1201. Mac and Me (1988)

Paul Rudd’s mostest? Fabled cult fav imploded when dropped on audiences. Home video, cable, and devoted fans revived it into a mascot of bad entertainment. Alien family is vacuumed by a visiting space probe and transported back to Earth where they escape and seek soda pop. E.T. (1982), Poltergeist (1982), Alan Silvestri. What went wrong? The Gauntlet, Algernon, Spez Dispensers, Alien Whistles, Jonah McDonah. “I think we landed too far from the movie”, “Eh, the Epcot Post-Apocalyptic Pavillion’s really coming along”, “Spider-Man me, Mom.” “Frank Oz really phoning it in” or “Pretty Nice!!!”?

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Probably the best of The Gauntlet for me. It’s tight between this and Ator, but I’m handing it to this one because it makes me laugh harder.

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Note: Armor10 wrote a Mac and Me (1988) thread on the production history of the movie. It is available here.

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This episode is about as perfect as the show gets.

Perfect movie choice, one of the best Mads lead in’s ever, host segments are fire, riffing is amazing… just non-stop lolz.

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Mac and Me is fascinating even without the riffing. The terrifying alien designs, the McDonald’s dance party, the mentally scarring original ending where Eric gets shot by the police, Paul Rudd turning it into one of the best running jokes in comedy…

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The only thing which would’ve made it better: someone riffing with a stolen line from Jim Gaffigan’s McDonald’s monologue:

“I don’t eat at McDonalds.”
“McDonalds doesn’t want you anyway, 'cuz you’re a dink.”

Quoted in our car every time we drive by one. :laughing:

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Mac and Me is one of the cheesy movies I saw way before I discovered MST3K. And it was… something.

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I saw it in the theater when I was a kid. I seem to recall enjoying it shudder

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Perhaps a question for our English Majors again, but wouldn’t it more properly be called Mac and I?

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I really need to rewatch this one. I vaguely remember it being good, but for some reason it’s not one I ever revisit.

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Mac & Eye: one of the more bizarre James Bond cross-promotions. I mean, sure it’s fun having a drink cup that can fly and operate underwater. But how often is the average consumer really going to use that? Eventually it just ends up disassembled in the junk drawer.

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Oh no! Then we would have to completely reconfigure the Junk Drawer Organizer!

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I’d have to doublecheck but I think this is the first time in MST3K’s run where I was familiar with the source movie before the riff (not counting the Godzilla or Gamera ones where, sure, I knew about those first but they bore the beejeebus outta me and aren’t things I watch).

It makes me wonder if enjoyment of a riff episode goes up with prior knowledge of its base layer…?

Mac & Me is a poor litmus for this idea because, as many have said here and elsewhere along the Discourse, the episode is just too crag blasted perfect.

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OK, I just rewatched this and it’s a strong episode. Almost as strong as the flavor of this cold, refreshing Coca-Cola. The riffing’s great, like a delicious Big Mac with a side of fries. But you know what’s really good? It’s the way-.

Hey, what are you doing with those balls? I’m shilling as hard as I can! Wait! Not the ball pit!

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Are they Penn balls?

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This is an exceptional experiment and it was the perfect way to start :rightwards_hand: THE GAUNTLET :leftwards_hand:

“I want to see the movie the composer thought he was scoring”

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Things may change if Season 13 keeps bringing it like it is, but as of now? Mac and Me is easily a top 10 episode.

I saw the movie ONCE, and that was years before, so all of its idiosyncrasies and rhythms were lost in my memory (apart from that ominous promise of a sequel at the very end, THAT I remembered).

But yeah, while I love Season 12, I adore what was done here with Mac and Me.

The only complaint that I have - and that goes to all of Season 12 - was the loss of host segment. But what was there was GREAT.

The whistling communication segment was a charmer, and the Jonah McDonah shenanigans were fantastic (I should have brought up Baron’s performance as Servo in that Baron tribute thread, because he was KILLING it there), conjuring up strong vibes of the Trumpy’s magic host segment in Pod People.

The McDonald’s dance party sequence was riffed to perfection, I howled laughing at the image of that one guy in the suit who seemed PARTICULARLY INCENSED while giving chase, and the Yakety Sax riff over the vacuum cleaner chaos was inspired. AND it gave us another great catchphrase in “Pretty niiiiiiiiiice!”

Just a winner of an episode all the way around. And I’m glad they resisted the temptation of going with Paul Rudd’s favorite clip as the stinger.

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We all know of many a big-budget clunker. But I wonder which bad movie in the series itself had the biggest pile of money lit on fire. This one must be pretty high up the list.

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It would be a contender, for sure. A $13M budget and a $6.4M take. If you were to adjust those 1988 dollars to reflect 2022 dollars? That’d be about a $31.5M budget and a $15.6M take.

To give some sense of scale, Warrior of the Lost World had a $500K budget in 1983 (that would be roughly $1.4M in 2022 dough).

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All depends on the sentence…

Coca-cola imbued Mac and Me with some of the most egregious product placement in history.

Mac and I have foisted upon the world the ultimate in film-based abominations.

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