A complete illustrated guide to all 107 classic TV references in Beastie Boys lyrics

We explain every reference in the rhymes, from Doris the Finkasaurus to Dr. Bombay.

Images: The Everett Collection / Associated Press

Before the internet, Gen-X had the Beastie Boys. The ever-evolving hip-hop trio packed countless pop culture references into their rhymes, just as their music recycled everything from classic rock riffs to funky jazz loops to bossa nova. Through the Beastie Boys, children of the 1980s and 1990s learned of names like Sadaharu Oh, Naugles, the Cheech Wizard, Putney Swope and Gnip Gnop.

For the bulk of their career, there was no way to look this stuff up. You either got the joke or you yearned to understand it. But the Beastie Boys made you want to know all their references. Most likely, no musical act in history has referenced more television in its songs. Certainly, no other group has name-checked more MeTV series.

Adam "Adrock" Horowitz, Adam "MCA" Yauch and Michael "Mike D" Diamond were all born in the mid-1960s, and their frame of reference is typically that of their childhood — the Seventies. Television cops, cartoons and commercials from that era popped up in all of their albums. As Adrock would say, it's called gratitude.

This happens to be our wheelhouse, too. So, we wanted to put together the definitive list of just what the heck the trio is rapping about when it comes to the boob tube. The references are presented chronologically by album and track listing. Dive in.

"Rolled up a wooly and I watched Columbo¹"


“The New Style,” License to Ill

1. Though Mike D brags about the money he earns, he admits to enjoying the simple pleasures in life, such as chilling on the couch and watching the crook-catching skills of Peter Falk's iconic raincoat-wearing detective. Columbo aired from 1971 all the way to 2003.

"I do the Smurf², the Popeye³, and the Jerry Lewis⁴ / I like Bullwinkle⁵ but I don't like Brutus⁶"


“Posse in Effect,” License to Ill

As you will see, Mike D consistently brags about his dance skills. He is particularly adept at fad dances named after pop culture characters, such as (2.) the Smurf, named for the little blue mushroom dwellers; (3.) the Popeye, a dance named after the cartoon sailor that is done with the thumbs as popularized by Chubby Checker; and (4.) the Jerry Lewis, styled after the antics of the comedian who hosted his own The Jerry Lewis Show. While Mike enjoys Popeye, he is no fan of the sailor man's adversary (6.) Brutus. When it comes to classic cartoon characters, he is more a fan of (5.) Bullwinkle the moose of Rocky and His Friends.

Image: Gold Key / Dell Comics

"You know I got rhymes like Abe Vigoda⁷"


"Posse in Effect," License to Ill

7. With his shaggy eyebrows and hangdog expression, Abe Vigoda was a beloved character actor, most notably as the crotchety detective Phil Fish on Barney Miller (1975–82) and its spin-off, Fish (1977–1978).

Image: AP Photo

"My name's Mike D and I can do that Jerry Lewis⁸"


“Hold It Now Hit It,” License to Ill

8. In case you missed it earlier in the album, Mike reiterates that he is indeed adept at emulating the dance moves of Jerry Lewis, longtime comedy partner to straight man Dean Martin.

Image: Paramount / Giphy

"Cooling at the crib watching my TV / Ed Norton⁹ - Ted Knight¹⁰ - and Mister E-D¹¹"


“Hold It Now Hit It,” License to Ill

The trio chimes in on their favorite TV viewing options, including (9.) The Honeymooners, which featured the antics of municipal sewer worker and neighbor Ed Norton, as played by Art Carney; (10.) Ted Knight (pictured), the actor known for portraying Ted Baxter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show; and (11.) Mister Ed, the talking horse who starred in his own sitcom from 1961–66.

Image: The Everett Collection

"You could live your whole life - and I hope you live long / On 'The Gong Show'¹² we won't get gonged"


"Slow and Low," License to Ill

12. Chuck Barris hosted this tongue-in-cheek game/variety show, which aired in the 1970s and '80s. Amateur performers would come on stage and present their acts to a panel of judges, who could strike a gong if they did not like what they saw. The skillful Beastie Boys, of course, would suffer no such indignity.

