“What’s all that commotion? Why it’s one of those pretzel wagons the movie stars are always talking about.” – Homer Simpson
“Here? At our plant?” – Lenny
Author Archive for
“This next one’s for the ladies. How many times have you gals been late for a high powered business meeting only to realize you’re not wearing makeup?” – Homer Simpson
“That’s every woman’s nightmare.” – Marge Simpson
“That’s why I invented this revolutionary makeup gun! It’s for the woman who only has four fifths of a second to get ready. Close your eyes, Marge. . . . And now you’re ready for a night on the town.” – Homer Simpson
“Homer, you’ve got it set on whore.” – Marge Simpson
That Marge related makeup line they announced a few weeks ago got its big marketing rollout this week, so there were a ton of links to it. Amusingly, personal blogs and sites were mostly filled with geeky love while the big commercial sites were uselessly parroting the press release. In addition to all that merchandising glamour, we’ve got a couple of really stand out analysis pieces, one about animation and Bob’s Burgers, and another about the delicacy of translating Flanders. Plus there’s some great fan art (including zombies!), a couple of lists, some usage, some soccer, some Australian politics, and the Lisa Simpsons version of Sir Mix-a-Lot.
Beyond Easy: Bouchard Buffet, Part 5: Bob’s Burgers – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this detailed look at Bob’s Burgers and the early years of The Simpsons from our old friend Patrick R. The focus is on animation, but it goes deep into characters and stories as well. It’s worth reading even if you aren’t a Bob’s Burgers watcher, because it really gets at the underlying comic sensibilities of various shows. Bravo.
The Fun of Nonstandard Lang-diddly-anguage – This was going to be the link of the week before I read the above, and it is also very much worth a read. It’s a linguistic look at translating Flanders into other languages, with particular attention to the Fladerseses from around the world in “Lisa the Vegetarian”:
When assimilating these tics to their respective linguistic systems, several European translators opted to use variations of typical expressions (“salut”, “salve” and “hola” in FR, IT and ES for “hi-diddly-ho”) distorted in such a way as to retain the rhyme, alliteration and assonance that characterises the odd, yet distinctive, effect created in the English.
How do you translate “ding dong diddly días” into Italian?
Vampire Mob Graphic Novel – Issue 1 – I am really good at ignoring press releases and I get a lot of practice because this is a semi-popular internet site in a time when everyone is starved for attention, but I got one this week for an Indiegogo for a graphic novel based on a web series that Marcia Wallace was in before she died:
Zombie Simpsons: Mrs Krabapple by danosborne on deviantART – And speaking of Edna Krabappel, this is one of a series of excellent fan made zombie drawings. There’s also Otto, Willie, and Krusty.
The Simpsons Wasted My Youth: Top 15 Episodes, Pt. 2 (Top 5) – Completing the list from last week, there is still no Zombie Simpsons and Hank Scorpio sits atop them all.
A Guide to the Dark, 420 Simpsons Remix on Twitter – The complete Denton write up.
Simpsons on the Block – A minimalist design of the family on a t-shirt.
The Simpsons – Heh:
“I like big books and I cannot lie
You other readers can’t deny
When a good book walks in with
A good plot base
And a big spine in your face
You get sprung!
Simpsons football lookalikes: Luiz Suarez as Cletus and David Luiz and Sideshow Bob – 12 football stars who look like your favourite characters – It just isn’t that hard to find a picture of Sepp Blatter looking like the personification of desiccated greed.
Dagwood Bumstead – TV characters and their sandwiches. I think you all probably know the sandwich Homer has.
Makeup Like Marge: The MAC Simpsons Collection – That makeup collection from a few weeks back got a release date: end of August. Give them this, it may be the first makeup to use the title “Nacho Cheese Explosion”.
