers, amplifiers, etc. Conrad-Johnson also makes amplifiers. Amps can be Class A, Class AB, Class C ... frankly, I couldn't understand a word of it. (Thanks to Joel Boutiere for this reference.)

Ozzie and Harriet after dark.
The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet was a TV series that aired from 1952-1966, about the domestic difficulties of a deeply wholesome couple and their children.

This is Tommy Kirk really acting.
Tommy Kirk started out as a child actor for Disney, with roles in high-profile films like Old Yeller and The Shaggy Dog. But when he was in his early twenties, Kirk was caught in a romantic relationship with a 15-year-old boy and Disney fired him. He drifted into B-movies like Village of the Giants and Catalina Caper, and eventually his drug use ended his acting career. Kirk came out publicly in 1973. (Thanks to Sarah McKinney for this reference.)

I hope that blows up in his face so I don’t have to see Willow.
Genius is played by child actor Ron Howard, who grew up to become a director of such films as the 1988 fantasy Willow, about a dwarf who has to protect a baby from the machinations of an evil queen.(Thanks to Ed Caudwell for this reference.)

Hey, I liked Willow!
See previous note.

Oh, take me, you savage Mouseketeer.
The Mouseketeers were a group of children who starred on The Mickey Mouse Club (1955-1959). They wore T-shirts and Mickey Mouse ears. Several of the Mouseketeers went on to have show business careers, the most famous of whom is Annette Funicello.

Oh, Aunt Bee, I can’t feel my legs, help me!
Aunt Beatrice “Bee” Taylor was Sheriff Andy Taylor’s sister on The Andy Griffith Show, which aired from 1960-1968. The part was played by Frances Bavier. The Andy Griffith Show also starred a young Ron Howard as Opie Taylor, Andy’s son.

Hoiman! Hoiman!
A reference to Herman Munster, the clan patriarch on The Munsters, a TV sitcom that aired from 1964-1966. The part was played by Fred Gwynne.

Honey, I shrunk the Opie.
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is a 1989 film comedy starring Rick Moranis as an absent-minded scientist who accidentally miniaturizes his children. See note on Opie Taylor, above.

I blinded me with science!
A take on the Thomas Dolby song “She Blinded Me with Science.” Sample lyrics: “It's poetry in motion/She turned her tender eyes to me/As deep as any ocean/As sweet as any harmony/Mmm - but she blinded me with science/She blinded me with science!”

Suddenly I want to direct.
See note on Ron Howard, above.

I wonder what the king is doing tonight.
A line from the song of the same name from the musical Camelot. Sample lyrics: “I wonder what the king is doing tonight?/What merriment is the king pursuing tonight?/The candles at the court, they never burned as bright/I wonder what the king is up to tonight?”

Mein Fuehrer, I can walk! Arf!
A line from the 1964 film Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. It is spoken by Peter Sellers in the title role.

Hey, Thomasina!
The 1957 novel Thomasina is about the love a young girl has for her cat, Thomasina. It was made into a Disney movie (The Three Lives of Thomasina) in 1964.

Oh, it’s a Peanut Opie Buster Parfait.
The Peanut Buster Parfait is a sundae served by the Dairy Queen chain of restaurants, consisting of soft-serve ice cream, peanuts, and fudge sauce. See note on Opie Taylor, above.

Oh, Puss in Boots.
"Puss in Boots" is a traditional folk tale known best in the version set down by Charles Perrault in 1697, about a clever cat who makes his young master’s fortune.

Up yours, Opie, I ain’t going.
See note on Opie Taylor, above.

He’d make a great lap cat for William Conrad.
William Conrad (1920-2004) was a portly actor known for his roles in such TV series as Cannon (1971-1976) and Jake and the Fatman (1987-1992).

H.G. Wells’s Food of the Ducks.
Food of the Gods, which Village of the Giants is supposedly based on, 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.

Or Jim J. Bullock.
Jim J. Bullock is an actor best known for playing flamboyant neighbor Monroe Ficus on the TV sitcom Too Close for Comfort, which aired from 1980-1985.

Go to the Dells. Ride the ducks.
From the 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. The Wisconsin Duck Tours offers amphibious tours of the Dells on land and in the Wisconsin River; it has been operating since 1946.

What sin could a duck commit in a single lifetime …
A reference to Show 309, The Amazing Colossal Man.

See note on Willow, above.

[Sung.] Wells Fargo wagon …
A line from the song “The Wells Fargo Wagon,” from the musical The Music Man. In the 1962 movie version, the song is sung in part by Ron Howard. Sample lyrics: “O-ho the Wells Fargo Wagon is a-comin' down the street/Oh please let it be for me!/O-ho the Wells Fargo Wagon is a-comin' down the street/I wish, I wish I knew what it could be!” (Thanks to John Chivers for pointing out the Ron Howard reference.)

There are two possibilities for Scarlatti: Domenico Scarlatti was a composer known for his harpsichord sonatas, while Alessandro Scarlatti wrote more than a hundred operas.

Oh, cool, Paris is burning.
Paris Is Burning is a 1990 documentary about the subculture of drag queens in New York City.

