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Films watched: Circus on Ice (short) and Monster a Go Go
I recall this episode as being the first time we decided explicitly to write sketches having nothing to do with the movie. Really, we had no choice. (...A)ny topic that is about something (that is, any topic that exhibits "topicness") cannot, by definition, have anything to do with this movie.—Paul Chaplin, The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Amazing Colossal Episode Guide
Best Brains regards Monster A Go Go as one of the worst movies they ever riffed on. It even gets an aside reference in their treatment of Manos the Hands of Fate, implying that as bad as that movie was, this one may still be worse.
Circus on Ice is a short about the 40th Annual Carnival of the Toronto Skating Club
This episode contains examples of:
- Beam Me Up, Scotty: Most MSTies use the quote "There was no monster" when referencing this film. But actually, the narrator never says that! His actual phrasing is, "Suddenly, there was no sign of the monster!" Writer Paul Chaplin even notes this in the episode guide book.
- Blatant Lies - At one point Joel denies having brought a soda into the theater, despite the fact that we heard him open the can and saw him drink from it.
- Call Back: Joel declares Servo "a happy king" while pretending to play a trumpet, a Shout-Out to Mr. B Natural.
- Fridge Logic: Invoked by Crow and Servo when they try to have Joel explain the lyrics of Rupert Holmes' song "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)."
- Gag Boobs: "Oh, they decided to go to Shakey's."
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: TV's Frank enthuses about Johnny Longtorso's "action batch".
- Heroic BSOD: Both Crow and Tom Servo at the end, despite Joel's best efforts.
- Pollyanna: Crow fails to become this at the start.
- "Ride of the Valkyries"
- Running Gags
Joel: Hey, wait; I think you have page 29 of the script on your shoe!
- The infamous ending prompted one of the few instances in the entirety of the show of one of the bots flat out booing the film. It only comes second to the infamous Downer Ending of Manos the Hands of Fate Debbie becoming one of the Master's wives, where the entire crew booed.
- One of the host segments is entirely devoted to bashing the kitsch song "Escape." It's clearly the result of one of the writers having thought these things for a while.
- This Is Gonna Suck: Everyone. During the opening credits, no less.
Joel: You know what, guys, I have a feeling that this is gonna be a tough one.
Crow: Now, it might not be too bad!
Tom: No, I think Joel's right; this one has 'stinkburger' written all over it.
Crow: Come on; you can't tell just from the credits!
Joel: No, no, it's a feeling I have; my gut instinct's telling me this is gonna hurt real bad.
Crow: Joel, it's not healthy to have such a negative attitude right out of the gate.
Tom: It's just common sense, Crow; there's a feeling of incompetence already in the air here.
Joel: Yeah, we might as well face up to it.
Crow: Well, I refuse to give in so soon; I'm gonna riff away like it's nobody's business...I-I can't think of anything now, but...
- It doesn't even take a minute to change Crow's mind.
- What Could Have Been: Servo sighs at seeing the title: "Aw, I thought this was going to be Munster Go Home!".
- What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: Servo is fascinated by WoodScrew TapeWorm, who is basically cassette recorder tape being pulled through a dolls mouth.