Archive for December, 2009
Recognize the guy at left? He appears in the the Simpsons character poster and SimpsonCrazy cannot identify him (he’s just to the right of Kang). All they know for sure is that it’s not Gunter/Ernst or Chase/Pyro/Gyro. The poster only goes up to Season 9 so it’s not something from the depths of Zombie Simpsons. Whoever he is, I don’t think he has any lines or I’d have remembered him by now. Dave and Mad Jon were also unable to think of who it is.
It’s not Burns’ personal trainer from either “Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish” (he’s drawn very differently) or “Lady Bouvier’s Lover” (he’s got red hair). It’s none of the firemen from “The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons”. It’s not the blow dried weatherman from “Lisa on Ice”. I didn’t see him at the steel mill in “Homer’s Phobia”.
The closest I can think of are Tom from “Brother from the Same Planet” and Gregory the masseuse from “Homer Alone”. A quick Ctrl-F tells me that neither of them is on the character list already. Tom has the same nose, but his hair is drawn curlier (though he does have that little bit hanging down in the middle). Gregory’s hair is a little closer, but he has a different nose. Neither is a perfect match and so both are probably incorrect, but those are the closest that come to mind.
If you zoom in on SimpsonCrazy’s badass interactive poster it looks like he’s wearing matching shorts and that his shirt may be a vest. I’m stumped, anyone have any guesses?
I gotta say, I like this better than either of my guesses. The nose is the same, he actually has eyebrows, he’s got that little lick of hair in the middle. Better yet, he’s wearing a vest with no shirt underneath. The obvious problem is the color, of both the vest and the hair. But I’d agree with TSR123 that that’s the kind of thing that could get overlooked pretty easily. Michael the Nightboat guy is also NOT listed as one of the other characters. I wouldn’t go so far as to declare this completely over, but it’s pretty compelling.
1 Jan 2010 Update: I received an e-mail from Simpson Crazy and we have a winner. Apparently colors got changed for a lot of characters. Well done TSR123, you’ve been credited on the poster page (right above the character list).
“Since you get paid either way, would it be a big deal to just let my dog pass?” – Bart Simpson
“I see, rubber stamp, thank you very much, next in line, is that it?” – Emily Winthrop
“Yeah.” – Bart Simpson
“Heavens to Mergatroyd. Bart, perhaps I cling to the old ways like a well chewed shoe as the traditions I was weaned on are put to sleep or neutered one by one. But my time has not passed yet! The world does not need another college graduate who doesn’t know how to Sit!” – Emily Winthrop
Happy Birthday Tracey Ullman!
Lists like this one, of different famous actors and which simpsons character they could play, seem to come along every so often. (I linked to one a while back that was apparently taken from here. The one I originally linked to didn’t have the names, the original one does.) Of this list I’m particularly fond of Jodie Foster as Ms. Hoover, Joe Pantoliano as the sarcastic guy, and Jon Hamm (great picture of him with a five o’clock shadow) as Lenny.
As part of the promotion for his book Ortved went on Largehearted Boy and created a playlist of songs that are, even in some small way, related to his book and the show. Some highlights:
The Damned "Jet Boy Jet Girl"
The Simpsons story really begins with Matt Groening in LA in the very early 80s punk scene. This song, originally by Elton Motello, perfectly captures the subversiveness and irreverence of Groening’s early work: it’s a punk track about a gay love triangle whose chorus, "oo-hoo-oo-oo; he gave me head," mocks those 60s surfer tunes which were, at one point, considered rebellious. It’s gender-bending, loud, and fun – everything those people who didn’t actually live in the 80s enjoy thinking it was like.
The show was indeed very subversive in a way that it no longer is. That was a big part of what made it successful and the lack of it is a part of why it sucks now.
Rolling Stones "Yesterdays Papers"
I’m ending with a Rolling Stones track because, as John Alberti says in my book, "Maybe The Simpsons have stretched it into the Rolling Stones because the Rolling Stones are so corporatized now it’s really hard to imagine that they were ever subversive or edgy or countercultural. It seems like they’re beating a dead horse to pick up a paycheck," which I think is a very accurate description, if you watch any of the current episodes. The Stones may be my greatest rock band in history, just as The Simpsons are probably the greatest TV show ever produced – which is why it is especially sad to watch them both ride so ingloriously, not into the sunset, but towards the bank.
I understand and largely agree with that, but there’s an important difference. The Rolling Stones are a bunch of guys getting paid and cashing in, no doubts there. But they’re also the ones making the decisions. Whereas Zombie Simpsons, while it pays the cast and some of the writers extremely well, continues not because they want it to, but because it makes too damned much money for a faceless corporation.
Anyway, the whole thing is worth a read.
“Oh I feel for you my child and, I’d like you help you . . . ahem.” – Rev. Lovejoy
There was some hubbub over the long holiday weekend because L’Osservatore Romano, an official Vatican newspaper, said some nice things about The Simpsons. This doesn’t particularly surprise me, Zombie Simpsons has become so institutionalized that even the world’s oldest surviving organization no longer finds it threatening. That kind of approval is a pretty damning indictment for a program that found its original popularity in an explicitly anti-authority message.
