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

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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:

  • 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 a 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 roommates. The Bots' hopes are dashed, but their object of affection is soon replaced with Mooney.

Segment 4

  • Joel and the Bots show the life and times of Tom Servo the singer: humble beginnings, romance, stardom, & 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 on the bridge and starts stabbing Servo. Back in Deep 13, Frank tries 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!"
  • 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.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: While Eddy croons one of his bland love songs.
    Eddy: Love wears a mask...
    Servo: A tight leather mask...
    • Joel's invention, Pocket Pool.
    • As Eddy is led off after kissing Helen, Joel quips as the detective, "Alroight, there'll be plenty o' time fer that at the Big House".
  • 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.)
  • Literal-Minded:
    Eddie: (referring to Mooney) You can thank gun-happy over here, we're in real trouble now!
    Joel & the 'Bots: Thank you, gun-happy!
  • 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!
  • Name's the Same: Invoked
    Telephone Man: Hey look, get in touch with Morrissey, and...
    • At the end of the credits,
    Servo: Morrissey was in this!
  • 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 recurring 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.
  • Stereo Fibbing: Joel and Tom respond in this manner to the "Is 'dickweed' a swear word?" letter.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Mooney likes to use his own name as a Deadly Euphemism. But even in The '50s, to "moon" someone had an entirely different meaning, meaning Critical Research Failure on the part of the writers. invoked
    Mooney: (threatening) I'm gonna moon you.
    Servo: You know, hang my butt out!
  • With Lyrics: Joel and the bots sing "Meet George Jetson!" to the jazz soundtrack a few times.


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