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The Starfighters

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612 - The Starfighters
Air Date October 29, 1994
MST3K Director Jim Mallon
Movie Director Will Zens
Year 1964
Cast Robert Dornan
Richard Jordahl
Richard Masters
Preceded by 611 - Last of the Wild Horses
Followed by 613 - The Sinister Urge

"Does anybody know a song about stock footage that can get us through this?"

"Yeah, I know a song about stock footage, it goes like this, "Da da da da da, EAT IT MOVIE!!!

  — Crow and Tom

== The turtle called Gamera is approaching the base. ==

The Movie



Tom and Mike dance during The Starfighters

This movie is about the day-to-day lives of men training to fly state-of-the-art (for the time) jet fighters. Refueling is prominently featured.  

A sub-plot involves Lt. Witkowski's father (a Congressman) constantly harassing him while on duty and offering to pull political strings to get him transferred to a safer part of the Air Force. Witkowski is also introduced to a woman who lives near the training base and a courtship ensues. There is little in the way of conflict, suspense, or drama. 


  • Robert Dornan, who plays young Lt. John Witkowski, later became a staunchly Conservative congressman from California who unsuccessfully vied for the 1996 Republican nomination for President. He later lost his House seat in a hotly contested race the same year, losing by less than a thousand votes.

The Episode

Host Segments


The Bots "debriefing" of Mike

Prologue: With his seriously impressive (by 1994 standards) computer, Crow attempts to access the wonder that is the information superhighway using state of the art (by 1994 standards) dial-up. When his talked-up tech skills crumble after he's unable to connect, Mike and Tom have to restrain him from smashing the computer/himself.


"Is it bold?"

Segment One: As Crow suffers through the queue waiting for technical support, the Mads attempt to introduce their new cranial ports. They are distracted by Cowboy Mike's Red Hot Ricochet Barbecue Sauce until they discover that the SOL crew has misrepresented its claimed boldness.

Segment Two: Inspired by the film, Crow and Tom reenact the spectacle that is "refueling". Unfortunately Crow's on-hold tech support call finally reaches a human in the middle of it and Crow can't "disengage" in time.
MST3k- Tom Servos chorus seen in The Starfighters

The United Servo Academy Men's Chorus

Segment Three: The Bots engage in a literal "debriefing" of Mike.

Segment Four: The United Servo Academy Men's Chorus perform a stirring tribute to flight.

Closing (Segment Five): Crow finally gets to experience the wonder that is the information superhighway, but finds the wonder has been overstated a tad as Mike reads a letter, while the Mads finally get to show off their new cranial ports.

Stinger: Wife's elbow jab teaches Husband who's boss.


  • Kevin Murphy, Jim Mallon, and Paul Chaplin are the voices of Tech Support in the opening sketches.
  • Final "Invention Exchange" of the series and the only Exchange of season 6


  • United Servo Academy Men's Chorus Hymn

Music and Lyrics by Kevin Murphy


  • “Shut up Iris.” (The Beatniks)
  • “People seemed to laugh more then” (Stranded in Space)
  • “Eegah” and “Watch out for snakes!” (Eegah).
  • "The turtle called Gamera is approaching the base."

Obscure References

  • "Robert Dornan, the Congressman?" "Couldn't they get Rush Limbaugh?"

As noted above, Robert Dornan was indeed a member of the House of Representatives, from California, and had the reputation of being one of the most vocally conservative members of Congress.

  • "Gotta go, Reagan fired us."

On August 5, 1981, President Ronald Reagan fired 11,345 air traffic controllers who had gone on strike two days previously.

  • "It's Budgie the Helicopter!"

Budgie the Little Helicopter is a character created by Sarah, Duchess of York for a series of children's books.

MST3K 612 Promo-000:43

MST3K 612 Promo-0

  • "Here, the Air Force escorts Sununu to a golf game!"

Yet another reference to John H. Sununu's misuse of government planes for personal use.

  • "His name is Gein!"

​A reference to murderer, cadaver thief, and suspected cannibal Ed Gein of Plainfield, WI.

  • "We got a great big convoy, truckin' through the night..."

​A line from the C.W. McCall song 'Convoy ', which was an impetus for the C.B. radio craze in the 1970s.

  • "Class... Class... SHUT UP!!!"

A quote from the comedy sketch "Sister Mary Elephant" from one of Cheech & Chong's albums.

  • Poopie (or Poopy) Suits

Poopie Suit is a nickname for a water survival suit. Its nickname stems from the odor that it acquires after extended use. It comes with a neck gasket and does not, by design, breathe. This is the actual nickname for that particular piece of flight gear--not a 'sanitized for Hollywood' version. It is also known as "the body condom".

Video Release


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