Image: The Everett Collection

"And I got more rhymes than Phyllis Diller¹³"


"Time to Get Ill," License to Ill

13. While not particularly renowned for her rhymes, no more so than Abe Vigoda, at least, this stand-up comedienne was known for her exuburent clothings, wigs and laughter. She appeared as a guest on everything from The Muppet Show to The Love Boat.

Image: AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi

Sample: "I'm Mister Ed / The famous Mister Ed¹⁴"


"Time to Get Ill," License to Ill

14. Mister E-D makes his return later in the album, as a sample of the equine character and a snippet of the sitcom's theme song is played. Jay Livingston sang the original theme song refrain heard here. His brother, Alan W. Livingston, served as the president of Capitol Records, the Beastie Boys' label. He also created Bozo the Clown.

Image: AP Photo

Sample: Theme from Green Acres¹⁵


"Time to Get Ill," License to Ill

15. The track also makes brief use of the theme song to Green Acres, the rural sitcom set in the same universe as The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction.

Image: MGM Television

"Like Abbott and Costello¹⁶ / Just me and my mellow"


"Desperado," License to Ill outtake

16. Bud Abbott and Lou Costello set the mold for the comedy duo in their radio, film and television work. They are best known for their "Who's on First?" routine. The Abbott & Costello Show aired from 1952–54.

"He punched Big Bird¹⁷"


"Desperado," License to Ill outtake

17. The Beastie Boys would eventually shed their teenage hooligan personas. Perhaps leaving this track on the cutting room floor was the first sign of the maturation to come. Assaulting a beloved Muppet from Sesame Street might have been a step too far, even for rap rabble-rousers.

Image: Sesame Workshop

"The Patty Duke Show¹⁸, the Wrench, and then I bust the Tango"


"Shake Your Rump," Paul's Boutique

18. On the second album, Mike D is quick to remind fans of his dancing prowess. Here, he refers to Patty Duke, the young actor who played two roles on her eponymous sitcom. Patty Lane was the wild teenager, who flailed her arms about in a mod rock & roll fashion, particularly after eating encased meats, as the opening theme explained that "a hot dog makes her lose control."

Image: MGM Television

"Like Sam the Butcher bringing Alice¹⁹ the meat"


"Shake Your Rump," Paul's Boutique

19. Sam the Butcher was the love interest to Alice Nelson, the live-in housekeeper to the Brady family on The Brady Bunch. Sam may have only appeared in eight episodes, but his love was strong. By the 1981 TV movie The Brady Girls Get Married, Alice and Sam were married.

"Green eggs and ham, Yosemite Sam²⁰"


"Egg Man," Paul's Boutique

20. The prospector with a hair-trigger made his debut as Bugs Bunny's archnemesis in the 1945 cartoon Hare Trigger. The testy toon has made frequent appearances in Looney Tunes animated shows throughout the decades.

Image: Warner Bros.

"Read me my rights as if I didn't know this / Threw me in the tank with a drunk called Otis²¹"


"High Plains Drifter," Paul's Boutique

21. Otis Campbell was the town drunk of Mayberry on The Andy Griffith Show. We can thus assume that MCA (or the fictional high plains drifter of the song) has been arrested by Mayberry sheriff Andy Taylor or deputy Barney Fife.

"I stay up all night, I go to sleep watching Dragnet²²"


"3 Minute Rule," Paul's Boutique

22. Born out of a hit radio program, this groundbreaking police procedural, created by and starring Jack Webb, originally aired throughout the 1950s and enjoyed a revival from 1967–70. A reboot starring Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks hit movie theaters in 1987, a year before the making of this album.

"I'm so rope, they call me Mr. Roper²³"


"Three Minute Rule," Paul's Boutique

23. In a bit of quasi-Cockney rhyming slang, Mike D professes that he is as dope as the landlord portrayed by Norman Fell on Three's Company (1977–84). The character would get his own spin-off in The Ropers (1979–80).

Image: FremantleMedia

"Get over on Miss Crabtree²⁴ like my main man Spanky²⁴"


"3 Minute Rule," Paul's Boutique

24. Miss Crabtree, as played by June Marlowe, was the educator at the Adams Street Grammar School tasked with teaching the Little Racals in six Our Gang comedy shorts. While she had her hands full with the Rascals, this reference is a bit of an anachorism, as the adorable George "Spanky" McFarland did not join the series until after Marlowe had departed.

