615: Kitten with a Whip
by Wyn Hilty
Oh, Anatomy of a Murder.
Anatomy of a Murder is a 1959 film starring Jimmy Stewart as a lawyer defending a man accused of killing his wife’s rapist.
I always thought it was Ann-Margrock. –Twitch! Twitch!
In the first episode of season four of The Flintstones, titled "Ann-Margrock Presents," Ann-Margret played a prehistoric version of herself, who came to Bedrock to perform a concert and stayed with Fred and Wilma. She sang two songs in the episode, but "Twitch, twitch" is actually from a different song, "The Bedrock Twitch," which Fred sang in the third season episode "The Twitch."
Oh, it’s the UPC code for this movie.
The Universal Product Code (commonly known as the UPC code or the bar code) is a code placed on products so they can be identified by bar code scanners in stores.
Ooh, the hottest Garfield episode ever.
“Garfield” is a comic strip created by Jim Davis, about a lazy, greedy cat and his hapless owner Jon. It first appeared in 1978 and was hugely popular during the 1980s.
I hope Doodles Weaver isn’t the kitten.
Doodles Weaver (1911-1983) was a comic actor who appeared on the old Spike Jones radio program as Professor Feitlebaum and appeared in a series of silent comedy shorts for TV in the 1960s.
This is where the Pink Panther comes in.
The Pink Panther movies starred comedian Peter Sellers as the bumbling Inspector Jacques Clouseau. Sellers eventually appeared in six Pink Panther movies; several others were made after Sellers’s death in 1980.
I think Jerry Lewis did a pantomime to this music in a leotard.
Jerry Lewis is a comedian and actor who got his start in the 1940s alongside Dean Martin in the Martin and Lewis comedy team. He made an enormously popular series of slapstick comedies in the 1950s and 1960s, including The Bellboy (1960) and The Nutty Professor (1963).
Chucky is the homicidal living doll in the series of Child’s Play horror flicks; the first came out in 1988.
The hills are alive …
The opening line to the song “The Sound of Music,” from the musical of the same name. Sample lyrics: “The hills are alive with the sound of music/With songs they have sung for a thousand years/The hills fill my heart with the sound of music/My heart wants to sing every song it hears …”
Ann-Margret, in the Woody Guthrie story.
Woody Guthrie (1912-1967) was a folk singer best known for penning “This Land Is Your Land.”
I am a fugitive from a slumber party.
I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang is a 1932 film starring Paul Muni as a wrongly accused man who escapes a brutal chain gang. The movie was based on Robert Burns’ autobiography, I Am a Fugitive From a Georgia Chain Gang. The film helped raise awareness of the brutality of forced prison labor.
Oh, man, how am I going to get to the hobo gathering?
The Rainbow Gathering is an annual event that began in the 1970s and continues today. It consists of a bunch of people meeting in some part of the U.S. National Forests and conducting a group meditation for world peace. There has been considerable friction over the years between the organizers of the gatherings and the U.S. government over the issue of permits.
Super City. You build it. Ann-Margret not included.
Super City was a building kit, similar to Lego, that was sold for a brief time between 1967 and 1968; it was too complicated for most kids, so it didn’t last long.
Oh, she’s going to go vandalize Mr. Ed’s house.
Mister Ed was a TV sitcom about a talking horse that aired from 1961-1966.
Interesting, but sexy.
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!”
She’s standing on Donna Reed.
Donna Reed (1921-1986) was an actress who personified the wholesome 1950s woman. She acted in numerous movies, including It’s a Wonderful Life and The Man Who Knew Too Much, and had her own TV series, The Donna Reed Show, which aired from 1958 to 1966.
Nobody reads the Voice anymore.
The Village Voice is an alternative weekly newspaper in New York City. Founded in 1955 (by Norman Mailer, among others), it features investigative reporting and extensive arts coverage.
I just have to know if the Twins lost again.
The Minnesota Twins are a professional baseball team based in Minneapolis.
Ethan Allen galleries. For great American homes like yours.
Ethan Allen is an upscale chain of furniture stores founded in 1932. It has more than 300 locations nationwide.
Sears is a chain of department stores that was founded as a mail-order company in 1893. Sears Home Centers are a chain of furniture retailers.
Mr. Letterman? Darling?
Over the years, talk show host David Letterman was dogged by a persistent stalker named Margaret Ray who repeatedly broke into his house, claiming that she was his wife and the mother of his (nonexistent) child. In 1998 she committed suicide by kneeling in front of an oncoming train.
Oh, it’s Michael Jackson’s house.
