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Mars Attacks
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Mars Attacks
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Do you remember when the guys out at the space center sent up that special craft that probed Uranus? For three years they were talking about probing your Uranus. Well, I know a lot of you knew what they were doing and a lot of you didn't. But I'm Professor Joe Bob Briggs, and our course this week on "Joe Bob's Summer School" involves all heavenly matters, and it's called UFO Studies 666. We'll be watching "Mars Attacks!," the Tim Burton all-star alien comedy, and the 1956 cult classic Forbidden Planet, starring Leslie Nielsen, Robby the Robot, and the gorgeous Anne Francis --I've had a crush on her all my life and here she is, ON THE SHOW tonight! And our guest lecturer is physicist, author and UFologist Stanton T. Friedman, who's bringing with him some very interesting data on flying saucers.

First up, though, do you know your planets? And do you know Uranus? For example, what's the farthest planet from Earth? Huh? You're cheating and you're WRONG. It's Neptune. SOMETIMES it's Pluto, but beginning in 1979 that wacky Pluto crossed over Neptune's orbit and got CLOSER to the sun. Later this year it's gonna cross over Neptune's orbit again, and once again become the last planet in the system. Pluto wasn't even SEEN until 1930. So when did Walt Disney first DRAW Pluto? In the thirties, right? He created Pluto right after we first SAW Pluto. All right, let's run through the lineup. Girls know this, because they do astrology. You guys, listen up. Mercury. What do we know about Mercury? Airless and cratered. The Acne Planet. It's been zapped with so many asteroids that it looks like Karl Malden's nose. One DAY on Mercury is 58 Earth days. But that's not what blows my mind. There are only one and a half days in a YEAR. On Mercury. I don't even know how to think about that. Okay, Venus. The Zsa Zsa Gabor planet. Wasn't Zsa Zsa the star of "Queen of Outer Space"? It has a surface pressure that's 90 TIMES that of Earth. So if you stood on that planet, you would just disintegrate, you would be crushed, unless you were protected by something stronger than any known substance, like Zsa Zsa's pancake makeup. It's all desert and acid clouds. The only thing it would be good for would be, like, casinos. And on this planet, a day is LONGER than a year. This stuff really messes with you. Earth: skip it.

Mars: The subject of tonight's movie. We always thought this is where the aliens lived. So we sent that "Explorer" thing up there and crawled all over the place. Rocks and sand. That's it. Volcanoes. Dunes. Remember how boring it all was? We were interested for, like, three days. "Hey, it has a pink sky!" That was the most interesting thing they could come up with. Mars is now known as The Wallflower Planet. Jupiter: King of the Planets. Cause it's the biggest and the fastest. Goes around so fast there's only 10 hours in a day, but it's all hydrogen and helium. It's like a big Molotov cocktail, bubbling up at the equator, bulging out all this liquid hydrogen and causing humongous storms. Weather report on Jupiter is like: Here comes Hurricane. Remove All Life Forms.

Saturn. The pretty one, cause it has all the cute little rings. You know what those things are? Ice particles. Hydrogen and helium. Same as Jupiter. Uranus: Voyager 2 got there in 1986 and we got to see it for the first time. We couldn't see it before that because it has this icy fog around it. You know what we found out? It doesn't orbit around the sun. It kinda rolls around the sun sideways, like a drunk. Twenty-one years of sun and 21 years of darkness, the longest winter on record. But I don't want to dwell on the dark side of Uranus, and neither do you. Neptune: Voyager 2 got THERE in 1989 and found hydrogen, helium, some soft ice -- basically, one giant Slurpee swirling around down there and ALMOST colliding with Pluto, which is where we started. I think what would happen if little Pluto hit Neptune? it would just go right THROUGH IT, you know?

