“Ahh, little Homer . . . How’d he get that?” – Abraham Simpson
Homer’s maternity ward:
Reputable health insurance:
Springfield General is a very strict hospital:
And now, people who look like things:
“Selma and I couldn’t be more excited about seeing our baby sister for Christmas Eve.” – Patty Bouvier
“Homer and I are looking forward to your visit, too.” – Marge Simpson
“Somehow I doubt that Homer’s excited. Of all the men you could’ve married, I don’t know why you picked one who’s always so rude rt. . .” – Patty Bouvier
To go along with my new found love of quoting episodes on the day they came out, how about a look at some of those jokes that just can’t be quoted? Being the first episode and all, the sign gags are far below what would become the average, but “slightly irregular” Christmas trees always brings a smile to my face:
And, really, who doesn’t give tattoos as gifts?:
Even in Season 1, the show was well ahead of its time:
“Who the hell is that?” – Bart Simpson
“Bullwinkle.” – Homer Simpson
“Who? . . . Wait a minute, who’s that?” – Bart Simpson
“Underdog, don’t you know anything?” – Homer Simpson
“Well, I know it wouldn’t hurt them to use some cartoons made in the last fifty years.” – Bart Simpson
“Son, this is a tradition. If you start building a balloon for every flash in the pan cartoon character, you’ll turn the parade into a farce!” – Homer Simpson
Happy Simpsons Day, everybody! As in previous years (this is the fifth since we started DHS), we’ll have a mix of fun Simpsons stuff here throughout the day. Feel free to leave any Simpsons related links in comments (self promotion most definitely welcome) or on Twitter. And speaking of Twitter, as part of a pre-New Year’s resolution, I’m going to try squandering more of the precious gift of life in front of the twit-box.
Since I have no gift for kissing up to celebrities or making pithy observations about trending topics, I thought I’d stick to what I know: quoting cartoon shows. But with so many episodes to choose from, how do you keep from over-repeating some and ignoring others? Easy, by quoting episodes on the day they were broadcast. Some dates have multiple episodes, others have none, but when you put them all on a list, it looks like a fun way to waste some time and have a few laughs. Behold, the December calendar:
17 – Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire-Marge Be Not Proud-Homer’s Triple Bypass
18 – Fear of Flying
19 – Xmas Story
20 – Itchy & Scratchy & Marge
21 – Miracle on Evergreen Terrace
22 – A Taste of Freedom
23 – A Tale of Two Santas
26 – I Married Marge
29 – Hurricane Neddy
You may have noticed that there are some Futurama episodes on there. That’s because Futurama, in addition to being hilarious, is one of the two shows that sprang directly from The Simpsons and is almost as quotable. (The Critic is the other, but it doesn’t have any episode anniversaries until January.) So today we’ll be tweeting quotes from “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire”, “Homer’s Triple Bypass”, and, yes, “Marge Be Not Proud”. Tomorrow we’ll do quotes from “Fear of Flying”, and then Thursday is our first Futurama episode, “Xmas Story”. If people like it, we’ll keep going. If not, well, it’s not like this site’s archive isn’t already littered with screwy ideas that didn’t work.
In the meantime, enjoy your Simpsons Day.
“I know this has been a stressful holiday, but, in a way, having nothing reminds us how lucky we really are.” – Marge Simpson
“What?” – Lisa Simpson
“We still have each other. And isn’t that the best gift of all?” – Marge Simpson
“But we would’ve had each other anyway.” – Lisa Simpson
“Yeah, plus lots of other stuff.” – Bart Simpson
I’m on record as saying that the sign gags are one of the few things Zombie Simpsons can still manage to do well. But if there’s one thing Zombie Simpsons knows how to do, it’s take something decent and destroy it completely through repetition and overuse, and thus “White Christmas Blues” was born. That video game scene where they spent half a minute throwing jokey titles at the screen was a masterpiece of taking something that kinda works and totally obliterating it. By the third or fourth batch, it became apparent that, yup, they were going to empty that whole shelf, and who cares if it amounts to pausing the episode for thirty seconds to give us all a reading test?
What passed for the story wasn’t any better. Sure, there might be something decent with “other family spends Christmas with the Simpsons”, but instead of that they crammed in an excess of character-less characters and had Marge patiently explain everything that was happening while it was happening. Also, there were weird, one-off scenes with Milhouse and Lovejoy and Lisa, who apparently forgot who her brother was. I’ve said this before, but sketch comedy shows often have better inter-scene continuity than Zombie Simpsons.
- Once again, the opening is rather good. Sure it’s yet another transparent attempt to kill clock (checking in at 90 seconds will do that), but it’s cute in several places and even has a couple of decent sign gags.
- The Itchy & Scratchy wasn’t bad, right up until Krusty started telling us what’s going on.
- It’s the only town with snow . . . which they’ve now told us three times.
- Marge’s listing of the out of state license plates wasn’t terrible, except for the fact that she was listing them instead of the show, you know, showing them to us.
- Okay, so they get paid three hundred bucks a night to let these people in their house because they can’t afford Christmas. That’s fine. Why, one fucking scene later, does Marge have to say this, “This is a great thing. We’re helping people celebrate Christmas and we’ll be able to afford Christmas.” Do we get to see them spend the money? Or see how having that extra cash lets them celebrate Christmas? Nope. We just get told.
- The hotel Jesus montage was a thing.
- Some of the Christmas movie titles were good, but twenty+ was Hedonism-bot excessive.
- Oh, man, this Lovejoy sermon scene is just awful. Remember when he asked people not to shout things out in the church? Long time ago, that.
- And the bed and breakfast thing has gotten quickly out of hand, with apparently multiple families having shown up for no discernible reason.
- What was with this? “Nothing is easy to wrap! I have trouble with scissors!” Does Yeardley Smith wince inside when they have Lisa say things like that?
