507. I Accuse My Parents (1944)

Wavering on whether or not to include this, the affection shown by fans convinced me. Morals, juvenile delinquency, Caprcorn, I Accuse My Parents (1944) tastes the rainbow of MST3K. Inspired writing, ideal subject, flawless elevation of the formula, Joel and Best Brains pulverize the target eviscerating what’s near into powder. Cake n’ Shake, the Junk-Drawer Organizer, Nude Tom Servo. The Pinocchio Syndrome, the Bots draw their families, Jimmy’s lies. “Jules and Jim!”, A young Al Bundy!", “Liar! Liar! Liar!” TKO or “FATALITY”?

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At least we got this!

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If no one’s on etsy right now getting top dollar for a perfect replica of Jimmy’s mobile, I’ll be shocked.

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Roots of Jimmy’s Illness.

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Cake n’ Shake.

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The Junk Drawer Organizer.

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I wrote an essay!

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One riff that ALWAYS makes me laugh obnoxiously loud, no matter how many times I’ve seen the episode:

Joel: “Ya like my hat? I made it!”

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Best MST3K episode. I will fight anyone who disagrees.

Well, okay no fighting for me. I’ve been hittin’ it kind of hard lately. I’m sure you understand.

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One of my all-time favorite host segments.

So much cheer and charm all over the place.

Also, Joel’s hairpiece:

mst3k507iaccusejoel

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This film’s writer Arthur Caesar also wrote the novella which was turned into Manhattan Melodrama, ie the film John Dillinger was killed at. And because of the way the Oscars worked back then, he even got to share in its Best Adapted Screenplay win despite not actually being involved with the film.

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Here it is. My #1 all-time favorite experiment in the 200+ episode history of MST3K! I’m going to now shamelessly gush about it…

A Rhino VHS purchase. I think it was the fact it was such a radical departure from “typical” MST. A very old school Melodrama. Didn’t take me long to really warm to it.

I think the top reason why I love it so much is because it’s so obvious everyone at Best Brains got super into it. It completely defines the shape of the episode from start to finish. Even the host segments before the movie are about the movie!

Can’t blame them, because no matter how many times I put it on, it’s so easy for me to get caught-up in the narrative of Jimmy Wilson’s path into a life of crime because of his sucky home life, his habitual lying and being so naive.

The host segments are top notch. The recreation of “Are You Happy in your Work” is the best, followed by The Roots of Jimmy’s Illness, that floating multi-layered prop gets me every time!

For the most important part: The riffing? Exceptional! You can tell the writers room payed really close attention this time because it’s so on-point. Of course, I love the running gags (The essay contest, his birthday, the lies, “quack quack” etc)!

My favorite: “How do ya like my swingin’ church, son!” Never fails to get a huge laugh out of me!

The Truck Farmer: It’s good and very quotable, but it gets overpowered the movie big time. It’s a fine option as a standalone if I’m in a shorts mood.

This one has pulled me though if I’m feeling down. It’s made a good day even better. And sometimes I’m like: “Oh, what the heck. Let’s put my #1 on!”.

And when I found out Joel Hodgson said this is his personal favorite? Felt so validated!

This is truly a special episode for me. It’s why I always choose to watch it on my birthday!

And this is my essay on why I adore I Accuse My Parents. Thank you!

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The Rhino VHS of this gem.

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Besides this movie, the shorts Act Your Age and The Other Fellow’s Feelings both feature essay contests as major plot points. I wonder how many more cinematic marvels out there involve essay contests, too.

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oh boy does this movie make me angry when they show that final card at the end of the film saying they are gonna show it to the troops overseas…

Imagine you are fighting WW2 and in all the hell you are experiencing they give you some down time and you are forced to endure this awful morality tale. “here’s what you are fighting for boys!”

“I won the essay contest”… ugh

it’s insulting.

it’s one of the best Joel episodes ever though. The sketches are fire, the riffing is fire, the short is fire. Just wonderful stuff. I hope we get some morality dramas in future seasons.

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I loved reading this whole damn meditation on your favorite episode. This is what I dig so much, these fan perspectives. It’s cool to hear why you like it and what resonates about it with you.

Thank you.

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Not exactly an essay contest but Pay It Forward (2000) revolves around a school project of a 7th Grader to improve the world for the better tasked by his teacher. Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, and Haley Joel Osment star. There’s an MST idea that won’t ever taste the light of day. It is in the child fantasy best/worst intentions vein of Parents (1944) however. The “Kids Do The Darndest Things” Tradition.

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What makes that movie especially weird is that the teacher was black in the original novel, which informed a lot of his character. On top of all the other reasons it’s uncomfortable to watch Kevin Spacey.

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The overpowering is real, but in a great way for me: I’ll be like “what do I want to watch today? Oh how about I Accuse My Parents? I love that one!” And then I put it on and BOOM “I forgot this is the one with Truck Farmer! DOUBLE WIN!”

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For the record, Jean-Jacques Rousseau came to fame by winning an essay contest. Although I don’t believe he ever worked as a shoe salesman, he did have an intersting love interest.

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