The episode: “High School Big Shot,” ep. 618
The riff: Said by Mike with a slightly effeminate lisp as some dreamy, tinkling harps and oboe begin to play. Note: This episode isn’t on YouTube, but you can hear the music if you click the link.
The explanation: It’s a gag on the long-running children’s TV show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” Anyone who watched the show would probably remember “Picture Picture,” the magical slide projector-like device that Mr. Rogers would use to illustrate visual lessons by putting images on the screen. This riff is entirely inspired by the film’s musical soundtrack though, as the soft jazz aesthetic of the oboe sounds very similar to the relaxing background sounds of Mr. Rogers’ show.
Novelty factor: PBS was the first network that I remember watching as a child in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and both “Sesame Street” and “Mister Rogers Neighborhood” were stuff I watched regularly. The music and vocal imitation was unmistakable for me.