The folks on Reddit had a great suggestion: A space for you, the readers, to suggest obscure riffs from the show that you would like to see explained! So if there are any that have always puzzled or stumped you, by all means, please post them in the comments below.

I make no promises that I can explain them, but I’ll take a crack at it.

19 thoughts on “Suggest-a-riff

    • Hah, yeah, they do like to re-use that one a lot. I do intend to do it eventually. My biggest issue with doing recurring riffs that I’d like to explain (things like hi-keeba as well) is that I would like to be able to give a full list of all the episodes where the riff reappears, but I’m not sure how I could determine that.

  1. Here are two, both from the *Johnny at the Fair* short that plays before *The Rebel Set* (episode 419):

    The first happens about 13 seconds into the short, while the credits are still playing. The name “Barbara Ann Scott” appears in the credits and Servo says something that sounds like: “Ah, Barbara Ann Scott, the white bomber I suppose…”

    The next comes about 2 min 44 sec in. The camera shows Johnny’s feet walking and Joel, in a high-pitched (maybe kid) voice says: “Half the pain of having feet is red goose shoes.” At least it *sounds* like he says “red goose shoes.”

    • “Johnny at the Fair” is my all-time favorite short! I watched it a few days ago.

      With that said, you’re not going to believe this…I already wrote an entry for the red goose shoes riff! It’s already scheduled to go up in two days. Do you know how ridiculously improbable that is?

      So keep checking back. The red goose shoes riff is scheduled for Friday.

  2. And, as they left the clam flowage that day…

    I can’t name the exact episodes it is used in, but I know it is used in Swamp Diamonds and i am just so curious WHERE that saying comes from!

    • I’m sorry, I forgot to respond to this one. I’ve found an answer and will try to get it up at some point after I have an episode to attribute the riff to.

  3. Hi! In “It Conquered the World” Peter Graves arrives at his home after a long bike ride. Crow says,(In a British Accent) “We’re finally home, after a breathtaking tour of Cornwall”. Does anyone recognize this reference? Thanks!

    • That bit slays me. “Ooh, little winged potatoes!”

      Ultimately though, I always assumed that Trace just had to pick a certain voice to use as “Trumpy” in that episode, and that was the weird voice he picked just because it was unexpected that Trumpy would speak that way. If it’s an actual reference to a particular person’s voice or way of speaking, then I’ve missed it completely for years.

      Also, I think he’s just referring to everything as “potatoes” because he’s constantly hungry/looking for food and they wanted to make jokes about him eating all the animals.

      • I think I read somewhere that it was perhaps a riff of The Elephant Man. In it, he’s asked what he was fed at the work house. He says, “Potatoes”. Perhaps I’ve answered my own question, but it somehow doesn’t seem totally correct. I’m not sure which is why I’ve asked here lol.

        “This potato’s got big ears.”

  4. I think I read somewhere that it was perhaps a riff of The Elephant Man. In it, he’s asked what he was fed at the work house. He says, “Potatoes”. Perhaps I’ve answered my own question, but it somehow doesn’t seem totally correct. I’m not sure which is why I’ve asked here lol.

    “This potato’s got big ears.”

  5. In Hercules Against the Moon Men, beginning at 20:25, Queen Samara is caught spying by Agar. Samara then turns to a soldier and says, “This is the moment.” And then the riff is: “Shave your head and work your way north.” I have Googled and asked around and cannot figure out the source of this riff. Can you help?

    • I know this is old. but if you ever see it…

      it’s “shake your head and work your way north.”
      the joke is that her “moment” is “forthcoming”, if you catch my drift.

      the lady is simply giving her man directions on how to…uhm…complete the moment.

  6. Its not really a suggestion for a riff explanation – but one you can add to the “drugs” section

    They’ll often mention Goofballs “I think I know a talented young singer, who’s hopped up on Goofballs” – Joel (Little Richard – Catalina Caper). “Hes all hopped up on the Goofballs” – Crow, “Don’t ever negotiate with Bikers hopped up on Goofballs!” – Crow.

