Posts Tagged ‘Radioactive Man


Quote of the Day

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“Mickey Rooney!” – Bart Simpson & Milhouse van Houten
“Hi, Milhouse!  The studio sent me to talk to you, being a former child star myself, and the number one box office draw from 1939 through 1940.” – Mickey Rooney
“Wow, spanning two decades.” – Bart Simpson

(Thanks to commenter dvcnick for reminding me that I hadn’t used all the Rooney quotes yet.)


Behind Us Forever: Steal This Episode

Chalkboard - Steal This Episode

“Come on, Milhouse, you have to do this.  If not for yourself, then for the movie going public, and for the foreign markets that more important than ever nowadays, and finally, for me, the Mickster.” – Mickey Rooney
“No.” – Milhouse van Houten
“Alright, I tried.” – Mickey Rooney

I’m on record as saying that the “travel” episodes tend to be the least unwatchable.  They still can’t tell a story for shit, the dialogue remains hamfisted and expository, and nothing makes sense even within individual scenes, but giving them a fresh topic usually does result in a couple of decent laughs.  “Steal This Episode” was basically that, except instead of traveling somewhere, Zombie Simpsons turned its cataract clouded eye towards movie downloading.  It lent itself to some decent jabs at the entertainment industry for a while until, as they always do, things went haywire with prison bus crashes, Swedish consulates, weird courtroom drama, and the almost obligatory crush of self voiced celebrities.  

- This Radioactive Man spoiler thing got tiresome quickly.  It’s fun to make fun of absurd comic movie plot twists and all, but it probably shouldn’t take the first five minutes of the episode to do so.

- “Joke?” on the church sign may be the laziest thing ever put there.  It’s like a script note that never got looked at.

- So, Bart hasn’t seen the movie even though he was sitting at Krusty Burger with Milhouse getting the toy thirty seconds earlier?  I guess they didn’t specifically say he saw it, but they have intra-episode continuity problems so often that they don’t get the benefit of the doubt anymore.

- “Hey, they tricked us, that’s a commercial.”  Just once this season I’d like to get through an episode where what I just saw isn’t explicitly explained to me immediately after.  This is the ninth episode, so there’s probably about thirteen to go.  I don’t like my chances.

- The FOX logo with the NASCAR thing keeping people from finding out how to download stuff was funny.  The callback was weak, but at least it was brief.

- Steady stream of animated misfires was good, too.

- But the FBI angle is getting worn out already.

- The Star Wars crawl was pretty good even if things are starting to spin out of control.

- And the FBI thing has officially disintegrated with earplugs, blinders and all kinds of screaming.  The whole thing is pointless filler.

- “It’s probably someone I would never suspect, never suspect.  Your moans of sympathy are all I have!  Whoever did this to me will be haunted by unbearable guilt forever . . . forever.” – This kind of intentionally silly exposition could be funny if it were a) done better and b) not done every other damn scene.

- Someone thought prisoners talking like entertainment industry insiders was very funny.  You know, up until the pointless bus crash.

- And now we’re at the dinner table for more of Expository Guilt Theater: “I just can’t imagine anyone turning him in.”

- So, why are we in a Swedish consulate?

- “You like this?” – said the audience incredulously

- “Consulate.  Consulate’s are regional offices which serve the embassy in the capital.” <- Filler Sentence That Did Not Need to Be Written, Much Less In the Actual Episode

- Here’s Apatow for some more weak Hollywood insider ranting.

- Wow, they’re throwing celebrity guest voices at us with a remarkable clip.  It’s not funny or anything, but it’s kind of impressive in its own manically sad way.  I suppose it was nice of them to let all these people show up to gently mock their industry even as they promote it and themselves.  

One of the big reasons why the show will never regain even a scrap of its former greatness is the unavoidable repetitiveness of it.  Movie downloading isn’t exactly a fresh topic generally, but it was something mostly new for Zombie Simpsons.  But while it gave them a couple of relatively easy and untouched topics to make fun of, they immediately fell into their familiar pattern of bashing Homer around for no real reason, piling on celebrity voices just because they can, and hanging everything on a frayed string of a story that snapped completely right around the time it was literally thrown under the bus.  So while they got a nice writeup on Torrent Freak and a .gif of Homer yelling at the rude movie patrons was one of the biggest items on Reddit yesterday, no one is going to care about or really remember this episode even a year from now, much less twenty or more.  Like that YouTube picture-a-day takeoff from back in Season 19, one little part might earn some minor internet renown, but the rest of the episode will quickly fade to indistinguishable nothing because it’s a forgettable mess.