"You be driving around Hollywood with, yo, 'Sorry, Charlie'²⁵"


"3 Minute Rule," Paul's Boutique

25. Charlie the Tuna is the cartoon mascot and spokes-fish for the StarKist brand of canned tuna. The hipster, intellectual tuna made his commercial debut in 1961. The catchphrase "Sorry, Charlie," was born out of these TV ads, as the commercial would explain, "Sorry, Charlie, StarKist doesn't want tuna with good taste, only tuna that tastes good."

"Date women on TV with the help of Chuck Woolery²⁶"


"Hey Ladies," Paul's Boutique

26. Game show host Chuck Woolery was best known as the emcee on Love Connection from 1983–94. A decade after this album, he would be hosting The Dating Game, though the Beastie Boys were in long-term relationships by then.

Image: Associate Press

"I dropped my drawers and said 'Welcome back, Kotter'²⁷"


"Hey Ladies," Paul's Boutique

27. The sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter centered around a group of remedial students who, like Adam Yauch, were from Brooklyn. The early Beastie Boys were most akin in temperament to Arnold Horshack in particular, pictured on the far right here, and this line was delivered in the nasal style of the character.

Image: Warner Bros. Television

"I'm not James at 15²⁸ or Chachi in Charge²⁹"


"Hey Ladies," Paul's Boutique

28. The short-lived coming-of-age drama James at 15 aired from 1977–78. In the midst of the single-season series, lead character James Hunter turned 16, and the title was appropriately amended.

29. Technically two television show references blended into one actor reference, this Adrock line playfully mashes up two Scott Baio characters, Chachi Arcola of Happy Days and Charles of Charles in Charge.

"Well, take my advice, at any price, a gorilla like³⁰…"


"Hey Ladies," Paul's Boutique

30. The theme song to Hanna-Barbera's 1963–67 cartoon The Magilla Gorilla Show featured the line, "Take our advice / At any price / A gorilla like Magilla is mighty nice."

Image: Hanna-Barbera / Warner Bros.

"Yo, why'd you throw that chair at Geraldo Rivera³¹, man?"


"What Comes Around," Paul's Boutique

31. On November 3, 1988, Geraldo Rivera suffered a broken nose and facial lacerations after being struck by a chair thrown on his talk show, Geraldo, during a skinhead brawl.

Image: AP Photo/Richard Drew

"Funky / Doris the Finkasaurus³²"


"What Comes Around," Paul's Boutique

32. In the 1964, season-four episode of The Flinstones "Son of Rockzilla," Fred wears a Godzilla-like costume that draws the unwanted romantic attraction of a female dinosaur named Doris the Finkasaurus.

Image: Warner Bros.

"Trench coat, wingtip, going to work / And you'll be pullin a train like you're Captain Kirk³³"


"Stop That Train," Paul's Boutique

33. Starfleet Captain James T. Kirk kissed 19 different women throughout the course of Star Trek: The Original Series.

"I shed light like cats shed fur / Ride around town like I'm Raymond Burr³⁴"


"Mike on the Mic," Paul's Boutique

34. On Perry Mason, Raymond Burr's titular lead character cruised Los Angeles primarily in a luxury 1958 Cadillac convertible.

Image: Associate Press

"I’m like Jimmy Walker / I’m Dy-no-mite³⁵!"


"Pass the Mic," Check Your Head

35. Jimmy Walker portrayed James "J.J." Evans Jr. on Good Times from 1974–79. The show popularized his catchphrase, "Dy-no-mite!"

"I’ll be in the paper, the news, with Ernie Anastos³⁶"


"Finger Lickin’ Good," Check Your Head

36. Longtime anchor Ernie Anastos has been a staple of local news in the New York City area for decades. At the time of Check Your Head, he was helming the evening newscasts for WCBS-TV. Currently, he works for Fox 5 News.

Image: fox5ny

"I’ve got more spice than the Frugal Gourmet³⁷"


"Finger Lickin’ Good," Check Your Head

37. Cookbook author and television personality Jeff Smith, better known as "the Frugal Gourmet," helped kick off the foodie movement with his PBS series from 1983–97. His career died a sudden death in 1997, five years after the release of this album, due to sexual abuse allegations.