I tried soaking them out, and scrubbing them out …
A reference to the old “ring around the collar” ads for Wisk detergent that ran from the 1960s through the 1980s, in which a frustrated housewife would lament her inability to remove the sweat stains from her husband’s collars. The wording varied, but they would usually contain something like “I’ve tried soaking it out. I’ve tried scrubbing it out. Nothing works!”

Come on, you guys, I want to do my Andy Williams revue.
Andy Williams (1927-2012) was a pop singer who had a string of hits in the 1960s, including “Moon River” and “Days of Wine and Roses.” He also hosted his own variety show, The Andy Williams Show, from 1962-1971.

Like my Orlon sweater?
Orlon is a synthetic fiber invented in 1941, initially as a replacement for wool. It is used in all kinds of textiles, including sweaters. It is manufactured by DuPont.

What, does she have bionic hearing?
On the TV series The Bionic Woman, heroine Jaime Sommers (played by Lindsay Wagner) has enhanced hearing along with her strong right arm and legs.

The Beau Bridges Brummels of Madison County!
The Beau Brummels were a San Francisco rock band in the 1960s. The Bridges of Madison County is a novel by Robert James Waller about a brief affair between an itinerant photographer and a lonely housewife. It was made into a film starring Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep in 1995.

Play "Laugh Laugh"!
"Laugh Laugh" was a song by the Beau Brummels (see previous note). Sample lyrics: "Laugh, laugh, I thought I'd die/It seemed so funny to me/Laugh, laugh, you met a guy/Who taught you how it feels to be/Lonely, oh so lonely ..." (Thanks to reader Michael Howe for this reference.)

Is that Animal from the Muppets in front there?
Animal was the shaggy drummer on The Muppet Show, which aired from 1976-1981.

Hey, Keanu Reeves on bass.
Keanu Reeves is an extraordinarily handsome leading man even by Hollywood standards. He has appeared in more than 50 movies and TV shows over his career, but he is perhaps best known for his role in The Matrix.

I will get you, Count Dracula.
In 1992, Keanu Reeves (see previous note) starred as Jonathan Harker in Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

[Sung.] Lucas McCain … that’s his kid …
Lucas McCain was the star of the TV western The Rifleman, which aired from 1958-1963. The part was played by Chuck Connors. His son, Mark McCain, was played by Johnny Crawford.

Of course, the famous Whisky a Go-Go … in Hainesville.
The Whisky a Go-Go is a club in Los Angeles, California. It was the place to see and be seen in L.A. in the 1960s and is credited with inventing the concept of go-go dancers. It helped launch Johnny Rivers and the Doors, among other acts.

Good God! Step back! Kiss 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 …”

Kind of an Al Pacino look for him.
Al Pacino is one of the most respected leading men in Hollywood, known for his roles in such classic films as The Godfather and Serpico.

Hey, Suzanne Somers.
Suzanne Somers is an actress best known for her role as Chrissy Snow on Three’s Company, a part she played from 1977-1981. She has also appeared in a number of other films and TV series, including She’s the Sheriff and Step by Step.

Your USC Trojans!
The Trojans is the name of the football team at the University of Southern California.

Oh, I thought the Fugs were gonna be here.
The Fugs were a rock band formed in 1965; they were central players in the anti-war movement of the 1960s. (Thanks to Michael Howe for this reference.)

Hey, it’s Christian sensation Grant Goodeve.
Grant Goodeve is an actor best known for playing the oldest son on the TV series Eight Is Enough; he has also appeared on Northern Exposure and acts as the host for several TV series. He has also recorded a couple of albums of Christian music.

Hey, isn’t that the Asian performance artist who broke up the Beau Brummels?
Yoko Ono is a Japanese conceptual artist known for her atonal and highly experimental music. She is also known, perhaps unfairly, as the woman who broke up the Beatles, due to her influence on her husband, John Lennon, with whom she released a number of albums.

Hey, look in back—it’s a picture of the Master and his wife.
A reference to Show 424, Manos: The Hands of Fate.

Obviously the turtle Gamera can’t be far behind.
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.

Hey, shake it, Lady Di!
Lady Di was the affectionate nickname for Lady Diana Spencer (1961-1997), who married England’s Prince Charles and became Princess Di.

Howard the Duck behind the green door.
Howard the Duck was a comic-book character in the 1970s, created by Steve Gerber. (Thanks to Michael Howe.) Behind the Green Door is a 1972 film, one of the early porno masterpieces of the 1970s. It starred Marilyn Chambers.

Strings. You can see the strings. Call the SPCA.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is an animal welfare organization founded in 1866 to investigate cases of animal cruelty, assist in disaster relief (as in Hurricane Katrina), operate animal shelters, and engage in education and advocacy on the animals' behalf.

I’d offer to help, but the no thumbs thing gets in the way, Opie.
See note on Opie Taylor, above.

Oh, what to do about Clint.
Clint Howard, brother of Ron Howard, is an actor who has appeared in such films as Apollo 13 (1995) and Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997). See note on Ron Howard, above.

Darkman is a 1990 film starring Liam Neeson as a horribly scarred scientist bent on revenge.

