Imagine: You’ve grabbed a Value Meal from McDonalds with a Diet Coke (but let’s face it, that isn’t going to help that small continent growing around your midsection), settled down into your comfy couch (Or Hamburgler armchair, I’m not judging), ready to watch another fantastic episode of your favorite television show, Mystery Science Theater 3000. Suddenly, in the midst of the usual chuckle-inspired weirdness emerges one of THOSE moments. You know, the ones that you sit through while the SOL crew slowly chips away at your sanity for two or three minutes, leaving you with a hollow shell for a cranium (But this could be a typical day for some. Again, not judging).
I decree that this particular Saturday’s Six be a tribute to all those MST3K moments that, whether or not they make us laugh, surely make us scratch our heads and wonder if we’ve just been mentally violated.
Because these moments really should be seen, rather than read about, I tried very hard to get working video clips of each Insane Moment. Five of the six episodes are available on DVD, so make sure to go out and buy these fantastic creations so that you may enjoy them in all their glory.
Everyone drag out your hallucinogens and your tie-dyed T-shirts, ’cause we’re about to go on a trip as I present:
Six of the Most Insane MST3K Moments!
#6. Joel terminates the Holo-Clowns
This is a short skit at the beginning of episode 406, Attack of the Giant Leeches. It’s a carry-over from the last episode where Joel had set up a clown sequence to cheer up the ‘bots (clowns played by Kevin Murphy and Mike Nelson). Unfortunately the clowns have been clowning nonstop for three weeks, when three minutes of clowns is more than enough. The whole crew is at their breaking point and Joel is cutting them loose because “it’s getting hard to sleep at night and [he’s] tasting metal”. For most of us just the mere mention of the word “clown” could make us regress into a vegetative state. Stick Mike Nelson in there as a clown who’d rather bludgeon you with his shoe than look at you and things take on a whole other level of pants-wettingly scary. Finally Joel succeeds in cutting the wires controlling the Hex Field, amid anguished screams from the clowns and horrified screams from the crew. Just start this baby up and let ‘er play through the one and half minutes of credits before you’re dunked into the acid bath of terror.
Warped Quote: “Hey, little girl…would you like a salted nut roll?”
#5. Cowboy Mike’s Own Original Red-Hot Rick-o-SHAAAAYY Barbecue Sauce
This daft bit hails from the underdog episode 612, Starfighters-a movie about abso-freaking-lutely nothing but jets refueling. It’s a testament to the genius of the show’s writers that they were able to make anything remotely watchable out of this. No worries…the not-so-brave need not sit through this one to enjoy the hilarious BBQ-sauce skit. As with the Holo Clowns act, we’re thrown right into a snake pit of crazy when Dr. Forrester opens the episode trying to introduce Mike and the bots to his newest invention which consists of some wires strung from his head to Frank’s. He barely gets started when Mike breaks in with a growling dare to take on some of Mike’s ricochet barbeque sauce. Mike’s down-turned Elvis mouth, the (literal) ten gallon hats he and the bots are wearing, the hats getting “shot” off every time they scream “Rick-O-SHAAAAYYYY”, and Crow’s hilarious screeching of the word “BOOOOOLLLD!” all make this one of my favorite skits.
This skit has nothing to do with anything. It just is. Enjoy
Warped Quote: “There is no known antydote for new Extry Bold Mike’s Own Original Red-Hot Rick-O-SHAAAAAYYYYY Barbecue Sauce!”
#4 The Ugly Side of the Orville Redenbacher Empire
There’s nothing quite like the awkward feeling one gets witnessing a good old dysfunctional family breakdown. The tension in the air, sweat breaking out on your brow, eyes darting towards the nearest exit as the years of bottled up mental anguish and family hate boil toward the surface and threatens set the whole house aflame and you with it. Ah good times, good times. And now, thanks to the friendly crew at MST3K, you can relive those moments over and over with our next insane moment: The Orville Redenbacher Skit.
