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The Cheese-Time Continuum

August 30th, 2008 by Mike Nelson · 84 Comments

As a child I suffered through a series of recurring nightmares during which a small blob of congealed milk fat with matchstick legs and a hideous carrot-like nose would dance horribly and sing songs lauding cheese. With the aid of recently-developed nightmare capturing software, I am able to recreate them for your enjoyment.

Why? Why “Timer”? What, I beg of you, is the connection between cheese and time? Doesn’t every snack (e.g. Combos, jerky, fried crickets) exist in time? Cheese, as far as I can see, has no special claim in this regard — so again, why Timer?

What? Put ice cubes in a bowl and add cauliflower, celery sticks stuffed with cheese? How is that accomplished? Then add olives? What the hell is the result, and is it even conceivable that a kid would eat it? Should eating it even be attempted by anyone of any age? Do you eat the ice cubes, too? What is this?


Tags: RiffTrax

84 responses so far ↓

  • 1 justhesh on Aug 30, 2008 at 11:42 am

    “Time for Timer” is the new “No springs!”

  • 2 Chris on Aug 30, 2008 at 11:44 am

    OH … MY … LORD. …. I’m am going to have scary nightmares tonight …

  • 3 Avy on Aug 30, 2008 at 11:46 am

    O_O” -flees-

  • 4 euphoriafish on Aug 30, 2008 at 11:56 am

    Isn’t it more like “No Springs” is the new “Hanker for a hunk of cheese?” I mean, depending on when you grew up and which you saw first in your lifetime… MSTie fandom vs. childhood experience… it boggles the mind.

  • 5 euphoriafish on Aug 30, 2008 at 11:58 am

    And I always thought Timer was a lemon. Like Mr. Peanut, but lemon-y. Didn’t realize he was supposed to be cheese. I guess I wasn’t the most alert kid during the Saturday morning cartoons.

  • 6 Courtney on Aug 30, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    If I make it through life without being turned into a banana by an anthropomorphic ball of cheese, I’m going to count it as a win.

  • 7 justhesh on Aug 30, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    And how do you even MAKE a banana, any way?

  • 8 Insert Coin(s) to Continue on Aug 30, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Who needs ice cream and jelly beans when you have rock-hard, frozen olives?

  • 9 Krepta on Aug 30, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    Why is he called Timer? And what the hell is he? I have the answer… but you may not like it. Timer is in fact an anthropomorphic representation of your CIRCADIAN CLOCK. Thus the name.

    The last two generations are only aware of him as an unexplained presence during Saturday morning cartoons, but he made his debut in a TV special in which he took two kids for a ride inside their obese, chain-smoking uncle’s body to show them how much damage he’d done to himself over the years. Then he moved inside Little Red Riding Hood’s head for some reason. Who knows how Timer’s mind works.

  • 10 RemmieBarrow on Aug 30, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    The School House Rock kids can kick Timer’s ass!

  • 11 Erin B on Aug 30, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    DAMN YOU MIKE!!!!!!!! 20 years of therapy and I was just getting over those nightmares!!!!!! I’m sending you the bill!!!!!!!..LOL Oh my Lord! What’s next The GiggleSnort Hotel?…LOL

  • 12 Charlie W on Aug 30, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    For some reason I hunger for death and ice cubes.

  • 13 R.A. Roth on Aug 30, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    Goofy and peculiar as a rabbit French kissing a cactus, Timer is a timeless example of the blob character as an extension of 20th century Renaissance man, REO Speedwagon groupie and something one might scrap off of their teeth in the morning.


  • 14 Erin B on Aug 30, 2008 at 4:19 pm


  • 15 Erin B on Aug 30, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    I never knew what he was other than scary! I was always afraid to take his dietary advice for fear of growing up to look like him….

  • 16 Ben on Aug 30, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    Take the cheese, Mike. Take it deep. The cheese stands alone. The cheese stands alone. Hi-ho, the derry-o. The cheese stands alone.

    Come, Mike. You are one with the cheese now.

  • 17 Ra-chan on Aug 30, 2008 at 6:07 pm


  • 18 Ben on Aug 30, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    On another demented note, if cheese has something to do with time, does that mean that Dr. Who is a Time Lord…and also made of cheese? Is it further possible then that every time he regenerates, he becomes a new form of cheese? Brie, Camembert, and Roquefort (the King of Cheese)? That would make the Tardis a giant blue cracker box…hmm.

  • 19 Rob T Firefly on Aug 30, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    In practice, it turns out that a slice of swiss between two Ritz crackers is a woefully inadequate wheel for my wagon. I may as well be using Firestone tires.

