21
Jun
11

Crazy Noises: When You Dish Upon a Star

Fred Astaire Vacuum Cleaner

Image yoinked from here.

“You people must realize that the public owns you for life, and when you’re dead, you’ll all be in commercials dancing with vacuum cleaners.” – Homer Simpson

For the third summer in a row, we at the Dead Homer Society are looking to satisfy your off-season longing for substandard commentary on substandard Simpsons.  This summer we’ll be looking at Season 10.  Why Season 10?  Because we’ve already done Seasons 8 and 9 and we can’t put it off any longer.  Prior to Season 10, we watched as the show started falling over, this is when it fell over.  And while the dust wouldn’t settle completely for another season or so, there is no bigger gap in quality than the one between Season 9 and Season 10.  Since we prefer things to remain just as they were in 1995, we’re sticking with this chatroom thing instead of some newer means of communication that we all know just isn’t as good.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (though not on “jerkassosity”, which isn’t a word but totally should be).

Today’s episode is 1005, “When You Dish Upon a Star”.  Tomorrow will be 1006, “D’Oh-in’ in the Wind”.

Charlie Sweatpants: Shall we get going?

Mad Jon: Let’s do it

Start with the dish?

Charlie Sweatpants: I haven’t watching the movie star episode in a long time. Having done it again, I remember why. This is like blueprint for Zombie Simpsons, pointless celebrity voices, Jerkass Homer, and a near bottomless supply of stupid plot twists.

Mad Jon: Yeah, there are some funny things, but Homer’s insanity is too prevalent

Dave: That was what stood out to me most; the intensity of Homer’s jerkassosity

Pretty much non-stop end-to-end

Mad Jon: Right from when he meets Alec and Kim to the end, it was like they were buddies in high school and Homer was the one everyone avoided.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well described. Why the stars liked him was never explained, and he couldn’t have been more unlikable if he’d set their house on fire.

Mad Jon: And I know it was intentional, so they could get the craziness going right away, but how is Homer not star struck?

Dave: He is, they just kept it truncated for the reason you mentioned

Charlie Sweatpants: Homer’s not star struck, because neither were the people who wrote and approved this.

More than anything, this feels like they took all the Hollywood insider jokes they’d been making to each other and tried to string an episode out of them.

Mad Jon: I can see that. Although I did like Ron Howard’s blatant alcoholism.

Charlie Sweatpants: Howard is one of the bright spots here, especially his relationship with Homer’s terrible movie idea.

Mad Jon: That was actually pretty funny

  That joke got better as the episode went on.

Charlie Sweatpants: It did. Unfortunately, it was also the only one to do so.

Dave: I tend to see this as the gateway drug to future Howard appearances that are less successful

Mad Jon: Agreed

  With both of you for that matter.

Charlie Sweatpants: Wait, he was on the show again?

Mad Jon: I don’t actually remember….

Dave: Yes.

Charlie Sweatpants: Hmm, IMDb says he was, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0701105/.

Dave: http://simpsons.wikia.com/wiki/Ron_Howard

Mad Jon: Well I’ll be buggered!

Charlie Sweatpants: Damn you, Dave, for your more informative link.

Dave: So really it was only once more that Howard shows up.

  But I seem to remember his second stint to be less successful. He takes his kids to a celebrity zoo or some shit

Charlie Sweatpants: I still don’t get your point though. Ron Howard wasn’t the problem going forward, "Arrested Development" is proof enough of that. This one does feel like the mythical gateway drug, though more for the aforementioned Jerkass Homer and pointless "as him/herself".

Dave: And he briefly chokes out Homer

Mad Jon: With a singing hippo or something, I remember now.

Dave: Yeah. So I overstated Howard’s impact. It was one other appearance that wasn’t quite as good.

It was a fantastapotamus.

Mad Jon: ah.

Charlie Sweatpants: So we’re agreed that Ron Howard was among the few good parts of this one. Too bad about the rest of the episode though, because there’s not a lot to love here.

Mad Jon: Yeah, I think there were a couple of good, as you pointed out "inside jokes", like the Oscar polish joke, but other than that, phhhhbtt.

Although I also liked the sign at the lake.

Dave: I liked the bit in the beginning about wearing a tie with no pants.

  That’s sort of a dream of mine, actually.

Mad Jon: Do you also dream about tearing a park ranger to shreds?

You might want to get that checked out.

Dave: So noted.

Charlie Sweatpants: I maintain that Homer putting his arms around Basinger and Baldwin is a watershed moment, even if it was more of a signpost than a turning point.

Mad Jon:  Go on….

Charlie Sweatpants: Homer Simpson is many things, but he is not beloved by society’s winners.

Him being liked by the movie stars, to the point that they feel guilty about firing him, is one of the first times it becomes clear that Homer-in-the-show is becoming as popular as Homer-outside-the-show. And that is a very bad thing.

