Recap: Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 04 E 15 The Beatniks

The Boatniks, okay!

Films watched: General Hospital (short) and The Beatniks

The short was the second of three 1960s segments from the soap opera General Hospital to air on the series.


The Segments:

Prologue
  • Joel introduces Crow and Servo to rock-paper-scissors, much to his victory and the two bots' distress. He then gets a warning from Magic Voice for his roughhousing. After suggesting a game of mumbley-peg, Joel gets tackled by Gypsy.

Segment 1
  • Joel and the Bots return with injuries and complaints. For this week's Invention Exchange, the Mads dress up as good luck trolls to get popular with the ladies. Joel demonstrates his invention, Pocket Pool, with balls in his pants.

Segment 2
  • Joel and the Bots complain that the beatniks in today's experiment aren't really beatniks, and if they are, then some other lame people are. They then tell the signs of how someone is not a beatnik.

Segment 3
  • The Bots are having an sleepover, while fangirling over Tony Travis. They gossip over him, to which Joel arrives with Tony's phone number. When they dial his number, the Bots find out that Tony works at a taco restaurant, debt ridden, and living with room mates. The Bots' hopes dashed, but their object of affection is replaced with Mooney.

Segment 4
  • Joel and the Bots show the life and times of Tom Servo the singer, from humble beginnings, romance, stardom, and his fall from grace.

Segment 5
  • Joel and Servo read the letters while Crow chases Gypsy with a knife. The first letter asks if "dickweed" is a swear, to the two's approval that is not. Crow arrives to the bridge, and starts stabbing Servo. Back in Deep 13, Frank tires to push the button with his four fingers.


The MST3K treatment provides examples of:

  • Bait and Switch: Clayton and Frank try to end the episode by pushing the button, but the huge fingers on their troll costumes keep them from doing so. Frank suddenly gets an idea and removes a glove, seemingly intent to press the button with his bare finger...but instead smacks the keyboard with the empty glove. It works.
  • Broken Pedestal: The bots idolize Tony Travis... until they learn he works at a dinky taco joint and shares a place with about a dozen guys and some kids. They then decide to swoon over Mooney.
  • Call Back: "Hey, it's Daddy-O!"
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: "Shut up, Frank, or I'll let the dog play with you!"
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: While Eddy croons one of his bland love songs.
    Eddy: Love wears a mask...
    Servo: A tight leather mask...
  • Final Speech: Parodied, after Servo gets stabbed by Crow:
    Servo: Take care of my... turtle.
    Joel: I will Tommy!
    Servo: Stop my milk... delivery.
    Joel: Okay, I will do it.
    Servo: Pick up... my.. mail. Cancel... subscription to... National Review.
    Joel: Okay?
    Servo: Continue... to tape... Baywatch for me.
    Joel: Alright.
    Servo: Take my... step aerobics class... every... Tuesday.
  • I Thought That Was: As Joel and the 'Bots explain to the audience by channeling a Jeff Foxworthy routine, there are no beatniks in The Beatniks. (You want The Rebel Set, four episodes later.)
  • Mama Bear: Gypsy when Joel gets a little rough with Tom and Crow.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The diner's vaunted "Dish of Ice Cream" attracts everyone's attention.
    Eddy: Lea-ther coat!
    Servo: Dish! Of! Ice cream!
  • Poor, Predictable Rock: Joel teaches the bots Rock-Paper-Scissors, taking advantage of the fact that they can't change their hands and so he always knows how to win. Unfortunately for him, he gets a little rough...
    Gypsy: [rushes in from offscreen and tackles Joel] Gypsy crushes Joel!
    Joel: Yeah, well, you should ask these little "charmkins" what I found oozing out of my pillow case this morning!
    Tom: Please, at least we killed it first.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: "This is the best Tony Travis movie I've seen!"
  • Running Gag: Yelling in surprise at the poor editing resulting in objects and people jumping around mid-scene.
    Joel: I think they might need to hire a continuity director.
    • The phrase "Shut up, Iris." becomes a reoccurring gag for the series.
  • Spinning Paper: During the sketch that chronicles the rise and fall of Tom Servo's pop icon career. Joel simply has several Variety mock-ups pre-mounted on poles that he just grabbed from behind the desk and spun by hand, while making whirly sounds with Tom and Crow.
  • Take That:
    • At the end of the credits,
    Servo: Morrissey was in this!
    Crow: No wonder it was so depressing.