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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S12E04: "The Day Time Ended"

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"The Day Time Ended, The Morris Day Story!"

Kinga Forrester: I hope you like long silences and unmotivated stop-motion monsters! Or don't like it, I don't care.

Film watched: The Day Time Ended (1979)

The Segments:

  • Jonah continues his work on Kinga's movie vault while Tom and Crow are busy snatching up various odds and ends. Max's suspicions that Jonah may be planning something are quickly dissuaded.

Segment 1

  • As the second half of The Gauntlet begins, Jonah grabs some coffee and brings out the Fortune Meal, expanding on fortune cookies with full-course meals that tell your future. Kinga shows off Spray-On Mustard Gas, which despite the name really doesn't go well with hot dogs.

Segment 2

  • Just like Grandpa Grant, Jonah and the Bots are enjoying some steak-grilling and idle chatter about how they want to die, and then bikers show up to wreck the fun.

Segment 3

  • Script-doctor Harold Servo helps Jonah and Crow write The Day Time Ended by introducing them to Concepts! Who needs a coherent plot or logical characters when you have Concepts?

Segment 4

  • Kinga and Max are visited by the last person anybody ever expected to see again... Dr. Forrester's original assistant Dr. Erhardt. He's been traveling the cosmos on a long journey of self-discovery and he's only just come back to honor his old boss's last request. To that end, he needs Kinga to help out a bit.

This experiment contains examples of:

