Jackie Watches Stuff

Jackie Watches Spaceballs

September 18, 2020 Jackie Vetrano /Mel Van De Werfhorst Season 2 Episode 1
Jackie Watches Stuff
Jackie Watches Spaceballs
Chapters
Jackie Watches Stuff
Jackie Watches Spaceballs
Sep 18, 2020 Season 2 Episode 1
Jackie Vetrano /Mel Van De Werfhorst

Jackie and Mel Van De Werfhorst (@melissavandew on Twitter) are surrounded by assholes!
Must-know:
- George Lucas loved this movie
- Merchandising is key
- The Schwartz in you!
- Shields and Yarnell are amazing

Follow us on Twitter @JackieWatches.
This episode produced by Sean Flynn (@wxgeek)


Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/jackiewatchesstuff)

Show Notes Transcript

Jackie and Mel Van De Werfhorst (@melissavandew on Twitter) are surrounded by assholes!
Must-know:
- George Lucas loved this movie
- Merchandising is key
- The Schwartz in you!
- Shields and Yarnell are amazing

Follow us on Twitter @JackieWatches.
This episode produced by Sean Flynn (@wxgeek)


Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/jackiewatchesstuff)

Jackie:

Mel, you're back!

Mel:

I'm back!

Jackie:

Hello! I'm so glad you decided to come back after all of our "Pulp Fiction" journeying together.

Mel:

I'm truly honored and thrilled and I'm glad we survived.

Jackie:

Well, this is a much different genre that I wanted some help with. I finished season one watching "Star Wars" so can you take a guess maybe what movie I need to watch still?

Mel:

Okay, so you've watched "Star Wars," like the original ones, right? Okay. "Dune?"

Jackie:

I don't even know what movie that is so apparently that one.

Mel:

Hey, put it on your list.

Jackie:

Okay.

Mel:

I don't know. You tell me.

Jackie:

So the movie. I think that comes naturally next is

Mel:

Spaceballs? The movie? "Spaceballs."

Jackie:

I've had plenty of opportunity to watch this movie, but every time I say "Oh, I've never seen Star Wars." The person that's offering to watch "Spaceballs" says "Oh, well you certainly can't watch this movie then." So I'm very excited to finally have earned the right to watch "Spaceballs."

Mel:

You know what? Yeah, I get it. I get it. You are ready. You're ready, Jackie.

Jackie:

I'm excited. All I know is that it's a big "Star Wars" spoof because everybody I've talked to has said "You have to watch it first." I have seen memes and gifs of the person wearing the clearly a mockery of the Darth Vader helmet that's really, really big, but otherwise, I mean, I'm just gonna guess it's a funny version of "Star Wars" maybe, but who knows?

Mel:

I'm trying so hard not to say anything right now. I just want you to roll with it. I want you to experience it and I want to talk about it with you.

Jackie:

Oh my gosh. Okay. Well, I will put you out of your misery and go watch "Spaceballs" and I'm excited to hear all of your thoughts.

Mel:

I'm excited too!

Jackie:

Welcome to Jackie Watches Stuff. This is a podcast chronicling my cinematic quest to finally watch the movies I probably should have already seen and I'm bringing my friends along with me.

Mel:

Hey, Jackie!

Jackie:

Hi, Mel! May the Schwartz be with you.

Mel:

Oh, wow. I'm really excited to talk to you about "Spaceballs." How was your experience?

Jackie:

Oh, my goodness. Well, I guess I understand now why all of my friends said that I was not allowed to watch this until I saw "Star Wars," but I would counter that I think it still would have been a funny movie, even if I didn't see "Star Wars," but I'm glad it's now checked off the list. I'm glad I watched it after "Star Wars" and I feel pretty confident about being able to recap this in 30 seconds.

Mel:

Is that what you want to do now? You want me to time you?

Jackie:

Yes. Are you willing to do the thing?

Mel:

Let's do it. Alright.

Jackie:

Let me know.

Mel:

Alright, ready? Are you ready?

Jackie:

Ready.

Mel:

And, hold on. Go!

Jackie:

Okay, so there's not really much of a plot because it's basically a rip on "Star Wars." And so there's this princess who has to marry this awful prince so she runs away because she's not in love with him and her father, the King tells Lone Star and Barf, the mog, to go find her and there's a lot of pew pew action and then there's Big Helmet, who is basically Darth Vader, but he's trying to steal air from one of the planets. And so Lone Star and the crew meet this guy Yogurt, who's supposed to be Yoda, and he sells a lot of Spaceballs merch, but we'll talk about that later. And he learns about the Schwartz and then they use the Schwartz to defeat Big Helmet. Yay!

Mel:

Oh, it's like 35 seconds.

Jackie:

That was a little long. I'm a little rusty. We're back for season two and so I feel like I gotta up my game.

Mel:

That's okay. I mean, when you're talking about "Spaceballs," sometimes you have to start making sense of things while you're describing it like okay, yeah okay.

Jackie:

Yeah, I guess that's a good point because I was like "Oh, the plot's pretty simple to explain, but when you're trying to explain a screwball comedy by Mel Brooks, it's actually kind of more challenging.

Mel:

It really is. I was thinking about all of the other Mel Brooks films that I've seen. They're parodies, like satire of different genres, right? In general, it was kind of his thing. He would take a genre and he would do some satire about it, like calling out its flaws or just sort of making up something ridiculous in the same vein. So this was his Star Wars parody/ Star Wars sort of genre, like space opera, satire. And I really liked it. I actually thought that he just delivered a plot that made sense.

Jackie:

It was easy to follow. I mean, I will say that I have had to watch some pretty dense plots. I know that the rest of the movies in season two, some of them have some pretty dense plots so this was nice. This was a nice introduction to get back into it. It was pretty easy to follow, there were some solid gags, good jokes, some sexual innuendo. What else do you need?

Mel:

A lot of sexual innuendo.

Jackie:

Absolutely. Because it's Mel Brooks.

Mel:

That's right.

Jackie:

Well, speaking of sexual innuendo, this is a great transition, I read two different and totally not even close to the same thread, stories or myths as to why this movie is called "Spaceballs" so I'm curious if you know anything about the title or discovered anything in your deep dive on this movie because I read two very different accounts.

Mel:

I've only read one account, but I want to hear your two. So the one that I read was that he wanted the word "space" in the title somewhere and he was trying to brainstorm it and he knocked over something and said something like "Balls!" I don't know. And someone was like "Hey, how about Spaceballs?" Which sounds like kind of the dumbest story I've heard, but anyway.

