Archive for June, 2010


Reading Digest: Detailed Analysis Edition

Burns' Heir3

“Look, a bird has become petrified and lost its sense of direction.” – C.M. Burns
“I think it’s a rock, sir.” – Mr. Smithers
“We’ll see what the lab has to say about that.” – C.M. Burns

This week’s post is bookended by long analyses of two separate episodes, “Rosebud” and “22 Short Stories About Springfield”.  In between those, there’s a fad of which I was unaware, Simpsons takes on famous photos, some usage, and my own (mildly) detailed analysis of a very lazy essay about teevee dads. 


All Homer Needs Is Love – An oddly formal essay comparing Season 5’s “Rosebud” to its source material, Citizen Kane.  Long story short, Homer is capable of love, Burns and Kane are not. 

The Simpsons do iconic photos – Pretty much what it says, stills from the show that match famous photographs.  Sadly, there’s some Zombie Simpsons here, but not much, and on the whole it’s quite neat. 

Grandpa Simpson gets a writing gig – Excellent usage.

Guess What I’ve Got – More caption fun with Mr. Burns and the mystery box.

Today’s Newest Sign of the Apocalypse: Silly Bandz – This illustrates the stupidity of a fad I had not heard of with YouTube of Homer, Herb and the drinking bird.

Burn Down the Houston Tire Fire – Some of the follies of the city of Houston entertainingly examined through some of the city of Springfield’s. 

Where And What To Watch – It’s not claiming to be a quote, but it’s a bit off:

Kathe Donovan was reportedly on the short list for LT Gov. but she did not get it…just in case you have been living in cave. On Mars. With your eyes closed. And and your fingers in your ears ( not my joke, actually – credit Sideshow Bob’s brother Cecil from an episode of the The Simpsons )

That’s moderately good usage.  For the record, the actual quote is, “Goodness, I had no idea!  For you see, I have been on Mars for the last decade, in a cave, with my eyes shut, and my fingers in my ears.”

Quote: Burns On Work – This is blog – Wage Slave Revolt – about the stupidities of modern American toil.  This post is just the quote form Burns before he decides to build robot workers in “Treehouse of Horror II”.  Excellent usage. 

Army Preps ‘Unblinking Eye’ Airship for Afghanistan – This has basically nothing to do with Simpsons.  The Army is getting itself three long endurance surveillance blimps, and since they stay aloft for so long the guy from Northrop Grumman used the term “unblinking eye”.  The Army is already very busy “crossing the desert”, but when will we stop pussyfooting around and bring the “Paddling of the Swollen Ass” to Afghanistan? 

Changing roles of TV fathers – I didn’t know they still let people use canards this freely.  I mean, this is hacktacular to many powers of ten:

After the Vietnam War and Watergate scandal, American idealism was breaking down and so were our father figures.

Yowza.  You don’t even need to be a professional writer to be embarrassed by that sentence, as a human being you should just naturally feel shame for something so utterly vacuous.  The rest of the article is scarcely better, tracing a long and meandering line through dimly remembered pop culture from the 1950s through today.  Bor-ing.  Also, have you ever actually watched these shows?:

“The Simpsons” started a wave of deplorable, idiot dads (looking at you, “Family Guy”) who need more mothering by their wives than their kids. Homer Simpson (D’oh!) was more often seen drinking, belching and tripping up rather than doing any real parenting. Likewise, Al Bundy on “Married With Children” was another anti-dad who would rather be anywhere else than with his family.

"It used to be that father knew best, and then we started to wonder if he knew anything at all," says Matt Roush, senior television critic at TV Guide Magazine. "Dads became bumbling fools and the butts of jokes."

The point, you have missed it.  Family Guy did indeed get its start as a low rent Simpsons clone, but both Al Bundy and Homer Simpson were direct responses to the teevee dads of yore.  Their genesis had nothing to do with how America treats or views its father figures, they were created to satirize cliche ridden sitcom dads.  And it’s not like Al and Homer were the only sitcom dads on the air at the time; the late 80s and early 90s were rife with regular old family sitcoms from the anodyne “Growing Pains” (seven seasons) to slightly irregular fare like “Major Dad” (four seasons) and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” (six seasons).  Hell, those were the years of “Alf” (four seasons) and his relatable human family.  Each of those programs had cookie cutter teevee dads, and none of them is mentioned in this shallow and stupid article. 

Homer Simpson – Sleeping – Use Firefox?  Like those “personas” that act basically as skins?  Here’s one of Homer sleeping. 

Marge Simpson VS. Troll : Bad Hair Contest – This has YouTube of Marge taking Bart’s Troll doll.  More importantly there’s this:

Then Alex showed me this video, :D makes me like the Simpsons, I’m more of a Futurama fan.

This is the damage that Zombie Simpsons does.  Another self identified Futurama fan who (by all appearances) has not seen Season 6’s “Bart’s Girlfriend”.  Among it’s many brilliances, that’s the episode that gave us Willy and the wee turtles, the “Probably misses his old glasses” thing where Homer calmly contemplates the murder of his own son, and, of course, Scotchtoberfest. 

The Curse of Monty Burns – Evaluating the stats from the 1992 MLB season of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant ringers. 

Simpsons Classics: 22 Short Films about Springfield – This is from No Pun Intended and deserves its own post, but I just never got to it this week and it’s my best chance to end with someone else ragging on Zombie Simpsons.  Besides, I’ve never read Ulysses and the only thing I know about Berlin  Alexanderplatz is that they made a really long movie out of it.  (And I learned that from The Critic.)  In what I assume is a meta-wink to the episodic nature of the source materials, Tim has broken his piece into smaller pieces so that the footnoting scheme restarts almost every paragraph.  But don’t let that deter you, the system works well and is very readable:

They are very static characters, and there are very few scenes that feature Moe but not Homer, just like there are few scenes in which we see Milhouse but not Bart. They will get the occasional one-liner at the opening or close of a scene, but largely, these secondary et al. characters are there to interact with Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and even Maggie. I mean, the Simpsons even appeared in Wiggum P.I. and The Love-matic Grampa in “Simpsons Spin-off Showcase.”*,**

*Our Phil Hartman retrospective sadly did not include what I think may be my favorite Troy McClure line ever: “Spin-off! Is there any word more thrilling to the human soul?”

