“Hey, how come he gets meat and we don’t?” – Homer Simpson
“You wouldn’t want what he’s eating. It’s mostly just snouts and entrails.” – Marge Simpson
“Mmmm, snouts.” – Homer Simpson
Posts Tagged ‘Dog of Death
“Lisa, I’m afraid we’ll have to stop getting you those volumes of Encyclopedia Generica from the grocery store.” – Marge Simpson
“But, Mom, next week is Volume IV, Copernicus through Elephantiasis.” – Lisa Simpson
Wikipedia has a simple test for whether or not something merits its own article: notability. Like the rest of Wikipedia, it doesn’t work in theory, only in practice, and the current guidelines list five criteria:
- "Significant coverage" means that sources address the subject directly in detail, so no original research is needed to extract the content.
- "Reliable" means sources need editorial integrity to allow verifiable evaluation of notability
- "Sources", for notability purposes, should be secondary sources, as those provide the most objective evidence of notability.
- "Independent of the subject" excludes works produced by those affiliated with the subject or its creator.
- "Presumed" means that significant coverage in reliable sources establishes a presumption, not a guarantee, that a subject is suitable for inclusion.
Basically, “notability” means that someone besides the subject or its author is discussing something and that there are multiple citable sources of such discussion. In that vein, Wikipedia has now brought us:
The missed capitalization and odd phrasing of the title are in the original, but don’t let that throw you, the article is a remarkable piece of work. (And I’m not just saying that because it cites us several times.) There are two primary authors, Coin945 and Martarius, and while I have no idea who they are, they have pulled together a staggering number of sources and references from articles discussing the decline and fall of the show.
From a readability standpoint the article is way too long (someone on the Talk page pegs it at 17,000 words). But they have amassed 173 individual sources documenting criticisms, and a few defenses, of the quality of the show. As someone who has a little experience researching and writing about the show and its descent, I am awed by that. Just organizing all of those had to be an enormous amount of work, and good on them for doing it. The sheer scale may make it tough to read all the way through, and I’m sure it’ll get pared down eventually, but they’ve got an outline of the opinions around the show that looks fairly accurate, and that’s a valuable thing to have. Three cheers for notability and diligent Wiki/Simpsons geeks! Well done.
“Strap on your bullet proof vest, Sanjay, it’s time for another bank run.” – Apu Nahasapeemapetilon
“Alright, but if I don’t make it, promise you won’t sleep with my wife.” – Sanjay Nahasapeemapetilon
“I promise nothing.” – Apu Nahasapeemapetilon
“I’ve never been so sure of anything in my life. I am going to win this lottery.” – Homer Simpson
“Homer, the odds are three-hundred-and-eighty million to one.” – Marge Simpson
“Correction, three-hundred-and-eighty million to fifty!” – Homer Simpson
Happy 20th Anniversary to #Simpsons classic “Dog of Death”! Original airdate 12 March 1992.
“Marge, I’ve figured out an alternative to giving up my beer. Basically, we become a family of traveling acrobats.” – Homer Simpson
“I don’t think you’ve thought this through.” – Marge Simpson
Good morning everyone, and welcome to the Season 3 Simpsons-Beer marathon! Season 7 tightened the gap a little yesterday afternoon, and had been ahead earlier in the week, but Season 3 stayed on top of the poll, and so Season 3 it shall be. Just like the previous marathons, I’m not above using the pause and reverse buttons to get a quote or a screen shot, but there will be absolutely no use of the fast forward button. I’ll update this post at the end of each episode, and you can probably expect the ones later in the day to be a bit more . . . enthusiastic. And now, that first delicious breakfast beer calls.
1. Stark Raving Dad
- “Marge, I can’t wear a pink shirt to work, everybody wears white shirts. I’m not popular enough to be different.”
- I love that the power plant has a bare light bulb interrogation room and performs body cavity searches, and then they end up talking about Gilbert & Sullivan. That’s high quality absurdity right there.
- That’s a really gratuitous crotch grab from Leon on “Billy Jean”. Baseball players would have a hard time getting away with that on network TV.
- Nice touch: Homer’s wearing the pink shirt in Bart’s lobotomy fantasy.
- For those of you too young to remember 1991, it’s hard to describe just how huge Michael Jackson was. Imagine if Lady Gaga, Kanye West and Justine Timberlake were the same person, and then quadruple that, I was a kid who wasn’t yet into popular music and I knew who he was. It actually wasn’t that implausible that an entire town would drop what it was doing to go see him. I get that it’s a joke, but still.
- Bart gets a pretty good sound out of that trash can.
- And wow is this a great song.
2. Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington
- Homer’s job specifies an illiterate.
- The Reading Digest sex tips are great.
- Nice touch: the eagle in the park has the arrow and the olive branch.
- “Jingoism” is one of the score categories for the essays.
- “Brevity Is . . . Wit”
- Love Barbara Bush’s “damn badges” line.
- Unlike so many of Zombie Simpsons’ “destination” episodes, the sights the family sees here (VIP badges excepted for comedy) are things that really are right next to each other in D.C. These days they skip from landmark to landmark regardless of sense and it’s really disorienting. Here you never feel like they’ve left reality.
- We’ve got a lot more than two women Senators now. Good work, Lisa.
- I’ve only been sightseeing in D.C. once, but I giggled when, sure enough, the Jefferson Memorial was deserted while the Lincoln Memorial had people crawling all over it. Lincoln’s got a more convenient spot, but the contrast is huge.
- I use Bart’s “Cool, a ruckus” all the time.
- The swift justice accorded to Bob Arnold is such a wonderfully Simpsons touch, they’re willing to go cynical exaggeration on anything.
- “Imprisoned Congressman becomes born again Christian.”
- I forget his name, but otherwise intelligent people thought that piano guy (who was a real guy) was funny. He wasn’t.
3. When Flanders Failed
- Every time a Zombie Simpsons writer turns in a script with a ton of Jerkass Homer running around and acting like a lunatic, s/he (probably he), should be strapped into a chair, Clockwork Orange style, and forced to watch this episode. Homer’s an ass this entire episode, but it’s because he’s jealous of Flanders, not just because. Better yet, his asshole behavior is mostly passive. When he’s laughing with the food in his mouth, and Maude and Ned are kinda grossed out, he’s 1/100th of Jerkass Homer . . . and then he chokes.