Image: Wikipedia / PBS

"Cause I’m Pete the Puma³⁸"


"Finger Lickin’ Good," Check Your Head

38. Mike D shows off his deep knowledge of Looney Tunes cartoons with this reference to Pete Puma, a quirky feline who appeared in just two animated shorts, Rabbit's Kin and in Pullet Surprise.

Image: Warner Bros.

"I can do the Freak, the Patty Duke³⁹, and the Spank"


"Finger Lickin’ Good," Check Your Head

39. Mike D reiterates that Patty Duke is his number-one dance inspiration.

"Is it Mannix⁴⁰? Barnaby Jones⁴¹? Somebody say Columbo⁴²! McMillan⁴³? Is it Cannon⁴⁴... Barnaby Jones? I said that already"


"The Maestro," Check Your Head

In the biggest TV reference dump in Beastie Boys history, MCA acts as a nightclub emcee who asks the audience, "I'd like to find out whose favorite detective it is…" He then name checks (40.) Mannix, the tough-as-leather character played by Mike Connors from 1967–75; (41.) Buddy Ebsen's aging sleuth Barnaby Jones, which aired 1973–80; (42.) Columbo, the first TV reference made by the Beasties above; (43.) Rock Hudson's McMillan of McMillan & Wife, which aired 1971–77; or (44.) Cannon, William Conrad's heavyset investigator with a unique fighting style.

"See, this ain't America's Most Wanted⁴⁵"


"The Maestro," Check Your Head

45. John Walsh hosted the reality series America's Most Wanted for nearly a quarter century, beginning in 1988, on both the Fox and Lifetime networks.

"Cause writin' rhymes to me is like Popeye to spinach⁴⁶"


"Professor Booty," Check Your Head

46. The Popeye the Sailor cartoon originally aired in 1960–61. The muscular sailor gained his superior strength from cans of spinach. Adam Yauch would eventually become a vegan.

Image: Giphy

"Well you're a Golden Girl just like Bea Arthur⁴⁷"


"Boomin' Granny," Check Your Head B-side

47. After headlining the sitcom Maude from 1972–78, Tony winner Bea Arthur became an elder icon thanks to the cherished sitcom The Golden Girls, which coincidentally aired its last episode two weeks after the release of Check Your Head.

Image: The Everett Collection

"Pull up at the function and you know I Kojak⁴⁸"


"Sure Shot," Ill Communication

48. Telly Savalas played the titular cop on Kojak from 1973–78. While best known for his bald head and taste for lollipops, the Kojak character had another trait — an uncanny ability to always secure a prime parking spot. Happening upon a perfect parking spot in a crowded city was henceforth known as finding "the Kojak spot." Mike D proclaims he always has that prime parking spot closest to the entrance.

Image: The Everett Collection

"Well I'm the ladies' choice like I was J.J. Evans⁴⁹"


"B Boys Makin’ with the Freak Freak," Ill Communication

49. The "Dy-no-mite!" sitcom character makes another appearance. While Adrock may have found J.J. popular with the ladies, Ester Rolle, who played his mother on the show, was no big fan, noting in a 1975 interview, "[The writers] have made J.J. more stupid."

Image: Sony Pictures Television

"Gotta do it like this, like Chachi And Joanie⁵⁰"


"Get It Together," Ill Communication

50. Even guest rappers get in on the TV name-checking fun, as Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest drops this line. After finding their love on Happy Days, and marrying in the final season, Joanie Cunningham and Chachi Arcola, the cousin of Fonzie, would carry onward on the spin-off Joanie Loves Chachi.

Image: ABC

"I do the Patty Duke⁵¹, in case you don't remember"


"Get It Together," Ill Communication

51. Oh, we remember. By now, you certainly remember.

Image: MGM Television

"Eat a Scooby snack⁵² and take disco nap"


"Alright Hear This," Ill Communication

52. Cartoon pooch Scooby Doo, who made debut for Hanna-Barbera in 1969, loved nothing more than his Scooby Snax. A disco nap, by the way, is a short sleep you take in the evening before heading out to a club.