Anyway, the ratings are in and they are hugely improved, though it’s a one time only deal that had nothing to do with the episode itself.  FOX had the 49ers-Packers playoff game (Zombie Simpsons started seven minutes late), and that bleed through gave them 12.04 million viewers.  That number will come down on a final revision, but even after that it’s almost certain to be the highest rated episode of the entire season.  Next week, CBS has the late playoff game, and the weekend after that there won’t be a new episode as the respective NFC and AFC championship games start later than usual to get into those sweet, sweet primetime advertising hours.  


Reading Digest: Variety (The Newspaper) Edition

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“So where could we shoot this picture?  We need a city that has a nuclear reactor and a gorge and can guarantee us the full cooperation of city officials.” – Movie Executive #1
“I’ll check Variety.” – Movie Executive #2

This week we’ve got three links to Variety.  (Weird.)  One is about the brand new cable deal FOX just announced with itself, and the other two are about a couple of panel discussions at USC.  In addition we’ve got the typical assortment of usage, some excellent fan made stuff, a bridge possibly getting named after Lisa, a trans-Atlantic look at “The Crepes of Wrath”, and more.


Simpsonization of Russian Art – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week are these famous Russian artworks Simpsonized by Russian art students.  Excellent.

The Simpsons – They say the children are our future, in which case I think the show will be okay.  Here’s a discussion between a nine-year-old, his five-year-old sister, and their dad about The Simpsons.  Plus there’s a drawing the brother did that has Bart stepping on Homer’s eyes.

‘The Simpsons’ Lands $750 Mil Cable Syndication, VOD Pact with FXX – This was late breaking and is filled with the typically overwrought horseshit you find in Variety.  Here are the important details minus the glamour quotes, entertainment industry circle jerking, and as much of the stupid as I could excise:

With 530 episodes and counting, the sale is valued at upwards of $750 million over the life of the deal.


The term of the deal is said to be about 10 years.


FXX and FXNow will have access to the past 24 seasons of “Simpsons” starting in August. The following month, the show’s 25th season will become available, as the show begins season 26 on Fox. It’s unclear how many older episodes will be made available at any given time on FXNow. (Details of the FXNow launch will be unveiled at a Gotham news confab on Dec. 3.) FXX is expected to stack six to eight episodes on one or two nights, probably in thematic packages, rather than air them across the week as in traditional syndication.

Long story short: FXX will be broadcasting old episodes starting in August of 2014.  Their new streaming thingie will be detailed next month.  No word on how they’ll choose which episodes to broadcast or stream.  It’ll be interesting to see how much higher the ratings are for The Simpsons than for Zombie Simpsons.  They’ll be higher, the question is how much.

THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1 Brush With Greatness vs. Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes On Every Fish – I used to wonder about this when I was a kid:

The only minor blemish I find in this episode is that seeing as how Burns was so critical of the other portraits that were done of him prior to going to Marge for help, shouldn’t he have wanted to see Marge’s finished painting before the unveiling at the museum?

They sort of mention that there’s a timing issue with the opening being very soon, but it doesn’t really matter either way.

THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1: One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish vs. Simpson & Delilah – Don’t forget the bowling announcers:

This episode could have been sappy, but they do a good job of injecting humor into every emotional scene like when Homer ad libs while Lisa plays her sax, or the problems with the after shave during his man-to-man with Bart. It’s the Simpsons doing what it does best, mixing humor with heart.
Besides, we get one of my all time favorite prank calls to Moe’s: Seymour Butz.

THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1 The Way We Was vs. Life On The Fast Lane – Not a bad suggestion:

“The Way We Was” is part of a series of episodes which I consider to be the quintessential 4 episodes of the entire series that tell the story of how The Simpson family came to be.  The other 3 episodes being, “I Married Marge”, “Lisa’s First Word”, and “And Maggie Makes Three.” I’m not sure if any of them will win this tournament, but if I met someone who’d never watched The Simpsons before, I would encourage them to watch those 4 episodes.

The Plow King – Fan made watercolor of Barney as the Plow King.  Awesome.

Treehouse of Horror – . . . and another watercolor, this one of Bart in a skeleton costume and King Homer.

Round 85: You Only Move Twice vs. Lisa the Skeptic – Our old friend Nebel has taken his Simpsons tournament to a new URL.  Herein, Season 8 crushes Season 9.

