“Guess what, Homey? There’s going to be twice as much love in this house as there is now!” – Marge Simpson
“We’re gonna start doing it in the morning?” – Homer Simpson
“No.” – Marge Simpson
“Oh.” – Homer Simpson
“We’re going to have another baby.” – Marge Simpson
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“Hey, Dad, I’ve come to spend some time with my favorite father.” – Homer Simpson
“Baloney! You came here to put me in a home.” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson
“You’re already in a home.” – Homer Simpson
“Oh, how could you?” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson
“Congratulations, Mr. Simpson, this invention of yours has made us all rich, especially you! It’s simple yet ingenious, and it fits right in the palm of your hand. Every person in America now owns one of these, and in many cases, three or four.” – Imaginary Executive
“Uh, could I just get a look at that?” – Homer Simpson
“Now, why would you need to see it? You’re the genius who invented the . . . product in question.” – Imaginary Executive
The big news this week was the first look at “Simpsons World”, an app/website-of-some-kind that’ll be debuting in October. I have very mixed feelings about it, and I’m sure we’ll learn more once people who aren’t obsequious entertainment reporters can get their hands on it. For now, however, there’s quite a lot to be excited about (easy access to clips, being able to stream the show) and quite a lot to be pissed about (you must have cable, your cable company must have FXX, AND it’s only in the US). How much of either ends up in the final product remains to be seen.
In addition to that we’ve got word record breaking tattoos, two more Lego links, old video games, finger nail art, fan art, and some excellent usage. Enjoy.
With FXX’s Simpsons World, A Clip Database Comes Closer to Non-Linear Reality – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is – by far – the most thoughtful first hand account of Simpsons World I read. There is some healthy skepticism here along with fanboi excitement about what some of the promised features could mean. It’s a little long, but in a week where every entertainment site seemed to do little more than quote the press release, you’re better off reading this than ten of those. The fact that there’s going to be a currency called “donuts” that you can “earn” makes me very leery, for obvious reasons.
Here’s how the new Simpsons app will change your life – A quicker breakdown highlighting some of the main features.
‘The Simpsons World’ app won’t be available in Canada – And this is part of the reason why I have mixed feelings. TV rights are locked into ancient distribution deals that are definitely bad for fans and, one suspects, also bad for the people who create the shows. Endless legal arcana has always been a big help to the bosses screwing the worker bees. As Bill Oakley sarcastically noted earlier this week:
Mondrian and Homer Simpson Inspired Wine Bottles – Some Russian designers created fake Homer and Marge wine bottles. They are gorgeous, too bad there’s no wine in them (yet).
Simpsons Fan Sets Record With 41 Homer Simpson Tattoos – I put this up on Twitter a few days ago, but there’s plenty of good pictures at the link. The one of Homer inside his Ganesh costume is a nice touch.
The … – Duplo Simpsons!
You can’t mess up with Lego. – Surprisingly creepy Flanders. Looks like after the Gremlin got to him.
“And I for one welcome our new insect overlords…” – The complete background and a few examples of modern usage.
The Simpsons to kill off Krusty the Clown: 6 life lessons he taught us – The hot rumor is that they’re going to “kill” Krusty. I would be skeptical if I bothered to care. However, there are some good Krusty moments here, including a great .gif of him killing the wealthy dowager.
10 Hilarious “The Simpsons” Moments – Plenty of good YouTube here.
Nvidia Announces Shield Tablet, an Android Device for Hardcore Gamers – Excellent usage:
In an online press briefing yesterday, Shield Tablet general manager Matt Wuebbling said the market for mobile devices has matured to the point that a company like Nvidia can respond to the specific needs of a niche like hardcore gamers. A trend of homogeneity turning to variety is coming to tablets the same way it came to cars and PCs, Wuebbling said.
And if tablets were cars, Nvidia seemingly wants the Shield to be the Canyonero from “The Simpsons”:
Unexplained fires will be a matter for the courts!
DC: (If the world were going to end in a year) and you were allowed to play any one festival, what would it be?
MF: We got this question the other day, and I’m still sticking with the Simpsons one.
DM: Oh yeah, Hullabalooza. The Smashing Pumpkins would have to play.
SD: Sonic Youth plays too, right?
DM: Yeah. And Peter Frampton. He’s headlining.
And in between sets they could watch the acts from the Pageant of the Trans-Mundane.
Homer Simpson’s parenting advice – There’s a couple Zombie quotes on here, but it’s a pretty solid list.
The Simpsons 25 – A heartfelt and touching remembrance of a lost child through the show.
20 ‘Simpsons’ Quotes That Everyone Hears In Everyday Conversation – Nice list. Not sure how often you actually hear some of these, but nice list nevertheless (via @dailysimpsons).