Marge x MAC – But this just seems silly:
The Simpsons x MAC collection won’t hit stores until September, but the nerds at Comic-Con get first dibs when it goes on sale there for one day only in a few weeks. Me? Well, I’m yellow with envy
Ha! Giving out makeup at Comic-Con . . . do they know their audience at all?
mac x simpsons makeup collection: it’s not a want, it’s a need. – Oh, one last link:
And a probably the first makeup tip I ever learned:
Ladies pinch. Whores use rouge.
5 best memes of the Brazil World Cup 2014 – Comparing Brazil-Germany to Ralph’s heartbreaking moment on the Krusty 29th Anniversary show.
Webcomic Wednesday – There is a Simpsons Facebook page dedicated to making fun of Australia’s Liberal Party. That is all.
Time For Change – Cool fan made Bart and Milhouse (among others) sketches.
Pick one and Never Lego – Ralph graffiti in the city of the angels.
SUNDAY, SEPT. 28
8 pm The Simpsons (Season 26 Premiere)
8:30 pm Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Season 2 Premiere)
9 pm Family Guy (One-Hour “The Simpsons Guy” Season 13 Premiere Crossover Event)
Krusty go BOOM! – The destruction and rebuilding of a Tapped Out Krustyland.
Should I Purchase Lincoln? – The irony of that headline is tough to beat. Heh.
Good or bad teeth? The genetics of tooth decay – Excellent reference from CNN:
Remember “The Big Book of British Smiles” from “The Simpsons”?
The dentist used it to scare children into proper dental hygiene.
And let’s be honest, it was funny! Because though British tea and good manners have an excellent international reputation, British teeth are mostly used as a punch line.
I don’t remember a lot about that first season (I do now since I own it due to the miracle of DVD), but I do remember pretending to be Lisa Simpson. In kindergarten there was a stage you could play on and I distinctly remember playing Jem and the Holograms with my friends, but wanting to be Lisa Simpson instead of Kimberly of the Holograms. The mind of a five-year-old, right?
30 All-American Simpsons Episodes – There’s some Zombie Simpsons on this list, but it’s all buried down near the bottom, so well done on that.
How Fireworks Work, It’s All In The Chemistry – Excellent reference:
In the immortal words of The Simpsons, July 4th is a time to celebrate the independence of our nation by blowing up a small part of it.
Draw your friends – Well done:
I spent the whole night drawing my friends. Haha. Simpsons and Tim Burton styles.
Simpsons Denied Animated Emmy Nom for First Time – I suppose I should make a note of this, but I don’t give even the teensiest of fucks about the Emmys, so I have nothing to add.
I Want to Write for The Simpsons – And finally, I get to end with someone who agrees with us. I’m on record, just as recently as yesterday, as saying there is no hope for the show ever resuscitating itself, but there are some good ideas in here, and he agrees with us:
What made The Simpsons great wasn’t that they were going for just gags, instead they told simple stories and then gently assaulted viewers with witty jokes. The Simpsons were witty, they didn’t linger on jokes, they didn’t beat dead horses. I don’t see why the writers don’t return to this style. Worst case scenario, people are too busy laughing at one joke to hear the next, but that just adds longevity; people will want to rewatch episodes to catch everything.
The show was smart, but not up its own ass with pretentiousness. Everyone was self-aware but not self-obsessed.
Al, hire this kid.
“Sorry.” – Screamatorium Carny
I understand the desire for there to be funny and watchable episodes of Zombie Simpsons. Hell, I share it. If they ever made a good episode again you could get out the crayolas and color me tickled pink. But that will never happen. The show is too far gone to regain even a spark of what once made it great, and the proof of that is on display in every episode of Zombie Simpsons.
And I mean every episode, as in all ten on this Uproxx list of “10 Episodes From the Past Five Years That Are Totally Worth Watching” @dailysimpsons tweeted earlier today. This is readily apparent just by reading the article, where phrases like, “with Moe, for some reason”, “Umm..okay”, “wacky adventure with a farting toy train”, and “it’s a bit gruesome to watch” dot every entry. But for a fuller rebuttal, let’s just go to the tape.
10. “A Totally Fun Thing Bart Will Never Do Again” – This was the love note to the completely unlovable cruise industry. Also, Bart’s feelings, which Uproxx mentions several times, were as stupid and ham handed as possible.
9. “Donnie Fatso” – This is the one with the completely lifeless FBI agent and Homer being a suave undercover cop. It’s boring as hell.
8. “The Bob Next Door” – This one is from so long ago that there isn’t even a Compare & Contrast for it, but there was a nonsensical plot, lazy gags and pointless exposition.
7. “The Food Wife” – The best compliment Uproxx can come up with is that there was a Tim & Eric song on this, which they call one of the best Simpsons songs in years. When someone else’s work is the high point of your scripted show, it’s not a good sign. This one also highlighted how much the family now lives like rich TV writers who can’t be bothered to think up non-pun brand parodies.
6. “500 Keys” – This was a “Trilogy of Error” clone that managed to step on the few jokes it made.
5. “Homer The Father” – This is what I mean when I say that the premise of this post is constantly undermined by just how crappy these episodes are:
At a point in this show’s history where it tends to rely on weirder and weirder plots just to keep from getting bored with itself, this one features a simple storyline about Homer trying to be a better father (by following the advice of a cheesy 80s sitcom, of course)
That is very weak praise, indeed. And let’s not forget that they whiffed completely on making fun of the eminently mockable 80s sitcoms.
4. – “The Saga Of Carl” – The Simpsons are going to Iceland, where they will kill time with chase scenes and musical montages.
3. – “Holidays Of Future Passed” – Another future episode that’s limp and lifeless next to “Lisa’s Wedding”. They like this so much they’ve done it a couple more times since.
2. – “The Book Job” – A bland stab at parody with no villain ranks #2 on this list. That’s about all you really need to know.
1. “Brick Like Me” – Ah, the much touted merchandising tie in episode that both they and I think is the best they can do. Sadly, that still means having characters constantly tell us what they’re doing and how they feel, which is even worse than usual because they spent two years on it and still managed to have a nearly jokeless script that would get laughed out of the remedial classes at Hollywood Upstairs Screenwriting College.
And that’s the problem with trying to find some good in Zombie Simpsons, there just isn’t anything the least bit memorable or creative about any of them. These episodes are all from just the last five years, but with the possible exception of the Lego one, will any of these be fondly remembered five years from now? Seems unlikely. And even the Lego episode is only notable for the novel animation, not for quotes, jokes, parodies or any of the other things that make episodes from twenty years ago endlessly rewatchable.
Zombie Simpsons has been in a comfortable and generally dull rut for a lot more than five years, and in all that time hasn’t shown even a spark of breaking out. Assuming the show continues its undead shuffle across network teevee for another five years, someone at Uproxx could write this exact same post, massive caveats and all, in 2019 and nobody would notice.
“And this control stick is like the handle bars on your tricycle. Now, would you like to see where we hang our coats?” – Pilot
“No, thank you. I’d rather push this button.” – Bart Simpson
“No!” – Pilot
“Ahhh! We’re all gonna die!” – Homer Simpson
“What did Simpson do to you?” – Mr. Smithers
“Oh, nothing other than drive me to distraction with his incompetent boobery. Terrible at everything! A complete moron . . . but I’m not really free to talk right now.” – C.M. Burns
Thanks to Freedom Day tomorrow, it’s a short week and nobody’s spent much of it on the internet, so this is a very short Reading Digest. And since big holidays are always some of our lowest traffic moments of the year, I thought I’d bump it to today. There’s the usual collection of usage, some fan made stuff, and a little graffiti, but my favorite link is the last one, with some wonderfully circumspect words from the man himself, Harry Shearer.
That Disastrous Car Homer Simpson Designed Was Actually Ahead of Its Time – This is a very misleading headline since most of the article explains how things in the Homer didn’t actually come true, but it’s a nice little comparison nonetheless.
Booze Geek News Special: Duff Beer To Launch Across The USA – Apparently, some kind of Duff is coming here to the States. Also, this should give you an idea of how insanely convoluted this all is:
In Germany, a brewery in Hessen, brews a Duff Beer distributed in many European countries and in Australia from 2011. They applied for a trademark in Europe but were successfully opposed by Fox. Fox tried to establish their own Duff Beer trademark in Europe, but were ruled that a “Beer” logo applied exclusively to non-beer merchandise was misleading. But as a result of the German brand, in France they now have to blur out the “Duff” beer in the Simpsons cartoon so as not to advertise it.
Simpsons Trivia – Another fan of Classic Simpsons Trivia, this time in Vancouver.
“The Simpsons” Wasted My Youth: Top 15 Episodes, Pt. 1 (15-6) – Excellent list, with no Zombie Simpsons whatsoever and a .gif of Moleman getting hit by football.
WWLSR: Season 4-6 – More from the Lisa Simpson Reading project.
Illustrator Matt Gondek Exploding Homer Simpson Mural – It’s pretty cool. You can see it and some others at his Instagram page.
Low-frills PEOPLExpress Airlines is back in the air after 27 years – Excellent reference:
PEOPLExpress, the iconic low-cost airline that Homer Simpson said brought air travel to hicks, is back in business 27 years after it folded, and once again flying out of Newark.
Domestic Violence Campaign Sees Your Favourite Cartoon Characters Battered And Bruised – The same guy who did those Kanye West and Kim Kardashian drawings a few weeks ago is back with Marge, Wilma Flintstone, and a few other famous cartoon women sporting bloody noses and black eyes. I don’t know if this is effective in the least at reducing domestic violence, but it is kinda creepy.
Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter, Part 1 – Excellent Jimmy Carter usage:
Without Marge’s famous marshmallow squares to sell, Springfield’s Beautify Our Parks Bake Sale falls short of its goal, forcing the town to purchase a statue of Jimmy Carter instead of Abraham Lincoln. Furious, someone in the crowd cries, “He’s history’s greatest monster,” and the townspeople riot, eventually using the statue of Carter as a battering ram
Allison Green: Bart Simpson Crop Top – More high highfalutin’ Simpsons fashion.
The Original Demo Of “Lisa, It’s Your Birthday.” Sung By The Actual Michael Jackson – This isn’t the first time I’ve linked this, but it’s always nice to see it crop up again.
10 Words That “The Simpsons” Invented – I am suspicious of this list for a couple of reasons (“frogurt”, for example, was not invented by the show), but at least the only Zombie Simpsons entry is from Season 12.
10 More Visual Gags from The Simpsons – Nice list. I always liked “Let’s Share the Blame”.
Tropical Brunch Club – Good thinking:
Once a month, one of us hosts brunch club, affectionally dubbed the S.S.B.S. (Super Sunday – or Saturday – Brunch Spectacular – a la this episode of The Simpsons).
They would appear to have more than just baloney and bread.
Mmm… Donuts – A collection of donut .gifs, including Homer wolfing them down at the start of “Homer at the Bat”.
Itchy and Scratchy show – Neat photo of Itchy and Scratchy Lego figures.
maggie simpson – Fan made pencil sketch of Maggie, with what looks like Marge on the sheet underneath. Neat.
O que tá rolando de melhor na C&A, Renner e Riachuelo? – A creepy looking Bart robot t-shirt from I don’t know where.
Mr. Burns – From the same site as the above, but it’s Burns at a cafe.
Harry Shearer interview: ‘I told them I don’t dance – now I prove it nightly’ – And finally, I don’t think Shearer is the God, but he’s at least a god:
Do you see The Simpsons as a job for life?
The show will continue until the Fox network can find a new hit comedy show for 8pm and, based on their track record so far, I’d give us another 50 years.
Heh. Also, it’s been an open secret for more than a decade that he agrees with us, and now we have this:
Do you think the quality of The Simpsons has ebbed and flowed over the years?
I think about it but I don’t talk about it.
Well said, Mr. Shearer, well said.
“I’ve got to stop being so petty. I should be Alison’s friend, not her competitor. I mean, she is a wonderful person.” – Lisa Simpson
“Way to go, Lis. Why compete with someone who’s just gonna to kick your butt anyway?” – Bart Simpson
“I prefer my phrasing.” – Lisa Simpson
Happy birthday Yeardley Smith!
“Marge, I want you to admit you have a gambling problem.” – Homer Simpson
“You know, you’re right, Homer. Maybe I should get some professional help.” – Marge Simpson
“No, no, that’s too expensive. Just don’t do it anymore.” – Homer Simpson
Any time I start writing a post for this site, I can never be sure just how long it’s going to end up. Sometimes, I’ll think I’ve got some big post that’s gonna take awhile, only to find myself done much quicker and shorter than I thought. Other times, I’ll figure I’ve got a nice compact idea for a Compare & Contrast, that I’ll just knock out a few hundred words in forty-five minutes or so. Two hours later I’m staring at some sixteen hundred word monstrosity and I have no idea how the hell it happened. Some posts just sprawl on me.
Well, I’m here today with the all time grand champion of sprawled posts. What I originally thought would be a quick and dirty post about The Simpsons: Tapped Out has ended up as a fat, 10,000 word ebook called, “Tapped In: How EA Combined The Simpsons with Video Gambling to Make $130 Million (and counting)“. Here is the table of contents:
1 – Quarters, Dollars, and Credit Cards: The Games We Pay
2 – Designing Addictively Rigged Games for Fun and Profit
3 – Chips vs. Brains and Machines vs. People: We Don’t Stand a Chance
4 – Domesticating the Beast: Video Gambling to Video Gaming
5 – Training the Beast: Fixing Mechanical Problems and Increasing Flow
6 – The Infinite Profit Margins of Colored Pixels
7 – Machine Gaming: Greed on a Tilted Playing Field
It’s about half as long as “Zombie Simpsons: How the Best Show Ever Became the Broadcasting Undead“, and just like that one it’s for sale at Amazon for Kindles and Kindle apps. (Also, I appear to have an affinity for long subtitles that start with the word ‘How’.) Since it’s much shorter and took much less time, the price is a mere $0.99.
Just like its predecessor, it will eventually be published in full and for free right here at Dead Homer Society. The first chapter is live now, and a new one will be going up each week until they’re all here. DRM remains stupid and counterproductive; and I remain convinced that giving it away and selling it is the only way to go. So you can read the whole thing right now for Kindle, or just read along over the next few weeks. Either way, I hope you all like it.
“What’s Gabbo?” – Bart Simpson
“I figure it’s some guy’s name. Some guy named Gabbo.” – Homer Simpson
It’s been relatively quiet around here the last few weeks. I’ve had a Season 16 disc from Netflix sitting next to my computer since the beginning of the month, but haven’t yet gotten around to more Lies Make Baby Jesus Cry or anything else. However, it was all in the service of something equally pointless: another little mini-book. It’s much shorter than “Zombie Simpsons”, so even using the word “book” feels like a stretch, but it does have a cover:
In case my indirect and overlong title is confusing, it’s about The Simpsons: Tapped Out and it’s not flattering. The full announcement post should go up on Tuesday of next week, though this thing has already taken so much longer than I originally intended that I wouldn’t carve that in stone or anything. I sincerely hope you all like it, but I’ll forewarn you that it’s far more about the game than it is about the show.
For today, we’ve got a decent if somewhat skinny (it is summer, after all) link selection. We’ve got a couple more play reviews, the possible origin of the Mathemagician, more Bartkira art, the artist currently known as Pitbull, and frickin’ bacon donuts.