Michael Jackson (1958-2009) was a singer and dancer who began his career as a child, performing with his brothers as the Jackson 5 in the 1960s and 1970s. He became super-ultra-mega huge as a solo pop singer in the 1980s, with hits such as “Beat It” and “Thriller.” Much was made of his eccentricities, including his fashion style of wearing only one sequined glove, his pet chimp, and his habit of sleeping in an oxygen tent to revitalize himself. In later years his eccentricities began to appear darker: his fondness for children exploded into scandal when several of his young friends accused the singer of molesting them, and his constant surgical modifications began to take on an air of the grotesque.
A little peek into Doodles Weaver’s lifestyle.
See note on Doodles Weaver, above.
Okay, we meet later and frag Shari Lewis.
Shari Lewis (1933-1998) was a ventriloquist who starred in several children’s television shows, beginning in 1960. Her most famous puppet was Lamb Chop.
Russ Meyer’s Goldilocks.
Russ Meyer (1922-2004) was a movie director who made a string of films in the 1960s and 1970s featuring women with extremely large breasts. His films include Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (generally acknowledged to be his masterpiece) and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” is a traditional fairy tale about a little blond girl who breaks into a house owned by three bears.
Dear Penthouse Forum: I’m an average stuffed animal at a small Midwestern college …
An imitation of the type of letters frequently received at the “Penthouse Forum,” a column published in Penthouse magazine, in which readers would write in explicit letters about their “real-life” sexual experiences, most of which were wildly implausible. There is now a magazine called Penthouse Forum as well.
We can rebuild you, John. You’ll be faster. Stronger.
A reference to the opening narration of the TV series The Six Million Dollar Man, which aired from 1974-1978: “Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world's first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster.”
“Ah, yes. The public image.” Limited.
Public Image Ltd. was a rock group fronted by Johnny Rotten (formerly of the Sex Pistols). It debuted in 1978 and released a string of albums during the 1980s before disbanding in 1993.
Tee off on this, Oscar Goldman.
Oscar Goldman was Steve Austin’s boss on the TV series The Six Million Dollar Man (see above note). The part was played by Richard Anderson.
It’s the twentieth hour of the telethon, ladies and gentlemen, and we’re halfway to our goal.
From 1952 to 2010, comedian Jerry Lewis worked diligently to raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association by hosting an annual 24-hour Labor Day telethon along with an assortment of guest stars. Over his 54 years with the organization, Lewis raised $2 billion for the cause. (Thanks to Casey Scott for this reference.)
Now to put on some Pampers and watch Flower Drum Song.
Pampers are a brand of disposable diaper. Flower Drum Song is a musical by Joseph Fields and Oscar Hammerstein about a Chinese woman new to San Francisco who falls in love with a man her family disapproves of. It was made into a movie in 1961.
Smells like Elvis in there.
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. After he and Ann-Margret made Viva Las Vegas together, the two were linked romantically for a time.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a brilliant musical by Stephen Sondheim that was first produced on Broadway in 1979; it has since enjoyed several revivals, including a 2007 film version starring Johnny Depp as Sweeney. Todd is a decent barber who was unjustly imprisoned for years after a corrupt judge developed a hankering for his wife. Driven mad by his confinement and the death of his wife, he vows vengeance on the judge and ultimately on the world. He takes to cutting patrons’ throats with his straight razor, and his downstairs neighbor, Mrs. Lovett, puts the resulting corpses to good use in her meat pie shop. Mrs. Lovett became a signature role for actress Angela Lansbury, who originated the part on Broadway.
A reference to a series of commercials for Right Guard deodorant that ran in the 1970s. In the ads, an everyman opens his bathroom cabinet and finds a deranged neighbor (played by Chuck McCann) on the other side, who addresses him as “guy.” The neighbor explains that they have to share the cabinet and enquires about the Right Guard stocked there. Eventually the first man would make a face like a colicky baby and plaintively call out “Mona!” to his wife off-screen. (Thanks to Basil for this reference.)
Did Johnny Hodges let himself in?
Johnny Hodges (1906-1970) was a renowned alto saxophone player. He played in Duke Ellington’s orchestra for 40 years.
Stanley Myron Handelman.
Stanley Myron Handelman (1929-2007) was a comedian and actor who was a regular on Dean Martin Presents the Golddiggers. He also appeared on a short-lived TV series, Make Room for Granddaddy (1970).
He’s with Mr. Kotter, sir.
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.
Leggo my Eggo!
“Leggo my Eggo” is a longtime advertising slogan for Eggo frozen waffles.