Mad Jon: I can see that.

Charlie Sweatpants: Late note: I like the beginning of the Yogi Bear dream, but then it goes on too damn long. Just like so many other things, in Season 10 and since.

Mad Jon: Still, a decent opening for a later season.

Charlie Sweatpants: The dream yes, but as soon as he wakes up he’s suddenly Jerkass Homer, thinking he’s a good father. The Homer I know and love is perfectly aware that he is a terrible father and has all but nothing of which to be proud.

Mad Jon: That is true.

  I forget the line.

Charlie Sweatpants: I was referring to the whole "making promises/keeping promises" thing right after he wakes up from Hanna Barbara.

Mad Jon: Yeah, that’s it.

Charlie Sweatpants: And from there it just gets worse, not only does he make fun of the movie stars, he starts to think he’s as good as them. The scene at dinner with Marge and the kids is fucking painful to watch. Homer Simpson – Homer Simpson(!) – turning his nose up at mass market sloppy joes? Never.

The point is, that there isn’t any part of this episode that doesn’t at least kinda suck. There are several good lines and a few great deliveries of said lines, which is more than we usually get from Zombie Simpsons today, but there’s never a part of this episode where stupidly zany shit isn’t making the whole thing feel dumb.

Mad Jon: That’s it in a nutshell.

Charlie Sweatpants: If I may, there’s one thing that jumped out at me, especially in light of the fact that this is the first time I saw this episode since I started watching Zombie Simpsons.

Dave: What’s that?

Charlie Sweatpants: Did you notice that both Sideshow Mel (outside the gates) and Krusty (in Homer’s stupid museum that he made in the RV he got where?) were among the gawkers?

Mad Jon: Yep. National celebrities, unless there are any real celebrities around I guess.

Charlie Sweatpants: Exactly. Krusty is supposed to be for real famous, and Mel is hardly the type to sniff movie star crotch for fun. Here though, they’ve given up on caring about who’s in what scene. They’re just there because.

Mad Jon: As you’ve pointed out many times before, they are recognizable characters.

Dave: Don’t forget the gawking at the bar over Kent Brockman.

Charlie Sweatpants: This episode is chalk full of those kinds of shortcuts that make you go "huh?". Why is Homer shopping in the Hummer at Kwik-E-Mart, why do the movie stars think they can just drive out of the front gate when the previous five minutes of screen time have had a mob of people there? How did Homer manage to be their assistant without disrupting the rest of his life?

Dave: He’s not a celebrity.

  He’s one of them.

Mad Jon: 4 day weekend.

Charlie Sweatpants: I guess.

There are a couple of flashes of humor here, Homer’s speech in court is a nicely funny description of the twisted world of modern celebrity, but like his insane movie pitch, it’s something that would’ve been funny anywhere. None of it had anything to do – or even fit in with – what was happening in the episode.

Anything else here? Can we go frolic in the grass with the hippies? They’re a hell of a lot more fun than the celebrities.

Mad Jon: Agreed, let’s get out of this one.

“You people must realize that the public owns you for life, and when you’re dead, you’ll all be in commercials dancing with vacuum cleaners.” – Homer Simpson

For the third summer in a row, we at the Dead Homer Society are looking to satisfy your off-season longing for substandard commentary on substandard Simpsons.  This summer we’ll be looking at Season 10.  Why Season 10?  Because we’ve already done Seasons 8 and 9 and we can’t put it off any longer.  Prior to Season 10, we watched as the show started falling over, this is when it fell over.  And while the dust wouldn’t settle completely for another season or so, there is no bigger gap in quality than the one between Season 9 and Season 10.  Since we prefer things to remain just as they were in 1995, we’re sticking with this chatroom thing instead of some newer means of communication that we all know just isn’t as good.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (though not on “jerkassosity”, which isn’t a word but totally should be).

Today’s episode is 1005, “When You Dish Upon a Star”.  Tomorrow will be 1006, “D’Oh-in’ in the Wind”.

Charlie Sweatpants: Shall we get going?

Mad Jon: Let’s do it

Start with the dish?

Charlie Sweatpants: I haven’t watching the movie star episode in a long time. Having done it again, I remember why. This is like blueprint for Zombie Simpsons, pointless celebrity voices, Jerkass Homer, and a near bottomless supply of stupid plot twists.

Mad Jon: Yeah, there are some funny things, but Homer’s insanity is too prevalent

Dave: That was what stood out to me most; the intensity of Homer’s jerkassosity

Pretty much non-stop end-to-end

Mad Jon: Right from when he meets Alec and Kim to the end, it was like they were buddies in high school and Homer was the one everyone avoided.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well described. Why the stars liked him was never explained, and he couldn’t have been more unlikable if he’d set their house on fire.