Image: Warner Bros.

"I spin my fortune on a wheel like Sajak⁵³"


"Alright Hear This," Ill Communication

53. Chuck Woolery (see above) may have been the original host of Wheel of Fortune, but Pat Sajak will forever be associated with the game show.

Image: AP Photo/Alan Greth

"A little wine with my dinner so I'm in my Grape Ape⁵⁴"


"Flute Loop," Ill Communication

54. Hanna-Barbera produced the Saturday morning cartoon The Great Grape Ape Show from 1975–78, formative years for the young Beasties. Grape Ape was a 40-foot purple gorilla with a juvenile mind. 

Image: Warner Bros.

"So I'll say it like the group Huggy Bear⁵⁵"


"The Scoop," Ill Communication

55. Technically, this is a reference to the English riot-grrrl punk band, but the group took its name from the informant character played by Antonio Fargas on Starsky & Hutch. Huggy Bear's first record was a split album with Bikini Kill, whose singer-songwriter, Kathleen Hanna, would later marry Adam "Adrock" Horowitz.

Image: Kill Rock Stars / Discogs

"And then you're out talking **** like Yosemite Sam⁵⁶"


"The Vibes," Ill Communication

56. Another reference to this hot-headed redhead? Darn tootin'!

Image: Warner Bros.

"Got beats like 'Babalú' on 'I Love Lucy'⁵⁷"


"The Vibes," Ill Communication

57. Club performer Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz) displayed his bongo skills playing percussion in the traditional Cuban song "Babalú" on I Love Lucy. It was the character's signature tune in his nightclub. 

"I'm not like the Skipper⁵⁸ on Fantasy Island⁵⁹"


"The Vibes," Ill Communication

58. The Skipper (Alan Hale, Jr.) was stuck on Gilligan's Island, which was not the same island as the mystical dream locale of (59.) Fantasy Island… but what if it was?! Alas, Mr. Rourke, Tatoo and Gilligan would never meet, as the shows aired in different decades.

"I'm more like Captain Stubing⁶⁰ when I go buck whylin'"


"The Vibes," Ill Communication

60. The man at the helm of The Love Boat, Captain Stubing (Gavin MacLeod) may not have had the flash and smile of Isaac the Bartender or the nerdy charm of Doc, but he still did well with the ladies.

Image: Associated Press

"I am known to do the wop (wop) / Also known for the Flintstone Flop⁶¹"


"Intergalactic," Helly Nasty

61. In the 1965 Flintstones episode “Shinrock-a-Go-Go,” Fred accidentally invents a new dance craze after dropping a bowling ball on his foot. It is known as the Flintstone Flop.

Image: Giphy

"Your knees'll start shaking and your fingers pop / Like a pinch on the neck from Mr. Spock⁶²"


"Intergalactic," Hello Nasty

62. Here we arrive at the first of many Star Trek references made by certain Trekkie Adam Yauch. Spock made first use of his incapacitating Vulcan Nerve Pinch in the fifth episode of the Original Series, "The Enemy Within." Here, you see him taking care of a Redshirt in the later "And the Children Shall Lead."

"I'm like Toucan Sam⁶³ when I follow my nose"


"Flowin’ Prose," Hello Nasty

63. Cereal mascot Toucan Sam would catch the wafting scent of Froot Loops in Kellogg's commercials and fly to his sweet treat.

Image: Kellogg's

"Dear Alex and Marilyn / They're Lovey and Thurston Howellin'⁶⁴"


"The Grasshopper Unit," Hello Nasty

64. During the making of Paul's Boutique, the Beastie Boys rented a house in the Hollywood Hills from Alex and Marilyn Grasshoff. Alex Grasshoff had directed episodes of CHiPs and Kolchak: The Night Stalker. The Hollywood power couple had a flashy wardrobe and lifestyle, which the Beasties compared to that of Lovey and Thurston Howell, the "millionaires" of Gilligan's Island.

"All you Trekkies and TV addicts / Don't mean to dis, don't mean to bring static / All you Klingons⁶⁵…"


"Ch-check It Out," To the Five Boroughs

65. MCA gives a shout out to the television and sci-fi lovers in the audience, while referencing the hawkish alien race of the Star Trek franchise.