Anyhow, let's start our first movie, "Mars Attacks!," the story of how the Joker, James Bond, Tom Jones, Foxy Brown, Ed Grimley and Queen Amidala defend the Earth from little green men that quack like ducks while turning people into steaming green skeletons. Queen Amidala --that's Natalie Portman, plays the president's daughter here. TNT wanted to make sure I mention that, so all the "Star Wars" nerds'll stay and watch the flick. Check it out, and we'll be back at the first break with UFologist Stan Friedman.

[fading] To tell you the truth, I'm really not comfortable with sending foreign objects to Uranus.

"MARS ATTACKS!" Commercial Break #1

Well, what can you say? It's got a good cast. Did I mention the "Star Wars" tie-in? That's Queen Amidala as the president's daughter. I like Martin Short in this -- I love when he plays the smarmy guys. I should point out that one of the gals he offered to date, if you know what I mean, was Jack Nicholson's real-life girlfriend, Rebecca Broussard. I didn't get too good a look at her, though, cause I was preparing for our guest-lecturer who's just joined us. He has a master's degree in Physics, he was a classmate of Carl Sagan, and he's written numerous articles as well as two books, including "Crash at Corona" about the Roswell Incident. He lectures all over the country and we're happy to have him here, UFologist Stanton T. Friedman.

795 STAN: I'm glad to be here. Ufologist, like geologist and biologist.

Ufologist. Sorry, it's not U-Flogist it's Ufologist. Okay. So, Stan, how many UFO sightings do you think are actually aliens and not just some drunk guy with a good imagination. Give me numbers here.

STAN: Okay. If you take the largest study ever done for the air force, the first 21 percent of the 3200 cases investigated turned out to be completely unexplainable, separate from the ones for which they didn't have enough data, of which there were 10 percent. So it's a significant percentage. Sightings are common. I check on my audiences, more than seven hundred -- at the end of the lecture, of course, never at the beginning -- and I find that 10 percent of the people believe they've seen a flying saucer. But when asked how many reported it, it was only 10 percent of the 10 percent.

796 You think it's feasible for the government to keep these things secret, considering the dirt that leaks out of the White House these days?

STAN: Well, yeah. I worked on classified programs for 14 years -- nuclear rockets and fusion rockets, nuclear power plants for space and, of course, you can keep secrets. (Like) the black budget under direct congressional control of the Director of Central Intelligence the court case . . .Secrets are easy to keep. The need-to-know concept is primary, such as having clearance. I've been to 18 archives. We still haven't seen any above top secret stuff, top secret ultra umbra. They've got it. They'll admit to me that, "Oh, we got drawers full of the stuff, but you aren't gonna see it."

Do you have any proof of this stuff you could show us?

STAN: I've come up with an enormous amount of evidence, not only that the planet's being visited by extra-terrestrial spacecraft, that is, some UFO's or alien spacecraft, but that we're dealing with a cosmic Watergate. Some few people in major government agencies have known since 1947.

Cosmic water in 1947 in Roswell right?
STAN: Roswell.
They got anything on Roswell?

STAN: Ah, I've got loads... There are some really good military people down there. They're dying. We're losing our witnesses, of course -- we're racing the undertaker -- but there I began the civilian research on Roswell. My book "Crash in Corona" deals with that. And it's no question if you look at the military people, the people out near the ranch, the people in Texas where the wreckage went. Remember, we're talking about the only atomic bombing group in the entire world, the 509's, which was the military group in Roswell. And we're also talking about the fact that most people don't seem to know the story hit the headlines. But the news release didn't go out until noon New Mexico time -- too late for all the morning newspapers in the country: "New York Times," "Washington Post," et cetera. The cover story came out at five o'clock Texas time. The only paper I know of, "The Los Angeles Herald Express," has both stories. "Army captures flying saucer" -- headline, front page.

And "The Los Angeles Herald Express" no longer exists today.
STAN: See, they got punished. (LAUGHTER)
I don't think so. (LAUGHTER)
[fading] Okay, I got a bunch more questions for you, Stan, but let's get back to the movie, and we'll talk at the next break, okay? And I think I know those people you said the wreckage fell on in west Texas. Those people in west Texas are not phased by anything, you know...alien wreckage in the yard...