  • 20 Kzinistzerg on Aug 30, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    Actually, while the moon is not made out of cheese, black holes are. Thus, space-time is inextricably inked to cheese.

    Good god, did I just type that?

  • 21 jason on Aug 30, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    I remember when an episode of Family Guy had a cameo from that creepy thing…

  • 22 Erin B on Aug 30, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    Dr Who, Black holes and cheese….This is the stuff the next major motion picture should be made out of…..Star Cheese! The next generation! Watch as James Cheese Kirk puts the evil Dr Who and his legion of carrot sticks on ice! Coming to a theater near this Christmas.

  • 23 jason on Aug 30, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    Oh, yeah, and his name isn’t ‘Timer’- that’s the name of the short itself- on the Family Guy episode Peter says his name (I forgot what it is).
    It looks like it was animated by the same people who animated the Pink Panther cartoons…

  • 24 Guin on Aug 30, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    I’m surprised nobody’s explored the fact that Timer-the-assumed-cheese is extolling cannibalism (i.e. ‘hankering after a hunk of cheese”).

    And the obvious hit snack craze that olive-pops will be, of course.

  • 25 Amanda on Aug 30, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    That is too funny.
    I remember Timer.
    (although, I didn’t know what he was. congealed milk fat? oh, that’s lovely.)
    The Timer clip I recall most fondly was the one where he sang about pouring juice into icetrays and inserting toothpicks.
    We would do that…mostly using Tang.
    Never say no to Tang, kids.
    Growing boys need Tang.
    (ah, that never gets old…even if I am a girl)

  • 26 Slade Rockfist on Aug 31, 2008 at 1:26 am

    This is one of those things that I’d completely forgotten about, but saw SO many times long ago that watching it is a completely comfortable and refreshing experience, like seeing an old friend…

  • 27 justhesh on Aug 31, 2008 at 2:14 am

    No, he is named Timer. But it was animated by Depatie-Freleng (Pink Panther).

  • 28 justhesh on Aug 31, 2008 at 2:18 am

    Next, Bill will discuss the blatant homo eroticism of Captain O.G. Readmore and Kevin will lecture on the suicidal tendencies of the Bill from Capitol Hill.

  • 29 justhesh on Aug 31, 2008 at 2:19 am

    Spring Fever is much older than Timer.

  • 30 The Tingler on Aug 31, 2008 at 2:37 am

    Aren’t Wagon Wheels already a snack? And are totally non-Cheese related?

  • 31 The Tingler on Aug 31, 2008 at 2:41 am

    ALL THE KID WANTED WAS A BANANA! Something totally healthy and not that cheese-stuffed mess the evil marketing gimmick wanted him to eat!

  • 32 MST3Kelly on Aug 31, 2008 at 8:07 am

    Timer vs. Fruit Pie the Magician vs. Twinkie the Kid.

    get the napkins.

  • 33 Neb on Aug 31, 2008 at 8:14 am

    I remember that show. Wasn’t there a ridiculously speedy glacier involved somewhere? I remember that “cheese” spot, too. Or, rather, I’d tried to forget it. My legal representative will be contacting your legal representative, Mr. Nelson. Mental anguish and all that.

  • 34 Mr. Slick on Aug 31, 2008 at 8:39 am


    Eating all that cheese… yeah Mike he’s gonna be in you for awhile and it’s going to be a slow process getting him out!

  • 35 Mr. Slick on Aug 31, 2008 at 8:41 am

    May I suggest Willy Wonka to referee the match.

  • 36 suzanne on Aug 31, 2008 at 8:42 am

    Can I borrow your nightmare capturing software? I need to show my cousin what her copy of The Ewok Adventure did to me.

  • 37 Invisible Cracker Mom on Aug 31, 2008 at 8:56 am

    I did a search on YouTube for food creature cartoon type commercials of the past, and found this old McDonald’s advert. It tells the tale of the evil Grimace- who looks disturbingly like a mound of animated fecal matter- stealing all of the cups, so no sugary beverages can be enjoyed. It stars a very young Jodie Foster, who has one line: “no shakes.”
    I also remember with fondness a cartoon called “The Point” that featured the music of Harry Neilson and Timer-like animation.

  • 38 Invisible Cracker Mom on Aug 31, 2008 at 9:03 am

    Apologies- “Nilsson.” Rhymes with “Schmillsson.”

  • 39 Invisible Cracker Mom on Aug 31, 2008 at 9:07 am

    For fun, here’s “Me and My Arrow,” from The Point, with Ringo Starr narrating. The clip is in bad shape, like an ancient kinescope. But what a sweet little song. Ah, youth.

