Monstervision Host Segments for

GREMLINS (1984)


A traveling salesperson visiting a mysterious shop in Chinatown buys his teenage son a gift of a "mogwai" a cuddly creature as furry as it is docile. Unfortunately, when a series of mishaps throw off the scheduled care and feeding of the creature, it reproduces and spawns a malevolent army of gremlins who wreak havoc all over town.
Joe Dante (Innerspace, The Howling) directed this Steven Spielberg-produced box-office smash, a combination of comedy and horror that stars Zach Galligan (Waxwork) and Phoebe Cates (Drop Dead Fred).
Airs occasionally on cable

Now here's Joe Bob Briggs with drive-in totals and host segments from Monstervision 12/19/98


"Gremlins" Intro


"Ho ho ho, I'm Joe Bob Briggs and welcome to the First Annual Joe Bob Briggs Family Christmas Special!
The reunion will start shortly, but first lemme tell you that tonight we have the only Christmas movie where a pet explodes in a microwave.
I'm talking, of course, about Gremlins.

And after that we have the sci-fi Mafia comedy Pet Shop. Not so Christmas-y, but what the hey. Cause behind me is the one-and-only Joe Bob Briggs Tabernacle Choir, led by Rusty the TNT Mail Girl, who'll be providing all the Christmas spirit you could ask for.

MAIL GIRL: You want a Christmas carol now, Joe Bob?

Not yet, honey. Before the extended Briggs family starts arriving, I wanna tell everyone a little bit about the folks. [pointing at map] I was born HERE, in Krankaway County, Texas. Krankaway County is 32 miles from the New Mexico border, which I know exactly, cause that's how far I had to drive to get three-two beer. My daddy, Robert Bob Briggs, was a dirt miner, as Krankaway County IS the dirt capital of North America. Now, my daddy's family has been in West Texas since WAY before the Baptists came in and put up some big old ugly Baptist churches where the trailer parks used to be and lowered the speed limit to 75 and got rid of all the sin. But my mama, Sue Ellen Cookson Briggs, of the Bauxite Cooksons, came from Bauxite, Arkansas. [map] Which is where she went back to when my daddy expired due to extended inhalation of dust. Now she lives right down the street from my aunt Sue Ann and Sue Ann's husband Lyle, who's in the insulation binness. The Cookson women like a man with a wheeze. Anyhoo, the three of em'll be taking Highway__ down here to Grapevine, should be arriving any minute.

My sister Virginia Rae Briggs Berclair and her husband Hollis, who's in paper products--I believe he's Inspector #4 on the BROWN bags--are drivin in from Garden City with their boys.
And my other sister Louise Briggs Gonzales, who ended up as far south as you can go without actually turnin Meskin, down here in Mercedes, is coming up with her old man, Jesus.
I'm not sure what Jesus does, he doesn't speak English too well.
We're also havin my daddy's brother Elmore Bob Briggs, his wife Darla, and all THEIR little tax deductions. Elmore and Darla went east to Nacogdoches, Texas, a few years ago when their oldest, Dale, accidentally shot the preacher. But we don't talk about that. My second cousin Cletis Briggs lives way up here in the panhandle, in Dimmitt, Texas. He's bringin his new girlfriend, Lorna, who I understand was Miss Largemouth Bass 1991, so I'm looking forward to meeting HER. We'll also have my second and third cousin from Ronceverte, West Virginia, up in the Appalachians. That IS the same person, by the way. My great-aunt Lucille, who got a job as a prison chef up near Buckatunna, Mississippi, and her son Junior, who just came up for parole. My cousin Conway, who's the rebel of the family. He moved way up to Coon Rapids, Minnesota when he came back from Nam. Knows more about UFOs than any man alive. And as an extra-special treat, I'm having ALL FOUR of my ex-wives: Joyce Briggs, Urlene Briggs, Betty Ann Briggs, and Wanda Bodine, who refused to take the name.