STAN: There weren't many people around. It was a four square mile pasture... I was down there a few months ago. We drove 57 miles without seeing another car.
I've done that many times, Stan. I'm from Texas.
STAN: (LAUGHTER) This was in New Mexico.
Oh okay.
STAN: Even less populated.
New Mexico. All right, same thing.

"MARS ATTACKS!" Commercial Break #2

Annette Bening, aligning her chakras. Yummy. I hope you guys watched "Escape from the Planet of the Apes" when we had it on a few weeks ago, cause I think Tim Burton definitely musta seen that before he made this. The Jack Nicholson and Pierce Brosnan characters are right out of that flick. This movie is actually based on the "Mars Attacks!" bubble gum cards. This may be the only movie based on bubble gum cards, but who cares about that when Stanton T. Friedman is here, our guest UFologist. I hear you've given testimony at congressional hearings. What kinda hearings WERE those?

801 STAN: Well, six scientists testified in person, six more of us in writing. Only the House Committee on Science and Astronautics. This is way back in 1968 and some outstanding work was presented...I was the only one without a Ph.D. at this group of people.

You never wrote that paper did ya?
STAN: Nope. I've written a lot of papers since, but no thesis. There are about 10 about UFO's, incidentally, but it takes a gutsy professor . . .
People who have actually gotten degrees for writing a paper about UFO's?
STAN: Yeah in history and sociology, things like that. Journalism. One gutsy journalist wrote one saying how terrible the press coverage was on the subject. Still true. That was written a long time ago. But yeah, the congressional hearings didn't have much impact, but they did present a lot of data in one single volume, two hundred and fifty pages. Anybody who wants really good cases -- they're in there . . .

Tell us about this Harry Truman operation that you say you've authenticated. What exactly was covered up?
STAN: Well that's the whole subject of the book, of course.
STAN: What was covered up was the established...
That book is top secret, MAJIC.
STAN: M-A-J-I-C. That's the security markings on the document . . .
With a forward by Whitley Strieber. Now why does it surprise me that he is also a ufologist?
STAN: Well, he wrote a book about his own abduction case.
STAN: And he wrote a book about Majestic . . .
We showed that very movie on this show. What's the name of the movie?
STAN: "Communion."
"Communion," with Christopher Walken.
STAN: Yeah, it didn't last very long in most towns where it played, unfortunately.
I can see how you would think of Christopher Walken as your alter ego, Stan.
STAN: Not really. (LAUGHTER)
Have you ever had a close encounter of . . .
STAN: I've never had any sighting. Look, I've never seen Tokyo -- it's there. I've never seen a neutron or a gamma ray. I've been chasing them for 43 years.

But isn't that kind of disappointing that they wouldn't contact the guy who's their leading spokesman on the planet?
STAN: I don't think they're here to contact us. I think primarily they're here to keep us from going out there, where primitive society's major activity is tribal warfare.
STAN: Maybe if you were an alien -- would you want Earthlings out there? This is a primitive society. The major activity is tribal warfare. What would probably . . .

You're actually describing the plot of this movie. (LAUGHTER) I want to ask you what you think about this movie we're watching, but let's roll a little bit more of it, and then we'll then we'll come back to it.
STAN: Okay.
You think they are primitive and they are warlike . . .
STAN: No, WE are primitive.
Oh . . .
STAN: They're here to make sure we primitives don't go out there.
Oh. They're trying to keep us from attacking them . . .
STAN: . . . Quarantine . . .
Okay. What exactly is the third kind? I sort of 'member it from the Spielberg movie was that accurate?

STAN: Well it -- the science wasn't. (LAUGHTER) The investigation . . . it wasn't. Close encounters of the first kind: within five hundred feet; of the second kind: where they produce a physical effect; of the third kind: where beings strange or not are seen. One guy's collected five thousand cases of physical traces from 65 countries. It happens all over the place. About 1000 of those cases involve reports of creatures, beings -- call 'em aliens, call 'em what you want. Ah... then there's the fourth kind, when the people are taken on board and the fifth kind, when you say, "Hey, guys, come on down," and they come on down. That's a little hairy I think . . .