Gameplay – Midnight Rescue was a great game, and don’t feel bad for learning wordplay from the likes of Chalmers. We all did.
‘Simpsons’ Fan Made Only Coke Name Bottle Worth Owning – Someone finally took this to its logical conclusion. Unfortunately, Coke is now sold out of “Bort” personalized bottles. I repeat, they are sold out of “Bort” bottles.
Mike Scully’s “The Simpsons”: When everything went wrong – Our old friend Stefan Grasso takes some swings at the Scully years.
Newt! (OMD2) – Fingernail designs inspired by “Radioactive Man”.
Planet of the Apes (1968) Review – I saw “A Fish Called Selma” long before I saw the old Charlton Heston movie too:
Aside from what I’d picked up in a Simpsons episode with a musical version of the movie, Planet of the Apes was a mystery. I had an idea that it was much more about chasing humans, action-packed fight sequences and heavy science-fiction.
It’s only after you’ve seen the movie that you pick up on other references, like the parents rounding up the kids at the beginning of “Bart’s Girlfriend”.
The Simpsons: “The Otto Show” – Even when people don’t like a particular episode, it’s still generally pretty good.
14 Classic Episodes from The Simpsons, season 5 (and 8 memorable ones!) – Season 5 is just insanely solid.
You Are Lisa Simpson – A list of sad animated moments includes “Jurassic Bark” and Homer sitting on the hood of his car after saying goodbye to his mother.
SNES A Day 59: Krusty’s Super Fun House – That was a pretty fun game.
“The Simpsons” needs to can its celebrity guest stars – And finally, I get to end the way I like, with someone who agrees with us. In this case it’s mainstream outlet Salon:
There are two ways the celebrity guest appearance goes on “The Simpsons”; in some cases, a star appears as him- or herself, as with the episode where Lisa and Lady Gaga become friends. In others, a star riffs on his or her persona, as in the episode in which Homer and Marge become friends with “hipsters from Portland” played by Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein. The only commonality here is that in all cases, no matter who the celebrity is, their persona takes over the plot. In the world of the show, Lisa would never become friends with a pop star and Homer and Marge are studiously unhip. But still the celebrities must be shoehorned in, even when it means that the story either ignores what we know about the characters or just makes the nominal stars of the show into bland sounding boards.
“The Simpsons” has never been realistic, but in its best years it obeyed internal logic as to how its characters would behave. Dustin Hoffman’s famous appearance as “Mr. Bergstrom,” Lisa’s substitute teacher, cleverly demonstrated Lisa’s need for respect from adults. But such stories need to be done subtly, with an attention to narrative coherence. Even stars as hammy as Kelsey Grammer playing Bart’s nemesis Sideshow Bob could have told an interesting story, but simply plugging in a celebrity and expecting greatness is a tall order.
Except for when they talk to reporters, the staff stopped expecting greatness a long time ago.
“You call hamburgers ‘Steamed Hams’?” – Superintendent Chalmers
“Yes. It’s a regional dialect.” – Principal Skinner
“Uh-huh, what region?” – Superintendent Chalmers
“Uh, upstate New York.” – Principal Skinner
“Really. Well, I’m from Utica and I’ve never heard anyone use the phrase ‘Steamed Hams’.” – Superintendent Chalmers
“Oh, not in Utica, no, it’s an Albany expression.” – Principal Skinner
“Maggie is allergic to strained pears and she likes a bottle of warm milk before nap time.” – Marge Simpson
“A bottle? Mrs. Simpson, do you know what a baby’s saying when she reaches for a bottle?” – Ms. Sinclair
“Ba ba?” – Marge Simpson
“She’s saying, ‘I am a leech!’. Our aim here is to develop the bottle within.” – Ms. Sinclair
Happy birthday Jon Lovitz!
“The way I see it, if you raise three children who can knock out and hog tie a perfect stranger, you must be doing something right.” – Marge Simpson
A few months ago I stopped resisting and finally got a smart phone. It’s very snazzy and does lots of things my beloved old flip phone couldn’t do, including play video. Naturally, this got me to thinking about how I could get The Simpsons on there. Way back in 2006, I ripped all my DVDs to .avi files that came in at ~183MB each. (These are the files from which I get pretty much all of the screen grabs on this site.) For the 203 episodes that comprise Seasons 1-9, that’s a total of 37.2GB. My new phone, snazzy though it is, has only 32GB of space, a mere 26.8GB of which is available for media storage. To paraphrase Hermes Conrad, if I know anything about which number is bigger than the other number, those files won’t all fit on the phone. Ergo, time to re-rip the DVDs to smaller files.