Now it's time for "Gremlins," the 1984 Joe Dante flick about Chinese munchie monsters taking over a Norman Rockwell town and killing a bunch of character actors. You probly already know about this movie, so I'll just give you those drive-in totals. We have:

What you see...isn't always what you get Four dead bodies.
Gremlin-grinding.
Gremlin-juicing.
Gremlin-stabbing.
Gremlin-microwaving.
One old-lady dog attack.
Exploding blender.
Exploding Gremlin.
Baseball-bat gremlin-bashing.
Syringe to the butt.
Green slime.
Glass-eating.
Dartboard torture.
Gremlin headbanging.
Drunk and disorderly gremlins.
Gratuitous Johnny Mathis.
Gratuitous dwarves.
Heads roll.
Snowplow Fu.

I give it about three and a half stars. Check it out, and we'll be here all night with the First Annual Joe Bob Briggs Family Christmas Special.

Okay, Rusty, how bout a song? Something upbeat to start us off.

MAIL GIRL: Okay, girls, let's do "Jingle Bells." A-one, a-two, a-one two three four . . .

CHOIR: Jingle Bells, jingle Bells, jingle all the way. Oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh, hey!--

Whoa, ho. Rusty, I think you need to warm em up a little. Very nice, girls. We'll try again at the next break. Have a little egg nog."


"Gremlins" Commercial Break #1

"It's the First Annual Joe Bob Briggs Family Christmas Special! The folks seem to be running a little late, so why don't I run one of the Briggs' family home movie clips we have. When I was a little tyke, I wanted to be a rodeo star, so my daddy got me my first bucking bronco. Best Christmas present I ever got. Roll the clip. [over clip] That's my mama. Nice hairdo, huh? There's my sister Virginia Rae. There's our tree. THERE I am. Look at me go! [clip ends] All right, that's enough. If you're good, I'll show it again later. By the way, speaking of films, Spielbergians probly noticed the inside joke in that first sequence of "Gremlins." You know how the kid runs down the street and he passes a movie theater, and the movies playing are "A Boy's Life" and "Watch the Skies"? Well, "A Boy's Life" was the early title of "E.T." before Spielberg changed it, and "Watch the Skies" was the early title of . . . Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Isn't that cute? And did you notice the old Chinese man in the very first scene, the guy who doesn't wanna sell the MOGWAI to Hoyt Axton? That's Keye Luke, best known as Charlie Chan's Number One Son. He's a little older here. Okay, back to "Gremlins," the movie that American moms thought was disgusting at the time, although I don't see it. Roll it.

[fading] Hey, Rusty, how bout a song as we go out? You got em warmed up now?

MAIL GIRL: I think so. We've been practicing "Oh Come All Ye Faithful." Should we try that?

Absolutely.

MAIL GIRL: Okay, girls. Hit it.

CHOIR: [durge-like] Oh come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, oh come ye, oh come ye to Bethlehem--

[interrupting after second "oh come ye"] Okay, okay! That was great, really. Rusty, maybe something a little more cheerful next time.

MAIL GIRL: More cheerful, okay."


"Gremlins" Commercial Break #2

"Hoyt Axton is great, isn't he? I love the stupid inventions part of the movie. And do you know who does the voice of Gizmo the cute gremlin? Howie Mandel! Mr. I'm-Not-A-Comedian-Anymore-I'm-A-Talkshow-Host-Goldarn-it. Fortunately, as we all know by now, the gremlins don't REMAIN cute. That's what caused all the stink when this movie came out. It had a PG rating, and a lot of moms didn't like that.

[phone rings] Scuse me. Hello? . . . Virginia Rae! We were just watching you in the home movies. (It's my sister Virginia Rae.) Where are you, sis?... You're still in Garden City?... Bobby Joe swallowed a what? An eyeball?... A highball. Well, what's Hollis doin leaving a cocktail where the kids can get at it?... Oh, Lucinda was tryin to give the dog a haircut? Well, sis, can't you just put em all in the car and come on down? It's the First Annual Briggs Family Christmas Special... Bobby Joe'll fall asleep as soon as he stops throwin up... All right, all right. Give him a little hair of the dog tomorrow, okay?... I don't mean literally, Virginia Rae... Okay, bye bye.

Well, my sister's not comin. That's kinda depressing.

MAIL GIRL: We can do "Joy to the World."

You know, why don't we skip the song this break? But lemme tell ya, you gals look FINE in those costumes. Mm mm. Okay, back to "Gremlins."