- Akira’s karate commercial is fantastic, especially his swollen eye after he breaks the board with his head.
- Castellaneta’s delivery of “No, I do not know what Schadenfreude is, please tell me because I’m dying to know” should be in some kind of sarcasm hall of fame.
- Small point: when Homer’s talking to Chuck Ellis the collection agent, he was going to tell him about the store, he just got interrupted. It’s a subtle thing, but it makes the eventual change less melodramatic and displays that respect for the audience Zombie Simpsons doesn’t have.
- “Sold it to you for seven cents”, Homer having Ned’s monogrammed handkerchief, the Libertarian Party headquarters, even in this episode’s most emotional scene they never let things get heavy.
- “Ah, the worm has turned has it not, my tin plated friend?”
- Maude wearing Donna Reed’s dress from It’s a Wonderful Life is one of those things I didn’t notice for the first, oh, forty viewings.
4. Bart the Murderer
- Great animation on the close up of Bart’s parched tongue licking envelopes.
- There really was a “Fat Tony”. According to Wikipedia, he died less than a year after this was broadcast.
- Small animation note: the cocktail chart is listed below the radio when the Phil Hartman gangster announces the call for the third race. That’s a hell of an attention to detail.
- Oh how I miss themed Itchy & Scratchy episodes.
- I love the panicked yell of the smoker, “How do we know that?”.
- Fat Tony’s self serving description of hijacking is one for the ages.
- Flowers By Irene!
- The unreserved joy of the kids at hearing that Skinner is missing is one of those great multi-layered moments of the show at its best. Not only do the students hate the principal, they’re fine with showing it openly, and it underlines the plot by showing Bart being nervous.
- Even Bart’s nightmare about being executed is treated lightly.
- “Chinese guy with a moustache?” – Oh yeah, Fat Tony murders people.
- The cartoon of Bart with tentacles in every part of town is another brilliant little touch.
- Skinner’s recollection of the police search, complete with the cops eating his food and drinking his beer, is great. The whole story hinges on the fact that the cops are too incompetent to look in the basement.
- Is this the first inkling the world got of the comedic potential of the dry delivery of Neil Patrick Harris?
5. Homer Defined
- “The little touches are what made it enduring.” Well said, Martin. Well said.
- I’ve asked around, I’ve checked the closed captioning, I’ve Googled, does anyone have any idea what Otto says when they pull up to the school? “I’d like to say thanks and a ??????? applause to birthday boy Milhouse”? It sounds like “plose” or something. Was it an early 90s stoner word? I have no idea.
- Project Bootstrap!
- Thank you, President Ford.
- You see episodes like this one enough times and you take it for granted, but they are talking about killing an entire town with radiation and yet everything, even the strings of suspense, are pasted over with gags and jokes.
- Case in point: Frink’s Strangelove glasses, which aren’t even the main joke of the scene he’s in.
- Enjoyably quick nod to “Goldfinger” with the 007 count on the timer.
- They did like their wine spritzers this season.
- The wall of Smithers photos is such a great payoff for his earlier bitching about Homer winning Employee of the Month.
- Gotta enjoy the terrible parenting that is Homer’s indifference to Lisa’s newfound admiration for him.
- “Behold the glory that is Homer Simpson!”
6. Like Father, Like Clown
- Gotta love Cpl. Punishment holding Mel’s unconscious self.
- “I always suspected that nothing in life mattered, now I know for sure.”
- That the seltzer young Krusty is playing with in the bathroom hits him in the face like a money shot is another one of those things that’s so dirty the censors never had a chance.
- Someday I will have a “Gabbin’ About God” t-shirt made.
- The deli setup is the kind of thing a lesser show would’ve used as a third act. Not only is Krusty humming “La Marseillaise”, he put on a tuxedo!
- God bless Sammy Davis Jr.
- If you want to see filler that doesn’t feel like filler, check out the quick cutaway to Moe and Barney.
7. Treehouse of Horror II
- I promise I’ll stop talking about Zombie Simpsons soon, but nothing they’ve done in the last ten years comes close to the self awareness on display here in the Monkey’s Paw segment. They’re really laying into themselves for being overexposed and for having shitty stuff for sale, and they did it all the time. Nowadays they have to farm anything remotely that true out to Banksy.
- “He’s got a board with a nail in it!”
- I always laugh when Snowball II sets the curtains on fire. Every single time.
- Ditto Otto saying “This is fun isn’t it? We’re gonna die, aren’t we?” and then laying hard on the accelerator with his hand.
- The conditional emphasis Dr. Marvin Monroe places on “maybe even love him” is fantastic.
- Burns’ Frankenstein laboratory is fantastically drawn.
- Burns humming “If I Only Had a Brain” while he removes Homer’s with an ice cream scoop is just too damn perfect. Did they have to pay a royalty on that?
8. Lisa’s Pony
- Another nice, detailed touch: adding the letterbox bars for the 2001 “Dawn of Man” segment.
- Funny and appropriate character touches: Lisa not wanting to call her father until after she checked with a ton of people and the “nice man who caught the snake in our basement”, and Homer, after trying to get out of it, being touched anyway.
- Words I learned from The Simpsons: trenchant.
- More great character moments: Skinner hating the talent contest backstage, then praising it on stage.
- Between Homer ignoring Lisa’s first steps for Fantasy Island and ignoring her calling him “dada” to strangle Bart, this show once again displays its mastery of emotional moments that remain very funny.
- “No, you were right the first time with that quick fix idea.”
- The scene where Burns loans Homer the money is perfect, everyone’s in character, it’s joke laden from start to finish, and it allows the overall plot to move on quickly.
- Grampa flailing around at the video game is every time I ever tried to get my parents or grandparents to pick up a controller. As a kid, this was one of those scenes that just sung to me.
- Nice callbacks to Season 1: not only does Apu live at Fiesta Terrace, he’s dating April Flowers/Princess Cashmere.
- Homer’s sleep montage is so, so great.
- “Homer sleep now” is another one of those things I use all the time.
- “Although there is no change in my patrician facade, I can assure you, my heart is breaking.”
