“Then, the doctor told me that both my eyes were lazy, and that’s why it was the best summer ever.” – Ralph Wiggum
Archive Page 2
“In fact, if you play ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ backwards, you’ll hear a recipe for a really ripping lentil soup!” – Paul McCartney
We’ve got a whale of a Reading Digest this week, including two elaborate links to music from before rock achieved perfection in 1974 and two people making food from the show, out of this world space age moon waffles and little meat loaf men. In addition, we’ve got quite a bit of fan art, some of it very elaborate, a Groening interview from 1990, a very creepy old Micky Mouse that kind looks like Homer, and much more.
The Coasters = The Simpsons – Now here’s a novel fan theory:
I was listening to a compilation of the beloved R&B group the Coasters, and wondered what draws me to these songs. Then the thought hit me: The Coasters’ hits are basically templates for classic episodes of The Simpsons, decades before that show existed. Don’t believe my theory? Behold the startling evidence below:
She’s got a ton of examples, though the simpler explanation would be that topics that are cause for blues songs are also good fodder for comedy. Still, that’s a great list.
This Simpsons-Pink Floyd Mashup Of ‘Comfortably Numb’ Is Incredible – And speaking of old music:
Die-hard Simpsons fan Raymond Stephens has taken the time to source old clips of the show, editing them together in this cool video as the iconic Pink Floyd track plays over the top.
It’s great, and the Futurama clips are dead on. (Though I could’ve done without all the clips from that awful Zombie Simpsons episode where Homer has a grunge band.) Doesn’t seem to be working on regular YouTube so I can’t embed, but you can see it at the link.
Matt Groening on Whad’ya Know 2-10-90 – A Groening NPR interview from the early days of Bartmania. I always find these old Groening interviews fascinating because you can hear how inexperienced he is at doing interviews. These days he’s way more polished, then he was really raw. It gets really good at about the 10:30 mark as they get into some of the controversies around the early days of the show. The nuclear industry was unhappy.
“Pretty clever!” – I think we can all relate to this:
Sometimes a free-floating line will just snag onto an existing feeling and crystalize it, and along with Seinfeld, The Simpsons has been responsible for more such epiphanies than any other series. Elsewhere, I’ve compared the repository of Simpsons quotes that we all seem to carry in our heads to the metaphorical language that Picard encountered in “Darmok,” and there’s no question that it influences the way many of us think about ourselves.
Take “Hurricane Neddy,” which first aired during the show’s eighth season. It probably wouldn’t even make it onto a list of my fifty favorite episodes, but there’s one particular line from it that has been rattling around in my brain ever since. After a hurricane destroys Flanders’s house, the neighborhood joins forces to rebuild it, only to do a spectacularly crappy job. It all leads to the following exchange:
Ned: “The floor feels a little gritty here.”
Moe: “Yeah, we ran out of floorboards there, so we painted the dirt. Pretty clever!”
Those last two words, which Moe delivers with a nudge to Ned’s ribs and an air of self-satisfaction, are ones that I’ve never forgotten. At least once a week, I’ll say to myself, in Moe’s voice: “Pretty clever!”
Eye On Springfield with Head Ned of Okilly Dokilly – The suddenly famous give an interview to xtapolapometal.
Homer Simpson’s Patented Space-Age Out of This World Moon Waffles – Real life recipe for waffles that are mmm, fattening.
Cooking The Simpsons: Little Meatloaf Men – And in other Simpsons cooking news, that magazine has ideas for everything. Also, this:
My exception to this is The Simpsons. When someone asks me what my favorite TV show of all time is, I quickly answer “The Simpsons,” with the caveat “specifically, seasons 3 through 8.”
Ay Caramba! Calgary couple spends d’oh to recreate Simpsons kitchen in their home – This story finally made it to Canadian national news. I just want to know whether or not they are deathly afraid of scorpions.
Al Jean’s Office: Behind the Lair of ‘The Simpsons’ Showrunner – Want to see some pictures from inside Jean’s office? Here you go.
19 Fake Craft Beers Inspired By The Simpsons, Ranked – There could be some good ones in there.
Ken Jennings on The Simpsons’ Springfield and Other Common City Names – Jeopardy overlord Ken Jennings sez:
According to a common factoid, there’s a community called Springfield in all 50 states, but the U.S. Board on Geographic Names says that’s not true: only 34 states have a Springfield. The real champ is Riverside. Unless you live in Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, or Oklahoma, there’s at least one Riverside in your state.
Simpsons Theme 4 Hands Arrangement – Sheet music of the theme song, and video of it in action:
Flying Hellfish Hockey Jersey Design – That would be a pretty sweet hockey sweater.
LISTEN: The Simpsons – ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ Review – It’s a podcast reviewing the episodes in order.
New Dr. Colossus Song! – A band called Dr. Colossus has a song called “Stupid Sexy Flanders”. Some of the lyrics:
Stupid Sexy Flanders,
Republican at best
Politically to the right
Dexterity to the left
What a horrible day – Some great little Simpsons drawings/potential tattoos. I’m partial to the Mr. Burns one.
Amateur Doodles – The Simpsons – Fan made sketches of Marge and Milhouse. He thinks she’s hot!
Daily Drawing 220 – Fan sketch of a whole bunch of characters. Bart and Lisa look agreeably pissed at each other.
S02 E04 – Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish – I think it’s on the commentary for this one where they mention how after they did this one, all anyone wanted to do was write Mr. Burns scripts:
This was a pretty great episode, not only for it’s great jokes and political satire, but because this was really the first episode that been primarily about an ancillary character. The Simpsons are certainly in the episode and they end up being integral in the start and inevitable end of Mr. Burns’ political career, but this is really an episode about Mr. Burns.