Serious As A Heart Attack About the Lisa Simpson Bridge – Absolutely:

When the Tribune’s Peter Korn first called me, I initially told him that my favorite was Ursula LeGuin (I think I said “Ged the Archmage can whip Harry Potter any day of the week”). But then I acknowledged that ideally, the bridge should be named after a female (there are enough things named after men) environmentalist (because the bike / pedestrian / transit bridge embodies our environmental values). LeGuin meets the first criterion, but she’s not especially identified with environmentalism. And then it hit me, like a bolt from the blue: the most prominent environmentalist with Portland roots is, by a country mile, Lisa Simpson, created by Portland’s own Matt Groening.

C’mon, Portland, you’re supposed to be the fun city, name it the Lisa Simpson bridge.  Think of the children!  (Vote here.)

Simpson No-No’s – An illustrated guide to animating the show from 1991!  Pro-tip: No sharp teeth “unless directed”.

How the Simpsons (And You) Can Multiply by Seven Using Your Fingers – I don’t think I’ve used that multiply by nine on your fingers thing since the third grade, but yes, in a base eight world the Simpsons could do the same with seven.  Of course, this presumes they got rid of those text books with that base six crap in them.

We’ll really miss you Mrs. K – The Argus – Canadian college students remember Marcia Wallace.

When a Tasteless Tongue Approaches the Smorgasbord of Eloquence – Explaining some of our foibles with Blazing Saddles, Seinfeld and The Simpsons.  Also, excellent usage.

It’s Been Too Long – Fun thing about Tapped Out, you can put the nuclear plant closer to houses than even Mr. Burns would be able to.

Speculation: Opening Scene – And in other Tapped Out news, here’s some people and buildings that could be added based on a scene-by-scene analysis of the opening video.

Developer creates The Simpsons entirely in CSS – The actual Github link is down, but you can see the end result here (and the crappy way it looks in IE).

Krusty Burger – A fake Krusty Burger review:

fter my first experience, I went back six more times.  Why?  Maybe I felt guilty for the owner, maybe it was because the place was a Springfield, Oregon staple, or maybe I’m that optimistic person who thinks that any bad review of a restaurant will cause the restaurant to change for the better.  Did it change?  Nope.

You want me to die??! – Could be worse, someone might want you to diet . . . Oh, I see what you did there.  Heh.

Blinky the crab has three eyes – Cool:

Meet Blinky. This tiny freshwater crab has three eyes, just like its mutant fish namesake from The Simpsons. But unlike the fictional Blinky, whose deformity is blamed on nuclear waste, this crab may actually be a pair of conjoined twins, one of which is nothing but part of the head.

Gerhard Scholtz of the Humboldt University of Berlin in Germany found the Amarinus lacustris crab in the Hoteo river on New Zealand’s North Island in 2007.

Bacon Fantasy #15 – A (fan made?) cartoon cover t-shirt design featuring Spider-Pig.

An Albanian Spy in America? Re-watching that great episode of “The Simpsons” as an American in Albania – I’ll bet that does provide some interesting perspective:

Before I learned that I would live in Albania for two years, I was like perhaps many Americans of my generation in that my only knowledge of Albania was based on one episode of The Simpsons. Re-watching, I wanted to share some of my favorite parts of this hilarious episode .

The Simpsons Couch Gag – How about some couch gag YouTube?

“I’m Bart Simpson. Who the hell are you?” – Another new Simpsons blog . . .

Fox picks up new Seth MacFarlane ‘toon – There will be another one.  That is all.

Bob Sansevere: Vikings grasp fundamentals just in time – Excellent usage:

Rockne’s quote embodied what the Vikings haven’t been able to accomplish for much of this season.

A Homer Simpson quote capsulized what they have done more often than not: “I’ve seen teams suck before, but they were the suckiest bunch of sucks who ever sucked.”

Homer actually says “sucks that ever sucked”, but that’s close enough for excellent usage.

Quick cancellations and going back to Springfield – A TV critic writes:

At one time you couldn’t turn on a TV and not find everyone’s favourite animated family somewhere on the dial. And while the show began its 25th season this year, and is still getting big ratings, I hadn’t watched an episode of the show — a show that was once my religion — in at least three or four years.

I decided to start at Season 7, the most recent season I have on DVD, and work my way backwards.

It’s both amazing at how much I’ve retained from constant rewatchings of these classics, and how well most of the episodes hold up to this day

Preach it, sister!