"Like Mutual of Omaha / Got the ill boat you've never seen before / Glidin' in the 'Glades⁶⁶ / And like Lorne Greene⁶⁷, you know I get paid"


"Ch-check It Out," Ch-check It Out

66. In the opening credits of the nature series Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom (1963–88), host Marlin Perkins was often seen riding an airboat through swamps. Mike D is perhaps confusing it with (67.) Lorne Greene's New Wilderness, a similar Canadian series that began in 1982 featuring the former Bonanza and Battlestar Galactica star. Presumably, Greene did get paid for his work on the series.

"Not goofy like Darrin⁶⁸ or Hazel⁶⁹"


"Ch-check It Out," To the Five Boroughs

Mike D wants it to be known that he is not as goofy as (68.) Darrin Stephens, the lead male character on Bewitched, or (69.) Hazel Burke, the live-in maid at the center of the 1961–66 sitcom Hazel.

Image: Sony Pictures Television

"Like Miss Piggy⁷⁰ / Who, moi?"


"Ch-check It Out," To the Five Boroughs

70. After name-checking the frog-loving pig, the Boys mimic the Muppet's coy catchphrase, "Who, moi?"

Image: Vinylcise

"I'm an Iron Chef⁷¹ when I slice and dice"


"Right Right Now Now," To the Five Boroughs

71. Iron Chef America premiered in 2004, after the recording of this album, so the Beastie Boys, true cultural connoisseurs, were likely referencing the original Japanese cooking competition series Iron Chef. Hiroyuki Sakai, pictured here, was the true master of the show, amassing a record of 70-15-1.

Image: AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi

"With the rhyme precise, the word is nice / Please pass me the Riunite on ice⁷²"


"Right Right Now Now," To the Five Boroughs

72. Riunite was a brand of Italian wine marketed to the masses in a series of TV commericals in the 1970s and '80s with the tagline, "Riunite on ice, that's nice!”

"Shhhhh, you heard me like I'm EF Hutton⁷³"


"Rhyme the Rhyme Well," To the Five Boroughs

73. In another nod to 1980s TV ads, here Mike D makes a subtle reference to the tagline "When EF Hutton talks, people listen," used by the Wall Street firm in a series of commercials.

"If you wanna drink, call Mr. Belvedere⁷⁴"


"Triple Trouble," To the Five Boroughs

74. The 1985–90 sitcom Mr. Belvedere centered around the posh butler character of Lynn Belvedere. In the opening credits, he can be seen serving tea with a silver tray. Fancy.

Image: 20th Television

"On a hot day with the iced latte / Devious like Wile E. Coyote⁷⁵"


"Triple Trouble," To the Five Boroughs

75. Wile E. Coyote may have been devious in his Looney Tunes cartoons, but he never did catch the Road Runner.

Image: Warner Bros.

"Cause I've got more rhymes than Carl Sagan's got turtlenecks⁷⁶"


"Hey **** You," To the Five Boroughs

76. Astronomer and cosmologist Carl Sagan was fond of wearing turtleneck shirts and sweaters, as seen on his show Cosmos, the most widely watch series in the history of American public television.

Image: Associated Press

"You're like Foghorn Leghorn⁷⁷, Yosemite Sam⁷⁸ / You're just yellin' and wildin' wondering who I am / With those lies you're telling you're like Toucan Sam⁷⁹"


"Hey **** You," To the Five Boroughs

While (78.) Yosemite Sam and (79.) Toucan Sam turn up again, this is the first nod to (79.) Foghorn Leghorn, the Looney Tunes rooster with a thick Southern accent.

"You gotta get up awful early to fool Mr. Furley⁸⁰"


"Oh Word," To the Five Boroughs

80. Years after name-checking Mr. Roper on Paul's Boutique (see above), the B-Boys give a shout out to Mr. Furley, the replacement landlord character played by Don Knotts on Three's Company.

Image: FremantleMedia

"You're Snidely Whiplash⁸¹, I'm Dudley Do-You-Right⁸¹"


"Oh Word," To the Five Boroughs

81. Early on, the Beasties made it known that they were fans of Bullwinkle. Here are nods to more Jay Ward cartoon creations, Dudley Do-Right and his mustache-twirling adversary Snidely Whiplash. The characters appeared in segments of the cartoon The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.