    Goofballs (we’re as, barbiturates are basically non existant now) a combination pill (or recreational mixture) of Barbiturates and Amphetamines. Black Beauties was one of the names of the combo pills back in the day. Most likely Dexedrine (Dextroamphetamine) and either Seconal, Nembutal or Amytal. (Secobarbital, Pentobarbital and Amobarbital/Sodium Amytal – respectively).

    Barbiturates were phased out – with the exception of Phenobarbital which is still used in Veternary practice and for treatment resistant epileptics, and has no recreational value and Butabital or Firocet (combo of Butabital, Caffiene, Tylenol and Codeine – for migraines, rarely prescribed -formerly OTC) for Placidyl, Miltown, Doriden, Noludar, Sodium Oxybate (GHB), Heminevrin and Quaaludes, later found to be just as dangerous – then replaced today by Benzodiazeapines (Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, Rohypnol, Mogadon, Restoril etc etc), the Z-Drugs or Non-Benzodiazepines (Ambien, Lunesta – etc).and some others like Gabapentin and Lyrica (Pregabalin)

    Some people (erroneously) believe Goofballs to refer simply to Barbiturates – but ‘m almost its specifically either the combination pills (for example ‘black beauties’) or when recreational users would crush up a strong barbiturate and an amphetamine and roll them in paper into a ball to swallow (much like the Beatniks would with the Benzedrine inhalers, a 50/50 mixture of Dextroamphetamine and Levoamphetamine – breaking them open and rolling the covered strips into a ball – putting it into their coffee)

    Oh and Tom Servos “Windoowwpannee” reference is a talking about specific way of preparing/taking LSD. (different from liquid, microdots, blotters/tabs or crystal – which does exist just rare as hell).

    In Hellcats when they say “Oh no – He cubed it again” – is another reference to Mescaline, a specific preparation: laced Jell-O cubes (Mescaline coming from the Peyote, San Pedro, Peruvian Torch and many MANY other Cacti – some which also contain many novel Phenethylamines – the class of hallucinogens Mescaline belongs to**).

    I might be wrong – but I seem to remember an Angeldust reference in an MST3K episode (servo I believe) – which, of course is Phenicyclidine or more commonly known as PCP – an anesthetic dissociative hallucinogen in the same family as Ketamine (but muuuuch less tolerated, as Ketamine is still used both recreationally, for phantom limb syndrome, off-label for depression and for anesthesia in Dentistry, Surgery and Veternary Practice).

    ** Fun fact: all Amphetamines are infact Phenethylamines (watch the capitalized letters)
    alphA-MethylPHEneThylAMINE – AMPHETAMINE.

    Also – The group of Phenethylamine Derivatives is referred to as the Phenethylamines.

    Substituted Phenethylamines (such as the endogenous neurotransmitter Dopamine – 3,4-dihydroxyphenethylamine, Cathinone – β-ketoamphetamine, or even Wellbutrin/Zyban (Bupropion) – 3-chloro-N-tert-butyl-β-ketoamphetamine

    Substituted amphetamines (DOx series – DOM, DOC etc)
    Substituted methylenedioxyphenethylamines (MDxx – MDMA, MDA, MDMC, MDEA etc)
    and can even be modified far more than that like 6-APB (6-(2-aminopropyl)benzofuran) – the “AminoPropylBenzofuran analog of MDA”

    Yeah…I know alot about chemistry and alot about drugs haha.

  7. Here’s one that I understand already that should be on here:

    In ep. 401 (Space Travelers), Gregory Peck impressions abound. At one point, Crow, seemingly out of nowhere, says “Are you talking to me?” while impersonating Peck. This is not a nonsensical reference to Taxi Driver itself. What they are actually referencing is a bit from the Canadian sketch comedy show SCTV. One season had a running gag promoting versions of the movie Taxi Driver with different actors in the leading role (eg. Woody Allen, played by Rick Moranis; Bob Hope, played by Dave Thomas). One of the fake promos had Joe Flaherty as Gregory Peck playing out the “Are you talking to me?” scene.

What do you think, sirs?

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