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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S04 E22: The Day the Earth Froze

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"Here comes the DEVIL!"
"Oh cripes, I remember that day."
"Oh yeah, you gotta dress for it."

"If you think you know what a sampo is, write it down on a piece of paper, throw it away and try not to think about it. You'll be glad you did."
Tom Servo

Films watched: Here Comes the Circus (short) and The Day the Earth Froze

Here Comes the Circus offers a dive into the sights and sounds of the Clyde Beatty Circus. Also making an appearance is legendary clown Emmett Kelly, who just keeps eating and eating.

The episode is available in the Gizmoplex here.

The Segments


  • It's time for a family photo on the SOL! Crow and Servo misbehave, Gypsy worries about her hair, and the picture comes out badly when Joel goes in to press the buzzer.

Segment 1

  • Joel presents a line of martial arts-themed snacks he calls Snack-tion (including wax knuckles, the Pixie Staff, the Five Ladyfingers of Death, the Everlasting Octa-gob-stopper, and ninja throwing cookies). The Mads show off their Unhappy Meals, which was funded by Dr. Forrester cashing in Frank's 401K. An upset Frank wants his money back.

Segment 2

  • Inspired by the short, Servo and Crow think up new and increasingly dark ideas for clown acts.

Segment 3

  • The SOL crew debate over a pressing question from the movie: What the heck is a Sampo? (It was actually explained in the first few minutes, but the robots were talking over it, so they didn't catch it.)

Segment 4

  • The SOL presents "Gypsy Rose Me!", a new one-woman show starring Gypsy.

Segment 5

  • Servo and Crow wrap themselves in trash bags and suspend themselves from the ceiling, pretending to be imprisoned scents. Joel reads a letter from a bomb expert in Germany who sends a picture of their very own Crow — a bomb disposal robot. Dr. Forrester finds that Frank has suspended himself in a similar garbage bag because he still wants his money, prompting him to cut him free.

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation of Here Comes the Circus has examples of:

  • Head-Tiltingly Kinky: Two clowns do an acrobatic act that gets rather... questionable, resulting in: "Oh, NO! They're doing it clown style!" "And Madonna thinks she's innovative!" "More, more! I'm a bad clown!"
  • Hypocritical Humor: During the short, Joel criticizes the 'Bots several times for their dark humor, then falls into the habit himself.
    Joel: (during a trapeze act) "Pass the word; Ed's been hitting the bottle today!"
    (Tom and Crow audibly gasp)
    Tom: Oh, like that's a big improvement over what we've been doing.
    • Later...
      Joel: An elephant snaps its tether and kills a coolie!
      Tom: Now who's getting dark?...I like it!
  • Monster Clown: The badly-drawn clown on the title card:
    Tom: It's Beelzebub the Clown!
  • Pet the Dog: Joel seems legitimately happy to see Emmett Kelley, and the 'Bots don't riff too hard on him, especially compared to the other clowns. Joel's main riff is that Emmett changed management after appearing in the short.
  • Shout-Out: An acrobatic act inspires a reference to The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat, a nonfiction book by neurologist Oliver Sacks.

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation of The Day the Earth Froze has examples of:

