Monstervision Host Segments for

Robin Hood:Men In Tights

"Attend and listen gentlemen, that be of freeborn blood, I shall tell you of a good yeman, His name was Robyn Hode."

Opening lines to "A Gest of Robyn Hode," circa-1550. I'm Joe Bob Briggs, and I got your Robyn Hode right here -- the Mel Brooks comedy, "Robin Hood: Men in Tights." [doorbell] And after that, the swordfights continue in the 1974 Ray Harryhausen adventure, "The Golden Voyage of Sinbad." [opening door] Hey, Leon.

LEON: I thought we discussed your not doing poetry. As your agent, I think it's highly inadvisable.
I'm trying to expand my range.
LEON: You have no range.
Leon, thank you very much, but it wouldn't hurt anybody to have a little more poetry on TV and a little less violence.
LEON: Did I just hear what I think I heard?
You're right, I've been in El Lay too long.
LEON: Joe Bob, get a grip. You've been here six weeks. Most guys that are here six weeks are chasing models. You're chasing obscure 16th-century hack poets.
Well, the phone's not ringing, Leon.
LEON: And I suppose that's my fault.
It's lonely sitting around here all week.
LEON: I heard it wasn't lonely here at all.
What does that mean?
LEON: Nothing.
Just get me something to do.
LEON: Joe Bob, are you somehow under the impression that you're my only client?
No, but--
LEON: It's on my list, okay? You got any orange juice?
Yeah, I guess. But I gotta do the drive-in totals.
LEON [sitting]: I'll wait.

Okay, Cary Elwes and Richard Lewis are both hysterical in the great 1993 parody that was kind of a comeback film for Mel Brooks, "Robin Hood: Men in Tights." We have:
No breasts.
No dead bodies.
One dead pig.
Three swordfights.
Village burning.
Tongue loosening.
Bow-and-arrow sharpshooting.
Kung fu.
Suit-of-armor fu.
Gratuitous Tracey Ullman.
Four stars.
Leon, I thought you were gonna get Mel Brooks to be a guest on the show?

LEON: Mel Brooks is a very busy man. Orange juice?
Okay, okay.
LEON: I don't like the kind with the pulp. [to lone audience member] Can I get you some orange juice? How bout an agent? You need an agent?

"ROBIN HOOD: MEN IN TIGHTS" Commercial Break #1

Well, it just can't get much better than this, can it? Sherwood Forest rappers in green tights, singing "Hey nonny nonny." Isaac Hayes as a wise Arab prisoner. That character, Asneeze, is a take-off on Morgan Freeman's Azeem in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
Camel jockeys.
Preying mantis Kung Fu.
Tasteless blind jokes.
And, of course, nothing is funnier than a good blow to the crotch, perfectly executed. Cary Elwes has just the right touch of satire in his too-goody-goody-to-be-true Robin. And speaking of "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," Mel Brooks got the idea for this movie after seeing Kevin Costner take a stab at Robin Hood. One of many Kevin Costner expensive fiascos.

LEON: That wasn't such a bad picture. I had a client in that picture.
You mean you actually got one of your clients work?
LEON: That reminds me, Joe Bob, I gotta run. [crossing to door] Big reception over at Ice Cube's house for Puff Daddy.
Well, I wouldn't expect you to miss that.
LEON: All the Ices are gonna be there. Ice-T. Vanilla Ice. Italian Ice.
You're so hip. Okay, but before you go, WHO did you get a job in "Prince of Thieves"? Was it Morgan Freeman?
LEON: You know, I like to steer clear of conversations that might provoke jealousy among my clients.
Come on, I can handle it. Christian Slater? I know it wasn't Sean Connery.
LEON: I represent more of the up-and-comers.
Yeah, like who?
LEON: Bobby Nakamura.
Who did HE play?
LEON: Villager #3. It was a small but crucial role. He was happy to have the role and Costner loved his work. It's all about the work, Joe Bob. Never forget that. [exits]

Somebody tell me if I should feel better or worse. Was there even an Asian guy IN "Prince of Thieves"?

"ROBIN HOOD: MEN IN TIGHTS" Commercial Break #2

A stroke of genius -- casting Richard Lewis as Prince John. I love this movie. When a movie has energy like this, even the corny stuff works.
"Robyn hod in scherewod stod hodud and hathud and hosut and schod four and thuynti arows he bar in hits hondus."