Mad Jon: And I know it was intentional, so they could get the craziness going right away, but how is Homer not star struck?

Dave: He is, they just kept it truncated for the reason you mentioned

Charlie Sweatpants: Homer’s not star struck, because neither were the people who wrote and approved this.

More than anything, this feels like they took all the Hollywood insider jokes they’d been making to each other and tried to string an episode out of them.

Mad Jon: I can see that. Although I did like Ron Howard’s blatant alcoholism.

Charlie Sweatpants: Howard is one of the bright spots here, especially his relationship with Homer’s terrible movie idea.

Mad Jon: That was actually pretty funny

  That joke got better as the episode went on.

Charlie Sweatpants: It did. Unfortunately, it was also the only one to do so.

Dave: I tend to see this as the gateway drug to future Howard appearances that are less successful

Mad Jon: Agreed

  With both of you for that matter.

Charlie Sweatpants: Wait, he was on the show again?

Mad Jon: I don’t actually remember….

Dave: Yes.

Charlie Sweatpants: Hmm, IMDb says he was, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0701105/.

Dave: http://simpsons.wikia.com/wiki/Ron_Howard

Mad Jon: Well I’ll be buggered!

Charlie Sweatpants: Damn you, Dave, for your more informative link.

Dave: So really it was only once more that Howard shows up.

  But I seem to remember his second stint to be less successful. He takes his kids to a celebrity zoo or some shit

Charlie Sweatpants: I still don’t get your point though. Ron Howard wasn’t the problem going forward, "Arrested Development" is proof enough of that. This one does feel like the mythical gateway drug, though more for the aforementioned Jerkass Homer and pointless "as him/herself".

Dave: And he briefly chokes out Homer

Mad Jon: With a singing hippo or something, I remember now.

Dave: Yeah. So I overstated Howard’s impact. It was one other appearance that wasn’t quite as good.

It was a fantastapotamus.

Mad Jon: ah.

Charlie Sweatpants: So we’re agreed that Ron Howard was among the few good parts of this one. Too bad about the rest of the episode though, because there’s not a lot to love here.

Mad Jon: Yeah, I think there were a couple of good, as you pointed out "inside jokes", like the Oscar polish joke, but other than that, phhhhbtt.

Although I also liked the sign at the lake.

Dave: I liked the bit in the beginning about wearing a tie with no pants.

  That’s sort of a dream of mine, actually.

Mad Jon: Do you also dream about tearing a park ranger to shreds?

You might want to get that checked out.

Dave: So noted.

Charlie Sweatpants: I maintain that Homer putting his arms around Basinger and Baldwin is a watershed moment, even if it was more of a signpost than a turning point.

Mad Jon:  Go on….

Charlie Sweatpants: Homer Simpson is many things, but he is not beloved by society’s winners.

Him being liked by the movie stars, to the point that they feel guilty about firing him, is one of the first times it becomes clear that Homer-in-the-show is becoming as popular as Homer-outside-the-show. And that is a very bad thing.

Mad Jon: I can see that.

Charlie Sweatpants: Late note: I like the beginning of the Yogi Bear dream, but then it goes on too damn long. Just like so many other things, in Season 10 and since.

Mad Jon: Still, a decent opening for a later season.

Charlie Sweatpants: The dream yes, but as soon as he wakes up he’s suddenly Jerkass Homer, thinking he’s a good father. The Homer I know and love is perfectly aware that he is a terrible father and has all but nothing of which to be proud.

Mad Jon: That is true.

  I forget the line.

Charlie Sweatpants: I was referring to the whole "making promises/keeping promises" thing right after he wakes up from Hanna Barbara.

Mad Jon: Yeah, that’s it.

Charlie Sweatpants: And from there it just gets worse, not only does he make fun of the movie stars, he starts to think he’s as good as them. The scene at dinner with Marge and the kids is fucking painful to watch. Homer Simpson – Homer Simpson(!) – turning his nose up at mass market sloppy joes? Never.

The point is, that there isn’t any part of this episode that doesn’t at least kinda suck. There are several good lines and a few great deliveries of said lines, which is more than we usually get from Zombie Simpsons today, but there’s never a part of this episode where stupidly zany shit isn’t making the whole thing feel dumb.

Mad Jon: That’s it in a nutshell.

Charlie Sweatpants: If I may, there’s one thing that jumped out at me, especially in light of the fact that this is the first time I saw this episode since I started watching Zombie Simpsons.

Dave: What’s that?

Charlie Sweatpants: Did you notice that both Sideshow Mel (outside the gates) and Krusty (in Homer’s stupid museum that he made in the RV he got where?) were among the gawkers?

Mad Jon: Yep. National celebrities, unless there are any real celebrities around I guess.