Jackie:

Yeah, you could believe it. Yeah. So that is a story that I read and was like "That seems a little too perfect." and like, okay, sure. The other story I read about why this is called "Spaceballs" is something that Mel Brooks came up with because it is a take on a screwball comedy and because he wanted the word "space" in the title, he went with "Spaceballs" instead of "Screwballs." And so even though it has this sexual innuendo, wink, wink, it's really not supposed to be like a wink nudge, which is again, shocking, but that is the other story. So, I don't know which is right. I don't know if either is right so listeners, if you have any insight on why this movie is called "Spaceballs," please tweet us @JackieWatches. I'm so curious now.

Mel:

I want to know, did the title come first and then they decided with like, the ball theme, the helmets, you know, the shooting people in the testicles? What came first? Was it testicles or the title?

Jackie:

One of the world's most famous questions that we have to get to the bottom of, testicles or title? I would have to guess that the title came after all of the testicle/ball references because those costumes are just, they're just so good.

Mel:

Do you think? Okay, I mean, look, I feel like any either situation is totally plausible.

Jackie:

We'll have to do some more digging. Clearly neither of us could find the real answer. Maybe Mel Brooks will listen to this and let us know what the answer is?

Mel:

Maybe he will.

Jackie:

So this is literally just kind of a rip on "Star Wars," but I think it's a rip on "Star Wars" for everything that, whether or not you saw the movie, you know about "Star Wars." So even the beginning with the scrolly words and a galaxy far, far away, but this one is a galaxy very, very, very far away, It's a pretty straightforward rip on it, which I think is great. The world needs this kind of comedy.

Mel:

Absolutely. And you know what? I actually saw this movie before I saw the "Star Wars" movies.

Jackie:

Really? Tell me everything about that experience because clearly I wasn't allowed to do it and I thought that was a sin.

Mel:

Yeah, well, it's different when you're nine years old. Let's talk about the 80s and how parents didn't care what their children did. I've said this a million times, it was sort of like the wild west of parenting. It was like the times were a little bit more dangerous than ever before and parents were at their absolute lowest point of giving any fucks so I somehow got away with watching this movie when I was nine years old with my other friend, my BFF, who was also nine. We watched it probably like three times the summer it came out because it came out during the summer. It was the perfect summer movie. And did we understand all the sexual innuendo? Probably not, but the jokes? The jokes were absolutely perfect for children and probably tweens and then probably high school students, but they were really good for kids who were growing up in the 80s.

Jackie:

Right? Yeah, I mean, truly, this is a movie that, if I were to have a nine year old watch any movie with this much innuendo, this is fine because if you don't understand the joke, it's okay. If you don't think it's funny that dark helmet shoots all of his underlings in the balls, like, you don't understand why that's weird, like, it's just funny because he's intimidating. And I mean, I think the worst of it is maybe his "I'm surrounded by assholes!" because that's not a good word for a nine year old to know, but otherwise it's pretty funny.

Mel:

Rick Moranis says "fuck" one time.

Jackie:

Really?

Mel:

When I was watching it the other day, oh my gosh! An F-bomb in my movie?

Jackie:

Oh my goodness! And yo turned ou

Mel:

I know. Look, I turned out with absolutely no mental health issues. It's fine. I feel like this movie in terms of how much innuendo is in it and cursing is just the equivalent of your kids being around that one uncle who's kind of drunk at the barbecue, but it's not any worse than that.

Jackie:

That's fair. As long as you just keep them away, shield their eyes and walk away.

Mel:

Right. Uncle Rick is so funny!

Jackie:

He is so funny. So funny. I still would let my nine year old kids watch this movie though. instead of maybe hanging out with drunk uncle Rick.

Mel:

You know, I mean, same. Totally.

Jackie:

Well, let's get into this movie with the super deep and thoughtful plot. Basically, we learn through this scrolly thing that it's kind of the same setup as "Star Wars," but there's this guy, Dark Helmet and he wants to steal air from planet, Druidia essentially, which is amazing because it's hardly a plot point really because the rest are just goofs that he wants to steal all of the air, but I do appreciate that.

Mel:

I really appreciated the science in this movie. Like for example, when they're going in between spaceships and they're just walking in space with no protective gear on.

Jackie:

Absolutely. Yeah, you just suspend disbelief like I didn't even think for a second why like, oh, this is weird. They should be wearing spacesuits. No, we don't care. It's fine.

Mel:

No, it doesn't matter.

Jackie:

Totally fine. So there's, off the bat, some pretty funny moments. We see the wedding of Princess Vespa and Prince Valium and again, hilarious joke that at nine years old you're not gonna get, but to watch Prince Valium consistently yawn throughout the entire movie is very funny.

Mel:

It was so funny. Did he not look like that prince guy on Shrek?

Jackie:

Yes! Prince Farquaad or whatever. Lord Farquaad. Absolutely. That was a wig. I learned that he was wearing a wig, which isn't surprising, but yes, they really worked hard to make this guy look so lame and I love it.

Mel:

The whole family looked just like him.

Jackie:

Oh my gosh, yes. They all look the same and they're all sleepy, I believe. Right? Weren't they all sleepy?

Mel:

Yes. It was amazing.

Jackie:

And they're walking down the aisle and she just explains that she doesn't love him, but like a good princess she has to get married to the guy that she doesn't like because of money or something and he's the only prince left, which is so stupid.

Mel:

I love how it was the only prince left.

Jackie:

Yeah, it's like girl, you didn't get on Space Tinder fast enough. Come on.

Mel:

Spaceballs the dating app.

Jackie:

Oh my goodness. They'll try to merchandise it. Don't say it too loud. But we also get to meet Dot Matrix, which I laughed out loud when they introduced Dot Matrix aka C-3PO, but a woman voiced by Joan Rivers.

Mel:

I know. Isn't she amazing? Did you know the woman playing her is actually a professional mime?

Jackie:

Yes. I want you to explain this because I went down a deep, deep hole of watching videos of this one perform, but you can talk about this wonderful woman.

Mel:

I don't know anything else about her besides that she was a professional mime so now I need to watch those videos. Okay.

Jackie:

Yes. Okay, so her name is Lorraine Yarnell and she was actually part of a mime duo in the 70s. The duo was called uncreativevely "Shields and Yarnell" because her partner's last name was Shields.