I think Senator Kennedy might have handled this differently.
Ted Kennedy (1932-2009) was a senator from Massachusetts, in his last years one of the few old-school liberals in Congress. He had a fairly messy personal life, dogged by rumors of drinking and womanizing. In 1969 his car went off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, drowning the young woman who was his passenger; the scandal almost ended his political career.
The V.C. kept coming. I couldn’t keep them off me.
“V.C.” is short for Viet Cong, the rebel army that fought against the government of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Their actual name was the National Liberation Front.
My parents were Manx.
Manx are a breed of cat believed to originate from the Isle of Man. They are distinctive in that they lack tails.
“Then Barney stumbled into my room.” Baby Bop too.
Baby Bop is a small dinosaur who appears on the kiddie TV show Barney & Friends, which airs on PBS. See note on Barney, below. (Thanks to Casey Scott for this reference.)
Men are from Mars, women are from Venus, right?
Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus is a self-help book by counselor John Gray, about the difficulties men and women have in maintaining relationships.
Sorry, a little bit of the King slipped out there.
See note on Elvis Presley, above.
The Gestapo were the secret police force of Nazi Germany, charged with investigating treason, espionage, sabotage, and other “tendencies dangerous to the state.” It operated without judicial oversight and thus was subject to tremendous abuses of power. The word “gestapo” has come to mean any brutal police force.
Well, let me show you something in the Ruth Buzzi line of leather and PVC.
Ruth Buzzi is a comedian best known for her appearances on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, which aired from 1968-1973.
I’ll be the prize Pulitzer.
The Pulitzer Prize is an annual award given for excellence in print journalism, including books. It was established in the late 19th century by newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer. In 1987, Roxanne Pulitzer published a tell-all autobiography called Roxanne: The Prize Pulitzer in the wake of her bitter divorce from Pulitzer heir Peter. The book was made into a TV movie in 1989. (Thanks to Rosemary for the Roxanne Pulitzer reference.)
“Move along, Jody.” Bye, Buffy.
Jody and Buffy were two of the children on the TV show Family Affair, which aired from 1966 to 1971. (The third child was named Cissy.) The show starred Brian Keith as Bill Davis, a carefree swinging bachelor who suddenly found himself in custody of three orphans, whom he cared for with the assistance of his supercilious valet, Mr. French.
Suzy Chapstick was arraigned today …
Skier Suzy Chaffee made a commercial for Chapstick lip balm in 1978 in which she was dubbed “Suzy Chapstick.”
There’s a thing on Fabio!
Fabio Lanzoni, known mononymically as Fabio, is a male model known for his flowing blond locks and muscular physique. He became famous in the 1980s and '90s posing for a series of romance novel covers and went on to appear in movies and TV shows, usually playing himself.
“She looked a little like …” Dee Snider.
Dee Snider was the lead singer for the heavy metal band Twisted Sister, known chiefly for its song “We’re Not Going to Take It.”
Oh, Adam Sandler.
Adam Sandler is a comedian and actor who has enjoyed amazing success with a series of fairly lowbrow, feel-good movies, including The Wedding Singer (1998) and Mr. Deeds (2002). He got his start on Saturday Night Live, where he appeared from 1991-1995.
Oh, please, God, make it happen again. Maybe this time Sue Lyon. Joey Heatherton! Oh, please, please, please.
Sue Lyon was an actress and sex symbol in the 1960s, who got her start playing Lolita in the 1962 film of the same name. Joey Heatherton was a popular singer/actress/Vegas mainstay during the 1960s, whose persona as a purring sex kitten carried her on a crest of popularity through the decade. She was particularly well known for touring with Bob Hope on his USO shows. However, in the 1970s she fell out of vogue and began to have increasing drug and health problems. She was arrested for possession several times and has largely disappeared from the public consciousness.
Carl Stalling’s in his house.
Carl Stalling (1891-1972) was a composer who worked as the musical director for Warner Brothers’ Looney Tunes cartoons from 1936-1958.
Oh, that’s right, I rented the spare room to Elmer Fudd.
Elmer Fudd was a character in the Looney Tunes cartoons, a hunter usually pitted against Bugs Bunny.
There’s a rabbit boiling on the stove for you.
In the 1987 film Fatal Attraction, in which a married man is stalked by the woman he had a one night stand with, Glenn Close breaks into Michael Douglas’s house and kills their pet rabbit, cooking it on the stove.
Did you ever read The Burning Bed?
The Burning Bed is a nonfiction book by Faith McNulty, about a battered woman who killed her husband by setting him on fire while he was sleeping. It was made into a TV movie starring Farrah Fawcett in 1984.
