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Why do YOU need a personal time machine?

April 23rd, 2008 by Bill Corbett · 67 Comments

It’s really impractical NOT to have a personal time machine, in my opinion, so I have more reasons for needing one that I can possibly fit here. That’s why I have a long ongoing list at home.

But I update it frequently. Today I added these items:

1) So I can back to the Orange County fair in the summer of 2006 and sample this delicacy:

    Who wants Krispy Kreme sandwich? [SIC]

    Deep-fried concoction debuts at the Orange County Fair.

    The Orange County Register

    COSTA MESA — Deep-fried Snickers, Twinkies and Oreos have all had their day as the must-have food for the crowds at the Orange County Fair. But the folks at Chicken Charlie’s have just upped the ante on the food fight.The newest caloric heavyweight to hit the midway – the Krispy Kreme Chicken Sandwich – debuted tonight.

    The sandwich features a 4-ounce fried all-white meat chicken patty, topped with Swiss cheese, and nestled between a “bun” made out of a sliced Krispy Kreme Original Glazed doughnut. All served with a side of Smuckers honey.


2) To somehow — by any means possible, damn it! — prevent this from happening:


3) To go back to the middle of the 20th Century and ensure that that someone invents the personal time machine, instead of wasting their time with transistors, polio vaccines, and Slinkies. Yes, this is the neat thing-causing-itself feature of time travel, as demonstrated so elegantly in ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES. I see no logical problem with it. Do you?

4) And oh yes, kill Hitler. (Though this might depend on whether or not the time machine can also move you geographically… or at least provide a modest travel budget. I’m not made of Deutschmarks, after all.)

What will you do with your personal time machine?

The best answer gets a free Rifftrax, on me — either CLOVERFIELD or our next offering, which will be the ROUNDHAY GARDEN SCENE.*

Please keep answers to 50 words or less, since I have the attention span of a fruit fly. Entries accepted until noon EST on Friday.

(* If this turns out not to be true, then substitute whatever movie comes post-CLOVERFIELD.)


Bill, I’d be very surprised if most people don’t plead for one in order to go back in time and party pool-side with Isaac Hayes.

issac2 h

Why the belt? Because Isaac wants redundancy: elastic, cinched cotton cord, high-tensile, military-grade belt with heat-treated alloy buckle. This is the only way to ensure there will not be another mishap like that one at Lee Majors’s 4th of July pool party.

I’m just talking ’bout Isaac.

Tags: RiffTrax

67 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Chris on Apr 23, 2008 at 9:06 am

    I would do only one thing.

    Go back about 25 years, and get a Job at the passport office that gave Simon Cowell A Passport. When he came in to get one, I would prevent it from going through, Thus Preventing American Idol… and every other Reality Show that was created from it’s popularity!

  • 2 Chris D. on Apr 23, 2008 at 9:07 am

    I’d use my personal time machine to go back to some point prior to 3/31/03. I had a coupon that expired on that date for 10% off at Valvoline Instant Oil change. Still kicking myself over that one!

  • 3 Jacob_Taylor on Apr 23, 2008 at 9:24 am

    I used to have a time machine, but after having a conversation with Avi Arad about Spider-man 3, I decided it was better to just destroy it

  • 4 Bairman on Apr 23, 2008 at 9:55 am

    Don’t joke about the Slinky, man. I’ll cut you.

  • 5 Len Snart on Apr 23, 2008 at 10:03 am

    I would travel back in time and leave things for people to find. Nothing interesting mind you, just things like keys that don’t fit anything and miscellaneous socks in people’s houses. Maybe a box of “Cat Fancy” magazines in someone’s garage.


  • 6 MikeP on Apr 23, 2008 at 10:08 am

    Save Phil Hartman.

  • 7 R.A. Roth on Apr 23, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Save myself from drinking and driving and almost dying at age 18.

    When it comes to time machine wishes, I’m pure seriousness.


  • 8 Tim D on Apr 23, 2008 at 10:33 am

    I’ll need a PTM to go way, way back to the Mesozoic area, step on a blade of grass, and then hurtle myself back to the present to see if this small act would cause a chain of events over the course of the millenia that would cause Ashton Kutcher to actually grow a brain.

