“Are you ready for some football?” “A Super Bowl Party!!!” “So many stars in this and my head is hurting!!!” “A marriage may be done and murder one-by-one!!!” “All of this connects tonight on Sunday Night!!!” Gambling, death, the spotlight. Tom Selleck, Van Johnson, David Janssen, Jane Wyatt, Donna Mills, Bubba Smith, Dick Butkus. What casting! “Isn’t this thick?” “Too much to bear?” “Celebrities pouring throughout!!!” “What is the point?” “Send in the Names!!!” “There ought to be names!!!” “Too late, they’re here!!!” Carnival Circuit, Iron Fist, What a Wonderful World, Sick Bay. “There’s an omnious foreboding in this music”, “If this is how they got to print those tickets, it’s gonna to take forever”, “Super Bowl. Super Bowl. Supe Supe Super Bowl.” “Bubba Who?” or “Bubba lou”?
I am never ready for some football handegg. Just not my thing at all. I honestly do not understand sports fandom. But apparently millions of people do find watching adult strangers chase a ball around the playground to be entertaining, and who am I to question their tastes? (As long as they don’t bully me for not going along with it…)
That said… I like this episode. It’s one of the better KTMA entries. Maybe because it does not actually contain any football. But by this point in the season, the show had really started to gel, and they’d gotten into the swing of riffing. 70s TV movies often make for the best fodder, too. Like City on Fire, SST Deathflight, and Hanger 18, which are some of the best of KTMA’s offerings. And, unlike Avalanche, Superdome remembers to have something of a plot and character arcs. It’s slow and disjointed, but it’s something. It makes it more watchable, while giving our improv riffers something to sink their teeth into.
Trick is how all these TV Movies look. Since that is a selection standard Joel has put in there since The Return. Here’s a question. How many TV Movies are restored or in Widescreen? That’s why probably any TV flick won’t be chosen going ahead.
Same with Josh in the ending Host Segment of City on Fire (1979). They compensated well and adapted off the cuff uniquely during that year. It really floors you watching the show form from the ground up. The middle of the KTMA season to the end it’s really evident.
The other aspect is that in the KTMA days they were limited to things in the KTMA library, which likely included a large number of those type of movies. Now they have the ability to get “real” movies instead.
Exactly. So the emphasis is on actual movies that really peak their interest. Also City on Fire (1979) is a film released theatrically like Sumuru (1967) and with its disaster theme and stars if restored would be great re-riffed.
I do think made for TV movies make for excellent riffing fodder, even if they are the wrong aspect ratio. Mary Jo Pehl watches them on Movie Jo Night on her Twitch channel. It’s a different experience, but it’s fun. Instead of scripted riffs, they take audience suggestions for (usually 70s TV movies) that she’s never seen, and then we get to watch it with her for the first time.
As I said in the “episodes you watched recently” thread, I don’t tend to gravitate towards the KTMA episodes due to their lack of polish (in this very episode, you sometimes have one riffer stepping on the line of another riffer) and a slower riff tempo/lower riff volume. I can’t honestly remember the last time I tuned into one.
I don’t say that to throw shade at the KTMA episodes, as they have a very important place in MSTory and have some fun jokes.
THAT BEING SAID
I had a better-than-expected time watching this one. I don’t know that I’m going to make watching the KTMA episodes a priority right now, but this was fun!
What catches you off-guard here is that some of the jokes are really good. We even get some jokes that would predict later riffs in the series, such as one riffer reflecting on another character’s “made-for-TV hipness.” And Joel’s noir-flavored riff as we look at a nighttime cityscape? Fantastic.
You even have elements that would be expanded upon later in the series, like the characters busting each other’s chops (over a shot of machinery, Joel teases Servo by commenting that some of that equipment looks like him) or making callbacks to previous experiments, such as with a plane ride prompting one of the riffers to wonder if they took the SST Death Flight (featured two episodes earlier).
The pop cultural references are on point, like with the “Magnum Deep Fry” riff that @TeriG pointed to, as well as a great “Smoke on the Water” riff from that same scene. And Servo has a moment where he sings about bringing home the bacon and frying it a pan that made me laugh hard. Plus there’s this great moment towards the beginning where the gang meditates on the presence of football stars in the movie, musing that the positive presence of Bubba Smith and the negative presence of Dick Butkus would effectively cancel each other out.
AND I LOVE THE MOMENT NEAR THE END WHERE WE GET -NO- RESOLUTION ON THE GAME IN QUESTION, causing a petulant Servo to repeatedly yell “WHO WON?!”
But a particular favorite aspect of this episode? Any time Crow got to break out his David Janssen voice whenever he appeared onscreen, and keep in mind that this was a number of years before he’d get the chance to do the same for Space Travelers!
Also interesting is the inverse of something I’ve observed about MST3K episodes. I’ve often said that the more an MST3K movie throws at the riffers, the more we get in the way of riffs.
Interestingly, with this episode at least, it seems that the more interesting the movie got, the more quiet the riffers get. It’s almost like they get caught up in the film itself, which is relatable!
It’s an interesting film choice for this show, a more-or-less sports-centric themed movie (kinda… it’s a football movie without the football) that we wouldn’t see the likes of again. Well, that is, outside of Racket Girls and not counting those Mexican wrestling movies where you have more supernatural happenings taking center stage. And as was pointed elsewhere in the episode, it has a real palpable made-for-TV feel to it, with its closest counterpart being San Francisco International.
I have to say, I dug the intrigue and suspense of the movie, even if Servo WAS correct in griping about not knowing the ultimate outcome of the Super Bowl. It was cool to see all those familiar faces, too, Tom Selleck being chief among them.