Mel:

Sounds like an attorney firm.

Jackie:

Oh, that's a good point. It does sound like an attorney firm or honestly an attorney firm that would be featured in "Spaceballs the movie"

Mel:

Oh, totally.

Jackie:

But they are very, very good. I would highly recommend you watching them. Their shtick, I guess, was this, I don't want to call it being a robot because when you think the robot you think the dance, the robot, but it's this idea of effectively being a mannequin and being very stiff and walking with your legs completely straight, kind of the way that C-3PO walks, but obviously the way that Dot walks in this movie. They are incredibly good and it's a little bit unsettling actually how good they are because you have to remember that they're real people. So I highly recommend just looking up Shields and Yarnell from the 70s. They did some amazing stuff. I do have to do a little shout out because she actually passed away in 2010 at age 66 of a brain aneurysm, which is very sad. Oh my gosh. That's really sad. This has been rip corner on the podcast. I'm sorry to bring it down because this was a very, very funny movie, but no, she did amazing. And then Joan Rivers's voice was like *Chef kiss*.

Mel:

You can really (inaudible). Yeah.

Jackie:

Well, they run away. Well, I'm sorry, Princess Vespa runs away into her bougie space craft, whatever you want to call it. She's basically like "My super sweet 16," but the space version and Dot follows her to try to get her to come back, but it doesn't work, which is very funny. But she's wearing, I should give a shout out, we see her wearing Princess Leia style hair and it's like, oh, haha, you know, she's supposed to be Leia, but she takes the hair off because it turns out they're headphones. Just like beautiful little sprinkles of amazingness throughout this movie.

Mel:

I feel like those are totally headphones that you could find and purchase now.

Jackie:

I'm sure. I'm sure you can get those for your cat. Can't you get a Princess Leia outfit for your animals?

Mel:

Oh my gosh. You're right. I have seen it.

Jackie:

I will shoutout again, if you've ever dressed up your animal like Princess Leia or Yoda, I've seen Yoda costumes, please tweet us @JackieWatches. We would love to see them.

Mel:

Yes, we would.

Jackie:

Oh my goodness. So yeah, they're running away because she doesn't love him. And I don't know where she plans on going, but she's just going and then they cut to like a space RV flying through space, which is incredible. It's like a Winnebago, but in space.

Mel:

It is amazing. And it's not even outfitted for space. That's my favorite part.

Jackie:

No, it's literally as though they just stuck a Winnebago model with a space backdrop and said "yep, works for us." And then we meet some of the heroes of our story, Barf the dog or I'm sorry, the mog, a man dog, which I don't know why they didn't go with hog, which would be human dog, but whatever.

Mel:

Well, because it sounds like hog, I guess, but yeah.

Jackie:

Yeah.

Mel:

John Candy!

Jackie:

So, so good. Yeah, we have a lot of RIP corners because John Candy also passed, well, I was gonna say recently, but it's 2020 so not recently, but he has also passed away.

Mel:

I know. I'm pouring out my Spaceballs the 40 right now just for them.

Jackie:

Aww.

Mel:

Yeah. And then Bill Pullman and he's like 30.

Jackie:

Yes! Oh my gosh. Well, he was kind of a nobody when he was cast in this movie, which is pretty insane. I read that Mel Brooks wanted initially to cast either Tom Cruise or Tom Hanks in this role, which like, Mel Brooks, you're a genius, but you wanted to put Tom Cruise in this role? Seriously?

Mel:

Tom Cruise would have been such a mistake.

Jackie:

He would have been awful. It would have ruined this whole movie.

Mel:

I could see Tom Hanks maybe pulling it off, but he's not quite perfect enough so props to Bill Pullman for launching his career with "Spaceballs."

Jackie:

Absolutely. Yeah, it was it was a great pick and I mean, the fact that John Candy was cast, I think kind of saved Bill Pullman because I read that Mel Brooks was kind of willing to sacrifice a "big name star" for the Lone Star role because John Candy and other big names were cast. So it's like, listen, not mad about it. I agree that Tom Cruise would have been a terrible choice.

Mel:

It wouldn't have been the same for sure.

Jackie:

No, absolutely not.

Mel:

So they get a call from their bookie guy they owe money to and I want to talk about this because this is the scene that that traumatized me at nine years old and I didn't forget about Pizza the Hut for such a long time. I couldn't believe there was a person who was a pizza and it was so disgusting.

Jackie:

It's awful.

Mel:

It was awful.

Jackie:

I literally wrote in my notes "I did not think pizza could make me feel uncomfortable."

Mel:

It was so uncomfortable. And then the guy who's, Oh, Vinny, who's sort of like the Max Headroom of Future Space was like, he ate part of his space a little bit, which was...

Jackie:

It was so bad.

Mel:

It was hilariously bad. I felt so uncomfortable.

Jackie:

I mean, it needed to be there, but it was like wow, I'm feeling a little bit weird, but fortunately there weren't too many more very uncomfortable moments like that in this movie so I was okay with it, but it was rough. It was real rough. I have two costume related facts for you about this whole scene. So the first is about John Candy's costume as Barf, I learned that there were three different people that had to control this costume. So there was one person on each ear with a little remote, like offset controlling just one ear, which is very interesting. And then John Candy had a little remote inside one of his paws that controlled his tail and in order to make this all work, he had to wear a 30 pound battery on his back so that it would all function, which I wish I knew this before I watched the movie because I would have kept a better eye out to see if you could tell where the battery was, but I mean, that's insane to have to wear 30 pounds to do this whole thing.

Mel:

That'sa lot of weight. That's like when you go scuba diving and you're not in the water yet and you think the gravity is gonna kill you because it's so heavy.

Jackie:

Right.

Mel:

Like, no. Props to John Candy for wearing all that stuff.

Jackie:

For real. Yeah, I'm gonna have to go back and watch some scenes to see if I can see the battery pack because how do you hide a 30 pound battery pack? Come on.

Mel:

I don't know.

Jackie:

It's very tough. So that is costume fact number one about John Candy's costume and then the second one is about Pizza the Hut because of course I was like "Tell me how Pizza the Hut was created." Was this CGI? Was this real? Like, it looks very real. It turns out it was. The person that voiced him was like "Hell no, I'm not getting in this fake cheese costume thing" so they just threw one of their effects guys and they said "Listen, you just sit in there and just say the lines and we're gonna dub over you with the voice actor." But then they had to do some, I guess they had to reshoot something or maybe add another scene. And so the effects guy was like "Hell no, I'm not getting back in that thing" so they had to pick another dude off set so there's actually three different people that well, I guess two people have been in the suit and then one separate person voicing Pizza the Hut.