Look at him, the little kid plotting against us with Willow.
See note on Willow, above.

I liked Willow!
See note on Willow, above.

Kevin Pollak? You liked that?
Kevin Pollak is an actor who has appeared in more than 50 films, including Grumpy Old Men and The Usual Suspects. He played Rool, one of the brownies, in Willow (see above note).

Charlie, they took my thumbs, Charlie.
A paraphrase of a line in the 1984 film The Pope of Greenwich Village. Actual line: “Charlie, they took my thumb!”

The Ope of Greenwich Village.
See previous note.

Back and to the left.
A line from the 1991 film JFK, about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. In the movie, DA Jim Garrison plays the famous Zapruder film for a jury, rewinding it and repeating, “Back and to the left,” to indicate that Kennedy’s head is not moving in the direction one would expect if Lee Harvey Oswald shot him from the Book Depository.

And it’s time to collect for the Will Rogers Institute.
The Will Rogers Institute is a national health organization that supports research on pulmonary diseases. It is named after actor and folksy humorist Will Rogers.

[Sung.] Cherish is the word I use to describe …
A line from the song “Cherish” by the Association. Sample lyrics: “Cherish is the word I use to describe/All the feeling that I have hiding here for you inside/You don't know how many times I've wished that I had told you/You don't know how many times I've wished that I could hold you …”

Of all the discotheques in the world, why did she have to come in here?
A variation on the classic line from the 1942 film Casablanca: “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”

Wait up, Nell.
A reference to Nell Fenwick, Dudley Do-Right's putative love interest on the Rocky & Bullwinkle show.(Thanks to Michael Howe for this reference.)

Frankenstuff. See, you take a hot dog and cram it full …
Frankenstuffs were a brand of hot dog filled with chili (or possibly cheese). (Thanks to Michael Howe.)

Hey, look, Danno!
“Danno” refers to Detective Danny Williams on the TV series Hawaii Five-O; the phrase “Book ‘em, Danno” was a perennial favorite on the show. The part was played by James MacArthur.

I could introduce you to my brother Jeff.
Jeff Bridges is an actor and the brother of Village of the Giants star Beau Bridges. He has appeared in such films as The Big Lebowski and The Fisher King.

It’s Alan Arkin!
Alan Arkin is an actor who has appeared in more than 75 movies and TV shows in his career, including Wait Until Dark and Catch-22.

The naked corpse of Paul Prudhomme gets roasted on a stick.
Paul Prudhomme is a Louisiana chef, the owner of K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen in New Orleans and purveyor of a line of seasonings. He is a tad on the large side.

It’s Agnes Moorehead holding a bunch of balloons.
Agnes Moorehead (1900-1974) was an actress who appeared in a string of classic movies during the 1940s and 1950s, but she is best remembered by the TV generation as Endora, Darrin Stephens’ witch of a mother-in-law on the TV series Bewitched.

Look, I know you’re fond of The Rifleman, but take the hat off. It doesn’t work anymore.
See note on The Rifleman, above.

She lives!
Apparently a take on the famous line from Bride of Frankenstein (1935). (Thanks to Michael Howe.)

You mean we’re having history instead of potatoes? Mmmm.
Probably a reference to the old advertising campaign for Stove Top Stuffing, which urged homemakers to serve “Stove Top Stuffing instead of potatoes.”

[Sung.] Opie Opie Opie Opie Opie Opie …
See note on Opie Taylor, above. This is being sung to the Wicked Witch’s theme from The Wizard of Oz.

Jell-O. 3-2-1.
Probably a reference to the old Jell-O 1-2-3 product, which separated into three distinct layers as it cooled.

And I didn't steal no bike neither.
A reference to Show 514, Teenage Strangler.

“Why don’t we …” Do it in the road.
A reference to the Beatles song “Why Don’t We Do It in the Road?” Sample lyrics: “Why don't we do it in the road?/Why don't we do it in the road?/Why don't we do it in the road?/Why don't we do it in the road?/No one will be watching us/Why don't we do it in the road?”

Wow. Opie shoots, he scores.
See note on Opie Taylor, above. The phrase "He shoots, he scores!" was coined by Canadian sports radio broadcaster Foster Hewitt (1902-1985), who did play-by-play for hockey in Canada for forty years.

[Sung.] It’s been a hard day’s night …
A line from the Beatles song “A Hard Day’s Night.” Sample lyrics: “It's been a hard day's night, and I been working like a dog/It's been a hard day's night, I should be sleeping like a log/But when I get home to you/I'll find the things that you do/Will make me feel all right …”

Ziggy Stardust!
Ziggy Stardust was a stage persona created by musician David Bowie during his glam rock years. He was the protagonist in Bowie’s 1972 concept album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

Get off my land, you dang smoochers!
A reference to Show 418, Attack of the Eye Creatures.

I liked Willow.
See note on Willow, above.

Gymkata—oh, wow.
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.

Strong enough for a spider but made for a woman.
A variation on Secret deodorant's long-running slogan "Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman." (Thanks to Sarah McKinney for this reference.)