  • 9 Andy on Apr 23, 2008 at 10:37 am

    I’d go back to earlier this morning when I had a way better idea for this contest…

  • 10 Kleenex on Apr 23, 2008 at 10:43 am

    I’d go back ten years, sit George Lucas down and convince him he was more of a ‘big picture’ kind of guy and that he should leave writing and directing the Star Wars prequels to David Lynch. And I’d get him to cast Crispin Glover as young Obi Wan. This would save the world as we know it, or at least make it a lot weirder.

  • 11 Onil on Apr 23, 2008 at 10:45 am

    I’d go back to any random day from two yearsago and slap the donut past me is sure to be eating out of my fat face.

  • 12 nickdoh on Apr 23, 2008 at 11:14 am

    id go back in time to the recording of the cloverfield rifftrax and shake my head disapprovingly at mike during the “Ghost” line.


    go back further and just do the same on the set of “Ghost”.

  • 13 ShutterBun on Apr 23, 2008 at 11:15 am

    I would use it to travel far enough into the future to find out what idea wins this contest, then travel back far enough to beat them to the punch.

  • 14 Shawn on Apr 23, 2008 at 11:27 am

    To beat up the kids in middle school who picked on me. Who hasn’t dreamed of that? To see a twelve-year-old’s eyes water in fear as the realization sinks in that they’re about to get the mother of all indian burns, and that they could have prevented it.

    Oh, and make millions of dollars betting on sports or something.

  • 15 Tim Reilly on Apr 23, 2008 at 11:57 am

    I’d watch TV shows that aired at the same time.

    Also, whenever I go to make an electronics purchase, I’d go to the future and get it at a discount.

  • 16 Lord-z on Apr 23, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    I don’t think that I could kill anyone, even Hitler. What I would do was to make sure that he came into Artschool, then regularly travelling back and smacking him over the head when he was about to do something stupid. “Quit hitting yourself, Adolf, quit hitting yourself. Who’s your daddy?” “Ow! Sammy Davis Jr.! Ow!” “Who’s your granddaddy?” “Leopold Frankenberger! Ow!” “Are you still going to hang out with that Göering fellow?” “Hecks no, sir! I am going home to live a middleclass life as a low-level clerk in the DMV outside of Branau!” “Alright, now, what happens if you discriminate against people of different colour or religion?” “You will appear out of nowhere and smack me around all afternoon for being such a prick!” “Exactly, so don’t let me catch you being an asshole again, got it, shorty? And what did I say about that stupid moustache?” “That if I want a moustache, I should get a proper one, like Burt Reynolds.” “Alright, I will be back this time tomorrow. If I get as much as a hint of any trouble with you… Remember what happened to your right testicle?” “Oh, yes sir, sorry sir, please don’t hurt me, sir!”

  • 17 Tim Reilly on Apr 23, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    “I’d watch TV shows that aired at the same time.”

    I forgot to mention that this would require 2 TVs. Which neatly sidelines into use #2.

    And I guess another use would be to remind myself of things that I forgot so I wouldn’t forget them when I did (dood? willont do will? Tense in time travel makes my nose bleed).

  • 18 euphoriafish on Apr 23, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Traveling back in the past is so dangerous I’d only want to make small changes. I’d go back to last Saturday when I left a message for my teacher in Japanese on the whiteboard, and right after I wrote it, I’d either fix the kanji I wrote incorrectly, or just erase the whole damn thing.

  • 19 Tv Miller on Apr 23, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    Kill Hitler?! Pretty niave. If you kill Hitler, the 70’s won’t happen. Afterall, the 70’s wouldn’t have come about without WWII baby-boom, VW Beetles and Mont Blanc pens…all thanks to Hitler. WWII was the inventors generation, and technology would have slowed and then your whole time machine technology would lad tremendously. M&M’s came from WWII and god damn it if I will not see them come to forwishin’. Now I’m really upset.