Now, ripping teevee show DVDs is boring, repetitive and time consuming, so I put it off a good long while. But on Friday I finally got off my duff and figured out the right settings in HandBrake for a good balance between quality and file size. For the curious, I settled on H.264 at 320kbps video and 96kbps audio in a .mkv file to preserve the DVD chapters. More importantly, each episode runs just ~73MB, and once I’m done they should come in just under 15GB total. These won’t look or sound great on my television, but on a tiny phone screen with headphones, they’re just fine thank you.
One of the annoyances of all this is making sure each file gets named correctly. HandBrake can’t automatically add the titles to the filenames (you have select “Title1″ and so on), and after each disc is done I’m left with something like this:
Simpsons – 401 – .mkv
Simpsons – 402 – .mkv
Simpsons – 403 – .mkv
Simpsons – 404 – .mkv
Since I’ve never watched these files before and it’s always possible that I goofed and picked the wrong part of the disc or made some other mundane mistake, I check them after I add episode titles. I don’t need to watch the whole thing, just play the file real quick, skip to the somewhere past the credits, and make sure that the file I’ve just called “Simpsons – 403 – Homer the Heretic.mkv” is, in fact, “Homer the Heretic”. I finished through Season 4 yesterday, and I just started ripping Season 5 today. So I have popped open and seen a few random seconds from a lot of episodes this weekend.
Doing so has served as yet another reminder (not that I needed one) of how astonishingly dense this show is. You can skip to almost any part of an episode and see something that is laugh out loud funny. Boop, there’s Bart thinking they can’t afford all the library books in “Dead Putting Society”. Boop, there’s the casino reverend handing Homer ten dollars worth of chips and telling him to kiss the bride. Boop, there’s “The Erotic Adventures of Hercules”, with Normal Fell as Zeus! Whether you land in an A-plot, a B-plot, or even just a cutaway or flashback, there’s something memorable and funny.
I have no real point here, it’s just amazing, especially when you remember that these episodes are all 20+ years old.
“I think it’s nice we’re doing something Maggie will enjoy for once. Besides, I’m sure Storytown Village is also fun for everyone, from eight to . . . God only knows.” – Marge Simpson
There are more than a few things that make The Simpsons unique, even when compared to other hit programs. Close to the top of that list, and this is borne out more and more with each passing year, is the damned near agelessness of it. At some point, the world is going to tire of the Simpsons family and it’ll become a part of history, but that point seems to keep receding into the future rather than coming closer. This week we’ve got a couple more links about that very adult play positing that the culture of the show would survive the apocalypse, and in a nice contrast to that we’ve also got glowing write ups of old episodes from a teenager (who wasn’t even born when the episodes he’s watching were made) and even younger kids who dress up and act out the show. We take that persistent interest for granted, but it’s pretty damned mind blowing when you take a second to think about it.
In addition to that we’ve got a couple of people who agree with us, the most detailed Lego breakdown yet, Lego Gorilla the Conqueror, shameless Buddha merchandise, and some excellent usage. Enjoy.
The Simpsons Lego House – I’ve linked a few people assembling the Simpsons Lego set before, but nobody’s taken this many pictures and gone into this much detail. If you want an up close look at what’s in that box, this is the link for you.
The Simpsons: “Dog of Death” – Young, soon to be college student takes a look at some of Season 3 that he’s never seen before and comes away impressed . . .
The Simpsons: “Colonel Homer” – . . . particularly with this one:
Hilarious, emotional, and wonderfully paced, it doesn’t get more classic The Simpsons than “Colonel Homer.”
The Simpsons: “Black Widower” – These episodes were made before he was born, hard to see anyone doing the same for Season 23 in two decades or so.
Truro school celebrate end of summer term with unusual school production – And speaking of the kids being alright, here’s some even younger ones dressed up as the “Sampsons” for a play.
Producers Endorse New Fox Presidents: ‘They Really Know What They’re Doing’ – Al Jean knows where his bread is buttered:
“I’ve worked with them both for a while, and they really know what they’re doing,” said “The Simpsons” executive producer Al Jean, who pointed to their long string of successes with comedies like “How I Met Your Mother.” “I think of the 23 network presidents ‘The Simpsons’ have had, they’ll be the best.”
Meet the new monkey bosses, same as the old monkey bosses.
ELEVEN PARIS x The Simpsons x colette – Promoting the high fashion merchandise means opening up a Simpsons themed something or other in Paris for a little while:
If you are a Simpsons fan and in Paris over the coming weeks, do try and make the effort to go and see the fun and loud Simpsons lair lurking under the super chic glass, chrome interior of colette. It’s the closest you may get to Springfield on this side of the Atlantic, until they open a Euro Universal Studios
Hello? Euro Universal Studios open for business!
The Simpson Family & the Respective Strains of Weed That Match Their Characters (You’re Welcome!) – The weirdness of the Homer_Marijuana twitter account continue to echo.
