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MST3K 520 - Radar Secret Service

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520 - Radar Secret Service
Air Date December 18, 1993
MST3K Director Kevin Murphy
Movie Director Sam Newfield
Year 1950
Cast John Howard
Adele Jergens
Tom Neal
Myrna Dell
Ralph Byrd
Sid Melton
Robert Kent
Short Last Clear Chance
Short Director Robert Carlisle
Year 1959
Cast William Boyett
Harold Agee
Mrs. Harold Agee
Tim Bosworth
Bill Agee
Christine Lynch
Preceded by 519 - Outlaw
Followed by 521 - Santa Claus

"Gary Burghoff goes undercover!"

"That would explain his career for the last 10 years."

  — Crow and Mike

The Short


520s (1)

Friendly Patrolman Hal Jackson (Boyett) visits the Dixon family to instruct their youngest son, Alan (Bosworth), in the art of safe and courteous driving. He relates many grisly tales of various young drivers, his main advice being to pay attention, but Alan's older brother Frank Jr. (Bill Agee) isn't listening, and drives with his girlfriend Betty (Lynch) into the path of an oncoming train while turning around and waving at the car behind him.


  • The film supposedly concentrates on accidents at level crossings because it was financed by Union Pacific. [1]

Memorable Quotes

[Title of short appears]
Servo: Your last clear chance... for fantastic savings!
[As woman walks away from car]
Crow: Forty percent of car accidents are caused by... women's hinders!
[A car approaches a railroad crossing sign at night, adorned with the typical "RR" symbol.]
Servo: [growling] Rrrrr.
. . .
Patrolman: If you haven't seen the signs...
Mike: Boy, you haven't lived.
Patrolman: ...then this train might come as a surprise to you.
Servo: The Sooooooooooooul Train!
Crow [as Don Cornelius]: Thank you very much, Clarissa...
Crow: [As patrolman] I'd tuck you in, but you're dead.
Patrolman: Every day, these are your signs of life, whose purpose is to keep you alive.
Crow: Even though you don't deserve it.
Patrolman: They figure rules are for the other guy, not for good drivers like themselves.
Servo [as patrolman]: They're communists!
Patrolman: Whenever there's a haphazard on the road, there's

usually a sign that tells you about it. Like a 'curve warning'. Or a 'right of way' sign. 'Narrow bridge'. 'Signals ahead'. 'Do not enter'. 'No passing', and many others.

Crow: 'All nude girls!'
Servo: 'Whites only'.
[Close-up of woman driving, having difficulty with a map]
Patrolman: Here's another problem on the roads that we officers face all too often...
Mike: Women drivers! [everyone chuckles condescendingly]
Patrolman: ...the entering car that fails to yield the right

of way. [An ominous black car skids into the street, nearly hitting a car that's forced to move into another lane]

Crow: The paid assassin cruising through town!
Patrolman: And yet, many people who have lived through a crossing accident will say--
Servo: AAAAAH!
[Mike and Crow look at Servo strangely.]
Servo: That's what they say.
[Frank arrives at the farm and sees Patrolman Hal]
Frank: [Jokingly] I give up, officer! What's the charge?
Crow [as patrolman]: Ha, ha! MANSLAUGHTER.
Crow: I have a feeling one of these characters is about to see their own intestines!
Engineer: Why don't they look, Ralph? Tell me, why don't they look?
Tom [as Ralph]: You're deep, Ernie.
Patrolman: So, if the next car I stop happens to be yours...
Mike [as patrolman]: Save a place for me at your dinner table!
Patrolman: ...DON'T tell me that you were speeding a little, only BREAKING the law a little...
Tom: ...uh-oh...
Patrolman: ...only doing something a little bit wrong, save THAT for somebody else, brother!
Patrolman: Because I've seen too many "little bit" follies...
Tom: He's a bad cop on the loose!
Patrolman: ...and they end up a little bit DEAD!
Mike: Now I'm gonna grab me a little bit of lunch!

The Movie



Radar Secret Service

In post-WWII America, RADAR has been developed to such an extent that law enforcement agencies can use it to monitor the activities of organized crime. The desperate criminals attempt to thwart the RADAR Patrol, but internal dissension and the effective use of RADAR subverts this effort.