Wow, this is almost MacGyveresque.
MacGyver was a TV series that aired from 1985-1992. It starred Richard Dean Anderson in the title role as a secret agent who always managed to rig up a scientific gizmo to get himself out of whatever predicament he was in.

You know, I heard he's on the Windowpane.
Windowpane (also called “Clearlight”) is a variety of LSD, in which the drug is dissolved in a square of gelatin. (Thanks to Sarah McKinney for this reference.)

The Johnson teen door. So your teen can get in and out easily.
Johnson Pet Doors are a popular brand of doggie door available widely in the United States.

The Ventures are down here somewhere.
The Ventures were a rock instrumental group popular in the United States during the 1960s and in Europe and Japan during the 1970s and 1980s. They were known for such songs as “Walk-Don’t Run” and the theme to Hawaii Five-O.

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign.
A line from the song “Signs” by the Five Man Electrical Band, released in 1970. Tesla recorded a popular cover of the song in 1990. Sample lyrics: “Sign, sign, everywhere a sign/Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind/Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?” (Thanks to Sarah McKinney for this reference.)

He is so close to being Billy Mumy.
Bill (sometimes credited as Billy) Mumy is an actor who got his start as a child. His most famous roles are as the creepy kid who can read minds on The Twilight Zone and as Will Robinson on the TV series Lost in Space, which aired from 1965-1968.

"Mary Ann." The professor too.
A reference to the theme song for the TV show Gilligan's Island. Lyrics: "The ship took ground on the shore of this uncharted desert isle/With Gilligan, the Skipper too/The Millionaire, and his Wife/The Movie Star, the Professor and Mary Ann/Here on Gilligan's Isle." (Thanks to Michael Howe.)

This party is very true to the H.G. Wells book.
See note on Food of the Gods, above.

Yep, Chuck Connors pretty much said I was the best kid actor ever.
Chuck Connors played Lucas McCain on The Rifleman (see above note).

[Sung.] On a star-spangled night …
A line from the theme song to the TV series Love, American Style, which aired from 1969-1974. Sample lyrics: “And on a star-spangled night my love, (My love come to me)/You can rest your head on my shoulder/Out by the dawn's early light, my love/I will defend your right to try …”

[Sung.] It’s a star, a star, shining in the …
A paraphrase of a line from the Christmas song “Do You Hear What I Hear.” Actual lyrics: ‘Do you see what I see/A star, a star, dancing in the night/With a tail as big as a kite/With a tail as big as a kite …”

It’s just fruit fly medium.
Fruit fly medium is the medium used to raise fruit flies, which are used in many experiments. Ingredients include water, cornmeal, molasses, and yeast.

This guy went to Peter Breck acting school.
Peter Breck played the psychotic Mooney in Show 415, The Beatniks.

Put a shell on him, he’s a teenage mutant ninja turtle.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are a quartet of tongue-in-cheek superheroes created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. They started out in comic books and eventually graduated to several animated TV series, video games, and live-action movies.

I know, let’s do a production of Our Town.
Our Town is a play by Thornton Wilder about life in the small town of Grover’s Corners.

The reader’s theater version of Noises Off.
Noises Off is a play by Michael Frayn about a theater troupe trying desperately to stage a play but being constantly undermined by the chaos behind the scenes. It was made into a movie in 1992.

Are you trying to prove something?
An imitation of actor Jimmy Stewart.

I usually have it on a RyKrisp.
RyKrisps are lightly salted, baked rye crackers manufactured by Bremner.

[Sung.] Figurines does a lady proud/It’s the diet lunch that you can crunch out loud …
Figurines diet bars were the Slim-Fast bars of the 1970s. I assume this is an advertising jingle for the product, but I was unable to confirm the lyrics online.

It’s tasty and it makes me tan and stuff.
A reference to the old Bactine commercial: “It’s hot and it hurts and stuff.”

The Maidenformless woman: you never know where she’ll turn up.
“The Maidenform woman. You never know where she’ll turn up” was the tagline for a series of advertisements for Maidenform bras that ran during the 1970s. The campaign was phenomenally successful, boosting sales by as much as 200 percent. The ads continued to run until the mid-1980s.

The ravaging effects of Osgood-Schlatter disease.
Osgood-Schlatter disease is a condition that affects adolescents, particularly boys going through a growth spurt. It causes pain in the knee and usually resolves itself as the child stops growing.

Now he’s the Brawny paper towel guy.
The Brawny lumberjack is a well-known advertising icon who appears on rolls of Brawny paper towels. He was first introduced in 1974 and has undergone a number of changes since then.

The first thing we do is get ourselves to a Lane Bryant.
Lane Bryant is a chain of women’s clothing stores specializing in plus sizes.

A reference to Show 506, Eegah!

Hans and Opie.
See note on Opie Taylor, above.

He tampered in God’s domain.
A reference to Show 423, Bride of the Monster.

Aunt Bee’s got diabetes.
See note on Aunt Bee, above.

Hey, it’s Up With People.
Up With People was an extremely upbeat and wholesome touring musical act founded in 1965. Money woes forced it to close its doors in 2000, but it reopened four years later and continues to perform, although on a smaller scale.