- And then Flanders is there to explain the true meaning of Christmas before wandering off.
- The carols going on after the credits was repetitive and pointless.
- And there’s the license plates, because decent jokes must be overused. It’s the law.
Anyway, the ratings are in and they don’t suck for once because of a late football game that went down to the wire (Dear Dallas Cowboys, Thanks for all the laughs. Sincerely, Everyone Else). The preliminary numbers indicate that 8.38 million people wished they were watching one of the show’s other Christmas episodes last night. That’s by far the highest of the season, and will probably remain so even after that number is inevitably revised down to reflect all the people who turned their sets off right after Dallas finished imploding.
Springfield is inundated with holiday revelers after the nuclear power plant springs a radiation leak, causing snow to fall all over town. When the tourists drive up Christmas shopping prices, Marge opens up the Simpsons’ house to boarders.
I don’t know off the top of my head why a leak at the plant would blanket the town with snow, and why this would be a tourist draw for America’s “Crud Bucket”. I also don’t know why this snow causing leak would not endanger the Simpsons themselves. I am sure the writers think there is a reasonable answer to these and all my other questions, but I learned a long time ago that there is no point in looking for reasoning behind this particular brand of crazy.
“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.
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.
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.
“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:
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.
John: Here’s your crown your majesty!
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.
"Alright, so there can only be one Krusty in each territory, so I hope this works out. Tell me where you’re from." – Krusty the Klown
"Georgia." – Southern Hick
"Texas." – Exaggerated Texan #1
"Uh . . . Brooklyn." – Exaggerated Texan #2
"Russia." – Fur Hatted Russian
"New Hampshire." – Stuffy Yankee
"Homer!" – Homer Simpson
Krusty the Klown is a great symbol of so much that is wrong with the entertainment industry. He long ago shed any last vestige of dignity, then stopped caring about the quality of his show or his merchandise shortly thereafter. He doesn’t particularly like the kids he entertains, treats his staff like crap, and wastes every one of the millions of dollars he earns.
As has happened to so many celebrities and entertainers over the years, the act gets stale, the fame cools off, and then the money dries up. Condor egg omelets and cigarettes lit with hundred dollar bills are all well and good right up until you can’t afford them anymore. The Simpsons showed us what would happen to Krusty at this point several times during its run. When his show got run off the air by Gabbo, he fell completely apart but managed a comeback thanks to his years of celebrity contacts. When Bart inadvertently snitched on him for tax avoision, he got back on top with that old standby, insurance fraud. And when his love of horse racing got him in too deep with the mob, he opened a clown college and franchised himself.
That last one is relevant because it is the exact same thing that happened this week in "Yellow Subterfuge". Well, almost exact, "Homie the Clown" handles it vastly better, but since it was just the B-plot (and a barely extant one at that) in "Yellow Subterfuge", there are just a few scenes to actually compare. Of those, there are two that stand out as exemplifying the systemic and repeating ways Zombie Simpsons fumbles concepts that worked so well on "The Simpsons".
The first is our discovery that Krusty is broke. Going all the way back to Season 1, Krusty and Burns existed in a stratosphere of fame, power, and wealth far above the ordinary citizens of Springfield. This being a television show, they crossed paths with the Simpson family an unusual amount of times, a structurally necessary absurdity that the show began making fun of in Season 4 for Burns ("Last Exit to Springfield", when Burns replies that the name Simpson doesn’t ring a bell after Smithers reminds him of all the things that have already happened) and Season 5 for Krusty ("Bart Gets Famous", when Bart points out all the times he’s helped Krusty after Krusty doesn’t know who he is). It doesn’t make the strictest sense, but neither do people with four fingers and yellow skin, it’s just a part of the show you can have a little fun with.
And having fun with it is exactly how The Simpsons brought Krusty back into contact with the Simpson family. Krusty needs money, so he founds a clown college to franchise his name. Homer, being such a dolt that he cannot resist anything that’s advertised to him on a billboard, attends. He doesn’t stand out in clown class or anything, he just happens to look enough like Krusty (they do have the same character model, after all) that people mistake him for the original. None of the Simpsons are present at the beginning of the episode when we see Krusty’s impressively wasteful spending habits, including buying a new house when his current one gets dirty and paying off Steve Martin and George Carlin for stealing their bits.
By contrast, in "Yellow Subterfuge" Lisa just happens to be riding her bike past Krusty’s mansion while his stuff is getting repossessed. This is their actual opening dialogue:
Krusty: Oh, hi, little girl. What brings you to see Uncle Krusty?
Lisa: Krusty, are you broke?
Krusty: Yeah, all it takes is some bad luck at the ponies, worse luck in the Bitcoin market, heavy investment in a high end bookmark company . . .
Give them credit for being brief, I suppose, but look at that. Lisa doesn’t bother to answer Krusty’s question because there is no answer. Just like when characters appear and disappear from scenes, none of the actions or words are really connected to each other, they just go in a certain order because, well, shut up, that’s why. Krusty, who doesn’t know who she is or why she’s there, just launches into a list of his financial woes because keep shutting up. What’s worse, they don’t even bother to use Lisa. She briefly appears with Krusty later in the episode, but after that she just disappears without another word.
Like so many Zombie Simpson problems this wouldn’t be so aggravating if they only took these kinds of shortcuts once and a while, but they do it all the time. In this episode alone Skinner trusts everything to Bart, of all people, in three or four different scenes. Even though the only thing we see of Milhouse in this episode is him enjoying the submarine ride that Skinner let him have, there he is helping Bart’s moronic deception with nary a word of explanation. Sometimes you need to cheat a little to get an episode to work, that’s one thing. But like "carrot cat food" that’s 88% ash, it’s quite another when the episode is more cheats than not.
