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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 04 E 22 The Day The Earth Froze

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

The short Here Comes the Circus is about the Clyde Beatty Circus and features legendary clown Emmett Kelly.

The Segments

Prologue

  • It's family photo time on the SOL! Crow and Servo misbehave, Gypsy worries about her hair, and the picture comes out badly.

Segment 1

  • Joel presents Snaction (includes wax knuckles, a Pixie Staff, the Five Lady Fingers of Death, the Everlasting Octa-gob-stomper, and ninja throwing cookies), while the Mads show off their Unhappy Meals. Dr. Forrester cashed in Frank's 401K to help pay for these. Frank wants his money back.
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Segment 2

  • The SOL crew thinks up new ideas for clown acts. It gets increasingly dark.

Segment 3

  • What the heck is a Sampo, anyway? (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 pretend to be scents. Joel reads a letter from a bomb expert in Germany who sends a picture of their very own Crow — a bomb disposal robot. Clayton cuts Frank (who still wants his money) free.


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This episode has examples of:

  • 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.
  • 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...
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: During the Sampo's construction, a group of trolls are working with huge logs; one of them is straddling it like a cowboy...
    Crow: He's got delusions of grandeur!
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: A ton of examples in this episode. "Hey, my other log's a redwood!"
    Crow: I'm not a pheasant plucker; I'm a pheasant plucker's son, and I'm only plucking pheasants 'til the pheasant plucker comes.
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    • Also, "Hey, that is cold!" (referring to the phrase "cold as a witch's tit")
  • 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 Here Comes the Circus, Joel criticizes the bots several times for their dark humor during the piece, 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!
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Tons.
  • "I Am" Song: "Gypsy Rose Me", the original song Gypsy performs for her one-woman show.
  • 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!
  • Monster Clown: The badly-drawn clown on the title card of Here Comes The Circus
    Crow: HEEEEEEEEEEERE COMES THE DEVIL!
    Tom: It's Beelzebub the Clown!
  • 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 is, and since the bots were talking over it, Joel and the bots are left to try to figure it out from context.
  • Notable Original Music: Gypsy's one-woman show, along with her Judy Garland-style monologue.
  • 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.
  • Running Gag:
    • 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:
    • 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!: A massive zing against A Prairie Home Companion as Louhi's troops are played music to death.
    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."
  • 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


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