|“||Woah! Seen him in my nightmares...||”|
|— Tom, responding to a large cartoon clown to his right|
|421 - Monster A-Go Go|
|Air Date||January 9, 1993|
|Movie Director||Herschell Gordon Lewis|
|Short||Circus on Ice|
|Preceded by||420 - The Human Duplicators|
|Followed by||422 - The Day the Earth Froze|
The short is called Circus on Ice. It features women in striped suits on leashes, simluated gunshots and lots of the colour pink.
- Jacqueline du Bief, who performs the solo piece as a dying fawn, won the ladies world figure-skating title in Paris in 1952, and earned a bronze medal at the Olympics in Oslo that same year.
- The print of the film that Best Brains used is of a low quality, which is especially noticable at the beginning and end of the short as being slightly jumpy and scratchy (to the point in which Tom Servo makes a joke about it as the film is ending).
An Army astronaut's capsule returns to earth, but he's not in it. However, there is a mutant monster wreaking havoc nearby. Could there be a connection? The film infamously ends with a terrible twist, anti-conclusion in which the monster never actually existed and the astronaut was actually rescued days earlier in perfectly healthy condition. 
- Director Herschell Gordon Lewis needed another movie to round out a double-feature. So he bought Bill Rebane’s unfinished "Terror at Halfday," added a couple of extra scenes, some new dialogue, some narration, and voila: "Monster A Go-Go!". Because the film was completed so long after it had begun production, viewers will notice that the entire cast (save one actor) disappears roughly about halfway through the movie and is replaced with other actors playing different roles.
- Director and co-producer Bill Rebane also made The Giant Spider Invasion .
- This movie has one of the most infamous scenes in MST3K history, in which one of the actors pretty obviously makes the sound of a phone ringing with his mouth in lieu of an actual sound effect. Joel simply notes the moment with a disgusted "Unbelievable!"
The host segments in this episode are unusual in the Joel era in that none of them have anything to do with the movie, or each other. The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Amazing Colossal Episode Guide entry explained that since the film was about nothing, the segments would be as well.
Segment One (Invention Exchange): The Mads and the SOL crew compete in an action figure contest, and if the SOL wins, they get to watch Local Hero, and if they lose, they must watch Monster A-Go-Go. The Mads have Johnny Longtorso, whose body parts are each sold separately to maximize revenue. Joel lets the bots show off their nonviolent, educational action figures: Tom's figure is Action Oxford, Crow's is a tapeworm (the doll is just the host organism) and Gypsy's is Wilma Rudolph. Impartial judge TV's Frank calls Deep 13 the winner.
Segment Two: Gypsy doesn’t get Crow. After trying to help her figure out why (with also presenting some interesting technical information about himself), she comes to the conclusion it's actually Tom she doesn't get.
Segment Three: Joel and Tom play "keep away" from Crow.
Segment Four: Joel tries to explain "The Pina Colada Song" to Crow and Tom. Nothing is resolved, except everyone agrees how much the song annoys them.
Segment Five: Joel crowns Happy King Servo and knights Sir Giggles von Laffsalot Crow, but they're so despondent over the movie that there's just no cheering them up.
Stinger: The "monster" shambles about awkwardly.
- The Johnny Longtorso name is a call back/reference to a riff made during Women of the Prehistoric Planet.
- Nearly the entire cast of the show and Best Brains stated this was officially the worst movie they have ever seen.
- "Burned on re-entry, huh?"
A phrase used in writer Tom Wolfe's novel "The Right Stuff"
- "A young Ghermezian brother scouts locations."
The Ghermezian family is a Canadian family of Iranian Armenian origin who have developed several of the world's largest shopping malls. The family's holdings include the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota (Wikipedia).
- "You've got your circus on my ice! You've got your ice on my circus! Two bad things that go worse together!"
A reference to the 70s-80s advertisement re: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups: "You got chocolate in my peanut butter! You got your peanut butter in my chocolate! Two great tastes that taste great together!"
- "Uh...I'd like a sloe gin circus." "I'd like mine straight up!"
A play on the title 'Circus on Ice,' referencing popular cocktails (i.e. Sloe Gin Fizz, etc.)
- "Is this a Max Fleischer cartoon?"
In reference to the credits (which look like old cartoon credits.) Max Fleischer was an innovative animator in the first half of the 20th century responsible for animated shorts dealing with such iconic characters as Betty Boop and Popeye, among others.
- "Hey, it's Bella Abzug!"
Bella Abzug was a notable Women's Rights advocate and a Congresswoman from New York State.
- "They are soon returned to their lives of quiet desperation."
- "Prelude to the afternoon of a murder..."
This is a pun based on the narrator's previous reference to the skater as a 'fawn' in the forest (though not presumably the mythical 'faun' to which the pun makes reference.) It refers to the famous symphonic tone poem by Claude Debussy called Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune (Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun), based on a poem of similar name. (It also continues a long-running MST3K theme of mocking the titles of bad Quinn Martin produced detective shows of the '70s, which usually worked the word "murder" into a really cheesy pun.)
- "It's Billy Pilgrim!"
Billy Pilgrim, protagonist of Kurt Vonnegut's classic Slaughterhouse-Five, wore a pair of boots that had been spray-painted silver for a production of Cinderella in a POW camp where he was held.
