“Alright, here’s the deal: every time you watch my show, I will send you forty dollars!” – Krusty the Klown
“Checks will not be honored.” – TV Announcer
Posts Tagged ‘Krusty Gets Kancelled
“What’s Gabbo?” – Bart Simpson
“I figure it’s some guy’s name. Some guy named Gabbo.” – Homer Simpson
It’s been relatively quiet around here the last few weeks. I’ve had a Season 16 disc from Netflix sitting next to my computer since the beginning of the month, but haven’t yet gotten around to more Lies Make Baby Jesus Cry or anything else. However, it was all in the service of something equally pointless: another little mini-book. It’s much shorter than “Zombie Simpsons”, so even using the word “book” feels like a stretch, but it does have a cover:
In case my indirect and overlong title is confusing, it’s about The Simpsons: Tapped Out and it’s not flattering. The full announcement post should go up on Tuesday of next week, though this thing has already taken so much longer than I originally intended that I wouldn’t carve that in stone or anything. I sincerely hope you all like it, but I’ll forewarn you that it’s far more about the game than it is about the show.
For today, we’ve got a decent if somewhat skinny (it is summer, after all) link selection. We’ve got a couple more play reviews, the possible origin of the Mathemagician, more Bartkira art, the artist currently known as Pitbull, and frickin’ bacon donuts.
Mmm…collectibles: estate sale at home of Homer Simpson’s dad - Castellaneta’s father’s stuff is for sale in suburban Chicago today and tomorrow. Click through for the drawing of Dan done by his dad.
My Tapped Out Anniversary - I didn’t make it a whole year, but I understand. Keep up the good work.
Talk Tuesdays w/ Steve Reiss, The Math Magician and The Most Boring Author in San Diego - I did not know this, but apparently Mike Reiss has a brother who is a “Math Magician”. Was he the basis for the man who tried to make a remainder disappear?
Who Is America’s Favorite TV Family? Answer Depends on Age, Gender and Political Affiliation - Well, mostly age. As in, if you aren’t currently over 50, you probably like The Simpsons.
The Simpsons Challenge – 552 episodes of glory? - Todd, don’t do it:
So 552 episodes (currently) in 365 days should be pretty easy. Much easier than my Doctor Who challenge (800 episodes some hour-long ones!).
It starts off as 1.51 episodes a day as a target. I’m 44 episodes in, having rewatched all 1st and 2nd season episod
Quit at 11. For pity’s sake, quit at 11!
Simpsons/Akira mashup Bartkira volume one released online - “Moe’s Bar”, yes!
INTERVIEW: ALISON WONDERLAND ON THE SIMPSONS AND HER SKYROCKETING SUCCESS - The kids remain alright:
You also post Simpsons screenshots pretty regularly on social media. If you could collaborate with one Simpsons character on a track, who would it be and why?
It’d be Otto!
Yeah, definitely! Or Barney burping, I could totally sample that. Tune it, make it an instrument. That would be kinda weird.
I asked The Game the same question and he said Maggie. He wants to sample her pacifier noise into a beat.
Oh, that’s sick. I wanna sample Barney’s burp.
On your next EP?
Okay, done! I’ll credit you.
In London, ‘Mr. Burns’ and ‘Adler & Gibb’ Stir Things Up; ‘Khandan’ Provides Relief - The official New York Times stamp of approval.
From the Bard to Bart: how Mr Burns challenges our common culture - And from The Guardian.
A Numerical Bart Simpson Snack Store in Hengyang - Don’t think FOX is getting a check for that. I’m sure they’ll be okay.
VIDEO: Giant Duff Beer Pong With Pitbull And Jimmy Fallon - The title pretty much says it all. This, by the way, does not detract from my theory that Pitbull is not a real person, but rather was created explicitly for the purposes of selling Dr. Pepper and Bud Light.
10 Hilarious Visual Gags from The Simpsons - Nary a trace of Zombie Simpsons. Bravo.
Donut Sundae! - Apparently they serve donuts with ice cream at the amusement park in Florida.
Top Thirteen Female Characters – Honourable Mentions - Marge makes it between Belle and Jessica Rabbit. Hopefully Lisa will make the actual list, which is counting down and hasn’t fully been published yet.
Hot Smoked Salmon - Our old friend Gusface Grillah with an excellent paraphrase:
I don’t often eat salmon because the thought of having to wrestle a bear to snatch away his favourite delicacy frightens me.