S02 E05 – Dancin’ Homer – I’ve always loved that scene with Lisa and the other girls:
Homer manages to convince the family to move and after Bart and Milhouse become “spit brothers” and Lisa realizes that she doesn’t have any friends who would miss her, they head off to Homer’s last game with the Isotopes.
My Lego-tastic, Simpsons-tacular Reward Weekend – A detailed look at the Kwik-E-Mart Lego set, including the roof garden. (Oh, and keep it up, David!)
Eat My Shorts 2 Coming Soon – There is a Simpsons art show coming to Fresno next month.
8.19.15 – No idea where this is, but it’d make a good submission for Fresno.
What a character: Why Hans Moleman from The Simpsons is a TV great – Just some Moleman love with plenty of .gifs.
Digital Audience Ratings: ‘Simpsons’ Surge Thanks to Fan-Sourced Post – People were apparently quite keen on the show on Facebook because someone snapped a picture of one of those English guards who can’t move or smile or anything, but with Marge’s face. The internet is weird.
Francois Dourlen uses iPhone to capture movie characters in everyday settings – And here’s the original.
‘The Simpsons’ memorabilia, art collection from Sam Simon heading to auction – Simon is giving his money away from beyond the grave!
Vintage Cast Iron BOBO Homer Simpson // Mickey Mouse Wall Hook – That’s . . . . kind of horrifying.
Bart Simpson Patch – Just what it says.
New trending GIF tagged the simpsons adult principal… – The quote is slightly mangled, but I may have to start doing that font with more .gifs. That looks highly cromulent.
New trending GIF tagged 90s dancing cartoon the… – Those depressed teenagers seem to be dancing a bit fast.
Kidrobot x The Simpsons Coming Soon! – The Kidrobot people have run out of characters to sell at inflated prices. There are apparently three versions of Mr. Sparkle coming in the next batch.
Huge folk art billboard of Homer Simpson – This a craigslist entry, and the pictures are craigslist quality, but someone made something neat.
The inevitability of decline: why t.v shows need to jump the ship before they jump the shark – And finally, I get to end with someone who agrees with us:
Anyway, I want to talk a bit about the lifespan of television and why its imperative for the memory and enjoyment of a show that they leave as close to their peak as possible. Now, it might get tricky here, some of the examples I’m going to use to illustrate the shark-jumping may be deemed as thoroughly consistent television shows, conversely some I may see as worth continuing on with, other viewers may have jumped ship from long ago (I refuse to adhere to your stringent regulation of phrases)
Simpsons is an obvious example, and while I could discuss it at length, I think we all feel the same way about what has become of the once great show.
“Don’t you think you’re spending too much time with Ned? Your family needs you too.” – Marge Simpson
“Oh, of course you’d say something like that, Marge, you’ve hated Ned for years! In fact, you wanted to bash his head in with a pipe.” – Homer Simpson
“That was you!” – Marge Simpson
“Love, Marge, don’t hate. Love.” – Homer Simpson
“Hello, Bart. Now, you know the difference between telling the truth and telling a lie, don’t you, son?” – Judge Moulton
“Maybe.” – Bart Simpson
There’s a great exchange near the beginning of the trial in Season 2’s “Bart Gets Hit By a Car”. Bart has just taken the witness stand, covered in fake bandages and sitting in an unnecessary wheelchair. The judge asks if he knows the difference between telling the truth and telling a lie. He replies with a nervous “maybe”.
This is an understandably intimidating situation for a 10-year-old.
Sitting at the lawyer’s table are Homer and Lionel Hutz, and when the judge then asks Bart if he’d, “lie to the United States?”, Bart glances over and we see this:
They’re on screen for barely a second, but it’s plenty, because the episode has already shown us exactly how all of these characters got here. Homer wasn’t initially planning to sue Burns over the accident, but once shyster extraordinaire Lionel Hutz mentioned a million dollar settlement, Homer’s greed took over and now the two of them are desperate for Bart to lie in court. Marge and Lisa, who’ve been growing increasingly worried over Homer and Bart’s scheme to get rich by suing Homer’s boss, are sitting there in the background, looking none too pleased.
For his part, Bart isn’t nearly as blinded by greed as Homer and Hutz. After the trial collapses, we see him casually wonder about how cool it would’ve been to get the money. (He takes it much better than Homer.) But Bart is still on board with lying to get the money, he just needs a little guidance. No sooner does he see Hutz and his father quietly telling him to lie to the judge, then he quickly and confidently replies, “No.”
For starters, Nancy Cartwright gives a great delivery of that lone syllable. The apprehension that was in her voice for Bart’s earlier “maybe” is all gone as he eagerly goes along with the lie.
The writing also deserves credit because the rest of the story is so well put together that just a single two-letter denial can become a punchline. We’ve seen Homer get greedy, we’ve seen him and Hutz coaching Bart in the living room, we’ve even seen them blow Marge off when she tries to object to them telling her son to perjure himself.
Bart is a clever kid, but he’s still just a kid. He needs to know from his dad that he is indeed supposed to tell his cock and bull story on the witness stand, even after the judge presses him to only tell the truth. Homer’s complete lack of scruples about putting his son in that position then becomes a set-up for Bart’s one syllable response that shows him happily going along with his father’s scheme.
None of this requires Homer to get hurt, or scream, or go wingsuiting or something. This is Homer as understandable loser, who sees this as his big shot at getting rich and is willing to put his son on the line to do it. He’s certainly being a bad father, but he’s not being a jerkass.