**In fact, this is related to one of my BIG pet peeves with later episodes of the show, in which the Simpsons play an unrealistically large part in the lives of other Springfieldianites.

Co-sign me on that last part.  About the only thing he doesn’t mention is the Frink bit at the end, which is funny on its own, but also reinforces the fact that there really isn’t enough time to tell all the stories.  This is not a short post, but it was a very pleasant read. 


Quote of the Day

Mr. Plow1

“She’ll go three hundred hectares on a single tank of kerosene.” – Crazy Vaclav
“What country is this car from?” – Homer Simpson
“It no longer exists.” – Crazy Vaclav


Look on My Works, Ye Funny, And Despair!

Secrets of a Successful Marriage2

“It’s those TV networks, Marge, they won’t let me.  One quality show after another, each one fresher and more brilliant than the last!  If they only stumbled once!  Just gave us thirty minutes to ourselves!  But they won’t, they won’t let me live!” – Homer Simpson

Jeff Wysaski writes a blog called “Pleated-Jeans”.  He put up a list of The 10 Best TV Shows Within TV Shows and, quite justly, “Itchy & Scratchy” is number one.  There’s plenty of good YouTube at the link, including a ninety second montage of several of Scratchy’s demises.  Some of the other examples include “Terrance and Philip” from South Park, “All My Circuits” from Futurama, and “Mock Trial with J. Reinhold” from Arrested Development.  He also lists some other fake shows from the same real show, for example:

Other honorable mentions from Arrested Development: El Amor Prohibido, Scandalmakers and Wrench (featuring Detective Frank Wrench)


Other honorable mentions for 30 Rock: Gold Case, MILF Island and Bitch Hunter

Here’s the one for The Simpsons:

Other honorable mentions for the Simpsons: The Krusty the Klown Show, Eye on Springfield, Knightboat (the Crime-Solving Boat), Radioactive Man and The Happy Little Elves.

Naturally, that’s more than any of the other shows listed.  And while this list makes no claims to comprehensiveness, is there any doubt that The Simpsons blows everything else away in the category of “shows within shows”?  (And I mean The Simpsons, there’s no Zombie Simpsons at the link, and I’m certainly not about to include any.)  Even Arrested Development, which is about as good as teevee is capable of getting, isn’t in the same league.  Take any three seasons from The Simpsons and I’ll bet you have more. 

In addition to the ones above, there’s Smartline, Ben (the talk show), McGarnagle, Hunks, America’s Most Armed and Dangerous, that unpredictable Mexican sitcom Bumblebee Man is on, Movie for a Rained-Out Ballgame, Movie for a Dreary Afternoon, Edward the Penitent, Pardon My Zinger, Rock Bottom, Kidz Newz, Ya Hoo!, and that’s just off the top of my head.  The complete list is, just like everything else, at SNPP.  And, just like everything else about The Simpsons, it’s staggering. 

There are a lot of very creative shows on the Pleated-Jeans list, but in terms of sheer imagination and diversity of thought, none of them are even close to what The Simpsons was. 

[Hey, look what I found while looking up the spelling of “McGarnagle”]:


Crazy Noises: Bart Star

Bart Star1

“Team sports’ll keep you away from temptations like rock music and girls.” – Ned Flanders
“Yay!” – Rod & Todd Flanders

There’s no new Zombie Simpsons until September at the earliest (October? fingers crossed!), so we’re going to spend the summer overthinking Season 9.  Why Season 9?  Because we did Season 8 last summer, and Season 9 was when the show started becoming more Zombie than Simpsons.  Since we’re too lazy to do audio and too ugly to do video, we’ve booked a “chatroom” (ours is right between the one with the sexy seventh graders and the one with the bored federal agents pretending to be sexy seventh graders).  So log on to your dial-up AOL and join us.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (especially on “primus inter pares”).

Mad Jon: I am not such a fan of this episode.

Dave: I’m going to guess that’s true for all of us.

Charlie Sweatpants: Ah ha: (slight) disagree!

Dave: I’m shocked, shocked I am.

Charlie Sweatpants: This episode strikes me as a marginally weaker version of the one we were just talking about.

Mad Jon: I think this one has a few more fundamental flaws.

Charlie Sweatpants: Most of the bad stuff is Jerkass Homer related, there’s just a little bit more in this episode than there is in "Cartridge Family".

Damn, we agreed.

Dave: Who is this generous Charlie and what has he done with the vitriolic, evil Charlie?

Mad Jon: Did you drink two nights of rum rations today Pants?

Charlie Sweatpants: I’m plenty vitriolic, and I’ve got plenty to work with here:

Homer’s pointless call to the talk radio show sucks.

King of the Hill makes a guest appearance for no fucking reason whatsoever.

And the "cut" joke should never have taken more than a single scene.

I have bubonic loathing for all those things.

However, there are a number of jokes I enjoy, primus inter pares, Skittle-brau.

Dave: Ugh, King of the Hill.

Mad Jon: Skittle-brau is funny

Dave: Hell yes.

Mad Jon: More issues: Ned not being Ned, pointless celebrity appearance

Charlie Sweatpants: But there’s more, Marge’s joke about the persistent tick, Bart’s "This thing only takes dollars" about video games, and Bart’s "gotta be a trick, run like the wind" thing about Homer trying to hug him,

All of those are good.

Yeah, the Namath thing was definitely a canary in the coal mind kinda things.

Mad Jon: I did like Homer’s flashback to gymnastics, and Grandpa’s retort to Marge’s question about pride for his son

Charlie Sweatpants: Again, those are good.

Mad Jon: In addition to Homer being a Jerkass, there were several lessons he "learned" in this episode as well.

Charlie Sweatpants:   Oh, the learned lessons suck.

The real problem with this episode is that it’s kind of a "Lisa on Ice" rehash, and they fill in the gaps with Jerkass Homer.

Mad Jon: That’s a good way to put it.

Charlie Sweatpants: That Homer would belittle Ned as the coach is great, that he would do it in front of everyone was not.

When he starts chanting "Flanders", that’s kinda funny, but then he throws a beer can at him, and . . . not so much.

Mad Jon: I’m surprised Marge could even get him to go to the game.

Charlie Sweatpants: Good point.

Dave: So they get close to the line, stare at it, and then cross it.