  • 20 Kingtos on Apr 23, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    First of all, is this time machine in phone booth form? If so, I believe it’s purpose is for me to outfit myself with ‘futuristic’ sunglasses and go back in time in order to give the time machine(booth) to Jesus Christ, so that he may use it to get out of wacky situations, thus ensuring Christianity’s rise to dominance in our modern society.

    PS- I may have just confused myself with George Carlin and Jesus with Bill and Ted.

  • 21 Dave-o on Apr 23, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    I would have ‘incapacitated’ the guy who didnt get Fidel Castro to pitch for the Washington Senators, thus keeping him from his secondary career as Dictator of Cuba, in turn making the cold war and consequent embargos from happening between the US and Cuba, so we could enjoy the damn fine Cigars and yes peace of course!

  • 22 Fran in the Pan on Apr 23, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    I would go back and invent the bird diaper before Lorraine and Mark Moore ever had the chance. I mean, how many times have we all though, “Geez, if only I had a bird diaper, I wouldn’t have to worry about all this darned bird poo”. I would be rich, yessir, rich indeed.

  • 23 Beautiful Houndstooth on Apr 23, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    I’d go back and retake high school geometry really pay attention this time. I’m certain if I’d ever learned how to prove 2 angles are congruent (er whatever), I’d be a wealthy woman today!

  • 24 Matt B on Apr 23, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    I’d go back and due the Biff Tannen thing -i.e. bet on sports & win a bunch of money, which I’d then use to buy both Krispy Creme and Chik-Fil-A. And I’d merge them into the ultimate fast food restaurant. Mmm. Chicken, biscuits and donuts. Yum.

  • 25 Matt Rent (formerly Scooter) on Apr 23, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    one of two things:

    1) have the Governator go back to the day after the premiere of the first Terminator and have him re-enact it.

    2) take all of Einstein’s famous works. Then everyone will call someone Rent whenever they say something stupid

  • 26 Yanni on Apr 23, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    And if you kill Hitler, the Soviet Union will invade Europe, like what happened in Command and Conquer Red Alert when Einstein goes back in time and kills Hitler. Plus we wouldn’t have the Monty Python ‘Hilter’ sketch.

  • 27 edgewriter on Apr 23, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    I think I would just use it every morning when my alarm went off to get some extra sleep. I would just nudge the sleeping me over and climb back in bed.

    I don’t know what my wife would do when she woke up to five of me crouding the bed trying to ge some extra z’s at about 6:30 in the morning . . .

  • 28 edgewriter on Apr 23, 2008 at 2:46 pm


  • 29 Meredith on Apr 23, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    I’d go back to the 80’s and convince someone to make a Mr. T/Chuck Norris buddy movie, because I can’t imagine why this didn’t occur to anyone at the time. They will be cops who have to get along. There will be explosions. Many, many explosions. And other kinds of violence. It will be the greatest movie ever.

  • 30 Neb on Apr 23, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    Before one more person says “I’d kill Hitler”, please read this. The fate of the world depends on it:

    There are so many personal mistakes I’ve made, but I’m too tired to want to go back and prevent them. Rather, I’d love to go witness some of the big events in history, like the Gettysburg address, the eruption of Mount Mazama, or a Medieval visit by Haley’s Comet. I’d also just like to visit various time periods to taste the foods and see the clothes and material culture that I try to reproduce in my feeble way for various living history endeavors. Talk about the ultimate shopping trip: there are fabrics that don’t even exist anymore…woolens and velvets that we can only dream of. *sigh*

    Is everybody asleep now?


    My work is done.

  • 31 Neb on Apr 23, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    You are a true visionary. Say…who says it couldn’t happen still?!

  • 32 G-Force on Apr 23, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    I would stop those responsible for making lame sequels. Imagine how much better this world would be without Ghostbusters 2, Dumb and Dumberer, Spiderman 3, Mad Max 3, Mummy Returns, and Star Trek 5, 9, and 10.

    I would also use it to ensure that the legacy of Joey Pants is spread through out time!

  • 33 mss chii on Apr 23, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    too many to mention but i’d love one now. :) id like to go back and relive all the good times i’ve had not the bad and fix the bad ones.