“You do remember Barney, don’t you?” He loves you, you love him?
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. Barney’s signature song goes, “I love you/You love me/We're a happy family/With a great big hug and a kiss from me to you/Won't you say you love me too.”
You need Joel Hyatt.
Joel Hyatt is an attorney, the founder of Hyatt Legal Services, a low-cost law firm. Hyatt appeared in the firm’s television commercials, with the tagline, “I’m Joel Hyatt, and you have my word on it.”
Prince is a Minneapolis musician who was one of the seminal musical talents of the 1980s; in particular, his albums 1999, Purple Rain, and Sign o’ the Times were phenomenally successful.
Possibly a reference to the Coasters song “Along Came Jones.” Sample lyrics: “I plopped down in my easy chair and turned on Channel 2/A bad gunslinger called Salty Sam was chasin' poor Sweet Sue/He trapped her in the old sawmill and said with an evil laugh/’If you don't give me the deed to your ranch/I'll saw you all in half!’”
You turned off Doodles Weaver!
See note on Doodles Weaver, above.
Yes, I saw it. I love Doodles Weaver.
See note on Doodles Weaver, above.
“Is Cathy there?” She’s trying on a bathing suit and saying “Aack” right now.
“Cathy” was a comic strip by Cathy Guisewite about a young woman who is perpetually overweight and eternally frazzled. It ran from 1976-2010.
You know, Endora’s never done anything for me.
Endora was Darrin Stephens’s impossible mother-in-law on the TV sitcom Bewitched, which aired from 1964-1972. The part was played by Agnes Moorehead.
He’d never touch you, picture. You’re dirt.
A reference to Show 522, Teen-Age Crime Wave.
“You’re so physical.” Let me hear your body talk.
A line from the Olivia Newton John song “Let’s Get Physical.” Sample lyrics: “Let's get physical, physical/I wanna get physical, let's get into physical/Let me hear your body talk/Your body talk, let me hear your body talk …”
Is Colonel Sanders back from the dead or what?
Colonel Harland Sanders was the man who, in 1940, came up with the famous “original recipe” and founded Kentucky Fried Chicken. He died in 1980.
Oh, she was eating a Clark Bar, and …
Clark Bars are a type of candy bar sold as far back as 1886. They are manufactured by Necco.
The crawling eye!
A reference to Show 101, The Crawling Eye.
“Of course, Cathy!” Is trying on a bathing suit and saying “Aack!”
See note on “Cathy,” above.
“That girl!” Marlo Thomas.
That Girl was a television series that aired from 1966-1971. It starred Marlo Thomas as Ann Marie, an aspiring actress struggling to make it in New York City.
Pinchas Zuckerman is a well-known violinist and conductor.
“Right.” You’re bloody well right.
A line from the song “Bloody Well Right” by Supertramp. Sample lyrics: “You say it all depends on money/And who is in your family tree/Right, you’re bloody well right/You know you got a right to say …”
It’s just Oscar. I’ll get the Fleischman’s out.
Fleischman’s is a brand of margarine.
The young Gladys Kravitz chronicles.
Gladys and Abner Kravitz were the nosy neighbors on the television sitcom Bewitched, which aired from 1964-1972. Gladys was played at various times by Sandra Gould and Alice Pearce. The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles was a television series that aired in 1992-1993. Based on the phenomenally popular Indiana Jones movies, which began with 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, the series never really caught on, although it developed a loyal cult following. It featured Indiana Jones (who was played by Harrison Ford in the films) at three ages: as an old man, who narrated the episodes; as a boy of 10; and as a young man in his late teens.
She looked like Pebbles.
Pebbles Flintstone was the young daughter on the animated TV series The Flintstones, which aired from 1960-1966. She was voiced by Jean Vander Pyl, who also supplied the voice of Wilma Flintstone.
You have the mark of the beast on you.
The “mark of the beast” is a term from the book of Revelations in the Bible. It is a mark placed on the hand or forehead of those who follow the Antichrist. Many people associate the number 666 with the mark.
Who are you, Lovejoy? Leave me alone.
Lovejoy was a series about an antiques dealer who continually stumbles onto mysteries that aired on A&E. It starred Ian McShane in the title role and aired from 1986-1994.
She’s calling Bob Woodward.
Bob Woodward is the famed journalist known for his role in uncovering the Watergate scandal for the Washington Post, which ultimately forced President Richard M. Nixon to resign. He won the Pulitzer Prize for that coverage. Since then he has written a number of nonfiction books.
