Archive for April, 2011

30
Apr
11

Quote of the Day

Blood Feud5

“Ooh, look Maggie, what is that?  Dodecahedron.  Dodecahedron.” – Lisa Simpson
“Lisa, I don’t know what you’re doing but it’s very strange and your father’s trying to worry.” – Homer Simpson

29
Apr
11

Reading Digest: All Hail “Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy” Edition

Lisa vs Malibu Stacy6

“No, Celeste, I mean the things she says are sexist.” – Lisa Simpson
“Lisa said a dirty word!” – Girls

This week we have two people who watched “Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy” for a class and had to blog about it.  Isn’t the internet wonderful?  “Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy” is just about the quintessential “watch for a class” episode when it comes time to study female portrayals in popular media.  But if I may make a suggestion to the syllabus writers of the world, don’t overlook “Dukerella”, the penultimate episode of The Critic.  Presumably because the DVD revenue is miniscule, FOX’s copyright killjoys don’t patrol YouTube for it nearly as aggressively as they do for The Simpsons, so you can actually watch the whole thing (as of this writing, anyway).  In the episode, Miranda, Alice’s blond bombshell sister, moves in and attempts to flirt and charm her way to love and money in New York City.  It’s chalk full of jokes and satires of pointless female competition, sibling rivalry, and the general unfairness of the universe.  Some of the more choice lines:

Penny (Alice’s adorable little daughter): Momma, Aunt Randa’s gonna teach me to giggle stupidly to make men do my bidding. 

And:

Miranda: Please, Alice, this is my last chance at happiness.  You’ve got so much, a beautiful daughter, a good job, your boyfriend with his unique interpretation of masculinity.  All right, I have to admit it, I’m jealous of you.
Alice:  You, of me?  Yes!

There’s much more, and if you get to the 10 minute mark you can see the street harassment/Supreme Court joke that has made it completely impossible for me to ever read anything about Learned Hand without tittering to myself.  Of course, we’ve also got some other stuff.  There’s a video tour worthy of Troy McClure, bad metaphors, excellent usage, a demonstration of the power of Simpsons Wiki, and some excellent fan art. 

Enjoy.

the men of my dreams – Fan made clown images, including an awesomely creepy and bloodshot Krusty. 

The Simpsons – College essay #1.

The Simpsons Connection – College essay #2.

Who is this Simpsons Character? – This one’s a package deal with . . .

Mystery Solved – . . . this one.  I always just think of him as the sarcastic guy, but I guess he’s got a name. 

“I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer.” -Homer Simpson – Three weeks in a row for Freakoutville. 

Video Tour of a Google Data Center – This is a promotional video made by Google to reassure paranoid IT people about putting their oh so precious data on Google Apps, but it’s basically engineer porn.  In this case it comes with fake Troy McClure sayings, of which my personal favorite is either “The Decapitation of Ask Jeeves” or “Lycos: Delicious But Deadly”. 

Just not the big red one – This is a blog called “Bad Metaphors”.  This particular post has Homer saying:

“A nuclear reactor is a lot like a woman. You just have to read the manual and press the right buttons.”

It’s never easy to tell, but I’m pretty sure Homer says “button”, not “buttons”.  Singular makes it work better as a sexual metaphor, which the title of the linked post can also be interpreted as.  God bless that button. 

The apprentice presidential candidate – This goes against my general policy of ignoring instead of enabling attention junkies, but excellent usage is excellent usage:

Trump — he of the big mouth, the bigger ego and, to quote no less an authority on coiffes than Apu from “The Simpsons,” the “hair by Frank Lloyd Wright” — is teasing the media about seeking the 2012 Republican presidential nomination,

Meghan McCain Interviews Trump, Shows That She’s a Nitwit – Here we can see two products of nepotism congratulating each other.  Normally I’d ignore it,  but, having already mentioned the Hairpiece once, in for a penny in for a pound.  And excellent usage is still excellent usage:

There’s a great episode of The Simpsons where Mr. Burns decides to run for mayor and, as a campaign stunt, has dinner at the Simpsons’ house in front of TV cameras.

The entire thing is, of course, completely choreographed by Mr. Burns, who has supplied the Simpson family with the questions they’re supposed to ask him.

Lisa’s scripted question: “Mr Burns, your campaign seems to have the momentum of a run-away freight train. Why are you so popular?”