So, like, in sex with aliens like there is a definitely a third kind . . .
STAN: No, no. There's always a fourth kind (LAUGHTER).
Oh. Fourth kind. Who would have a fourth kind? So you always have ladies saying, 'hello we had sex with the aliens...'
STAN: Hey there's a guy who was . . .
Oh, the guys have sex with the aliens too?
STAN: That's another movie (LAUGHTER).

"MARS ATTACKS!" Commercial Break #3

Stan, do you have any evidence of aliens making the international sign of the donut?
STAN: No. (LAUGHTER) None at all.
Professor Joe Bob here with Stanton Friedman, who's our guest- lecturer for "Joe Bob's Summer School" course 666: UFO Studies. Stan, what do you think of this movie, "Mars Attacks!"? Did they get anything right at all?

STAN: They probably did. The special affects were great. I was greatly disappointed when I watched the movie, frankly. It seems to be based on a set of false assumptions; namely, the only thing advanced technology is good for if somebody's a million years ahead of us, let's say, is killing people. Well, take that to its logical conclusion. Either you learn to live with peace with your neighbors. . .

Do you think the aliens would be writing poetry and stuff?
STAN: No, I think they'd be protecting themselves. I think they would know about biology. They would live a long time. They'd know about computers. They would develop wisdom -- something we seem to be sadly lacking . . .
You think the aliens would be smarter than us.
STAN: Yes, were it certainly more advanced, live a longer time, have more access to, say, millions of years of data. We're new.

We trust aliens more than we trust us don't we?
STAN: Bud Hopkins, the best abduction researcher around, says there's two groups you can't trust when they say something: the aliens and the government. (LAUGHTER) I think he was right.
Well like gimme some of the reasons that ET's would track all the way to Earth, a planet that hadn't even perfected the big screen TV yet. I mean what are they looking for here?

STAN: I think they're looking to make sure we don't go there until we get our act together. You can think of all kind....They're graduate students doing their thesis work on the development of a primitive society. Hunting and fishing, no license required. They're being punished. Spent two weeks on Earth -- that's punishment to last a lifetime, but I think the real reason for coming here is based on one assumption and only one, that all advanced civilizations are concerned with their own survival and security. That seems a reasonable assumption. That being the case, you have to keep tabs on the primitives in the neighborhood and those primitives who show signs of being able to bother you. The end of World War II there were three signs that these Earthling idiots were going to be bothering somebody else soon, less than a hundred years . . .

So you're saying they were watching us. They were looking at us through like their big screen TV or whatever their version of it was, and one of 'em said, "Who's John Glenn?"
STAN: No. Before that.
This could be a problem right?
STAN: Before that. Atom bombs, V-2 rockets, powerful radar . . .
All that stuff we're shooting up into space okay.
STAN: Yeah.
Okay, here's a more serious question. WHY would the government be interested in covering up the existence of UFOs? My cousin Conway -- who I think you'd really like -- tells me the stock market would crash, there'd be total anarchy, all kinds of stuff -- but I don't quite get why.

