Archive for the 'Reading Digest' Category

18
Apr
14

Reading Digest: I Am Smoten Edition

Homer vs Patty & Selma12

“Sometimes I think God is teasing me, just like he teased Moses in the desert.” – Homer Simpson

Apologies for missing two consecutive weeks of Compare & Contrasts, but for the second straight week the eyetee gods decided to smite the hell out of me.  Chillingly, both incidents started on Tuesday and weren’t totally cleaned up until Thursday, which means I will be walking on eggshells until at least next Wednesday.  (Also, do not ever do business with Network Solutions “a web.com company”.  They are incompetent, sleazy, hugely overpriced, use phrases like “part of our vertical” without irony or embarrassment, and have atrociously poor security.  That is all.)

In further bad news, this week’s Reading Digest is pretty short because the internet seemed to spend most of the week circle jerking over the upcoming Zombie Simpsons/Lego episode.  All they did was release a promo image and a couple of self-congratulatory quotes about it, but everyone with access to a keyboard seemed to feel the need to write it up.  (It’ll be interesting to see if Lego can budge the ratings.  My guess is no.)  We’ve got one link to all that brouhaha, plus a great video about the recent Sylvain Chomet couch gag, some fan art, several good lists, more fashionable threads, and a couple of people who agree with us.

Enjoy.

Flooby Nooby: Sylvain Chomet’s making of ‘The Simpsons couch gag’ - Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this short and enjoyable YouTube video:

The color was digital, but the drawings were done by hand.  No wonder it looked so good.   Also, watch to the end for Chomet’s joke, it’s funny.

Old Man Yells At Cloud* - Baseball nostalgics are the worst, and this is an enjoyable fisking of one with plenty of (mostly non-Zombie) Simpsons references to boot.

15 Sitcom Characters Who Might Be Broke If They Lived In The Real World - How affordable would all those living rooms with couches be?  It’s a neat graphic, but I don’t know where the hell they got Homer’s monthly income as $6,500.

The First 12 Episodes Of ‘The Simpsons’ To Begin Your Marathon With - An excellent and explicitly non-Zombie Simpsons list.

5 For Friday: The 5 Best TV Moments in The Simpsons’ Universe - Another excellent list, nothing even close to Zombie Simpsons.

25 Years of The Simpsons. And 5 Potential Spin-Offs… - A list of possible new shows that implicitly agrees with us (“I can’t even remember the last time I caught a new episode of The Simpsons”).

Over Easy Author Mimi Pond Interview - No real surprise here:

What was it like writing the very first episode (“Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire”) of The Simpsons?

I don’t feel very good about that. I was friends with Matt Groening, and I’m still friends with Matt Groening. He was starting to have trouble with the producers of the show. I came in and they were having their troubles, and because I was friends with Matt, I wasn’t very welcome. And because I was a girl — it was a total boys’ club — and I wasn’t asked to be on staff. I was thrown off the gravy train and it took a couple of years to figure it out. But if it hadn’t been for that, my life would’ve been very different. I wouldn’t have worked on this book, and this was the book I was meant to write.

She certainly did a hell of a job with her one episode.

Desert Island ‘What TV series would you want stranded with you and a TV” taking you into the weekend - Couldn’t disagree with this:

I want to pose a question. Desert island style. What TV series would you take if trapped on a desert island with only a TV and DVD player. For me this was a no brainer. It’s The Simpsons.

TV Guide Magazine April 21-May 4 2014 – ‘The Simpsons’: Inside their LEGO episode - Want to read a craven, PR fluff job from the magazine that still writes like Time in 1962?  Have at it.

Simpsons and Joblessness - To be fair, it’s not like all those years of modern dance and tap help much either.

D’oh! Naperville Simpsons graffiti suspect caught - Just what it says.  He’ll probably have to clean highways in an orange vest for some number of hours now.  (via @woohootriviaCHI)

Look7in7: Meow, Meow. - Fan art of Kang (or Kodos) and a kitty.

The Simpsons used to nail it. - Heh.

BBQ Invention – Yes, Lisa, a magical animal (pulled bacon) - Mouthwateringly excellent usage:

I thought I’d start with the most exciting thing I’ve done recently, it could be a game-changer in the BBQ game, a dish that Victor Frankenstein may have created if he was into BBQ, I’ve combined a pork technique with a bacon technique…

Homer: “Lisa, honey, are you saying you’re never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon?”
Lisa: “No.”
Homer: “Ham?”
Lisa: “No.”
Homer: “Pork chops?”
Lisa: “Dad! Those all come from the same animal!”
Homer[chuckling] “Yeah, right, Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal.”

I’ve made…  PULLED BACON

The pig de resistance!

[5RTO] The Simpsons: Tapped Out - Five thoughts on the travails of playing Tapped Out while a parent.  Also, it is indeed very expensive.

The Evolution of Simpsons Games - A brief history of some Simpsons games.

Doing The Dirty Simpsons With Family Guy’s Quest For Stuff - The new Family Guy Tapped Out clone sounds very clone-ish.

Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff is corporate manipulation pretending to be a game - Yup.

“The Simpsons” Fashion Collaboration with Joyrich - More skinny models wearing high fashion Simpsons clothing.

Biggest TV Syndication Deals Besides ‘The Simpsons’ - Unsurprisingly, other shows retail for more per episode, but nobody has nearly as many episodes.

3 cartoon shows that adults can watch - The show comes in at #1, followed by South Park and Futurama.  Ah, it’s nice to see a concise list.

How did The Simpsons get so dumb? - Our old friend Stefan Grasso charts the show’s decline and calls its current state “Rock Bottom”, complete with graphic.

11
Apr
14

Reading Digest: Letterman Retires Edition

Letterman

So David Letterman announced that sometime next year he’s going to hang up his mic and ride off into the talk show sunset.  Two years ago, he did a short guest voice for a couch gag on Zombie Simpsons.  That video was freaking everywhere this week, so it’s another shorter than usual Reading Digest.  (It’s worth pointing out, of course, that the family seeing Letterman on the couch was a repeat of the one above from Season 5, but I digress.  Bonus Critic points here.)  Beyond that we’ve got some cool fan art of the amateur and professional varieties, some news about the new FXX syndication deal, some excellent usage, an old Chinese bootleg t-shirt, and a bunch of fake beer.

Enjoy.

Joshua Budich Has The Munchies For Gallery 1988′s Exhibit: “The Subtle Art Of Pop Culture” - Cool drawings of stuff from movie and TV.  There are twelve of them, three are from the show.  Nobody else got more than one.  Just saying.

Tuesday Top 5 – Simpsons Songs - Excellent list, lots of YouTube, and no Zombie Simpsons.

Do You Know These Cartoon Cats? - Snowball II and Scratchy are on here, plus several I know and several more I do not know.

‘The Simpsons’ Paid Tribute To David Letterman By Taking Their Couch Gag Inside The Ed Sullivan Theater - One of those really long filler couch gags from Season 23 was making the rounds this week because David Letterman did a guest voice on it.  I would simply like to point to this couch gag’s entry in Wikipedia:

Similar to the couch gag from the season five’s “The Last Temptation of Homer,” the Simpsons find themselves on the set of The Late Show With David Letterman.

Simpsonize Yourself - Fan made self portrait, including tattoos and a Donnas t-shirt.  Bravo.

I GUESS EVERYBODY REALLY IS PLAYING MAH JONGG! - Cool bootleg t-shirt from the dawn of the show with the family playing mahjong and yelling at each other in what I assume is Chinese.

Your Guide To The 20 Best Fake Beer Brands From Movies And Television - Duff comes in shockingly low at #6.

Bartolo Colon Jiggling His Belly Fat is Frontrunner for MLB GIF of the Year - It’s like a lava lamp.

Mimi Pond sketches an alter ego’s youthful days in ‘Over Easy’ - Pond, who wrote “Simpsons Roasting On an Open Fire”, gas a new book out.

14 Simpsons Look Alike People - Some of those are pretty good.

Nish Kumar plays life like it is as a comedian and confidence trickster - British comedian knows what’s up:

His guiding model in this, he says, is The Simpsons. ”The Simpsons is my favourite-ever show,” he says. ”It never speaks down to the audience; It always assumes the audience is going to catch up but it never [does] in a way that would make you feel stupid if you didn’t. I watch some of those episodes now and wonder: what was I watching when I was 10? But that’s the trick.”

The Simpsons’ Take on Standardized Testing - Heh.  Also, don’t forget “Separate Vocations” from Season 3: “It’s called the Career Aptitude Normalizing Test, or CANT.”

Affliate Post Godzilla, Deadpool, and Jon Snow in detention. - Bart/Jon’s got a lot of writing to do.

Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play Will Make Midwest Premiere at Theater Wit - The play is coming to Chicago early next year, so maybe I’ll finally get to see it.

‘The Tech Sector’: Growing, and growing vaguer - Excellent usage:

Anyone remember when Homer Simpson created “Compu-Global-Hyper-Mega-Net”?  Marge asks him what, exactly, his company does, and he responds, “Eh, this industry moves so fast it’s really hard to tell.”

Of Bikes and Men - Excellent mental reference:

Peter is going to be fine, it turns out, but he is in the hospital for tests and needs his insurance information sent over. Since I am also his neighbor and the keeper of the spare keys, I am the perfect person to solve this problem. Except I am not at home; I am across town. A logistical monkey wrench, but not insurmountable. It’s an hour round trip, tops.

In my head I am hearing my favorite Simpsons clip, from Treehouse of Horror III, where Homer is sold cursed frogurt. Peter was in an accident (ooh, that’s bad); he is going to be fine (that’s good!); but he needs you to get dressed and head across town (that’s bad); though it should only delay your plans by an hour (that’s good!).

Ryan Sadri on music and life as a saxophonist - Isn’t it everybody’s?:

I’ve found that more than any other instrument, the sax helps me get closest to expressing what I feel within. It’s an amazing high. And yes, my favourite sax piece is The Simpsons theme song played by Lisa Simpson.

‘The Simpsons’ Will Debut On FXX With A 12-Day, 522-Episode Marathon - Just what it says.  They’re filling August dead time with eleven days of the show, including day after day of unwatchable Zombie Simpsons crap.  If nothing else, it will serve as a visceral reminder of the decline of the show.  Also, the ratings ought to be interesting . . .

FXX Adds The Simpsons to Syndication and All is Right in the World - See?:

So far, this is panning out to be the longest marathon of a TV show ever. I have no problems with it, now I just have to put in some vacation time and do some serious food shopping.

Scratch that, I definitely won’t be watching the entire marathon, the show was only good until maybe the 9th season.

Best of The Simpsons Part… - Heh.

Silver for The Simpsons - A nice little 25th anniversary treatment that agrees with us both in writing and by only posting screen grabs from single digit seasons.

04
Apr
14

Reading Digest: Simpson Alumni Everywhere Edition

Faith Off4

“My old roommates, the nerds!  Aww.  You working?” – Homer Simpson
“Oh, my, yes, I’m on a secret project that I’m not at liberty to divulge . . . cough, cyborgs.” – Fat Nerd 

We’ve got a bunch of news this week about current and former Simpsons staffers: David Silverman got a new job, Harry Shearer is in Wales, Mike Reiss gave a talk at Harvard, and Sam Simon continues to be awesome.  (There’s also a Zombie Simpsons writer making an ass of himself, but he doesn’t count.)  In addition to that, there’s plenty of video game YouTube, fancy New York musicians, some excellent usage, several good lists, and Family Guy once again following in the profitable footsteps of The Simpsons.

Enjoy.

The Simpsons: 10 Real Unaired Pitches (And What They Could Have Been About) - Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this collection of unaired episodes that appear to all be from the early years.  A few of these I’d heard of before because they’re discussed on commentary tracks, others were new to me (and some have more dubious sourcing that others), but it’s worth a look even if it is in an annoying pageview whore click-for-each-one format.

Laughing in Purgatory: Mike Reiss of The Simpsons at the Humanist Hub - Video of a talk Reiss gave to a bunch of people at Harvard.  It’s long, but funny throughout:

“Or, as the old joke goes, I’m Jew-ish, and by that I mean that I would never eat a ham sandwich . . . in a synagogue . . . on Yom Kippur . . . if there was anybody watching.”

The Simpsons’ “Lunchlady Doris” is “Lunchlady Dora” now - Apparently the Zombie Simpsons writers finally realized that having Lunchlady Doris still be on the show after Doris Grau died wasn’t a good look for them.  In typical Zombie Simpsons fashion, they half assed it by trying to retcon her name but leaving everything else the same.  Then, as if to underscore how butthurt and hacktacular they are, one of them took to Twitter in a hapless attempt to paper it all over:

Lunchlady Dora Is a Filthy Lie

His story there is that they used the same character model, had someone try to do a voice that sounded like Grau’s, and never mentioned the name change for nineteen years, but that they’ve always thought of her as “Dora” in that time, “out of respect”.  Sorry, but I gotta call bullshit on that.  You guys replaced her voice and used the same character.  It was a shitty thing to do, and I’m glad there’s some attempt to rectify it now, but what’s done is done.  You can’t go back and pretend you never did the shitty thing in the first place.

Why I caved and had my Springfield hacked. - A thoughtful post on cheating in Tapped Out.  I’m kinda surprised that it worked, but EA deserves no sympathy so I say go for it.

Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff - And, since there’s no point having a hundred million dollar cash cow if you can’t copy it directly to try and make a second one, the Family Guy Tapped Out clone will be available next week.

The Simpsons ‘could last 50 years’ - This was making the rounds the last couple of days because Jean said “I can’t see why we wouldn’t go to 30 . . .and why can’t we go to 40 or even 50″.  It’s just his usual boilerplate being blown out of proportion by pageview hungry bloggers and columnists who saw a chance for a clickable headline.  Ignore it.

What ‘The Simpsons’ Says About Ukraine’s Language Divide - Apparently they stopped broadcasting an official Ukrainian language version five years ago.

Twin Peaks and The Simpsons – together at last? Characters from David Lynch show get a Simpsons makeover – This was floating around this week, and is kinda good, but where’s the unicorn and the traffic light?

Classic Food-Related Simpsons Moments - Great list:

This is a truly inspired culinary invention. It is no less than a block of butter covered in caramel and waffle mix held together with a cocktail stick. A reminder for all to follow your food related fantasies and it might just result in something beautiful.

And no Zombie Simpsons.

An ode to Lisa Simpson - As usual, Lisa is a hero, but this is impressive remote handling:

Growing up with older siblings, especially my brother Patrick, I was exposed to “The Simpsons” at far, far too early an age. We used to sit around the family room almost every night, flipping between two different episodes of the show, which ran at the same time on two different stations. With this method and my brother’s admirable dedication, I had watched hundreds of episodes by age 10

Calculate your total time spent watching TV shows - The Simpsons comes in at 11d:13h:30m, but that’s if you only watch episodes once, which, yeah.  (via)

Top 10 Homer Simpson moments - This is also one of those annoying pageview gluttons, but it does have some good YouTube and there’s no Zombie Simpsons.

The Simpsons: 20 Annoying Mistakes You Didn’t Notice - Yet more pageview whoring, but this one lists a lot of “mistakes” that are all pretty much problems with Zombie Simpsons.  Funny how that works.

Animated/Live Action ‘Pink Panther’ Film In The Works, Will Focus On Cartoon Character, Not Inspector Clouseau - David Silverman’s going to direct.  I’d watch that.

Simpsons Writer Sam Simon Sponsoring Blackfish Racecar At Talladega - Sam Simon continues to spend money on pretty damn cool things.

Voice of The Simpsons Harry Shearer speaks about Llanelli’s fast-flowing conversation - Harry Shearer goes to Wales and makes nice with the locals.

Video: This cartoon theme song mashup will make you feel nostalgia – A long video of cartoon theme songs put out by Carnegie Hall, of all places:

They don’t play much from each theme, so they pack a ton into just five minutes.  (The Simpsons part is at the 3:00 mark.)

Treading Water – The show relieving inter-generational tension:

I requested The Simpsons for my kids via netflix and the dvds happened to arrive during my mom’s visit. Now I know my mom HATES the Simpsons so I waited until she was asleep to put them on for the kids. But she ended up waking up… standing in the living room and even laughed at a few of the jokes.

Later she says to me, “I used to think The Simpsons was disgraceful, but compared to what’s out there today it’s not so bad.”

In other words… I’m letting my kids watch “disgraceful” programming.

And she’s a liberal, what liberal doesn’t love The Simpsons?

She laughed.  You did good.

WEEKEND RECAP. – An excellent old Simpsons book found at a second hand store.

Classic Intel Ad! – An old Simpsons ad for the Pentium II.  Ha!

Keeping It Cool - His mom says he’s cool.

Happy April Fools! – Call in the Code 8!

Super Soul Simpsons Sunday - Heh.

Kue ulang tahun simpson – DADDY – A pretty awesome Homer birthday cake.

Neither A Review Of “Breaking Bad” Nor Of “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” – Excellent usage:

Marge: We drove around until three in the morning looking for another open all-you-can-eat seafood restaurant.
Lionel Hutz: And when you couldn’t find one?
Marge: [crying] We… went… fishing.
Lionel Hutz: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, do these sound like the actions of a man whose had ALL he could eat?

Does my wife sound like someone who has had all the “Breaking Bad” she could watch?

No!

SAHM (because giving it a natty acronym makes it less painful) – A woman contemplates being at home for the first time:

It was never meant to be easy! I might just have to replace the wine with coffee and take my inspiration from Marge.

