space program

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Strong Bad Email #138
watch bedtime story portrait
"Nice work, The Strap!"

We learn of Strong Badia's space program, SBASAF.

Cast (in order of appearance): Strong Bad/Space Captainface, The Cheat/Strap Coopmore, Strong Mad, Homestar Runner, The King of Town, Coach Z (Easter egg)

Places: Computer Room, Strong Badia, The Classroom (Easter egg)

Computer: Lappy 486

Date: Monday, November 14, 2005

Running Time: 3:44

Page Title: Lappy 486

DVD: strongbad_email.exe Disc Five, Sbemails' 50 Greatest Hits DVD



STRONG BAD: {singing} Email is the sound that we make when a young girl cries...

{Strong Bad says "Da-da-da-da-" before "Dear," "Good jokes" instead of "Doo doo crap," "Ryan Raleigh" as one name, and "NC" as "Not Cool."}

STRONG BAD: {typing} Who doesn't have a space program these days? I mean, don't, like, the Italians have a space program? Ours is called SBASAF {pronounced "sbase-aff"}. The Strong Badian Administration of Some Aluminum Foil. {clears screen} The only problem is, ...

{Fade to white; Strong Bad continues in voiceover.}

STRONG BAD: ...we blew our whole budget on this kick-awesome logo...

{As he says this, the SBASAF logo appears—a rocket's path tracing the second S, and ending up in position as the first A.}

STRONG BAD: ...and on our orientation filmstrip.

{Cut to a filmstrip frame of the SBASAF logo, with "2005 Strong Badian Administration of Some Aluminum Foil" at the bottom. The frame is initially out of focus, but becomes focused partway through the voiceover.}

VOICEOVER: SBASAF is a definitely-for-profit organization, dedicated to the manned taping of aluminum foil to cardboard. {beep sound}

{Another frame comes up - a stylized drawing of alien mountains in outer space, with a moon and a comet in the sky. A ten and five dollar note are visible, and a large arrow pointing beyond the mountains. The ten dollar bill has the text "TEN O' DEMS" along the top, the earth in the president's place and a circled "SB" for the seal. The five dollar bill is mostly obscured, but a sun and planet are visible on it.}

VOICEOVER: Our mission objective: to accompany 15 earth dollars on a round trip journey... {beep}

{Another frame: a drawing of a spaceship flying past a planet.}

VOICEOVER: the closest reaches of space. {beep}

{Another frame: two astronauts, one lying on a bench with weights, the other saying "Gimme ONE more!!"}

VOICEOVER: While the muscular crew will age only a few hours, the cargo, according to our... {beep}

{Another frame: a portrait of Albert Einstein, saying "Hiya!"}

VOICEOVER: ...vague understanding of the theory of relativity, will have aged to an incredible... {beep}

{Another frame: three large gold bars in space, with the caption "THREE O' DEMS". The slide is initially above center, then is adjusted.}

VOICEOVER: million dollars. And who is good enough at video games...

{Another frame: a photo of a TV screen with a joystick in front of it. On the screen is a typical 2-D one-on-one fighting game with "FIGHT!!!" written on it. The combatants are a hamburger and a ghost. The ghost has only 1/3 health.}

VOICEOVER: accept such a dangerous mission? Why, none other than beef bouillon-aire joyboy... {beep}

{Another frame: Strong Bad wearing a headband with small wings on it, with pants made of foil.}

VOICEOVER: ...Space Captainface. First Lieuteneral Captainface knows the true key to success is...

{Another frame: a girl smiling at the camera, with a polka-dot background.}

VOICEOVER: have as many hot '60s-looking girls in your filmstrips as possible.

{Another frame: two more girls against a blue background with a wavy stripe.}

VOICEOVER: Yeah, girls! All right! {beep}

{Another frame: The Cheat wearing a blue cap and sunglasses, with the caption Harold "Strap" Coopmore.}

VOICEOVER: Hey, look! It's onboard mechanic Harold "Strap" Coopmore! Looks like he could use a grilled cheese sandwich.