This is David Duke’s dream.
David Duke is a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan who was active in Louisiana politics in the early 1990s; he made one unsuccessful try for the Senate and another, equally unsuccessful try for governor of the state. In 2002 he was sentenced to fifteen months in federal prison on charges of mail and tax fraud.

Hey, where’s Waldo?
Where’s Waldo? is a series of children’s picture books that ask the reader to find Waldo, a fellow clad in a striped shirt and hiking gear, among an enormous crowd of people.

So there was Ecstasy in the Jell-O stuff?
Ecstasy, known by its more formal name as 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine (MDMA), is an illegal drug that can make its users feel euphoric. Jell-O is a sweetened gelatin dessert made by General Foods Corporation.

Just think: now that girl looks like leather, smells like Marlboros and Giorgio, and makes her grandchildren call her by her first name.
Marlboro is a brand of cigarettes manufactured by Philip Morris. According to the FragranceWholesale.com Web site, Giorgio perfume, manufactured by Giorgio of Beverly Hills, is “a romantic, sharp, floral fragrance” that “possesses a blend of rose, gardenia, sandalwood, orange flower, jasmine, carnation, lily of the valley and hyacinth.”

How come Glen Manning wasn’t this much fun?
A reference to Show 309, The Amazing Colossal Man.

Urban Cowboobs.
Urban Cowboy is a 1980 film starring John Travolta as a country boy who frequents a Houston honky-tonk bar.

I’ll harm you!
This is the 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).

How very Animal Farmesque.
Animal Farm is a novel by George Orwell that is an allegory for the Communist Revolution in Russia. Set on a farm, the book follows a revolution against the human farmers spearheaded by the pigs. The novel spawned the classic line “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

“That guy’s a lousy rebel.” And he’ll never ever be any good.
A reference to the song “He’s a Rebel” by the Crystals. Sample lyrics: “He’s a rebel and he’ll never ever be any good/He’s a rebel and he’ll never ever be understood/And just because he doesn’t do what everybody else does/That’s no reason why I can’t give him all my love.”

Oh, no, Glenn Super’s here.
Glenn Super (1951-2001) was a standup comedian known as “Mr. Bullhorn” for his tendency to use said implement to emphasize his punch lines. He passed away in 2001 of prostate cancer at the age of 50.

Tonight, right here on our stage, a really big show, big big big big big show …
An imitation of Ed Sullivan, the host of The Ed Sullivan Show, which aired from 1948-1971.

They wanted to do Little Women—but they can’t!
Little Women is a novel by Louisa May Alcott that was first published in 1869. It tells the story of four young girls who grow into women over the course of the novel. It has been adapted into play and movie form numerous times.

We’ll probably get drafted by the Cavs.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are a professional basketball team, which first began play in 1970.

[Sung.] We hate you, Conrad/Oh yes we do …
A reference to the song “Normal American Boy” from the musical Bye Bye Birdie. Sample lyrics: “We love you Conrad/Oh yes we do/We love you Conrad/And will be true!/When you're not near us/We're blue!/Oh, Conrad, we love you ...”

World’s biggest Cub Scout.
Cub Scouts are proto Boy Scouts; the program is aimed at young boys in elementary school.

She was watching that stupid Barney show.
Barney the big purple dinosaur is a staple of kiddie programming, much to the dismay of many parents. His kids’ show, Barney and Friends, has aired on PBS since 1992.

Sorry, honey, needs of the many and all.
In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Spock sacrifices himself to save the lives of everyone on board the Enterprise, and explains his actions by saying, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few … or the one.”

Make her day.
“Make my day” is the classic line uttered by Dirty Harry (Clint Eastwood) in the series of movies about the renegade cop.

Can we not play bombardment? You guys have the advantage.
Bombardment is a sado-masochistic favorite of gym coaches that consists of splitting the class into two teams and arming each with a bunch of hard red rubber balls that the kids then fling at each other. If a kid is hit, he’s out; if he catches the ball that’s thrown at him, the kid who threw it is out. Basically, dodgeball on steroids.

Okay, we want huge Underoos, gigantic flush toilets, and a four-day workweek.
Underoos were a brand of children’s underwear produced by Fruit of the Loom and featuring various licensed designs ranging from Batman and Superman to the Dukes of Hazzard. They were first marketed in 1978.

The young Jesse Helms.
Jesse Helms (1921-2008) was an ultraconservative senator from North Carolina who was immensely influential on U.S. foreign policy. First elected to the Senate in 1972, he tried to get an abortion ban into the Constitution, fought to institute school prayer, filibustered the Voting Rights Act, railed against homosexuals, and once tried to make Carol Moseley Braun, the first female African-American senator, cry by whistling “Dixie” at her in an elevator. (He failed.) In 2001 he announced he would not seek reelection the following year. He died seven years later of vascular dementia.

It’s the little mermaid of Copenhagen.
The statue of the Little Mermaid, designed after the classic fairy tale, is one of the main tourist attractions in Copenhagen. It sits on a boulder just offshore in the city’s main harbor. The statue has suffered significant damage from vandals over the years, unfortunately, so it’s not always available for viewing.