The second bit of this short yet interminable subplot is the regionally stereotypical new Krustys. Both shows introduce them in a scene where a bunch of people from different places attend their first day of Krusty class. The Simpsons has them list themselves off, roll-call style, and the guy from New Hampshire is a nasal New England dweeb, the guy from Russia has a fur hat and rolls his Rs, and the two guys from Texas are exactly alike except that one of them claims to be from Brooklyn. Stereotypes are funny, here’s a few of them, let’s move on with the show.
But what The Simpsons used as a single scene joke, Zombie Simpsons turns into the entirety of its B-plot. First we see the Krustys-in-training while the accountant reads off a description of what we already see them holding. After that it’s straight ahead with the stereotypes: Jamaicans get high, the Irish are desperate and poor, Mao was a famous Chinese guy, and so forth. If that had been one scene, sure why not? But it’s the whole damn thing, so we get an entire scene with the Jamaican Itchy smoking Jamaican Scratchy, the accountant running down the success of funny foreign Krustys, and an ending scene with a parade of dully typical accents and costumes. Irish Krusty, by far the strongest of the lot, got a genuine, out loud laugh from me, a rarity for Zombie Simpsons, when he said this:
Irish Krusty: Me ma, she had twelve children, but only three lived, then they closed the mill. . . . Hey, hey.
That’s a good joke, it’s got multiple punchlines that build on each other and it’s delivered really well. But that was the first time. After that they gave him two diminishing return call backs (in a B-plot that’s only about four scenes long) where they basically repeated it.
This is another hallmark of Zombie Simpsons: stretching anything that even remotely works until it’s just as thin as the rest of the filler. Mad Jon once described how when he did laugh at something, he’d just start counting to ten to wait for them to run it into the ground and they almost always did. So while even cheap stereotypes can be funny, trying to hang an entire B-plot on something that overused and one-dimensional is lazy and hacktacular.
Episodes like "Homie the Clown" could manage fanciful episodes that depart far from Evergreen Terrace, like Krusty franchising himself, because underneath all that stuff was a solid foundation, both in terms of story and in terms of gags. They never needed to overuse shortcuts or jokes. They had plenty of the latter and stories that rarely required the former. Zombie Simpsons, most definitely including "Yellow Subterfuge", lacks that foundation, and the result is weak episodes with weak jokes because stories that don’t make sense need lots of kludges and leave even weak jokes to carry heavy amounts of screentime.
“I never thought I’d win this easy.” – Bart Simpson
“This has nothing to do with you, Simpson. I have many, many issues with my beloved smother-, mother.” – Principal Skinner
The B-plot in this episode was a forced rehash of “Homie the Clown”. The A-plot was, almost impressively, even dumber, with Skinner pulling a giant combat knife out of his mother’s back and not noticing that she wasn’t actually dead before trusting himself to Homer and Bart(!). Before we got to that, however, we had plenty of Bart acting wildly out of character, more exposition than you can throw a screenwriting book at, and, oh what the hell, a nuclear submarine.
Anyway, the ratings are in and they are good by current Zombie Simpsons standards and wretched by the standards of Zombie Simpsons of a few years ago. Last night’s hapless remake made just 6.82 million people with they were watching Season 6. That’s a high for this year, yet well below the average for even Season 22.
Principal Skinner promises the students that the best-behaved among them can take a ride in a submarine. When Skinner gives all the kids a clean slate, Bart believes even his own past indiscretions will be forgotten if he doesn’t get into any more trouble. Meanwhile Lisa tries to help a cash-poor Krusty to turn things around by suggesting he sell the foreign rights to his shows.
Bart will try to behave for a reward, and Lisa will help Krusty out of the poor house again. Neither of these plot lines are remotely new, but at least this time there may be a submarine. I like submarines.
“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.
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.”
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!
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.
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).
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 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.
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.
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.
“Have you found any dirt on Mary Bailey?” – C.M. Burns
“Well, we’ve gone through her garbage.” – Garbologist
“We’ve talked to her maid.” – Mudslinger
“And so far the only negative thing we have found is from some guy who dated her when she was sixteen.” – Garbologist
“Ah, and?” – C.M. Burns
“He felt her up.” – Muckraker
“Bah, not good enough!” – C.M. Burns
Happy birthday Wes Archer!
Lisa’s new best friend turns out to not only be a Republican, but her opponent in their second-grade class election.
Eva Longoria will guest start tonight as Isabelle, who is Lisa’s classmate/friend/opponent. Isabelle is also the first name of the character Longoria played on The Young And The Restless. Not that I or anyone else cares; I just don’t have anything else to say about this plot line. Anderson Cooper also stars as himself, so if you didn’t have a reason not to watch before, there you go.
Image shamelessly yoinked from Wikipedia
“Wow, Capital City, the Windy Apple!” – Mindy Simmons
Before we get to this week’s links, I’d like to say thank you to everyone at classic Simpsons trivia in Chicago on Monday at Pizzeria Serio. There was Neil Arsenty and his two man cadre of fanatics, who ran the show and graded our poorly scrawled answers while the rest of us laughed at “Bart’s Friend Falls in Love” and “The PTA Disbands”. There was the nice bartender dude who gave us the list of cheap bottle beer they were trying to get rid of. There was the cool but semi-bewildered manager guy who couldn’t quite believe that there were more than enough Simpsons fans to pack his place on an off night and wolf down pizza and drinks like it was the weekend. There were the fine members of the upstairs staff who gave me a free shot of whisky and toasted it with me. And, of course, there were all the other Simpsons fans, that shushed conversation when the episodes were on, answered some very tricky questions, and laughed and laughed and laughed.
Best of all, “L’il Bandits”, the team that came in dead last (32nd out of 32), answered every question and stayed for the whole thing. A team had to be 90% correct or better to place in the top five, so competition was fierce, but whether people had the answers or not, everyone had a good time: watching episodes (“Homer at the Bat” started the evening), quoting lines, and laughing at answers, questions and quotes. So, thanks again to all involved, participants, organizers and hosts; let’s do it again sometime.
