Recap: Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 09 E 03 Puma Man

Oh, Thep Umaman.

Film watched: Puma Man

"You know, I have almost no respect for pumas now. I now know that if I ever run into a puma, I can just push it the hell over."

The Segments:

Prologue

Segment 1
  • Down in Castle Forrester, Pearl is hosting a ball to celebrate her moving there. Brain Guy's not participating as he's watching Sliders with some friends. Servo continues to wear his ballgown in the theater.

Segment 2
  • Inspired by the movie, Mike tries to get the dry look from the Nanites. He gets Shelly, who is passive aggressive on him.

Segment 3
  • Crow and Servo, dressed up like Vadinho, tell Mike that he is Coatimundi Man. They tell him to wear his costume, which are random scraps of clothes.

Segment 4
  • Mike find the Bots with an Aztec mask and a replica of Roger Whittaker's head. Their plan is to use him for their own gain, but Mike comes up empty with ideas.

Segment 5
  • Crow leaves the Satellite, but arrives back shortly. Pearl's ball is unsuccessful as all of the people arriving were only interested in Brain Guy and Sliders. Roger Whittaker soon arrives, to Pearl's relief, but he instead tries to watch some Sliders. She then takes his guitar and beat him up.


Tropes:

  • Accidental Misnaming:
    Servo: Oh, Thep-Umaman.
  • Artistic License Physics: Pointed out and riffed, of course. "Help, I'm falling at a sixty-degree angle, defying all the laws of physics!" invoked
  • Ass Pull: The bots, when convincing Mike of his role as Coatimundi Man, clearly haven't thought out his power suite: invoked
    Crow: Yeah...you can shoot....uh....magnetic...uh, laser....beams...from....from your nose! Yeah! Yeah!
  • Blackmail: The 'bots envision this being done to Tony by a fly.
  • Call Back: When Mike is calling the Nanites for a hair appointment, get gets Shelly.
    Mike: No offence, but last time, you made my hair, like 70 miles high.
  • Chroma Key:
    Crow: He has the ability to rear-project major cities!
  • Continuity Nod: Mike's Coatimundi Man hat resembles his cowboy hat from the barbecue sauce sketch in The Starfighters. Crow even lampshades it when he wears it back into the theater:
    Crow: Bold, Mike.
  • Designated Hero: Discussed. invoked
    Crow: I'll go mess up, and you save me!
  • Dull Surprise:
    Crow: At all times, he has the look of a man who's been hit with a fish.
  • Evil Laugh: Crow and Servo because they control Roger Whittaker.
  • Fridge Logic: invoked It occurs to Servo that Pumas are not noted for their powers of flight.
  • Ho Yay: In-Universe between Tony and Vadinho.
    Crow: (as Tony) Please get off, I'm feeling funny down there.
  • I Am Not Leonard Nimoy: Invoked; Mike and the bots insist on referring to Donald Pleasence's character as "Donald Pleasence."
  • It Is Pronounced Tropay: Every time Kobras says "Puma Man" the British way ("Pyooma Man", as opposed to "Pooma Man", Mike and the bots 'correct' him (Mike: "Oh, is that right, Dyonald?"); then when he says "human being", Servo says "That's 'hooman being'... oh, no, wait..."
    • One riff plays on this as well:
    Vadinho: I say put it on.
    Mike: And you say "pyoot it oon".
    • This was going on from the opening riff (with a dash of Accent Upon The Wrong Syllable thrown in) where the mashed-together title was read "pyoo-MAY-min."
    • And broadcast on the Internet as part of the MST3K Turkey Day Marathon in 2014.
  • Mind-Control Device: Tom and Crow attempt to mimic the film's method of Brainwashing to make the perfect assassin by building a bust of... folk singer Roger Whittaker!
  • Never Say That Again: Mike tells Servo this after the latter makes a joke related to The Mask.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Roger Whittaker played by Kevin Murphy, although it's not a literal example of the trope, since poor Roger might have been harmed a little when Pearl brained him with his own guitar.