Just set the vacuum on dirt patrol.

Simpsons Hit and Run – Speedrun - Have two hours to kill watching a stranger fly through an eleven-year-old video game?  You’re in luck.

Top 5 Simpsons Games - From the same site as the above, a seven minute YouTube video of the best Simpsons games.

Virtual Springfield Gameplay - And our final video game YouTube is that weird encyclopedia type game that they released.

Random Simpsons Screencap of the Day 3/28/14 – I think we should go.

Random Simpsons Screencap of the Day 4/1/14 – Great grab of Homer peeling the duct tape off Bart’s eyes.

Captain’s Log Day #223 – Some magical animal – Heh.

Dissected: The Simpsons by East India Youth – And finally, I get to end as I prefer, with someone who agrees with us, in this case in a long interview about the show with some .gifs and plenty of YouTube:

I think the most important thing to mention here (and you should definitely write this up): I don’t think it’s possible to have that connection to the show anymore, with the new episodes. You know this as well as I do I’d think, but there’s definitely a golden age to that show.

Seasons Two to Nine we’re talking?

EIY: Yeah… And the super fans of the show totally respect that, it’s like an unwritten rule isn’t it? That is the best period.

Well, it’s not unwritten (ahem), but yeah.

28
Mar
14

Reading Digest: Burns Is The Symbol of All Evil Edition

Blood Feud14

“Smithers, I’m not going to make it.  I want to dictate my epitaph.” – C.M. Burns
“Go ahead.” – Mr. Smithers
“Charles Montgomery Burns.  American . . . and Patriot.  American Patriot.  Master of the Atom.  Scourge of the Despot.  Oh, tyrant hear his mighty name and quake!  Smithers, I’m back!” – C.M. Burns

We’ve got two links this week where the one, the only Charles Montgomery Burns is held up as all that is soulless and wrong, one about finger tenting being a sign that you might be a villain and the other from the race for Illinois governor.  Other than that, things got shortened this week because of the announcement of new Lego figures.  Everyone with access to Twitter or the internet made mention of it, and there are some pretty neat ones (Maggie with Bobo, for example), but all that noise did obscure other stuff.  We’ve also got a cool interview with Greg Daniels, some great fan art, a sweet Duff t-shirt, a couple of women dressed up like Marge, and Krusty-based insults all tucked away down in Canada.

Enjoy.

Simpsons Writers’ Favorite ‘Itchy & Scratchy’s - Smooth Charlie’s link of the week is Jean talking about old Itchy & Scratchy segments.  There’s quite a bit of Zombie Simpsons, but you can skip those and read things like this:

The short, however, is a self-contained spoof of Steamboat Willie, the black-and-white cartoon that birthed Mickey Mouse. “When the animators were working on it, they called it ‘Steamboat Lawsuit’ because of their fear of legal action by Disney,” Jean recalls. “It’s lifted almost exactly from Steamboat Willie, which itself is a parody of [Buster Keaton’s] Steamboat Bill Jr.

Worth a look.

Lookin’ Good: Marge Simpson Hair And Makeup IRL - Someone took a model and made her up to look like Marge.  It’s a little creepy.  There’s also YouTube of wig construction and makeup application.

Awesome Cosplay of the Day: 3/25/14 - This is fantastic:

Bouvier Family Cosplay

All three of them are just perfect.  Patty & Selma look identical (wouldn’t surprise me if those two really are sisters) and grumpy while Marge is kinda trepidatious about whatever it is that’s eating her sisters.  Bravo!

(Apologies for stealing this image from whoever that copyright holder is at the bottom, but white on white was not a good font choice.)

D’oh: Quinn’s ‘Simpsons’ ad blocked ‘on copyright grounds’ - One of the nice things about not living in Illinois is that you don’t have to care about who the governor of Illinois is, but the residents of the Land of Lincoln were treated to their sitting governor comparing his opponent to Mr. Burns last week, so they got that.

Round 105: I Married Marge vs. New Kid on the Block - Whew, Season 3 vs. Season 4 is tough.

Doh! Ex-Simpsons writer Greg Daniels reveals how he almost missed opportunity to adapt The Office for US - Daniels was in the UK and gave a rundown of his career at a comedy festival.

Proud husbands will make peace on their own - This is a Canadian advice column:

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My husband has a fringe of long hair like a clown. He wears a hat thinking people won’t notice and they will still think he has flowing locks like he did when he was a rocker and played in a band a decade ago. I don’t say anything about it because I love him and he is beautiful to me, any which way.

Yesterday, a neighbour came over to help my husband change a tire in the driveway and I heard him say, “Hey Krusty, need any help?’ My husband is familiar with The Simpsons and Krusty the Clown. He said something very rude back and the guy sauntered off home shaking his head like my husband was an idiot.

Heh.

Zoella in Homer - More Simpson fashion in the wild.

New in. - An awesome Duff t-shirt, and a few more pics.

Stand-Up Guy - Don’t feel bad, everybody did this:

 In fact, I developed a friendship with a guy in high school largely revolving around one question: “Did you watch The Simpsons last night?” New episode or repeat: it didn’t matter. We’d sit around recalling setups and punch-lines and laugh all over again.

It’s amazing how formative those years are. I still retain Simpsons memories 20 years later, and in fact just two years ago spent the better half of an evening dredging them up with a friend on a restaurant patio.

Philosophers’ Portraits, Simpsons Style - Cool.  (Found via, and no, I couldn’t name them.)

LEGO ‘The Simpsons’ Minifigure Collection - Burns with a plutonium rod and Grampa with the “Old Man Yells At Cloud” newspaper are nice touches.

Looks like ‘The Simpsons’ predicted Facebook’s purchase of Oculus - Not quite, but it’s still pretty funny.  I just want to play virtual darts and virtual pool so I can get in a virtual fight.

The 8 Ball 03.25.14: Top 8 1990s Arcade Games - The arcade game comes in at #3 here.

Muppets Most Wanted: When did finger-tenting, or steepling, become a symbol of evil? - Mr. Burns, for obvious reasons, is the headline example here.

Ten Celebrates The Simpsons 25th Anniversary – With a LIVE Countdown - Aussies get to vote on which episodes will be broadcast for a 25th anniversary celebration.

So which is your all-time, favourite Simpsons episode? - Another link to the same promo.  The actual choices have a lot of Zombie Simpsons, but down in the comments they don’t so much as rate a mention.  Figures.

The 14 Best Simpsons Music Cameo Moments - Only one entry is from Zombie Simpsons, and the post itself agrees with us, plus there’s lots of good YouTube.

If The Simpsons and Farscape collided :) - I think I’ve linked this before, but it’s still pretty neat.

‘Justified’ Showrunner Graham Yost Talks About A Shooting, The Simpsons, And Setting Up The Final Season - This probably qualifies as a Justified spoiler, so ye be warned, says I:

It reminded me of that Simpson’s episode…Mendoza!!!

Mendoza!!! And I think the boat was called “Live Forever.” We talk about that all the time. Rainer Wolfcastle. If you have a character who’s retiring and they get shot you cannot help but be compared to The Simpsons.

Why I Prefer Futurama To The Simpsons - And finally, I get to end with someone who agrees with us, specifically that, as usual, Zombie Simpsons spoils things:

Usually, an episode of The Simpsons follows the family in their every-day lives, with something bizarre happening to them (Bart has to live in a bubble, Lisa becomes a buddhist, Homer accidentally joins the army…), and occasionally they will go somewhere outside of Springfield, wether it be Canada, Africa, or space. It was great at first, and I would watch it every night as a loyal viewer. After a while though, I felt that the episodes just started to become a little thin, less fun and less original.

Indeed they did.

21
Mar
14

Reading Digest: Making Life Imitate the Simpsons Edition

Bart the Genius11

“My turn: Kwyjibo, k, w, y, j, i, b, o.  Twenty-two points, plus triple word score, plus fifty points for using all my letters, game’s over, I’m outta here.” – Bart Simpson
“Wait a minute, you little cheater.  You’re not going anywhere until you tell me what a kwyjibo is.” – Homer Simpson
“Kwyjibo, uh, a big, dumb, balding North American ape, with no chin.” – Homer Simpson
“And a short temper.” – Marge Simpson
“I’ll show you a big dumb balding ape!” – Homer Simpson
“Uh-oh, kwyjibo on the loose!” – Bart Simpson

I put this up on Twitter this morning, but it is very much worth bringing up as often as possible.  Hasbro, the company that currently owns Scrabble, is having a Facebook contest to add a new word to the game’s official dictionary.   The leading “like”-getter at the moment is two different entries for “Kwyjibo”, the big, dumb, balding North American ape with no chin and a short temper.  I want this to happen bad enough that I actually logged into the otherwise derelict Facebook page Mad Jon set up like four years ago to promote it.  Sure it’s nice to have all those Simpsons words in the O.E.D., but what most people don’t realize is that the O.E.D. is the garbage dump of words.  Anything that gets used by more than about four people gets put in.  But Scrabble?  That’s the dictionary people actually use, and since it’s beloved of vicious word nerds, it’s much more of coup.  Plus, this raises the possibility, nay, certainty, that at some point in time, somewhere, someone will win a Scrabble game just like Bart did.

In addition to that, we’ve got several great lists this week, a very disturbing collection of images of what Homer would look like as a real person, a chance for you to win ten whole dollars for playing Tapped Out, several .gifs, the return of a couple of watch-em-all series, and lots more.  Enjoy.

Scrabble Dictionary to Gain a New Word through Crowd-Sourcing - The gauntlet has been thrown down:

That’s KWYJIBO for 22 points, plus 50 for using all the letters and triple-word score. At least that’s what Bart Simpson claimed in Episode 2 of Season 1 of The Simpsons, “Bart the Genius.” Now, this word has been nominated for addition to the official dictionary for the word game Scrabble, the game the Simpsons were playing in the episode.

Merriam-Webster’s The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary will be updated with new words for the first time in nine years and Hasbro, maker of the popular word game, is hosting a Facebook contest  ( http://bit.ly/scrabbblenominations!) to allow players and fans of the game to choose one of the words to be added in a contest billed as the Scrabble Word Showdown.

Several fans of the game have nominated KWYJIBO to be added to the dictionary. Among other nominations are: EW, GIGGITY, QUESO, ZOOT

You have to use Facebook (EW, indeed), but the top two suggestions right now are Kwyjibo, and if we can get Kwyjibo in the official Scrabble dictionary, I might finally be able to beat my cousin at it.

An Interview With Ira Brooker – Fantastic:

A few years ago I started writing an inventory of the 100 greatest influences on my sense of humor. I was going call it “Why I laugh?” which is, of course, a Simpsons quote. It eventually wound up being too big and abstract of a project for me to complete, but there was no question that The Simpsons would be in the number one slot. The only possible rival would be David Letterman, but as important as Dave was to my formative years, he never permeated my daily existence to nearly the degree that The Simpsons does even two decades beyond its heyday. I don’t think I could hope to pinpoint how those first eight seasons have influenced me. At this point they’re just woven into my being. It would be like trying to figure out what kind of influence speaking English has had on me.

Much more at the link.

Round 104: Last Exit to Springfield vs. The Cartridge Family – Whoops, I missed a week on these. 

Old Money – Episode #030 – And Ash is back with the “DISCOUNT LION SAFARI!!!!”.

Cross-Blog Contest! Tapper of the Month – It’s telling that the blogs dedicated to Tapped Out are run much better than the game itself.  They’ve got a contest running where all you have to do is send in your Springfield.

Jewish Top 10s: Simpsons Cameos - Excellent list (Nimoy #1!), though two picks from Zombie Simpsons keep it from being completely kosher.  Why not Albert Brooks and Harvey Fierstein?

The Simpsons: 10 Best Mr Burns Moments - This is also a pretty good list, if for no other reason than there are a couple of decent .gifs and no Zombie Simpsons.  But for the love of all that is pageviews, you have to click and load each fucking entry.  I did, of course, but I can’t really recommend it.

Manual of Mischief review: Bart Simpson’s guide to pranks and gags - A review of a new book they put out.

Stain glass artist to come to Austria - Remember Joseph Cavalieri, the guy who did those amazing Simpsons stained glass pieces?  Well, he’s still at it and he’s headed to Austria to teach people how to do similar stuff.  Congratulations.

One Man’’s Trash Is Another Man’’s Pizza Box Art - Click through for the fan made box with an alternate universe Homer and Bart working at a pizza joint.

Realistic Homer Simpson Is Disgusting [7 Photos] - Things like this are why it’s best the show is a cartoon.  They’re really well done, but very off putting.

Grow your own… heart, limb, or organ - Excellent usage:

In a classic episode of The Simpsons, Homer, ineffectual as usual, tries to steal snacks from a pair of vending machines by reaching his arms inside, only to end up completely stuck. When confronted with the possibility that sawing his arms off might be the only solution, he asks worriedly, “They’ll grow back, right?”

GIFs de la semaine : alors on danse ! – Lots of dancing .gifs, including depressed teenagers and Bart in a wig.

Futurama – The secret behind Philip J Fry – The Brannigan-Hartman-Fry connection spelled out in pictures.

What ‘The Simpsons’ Have Taught Us About Life, Part 2 – Another cromulent list.

Random Simpsons Screencap 3/17/14 – There’s no such thing as Scotchtoberfest!

My Top 8 Movie/TV Show Based GamesHit & Run makes the list.

What if… – Heh.

Retrospective No. 35 The Simpsons Tapped Out – Somebody hates freemium almost as much as I do.  Well done.

Drunk things to do in Dutch – Scroll to the bottom for a Smarch related heh.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! – A little YouTube for everyone but the gays and the Italians.

Best TV Comedies – And finally, I get to end the way I like, with someone who agrees with us . . . Batman style:

2. The Simpsons

It’s hard to watch what this show has become. It seems The Simpsons could’ve died a hero in 2000/2001, instead of seeing itself live long enough to become the villain that it is now.

Well put.

14
Mar
14

Reading Digest: High School Matt Groening Edition

The Front15
“Ah, my high school yearbook.  You handsome devil . . . ‘I can’t believe I ate the whole thing’.” – Homer Simpsonr
This week we’ve got two links to pictures of Groening, one from just a few years ago, and one from way back when he was a squeaky voiced teen.  In addition to that, we’ve got a lot of cool YouTube this week (including a couple of clever Simpsons/Lego ones), some excellent usage, a couple of good lists, and a True Detective/Simpsons drawing from a kid.
Enjoy.
A tale of two Springfields - Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this article about a bar that may or may not be the inspiration for Moe’s.  The link is worth the click just for the gawky pictures of high school Matt Groening.  
LEGO® CUUSOO | The Simpsons | Kwik-E-Mart – Cool fan made Kwik-E-Mart, complete with squishee machine.
Simpsons: Evil Monk – This is a site with a bunch of comics that updates daily.  There are a lot of Simpsons ones, and the McBain part at the link is quite funny.
The Simpsons’ Couch Gag in Lego Form | Graphic Policy – It’s the opening with heads and bodies mismatched from the Lego movie and the Simpsons Lego set.  Cool:
Lego The Simpsons Short Film 60 Subscribers Special - On a similar theme, this came from our old friend Friz:
It could use better audio clip selection (happy to help!), but if they made a longer one I’d probably watch it.
LiveGaelic.com Video: St. Judes Recreate Classic Simpsons Moment - While I’m embedding YouTube videos, here’s some Irish people doing a hell of a live-action recreation of the garbage man song:
Watch This: ‘The Simpsons’ Couch Gag à la Française – Those episodes this week were awful, but the Chomet opening was pretty cool.
5.)    AURORA BORREALIS CAN LOCALIZE ENTIRELY WITHIN YOUR KITCHEN!
Couple of good .gifs, too.
The 8 Best Simpsons References In Hip-Hop – Fantastic list with a lot of great rhymes, especially the song at #1.
Harriet M. Welsch, Scout Finch, and How to Be a Good Bad American Girl – Excellent references in The New Yorker about Lisa invoking both To Kill a Mockingbird and Harriet the Spy as meta-invocation of American girlhood.
The Simpsons: Krabappel of my eye – A nice encomium for Marcia Wallace.

When it comes to sourcing our security software, the great analyst Marge Simpson was right: “We can’t afford to shop at any store that has a philosophy” — whether that philosophy is about being designed by Apple in California, or many eyes, or freedom, or whatever hand-waving feelpinions people might proffer.
No, we don’t need a philosophy so much as need need science — or, more accurately, engineering.

Ay Caramba! Sawtelle Shop Black Market Salutes The Simpsons – Simpsons clothing on prominent display in Los Angeles. 
TSTO Tricks – Official Launch! – One of the main writers over at tstogame.com has launched a second site that takes you through the entire game.  That’s a hell of a lot of work, but looks very comprehensive.
Here We Grow Again – Speaking of tstogame.com, they’re looking for a few more writers.  If you play the game and want to talk about it on-line, drop them a line.
5 Shows Everyone Would Like to See on Netflix – FOX will never allow that (at least not for years and years), but it would be pretty damned awesome.
The Simpsons 25th Anniversary Limited Edition Mega Set – Two hundred and twenty bucks ought to get you a lot of bendable Simpsons toys.
Simpsons Pewter Diorama - You can’t buy it or nothing, but that is pretty damned cool.  (via @woohootriviaCHI)

No TV and No Beer Make Homer Something Something – A blog where the author gives up something each month.  She’s on TV for March:

Reflection so far: Giving up TV is good. I find plenty of ways to entertain myself, and to be honest the only TV shows I’m hanging for once this month is up is Game of Thrones, and Supernatural (which I’m already a season behind on, and am waiting for the DVD…) That’s it. I think I want to keep our growing habit of having the radio on during dinner (and actually eating at the dining table instead of on the couch, for that matter) because we TALK now. Which is good. As much as I enjoy the Simpsons, I don’t need to watch it every day.