But then I remembered the wise words of Homer Simpson, “Hey, if you want wild bears eatin’ your children and scarin’ your salmon, that’s your business. But I’m not gonna take it! Who’s with me?” (Unfortunately the bear patrol was as ineffective as a rock that keeps tigers away… ‘Lisa, I’d like to buy your rock’
Bacon Week Continued – Bacon Donuts - Homer would plotz.
Batman: Arkham Knight – 8 Reasons It Should End The Franchise - If you want to invoke pop culture zombies, there’s only one place to turn:
Sometimes one of the most amicable traits a creator of any entertainment property can show is restraint. Hell, just look at how perfectly Vince Gilligan knew how to handle Breaking Bad, as oppose to what remains of something like The Simpsons in 2014 being every possible plot thread has been pulled at until there’s nothing left.
Stop . . . stop, they’re already dead.
“Everyone is saying Gabbo this and Gabbo that! But no one is saying worship this and Jericho that!” – Reverend Lovejoy
“What’s this about Gabbo?” – Jasper
Yet another clipped Reading Digest this week because there are two idiotic pieces of public relations sucking up the internet’s attention. Firstly, they released a trailer for this week’s much hyped Lego episode. For the record, I quite liked The Lego Movie and it would be a welcome and pleasant surprise if Sunday’s episode was even half as entertaining. But I do not have my hopes up.
Secondly, Jean, a practiced hand at managing PR stunts, compared whatever that upcoming “major character” death is to Game of Thrones, a show that (despite being on premium cable) is watched by far more people than Zombie Simpson. He called it the “Yellow Wedding”, and pageview desperate bloggers and magazines swooned at being able to tap people’s insatiable need to click on anything Game of Thrones related. My money remains on it being a total head fake nothingburger, with the “death” being a reincarnated Dr. Nick or something else that won’t affect the show at all. Remember when they ran that big contest to have people create a character and then killed him five seconds after they introduced him? This looks an awful lot like that.
What we do have though is quite a few very solid links, including cool fan art, an internet retelling of “Cape Feare”, Poochie used to lampoon How I Met Your Mother, a couple of cromulent lists, and a nightmare inducing fan made Mr. Burns mask. Also, there are several factually incorrect links about the low ratings of the show.
6 Fictional Beers you’d love to drink - Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this list of fake beers (with plenty of YouTube), half of which are from The Simpsons.
48 reasons ‘Cape Feare’ might be the greatest episode of The Simpsons - The whole story of “Cape Feare” told in .gifs and screen grabs. Outstanding.
A Chat with the Cast and Crew of ‘The Simpsons’ - A writeup of a panel discussion Groening, Jean and some of the other big names did:
At one point in the panel they are asked if they’re ever worried about running out of story ideas and Matt admits that they really aren’t. More often, “we find ourselves wondering if we’ve already done a joke.”
That was in 2003. Jebus.
“The Simpsons” Movie Poster Parodies - More fake movie posters. Some I’ve linked before, but “Re-Hominator” is new (I think).
Animated sitcoms punching up arcade’s past – The Simpsons - A writeup of the arcade game, and worth the click for the Japanese promotional flyer at the top. (Also, “World 1-1″ is a great blog name.)
Sweet 17 Syrup and Cinnamon Cake - Cool Simpsons birthday cake:
If a list of TV shows that summed up our early years together were in existence, The Simpsons would be pretty near the top, so I’ve tried to incorporate a resemblance to the classic Simpsons donut. It kinda works.. but the icing is white because I didn’t have pink food colouring and nobody’s perfect.
Bet it was good, though.
DUFF BEER BATH - That is one happy looking wooden Bender.
Complete Collection Of Celebrity ‘Simpsons’ Couch Gags - Lots of YouTube of the only thing on the show anyone talks about.
9 TV Roles From Hank Azaria’s Early Days You Might Have Missed - Azaria had guest spots on such classics as Family Ties and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Cartoons that made me feel something (Spoilers) - “And Maggie Makes Three” and “Mother Simpson” both make the list here.
Immortalizing Mr. Burns - A creepy looking Mr. Burns ceramic mask and charcoal painting.
Major ‘Simpsons’ death will be a ‘bigger deal’ than Game of Thrones’ Purple Wedding, show producer Al Jean says - There were a lot of these this week. This is one of them. No, there is no actual news. The closest thing to news is Jean saying that whoever dies may still come back in future episodes, but we already knew that.
Is Bart Simpson an Anarchist? – Audio - Say what you will about the impracticalities of anarchism, but at least they don’t get flustered about using copyrighted stuff on their posters.