  • Notable Original Music: Mike and the 'bots add their own lyrics to the jingle-istic "Puma Man Theme" ("Soundtrack by my little brother's Casio"):
    Servo: (singing) The fat-free yo-gurt that's not short on fla-vor!
    Mike: (singing) Dick's... Red Owl... selection and service...
    Servo: (singing) Snyder Drug.. .we're busting up prices!
    Crow: (singing) When... you want... the fla-vor of ba-con in a dip!
    Crow: (singing) Burn an old man, singe all his flesh off!
    Crow: (singing) Now... they're going... to boff in the air...!
  • Paranoia Fuel: In-Universe, as the 'bots warn Mike and the audience.
    Crow: Roger Whittaker could be on you at any moment.
    Servo: There he is! I'm kidding... this time.
  • Rummage Sale Reject: Mike's Coatimundi Man costume quickly turns into this. Justified in that it was all a ploy by the bots to make him look silly.
    • Which backfires when Gypsy and Mike eat all the cold sesame noodles, and none is left for them.
  • Running Gag: The heroic declaration of "Puma Man!" whenever Tony's being decidedly un-heroic. Also, the spoofing of Pleasence using the British pronunciation of "Puma". Much fun was also had at the expense of "Vadinho's" name sounding like a type of onionnote .
    • Culminating in the final scene at the Stonehenge-like monolith structure with Mike (as Tony) saying to Vadinho, "Hey, Vidalia would you mind just worshiping for us? I think we'll just get going...."
    Vadinho: Kneel.
    Crow: I told you, my name's Tony!
    • They even do a preview of the pronunciation gag before it's even established:
    Vadinho: I say put it on.
    Mike: And you say "pyoot it oon".
    • As usual, Mike and the 'bots keep making reference to Pleasence's baldness.
    Kobras: Comb the area.
    Crow: Donald's only use for the word "comb", right there.
    • "I am a wood sprite! Tee Hee!"
    • Crow saying "Do the hustle!" any time Puma Man's very disco-esque action music would play.
    • Once again Bobo is singing songs by Asia.
    • "Look! It's a (insert unflattering comparison)! No wait, it's just Donald Pleasence."
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: By the end of the movie, Crow's had enough and he's planning on quitting. He doesn't, but still...
  • Separated by a Common Language: When Tony and Vadinho walk by a river.
    Servo: Look, you call it corn, I call it maize. We'll never get along.
  • Shout-Out: Pearl's moving mole is a reference to Robin Hood: Men in Tights with the King's mole... which in turn was a Shout-Out to Eye-Gor's moving hump in Young Frankenstein.
    • Brain Guy can't attend Pearl's ball because he's having people over to watch Sliders.
    • Why does Donald Pleasence want the mask? So he can be smokin'!
    • At one point the bots sing the theme tune to The Greatest American Hero with altered lyrics.
    Crow: Believe it or not, this movie's still on/It should have ended two hours ago-oh-ohhh!
    • As Vadinho watches some extremely indecisive Mooks from behind a brick wall built to have a lot of holes in it: "You won't get my Amantillado!"
  • Sidekick Ex Machina: "So the hero is really...this guy."
  • Special Effects Failure: invoked "Puma Man can tear through pure contact paper."
  • Take That, Scrappy!: In-Universe, after Vadinho punches out Tony.
    Servo: Yes! The Aztec speaks for all of us!
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Crow gets fed up with the movie and decides to "quit". He walks away... then barely gets off-screen before running back and asking if Mike is hiring.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: With her ball a complete failure, Pearl asks for someone up there to give her a break "just this once." Enter Roger Whittaker (controlled by Servo).
    • Subverted when Whittaker decides to join the action (the Sliders party with Observer, Bobo & friends) in the back room. Pearl creams him with his guitar.
  • With Lyrics: "Puma Man, he flies like a moron..."