Nurse Ratched is the head of the mental hospital ward in the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. Starched, repressive, and forbidding, she serves as the antagonist in the book. The role was played in the 1975 film by Louise Fletcher, for which she won an Oscar.
“Well, she was …” A flibbertigibbet, a will o’ the wisp, a clown.
A line from the song “Maria” from the musical The Sound of Music. Sample lyrics: “How do you solve a problem like Maria?/How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?/How do you find a word that means Maria?/A flibbertigibbet! A will o' the wisp! A clown!”
I can take Ken Norton in four.
Ken Norton was a heavyweight boxer in the 1970s. In 1973 he beat Muhammad Ali to earn the heavyweight championship title—only Ali’s second loss in his career. He retired in 1981.
[Sung.] Smooth operator … smooth operator …
A line from the song “Smooth Operator” by Sade. Sample lyrics: “No need to ask/He's a smooth operator, smooth operator, smooth operator, smooth operator.”
Do we have any Chex mix?
Chex mix is a traditional Middle America snack mix containing Chex cereal, nuts, bagel chips, pretzels, margarine, and spices.
Sam, are you scheming?
Probably a reference to Samantha Stephens on the TV series Bewitched. The role was played by Elizabeth Montgomery.
Avon calling. Avon calling. Avon calling. Avon calling. Avon calling.
“Ding-dong, Avon calling” is an advertising slogan for the direct-sales cosmetics company that dates to the 1960s.
It’s the cast from Bernice Bobs Her Hair.
“Bernice Bobs Her Hair” is a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald about a young woman in the 1920s learning to be more modern. It was made into a TV movie starring Shelley Duvall in 1976.
He’s got to get back to the set of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a 1968 movie about a magical car. The film was based on a children’s book written by Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond novels.
“You’ve been such a buddy to the buddy.” Comin’ through the rye.
A reference to the poem “Coming Through the Rye” by Robert Burns. Sample lines: “Gin a body meet a body/Coming thro' the rye,/Gin a body kiss a body -/Need a body cry?”
Well, I gave her Femiron, if that’s what you mean.
Femiron is a dietary supplement designed to give women the daily dose of iron they need.
“Thieves, Mr. Stratton, please.” We’re gypsies and tramps.
A reference to the Cher song “Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves.” Sample lyrics: “Gypsies, tramps, and thieves/We'd hear it from the people of the town/They'd call us Gypsies, tramps, and thieves/But every night all the men would come around/And lay their money down.”
Neil Bush is the son of former President George Bush and the younger brother of George W. Bush. He is the black sheep of the family; in the late 1980s and early 1990s, he presided over the collapse of the Silverado Savings and Loan, which cost taxpayers roughly $1 billion. And in 2003 he embarrassed his brother with a highly publicized and nasty divorce battle that included infidelity and rumors of voodoo.
Scenes for young actors, here.
Scenes for Young Actors is a book by Lorraine and Stephen Cohen featuring short scenes meant for use in acting classes.
Why, thank you, Rocky.
A reference to the sidekick squirrel on The Bullwinkle Show, which aired from 1961-1973.
Possibly a reference to the 1974 film Freebie and the Bean, about two San Francisco police detectives. (Thanks to Michael Gilstrap for this reference.)
“No pain, buddy.” Not with new Aleve.
Aleve is an over-the-counter painkiller that bills itself as the solution for minor arthritis pain.
She looks like a Dodge Neon.
The Dodge Neon is an economy car manufactured by Chrysler.
You know, these guys are about as intimidating as Chad and Jeremy.
Chad Stuart and Jeremy Clyde were a musical duo popular in the 1960s, with hits such as “A Summer Song” and “Willow Weep for Me.”
“Love.” Soft as an easy chair.
A line from the song “Evergreen.” Sample lyrics: “Love, soft as an easy chair/Love, fresh as the morning air/One love that is shared by two/I have found with you.”
[Sung.] Sunday, Monday, happy days …
A line from the theme song to the TV sitcom Happy Days, which aired from 1974-1984. Sample lyrics: “Sunday, Monday, happy days/Tuesday, Wednesday, happy days/Thursday, Friday, happy days/Saturday, what a day/Rockin’ all week with you …
Oh, no, Edith Prickley’s nude!
Edith Prickley was the station manager on SCTV, a Canadian comedy show. The part was played by Andrea Martin.