Hey, you know, Ron must have gotten directing tips from Bert I.
See note on Ron Howard, above.

That’s why he made Willow.
See note on Willow, above.

Hey, I liked Willow!
See note on Willow, above.

Hey, Cthulhu!
Cthulhu is a monster invented by horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. It is described as a vaguely octopus-like creature.

It’s going into Charles Bukowski’s sink.
Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) was a Los Angeles poet and novelist who specialized in tales of alcoholics, gamblers, hookers, and similarly down-on-their-luck folk.

Willow. Hmmm.
See note on Willow, above.

Opie’s first martini.
See note on Opie Taylor, above.

Should a boy offer a dog a martini?
“Should a gentleman offer a lady a Tiparillo?” was an old advertising slogan for Tiparillo cigarettes back in the 1960s.

The NRA nightmare.
The National Rifle Association, or NRA, is a national organization dedicated to promoting gun ownership. It is a powerful lobbying organization, successfully and fiercely resisting any and all gun control measures.

Hey, an article by William Safire.
William Safire (1929-2009) was a conservative commentator and newspaper columnist whose columns appeared in The New York Times and many other papers.

Must be classic Coke.
In 1985, the Coca-Cola Company decided to tinker with its secret formula, introducing so-called “New Coke.” It was met with a huge public outcry, and eventually the company relented and began selling its original recipe again, this time under the name “Classic Coke.”

“We’ve got to get a hostage of our own.” Terry Anderson.
Terry Anderson was a reporter for the Associated Press, assigned to cover the Middle East, when he was abducted off a Beirut street and held hostage for almost seven years. He was finally released in 1991.

[Sung.] Waa-waa-waa, waa-waa-waa-waa …
According to reader Juanita Walls, this song is aptly titled "The Stripper" and is performed by David Rose and his Orchestra.

[Sung.] Giant steps are what you take …
A line from the Police song “Walking on the Moon.” Sample lyrics: “Giant steps are what you take/Walking on the moon/I hope my legs don't break/Walking on the moon …”

Look, Ed Gein’s the driver.
Ed Gein (1906-1984) was a notorious Wisconsin serial killer. In 1957 police discovered the headless body of a local shopkeeper hanging in the kitchen of Gein’s farmhouse outside Plainfield, Wisconsin. They searched the house and found belts, lampshades, bowls, and other items fashioned from body parts. Gein confessed to the murders of only two women, although he was suspected in four other cases; most of his “trophies” had been obtained by exhuming recently buried corpses from the local graveyard. Gein was committed to a psychiatric hospital and remained there until he died.

Peter Fonda!
In the 1969 film Easy Rider, actor Peter Fonda plays a young motorcyclist in search of America.

Oh, come on. The effects in Willow were better than this.
See note on Willow, above.

Hey, you liked Willow.
See note on Willow, above.

Suddenly he snaps a tether and kills a coolie.
Probably a reference to King Kong’s disastrous debut performance in the classic ape movie King Kong (1933). The wording itself is probably a reference to George Orwell’s essay “Shooting an Elephant” (1936), in which an elephant in musth breaks its chains and kills a man, referred to by the narrator several times as a “coolie.” (In its original sense, “coolie” was an Asian word for an indentured servant or slave who worked at hard manual labor; in modern times it is considered a highly offensive term.)

Jeez, Snap, Crackle, and Pop could hold him back.
Snap, Crackle, and Pop are the longtime advertising icons for Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal.

Jim Begg.
Jim Begg, who plays Fatso in Village of the Giants, is also familiar to MSTies as the hapless henchman Larry in Show 204, Catalina Caper.

This is like the Swiftian part of a Fellini film.
Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) was an English novelist and satirist best known for Gulliver’s Travels. Federico Fellini (1920-1993) was a bizarre Italian film director known for such fare as Satyricon and Juliet of the Spirits.

And it’s Kafkaesque.
Franz Kafka (1883-1924) was a German writer, most of whose works were published posthumously. Most of them, such as The Trial and The Castle, reflect a feeling of alienation from one’s fellow men.

We can make S’mores.
S’mores are a favorite campfire snack, consisting of a toasted marshmallow and a square of chocolate (ideally Hershey’s) sandwiched between two halves of a graham cracker. Its origin is unclear, but recipes have appeared as early as 1927. The origin of the name is a bit more obvious: a contraction of “some more.”

I just made Miller Clear.
Miller Clear was part of the clear beverage craze of the early 1990s; it was regular beer that had been intensively filtered to remove its natural amber coloration. It was test-marketed in 1993 but failed to catch on.

“Ever heard of David and Goliath?” Yeah, a dopey cartoon thing, right?
Davey and Goliath was a claymation TV series that aired from 1962 to 1977. It was developed by Art Clokey, creator of Gumby, for the Lutheran Church as a Christian show for children.

Our very own Fannie Flagg.
Fannie Flagg (the stage name of Patricia Neal) is an actress, author, and former Miss Alabama best known for her work Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe.