STAN: I think five major reasons. I'll keep them short. First, you want to figure out how the darn things work to make wonderful weapons delivery and defense systems. Advanced technology military is where it's at. Do you set up your secret project? Rule number one for security is you can't tell your friends without telling your enemies. They watch television too, after all. The second problem, the other side of the coin -- what if the other guy --every country has another guy -- figures out how they worked before you do? How do you defend against them? You don't want them to know you know they know. The third problem's the big one, the political problem. If there were to be an announcement tomorrow by highly trusted individuals around the world, Walter Cronkite and the Pope, let's say, saying indeed some UFO's are alien spacecraft and they're neutral, let's say. What would happen? Church attendance would go up, mental hospital admissions would go up, stock market would go down, uncertain he's the enemy.
But I think the biggest thing that would happen, based on six hundred college lectures, is that the younger generation, which was never alive when there wasn't a space program, would immediately push for a new view of ourselves instead of as Americans, Canadians, Greeks, Chinese, Earthlings. There's no government on this planet of which I'm aware that wants its citizens to owe their primary allegiance to the planet instead of the individual government. Nationalism's the only game in town. There's another problem. Certain fundamentalists -- Jerry Falwell comes to mind, Pat Robertson -- have loudly proclaimed we're the only intelligent life in the universe. Let's hope they're wrong and this is the work of the devil and they'd be up the creek without a paddle if somebody made 'em known.

So it's that old question of, if the alien shows up and says, "Take me to your leader." We don't really know who that is on Earth right?
STAN: Yeah . . .
. . .but in these movies . . .
STAN: . . . White House lawn . . .
It's always the American president, right? But you know, reasonably, it'd be like the secretary general of the UN or something like that, right?

STAN: There's nobody who speaks for planet Earth. As a matter of fact, some of the Arab countries cut out parts of "Independence Day."
The Pope! Send 'em to me with the Pope. He would be, you know . . .
STAN: There's some of us who might not agree with the . . .
He's got half of 'em, you know. It's like, that's the best we can do. (LAUGHTER) All right, then, if it's all about war, though, why aren't all the liberal peaceniks in the government leaking this stuff out so everyone finds out about it?

STAN: It's amazing how little leaks out. There was a Daniel Ellsberg, one who let out classified documents. How many more besides the spies who have sold 'em to the Russians or the Chinese or whatever? But keeping secrets is easy. The penalties are severe: death, life imprisonment, you know -- little things like that. And I think there are some people who honestly want to stay in power. The intelligence community has an enormous amount of power with an annual budget of a 26 billion dollars black budget, CIA, NSA NRO... NSA means Never Says Anything (or) No Such Agency. Really, they're the spy outfit listening in on us as we speak today. These guys are in power because they have knowledge that the rest of us don't have. Do you think they want to give up power? You ever know anybody who wants to give up power?

The knowledge the rest of us don't have except for the Chinese.
STAN: (LAUGHTER) That's the spy stuff. I'm not saying the Russians haven't learned from us what we've learned about flying saucer technology. That's a different question.

Okay. I just thought of something else I want to ask you, but let's watch some more "Mars Attacks!," featuring Natalie Portman, star of "Star Wars: Episode One," and I probably shouldn't even get you started on "Star Wars," should I Stan?

We won't even go there. Roll the film. If the aliens do come, would you like to, you know, party with the aliens?
STAN: Take me to your leader, guys. Lead me to your takers, is more like it, when you consider the abduction cases.

"MARS ATTACKS!" Commercial Break #4

You know, this is the second Summer School movie to make excessive use of Chihuahua humor. Remember the Chihuahua in "Hot Shots!"? Also Chihuahua ABUSE. Okay, we're talking to Stanton T. Friedman, nuclear physicist and UFO expert. So here's my question, Stan. If the government is so concerned about covering up the existence of UFOs, why does NASA have programs where they're looking for other life in the Universe? If the life is here, why are we out there looking for it?

STAN: Well, NASA has abandoned the notion of listening for radio telescope signals -- you know, SETI. S-E-T-I, which really stands for Silly Effort to Investigate.

That's because that Charlie Sheen movie came out about listening for those and everyone hated it.
STAN: Ah no. I think NASA has changed its tune entirely. They're getting a lot closer to home. They're looking for planets around nearby stars. They're looking for water on Europa satellite, in the solar system for the history of Mars, indicating there was water there. Where there's water we're talking about setting up a base on the moon, where there is frozen water.

We just sent a camera up to Mars. It was all rocks right?
STAN: Yeah, but there's an indication that in the past there was water there, and if that was the case and there was probably life there, the question is what happened to the life, you know . . .