From "The Gest of Robin Hood," and I have NO idea what that means. In fact, I don't even know what "The Gest of Robin Hood" means. All right, THIS is interesting. I bet you guys don't know how many people have played Robin Hood. [to audience member] You're interested in this, right?
Okay, there were a couple of REAL early ones in 1912 and 1913, but Douglas Fairbanks was the first really famous one, from the silent film made in 1922, with Wallace Beery as King Richard. The quintessential Robin, and the first guy to play him in Technicolor was, of course, Errol Flynn in "The Adventures of Robin Hood" from 1938. Olivia de Havilland was Maid Marian, and the horse she rode would later become Trigger, of Roy Rogers fame. Which means that that horse was ridden by TWO Robin Hoods, because Roy Rogers played a western Robin in the forties. He and Gene Autry BOTH made singing cowboy Robin Hood flicks: "Robin Hood of the Pecos" and "Robin Hood of Texas," respectively. In 1958, Daffy Duck played him in "Robin Hood Daffy." Woody Woodpecker played him in 1962 in "Robin Hoody Woody." And then there's my favorite Robin Hood flick, "Robin and the Seven Hoods," starring Frank Sinatra in the title role and the rest of the Rat Pack as the Merry Men. We had Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn as Robin and Marian in the 1976 flick, "Robin and Marian." Patrick Bergin did a TV version of "Robin Hood" in 1991, same year Kevin Costner got laughed out of the theaters for HIS Robin Hood. And then you've got Cary Elwes in "Men in Tights," and then a couple a no-name versions, and you're all caught up.

Now, I counted 68 different Robin Hood flicks, but I only mentioned the biggies, so don't start writin me letters saying, "Joe Bob, you idiot, you forgot about 'Il Magnifico Robin Hood' made in Spain in 1970 starring Jorge [Horhay] Martin." We're covering the international versions later, okay?

[fading] Maid Marian is played by Amy Yasbeck in this version. Star of Problem Child one and two. And her husband was played by . . . her husband, John Ritter. You guys know who gave Amy Yasbeck her big break? Our producer. That's right, the producer of "Joe Bob's Hollywood Saturday Night" cast her in the daytime version of Love American Style. David, how many episodes of "Love American Style" did you tape each day? Five episodes PER DAY. Of course, at this show, we consider that rampant Hollywood wasteful EXCESS.

"ROBIN HOOD: MEN IN TIGHTS" Commercial Break #3

Some great Mel Brooks action scenes, including the fight between Robin and Little John on the bridge and the castle brawl. And it still cracks me up that the Sheriff of Rottingham is dyslexic. You know, the character of Little John goes back over 700 years, but it wasn't until the 1620s that the story of Robin Hood meeting him on the log became an accepted part of the story. But everybody knows that. Basic Robin Hood history. Just like everybody knows that in the early tales, Robin was a yeoman -- a working stiff -- but in 1598 a guy writing a play for an aristocratic audience transformed him into Robert the Earl of Huntingdon, from Loxley. But this is a comedy, so let's just watch Richard Lewis's mole move around some more.

[fading] Who recognizes Matthew Porretta as Will Scarlet O'Hara? All the TNT people just raised their hands. Matthew played Robin Hood for two seasons of "The New Adventures of Robin Hood," on this very network. Why did we cancel that? Didn't they make that over in Poland somewhere? Latvia? Why didn't they use Sherwood Forest? Actually I've been to Sherwood Forest. Don't answer that. I have the mug. Did you get the mug or the hat?

"ROBIN HOOD: MEN IN TIGHTS" Commercial Break #4

Mel Brooks as the Maneschewitz dealer, Rabbi Tuckman. Rabbi Tuckman, of course, being based on Friar Tuck. Isn't that cute? And speaking of cute, [enters] the cutest Mail Girl in Hollywood is joining us now for "Joe Bob's Advice to the Hopeless," where we read your pathetic pleas for help. By the way, Rusty, how are you enjoying El Lay so far?

RUSTY: Oh, it's great. My agent just got me a raise.
Your agent? Don't tell me you're an actress now.
RUSTY: Oh, gosh no. I got a postal agent, to help me out with my contract negotiations.
What's the per capita of agents-to-non-agents in this town?
RUSTY: I don't know. I'd have to ask my agent. Here's a letter from Chris Webb of Silver City, New Mexico.

