11. “Your in-flight movie is ‘Fearless’…”

The episode:MST3k: The Movie,” aka. “This Island Earth“, technically ep. 700*

*To those not in the know, MST3k was seen on the big screen this one time in 1996, between seasons 6 and 7. It was not particularly successful, as the distributor Gramercy Pictures didn’t really know what to do with it or how to market it. The show returned to TV as normal immediately thereafter. The episode is just like a regular episode of the show, except with higher production values.

The riff: Spoken by Servo as the movie’s scientist hero, Cal, boards an airplane.

The explanation: Really an old sort of joke. “Fearless” was a 1993 film starring Jeff Bridges as a man who survives a plane crash. Just some of the Satellite of Love occupants’ dark humor at work. Oddly enough, 1993 also featured a second, more disturbing plane crash movie, “Alive,” in which the crashed members of a rugby team turn to cannibalism. I remember this same joke being made in a newspaper comic (either “The Far Side” or “Dilbert,” I think) sometime in the 1990s.

Novelty factor: I didn’t know for sure that “Fearless” was a movie about a plane crash, but if you know the writers’ senses of humor, it’s a pretty easy guess.

About the clip: I like how the plane completely disintegrates and explodes before it even gets to the ground. Huh?

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