Conan O’Brien, ‘Harvard Lampoon’ Alumni Dish About Modern Comedy – O’Brien, Jean and Greg Daniels were at some panel at USC last weekend, but the crappy Variety writeup doesn’t really tell you much.

James L. Brooks, David Silverman Talk ‘Simpsons,’ State of Toon Market – Another crappy Variety writeup of a different panel about the show.  They did get James L. Brooks saying this, which basically agrees with us and is an admission that Zombie Simpsons is a completely different show:

“We wanted to make (the show) about character and story,” Brooks, said of “Simpsons’” origin and longevity. “We were religious about that, we were nuts, we were obsessive about that. Anything that was farfetched we wouldn’t do, we didn’t want anybody to know who the actors were, we wanted nothing to break, and I think it’s because we started that way and held to it and then over the years let it go completely. It’s great having rules that you treat like the Bible and then throw away at a certain point.”

As per usual, when not directly doing publicity, even people involved with the show will always note how much it’s changed/degraded.


Quote of the Day

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“Mom, don’t make me do this.  I don’t want to be an actor.” – Milhouse van Houten
“Nonsense, you’re going to be great!  Now, take off those glasses so they can see your beautiful eyes.” – Luann van Houten


Quote of the Day

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“Hey, didn’t you direct ‘Unnatural Discretion’?” – Homer Simpson
“Well, yes, I did.” – Director
“Phew-ee, whew, oh, you know I never walk out of a movie, but yecch.” – Homer Simpson

Happy Birthday James L. Brooks!


Quote of the Day

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“Movie stardom is just so hollow.” – Milhouse van Houten
“Hollow?  The only thing in show business that’s hollow is the music industry.” – Mickey Rooney


Reading Digest: Internet Tips Edition

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“Okay, here we are, alt.nerd.obsessive.  Need know star RM pic.” – Comic Book Guy

We have two amazing compilations of Simpsons stuff this week, one is merely big, the other is huge.  The merely big one is a YouTube rich list of Simpsons quotes that get used in everyday conversation.  The huge one is a list of all the famous paintings and such that have been in episodes one way or another.  As befits this modern time, I found both of these through regular people blogs; many thanks to them.  There are also three fan made Simpsons Pokemon cards, some excellent usage, another blog taking a futile whack at ways to revitalize Zombie Simpsons, a sweet fan made quick, a DVD review that agrees with us, and the poignant, life affirming story of a Homer Simpson cardboard cutout.

Oh, and just for fun, in response to this morning’s quote on Twitter, a lonely spam bot replied with this:

@deadhomers Check out here to see if you’ve already met your true love!

Happily, the account has already been suspended.  I don’t know if this has been anyone else’s experience, but Twitter spam seems to be greatly down in the last 6-8 months.


13 Simpsons Quotes We Use In Everyday Conversation. – The first of our awesome lists comes via The Nerdy Girl Life, and is chock full of YouTube and great examples.

Art History via The Simpsons – Holy crap:

I grew up watching The Simpsons and was introduced to so much history and popular information that way, for better or for worse. Music, fairy tales, world events… I’ve had several occasions where, when asked if I recognize a particular name or fact will instantly brighten up with “oh yeah, that simpsons episode!”.

Art is no exception to this. has put together a complete list of all art references during the course of The Simpsons.

When they say “complete” they aren’t screwing around.  Wow.

Quiz: Tom Berenger or Troy McClure Film Title? – Berenger has been in a lot of terrible movies.

Law Man Walking: Nature Treks With Bill Holston – This was making the rounds on Twitter this week, but near Dallas there’s a lake called Bart Simpson Lake.  It was the result of a levee built after floods in 1989.  You can see a satellite picture of the lake here, but you’re going to have to squint if you want it to look like Bart’s head.

The Simpsons aim for viewer world record – As a publicity stunt for the 500th episode, which is officially going to be broadcast on February 19th, FOX is asking people to sit in and watch all the episodes in a row.  The current record is eighty-six hours.  Out of curiosity, I just queued up a bunch of seasons, and if you go from Season 1 through Season 10, it’s 86h:16m:34s.  I wonder if the previous record holder staggered through Season 10, then ran screaming from the room at the thought of beginning Season 11.

The coolest cars from the Detroit auto show – Nice reference:

We’ll admit that every time we hear the words “concept car” we think of Homer Simpson, who designed “The Homer” for his brother, the head of Powell Motors. Complete with extra Homer-ish options (bowler hood ornament, sound bubble for the kids), it turned out to be a hideous, pea-green disaster that cost $82,000 to build and bankrupted poor Herb Powell’s car company.

