“They must think people will watch anything.” – Homer Simpson
“Live from New Orleans, this is the World Series of cock fighting! Oh, son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou tonight!” – TV Announcer
Posts Tagged ‘Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment
“I’m so keen on seeing Watson vs. Tatum II, I’d even go to an employee’s house. Oh, I can picture it now, the screen door rusting off its filthy hinges, mangy dogs staggering about, looking vainly for a place to die.” – C.M. Burns
“Now, today’s Christian doesn’t think he needs God. He thinks he’s got it made. He’s got his hi-fi, his boob tube, and his instant pizza pie.” – Reverend Lovejoy
“Ooh, pizza.” – Homer Simpson
After we got such a positive response when we did those posts about “Lisa’s First Word”, and caught in the barren wasteland of the week it’s been around here, I thought I’d go back through the commentary tracks for The Simpsons and see what’s there. For the record, I have only ever heard a tiny handful of these. I got most of the DVD sets as soon as they came out, but I never listened to more than a couple of the commentaries because I often found myself just wanting to watch the episodes instead.
Remember, the early Naughts were an awkward time to watch the good episodes. Unless you were a VHS obsessive, the only way to see the old ones was on syndication. Season 2 came out on DVD in 2002, between Seasons 13 and 14, when the syndication runs were already substantially polluted with Zombie Simpsons. Nor did they always rerun the episodes in order or even equally. The first time I sat down with the Season 2 discs, I was amazed at the number of episodes I hadn’t seen in a couple of years or more.
Just based on this and the one or two other classic commentaries I’ve heard since I started doing “Lies Make Baby Jesus Cry”, the biggest difference is the lack of meandering tangents. There are still some long silences here and there, but they never stray from the episode. Literally everything they say is directly related to what’s going on. The second biggest difference is the fact that they laugh a lot more. And it’s not nervous laughter at something dumb, it’s fun giggles and chuckles at stuff they enjoyed or even had forgotten. There’s never a sense that they’re bored or killing time.
Five guys on this one, Al Jean, Steve Pepoon, Mike Reiss, Matt Groening, and Rich Moore
0:30 – Already into interesting trivia, as they originally had it titled without Lisa’s name, but episodes with her name in the title were always popular so they added it.
1:50 – Moore (I think) says that this was the first time they had a really busy sky, with a lot of clouds.
2:20 – Love for Hartman and his Charlton Heston impression.
3:00 – They really enjoyed doing all the cable channel parodies, which at the time no one had done.
3:30 – Noting Homer falling in front of the truck is “shot by shot” from North by Northwest.
3:35 – Someone (think it’s Reiss) says, impressed, “We’ve gone from Cecil B. DeMille to Hitchcock and we’re a minute-three into the episode.”
4:15 – Laughing at the potted plant Marge is holding, all in the service of a background gag that never gets mentioned.
5:00 – Laughing at the set for “Hear Me Roar: the network for women”.
5:40 – Laughing at the World Series of Cockfighting and pointing out that it’s Shearer doing the voice.
6:00 – More laughter at Lovejoy’s sermon.
7:40 – The “you’re no longer in Sunday school, don’t swear” is Pepoon’s favorite joke he ever wrote.
8:10 – Doug McClure, one of the guys they based Troy McClure off of, thought this was funny.
8:40 – Complimenting Moore on the animation as the living room dissolves into Hell.
9:15 – Laughing at the rolling shopping cart and Jimbo shoplifting apples.
10:00 – Reiss really enjoys episodes with strong themes like this, where they can play off of it endlessly. He cites the grape theft as a good example.
10:20 – Someone, not sure who, “Homer seems a lot more real in this episode than he seemed to become in a lot of the later episodes.” We know. Oh, how we know.
10:45 – They have a brief discussion about Homer becoming dumber over the years, which ends with them pegging his IQ at zero in Season 13, which they would’ve been working on right about the time they recorded this commentary. There you have it, proof that Zombie Simpsons has been flat lining ever since.
11:40 – Someone giggles at the fact that Burns has a video camera trained on the showers.
12:05 – Called themselves “a little intoxicated” writing Burns’ “florid prose”.
12:50 – Speculating that if they ever run out of ideas they can spin off the minor characters into their own programs. Look for “The Moe Show” in 2060.
13:15 – Laughing at Lovejoy and Lisa.
14:35 – Discussion about how they make the television flicker effect. Sometimes it’s animated on, but this was a second pass of the camera.
15:10 – Marge and Homer talking in bed is always really hard to stage. Jay Kogen acted out how Homer should put his foot down for the animators.
