#14. Agent for h.a.r.m.

14. Agent for h.a.r.m. (1965) - Season 8, episode 815

"Hey, I touched her boob you guys! I'm not a virgin anymore!"

Secret agent Adam Chase has to save Los Angeles from the dreaded Spore Gun.
Famous for:  
Starring the smarmiest bastard to ever hit the big screen.

Mike: You lucky trunks.
Crow: Get ready to gift wrap a beautiful package.

My favorite riff:
 God, there are so many great riffs in this episode. I'm having a hard time narrowing it down to less than five, so here are all five.

"My cat's cradle got outta control so I pinned it to the wall."

[As Adam is playing a game of chicken with a plane]
"Stop! Or your propeller will grind me to hamburger!"

Adam Chase:  Have you been doing research in bacterial sporulation?
Mike:  You've studied sporificalolology, haven't you?

This episode also features one of the dirtiest riffs in MST3k history, of course...

Eva (seductively):  Are you coming? Or do I swim alone?
Crow:  Yes, and yes.

And then, finally, there's this one. Where the movie attempts to do something artsy, and Crow just loses it.

The director cuts from one shot of a sportcoat, to a shot of different sportcoat, and Crow busts out with a very blunt...

"Come on, movie. Just bite me."

Comments:  Without question, Agent for h.a.r.m. has got to be one of the funniest episodes of MST3k.

If you've never seen the movie before, it's one of those cheap James Bond ripoffs that were apparently very prevalent in the mid 60s. Only this particular James Bond ripoff A) has no stunts, B) has no beautiful, exotic locations, and C) has a hero who really doesn't even leave Los Angeles. He basically just drives around and visits about three or four parts of L.A., and they call it a movie.

And even though the riffing in this episode is only average at first, MAN does it get better as the movie goes along. This is an A+ prime example of the MST3k writers taking a bunch of running jokes, and keeping them going for ninety minutes, and somehow making them funnier and funnier... and eventually turning the whole thing into a masterpiece.

"Okay. Draw up the ribcage, stick out the butt, and let the girdle do its work."

"Pops, there's a man giving the squish-squash to the old wind tube."

"We put the altitude so the agents can adjust baking temperatures."

This is one of those episodes that I have never considered for my top ten, and I never think of as one of the best MST3k episodes. But man, EVERY single time I watch it, it gets funnier and funnier. In fact, I just watched it again with my wife last weekend, and she was shocked at how funny it was. She said she didn't remember it being that good either. All she ever remembers about this episode are the James Bond references and the spaz chop.

[imitating the James Bond theme song]
"Exotic locations! BA DAH BA DA!"

[still imitating the James Bond theme song]
"He maintains an appliance. DAH DA DAH DA!"

And of course, the legendary...

Spaz chop!

In short, if you want to watch an episode of MST3k that you don't remember very well (or have never seen before), and you want to laugh really hard, go track down a copy of Agent for h.a.r.m. The riffing is SO good in this one.

In fact, I can't think of an episode where they have so many good observational riffs based on things that are just randomly going on in the background.

"Why the narrow beaker of condensed milk?"

"Well, they're out of fumar. Now what do we do?"

[pointing out the secretary's weird giganto-thumb]

Adam Chase:  Chief! What are you doing here?
Mike (excitedly, as the guy in the background):  I'm here too!

The first time I made a list of my favorite episodes, Agent for h.a.r.m. made the top forty. Then, last time, it made the top twenty. Now, in this one, I'm bumping it up into my top fifteen. There's a very real chance it could wind up being in my top ten one day. It's THAT funny.

"It's like being chased by your anthropology professor."

Other personal favorite things about this episode:  Man, I could talk about this episode for days.

How about the henchman who randomly looks like Prince? And Tom Servo throwing out Prince song lyrics every time he pops up on screen?

"I think I wanna dance. Ow!"

"Baby, you got to slow down."

And how about the scene where Adam refers to the place you practice judo as "the judo range"?

Which leads to a great running gag where Mike and the Bots keep referencing things like "aikido rifles." And "skeet kendo."

Case in point

And finally, there's THIS great riff, right at the end of the movie.

The old professor has died after being whacked in the back of the head by the villain, and then shot in his left front pocket. And our hero realizes he is now going to have to mourn him.

Forget those other five I mentioned back at the start. THIS is the riff I will always remember from this episode.

"The combination of the spaz chop and the pocket wound was just too much for the old man."

"I'm gonna go put on my funeral cardigan."

Trivia:  If you're a fan of horror movies, you might recognize the actor who plays Adam Chase (Peter Mark Richman) from one of the Friday the 13th movies. He was the evil chaperone Charles McCulloch in Friday the 13th Part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan.  

And come to think of it, he was a smug mincing bastard in that movie too.

Kid: Mr. McCulloch, are you chaperoning? Or are you coming?
McCulloch: Yes, and yes.

Back to Mario's Top 50 MST3k Episodes