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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 04 E 21 Monster A Go Go

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Monster a-Go Go? I thought this was going to be Munster Go Home!

Films watched: Circus on Ice (short) and Monster a-Go Go

"I recall this episode as being the first time we decided explicitly to write sketches having nothing to do with the movie. Really, we had no choice. (...A)ny topic that is about something (that is, any topic that exhibits "topicness") cannot, by definition, have anything to do with this movie."
Paul Chaplin, The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Amazing Colossal Episode Guide

Best Brains regards Monster A Go Go as one of the worst movies they ever riffed on. It even gets an aside reference in their treatment of "Manos" The Hands of Fate, implying that as bad as that movie was, this one may still be worse.

Circus on Ice is a short about the 40th Annual Carnival of the Toronto Skating Club.


The Segments:

  • The Bots open a cheese making operation on the bridge.

Segment 1

  • For this invention exchange, the winner gets to watch the movie of their choice. If the Bots win, Local Hero; if they don't, Monster a-Go Go. The Mads present Johnny Longtorso, an action figure with all parts sold separately. The Bots show off their line of non-violent action figures: Action Oxford (Edward de Vere), a tapeworm and athlete Wilma Rudolph. Since Frank is the judge, the Bots lose and have to watch Monster A-Go Go

Segment 2

  • Gypsy tells Crow she doesn't "get" him, but Crow can't figure out what she means by that. Gypsy can't quite explain it either, even after several attempts at clarification where Crow lists some of his more bizarre tendencies and qualities. Eventually Crow gets annoyed, and leaves. Servo enters a few seconds later. Gypsy tells Servo she doesn't get him; he responds with "Nobody does; I'm the wind, baby!"

Segment 3

  • Joel and Servo play keep-away with Crow. He soon catches the ball, but Joel and Servo continue playing with another ball. Crow keeps the ball for a little while in the theater.

Segment 4

  • Crow and Servo ask Joel about the "Piña Colada Song" and the ensuing problems.