"Dear Joe Bob,
"My name is Chris Webb. I'm 11 years old. I watch your show every Saturday. So do my parents and brothers.
"I don't intend to be mean, but if people don't like your fat jokes they should either go on a diet or get off their butts and exercise or shut up. I really enjoy watching your show and listening to your jokes. If you could I'd very very much like it if you send me an autographed something, please. My most favorite movie you show is Creepshow. Here's a picture of people suffication in the sand.
[NOTE: there's a pencil drawing of a man and a woman buried up to their necks in sand. The man is saying "aaaaaaah" and the woman is saying "I love you darling."]
"I have to go now but I'll watch you on Saturday.
"Sincerely yours,
"Chris Webb
"P.S. Remember to send me an autographed something."

Chris, thanks for that rousing vote of support in the ongoing battle against grumpy fat people. Excellent drawing, too. I wish we could get this on our website, [pulls out sign] Can you guys see this picture? This must be the scene from "Creepshow" where Leslie Nielsen buries his wife and her lover -- Ted Danson and Gaylen Ross -- in the sand at low tide.
RUSTY: Ooh, how creepy.
Hence the title.
RUSTY: Oh, yeah.
All right, one of the funniest scenes of the flick comin up after the commercials, so let's go.

[fading] RUSTY: [looking at drawing] I think this kid may be psychologically damaged.
Naw. A little suffocation never hurt anybody. Especially when you're eleven.

"ROBIN HOOD: MEN IN TIGHTS" Commercial Break #5

Three of the funniest scenes in the movie, all right there together. First Dom DeLuise doing that Brando impression as Don Giovanni from Jersey. Then the blind guy lookout -- that's Mark Blankfield of "Dr. Jekyll & Ms. Hyde" as the guy who gets his sight back, then loses it five seconds later. And, of course, the classic "Men in Tights" production number. Okay, I said I'd cover the foreign versions of "Robin Hood," and I wasn't kidding. People LOVE Robin Hood. I mentioned earlier the Spanish version, "Il Magnifico Robin Hood" -- the translation's pretty self-explanatory. The Germans made "Robin Hood und seine lusternen Madchen," or "Robin Hood and His Lusty Young Women." Excellent flick. My favorite Eyetalian Robin Hood movie is "Robin, frecce, fagioli e karate" [frechay, fajolee eh karatay], which as far as I can figure out, means, "Robin, Arrows, Beans and Karate." What can I say. The Brazilian Robin Hood movie is "O Misterio de Robin Hood." The great Wenchao Wu directed the Chinese Robin Hood, called "The Chinese Robin Hood." The Russkies FLOCKED to see "Strely Robin Guda," which I believe means "Robin Hood's Smoked Cheese," but I could be wrong. And lastly, India joined the party with "Aaj Ka Robin Hood." I don't have a translation for that one, but I guarantee you it had squeaky cat-screech music and a lot of women with dots on their foreheads in it. Okay, back after the ads.

[fading] You guys thought I forgot the Dutch Robin Hood, didn't you? "Robin Hood en zijn [zane] schelmen." You really think I'd forget that one? It means "Robin Hood sticks his schelmen in a dike."

"ROBIN HOOD: MEN IN TIGHTS" Commercial Break #6

You can't go wrong with Merry Men in drag, can you? According to an academic in English literature over at Cardiff University, Mel Brooks got it right when he wondered if the guys were fegulahs. This professor studied 14th century ballads -- the oldest ones he could find -- and decided that Robin Hood preferred his merrie men to ole Maid Marian.
According to the prof, guy-guy love was accepted in the twelfth century, but in the 13th century the church drove the homosexuals underground. He says that the green wood is a symbol of virility and all the references to arrows, quivers and other phalluses make it VERY clear that Robin was sharing his sword with other men, if you know what I mean and I think you do. And he said that the ballads show Maid Marian didn't exist until 16th-century authors wanted the story to be more accessible to hetero readers. Also known as breeder readers. This guy sounds like one of those Pee-Wee Herman scholars, doesn't he? I'm sure he's not gay.

[fading] When "The Times" printed his article, the gay rights groups were thrilled. And the Robin Hood Society had a heart attack. One big group heart attack. Just keeled over, clutching their leotards. Very tragic.

