161. “Suddenly it’s turned into ‘Topper!'”

The episode:Beginning of the End,” ep. 517

The riff: Exclaimed incredulously by Crow as a montage unexpectedly begins with the characters semi-transparent, other bits of action going on behind them.

The explanation: They’re referring to a 1937 comedy film that starred Cary Grant and Constance Bennett as a pair of married, mischievous ghosts. After dying in a car accident, the pair of ghosts stranded on Earth decide to make it their mission to help their stick-in-the-mud friend Topper live a little. That is seriously the plot of the movie. It sounds kind of like a lighthearted version of “Beetlejuice” from 1937. It was followed by several sequels and a TV series that ran for two seasons in 1953. The movie is public domain and the entire thing is free online.

Novelty factor: The name sounds vaguely familiar to me, but I’ve certainly never seen the movie. When I first heard the reference I didn’t assume it had to do with their transparency but the cameras she was fiddling with, or perhaps the montage. Please enjoy their extremely calm realization of death below.

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