And so it came to Joe Pass, in the ruby days of Caesar Augustus …
Joe Pass (1929-1994) was a well-known and respected jazz guitarist. Caesar Augustus (63 B.C.E.-14 C.E.) was the first emperor of Rome, ruling for 40 years. His reign ended a century of civil wars and brought peace and prosperity to the Roman Empire. Also a reference to Luke 2:1 in the King James Bible: "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed."
I still think Charades would have been fun.
Charades is a game in which one player acts out a word or phrase, and the other players try to guess what it is.
What is she, rolfing herself?
Rolfing, also known as structural integration, is a form of massage whose advocates say can heal all sorts of health problems.
[Sung.] Happy birthday, Mr. Senator …
An imitation of actress and sex symbol Marilyn Monroe singing “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy in 1962.
I want to hear “Puff the Magic Dragon” again.
“Puff the Magic Dragon” is a song by Peter, Paul & Mary. Sample lyrics: “Puff, the magic dragon, lived by the sea/And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honalee …”
I’ve been to the mountaintop, and I have dug it, baby.
In a 1968 speech delivered by Martin Luther King Jr., he said: “Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind.”
Payne Stewart: holy man.
Payne Stewart (1957-1999) was a professional golfer known for his habit of wearing knickers and a tam o’shanter on the course. He died in a plane crash in 1999.
Poems and prayers and promises.
A line from the song “Poems, Prayers & Promises” by John Denver. Sample lyrics: “And talk of poems and prayers and promises/And things that we believe in/How sweet it is to love someone/How right it is to care …”
Will Durant, J.D.
Will Durant (1885-1981) was a historian who, with his wife, wrote the epic eleven-volume The Story of Civilization. He was known for producing sweeping works concentrating on the larger vistas of human history, and his works were aimed at the layman rather than at academics. Perhaps because of this, his work has frequently been subject to criticism from other historians.
Forrest Gump is a 1994 movie starring Tom Hanks as a man with less-than-average intelligence who happens to be present at many of the great moments in recent history.
Shave and a haircut, two bits?
The tune for the couplet “Shave and a haircut, two bits” originated in an 1899 song called “At a Darktown Cakewalk”; in 1939 the same seven notes were used in a song called “Shave and a Haircut—Shampoo.” Over the years the phrase mutated into the form it is known by today.
Tonight, on medical senator.
Medical Center was a TV drama set in a hospital in Los Angeles. It aired from 1969-1976.
Watch, next someone’ll spill a mai tai on the white carpet.
A mai tai is a cocktail made from rum, curacao, and lime juice, along with other ingredients depending on which recipe you use.
Midget’s bucket? Billy Barty’s bucket?
Billy Barty (1924-2000), who plays the imp in Show 806, The Undead, was a prolific actor who also crusaded for societal acceptance of little people. He founded Little People of America in 1957 to work toward that goal. He appeared in more than 80 films and TV series during his lengthy career.
“I’m dying in a rush.” [Sung.] And I’m hooked on a feeling.
A line from the song “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede. Sample lyrics: “I'm hooked on a feeling/I'm high on believing/That you're in love with me …”
We must pray to Ba’al.
Ba’al (or Baal) was a Canaanite fertility god worshiped by some Semitic peoples beginning around the 14th century B.C.E. Ba’al was the son of El, the supreme god of Canaan, and his death and rebirth were worshiped as part of the society’s fertility rituals.
It’s only my two-hundred-year-old VSOP; could you save me a little?
VSOP stands for “Very Special Old Pale”; it is a type of champagne cognac made by Courvoisier.
[Sung.] She’s the top, she’s the Mona Lisa …
A paraphrase of the song “You’re the Top” by Cole Porter. Sample lyrics: “You're the Nile/You're the Tower of Pisa/You're the smile on the Mona Lisa/I'm a worthless check, a total wreck, a flop/But if, baby, I'm the bottom you're the top!”
They’ve got to go pick up Goober.
Goober Pyle was a character on The Andy Griffith Show, which aired from 1960-1968. The part was played by George Lindsey.
Hey, a Hoppity Hop!
A Hoppity Hop is a large rubber ball with a handle on the top, designed for kids to sit on and bounce. It was a popular toy during the 1970s and 1980s and is still sold today.
Suddenly it’s Pow Wow Highway.
Pow Wow Highway is a 1989 film about the difficulties faced by Indians living on reservations. It was based on the novel by David Seals.
How would you like it if somebody picked your apples?
A reference to the talking apple tree’s line in The Wizard of Oz (1939): “How would you like it if someone came along and picked something off of you?”
I think I hear a giant sucking sound.