Charlie Sweatpants: Exactly. Krusty is supposed to be for real famous, and Mel is hardly the type to sniff movie star crotch for fun. Here though, they’ve given up on caring about who’s in what scene. They’re just there because.

Mad Jon: As you’ve pointed out many times before, they are recognizable characters.

Dave: Don’t forget the gawking at the bar over Kent Brockman.

Charlie Sweatpants: This episode is chalk full of those kinds of shortcuts that make you go "huh?". Why is Homer shopping in the Hummer at Kwik-E-Mart, why do the movie stars think they can just drive out of the front gate when the previous five minutes of screen time have had a mob of people there? How did Homer manage to be their assistant without disrupting the rest of his life?

Dave: He’s not a celebrity.

  He’s one of them.

Mad Jon: 4 day weekend.

Charlie Sweatpants: I guess.

There are a couple of flashes of humor here, Homer’s speech in court is a nicely funny description of the twisted world of modern celebrity, but like his insane movie pitch, it’s something that would’ve been funny anywhere. None of it had anything to do – or even fit in with – what was happening in the episode.

Anything else here? Can we go frolic in the grass with the hippies? They’re a hell of a lot more fun than the celebrities.

Mad Jon: Agreed, let’s get out of this one.

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11 Responses to “Crazy Noises: When You Dish Upon a Star”


  1. 1 Bea Simmons' rotting corpse
    21 June 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Easily among the bottom of the barrel of 90′s episodes. Blech!

    Ron Howard would’ve appeared a 3rd time in Children of a Lesser Clod when it was still titled The Kids Stay in the Picture and the 3rd act involved Homer helping Ron with a Gladiatoresque movie. They changed the 3rd act pretty late in production though, to the joy of the animation department ;p

  2. 2 Slayer of Scully
    21 June 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Fuck you, Mike Sculley.

    • 3 Slayer of Scully
      21 June 2011 at 7:02 pm

      Whoops, it’s Scully, not “Sculley”. But my remark still stands. He ran this show into the ground quality-wise and lay the groundwork for the rotting corpse of Zombie Simpsons today.

  3. 4 Nick
    21 June 2011 at 7:05 pm

    I think the thing that bothered me the most about this episode is when Moe asks about what famous celebrities Homer met, and all he can think of is Alec and Kim. What, did he forget that he met Mel Brooks, Buzz Aldrin, and the Smashing Pumpkins before?

    By the way, major double post there.

  4. 21 June 2011 at 7:17 pm

    I always figured that this episode would’ve been better if it was just Ron and not Alec & Kim. I was never a fan of this episode, except for Ron, the opening scene at the beach, and the ending.

    Alec’s a great comedic actor, but he was seriously wasted in BOTH of his stints on the show.

  5. 7 Joe C.
    21 June 2011 at 7:45 pm

    I always thought Ron Howard did a hell of a lot better job than Alec or Kim. It’s one of those examples where being A-list actor (in their own right) doesn’t always translate from film to voice acting. Alex and Kim just seemed to have more dull and monotone voices, which for a cartoon is usually not a good thing. At least Ron has a good sense of humor and allowed himself to be humiliated in the episode.

  6. 8 Mr. Incognito
    21 June 2011 at 9:11 pm

    I was never a fan of this episode, but just about everything involving Ron Howard is funny. That includes the “Lawnmower” and the overall movie idea (the talking pie part cracks me up), as well as the freeze-frame of Ronnie grabbing the money bags.

    Also, the freeze-frame “20th Century Fox: A Division of Walt Disney Co.”

  7. 22 June 2011 at 3:44 am

    Most of your criticisms about this season have revolved around characters not acting like themselves. You complain about Homer not accepting Sloppy Joes, actually being accepted by the celebrities, thinking he’s a good father, etc. So what if season 10 was the first season to air? Would you still find this episode as dreadful, or does most of the agony come from comparing Homer to the Homer of previous seasons?

    I could ask the same thing about season 22, but those have faaar too many problems that go beyond acting out of character.

    • 10 Charlie Sweatpants
      22 June 2011 at 10:10 am

      “So what if season 10 was the first season to air? Would you still find this episode as dreadful, or does most of the agony come from comparing Homer to the Homer of previous seasons?”

      That’s an interesting way to put it. If the show had started in Season 10, my guess is that I would’ve watched it and chuckled a few times, and then not thought very much about it afterwards. I also don’t think it would’ve lasted more than a couple of seasons, and I highly doubt we’d be talking much about it thirteen years after it was broadcast.

  8. 11 Chris
    22 June 2011 at 1:50 pm

    If the show had started during season 10, it would have been cancelled after season 12, because season 12 was absolutely dreadful. Only a show with the glorious reputation of the Simpsons could produce episodes like Kill the Alligator and Run and Simpson Safari and live to tell about it.


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