The episode: “Teenagers from Outer Space,” ep. 404
The riff: Observed by Tom as one of the villainous space teens, “Thor,” stands with only his bottom half in the frame, threatening the girl in the swimming pool below him. His white leather shoes can be seen gleaming in the sun.
The explanation: It’s all about the shoes, as I correctly guessed. Pat Boone was a hugely popular pop singer in the 1950s and 1960s, knowing for applying a coat of whitewash to black R&B songs like Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti.” As it turns out, just about everything having to do with the fellow was white, and that included his trademark leather shoes. He wore them to just about every engagement. Tom is banking on the audience very quickly noting the shoes, as they’re only on screen for a second or two.
Novelty factor: Had no idea about Pat Boone’s shoe history, but when I heard the riff I guessed it had to be those stand-out white leather soles.