28. “I’m Hardrock, I’m Coco, I’m Joe!”

The episode:Prince of Space,” ep. 816

The riff: Each stated by one of the riffers, from Tom to Crow to Mike as a line of pointy-headed aliens emerge from behind some shrubbery.

The explanation: This is a reference to a Christmas carol and stop motion animated cartoon of the same name that is well-known in the Chicago area, where I grew up. It typically airs on WGN-TV every Christmas season, and the title characters are three of Santa’s elves who help him out during the Christmas season. Hardrock drives the sleigh, Coco navigates with maps, and Joe is generally useless but kept around for humor value and his basso singing voice. The cartoon was shown with several other songs/animations, like “Frosty the Snowman” and “Suzy Snowflake.”

Novelty value: I knew this one well, but I was actually unaware that this song was a Chicago-specific thing. I grew up being aware of it and assumed that it was also a well-known Christmas song elsewhere. In fact, I remember that we would even sing it in our music classes during grade school. Either way, this is another example of MST3k’s localized Midwestern humor. I still remember pretty much all of the words.

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