Mr. Burns responds: "Oh, a tough question, but a fair one. Lisa, there’s no single answer. Some voters respond to my integrity. Others are more impressed by my incorruptibility. Still others like my determination to lower taxes and the bureaucrats in the state capital can put that in their pipes and smoke it!"

The Burns quote is off by little tiny bits, but I don’t care.

Tron (1982) Blu-ray Movie Review – And finally, a little excellent usage that agrees with us:

There’s a line in an old episode of The Simpsons (back when y’know.. it was good), where Homer asks an assembled throng "Um, it’s like, uh… did anyone see the movie "Tron?" – The entire cast say no.

29
Apr
11

Quote of the Day

Dog of Death6

“Bleah, the lottery.  Exploiter of the poor and ignorant.” – Moe

28
Apr
11

Some Love for Season 3 (and 4 and 5)

There are four consecutive weeks of Zombie Simpsons starting on Sunday, so we’ll be back on our regular schedule for the month of May before embarking on Season 10 for the summer.  In the meantime, please enjoy some excellent Simpsons writing from two of our longtime blog friends. 

First up is Kokairu, who’s continuing her series of looking back at all the episodes.  She’s crammed a whole lot into this one “The Simpsons on Reflection Part V: Seasons 3-5”.  (I originally read this back when she posted it at the beginning of the month, and I could swear I posted it here already, but our April archive disagrees.)  While she’s harsher on Season 5 than I’d be, I need to emphatically agree with this about “The Front”:

Some of the best jokes in this one went over my head when I was younger; “… actually, I did my thesis in life experience…” Perfect on so many levels.

Overall, that’s happened more times than I can remember, but what makes it even better, beyond the simple reward of catching something that had previously flown over your head, is the way it gives even repeat viewings their own personality.  I still remember the time I watched “Last Exit to Springfield” with my then brother-in-law and he said, as Lisa demands the mirror, that he’d never noticed that was from Batman.  I remember the first time I watched “Kamp Krusty” after I finally saw Apocalypse Now and getting the pigs heads for the first time.  To some extent that’s true of anything you watch, read, etcetera, but The Simpsons provides (note present tense) an unparalleled number of opportunities for such enjoyable little moments. 

Second is Andreas, who’s written one of his customarily thorough analysis pieces, this time on “Lisa’s Pony”.  In particular, this should be CC’d to everyone who writes for Zombie Simpsons:

This episode also contains an example of one of my favorite Simpsons habits: using pathos to undercut brilliant, perfectly timed slapstick. Homer tries to leave the Kwik-E-Mart, but collapses asleep between the automatic doors, and they slam repeatedly on his head. It’s funny, sure, but the humor is drained out by the underlying emotional weight, and the fact that he’s reduced himself to this humiliating condition for his daughter’s sake.

When they beat on Homer nowadays it’s almost like a nervous tic.  They do it without much reason, and just count on Castellaneta’s ability to scream in many different ways to make it funny.  Here, none of that is necessary.  When the power saw falls on Homer’s head, it’s his lack of reaction that makes it so damned hilarious.  Wailing crazily would ruin it. 

I highly recommend both pieces.  I’d do so anyway, but in this case it’s especially a good idea on account of there aren’t likely to be a lot of warm fuzzies around here for the next four weeks. 

28
Apr
11

Quote of the Day

Bart Gets Hit By a Car7

“With all due respect, Mrs. Simpson, you’re not a doctor.  The boy’s not a doctor.  I’m not a doctor.  The only person in this room who even comes close is this man.” – Lionel Hutz
“Stop, you’re embarrassing me.” – Dr. Nick Riviera

27
Apr
11

Quote of the Day

Lemon of Troy4

“A car impound lot, the impenetrable fortress of suburbia.” – Martin Prince

26
Apr
11

Chart and Art from the United Kingdom

“What about Bart?” – Marge Bouvier
“Let’s see, Bart, cart, dart, eart . . . nope, can’t see any problem with that.” – Homer Simpson

As the title indicates, we got two reader submissions from the UK, one with a chart, the other involving art.  (This ends the rhyming portion of this post.)  First up, the chart. 