Mel:

The voiceover, which was Don Deluise who was a legend of the 80s, if you will. And that was pretty amazing. I read that fact too actually and I was like "Why would somebody peace out like that?" And then I read Mel Brooks really wanted authentic, like melted cheese and I was thinking, oh my god, it smelled terrible probably.

Jackie:

I don't even know. I mean, maybe there is, but how do you even make this costume? I don't even know. It was uncomfortable.

Mel:

It did look like a pizza though.

Jackie:

Anyway, moving on from pizza. Now I'm just hungry. So

Mel:

This is really dumb because I didn't notice it before. we head to Spaceballs City, which is a super original name and I love it. And it's just the Capitol building on top of the

Jackie:

No, I will say that I got that fact from the internet. big ball, which is so good. And we meet President Skroob and I learned that "Skroob" is an anagram of Brooks. S-k-r-o-o-b. I cannot take credit for that fact, truly. It was just a very good moment that I had to mention. There's a whole beam me up thing, which I have since learned is a play on Star Trek, which is something I have not seen. And he gets beamed backwards, but then it's also walking distance away, which makes it very, very funny. And so he just kind of gets introduced and it introduces the plot point that we need to steal all the air and for whatever reason it's not really explained, but it's okay because we don't need to know. That's not the point of this movie. The point is to laugh. So we introduced that minor plot point aka what's supposed to be the entire plot point of the movie, but it's fine.

Mel:

Yeah, it's just amazing stealing all the air and it makes no scientific sense at all. And I love it.

Jackie:

Oh, no.

Mel:

And I love that he's sort of like the president. And then you have Lord Helmet, which is like, I don't know, the military general or whatever. Amazing. Oh, absolutely. Yeah, I think it's supposed to emulate the Emperor relationship with Darth Vader. I think President Skroob is supposed to be the Emperor, but it's such a different thing. I do have to mention the hand signal that they do to each other, which again, is a bit of an innuendo and very funny, but if you're nine years old, it's just a funny hand thing that maybe you shouldn't go around doing in public. It's absolutely the funny hand thing you're going to do in front of your family and maybe at school.

Jackie:

Mhm. Yeah, absolutely.

Mel:

Yeah.

Jackie:

So we meet them. We learned that Dark Helmet wants to capture the princess for whatever reason because the princess always has to get stolen or captured rather and she will be used basically as a pawn to steal all of the air from planet Druidia. I think it's very funny. When Darth Vader, or I'm sorry, Darth Vader's not in this movie. Rick Moranis is in this movie playing Darth Vader. They have this giant helmet on him which comes in many shapes, sizes and colors apparently. It's very funny. Whenever his helmet is down, he speaks in a totally different voice than when the helmet is up, which is amazing. I wanted to give a shout out to when I spoke to Jared about this amazing guy named David Prowse, who was the physical actor that played Darth Vader, and apparently the way that Rick Moranis talks when the helmet is on is strikingly similar to David Prowse's actual voice, which is like an African-ish like deep accent situation going on so I can't confirm that because I haven't heard for myself, but that is a fact I learned on the internet. Very, very interesting and a nice little easter egg for anyone who's very into the "Star Wars" saga.

Mel:

That's awesome. I didn't know that. Oh, this is a segway, speaking of sound effects, when they squirt jam onto the radar and you just hear this squishy noise and it was like, you saw it coming. You're talking about Michael Winslow, aren't you?

Jackie:

I am.

Mel:

Oh, he was the best. And he was in Police Academy.

Jackie:

Yes, yes, he does the creeps and the sweeps and the beeps and all those things and truly listeners, if you have not seen "Spaceballs," first of all, go ahead and do it. Mel and I give you permission to watch it before you see "Star Wars" But secondly, if you don't want to watch the whole movie, seriously just google "Michael Winslow Spaceballs" and watch him do his foley work just on his own. He does beeps and sweeps and creeps, not to steal the whole line from the movie, but he is incredible at sound effects with just his body and it's amazing. Highly recommended.

Mel:

I think the internet calls him one of the cofounders of beatboxing, which I'm sure is not super true because I'm sure there were tons of beatboxers in the 80s, but he was probably and he's still alive. He's still performing and stuff and guest starring things, but he is probably insanely good at beatboxing so now I'm going to go watch some videos of Michael Winslow doing sound effects and beatboxing.

Jackie:

Yeah, and he also does comedy stand up with sound effects, like he'll go fishing and save cats from trees. I've seen all these things, but anyway, that's a whole separate podcast, like the Mike Winslow fan club podcast because it's a beautiful performance.

Mel:

Count me in.

Jackie:

So in. So very quickly, the Lone Star and Barf duo save the princess and Dot. Yay! Because they jam the radar with jam and she complains the entire time because she is better than this apparently and is like "I will not be saved in such a filthy spacecraft" and it's like "okay."

Mel:

I love it. You know, she really has character development. I admire that the two main characters had such great character development in what's like a spoof movie. That's good.

Jackie:

Yeah, I was gonna say, all things considered, there is actually some, like you said, that there's some depth to these characters. There's a little bit of a character arc and there's a story arc. It's not just goof on, goof on, goof. It really is a good balance, but it is very funny and a good palate cleanser if you're looking for something a little lighter these days, I would say.

Mel:

Definitely. So then they take off and they're trying to escape Spaceballs, but Spaceballs shoots past them.

Jackie:

They have to go into "ludicrous speed."

Mel:

Which is amazing. It was such a fun joke when you were a kid. And then space goes all Plaid and I actually don't understand this joke. Do you understand the joke?

Jackie:

I don't either.

Mel:

I mean, it was fun, but I don't get it.

Jackie:

I truly did not know. I just kind of was like "Haha, it's funny" so maybe all of our listeners right now are like "Come on guys. You should know what this is." But no, I just kind of thought it was a "wow, they went so fast. They have changed into plaid" or I honestly thought it was a drug reference as Mel, you and I have discussed through our viewing of "Pulp Fiction." We are seriously out of the loop of what kids these days are doing so perhaps it's a drug thing? I don't know. But they fly past them nonetheless. But then they run out of gas.

