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Film / Mr. B Natural

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"Knew your father, I did!"

Mr. B Natural is an advertising short about a mysterious Peter Pan-esque pixie who helps Buzz, a lonely young kid, learn how to make friends and express himself through music (and hence, genuine Connnote  instruments).

Mystery Science Theater 3000 has riffed on this twice - for the original version, please go to the episode recap page; it was riffed again in the 2023 Winter Festival of Shorts.

RiffTrax also did its own commentary using a complete, unblemished copy of the short; the MST3K version had broken splices.

The entire uncut and unriffed short can be viewed here.

This short provides examples of:

  • Achievements in Ignorance: Alluded to when Mr. B mentions an 8-year-old who's learning the French horn; due to being so young, the child was not intimidated by the instrument's apparent learning curve and mastered it quickly.
    Mr. B: Wait till he grows up and finds out how hard it really is!
  • An Aesop: For all its goofiness and commercial praise of Conn instruments, the short does spend most of its time emphasizing the importance of musical education, even if it does exaggerate just how good it is.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Possibly what they were shooting for with Mr. B, given that he's the living incarnation of music itself.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Mr. B Natural would be Camp Gay if it was even clear he's really a male.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Mr. B Natural is the living embodiment of music, and represents "the spirit of music in you AND you!"
  • As Himself: Bruce Podewell and his parents played themselves.
  • Genki Guy: Mr. B is very very perky.
  • Hartman Hips: Betty Luster, who plays Mr. B., unknowingly (or knowingly?) shows off her hips when lying down on her side at one point.
  • Hurricane of Puns: All the "be natural" puns.
  • Leg Focus: Mr. B has a few odd shots showing off her legs as she stands or sits, though the actress was a dancer, so it makes some sense.
  • Meaningful Name: "Be Natural". Also serves as a Double Entendre, as she's the embodiment of the B♮ musical note.
  • Merchandise-Driven: It is a promotional short for Conn band instruments. In case the marching band spelling out the company's name behind the opening credits was too subtle an advertisement, the short's final third drops all pretenses of being anything but a commercial and leaves the characters behind to show off the company's manufacturing process.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Probably the only place you'll ever see high-schoolers marvelling over new band instruments. "Wow!"
    Fred: (turning down a date with a cute girl) Not me, Jeannie! Band practice! I wouldn't miss it for anything! I'm bucking for first clarinet chair!invoked
  • Shout-Out: The short is deliberately trying to emulate the Peter Pan stage play.
  • Stop Trick: Whenever Mr. B pops in and out of view.
  • Strange-Syntax Speaker: This is nowhere near constant, but Mr. B says two things like Yoda: "Knew your father, I did!" and, "Taught him how to play the French horn, I did!"
  • Telepathy: In the full short, Mr. B reveals s/he can read minds.
  • Totally Radical: According to the short's log line, Mr. B is a "hep pixie".
  • Vocal Dissonance: For such a hot... person, Mr. B has a screechy, high-pitched, constantly fluctuating, harpy scream of a voice; described as "a shrill, peculiar succubus" in The Amazing Colossal Mystery Science Theatre Episode Guide.