{Another frame: a photo of a grilled cheese sandwich, with the caption Item 3b: "Grilled Cheese". Different music plays for a little bit, then, with a record-scratching noise, the previous music resumes and another frame is cued: two men with flat-top haircuts and headsets in front of a computer terminal. They're wearing horn-rimmed glasses and short-sleeved dress shirts; one has a pocket protector and several pens.}

VOICEOVER: Flat-tops and shirt sleeves are the order of the day at SBASAF mission control. Why, Flight Engineer T'daveral! You aren't smoking a smooth relaxing cigarette at all! {beep}

{Another frame: the same scene, but the man on the left is smoking.}

VOICEOVER: That's better. And somebody get that man a highball. {beep}

{Another frame: rows of spaceships.}

VOICEOVER: The flagship of SBASAF's 30-vessel fleet is the Proud Anselmo.

{Another frame: Strong Bad in the same outfit, atop a spaceship labeled "PROUD ANSELMO". There is a beam of golden light spotlighting Strong Bad.}

VOICEOVER: A wonder of modern SBASAF-ery, the Proud Anselmo was constructed entirely out of cardboardium alloy. When blastoff day finally arrives,

{Another frame: the '60s girls in silhouette with a large question mark.}

VOICEOVER: ...will you be among the hot '60s-looking girls to wish Strap and Space Captainface a safe voyage? And if not... {beep}

{Another frame: a tearful basset hound with the caption "How Come?"}


{Cut to Strong Badia. A close-up of Strong Bad wearing his Space Captainface costume in a cardboard box holding an Atari joystick. He and the box are trembling violently.}

STRONG BAD: Argrgrgrgrgrgr! Got to... escape... Earth's... tenacity.... Fire the afterburners, Strap!

{A wider shot shows that The Cheat is in a taller cardboard box duct-taped to Strong Bad's, and has a CD player. Various objects are duct-taped to the side of the box. We can now see Strong Mad's hand shaking the boxes.}

THE CHEAT: {strained The Cheat noises}

{The Cheat presses play on the CD Player, which plays a sci-fi flyby sound effect. Cut back to Strong Bad. The box lifts into the air temporarily and lands on the ground.}

STRONG BAD: Oh... we made it. {the boxes continue shaking} Ahem. Oh, we made it. {the boxes stop shaking}


STRONG BAD: {holding a Speak & Spell} According to my ca-cuh-lations, our precious cargo should have already multiplied to about 50 bucks!

{Strong Mad walks away behind the fence and sits down, looking dejected.}

THE CHEAT: {holding up a CD labeled "SOUND F/X (not sounds from that movie F/X)"} {The Cheat noises}

STRONG BAD: Oh, right. We spent the precious cargo on that sound effect CD. Well, let me hear "Body falling downstairs".

THE CHEAT: {agreeable-sounding The Cheat noises} {presses button on CD player}

{The sound effect of what sounds like a body falling down a staircase plays. Strong Bad moves his head with each thump. Homestar Runner rushes up with a sweater stuck over his head.}

HOMESTAR RUNNER: You guys! You guys! I need help putting on this sweater!

STRONG BAD: A space myoot-ant from Satriani 5! Hit him with everything we got, Strap!

{The Cheat pushes various buttons, and random laser sounds and explosions are played. After a pause, The Cheat throws the CD case at Homestar.}

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Aah! I knew I should have asked the Italian space program. {hobbles off}

STRONG BAD: Nice work, The Strap. Another successful mission for {music starts; singing} Space Captainface!

{A piece of cardboard labeled SPACE CAPTAINFACE is lowered on a fishing hook above Strong Bad}

STRONG BAD: {still singing} Pretender of the galaxies! He's all-the-ways having space cocktails with hot '60s-looking girls!

{Cut to wide shot; we see that The Cheat is holding a fishing rod with the SPACE CAPTAINFACE logo hanging from it.}

STRONG BAD: {although the first few words are almost spoken, concludes singing an octave higher} Where are all the hot '60s-looking girls? {music stops}

{The King of Town enters from the left.}

THE KING OF TOWN: I'm in my 60s!