Seb Patrick noticed something while watching Season 8 recently.  He thought the episodes that began with shows-within-the-show ended up being better than those that just started in the regular world of Evergreen Terrace.  Curiosity piqued, he plunged ahead:

And for some reason, when an episode opens with one of these scenes, it instantly feels sharper and more imaginative than one that just brings us in to a random scene somewhere in Springfield or at the Simpsons’ home. This is particularly noticeable during these later seasons (and when I say "later", I mean "later in the good period" – we’re going by the assumption that the programme is largely not worth watching, and thus non-existent in my head, after around season eleven), when it’s the more dull and boring episodes that seem to start in this mundane way, and the better ones that give the laughs by opening with – for example – the Krusty Komedy Klassic, or an edition of Eye on Springfield. It therefore feels to me like I’m simply more likely to enjoy an episode if it’s got one of these opening scenes (which from now on I’m referring to as "TV openings", even though they also covers other forms of media).

So, I’ve decided to test it out. And count up data in Excel. And turn it into a graph. Because that’s how I roll.

And the numbers say . . . “kinda”.  Isn’t data fun?  The whole thing is worth a read.  Thanks Seb! 

Moving along, we come to the art, to something that reader Adam thinks may not have reached America yet.  I’m not entirely sure how to describe this.  It’s a Facebook page titled “Simpsons pictures that I gone and done”, and it’s sort of a cross between Ralph Steadman and MS Paint.  Observe:

TheSimpsonsArt Barney

Each one is then accompanied by charmingly random blather like this:

I really love to do portraits of the Barney character from The Simpsons. He is always doing the things that we want to do but just don’t have the guts to do. I love when he walks down the street and just punches people in the back of the head or just completely stands still for ages so people think he’s a wood carving. I love his catchphrase "whats wrong with me".

The slideshow is here, and is strangely mesmerizing.  (Note: Facebook pestered me every once and a while to login, but you can just ignore it.)  Thanks Adam! 

26
Apr
11

Quote of the Day

Reactor #4

Image used under Creative Commons license from Flickr user Timm Suess. More here.

“And thank you most of all for nuclear power, which has yet to cause a single, proven fatality . . . at least in this country.  Amen.” – Homer Simpson

25
Apr
11

Monday Evening Cartoons

Bart the Murderer9

“Hey, I like this kid.  I can’t believe we we’re gonna shoot him.” – Fat Tony

As part of the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day that opens this episode, Bart eventually falls down some concrete stairs, only to have a halo of guns surround his head.  His ultimate fate is decided in court, on charges of murder; in between he is in various forms of serious jeopardy.  But no matter how many times guns are jammed in his face or adults scheme his false conviction, the story is never played for tension or suspense.

This extends to Bart’s nightmare, where he’s haunted by grim, black-and-white imaginings of the many ways his new compatriots may have gruesomely disposed of his principal.  But even that turns into less The Seventh Seal and more Young Frankenstein once Reverend Lovejoy and Homer show up to, respectively, tacitly condone and enthusiastically encourage the execution of a ten-year-old.  Even in the protected confines of a network comedy, an audience would be expected to blanche at a child contemplating wrongful execution.  Yet The Simpsons not only hung their entire ending off of it and made it funny the whole way, they let the real bad guys get away in the end.

25
Apr
11

Bonus Quote of the Day

Marge vs. the Monorail5

“Pardon me, but I would like to see this money spent on more police officers.  I have been shot eight times this year, and as a result I almost missed work.” – Apu Nahasapeemapetilon
“Crybaby.” – Chief Wiggum

Happy birthday Hank Azaria!

25
Apr
11

Quote of the Day

Lisa's Substitute3

“They need me over in the projects of Capital City.” – Mr. Bergstrom
“But, I need you too.” – Lisa Simpson
“That’s the problem with being middle class, anybody who really cares will abandon you for those who need it more.” – Mr. Bergstrom

Happy 20th anniversary to “Lisa’s Substitute”!  Original airdate 25 April 1991.

24
Apr
11

Quote of the Day

ET Easter

“I remember another gentle visitor from the heavens.  He came in peace, and then died, only to come back to life.  And his name was . . . E.T., the Extra Terrestrial.  I love that little guy.” – Reverend Lovejoy

23
Apr
11

Quote of the Day

Realty Bites4

“Hey, Skinner, wanna drag race?” – Homer Simpson
“My high school sweetheart was killed in a drag racing accident.” – Principal Skinner
“Come on, it’ll be fun.” – Homer Simpson
“That’s what Debbie-Sue said.” – Principal Skinner

22
Apr
11

Reading Digest: Children’s Art & Crossover Edition

A Star is Burns7

“Coming up next, ‘The Flintstones Meet The Jetsons’.” – TV Announcer
“Uh-oh, I smell another cheap cartoon crossover.” – Bart Simpson

There is a larger than usual list of links this week, we’ve got everything from lawn mowers and Lithuanian comic books to Homer cakes and another rebuttal of the idea that pop culture necessarily ages badly.  As for the title, well, there are two of them.  First someone pines for a crossover, and then an art teacher talks about how the interests of kids have changed over time.  Then someone gets a crossover, and we discover a way to infiltrate the very young.  Plus there’s the usual assortment of excellent usage, lists, and people who agree with us. 

Enjoy. 

Malibu Stacy lives on. – Smooth Charlie’s Click of the Week comes from our friend and commenter lennyburnham as she takes a look at some modern examples of the timelessly horrible things Talking Malibu Stacy says.  This is my favorite, referring to a chemistry set marketed to 9-year-old girls:

If your box says “Wrap your hair SPA STYLE with the cool hair wrap”, maybe it’s time to stop marketing your product as educational.

Indeed.

A quotable cake. – A delectable looking Homer cake, complete with lots of quotes and photos.

Homer Simpson’s Duff beer gives Lithuanian publisher a headache – I don’t know much about Lithuania, but this seems pretty dumb.  Lithuania has rules against advertising alcohol in comics.  Some genius, or shakedown artist take your pick, decided that even though Duff is fictional, because there are bootleg versions of it available in places like Mexico and Spain that depicting it requires a shutdown in publishing and a nearly $4,000 fine (via). 

INTERVIEW | Werner Herzog on 3D, “The Simpsons,” and Nicolas Cage – In an interview with Werner Herzog, someone pointed out to him that Zombie Simpsons sucks.  He didn’t care:

How did your voice acting on “The Simpsons” come about?

Well, the crazy thing that I have to confess was that I did not know it was an animated show. I had never seen it. However, I knew what it looked like because I had seen it in print media. I thought it was a comic strip, like Charlie Brown or something. When they approached me, I said, “What do you mean by speaking a guest part? Do they speak?” And they couldn’t believe it. They thought I was pulling their legs. But I really didn’t know, and I asked them to send me a DVD with some samples of the animated show, so I would understand how cartoonish the voices were. Still today, I think they believe I’m joking.

Well, that is pretty hard to believe. It’s “The Simpsons.”

Yes, I was told it has existed for more than twenty years, and they have been moving and speaking for more than 20 years. But I didn’t know. I watched a DVD of two or three excerpts from the last few episodes.

You should know, then, that the earlier seasons are a lot better.

I think these ones are still quite good. There’s some wonderful, vitriolic, subversive humor in it. I really liked working with these people and I think it is a wonderful step for me as an actor. Whatever I’ve done, I’ve done well, but of course my scope as an actor is limited. I’m always really good when it comes to violent, hostile, debased characters.

DUFF UNLOADS – This is a story about longtime Guns N Roses bassist Duff McKagan.  But I’m suspicious of this:

Yep, that’s right; the man whose legendary alcohol consumption allegedly inspired The Simpsons’ beer-mascot Duff Man now wants his peers to trust him with their royalties.

I, uh, never heard that Duff beer was based on him.  Nor do I think it was. 

Simpsons fan turns living room into model of cartoon town Springfield – A Daily Mail story (with lots of pictures) about Forty Square Feet of Awesome (via @springfieldx2). 

Nazi zombie simpsons – This is just a video of a Call of Duty mod someone made of the Simpsons house where the bad guys are zombies dressed like Homer.  You can watch 15 seconds of it and get the flavor, but there’s no way I’m not linking something called “Nazi zombie simpsons”. 

Waiting for someone else – Excellent usage from the University of Virginia’s student paper:

CAN’T SOMEONE else do it?” For “The Simpsons” aficionados, this slogan conjures up the episode in which Homer ran for sanitation commissioner and sang a parody of “The Candy Man” called “The Garbage Man.”

DVD Review: The Simpsons – Season 8 – I don’t think 8 is “the best” season, but I wholeheartedly agree with this:

Anyone who disputes the brilliance of The Simpsons needs to be hit over the head with this season.

You Are Lisa Simpson – That remains one of the most bittersweet moments in the entire show.  Also this is a blog titled “What I’m With Isn’t It. . .”.  Nice. 

Weed…In 10 Words – The hover text is from the only decent segment (notice I did not say “episode”) in Season 13. 

On pop culture references – That Matt Zoller Seitz article about the longevity of pop culture continues to echo through the internet.  This nice summation includes everything from Arrested Development to Jane Austen. 

quote of the day. 04/17/11 – The quote is missing a “just” between “you” and “go”, but that’s nitpicking, not the American way. 

Mr. Harper for PM, I mean, Mr. Burns. – Excellent Hulu YouTube of the Burns for Governor campaign team. 

The Lead Taker: Advice, advice, it’s all very nice – Excellent usage:

This month’s article begins with Bart Simpson lamenting “you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t”. How very true!

Spring Has Sprung, the Grass is Riz… – A post about the old fashioned push mower:

Whenever I do this, I think of Homer Simpson at the end of “Dead Putting Society” (from Season Two, at least eight seasons before the show began to head downhill). He and Ned entered into a wager about the miniature golf competition their sons were in. Because the contract was poorly written, both fathers lost the bet and each had to mow the other’s lawn in his wife’s Sunday dress.

Homer’s mower is like ours and the animators have him push-push-pushing the mower when it gets caught up on the grass. I wasn’t wearing a churchy dress (I was wearing jeans and a nursing top with lace on it), but I always picture Homer when I’m mowing.

I, too, have a push mower and, yes, it is impossible to use that thing without thinking of that episode.

Simpsons Sign WIN – The political wisdom of Kang and Kodos will be with us always. 

Harry Plopper WIN – Someone gave the recently released Harry Potter DVDs a nice sign. 

America Fun Fact of the Day 4/18- Insane American Patents – Some old, enjoyably wackaloon patents that I hope never got made, with bonus reference to “Deep Space Homer”. 

“When will I learn? The answer to life’s problems aren’t at the bottom of a bottle, they’re on TV!” -Homer Simpson – God bless Season 1 quotes from Freakoutville. 

Something that needs to happen… – First, the picture:

Homer & Bender

Ask:

I always love watching the old re-runs on Sky 1 but never the new episodes. The older ones bring back so many memories; the ‘monorail’ episode from season 4 sticks in my mind constantly. It seriously needs a new direction. The picture above is a hint to what I am thinking of…

The Simpsons Futurama Crossover Crisis (2010) – And ye shall receive:

The conceit behind these stories is that Fry reads Simpsons comics and he can be sent into their fictional world (a great way to avoid any “timeline conflicts,” should anyone care about that sorta thing.

In the first part, the brains that terrorize everyone in New New York (except Fry who is immune to their brain waves) make fictional characters come alive (much fun is had with that).  And since Fry has a Simpsons comic, all of the Springfield residents come to New New York and mayhem ensues.

Social Networks Are ‘Huge Boondoggle for Bad Guys’ – Still more excellent usage, this of the non-quote variety:

"The social media world has been a huge boondoggle for bad guys, not just in digging up information about you, but also in the vector of attack," said Stuart McClure, general manager, SVP and CTO of the risk and compliance unit at McAfee. "Bart Simpson used to put 10 megaphones together and whisper so it became a huge cacophony of sound. Much the same thing is happening with social media."

Back in the Day: meet the Simpsons – Nice picture of Groening and some people in costumes with the dead eyes. 

Middle school show returns to celebrate young artists – Aww:

Layne said when he began teaching art all of his students wanted to do projects featuring Bart Simpson, and later they wanted to do Spongebob Squarepants.
“Betty Boop has made a comeback, and this year it’s been Sesame Street,” he said. “I’ve got Cookie Monster and Oscar and several Elmos.
“For the first time ever I’ve had ‘Wizard of Oz,’” he added. “After all these years of teaching someone’s finally done ‘Wizard of Oz’ characters.”

Damn kids, not fawning over Bart like it’s 1990.  If only there was a way to correct that . . .

Coloring Pages maggie simpson – . . . how about some printable coloring book images for toddlers?  Get ’em young, I say. 

Handsome Pete – The Haiku. 

Homer – The Kindle screensaver.

The Top 5 Simpsons Episodes – This list is from our friends over at Stay Tooned In.  Good on them for having nothing past Season 7. 

Catch TV’s Greatest Hits The Concert in Sydney – On May 5th this is happening in Sydney:

Visitors can expect to hear addictive themes from programmes including Skippy, The Brady Bunch, I Dream of Jeannie, The Simpsons and many more.