9. Saturdays of Thunder
- On TV: Mr. Sugar Cube creates perfectly square sugar cubes. On Evergreen Terrace: Cubes are lumpy and misshapen.
- The Poe tombstone thing, up to and including “you’ll think the body’s still warm”, is like eleven jokes in ten seconds. It’s cruel.
- Speaking of tons of things crammed into almost no screen time: McBain in the diner.
- Thank Jebus for YouTube, now no one has to miss Joe Theismann.
- “He reminds me of me before the weight of the world crushed my spirit.”
- Trusting the audience: no exposition is necessary for the first race, they just show us the “Time Trials” banner for about a second.
- Nelson going Ben Hur on on Bart is great.
- When Martin offers to let Bart drive his car, Bart doesn’t agonize, he just agrees in a single sentence that makes fun of the cliched setup and moves the plot to its next step.
- And then Homer calls Martin a “Home wrecker” and Martin replies with the standard teevee mistress rebuttal that the betraying party “still loves you”. God this season is genius.
- And then they stand the usual “sore loser” teevee message on its head, but only after Homer and Bart are forced to ignore the fact that Martin was the real winner.
10. Flaming Moe’s
- “It’s a dustpan.” “The wax never lies.”
- I’ve already not noted at least a dozen of them, but Castellaneta again deserves special mention for “That’s it, I’m outta here.” It’s the perfect combination of resignation and an excuse to escape.
- That’s right, Moe accepts food stamps.
- Tipsy McStagger – It’s a joke, and then Moe thinking he’s real makes it another one, which they can then use for a callback. Beautiful use of a good idea without running it into the ground.
- There’s such a wonderful naivete to Bart thinking it’s okay to bring booze to class if he brings enough for everybody, and then Krabappel letting him have whatever the teacher’s lounge doesn’t finish compounds it. The layers children, the layers.
- The song, the song!
- The secret ingredient is always love, isn’t it?
- Even when Eye on Springfield comes back from commercial there’s a hot girl shaking her ass. Local news uber alles.
- On any other program, Hutz’s whole scene, including his citation of the “Frank Wallbanger” case, would be the highlight of the entire episode. Here we’ve grown so spoiled we expect it.
- I type really fast, but I can’t type nearly fast enough to keep up with the memorable scenes here.
- Krabappel rocks that bra sized tube top.
- And one final Cheers/Shelly Long joke, leaving to pursue her movie career.
11. Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk
- We’re at the German episode already? Fuck’s sake, we’ve been through ten episodes that contain things even casual fans love, and now we’re at the German episode? Holy fuck this season is solid.
- Everyone talks about Hutz and McClure, but Homer’s stockbroker saying “Ah, there, now we trust each other” is as good as Hartman ever did, and that’s a bar most comedians can’t even see, much less reach.
- There’s a ton of great Itchy & Scratchy this season. They can take a simple thing, like a mouse hammering a nail into a cat’s skull, and make it funny.
- Buying the Cleveland Browns was funny, then they moved, now they’re back and as terrible and ever, and it’s funny again.
- With the exception of Bobo, and that was more subdued, $100,000,000 may be the only thing Burns ever loves.
- Another small point for those of you who don’t remember 1991, there was a real (and really stupid) panic that the Germans and the Japanese were taking everything over at the time. Fortunately, America has Mr. Burns.
- I may have raised my hand when Horst asked if there were any alcoholics among us.
- “Also, we cannot overemphasize the importance of employee safety.”:
- Like the Browns, Battlestar Galactica was funny at the time, and is now funny for a different reason.
- “Mmmm, the land of chocolate.” This, this right here, this is how you do a montage. The pure joy on his face, the pain of the dog, the fact that he’s excited about half off chocolate.
- And then he has to come crashing back to reality, ten minutes ago.
- Yet more nice character points, Lisa responds to poverty by actually saving for the family, Bart responds by using it as an excuse to do shit he wanted to do anyway.
- Burns contempt for the “blue collar bar” is perfect him. He calls it “slumming”, has to hold his nose, and, of course, there’s “the mirthless laugh of the damned”.
- Again they undermine the usual television conventions. Money does make him happy, but only when it makes people afraid of him. Oh how I miss evil Burns.
- And then we get a United States of God Bless American back in charge, and what does he do? Cancel all repairs.
- And, yes, there was a dagger in his drawer the whole time his office was a daycare center.
12. I Married Marge
- Not a lot of programs can compare John Anderson to Supertramp. Just saying.
- More little touches: one of the light bulbs is out at the impregnable castle.
- I don’t think this is what they were going for, and I am twelve beers in, but you could interpret this as an example of the way boorish, lazy males use cultural norms about pregnancy to trap women with otherwise better options into dead end marriages that overwhelming benefit said boorish males.
- Kool Moe Dee Simpson.
- It always has kinda bothered me that Homer never hit on “fart” as something that rhymes with “Bart”. Meh.
- Hibbert’s haircuts through time are always fantastic.
- Speaking of well done montages: Homer to “9 to 5”. The gummy scream of the old woman as Homer reminds himself “handle first” cracks me up every time. And that’s only part of it.
- “Repossessing stuff is the hardest part of my job.”
- Lotta good Bouvier family jokes about Homer going bald in this one.
- “Gulp ’n Blow”, almost really dirty, but not quite. Still kinda dirty.
- “Pour vous”, nice callback to Season 2.
- “Homer, do you know why I married you?” “Cause I knocked you up?”
- Burns’ sadistic glee at eating the ghosts in Ms. Pacman is fantastic.
- I didn’t note it earlier, but Smithers’ old school haircut, while not as good as Hibbert’s, is pretty good.
- Best job interview ever.
- Another great ending: Homer can express his life affirming joy at having kids, only to leap off the couch, spilling all three of them onto the floor in the process, to high five Marge that they won’t have to endure another.
13. Radio Bart
- It’s great of Homer to be susceptible to cheap marketing phrases like “supply is limited”.
- And then Bart pays $8 to see his name for about a sixteenth of a second on TV.
- “When I was a kid we had compact discs, and I don’t recall no one complaining.” Yet another example of the show seeing into the future.
- The suspicious, bordering on hostile, eyes of the guy in the Wall E. costume are fantastic.
