Where is this quote from?
December 18, 2003 10:14 PM   Subscribe

"As the sun sets slowly in the west, we wave goodbye and goodnight to our friends on the tropical island..."

I started saying this to my daughter as I dim the lights at bedtime - and I'm *sure* that it comes from some cheesy TV show or movie that I used to watch when I was a kid. But for the life of me I can't figure out what. My brother looked at me like I was nuts when I asked him...

The "As the sun sets..." phrase is all over the web. Can anyone out there help cool my fevered brain? Does anyone know where that phrase comes from?
posted by jasper411 to Writing & Language (11 answers total)
sounded familiar to me, too.

this is the closest i could find.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 11:27 PM on December 18, 2003

forget to add that since that quote is from a tarantino movie, it almost certainly originates from a t.v. show. but i'm stumped at what that might be.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 11:28 PM on December 18, 2003

Most of it was in a MASH episode...

and ends with aloha 5 O'Clock Charlie
posted by drezdn at 12:09 AM on December 19, 2003

I was wrong, this is the MASH quote...

"So as he flies, 'The Blue Lady of the Skies,' into the sunset, we say 'Aloha, 5 O'Clock Charlie' and return to our duties."
posted by drezdn at 12:11 AM on December 19, 2003

Sounds Gilliganny to me, but my TV-pop culture cred is suffering these days, so who knows?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:54 AM on December 19, 2003

It's originally from a series of 1940's technicolor travel documentaries called "Fitzpatrick Travel Talk". They were shown before the feature movie. Occasionally you can catch one on Turner Classic Movies. The visuals are pretty amazing, though the narration tends towards mid-century colonial.
posted by pomegranate at 5:11 AM on December 19, 2003

I'd always assumed that all contemporary versions of this were basically send-ups of the cheesy short travelogues that movie theatres of my childhood frequently used to show before the main feature (at least in my town, in the late 50s/early 60s).

They almost always visited some tropical paradise, and showed us the "natives" (usually dark-skinned and *invariably* simple, cheerful, and friendly). There was often footage of hijinks involving monkeys and coconuts, accompanied by comic "wah-waaah" trombone music. And they would almost always close with a long shot of the lagoon, with the announcer intoning some line very like the one you quote.

These used to also be shown sometimes on TV as filler when a movie ran short, or in my elementary school classrooms to keep us quiet when a teacher had to be out of the room. There must be dozens of them, come to think of it, mouldering in a vault of old films somewhere...
posted by Kat Allison at 5:13 AM on December 19, 2003

It was also evoked by Tarantino in True Romance, as said by Christian Slater: "As the sun sets slowly in the west we bid a fond farewell to all the friends we've made... and, with a touch of melancholy, we look forward to the time when we will all be together again."
posted by ed at 5:46 AM on December 19, 2003

There's also the Spike Jones parody of the line, from his cover of the Hawaiian War Chant: As the sun pulls away from the shore, and our boat sinks slowly in the west…
posted by DrJohnEvans at 6:29 AM on December 19, 2003

Now that I'm at work and have plenty of time and a T1 line, I can research the Fitzpatrick travelogues a little more. You can buy some here or here or here. If you go to Turner Classic Movies and search for "traveltalk", you can see two or three of the movies online. Unfortunately, the line in question is not available - I think he used it in his travelogue on Polynesia.
posted by pomegranate at 6:53 AM on December 19, 2003

Pom and Kat -

You guys are awesome - I think that's *exactly* where I remember that line from!!

Yay ask.metafilter!
posted by jasper411 at 10:27 AM on December 19, 2003

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