Image: NBCUniversal

"This is not a fantasy and I'm not Mr. O'Rourke⁸²"


"Oh Word," To the Five Boroughs

82. Mr. O'Rourke was the principle character and patron of Fantasy Island, as played by Ricardo Montalbán from 1977–84.

Image: Sony Pictures Television

"I'm a Wonderama snake can winner⁸³"


"All Lifestyles," To the Five Boroughs

83. The children's television program Wonderama originally ran from 1955–77. A staple of the show was the game "Snake Cans," in which a kid from the audience would open one of ten cans. Nine of them contained spring-loaded "snakes," while one held a bouquet of flowers. If you found the flowers, you won.

Image: Metromedia

"In the high rise where you live like Rhoda⁸⁴"


"All Lifestyles," To the Five Boroughs

84. After leaving The Mary Tyler Moore Show for her own spin-off, the cosmopolitan character Rhoda Morgenstern moved from Minneapolis to an apartment building in New York. Rhoda aired from 1974–78.

Image: The Everett Collection

"Make you do like Fred Sanford with 'I'm comin', Wheezy!'⁸⁶"


"Shazam!" To the Five Boroughs

86. On Sanford and Son (1972–77), widowed junkyard owner Fred G. Sanford would melodramatically feign having a heart attack and announce to his deceased wife in heaven, "I'm comin', Wheezy!"

Image: Sony Pictures Television

"I got more product than Ron Popeil⁸⁷"


"Crawlspace," To the Five Boroughs

87. A king of the informercial, inventor Popeil pitched all sorts of gadgets and gizmos on television, from the Popeil Pocket Fisherman to Chop-O-Matic kitchen tool. His Ronco company even made "hair in a can." 

Image: Ronco

"The only air time you get is on Bloopers⁸⁸"


"Crawlspace," To the Five Boroughs

88. Dick Clarke was the original host of TV's Bloopers & Practical Jokes, a viral video predecessor of YouTube, essentially, that aired for more than three decades.

Image: Sony Pictures Television

"No, I'm not Herman Munster⁹⁰ nor Dr. Spock⁹¹"


"Crawlspace," To the Five Boroughs

Adrock lets it be known that he is not (90.) Herman Munster of The Munsters , the Frankenstein-like father played by Fred Gwynne from 1964–66, nor (91.) "Dr. Spock." Now, Doctor Spock was a famous pediatrician and author, but Adrock is most likely mistakenly trying to reference Mr. Spock of Star Trek.

Image: NBCUniversal

"Whatcha talkin' 'bout, Willis⁹²? Who the illest?"


"The Brouhaha," To the Five Boroughs

92. The Beasties are nothing if not aficionados of sitcom catchphrases. Here, we have an apt usage of Arnold Jackson's "What'chu talkin' 'bout, Willis?" from Diff'rent Strokes (1978–86).

Image: Sony Pictures Television

"This is Bones McCoy on a line to Sulu / Check your tricorder set your phaser to stun⁹³"


"The Brouhaha," To the Five Boroughs

93. After that whole Dr. Spock incident, honorary Redshirt MCA is here to set things right with a run of Star Trek references. Medical officer Leonard "Bones" McCoy and Hikaru Sulu were original crew members of the USS Enterprise. Both characters used standard Starfleet gear like scanning and analysing tricorder and phaser "firearm."

"Step outside the cone of silence⁹⁴"


"We Got The," To the Five Boroughs

94. On the spoof spy series Get Smart (1965–70), agents of CONTROL would sit inside the "Cone of Silence" to talk top-secret information. The joke was that neither party could hear one another.

"You're like the Ty-D-Bol man spinning down the drain⁹⁵"


"Brrr Stick ‘Em," To the Five Boroughs B-side

95. In a series of 1980s commercials for the bathroom cleaner, the tiny "Ty-D-Bol" man, a dapper sailor in traditional yachting attire, piloted a small boat inside a toilet tank. 