- Oh, I though it was going to be Munster, Go Home!
- ("What's it all about?") "Alfie!"
"What's it all about?" was the tagline for the film Alfie. It was later made into a popular song written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David.
- "I think this is the movie version of Darkness Visible by William Styron."
- "Women are pulled apart like fresh bread."
- "I'm going to spit on you... just a little spittle."
- ("A strange object had fallen to Earth.") "A Coke bottle!"
A reference to the cult film The Gods Must Be Crazy.
- "I'm Percy Dovetonsils."
- "How not to be seen..."
A well-known Monty Python sketch.
- "We wuz too late!"
From a less well-known Monty Python sketch, The Bishop .
- "Five!" "Three, sir!"
A quote from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
- "Oh, they decided to go to Shakey's!"
The Shakey's Pizza chain was popular in the United States during the 1960s and '70s, but its restaurants are now found mainly in Asia and Southern California.
- "Rock, rock, rock, rock, Rock 'n' Roll High School!"
- "What is this, the Loyd Thaxton Show?"
- "Django Reinhardt tunes up his guitar."
Django Reinhardt was a revolutionary Belgian Gypsy jazz guitarist active from the late 20s through early 50s.
- "Here in my car, I feel safest of all..."
- "The Thin Blue Line!"
A reference to The Thin Blue Line, a 1988 documentary film about the murder of a Texas police officer.
- "What is this, Chinese music torture?"
A joke on Chinese water torture (actually invented by an Italian), an ancient and subtle form of torment involving drops of water falling on the victim's forehead.
- Hey, good-lookin'. We'll be back to pick you up later!
A line from the original Mr. Microphone ad.
- "They're talkin' to Charlie Brown's mom."
In the Charlie Brown TV specials, the voices of adults were represented by the sounds of a muffled trumpet, not actual voices.
- "Dog and Butterfly, he likes to fly..."
- "Mo Udall!"
A reference to Mo Udall, a former Arizona congressman, Denver Nugget and 1976 Democratic presidential nominee hopeful.
- "Hey it's Sununu going to get a haircut!"
A reference to the scandal involving George H.W. Bush's White House Chief of Staff and public bigot John H. Sununu using government planes for personal purposes.
- "...and my book of S & H Green Stamps."
Green Stamps were a sort of 'rewards program' in use by thousands of merchants throughout the country from the 30s through the 90s; the 60s were their heyday. They could be collected in books and redeemed for all kinds of merchandise.
- "Later, over lunch with Wally Shawn..."
- "Hey, its the musical stairs from the science museum."
The Science Museum of Minnesota has a staircase where each stair plays a different musical note when you step on it.
- "Return to violence!"
- "Time keeps on slippin' slippin'...Oh what a lucky man he was!"
Referencing hit songs Fly Like an Eagle (1977) and Lucky Man (1970) by The Steve Miller Band and Emerson Lake and Palmer respectively, to which the soundtrack at this point bears an extraordinarily superficial resemblance.
- "Blame it on the Bossa Nova."
- "I was just trying to help."
Spoken in a mealy-mouthed voice, this is a riff on the voice of the cartoon character Droopy, a whiny dog.
- "I want some answers... Please frame it in the form of a question."
Dealing with the popular quiz-show Jeopardy, in which the answers must be formed as a question?
In the film based on the William Goldman novel The Princess Bride, Sicilian mastermind criminal Vizzini (played by Wallace Shawn) speaks with a slight lisp and utters the word 'Inconceivable!' numerous times.
- "Whenever I go out, the people always shout there goes John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt!"
A reference to the popular children's song using those lyrics.
- "The Pina Colada song...could you phrase it in the form of a question?"
- Commercially released on DVD by Rhino in November 2005 as part of The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Volume 8, a 4-DVD set with Hobgoblins, The Phantom Planet, and The Dead Talk Back.
|preceded by: Season 3||MST3K Season 4||followed by: Season 5|
|1992 - 1993|
|401||Space Travelers||1992-06-06||409||The Indestructible Man||1992-08-15||417||Crash of Moons||1992-11-28|
|402||The Giant Gila Monster||1992-06-13||410||Hercules Against the Moon Men||1992-08-22||418||Attack of the the Eye Creatures||1992-12-05|
|403||City Limits||1992-06-20||411||The Magic Sword||1992-08-29||419||The Rebel Set||1992-12-12|
|404||Teenagers from Outer Space||1992-06-27||412||Hercules and the Captive Women||1992-09-12||420||The Human Duplicators||1992-12-26|
|405||Being from Another Planet||1992-07-24||413||Manhunt in Space||1992-09-19||421||Monster A-Go Go||1993-01-09|
|406||Attack of the Giant Leeches||1992-07-18||414||Tormented||1992-09-26||422||The Day the Earth Froze||1993-01-16|
|407||The Killer Shrews||1992-07-25||415||The Beatniks||1992-11-25||423||Bride of the Monster||1993-01-23|
|408||Hercules Unchained||1992-08-01||416||Fire Maidens of Outer Space||1992-11-16||424||Manos: The Hands of Fate||1993-01-30|