The episode: “Danger! Death Ray,” ep. 620
The riff: Gaped by Mike as a spy’s boss compliments him and says “You deserve a special prize for your work.”
The explanation: Irving Thalberg was the co-creator of the movie studio MGM and was one of history’s most storied and successful film producers. Known as “The Boy Wonder” for his great success at a young age, he passed away at only 37 years old from pneumonia. The Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Awards were established and are awarded sporadically at the Governors Awards ceremony to “Creative producers, whose bodies of work reflect a consistently high quality of motion picture production.” The most recent recipient was director Francis Ford Coppola in 2010.
Novelty factor: My film education taught me who Thalberg was, but I actually haven’t heard of the award before.