Mel:

They run out of gas!

Jackie:

Amazing!

Mel:

These tools. And they crash land on like the dune planet.

Jackie:

Basically yes. So it looks exactly like the dune planet that we see in Star Wars, which is great. And they just decided to start walking, which is so very funny. But we cut back to Dark Helmet who's trying to find the princess and there's this amazing product placement moment of all of Mel Brooks's other movies, which is so, so funny. They go into probably one of the funniest bits of this movie, which is when they use their own video of "Spaceballs the movie" to determine what happens, but they go and kind of have like a "Who's on first?" bit type of thing like "The present is now. Now is the present. The present is soon." It was very, very funny.

Mel:

It was like one of the best breaking of the fourth walls. Definitely iconic.

Jackie:

Yeah, and I mean, I don't know if this was like a totally out of the box comedy skit for its time, like breaking the fourth wall kind of vibe. I know we had "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" that I am thinking back into the Jackie Watches Stuff archives that broke the fourth wall, but that kind of stuff is always pretty funny if done correctly and this did it very, very well.

Mel:

Hundred percent.

Jackie:

Absolutely.

Mel:

So they find them and they also head for the dune planet, but by then the princess and Lone Star, their already under the sand with Yogurt.

Jackie:

We did have a love connection moment, but yes...

Mel:

Oh, the camping! Yes.

Jackie:

Yes. They they have a little love connection when they're camping and then Joan Rivers screaming "virgin alert" or "virgin alarm" is very funny.

Mel:

Yeah, that was hilarious.

Jackie:

So good. But yeah, it's not really going well. They end up fainting and then their small little friends bring them down into the secret cave. I think they're supposed to be a play on the Ewoks at this point and the Ewoks of this film essentially save them.

Mel:

Right. The really sparkly Ewoks.

Jackie:

Yes. Oh my gosh, they're so sparkly. So when they're down there, this is where they meet Yogurt and there's kind of a "Temple of Doom" vibe. I don't know if that was intentional, but...

Mel:

So intentional.

Jackie:

Okay, good. But then, when I was watching this with my boyfriend, he made me pause the movie and he's like "What does this look like right now?" And I said "Oh, it's the Wizard of Oz" because the way the four of them are walking is perfect because you've got like, Barf is the Cowardly Lion and it's just like, it's all there so go watch that.

Mel:

It was actually a totally intentional "Wizard of Oz" reference.

Jackie:

Good.

Mel:

Then they also mentioned "the Temple of Doom" in one of the lines that somebody says, "This is like the Temple of Doom." Yeah, it was amazing.

Jackie:

Oh, I missed that fourth wall.

Mel:

So many little 80s references stuck in this movie that are just wonderful easter eggs.

Jackie:

Absolutely. So we learned about the Schwarz and we meet Yogurt, and this is my favorite fun fact I think that I've learned, I learned that Mel Brooks actually wanted to get George Lucas' permission to film this movie, which is very polite, and George Lucas said "Sure, but you aren't allowed to have any merchandising of Spaceballs because we don't want it to rip from Star Wars merchandise." So Mel Brooks said "Sure." And if you've ever seen "Spaceballs" listeners, you will know there's no merchandise for real, but there is a shit ton of it in this movie.

Mel:

Oh, that's so true. I mean, it would have been hilarious as merchandise actually.

Jackie:

Absolutely.

Mel:

But that is pretty great. I think it was actually really special that they had it in the movie and then you couldn't buy any of the merchandise in real life. No, it was so good. Although there is a book. Did you read about the book "Spaceballs the book?"

Jackie:

No.

Mel:

So there was a book written for a wide audience called "Spaceballs the book" where they took out a lot of the cursing and a lot of innuendo, but it was still kind of funny and that book was written by R.L. Stine.

Jackie:

What?! Like "Goosebumps" R.L. Stine?

Mel:

Hundred percent. Before he wrote "Goosebumps."

Jackie:

Oh my goodness. Why would you pivot from "Spaceballs the book" to "Goosebumps?" That's incredible. Is this still available? I'm gonna go purchase this book.

Mel:

I don't know. You could probably check eBay.

Jackie:

Oh my gosh, that is amazing. I'm gonna go look it up right now. Listeners, go check it out. We are not technically endorsing it, but we are. That is very, very cool. Was it written with Brooks's permission? I assume it was.

Mel:

Yes. There was a tie in to the movie so yeah.

Jackie:

Oh my gosh, that is amazing. Well, so I guess there is some merchandise. I learned that the "Spaceballs" the lunchbox was actually just a "Transformers" lunchbox with the "Spaceballs" logo taped on it, which I think is amazing. So I guess you could technically buy "Spaceballs" the lunchbox. Just make your own.

Mel:

I love it.

Jackie:

I do want to say that in this whole thing about the Schwartz, I was very pleased that Mel Brooks did not make this a somewhat anti-semitic stereotypical Jew joke because we have Yogurt who is very clearly like this New York Jew and he's merchandising and he's trying to make money. And so we were very close to sidestepping into the stereotype that Jews are cheap or filthy rich or whatever. Money, money, money, and I'm so happy that it didn't go there because it was beautiful without it and so funny because he just had this thick New York accent so thank you, Mel Brooks for not making it weird.

Mel:

I actually can't recall if there are any anti-semitic jokes in his previous movies. Although, I mean, one of his movies was clearly satire about Nazis in World War II. Right, but...

Jackie:

Yeah, we'll just stay in this movie for now.

Mel:

Sean, you can edit that part out.

Jackie:

You can edit that part out. But in any case, yes, I was very happy that we didn't cross over because that's just like, low hanging, cheap joke. And like, whenever you got to make jokes that stereotype people, it's not fun. It's not funny. So very happy. But I will mention, because the next scene kind of does that, they have to comb the desert and so they literally comb the desert, which is very, very funny and of course, the black officers, the only black officers have a Afro pick because that is funny. So you know, you win some, you lose some.

Mel:

They totally do. And that is like a little bit of a racist scene. Not a little bit, it's a racist scene, but I will tell you that when I was a kid, I didn't get it because kids, unless you force racism into their lives, are just not going to make any assumptions. They just haven't absorbed all of those stereotypes yet. I thought that he was being kind of mouthy because they were given a smaller comb

Jackie:

Which is technically fair and true.