[fading] Hi, what's your name?

[Choir member just smiles]"


"Gremlins" Commercial Break #3

"Welcome back to the First Annual Joe Bob Briggs Family Christmas Special. People SHOULD be arriving any minute to help me celebrate, but I must've given bad directions or something--

[phone rings] Hello?... Cletis, how the heck are ya? (It's my second cousin Cletis.) What do you mean, you can't make it? I was really lookin forward to meetin Lorna. I saw in the picture you sent that she's got quite a set of-- What? She dumped you? Just like that?... Well, what'd I tell you about under-tipping? How do you expect a waitress to keep a secret if you don't tip her well?... Okay, Cletis, come on down, we'll cheer you up. Wait'll you lay your eyes on the Joe Bob Briggs Tabernacle Choir... Oh, buddy, don't cry. Cletis, put down the gun. Why don't you call up Juanita Dumas, she usually knows how to make a man forget his woes... Yeah, that's a good boy. Go on, give Juanita a call. We'll see you next Christmas... Okay, later, Cletis.

So Virginia Rae's not comin, and Cletis isn't comin. And I don't know where the heck everybody else is. Let's go back to the movie. We've violated ALL the rules at this point. The Gremlins are out. The Gremlins are eating after midnight. The Gremlins actually GNAWED THROUGH THE CORD on the electric clock. They're ready to munch. Roll it.

MAIL GIRL: Don't you wanna hear "Joy to the World"?

Sure, why not. I need a little joy right about now.

MAIL GIRL: Ready girls? And--

CHOIR: Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let Earth receive her king! Let every heart prepare him good/prepare his bed [all singing different variations]--

Wait a sec--what are you singing?

MAIL GIRL: Uh...

"Prepare his bed"?

MAIL GIRL: Well, nobody sent us the lyrics, so we kinda had to wing it.

Okay, this isn't going well.


"Gremlins" Commercial Break #4

Zach Galligan is off to stop the gremlins. Zach is a pretty good actor--kinda bland, but I like him. He was in that lame movie we showed here a few months ago, "Waxwork." You know what's cute? He had a crush on Phoebe Cates in real life, while they were making the movie. Aaaaaaaaah. Anyhow, this is SUPPOSED to be the First Annual Joe Bob Briggs Family Christmas Special, but so far none of the Briggses have made it--

[phone rings] Hello?... Aunt Lucille! (It's my Aunt Lucille from Buckatunna.) Why aren't you here yet?... I thought Junior was up for parole last month?... He did what? He got a car to drive you here... Oh, he STOLE a car to drive you here. Well, that's not good... No, you're right, stealin the sheriff's car is even worse. Well, Aunt Lucille, can't you hop on a bus or something?... Right, I forgot about your condition. Don't they make special seat cushions for that?... Well, tell Junior I said hey. Maybe you should quit your job as prison chef--it looks as if he likes your cookin a little too much. Hey, have you heard from my mama?... Oh, okay. I guess since he's only got one phone call, you better take that. We'll see you next year.

MAIL GIRL: Your Aunt Lucille's not coming?

Nah.

MAIL GIRL: We can do "Oh Christmas Tree" in rounds.

Maybe next break. Let's go back to "Gremlins." Roll it.

[fading] When the gremlins get really sick and disgusting, and the people just basically say, "Okay, that's it, we're smushin em like cockroaches," that's when I start liking this picture. And I need that right about now."


"Gremlins" Commercial Break #5

"Okay, the army of gremlins is loose. And they're headed for the house of one of my favorite actors, Dick Miller. Dick Miller plays Mr. Murray Futterman, and he's been in every Joe Dante picture ever made. He's best known as the star of Bucket of Blood, from back in 1960, but he's just one of the greatest character actors alive. Always a little goofy. Always a little cartoonish. I'm trying to keep the comments short here, cause everybody's always saying "When do they go to the bar and start partying? When's the scene when the gremlins get drunk?" Everbody watches this movie just to see that one dang scene. But also because this is SUPPOSED to be the Joe Bob Briggs Family Christmas Special, but none of the Briggses are HERE YET! Rusty, how bout that round of "Oh Christmas Tree"?