15:30 – The ever so brief “I was poor like you” line as Homer’s flipping channels was based on Tom Vu. It’s been more than twenty years, who knows how many viewings, and I never knew that was based on a real guy.
16:20 – Reiss (I think) points out how you can see the tape on Bart’s top hat, and it really makes it look like something he made himself out of construction paper. Now it’s like Bart has “access to some costume warehouse”.
16:40 – At the script reading, they all looked over a James L. Brooks when they read out “Broadcast Nudes” because he had written Broadcast News, but he gave no reaction.
17:45 – Jean thinks the name “Drederick” came from a real fighter George Meyer once saw.
18:25 – Laughing at all the quick action as Homer hides the stuff he stole.
18:55 – Laughing at Burns thinking Barney is Homer.
19:25 – Laughing at Homer instantly trying to shift all the blame for the illegal cable onto his wife when Lou and Eddie show up.
21:45 – Laughing that Burns recounting of the old fight he saw would make him about a 120 years old.
22:05 – Noticing that the Atlanta Braves joke doesn’t work as well since at the time they were only on cable because they were dead last, then they got super good for an entire decade. Joe Franklin’s the same way.
22:40 – Trying to remember which shows they beat out for an Emmy with this one. They’re not sure.
“Wait a minute, Troy, I’m a little confused. Did you say ‘Cleans and straightens’?” – Tina
“There’s no confusion, Tina, just good science.” – Troy McClure
Happy 20th Anniversary to “Homer vs. Lisa and the Eighth Commandment”! Original airdate: 7 February 1991.
“Son, you shouldn’t watch that other channel, it’s only for mommies and daddies who love each other very much.” – Homer Simpson
There were two Simpsons YouTube videos this week that garnered quite a bit of attention. Taken together, they make for a rather funny statement on the current status of the show. The first was a clip The Simpsons made back when The Cosby Show finally went off the air. The second is a porn parody of the show slathered in yellow makeup. I’d say that’s about where we are. There’s also some excellent usage and the usual assortment of Simpsons ephemera. As always, feel free to put anything Simpsons related you found on-line this week in the comments, self promotional links encouraged.
Long-Lost Simpsons Clip Resurfaces – I vaguely remember this:
There’s some background at the link to rubbercat.net/simpsons, long story short:
Yes, Golden Age Simpsons managed to burn the current incarnation of the show from years in the past. The ownage levels are off the charts.
Are you friggin excrementing me? Safe for work Trailer for… SIMPSONS – THE XXX PARODY??? – Via Bill Oakley’s Twitter feed, followed swiftly by everyone else on the internet, it’s the trailer for the Simpsons porn parody:
I don’t think I could actually jerk off to that, but I gotta admit, some of the voices aren’t bad. Marge isn’t even close, obviously, but both the guy playing Homer and the one playing Flanders do pretty good impressions. The off screen Barney is decent as well, and it gets points for remembering that Cookie Kwan is number one on the west side.
Muston Scarecrow Festival – Check out these Simpsons scarecrows from Britain. Homer, Bart and Lisa look pretty good, Marge kinda looks like her chest is pregnant. Still, that’s cool, damn hell ass cool (via rubbrcatsimp on Twitter).
Two Films That Subtly Changed Some of My Attitudes About Movies and Life – I was entertained by Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, but this is both excellent usage and pretty true:
How do we know Scott is worthy of our attention? Because every other character in the movie talks about and/or reacts to Scott all the time. It’s like the scene in The Simpsons‘ "The Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie Show" where Homer gives the show’s producers a list of ways to make viewers love the Poochie character, once of which is "Whenever Poochie’s not onscreen, the other characters should be asking, ‘Where’s Poochie?’"
Homer actually puts an “all” in front of “the other”, but other than that it’s spot on.
Homer Simpson YouTube Background – Are you a YouTube member? Here’s a Homer background.
Ophiuchus…In 10 Words – Homer’s horoscope, and his wailing reaction to it, always cracks me up.
The Simpsons Porn Parody…In 10 Words – A twofer, this one being about everyone’s favorite Simpsons topic this week. Though Flanders calls him “Homey”, not “Homer”, but that’s nitpicking.
Teachable TV – Nice little write up of Denise Du Vernay, one of the co-authors of that Simpsons in the classroom book.
all over again, repeating – Perfectly quoting from “Bart vs. Thanksgiving” about what sort of sounds like a break up is excellent usage.