Mel:

And that's why he hadn't found anything yet and he was mad about and I was like "Well, of course not. His comb is so much smaller." But I feel like it's so symbolic.

Jackie:

Oh, we're getting deep now, Mel. This is very deep.

Mel:

Please cue up some deep music for this.

Jackie:

Yeah, I think you are going much, much, much deeper than Mel Brooks ever intended, I will say. But yes, I will agree with you that if you want to take it to that level, I could see it. I could see where you're going with that. But you know what, Mel, you are with me through "Pulp Fiction" so if we're going to put this on a scale of not racist to very racist, we've seen what you can do and you know what? I'm okay with the funny moment of him saying "We haven't found shit" because they haven't because they're literally combing a desert.

Mel:

Yes. I don't know what that scale entails and if we should normalize it for the 80s, which we probably shouldn't, but I would say somewhere in the middle.

Jackie:

Right. We've seen much worse you and I.

Mel:

We've gone through the valley of darkness of the N-word called "Pulp Fiction." Yeah.

Jackie:

I do want to call out the next scene after this, which is when first of all dark helmet feels a disturbance in the Schwartz, which is very funny, and he actually goes and steals the princess or kidnaps her rather by morphing into being her dad. And then the next scene is him playing with all these little doll models.

Mel:

Oh my God, that was the best scene.

Jackie:

That entire scene was ad libbed by Rick Moranis?

Mel:

Are you serious?

Jackie:

The entire thing. I guess Mel Brooks came up to him and said "Listen, we have these models, go!" and he did the entire thing, which is amazing.

Mel:

Oh, Rick Moranis, he was hilarious. He still is.

Jackie:

He is.

Mel:

And then George Wyner omes and is like "I did not se

Jackie:

I did learn, oh, speaking of that, I learned that you playing with your dolls that was actually supposed to be Steve Martin in that role, that Mel Brooks wrote it for Steve Martin. While it was played beautifully, I do kind of wish Steve Martin was in that role.

Mel:

I think Steve Martin would have pulled it off, but it's such a side character. Although, is he a side character any more than anybody else?

Jackie:

No, I think that the colonel is definitely not. I would not put him in side character category.

Mel:

Okay, yeah.

Jackie:

Not a lead, but not quite a side. We have multiple co-leads, I think.

Mel:

Well, we salute you George Wyner and Steve Martin.

Jackie:

Yeah, no, still did a great job.

Mel:

We see you two.

Jackie:

Yes. Oh my gosh, so good. So we find out the combination because Dark Helmet threatens the King and says we're going to give the Princess back her old nose if you don't give us the combination, which is another Jewish joke because she is a Druish Princess, which is a Jewish Princess, also known as a well, there's this phrase called a JAB, a Jewish American Princess, which I know because I'm a Jew and it's a whole thing, but they make some kind of Jew jokes. But again, could it have been terrible? Yes. Did we go there? No. So Mel Brooks, thanks for walking the line appropriately. I appreciate that.

Mel:

I know. Your commentary is important to me on that because I know so little about it and having seen it a lot when I was a child and not so much when I was an adult, I knew about nose jobs and I just thought it was like a rich person thing.

Jackie:

Yeah, it is. And then I think this joke was combining rich, which isn't really the joke because she's a princess and he's a king. I think it was more leaning into like "Jews have big noses," which, as a Jew with a small nose, I guess I'm lucky. That's like a thing that people "look Jewish" if they have a big nose, which again, knowing a lot of Jews, I can't say it's necessarily wrong. And so the way that it was presented, at least in my opinion, as a joke here was like "we're gonna reverse her plastic surgery." "Oh, no!" like, you know, haha. But I think that's as much of a threat to a king and a princess as it is to a entitled Jew, I would say. I'm shrugging as I say this because I think everyone feels differently about it, but in any case, they get the combination no matter what we're trying to threaten at this point.

Mel:

I appreciate that it was "Jewish information corner" with Jackie (inaudible)

Jackie:

Yes, hello. I'm here to serve. So they found out the combination, it's 12345, which is very funny and a common password and if your password is 12345, you should go change it right now. Please do that.

Mel:

You should, although it's kind of funny.

Jackie:

I mean, I thought it was going to be all 1's actually. So yeah, so they get the combination and Lone Star and Barf in the meantime are trying to figure out how to save Dot and the Princess and they do basically what they did in the first Star Wars movie where they steal the outfits of the well, I was about to say stormtroopers, that's not who's in this movie. What are they called? Spaceballs? They're just called Spaceballs? So they just look like big ping pong balls and they try to go save Dot and the Princess and there's a big shoot out of course because what would be a space movie without some like pew pew, laser laser laser. I laughed so hard when they found out that they captured the stunt doubles instead.

Mel:

Such a classic scene, yeah.

Jackie:

So good. And another fourth wall moment that isn't forced, isn't too obvious, but it's very, very funny.

Mel:

And it was also a different actor playing Colonel Sanders.

Jackie:

Was it? I did not notice that.

Mel:

It was "his stunt double," at least I think that's what they were going for, but it was definitely a different dude.

Jackie:

Yeah, that didn't deliver as much as it did for the four main characters. That is very, very funny. I'll have to go back and rewatch. I do love though that when they go find the actual crew, not the stunt doubles, they shoot and and hit Princess Vespa's hair, which again, as a Jew with big all over the place hair, I feel this feel. I think it's just a woman thing maybe of like "Oh my god, you shot my hair," which is hilarious. But she gets shot out and then is magically very good at shooting things.

Mel:

That was amazing.

Jackie:

And again, in this movie, the men can't shoot anything and the women have to take care of it.

Mel:

It was one of my favorite scenes when I was a kid and I think my friend and I used to be like "You shot my hair!" And then the other person would have to say "That was pretty good for Rambo." Like, obligatory.

Jackie:

Yeah, because who else is associated with guns? Rambo. Then we find out that the spaceship is a transformer, no big deal, and turns into a giant maid with a vacuum cleaner because that's how you steal air.

Mel:

Because that makes sense. Sure.

Jackie:

Mhm. And then another great joke that, if you are nine, is funny and if you are 29, it's funny because it has another innuendo. They all chant "Suck, suck, suck, suck," which is very funny because it is a vacuum cleaner. And I will admit, I have used the joke many times saying "Oh, this vacuum sucks...all the dirt off the carpet." so you can all take that joke.

Mel:

Oh, wow, that was a good one. Thank you. I'm gonna put that away in my files.