Mmm…collectibles: estate sale at home of Homer Simpson’s dad – Castellaneta’s father’s stuff is for sale in suburban Chicago today and tomorrow. Click through for the drawing of Dan done by his dad.
My Tapped Out Anniversary – I didn’t make it a whole year, but I understand. Keep up the good work.
Talk Tuesdays w/ Steve Reiss, The Math Magician and The Most Boring Author in San Diego – I did not know this, but apparently Mike Reiss has a brother who is a “Math Magician”. Was he the basis for the man who tried to make a remainder disappear?
Who Is America’s Favorite TV Family? Answer Depends on Age, Gender and Political Affiliation – Well, mostly age. As in, if you aren’t currently over 50, you probably like The Simpsons.
The Simpsons Challenge – 552 episodes of glory? – Todd, don’t do it:
So 552 episodes (currently) in 365 days should be pretty easy. Much easier than my Doctor Who challenge (800 episodes some hour-long ones!).
It starts off as 1.51 episodes a day as a target. I’m 44 episodes in, having rewatched all 1st and 2nd season episod
Quit at 11. For pity’s sake, quit at 11!
Simpsons/Akira mashup Bartkira volume one released online – “Moe’s Bar”, yes!
INTERVIEW: ALISON WONDERLAND ON THE SIMPSONS AND HER SKYROCKETING SUCCESS – The kids remain alright:
You also post Simpsons screenshots pretty regularly on social media. If you could collaborate with one Simpsons character on a track, who would it be and why?
It’d be Otto!
Yeah, definitely! Or Barney burping, I could totally sample that. Tune it, make it an instrument. That would be kinda weird.
I asked The Game the same question and he said Maggie. He wants to sample her pacifier noise into a beat.
Oh, that’s sick. I wanna sample Barney’s burp.
On your next EP?
Okay, done! I’ll credit you.
In London, ‘Mr. Burns’ and ‘Adler & Gibb’ Stir Things Up; ‘Khandan’ Provides Relief – The official New York Times stamp of approval.
From the Bard to Bart: how Mr Burns challenges our common culture – And from The Guardian.
A Numerical Bart Simpson Snack Store in Hengyang – Don’t think FOX is getting a check for that. I’m sure they’ll be okay.
VIDEO: Giant Duff Beer Pong With Pitbull And Jimmy Fallon – The title pretty much says it all. This, by the way, does not detract from my theory that Pitbull is not a real person, but rather was created explicitly for the purposes of selling Dr. Pepper and Bud Light.
10 Hilarious Visual Gags from The Simpsons – Nary a trace of Zombie Simpsons. Bravo.
Donut Sundae! – Apparently they serve donuts with ice cream at the amusement park in Florida.
Top Thirteen Female Characters – Honourable Mentions – Marge makes it between Belle and Jessica Rabbit. Hopefully Lisa will make the actual list, which is counting down and hasn’t fully been published yet.
Hot Smoked Salmon – Our old friend Gusface Grillah with an excellent paraphrase:
I don’t often eat salmon because the thought of having to wrestle a bear to snatch away his favourite delicacy frightens me.
But then I remembered the wise words of Homer Simpson, “Hey, if you want wild bears eatin’ your children and scarin’ your salmon, that’s your business. But I’m not gonna take it! Who’s with me?” (Unfortunately the bear patrol was as ineffective as a rock that keeps tigers away… ‘Lisa, I’d like to buy your rock’
Bacon Week Continued – Bacon Donuts – Homer would plotz.
Batman: Arkham Knight – 8 Reasons It Should End The Franchise – If you want to invoke pop culture zombies, there’s only one place to turn:
Sometimes one of the most amicable traits a creator of any entertainment property can show is restraint. Hell, just look at how perfectly Vince Gilligan knew how to handle Breaking Bad, as oppose to what remains of something like The Simpsons in 2014 being every possible plot thread has been pulled at until there’s nothing left.
Stop . . . stop, they’re already dead.