Like the BBQ sequence, this one really has no purpose other than to serve your brain a healthy glass of WTF (now part of this complete breakfast!). Tom and Crow, never ones to shy away from their truly unique and terrifying form of LARPING, act as Orville’s reluctant heir and the aging popcorn mogul, respectively. Tom, as Orville’s grandson, tries repeatedly to carry on with a commercial for the popcorn and ignore Crow, who heckles and belittles him. The scene escalates into screaming and Tom’s bitter tears before Joel finally steps in and ends the madness, to the relief of all.
You can find this host segment in episode 212, Godzilla vs. Megalon, about an hour and twelve minutes in. Sadly this episode, originally found on the Volume 10 DVD set, is no longer available due to copyright issues. Shortly after release Volume 10 was pulled and reissued with Giant Gila Monster. So, unless you want to fork over 149.99 on Amazon for the original Volume 10 set, the link below is your only option for now.
Warped Quote: Tom: “….and our new Popcorn Au Gratin has new real cheese flavor!”
Crow: “Good, you should get used to it ‘cause you’re gonna be eating a lot of cheese….government cheese!”
#3 Joel and the trip-tastic Pod People scene
Oh, my friends. If you haven’t seen this episode then you are missing out on what I think is one of the best pieces of work the MST3K group has done. This movie is just one insane moment, but what really took it over the edge what starts out with a kid teaching an alien to play, and ends with the alien turning the child’s room into a Peter Gabriel video. Clothes fly through the air, shoes scoot in and out of the closet, and a Simon Says jitters around the floor like a demonic Roomba …all to the beat of some moronic circus-type music. Fun!
Around an hour and thirteen minutes in we see Joel and the ‘bots playing out the maddening scene for themselves. The camera swings in and out nauseatingly as random objects and a screaming Tom float up and down, Joel jogs and turns in place, and a banana whizzes past the screen, all to the tune of that darned catchy circus dreck. Ever once in a while we cut to the ‘Mads, who can only stare, mouths agape and speechless at what’s happening.
Warped Quote: “Trumpy, you can do stupid things!”
#2 Mike and the ‘bots dabble in children’s television
Numero dos has the list’s only entry featuring Pearl, Brain Guy and Bobo. In episode 811, Parts: The Clonus Horror, we find our space travelers carting along some space orphans acquired in a previous episode. They are vicious little terrors, to the point that Pearl finally asks Mike to help her. Unfortunately for her, she asks him to act out some children’s programming to keep the brats busy. You must know that this is a bad, bad idea.
Things begin well, with Mike and the ‘bots performing a sickeningly sweet Sesame Street type of program teaching the kids about “A” and “3”. This (and the well-timed arrival of “fruit leathers”) placates the children and Pearl attempts to sneak off. Just when she’s almost made it, things take a horrifying turn. The SOL crew quickly switches to Espanol and jiggle around amidst disco lights in junk-scrunchingly tight silver spandex.
The children, and our souls, weep openly.
Warped Quote: “Agua.” …………. “Agua!”
#1. DON’T GIVE MIKEY NO MATCHES!
You’ve made it to the end, my friends. Together we have braved dancing furniture, soulless clowns, BBQ sauce…a journey like this deserves the highest of awards: You’re about to have your brain punted right out your skull. Then stomped on. With dull cleats.
There is just nothing in this skit that doesn’t make you want to laugh out loud and simultaneously rip out your eyes. It’s that freakish. In episode 623, Amazing Transparent Man, we find Frank and Dr. Forrester opening a bed and breakfast together (the less said about this, the better). In an effort to add some local color and charm to the atmosphere, they forcefully enlist the help of their captives and have them dress up in “quaint” country folk apparel. Let us for now and for always remember that one never, EVER should ask these guys for help.
What ensues could easily be a scene from Deliverance, with a little Wrong Turn thrown in. Kevin Murphy, Mike Nelson, and Trace Beaulieu were just brilliant as the tyrannical farmer, slack-jawed idiot, and…”pet”….llama? Everyone plays this scene to ultimate creepy perfection, and I have to say this is some of the best puppetry I’ve seen from Trace, ever. Just go and watch it, regardless of what you have to do. I promise it’s not a segment you’ll easily forget.
Just don’t blame me for your psychiatrist’s bills.
Warped Quote: Everything everyone says.