In 1993, as the country was debating the wisdom of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), businessman and former presidential contender Ross Perot came out against it, saying, “NAFTA will cause a giant sucking sound as jobs go south.”
Yes, OSHA recommends rolling up your window.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is a section of the Department of Labor, charged with ensuring workplace safety.
Oh, look, they’ve entered the Magic Kingdom.
The Magic Kingdom is the longtime nickname of Disneyland. There is also a Magic Kingdom theme park in Orlando, Florida that opened in 1971.
They’re on the set of Old Gringo.
Old Gringo is a 1989 film about a schoolteacher kidnapped by rebels during the Mexican Revolution. It starred Jane Fonda, Gregory Peck, and Jimmy Smits.
Again, she’s on to me. Spassky himself would have fallen for that one.
Boris Spassky is a Russian chess player who famously lost the chess world championship to Bobby Fischer in 1972. It was the first time in 35 years that a non-Russian had won the title.
[Sung.] Happy trails to you …
A line from the song “Happy Trails,” which was the theme song for Dale Evans and Roy Rogers; it was written by Evans. Sample lyrics: “Happy trails to you, until we meet again/Happy trails to you, keep smilin' until then/Who cares about the clouds when we're together?/Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.”
Saigon. I can’t believe I’m still in Saigon.
This is a paraphrase of a line from Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 movie Apocalypse Now, spoken at the beginning of the film by Martin Sheen: “Saigon. Shit! I’m still only in Saigon.”
But I don’t want to run with the bulls! No!
Every year in Pamplona, Spain, between July 7 and 14, the “running of the bulls” is held, in which people and bulls run a marked-off course through the town. Deaths are relatively rare, but injuries are not.
Out of the way, Skipper.
Possibly a reference to the Skipper on the TV sitcom Gilligan’s Island, which aired from 1964-1967. The part was played by Alan Hale Jr.
Well, a hundred and ten dollars for a bottle of Seven Crown—that seems reasonable.
Seven Crown is a brand of blended whiskey manufactured by Seagram’s.
Oh, no, it’s Imogene Coca!
Imogene Coca (1908-2001) was an actress and comedian best known for playing opposite Sid Caesar on Your Show of Shows, which aired from 1950-1954. After that classic show went off the air, she got her own short-lived series, The Imogene Coca Show.
Dad! Mom! Laurence Olivier! Mildred Natwick!
Laurence Olivier (1907-1989) was an actor who appeared in more than 80 movies over the course of his long career. He appeared in many classic films, including Wuthering Heights, Rebecca, Pride and Prejudice, and Hamlet. Mildred Natwick (1905-1994) was an actress who appeared in such movies as The Court Jester and The Trouble with Harry; she also played one of the Snoop sisters in the TV series of the same name.
Oh, geez, it's Cantinflas.
Cantinflas, a.k.a. Mario Moreno Reyes (1911-1993), was a wildly popular Mexican comedian from the 1930s through the 1970s. (Thanks to Christopher Brame for this reference.)
Stacy Keach, all cleaned up.
Stacy Keach is a tough-guy actor who has appeared in more than 100 movies and TV series over the course of his career, including Mike Hammer, Escape from L.A., and American History X.
He’s smoking a Slim Jim.
Slim Jims are a brand of beef jerky snack marketed primarily to teens and manufactured by ConAgra Foods.
Wow, Amy Grant has really crossed over!
Amy Grant is a singer who began her career in the tiny subgenre of Christian pop music. She became its biggest star, revolutionizing the genre, and when she crossed over to performing straight pop in the 1980s, it was the subject of much controversy among some Christians, who considered her something of a traitor.
[Sung.] Jesus loves me, this I know/Cause the Bible tells me so …
A line from the song “He Loves Me.” Sample lyrics: “Jesus loves me this I know/For the Bible tells me so/All of us to Him belong/We are so weak, but our God, He is strong.”
Isotoners are a popular brand of gloves.
Well, Señor Wences liked it.
Señor Wences (real name Wenceslao Moreno; 1896-1999) was a Spanish ventriloquist who made frequent appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show. He was known for his comic banter with a hand puppet named Johnny and a puppet hidden in a box who went by the name of Pedro. He died in 1999 at the age of 103.
[Sung.] Heart and soul ...
Probably a reference to the simple piano duet by the same name, written by Hoagy Carmichael. (Thanks to Sampo for this reference.)
Man, I love Chi-Chi’s.
Chi-Chi’s is a chain of inexpensive Mexican restaurants. The first location opened in Minneapolis in 1976; as of 2004 there were 65 restaurants in thirteen states.