In terms of actual Simpsons news, we’ve got quite a few links to video games old a new this week, including some great suggestions for making Tapped Out less crappy and exploitative than it is. There’s still no word on what the FXX cable syndication deal will actually mean for us lowly fans, but someone got’s a great suggestion, plus there’s some usage, a couple of great fan made items, an interesting tidbit about Bono, and all the Krusty Brand Seal of Approval merchandise you can shake an upscale clothing store at.
“Distroy” by PEZ Λrtwork – Smooth Charlie’s link of the week is this collection of awesomely elaborate drawings of famous cartoon characters, including Homer and a very creepy Bart. Excellent.
So here’s my pitch to FX and FXX: Work with 20th Century Fox to create the Simpsons Clip Database. Launch it in Summer 2014. At the end of every clip created through the database, append a brief reminder that all episodes of The Simpsons will be available streaming on FXNow, and on the FXX linear channel starting in August. Rather than having to promote the launch yourself, let the show itself do the work for you, and weaponize the series’ cultural capital to let the show’s fans spread the word of the show’s new home.
The meager collection of legal clips on Hulu and YouTube is an insult to the show. Three cheers for the Simpsons Clip Database!
A Hierarchy of Quoting ‘Simpsons’ Characters – This was making the rounds this week, it’s a list of what I guess are supposed to be the coolest or dorkiest Simpsons characters you can quote. So quoting Ralph is lame but quoting Sideshow Bob is cool. Meh.
‘The Simpsons’ Sam Simon to Receive WGA Award – Last night he got a lifetime achievement award.
Converse x XLarge ‘The Simpsons’ Pro Leather Canvas Hi - More sneakers with Bart on the side.
UK’s first The Simpsons ice cream on way for 2014 - They are running out of things to license. Clown college, ho!
Twentieth Century Fox signs fashion labels for The Simpsons - And from the same site as the above link:
“It’s clear that The Simpsons is more relevant than ever and the 25th anniversary next year is set to be an even more exciting year in the history of the brand.”
Additionally, new collections will be introduced for existing global partners such as Bershka, Pull and Bear, H&M, C&A, Zara Kids and Original Marines.
The Simpsons collections have launched in the UK this year across high street fashion outlets including, Topshop, Topman, Pull and Bear, Bershka, H&M, C&A, New Look, river Island and Urban Outfitters.
Merchandising, merchandising, where the real money from the teevee show is made.
How to make friends: Wear a Simpsons Shirt – And here’s why they’re doing it:
Yo looking for friends? Just hop on over to the mall, grab yourself this Simpsons sweatshirt at Forever 21 and walk outside your apartment. Seriously never have I seen people more excited or interested in talking to me than when I wear this. It’s like a love connection, but weirdly I’m into it. Although, if you don’t like compliments and avoid people at all costs, DO NOT wear this. You will probably go rogue bitch on everyone and no one wants that. So be warned: wear Simpson apparel with caution.
Marge Simpson AleXsandro Palombo Iconic Dresses – Someone drew Marge wearing a bunch of dresses. That is all.
Marge Simpson Felt finger puppet – Cool fan made Marge puppet to go with a previously made Homer one.
Eight of our favourite Mayor Quimby moments in The Simpsons – Plenty of good YouTube here.
Homer Simpson beer moments. – More good YouTube here.
Copyright? – A hair salon in Seoul using a little unauthorized marketing.
As New Jersey Prepares To Launch Internet Gambling, Congress Has Plan To Tax The Industry – Excellent usage starts an article about on-line gambling:
Gambling is the finest thing a person can do; IF he is good at it.”
Krusty the Klown’s lawyer, lamenting his client’s decision to bet on the Washington Generals against the Harlem Globetrotters because, as Krusty put it, they were “due.”
Bart Simpson and the cone of ignorance – The 3D map is just devastating.
scribble #41 – Heh, clever.
5 Shocking Revelations About U2′s ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ Broadway Musical – I’d kinda like to see this:
5. Bono does a killer impersonation of Mr. Burns on The Simpsons.
During one meeting, Bono turns to Berger and says, “How long have you been with us, Smithers?”
The link between Bart Simpson and the Irish Language. – The etymology of the word “brat”.
Gamecube Review: The Simpsons Hit & Run – A video game review:
Overall, it’s not great, but it’s better than most other Simpsons games out there, and that in itself is an accomplishment because most Simpsons games are terrible.
Indeed they are.
Top 10 Most Requested Features for Tapped Out – Speaking of which, I wholeheartedly endorse #3 and #1 here, but let’s be clear about one thing:
#4 – Voices for the Regular Cast
Due to some legalese, only characters voiced by the main cast are permitted to have voices in the game. At the very least a deal to add-in characters voiced by Tress MacNeille and Pamela Hayden would be welcomed, as each of those two women voice a dozen different characters in the show.
Their absence, and that of many other voices, has nothing to do with legalese and everything to do with FOX and EA being a bunch of cheap bastards.
Dag 289 – T-shirt of Homer asleep on the couch.
I like how Princess Kashmir, aka April Flowers, is portrayed in this scene. Despite her wings and halo, she is neither an angel nor a sinner. She neither loves nor hates what she does for a living. She’s just a woman doing her job. A lot of shows back then, and even today, would have gone down the road of having her be some poor lost soul who needs to be saved from an industry she hates.
Fish koozies and Bart’s Comet: Pre-class overheads (November 4 – 8) – A science teacher employs “Bart’s Comet” in class:
In the Thursday class, we used one of my favourite Simpsons clips, taken from the “Bart’s Comet” episode. This clip connects to energy and somewhat bridges to the topic of electricity via the bike light generator Bart uses. In the clip, Principal Skinner has a fun quote: “Ah, there’s nothing more exciting than science. You get all the fun of sitting still, being quiet, writing down numbers, paying attention… Science has it all.”