Jackie:

Yeah, keep that. Keep that.

Mel:

I'm gonna file it away.

Jackie:

Keep that. So the giant maid that became a transformer out of their ship is sucking up the air out of the one hole that is apparently in the ozone. Science is out the window, I'm well aware, but essentially this planet is in a big glass marble that has a door on it that keeps all the air in and I love that.

Mel:

That's right. And you can just open it no problem and the air doesn't get out until you use a vacuum.

Jackie:

Yes, so they suck it all up and they don't know what to do because the crew is like "Wait, we have to save planet Druidia" because that is of course where Princess Vespa is from and where the king is dying because all the air is going away very quickly, mind you, because they're all just dying. And Lone Star uses the Schwartz because Yogurt kind of shows up and he's like "Use the Schwartz" which is very funny. And they reverse it. And so they just blow it all back and it puts the trees perfectly back in order, it fills the lakes back up. The science checks out, in my opinion.

Mel:

I just want to say shout out to the special effects in this movie. When I got to that scene, I turned to the person watching it with me and I was like "You know what, that was actually pretty good special effects. Maybe not the trees part, but when he's doing the Schwartz on the little lever and then the transformer and then the so called lightsabers. And then I realized later I read something that they paid $5 million to Lucasfilm to do the special effects.

Jackie:

Oh, really?

Mel:

Yeah. So that was one of the other ways that they got George Lucas to be cool with the movie was that they spent a huge chunk of their budget and sent the movie up to the Lucasfilm ranch or whatever. It was like "Please put your magic into this movie."

Jackie:

Wow! Well, that makes sense because I was gonna say the special effects were very good and I think without them, it would have made this movie much more cheesy because it would have been okay, this is a riff on this really great movie that was really iconic for the time and it's not a great plot and the special effects are really cheesy, but when you've got really solid special effects, it makes the movie a little bit better and you can focus more on the jokes and not the sense of it.

Mel:

it's so true. It wasn't distracting. Mhm.

Jackie:

And it was so believable. Again, I absolutely believe that a giant transformer maid can suck up all the air out of the atmosphere.

Mel:

That's right.

Jackie:

So they reverse the vacuum, but they still have to figure out what to do about this giant maid and so they fly into the ear of the maid which again, all of the science checks out. You don't even have to fact check this listeners, we know this is real. So they fly into the ear and somehow have all the internal blueprints on their dashboard. They know how to get where they're going, which is again, amazing and they go to find the self destruct button, which I'm pretty sure is just like where the brain should be, which checks out. So when they find the self destruct button, he's about to push it and then of course, we couldn't go through this whole movie without a lightsaber fight and we have one, but it's a lot of dick puns and innuendo the whole way through.

Mel:

It really was. It was a shining moment for the penis puns and comparing the size of their Schwartzes.

Jackie:

Yes.

Mel:

And then they made the joke about how they're not actually related, which is probably one of my favorite lines.

Jackie:

Oh, yes. He said "I am your father's uncle's roommates brother bla bla bla. It's very funny. Good little moment. Good little moment. It's very scary because Lone Star loses his Schwartz ring, which is, instead of lightsabers, they just get beams that come out of these things. They don't get physical lightsabers so oh no, he is defenseless, but he learns that the Schwartz is inside of him.

Mel:

The Schwartz was inside of you the whole time!

Jackie:

The whole time! They push the button and then you see all of these people just coming out and going into escape pods almost Titanic style because all of these escape pods only fit one person, but there's clowns and cooks and a whole musical number and it is very, very funny.

Mel:

And the guy with the drums, which is amazing.

Jackie:

Yes. Oh my god. It's so good. There's a bear in it. I don't know if it's supposed to be a bear. A guy in a bear suit, but in any case, there's a bear and they effectively leave Colonel Sanders and Big Helmet and the President left in the spaceship as it's about to self destruct and it does "Hooray! We saved the day" and Big Helmet and the Colonel and the President presumably die, we don't know. But we also learned that Pizza the Hut died because they're watching like Space News in the RV and thank goodness because now they don't need to pay back Pizza the Hut their 1 million space bucks or whatever they owe him.

Mel:

So convenient.

Jackie:

So, so convenient. This is an interesting vibe, I guess, at this point in the movie because we had this big explosion and there's a little bit of a tie off because Pizza the Hut dies, yay! Lone Star and Barf are out of that whole kerfuffle thing, the princess is back with the king and Druidia is saved and then it really slows down and they go to a diner and just chill and they shove in a little call out to the movie "Alien," I guess.

Mel:

Right. That whole scene was, I forgot it was in there, but then as it was coming on I remembered what it was like to be young and to see that scene and think this is traumatizing moment number two.

Jackie:

I was gonna say I have not seen "Alien," but I said Yeah.

Mel:

So we had Pizza the Hut and then you had the alien bursting "I'm gonna bet this is the actor that is in Alien because it just out of the guy's stomach because he got food poisoning at the diner or something and yeah. Oh, that was John Hurt. Did you know that? seems like it." So yes, they do a little nod to him. But to me, I'll be honest with you, this felt the most hokey out of the entire movie. I did not think this was a necessary scene. I also give it like a 2 out of 10 stars.

Jackie:

Like there were so many great, great things that happened in this movie. And that was not plot related. It didn't really connect anything. It just gave us a little tangent, I guess for them to go on, but we didn't need it because really, the next scene is Barf and Lone Star opening the fortune cookie that Yogurt gave them, which is very, very funny just all around, and they find out what Lone Stars necklace says the whole way through.This is like a sea plot like "Oh, Lone Star has this necklace with some writing on it. What does it mean? We don't know." And Yogurt had read it, but decided much like jerky yoga, yoga, oh my gosh, jerk Yoda in "Star Wars." Yogurt is kind of a jerk and is like "Yeah, I can read it, but I'm not gonna tell you what it means." Like, okay. Sounds good.

Mel:

Yeah, I know exactly what it says and it will totally save the day, but I'm not gonna tell you. It'll come to you in the right moment.

Jackie:

In the right moment.

Mel:

And then Bill Coleman is like "That's fine."

Jackie:

Yeah, we're totally cool with it. Yeah, we're totally fine with it. And as a viewer, I was also kind of fine with it because you know what? I said "Mel Brooks, I trust you. I trust you. I'm just gonna go on this ride with you."