{The Paper comes down.}

Easter Eggs

  • At the end, click "S. CAPTAINFACE" on the boxflap to the side of Strong Bad to hear a log entry.
{Strong Bad is at the Lappy}
STRONG BAD: {typing, in a reverbed voice} Captainface Log: The vinegar-baking soda drive on the Proud Anselmo has run out of fuel, stranding us in the Impellitteri Sector. There is shrapnel everywhere. It makes one wonder, does man truly—{beep}
{The slide of Item 3b: "Grilled Cheese" comes into frame from the bottom and stays a few seconds, accompanied by its music from the filmstrip.}
  • At the end, click the Tire to see Cadet Z at recruitment.
{The last two slides of the slideshow play again. Coach Z's arm enters frame from the bottom}
COACH Z: I was told I was gonna get to pee in a cup!
{Pull back to see Coach Z watching Strong Bad next to a projection screen}
STRONG BAD: In due time, Cadet Z. In due time.
COACH Z: Oh, doo time! Even better!
{Strong Bad looks slightly shocked}
  • At the end, click the CD to see the back cover.
SOUND F/X are not a joke!
featuring such favorite hits as:
- baby in a wagon
- drippy towel
- single bird tweet
- the hush of winter
- baseball in repose
- body falling downstairs
- sonar ping
- creaking rustiness
- sonar pong
- rub sequence              00003 or 2
On the side of the case is the text Sound F/X (not sounds from that movie F/X).

Fun Facts


  • The beeps in the filmstrip are common when a presenter is given a set of slides and a tape - so the presenter knows when to change the slides. Also, some combined tape player/projector models advance automatically upon detecting the beep.
  • The "vague understanding of the theory of relativity" is a parody of Special relativity which is popularly held to be difficult to understand, and predicts that space travellers going near the speed of light will age more slowly.
  • A Sonar ping is a method used to determine distance from one object to another, like two submarines. One will send out a low level "ping" that travels at a set speed through water, "bounces" off the other submarine, and is re-received by the first's sonar system. The amount of time this takes determines the distance.
    • There is no Sonar "pong" - the reflection of the ping is called a return. The term "pong" is often incorrectly used due to confusion with the game Ping Pong.
    • An example of a Sonar ping can be heard near the end of dreamail.
  • SBASAF's "definitely-for-profit" status is a reference to not-for-profit organizations.
  • Although it makes sense as constructed, Strong Bad's reference to "escap[ing]... Earth's... tenacity" appears to be a malapropism for the phenomenon of escape velocity.
  • A highball is an iced drink containing liquor (as whiskey) and water or a carbonated beverage and served in a tall glass. Highballs were also featured prominently in radio.
  • An alloy is a combination of two or more elements that includes at least two metals and has metallic properties.
  • The phrase "smooth and relaxing cigarette", like most of the SBASAF slide show, comes directly from the '50s and '60s TV culture. Cigarettes were "in" during this period, so advertisers primarily targeted men in their 20s and 30s, often trying to make non-smokers seem uncool.
  • Mixing vinegar and baking soda together causes a chemical reaction that, in some instances, can be powerful enough to propel small objects forward.
  • An afterburner increases the power of a jet engine by adding and burning more fuel before the nozzle and after the turbine (hence, "afterburner"). As it only works on air-breathing jet engines, it cannot be fitted to a rocket.
  • The Italians do in fact have a space program, the Italian Space Agency.


  • This email was sent in by HRWiki forum user Ryan Sturmer.
  • The various things and text adorning Strong Bad's spaceship are from left to right:
  • Apparently several parts of the original email were cut out. The alleged original version was:
We see you!
  • Using a decompiler to get the original picture used in the video game scene shows the reflection in the screen, showing one of The Brothers Chaps taking the screenshot, with someone else in the background.
  • This is the first time the King of Town's age is mentioned, as he claims that he is in his 60s.
  • The YouTube description for this email is "Strong Bad describes Strong Badia's space program, SBASAF."