- Animatronic pizza animals, ten thousand years from now archeologists will argue over whether or not we worshipped them.
- Yet another thing that cracks me up every time: “We have captured your president, he was delicious.”
- Love the guy with Socrates the falcon.
- This episode is based of a Kirk Douglas movie called “Ace in the Hole”, rather than babble about it drunkenly, I’ll link to this, which I’m pretty sure I wrote sober.
- Here’s where we get our first look at Willie’s epic abdominals.
- The Lincoln squirrel has been assassinated!
- I love the way Homer yanks Sting back after he breaks through.
14. Lisa the Greek
- If the NFL doesn’t have a season this year, I shall be very put out. Lousy owners.
- Great setup for Season 5, Lisa making the shoe box apartment where Malibu Stacey(!) prints a feminist newsletter.
- Since I’m apparently big on linked YouTube this week, here’s a video that will explain to anyone too young or foreign to get Smooth Jimmy Apollo. The real Jimmy the Greek was so over the top he was almost impossible to parody.
- The clothes shopping subplot only lasts for the beginning of the episode, but it fits with the rest of it, and is exactly how tortuous shopping for clothes really is when you’re a kid.
- It’s all but impossible not to think of Lisa’s “He’ll lose” speech whenever you see some guy in a pre-game interview.
- One more little touch: the way Homer’s eyes narrow as he gets confused at Lisa’s explanation of the ins and outs of away turf and conference games.
- Moe saying “Just gimme the best, Lisa” after she explains to Homer why she’s making her picks is a great example of not using a montage. Could’ve done one, didn’t need to, didn’t.
- In the category of great deliveries, Smith’s disgusted, bordering on giving up, “Put me down”, has to be mentioned.
- It’s great that Moe pours the free beer he mistakenly gave Barney down the sink. He’d rather see it wasted than unpaid for.
- Twenty years on and, with rare exceptions (cough, Prince, cough), the Super Bowl halftime show has only gotten worse.
- Not a lot of shows can end with intergenerational bonding over a tire fire.
15. Homer Alone
- Even for animation, the way Marge’s face hardens into about an 8.3 on the Mohs scale as her family hassles her all at once is fantastic.
- Really nice animation on the overhead shots of the river flowing under the bridge.
- Good party gag: yellow police/caution tape that reads “Distressed Mother – Please Stay Back”
- After Wiggum and Quimby have their backroom fight, it’s great to see Wiggum’s resentful look as Quimby lets her go.
- I love how reassured Homer is once Marge swears she’s coming back. That’s all he needed to know.
- Such a nice and brief contrast between the wide eyed discomfort of Lisa and Bart in bed at Patty & Selma’s, and Marge realizing she can spread out at Rancho Relaxo.
- Cutting the joke off while it’s still funny: Barney spraying water into the house.
- Also, the woman horrified to have Marge’s haircut in the salon.
- Excellent absurdity: what kind of movie is titled “Calling all Quakers” AND contains the words, “Have it your way, baby.”?
16. Bart the Lover
- The Zinc filmstrip is so dead on it’s almost not a parody.
- Not all that long after this episode and its yo-yo group, my school was visited by a bunch of people who did the same thing, but for jump rope instead of yo-yos. Other than laughing at it with my friends, the only thing I remember is that they had a bootleg copy of “Partyman” by Prince that was so cheap it still had the ambient sounds and dialog from Batman in it. (Second Prince mention of the day!)
- I love that the teacher’s lounge has “happy hour”.
- A photo that’ll get your pencil moving:
I do love it when this show got away with shit.
- Much love for Lovejoy thinking Flanders was complaining about the vegetables and not the swearing.
- “Look, Homer, all of us pull a few boners now and then, go off half cocked, make asses of ourselves.”
- That’s right, Marge gives Homer a swear jar exception for when they’re snuggling. Hell yeah.
- Homer’s emotional clumsiness at a) wanting to tell Krabappel the truth, and then b) his break up ideas, are a great way for him to be a terrible person without hurting people. This way we don’t have to feel weird when he acts like a mean spirited fucktard.
17. Homer at the Bat
- The softball episode: it begins.
- Somebody scare him / That’s for the hiccups.
- Just once I would like to play a softball game with Simpsons rules: can’t leave first until you chug a beer, anyone scoring has to chug a beer, you have to chug a beer at the top of all odd numbered innings, and we’ll figure something out for the fourth inning being the beer inning. And yes, we will have a keg by first base.
- Burns’ “I disagree” wins forever.
- Known to cause gigantism.
- Smithers asks Burns what he’s going to do with his million dollars, and Burns, offhandedly, says he’s going to throw it on the pile. Right there they basically resolve the million-dollar-bet plot so they can focus on just winning the championship and Homer getting to play. You hardly notice it when it happens, but it makes the entire episode run smoothly.
- The entire sequence where the ringers fall victim to misfortune is perfectly done. It’s not a montage, it’s not done strictly in order, it’s just little pieces told well together, even the ones that take more than one scene.
- The end is such a great way for Homer to win without actually winning.
- And, another song.
18. Separate Vocations
- I went to a terrible school that was staffed by incompetents; I love this episode. Everyone’s hopes and dreams, starting with Krabappel and her masters from Bryn Mawr, are tarnished.
- “No, the army said I was too heavy, the police said I was too dumb.” That’s a great joke, making fun of two usually sacrosanct institutions by implying that the soldiers are dumb and the cops are fat.
- “You’ve inherited a finger condition known as ‘stubbiness’.” It’s impossible not to say that whenever I drop something. At this point it’s a reflex.
- Eggplant Xerxes Criminy Overbite Narwhal
- Mr. Glasscock.
- I love the panic in the teacher’s longue after they realize the kids are on the same footing that they are.
- Only Wiggum would send in the battering ram on the library.
- The locker searching scene sounds like, but is legally distinct from, Beverly Hills Cop.
- “In your pre-fascist days you knew the giddy thrill of futile rebellion.”
19. Dog of Death
- Deceptive lottery ads: still the same twenty years later.
- There’s an enjoyably ironic cruelty to making the poor Simpsons watch the rich Kent Brockman get even richer.