It will be performed by Brady Bunch Singers and Gilligan’s Island Orchestra, with the organisers also promising special appearances from a number of secret guests.

Joe Montegna Honoured With Walk Of Fame Star – Watch out, Laszlo Panaflex. 

Maggie Roswell is wanted dead or alive by folks on "Simpsons" – A rather fawning interview with Maggie Roswell in The Denver Post.  Interesting tidbit, she rarely watches Zombie Simpsons. 

Ed Helms Totally Looks Like Frank Grimes – In that picture he does. 

Paper Pezzy- Ned Flanders by ~CyberDrone – Printable papercraft Ned Flanders. 

Teenage Maggie Simpson by ~Kenny-The-O – Fan made sketch of teenage Maggie from “Lisa’s Wedding”. 

Homer Simpson – Amazingly intricate (look at the hands!) balloon hat version of Homer from the 2010 Rose parade (via @springfieldx2)

Divorce Papers – This is from 2007, but it’s new to me (via @keymakerFD)

Scorpio, Wherefore Art Thou? – Same site as the above, but of a more recent vintage. 

2011: Armageddon Comes Early To Hopeless Film Geeks – Inspired by Werner Herzog’s recent guest turn on Zombie Simpsons, here’s a list and description of some other wacky projects that could involve cult directors.  Before it gets to that, we get this:

Well past its twentieth season, the once brilliant show has wrung itself painfully dry of laughs, and has only to be retired in physical fact as well as in attitude and spirit.

Got that right.

22
Apr
11

Quote of the Day

Ashes in My Mouth

Image used under Creative Commons license from Flickr user TooFarNorth. 

“How are you enjoying your ham, Homie?” – Marge Simpson
“Tastes so bitter it’s like ashes in my mouth.” – Homer Simpson
“Hmm, it’s actually more of a honey glaze.” – Marge Simpson

21
Apr
11

“Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment” Spews Truth

Homer vs Lisa and the 8th Commandment5

“Now, today’s Christian doesn’t think he needs God. He thinks he’s got it made. He’s got his hi-fi, his boob tube, and his instant pizza pie.” – Reverend Lovejoy
“Ooh, pizza.” – Homer Simpson

After we got such a positive response when we did those posts about “Lisa’s First Word”, and caught in the barren wasteland of the week it’s been around here, I thought I’d go back through the commentary tracks for The Simpsons and see what’s there. For the record, I have only ever heard a tiny handful of these. I got most of the DVD sets as soon as they came out, but I never listened to more than a couple of the commentaries because I often found myself just wanting to watch the episodes instead.

Remember, the early Naughts were an awkward time to watch the good episodes. Unless you were a VHS obsessive, the only way to see the old ones was on syndication. Season 2 came out on DVD in 2002, between Seasons 13 and 14, when the syndication runs were already substantially polluted with Zombie Simpsons. Nor did they always rerun the episodes in order or even equally. The first time I sat down with the Season 2 discs, I was amazed at the number of episodes I hadn’t seen in a couple of years or more.

Just based on this and the one or two other classic commentaries I’ve heard since I started doing “Lies Make Baby Jesus Cry”, the biggest difference is the lack of meandering tangents. There are still some long silences here and there, but they never stray from the episode. Literally everything they say is directly related to what’s going on. The second biggest difference is the fact that they laugh a lot more. And it’s not nervous laughter at something dumb, it’s fun giggles and chuckles at stuff they enjoyed or even had forgotten. There’s never a sense that they’re bored or killing time.

Five guys on this one, Al Jean, Steve Pepoon, Mike Reiss, Matt Groening, and Rich Moore

0:30 – Already into interesting trivia, as they originally had it titled without Lisa’s name, but episodes with her name in the title were always popular so they added it.

1:50 – Moore (I think) says that this was the first time they had a really busy sky, with a lot of clouds.

2:20 – Love for Hartman and his Charlton Heston impression.

3:00 – They really enjoyed doing all the cable channel parodies, which at the time no one had done.

3:30 – Noting Homer falling in front of the truck is “shot by shot” from North by Northwest.

3:35 – Someone (think it’s Reiss) says, impressed, “We’ve gone from Cecil B. DeMille to Hitchcock and we’re a minute-three into the episode.”

4:15 – Laughing at the potted plant Marge is holding, all in the service of a background gag that never gets mentioned.