Best Episodes of The Simpsons - Excellent list, nothing from even close to Zombie Simpsons. Plus there’s a poll.
My 6 Favorite Episodes of The Simpsons - Another explicitly non-Zombie Simpsons list:
But we were hooked from that very first episode, and I have been a lifelong fan of The Simpsons ever since.
Even if I haven’t seen a new episode in years…
Best TV Episodes of All Time - “Cape Feare” comes in at #4 here.
5 Timeless Cartoons - The show comes in handily at #1.
I’m All Tapped Out - On deleting a deliberately addictive app:
It was a great move deciding to play Simpsons Tapped Out at the start of the year. I’m not joking here, I played that game every single day from the day I downloaded it, to yesterday evening. It controlled my life. I wouldn’t sleep until certain characters tasks were done and I was constantly tapping away. It’s absolutely for the best that I deleted the app.
Nancy Cartwright Talks ‘Simpsons’ Lego Episode, Charity Poker Tournament & More - The publicity for that music live show they’re doing at the Hollywood Bowl this summer is getting started.
Springfield bar scene offers craft beers to broaden patrons’ palates - Excellent reference from Springfield, IL:
On a tour of Duff Brewery, Homer Simpson discovers that Duff, Duff Light and Duff Dry all come from the same vat. The joke is that the different varieties of beer are indistinguishable by taste. For craft beer lovers, it spoke to what they believe is a larger truth — that the popular beers from domestic mega breweries don’t taste like much at all.
If Homer were to venture outside of Moe’s and visit the real Springfield, he would discover a cornucopia of beers that vary greatly in taste and style.
The Simpsons play Mr Burns is coming to London’s Almeida Theatre - The post apocalypse play is crossing the Atlantic.
The Simpsons Lego Episode Could Be the Show’s Best in Years - Low bar, very low bar. (The trailer they released is there, too, if you haven’t seen it.)
Check Out The Simpsons Lego Episode Poster - Also, there is a poster. Too bad they don’t put this much care into writing the episodes.
The Simpsons ‘ratings crisis’: Matt Groening favourite pulls in all-time low with just 3.4 million viewers - This is from Britain’s Mirror, so the scare quote in the headline (‘ratings crisis’) isn’t anywhere in the article and they get their lead fact wrong:
It looks like the magic of The Simpsons could be over.
The animated adventure following the Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie and the residents of Springfield achieved its lowest ever ratings last night in America.
Just 3.4 million viewers tuned in to watch What To Expect When Bart’s Expecting on Fox in the US, signalling an all-time low for the long-running series which is in its 25th year.
It wasn’t an all-time low, it was second. More importantly, the show is already renewed for another season and its demographic numbers hold up a lot better than the awful topline number would indicate. So there is a lot of slapdash lazy journalism there. And yet . . . I’ve long maintained that the only way they’ll cancel Zombie Simpsons is if the ratings get bad enough that they become embarrassing to the far more important merchandising brand. Replicated enough times in other mainstream publications, headlines and articles like that (missed facts, made up scare quotes and all) could bring enough public embarrassment that the monkeys who run FOX might start thinking that the world doesn’t really need that full 27th season.
‘The Simpsons’ falls to all-time ratings d’oh! - No, Entertainment Weekly, it didn’t, but thanks for furthering the impression.
‘The Simpsons’ Hits All-Time Ratings Low - The same goes for you, Splitsider. Jebus, the entertainment press is wretched.
Last night’s Simpsons episode set an all-time ratings low - Not sure where the A.V. Club is getting its facts:
Given that The Simpsons has been long been on the decline in the eyes of critics and fans, it’s only logical that it will routinely set new records for all-time low ratings as it carries on. Season 22’s “The Great Simpsina” last held the title, but last night’s episode, “What To Expect When Bart’s Expecting,” dropped ratings to a new low, nabbing only 3.4 million viewers in the show’s Sunday night slot.
At 5.00 million viewers, “The Great Simpsina” would be a certified hit by today’s standards. I’ve got it at #31 all time on my list.
Batman: “Pure West” - Excellent shakycam YouTube.
2faced homer - Neat fan made image.
Council clears way for gigabit Internet service - Nice reference:
City Council members have OK’d a contract that helps clear the way for AT&T to begin installing gigabit-speed Internet service in some parts of Durham sometime in 2015.
The 5-0 decision didn’t come without some skepticism, expressed most forcefully by Councilman Don Moffitt.
“All of this is vaporware until we start seeing connections,” he said, adding he was “reminded of ‘The Simpsons’ episode where they came in and sold the town a monorail.”