S1E7 “The Call of the Simpsons” - I always like this joke:
The Bigfoot message on television interrupting the presidential address is pretty silly, and easily missed if you aren’t listening.
Brockman’s clipped and hurried delivery makes it.
Halloween Art – The Homer Devil jack-o-lantern is great.
WedNESday: The Simpsons’ Video Games - A detailed look back at the earliest of the Simpsons games.
“Step aside, I’ll deliver this baby.” – Homer Simpson
“Uh, why don’t you let me handle it, Homer?” – Dr. Hibbert
“Oh, college boy, eh?” – Homer Simpson
“Homer, for God sakes, let him deliver the baby!” – Marge Simpson
In its never ending desperation to come up with something – anything – that hasn’t specifically been done before, Zombie Simpsons will try everything from relatively mundane stories to outlandish fantasies. This episode had two of the former. In the A-plot, Homer helps deliver a baby after getting stuck in an elevator. In the B-plot, Lisa tries to help professional football cheerleaders unionize. (And, yes, they’ve done both “strike” and “Homer loves other kids more than his own” before, just not exactly like this, which is good enough for them.) But even these stories, which don’t involve popped eyeballs or magic wingsuits, can be poorly told, and “Labor Pains” does exactly that. You can maybe overlook the fact that Homer delivers this kid in all of thirty seconds and then calmly goes home the same way you can maybe overlook Lisa getting pulled out of the stands to help with a cheer routine. But those are just the tip of the iceberg.
From there, Homer never mentions the elevator and sneaks around Marge for no discernible reason other than plot necessity. He also takes the kids to the zoo, gets in a fight with monkeys, and has one of the weirdest goodbye scenes the show has ever done. Lisa’s story fares no better. She easily gets into the stadium a couple of times, runs a union out of the treehouse for some reason, and has her nominal opponent, the Rich Texan, hire scab cheerleaders who not only lack what you’d call cheerleading skills, but would never in a million years want to be cheerleaders (especially Patty and Selma). Crammed in along all that nonsense are the usual collection of time killing montages, pointless dream sequences and asides, characters mysteriously appearing and disappearing, and even a shockingly boring Itchy & Scratchy.
- They’ve got another mildly clever and very long couch gag, this one involving the Mayflower and Thanksgiving. These twenty minutes aren’t going to fill themselves, people.
- So Lenny is using the same cheating glasses Bender used back in Season 2 of Futurama? That’s the kind of fresh concept we’ve come to expect from this show.
- Well, it sure didn’t take long to go from this woman in labor to her lying on the floor.
- That Lamaze flashback certainly didn’t need to be there.
- And there’s another guy in the elevator. Their need to drop people into scenes for no reason is bordering on pathological at this point.
- As if to prove my point, there’s Kirk as a peanut vendor where he wasn’t half a second before.
- Also as usual, the sign gags are by far the best thing here: “We Covered the Over !!!”.
- There is no point in even trying to write down every one of their sitcom-y, laughtrack primed jokes, but here’s a typically brainless example: “Wow, now there are two things named after me, a baby and a law banning airhorns after three am”, beat, laughs, next scene.
- Continuing the point above, after the commercial break Homer goes to the new mom’s apartment. As he’s doing that, we hear conversation through the door of the poker game and then, in the next scene, Lenny walks out the door so Moe can cripple/kill him by throwing cards at his back. Moe then steps into the hall, drops another turd punchline, and walks away without noticing Homer.
- Now it’s time for a montage!
- And we pick up from that with an Itchy & Scratchy montage. Back to back!
- This is how they advance the story, with Homer expositing everything we’ve seen . . . in a daydream sequence: “I’m shopping for Homer Junior, a baby I delivered in an elevator the night I pretended to go to work but was really playing poker.” Real life Marge is then forced to ask why he’s saying that. Good question.
- I could overlook things like Lisa just walking into the giant football stadium during cheerleader practice, knowing more about what’s going on than the actual cheerleaders, and them acting consecutively dumb, super power enabled, and smart, if the jokes or the dialogue were strong or interesting. But they aren’t. They just move from one dumb thing to another, and the scene concludes with the cheerleaders shaking their heads back and forth so their hair sounds like salt shakers or something.
- Further evidence of the generally low give-a-shit level, after Marge walks in on Carl doing his massage training (or whatever), neither he nor she closes the door to his apartment afterwards. He leaves it open to get back to what he’s doing, and she leaves it open as she walks down the hall. Out of sight out of mind as usual.
- Guh, this scene with Marge finding Homer and the baby takes forever. This is classical crappy sitcom: either one of them could straighten this out with one sentence, but they’ll just keep spewing hammy lines at each other instead because they stopped even vaguely resembling real people long ago.
- Holy shit, we’re on our third montage of the episode for the cheerleader strike.
- They do remain competent at unconnected sign gags. Marge reading a book called “Kicking the Advice Book Habit” is pretty good. The actual scene is godawful, with Marge, seemingly having forgotten her two most recent scenes with Homer, being surprised that he was spending time with the other baby.
- After one of the dumbest strikes in history, the Rich Texan concedes only to have Kirk show up for no reason to get beaten by him.
- Now Jerkass Homer is fighting monkeys . . . Maggie is in pretend danger . . . and Marge shows up for no reason. I’ve had fever dreams that were more coherent than this. (Funnier, too.)
- Oh, man, this reconciliation scene the with the suddenly returned father is jokeless, emotionally empty, and facepalm level stupid. On the bright side, it’s a completely appropriate way to end this thing.
- Further proof that signs gags are all they’re good at: the cheerleader books over the end credits. Sure some of them are hard to read because of the, you know, credits, but they are there.
Anyway, the ratings are in and they are getting embarrassingly bad. FOX bumped Zombie Simpsons back to 9:00pm so they could use their NFL overrun to premier Almost Human, (it does not appear to have worked), and the show brought in just 4.13 million viewers. That’s fifth on the all time least watched list and more than a million viewers down from this same time last season.