But I was curious as to what exactly the Catholic Church found praiseworthy and so I tried to find the original article. It wasn’t on the hilariously primitive (and incomplete) official website, but there was an e-mail link to request articles. So I wrote a very polite and friendly e-mail requesting either the text of the article or just a link to where the text was found. I figured that they had it easily available and would probably send it to me and that I’d have to say something nice about the Catholic Church for a change. My cynicism doesn’t fail me very often, but I do enjoy it when it does.
Instead of the article or a link I received . . . an order form – literally. The e-mail I got back told me that the article in question was only published in Italian, but if I would like a copy I could have one for the low price of just eight Euros (Visa and MasterCard most definitely accepted). Setting aside the fact that they want to charge me eight Euros for an article in a language I don’t read, there’s the bigger rip off of asking eight Euros for a copy and paste job. It’s not like some hooded figure will have to descend into the archives by torchlight to retrieve this, it was published (electronically!) a week ago. Pointing me to the article would’ve taken the exact same amount of time as copying and pasting the order form. And they’re not asking for some trivial amount of money either, eight Euros is half a week’s earnings for half of humanity.
I don’t care in the least whether or not anyone wants to believe in a higher power, but organized religion is humanity’s longest running scam and they give themselves away through sheer pettiness.
“What you ladies don’t understand is that Blanche is a delicate flower being tramped by an uncouth lout who . . . uhh, forget it! Just strike the sets, clear the stage! This production is-” – Llewellyn Sinclair
“Homey, I didn’t get the part. You were right, outside interests are stupid.” – Marge Simpson
“Wait a minute!” – Llewellyn Sinclair
“Uh-huh, I’ll come home right away. Alright, I’ll pick up a bucket of fried chicken, extra skin, rolls, chocolate cream parfait . . .” – Marge Simpson
After seeing Joseph’s work online, John and his wife were particularly interested in purchasing “Il Momento Della Morte” (The Moment of Death). Mr. Frink lives in LA, and was visiting New York during the holidays, so a studio visit was arranged. Immediately after his airplane landed at JFK, Frink, along with his wife and three children, rented a van and stopped by Cavalieri’s studio in the east village of Manhattan. Here he viewed all seven of the Missing Episode panels, and decided on this one. He will bring it to LA, ﬁrst to display in his ofﬁce then move to his home.
Bravo Mr. Frink. By the way, “Il Momento Della Morte” is this one:
“Herb, let me give you the grand tour. This is one of our many light switches, it functions in both the on and off mode. On, off, on, off . . .” – Homer Simpson
“Homer, he knows how to work a light switch.” – Marge Simpson
“Oh yeah, right. I don’t know what this switch does.” – Homer Simpson
Merry Christmas and have a great 1985 from the Dead Homer Society!
“Hey, hey. How about that weather out there? Woah! That was the caller from hell. Well, hot dog! We have a weiner!” – DJ 3000
“Man, that thing’s great!” – Bill
“Don’t praise the machine!” – Marty
Recently I discovered that one of the radio stations in my listening area has converted to a DJ 3000 format. There are no DJs, all the music is alt/pop rock from the mid 90′s ’till now, and the commercials are only 1 minute long and always followed by the Computer saying something like “That was short, now back to the music..” or “92.3, enjoy.” There is no mindless blabber or stupid callers and the music is from my angsty years, so it fast became my favorite station. Just wanted to point that out. Sorry Bill and Marty…Thanks DJ 3000.
Morgan Spurlock was on a conference call with reporters recently to help promote his special. Wired wrote it up. The list of past guest stars who will be featured in the special now includes John Waters (Homer’s Phobia), Sting (Radio Bart) and Jerry Springer (Treehouse of Horror IX). Other than that there isn’t much new information.
On a funnier and considerably more crass note, FOX will be slathering the color yellow over every available surface starting after New Year’s:
For the week beginning January 3, graphical elements across Fox properties will turn yellow in honor of Matt Groening’s iconic characters. That means on-air graphics, Fox’s Web sites, social-network pages and special on-air promos — all in yellow, along with a range of other stunts (such as local Fox news anchors wearing yellow ties).
I love the bit about the anchors’ ties. One assumes that noose color alone won’t be enough. Presumably they will also be ordered to have some of their on-air banter be Simpsons related, or possibly to produce a couple of local news-ish fluff pieces as well. (Coming up after the break, meet Homer, Marge, Bart and Lisa . . . hamsters at a local elementary school!)
This is the best part though (“Earley” is Joe Earley, a FOX marketing executive):
"For a show to hit its 20th anniversary in today’s universe is such a feat, and it still has such a resonance in the zeitgeist," Earley said. "The show has viewers who have viewed it for three generations. Besides, it’s such a creative property that it’s fun to come up with ideas for it."
Excuse me, but “universe”, “resonance” and “zeitgeist”, aren’t these just buzzwords that dumb people use to sound important?