Trailer: The Green Hornet – A discussion of why The Green Hornet is likely to suck, with excellent Skinner usage at the end:
Prove me wrong, kids. Prove me wrong.
Review: TRON Legacy – More excellent usage from the same website as the above:
Allow me to start my review by embracing my inner-geek; in the seventh season “Treehouse of Horror” episode of The Simpsons, Homer finds himself catapulted into a new dimension where he becomes rendered in 3D. When asked by his family what his new surroundings are like he responds, “Did anyone see the movie TRON?” Everyone quickly answers in the negative. Well, I wish I didn’t see TRON: Legacy.
Serendipitous Relevance and American Lit – A teacher uses pop culture to remind his students that everything from rap music to movies is influenced by older literature. But what, may I ask, is wrong with Season 2?:
Now if only I could find a more recent reference for Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea than a second season episode of The Simpsons…
For the record, I didn’t understand “A little ketchup for your buns, Papa?” until many years after I saw it.
Droid Streamer Pro – So Long Productivity, Nice Knowing You – Streaming some Season 5 episodes on a 3G connection.
Crossfade: My favorite bands that appear on The Simpsons – This list gets a little Zombie Simpsons towards the end, but then it finishes with YouTube of The Ramones at Burns’ birthday party.
So it Begins: Top 10 TV Show Intros – Simpsons only checks in at #8. Despite writing, “Though no one actually watches this show anymore, it at one time was beloved” it uses the HD Zombie Simpsons opening. That aside, there is some decent teevee nostalgia YouTube here.
They’re everywhere III – A blog called “11:23” with a clip from “Brother from the Same Planet” showing the clock at . . . well, you get the idea.
Episode 23-Star Wars, Alan Moore and Stuff – A comic book podcast where they discuss, among other things, Neil Gaiman’s upcoming guest spot (thanks to Andreas for e-mailing about that) on Zombie Simpsons and how the show now has more bad episodes than good. The Simpsons part starts around 8:15 and last about three minutes.
Homer Simpson’s Top 10 Inventory Management Tips – Part 2 – This is the second half of that list I linked last week. Once again the quotes look good at a glance, with one exception: Forfty!
Why on The Simpsons "The Good Book" read by Larry King end with Malachi and not Revelation? – I probably shouldn’t expect much more from a website called “Your Celeb Questions”, but this is pretty funny:
The episode "One Fish Two Fish Blowfish Bluefish" Homer eats Fugu at a Japanese Sushi restaurant and is given 24 hours to live. He finishes his last day listening to "The Good Book" on tape, read by Larry King and it ends with Malachi. "The End" said Larry King. No, that’s not the end, Larry. You have 27 more books to go.
The Simpsons are Christians they are not Jews so why didn’t it end with Revelation?
Some Jew Larry King is.
The commenters at least seem sane.
“Are you sure this is legal?” – Marge Simpson
“Don’t worry, Marge. Take a look at this.” – Homer Simpson
“Myth: It’s only fair to pay for quality, first run movies. Fact: Most movies shown on cable get two stars or less, and are repeated ad nauseum.” – Marge Simpson
Image used under Creative Commons license from Flickr user Salim Virji.
“I think stealing cable is wrong. So I’m choosing not to watch it in the hope that others will follow my example. It’s the last you’ll hear from me on the matter. Thank you for your time.” – Lisa Simpson
We’re no strangers to traffic whoring here at the Dead Homer Society. (Will Pornography Monday return this summer? You get two guesses, but you’re only going to need one.) But even I have my limits, and this week there are some things I’m boycotting completely and not linking. The first is a World Cup video Nike made to showcase their stable of athletes; Homer’s in it for a split second and I couldn’t care less. The second is the numerous radio station “blogs” that put up a screen capture of Zombie Simpsons’ Lost related chalkboard item this week. I put blogs in quotes because many of these sites are identical (same text, same image, same layout), they’re just for different radio stations that are, no doubt, owned by the same conglomerate. Remember what Mad Jon said about the DJ 3000 being real? Well those carbon copy web pages are what the DJ 3000 looks like on the internet. Also, Entertainment Weekly put Homer on their cover, but their website is so poorly designed that I’m not even going to bother. Hmmm, maybe I’m still grumpy from seven straight weeks of new Zombie Simpsons? Nah. Of course, we’ve also got some excellent usage (much in relation to series finales), some poor usage, some art, and an escape from video game damnation.
9th drawing: Baby Bart Simpson – This is a rather hypnotic YouTube of someone drawing Bart as a baby. There are a few others in the series.