Are you think they're here?
STAN: Ah, no . . .
They left Mars and came here?
STAN: NASA has avoided dealing with flying saucers...assiduously, I think, because the government said thou shalt not, but if you're really interested in extra-terrestrial intelligence, you look at the data, which is the flying saucer data from all over the world -- the radar visual, et cetera cases, and who cares about radio telescopes? You know the silliest notion is that radio is the most advanced technology for long distance communication. Would you have said smoke signals 150 years ago? Friedman's law: technological progress comes from doing things differently in an unpredictable way. The future is not an extrapolation of the past. The laser isn't just a better light bulb, in other words. It's different physics.

What technologies do we need before we can do any serious space travel?
STAN: Nuclear fusion programs that I worked on in the early sixties. Fusion's what goes on in the sun. It's the most important source of energy in all our lives. After all, without the sun, we're down the tubes pretty quick. If you use the right stuff in the right way and kick particles out the back end of a fusion rocket, you would have ten million times as much energy per particle as you can get in a dumb old chemical rocket. So fusion would do it, but I think aliens are using techniques about which we know nothing because of the fact that technology progress comes from doing things differently. Look, there are stars in our neighborhood . . .
. . . Stan . . .
STAN: . . . a billion years older than we are. A billion years.
You're starting to scare me, Stan, and you know why? Because I'm starting to believe you.
STAN: Why is that scary?
You think we'll ever find anyone like us? You think they've got karioke bars and "I Love Lucy" out there, or just, like, rocks with eyes in em, or what?

STAN: No, I think there are humanoids. All the stories indicate humanoids. I think they've gone through the karaoke stage sometime back. I'm sorry. (LAUGHTER)

But they but they look like us, huh?
STAN: Two arms, two legs, a head and a body. In any place but New York you'd say, 'hey they're different.' In New York, you wouldn't pay any attention.
Would they listen to Backstreet Boys?

STAN: Who knows what their music would be . . .
Or would they shoot 'em?
STAN: I don't think 'shoot first and answer questions later' is their approach.
Stan, thanks for coming by. It's been very educational and we're gonna go back to MARS ATTACKS! now but I really appreciate it, Stan. This has been great. Let me give you some advice. Don't take any titanium monetary units.
STAN: Okay.
I don't know what that means.

"MARS ATTACKS!" Commercial Break #5

That's one of my favorite scenes from this flick, the one where Martin Short brings the alien hooker into the White House and shows her a good time. That was the fine-looking Lisa Marie as the alien. Lisa is Tim Burton's girlfriend, but she does have a career of her own. In fact, she was in a movie I saw on cable the other night called "Breast Men," about the two guys who invented the silicone implant, and Lisa Marie and many other fine actresses were flashing their talents all over the place. Excellent flick. Anyway, I was thinking, as I watched that last scene, that there is one thing that never changes about alien-invasion movies. They had it in 1953 and they have it today. RAYGUNS! The rayguns get fancier and fancier, but they're still rayguns. And have we ever actually had evidence that rayguns EXIST? I don't think so. It's something learned COMPLETELY from the movies. Don't you think that's interesting? Guess not. Okay, back to the movie.

[fading] Rayguns. Laser swords. Anything that's just basically aiming a blast of deadly light at somebody. Laser pointers. The patriotic laser light show at Six Flags. Now THAT is deadly.

"MARS ATTACKS!" Commercial Break #6

The great Tom Jones, wailing away on "It's Not Unusual," in the movie that just gets goofier and goofier, "Mars Attacks!" This is a very BUSY movie, isn't it? Kinda gives you a headache. And speaking of sex symbols -- and if you don't think Tom Jones is a sex symbol, just talk to my mama -- it's time to read a little viewer mail in what we call "Professor Joe Bob's Advice to the Hopeless."
And here to help us out is my favorite teacher's aid, Rusty the Campus Mail Girl. Do you believe in UFOs, Rusty?
MAIL GIRL: Isn't that kinda like asking if I believe in God?
I don't follow you.
MAIL GIRL: Well, I've never SEEN a UFO, but that doesn't mean I can say they don't exist.
So you believe there COULD be UFOs.
MAIL GIRL: I'm not saying there are, and I'm not saying there aren't.
Did you ever see anything suspicious up in the sky when you were flying for the Air Force?
MAIL GIRL: Here's a letter from Rusty Shorts in Wabasha, Minnesota.
It's classified information, isn't it?

