The episode: “First Spaceship on Venus,” ep. 211
The riff: Observed by Joel as a three-pronged rocket blasts off into space in this weird, German/Polish science fiction film.
The explanation: He’s playing around with the word “Estes,” as part of the name of a city, Estes Park, and the name of a company, Estes Industries. Estes has long been known as one of the premier makers of model planes and especially model rockets. Their Mars Snooper design was a popular show-rocket in the 1970s and actually looks almost exactly like the one in the film.
Novelty factor: Had no idea. I was actually surprised to find such a concrete explanation for all the parts of this riff. I have heard of Estes Industries, I should say. We used their model rockets in science courses, but the Mars Snooper model is definitely from before my time.