- “What makes a man endanger his job and, yes, even his life, by asking me for money?” Burns finger on, then off, then quickly back on the security button is a great way to make an otherwise not funny scene funny.
- Burns contempt for even the idea of recycling is awesome. He just doesn’t want to have to paw through garbage like a starving raccoon, that’s all.
- Smithers in the Girl Scout uniform!
- Rich Kent Brockman: tan, gold draped, and nearly naked, is exactly what a guy like him would do with money.
- No dogs were harmed in the drunken watching of this episode. A cat got sick, and somebody shot a duck, but that’s it.
20. Colonel Homer
- There really should’ve been a movie called “Honey, I Hit a School Bus”.
- The pig that gets tossed on stage always makes be laugh.
- Beverly D’Angelo nails everything about this part.
- Moe casually mentioning that Fudd made all those hillbillies blind is a great call back. Again, they took the time to not run a good idea into the ground.
- Homer’s complete sexual innocence makes this episode. He genuinely doesn’t understand that Lurleen wants to fuck. He’s just too stupid and loyal to get it.
- Though he’s not above failing to placate his wife, “Marge, it takes two to lie. One to lie, and one to listen.”
- All of which makes the scene in the trailer, with Beverly D’Angelo and the soundtrack turning the sexy to 11, so damn great. “Oh, that’s hot, there isn’t a man alive who wouldn’t get turned on by that . . . well, goodbye.”
- Fiberglass hay.
- And when he does finally understand what Lurleen wants, all he can think about is Marge, though not without “You would’ve gone all the way with me, wouldn’t you?” They never play it for tension, and that crucial question is resolved for Homer only after he’s walked out and has no chance with her. This is another one of those minor things that demonstrates how delicately they used to handle things. They’ll make the jokes, but they won’t ask us to pretend that Homer’s going to cheat on Marge, which we know he won’t.
21. Black Widower
- Even before they change the shot to just his face, it’s great watching Bart’s eyes as he follows Homer’s imaginary stabbing motions.
- And then there’s Homer’s denial that he’s forgetting the first two Noble Truths of the Buddha. “I am not” is too general to quote in conversation, but damn it’s funny.
- We’ve been doing this blog long enough that in many places I can just link to things like Homer’s inimitable rant about cocktail weenies.
- They were probably already going to cancel MacGyver, but if they weren’t, this episode sealed it.
- The 8pm timeslot is the supposed “family hour”, the defiling of which makes morons clutch their pearls and head for the nearest fainting couch, and Homer is literally advocating drunkenness, “stumble home in the mood for love”, as a marital aide. Even today that’d be tough to pull.
- Love Lisa’s bitterness at not being flower girl.
- Great off color animation on Bob’s pre-commercial confession in the car.
- And having him already confess to the audience, the show gets to have fun with his reluctance to actually be Selma’s husband.
- The mockery of the usual Murder She Wrote style ending is great, especially Homer and Wiggum’s failure to understand.
- It’s true, you can’t keep the Democrats out of the White House forever. Palin 2012 bitches!
22. The Otto Show
- The t-shirt of Spinal Tap kicking Libya’s unspellable leader in the butt was a timeless classic in 1992.
- Count me among the many and increasing number of people who saw the actual Spinal Tap movie long after they saw this episode. It made much more sense after.
- “We salute you, our half inflated dark lord.”
- I love the petty, knee jerk censorship of Brockman wanting to “ban all music”.
- “Slag off!”
- Skinner’s five o’clock shadow failure to drive the bus works so much better because of his earlier, clean cut confidence that he could.
- I love Patty’s instant love of Otto once she realizes he too hates Homer. It’s like the only time we ever get to see her genuinely happy, and it’s awesome.
23. Bart’s Friend Falls in Love
- There’s lot of copies of the Fluffy Bunny video online, but the surrounding scenes are just as good, especially Krabappel’s bitterness. Also, I would pay serious money for a copy of the sex ed video they made us come into school and watch on a Wednesday night in fourth grade. It was dumb at the time, I can only imagine that it would be hilarious now.
- “But in real life, Santa would be suffering from gall stones, hypertension, impotence, and diabetes.”
- We’re twenty-three episodes in at this point, and it’s just staggering how many jokes and punchlines they put into each episode. Even more impressive, they all at least kinda work. Not everything lands equally, but there aren’t any lines or subplots that thud disastrously or feel crammed in for the sake of cramming.
- I can neither paint nor draw, nor do I know enough about either to competently criticize either. But, I think a cromulent representation of Milhouse standing forlornly on the jungle gym with the trees in the background could, given a century or so, hang in a Louvre level museum:
How is that not the saddest (non-fatal) thing a kid can feel?
- Yet, yet yet another nice point: Milhouse has an uneaten meal on a tray by his bed.
- I use that metal dealy to dig food all the time.
- Ne pas de boys.
- Though I’m already two images in on this episode, it would be derelict of me not to include this:
24. Brother, C.an You Spare Two Dimes?
- I defy anyone not to crack up at the perfect formation of the “normal” sample of Smithers sperm. It looks like an aerial stun squadron.
- I can’t transcribe it, but I’m pretty sure you know what I’m talking about when I say that Burns’ scene with his lawyers is a kind of angry poetry.
- Great fourth wall scene as Homer says he life can’t get any worse.
- Smokin’ Joe : Great Cameo
- Krusty Brand Sulfuric Acid
- My brother has a drinking bird. The bastard.
- “This leash demeans us both.”
- “Alright, but I never really hugged a man before”:
- And that’s it folks, thanks for reading. I’m gonna take a nap. Windows Live Writer tells me that this is at about 5,200 words. But even granting 1,000 words per picture, I’ve still fallen haplessly short. These can only be watched, and I’m glad I did.
- For good measure (the bottles came first):
Both images from Conservation International.
“Why here’s the fellow. Wiry, fast, firm proud buttocks, reminds me of me.” – C.M. Burns
Deep in the jungle primeval in Colombia, a couple of new species were discovered, a frog and two toads, to be precise. One of them, pictured above of the genus Rhinella, was dubbed, in an excellent publicity ploy, the “Mr. Burns” toad. Unlike that “Homer Simpson gene” from a few months ago, these scientists have a Simpsons alum to back up their gimmick. Here’s Dr. Robin Moore:
"As for the new beaked toad, it is easily one of the strangest amphibians I have ever seen. Its long pointy snout-liked nose reminds me of the nefarious villain, Mr. Burns, from The Simpsons television series."