[Sung.] Life savers, life savers can’t be beat … Hey, life savers …
I believe this is an old advertising jingle for Life Savers hard candy, but I was unable to confirm the lyrics online.

[Sung.] No I will not fade away ...
A reference to the Buddy Holly song "Not Fade Away." Sample lyrics: "I'm a-gonna tell you how it's gonna be/You're gonna give your love to me/A love to last more than one day/A love is love a-not fade away ..." (Thanks to Joel Boutiere for this reference.)

Come on, it’s like getting turned on by Thumbelina to them.
Thumbelina is the heroine of an 1835 fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, a story about a woman who wishes for a child and gets one about the size of a thumb—hence her name.

Didn’t Tammy Wynette donate that getup to charity?
Tammy Wynette (1942-1998) was a country singer best known for her number one hit “Stand By Your Man.” Over the course of her career she recorded more than 50 albums.

[Sung.] Buzz, buzz, the magic buzz ...
A reference to the song "Magic Bus" by the Who. (Thanks to reader TServo 2049 for this reference.)

[Sung.] No, no, no, no, no-no-no-no ...
“Nobody But Me” is a 1963 song recorded by the Isley Brothers and written by O’Kelly, Rudolph and Ronald Isley. It was covered and released by The Human Beinz in 1967. In just two minutes and sixteen seconds, the word “no” is said more than 100 times; “nobody” is said more than forty.(Thanks to Sarah McKinney for this reference.)

You’re no god to us, mister!
A paraphrase of a line from the Star Trek episode “Who Mourns for Adonais?” Kirk’s actual line: “If you want to play god and call yourself Apollo, that’s your business. But you’re no god to us!”

[Whistled.] The Good, the Bad and the Ugly theme.
This is the famous theme to the spaghetti Western The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, written by composer John Morricone.

The intifada begins.
Intifada is an Arabic word meaning “uprising.” It has come to refer specifically to the escalation in hostilities between Israelis and Palestinians that took place during the 1990s.

It’s like David and Holly Golightly.
Holly Golightly is the devil-may-care heroine of the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s; she was played by Audrey Hepburn.

You’re disrupting Come Blow Your Horn.
Come Blow Your Horn is a play by Neil Simon about two brothers living the swingin’ single life in New York City. It was made into a movie starring Frank Sinatra in 1963.

Attack of the fifty-foot ABBA.
ABBA was a Swedish supergroup in the 1970s, renowned for such hits as “Mamma Mia,” “Fernando,” and “Dancing Queen.” Attack of the 50 Foot Woman is a classic B-movie from 1958, starring Allison Hayes as an heiress who finds herself growing to enormous proportions and takes the opportunity to get revenge on her cheating husband.

She thinks I'm cuuuute!
A quotation from the 1964 Rankin/Bass stop-motion animated movie Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.  Rudolph demonstrates his flying prowess to the reindeer coach after a doe named Clarice tells him she thinks he is cute. He leaps into the air and flies, shouting, "She thinks I'm cute!" The nasal quality of the statement is due to Rudolph having his nose covered with mud to hide his unique attribute. (Thanks to Robb Buzan for this reference.)

Mr. Bond.
An imitation of Auric Goldfinger, the supervillain in the James Bond flick Goldfinger (1964). The role was played by Gert Frobe.

[Sung.] Gotta dance …
A line from the song “Broadway Rhythm Ballet” from the musical Singin’ in the Rain. Sample lyrics: “A million lights, they flicker there/A million hearts beat quicker there/No skies are gray on that great white way/That's the Broadway Melody!/Gotta dance gotta dance gotta dance!”

Oh, I saw Jim Begg’s love handles. Oh, there they are again.
See note on Jim Begg, above.

I think it was John the Baptist.
In the Bible, Salome, daughter of King Herod, dances for her father and is granted anything she might wish, so she asks her father for the head of John the Baptist on a platter. The king reluctantly agrees and puts the holy man to death.

Well, at least the trains ran on time.
When Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) became dictator of Italy, he held up the newly efficient train system as proof that fascism was a good thing for the people of Italy. The trains did not always run on time, however; their legendary infallibility was more a product of propaganda than reality. The phrase “at least he made the trains run on time” has taken on a sarcastic edge, meant to suggest that even the most brutal, repressive dictatorship has its silver lining.

I’m turning into Elvis, baby.
Elvis Presley (1935-1977), the King of Rock and Roll, was one of the most popular musicians from the 1950s until his death in the late 1970s. He was a teen idol in the late 1950s, helped usher in the era of rock and roll, became a movie star, created an enormous and opulent home at Graceland in Memphis, developed problems with drug abuse, and finally died of a heart attack at the age of 42.

Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
A famous phrase uttered by the King (Yul Brynner) in the 1956 movie The King and I. The full line: “When I sit, you sit. When I kneel, you kneel. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera!” (Thanks to Sarah McKinney for this reference.)

Lolita … sweet …
Lolita is a 1955 novel by Vladimir Nabokov. The novel is narrated by Humbert Humbert, a middle-aged man with a fetish for young girls. In Lolita, a barely pubescent girl, he finally finds an accessible “nymphet.” Humbert is of course an unreliable narrator; he assures us that the 12-year-old Lolita welcomes his advances, but reading between the lines it seems clear he is a monster. The novel has been wildly controversial since its publication; it has regularly been the focus of censorship efforts, but it is also seen as one of the finest works of literature of the 20th century.