  • 40 Erin B on Aug 31, 2008 at 9:34 am

    Aaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrgh! The nightmares!!!!!! All though I never remembered Grimace being evil… Maybe just misunderstood. Birdie, Grimace, Fry Kids, Mayor McCheese, Big Mac,Hamburgler, the Mcnuggets, And of course Ronald….I think they were slipping LCD in the happy meals just so we loved and understood it all……

  • 41 Laughing Sal on Aug 31, 2008 at 10:34 am

    And think of all the hydrogenated fats that my generation (post-Boomers) ingested while the cartoons made the cakes etc. containing this stuff seem harmless and friendly- even GOOD FOR YOU.
    If I’m not mistaken, there are nearly 500 calories in one Hostess fruit pie. That’s a lot for one little handful of sweet goo and sugar-covered crust. As a kid, the Berry flavor was a coveted treat.

  • 42 Laughing Sal on Aug 31, 2008 at 10:37 am

    A team of board-certified cardiologists should also attend.

  • 43 Erin B on Aug 31, 2008 at 11:26 am

    OY! I remember that! Here’s another trippy fantasy world offered to kids. The Great Space Coaster with some of your favorite characters, Gary Gnu, Gorilla, Birdie, Roy Fran , Danny….Oh the reoccuring trips….(o)..(O)

  • 44 Erin B on Aug 31, 2008 at 11:26 am

  • 45 NavarezElectro on Aug 31, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    Don’t forget the terrible magic of Sid and Marty Krofft. “The Banana Splits” have turned part of my brain to psychedelic mush forever.

  • 46 Erin B on Aug 31, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    Of course if all these didn’t want to make you staple your eyes to a cactus, The land of the lost and HR Puffinstuff surely would have driven you overboard!

  • 47 Darth Chimay on Aug 31, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    You know, for those of us who are intolerant of the lactose, this is one of the most evil cartoon characters ever made. Yeah, I saw you inside me Timer, but you didn’t show what happens when I ingest you and you aren’t broken down inside my gut due to a lack of enzymes, did you? You didn’t show what happens a few hours after ingesting you when I’m on the toilet, crying? DID YOU?!?!?

    And, as for the swallowing and the protein… I’m sure there’s a joke in there somewhere…

  • 48 Erin B on Aug 31, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Wow! Now there was an image I was waiting to visualize!..LOL

  • 49 Libby on Aug 31, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    Did ABC think scary cartoons was the way to get through to kids? I guess so…here’s another…

  • 50 Nanobots on Aug 31, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    There was a time I loved the Banana Splits. And yet surprisingly, my parents didn’t disown me.

    “Four bananas make a bunch, and so do many more”. That’s the kind of math that’s easy to follow.

  • 51 MST3Kelly on Aug 31, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    that was creepy in so many ways- but ‘eat something that’s HARD’ was the part that qualified as true nightmare fuel.
    that one animated guy on the right with the big pouf of blonde hair reminded me a little of someone- oh yes. TV’s Frank.

  • 52 Amanda on Aug 31, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    oh, wow…not only do I remember that cartoon, Libby…I just found myself singing along to it.
    And to Great Space Coaster, too.
    (I think I just scared myself a little.)
    It’s really great how I can remember lyrics, verbatim, to something I haven’t seen in 20 years…
    yet ask me who the 10th president was and I’d be like, ‘uhhhhhh’.

  • 53 norgavue on Aug 31, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Notice it was done by ABC. That could mean that it means all a bunch of crap. still that was frightning. Thanks mike thanks a lot

  • 54 Erin B on Aug 31, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Poor Mike. I bet he is sorry he got this subject started. Sorry Mike…..:o*

  • 55 Laughing Sal on Sep 1, 2008 at 4:05 am

    And thus was demonstrated the terrible powers of cartoon Cheese.

    Well done, Mr. Nelson.

  • 56 Marty (Gromit) on Sep 1, 2008 at 8:23 am

    Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!

    Why must this blog keep torturing us by dredging up long dead TV memories?? It’s torture I say, TOURURE!!!

    More bacon! Less cheese!

  • 57 Ryan on Sep 1, 2008 at 10:11 am

    Don’t you mean TORCHA!

  • 58 Laughing Sal on Sep 1, 2008 at 10:14 am

    And mmmmm- raw, icey chunks of every kid’s favourite treat: cauliflower.
    I’ll take the teaspoon of cod liver oil, please.