After seeing pictures of the new species, Simpsons series long time writer/producer and amphibian enthusiast, George Meyer said of the resemblance, "The toad’s imperious profile and squinty eyes indeed look like Monty Burns." Meyer is an active member of Conservation International’s Chairman’s Council.
Here’s the toad looking imperial and godlike:
“Just think what we can buy with that money: history books that know how the Korean War came out, math books that don’t have that base six crap in them, and a state of the art detention hall where children are held in place with magnets.” – Principal Skinner
For whatever reason there were a lot of lists of ten this week, which gives me the perfect excuse to link to the classic “Powers of 10” science video. We’ve also got lots of excellent usage, a giant donut I assume was a movie tie in, a technical discussion that cites Comic Book Guy, and the best Mother’s Day video ever. Enjoy.
Creatively uncommon – Excellent usage.
Proud of Being Ignorant – Barack Obama gave a speech where he said:
With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations–none of which I know how to work
Which lead to video of Bleeding Gums Murphy’s guest appearance on The Cosby Show.
It’s a good thing mothers can even love nerds – Awesome and uber-nerdy Mother’s Day YouTube video combined with slightly off but perfectly apt usage.
Dear L. L. Bean: I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change – Bart’s definition of a paradox is ever so slightly off here, but it’s not in quotes so I’m still calling it excellent usage.
Lisa Simpson fan… – Click through for a cool as hell Lisa collage that’s signed by Yeardley Smith.
donuts are awsome! – I assume this is old, but I’d never seen it before. Basically, it’s the ur-donut.
Tera Trevino Will Bring Friendswood’s Low-Rider Culture To A Shocked America – Excellent usage:
Remember Nelson Muntz coming out of Naked Lunch with Bart Simpson et al? "I can think of at least two things wrong with that title," he says.
That’s the general sense viewers of ABC’s Wife Swap get.
The 40 Best Cartoon Characters of All Time – This is one of those lists that’s spread over a ton of pages to artificially inflate the pageviews, so I’ll just give you the summary:
It goes almost without saying that no other show had anywhere near that many characters on the list.
Top Ten TV Moms. (Now with 50% more Marion Ross!) – Marge checks in at #5, and I like the inclusion of Bob Saget.
10 Clowns That Won’t Make You Laugh! – Though he makes me laugh, Krusty is #10. #1 is John Wayne Gacy.
Bit Rate and Baud Rate and THE SIMPSONS – A discussion of bits and bauds with excellent usage from Comic Book Guy’s failed attempt to see Kate Mulgrew naked.
Last Night’s Top Chef Masters Didn’t Have Me Saying "D’Oh!" – Groening and Azaria were on Top Chef Masters, this reviewer was pleased.
Ranking Bob Dylan Songs, #23: Blowin’ In The Wind – Our old friends at No Pun Intended are breaking down Bob Dylan, and this one comes with excellent usage.
Today, I made Matt Groening Proud! – Excellent usage and a neat t-shirt. Bravo.
Music Editor for "The Simpsons" shares the importance of music – Pretty much what it says, with a little behind the scenes info on the scoring.
Post Final Musings – Congratulations on graduating, and I enjoyed the backstory behind the quote, but nobody ever seems to get this quote right:
(Lisa) “I’m going to become a vegetarian”
(Homer) “Does that mean you’re not going to eat any pork?”
“Dad all those meats come from the same animal”
“Right Lisa, some wonderful, magical animal!”
For the record, the quote is:
Homer: Lisa, honey, are you saying you’re never going eat any animal again? What about bacon?
Homer: Pork chops?
Lisa: Dad! Those all come from the same animal!
Homer: Yeah right, Lisa, a wonderful, magical animal.
Simpsons Charactors We Need More Of – I long ago gave up any hope of the show becoming watchable again, but this is a mildly interesting list, and I love the picture of Kang and Kodos.
Happy Birthday, The Simpsons! – Much too much Zombie Simpsons on here, but there’s some decent Simpsons love as well.
That one animated TV show – And finally, someone who agrees with us:
Remember when you looked forward to watching a new episode of the Simpsons?
Click through for a sweet animated .gif.
“In fact, every copy of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” has been checked out from the Springfield Public Library. Of course the book does not contain any hints on how to win the lottery, it is rather a chilling tale of conformity gone mad.” – Kent Brockman
We have an entire week to pick apart this pedestrian and lifeless Zombie Simpsons outing. There are plenty of recycled jokes, gaping plot contradictions, and labored set pieces with which to play. (When winning the lottery is the most relatable thing that happens there is little hope for anything but fail.) For right now though I’ll just say one thing. When The Simpsons was still on the air it treated the lottery as what it really is: a tax on the mathematically ignorant that taunts the poor into furthering their poverty. Zombie Simpsons treats the lottery the way the mathematically ignorant see it, as a plausibility upon which self important fantasies can be based. There is, I suppose, a certain populist charm to that fantastic notion, but naive hope and wanton stupidity did not make this show what it was.
“What’s the matter boy? Don’t you know me? I’m your buddy! I love you boy.” – Bart Simpson
It’s always heartwarming to see a lapdog and its owner reconciled, especially when the rekindled love comes about because they remembered the good times. This week’s IGN review was a fawning love letter, not so much for any of this episode’s original content but just because Zombie Simpsons opened the nostalgia valve all the way. As Dave said in our chat, the Plow King was “fan service” and, lo and behold, the mere appearance of the Plow King, however jokeless it may have been, “brought a smile”. As always, I’ve edited out the synergy.
December 14, 2009 – With its focus on Bart’s longing for a little brother, "O Brother, Where Bart Thou?" was a fun forgettable and entertaining formulaic outing for The Simpsons Zombie Simpsons. Packed with guest voices, the episode did well by sticking to floundered with one main story instead of adding an even weaker "B" storyline to fill out the half hour. Though Bart may never get his younger brother, we at least got another low quality episode after a couple less than impressive installments.