WWLSR: Seasons 7-9 – The Lisa reading project rolls on, including through the book heavy “Summer of 4 Ft. 2″.
Bunch of bloody clowns… – Fan made collage that includes a rather Mr. Sparkle looking Homer.
The Simpsons – The “25 Years Comic Con” poster.
Flashback: ‘The Simpsons’ Turn ‘Planet of the Apes’ Into a Musical – Video – There’s video, and there’s this:
As awesome as Dawn of the Planet of the Apes may be, it’s definitely not the best resurrection of the franchise. That honor still goes to the 1996 Simpsons episode “A Fish Called Selma,” which featured Troy McClure (voiced by the legendary Phil Hartman) reviving his stalled career by appearing in a musical adaptation of The Planet of the Apes entitled “Stop the Planet of the Apes. I Want To Get Off!”
And he’s starring as . . . the human!
Celebrate 25 Years of The Simpsons with 7″ Silver Homer Buddha – He is not forgetting the first two Noble Truths!
Tritone-Based Songs: The Devil’s Music – I did not know this:
It’s the very first notes you hear: “The Siiiiiimmmm-” form a tritone, before “-mmpsons” resolves back to a perfect fifth. The bass notes you can hear poking through now and again also follow a pattern that’s based around the Devil’s interval.
If you play the close credits backwards, there’s a recipe for a really ripping lentil soup.
Brilliant and Bonkers… ‘Mr Burns’ at The Almeida Theatre – The play’s got just over a week left in London, so here’s another happy review.
Review – Mr Burns by Anne Washburn at the Almeida Theatre – And here’s another “good, but…” review:
As a result, I’m not sure whether I’d recommend Mr Burns or not! If you prefer your theatre to be safe and comfortingly familiar, stay away. However if you’re willing to embrace something bravely different and take a risk, then give it a go. Although you have been warned about that third Act!
Futurama 3D – The Forrest Gump song is a little out of place, but that is very impressive visually:
The ad for Mom’s robot oil is a nice touch.
VIDEO: See The World ‘Futurama’ Rendered In 3-D – Some more stills and some extra video from the above.
Max’s Tavern named “best bar in the world” by Bar and Restaurant Magazine – It does bear a little resemblance to Moe’s, at least from the outside. Not sure how that would help in a ranking, Moe’s is a dump, after all, but I’m not in charge of “Bar and Restaurant Magazine”, so what do I know?
People, like animals, are sometimes just jerks – Excellent usage:
Eventually, for everyone’s sake he was moved on to an animal reserve where he immediately picked up where he left off in Evergreen Terrace.
“Why is he attacking all those other elephants?” Marge asked the head ranger.
“Animals are a lot like people, Mrs. Simpson,” he replied. “Some of them act badly because they’ve had a hard life or have been mistreated. But, like people, some of them are just jerks.”
Mick Malthouse was moved onto the game reserve we know as Princes Park at the end of 2012 and picked up where he left off at Collingwood.
The game preserve guy actually says “Well” before “Animals”, but that’s nitpicking.
My Top 10 Favourite Television Opening Credits – The show comes in at #4 here.
Marge Attacks – Not sure of the source here (comic book, maybe?), but it’s Marge as the victim of a Kang & Kodos experiment.
Gorilla the conqueror! – The granddaddy of them all in simple Lego form.
Who Still Watches The Simpsons? – And finally, I get to end the way I like, with some people who agree with us. A local sports radio guy in Kentucky asks:
Half a dozen of us would spend entire weekends watching episodes old and new on TV or DVD or VHS(!), bickering over which ones were funnier, cobbling together conversations entirely from Simpsons quotes. We played Simpsons boardgames. We destroyed local Simpsons-themed bar trivia nights. Yet all of us, every single one, stopped watching almost a decade ago. Come to think of it, literally not a single person I regularly speak with watches The Simpsons anymore.
No one in the comments watches it either.
“We can’t lose! Look at the name of the dog I bet on!” – Homer Simpson
“She’s the Fastest? Homer, I don’t think that means necessarily-” – Marge Simpson
“And they’re off! She’s the fasted jump out to an insurmountable lead!” – PA Announcer
“You’re lucky you’ve got looks, Marge.” – Homer Simpson
“I bet we could buy a nice doghouse for fifty dollars.” – Marge Simpson
“Marge, you’re a tool of the doghouse makers.” – Homer Simpson
“I am not!” – Marge Simpson
“Yes, you are. You’ve been brainwashed by all those doghouse commercials on TV.” – Homer Simpson
“Don’t worry, Mom. I’ll bust you out of there just as soon as I get a cocktail dress and a crowbar.” – Bart Simpson
“Bartina, until I met you, I was the loneliest warden in the penal system.” – Imaginary Warden”
“Fresh.” – Bartina
“Oh, down I go.” – Imaginary Warden