Charlie Sweatpants: Pretty much, the guys behind "Whacking Day" tossed a whisky bottle over it, but by alluding to it they made it funnier.

Homer hates Ned, sure, but he’s not going to throw a full can at him, much less one filled with beer.

Mad Jon: That’s good drinkin’ beer.

I also really enjoy the Lisa scene where she tries to find a fault with the pee wee football.

Dave: Yep.

Charlie Sweatpants: It’s much like her diagnosis of the Second Amendment.

Mad Jon: Especially the part about the donation to amnesty international, that’s pretty funny.

Charlie Sweatpants: There aren’t a lot of football players on the Simpsons writing staff, but they know that football is too loved to suffer from their complaints.

What, I think, makes this one weaker than "Cartridge Family" is that while Jerkass Homer is the primary problem with both, this one has a tendency to drag it’s jokes out a little more.

From the men’s gymnastics, to the cholesterol level at the beginning, to overly long follow up to Bart’s "run like the wind" there are several good ideas that go on too long.

Mad Jon: They weren’t trying to do much else with this one other than have Homer being a jerk.

There wasn’t enough else going on to support the crap like in Cartridge Family.

But this is a slippery slope upon which we tread.

Charlie Sweatpants: We both know it was downhill from here, but going back to what I said above, I try not to hold the later episodes against these.

This was the era when I tended to like episodes more on a second or third viewing when the shock value of the bad stuff had worn out.

Dave: I’m still not on board with that logic. How can you not hold later episodes against these?

These form the shaky foundation upon which the house of cards was built.

Charlie Sweatpants: Ah, but it also wasn’t their fault.

The credits tell the tale, there are a lot of new names in 9, but there are also a lot of familiar ones.

Mad Jon: I must be missing your point. I hate older episodes much more than these, but I also can’t compare these to earlier season. Also I always look for the missing links, and when I finds em I gets angry.

Charlie Sweatpants: By a season or two from now there are hardly any names in the credits left from the before time, the long long ago.

I guess my point is that I tend to latch on to the good parts, and it’s only once those are all but gone that I really don’t watch them.

Also, "No-Please-Bart-Don’t" is classic Milhouse, and always makes me laugh.

Mad Jon: I don’t have anything else to say about this episode. It was worse than the Cartridge Family, there were a few funny lines, but this one doesn’t ever get into my queue.

Dave: Yep, my sentimonies exactly.


Quote of the Day

El Viaje Misterioso De Nuestro Jomer5

“I’ve added an extra ingredient just for you: the merciless peppers of Quetzlzacatenango!  Grown deep in the jungle primeval by the inmates of a Guatemalan insane asylum.” – Chief Wiggum 


Crazy Noises: The Cartridge Family

The Cartridge Family2

“Try the Sleep-Eazy Motel, I woke up there once, seemed nice.” – Selma Bouvier
“Why can’t we stay here?” – Marge Simpson
“Uh, we have a gentleman caller.” – Selma Bouvier
“Hey, this TV’s not broken, it’s just unplugged.” – Unsuspecting Gentleman Caller

There’s no new Zombie Simpsons until September at the earliest (October? fingers crossed!), so we’re going to spend the summer overthinking Season 9.  Why Season 9?  Because we did Season 8 last summer, and Season 9 was when the show started becoming more Zombie than Simpsons.  Since we’re too lazy to do audio and too ugly to do video, we’ve booked a “chatroom” (ours is right between the one with the sexy seventh graders and the one with the bored federal agents pretending to be sexy seventh graders).  So log on to your dial-up AOL and join us.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (especially on “euthanasia”).

Mad Jon: Shall we begin?

Charlie Sweatpants: Sure, football or handguns? (America, Fuck Yeah!)

Mad Jon: Handguns

Dave: Let’s do it.

Charlie Sweatpants: Sounds good, I like this episode, it’s easily middle of the road for nine in that there’s a lot of funny stuff, and the only real problem is Homer’s behavior.

Mad Jon: I feel like this episode started well, but the middle sucked, minus a few funny lines, and the ending was mediocre.

And Homer’s Behavior was definitely the catalyst

Dave: I’m with Jon.

Charlie Sweatpants: Can’t complain too much about the end, the Sl-e—azy Motel was great.

The problem with this episode is excessive Jerkass Homer. Pretty much everything else is good.

Mad Jon: The Motel was good, but the multiple homer lying things kind of killed the deal.

Dave: The continental breakfast was genius. I intend to do that to someone I hate one of these days.

Mad Jon: I liked Quimby’s scene as well.

  And the coin operated bible.

Charlie Sweatpants: That’s exactly what I’m talking about, everything but Homer works in this episode. Which is a good indicator of how topsy-turvy things are.

They’ve got a lot of good ideas, but Homer’s stupidity and jackassery are just too out of control.

Mad Jon: The NRA meetings were vey funny.

Especially Moe’s deal with the spine shooting and turning 1 gun into 5 gun.

Dave: To my point last week though, despite the funny stuff, it’s not in my regular rotation because Homer is insufferable.

Mad Jon: The waiting period montage and the related Homer angry rant is probably my least favorite part.

Charlie Sweatpants: I kinda like the waiting period.

Dave: I kinda like it too. Just kinda.

Mad Jon: Meh

Charlie Sweatpants: It’s definitely a little slow, but it isn’t half bad.

Mad Jon: It is a precursor to Homer montage scenes.

  It’s like the sniffles that precede pandemic flu.

  You can’t coddle things like this.

Dave: Well put.

Charlie Sweatpants: Fair enough. However, if the show had ended a year or two after this, like it should have, you’d hate it a lot less.

Mad Jon: Fair enough. Call me jaded, even jaded enough to devote a small amount of my time to a blog dedicated to the end of Zombie Simpsons.

Charlie Sweatpants: Boo-hoo.

Mad Jon: However, my point is valid. Homer’s montages get worse each time, and the rants go on like this for minutes sometimes.

Charlie Sweatpants: I’m not disagreeing with that part, only that it’s a little unfair to hold those against this.

Mad Jon: I will say I do like the Homer daydream sequence after he thinks about robbing the Kwik-E-Mart.

Charlie Sweatpants: You gotta to lose yourself in the moment, man.

Mad Jon: Fine.

Charlie Sweatpants: The other nice thing about this episode, and it’s true of a lot of 9, is that there are quite a few good, usable quotes.

Mad Jon: That is very true.

Dave: Can’t argue with that.

Charlie Sweatpants: The part about putting a price on your family’s lives, the “TV said that?” disbelief in Homer’s voice, Patti and Selma’s “gentlemen caller” thing, and, of course, all the soccer stuff.

  That earns this episode a lot of leeway in my mind.

Mad Jon: Oh jeez, the price on the family’s lives quote is gold.

Soccer stuff too.

Charlie Sweatpants: I’m also fond of Homer’s “we’ll argue some more” line about if Marge doesn’t believe him.

Mad Jon: I also like the multiple King of England references.

  Dangerous or delicious animals…

Charlie Sweatpants: Especially how Homer browbeats Lisa into agreeing with him.

That’s one of those great reverse-liberal jokes they do, where they implicitly agree with Lisa, but then crack on it by making fun of how impossible her ideals are.

Mad Jon: Yep, I just laughed about that.

Plenty of good material, definitely a middle of the road season 9 episode. There were a lot of parts that would be much worse if this was made a few seasons later.

Charlie Sweatpants: Agreed.

Mad Jon: And I agree with your last statement. Aren’t we a bunch of drunk agree-monkeys.

Dave: We’re precious.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, Dave seemed to be bitching earlier. But I stand by my statement, the non-Homer stuff of this episode is great, the Homer stuff of this episode mostly sucks.

  (And that’s because it’s basically Jerkass Homer.)

His whole, “doing household tasks with the gun” thing springs to mind.

Dave: I was half bitching.

  I think you’re both more forgiving about 9′s flaws, that’s all.

  You’re willing to look past them, I tend not to.

Charlie Sweatpants: But even that’s mitigated by things like his willingness to argue with Marge only to be stopped when he looks to Bart and Lisa and they both shake their heads.

  Shit like that is funny, there just isn’t enough of it.

Mad Jon: I am willing to look past many things, but I renew my enthusiasm for hating on pre-cancerous symptoms that evolved into what we have in the latest seasons.

Charlie Sweatpants: This is why I’m in favor of euthanasia.

  If you check out when the checking out is good, then no hard feelings.

Mad Jon: Also you won’t have to have other people wipe your ass.

Charlie Sweatpants: If the show had ended a season or two after this, I’d still watch this one about the same amount (way less than the best, but I don’t wince when I put it on).

Mad Jon: Fair enough, but I probably haven’t seen this episode in years before this chat came up.

Charlie Sweatpants: For about the fourth time: fair enough. Anything else here, or should we move on?

Mad Jon: Let’s go.


Quote of the Day


Image used under Creative Commons license from Flickr user richardmasoner.

“Well, Kent, to me the hijinks of a few comic characters absolutely pale in comparison with the crippling emotional problems a psychiatrist runs into every day.  I’m referring here to women who love too much, fear of winning, sexaholism, stuff like that.” – Dr. Marvin Monroe


Quote of the Day

The Last Temptation of Homer2

“The Burmese melon fly has over a thousand sex partners, and suffers virtually no guilt.” – TV Announcer


Quote of the Day

Kamp Krusty4

“I’m no fake, I’m the real Krusty.” – Krusty the Klown
“Oh, yeah?  Who played your daughter in the short lived sitcom President Klown?” – Lisa Simpson
“I don’t know her name, but she held up a liquor store last year!” – Krusty the Klown


Quote of the Day

Homer and Apu2

“Hey, he’s not happy at all.  He lied to us through song.  I hate when people do that!” – Homer Simpson

Happy birthday Greg Daniels! 


Quote of the Day

The Big Book of British Smiles

“Let’s look at a picture book: The Big Book of British Smiles.” – Dr. Wolf
“That’s enough!  That’s enough!” – Ralph Wiggum


Reading Digest: Bizarre Dolls Edition

Lisa vs Malibu Stacy5

“Don’t you people see anything wrong with what Malibu Stacy says?” – Lisa Simpson
“Oh, there’s something wrong with what my Stacy says.” – Celeste
“My Spidey-sense is tingling!  Anybody call for a web slinger?” – Malibu Stacey

WordPress went down again for a little while today, and that was after it ate the “City of New York vs. Homer Simpson” Crazy Noises post last night.  (This is why backups are important.)  I am outraged at not getting proper value for the nothing a month that I pay them!  Oh, right.  Seriously, WordPress kicks ass.  Why we ever started this thing on Blogger is beyond me.  But if anyone notices any posts missing, i.e. you see it in a feed reader but the link doesn’t work, please e-mail us.  Thanks.

In actual Simpsons related news, there are two links to eBay this week that feature rather odd Simpsons dolls.  Once is a Maggie with a giant head, the other is Grandpa wearing a soccer uniform and . . . slippers.  Huh.  We’ve also got video games, lots of usage, cool sneakers, and a well rounded young high schooler I’m sure will go far. 


SNES Longplay [014] The Simpsons: Bart’s Nightmare – This is a fifty-six minute YouTube video of someone playing all the way through the Super Nintendo game “Bart’s Nightmare”.  I never played that game so I don’t find it all that interesting, but that’s just me.

**Grampa Simpson**Simpsons Figure**Burger King Toy** – Abe kinda looks ready for the World Cup here, and no one but him can rock the rarely seen shin guards and slippers combo. 

How Did I Never Notice This Before??? – Nelson and Barney, actually related?  The image speaks for itself. 

Maggie Simpson Doll with Stand – This is an eBay link for a Maggie doll that has very bizarre proportions. 

Subject: Our tough-guy-in-chief – Why didn’t I think of this?:

In response to your stated preference for the genuine, emotionally reserved Obama to the fake, "kick ass" Obama on display earlier this week, may I offer Bart Simpson’s response to Homer’s efforts to be a more active and engaged parent: "No offense, Homer, but your half-assed underparenting was a lot more fun than your half-assed overparenting."

Quote is dead on, excellent usage. 

The 10 funniest dead guys we dearly miss – Phil Hartman is on here, and there’s YouTube of “Meat and You” that’s reversed left-to-right in places.  Kinda weird.   

#0010: Mature Cartoons – Then it is agreed, cartoons are awesome. 

BHS class essayist speech: Chelsea Rose – This was written by a graduating high school student:

As a Latin scholar, I thought it appropriate to leave you with a quote from Homer… Simpson, “If something’s hard to do, then it’s not worth doing.”

I am quite certain that the original Iliad/Odyssey Homer did not speak Latin.  However, that is still excellent usage.  The kids are alright. 

I’ll Bet Smithers Will Open Your Box – I’ve never used Farmville, so I don’t know if this is funny or not.  The original scene is definitely funny. 

Entertaining – This is just an animated .gif of Homer in the Ironic Punishment Division of Hell Labs.  It’s mesmerizing.  (Also, nice WordPress theme.) 

The ANY Key – You already know what this is, all you need me to tell you is that it’s in still image form. 

The Wonder States- Using Deductive Reasoning to Determine the Setting of The Wonder Years, My Name is Earl, and The Simpsons – As Springfield is self evidently nowhere, I’ve never understood people’s need to know where it is.  I would only add that this seems to miss a few states:

I can rule out the states of Utah, Colorado, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, and Alaska because on at least one occurrence a Simpson character has made a reference to these states regarding them as a different state from their own.

Don’t forget Michigan (which they drive to in “Oh, Brother Where Art Thou?”), Missouri (which Bart drives through in “Bart on the Road”), Hawaii (one of the freak states), Florida (America’s Wang and a place where the Top Hat channel isn’t allowed), and . . . oh hell, just go to SNPP

Batgirl #11 – Review – Using “Who Shot Mr. Burns, Part 1” to criticize a comic book:

Secondly, remember the Simpsons 2-parter “Who Killed Mr. Burns”? In it, Smithers says of Burns: “And when he tried to steal our sunlight, he crossed that line between everyday villainy and cartoonish super-villainy.” The Calculator, in this issue of Batgirl and the last, is cartoonish super-villainy.

Excellent usage.  Also, this Calculator fellow sounds like a rank amateur compared to Dr. Colossus. 

A World Cup of excitement – YouTube of today’s Quote of the Day. 

She’s got both hands, in her pockets. – There are people in this world who have not seen “Stark Raving Dad”:

Later we went to my place and we stumbled upon an episode of The Simpson’s “Stark Raving Dad.” She hadn’t seen it!! Always so funny when Homer goes “well, of course I know who you are.” Aww, Homie.

I blame Zombie Simpsons.  The actual quote is, “Oh, of course I’ve heard of you.  I mean, you’d have to be living under a rock not to know – what’d you say your name was?”.  Nevertheless, the bonus points for getting someone to watch “Stark Raving Dad” for the first time means that this still counts as excellent usage.

There is a good chance you’re getting cooler. – I can assure everyone that I am not, never have been, and never will be cool.  Regardless, this properly quotes the end of “Homerpalooza” on coolness, and that’s excellent usage. 

Oh those crazy Asians – They sure know how to humilitate dogs – Scroll way down for a sweet Mr. Sparkle image. 

Anime,Why It Is Better Than American Cartoons! – Yet another reason why Zombie Simpsons needs to die:

Now I’m not trying to say there is anything wrong with those cartoons’ I mean look at The Simpson’s. It’s one of the longest running cartoons in American history. They must be doing something right, but these cartoons don’t take much thought process to watch. There is no real plot to follow, while some of the humor might have an adult content. That’s about as far as the depth goes, there is no internal struggle and the characters never grow. I mean, the Simpson’s have been on for over 20 years, and Bart Simpson is still in the same grade.(Here I thought I did bad in school)

Nowadays there’s no plot to follow, but that wasn’t always the case.  This is what I’m talking about when I say that Zombie Simpsons has tarnished The Simpsons

Pop art customs – That is a pretty damn cool Simpsons sneaker. 

Competence over Soundbites: Our Meeting with State Treasurer Jones-Potter – This is the rare case of excellent usage paired with poor usage.  First up, they get the slogan right:

Homer premises his campaign on the slogan, “Can’t someone else do it?,” and promises that the city sanitation workers will now wear uniforms, provide round-the-clock garbage service and do all the cleaning around the house.

That’s excellent usage.  This, however, is not:

The citizens of Springfield, seeing the error of their ways in electing Homer in the first place, beg the competent former Sanitation Officer to return, and he says “nuts to you, it’s your mess, you clean it up.”

The actual quote goes, “You know, I’m not much on speeches, but, it’s so gratifying to leave you wallowing in the mess you’ve made.  You’re screwed.  Thank you, bye.”  So that’s poor usage.  Hey, one outta two ain’t bad. 

Destroyed (aka from Wit to Sh*t) – “I saw some awful things in ’Nam, but you really have to wonder at the mentality that would desecrate a helpless puma.” – Principal Skinner

The Simpsons, “Hurricane Neddy” – This is a bit more generous towards “Hurricane Neddy” than I tend to be, but it’s very thoughtful.  And it contains this:

And yet, I find myself oft reading opinions on The Simpsons and finding interesting thoughts and tidbits from the most humble of reviews (and this is from a man who, for the first eight years of the show, listened to every commentary, scratched up every disc of the dvds, and can recite every musical number by heart). Why, after so long, can people still write compelling reviews of The Simpsons? Because after twenty years, the show still feels incredibly urgent. The Simpsons hits a certain “sweet spot” in the brain’s emotional center that triggers laughter, sentimentality, and deep reflection in one fell swoop. The Simpsons itself made up of fantastic paradox: it’s socially relevant yet timeless, culturally specific yet universal, perversely cynical and unabashedly hopeful.

I like the indirect swipe at Zombie Simpsons, and that last sentence is dead solid perfect.  Also the blog is called “Here Comes Two”, so that’s good as well. 

Why Ke$ha Makes American Music Look Bad – I remain quite apathetic towards Kesha and that goofy opening.  I just wanted to end on a high note by agreeing with this:

it’s really evident how low The Simpsons have become that their desperate play for viewers involves using a song about drunken club sluts,

How low, indeed. 


Quote of the Day

The Cartridge Family1

“Halfback passes to the center, back to the wing, back to the center.  Center holds it . . . holds it . . . holds it.” – Kent Brockman

Good luck to everyone but fuckin’ England.  (Love you in general, but not tomorrow.) 


Crazy Noises: The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson


Image used under Creative Commons license from Flickr user mrplatts.

“If you do not remedy this malparkage within seventy-two hours, your car will be thrown into the East River at your expense.” – Lisa Simpson

There’s no new Zombie Simpsons until September at the earliest (October? fingers crossed!), so we’re going to spend the summer overthinking Season 9.  Why Season 9?  Because we did Season 8 last summer, and Season 9 was when the show started becoming more Zombie than Simpsons.  Since we’re too lazy to do audio and too ugly to do video, we’ve booked a “chatroom” (ours is right between the one with the sexy seventh graders and the one with the bored federal agents pretending to be sexy seventh graders).  So log on to your dial-up AOL and join us.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (especially on “contemptuous”).

I swear to Jebus this one went up earlier today, but it appears to have been eaten by the Internet Monster.  So here’s the replacement post of 901 “The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson”. 

Mad Jon: So, which episode goes first?

Charlie Sweatpants: I’d start in the canyons of Manhattan, but that’s just me.

Mad Jon: Agreed.

Charlie Sweatpants: This episode is, I think, the next step in the devolution of the travel episodes.

Dave: I thought you’d say that.

Charlie Sweatpants: Damn this predictable mind of mine!

Mad Jon: I believe it is a step down for multiple traits

Including travel episodes of course

Charlie Sweatpants: All the funny stuff is New York related: the signs on the subway and in Chinatown, the musical, Homer’s call to the parking bureau.

Mad Jon: The call and the musical are by far my favorite parts

Charlie Sweatpants: Those things are all great, but it’s clearly just them with fresh material to work with.

Well, plus Duffman.

Dave: The musical is really catchy.

Mad Jon: Duffman also good.

Charlie Sweatpants: I love his reluctance to endorse the designated driver program.

  I think of that every time I see a commercial that ends with a half-hearted "drink responsibly".

Dave: I mean, I recognize the episode’s clear push towards the mediocre, but it makes me happy. Mostly because everything about New York in the episode is true.

Mad Jon: That’s what my wife was just saying.

  She hates New York

Dave: And you guys know me, I love NYC.

Mad Jon: You like biowaste flying through your broken windshield and hitting your face?

Dave: There are worse things.

Mad Jon: Or just inside out rabbits?

Dave: The rabbits are delicious.

Mad Jon: They looked delicious.

Charlie Sweatpants: Dave, aren’t you and I agreeing? I mean, the NYC stuff is the best part because it really did give a Simpsons spin to the city, the pizza joints, the people yelling at each other from windows, the gunshots in traffic.

Dave: Yep, I think we’re in the same boat.

Charlie Sweatpants: Even the flash-back montage with "The Entertainer" is great, it’s the Scorsese 70s-80s New York at its best.

Dave: I’m just preemptively fending off what I sense will be the stuff you guys don’t like.

Mad Jon: Well, the things I don’t like are mostly Homer’s fault.

  Not NYC’s

Charlie Sweatpants: What I don’t like is Homer being so damn energetic and paranoid.

  It’s wildly out of character.


  Jon and I are on the same page.

Mad Jon: Things are just ever so slightly moving from the downtrodden father to the dim witted punching bag we will see in a few seasons.

Dave: We all agree.

Charlie Sweatpants: How bland.

Mad Jon: meh

  Overall this is an ok episode, it just happens to not be one of my favorites because I know what’s going to happen in the very near future.

Dave: My point is this: the roots for Homer’s future inanity grow deeper in this episode, yet I can’t entirely fault it.

  Again, we seem to agree.

Charlie Sweatpants: Homer’s attempts to remove the boot are really boring, and they just keep going and going.

  Even once he gets it off it continues.

  And then why the hell does he have to cut off the horse carriage? Why does he ask Marge and the kids to jump?

It’s just very Jerkass Homer.

Mad Jon: Very much so.

  Also I don’t appreciate the having to piss scene

Charlie Sweatpants: There’s another thing that goes on for way too long.

Mad Jon: Which was just after the reaching for pizza with a stick scene

Charlie Sweatpants: Repeat what I said above.

Mad Jon: Homer just would have gone for pizza.

Charlie Sweatpants: Exactly. The episode is shot through with that stuff. I get that Homer should have a bad time while the rest of the clan has a good time, but his hatred of the place and bizarre behavior just ruin it.

Dave: Well, if we agree, why are we arguing?

Mad Jon: I thought we were commiserating.

or maybe kvetching.

Charlie Sweatpants: Powwow?

Mad Jon: "You guys rock!" – Bart

Charlie Sweatpants: The ZZ Top/Orthodox Jew thing was pretty good.

Dave: Maybe a little.

Charlie Sweatpants: Though it also goes to what we were saying earlier about the making fun of New York stuff being the only worthwhile stuff in the episode.

Dave: Yep. It’s genius compared to the episode we’re about to talk about next.

Charlie Sweatpants: And with that I guess it’s time we move on to the next one.


Crazy Noises: Realty Bites

Realty Bites2

“But I earned that wall!” – Gil
“Don’t push your luck, pal.  You’re hanging on by a thread.” – Lionel Hutz
“I brought this wall from home.” – Gil

There’s no new Zombie Simpsons until September at the earliest (October? fingers crossed!), so we’re going to spend the summer overthinking Season 9.  Why Season 9?  Because we did Season 8 last summer, and Season 9 was when the show started becoming more Zombie than Simpsons.  Since we’re too lazy to do audio and too ugly to do video, we’ve booked a “chatroom” (ours is right between the one with the sexy seventh graders and the one with the bored federal agents pretending to be sexy seventh graders).  So log on to your dial-up AOL and join us.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (especially on “contemptuous”).

Normally these will be spread out over two days (because we’re just that lazy), but this week we had some problems half-assing things on time.  So here’s episode 909 “Realty Bites” to complete the set for today, with 901 “The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson” having gone up earlier.

Charlie Sweatpants: So Dave, I take it you’re not a fan of Realty Bites?

Dave: No, not at all.

Charlie Sweatpants: Come on, at all is a little harsh, isn’t it?

Mad Jon: Well, looks like you are going to get your disagreement

Dave: Whereas New York had redeeming bits, Realty’s just dreadful. Jerkassitry cranked to 11.

Sweet, let’s fight.

Mad Jon: What are you basing this on?

Dave: Homer and Snake’s extended car bullshit.

Mad Jon: Granted that’s not good, but it’s not the A plot either, an A plot I enjoy.

Charlie Sweatpants: I’d say that this one is also half suck and half awesome. The Red Blazer Realty plot is great, the Lil’ Bandit plot is bad.

Dave: Great? Really?

It’s serviceable.

Mad Jon: The realtors are quite funny. This may be the one time I enjoy Gil.

Charlie Sweatpants: Dave’s right about the Jerkass to 11, for like the first three minutes of this episode Homer gleefully treats Marge like shit. It’s really painful to watch.

Dave: Contempt is the word I’m looking for.

Mad Jon: Yes, and I agree that Homer is on his way to Zombie Homer full speed in this one.

Dave: He treats her with contempt and it’s not funny/clever/entertaining/whatever.

Charlie Sweatpants: Agreed on that.

But Hutz (in really his last episode) kills pretty much everything, I enjoy the Magna Carta song, and there are several quotable lines.

Mad Jon: The Bart and Lisa role playing scene was funny, and the 6% commission sign was great as well.

Charlie Sweatpants: From, "Trying is the first step towards failure", to the whole "the truth" thing, to "please don’t tell anyone how I live".

There’s a lot of redeeming content in Red Blazer, and it’s good enough that I don’t really mind this episode.

Mad Jon: Homer does make one trip back to his old form with the "It’s just an expression" quote.

Dave: The quoteables are enjoyable, but do little to change my overall opinion of the episode.

Mad Jon: The dead look on his face as he turns away was as contemptuous for Flanders as in early seasons.

Charlie Sweatpants: Most of Lil Bandit sucks, but even in that there are still flashes of good stuff, like the honor system in prison, "waking a police officer", and Skinner’s painful memories of racing cars in high school.

Mad Jon: Forgot about the drag race scene, Skinner was funny in that.

Charlie Sweatpants: Jon, good point. When he refuses to help Flanders and then says the old Flanders place creeps him out, those are about the only genuine Homer moments in the episode.

I will say that the Red Blazer plot does take too long in places.

Marge goes back on her lies too many times, the whole moral crisis combined with the fakeout of the red paint is really unnecessary. Way too much string music of suspense.

Dave: The moral crisis thing irks me the most. It was the basis of what felt like 7/8ths of the episode.

Charlie Sweatpants: It does take its time, but I didn’t have any problem with the overall concept.

Mad Jon: Fair enough, being that it is Marge’s moral crisis, and not a character’s who would never have one, I am willing to look past it and check out the Lumber King’s billboard.

Charlie Sweatpants: Lumber, we need lumber.

Dave: I thought the repurposing of the I&S billboard many episodes earlier was more inspired, for what it’s worth.

But Lumber King has its moments.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, none of this is on a Season 4 level, is it?

Dave: Not even close.

Charlie Sweatpants: I mean, you can tell that right from the opening credits, in both of these episodes you’re really starting to get a lot of names as "producers" and such that weren’t around in the before time, in the long long ago. By Season 9 the writing staff that made the show what it was has very clearly fractured.

But that’s sort of what you get from Season 9. It’s like a lot of Season 8 in that respect, where there is still some very good stuff, but it doesn’t go down as sweet because there’s a lot of junk too.

Dave: Like Season 8 in spirit, but clearly a few notches below overall.

Charlie Sweatpants: Agreed.

Dave: I tend to skip much of Season 9 out of spite and principle.

I’ll happily watch most of 8.

Charlie Sweatpants: I think of 8 and 9 as peas in a pod. 9 isn’t as good as 8, but this is the last season where there are more than one or two episodes that make it into my regular rotation.

Mad Jon: It is the last bathroom on the highway to canceldom.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, the last clean bathroom, anyway.

Dave: By my count, there are two episodes in my rotation from 9. Generously 3.

Charlie Sweatpants: You are harsher than I.

Dave: Meh.

Charlie Sweatpants: Anyway, is there anything specific to Realty Bites we haven’t discussed yet?

Dave: The virtual silence is deafening.


Quote of the Day

“It’s beautiful. This is the most awe-inspiring sight I have ever seen. Giver of life, mother of us all… Hey guys, look what I smuggled aboard!” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

Jesus Is Pissed, Muscular

Image used under Creative Commons license from Flickr user Brian Sawyer.

“Sharing is a bunch of bull too, and helping others, and what’s all this crap I’ve been hearing about tolerance?” – Bart Simpson
“Hmm, your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.” – Homer Simpson


Springfield city league softball is finally safe again

vlcsnap-9895 “Pick me! Pick me!” – Ken Griffey Jr.
“I pick Ken Griffey Jr.” – Ralph Wiggum
“Ah jeez…” – Bart Simpson

For those that haven’t heard yet, Ken Griffey Jr. retired from Major League Baseball last week. During the prime of his 22 seasons, Griffey was one of the best all around center fielders and a serious threat each time he stepped to the plate.  If the latter part of his career hadn’t been injury plagued, he would have probably ended higher up on the all time home run list than 5th.  Additionally, he seems to be one of the rare professional athletes who (probably) hasn’t succumbed to the temptations of extra-marital sex, recreational or performance enhancing drugs, public bouts of racism, bat-corking, pedophilia, wife or child beating, gambling, or any other of the felonious activities which, if you look hard enough, you will find multiple examples of in sports.

More importantly to me, Griffey was the last of the ringers on Burns’ Power Plant softball team to retire from the big leagues.  He was the youngest on the team at the time, and only he and Clemens played past 2001 (and Clemens only had to play once every few days and retired a bunch of times).  Now that the Plant’s ringer team is about as useful as the one Burns originally wanted to field, I thought it may be fun to take a quick look back at the other members to see how they are faring.

Steve Sax: Retired in ‘94 after lobbying to deny pensions for replacement players in the baseball strike. Ran for a seat in the California State House until his highly public divorce derailed his campaign.

Don Mattingly: Retired in ‘95. His number was retired by the Yankees, but only his moustache will end up in Cooperstown.  He coached with the Yankees for a few years, and in 2008 he followed Torre  to LA where he is now the hitting coach, probably biding his time until either Torre retires or mullets come back into style.

Darryl Strawberry: Retired in ‘99.  Cokey Cokeberry was one of only two players to win a world series with both the Yankees and the Mets, and the only player to win the annual lawn bowling tournament at both The Betty Ford Clinic and Suncoast Rehab center. The alleged wife beater and amateur race riot commentator (The infamous “Let it burn” comment), Darryl seems to be making a run at some sort of TV career with appearances on both the 700 club and Celebrity Apprentice.

Jose Canseco: Retired in ‘01.  The first of the Bash Brothers to appear on the Simpsons (McGwire wouldn’t get there for 7 more years) has spent much of his free time since writing books about, testifying in court about, and generally pointing fingers at, pretty much everyone in pro baseball.  Oh, also he was caught smuggling controlled fertility drugs into the US (he claims they were part of his post steroid-use therapy). And he has been trying to get into fighting, notably with an exhibition bout against Danny Bonaduce.  Throw in a few divorces and a couple of foreclosures and you’ve got most of the story.

Wade Boggs:  Retired in ‘99. Besides his conjecture-laden drinking reputation, and a long time extra-marital affair, this first ballot hall of famer is relatively clean, at least when compared to some of the other guys on this list.

Mike Scioscia: Retired in ‘92. Currently Scioscia is the manager of the Angles.  Starting in 2002 he led the Angles to AL West Championship 5 out of 6 years.  Not much else – this man’s all business.

Ozzie Smith: Retired in ‘96. He did some TV work for a couple of outfits, and now it seems he is a bit of a St. Louis fixture and has tried his hand as a restaurateur amongst other businesses. Only one divorce I could find, and side note: he has a kid that made it to the top ten of American Idol in 2005.

Roger Clemens:  Retired in ‘07 for like the 4th time.  The Rocket spent a lot of years at the other end of Canseco’s (and others – George Mitchell, I’m looking in your direction) various steroid-related accusations.  It’s also speculated he has had several affairs, including one with Mindy McCready when she may or may not have still been underage. He denies it altogether, and she says they didn’t start the physical part of the relationship until she was 21.

So there you have it. Compared to most of these guys Griffey is a first round hall of famer in baseball, as well as life in general. Along with these other guys, Griffey also got to be a sports guest during the golden age of The Simpsons. These nine guys actually had a role in the episode, and they all had humorous parts that affected the plotline. For the last ten years or so (including the aforementioned McGwire appearance) sports guests are just sort of thrown on for whatever reason and for the most part they not only fail to add to the episode, they distract from it. That’s right, I’m talking to you Joe Namath, Troy Aikman, Warren Sapp, Pete Sampras, Williams Sisters, Andre Agassi, Dan Marino, Tony Hawk, Oscar De la Hoya, Lebron James, Michelle Kwan, Yao Ming, Randy Johnson, Lance Armstrong and Chuck Liddell.

I don’t have anything else to say, so thanks for everything Mr. Jr., thanks for 22 years of fun, thanks for saving the Mariners, and thanks especially for the case of gigantism. That was funny.


Quote of the Day

School Prayer

“Say your prayers Simpson . . . because the schools can’t force you like they should!” – Ned Flanders


Krusty Brand Seal of Approval: Energy Drinks

The Canine Mutiny4

“Wow, Trucker’s Choice.” – Lisa Simpson

One of the basic positions of this blog is that the continuing production of Zombie Simpsons is due primarily to merchandising.  “Simpsons” merchandise generates twice as much revenue as advertising, and with none of the overhead of actually producing the show.  Moreover, the success of merchandising is directly related to how fresh the characters remain in the public mind.  For a similar example, see this recent New York Times article about Warner Brothers’ efforts to get the likes of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck back into the spotlight:

Ask a first grader to identify Bugs Bunny and the response more likely than not will be a blank stare. Dora, sure. Mickey, alive and kicking. But Porky who?

Worried that the low profile of the Looney Tunes cast of characters among children is the start of th-th-th-that’s all folks for the historic cartoon franchise, Warner Brothers is embarking on a five-alarm rescue effort.

There’s no subtlety or shame about what this is about either:

Sales of Looney Tunes merchandise have been sliding for about eight years, but still ring up over $1 billion annually on a global basis via 1,000 licensees. (To compare, Winnie the Pooh generates about $5 billion annually for Disney.) The hope is that “The Looney Tunes Show,” supported by the theatrical shorts, will fuel new product lines.

“We have to invest quite a bit of money in the content first,” said Brad Globe, president of Warner Brothers Consumer Products. “Once there is new content out there, then retailers will become more interested in it.”

They’re producing new content, a television show at $750,000 per episode, with the explicit purpose of selling more branded crap.  (Whether or not it’s a good idea to make a new show for that reason, instead of because someone had a good idea or actually created something, is a whole other discussion.)  The parallels with Zombie Simpsons are obvious.  If/when the show goes off the air, the brand instantly becomes less valuable to News Corp and FOX.

Which brings us to today’s affront to common sense, the Flaming Moe energy drink: Flaming Moe Energy Drink

This is not the first time they’ve made an “energy drink” (which is a misnomer, but nevermind) out of an alcoholic beverage from the show.  Back in 2007, in what I assume was a movie tie-in, there was a Duff energy drink.  Like that, this is mindless, lazy branding at its best.  There’s nothing the least bit special or innovative about this drink, it has nothing to do with the show or with the Flaming Moe.

It’s just a generic energy drink – mostly caffeine, some filler – that happens to have a copyrighted drawing on the can.  And while I am not a connoisseur of energy drinks, my strong suspicion is that this is probably not the world’s finest concoction.  The appeal is strictly cosmetic, it has nothing to do with the actual product.  Presumably the market here is impulse buyers, the curious, and the collectors (can’t forget them).






To see just how little thought was actually put into this, check out the Amazon product page (red lines added electronically by Channel 6):

Flaming Moe Energy Drink2

Generally, when I read the sentence “Not intended for use by children” I assume that means five-year-olds.  But that’s just me.  Now, I’m not going to get righteous about the fact that they’re selling this to kids.  (Nor do I see how the can is a choking hazard.)  But it’s patently obvious that no one bothered to properly classify this item – or even to proof read the product page.  From the time someone said “Let’s make a Flaming Moe energy drink” right up through the product page going live, no care or thought was put into anything.  It’s also worth noting that this is listed on Amazon under “Toys & Games”.

Shoddy, poorly conceived, and ill executed, things like this are why Zombie Simpsons continues to exist.  Of course, Zombie Simpsons itself is shoddy, poorly conceived, and ill executed, so at least they’re consistent in their apathy towards their work.


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