  • As of this cartoon's release, only the USA, Russia, and China have manned space programs. Italy is a member of the European Space Agency.
  • Homestar may be having difficulty with his sweater's sleeves because he has no visible arms.
  • In the old-fashioned video game shown on the TV, the player on the left is titled "Hamburger" even though it has a large layer of cheese in it which would technically make it a cheeseburger.
  • The Tire wears a corded headset and is smoking a cigarette. Thus it appears to be the only acting member of Mission Control.
  • "Track 03" is displayed on the CD player for the afterburner sound as well as for one of the laser sounds.
  • Some beeps don't occur in the soundtrack accompanying the SBASAF filmstrip. Also, while there is a beep between the final two slides in the filmstrip, the beep is absent when the clip is replayed during one of the Easter eggs.
  • Strong Bad allegedly purchased a spaceship with Homestar's credit card in credit card.
  • Bouillon-aire and Lieuteneral are portmanteaus.
  • When Strong Bad is posing in space, he looks darker than usual.

Inside References

Real-World References

  • The S. CAPTAINFACE log is similar to the ones that occur at the beginning of many Star Trek episodes. The original Star Trek series also included philosophical musings on whether man belonged in space, which may be the sentiment interrupted by the grilled cheese sandwich slide.
  • The narrator's comments about shirt-sleeves and flattops being the order of the day, and implying a cigarette is required, is a good description of late '60s early '70s Mission Control. Many other aspects of SBASAF including its acronym title and logo parallel NASA.
  • Albert Einstein was a twentieth century theoretical physicist, most famous for his theory of relativity. This email came out in 2005, which marked the 100th anniversary of Einstein's famous paper on Special Relativity.
  • Harold "Strap" Coopmore is possibly a reference to U.S. Air Force General Henry "Hap" Arnold who served on the committee that would become NASA.
  • The Proud Anselmo, Satriani 5, and the Impellitteri Sector all refer to famous rock musicians — Phil Anselmo, Joe Satriani and Chris Impellitteri, respectively. Also note Satriani's late '80s album, Surfing with the Alien.
    • The "Proud Anselmo" is also likely a reference to Rene Anselmo, the creator of the commercial satellite industry.
  • Strong Bad's pronunciation of "mutant" is most likely a reference to the classic science-fiction film This Island Earth (featured in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie), where an alien "mut-ant" figures in the climax.
  • F/X is a movie from 1986 starring Bryan Brown and Brian Dennehy. The movie is about a special effects technician who is hired by a government agency to help stage the assassination of a well-known gangster.
  • The joystick next to the TV is the standard ColecoVision joypad, known as the "doorknob" due to the control stick's distinctive and somewhat uncomfortable shape.
  • Strong Bad's "Space Captainface" costume includes a petasus, the winged hat that is characteristically worn by the Greek god Hermes.
  • Strong Bad checks his "ca-cuh-lations" on a Speak & Spell. This educational toy also formed part of the Grape-Nuts Robot.
  • Strong Bad's opening is a reference to the song When Doves Cry by Prince.
  • The Space Captainface song is a parody of the theme song to the 1980 Flash Gordon film, performed by Queen.
  • "He's all-the-ways having space cocktails" is possibly a reference to The Beatles song "What's the New Mary Jane", which includes the lyric "She having all the ways good contact."

Fast Forward

DVD Version

  • An alternate version of the preflight check is included as a separate Easter egg.
  • The DVD version features hidden creators' commentary. To access it, switch the DVD player's audio language selection while watching.

Commentary Transcript

(Commentary by: Mike Chapman, Strong Bad, Homestar Runner)

STRONG BAD: This email introduces my very own space progrum.

MIKE: And your other ego, Space Captainface.

STRONG BAD: Yes, "other ego" is the new term. "Alter-ego" is out. It's all other ego from now on.

MIKE: So, Space Captainface was invented for a while, right, Strong Bad? Before this email?

STRONG BAD: {overlapping} You didn't— you didn't want to put it any cartoons.

MIKE: I kept squashing it.

STRONG BAD: I came up with it a long time ago, so funny— I even had the theme song!

MIKE: And you'd come up to board meetings and be like "Oh, let's do Space Captainface this week!" Like "No, Strong Bad! Not this week."