MAIL GIRL: You got it. Ready, girls?

CHOIR: [in rounds] Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

(Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree) How evergreen your branches--

[phone rings] Oh, thank God. Hello?... Uncle Elmore! Please don't tell me you're still in Nacogdoches... You're still in Nacogdoches. What happened?... Dale did what?... He set the house on fire. That boy sure is a handful, isn't he? Did everybody get out okay?... Oh, well, tell Darlene it'll grow back in no time. You sure you can't make it? I made that eggnog you like so much... Oh, you're on the wagon... Three months--that's great. Boy, you picked a good time for your kid to burn the house down, huh?! Just kiddin, Uncle Elmore... Uncle Elmore, was that a pop top? Uncle Elmore?

Uncle Elmore's not comin."


"Gremlins" Commercial Break #6

"The gremlins ate Santa Claus. That's SICK. I love that. This is the kind of movie that grosses out your mother when you're 14 years old . . . Of course, I'm sorta ALWAYS 14 years old, but we won't dwell on that. And speaking of mothers, I'd really like to know where MY mama is, since this IS the Joe Bob Briggs Family Christmas Special, and she IS the matriarch of the family. I'm gonna give her a call. [goes to pick up the phone, but it rings] That's so weird when that happens. Hello, Mama?... Joyce, old gal, where the heck are ya? (It's my first wife, Joyce Briggs.)... What are you doin in Fluvanna? That's no place for a lady, Joyce... Workin? At this hour?... Honey, I thought you gave up strippin?... Yeah, yeah--exotic dancing. You tell Rhett to get off his hiney and WORK for a living... I don't care HOW many fingers he's lost on the job, a woman shouldn't have to DO that. You're not doin the thing with the firecrackers anymore, are ya?... Well, I hope the tips are big, cause your garbonzas sure aren't gonna be if you keep THAT up... All right, honey, maybe next year. By the way, tell Rhett when he gets the stitches out to marry your butt--I'm gettin tired of paying all this alimony... Okay, bye bye.

MAIL GIRL: Joyce can't make it?

Nah. Why don't you gals have some Beanee Weenees--I got enough there to feed the National Guard.

[the Choir eats Beanee Weenees]

Okay, the big gremlin party scene is coming up, so, roll it.

[fading] I was really lookin forward to seein Joyce. Not only did she do the firecracker trick, she could also flop those Hieronymus Bosches on cue like nobody's business. AND she made a mean chicken fried steak. I miss that gal."


"Gremlins" Commercial Break #7

"That speech that Phoebe Cates makes, about how she never celebrates Christmas, because her dad died on Christmas eve, trying to come down the chimney dressed up like Santa Claus. It's just the perfect combination of something that's truly HORRIFYING and also FUNNY at the same time. Kinda like the whole movie. You don't really LAUGH when she talks about it, but it sticks in your head and, you know, it's a FUNNY IMAGE. Anyhow, I was gonna have the Joe Bob Briggs Tabernacle Choir try "Oh Christmas Tree" WITHOUT the rounds, but somebody's gotta eat all the food I got, since the Briggses are takin their sweet time gettin here. I can't believe my mama's this late. Okay, it's time for Special Effects City. Go wild. Zach Galligan, Gremlin Terminator. Turn that boy LOOSE.

[fading] You guys wanna see me riding my bucking bronco Christmas present again? Roll the clip. [roll clip] Wasn't I cute as a little boy?"

Don't stop now...next Joe Bob watches while alien monsters take over a "Pet Shop" in tonight's second feature host segments

Click here to stop the themesong or to hear it again (Midi)

TNT promo for MonsterVision's Christmas monster movie marathon
(click 1 or 2 times to play clips)




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Fun fact:
Moms were so outraged that Gremlins was rated G that the MPAA agreed to add a new "PG" and then "PG-13" to the ratings for those movies that were in between G and R ratings. Of course, gremlins are not the only fantastic creatures in Chinatown. Check out the MonsterVision host segments for Big Trouble In Little China

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On to Gremlins 2: The New Batch

Host segment transcript for 12/19/98 broadcast 1998 Turner Network Television. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved