The episode: “The Sinister Urge,” ep. 613
The riff: Yelped by Crow as a big crowd of “teenagers” run away from a fight in progress as the cops close in.
The explanation: This is a subtle reference to a short story by noted American humorist James Thurber called “The Day the Dam Broke.” In the story, printed here, the citizens of Columbus, Ohio get swept up in a bout of mass hysteria after mistakenly thinking that the dam outside of town has broken. They rush the streets yelling “go east!” Ironically, this story was later adapted as the basis for a 2003 TV film called “Killer Flood: The Day the Dam Broke,” which decided to just straight up ignore the satire of the original story and have the dam actually break so the heroes can outrun the water in their cars. In an incredible stroke of MST3k coincidence, “Killer Flood” was produced by none other than David Giancola, the producer/director of one of my favorite MST3k movies, “Time Chasers.” Why am I not surprised?
Novelty factor: I’d never heard of the story before, but I’m really glad I chose this riff for its unexpected connection to another MST3k episode.