We didn’t get a preview up yesterday, so I shudder think what kind of volcanic build up there is about last night’s almost certainly forgettable “Labor Pains”. I haven’t watched it yet, but it certainly sounds dull:
While trapped in an elevator Homer helps a woman deliver her baby who she gratefully names Homer Jr. Homer then gets emotionally attached to the little guy. Meanwhile Lisa is recruited to be a cheerleader.
As I am on the road in Chicago today without access to my usual array of electronics, “Behind Us Forever” will have to wait until tomorrow or possibly Wednesday. (Any of you in Chicago, I’ll be at Classic Simpsons Trivia tonight. I expect to lose badly but have a great time doing it.) Consider this an open thread and vent accordingly.
“Mmm, donuts.” – Homer Simpson
“Hey, Homer, slow down! You’re gonna choke or something.” – Lenny
“Don’t tell me how to eat donuts!” – Homer Simpson
“Hey, Homer’s choking again.” – Carl
“Hmm, isn’t there a first aid chart around here somewhere?” – Lenny
“Somebody scare him.” – Carl
“That’s for the hiccups.” – Charlie
Happy birthday John Swartzwelder!
“So where could we shoot this picture? We need a city that has a nuclear reactor and a gorge and can guarantee us the full cooperation of city officials.” – Movie Executive #1
“I’ll check Variety.” – Movie Executive #2
This week we’ve got three links to Variety. (Weird.) One is about the brand new cable deal FOX just announced with itself, and the other two are about a couple of panel discussions at USC. In addition we’ve got the typical assortment of usage, some excellent fan made stuff, a bridge possibly getting named after Lisa, a trans-Atlantic look at “The Crepes of Wrath”, and more.
Simpsonization of Russian Art – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week are these famous Russian artworks Simpsonized by Russian art students. Excellent.
The Simpsons – They say the children are our future, in which case I think the show will be okay. Here’s a discussion between a nine-year-old, his five-year-old sister, and their dad about The Simpsons. Plus there’s a drawing the brother did that has Bart stepping on Homer’s eyes.
‘The Simpsons’ Lands $750 Mil Cable Syndication, VOD Pact with FXX - This was late breaking and is filled with the typically overwrought horseshit you find in Variety. Here are the important details minus the glamour quotes, entertainment industry circle jerking, and as much of the stupid as I could excise:
With 530 episodes and counting, the sale is valued at upwards of $750 million over the life of the deal.
The term of the deal is said to be about 10 years.
FXX and FXNow will have access to the past 24 seasons of “Simpsons” starting in August. The following month, the show’s 25th season will become available, as the show begins season 26 on Fox. It’s unclear how many older episodes will be made available at any given time on FXNow. (Details of the FXNow launch will be unveiled at a Gotham news confab on Dec. 3.) FXX is expected to stack six to eight episodes on one or two nights, probably in thematic packages, rather than air them across the week as in traditional syndication.
Long story short: FXX will be broadcasting old episodes starting in August of 2014. Their new streaming thingie will be detailed next month. No word on how they’ll choose which episodes to broadcast or stream. It’ll be interesting to see how much higher the ratings are for The Simpsons than for Zombie Simpsons. They’ll be higher, the question is how much.
THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1 Brush With Greatness vs. Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes On Every Fish – I used to wonder about this when I was a kid:
The only minor blemish I find in this episode is that seeing as how Burns was so critical of the other portraits that were done of him prior to going to Marge for help, shouldn’t he have wanted to see Marge’s finished painting before the unveiling at the museum?
They sort of mention that there’s a timing issue with the opening being very soon, but it doesn’t really matter either way.
THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1: One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish vs. Simpson & Delilah – Don’t forget the bowling announcers:
This episode could have been sappy, but they do a good job of injecting humor into every emotional scene like when Homer ad libs while Lisa plays her sax, or the problems with the after shave during his man-to-man with Bart. It’s the Simpsons doing what it does best, mixing humor with heart.
Besides, we get one of my all time favorite prank calls to Moe’s: Seymour Butz.
THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1 The Way We Was vs. Life On The Fast Lane – Not a bad suggestion:
“The Way We Was” is part of a series of episodes which I consider to be the quintessential 4 episodes of the entire series that tell the story of how The Simpson family came to be. The other 3 episodes being, “I Married Marge”, “Lisa’s First Word”, and “And Maggie Makes Three.” I’m not sure if any of them will win this tournament, but if I met someone who’d never watched The Simpsons before, I would encourage them to watch those 4 episodes.
The Plow King – Fan made watercolor of Barney as the Plow King. Awesome.
Treehouse of Horror – . . . and another watercolor, this one of Bart in a skeleton costume and King Homer.
Round 85: You Only Move Twice vs. Lisa the Skeptic - Our old friend Nebel has taken his Simpsons tournament to a new URL. Herein, Season 8 crushes Season 9.
Serious As A Heart Attack About the Lisa Simpson Bridge – Absolutely:
When the Tribune’s Peter Korn first called me, I initially told him that my favorite was Ursula LeGuin (I think I said “Ged the Archmage can whip Harry Potter any day of the week”). But then I acknowledged that ideally, the bridge should be named after a female (there are enough things named after men) environmentalist (because the bike / pedestrian / transit bridge embodies our environmental values). LeGuin meets the first criterion, but she’s not especially identified with environmentalism. And then it hit me, like a bolt from the blue: the most prominent environmentalist with Portland roots is, by a country mile, Lisa Simpson, created by Portland’s own Matt Groening.
C’mon, Portland, you’re supposed to be the fun city, name it the Lisa Simpson bridge. Think of the children! (Vote here.)
Simpson No-No’s – An illustrated guide to animating the show from 1991! Pro-tip: No sharp teeth “unless directed”.