How to draw Maggie Simpson – Maybe I’m the only one who likes watching people draw things, but I find these fascinating.
Cubee – Ned Flanders – If I were allowed to use scissors I’d try and make this. Awesome.
10 Famous Wingmen – Milhouse is on here. Other than that, quite lame.
To Paraphrase The Simpsons – Excellent usage:
Bart – "Dad, why did you take me to a gay logging camp?"
Homer – "I don’t know!"
Click through for the picture that explains it.
Grill with Homer Simpson – Not really, but grilling season is coming up. Good Morning Burger, anyone?
Connecting with Games: The Simpsons Arcade Trip – Jean-Paul Sartre’s most famous work is a play about eternal torment. Some clever screenwriter needs to update it so that instead of “Hell is other people”, it’s “Hell is unfinished video games”. It’s good to see someone got over the hump on the original Simpsons game. Also, Homer does kind of have his face in Marge’s crotch on that cover image. Mmmm, vagina. (via)
The Simpsons Quotes – I didn’t verify these, but they look pretty good.
The Simpsons Cartoon Studio – I can’t believe I’ve never heard of this before, but it looks terrible.
Simon’s Final Judgment – This is mostly about Simon Cowell and isn’t worth your time, I’d just like to point out the opening:
Say whatever you like about the folks at Fox: they know how to promote – and cross-promote – their shows.
The season finale of "The Simpsons" served as a virtual commercial for Wednesday’s season finale of "American Idol."
Yes, yes it did.
Cow and bundle, mom! – An awesome picture of a crappy bootleg Bart doll.
BP’s slick responses – Look, I’m as pissed off at BP and company as anyone. Their negligence has caused the biggest, most damaging, and longest lasting environmental disaster in American history. That said, it’s no excuse for poor usage:
It is bad enough to have the top executives of the involved parties (BP, Halliburton, and Transocean) come before Federal authorities in a commission hearing and do their Bart Simpson-like “It wasn’t me” avoidance of responsibility routine.
“It wasn’t me”? Barney got is closer on Bart Chat when he said “I didn’t do nothing.” The real line is, of course, “I didn’t do it.”
Dove + Simpsons, Flintstones, Jetsons & Scooby Doo – This is not in English, and Google Translate did a more incoherent job than usual, but you don’t need to read it. It’s pictures of some shampoo ad featuring cartoon women, Marge, Jane, Wilma, and Velma.
“Lisa, You’re Not Sprinkling Your Sparkles” – Lisa rules, we all know this. But only in the 90s. Now? Not so much.
Thoughts on Endings: Lost, Infinite Seriality, The Illusion of Change, and What It All Has to Do With Literary Fiction – My apathy towards Lost is close enough to total that I don’t care enough to give this sentence a proper ending. But this . . .
Maybe it’s because of this quote from the immortal Poochie episode of The Simpsons: “The thing is, there’s not really anything wrong with the Itchy & Scratchy show, it’s as good as ever. But after so many years, the characters just can’t have the same impact they once had.”
. . . is excellent usage, and that I care about.
24 8.23-24: The last day of our acquaintance – 24 was always way too unintentionally funny for me to get into it, but this, in regards to the series finale, is excellent usage:
Ah, well. It’s over. As Marge Simpson once said, when Homer wasn’t sure if a problem was properly resolved, “It’s an ending. That’s enough.”
Perfectly quoted and very apt.
The show grew a life of itself and just started taking from anything it could get… including itself. It started relying on just what South Park made of fun Family Guy for: pop culture references instead of jokes. Satire turned into spoof, turned into lampoon and the real base of the show, the core died with the lack of creativity that’s plastered onto some of our favorite characters week after week.
Rot in hell, Zombie Simpsons.
College Humor created a Billy Joel parody video about the cliched stupidity of many comment threads. I found it on boing boing a couple of days ago and I’ll let them explain:
College Humor made a hillarious [sic] (NSFW) music video about the deterioration of comment threads, to the tune of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire.” As a wise man once said, “It’s funny cause it’s true.” We Didn’t Start The Flame War (Thanks, Vann Hall!)
The “Simpsons did it” line comes at the 0:25 mark, followed immediately by the “southpark did it too” line (the entire 2:40 is worth your time if you’re bored). I bring it up to point out two things. First, it’s now been seven years since the South Park episode “Simpsons Already Did It”. And second, College Humor has a pretty keen sense of popular culture, the inclusion of the “Simpsons did it” line speaks volumes about just how worn the continuation of Zombie Simpsons really is.
Also: Excellent usage by boing boing’s David Pescovitz.