I try to watch one every day.  Don’t always succeed, but that’s just how I was raised, damn it!

Homer-Apple – That always was a cool iPhone skin/case/whatever.

Enter GIFGIF – Lisa dancing to the Soul Mass Transit System.

I believe I can fly – We can all relate to this:

I haven’t been able to blog often because of work and, like I said earlier, gym time. Also, from now on please read gym as gime (Homer Simpson style) it’ll make all the times I mention the gym slightly more interesting (did you do it?).

I pretty much always read it as “gime” now.  Once it’s in your head there’s no getting rid of it.

Rotisserie Chicken – they see me rollin’; they hatin’ – Jebus, that looks good, and bonus points for the .gif of Homer rotating his head with the spit.

With Matt Groening, Creator of The Simpsons – Groening has mastered the non-committal-famous-person-in-picture face.

Fashion Spotlight: Moe’s Where Everyone in Springfield Knows Your Name – I might buy one of those if they actually made them.

Homer Simpson is the ‘Yellow King!’ – I’ve still got a few episodes to go, but I will be very surprised if the bad guy turns out to be Dan Castellaneta.

Glennis Presents “The Simpsons Classics” On Facebook! – That San Francisco TV station that agrees with us by deliberately separating out Zombie Simpsons from their rerun pool has a “Programming Coordinator” who looks like she’s got a pretty Simpson heavy office.  They would also like you to like them on Facebook, if that’s your thing.

07
Mar
14

Reading Digest: Promotional Selfie Edition

Homer's Night Out5
“Whoa, man, look at the size of this thing.  I wonder if it really works.” – Bart Simpson
We have a much shorter than usual Reading Digest this week because the show put out a Simpsonized version of the tweet that ate the internet.  (You know the one I mean.)  Once there was a Simpsons version of it, pretty much everything Simpsons related on-line mentioned it and that drowned out other Simpsons stuff.  Out of a sense of completeness, I’ve got one link to it below, but that’s all.  In addition to that, we’ve got another painting of a Springfield, a cool fan made rendition of Willie, several people who agree with us, and a guy doing a bunch of voices.
Enjoy.
Artist Tim Doyle Bids Farewell to ‘The Simpsons’ With Open Edition Poster – This is that same guy who did those other amazing paintings from the show and other fictional settings.  This one is Bart staring at the town, complete with tire fire, from behind the Springfield sign.  And there’s one that changes colors into glow in the dark.  Once again, bravo Tim Doyle.  
“Two Kyles, Both Alike in dignity, In Fair Cubicle Environment, Where we Lay Our Scene” – The epic tale of one office drone’s quest to protect his donut with the same sign Homer used for his soul donut.  Well, played, Sir Kyle.
The Simpsons do Ellen’s Oscar Selfie – If you’re reading this blog then you’ve probably already seen both the famous group selfie from this year’s movie industry promo night as well as the Simpsonized version of it the show put out.  In case you haven’t, however, here you go.
The Walking Dead’s Daryl Dixon Kills Homer Simpson With a Golf Club (PHOTO) – The guy who plays Daryl on The Walking Dead got one of the animators from the show to draw him killing Homer and put it on Instagram.
Impressions of 33 Characters From ‘The Simpsons’ in Five Minutes – This was making the rounds this week (it’s at half a million views already) and is worth a quick look:
Some are quite good, others less so, but at least he had Lovejoy, standing in for the audience, ask to limit quotes to the first ten seasons.  Good move.
Review: The Simpsons Game – A thorough and mostly positive review of that game they released along with the movie.
Random Simpsons Screencap of the Day 2/28/14 – The grand exalted one has requested a moment of her time.
Random Simpsons Screencap of the Day 3/4/14 – I never get tired of how sad all the other girls are.
Reasons to be Cheerful #63: Pancake Day – Some love for pancakes along with a .gif of Homer and Bart fighting over a lamb chop that is now a pancake.
Chelsea and The Simpsons: A Bridge too far? – A bunch of Chelsea players got Simpsonized as part of a marketing deal.  You can see the picture at the link.  (Thanks to reader Emma for sending this in.) 
Krusty Burger – A fan made recreation of America’s favorite meat flavored sandwich.
How To Correctly Open A Beer GIF – Animated .gif of the big Irish bartender serving Duff with a cleaver.
Tenuous Link – the Simpsons to Restorative Justice – A lot of people blog about the Tapped Out game.  Kudos for finding a new topic to connect it to.
Random #13 // Duff Beer tetoválás – Awesome Duff forearm tattoo.
Top ELEVEN TV shows! – A list that at least partially agrees with us:
11.  The Simpsons : I’ve seen nearly every episode from Season 1 and love it so much. But the reason it gets number 11 on my list is that I’ve not seen much of the last series to verify how good it is, and the last few series I have watched, there’s been like 4/5 episodes really good out of 20+ episodes, which is disappointing.
Disappointing doesn’t even begin to cover it.  My advice would be to ignore everything past Season 11, then you don’t have to slog through the mess.
“Groundskeeper Willie” – A cool fan made “digital illustration”.
Let It Die With Dignity – As if often the case, a list of shows that need to end includes Zombie Simpsons:
Once a legend now a shadow of what it once was. Just put it out to pasture.
Well put.
Last week I began my journey through every Simpsons episode from the 90s. I was not allowed to watch the Simpsons growing up, and I can only remember seeing part of one episode as a kid. I have never gone back and watched them until now. After only seeing two, I am very, very excited.
I am envious.  Not of the whole “couldn’t watch it in the 90s” thing, but of the getting to watch them for the first time thing.
A Tale of Two Cities – Agreed, The Flintstones has certainly not aged well, but pre-“doldrums” Simpsons has.
This… Is Something I Didn’t Consider Before – Would Nelson grow up to be Barney?
[Article] The Simpsons mania Jung Yong Hwa, run for that very day – The lead singer of a Korean rock band is something of a Simpsons fan, and there’s art of him posing with some of his stuff, including a rather well decorated guitar.
THE SIMPSONS: Al Jean Previews the Upcoming LEGO Episode, the Return of Sideshow Bob, Guest Spots by Daniel Radcliffe, Zach Galifianakis, and More – Jean did a conference call with reporters.  Nothing much in the way of news (lots of celebrities coming up, they’re working on next year’s Halloween episode).  They’re still renewed through just one more season and he gives his usual answer about hoping to continue it.
Theme Songs – And finally, I get to end with someone who agrees with us:
Also as I’ve mentioned before, I am a huge fan of cartoons.  Love ‘em.  I don’t get the chance to watch them as often as I used to.  My favorite animated show ever (and my favorite show ever) is The Simpsons.  I still watch it every week, even though the best season was season 8.  This is an inarguable fact.  That was 17 seasons ago.
It was.  In a few more years, Zombie Simpsons will be old enough to vote.
28
Feb
14

Reading Digest: Head Art Edition

Blood Feud13

“Marge, what does it do?” – Homer Simpson
“It doesn’t do anything.” – Marge Simpson
“Marge, really, what does it do?” – Homer Simpson
“Whatever it does, it’s doing it now.” – Marge Simpson

This week we’ve got two links to serious artists making Simpsons heads.  One is Bart made from old toys and is appropriately creepy, and the other is a series of awesome Krusty drawings that I’m not even going to try to describe.  In addition to that, we’ve got an excellent Ralph t-shirt, Olympic and international cricket usage, a completed Lisa cross stitch, a great first family portrait, several people who agree with us, Lego YouTube, and lots more.

Enjoy.

Animating the Show – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this detailed breakdown of animating for TV.  I learned stuff today.

UTBNYC Announces The Next Piece In Pez’s “Distroy” Series: “Skrutchy” – A few months ago we had a link to a project by an artist called Pez doing wonderfully elaborate renderings of characters like Homer and Mickey Mouse.  Well, the Homer ones are done and they’ve moved on to create some awesomely creepy Krustys.  Damn cool and well worth the click.

Baby Names I Want to Use From The Simpsons – I’d vote for Hortence or Langdon.

The Simpsons – The show that was a huge part of my growing up yet now I completely ignore, kind of like my family. – Good move:

For me it all ended years ago, I live in a world where they took the Seinfeld route and quit while they were ahead. I look back with only the fondest memories to the earlier seasons. The newer seasons I refuse to acknowledge.

My Top Twenty Favourite Sitcoms Of All Time – From the same blog as the above link, this is a great entry:

1. The Simpsons (Season 1-11)

It makes the top of many people’s lists, but most don’t think to exclude Zombie Simpsons right in the title.  Bravo.

Are you alive? – After you click, scroll to the bottom to see the sweet, sweet photographic evidence:

My dearest friend in the whole wide world had a birthday recently. And, as she invited all of us to celebrate, we all canceled… I told her I had a conference to go to. Then we surprised her with a party anyways! As known die-hard Simpsons fans, naturally the cake was dedicated to “A Whale of a Wife.” We added “and a Super Friend” because, well, we aren’t all married to her.

9 Simpsons Facts to Satisfy the Biggest Fans!! – YouTube – There’s nothing terribly new here, but it’s very lite on Zombie Simpsons and mildly amusing.  (via @dailysimpsons)

Happy 2nd Birthday Tapped Out. – A little reminiscing from the writers of tstogame.com.  I particularly liked Micah’s:

TSTO has been a pleasure. It’s been a pain. It’s been fun, but it’s also been a drain.Rapper Bart
My index finger has become strapping from these past two years of tapping.

Speed skating: U.S. pursuit teams fail, medal hopes over – At least he’s got a sense of humor about it:

The U.S. team had predicted they were capable of winning eight medals prior to the Games but after Saturday’s failings meant all 17 members of the team ended empty handed, Davis offered a blunt assessment.

“If I could do a parody from a Simpson’s character, I would pick Comic Book Guy and he would say in these exact words: “WORST OLYMPICS EVER,” Davis told reporters of the long-running U.S. television show about an animated dysfunctional family.

Excellent Olympian reference.

Artist Turns Old Toys into Creepy Faces and Human Forms – Scroll down for an awesome Bart head.  (via It’s Hip)

La famille Simpsons – This is a new Simpsons site based in Quebec that’s cataloging people, places and news from the show.  Those of you who speak or read French better than I will probably get more out of it, but it’s neat nevertheless.

Need – Oh, dear Jebus, yes!  That may be the best Ralph t-shirt design I’ve ever seen.

feeling safer now – Neighborhood watch, indeed.

Round 102: When You Dish Upon a Star vs. Boy-Scoutz ‘n the Hood – Season 5 in a walk:

And it’s only in the context of the tournament that I find flaws with it, but I’ll go into them (hint: it starts with an “H” and ends with “omer is too much of a jerk”) when we see 1F06 again, because…

… the winner is: 1F06, “Boy-Scoutz ‘n the Hood.”

Celebrating The Simpsons’ retired characters – This is a pretty weak list.  They don’t even have Marvin Monroe or Bleeding Gums on here.  (But they were never popular.)

Lisa Cross Stitch Complete! – Just what it says.  Love the eyeroll.

The Simpsons’ Nancy Cartwright coming home to Dayton – Cartwright will be in Central Ohio next weekend:

Cartwright,  a 1976 graduate of Dayton’s Fairmont West High School, will narrate Norton Juster’s classic ”The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics” while conductor Neal Gittleman leads the orchestra playing Robert Xavier Rodriguez’s composition.

The Philharmonic also will play Weber’s “Der Freischütz Overture” and Tchaikovsky’s “Winter Dreams” from “Symphony No. 1.”

Cartwright also promises to conduct “a very special piece of music.” (My guess is that fans of “The Simpsons” hear this musical selection at the start of every show.) Aye carumba!

13 Diddly-Doo Details in the Lego ‘Simpsons’ House Set – Lots of detailed pictures and this YouTube video of the entire 10-hour assembly process sped up to 2 minutes:

Top 5 Feminist Icons in Television – Lisa comes in at a healthy #2.

The Simpsons: Tapped Out – A Nostalgic, Delightful Simulator – A nice review of the game with lots of screen grabs.  Also, this:

For now, I’ll keep saving up money to build Rainier Wolfcastle’s mansion.  Up and at them!

That thing was damned expensive.

Why is Homer Simpson Yellow (And Why It Doesn’t Matter, Kinda)? – This was always part of his charm:

Once the viewer acclimates to his skin tone, she will soon realize that Homer’s design is intentionally unremarkable; he is meant to represent the average middle-aged white collar middle class (as evidenced by his white-collared shirt).

But he’s just an ordinary blue collar slob!

The Accidental Artist – A fan drawn Sideshow Bob by someone who usually can’t draw.  (It’s still much better than I could do.)

Australia doze at wrong moment – Excellent cricket reference:

Unable to find his permission slip to join the rest of Springfield Elementary on their afternoon trip to the chocolate factory, Bart Simpson is consigned to the numbing task of licking envelopes in the office of Principal Skinner. As he does so, the wall clock ticks slowly and tortuously towards 3pm and the end of the school day. Losing momentum with every stroke, it eventually begins to tick backwards.

Something of Bart’s interminable wait ensnared Australia on the second day in Port Elizabeth, as they were frustrated and ultimately brought to heel by a South African side well attuned to playing Test matches at the kind of deliberate pace unfamiliar to, and unloved by, the touring captain Michael Clarke and coach Darren Lehmann.

Pizza Snob: Pies in the Sky – Nice pizza reference:

If you accept what’s implied by the signage near Pizza Snob’s front door, putting more than four toppings on your pie is trés gauche. It’s probably even boorish, the pizza-enthusiast equivalent of Homer Simpson yelling at Bachman Turner Overdrive to skip their new material and go directly to the chorus of “Taking Care of Business.”

Some boots were not made for walking. – The sad tale of a college student who got her car booted.  Smartly, she did not resort to any of Homer’s un-booting methods, but she did include a .gif of them at the link.

Simpsons – Nothing but cats (gif) – Exactly what it says.

Homer Loading Bar – Another excellent .gif.

The Simpsons Can Ward Off Any Bad Spirit – This is definitely true:

If you are looking for a good way to have a chill pill watching a few episodes of The Simpsons is where it’s at. They ward off bad spirits.

The politics of Homer Simpson – Heh.

Random Simpsons Screencap of the Day 2/21/14 – Heh again.

Our first family portrait… – Expectant Mother gets her new family Simpsonized for $5.

The Simpsons x Medicom Toy Bart & Homer Simpson Bearbricks – Conquering Lego wasn’t enough.

Why so many guest stars? – And finally, I get to end the way I like, with someone who agrees with us in an epic anti-guest star rant:

Of course, there’s one thing we have to blame for all this. The veritable army of guest stars is a sign of the end, because the main problem with the show is that the writers can’t make an original episode with a well-written plot anymore without it already having been done before. In this situation, it’s become a lot easier to just slap in more than a few shameless guest appearance.

Indeed it does.

21
Feb
14

Reading Digest: Excited Edition

Homerpalooza12

“This is so exciting.  Last time I got to go backstage was when Bart ripped his pants at the Christmas play.” – Marge Simpson
“Mom!” – Bart Simpson
“Ha ha.” – Eric “Bobo” Correa

The torrent of new Simpsons merchandise continues this week, and what I’ve noticed isn’t so much the amazing breadth of the products (clothing, ice cube trays, figurines) as the way that every single company describes themselves as “excited” to be selling crappy Simpsons stuff.  They all do it, and the consistency is terrifying.  On the subject of merchandise, they announced the date of the long ago promised Lego crossover episode this week and repetitions of that press release clogged my inbox from better stuff as a result, so this week’s link collection is a little thinner than usual.  However, we do have excellent verbal and visual usage, several people completing projects ranging from computer wallpapers to embroidery, a list of Groening’s favorite episodes from Seasons 1-11, an article about John Swartzwelder, some Bacon Day leftovers, and a new book that mashes up pop culture and classical politics.  

Enjoy.

The reclusive genius behind the funniest episodes of ‘The Simpsons’ – There’s nothing terribly new here, but it’s a nice writeup of Swartzwelder that includes a YouTube of that time he may or may not have been on one of the commentaries.

Richard Hinds on baseball great and Simpsons icon Don Mattingly – Damn hippie:

Even in the US, where “Donnie Baseball’’ is a Yankees’ legend, Mattingly is still reminded about his animated likeness.

“I spent my whole career in New York but when I came to LA I was getting a lot of people saying, ‘Hey Mattingly, shave off those sideburns’,’’ he says.

EXCLUSIVE: We Take A Look Inside ‘The Simpsons’ World – An Australian writer took a trip to the new Simpsons area at Universal Studios and made note of some of the omissions:

- I’m slightly sad that the gift shop has no Bort licence plates – a golden opportunity missed.

- The statue of Jebediah Springfield doesn’t have the plaque with the town’s motto.

- The Flaming Moes on sale look amazing but contain neither alcohol nor cough syrup.

- You can’t get a Krusty Partially Gelatinated Non-Dairy Gum-Based Beverage with your burger (although there are shakes there from memory).

Shakes, you don’t know what you’re getting.

Hands-on: Lego The Simpsons House review – Just what it says, including some more pictures.

Ranking all 24 episodes of The Simpsons, season 3 – Now this is how you do a list:

The third season of The Simpsons is so great that I didn’t even bother eliminating any episodes and instead, I just fit them into categories ranging from “All Time Classics,” “Good Examples of Season 3″ and “Just a Good Ol’ Fashioned Simpsons Episode!”.

“Dear ‘Life in These United States,’ a funny thing happened to me…” | Where in the World is Sideshow Bob? – Lots of people do travel blogs, especially when they do study abroad.  Not once, though, have I seen someone write the blog with Springfield’s favorite attempted murderer at their side though.  Great idea.

Round 100: Separate Vocations vs. Das Bus - Holy crap, round 100!

VIEW: New forecasts, same delusions for Port Mann Bridge – Excellent usage:

I’m old enough to remember the episode of The Simpsons when Homer Simpson, after 22 minutes of serial idiocy, wraps up the show by proudly declaring: “Marge, my friend, I haven’t learned a thing.”

Well, it seems that British Columbia’s transportation officials are now treating The Simpsons as an instruction manual.

LegD’oh! – The big news this week was that the long ago announced Lego episode of Zombie Simpsons will be broadcast on May 4th.  If they fail to include a Star Wars joke I will not be surprised.

Beechdean Group to launch The Simpsons ice cream products – The barrage of merchandising, which is only loosely connected to this December’s upcoming 25th anniversary, continues unabated:

Beechdean Ice Cream Group has signed an exciting new licensing deal with Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products to become the UK’s ice cream and frozen desserts category partner for The Simpsons and is kicking off with two ice cream split products.

The 85ml products will be produced using Beechdean’s newly acquired lolly machine and moulds, are available in Raspberry and Strawberry flavours with an RRP of 90p.

I’m starting to think that one of the standard clauses in FOX’s merchandising contracts mandates use of the word “excited” or a variation thereof in the announcement:

Andrew Howard, MD, Beechdean Ice Cream Group says: “We are incredibly excited about introducing our next generation of licensed products inspired by The Simpsons.

They all say it.

Special Lego Episode Coming to The Simpsons – See?  Every single time (bold mine):

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Fox during the 25th anniversary year of The Simpsons,” said Jill Wilfert, VP of licensing and entertainment at The LEGO Group states. “We know our fans will love the challenge of building the Simpsons’ family home in great detail and the ability to collect quintessential characters in LEGO minifigure form will let them showcase their love of the show in a whole new way. We are also excited that The Simpsons will be created in LEGO form, truly bringing this partnership to life.“

Gotta be in the contract.

The Simpsons 25th Anniversary 5″ Celebrity Guest Stars Action Figure – Series 02 – Here are some more celebrity figurines.  Meh.

JOYRICH X THE SIMPSONS : SPRING/SUMMER 2014 COLLECTION - Hats and jackets, more more more.

Matt Groening 10 Favorite ‘Simpsons’ Episodes – Happily there’s no Zombie Simpsons.  Unfortunately, that’s because he originally came up with this list during Season 11.

Reality versus fiction: concept of space and time in architecture – Pictures from the real Flintstones and Simpson houses.  Dick Clark clearly had more money to spend on his Bedrock replica than whoever ordered that Simpson home giveaway.

Animated Review: Another Companion To Books From The Simpsons In Alphabetical Order – A French artist likes to alphabetize things from the show.

What Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About Politics – Wisconsin public radio on a new book called “Homer Simpson Ponders Politics” with lots of essays about pop culture’s connection to the art of the possible.  This is an interview with the editors, and the word “Aristotelian” features prominently.

Holiday Film Reviews: The Simpsons – “I Love Lisa” – Both reviewers give it three and a half hearts out of four.

The Dr. Nick ‘coloured-in’ embroidery job – This went up too late for last week’s Bacon Day post, but if this isn’t love, what is?:

So I started seeing a guy called Nick with a PhD in Chemistry. His mates call him “Dr Nick” for fun, so this is what I whacked together for his Christmas present.

Click through for the awesome finished result.

The Simpsons Homer Ice Cube Tray - Hmm:

Only $9.38 from Hot Topic.

Most of what I know about Hot Topic came from the “Ungroundable” episode of South Park, so I’m not really sure what to make of that.

Drunk Texting – Scroll to the bottom for a sweet sketch of Lisa telling off those fucktards at misspelled Chick-Fillet.  (Also, good luck with “The Boy”.)

Simpsons Effect Wallpaper – In other finished fan art, the Simpsonized version of Mass Effect we’ve been linking is done.  Cool.

Random Simpsons Screencap of the Day 2/16/14 – He’s 31 years old!

Footage of Finnish Celebrating Big Win – Heh.

The East Asian Studies Department Tackles Orientalism in Modern Television - Damn Zombie Simpsons:

The event screened two recent episodes of The Simpsons and How I Met your Mother, both of which have stirred controversy in how they depicted the Eastern World, particularly East Asia, as constructs of a Western Orientalist perspective.

Both episodes discussed at the event featured Asians as stereotypes. For example, The Simpsons depicted sexualized Asian women

Are You a 50 Year Old Kiss Virgin? Do You Even Kiss? – Breaking down various kiss types to the point of absurdity, including:

Kiss # Three. The Simpsons Kiss.

Step 1: Pout so hard that not only are you doing the duck face, you are a duck.

Step 2: Find someone who is willing to look as stupidly fowl-like as you.

Step 3: Loudly smack you lips against the outstretched lips of the other person (or duck), as if you’re chastising them for being tardy.

Step 4: Keep going until you die of exhaustion.

Step 5: Or at least until you become yellow.

An Unusual Source of Inspiration – YouTube of Lisa encouraging Homer with crisatunity.

Mini Marge Simpson Cross Stitch – Just what it says.  And it can apparently be done in a single ferry ride.  Bravo.

I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY SIMPSONS CLIPS ARE SO HARD TO FIND ON THE INTERNET. – Somebody got a Choo-Choo-Choose valentine, which was nice.  To answer the title, however, you simply need to remember that FOX is run by assholes.  Big ones.

I Choo-choo-choose Mr Pigalina – Here the card finds a happy home on the fridge next to infamous nevernude Tobias.

Choo-Choo-Choose This Printable Valentine – For the belated Bacon Day recipient in your life, or to save for next year.  (Also, that blog is titled The Feminine Miss Geek.  Ha!)

Are refugee advocates out of touch? – Excellent visual Skinner usage.

The 100 Best Classic Simpsons Quotes – The good news: no Zombie Simpsons and all the quotes are subtitled screen grabs.  The bad news: it’s Buzzfeed.

Watch The Simpsons In 7 Different Languages, But Homer Is Still “D’oh!” – Speaking of Buzzfeed, here’s a genuinely clever YouTube video of parts of “Mr. Plow” and “Marge vs. the Monorail” dubbed into six other languages.

Of hardship and heroin – And on the topic of foreign language voices, the guy who does the French Canadian voice of Krusty is in a play in New Zealand as Jean Cocteau.

Everyone is a MUA these days. – Animated .gif of Homer’s makeup shotgun.

The Simpsons Tapped Out- Award For Outstanding Achievement In The Field Of Excellence – And finally, I get to end the way I like, with someone who agrees with us.  From a review of Tapped Out:

Tapped out is the perfect game because it refers back to episodes of The Simpsons that were actually good, although I do have a tendency to become attached to characters and despite of my growing lack of interest will stick through with a show until the bitter end, I gave up on The Simpsons long ago. I understand what is special about it, and it truly is impressive how long it has stayed on the air. It taught me a significant amount of life lessons as I repeatedly watched episodes of it growing up. It still remains one of my most quoted and referenced TV shows, but I gave up probably after season 11.

That was a good time to quit.

14
Feb
14

Reading Digest: Happy Bacon Day Edition

Bacon Day

“And this is for my huggy bug in honor of this special day.” – Marge Simpson
“Special day?  Oh, what have I forgotten now?  Now, don’t panic.  Is it Bacon Day?  No!  That’s crazy talk.  She’s getting impatient, take a stab at it . . .” – Homer’s Brain
“Happy . . . Valentine’s Day.” – Homer Simpson
“Oh, thank you, dear.” – Marge Simpson
“Woo-hoo!” – Homer Simpson

Today, as we all know (even Reddit), is Bacon Day.  Like most holidays on the American calendar, whatever was once good and fun about Bacon Day was acquired in a hostile takeover by Hallmark and Disney, homogenized, and sold off piece by piece so thoroughly that the backlash against those decades of commoditization now has its own annual meta-backlash.  Personally, I’ve never understood what all the fuss is about.  Some people eat bacon today, some people don’t; and tomorrow begins the year long countdown to the next time people will once again fret and stress over who’s eating bacon, who’s not eating bacon, what their bacon eating (or lack thereof) says about them, and all manner of other non-bacon related subjects.

Naturally, we have some Bacon Day related links this week, so feel free to enjoy them or not as you see fit.  In addition to that, there is yet more new merchandise this week, lots of excellent usage (even on that’s misquoted), an update on fan made cross stitch, a chance to vote on what Simpsons episodes people in the Bay Area will get to watch next month, and a scandalous episode of all caps plagiarism in a barbecue joint that I demand be corrected by next Bacon Day.

Enjoy.

-

Before we get to this week’s links, here’s Sam Simon’s speech from that award the Writer’s Guild gave him a couple of weeks ago (via):

As I’ve said before, it’s hard to imagine someone dealing with that kind of news better than he is.  I mean, how often do people with nasty cancer crack jokes at the expense of the Make A Wish Foundation?

-

PLAGIARISM! – Some BBQ joint attributed “You don’t win friends with salad” to some anonymous scoundrel named “Shane”.  Our author got “full on, fan-girl annoyed”, and deservedly so!

20th Century Fox details toy partners for The Simpsons’ 25th anniversary | Latest news from the licensing industry - There’s gonna be Hot Wheels, there’s gonna be six feet tall inflatable Homers, there’s gonna be more figurines.  They are going all out because there can never be enough merchandise.  Never!  (For pics of some of it, see here.)

Mmm… Unexplained Bacon – If you make your own bacon, then every day can be Bacon Day!

Thank You One Tree Hill, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The Simpsons, and Harry Potter – A big old wet kiss to some popular media, including the show and including a ton of great YouTube.

Pick-a-Side – >>>>> Classic Simpsons Marathon! <<<<< Pick The Top ‘Simpsons’ Episodes! – That San Francisco tv station that separates Simpsons reruns from Zombie Simpsons reruns is having a viewer contest to pick which episodes they’ll show during a marathon on March 15th.  It’s a good list and you can vote.

The Other Shoe has Dropped – I’ve lost track of all the Converse Simpsons shoes, but here are some of them.

Heres a red ball….. – This is . . . this is brilliant:

I don’t know about you, but I think I its a great idea to carry a red ball in ones pocket for every time some asshole says something completely stupid.  Just for the sole purpose of asking them if they’d like to bounce it.  Anyone know where one could buy these wholesale? Just asking for a friend….

A quick Amazon search did not reveal any bulk purchase options.

From the same site as the above, it’s Simpsons screen caps of the day: Ratboy, Bogeymen, no good Lisa running wild, and horrible aftermath of the Lizard Queen.  Bravo.

CAN I BORROW A FEELING? – As usual with Valentine’s Day, 95%+ of what seems to be on the internet shits on the holiday, and when people do it with Simpsons it’s usually Choo-Choo-Choose related.  Kudos for going with Kirk’s abortive singing career.

Simpsons – I choo choo choose you (gif) – Of course, you can’t go wrong with animated .gifs of the classic.

The faces behind “The Simpsons” - A nice little collage of the six main voices with their various characters.

want: lego simpsons house…that opens. – This is from a blog awesomely titled “Lenny Loves Carl”:

Anyway, if I do obtain this masterpiece of the Lego Gods, I’ll probably keep it in the box until my brother is in town and can put it together for me.  Then I’ll proudly display it in my house and not let friends’ kids play with it when they come over because they’ll do terrible things like put the Jazz Fest poster on Bart’s bedroom wall and make Lisa eat hot dogs when we all know she only wants to eat gazpacho!

Thomas A. Edison’s doodle – A drawing of Homer dressed as Edison, if he ate hoagies and drank Duff.

The Simpsons’ Parody of Famous Photos (12 photos) - Exactly what it says.

Mike Lynch Cartoons: THE SIMPSONS “Please Stand By” Interstitials - Also exactly what it says.

Barbie’s SI Cover Steps Up the Sexualized Children’s Toy Game - Good comparison:

Billed under an “Unapologetic” tagline, Barbie will get a four pages of swimsuit-wearing photos — all taken by longtime SI photographer Walter Iooss Jr. — as well as a limited-edition Sports Illustrated Barbie (only at Target!). And most importantly, 1,000 issues with Barbie in a swimsuit on the cover.
While perhaps the most brazen example yet of sexualizing the children’s toy, the concept isn’t exactly novel. Look at how Marge Simpson’s image has been tarted up over the years. “Springfield’s sexiest MILF,” Maxim called her in 2004 when she appeared on the cover of the magazine. Marge also posed on a bunny chair in Playboy in 2009 as a tag to “The Devil in Marge Simpson.” Weird.

It was.  Really weird.

Sirs, madams, our airs and graces are on the wane - Excellent usage:

Homer Simpson only ever got called “sir” when it was followed by “you’re making a scene”. Unless you’re a teacher or a drill sergeant, you’re likely to be in the same boat.

Berlinale 2014: Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy? Review - Excellent reference:

It’s easy to greet the prospect of Michel Gondy making a doodle movie about the ideas of Noam Chomsky like that aggrieved nerd on The Simpsons: “Ugh, why does it have be zany?”

Kraft Singles Get Very Slightly Less Horrid - Another excellent reference:

The enduring image of Kraft Singles in my mind comes from the Simpsons episode where Homer inadvertently thwarts Mr. Burns and Smithers from burglarizing his home by sleepwalking into the kitchen for “Mmmmm…64 slices of American cheese.” It takes him all night to unwrap and eat them individually, by which time the burglars’ suction pads lose their grip and they nonchalantly drop off the ceiling to bid him a good day.

Get to know Midwest brewers in Locally Brewed by Anna Blessing - Intentional misquotes still count as excellent usage:

To misquote Homer Simpson, “Craft beer. Is there anything it can’t do?” Of course Homer, the great devotee of Duff, probably wouldn’t know what to make of an IPA.

The Simpsons Duff Beer-Themed Energy Drink - Now you can buy it outside the theme park.  Still looks gross.

You’ll Feel Inspired to Play Your NES After Seeing this Nostalgic 8-bit Art (10 Images) – These are great, not only the Simpsons one, but also Bob Ross, Monopoly, and the bunch from Star Wars. (via Content for Nerds)

Shirley Temple Offered Guest Role On ‘The Simpsons’ But Said F*ck Off - They wanted her to play Little Vicki.

Bart’s Dog Gets An F – Episode #029 – Lots of people think only mules can pull carts.  Impatient people think that, but patient people know better.

12 Things The Simpsons Can Teach You About Family, Hard Work, And Happiness – This is to promote that same new ebook I linked last week.  I’ll have a review of it next week, but for now I’ll just recommend against a purchase.

Word Mystery: butterfly / mariposa / papillon / farfalla – The show gives us all kinds of options for daily usage:

My BFF and I decided a million years ago that “butterfly” would be our code word for “help” in any situation. If one of us couldn’t remember another person’s name while talking to them, we’d mention how odd it was that we’d seen a butterfly earlier that day and the other would come to the rescue.

[…]

It’s the perfect word for all kinds of situations since it’s innocuous, not commonly said, and, as Bart Simpson learned years after I had, “Nobody ever suspects the butterfly.

Harry Potter and the Happy Squirrel: Hermione, as Page of Coins, considers Ron and Harry – I did not know this:

“The Happy Squirrel has become a bit of an in-joke in the tarot community since  it first appeared in the Simpsons episode Lisa’s Wedding in the mid 1990′s.” —   A review of the Touchstone Tarot

But is it bad?

EYE CANDY: Bartmania Nostalgia in Time for Black History Month – Pretty much what it says, some old stuff and some new stuff being used to promote an album.  Cool.

Progress on Lisa – That cross stitch I linked a couple of weeks ago is definitely Lisa and not Maggie, and looks to be coming along nicely.

The Perfect Compliment – Star Wars Valentine for the win.

My Thoughts: The Simpsons – Good move:

the show has stopped being funny. It’s not even interesting to entertaining anymore. I took it off my Hulu watch list back in 2012 because for the last few seasons before then, I’d watch each episode and think, “Let’s get this over with” before clicking it. I think out of two seasons prior to 2012 I laughed maybe three times total.

It’s time to love up all on Thursday. – And finally, I get to end with someone who agrees with us:

I love the Simpsons – up to a point. The older stuff is so genius. I will still pepper conversations with random quotes to this day, I can sing along with all the musical numbers. It’s become one with my brain.

I know the feeling.  (It closes with a .gif of Homer’s brain explaining to him that $20 is better than a peanut.)

07
Feb
14

Reading Digest: Hooray Season 2 Edition

Dancin' Homer11

“Look, there’s only one thing worse than being a loser.  It’s being one of those guys who sits in a bar telling the story of how he became a loser, and I never want that to happen to me.” – Homer Simpson
“Please, Homer.” – Barney Gumble
“Yeah, come on, Homer.” – Moe
“Well, okay.” – Homer Simpson

We’ve got three links about Season 2 this week, and not just “here’s a thing that happened in this episode”, but lots of love for the whole season.  Excellent.  In addition to that, Hank Azaria got a new part, there’s some cool fan art, further evidence that old sitcoms were atrocious, a new ebook about the show, and a cool retrospective on Julie Kavner’s non-Simpsons career.

Enjoy.

An alternative Simpsons timeline – I don’t agree with everything in Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week, but it is a very thoughtful overthinking of what the show could’ve been if it had aged the characters and gone off the air before the Fall.

More early rough sketches and drafts from David Silverman – I love the one of Homer ridiculing Marge from “Blood Feud”.  They don’t even attempt that kind of expressive animation anymore. 

The Hollywood Bowl’s 2014 summer season includes Beatles, ‘The Simpsons’ tributes - The weekend of September 12-14 there will be three concerts at the Hollywood Bowl celebrating the 25th anniversary of the show with fireworks.  Sounds fun, but tickets don’t go on sale until May.

Marge Simpson’s Julie Kavner Is a National Treasure - Indeed she is.  Click through for a recounting of her career and a picture of her from what looks like her mid twenties.

Fashion Spotlight: Big Trouble Mixes The Simpsons and Big Trouble in Little China – Fan made mashup image of the two.  I especially like Burns as Lo Pan with Blinky on his forehead.

Scripting (Comedy): The Simpsons, Season 2 – Oh, nothing, just some quotes from the first seven episodes of Season 2.

Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? – Episode #028 – Ash is down on this one:

Infuriated, Herb hops on a bus but before leaving he hisses to Homer that he has no brother. As Lisa said, “his life was an unbridled success until he found out he was a Simpson.” I guess all Simpsons are meant to have bad luck in their lives.

It’s more than just luck, it’s that they’re inherent losers who expect defeat and keep going anyway.

Robert & Homer Simpson: When Composers and Comedians Share a Name… - As even the post itself admits, there isn’t much at this link.  There is, however, a cool drawing of Homer playing a guitar with the lines coming out of some sheet music.

My 14 Favorite Episodes of The Simpsons, season 2 – It’s just a Season 2 kind of week:

This was a tough list to make as the second season of The Simpsons doesn’t really have any bad episodes.

Proof of that is a list of favorites that covers nearly 2/3 of the season.

The Simpsons’ Hank Azaria Lands Major Arc on Ray Donovan - It’s a Showtime show, so he’ll probably get to say “fuck”:

The actor – who most notably lends his voice to several characters on The Simpsons – will play James Cochran, the ambitious head honcho of the Los Angeles FBI who becomes a thorn in Ray’s (Liev Schreiber) side.

Tim Doyle Teams Up With Spoke Art For His Third Solo Show And The Continuation Of His Uber Successful: “UnReal Estate” Series – Yet more of those pop culture paintings, including one of the First Church of Springfield (complete with one of the best signs they ever did).

So, Bob Dylan Made A Super Bowl Commerical (and the Broncos Lost 43-8) – Was it a Canyonero moment?  Also, excellent usage:

In the words of Principal Seymour Skinner: “The times they are…becoming quite different.”

Week 4: What Cartoons Did I Watch Growing Up? – The Simpsons, of course, especially good old Lisa.

Ugggh Broncos! – Marge just doesn’t know about football.

Round 99: Kiss Kiss Bang Bangalore vs. Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious – Hey, that’s not Season 17, that’s footage of Kent Brockman interviewing the Pope!

Round 98: The Old Man and the Lisa vs. ‘Scuse Me While I Miss the Sky – You could write this about a lot of Zombie Simpsons:

I remember liking this episode when it first aired, but it really doesn’t hold up. Compared to “The Old Man and the Lisa” the script’s flaws and gaping plot holes become obvious, and the few jokes and gimmicks that might have made you chuckle at first don’t offer anything worth revisiting.

Round 97: A Milhouse Divided vs. King of the Hill – Most of Season 9 isn’t going to be able to hang in late rounds.  There are some great episodes in there, but the rot had clearly set in by that point.

No, The Simpsons Did Not Predict The Super Bowl Nine Years Ago - Headline says it all.  Also, it’s Zombie Simpsons.

Sitcom sports: Classic episodes featuring skating or hockey - “Lisa on Ice” is here, as well as this excellent reason to never watch “Leave It to Beaver”:

“Leave It to Beaver” (“Beaver’s Ice Skates,” 1961) Beaver (Jerry Mathers) is too embarrassed to tell his parents that a salesman pressured him into buying ice skates three sizes too big.

Meet the real-life ‘Simpsons’ kids in a 1969 film made by Matt Groening’s father, Homer - This is old but was making the general internet rounds again this week.  Basically, Matt Groening’s father made short nature documentaries, and one of them had his kids in it.  It’s six minutes and you can watch it at the link.

Simpson Effect [WIP#2] – The slow but steady progress of a fan made Simpsons/Mass Effect combination.

Simpsons or family guy?-One month on – No surprise:

One month(And a week) ago,we asked you whether you liked The Simpsons or Family Guy,since then, we have had a lot of voters. So I am pleased to announce the results:
1st-The Simpsons-60%
2nd-Family Guy and Both-20% each

New HUGE Art Bust Statue – Homer Simpson as Batman, The Dark Knight! – However you look at it, this giant Homer/Batman head is a pretty cool eBay find.

Why Channel 4 officially sucks – Shame on you, Channel 4:

I only ever bother going to Channel 4 for episodes of The Simpsons, but even then…

They censor some episodes of The Simpsons

The nail in the coffin, however, is that they’re apparently big enough wusses to censor certain episodes of the Simpsons, even if some of that censorship doesn’t exist on Sky 1.

Alex Gordon, Royals Aim to Stop Traffic with Creative Billboard – Heh:

As with almost everything, the billboard allows for a golden era Simpsons reference. Hopefully the Royals will have as much success with their new billboard as Springfield-area English Muffin advertisers.

This year, get her Kansas City Royals tickets, whatever you say, Mr. Billboard!

Yungaburra & Cairns Shop-a-thon – Scroll all the way down for further evidence of the global reach of cheap merchandise: Simpsons flip flops in Australia (where they are apparently called “thongs”).

The Twilight of Charlie X – A little background on, among other things, the Twilight Zone episode that was the basis for the Bart the Monster segment of “Treehouse of Horror II”.

15 Best Guest Voices Of The Simpsons’ Golden Era – This is a promotional list for a new book about the “Golden Era” of the show.  (Pro tip: You can just say Simpsons, everything else is Zombie Simpsons.)  Anyway, it inherently agrees with us and have some good YouTube, but what I’d really like to point out is that only three of these are for celebrities voicing themselves.  The book is five bucks on Kindle.

31
Jan
14

Reading Digest: Super Bowl Menagerie Edition

Lisa the Greek16

“It’s a touchdown for halfback Dan Beerdorf!  Duff Dry has won the Duff Bowl!” – Commercial Announcer
“They wanted it more.” – Moe

As we here in America approach one of our most sacred high holy days, the internet responded with a torrent of Simpsons/football related links, references and usage.  There’s even one for the Super Bowl’s hapless sibling, the Pro Bowl.  In addition to that, we’ve a whole bunch of cool fan made stuff, most of which comes from an awesome Reddit collection of a painter who does Simpsons requests, a funny interview with Shearer, a harmless Zombie Simpsons-Super Bowl promo, and the first Choo-Choose Valentine’s link of the year.

Enjoy.

And Now For Something Completley Different……. Vol. 2: Will The Real Mr. Sparkle Please Stand Up? - Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this brief collection of real life Mr. Sparkles, everything from window washers and women’s underwear to arm tattoos.  Cool.

I make real life Simpsons paintings for fun and here are few I made last year (including some that were commissions from this subreddit!) - A collection of fan made paintings and similar from Reddit.  My favorite is probably #14, the actual Super Nintendo painted to look like Chalmers.  The whole collection is fantastic.  (Many thanks to reader Jodi for sending this in!)

Harry Shearer: Nixon didn’t like blacks, Jews, communists, the French… - Shearer is the best:

How long has The Simpsons got left? We’ll be on the air until Fox finds another comedy show that can work at 8pm on Sunday – so I’ll say another 55 years. There are people who have voted in several elections who are younger than our show at this point.

Has anyone unexpected said they’re a fan of the show? I don’t talk to presidents or popes so I don’t know. What I find most interesting is if someone asks me to do one of the voices, whether they’re a five-year-old girl or a 70-year-old man, when they see the voice come out of a human body they all get the same look of bewilderment, surprise and delight. It’s really fun to see that.

Guess Who? - The beginnings of a Lisa (or Maggie) cross stitch.  And she’s doing one of Chef Bender as well.  Don’t forget to post the final results.

The Grammies Apparently Happened Recently - Now this is coverage of music industry self promotion I can get behind:

Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Simpson’s opinions do not reflect those of the producers, who don’t consider the Grammy an award at all

Excellent usage.

(A late!) Sunday Night Sketchbook 26/01/14 - Scroll halfway down for a cool fan made sketch of Ralph after he grew up to be a caterpillar.  (Also, the Iron Giant one is pretty damn cool.)

What If Our Favorite Fictional Characters Aged and/or Kept Up With The Times - Heh:

6) In ‘The Simpsons’, Bart and Lisa would be in their early to mid thirties.  Bart would probably be finishing up a five to ten year stint in Springfield State Prison or beginning a career in politics.  Lisa would probably have 2 or 3 PhD’s and well on to a Nobel Prize winning career.

Woo Hoo!! - Heh.  Nobody better dis your fly girl.

You Choo Choo Choose Me? - If you’re planning on sending out the perfect Wiggum Valentine’s Day card, now you can.

The Simpsons Take A Trip To The Super Bowl With Everyone’s Favorite New Girl - There’s a Super Bowl video with some of the Simpson characters in it.  It’s mildly amusing in places, and, more importantly, short.  There’s even a joke about football overruns being the only thing that’s keeping FOX a network.  I guess admitting that football overruns are the only thing keeping Zombie Simpsons from disappearing completely would’ve been too close to home.

The Year of the Backlog - A post about a daunting number of unwatched famous movies:

I can’t run from the fact that I haven’t seen a lot of very poI can’t run from the fact that I haven’t seen a lot of very popular and culturally significant movies. No wonder, as I spent the majority of my childhood and teenage years either skipping films altogether or watching the same ones over and over again. This offered me nothing more than the ability to recite Aladdin or Home Alone from beginning to end without skipping a beat. This is a valuable skill, no doubt, but it didn’t provide me much in the way of variety or the opportunity to discover new genres that I might have actually enjoyed. Most of my classic film knowledge exists only through reference or parody, and I owe shows like The Simpsons a great deal for keeping me in the loop. I never watched The Shining, but I knew almost word for word and shot for shot the popular lines and scenes from the Stanley Kubrick classic.

Don’t feel bad.  Lots of people, myself included, learned about a ton of movies from The Simpsons.

Part 119: Cereal - A blog about being single is missing out on some of life’s great pleasures:

There are all sorts of things that other people do and tell you about – in conversation or in blogs or in newspaper columns or similar – which they appear to find pleasurable, but which you have thus far failed to enjoy. Things such as fellatio, The Simpsons and any film the Coen brothers have ever made. Once or twice a year you try them out – because they do seem to make all the other people happy – although you really should have the courage of your convictions by now.

I can’t speak to blowjobs and award winning black comedies, but as for The Simpsons , give it a try at the start of Season 2 with “Bart Gets an F” and go from there.  The world is far too polluted with Zombie Simpsons for any other try to really count.

Super Bowl Sunday is About More Than You Think - A Super Bowl without beer is like a blog post without a .gif of Homer running around an overturned beer truck.

Flashback: Joe Giudice v. Joe Gorga Fight Voiced by Chief Wiggum & Moe – “He’s Bitin’ My Nuts, WTF?!” - This is from a while ago, but I’d never seen it before.  It’s Azaria doing voices over one of those fake fights on a reality show.  Kinda funny to hear Moe says, repeatedly, “He’s biting my nuts.”

Super Bowl Science: Could A Seahawk Beat A Bronco? And Other Important Nerdy Football Questions - Yet more gimmicky Super Bowl previews, but this one invokes Lisa:

In the words of Lisa Simpson, “what could be more exciting than the savage ballet that is pro football?” Perhaps the science of that savage ballet!

Excellent usage.

7 TV Joke Products That Became a Reality - The Leftorium and Tomacco make the list.

The Divine Comedy of the Pro Bowl - And finally, I get to end the way I like, with someone who agrees with us in this comparison of the sad state of the Pro Bowl and Zombie Simpsons:

The NFL Pro Bowl’s ill-fated demise is like tuning into a new Sunday night episode of the Simpsons.
It’s easy to recall a time when these showings were once compelling and even entertaining—albeit, during a time when our insight for amusement hinged on pedantic catchphrases and unfulfilled promises. But for the better part of the last two decades, both stagnant spectacles have nose-dived into a Homer Simpson-sized groove.
They’re outdated, overplayed, and they should have been axed ages ago.

Yup.

24
Jan
14

Reading Digest: Blank Potato Merchandising Edition

Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song13

“Why don’t you bring this potato?  It’s pretty big.” – Marge Simpson
“Mom, you’re always trying to give me potatoes.  What is it with you?” – Bart Simpson
“I just think they’re neat.” – Marge Simpson

Between the internet echoes of last week’s streaming news and the announcement of a, wait for it, Mr. Potato Head Homer, the signal to noise ratio was pretty bad again this week, so it’s once again a shorter than usual Reading Digest.  When they announced last year that they were kicking the merchandising into overdrive, they weren’t kidding, and it seems like hardly a week goes by without a new tie in or marketing campaign.  Not only did we get Mr. Homer Head this week, but there was also a contest to draw Simpsons characters in an officially license notebook.  Yes, they’re now endorsing blank paper.  The good news is that we got some cool fan art, both of the marketing and non-marketing variety, along with quite a bit of excellent usage, some sketches from early in the show, and several people who agree with us, implicitly and explicitly.

Enjoy.

Early rough sketches and character sheets from David Silverman – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this collection of David Silverman sketches compiled by our old friend Sebastian.  I put this up on Twitter last weekend, but if you didn’t see it then, click it now.  The ones from when Homer bangs on the door in “Bart the Genius” and the Land of Chocolate alone are worth it.

16 Timeless Business Lessons from The Simpsons – These are actual business tips (with words like “liability” and “regulation”) but they come with good YouTube and not a single example cited is from Zombie Simpsons.

The Simpsons Embroidery – Two very cool fan made Simpsons embroidery pieces, one of a Duff can, the other of Homer with a donut.  Bravo.

ACT’s 2014-15 season to include 2 N.Y. hits – The post apocalyptic Mr. Burns play is heading to San Francisco.

Emmanuel Mauleon Black Bart Simpson – I’ll just let them explain:

It seems like just about everyone has a soft spot for Bart Simpson these days. Photoshopped images of Odd Future dancing with Bart and Lisa flood Tumblr, streetwear blogs seem to worship the Simpson son, and artists like Emmanuel Mauleón have also caught onto this trend as well.
Mauleón, a Brooklyn-based artist originally from Puebla, Mexico, created these dope illustrations of Black Bart Simpson as promo pieces for electropop singer Gordon Voidwell’s mixtape Bad Études.

Check out the full collection at Tumblr.

Round 96: The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace vs. My Mother the Carjacker – Season 10 easily triumphs over this:

Not a fan. I’m willing to forgive outlandish plots, and abandoning all logic and character traits, if an episode at least manages to make me laugh, or if it has something to say.

This one didn’t, and it hasn’t.

Heh.

Round 97: A Milhouse Divided vs. King of the Hill – This happens a lot in Season 9:

An interesting side-effect of this tournament, and one that I didn’t expect to happen, is that I look at episodes much more critically than I ever did in the past. I always enjoyed “King of the Hill,” and I still did, for the most part, on this viewing. But compared to not only the episode above but also to the kinds of episode I expect to make it to the last rounds of the bracket, a few things stood out to me. Homer is once again a tad too much of a jerk, he’s victim of too much physical abuse, and the (always lose) fabric of the show’s plausibility is  stretched too thin a few times.

Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon talks PETA, Obama, NRA and dealing with cancer – A wide ranging Simon interview.  No surprise in that there isn’t much Simpsons content, but this is pretty cool:

I think I have one of the most expensive hobbies in the world, which is buying roadside zoos and setting the animals free. That is kind of the new activity around here. It is really gratifying to see these animals that have been so abused, animals that have never been outside of a concrete pit, taking their first steps on grass.

Hasbro releases Homer Simpson Mr Potato Head – God bless marketing euphemisms:

Hasbro is celebrating the 25th anniversary of The Simpsons this year with the release of a Homer Simpson Mr Potato Head.

Celebrating?  The only thing they’ll celebrate is if this makes them enough money to cover whatever ungodly licensing fee they paid FOX.

The official way to draw Lisa Simpson is pretty damn neat – We’ve seem these before for other characters, but they are pretty neat.

The 7 Best Episodes of The Simpsons, season 1 – Cool list, but extra worth the click for the YouTube video of “Bart the General” at 200% speed.  I didn’t watch the whole thing, but at a couple of points Bart’s talking so fast he almost sounds like he’s rapping.

TV Character Bracket Elite 8: #5 Homer Simpson vs. #11 Dr. Cox – Homer beat Omar last week and he’s ahead of Dr. Cox from Scrubs at the moment, but could certainly use more votes.

The toilet drains the other way in Australia… – Flush capacity as a bigger cultural difference than swirl direction.  Also, there’s a .gif of Homer bouncing back and forth across the border at the embassy.

The Simpsons: Tapped Out(Android, iOS) – This is certainly true:

This game does have problems though, with the EA name attached to it, it’s really no surprise. This game has frequent server crashes, just trying to get into the game can be a pain, you’ll get one or two screens telling you to either hit retry or telling you to wait for it to reconnect, when it’s because of an update that is fine, but it does it a lot at random times.

Album Review: David Crosby – Excellent usage:

Crosby has virtually disappeared from the singer-songwriter landscape for 20 years. Sure, he’ll crop up singing backing vocals alongside Graham Nash every now and then, but for many people the man with the walrus moustache is probably better known for his cameos on The Simpsons, his time in prison for drugs and firearms offenses, or even his role as a surrogate father for Hollywood’s Sapphic community. In fact, a joke from The Simpsons sums it up perfectly -

Barney: David Crosby? You’re my hero!

David Crosby: Oh, you like my music?

Barney: You’re a musician?

Recap: Irvine International Film Festival Brings Indie Flair to Laguna – More excellent usage:

When describing Branson, Missouri to his friends, Bart Simpson recalls Homer’s comparison that it was, “like Vegas, if it was run by Ned Flanders.” That’s more or less the vibe of the Irvine International Film Festival that ended its week-long run last week at Laguna Hills Cinema. When looking at the fledgling festival and comparing it to other festivals in OC like the Newport Beach Film Festival, IIFF is the most relaxed, family-oriented fest of them all, where Flanders himself would give two ecstatic “thumb-diddly- umbs” up.

Whoopidoo…ings: Portrait No.7 of 40 – Zombie Bart Simpson – Fan made drawing of Bart for a marketing competition being run by those notebook people.

Fan Creates Phish Simpsons Mashup on JamBase – Just what it says, with lots of clips from various episodes and outtakes.  Definitely more fun if you’re high.

A visto a este sujeto? – Spanish language Handsome Pete .gif.

GIFs de la semaine : les graffitis fluos – This isn’t in English and mostly isn’t Simpsons related, but there is a great .gif of Bart high on the all syrup squishy.

The Simpsons season 16 on DVD (Leeds Student, 2013) – And finally, I get to end the way I like, with someone who agrees with us:

It hasn’t been the best of times for The Simpsons. Oh sweet Jebus, let’s just say it: it has been the very blurst of times. Yes, the show still rakes in the big bucks and yes, while it continues to do so FOX will probably renew it into oblivion. But there’s been something painfully off about The Simpsons ever since the seasons hit double digits. These more recent outings, led by current showrunner Al Jean, have been called forgettable, lazy and disappointing.

Truly the blurst of times.

17
Jan
14

Reading Digest: Legal and Illegal Streaming Edition

The Mansion Family2

“See that ship over there?  They’re rebroadcasting Major League Baseball with implied oral consent, not expressed written consent. . . . Or so the legend goes.” – Homer Simpson

The big news this week was the official announcement of the streaming package for The Simpsons and Zombie Simpsons.  It’s today’s second link, and it sounds like it’ll be pretty cool . . . if you’re one of the few people who’ll be able to get it, as there are an appellate court’s worth of restrictions and hoops to jump through.  A young Canadian who got around all that has been rendered penniless by FOX for . . . I dunno, embarrassing them by doing their job better than they could, or something, and we’ve got a short interview with him as well.  There were enough links to the news about the streaming app, none with further information as far as I could tell, that they kinda drowned out other news this week, so the rest of this is a little light.  However we do have a nice stock reference, a poem, some more kick ass Simpsons art, a couple of links to people complaining about Tapped Out, and what may be the world’s most evil raccoon.

Enjoy.

FOX Bankrupted a 23-Year Old Canadian Pirate for Streaming The Simpsons - Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this article about the kid behind Watch the Simpsons On-line, which was probably a lot more user friendly that whatever fucked up streaming app FOX is going to come up with.  He e-mailed us a few years back about a link exchange, but I politely declined for reasons that should be obvious.

Soon you can (legally) stream the Simpsons—but there’s a catch – You still need to have cable (ugh, who wants that?), and FXX, and your giant evil cable company has to work out an arrangement with giant, evil FOX, which only half of them have done, so there’s actually like four catches.  (There were a lot of links to this story, of which Ars Technica had by far the best headline: “FXX app to stream all The Simpsons seasons, including the 9 good ones”.)

What Your Favorite Episode Of ‘The Simpsons’ Says About You - A jokey little list that does have the good sense to limit itself to Season 1-11.  Though I’m not sure if having “Lisa the Greek” as your favorite makes you a daddy’s girl so much as a gambling fiend.

Simpsons Lego, a haiku – Well done.

UnReal Estate by Tim Doyle – Some more of those amazing Simpsons paintings, including what I think is a new one of the Android’s Dungeon and one of Planet Express from Futurama.

The 15 Worst Corporate Logo Fails - These aren’t so much fails as they are unintentional sex acts/genitals, but you know London 2012 made the list either way.

BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1 Homer’s Triple Bypass VS. So it’s come to this: A Simpsons Clip Show – True:

“So It’s Come To This” may be a clip show, but it’s the best damn clip show any show has probably ever done. Only The Simpsons could take the tired clip show concept and turn out an episode that was entertaining, original, hilarious, and even heart warming at times.

Round 64: There’s Something About Marrying vs. Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment – An easy win for Season 8.

Principal Charming – Episode #027 – It is a bit different for Skinner:

I realise that this is the second season and characters are still being worked out but seriously, Seymour manages to propose to Patty with no problems at all, but when in came to Edna Krabappel, his mother, and the fact that he had no spine, he just couldn’t do it at all. I find that interesting.

But he still fails, so that’s always been there.

Homer Simpson and Road Runner helping police catch passing criminals driving by - In Britain, when the cops use machines to catch speeders, they can customize the noise it makes to alert them.  Apparently, “D’oh” and “Meep” (they only paid for it once, cheap bastards) are popular choices.

Mapache’s Gettin’ Big and Mapache’s Gettin’ Bigger – This raccoon looks like Mr. Burns.  That is all.

365 Days of The Simpsons – A popular point:

What I’ve learned from The Simpsons in the past year
It’s my belief that The Simpsons jumped the shark in season 9, with ‘The Principal and the Pauper‘. It’s hard to pinpoint why this is the ep where it all started to go downhill. The writers hadn’t changed (maybe that was the problem, the show needed fresh blood?) but the plot was so ridiculous that there’s no way you can recover from it. It’s like the writers gave up- they’ve had one bad idea and threw everything else to hell.

The writers had changed by that point, but to my eye, the bigger factor was that there just wasn’t much left to say.

Disturbia – Excellent usage:

Just watch the 1954 original, or The Simpsons version Bart of Darkness, in which a housebound Bart fears that Flanders is murdering his own family – “He’s going to kill Rod and Todd too, that’s horrible! In principle.” Disturbia even has one of the worst taglines ever: “Every killer lives next door to someone.” When I read that I couldn’t help but laugh to myself. It’s not even accurate. But what do I expect from an uncredited remake of Rear Window, named after a Rihanna song, starring Shia LaBeouf.

Keeping up with the Simpsons – A look and not one, but two new collections of Simpsons clothing.

Simpsons Tapped Out – Tapped to Tedium – I’m not quite at the top level yet, but I can already sympathize with a lot of this.

TV Character Bracket Sweet 16: #1 Omar Little vs. #5 Homer Simpson – Homer’s ahead, but could use some more votes.

today’s stickers – A worried looking Homer sticker in Brussels.

An ETF Mr. Burns Would Love - Nice reference:

Mr. Burns, the plutocrat from The Simpsons, didn’t get rich by investing in newfangled companies.  He is more of a traditionalist. On the show, his portfolio included Transatlantic Zeppelin and Amalgamated Spats. These old-fashioned companies seem silly, but Mr. Burns may have had an innovative idea there: invest in longstanding companies.

Unsurprisingly, thestreet.com chose not to mention his investment in Confederated Slave Holdings.

Throwback Thursday: “Bart vs. the Space Mutants” - A quick playthough writeup.

Simpson’s Paradox – Going off the new Simpsons math book, why not take a look at some math problems?

Homer Simpson stars in…The Day Of The Locust? – Old movie trailers were really bad, but if you want to see Donald Sutherland as Homer Simpson, skip to the 1:45 mark on the YouTube video.  It’s kinda funny: “I’ve always wondered what the point was of Homer Simpson.”

I Love the Simpsons! – If you’re going to start a blog, you could do worse than this as your first post:

Almost finish watching the 5th season of The Simpsons.

It is so good and I love it!

I would like to write a review for every episode if I could stop being a lazy sloth.

Don’t forget, trying is the first step towards failure.

App Review: Simpsons Tapped Out – And finally, I get to end with someone who agrees with us.  This time, it’s in a review of EA’s buggy money gusher:

By all 25 unholy seasons of this show I don’t know why I keep on playing this game. It’s a time drain, it’s not fun and it doles out measly increments of original content if don’t want to pay. It’s as stale as the show.

[…]

Verdict: Watch classic reruns instead.

Amen to that.

10
Jan
14

Reading Digest: Simpsonized Politicians Edition

Two Bad Neighbors9

“Just gonna relax with my U.S. News and World whatnot.  Ah, good, roasting the new guy.” – Bush the Elder

Before we get to this week’s links, I’d like to show you something that illustrates just how different the attitude of the Zombie Simpsons writing staff is from that of The Simpsons.  Yesterday, Matt Selman, who is the longtime second-in-command at Zombie Simpsons and who’s been running some of his own episodes the last two seasons, tweeted this:

Sell-out Man

Zombie Simpsons has long acted as unpaid advertising for businesses The Simpsons genuinely mocked, but it’s another level of commercial apathy to have one of the head writers take to Twitter and personally help his “pals” at Axe advertise the shitty and laughably stupid perfume they sell to insecure and sexually naive adolescents.  (Selman, by the way, is in his 40s.)  Twitter didn’t exist twenty years ago, but it’s damn hard to imagine the guys who wrote the beer parody ad where dour feminists turn into giddy bikini babes at a splash of Duff personally endorsing Budweiser or Miller Lite in their spare time, much less repeating the ads they mocked so harshly.  That tweet is some shameful shit.

In more pleasant Simpsons news, the big story this week was the release of official pictures of the new Lego Simpsons set.  There were uncountable tweets, blog posts, and articles about this, but there’s only one link below because all of them were just reposting the same pictures and information.  In addition to that, we’ve got two links each this week to people getting themselves Simpsonized and politicians invoking the show to lambaste their enemies.  And in addition to that, we’ve got quite a few excellent fan made drawings, some excellent usage, several people who agree with us, and some real life turnip juice, just like they make in Shelbyville.

The Merciless Peppers of Quetzalacatenango – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this scientist’s discussion of those merciless peppers:

When Homer just barely puts one of these peppers on his tongue, it burns so much he has to find something to drink; beer is at hand, but he doesn’t drink it only dipping his tongue in it to remove the heat (capsaicin is not water soluble, but is in fat, so milk or drinking straight up butter is the way to go, alcohol actually makes it worse),

Say cheese! You’re being Simpsonized – The first of our two Simpsonizing posts this week has the entire process, from sketch to done, of Simpsonizing a picture of two young women.  Looks great.

You Can Add Lego’s Simpson Set To Your Must Have List For 2014 – All New Pics AND A Video! – Lots and lots of pics from the Lego set, including a video of nice Scandinavian people explaining how they were designed.  You can buy it next month for $200 (ouch).

Turn Your Handsome Face into a Simpsons Cartoon – The “Simpsonize Me” site has been dead for a few years now, but you can get yourself done that way for a mere $5 if you’re so inclined.

homer.jpg – Just because it was 15 KBBL degrees below zero on my way to work Tuesday doesn’t mean it isn’t blazing hot on the other side of the planet.  Heh.

How ‘The Simpsons’ Taught ‘Parks and Recreation’ to Create Rich, Memorable Characters – Sadly, this stopped being true about fifteen seasons ago:

The success of the formula boils down to the writer’s diligence for giving each character a specific role to play from episode to episode. Dr. Hibbert is the doctor, and that’s it; we see him every time there’s a storyline related to medicine. Moe is always serving drinks at Moe’s, and Apu is always behind the counter of the Kwik-E-Mart. Similarly, you’ll rarely see Groundskeeper Willie away from Springfield Elementary.

They have turned most of the secondary characters into goo and will mash them willy-nilly into any scene, no matter how out of place they are.

Hank Scorpio – #310/#365 – Somebody slapped a Scorpio sticker on a trash can in Ireland.

The Boy – Cool fan made drawing of a very pissed off Homer.

Bartfink – An awesomely creepy fan made Bart drawing.

Kick-flip Triptych: Rad Dogs. The United Geekdom Geek Dogs Expo. – Fan made drawing of Santa’s Little Helper flipping over a car on a skateboard.  (The Back to the Future one is pretty good, too.)

Ogni volta che un autore spagnolo usa un laismo, in Italia un traduttore muore. – Nelson photoshopped into laughing at the Death of Marat.

The Simpsons – Fan made drawing of the Simpsons swimming.

The Proverbial Skeptic’s 5 Buzzwords to Stop Using in 2014 – Excellent usage:

There is a scene in an old episode of The Simpsons from 1997 which depicts a corporate meeting held to create a new cartoon character (Poochie, who ends up being voiced by Homer). The executives in the meeting keep throwing out buzzwords until a writer, clearly fed up that the conversation is going nowhere, interrupts to say “Excuse me, but ‘proactive’ and ‘paradigm’? Aren’t these just buzzwords that dumb people use to sound important? Not that I’m accusing you of anything like that. I’m fired, aren’t I?”

But that was 1997. It’s a new year, and it’s also National Hangover Day, so, as The Proverbial Skeptic, it is only right for me to suggest some resolutions. People don’t say “paradigm” or “proactive” or the all-time classic, “synergy”, anymore.

He keeps on rockin’ and stompin’: Greg Rekus stomps his way to the Park Theatre Wednesday – And excellent reference:

Armed with an acoustic guitar and a tambourine-clad stomp box, Winnipeg musician Greg Rekus often gets the “one-man band” tag, a musical term that, according to The Simpsons, will get you attacked by a monkey.

Go for the face!

Isaac Newton in the Simpsons – Did you forget Isaac Newton’s birthday last week?  I sure did.

Round 46, Part 2: The Father, the Son and the Holy Guest Star – The winner by default wins again.

THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1: When Flanders Failed VS. Homer The Heretic – True:

After dancing around in his underwear, Homer heads to the kitchen for something to eat. What’s he cooking? Comedy gold.

THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1: Stark Raving Dad VS. Separate Vocations – This line always gets me:

Marge: Doctor, if you just talk to him for five minutes without mentioning our son Bart, you’d see how sane he is.
Doctor: You mean there really is a  Bart?! Good Lord!

Blurst of times – YouTube of those blurst times.

The Simpsons: The Sixteenth Season – True:

There are a few laughs, but overall the 16th season reminds us just how good we had it during seasons 4-8.

IL Gov. Compares GOP Candidates To The Simpsons’ Mr. Burns – He even got the full name right, calling him “C. Montgomery Burns”.  Well done.

‘The Bart Simpson defence’: Surprising pop culture references in the Dáil and Seanad – Irish politicians like quoting Bart.

Istanbul Grill’s Turn of the Turnip – Excellent reference:

Remember that episode of The Simpsons in which Bart and his pals meet their Shelbyville doppelgangers after the latter steal Springfield‘s hallowed lemon tree? Remember how the episode ended, with Springfield kids quenching their thirst with sweet lemonade, while Shelbyville’s youngsters chugged turnip juice in disgust? And remember how your palate recoiled at the thought of the beverage, even if you had never conceived of it in your life, let alone tasted it? Well, turnip juice has been a Turkish staple for centuries, and you can order a glass of it at Istanbul Grill in Fountain Valley.

Poll: An Affair to Remember – I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that this pretty much sums up my relationship to the Tapped Out game, and I’ve only been playing it for four months:

Longer than the grueling hours it used to take to play Monopoly. Longer than the occasional dalliance with solitaire. Longer than my late night virtual gambling phase with Blackjack and Poker. And longer than any marathon session with Donkey Kong, Solid Snake, or Zelda.

TSTO and I have basically been having an affair for 15 months now – it’s been an illicit affair, one my family and friends don’t quite approve of.

The Liebster Award!!! – Good answer:

5. What is your favorite TV show?

All time? Probably “The Simpsons”. There was a time in my life when a 24-hour all-Simpsons channel would have made perfect sense to me.

An Important Announcement From In 10 Words – This post is actually 130 words, but I’m glad it’ll keep going.

Line(s) of the Day #TheSimpsons – Heh.

‘The Simpsons’: Judd Apatow on playing ‘self-involved’ Judd Apatow – A short interview with Apatow.  No real news, but there wouldn’t be, would there?

The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets by Simon Singh – A book review that agrees with us:

Another fun thing about this book is reminiscing about old Simpsons episodes from my childhood. This book describes different episodes that have secret mathematical equations or anecdotes built-in. When the author describes the episodes and the deeper mathematical meaning, I gain a newfound appreciation for the episode. Nothing beats old Simpsons episodes in my humble opinion, and now I know why – the writers are so smart!

Wendy Wept – This is about the most recent finale of South Park, but it does nicely agree with us:

The show filled a subversive void that The Simpsons had left back in the nineties, when they transitioned from being edgy to over to just plain sad.

True.

27
Dec
13

Reading Digest: Homer Impregnates Patty & Selma Edition

The Way We Was18

“Is Marge here?” – Homer Simpson
“Who?” – Patty Bouvier
“Or what, are you?” – Selma Bouvier
“I’m her date.” – Homer Simpson
“I suppose you want to come in and sit down.” – Patty Bouvier
“Oh, okay.” – Homer Simpson
“Marge’s dates get homelier all the time.” – Selma Bouvier
“That’s what you get when you don’t put out.” – Patty Bouvier 

It’s that weird week of the year between Christmas and New Year’s, when internet traffic plummets, the news goes into recycle mode with cheap posts about best this and worst that, and nobody much talks about The Simpsons on-line.  We do have some excellent usage, clever Australian sports fans, bird sex most foul, and the merchandising machinery has no respect for our hu-man holidays so there’s a hideously expensive jacket you can buy, plus there’s the usual assortment of random stuff and general what have you.  

Enjoy.

The Mary Sue Exclusive Clip: Nancy Cartwright, Voice of Bart Simpson, in I Know That Voice – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week contains a couple of short YouTube clips from an upcoming documentary about voice acting.  The first one is Cartwright explaining how there’s a rhythmic difference between characters like Ralph and Nelson, it’s neat.

These Cricket Fans Won The Day With Their Cromulent ‘Simpsons’ Signs - Two Australian cricket fans brought “Dental Plan” and “Lisa Needs Braces” signs to a test match, and there’s pictures.  Bravo, cricket fans.

The 12 Days of Christmas Episodes: The Simpsons – “Grift of the Magi” – Our old friend EJ Feddes takes a look at one of the lesser earlier Christmas episodes.

The Simpsons in its 25th season: showrunner Al Jean on why it endures – A nice little fluff piece on Jean and the show.  Nothing new or terribly interesting, though I did giggle somewhat at this:

A sequel to the 2007 feature film is not ruled out, but there is nothing planned. The writers, divided into two 10-strong teams in different rooms, have an eye for YouTube clips, but the main challenge remains crafting 30-minute stories without repeating previous episodes.

It’s the “main challenge” alright, one they haven’t bested in years.  Also, here’s horse’s mouth confirmation of what we’ve long suspected, they pussyfooted around Bush the Younger because they were scared:

Some writers pitched gags about the second President Bush, but the show largely steered clear because of his volatile ratings and image. “After 9/11 people were saying: ‘You can’t make fun of him, you can’t make a joke about the president, it’s too serious a time.’ Then it went to the opposite where he was widely ridiculed. We work a year ahead and we try to do things which we know will be true when we air,” says Jean. Lacking an actor who did good Dubya was another factor.

Weak sauce, Jean, weak sauce.

New home for turkeys that were saved from the chop – Aw, this is nice:

STUDENTS at Duchy College Rosewarne, in Camborne, have rescued two turkeys from the dinner plate and given them a new home.

Named by the students after characters from The Simpsons TV show, hens Patty and Selma have joined stag Homer and a hen Marge, who already live on the Camborne campus.

Though one imagines none of their namesakes would appreciate this:

Head animal management technician Laura Fallow said: “Patty and Selma have settled in well, they were quite nervous to begin with and their agility means they are able to jump onto the fence but they do not venture far and always return to the stag. We will be breeding Homer with Selma and Patty to produce hatchlings for the spring to sell.”

NFC North teams stink – Excellent usage:

Once again, as I watched NFL games Sunday, I was reminded of that wonderfully cheeky line from “The Simpsons.” The one that goes, “I’ve seen teams suck before but they were the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked.”

The reminder came as each of the NFC North teams lost their games.

The Simpsons Help Us Pinpoint the Second the Cardinals Playoff Hopes Ripped in Half – I put this up on Twitter earlier in the week, but it’s those weird days between Christmas and New Year’s, so why not take another look.  It’s worth a chuckle.

When Ranveer Singh faked an accent to impress girls – Heh:

Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh went down memory lane at a talk show and spoke about the days when he served coffee at Starbucks in the US before he became an actor.

Speaking about his college days, Ranveer said he used to pay attention to his looks when he used to serve coffee. He grew his hair and was all tanned. All the Jewish girls, who used to visit the cafe, found him very appealing and used to often talk about him amongst themselves. He admitted that not only did he take care of his looks but also spoke in an accent to catch the girls’ attention.

He admitted that he used to purposely speak in an Indian accent because the girls found it very appealing. He said he used to talk like Apu from The Simpsons.

8 great Christmas TV episodes – “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” is here, as is “Xmas Story” from Futurama.

TV Character Bracket 2nd Round: #5 Homer Simpson vs. #4 Michael Scott – Homer’s winning, but could always use some more votes.

THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS Round 1 Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire VS Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? – Oof, that’s a tough one.

Homer Vs Lisa and the 8th Commandment – After a couple of week’s off, Ash is back.

The Simpsons – Stick with those old box sets and you’ll be fine:

I have a love/hate thing for ‘The Simpons’ Sometimes I actually love the show and can’t find anything bad about it but the next time I can fully hate it and go weeks on end without watching an Episode.

The Simpsons X Moleskine book collaboration – A closer look at some of those new little notebooks.

lipstickndynamite – One of the Best Mom Moments – Lisa and Marge at the end of “Moaning Lisa”.  Indeed one of the best.

Charity Christmas display targeted by ‘selfish’ thieves – Some asshole in Britain slashed a Christmas display, including an inflatable Homer.

27 Funny Vehicles Spotted on The Simpsons – There’s some Zombie Simpsons here, including that idiotic Lady Gaga train, but it’s mostly good.

Pedalling in the Christchurch garden – New Zealand had a bad earthquake three years ago, now there’s a short bicycle tour of some of the still remaining wreckage, including a wall that collapse to reveal the inside of someone’s bathroom and their giant “You’ll have to speak up I’m holding a towel” cutout of Homer.  (It’s the second image in the slideshow.)

Dag 321 – Wouldn’t it be nice to see someone wearing this shirt wheeled a big stack of beer into a store/bar?

Dag 322 – Homer, ready for a night on the town.

NOWHERE / BABY MILO® THE SIMPSONS™ – See the two (2) trademark signs in that link?  They aren’t a coincidence, but you can buy a truly ugly Simpsons jacket for $300.

KBCW Presents: The Simpsons Classics! – Even local TV stations with syndication rights know that Zombie Simpsons is garbage.  Observe:

In 2014, KBCW will be reliving that TV history from the very beginning.

Starting January 6th KBCW presents The Simpsons Classics: a Bay Area broadcasting event presenting the first twenty years of “The Simpsons” in order from the very beginning.

Witness Homer’s first industrial accident, Marge’s very first groan of disappointment and the introduction of Troy McClure, Disco Stu, and Blinky the three eyed fish. Re-introduce yourself to every character, every guest star and every pop culture element as KBCW presents the classic episodes that have not been seen on Bay Area broadcast television in years.

Catch every episode of the first 20 years of the Simpsons in order.

We’ll be running the first decade of the Simpsons at 6pm, starting with season one episode one, then well be running the second decade at 10:30 starting with season 10 episode 1.

One of these time slots is better than the other.

Take Me to the Pilot #6: “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” - And finally, I get to end the way I like, with someone who agrees with us.  This is a thoughtful reminiscence about watching the first episode as a kid, and then again as an adult.  The whole thing is worth a read, and it agrees with us precisely:

It’s easy to forget how humble the show’s beginnings were, and how grounded in real-world economic hardships the Simpson family was in the show’s early days. Watching a current episode of The Simpsons–with its super-slick animation, too-tight pacing, and absurd stories that only occasionally remind us why we ever cared about these characters in the first place–is like watching a completely different show.

Amen, brother.  If only there were a name for that different show . . .

20
Dec
13

Reading Digest: Google Translate Edition

 Bart-vs-Australia15.png

“Please to repeat again, and I will translating for the El Presidente.” – Aide
“Which way does the water turn in your toilet?” – Bart Simpson
“He says the tide is turning!” – Aide
“!Ay Caramba!  Then the rebels will soon take the Capital!” – El Presidente 

We’ve got two posts this week brought to you by the algorithmic magic of Google Translate, one a discussion of censorship in France, the other a Swede who agrees with us.  (All hail Google and its glorious new regime!)  Other than that it’s a bit short this week, partly because it’s getting toward Christmas, and partly because WordPress had another little tag problem and would only load about half of the Simpsons tagged posts since last week.  We do have some more fan art, real life lion cubs, Sam Simon getting honored again, and some other people who marked Simpsons Day.

Enjoy.

Dead Bart – A mixture of screen grabs and mostly fan made art with “Dead Bart” as the theme.  Some of them are quite creepy and good.

The Simpsons! – Instructions on making your own Simpsons nail art, with pictures.  Cool.

Marcia Karen Wallace’s Tribute – I didn’t catch this last Sunday, but it does serve to further confirm that the opening is the best thing they do (“best” being quite relative, of course).

Photos: Moleskine unveils new ‘Simpsons’ notebooks – Sir, have we made enough Simpsons merchandise yet?  Never!

December 17th 1989: The Simpsons debuts – See?  Lots of people celebrate Simpsons Day.

In Which I Make A Few More Predictions (TV Edition) – A better than average prediction:

Ohhhh boy! What can you say about a TV show that’s been on the air for nearly 25 years? How about “when’s it gonna end”? So, with that in mind I give The Simpsons at least 8 1/3 years and at most 18.

Now that I’m on the record, time will only tell.

Why You Little… – I assume one of these isn’t actually from the show, but since I think a couple are from Zombie Simpsons, I’m not sure which.

Op-Ed: Can modern media keep out of the toilet? Apparently not – A guy in Australia complaining about “toilet scenes” in movies and teevee cites “Bart vs. Australia” as an example of one he likes:

Even on genuinely funny shows like The Simpsons, the toilet, somehow, has become a magnet for comedy. At least The Simpsons managed to make the toilet jokes funny. Bart is introduced to the Coriolis Effect, rings Australia to find out which way the water flushes, and goes to Australia to apologize after creating a diplomatic incident. (We haven’t forgotten, Simpson…)

Simon Singh Presents ‘The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets’ – The New York Times finally got around to mentioning the new book.  It must be news now.

Reasonable Doubt: Bart Simpson, child litigant – Using “Bart Gets Hit By a Car” to discuss the legal rights of children in Canada.  Also, they misidentified one of Springfield’s busybodies:

Any Simpsons fan will recall the late Maude Flanders’s common plea: “Won’t someone please think of the children?!”

Family Guy aims to take on The Simpsons: Tapped Out with similar free-to-play iOS and Android game – Well, anything you can do with the Simpsons franchise, you can do dumber and later with the Family Guy one.

Should Lion Cubs’ Names Come From ‘Star Wars,’ ‘The Simpsons’ or Shakespeare? – A zoo in Maryland is thinking about naming some lion cubs Bart and Maggie.

14 Ralph Wiggum Moments to Make You Feel Smart – Mostly animated .gifs, with a few from Zombie Simpsons.

Here comes Santa Claus … – The Christmas parade in Show Low, Arizona had an inflatable Homer as Santa riding a pickup truck and driving electric reindeer.  There’s a picture at the link and it is just as epic as it sounds.

If you write just one fan letter – Nancy Cartwright gets to her fan mail much quicker than Ringo Starr.

Round 95: Girly Edition vs. Treehouse of Horror VII - Only two entrants in the tournament section this week.  Damn waffle iron.

THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS Round 1 Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire VS Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? – Tough choice:

Two strong episodes. Classics really. “Oh Brother Where Art Thou” is probably the funnier of the two, but “Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire” is the more integral of the two in terms of Simpsons history. Maybe it’s the Eggnog talking, or just because it’s that time of year, but if I could only ever watch one again for the rest of my life I’d go with “Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire.”

Whoo-hoo! Homer for the Holidays – From the same guy who brought us Bart sledding last week comes Santa Homer in the snow.

“Oooh, so Mothe… – Heh.

You know, boys,… – Heh, again.

10 raisons (supplémentaires) de zapper la VF… – Google Translate is an amazing thing, but it still has to be taken with a grain of salt.  But I guess Duff got censored in France:

Simpson also had the right to their censorship in France. Indeed, the brand of beer “Duff” became floutter W9 and Canal +. And yes, it is forbidden to advertise a brand of alcohol on television in France.

‘The Simpsons’ Sam Simon Tapped for Writers Guild Honor – No idea if Simon cares or not, but I suppose this is nice of them:

The Writers Guild of America West has named “The Simpsons” co-developer Sam Simon as its 2014 Valentine Davies Award honoree in recognition of his humanitarian efforts and community service on behalf of writers.

It’s the second WGA honor for Simon in recent weeks. He received the WGA West’s Animation Writers Caucus animation writing award earlier this month as a lifetime achievement honor recognizing his contributions to the craft of animation writing.

The Return of/My Return to Community – I know this feeling (both of them, actually):

I watched a lot of TV as a kid, and part of my thinking was that if I missed something, it might never be shown again.  I didn’t want to miss anything.  It’s easier to let go now in the knowledge that YouTube, Netflix, or a DVD set will allow me to catch up down the road.  I think The Simpsons is the first show that stopped being “appointment television” for me; the decline in quality around 2000 was part of it, but I also knew the episodes I missed wouldn’t disappear into the ether like so much of the stuff I watched as a kid.

I stayed up way late to watch the last few episodes of the Johnny Carson tonight show because I loved the theme song and thought I’d never get to hear it again.  Well, it was still cool to stay up late.

Homer Simpson gets a new friend – I have no idea who actually writes the Tapped Out updates, but while they aren’t going to be quoted or win any prizes, they do tend to be funnier than Zombie Simpsons:

What I loved about the game is the humour. The writers did a great job!!

Comedy tonight! – A top ten list of comedy episodes includes “Kamp Krusty” and “A Streetcar Named Marge”

Monday Inspiration – Someone who agrees with us:

I wish The Simpsons were as funny as they used to be while I was growing up. These t-shirts, though, make me love ‘em all over again.

We all wish that.

Simpson och konceptet “overstaying your welcome” – And finally, I get to end the way I like, not only with someone who agrees with us, but with someone from Sweden who agrees with us (per Google Translate):

6an sends Simpsons whole damn time – we all know it. In our home, we gave up on Simpson somewhere in season 20. Now I’ve seen a few episodes from recent seasons, such as season 24 (above). It’s such a disappointment, why can not they just give up? Let us rest in the memory of an incredibly fun and trendsetting series! This is well iofs too late now because the whole series has been denigrated by how lousy it has been in recent years.
I’m sorry, Simspsons, “but you are dead to me now.”

Let us rest in the memory.

13
Dec
13

Reading Digest: Victorious War of the Simpsons Edition

The War of the Simpsons11

“Okay, fish, you’re probably wondering why I’m still here.  Catching you will make me the most famous fisherman there is, right up there with . . . that . . . the, uh . . . that bald guy on the cable fishing show.” – Homer Simpson

This week we have two links looking at various Simpsons Christmas episodes, one to start things and one to end them.  It goes almost without saying that both of them agree with us.  In addition to that, we’ve got several more Christmas links, some excellent usage, more merchandise of various kinds, some fantastic fake movie posters, some fan made stuff, two links about the otherwise improbable idea of featuring a cartoon character on a show about designing clothes, and two links where “The War of the Simpsons” comes out ahead, tournament style.

Enjoy.

The Simpsons Christmas – This is far more forgiving of Zombie Simpsons than I’m willing to be, but is a nevertheless impressive rundown of various Christmas episodes.

Simpsons T-Shirts – That Simpsons t-shirt contest ended and there are now 29 new shirts you can buy from Threatless.

Has The Simpsons Run Its Course? – Short answer yes with a ‘but’, long answer yes with an ‘if’.

Películas de Los Simpsons reciben Posters Reales – These fantastic Simpsons posters were making the rounds this week.  I especially like the Jay Sherman quote on the McBain poster.

The Simpsons x Converse 2014 Spring Chuck Taylor All Star Hi – Remember when they said they were going to have even moar merchandise?  Here’s some shoes.

More Homer Simpson beer moments – Three YouTube videos of some of Homer’s beer antics.  (And nothing past Season 11.)

George Carlin on Thoughts – Heh.  Nice combination.

5-paragraph review of ‘The Simpsons: Yellow Subterfuge’ – An admirably succinct review:

Skinner bans Bart from a school trip to a see a submarine. So Bart and Homer exact revenge by faking the death of Skinner’s mother, Agnes. By this time in the episode, I was only half paying attention. “The Simpsons” is essentially background noise at this point in its run.

Burn, Baby, Burn – Excellent sunburn related usage:

Busker sings: Sunshine on my shoulders, makes me happy -
Random pedestrian punches him in the face.   – The Simpsons

I totally feel like the pedestrian, not because of a heatwave (not yet, it is summer in Sydney), but because of my sunburn.  It’s like I got tattooed sleeves of red flesh.  Owie.