  • 59 Laughing Sal on Sep 1, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Or something that appears before your eyes if you drank the grown-ups punch by mistake at a brunch in Laurel Canyon.

  • 60 NavarezElectro on Sep 1, 2008 at 10:19 am

    He has the impish charm of an animated gall bladder that has spent some time pickled in formalin.

  • 61 NavarezElectro on Sep 1, 2008 at 10:24 am

    Guess what- Tang had their own animated blob-beings atop spindly legs. They can exist on the lunar surface and speak in New York accents.

  • 62 NavarezElectro on Sep 1, 2008 at 10:28 am

    Cheese and bacon- yum!

  • 63 NavarezElectro on Sep 1, 2008 at 10:32 am

    Then- then was the black monolith in 2001- made of- of

    “my god- it’s full of CHEESE!”

  • 64 BlackIrish on Sep 1, 2008 at 10:41 am

    I think it’s fun, reveling in the pop culture dementia of a generation’s Zeitgeist.

  • 65 NavarezElectro on Sep 1, 2008 at 10:45 am

    Mike started it!

  • 66 NavarezElectro on Sep 1, 2008 at 10:48 am

    Can the Daleks squirt their enemies with spray cheese?

  • 67 MST3Kelly on Sep 1, 2008 at 10:54 am

    you could perambulate wearing sneakers with a springy insert of port-wine flavored cheese.

  • 68 Erin B on Sep 1, 2008 at 11:15 am

    Yeah there ya go blame Mike! Next we’ll be lynching him for the droughts and earthquakes destroying our villages….BOOOOOO…Oh …My bad…

  • 69 Spookette on Sep 1, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    Is it sad that I found the thought of a cracker box Tardis and a cheese Doctor utterly awesome?

  • 70 R.A. Roth on Sep 1, 2008 at 12:54 pm


    Formalin? Are you a professional embalmer or just in your spare time?


  • 71 Ben on Sep 1, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Hmm…A Dalek in “The Blues Brothers” as Elwood Blues. “Did you get me my cheez whiz, boy?” “I have your cheez whiz…bbrrrrzzzttt”

    I’m still wrestling with what the Doctor’s companions really are then…maybe crackers? What kind of cracker would Turlough be then?

  • 72 Ben on Sep 1, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    That would make it Velveeta: The Cheese That Cannot Die. Only Velveeta could survive since the dawn of man.

  • 73 RifftraxIsForever on Sep 1, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    was there a serious cheese deficiency in kid’s diets back then? SERIOUSLY! and what the heck was with the banana thing? Is this a dark parable of how, without cheese, children would slowly turn into fruit?

  • 74 Ben on Sep 1, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    The Banana Splits are coming back:

  • 75 NavarezElectro on Sep 1, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    That’s just my Hammer Films damage.

    Unless perhaps you need something embalmed…

  • 76 Mr. Slick on Sep 1, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    No one can truely know your pain except those who suffered as you have. Be strong!

  • 77 RifftraxIsForever on Sep 2, 2008 at 5:39 am

    Also I could see an awesome ultimate cheese death match between the Kraft Mac and Cheese dinosaur, the Cheetos Cheetah, Jar Jar Binks (he’s a big hunk of CGI cheese isn’t he?) and Timer.

  • 78 Beatnik Samurai on Sep 2, 2008 at 7:30 am

    It took my psyche decades of hard work to suppress the memory of those spots. Thanks for undoing it all, Mr. Nelson.

    Hey, while you’re at it, why don’t you throw an old episode of “Big John, Little John” up there so I can experience a complete psychotic break?

  • 79 Amanda on Sep 2, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    I kind of, sort of remember that commercial…but not Grape Tang.
    (the accents are just too great)

  • 80 Heather on Sep 2, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    The Cheetos Cheetah has retired from the Cheese Cage Match racket and taken up coaching. They would all be defeated by his protégé Felicia Day in her element… the laundromat.


  • 81 Brian O. on Sep 3, 2008 at 7:38 am

    Ewwww! That’s a disgusting word… Perambulate.

    TMI, TMI.

  • 82 Brian O. on Sep 3, 2008 at 7:39 am

    Ralph Nader did a book about that once, “Unsafe at Any Spread”.

  • 83 RifftraxIsForever on Sep 3, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    Oh my god!!! Ive never seen this and I am thoroughly disturbed by the fact that Chester Cheeto may start showing up out of nowhere and tempting me to do evil!!!

  • 84 emily on Oct 8, 2008 at 4:49 am

    i vaguely remember these. now i know it wasn’t just a nightmare.