"ROBIN HOOD: MEN IN TIGHTS" Commercial Break #7

Ah, the old "walk this way" joke. I never get tired of that one. Course, this entire movie has Mel Brooks ripping himself off. He did a whole TV series that was a Robin Hood parody back in 1975 called "When Things Were Rotten," and from what I hear, it was pretty dang funny, even though it got cancelled after half a season. Okay, up next, 900 references to Blazing Saddles, including the same hangman, Robert Ridgely.

[fading] Next time the Sheriff of Rottingham comes on, close your eyes and see if you recognize him as the voice of a certain ad campaign. Think air travel. If that doesn't help, think chastity belts.
UPSTAIRS VOICE: Joe Bob, are you playing a guessing game?
I'm just doing the show.
UPSTAIRS VOICE: Cause you KNOW how I love to play guessing games!
[to camera] It's Virgin Airlines -- he's the voice of Virgin Airlines. I'll see you guys after the movie. [calling up stairs] Guess where I'm going now! [exits]
UPSTAIRS VOICE: I heard you talking about target practice. What does THAT remind you of, dear?
"Robin Hood: Men In Tights" is available on video, as well as on DVD, and it took thousands of fans to successfully petition them to release Big Trouble In Little China on DVD, and I think Mel Brooks' Space Balls is on both video & DVD. Robin Hood is even available in Italian or German. Apparently the Germans think the whole Robin Hood legend is pretty funny...

Tonight's MonsterVision host segments continue with Golden Voyage of Sinbad

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Trivia about Robin Hood - Men in Tights

* The scene where the Sheriff (Roger Rees) falls through the roof of Latrine (Tracy Ullman) and she tries to get him to have sex with her was completely improvised by Rees and Ullman.

* Mel Brooks says "It's good to be the king" when King Richard kisses Maid Marian. This is a reference to a line Brooks spoke as King Louis XIV in his History of the World: Part I (1981).

* Throughout the movie, a mole on the face of Prince John (Richard Lewis) changes position: it starts on his left cheek, then over to his right cheek, then his chin, then his forehead. It then goes back to the original place. This lampoons the mole on Alan Rickman's face in Costner's Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991).

* There is a quick shot of the prince's guards coming out of a hallway. The camera angle and marching drums are almost exactly like the opening credits of the TV series "Hogan's Heroes" (1965).

* Matthew Porretta, who plays Will Scarlet O'Hara, went on to play Robin Hood in the non-comedy "New Adventures of Robin Hood" (1997), on TNT.

* The hangman in this film is played by Robert Ridgely, who played the hangman in Blazing Saddles (1974), also directed by Brooks

* There is a rumor that the idea for this film came when a studio executive turned to his son and jokingly demanded "Give me an idea for a sure-fire hit, or else!" The boy replied "That's easy. Do a parody of Robin Hood." [Mel Brooks disputes this, saying that it was when he was watching the Costner movie and said to himself, "This guy's not speaking with an English accent."]

* The music for "Men in Tights" is recycled from "Jews In Space," a Star Wars trailer parody from "History of the World, Part I"

* This wasn't the first Mel Brooks "Robin Hood" parody. His previous attempt was the short-lived TV series "When Things Were Rotten" (1975), though this one was a direct parody of the Costner film in particular.

* Scenes in trailers, but not in the film: Robin shoots an arrow that flies around tree, brakes, swerves, and eventually completely misses target on a tree, splitting the tree in half, spoofing a then-current movie showing a bullet flying through the air from the bullet's point of view. Also, Prince John is in the bath and commands his bubble-blowers for more bubbles. When they comply, he says something to the effect of "That's right. Now we've got it going."

* While most of the film's Robin Hood parodies come from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), the archery contest scene is inspired by Disney's animated Robin Hood (1973)

* The shot of the guards falling down in a row took weeks to prepare.

* The scene where Don Giovanni (Dom DeLuise) pulls cotton wads out of his mouth is a jab at the classic Mafia film, The Godfather (1972). During his screen test for "The Godfather", Marlon Brando (playing Don Vito Corleone) stuffed cotton wool in his mouth to make his appearance resemble that of a bulldog.

* "Robin Hood:Men In Tights" is itself parodied in a scene in Shrek

Trivia above courtesy the Internet Movie Data Base,

If you thought Patrick Stewart was funny in this movie, check him out in this X-Men clip (with Mike Nelson and Crow T. Robot's running commentary)

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