  • …And That Little Girl Was Me: Invoked by Gypsy at the very end of her one-woman show.
  • Accentuate the Negative: Frequently citing Lemminkäinen's failure to recover the Sampo isn't quite so severe knowing that even a piece of it is still worth something, according to Väinämöinen.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: When Ilmarinen's second boat enters the water, wreaking fiery havoc amongst the trolls.
    Tom: Well, there's somethin' you don't see every day, Chauncey.
    Joel: What's that, Edgar?
    Tom: KISS goin' bass fishin'.
  • Call-Forward: Joel makes a joke about The Christmas That Almost Wasn't 24 years before they make fun of it.
  • Credits Gag: Mailing address gag, actually. Tom reads the address crawl when it appears on the screen as usual, but it's a little different. As he reads out loud:
    MST3K Info Club
    If you know what a Sampo is,
    write it on a piece of paper,
    throw it away and then try not to
    think about it. You'll be glad you did.
    • That didn't stop people from writing in. One person sent in the logo from their Sampo car (an automobile manufacturer from, where else? Finland.)
  • Curse Cut Short: Happens twice during the invention exchange with the Mads
    TV's Frank: You took all my money, you son of a—!
    Dr. Forrester: Watch it, Frank!
    • And later,
      Dr. Forrester: Oh, blow it out your — experiment today...
  • A Day in the Limelight: Gypsy gets the spotlight in the third host segment, where she performs her mini satirized one-woman show to the guys.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: During the Sampo's construction, a group of trolls are working giant bellows made with huge logs; one of them is straddling it like a cowboy...
    Crow: He's got delusions of grandeur!
  • Funny Bruce Lee Noises: Made by the 'Bots throughout the SOL's half of the invention exchange.
  • Hidden Depths: Gypsy performs her satirized one-woman show Joel, Crow, and Servo, which shows that she's capable of many great stuff outside of running the satellite's functions.
  • "I Am" Song: "Gypsy Rose Me", the original song Gypsy performs for her one-woman show.
  • Is It Something You Eat?: Joel and the 'Bots react with hungry "Mmmm!"s when Louhi is told that a boat bringing Lemminkäinen is approaching her island.
  • Kindhearted Simpleton: Lampshaded by Gypsy herself near the end of her one-woman show, which she knows that people may see her as a bit naive and not very bright because of her using her brain to run the satellite's functions, but she has a huge heart and is a strong and an independent artificial person.
    Gypsy: Before I go, I want to tell you a little story; A story about a gal who ran the higher functions of a little satellite in a synchronous orbit. A gal that everyone thought was perhaps a little slow, a little naïve, a little simple, But let me tell you something about that girl. She had spirit, she had guts, and most of all, she had a huge heart. That gal was on her journey and when her luggage ended up on another planet, that gal picked herself up, dusted herself off and wore the same outfit 2 days in a row; That plucky little gal is... ''me!''
  • Last-Second Photo Failure: The episode begins with Joel trying to wrangle the bots for a family photo. Just when he manages to get them to stop goofing off and Magic Voice tells everyone to say "Cheese", Gypsy realizes Joel left the light meter he was using during setup on the desk and the photo gets snapped right as he goes to move it.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Pretty much sums up the second of Crow's Bullwinkle impressions, responding to immolation with casual nonchalance.
    Crow: Will somebody please put me out? I seem to be on fire.
  • Minnesota Nice: References in the "Scandinavian Ladies" sketch during the film. Prepped many MSTies for the film Fargo.
    Crow: (Minnesota accent) It was so ding-dang cold the stuff in my nose just freeze up!
  • Noodle Implements:
    • Dr. Forrester gets Frank to send them the movie by threatening him with punishment in "the box", which is a reference to Cool Hand Luke and a real, now-illegal form of prisoner punishment (solitary confinement in a tiny metal box left out in the hot desert sun).
    • The film was originally written for a Finnish audience already somewhat familiar with the story. As such, it only briefly describes what a Sampo isnote , and since the bots were talking over it, Joel and the bots are left to try to figure it out from context.
  • Pet the Dog: The guys were very supportive of Gypsy during her one-woman show, and Joel compliments her for it in the final host segment.
  • Running Gag:
    • Best Brains just took the Minnesota accents and ran with them the entire episode, thanks to the film being about a) Scandinavians, and b) being really really cold.
    • Crow and Tom will be quick to remind you that Lemminkäinen is one big, fat failure.
    • The many and varied uses of a Sampo.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Inferred by Crow when Annikki is released.
    Crow: Hey, that's the wrong sister!
  • Shout-Out:
    • While showing off his ninja throwing cookies, Joel quips "Nobody doesn't like Bruce Lee!", a nod to the advertising slogan "Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee!"
    • Forrester cows Frank with threatening him with The Box.
    • The crew makes five references to Monty Python's Flying Circus, with two of them referring to the "It's..." man (unsurprising, given the amount of beards in Finland).
    • Many comparisons between Finland and the Wisconsin Dells.
    Tom: (Minnesota accent) D' Dooks. Ride d' dooks.
  • Take That!:
    • The scene of the villagers marching through The Night That Never Ends prompts the following exchange.
      Tom: Why are they all so bummed out?
      Joel: They just saw Captain Ron.
    • As the soldiers from Kalevala play their harps;
      Louhi: That terrible music will kill us all!
      Joel (as one of Louhi's troops): Yeah, well, we put up with your Kenny G, you cow.
    • When Louhi's troops are put to sleep by the music played by the soldiers of Kalevala, Servo likens it to falling asleep listening to A Prairie Home Companion.
      Servo: And that's the news from Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average. Butch Thompson's gonna come out with the band, they're gonna do a medley of songs about cats; then Jim Ed Poole will do some cat sounds and then another episode of Watching Paint Dry, then Claudia Schmidt'll come out and try to fill the gap in her teeth, and Pat Donohue and Peter Ostroushko are going to favor us with the story of "The Swede Who Didn't Like Meatballs."
  • Villain Respect: Played for laughs when Tom Servo and Crow voice two of Louhi's mooks as they watch watch the hero Lemminkäinen at one point
    Tom Servo: Yeah, he's the enemy but you gotta admire him.
    Crow: Yep, yep, tip your cap.
    Tom Servo: Pretty much.
  • With Lyrics: The lyrics that Joel and bots song at Lemminkäinen and Annikki's wedding.
    Failure, failure, total failure
    He's a loser, la la la