Cartoons of a Generation - And finally, I get to end with someone who very efficiently agrees with us:
Anyone who, like myself, grew up as a child during this era would be aware that there were some epic cartoon adventures that just aren’t matched these days.
(the best of) The Simpsons
What could possibly match it?
“Hey, Red Hot Chili Peppers, would you guys like to appear on a Krusty the Klown special?” – Bart Simpson
“Sure, if you can get us out of this gig.” – Flea
“No problemo. Hey, Moe, look over there!” – Bart Simpson
“What? What am I looking at? I don’t see nothing. I’m gonna stop looking soon. What? What, is that it?” – Moe
“Hey, Moe, can I look too?” – Homer Simpson
“Sure, but it’ll cost you.” – Moe
“My wallet’s in the car.” – Homer Simpson
“He is so stupid. And now back to the wall.” – Moe
[Note: Apologies for speculating about the end of your jobs, people on the staff. You’ve been nothing but courteous and wonderful when contacting us; please understand it’s not personal.]
Back in October of 2011 there were widespread rumors that the show was at last on the verge of cancellation. FOX and the principle voice actors were deadlocked over the renewal of the contract. But after a very busy week of anonymously sourced leaks to the press, rampant speculation, and confusion about whether or not there had already been a decision to finally let the show die, it all came to nothing. In the end, the negotiations were less cordial than usual, but the very wealthy people on both sides of the table unsurprisingly agreed to continue making each other slightly wealthier.
For all the smoke in the media and on-line, there was very little fire. All those articles, blog posts, comments, Tweets and general what have you stemmed from just three or four anonymous quotes all week. The only person directly involved who was willing to stick his name by anything in the media was the ever admirable Harry Shearer, and all he was doing was dumping on FOX.
Well, it’s now October 2013, which means we’re in the same part of the contract cycle as they were two years ago when “Simpsons cancelled?” was one of the big stories of the week. That deal runs through episode 559. “Homerland” was 531; and given the extremely long production time of each episode, it’s likely that episode #559, which will probably be broadcast next Fall, is even now in its earliest stages.
Contract negotiations can be easily kept private, especially if they’re going well or both sides just want a simple renewal. But any disruption in the production of the show, or even the ordering of a series finale, would be very difficult to keep off the internet. It was never confirmed or anything, but supposedly one of the reasons the negotiation problems became public last time around was that they were up against a deadline as to whether or not they’d be able to produce a series finale. (Jean later said that had the talks failed, they would’ve held over that future Christmas episode until late 2012 and made it the finale.)
If that’s true, then the extension of the show past the current 559 episode contract will become a forgone conclusion sometime in the next few weeks or months, because if anyone in charge seriously thought #559 was going to be the end they’d stop the production of #560. So, in this case, no news would itself be news.
If last time is anything to go by, then we can be at least somewhat confident that the show will be getting a full Season 26 and Season 27 if nothing about renewal or death becomes public by, say, the end of October. (The current contract provides for enough episodes for a shortened Season 26.) If nothing is said until after New Year’s, then things just become that much more likely. Obviously this is all much too speculative to put any numbers on, and we could get news tomorrow that they’ve decided to end things or that negotiations are at a potentially fatal impasse. But if Zombie Simpsons is going to come to an end before the Rio Olympics do, we should find out sometime very soon. It probably won’t, but this is the time to pay attention.
“Well, you’ve been on TV longer than I have. I’m sure you’ve saved up quite a nest egg.” – Johnny Carson
“Uh, yeah. Do they still buy human hair down at the wig shop?” – Krusty the Klown
Happy 20th anniversary to “Krusty Gets Kancelled”! Original airdate 13 May 1993.
“Hurry, Charley, there is not much time.” – Rainier Wolfcastle
“I ain’t goin’ nowhere. I’ve been in this square fer near thirty seasons, and I ain’t a leavin’ now. Aaaahhhh!” – Not Charley Weaver
“He’s dead now.” – Homer Simpson
Without drawing too broad a conclusion from just one example, there aren’t many clearer comparisons for how the show’s sense of humor deteriorated than to look at the two times they poked fun at The Hollywood Squares, first in Season 4’s masterful “Krusty Gets Kancelled”, and then again in Season 11’s pathetic “Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder”. What makes these two so revealing isn’t just the way Season 11 did a rote copy and paste job from Season 4, it’s also the way the two episodes make use of Homer.