  • 34 Yanni on Apr 23, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    I’d take some leading evangelicals with me and show them the process of evolution.

  • 35 OmegaRowsdower on Apr 23, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    Go back, seconds after acquiring said time machine, then take the time machine before past me got it, then go to the future and sell past time machine to future me, who would still be grieving about lost of present, then past, yet future time machine, then get future me to go to the past and meet up with my Grandmother, and make sure that Mind Controlling Brains will have no power over me in the future future
    It’d be like some time-travel-RAMA, only in the FUTURE

  • 36 Take5 on Apr 23, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    I’d make a career out of it. Go back in time, stomp a butterfly, come back to now and see what happened. Over and over and over and over and over. Then I’d write a book about it and make trillions. Or I could just put a penny in the bank and collect interest on it at the end of time. Or eat at Milliway’s with the same penny.

  • 37 QuackersnCheese on Apr 24, 2008 at 3:50 am

    Ok first the killing Hister err Hitler, sorry Nostradomian slip of the tongue, I think you did already do at some point in time. Yea Hitler just voluntarily jumped into the furnace and burned himself alive, lol my history facts suck don’t they. I think you went back in time and pushed his arse in there, so way to go hooray for Bill. As for me I would go back in time and ask my mom what she is, were, was… whatever, smoking when she came up with my real name which is Shawn btw… it’s not spelled that way though and it’s haunted me for years… Oh and I wouldn’t mind going back in time and scoring with a few cave babes assuming you could go back that far in time.


  • 38 Tork_110 on Apr 24, 2008 at 4:21 am

    Punch this guy. Take his place.

    In other words, I would go to the past to meet the Woman of the Future.

  • 39 bondfool on Apr 24, 2008 at 4:43 am

    I’d go back in time and stop the cancellation of MST3k, of course, and Arrested Development.

  • 40 Dan Coulter on Apr 24, 2008 at 5:47 am


    I don’t know if you’ve heard of the “Grizzly Burger” served by the Gateway Grizzlies in Sauget, IL. It is “a thick and juicy burger topped with sharp cheddar cheese and two slices of bacon. The burger is then placed in between each side of a Krispy Kreme Original Glazed doughnut.”

    You can go buy one of those today. No need for a time machine.

  • 41 Tim D on Apr 24, 2008 at 6:07 am

    Then again, I’d go back 5 minutes to remember what the hell I came in this room to get…

  • 42 dignan on Apr 24, 2008 at 8:47 am

    I would use the time machine every time I went to a bar, at last call, and go back a few minutes in order to be able to experience last call all over again.

  • 43 Fran in the Pan on Apr 24, 2008 at 9:00 am

    I would go back in time to invent the bird diaper, get a job as a guard at Alcatraz and blow Robert Stroud’s mind.

  • 44 mooshakes on Apr 24, 2008 at 9:10 am

    I’d step a slot machine so butterflies are never invented.

  • 45 falcon75 on Apr 24, 2008 at 10:18 am

    I’d use my personal time machine to crash into Dr. Who’s PTM..Then I’d beat him senseless, steal his kicky scarf and drop him off in some era when the English weren’t a bunch of nancy-boys..Soccer hooligans and the Queen not included in that last statement..

  • 46 Joshdg on Apr 24, 2008 at 10:28 am

    If I had a personal time machine, I would…

    …have(1) sex(2) with(3) my(4) mother(5), then(6) leave(7) immediately(8) after(9), effectively(10) becoming(11) my(12) own(13) father(14). I(15) would(16) then(17) spend(18) the(19) next(20) several(21) years(22) of(23) my(24) life(25) telling(26) everyone(27) about(28) “that(29) bastard(30) who(31) knocked(32) up(33) my(34) mother(35) and(36) left(37) her(38) with(39) a(40) kid(41), until(42) I(43) finally(44) get(45) the(46) joke(47). Hilarious(48), future(49) me(50)!