How the Simpsons (And You) Can Multiply by Seven Using Your Fingers – I don’t think I’ve used that multiply by nine on your fingers thing since the third grade, but yes, in a base eight world the Simpsons could do the same with seven. Of course, this presumes they got rid of those text books with that base six crap in them.
We’ll really miss you Mrs. K – The Argus – Canadian college students remember Marcia Wallace.
When a Tasteless Tongue Approaches the Smorgasbord of Eloquence – Explaining some of our foibles with Blazing Saddles, Seinfeld and The Simpsons. Also, excellent usage.
It’s Been Too Long – Fun thing about Tapped Out, you can put the nuclear plant closer to houses than even Mr. Burns would be able to.
Speculation: Opening Scene – And in other Tapped Out news, here’s some people and buildings that could be added based on a scene-by-scene analysis of the opening video.
Developer creates The Simpsons entirely in CSS – The actual Github link is down, but you can see the end result here (and the crappy way it looks in IE).
Krusty Burger – A fake Krusty Burger review:
fter my first experience, I went back six more times. Why? Maybe I felt guilty for the owner, maybe it was because the place was a Springfield, Oregon staple, or maybe I’m that optimistic person who thinks that any bad review of a restaurant will cause the restaurant to change for the better. Did it change? Nope.
You want me to die??! – Could be worse, someone might want you to diet . . . Oh, I see what you did there. Heh.
Blinky the crab has three eyes – Cool:
Meet Blinky. This tiny freshwater crab has three eyes, just like its mutant fish namesake from The Simpsons. But unlike the fictional Blinky, whose deformity is blamed on nuclear waste, this crab may actually be a pair of conjoined twins, one of which is nothing but part of the head.
Bacon Fantasy #15 – A (fan made?) cartoon cover t-shirt design featuring Spider-Pig.
An Albanian Spy in America? Re-watching that great episode of “The Simpsons” as an American in Albania – I’ll bet that does provide some interesting perspective:
Before I learned that I would live in Albania for two years, I was like perhaps many Americans of my generation in that my only knowledge of Albania was based on one episode of The Simpsons. Re-watching, I wanted to share some of my favorite parts of this hilarious episode .
The Simpsons Couch Gag – How about some couch gag YouTube?
“I’m Bart Simpson. Who the hell are you?” – Another new Simpsons blog . . .
Fox picks up new Seth MacFarlane ‘toon – There will be another one. That is all.
Bob Sansevere: Vikings grasp fundamentals just in time – Excellent usage:
Rockne’s quote embodied what the Vikings haven’t been able to accomplish for much of this season.
A Homer Simpson quote capsulized what they have done more often than not: “I’ve seen teams suck before, but they were the suckiest bunch of sucks who ever sucked.”
Homer actually says “sucks that ever sucked”, but that’s close enough for excellent usage.
Quick cancellations and going back to Springfield – A TV critic writes:
At one time you couldn’t turn on a TV and not find everyone’s favourite animated family somewhere on the dial. And while the show began its 25th season this year, and is still getting big ratings, I hadn’t watched an episode of the show — a show that was once my religion — in at least three or four years.
I decided to start at Season 7, the most recent season I have on DVD, and work my way backwards.
It’s both amazing at how much I’ve retained from constant rewatchings of these classics, and how well most of the episodes hold up to this day
Preach it, sister!
Conan O’Brien, ‘Harvard Lampoon’ Alumni Dish About Modern Comedy – O’Brien, Jean and Greg Daniels were at some panel at USC last weekend, but the crappy Variety writeup doesn’t really tell you much.
James L. Brooks, David Silverman Talk ‘Simpsons,’ State of Toon Market – Another crappy Variety writeup of a different panel about the show. They did get James L. Brooks saying this, which basically agrees with us and is an admission that Zombie Simpsons is a completely different show:
“We wanted to make (the show) about character and story,” Brooks, said of “Simpsons’” origin and longevity. “We were religious about that, we were nuts, we were obsessive about that. Anything that was farfetched we wouldn’t do, we didn’t want anybody to know who the actors were, we wanted nothing to break, and I think it’s because we started that way and held to it and then over the years let it go completely. It’s great having rules that you treat like the Bible and then throw away at a certain point.”
As per usual, when not directly doing publicity, even people involved with the show will always note how much it’s changed/degraded.
“Marge? Marge Simpson? You remember me, don’t you? I’m Helen Lovejoy the gossipy wife of the minister.” – Helen Lovejoy
“Yes, hello, Helen.” – Marge Simpson
“Well, I had just finished eating and was about to leave when I looked over this way and said to myself, why isn’t that Marge Simpsons over there having brunch with a man who isn’t her husband?, and I just had to come over and say hello.” – Helen Lovejoy
Happy birthday Maggie Roswell!
Marge convinces Homer to invite an old pen pal to stay with them, an item that was on a to-do list he created as a 10-year old. Meanwhile, Lisa is instrumental in revising the school honor code.
Oh goodie. Marge for some reason is encouraging Homer to be even more zombie-homer-ish. That outta work out for all involved.
This week we’ve got some fan made renderings of Krusty (and Bart) that run the gamut from quick sketch to very refined, but all of them have real style to them. In addition to that, we’ve got more than the usual number of people who agree with us, a couple last Marcia Wallace tributes, some local theater, an open letter to Azaria, and a couple of late but worthy Halloween costumes.
The Elevens: Tonight: A Shot Of Theater Presents: The Simpsons Did It! - Attention those of you in and around Northampton, Massachusetts, this is cool:
“November 7th, 14th, 21st, and 22nd 7p-9p
Citizens and Friends of Springfield! Join us for our fourth evening of original one-act plays performed at The Elevens of Northampton!
An evening of theater, food, drinks, laughs, cheers, and NO boo-rns!