[Rusty doesn't answer]
"Dear Joe Bob, "Before I started watching Joe Bob Briggs' show, I could not speak a word of English. The only language I knew was Minnesotan. I sounded like Mr. Tudfall on the Carol Burnett show. You have given me new hope. You are the Pavarotti of the spoken word. The Doctor Ruth of thesaurusness. The tundra of truthfulness. The troglodyte of veracity. Thank you Joe Bob. "Sincerely yours, "An Eastern-European-British Isles American, "Rusty Shorts, Wabasha, Minnesota. "p.s. This paper is made from recycled boogers from a leper colony. Don't worry, you won't catch anything unless you pick it up with both hands at the same time." That's very funny, "Rusty Shorts." Normally we have to pay a nickel each for jokes like that. Here, why don't you take this with you when you go?

MAIL GIRL: No thanks. [starts to exit]
Wait, you have to tell me what you saw up there.
MAIL GIRL: I didn't say I saw ANYTHING.
Okay, but if you DID see something, what would it have been?
[Rusty exits]
I have a picture of you shaking hands with a three-foot tall purple man!
[Rusty re-enters]
How'd you get that?!
I was bluffing.
MAIL GIRL: Oh. I was, too. [exits]

"MARS ATTACKS!" Commercial Break #7

[singing] "I'll be calling you oo oo oo, oo oo oo." "Indian Love Call," Grandma's answer to the Martin invasion. And since it was only 10 seconds since the LAST commercial break, let's get right back to it.

[fading] You know what movie Tim Burton watched right before he made this? "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World." "I'll be loving you oo oo oo, oo oo oo"

"MARS ATTACKS!" Commercial Break #8

That's Pam Grier, pre-"Jackie Brown," and fellow blaxploitation star Jim Brown as Byron, giving the Martians the ole left hook. Did you guys know Pam Grier dated Richard Pryor AND Kareem Abdul-Jabbar? In fact, Kareem even proposed to her. Right after he became a follower of Islam, he called her from his mosque and popped the question. Pam said she hadn't had enough time to embrace his religion, so Kareem says, "Well, if you don't commit to me today, I'm going to get married this afternoon to a Muslim woman who's already been prepared for me." That's gotta hurt. Okay, let's get back to the movie.

[fading] I wonder how that Muslim woman was "prepared" for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar? Sounds interesting, doesn't it? Is there a menu?


There were just too many famous people to talk about in that movie. Thirties glamour-girl Sylvia Sidney was the crazy grandma. The French president was director Barbet Schroeder. Even the waiter who brought Natalie Portman the pizza was a novelist named Julian Barnes. I think Tim Burton maybe shoulda spent a little less time on casting, and a little more on some momentum for the story. But his movies never pay too much attention to story, now that I think about it. Jerzy Skolimowski played Dr. Zeigler. You guys know who Jerzy Skolimowski is? Only the greatest director in Poland, thank you very much.

Click here if you think Ray Walston really was a Martian (in the 1999 movie, Walston plays the head of the Men In Black tracking aliens)

Or join Leonard Nimoy In Search Of weird stuff

Official 1996 Mars Attacks website (if it's still there)

Fun fact:
Element #101 Mendelevium has been identified just 17 times. Scientists at Berkeley hooked up their radiation-detector to their fire bell so that every time the short-lived mendelevium atom formed in their lab, they would know by the bell ringing. The Berkeley Fire Department made them stop.

8/21/99 host segment transcript 1999 Turner Network Television. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved

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