Jim Begg and the IM Force.
See note on Jim Begg, above. The Impossible Missions, or IM, Force was the group of highly trained secret agents on the TV series Mission: Impossible, which aired from 1966-1973.

Should any of you or your pudgy incompetents be caught or killed …
A reference to the statement that ended the tape-recorded instructions on Mission: Impossible every week. The actual line: “As usual, if any of your IM team is killed or captured, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions.”

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of the breasts …
A paraphrase of the classic line from the Twenty-Third Psalm: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me.”

Is this the H.G. Wells part?
See note on H.G. Wells, above.

Eldridge cleavage.
Eldridge Cleaver (1935-1998) was a radical in the 1960s, one of the founders of the militant Black Panthers. In 1968 he ran for president as a member of the Peace and Freedom Party; that same year, he was forced to flee the country after a shootout between Black Panthers and police. When he returned in 1975, he renounced the Panthers, became a born-again Christian, and unsuccessfully ran for the Senate as a Republican. Cleaver died in 1998.

Whoa, he’s headed for Snack Canyon.
The AMC theater chain used to show an animated ad for their snack bar called “Snack Canyon,” in which a group of penguins stumble across Snack Canyon and revel in all the treats available there.

I’m melting … melting … melting …
A reference to the famous scene in The Wizard of Oz where Dorothy throws water over the Wicked Witch and melts her.

Hmm. Smells like Tom Bosley.
Tom Bosley played Ron Howard’s father in the TV series Happy Days, which aired from 1974-1984.

Yeah, Willow sucked.
See note on Willow, above.

Sounds like Shaft is coming. –Shut your mouth. –I’m just talking about Shaft.
A reference to the famous theme to the 1971 blaxploitation movie Shaft, written by Isaac Hayes. Actual lyrics: “Who's the black private dick/That's a sex machine to all the chicks?/Shaft! … You see this cat Shaft is a bad mother—/Shut your mouth!/But I'm talkin' about Shaft.”

Everything’s up to date in—whoa!
A line from the song “Kansas City,” from the musical Oklahoma! Sample lyrics: “Ev'rythin's up to date inKansas City/They've gone about as fur as they c'n go!/They went and built a skyscraper seven stories high/About as high as a buildin' orta grow.”

Hey, now, that’s a Carnegie library.
In the 19th century, industrialist Andrew Carnegie built thousands of libraries across the country. Generally he would offer to pony up the cash for a library if the town in which it was built would commit a certain amount of funds for upkeep, book buying and the like. He built some 2,800 free libraries in this fashion.

Oh, my God, Opie’s on fire!
See note on Opie Taylor, above.

Surrender Aunt Bee!
A reference to the famous skywriting sequence in The Wizard of Oz, in which the Wicked Witch spells out “Surrender Dorothy” with her broom in the sky. Also see note on Aunt Bee, above.

That’s funny—that kid’s dusting crops where there ain’t no crops.
"That plane's dusting crops where there ain't no crops" is a line from the 1959 Alfred Hitchcock film North by Northwest. (Thanks to Kurt Steidl for this reference.)

By this time my son’s lungs were aching for air.
A take on one of the writers’ favorite catchphrases: “By this time my lungs were aching for air”—a reference to the TV show Sea Hunt, which starred Lloyd Bridges as scuba diver Mike Nelson (hey!). It aired from 1958-1961. Lloyd Bridges is the father of Village of the Giants star Beau Bridges.

Don’t breathe the yellow Opie.
See note on Opie Taylor, above. Also possibly a reference to the Frank Zappa song "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow."

This is the running of the half-naked teens in Hainesville.
Starting on July 6 of every year and continuing every morning for a week, residents and tourists in the Spanish town of Pamplona let a bunch of bulls loose in the streets and try to outrun them. The “running of the bulls” is a traditional part of the Festival of San Fermin. It is fairly dangerous; several people have been killed over the years, and more than a few injured.

You can call me Ray, or you can call me Ray …
Comedian Bill Saluga has a famous routine in which he appears as Raymond J. Johnson, Jr., a smoking fellow in a Zoot suit who gets irritated when addressed as “Mr. Johnson,” launching into a long routine about how “you can call me Ray, or you can call me Jay, or you can call me RJ …” The character was briefly popular in the late 1970s.

The shamed cast of The Terror of Tiny Town meets the shamed cast of Village of the Giants.
The Terror of Tiny Town, believe it or not, is an all-midget Western. Why anyone thought this was a good idea …

It’s like wearing William Conrad’s underpants and a balaclava.
See note on William Conrad, above.

It’s like waking up, rolling over, and seeing Jim Varney.
Jim Varney (1949-2000) was an actor, comedian and writer best known for his portrayal of the bumbling Ernest P. Worrell on commercials and in a series of movies.

It’s like being trapped inside Jim Begg.
See note on Jim Begg, above.