Come out and witness our tribute to the most fanatic television show ever created as you are entertained by six short plays that were all inspired by the wit and wisdom of The Simpsons!
Admission is only seven dollars.
Acme Archives To Release The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror Poster By Dave Perillo On November 13, 2013 - Please note that not a single segment he depicts is from Zombie Simpsons. Very cool. (And you can buy one for fifty bucks.)
Duffman Burlesque- Sky Blew- Underground Peepshow – Reader Nedbit sent in this rather awesome YouTube video from that Toronto burlesque show a few months back. The young man on stage does a great job syncing his routine to actual Duffman quotes (my favorite being “Duffman can’t breathe!” when he gets stuck in his shirt), and the whole thing is great fun. There’s even some tasteful nudity that stop just short of the full monty:
Well done, Sky Blew. (And thanks, Nedbit!)
Dear Hank Azaria - This is what happens when you outstay your welcome and fall way behind the curve:
You are a white man doing an accent of a brown character.
I repeat: you are a white man doing an accent of a brown character.
That isn’t normal anymore or needed.
MediaWorks phoenix ready to rise, minus The Simpsons – Those of you in New Zealand may have to find a new place to watch reruns:
The MediaWorks receivership was announced in June, but was immediately backed with a rescue plan.
The settlement will see the removal of all Fox network programming from TV3 and TV4 including prime time cartoon show The Simpsons, with the biggest impact on TV4, which screens seven hours of Fox material daily
Edna Krabappel to retire as Marcia Wallace has died. She was married to Ned Flanders? – It sucks that Marcia Wallace died, but it has been amusing to see a common on-line reaction (after the mourning) be shock at what happened after most people stopped watching the show. That “Nedna” publicity stunt couldn’t have failed worse, not only do people not like it, most of them didn’t even hear about it when it happened.
Can Only Death Stop The Simpsons? – I’ve wondered that myself.
Maggie Simpson | cosplay and halloween costume diy guides – This is a little late for Halloween this year, but it’s a pretty damn good do-it-yourself Maggie Simpson costume for about $50.
Get The Work Done - Great fan made “Stupid Sexy Flanders” costume.
Krusty the Clown - Cool color fanmade sketch of Krusty smoking.
The Boy & Krusty - Another Krusty sketch from a different person. This time he’s with Bart and looking very stressed.
Dorwing Samson Bartolo! - Excellent fan made Bart.
Today on the tray: Lard Lad Donuts - An appreciation of Lard Lad and all that he’s done for us on one of two national donut days.
Family and Social Class in “The Simpsons” - A Turkish university using “Scenes from the Class Struggle in Springfield” in class.
With a love that will echo through the ages - A Marcia Wallace remembrance that heartily agrees with us:
Since circa season 11 the show has lacked any true emotional feeling. Instead the writers have hung onto the sentimental coat tails of what has gone before. There’s no real feeling because all the characters have become just shells of what they once were – Krabappel would once have laughed at the moral, insular Flanders, but now she’s married to him. It’s sentimental, not emotional, an attempt to capture emotions where there are none. The Simpsons worked as an emotional, and comedic, show because it was so real. Modern episodes don’t seem to realise that to be emotional and get the best laughs is not just to recover the past or to pull on certain heartstrings, but to show reality and draw out those moments which we feel familiar with.
Lest We Forget – Edna Krabappel - One last Marcia Wallace tribute:
Mrs K was the sarcastic, lazy teacher we all wished we had.
Last Vegas…In 10 Words - You guys lied to me, you said it was Vegas!
Dag 277 - Another Homer t-shirt.
Brovember 6th – Bart & Milpool…Err, Milhouse - The “bromance” that is Bart and Milhouse.
Bart Simpson: 90′s badass - He was.
Yelling at your kids: Don’t do it. (Oops, you just did.) – Excellent movie usage:
Finally, one wise mom told me that she doesn’t scream at all, but rather subscribes to “Marge Simpson Philosophy of Parenting.”
Lisa Simpson: But I’m so angry.
Marge Simpson: You’re a woman. You can hold on to it forever
The movie doesn’t have a lot of quotable lines, but that’s definitely one of them.
Identifying Intervals Part 4: The Tritone - I don’t know nearly enough about music to understand this, but it’s about the theme song and certainly sounds cool.
THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1 BART GETS AN F vs. BART’S DOG GETS AN F - The segmented episode elimination tournament continues with a hard choice already:
“Bart Gets An F” & “Bart’s Dog Gets An F” both get an A+ in my books. But this tournament is designed to be all killer & no filler, which means only the best against the best, nothing past season 8. And so I have a difficult choice to make. One of these classics has to go. They both pack an emotional punch, although as an animal lover “Bart’s Dog Gets An F” hits a little closer to home for me.
Click through for the winner.
Duff Beer iPhone 5S Case is Homer Simpson Approved – Twenty bucks at Amazon.
Afternoon Sister - A young woman in Tokyo actually wearing one of those high fashion Bart shirts. Looks good.
TV Legends Revealed | How ‘Simpsons’ Got ‘Revenge’ on Justin Timberlake – The word ‘revenge’ may be a tad strong there. Basically, when a 19-year-old Timberlake did his guest voice for that hapless boy band episode he bitched about saying “Word” as a line, so they used it more. The irony, of course, is that Timberlake has gone on to become a hell of a lot more entertaining than Zombie Simpsons. (Thanks to commenter RaikoLives for sending this in!)
He’s…a Simpson - Forced to choose a favorite character of all time, you could do worse than Homer.
5-paragraph review of ‘The Simpsons: Four Regrettings and a Funeral’ - And finally, an enjoyably scathing review of last week’s episode that agrees with us:
Joe Namath made a guest voice appearance. He was quarterback of the New York Jets when the team won the Super Bowl in 1969, which was the historians believe was the last time “The Simpsons” were funny. This may be inaccurate.