Things began with Springfield getting hit by a snowstorm, causing the schools to shut down and giving Bart a snow day. Comically With contrived CGI, the weather prevented Bart from ever getting outside, and once stuck in the house, a power outage prevented Bart from enjoying his videogames and DVDs. Bart’s attempt to watch "Itchy and Scratchy" using the electricity he could generate from rubbing a balloon against his hair was a highlight particularly stupid but did take up a lot of his struggle to find something to do. Meanwhile, Lisa and Maggie were playing together and enjoying their sisterly bond. Bart tried to play with his sisters for some reason, but was put off by their dress-up game. Bart tried to cover for having no one to play with by insisting he was "a bad ass loner like Wolverine, who leaves whenever people beg him to stay."
That evening, despite claiming no dream pointless, time killing storyFAIL could convince him he needed a little brother, a dream convinced Bart he needed a little brother. The dream wasted a lot of fun time, starting with cameos from the Marx Brothers and the Blues Brothers. We also got a glimpse of Sideshow Bob and his brother Cecil flying kites together. The series, of late, seems to be referencing older episodes more often. [Ed. Note: No shit.] Whether a conscious decision because of the anniversary season, or just a coincidence, it works as a short cut to reminiscent laughs serves to highlight how creatively bankrupt this show has become. This episode also had Barney as The Plow King. No real joke was involved, but it brought a smile to this long-time fan’s face served to reinforce the fact that this show’s only remaining appeal is through nostalgia.
Other notables in Bart’s brother dream were the Manning brothers Peyton and Eli, plus their older brother Cooper. If you don’t know, Cooper was also on track for a professional football career until he was sidelined by injury, so his bragging about high school achievements to his Super Bowl winning brothers was funny and bittersweet factually correct. The Smothers Brothers cameo (and closing credit dialogue—"naked bacon") was also a lot of fun, more pointless nostalgia for anyone old enough to know whom the Smothers Brothers are. Now wanting a younger brother, Bart set out to make it happen in horrifyingly characterless and boring ways.
This was a fine what passed for a storyline, and offered up a number of great bits ways to make it to the credits. Bart’s failed attempts to trick his parents into fornicating were enjoyable outright dull, including Marge and Homer attempting a position from the Kama Sutra: "You’re ankle goes there." "Hand me your neck." The South Park reference was cute about nine years too late, but still lacked any real joke. Bart imagining his future with a third sister was also fun cribbed from a less moribund franchise, with Kim Cattrall offering up another guest voice for the episode.
Bart’s one day with a little brother (an orphan voiced by Jordan Nagai, Russell from Up) was also enjoyable labored beyond all hope of entertainment. It offered up my favorite line of the episode ("He’s just like Annie, except he’s a dude and he hates tomorrow.") plus it taught us a great lesson about poking dead animals with a stick: "Don’t go straight for the eyes. Build up to it." Best of all, like the better Simpsons most brainless schlocky Zombie Simpsons episodes, it ended with a sweet moment crammed down our eyeballs reminding us that even with all his shortcomings, Bart will always have his dad… to watch torture porn R-rated movies with.
Of all the many things that limit commercially supported television programs, the need to cram the story into a defined schedule, complete with rigidly timed advertising breaks, may be the most restrictive. It’s not easy to tell a story in a such a specific amount of time, much less with the need for a small cliffhanger every six to eight minutes. Naturally The Simpsons always handled this with aplomb and one of the cleverest instances of it comes from Season 3’s “Dog of Death”.
Just after the family’s lottery hopes are dashed, and they are put through the cruel wringer of witnessing a man already fabulously wealthier than them winning it right in front of their eyes, Grandpa announces “Hey, the dog’s dead.” There’s a startled gasp from the family, a few notes of sad horn music, and a shot of a lifeless Santa’s Little Helper. Cut to commercial.
The show returns to a shot of the dog clearly breathing. Bart and Homer object to Grandpa’s pre-act break diagnosis. Then Lisa finishes it off, rather angrily, with “It’s not fair to toy with people’s emotions like that.” That line is perfect; it’s quick, subtle, and it makes fun of the format, the writers and their contempt for the audience. It doesn’t slow the program down at all, as soon as it’s uttered Grandpa begins insisting (shades of reverse Monty Python) that contrary to all evidence the dog is indeed dead.
That brief exchange, which lasts less than ten seconds, is a masterpiece of television comedy.
“Now here’s a film that will turn you into a vicious, soulless killer. Enjoy.” – C.M. Burns
Season 21 starts tonight, find your happy place and remember: there are still good and decent things in the world, just not on FOX Sundays at 8.
“Hey Homer, what’d you do, get a haircut or something?” – Lenny
“Look closer, Lenny.” – Gold Homer
“Oh, I know what it is. You’re the biggest man in the world now, and you’re covered in gold.” – Lenny
“Fourteen karat gold!” – Gold Homer
“I love animals; I’ve spent my life saving them and they can’t thank me. Well, the parrots can, but anyway let’s see what’s wrong with this little fella.” – Springfield Veterinarian
Our first item this week is a dog that needed emergency surgery because of Simpsons merchandise. Given the sheer amount and amazing variety of stuff that’s been produced over the years (and the years still to come), anthropologists working a thousand years from now may conclude that this “The Simpsons” was a religious cult based around icon worship. Also, we’ve got some more about the stamps (which came out this week), a meandering essay about religion and Flanders, and Simpsons usage ranging from top notch to incredibly awful.
Doh! Dixie The Dog Swallows Simpson Toy – A dog in Scotland ate a chocolate egg with a small, plastic Homer figure hidden in it. Surgery was required. At the link there’s a nice X-ray image of the Homer-egg while it was still inside the dog, and there’s a picture of the dog with the thing removed here.
Cowabunga, dude! ‘Simpsons’ stamps get special cancellation – For the next thirty days the post office in Springfield, OH will be doing a Bart Simpson cancellation of your Simpsons stamp, all you have to do is write in with a self-addressed Simpsons-stamped envelope.
Woo hoo! “The Simpsons” Come to Simpsonville with Special Postmarks - Ditto Simpsonville, SC.
Clash of the toons – A brief history of the always tedious battle between Family Guy and Zombie Simpsons, with a dash of South Park thrown in for good measure.