  • 47 Thorin Teague on Apr 24, 2008 at 11:48 am

    I would use my time machine to go back twenty seconds and stop myself from typ

  • 48 QuackersnCheese on Apr 24, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    wouldn’t that somehow make you dumber like in Futurama when Fry went back in time and did the ” Nasty in the Past – e ” with his grandmother?

    shudder to think as the posibilities are sickening

  • 49 edgewriter on Apr 24, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Wouldn’t it be funny if you stepped out and nothing was there but God going,
    “Dude, what are you doing here?”

  • 50 edgewriter on Apr 24, 2008 at 2:13 pm


  • 51 Livia on Apr 24, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    I would go back to the time of the dinosaurs, steal a T-rex egg and raise it back here. Assuming it imprints upon hatching, it would never attack me and I could totally ride it to school each morning.

  • 52 Joshdg on Apr 24, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    As though the joke itself weren’t enough of a burn, the fact that I have limited my own mental capacity is a double-burn.
    What can I say? I got me. That was classic.
    But don’t worry. I’ll get me back someday, when I least expect it.

  • 53 Grievous on Apr 24, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    I have to say I’d use it to go back and literally kick each hated person in history (Benedict Arnold, Hitler, Jack Velente) once in the ass. A side benefit of this being the evolution of butt callouses in the human race. Can you say “bounce to work?”

  • 54 MonkeyCheezPants on Apr 24, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    Too late! There’s a Kids in the Hall sketch based on this premise.

  • 55 MonkeyCheezPants on Apr 24, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    I would stop Bender from vaporizing the Al Gore ballots in Florida 8 years ago.

  • 56 Jack's Smirking Revenge on Apr 24, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    I would somehow prevent myself from dating the woman who would eventually become my ex-wife.

    Then I would provide my past self with some winning lottery numbers. Because while it is true that money can’t buy happiness, it CAN buy me all the things that will MAKE me happy.

  • 57 Darth Chimay on Apr 25, 2008 at 1:41 am

    You know, if I had a time machine, I’d come on to the Rifftrax blog and try to say something in the comments that got the attention of you, Mike, or Kevin. I don’t know what it would be, but it would certainly be catchy enough for Mr. Nelson or yourself or Mr. Murphy to blog about it, and perhaps even share the video I spoke of. But, alas, I haven’t created a time machine.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, my iPod is playing In the Living Years.

  • 58 MonkeyCheezPants on Apr 25, 2008 at 9:36 am

    I’d go back to the time at which major religious texts were being codified, and insert a lot of fart jokes and internet memes.

    And I’d add a prophecy about a messiah, flanked by two wisecracking robots, tested by a devil from deep underground. Thus, the only religious conflict in the world would be between the two major sects, Hodgsonists and Nelsonites, over who is the true messiah.

    Thankfully, due to my earlier tampering, the conflict will be primarily fart jokes and internet memes.

  • 59 QuackersnCheese on Apr 25, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    Or you could just buy a dog and make it wear a dino suit and say it was a T-rex it would be more cost effective or something like that.

  • 60 QuackersnCheese on Apr 25, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    And yet another example of why drugs are very bad!!

    lol j/k

    But seriously drugs are bad mmmkay!!

  • 61 QuackersnCheese on Apr 25, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Yes like that 6 foot blow up doll replica of the 40 foot woman!!!!

  • 62 QuackersnCheese on Apr 25, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    So what your really saying is your the creator of this site?

  • 63 QuackersnCheese on Apr 25, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    Yes and as his mind was blowing he would at least have a diaper on to catch all that crap spewing out!!

  • 64 Chris on Apr 26, 2008 at 10:13 am

    Do we have a Winner Yet?

  • 65 Grievous on Apr 29, 2008 at 12:19 am

    Anyone? Has a winner been announced and I’ve been oblivious? Or was the winner e-mailed privately?….attention….span….fading! AH!

  • 66 Grievous on Apr 29, 2008 at 11:51 am

    nevermind ^_^. I just saw the update about it being announced this afternoon…heh heh. I’m wasting web space

  • 67 mee on Sep 1, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    I would go back in time to 1937 with a laptop full with info about WWII, tanks, rockets, nuclear bombs, subs, jet fighters and so on. Then show that all to Hitler and then he and me would rule the world! Starting with the whole of europe and the UK in 1941.