250. “Yes, it’s the man who mistook his wife for a hat.”

The episode:Here Comes the Circus,” the short in front of “The Day the Earth Froze,” ep. 422

The riff: Chimed in by Tom Servo as a woman climbs on top of a man’s shoulders as part of the circuses tumbling routine.

The explanation:The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat and Other Clinical Tales” was a groundbreaking 1985 book by psychologist Oliver Sacks. It collects some of the oddest stories and occurrences of his career in abnormal psychology, such as the title character, who suffered from visual agnosia. Many of the stories have been adapted or sampled in films such as “Memento.”

Novelty factor: I was made to read this book in a high school psychology course and found it very interesting. I’ve also noted how its stories have been used in the media–I remember recognizing when a first-season episode of “House” used one of the bits from the book about an old woman re-experiencing syphilis that had come out of dormancy after 50 years. All in all, it’s an interesting book.


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