First, though, remember what The Hollywood Squares is. Tic-tac-toe with minor or fading celebrities has been around, on and off, since the 1960s. As you’d expect, Wikipedia has an entertainingly thorough article on it, including exhaustive write ups of all four (4!) times it’s been resurrected from cancellation. But through all its iterations, including the new one that’s built around rappers, the basic concept has remained the same.
Pimpin’ ain’t easy. (Image shamelessly yoinked from here.)
It’s a show that’s cheap to produce and cheap to market because it relies on cobbling together the renown of nine low wattage and low pay stars to take the place of one big, expensive star. Given the public’s insatiable appetite for famous people (however generously defined) and the entertainment industry’s constant bestowing of mild fame on new people (as well as pushing previously big celebrities further down its guest lists), the show’s durability is no surprise.
Any institution that sticks around that long will eventually become ripe for parody, but The Hollywood Squares was born ripe. Its entire reason for existing is to wring a few coins from the leftover scrapings at the bottom of the fame barrel; taste, thought, and embarrassment be damned. Worse, not only is it trashy entertainment; it isn’t even popular trashy entertainment. After once being a hit network show, it now bounces around as cable and syndication filler, just another undistinguished part of the background noise of television. There’s a reason that all the versions are big on scripted jokes and having everyone over-laugh at them: literally none of the “celebrities” really want to be there. That’s pretty sad when you think about it, and distracting the audience from that fact is vital to the show’s appeal.
“Live from Springfield Harbor, where the sewage meets the sand!”
The Simpsons fully understood that inherent patheticness, which is why the show itself is the target of the jokes. Zombie Simpsons, which “Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder” epitomizes, can’t be bothered with that much thought, so they make Homer acting like a dick the focus of their attempt. For example, consider the way each handles the fact that The Hollywood Squares writes jokes for the celebrities who are supposedly just hanging out and being super nice and approachable.
On Zombie Simpsons, Homer just holds up two pieces of paper and asks which one he reads from. It’s a semi-clever way to acknowledge that the whole thing is a sad farce, but it’s just telling the audience what’s going on instead of showing us by making an actual joke. On The Simpsons, Kent Brockman and Rainier Wolfcastle botch the same idea:
Brockman: Oh, Rainier Wolfcastle, star of McBain and the upcoming film ‘Help, My Son Is a Nerd’.
Wolfcastle: My son returns from a fancy East Coast college, and I’m horrified to find he’s a nerd.
Brockman: Ha ha ha ha, I’m laughing already.
Wolfcastle: It’s not a comedy.
Not only is this yet another multi-layer gag where the setups are just as funny as the punchlines, but it perfectly illustrates how depressingly lame the whole ‘Hollywood Squares’ idea really is. Brockman and Wolfcastle are following the joke-laugh-answer formula exactly, but they’re so apathetic toward what they’re doing that they can’t even accomplish a simple thing like mindlessly plugging Wolfcastle’s hilariously terrible movie. This is what The Hollywood Squares actually is: bored entertainers phoning it in because they’d rather be doing almost anything else.
By contrast, when Homer shows up to the show in Season 11, he gets in a fight with Ron Howard (which he’d already done just one season earlier), and is actually pitied by him and Kent Brockman:
Brockman: We’ve got to stop putting these flavors of the month on.
Homer: Flavor of the month? Me?
Howard: Yeah, Homer, you can’t just ride one accomplishment forever.
Homer acting out and other characters responding to him is the only thing that’s going on. The show itself is assumed to be something decent and worthwhile that Homer is ruining with his brutish behavior. It’s one note comedy compared to the symphony of ideas and jokes in “Krusty Gets Kancelled”, but that’s only the half of it.
In Season 4, Homer isn’t involved in the show; he’s watching it. This is crucial because it perfectly illustrates just how demeaning The Hollywood Squares really is. He and Bart are exactly the kind of viewer the lowest rung of television is pitched at: bored flyover state residents who tune in to leer at the last glimmers of fame. That he is their audience is part of what’s so humiliating about the show. Entertainers who were once at or near the top of their game have been reduced to trading on whatever recognition they have for a (probably not very generous) paycheck. Worst of all, they have been reduced from stars to replaceable cogs so easily dismissed that when one of them is crushed (and presumably killed) by a tidal wave, their target audience thinks only to laugh.
“Krusty Gets Kancelled” sees through the forced laughter and glittering lights to the cheap sets and career desperation because it understands that no one has ever gotten into show business to be on The Hollywood Squares. “Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder”, on the other hand, buys into all that lame self promotion that The Hollywood Squares uses to distract the audience from just how sad it really is.