Deerhunter frontman talks new EP, future plans – A marathon session of season 17? Jebus, that’s a depressing thought.
The Simpsons – A Hive of Venomous Patriarchy – Our friend the Communist Critic is at it again.
‘Draft widow’ gives in to CFL obsession – It’s that time of year again, time for CFL draft mania! The quote is a tiny bit off, but this still qualifies as excellent usage.
‘Dollhouse’ exclusive: Alpha breaks his silence! – I am not a ‘Dollhouse’ watcher, but anytime I see an actor refer to himself as having “a Ned Flanders kind of body”, it gets linked.
What mom really wants – A Canadian survey shows that:
The Cosby Show’s Claire Huxtable rated as respondents’ favourite mom (23%), with Jill Taylor from Home Improvement coming a close second (19%) and Marge Simpson ranked third at 14%. Least favourite? Bree Van De Kamp from Desperate Housewives.
I guess June Cleaver and Morticia Adams weren’t options.
God is back: How Ned Flanders won the evangelical crusade - Want to read a 3,000 word diatribe on how religion (mostly Jebus) is thriving in today’s society? No? How about if I told you it had lots of Ned Flanders in it? Still no? Well, I tried.
Even X-Men Know: Today’s Free Comic Book Day - It’s misquoted but it’s still decent usage.
Nothing’s impossible - Now this is excellent usage, pertinent and perfectly quoted. Also, the video of the old-people mask being made is pretty cool. I still think most old-people makeup in movies and on television looks fake, but it’s not for a lack of effort.
8 Simpson Chalkboard Gags That Should’ve Landed Bart in Prison (Not Detention) – The actual legal penalties for various evil deeds for which Bart has been punished over the years. (via)
Lindsay Lohan Is Self-destructive, Say Friends. Duh! - I realize this is a Simpsons site, and that we’re sticklers for good usage in a way that most people would probably find silly, but this isn’t just bad usage, this is straight up pop-culture ignorance on an amazing scale:
As Homer Simpson would say, “Duh!”
Yeah, that’s Homer’s famous catchphrase alright, “Duh!”. And it’s not like Robert Paul Reyes of News Blaze is some elderly librarian trying to be hip in the church bulletin or the like, he’s writing a gossip column, pop-culture is his stock in trade. Epic fail. (Also, fuck you for making me click on a Lindsay Lohan story.)
Top 10 ‘Simpsons’ Prank Calls – Why is this at the Chicago Tribune‘s website? Who cares? It’s funny and there’s nary a one from Zombie Simpsons. The list bears a striking resemblance to this page at SNPP, including a couple of minor quoting errors, so methinks Mike Holtzclaw didn’t exactly look these up himself. Shame on him for not linking, but hooray for prank call lists.
For whatever it’s worth, in my experience SNPP does a better job than anyone else at strict quote accuracy, but even they’ve got a few little misses. Sometimes these are debatable because more than one word fits, but in this case quote #10 on the Tribune link is clearly wrong. Both it and the SNPP page have part of Moe’s response as, “I’m gonna kill you!” when he actually says “I’ll kill you!” It’s not, obviously, a big deal, but it does show that Holtzclaw copied these and didn’t link instead of looking them up himself.
By avoiding anything and everything that had to do with the Simpsons stamps this week I got a pretty motley group, from triceratops to transvestism.
New Fossil Discovery in Montana’s Homer Site – More news from our favorite Triceratops dig, apparently juveniles lived in groups. No word on whether or not the mother was a put upon housewife.
Kids, writing should never be a punishment – A guy in Minnesota thinks that making students write lines or punitive essays is a bad practice. Here’s the Simpsons part:
Checking online, apparently writing still serves as a punishment in some schools, though it isn’t as widespread as it once was and it was never as widespread as the entertainment field makes it out to be. (Think Bart Simpson at the introduction to “The Simpsons.”)
The practice was going out of style, but I spent some time in the late eighties and early nineties writing things over and over again (on a chalkboard and on paper). I thought it was pretty common.
The Hours: 24, Season 7: The weaponized megavirus will be ready at the end of the episode. – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: 24 is unwatchably bad. Here’s the passage that got it linked today:
Some mercs in an armored Humvee drive by, so Knowles tries to create a distraction, Bart Simpson style, which means he pretty much just runs out and yells “Look at me, everybody, I’m Chairman of the Board!” They throw his dumb ass in the back of the Humvee.
I don’t know about you, but I’m sure on the edge of my seat.
What belongs in the Oregon encyclopedia? – If you’re in Corvallis (home of Oregon State University) you can attend a lecture on the 27th about assembling the Oregon Encyclopedia titled, “What Beavers, Ducks, Bart Simpson and Leroy Vinnegar Have in Common, or How to Make a State Encyclopedia of Oregon.” Groening is from Oregon, hence Bart makes the cut.
Teacher becomes blue-haired lunch lady to settle a good-natured bet – At last, an excuse to wear makeup.
Chatting Up Chicks The Vassar Way – This is stupid, but it makes the links for having both an explicit Simpsons reference at the get go and a slightly subtler one in the middle.
Friday’s TV: Medium – This kind of crap cannot go unchallenged:
Despite its age, The Simpsons survives. The writing isn’t as sharp as it once was (the best years were somewhere in the middle, where it played a little closer to the darkness) but this is still a robust, engaging comedy with a lot to say about American life.
Were it a weaker program it might have resorted to aping its nemesis, Family Guy, with the non sequiturs and pop-culture references that have made that show a must-watch comedy. But The Simpsons is better than that and deserves some respect for staying true to itself.
I want you to hang up, call me back and say the exact opposite of everything you just said.
Steve and Mia: She’s longing for a romantic man – Steve the advice columnist accurately quotes Lisa and does so in context. Excellent usage.
The Price of Admission – This is about Cornell admitting more rich dolts instead of poorer brainiacs and it also contains a well formulated Simpsons analogy.
Green Energy Act a Trojan horse for building more nuclear reactors – A bunch of Greenpeace protesters in Canada donned Mr. Burns masks. This image is a little small, but you can see a bunch of yellow heads pretty clearly.
The Simpsons Softball Team: 2009 Edition – What players would Mr. Burns use as ringers today? After all, Cap Anson and Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown are still dead.