Hope the burn feels better.

How The Simpsons Brand Took Over The World – This is a long and not terribly informative write-up of the continued popularity of Simpsons crap tied in with the release of the Threadless t-shirts.  But while I don’t recommend reading it, it’s worth a click for the YouTube video that’s a news report on Bartmania from 1990.  It was on the Season 1 DVDs, so you may have seen it already, but it’s a nice little slice of the time.

TV Character Bracket: #5 Homer Simpson vs. #12 Cliff Huxtable – This has a poll at the bottom, and while Homer is currently ahead, I’m sure he could use some more votes.

The Simpsons Movie: the dysfunctional yellow icons make it to the big screen – Too true:

As a result, even the characters are shadows of their old yellow selves, complete with mistimed punchlines, and the cameos – including Tom Hanks and Green Day – are too brief to register. It seems absurd that, between eleven of arguably the funniest writers in America, no-one could come up with a good story.

We’ll never know what they might have come up with if they hadn’t focus tested it into the ground.

Matt Groening creator of The Simpsons Quote of Creativity – Wise words:

“Living creatively is really important to maintain throughout your life. And living creatively doesn’t mean only artistic creativity, although that’s part of it. It means being yourself, not just complying with the wishes of other people.”

- Matt Groening creator of The Simpsons

The Bechdel Test vs. cartoon pilot episodes – I can never get enough of that episode:

The Simpsons
Does it pass the Bechdel Test? YES
Is it an accurate tester for gender bias? YES.
Comments: technically the pilot episode was a 3 minute short, BUT Maggie and Marge talk for a full 20 seconds about breakfast and waking up in the morning. This one surprised me too.

PoeMania – Origins – Count me among the people for whom this is true:

But it was with some amusement that I realised it was The Simpsons that started it for me. You’ve seen the one I mean, right? The first Treehouse of Horror, originally aired in 1990 (but it was a few more years before I saw it one Halloween) and narrated by James Early Jones… The Raven as spoken by Mufasa! Mint!

As a result, I can’t really take The Raven all too seriously. I’m fine with the rest of his works… But for the Raven? All I hear is Bart Simpson squawking ‘nevermore’ and Jones: ‘quoth the raven’.

I have an animated family to thank for my literary enrichment though. So thanks Homer!

Homer’s barely contained rage at the “take thy beak from out my heart” part is the definitive spoken version.

Designing for Marge Simpson! – They designed for Marge on Project Runway, and here are one woman’s initial sketches for it.  Also, too:

P.S. Anyone else surprised the Simpsons is still airing?? Who would’ve thunk it!!

Marge Simpson Gets New Dress Designed By ‘˜Project Runway’™ Contestant – And here’s a brief little write-up of the actual show.

Sam Taylor Draws Mutant Simpsons Characters And Drunken Monsters – Milhouse and Baby Gerald are particularly creepy here.  Well done.

Check out Ned Flanders as a Simpson LEGO – Just what it says.

Bart Sledding – Fan made painting in the medium of iPad.  Wintery and appropriate.

Dag 311 – T-shirt of Homer breaking his own couch.

Simpsons – Super Nintendo Chalmers – Great .gif, they’ve got the look on everyone’s face frozen perfectly except Ralph, who’s talking.

the simpsons-an unathorized history by john ortved – An appreciative review, and yeah, Groening’s a good sort:

i loved the epiphany that came from reading about matt groening‘s start reviewing punk records. he realized, that although he was quite passionate about the music, he realized that he wasn’t good at it because he didn’t move units of punk music (and how sweet is it that he actually went to the record store to count!)-like, whoa.

Simpsons Tournament Section:

Round 94: Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy vs. Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy - Man, I don’t even have an opinion.

Round 93: The Boy Who Knew Too Much vs. Treehouse of Horror XVII - Thanks for playing, Season 18, but nobody loves you:

Not a particularly good Halloween special. The first segment (Blob) is awful, the second (Golem) slightly better but still pretty bad and the third (War of the World) has some nice things going for it – I especially liked the 1930′s design of the people of Springfield – but ultimately disappoints, as well.

Round 92: When Flanders Failed vs. The War of the Simpsons - The first of two times “The War of The Simpsons” comes out ahead this week.

THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1 The Crepes Of Wrath VS. Some Enchanted Evening – Great screengrab of Homer in mental and physical agony after falling down the stairs.

THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1 The War Of The Simpsons VS. The Call Of The Simpsons – Never gets old:

John: Here’s your crown your majesty!

/Tournament Section

Cool Whip…In 10 Words – Licorice whip?

21st Century’s Carey Sees “Simpsons” As “Defining Event” For FXX – Big scoop from Variety, FOX executive thinks FOX channel featuring FOX shows has nowhere to go but up!  Film at 11.  (Fuck you, Variety.)

Day #6: The Simpsons Triple Bill – Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire, Marge Be Not Proud, Miracle on Evergreen Terrace – And finally, I get to end with a Christmas retrospective that agrees with us (well, mostly).  On “Miracle on Evergreen Terrace”:

It’s the problem with amplifying a story line up when you run out of places to go other than to keep getting increasingly more ridiculous and less grounded in reality or even logic. Other than that, it’s a pretty funny episode that’s still a fun watch, but you can see the cracks where The Simpsons was starting to become less consistent.

Indeed you can, and that was Season 9.

05
Dec
13

Reading Digest: The Lego Men (And Women) Cometh

Eight Misbehavin2

“How ingenious, the forks are made out of Lego.” – Marge Simpson

The internet got its first look at the Simpsons Lego people this week.  Well, sort of, all we got was Homer and the torsos of Marge and Lisa (maybe there was a clog in the leg chute?), but they look okay.  We’ve also got another great Simpsons painting, Marge as past fashion icons, more fans of the Simpson math book, the beginnings of Christmas, and some excellent usage.

Enjoy.

Tim Doyle – The Simpsons Unreal Estate – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this new painting of the Simpson home by the same guy who did all those amazing ones last year.  I love that you can see the outline of Marge and Lisa (with sax, naturally) in the house and Bart in the treehouse.  The first three remain just as gorgeous as they were last year.

Reruns of ‘Simpsons’ Episodes on FXX Won’t Change Actors’ Residuals – If I were them, I’d be looking at that contract with a microscope:

Gaudry said she hasn’t reviewed the details of the deal yet but when SAG-AFTRA receives the documents next year the union does have remedies if it believes performers were shortchanged. “We can’t dictate what companies do with their programs, but there are options under the agreements if we see an issue,” she said.

Diary of a Nerdy Kid: Back to Basics (Season 1) – Rewatching Season 1 with an eye towards things that should be included in Tapped Out.  The Jazz Hole would be cool, but who can resist a “Dip” sign?

LEGO The Simpsons Official Homer Simpson Minifigure Found – Homer’s got his tie and badge on.

More LEGO The Simpsons Minifigures Found – Marge and Lisa, though mercifully the legs they have there aren’t the real ones, as they currently look like they’re wearing sumo thongs.

Upworthy Springfield: Linkbait With A Hint of Nostalgia – Upworthy Springfield is genius, no two ways about it.

Lisa Simpson – A guide to a do it yourself Lisa costume.  Total cost: $63.

PHOTO: Ned Flanders returns to Peter Budaj’s mask, and he’s mad – Click through for art of Angry Hockey Ned.

AnOther Happy Monday – Marge Simpson does Fashion – An Italian artist drew Marge in the same pose and outfits as various famous fashion models.  Warning/enticement-to-click: you will be seeing Stephanie Seymour’s crotch and Marge with a matching tuft of blue pubic hair.

AlexSandro Palombo sposa Marge Simpson – More of fashion Marge, in slideshow format with much smaller pictures of the originals.

-

And now, the episode tournament/marathon portion of our show:

Round 90: Homer vs. Patty and Selma vs. Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words - Brooks was a little skimpy, but I love Sarandon’s ballet teacher.  Batman, for example, and . . . Magellan.

Round 91: Krusty Gets Kancelled vs. Treehouse of Horror - Fun fact, Johnny Carson can’t actually life a Buick Skylark over his head.  He can lift an Oldsmobile Cutlass over his head.

S1E11 “The Crepes of Wrath” – “For the first time, the show really managed to embrace its lingering zaniness, but it also chooses to pepper the episode with French culture references, and a commentary on wealth distribution and capitalism, as told through an argument between Lisa and Adil. This is what The Simpsons is like when it’s firing on all cylinders: jokes for everyone that are heavily layered, while keeping the main idea simple enough that it’s enjoyable.”

THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1 The Telltale Head VS. Dancin’ Homer – Very true:

Too often in later seasons, the bullies, including Nelson, are reduced to essentially being a teenage version of the three stooges, or worse,  hanging out with Bart & Milhouse and treating them like equals. Here, they are what they should be.  Untrustworthy little jerks who will turn on Bart in a heartbeat the second he shows he has a conscience.

THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1 There’s No Disgrace Like Home VS. Dead Putting Society – Great George Carlin quote, and appropriate too.

THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1 Principal Charming VS. Old Money – Good point about “Principal Charming”:

This is the first episode to put three secondary characters in the lead roles. Here, the Simpson family take a backseat to Patty, Selma, and Principal Skinner.  And all three are more than capable of carrying the episode.

THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1: Bart vs. Thanksgiving VS. Homer vs. Lisa & The 8th Commandment – Never thought of it this way:

One of the programs Homer watches is an infomercial hosted by Troy McClure called “I Can’t Believe They Invented It!” So essentially, Homer “purchased” cable from a con-man cable guy so that he could watch an infomercial featuring two other con-artists, sellout actor Troy McClure, and phony physician Dr.Nick. I have a feeling whatever money Homer is going to save by stealing cable, he is going to lose even more from buying crappy infomercial products.

Homer, are you buying junk off the TV again?  Shh, they’ll hear you!

THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1 Bart Gets Hit By A Car vs. Blood Feud – Kids these days:

But Bart spits over the guardrail and soon finds himself in Hell, which is a Hieronymous Bosch painting where the Devil’s desktop is equipped with a Windows based program.

The Devil, young man, is using a Mac.

THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1: KRUSTY GETS BUSTED vs. ITCHY & SCRATCHY & MARGE – Great freeze frame of “how crazed Bob looked cuffed and sprawled in the back of the police wagon”.  He’s cracked and you know it.

THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1 Bart The Genius v. Bart The General v. Bart The Daredevil – Never gets old:

Grampa’s letter to TV advertisers: I am disgusted with the way old people are depicted on TV. We’re not all vibrant, fun-loving sex maniacs. Many of us are bitter, resentful individuals.

End marathon segment.

-

Educating [Geeks] Drinking Game – Simpsons Treehouse of Horror – I enjoy drinking games as much as the next besotted fool, but this is suicidal:

Take a shot every time Willie takes an axe

Take a shot any time there is a Marge hair gag

Harry Shearer’s ‘Le Show’ reaches 30th birthday – Congrats.

A Thanksgiving Haiku – Gotta love cranberry sauce a la Bart.

Time to Prepare! – And YouTube of the same.

Best of South Park – 10 – The Simpsons Already Did It – That episode was completely correct . . . and it first aired eleven years ago.

Do’h! Simpsons marathon farewells analog TV – Two Australian artists watched all of The Simpsons and Zombie Simpsons to mark/commemorate/art the end of analog TV broadcasts down under.

Clowns: What is all the fuss about – and who are the ten scariest clowns of all time? – Krusty and Sideshow Bob make the list.

Movie Review: Good Ol’ Freda (5 out of 5 stars) – Hey, someone had to deal with that fan mail until Ringo could get around to it all.

Dag 294 – A Pulp Simpsons t-shirt of Homer and Barney instead of Lenny and Carl.

Some Fun Burlesque! – More Simpsons burlesque, this time with Marge instead of Ned.  Awesome.  Shaky cam YouTube, but still awesome (because belching and drunken stripping).

An analysis of The Simpsons as a cultural phenomenon, paying particular attention to its genre, form and place in the television schedule. – I like this formulation of it:

The gravity of The Simpsons influence can clearly be seen in a number of contemporary adult-oriented animated sitcoms still running today including Futarama, Family guy and South Park

Gravity indeed, like all the other shows are falling toward it and can never quite get there.

My Favourite Christmas Episodes – “Marge Be Not Proud” makes the list, which I’m fine with.

XMAS 25 Day 5- XMAS Episodes: The Simpsons Season 1, Ep. 1 ‘Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire’ – Ah, but there’s a Christmas episode:

Even without the highest of intelligence, Homer cares about his family first, himself second. To me, that is what makes this special a true classic and gets heavy rotation on my Christmas classics list. Hopefully those reading this feel just the same.

It’s what makes him Homer.

Michigan State Police mustache contest benefits Toys for Tots – This is a local news report that doesn’t tell you much more than the title.  However, Captain Roesler won the “Ned Flanders” category, which his certificate describes as “For the creepiest or most unsavory mustache”.  You can see him on the video noting that it wasn’t the most flattering award, but he seems to be a good sport about it.

Doodle-a-Day: November 25 – Clinton and Dole, naked and in orbit.  Heh.

Singh and the Simpsons – You know it has to be a good book when the tour includes stops at university physics departments.

The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets – YouTube about the book, including Singh describing how “Treehouse of Horror VI” was the one that gave him the idea.

shegot80hd – Printer: Don’t mind if I do!

BREAKFAST WITH THE SIMPSONS – Bart and wooden Bender for breakfast.

2013-11-23 – Not quite sure that’s a windup toy, but it’s definitely Milhouse as Fallout Boy.

Brunch Is Nice – That’s a nice naked Homer you got in the bathroom there.

When Dr Who Called – Oh, nothing, just a picture of a Dalek next to a frightful looking Krusty mannequin.

THE NANNY STATE AND THE MANNY STATE PART I: DON’T DO THAT, DON’T DOOO THAAAT!!! – Excellent usage:

The concept of the nanny state always misses the point. Subtle measures and incentives for ‘correcting’ social behaviour are used by whoever is in charge – whether centre-left or centre-right – but built on different concepts of both the social good and the relationship between citizen, the market, and government. These concepts typically dominate mainstream confines of both camps. This two part series addresses the rationale and consequences when both centre-left and centre-right overreach.
Image

Helen Lovejoy: “You’ve got to lead our protest against this abomination!”
Marge: “Mm, but that’s Michelangelo’s David. It’s a masterpiece”.
Helen: [gasp] “It’s filth! It graphically portrays parts of the human body, which, practical as they may be, are evil”.
Marge: “But I like that statue”.
Helen: [gasp] “I told you she was soft on full frontal nudity! Come on, girls…”

It’s actually Maude who calls Marge “soft on full frontal nudity”, but the quote is dead on so it’s still excellent usage.

Can’t stop laughing! – Homer as the world’s worst Nike icon.  I might want to get that on a t-shirt.

22 Hours To Live – It helps to have a plan when you accidentally swallow part of a plastic knife:

I needed to snap out of it. When Homer was given his death sentence, he didn’t despair. He quietly accepted his fate, making a list of all the things he wanted to do before he died.

I flipped to the notes section of my iPhone and titled a fresh page “Death List”.

1. Sleep In.

Heh.

Top Ten Musical Guests on the Simpsons – And finally, I get to end with someone who agrees with us, even if he does put a lot of Zombie Simpsons on this list:

Remember when the Simpsons was mind-blowingly funny, and not just mildly watchable background programming? I do. I used to put on striped pajamas before my bedtime and catch reruns with my older brother and dad at the miniature white TV in our old kitchen. Much of the pop culture references flew over my head at the time but as a testament to the show’s brilliance I still bellowed my 7-10-year-old hear out.

It took a lot of post-childhood viewings for me to catch even most of the jokes.

24
Nov
13

Reading Digest Supplemental: Tournament Links

Dead Putting Society8

Our old friend Nebel was nice enough to remind me on Twitter that I had forgotten to link his best episode ever tournament.  And, he’s not even the only one with an episode tournament I missed this week.  I may need to carve out a special section in Reading Digest while these things go on, but for today here are some links that I should’ve but didn’t include on Friday:

Round 86: The Secret War of Lisa Simpson vs. Homer’s Triple Bypass – The old directors (Silverman, Archer, etc.) really did give the show a distinctive look even beyond the yellow skin.

Round 87: The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular vs. Bart the General – Bart getting his eyeballs dried always looked painful.

Round 88: Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes? vs. Blood Feud – Always love the story of Hercules and the lion. 

Round 89: Lisa the Beauty Queen vs. Bart Gets Famous – You’ll have to speak up, he’s wearing a towel.

THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1 Moaning Lisa vs. Lisa’s Substitute – Great breakdown of “Lisa’s Substitute” here.




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Useful Legal Tidbit

Even though it’s obvious to anyone with a functional frontal lobe and a shred of morality, we feel the need to include this disclaimer. This website (which openly advocates for the cancellation of a beloved television series) is in no way, shape or form affiliated with the FOX Network, the News Corporation, subsidiaries thereof, or any of Rupert Murdoch’s wives or children. “The Simpsons” is (unfortunately) the intellectual property of FOX. We and our crack team of one (1) lawyer believe that everything on this site falls under the definition of Fair Use and is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. No revenue is generated from this endeavor; we’re here because we love “The Simpsons”. And besides, you can’t like, own a potato, man, it’s one of Mother Earth’s creatures.

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