339. “What is this, an est meeting?”

The episode:Ring of Terror,” ep. 206

The riff: Asked by Crow after a guy pledging a new fraternity reaches for a glass of wine and someone says “Oh no, you have two more minutes to go and then you can have all you want.”

The explanation: The “est” meeting is a reference to Erhard Seminars Training, a series of motivational weekend workshops that were offered in expensive hotels from 1971-1984. Referred to in the promotional literature as “courses in human potential,” they promised to “transform one’s ability to experience living so that the situations one had been trying to change or had been putting up with, clear up just in the process of life itself.” The seminar’s creator, author Werner Erhard, was apparently the inspiration for the name of Dr. Laurence Erhardt, Dr. Forrester’s partner in mad science in season one.

Novelty factor: Never heard of these training sessions in my life, but it was interesting to find the MST3k connection.


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