Every day I sit in here Charlie gets stronger and I get weaker.
A reference to a line in the 1979 film Apocalypse Now: “Every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker, and every minute Charlie squats in the bush, he gets stronger.”
I’m not in the mood to drink anymore; could you get me a Diet Coke?
Introduced in 1982, Diet Coke quickly became the best-selling diet soda in the country. Today it is the third most popular soda on the market, surpassed only by Coke and Pepsi.
Hope you like Annie Greenspring—that’s all they had.
Annie Greenspring is a brand of cheap wine—similar to Boone’s Farm—that was popular in the 1970s.
“Thanks for caring.” The United Way.
"Thanks for caring" was the tag line for commercials for the United Way, the well-known charity. (Thanks to Sampo for this reference.)
“I made up my mind.” [Sung.] I’m keeping my baby …
A reference to a line from “Papa Don’t Preach,” on Madonna’s 1986 True Blue album. Hard as it is to believe now, the song engendered some controversy on the grounds that it endorsed teen pregnancy. It was her fourth number one hit. Actual lyrics: “Papa don't preach, I'm in trouble deep/Papa don't preach, I've been losing sleep/But I made up my mind, I'm keeping my baby …”
It’s Motel 6 from now on.
Motel 6 is a chain of budget motels.
[Sung.] Bugsy Malone …
Bugsy Malone is a 1976 “gangster” movie in which all the mobsters are played by children. It starred Scott Baio and Jodie Foster and was scored by Paul Williams, including the title song. Sample lyrics: “He's a sinner/Candy-coated/For all his friends/He always seems to be alone/But they love him/Bugsy Malone.”
Oh, hi, guys! Look, Jody! Gentleman callers!
Probably a reference to the play Arsenic and Old Lace, about a pair of old ladies who poison their “gentleman callers.”
Not since the Who were here has this happened.
The Who were a rock band, one of the seminal members of the British Invasion of the mid-1960s. Their songs such as “The Kids Are Alright” and “My Generation” became anthems for a generation of teenagers, and their rock opera, Tommy, was highly influential.
That’s for the tax reform bill, that’s for GATT, and for NAFTA …
GATT is the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, originally signed in 1947. It is designed to help govern trade between countries by regulating tariffs and resolving trade disputes. GATT now boasts more than 100 member countries. See also note on NAFTA, above.
That’s a nice Montrachet—go right to your head, though.
Montrachet is a type of French wine produced in Burgundy.
Dizzy Gillespie’s on their tail.
Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993) was a jazz trumpeter and one of the main developers of the bop style of jazz in the 1940s and 1950s. He played with Cab Calloway’s band for a time, but for most of his career he played with various small bands that he organized. His trademark was a special trumpet with the bell bent back at a 45-degree angle, the result of an accident in which someone fell on his trumpet—Gillespie decided he liked the sound better that way.
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, good-looking, we’ll be back to bump you off later.
A reference to the ad campaign for Mr. Microphone, a low-power FM modulator popular in the late 1970s that made it possible for your voice to be transmitted over someone’s radio. In the commercial, a young man in a car uses Mr. Microphone to pick up a good-looking chick, saying, “Hey, good-looking, we’ll be back to pick you up later.” The ad was parodied in an episode of The Simpsons titled “Radio Bart.”
Viva Las Vegas …
Viva Las Vegas is a 1964 film about a young race car driver in Las Vegas for a car race; it starred Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret.
Please, God, I’m only 17.
“Please, God, I’m Only 17!” is a cautionary essay about the dangers of reckless driving that was reprinted seemingly every other week in both the “Dear Abby” and “Ann Landers” newspaper advice columns. It dates back to at least the 1970s.
The Chicago Cubs are a professional baseball team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are a team of notorious losers, having failed to play in a World Series since 1945 and having failed to win one since 1908. Nevertheless, they continue to enjoy loyalty from their hometown fans.
Well, once more into the breach.
A line from Act III, Scene 1 of the William Shakespeare play Henry V: “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;/Or close the wall up with our English dead.”
One ring to rule them all and in the darkness bind them.
A paraphrase of a line from J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy The Lord of the Rings. The complete rhyme: “One ring to rule them all/One ring to find them/One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them/In the land of Mordor where the shadows lie.”
When in Universal City, ride the Kitten with a Whip ride.
Probably a reference to the Universal Studios theme park in California.
Why wasn’t there more Doodles Weaver in this movie?
See note on Doodles Weaver, above.
Yeah! Doodles, Doodles, Doodles, Doodles, Doodles!
See note on Doodles Weaver, above.