Segment 5

  • After the conclusion of the film, Joel cheers Servo and Crow by naming them a happy king and Sir Giggles von Laughsalot. They break down, but soon feel better after thinking of a good thing about the movie.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Author Appeal: Kevin Murphy's favorite film, Local Hero, is offered if Joel and the Bots win the action figure contest.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Momentinvoked:
    • This is one of the few episodes where none of the host segments have anything to do with the film. As the quote at the beginning of the page explains, the team chose to do this because having host segments related to the movie would be implying that the movie actually had a plot.
    • Servo and Crow's odd little tune, "Hum, de hee hee hee, hoo-ah, hoo-ah."
  • Blatant Lies: At one point Joel denies having brought a soda into the theater, despite the fact that we heard him open the can and saw him drink from it. It's possible he was drinking a can of beer. So, then technically he wasn't lying about it not being pop. That, and he also says it's his "medicine", a common euphemism for alcohol.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: The bots show their line of non-violent action figures to the Mads, Action Oxford, Olympian Wilma Rudolph and a tapeworm.
  • Call-Back: Joel declares Servo "a happy king" while pretending to play a trumpet, a Shout-Out to Mr. B Natural.
  • Corpsing: Frank during the "Johnny Longtorso" song. Mind you, if the Poopie! reel is any indication, this may have been the only take that was acceptable to air.
    • Kevin Murphy can't keep it together when one of the actors imitates a ringing phone off-screen. In fairness, it is just that ridiculous.
  • Damned by Faint Praise: Joel tries to cheer the bots by asking them to point out something positive about the movie. Crow states that you couldn't hear the dialogue, while Servo points out nobody involved in this mess ever went on to work on anything else.note 
  • invokedDude, Not Funny!: Joel freaks out when Servo quips "Well, it looks like he died in the state of sin."
  • Emergency Broadcast: Parodied when it's revealed that there was no monster:
    Servo: This has been a test. Had this been an actual movie, you would have been entertained.
  • Fridge Logic: Invoked by Crow and Servo when they try to have Joel explain the lyrics of Rupert Holmes' song "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)."
    • When Joel tells them Holmes just wrote a song about a popular 1970's fad (personal ads), the 'bots pipe up about "Timothy", which was about cannibalism. When Joel replies that the song's Timothy was a duck, they go into full investigative mode.
      • During the film:
    Narrator: No doubt, this was the capsule Douglas rode in.
    (Joel and the 'bots giggle loudly.)
    Servo: Douglas was pear-shaped, very short, and stood the whole way.
  • Gag Boobs: "Oh, they decided to go to Shakey's."
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: TV's Frank enthuses about Johnny Longtorso's "action batch" and his "sleek and sassy butt".
  • Hell Is That Noise: During one portion, the soundtrack makes a strange warping sound, causing Crow to shout "Stop it!" louder and louder until it cuts out.
  • Heroic BSoD: Both Crow and Tom Servo at the end, despite Joel's best efforts.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: The film recalls some very specific traumas for Crow and Servo at the end.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: In a scene featuring a man walking into a clearing with a briefcase.
    Crow: Now THERE'S a man out standing in his field!
  • Joker Jury: To judge which action figure is truly the best of the Exchange, Frank opts to act as a fair and impartial judge.
    Dr. F: ...Frank?
    Frank: (Instantly, in a flat monotone) We won.
    Dr. F: (Without hesitating) You LOSE.
  • Moral Event Horizon: invoked Gypsy feels the Mads crossed this, screaming "Evil! YOU ARE EVIL! EVIIIIIIIIIIIIIL!!!!" after they introduce Johnny Longtorso.
  • Narm Charm: Little Crow chiming in "Yeah!" invoked
  • Pollyanna: Crow fails to become this at the start. Joel attempts this after the experiment is over — and succeeds.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Even Joel and the bots seem stunned by the "phone ringing noise" scene, with Joel simply muttering "unbelievable" and Tom just bursting out laughing.
  • Revenue-Enhancing Devices: Up to Eleven with the "Johnny Longtorso" figure, which has each individual piece of the figure, even each bolt, sold separately.
  • Running Gag:
  • One Game for the Price of Two: Johnny Longtorso, the man who comes in pieces!
  • Sanity Slippage: Crow's (and later Tom's) little song ("hum dee-dee-dee-dee, hoowah hoowah") might be an indication that the film has broken their minds.
  • Scatting: Crow's odd little song: "Hum de de hee hee — hoowa, hoowa."
  • Shout-Out:
    • When there's a shot from the monster's point of view, Crow mimics the "ki ki ki ma ma ma" motif from Friday the 13th films.
    • The Coke bottle from The Gods Must Be Crazy is referenced during the scene where the military is searching the field.
    • The crew hums Ride of the Valkyries when a helicopter flies over the capsule crash site, a shoutout to the helicopter attack scene from Apocalypse Now. They transition into the theme from M*A*S*H when it lands.
    • Forrester mockingly telling Joel he's going to give "just a little spittle" on Joel's face is a reference to Dune.
    • Monty Python's Story Time sketch is referred to while some of the characters are looking through some logbooks.
    • "B.O.!" was from the old Lifebuoy radio ads.
  • Squick: invoked Gypsy's reaction to Woodscrew Tapeworm. Servo, on the other hand, is amazed.
  • Suckiness Is Painful: Tom and Crow were so upset at the movie, that the metaphor for its badness had to be done in paragraphs. And they are in tears as they say it.
    Tom: Joel, it's this movie. It was really depressing! It was like being a little kid and eating dinner at your Aunt Ruth's apartment in the summer, and it's hot in there and she's got a local Christian radio station on, and there's nothing to do or look at 'cause all she's got in the apartment are Good Housekeeping magazines and linen doilies!
    Crow: Yeah! And then they send you out to play with the strange neighbor kids and they're all big and their skin is pink and they have big pores and a big eighth grader makes you look at really upsetting pictures, so you go back inside and you sit down and they're all just talking with these big pauses in their conversations and you can hear the clock ticking on the wall!
    Tom: Yeah! Yeah, and so you dig into your seat cushion and you find a really old peanut, and you're so bored you eat it! And then you just feel bad and a little sick, and then you think you're about to go! But-but then Aunt Ruth takes out a photo album filled with black-and-white photos of kids with squinty eyes and they're supposed to be your uncles and aunts or something, and then your parents force you to look at them!
  • Take That!
    Joel: Hey, wait; I think you have page 29 of the script on your shoe!
    • The infamous ending prompted one of the few instances in the entirety of the show of one of the bots flat out booing the film. It only comes second to the infamous Downer Ending of "Manos" The Hands of Fate Debbie becoming one of the Master's wives, where the entire crew booed.
    • One of the host segments is entirely devoted to bashing the kitsch song "Escape." It's clearly the result of one of the writers having thought these things for a while.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Everyone. During the opening credits, no less.
    Joel: You know what, guys, I have a feeling that this is gonna be a tough one.
    Crow: Now, it might not be too bad!
    Tom: No, I think Joel's right; this one has 'stinkburger' written all over it.
    Crow: Come on; you can't tell just from the credits!
    Joel: No, no, it's a feeling I have; my gut instinct's telling me this is gonna hurt real bad.
    Crow: Joel, it's not healthy to have such a negative attitude right out of the gate.
    Tom: It's just common sense, Crow; there's a feeling of incompetence already in the air here.
    Joel: Yeah, we might as well face up to it.
    Crow: Well, I refuse to give in so soon; I'm gonna riff away like it's nobody's business...I-I can't think of anything now, but...
    • It doesn't even take a minute to change Crow's mind.
    • The short Circus On Ice gets this reaction as well, and the Mads know it: "Circus... (Evil Laugh) on Ice!"
    Servo: Two bad things that go worse together!
  • What Could Have Been: invoked Servo sighs at seeing the title: "Aw, I thought this was going to be Munster Go Home!".
  • With Lyrics: Tom Servo gets in a hysterical one during the scene with the two figure skaters dressed as cotton candy in Circus on Ice, singing along to the background music—
    Narrator: And no circus is complete without pink candy floss! (the skaters begin to dance in sync to jaunty music)
    Servo: These two girls, they make quite a pair
    They, both come from your worst nightmare
    They, will haunt your soul forever
    And now, when you see pink,
    You're gonna think; "we're doomed!"
    They, are agents of Satan...
    Joel: (cracking up) Stop it, Tom.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!:
    • Uttered verbatim by Crow when Forrester says TV Frank will be the "unbiased" judge of their action figure contest.
    • Joel groans, "Unbelievable!" when an obviously fake phone ring made by a human voice is dubbed in one scene.
      Servo: (as scientist) Yes, I made that phone noise!


Example of: