Archive for the 'The Simpsons' Category



15
Mar
15

Sunday Preview: Waiting For Duffman

the-simpsons-waiting-for-duffman-127342

When Duffman undergoes hip replacement surgery and retires, the company sets up a reality show competition to find his replacement. Homer wins the competition, and because the job requires him to stay sober, he learns that beer isn’t as necessary as he thought to have a good time.

Oh boy, temporarily sober Homer wins a reality show.  Apparently the guest voice is Cat Deeley, who is the host of an actual FOX reality show, according to my wife.

I am not planning on watching this crap tonight, as watching the preview clips was awful enough, but I am going to go out on a limb and state that there is no way all of the humor in this entire episode will add up to the scene from “Duffless” where Homer gets kicked out of AA for eating the dirt under the bleachers.  Neither will the combined visual comedy from this entire episode reach a level that will compare to seeing Homer shakily scratch off day 30 on his calendar during that same episode.  By the way, I really like “Duffless”.

15
Mar
15

Quote of the Day

Mother Simpson15

“Hey, since you were a no show at all the big moments of my life, you owe me years of back presents: Christmases, birthdays, Easters, Kwanzaas, good report cards.  Hmm, seventy-five bucks a pop, plus interest and penalties . . . you owe me, twenty-two thousand dollars.” – Bart Simpson

Happy birthday David Silverman!

13
Mar
15

Sam Simon Roundup

138th Episode Spectacular3

Did you know he drew this?  I didn’t know that.

“You looked so peaceful lying there.” – Marge Simpson
“There’ll be plenty of time for that!  I got tons of important stuff to do!” – Homer Simpson

This post was originally going to go up Tuesday, then Wednesday, then yesterday, but I kept finding more great Simon articles to add.  Regular Reading Digest will be back next week, including all the non-Simon stuff I missed from this week.  Several of these are from @DailySimpsons and @rubbrcatsimp, both of which are great follows if you want news and quotes from the show.

By Ken Levine: My thoughts on Sam Simon – I will leave you with two brief excerpts from Ken Levine’s goodbye note, but it’s worth clicking on in full right now:

In 1985 David Isaacs and I created a series for Mary Tyler Moore. For reasons I won’t go into here, it was a nightmare. We knew Sam Simon from our time on CHEERS. He graciously agreed to join the staff and help on this Mary project. As things went from bad to worse to the brink of thermonuclear war, Sam stood by us. Most of the other writers bolted. Not Sam. He steadfastly hung in there with us. Honestly, we could not have done it without Sam. For that and that alone I have always loved Sam Simon. He could do no wrong in my book.

And:

I worked with Sam on seven series and pilots. He attended family seders, special occasions, and he spoke at my SITCOM ROOM seminar (telling students that sitcoms were dead – thanks for that). He had a wicked sense of humor, even during his recent suffering. A few months ago, when PBS aired the Roger Ebert documentary he was tweeting “get to the cancer already.”

Ha.

‘Simpsons’ producer Al Jean remembers Sam Simon – It always has been one of my favorite lines:

“Here’s a joke that he put in in a show that was written with him and Matt [Groening, the show’s creator] and Mike and me. Bart is doing something to be popular and Homer goes, ‘Son, being popular is the most important thing in the world.’ And that kind of summed up The Simpsons, where it’s this dad giving what seems to be TV Dad advice, but it’s the worst advice in the world. It’s what no TV Dad should ever say. There were very few jokes that encapsulated The Simpsons as perfectly as that one.

Sam Simon (1955 – 2015) – Our old friend over at rubbercat.net/simpsons wrote the best and most complete obituary I saw, and it’s got a ton of great links.

RIP, Sam Simon: How a lone fear led to creating a key character on ‘The Simpsons’ – Great story:

“He was a hard guy. He was a really tough guy,” Silverman tells Comic Riffs. “He gave me a dismissive hand at first.”
One of the show’s first-season episodes, though, proved a turning point. Silverman — who had also worked on the 1989 TV short, “The Simpsons: Family Therapy” — wanted a prominent onscreen credit for directing the episode “Bart the General.” Simon, ever the writer, told Silverman he would give him that screen credit if Silverman could prove that directors really made a difference.
After Silverman directed the episode, he went to the dubbing session. There, with a credit as prominent as the writer’s, was Silverman’s directing nod.
“The guy in the session said to me: ‘You proved it.’ Sam was tough, but fair.”

Sam Simon: 1955–2015 – And another great story:

He was the funniest dying person I’d ever met. He found it hilarious that people were praying for him, because he was an atheist, and because the idea of fans asking God to heal the cocreator of a show like The Simpsons was inherently ridiculous: “It must be His least favorite show.” Toward the end of our conversation, his assistant brought him a stack of printed email messages. Media requests from various outlets. He sifted through them and grinned. “I wish publicity cured cancer,” he said.

‘Simpsons’ Co-Creator Sam Simon’s Battle Over Three-Eyed Fish – I did not know this, but apparently the show pissed off the nuclear industry so badly that they got to take a tour of a nuclear plant.  That’s how you know it’s good comedy: when it can get you past two layers of razor wire and twenty-four hour armed guards.

How Sam Simon Helped Make The Simpsons What It Is Today – This is a little clueless in terms of being about the show.  (The author calls “Treehouse of Horror” a “crucially underrated moment”, because, you know, nobody remembers the Halloween ones.)  But it’s nice to see this in the toniest of tony Eastern magazines:

the cultural legacy of The Simpsons cannot be understated.