  • The Bus Came Back: Dr. Erhardt, last seen in The Black Scorpion, pronounced missing in Rocketship X-M, and not mentioned since Earth Vs. The Spider, returns after 28 years. (Although J. Elvis Weinstein himself ruined the surprise on Twitter the very day the season was released.)
  • Call-Back:
  • Character Development: Dr. Erhardt, entirely offscreen.
    Max: Wow. I mean, you seem different than I remember. Less shrill.
    Dr. Erhardt: [shrugs] I'm less mad. That part of me dried up and blew away thanks to my journey of self-discovery. It's worked out real nice.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: It isn't, really, but Jonah and the bots get a lot of mileage out of pretending it is.
    Crow: [as Jenny] Man's time is done. All hail the new flesh!
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Dr. Erhardt is two or three octaves less shrill than when we last saw him. He chalks it up to being less mad.
  • Eye Catch: "Space Obelisk will be right back."
  • Famous Last Words: The Fortune Watermelon contains a four-volume book elaborating on Jonah's entire life. Jonah skips to the end, to see what his last words will be. Allegedly, he'll tag the person next to him and say "You're it," just before he goes.
  • Free-Range Children: Jenny's off in her own little world through most of the movie (literally after the obelisk whisks her away).
    Tom: [as Jenny] Mommy, can I go play on the missile test range?
  • Friendless Background: Inverted — Jonah's Fortune Meal predicts many a lonely future night spent watching, ironically, Friends:
    Jonah: Hey, they were there for me, okay?
    Crow: Yeah, we won't be.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Jenny's pony, after getting beamed to who knows where by the pyramid:
    Jonah: [as the pony] You don't know the horrors I've seen, Jenny! That green yurt broke my mind!
  • Good Ol' Boy: Grandpa Grant is a textbook case of the wealthy boardroom type who still thinks of himself as this. Jonah and the bots morph into "rugged men of a certain age that still have that virile look in their eyes" and grill up a Flintstones-sized steak in the second host segment. Subverted in that they keep slipping in hints of vulnerability.
    Crow: Love it.
    Tom: Feels right.
    Crow: I wear bronzer.
  • HA HA HA— No:
    Kinga: What are you looking so fuzzy-hearted about?
    Max: Oh, nothing. I just feel like, you know, Jonah and I have become really good friends.
    Kinga: Aww. [chuckles, nods — then straight-arm punches him in the head, cut to opening credits]
  • Infomercial: The Invention Exchange, as usual. The Mads' invention: Spray-On Mustard Gas.
    Max: Has this happened to you? I want to add condiments to my TV's Son of TV's Frankfurter, but this bottle applies the mustard unevenly to my TUBEMEAT!!
  • Journey to Find Oneself: Dr. Erhardt apparently went on one offscreen, meeting aliens, topping empires, finding and losing love...
    Dr. Erhardt: All part of my ongoing journey of self-discovery, that's worked out real nice.
    Max: ...Yeah, you know, you said that already.
  • Last Request: Before his death, Dr. Forrester had asked that his ashes (and by extension TV's Frank's, whose ashes got mixed in with his) be scattered through space to the song "Idiot Control Now" from Pod People. Erhardt has the ashes, which he liberated from a drawer in Gizmonic Institute two episodes ago, but he needs Kinga to provide the song as she has all of Dr. F's old experiments stored away.
  • Meaningful Name: Mearth, the planet between Mars and Earth (pronounced "mirth").
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: "A pretty pair of claymated monsters," as Jonah says during "Concepts!"
    Jonah: One looks like a ninja turtle
    Made of lava
    With a quintuple-decker mess of mammaries,
    And the other is a big mean kitty-cat doggy
    Who for no reason
    Bites on the other one!
  • Mellow Fellow: The new-and-improved Dr. Erhardt.
  • Missing Mom: Kinga's mother is revealed by Erhardt to be Kim Cattrall. She is pleasantly surprised by this revelation.
    Kinga: No wonder I'm such a Samantha.
  • Multiboobage: One of the monster aliens appears to have five pairs of breasts, which Jonah and the bots comment on multiple times.
  • Notable Original Music: Tom Servo’s Patter Song, "Concepts!", which is one of the standout host segments of the season, and, incidentally, pretty perfect for this wiki.
    [Minsky Pickup]
    Tom: So the word
    On the street
    Is you got a little movie
    'Bout time, in particular
    The day it's gonna end.
    Well friends,
    An ordinary movie man
    Might make an unassuming
    Three-Act Structure
    Conflict here, an Act Break there
    Inciting Incident, Hero's Journey
    All of that Syd Field flapadoodle
    Crow: Flapadoodle?
  • Overly Long Gag:
    • During the lengthy, entirely mundane car trip to the airport, Crow gives Grant a rambling diatribe where he coordinates his various appendages by talking them through it like they're separate people.
      Crow: [as Grant] Foot don't fail me now! ...No, right foot. No, that's my hands! Oh, now we're exiting — hands, put on the signal... Left hand! Put on the — guys, we gotta start working together here!
    • "Door's open. *bwoong* Door's open. *bwoong* Door's open. *bwoong* Door's open. *bwoong*."
      Jonah: [as Grant] Will somebody shut that GLORY-LOVIN' DOOR!!
  • Patter Song: Tom Servo's "Concepts!" song. Of course, it's to the tune of "Ya Got Trouble", from The Music Man, one of the most well-known American patter songs.
  • Random Events Plot: In the third host segment, Tom explains (in a Patter Song) how the movie is just a bunch of random ideas thrown together with no rhyme or reason, which never lead to any kind of point. This comes right after the appearance of the monster aliens finally makes Jonah and the bots snap in the theater.
  • Rule of Three:
    Dr. Erhardt: I said I was on an ongoing journey of self-discovery that's worked out real nice.
    Max: Okay, wow. He just paid that off a third time.
  • Running Gag:
    • Elderly main character Grant becomes a frequent target, with Jonah and the bots citing his love for steak (and later, "steak milk") and his tendency to blame "bikers" for everything that goes wrong.
    • Every time the younger husband tries to call emergency services, Jonah and the bots have him accidentally call Sal's Pizzeria instead. And then the character becomes obsessed with getting a pizza.
    • On various long shots on the house, which looks vaguely like a Nativity stable from a distance:
      Jonah: Wise men still seek Him.
    • Stock riffs:
      • The immortal "You look at it. I'm bitter."
      • Over a futuristic Derelict Graveyard: "I love this bold new direction in Thomas Kinkade's work!" after the season's many digs at the self-declared "Painter of Light"'s schmaltzy, sentimental landscapes.
  • Sanity Slippage: After the credits roll, Tom Servo and Crow hallucinate a beautiful vision of the domed city from the final scenes of the movie.
    Jonah: Guys, come on, don't Brazil out on me...
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: Grant talking to himself, debating whether he's more like Woody (because he's a cowboy) or Buzz (because he's so cool) from Toy Story.
    Tom: Well, I guess I don't have to decide today.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Talking Animal: Ardy's new dog Bonesy, the Dog with the Gift of Speech!
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Grant and his steak-milk, according to Jonah and the bots.
  • Visible Odor: Kinga's Spray-On Mustard Gas leaves a lingering, sickly yellow cloud.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Dr. Erhardt baits Kinga and Max thusly:
    Dr. Erhardt: Unless you don't want to do right by your absent, yet yearned-for fathers?


Example of: