Tread Perilously climbs aboard one of the worst broadcast television shows ever to air with the Supertrain episode “Hail to the Chief.”
A man (guest star Roy Thinnes) replaces his twin brother as the projected winner of the upcoming presidential election. Is he a communist? Was he bought off by a shadowy corporate interest? Is he a plant to get the nuclear launch codes? These questions become irrelevant when he falls in love with his brother’s wife (guest star Loretta Swit) and throws out the plan. What this has to do with guest star Billy Barty and guest star Victor Buono is anybody’s guess.
And in case you were wondering, the show does have a regular cast but they really don’t matter.
Failing their own guest star challenge, Erik and Justin take a break from watching a popular show on its worst day to examine a fundamentally flawed, unpopular and unmourned series. Erik compares Supertrain to the show it clearly wants to be, The Love Boat, while Justin comes to grips with the program’s dark, cramped sets. The pair also outline a fantastic plot for a Spike Lee train heist movie. Erik also attempts — and fails — to avoid “derailing” puns and to keep the discussion on track. Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys gets mentioned in a favorable light. Justin realizes the plot was later recycled in the film Dave and both he and Erik take the time to make fun of Needles, California.