#41. Overdrawn at the Memory Bank

41. Overdrawn at the Memory Bank (1983) - Season 8, episode 822

"I bet nobody calls up THIS cinema."

Plot: Aram Fingal gets his dopple bungled.
Famous for: All the ridiculous future technojargon that they use in the movie. Oh, and also... this:

My favorite riff:  I don't know if I necessarily have a favorite riff in this episode. The scene above, where Raul Julia inadvertently asks his mom about his nuts, I mean that's a crowd pleaser. And when Mike and the Bots start going crazy with all the Fingal and dopple and bungle jokes about twenty minutes into the movie, that's a really fun stretch too. But at the end of the day I don't know if there's one particular riff that I think is the standout. It's just a fun, silly episode all the way through.

"Oh yeah, old guys becoming pandas, that's the future."

Comments:  There is NO episode that I've had a more bipolar relationship with over the years than Overdrawn at the Memory Bank.

The first time I watched it, I hated it. I couldn't stand this episode. I thought it was dumb, and annoying, and incredibly childish. And because of that, I couldn't even get through the full movie. So I stashed it away, and I never thought about it again for about a decade. I just filed it away under "MST3k episodes that are a complete waste of time", along with Racket Girls, and The Castle of Fu Manchu, and a couple of other ones.

"Man, never show a good movie in the middle of your crappy movie."

Then, about ten years later, I decided to give it another chance.

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine one day named Brian Michael Scully (who is a writer himself), and he mentioned that this was his all-time favorite MST3k episode. And I was like, really? This one? Because I couldn't even get through it the first time. And he said no, you should give it another chance. It's actually awesome.

So I did what he suggested. I gave Overdrawn at the Memory Bank a second chance. And I couldn't believe it. The second time around, I actually LIKED it. It wasn't, like, one of my favorite episodes or anything. But the second time around, I could see how this possibly COULD could be somebody's favorite episode. I mean, it's fun. It's also one of the goofier movies that MST3k has ever covered.

Apollonia: Relax. Take a deep breath.
Crow: Not THAT deep!

The first time I ever did a countdown of my top fifty MST3k episodes, Overdrawn at the Memory Bank just missed the cut. And I mean it baaaaaaarely missed the cut. I probably would have ranked it at #51. And then I posted my list on the internet, and of course every MST3k fan I know yelled at me for not putting it in my top fifty. Out of all the big name episodes that I snubbed on my original countdown... and believe me, I snubbed a couple of really popular ones (hi Hobgoblin fans!)... THIS was the episode that everyone yelled at me for not including.  

And it was at that point that I realized, okay, I need to look at Overdrawn at the Memory Bank with a pair of fresh eyes. There's apparently SOMETHING about this episode that I appear to be missing.

Fingal: Mom! What are you doing here?
Mike: And why aren't you Puerto Rican?

Okay, and now the story gets weird.  

About a year ago, my wife and I sat down for a viewing of Mystery Science Theater. And for some reason I decided our evening's entertainment should be Overdrawn at the Memory Bank. So I popped it into the old DVD player, and... uh.... guess what? I WAS LAUGHING NON STOP FOR THE NEXT NINETY MINUTES.

I don't know what it was about that particular viewing, but for some reason it got me into the giggle zone very early on, and it never let up. To the point that, at the end of the episode, I turned to my wife and I said I haven't laughed that hard at an MST3k episode in years. I was laughing so hard that my cheeks hurt.

And with that, because of that ONE viewing, Overdrawn at the Memory Bank quickly shot up into my top twenty favorite episodes.

Apollonia: Sit down, Mister Fingal.
Tom Servo: You need to tinkle, Fingal?  
Apollonia: Nothing to worry about.
Tom Servo:  How 'bout some Pringles, Fingal?

"So, aging lesbian nuns rule the future?"

"Hey! Someone turn off the fat rotating guy!"

So this is where we stood as I sat down to make this particular countdown. Overdrawn at the Memory Bank was now my #20 favorite episode. I was going to make up for the fact that I had snubbed it so badly the last time I had ranked my top fifty.

"Come. As you are. To my mall. To my aaaaatrium."

However... and here's where this story gets frustrating again.

A few days ago, I sat down to watch Overdrawn at the Memory Bank again, because I wanted to pick out my favorite riffs for this writeup. And as I was going through the episode, I found myself not really loving it this time around. I mean, the funny riffs were still funny. And I still love all the fingling and doppling and fat guy and anteater jokes. But I just didn't find myself all that invested in it. And it NEVER got me into the giggle zone the way that it did so amazingly that last time around.  

And so this point now I'm like well, fuck, how the hell am I supposed to rank this episode? Do I actually love it, or don't I? And that's why I said at the beginning, I have NEVER had a relationship with an MST3k episode that is as bipolar as the relationship I've had with this one. Some days I love it. Some days I just sorta like it. And some days I hate it. And then every so often I'll sit down and watch it, and it becomes one of my favorite episodes again. I have NEVER had a history with an MST3k episode that is quite like this one. It's so weird.

In any case, today I'm ranking it here, at #41. Fuck if I know where I'll be ranking it the next time. But then again, who amongst us even knows what makes sense in the world anymore? Maybe I should ask mom about my nuts.

"Surely this will cure him of his LOVE OF CINEMAS."

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