I'm like 'Danger, Will Robinson! Danger, Will Robinson!'⁹⁶"


"Brrr Stick ‘Em," To the Five Boroughs B-side

96. The Robot B-9 is widely known for shouting this to his young human friend Will Robinson on Lost in Space. However, the "catchphrase" was used just once on the 1960s series, in episode 11 of season three, "The Deadliest of the Species."



"Make Some Noise," Hot Sauce Committee Part 2

97. While Ted Danson is best known as the star of Cheers, on which he played bar operator Sam Malone, the actor later went on to play a fictional version of himself on Curb Your Enthusiam, on which he invests in a restaurant with Larry David.

"The roaches check in, but they never check out⁹⁸"


"Make Some Noise," Hot Sauce Committee Part 2

98. Another commercial catchphrase, this is a reference to ads for Black Flag's Roach Motel. As the actors in the ads proclaimed, "The roaches check in… but they don't check out!"

"So get your hologram up off a Wolf Blitzer⁹⁹"


"Too Many Rappers," Hot Sauce Committee Part 2

99. During the 2008 Presidential election, CNN correspondent Jessica Yellin checked in with studio anchor Wolf Blitzer via "hologram." After Barack Obama's victory, popular rapper Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas reported from Chicago's Grant Park to Anderson Cooper via this same "hologram" technology.

Image: CNN

"I'm like Molto Mario¹⁰⁰, they call me Tasty D"


"Tadlock’s Glasses," Hot Sauce Committee Part 2

100. By this point in their career, the mature Beastie Boys were more into food references than TV name-checks, but they could still kill two birds with one stone. Molto Mario was a show on the Food Network hosted by celebrity chef Mario Batali from 1996–2004.

Image: Food Network

Song Title: "Lee Majors¹⁰¹ Come Again"


"Lee Majors Come Again," Hot Sauce Committee Part 2

101. The only Beastie Boys song title to feature a TV reference, the punky "Lee Majors Come Again" pines for the era of Lee Majors, the manly actor who starred in The Big Valley, The Six Million Dollar Man and The Fall Guy.

Image: Associated Press

"I'm seeing every detail like an over-cranked camera / Sleestaks¹⁰² in the back"


"Lee Majors Come Again," Hot Sauce Committee Part 2

102. The lizard-like Sleestak are a race of reptilian creatures that evolved from the peaceful Altrusians on the low-budget TV series Land of the Lost (1974–77).

Image: CBS Television Distribution

"Like the Six Dil- Million Dollar Man¹⁰³"


"Lee Majors Come Again," Hot Sauce Committee Part 2

103. The man in the song title makes a lyrical appearance. A "dillion" dollars is not an actual amount of money, but it sounds like more than a million. Mike D was fond of leaving his crack-ups on record.

Image: NBCUniversal Television Distribution

"Dr. Bombay¹⁰⁴ is the ladies choice"


"Here’s a Little Somethin For Ya," Hot Sauce Committee Part 2

104. On Bewitched (1964–1972), Bernard Fox played Dr. Bombay, the witch doctor to Samantha's family.

Image: Sony Pictures Television

"Now ease up brethren, take an Excedrin / Only name check to rhyme is Tippi Hedren¹⁰⁵"


"Here’s a Little Something For Ya," Hot Sauce Committee Part 2

105. While best known for her roles as a "Hitchcock blonde" in films like The Birds and Marnie, Hedren also turned up on TV shows like The Bionic Woman and had a regular role on The Bold and the Beautiful.

Image: Associate Press

"I go to Peter Brady and I buy Greg's socks¹⁰⁶"


"Crazy Ass Shit," Hot Sauce Committee Part 2

106. Peter and Greg Brady were the middle and elder sons, respectively, on The Brady Bunch. Like all brothers, the two would try to one-up one another. Perhaps by selling the other's socks? That wasn't in the show as far as we know, but it could have made for a solid plot.

"I'm like Oscar the Grouch¹⁰⁷, trashy"


"B-Boys in the Cut," Hot Sauce Committee Part 2 bonus track

107. In the final TV reference, the Beastie Boys return to Sesame Street. the Oscar the Grouch Muppet first appeared in 1969.

Image: AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler

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joshpincusiscrying 53 months ago
Fred Sanford's deceased wife was "Elizabeth." "Wheezy" was Louise Jefferson. This is another character mash-up.
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