Mel:

We're going along with it. Yeah, so we do.

Jackie:

Yeah. And we find out some great news that Lone Star is actually a prince and what does that mean? That he can go...

Mel:

He can marry a princess!

Jackie:

Hurray! Because that's how this works and we love it.

Mel:

It's convenient because of the sexual tension.

Jackie:

Yes. Oh gosh. Well, we needed it. And again, if Yogurt was being nice he'd be like "Hey, I noticed that there is a beautiful female character and the only female character in this movie, aside from Dot, I suppose. Only female human in this movie, I'm sure you have sexual attention because you're the good looking lead. Why don't I just tell you now?" But he didn't do that, but it's okay. We got a good movie out of it.

Mel:

You can't have the wise old figure tell you everything in the moment.

Jackie:

That's true. He had to figure it out for himself, but not really.

Mel:

So yeah. So he's gonna go back and find that princess because it was meant to be.

Jackie:

Absolutely. She learns as she's walking down the aisle, which is very funny because she keeps stopping and the band stops, which is very, very funny, that he did not take all of the money and instead he just took like, what was it like $25 or $200 for gas and tolls?

Mel:

Basically just took his per diems and that meant so much to her. So romantic.

Jackie:

"He loves me, oh my gosh, he actually loves me." And then they do the very short version of the wedding because the priest or whatever, the space priest we'll say because we don't know what religion these space friends are observing. The space priest says "Do you? Do you? Yay." And they do a short version of the wedding and everyone loves each other and it's so exciting and the end. Everyone lived happily ever after.

Mel:

I love it. I love the happily ever after ending.

Jackie:

It was so good. It was so, so good.

Mel:

It suited me.

Jackie:

I see a lot of people, when I was doing my research, a lot of folks were talking about the need for a sequel to this movie and I am going to say, and I don't know how you feel Mel, is that I am team No. I think this just needs to stay as it is. Don't try to do this again. You will not succeed. At best just put out a blooper reel or a extended Director's Cut, but No, I don't need you to try this again. We already did it once. Let's quit while we're ahead.

Mel:

I do not need a sequel to "Spaceballs." I'm totally fine with not ever having one. Especially because you'd have to rewrite the jokes in a totally different tone. There's no way you could copy the humor and the satire from this movie. First of all, it probably wouldn't be funny anymore, but it would also be like a little bit too much.

Jackie:

Absolutely.

Mel:

We do see what happens to the President and Dark Helmet and Colonel Sanders though.

Jackie:

Oh, how could I forget. What happens?

Mel:

So they take off in sort of the head of the mega maid and they are hurdle through space along with the arm and then they land on the beach of a planet, which is supposed to be earth or whatever, and then "The Planet of the Apes" guys come by on their horses and they're liable. "There goes the planet."

Jackie:

Yes. And I had to get this scene explained to me because apparently this is a direct shot for shot of "Planet of the Apes."

Mel:

It is, yes.

Jackie:

I may be getting this wrong. Okay. Yes. So again, another movie that I unsurprisingly have not seen, but yes, I forgot that that had happened. So yes, Mel Brooks is just shoving all the little easter eggs in there for us.

Mel:

I was actually kind of glad they didn't die for some reason. There's some deaths that would probably just sort of put a damper on this movie.

Jackie:

Yeah, and even if they did die, it's almost like in, you know how in Disney movies when characters die? We don't really see them die. We just see them like fall very far or blast off into space kind of a thing. I would have been fine with them "dying." We didn't need to see a brutal murder or anything, but yeah, I mean, it was a nice little easter egg that Mel Brooks shoved in there at the end. Yes, absolutely. Too funny. But yes, now I'm really happy to have finally travelled through space both in a very serious way to defeat the Empire, but also in a very humorous way to learn about the Schwartz and save planet Druidia and ensure that they keep all of their air. I really am like a space savant, I guess at this point.

Mel:

I mean, you know everything there is to know about space movies because you've seen "Star Wars" and now "Spaceballs."

Jackie:

Absolutely. And I promise that I will be returning to Earth soon with my future movies. But it has been a very fun adventure. Mel, thank you for coming with me. I think if we were to recommend any cool points for people to say that would make it sound like they've seen this movie. First of all, you should just go watch this movie. It's a very easy movie to find. But what are some some good moments, Mel?

Mel:

Who want to pitch this movie to people who haven't seen it before?

Jackie:

Yeah.

Mel:

Alright. So you've got really terrible puns and dad jokes, Uncle Rick innuendo and you've got a space opera. You get a little romance, little space romance between a princess and a rogue who's kind of like Luke Skywalker and Harrison Ford in the same character because Harrison Ford is the name of the character. Not the actor, I'm kidding. Oh, yeah. Don't @ me, Star Wars people. And you've got like, I don't know, amazing special effects that are actually really corny. You've got a special appearances by John Candy being hilarious and Rick Moranis being hilarious. Yeah, it's good stuff. You've got a lot of jokes about testicles. Mhm.

Jackie:

And Mel Brooks in two different roles. One a very average size man and one a very short man.

Mel:

That's right. Wearing glitter.

Jackie:

Wearing a lot of glitter that he was apparently allergic to and broke out in a rash. Fun fact.

Mel:

I did read that. Well, thanks for taking one for the team, Mel Brooks.

Jackie:

We appreciate it because truly, I think the Schwartz is now inside of all of us.

Mel:

"It's been inside of us all along."

Jackie:

"May the Schwartz be with you."

Sean:

Hey everyone. Sean here, your producer, and dare I say your friend. I'd like to take a moment to thank our supporters in the academy on Patreon for their generous ongoing support of the show. Thanks to Mick, Paul, Brianna, and Logan, Jarrett, Thomas, Linda and Missy. Jackie Watches Stuff is supported by listeners just like you. If you'd like to join the academy and get a shout out for supporting us, among other cool benefits, visit patreon.com/jackiewatchesstuff. You can also support the show by giving us a review on iTunes or just sharing us with your family and friends. Jackie Watches Stuff is hosted by Jackie Vetrano and produced by me, Sean Flynn. You can find me on Twitter @wxgeek. Jackie Watches Stuff is available wherever fine podcasts are sold or listen online at jackiewatchesstuf.com. You can also send us your thoughts on "Spaceballs" or any of the other movies we've listened to on Twitter. We're @JackieWatches. Thanks for listening and join us next time when Jackie watches "The Hunt for Red October."