5:00 – Laughing at the set for “Hear Me Roar: the network for women”.

5:40 – Laughing at the World Series of Cockfighting and pointing out that it’s Shearer doing the voice.

6:00 – More laughter at Lovejoy’s sermon.

7:40 – The “you’re no longer in Sunday school, don’t swear” is Pepoon’s favorite joke he ever wrote.

8:10 – Doug McClure, one of the guys they based Troy McClure off of, thought this was funny.

8:40 – Complimenting Moore on the animation as the living room dissolves into Hell.

9:15 – Laughing at the rolling shopping cart and Jimbo shoplifting apples.

10:00 – Reiss really enjoys episodes with strong themes like this, where they can play off of it endlessly. He cites the grape theft as a good example.

10:20 – Someone, not sure who, “Homer seems a lot more real in this episode than he seemed to become in a lot of the later episodes.” We know. Oh, how we know.

10:45 – They have a brief discussion about Homer becoming dumber over the years, which ends with them pegging his IQ at zero in Season 13, which they would’ve been working on right about the time they recorded this commentary. There you have it, proof that Zombie Simpsons has been flat lining ever since.

11:40 – Someone giggles at the fact that Burns has a video camera trained on the showers.

12:05 – Called themselves “a little intoxicated” writing Burns’ “florid prose”.

12:50 – Speculating that if they ever run out of ideas they can spin off the minor characters into their own programs. Look for “The Moe Show” in 2060.

13:15 – Laughing at Lovejoy and Lisa.

14:35 – Discussion about how they make the television flicker effect. Sometimes it’s animated on, but this was a second pass of the camera.

15:10 – Marge and Homer talking in bed is always really hard to stage. Jay Kogen acted out how Homer should put his foot down for the animators.

15:30 – The ever so brief “I was poor like you” line as Homer’s flipping channels was based on Tom Vu. It’s been more than twenty years, who knows how many viewings, and I never knew that was based on a real guy.

16:20 – Reiss (I think) points out how you can see the tape on Bart’s top hat, and it really makes it look like something he made himself out of construction paper. Now it’s like Bart has “access to some costume warehouse”.

16:40 – At the script reading, they all looked over a James L. Brooks when they read out “Broadcast Nudes” because he had written Broadcast News, but he gave no reaction.

17:45 – Jean thinks the name “Drederick” came from a real fighter George Meyer once saw.

18:25 – Laughing at all the quick action as Homer hides the stuff he stole.

18:55 – Laughing at Burns thinking Barney is Homer.

19:25 – Laughing at Homer instantly trying to shift all the blame for the illegal cable onto his wife when Lou and Eddie show up.

21:45 – Laughing that Burns recounting of the old fight he saw would make him about a 120 years old.

22:05 – Noticing that the Atlanta Braves joke doesn’t work as well since at the time they were only on cable because they were dead last, then they got super good for an entire decade. Joe Franklin’s the same way.

22:40 – Trying to remember which shows they beat out for an Emmy with this one. They’re not sure.

21
Apr
11

Quote of the Day

Loveable Germans

Left image taken from Wikipedia.

“I am Horst; the new owners have elected me to speak with you because I am the most non-threatening.  Perhaps I remind you of the loveable Sergeant Schultz on ‘Hogan’s Heroes’?” – Horst

20
Apr
11

Quote of the Day

Team Homer4

“They think they’re so high and mighty, just because they never got caught driving without pants.” – Moe

19
Apr
11

Source Material

“They haven’t changed a bit, have they?” – Troy McClure

Apologies for the relative lack of posts the last few days.  I had a couple of ideas go south on me, and Google Alerts has been bone dry of interesting ephemera of late.  Today is the 24th anniversary of the premier of the shorts, and all the internet coughed up (that I saw, anyway) was a few “On this day” type things.  In honor of this momentous occasion, however, here’s part of the very first one (easily recognizable from its inclusion in “The 138th Episode Spectacular”) as it appeared on The Tracey Ullman Show:

That’s a 29-year-old Dan Castellaneta as the asshole ambulance victim.  There are many more at YouTube, or you can download all of them over at Simpson Crazy

Update: Damn, embedding disabled.  At least it’s only one click away. 

19
Apr
11

Quote of the Day

Lisa's Pony9

“Although there is no change in my patrician facade, I can assure you, my heart is breaking.” – Lady at The Grateful Gelding Stables




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