STRONG BAD: Yeah, well, look at this fabulous filmstrip.

MIKE: I only agreed so I could do that logo. I like the logo.

STRONG BAD: Why don't we go make a t-shirt with that logo on it, Mike? I want to wear one.

MIKE: Yeah, well...

STRONG BAD: {overlapping} I'd... give it a rub.

MIKE: Yeah, I don't wanna see that.

STRONG BAD: No! {pause} "Gimme ONE more!!" Lookit those astronauts. You got— They make you do that, you know in training. They make you lift weights in like—

MIKE: In your suit.

STRONG BAD: Yeah, they make you go down to the Bally's or, the like, L.A. Fitness—

MIKE: The Crunch.

STRONG BAD: Yeah, to the gym and you have to wear it and—

MIKE: Tell me about this, uh, filmstrip. Did you have anything to do with this?

STRONG BAD: I'm gonna tell you about Ghost vs. Hamburger.

MIKE: It's a good fighting game.

STRONG BAD: It's a great fighter. {pause} That game is hard.

MIKE: Yeah, are there a lot of combos in that game?

STRONG BAD: Yeah, I got a 4, 4 x combo one time. There's a like pizza-flavored combos—

MIKE: You're missing hot girls, Strong Bad.

STRONG BAD: They look good. {slide with Strap comes up} Oh!

MIKE: That's, that's The Cheat.

STRONG BAD: {laughs} Oo, sorry, I didn't notice. {slide with "Grilled Cheese" comes up} Oh, hello.

MIKE: Man, that looks pretty good.

STRONG BAD: Maybe I can check you out later on, grillèd cheese.

MIKE: {overlapping} I always love it when we get to, uh, make food for an Easter egg or part of an email.


MIKE: {laughs} Whoa! Switched, switched it up.

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Yeah, that was on accident, actually.

MIKE: Back in the Si— Really? Forgot which character?

HOMESTAR RUNNER: I kinda forgot who I was.

MIKE: Uh, the— Seems like in the Sixties, just drinkin' and smokin' on the job—


MIKE: —was always okay, but especially in the field of space, space travel.

HOMESTAR RUNNER: {overlapping} Yeah, 'cause, you know, you were putting a man on the moon.

MIKE: It's high stress.

HOMESTAR RUNNER: If you can't relax and have a smoke and cocktail... {the filmstrip ends} Awww, that poor dog. Poor dog.

MIKE: {underneath} One word?

HOMESTAR RUNNER: I think its name is Poudog.


HOMESTAR RUNNER: That's right!



MIKE: {laughs} Poudog.

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Oo! I love these sound effects CDs.

MIKE: Yeah, we, we had a few of them.


MIKE: My brother Matt and I growing up.

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Me, me an— Me and my buddy used to make a movie called "A Lunar Space".

MIKE: Yeah, and did you use all the space sound effects?

HOMESTAR RUNNER: In mom and dad's basement.

MIKE: They definitely added a level, uh, level of legitimacy to the movies we were making.


MIKE: When weren't just making the sound effects ourselves.

HOMESTAR RUNNER: {carefully} Authenticity.

MIKE: Crickets, maybe. {Homestar agrees} Car, like traffic noises.

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Yeah, that's good, too.

MIKE: Bodies falling down stairs.


MIKE: Was that a real one?

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Yeah, that's—

MIKE: From a sound effects CD?

HOMESTAR RUNNER: That's from a CD.

MIKE: {laughs} Really?

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Yep. Ah! I remember that day. I got caught inside this sweater. And I thought I was a space mut-tant.

MIKE: Was that your sweater? Why were you— why does your sweater have arms? For, you know, two arms, two arms on it...

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Shut up. Shut up and I'm out.

MIKE: {laughs}

STRONG BAD: Oh, doodly dee. Look, this is the best theme song. It's all the ways having space cocktails with hot babe-lien girls.

MIKE: Hot '60s-looking girls. Oh, I think it was originally hot alien girls.

STRONG BAD: I think it was. Then we used that for Limozeen. Limozeen. Hmm. {at the King of Town} Get out!

Fun Facts

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