The episode: “Warrior of the Lost World,” ep. 501
The riff: Asked incredulously as the camera shows a python hanging from an overhang in a cave, shortly after the characters have navigated an area full of tarantulas.
The explanation: Jim Stafford is an American comedian and singer-songwriter who was known for a number of novelty records in the 1970s. The biggest hit of his career was the corny single “Spiders and Snakes,” which reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974 and was certified gold. Tom is leaving it up to the audience to see the snake and remember the spiders moments earlier in putting together this semi-obscure reference that only someone familiar with Stafford’s music could really pick up on. NOTE: Stafford later appears as a guest star alongside Ben Murphy in episode 814, “Riding with Death.”
Novelty factor: As someone decidedly not familiar with Stafford’s music, I definitely wasn’t picking up on anything. So, uh…the 70’s were a pretty goofy time for music, weren’t they?