How Tension Between Sam Simon and Matt Groening Built “The Simpsons” – Speaking of tony and Eastern, The New Republic, everybody:

Simon was as responsible as anyone for the unique “Simpsons” sensibility, that combination of gleeful impudence and populist courtesy

You had me right up until “populist courtesy”.  What the hell does that mean?

Sam Simon Dead: ‘Simpsons’ Co-Creator Dies at 59 – This is true:

Decades later, he told Stanford magazine of “The Simpsons”: “It was largely based on what I didn’t like about the Saturday-morning cartoon shows I worked on. ‘The Simpsons’ would have been a great radio show. If you just listen to the sound track, it works.”

Sam Simon Wiki: 5 Great ‘The Simpsons’ Moments From His Era – A video heavy appreciation of some of the innovations of the early seasons.

Seth MacFarlane was nice:

Had the mind of Sam Simon not paved the way for all of us in primetime animation, I wouldn’t have a job. He will be sorely missed.

Via David Silverman on Twitter, here’s (L to R), Wes Archer, Silverman, Rich Moore and Simon looking like a bunch of high school kids on their way to prom:

SimonArcherSilvermanMoore1990

Mike Scully with a great little story:

In 1985 @simonsam, who I had never met, called to go thru my spec Cheers script & gave me great notes & encouragement. Best rejection ever.

25 Years Later, This ‘Simpsons’ Episode Still Hits Too Close To Home – “Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish” was prescient in far too many ways.  Simon wrote it with Swartzwelder.

Sam Simon, Co-Creator of The Simpsons and Atheist Philanthropist, Dies at 59 – I did not know this:

“People say I’m trying to buy my way into heaven, which I don’t believe in. So that can’t be true,” Sam says. He paid for those atheist billboards that make news from time to time. Like the one by the Lincoln Tunnel, in New York, that read, IT’S A MYTH, on a picture of the stars over Bethlehem.

“The Simpsons” wouldn’t have been “The Simpsons” without Sam Simon – Good point:

Simon’s lasting effects on pop culture can be found in slightly more indirect ways as well. Just look at the accomplishments of former Simpsons staffers like Brad Bird (“The Iron Giant,” “The Incredibles,” “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol”), Greg Daniels (“King of the Hill,” “The Office,” “Parks and Recreation”), David Silverman (“Monsters, Inc,” “The Road to El Dorado”), Jim Reardon (“Wall-E,” “Wreck-It Ralph”), and O’Brien, among so many others. Granted, they weren’t all Simon’s hires. But without his guidance, the show wouldn’t have lasted long enough to employ any of them.

I know that Daniels and O’Brien are more famous than Bird, Silverman and Reardon, but Simson did hire those three guys.  No need to pad the list.

Sam Simon – Chris Ledesma tweeted out his blog post from two years ago when Simon announced he had cancer.  This is a great image:

What I do remember is that he was very funny off the top of his head, he laughed heartily at things he thought were funny, and he was seldom without a cigar between his teeth.

I Hope To Die As Well As Sam Simon Did – Don’t we all?

Something called Voodoo Doughnut did this awesome tribute:

VoodooDonut

Maybe it’s not the best thing to say about the recently deceased, but I would eat the shit out of his jacket and head.

Was Sam Simon-era Simpsons the show’s golden age? – Half of it, yes.  This has been simple answers to simple questions.  (Oh, and I will argue the merits of Season 1 any time.)

I’ve linked this whole video before, but this seems like an appropriate send off:

10
Mar
15

Quote of the Day

Blood Feud16

“Did you see their faces, Smithers?” – C.M. Burns
“Sir, you’re my god of generosity.” – Mr. Smithers

Rest in peace, Sam Simon.

 

09
Mar
15

So Long, Sam Simon

SayonaraSam

“You’re a comedy writer?  My God, you’re so old!” – Roger Meyers Jr.
“I want my check!” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson
“Haha, you’re a writer alright!” – Roger Meyers Jr.

Sam Simon, one of the three godfathers of The Simpsons, died today at the age of 59.  It was almost exactly two years ago that he announced that he had been diagnosed with cancer, and from that moment until his death today he handled it with grace, generosity, and, befitting Simon, a lot of humor.  They gave him three-to-six months; he lasted nearly two and a half years, laughing about it all the way.

The tributes to him are pouring in from people who knew him and those who just knew his work.  I’ll only say this, the show he did so much to create treated life and death with a mirthful contempt that resonated with hundreds of millions of people throughout the world.  He’s gone, but he’ll still be making people smile for a long time to come.

Sayonara, Sam.

08
Mar
15

Sunday Preview: Sky Police

sky-police-promo-2-126194

Chief Wiggum is mistakenly delivered a military jet pack, which he gleefully accepts and uses in order to fight crime. But when the jet pack crashes into the church, the congregation, led by Marge, must resort to gambling and counting cards in order to collect money to repair the church.

If Gerry Cooney doesn’t have a cameo in this I am going to be upset.  I’d say “This could be a whole new beginning for Springfield”, but I’d be a bald-faced liar.

07
Mar
15

Quote of the Day

Lisa Gets an A10

“Bart, shouldn’t you be in class?” – Lisa Simpson
“I am.  It’s a little something I whipped up in shop, mostly latex.” – Bart Simpson




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