The episode: “The Amazing Colossal Man,” ep. 309
The riff: Sung by Joel and the bots as the film begins on a dark and scary-looking road with ominous music.
The explanation: This is a pretty obscure one. They’re singing the opening bars of a Disney TV miniseries from 1963, “The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh.” The film was an adaptation of some of the “Doctor Syn” stories by Russell Thorndike. Syn was a dark antihero featured in a series of books from 1915 to 1944, who first sets out for revenge and then becomes more benevolent, protecting the people of a small town. He eventually takes on the persona of the “Scarecrow,” sort of a Batman of his day. In the film, Doctor Syn is actually played by Patrick McGoohan of “The Prisoner.”
Novelty factor: Definitely never heard of the film or the character. They’re expecting the viewers here to have not only seen the movie but remember the song in the very opening sequence.