  • Early in the film, the officer called "Static" wistfully mentions re: RADAR that "...Dick Tracy used it years before it was invented." This is presumably an in-joke since the actor playing Static is Ralph Byrd, who had played Tracy in several films throughout the 1930s and 40s. He would soon return to the role in 1950 for television.
  • The character Mickey Moran has the same name as the alter ego of British comic book character Miracleman (originally Marvelman).
  • Actor and professional boxer Tom Neal (Mickey Moran) also played Clifford Scott in The Brute Man.

The Episode

Host Segments


Mike performs Crow’s maintenance checkup

Prologue: Mike performs Crow’s maintenance checkup, but has no idea what he's doing. The result: Crow becomes Arnold Horshack.

Segment One (Invention Exchange): Mike has an escape plan: tear up everything aboard the SOL made of fabric (including Gypsy’s bra, Crow’s Underoos and pants from The Killer Shrews, and Tom Servo's pantyhose) and tie the scraps together to make a very long rope. He might be a bit delusional. The Mads present Hypno-Helio-Static-Stasis (containing X-4), a phenomenon which slows down movies and fills them with "subliminal poopie".


The Bots simulate Mike's high school reunion

Segment Two: Based on the tragic short, Trooper Tom presents the playlet "Why Don’t They Look?" Dryer lint is more dangerous than one imagines!

Segment Three: The Bots simulate Mike’s 10-year high school reunion, based on what they found in Mike's yearbook. The theme: "Hungry Like the Wolf".

Segment Four: Mike and Crow have built the Quinn Martin Nature Preserve so old actors have a place to go when they’re no longer useful. Servo eventually recognizes that the Hypno-Helio-Static-Stasis is taking effect on them.


Trooper Tom

Segment Five: The Mads are foiled by Ecstato-Euphoro-Fun (with patented Hinder 90), a device which takes a B movie and turns it into a "Yippee movie"! Frank eventually falls under Hinder 90's spell.

Stinger: The hysterical maid shouts, "Thank you!"


  • The episode contains several references to the popular TV sitcom "Welcome Back, Kotter". Their connection to the movie and short is not readily apparent.
  • Goof: Best Brains is STILL under the mistaken impression that Sam Newfield directed Jungle Goddess, something they also said in I Accuse My Parents.


Obscure References

  • "... I hear the robin sing..."

This is from the song performed by John Cleese's character at the beginning of Monty Python's "Archaeology Today" sketch.

Tom is correct that Sam Newfield directed "I Accuse My Parents", but "Jungle Goddess" was directed by Lewis D. Collins. Tom MAY have been confusing it with "Lost Continent", another Newfield film.

  • "Gary Burghoff goes undercover!" "That would explain his career for the past ten years!"

Actor Gary Burghoff portrayed Corporal Radar O'Reilly in the movie & TV series M*A*S*H.

  • "Don't cry out loud..."

From the song "Don't Cry Out Loud" by Melissa Manchester.

  • "Hey, my 'Advocate' is here!"

A reference to the gay-oriented magazine The Advocate.

  • "Stop the near-insanity!"

Mike is paraphrasing fitness guru Susan Powter.

  • "Jack Kevorkian throws a tailgate party."

Jack Kevorkian is a famous proponent of doctor-assisted suicide.

  • MST3K 520 Promos01:02

    MST3K 520 Promos

    "Dirty Mary and Crazy Larry, NO!"

A reference to the 1974 movie Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry.

  • "Kill da wabbit, kill da wabbit..."

A line sung by Elmer Fudd in the 1957 cartoon What's Opera, Doc?.

  • "'The Powers That Be' is on!"

The Powers That Be was a short-lived 1990s sitcom on NBC that centered on a U.S. senator & his family in Washington.

  • "Oh, would you look at that!  Billy Joe McAllister is down there."

"Ode to Billy Joe" was a hit country song in 1967 about a boy who commits suicide by jumping off a bridge (and a family's rather banal reaction to the news).

Video Release



Commercially released on DVD by Shout! Factory in March 2015 as part of Mystery Science Theater 3000 - XXXII, a 4-DVD set along with Space Travelers, Hercules, and San Francisco International.

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