And yet the Homer is probably closer to the assembly line than many concept cars presented each year at the big car shows. And yet we can’t stop looking at them.

If Your Argument Can’t Beat Homer Simpson, It Probably Sucks – A nice pairing of Pascal’s Wager with a Homer quote.  I’d be in love, except that they botched the quote.  Homer actually says:

And what if we picked the wrong religion?  Every week we’re just making God madder and madder.

The story of life-sized cardboard Homer Simpson – If only all minor marital disagreements could be solved by beheading.

3/4 There – A report on the final stretch of comedy school, complete with non-English clown college YouTube.

Pokemon Card: Marge Simpson by ~Pokecardcreator on deviantART – Exactly what it says.

Pokemon Card: Lisa Simpson by ~Pokecardcreator on deviantART – Same as above.

Pokemon Card: Maggie Simpson by ~Pokecardcreator on deviantART – And Maggie makes three.

Proof positive – A little history about Fermat’s Last Theorem and the equation that appears behind Homer when he’s 3-D.

The Simpsons: The Fourteenth Season – A Season 14 DVD review I can get behind:

The release of The Simpsons’ fourteenth season on DVD and Blu-ray means you can choose to watch the series’ continued slide into mediocrity as often as you want. For longtime fans, it’s a painful descent to watch, but it’s one where the progress is clear as day. Whereas three seasons back the majority of episodes still had that comedy magic that made the series a fan-favorite, seasons 11, 12, and 13 saw the ratio shift dramatically, with unfunny episodes gradually increasing and eventually making up the majority of each season. By the fourteenth, fans should consider themselves lucky to have even five episodes that elicit a belly laugh, but even then the whole episodes don’t match up to the franchise highs. There might be just enough in this fourteenth season set for truly forgiving fans to overlook the fact that laughs are separated by minutes and not seconds, but for everyone else, episodes like “How I Spent My Strummer Vacation”, “Large Marge”, “Dude, Where’s My Ranch”, “’Scuse Me While I Miss the Sky” make it clear the show had made its third jump over the shark.

By Season 14, I’m of the opinion that the series had completely flatlined.

Audio: Stephen Hawking’s Best Quotes – Most of these are about, you know, science and junk, but I’d never heard this:

“My daughter, Lucy, knew one of the scriptwriters for the Simpsons. He said he would like to write an episode involving me. I accepted immediately because it would be fun, and because the Simpsons is the best thing on American television.”

The Why-Are-We-Here Debate: Live Thread – Heh:

9:08: Romney’s explanation of why he didn’t run again, that he had basically achieved everything he needed in four years, sounds an awful lot like what “George H.W. Bush” said in the Simpsons episode where he moved into Springfield.

Not Quite Breakfast, Not Quite Lunch – Excellent usage:

I love doing brunch! “It’s not quite breakfast, it’s not quite lunch, but it comes with a slice of cantaloupe at the end. You don’t exactly get what you would at breakfast, but you get a good meal.” ~ The Simpsons

Today I had Sunday brunch with my cousin Jay, a belated 30th birthday outing since I missed her big day when I jetted off to FL for the holidays.

Jacques says “completely” not “exactly”, but other than that it’s dead on.

Dynamic Duos on TV – Lots of good YouTube here, and Bart and Milhouse check in at #1.

Bart Simpson dress up by ~matermctarget223 on deviantART – Fan made Flash dress up program for Bart.  The “I Shot Tupac” t-shirt is a nice touch.

Simpsons Didn’t Do It: Five Plotlines That “The Simpsons” Have Yet to Explore – This is from Dish TV’s in house self promotional blog, but it falls along many of the same lines as those doomed Split Sider suggestions from a few months ago.

The Awesomeness of James Earl Jones – Some YouTube love for James Earl Jones, including “The Raven”.

It’s A Brad, Brad World…In 10 Words – Wow, that looks awful.

Get the Hint…TV Outstaying Welcome – Zombie Simpsons easily makes a list of TV shows that have stayed on longer than they should have.  My dear, we couldn’t have this list without you.

Ode To Spewing Your Drink Out Your Nose And Needing Breath So Bad Your Ribs Hurt – And finally, I get to end the way I like, with someone who agrees with us on a thing that can always get you to laugh:

I guess this is why things that can always make me laugh are like treasured possessions.   The first 9 seasons of The Simpsons;



Reading Digest: YouTube Mashup Edition

Modern Editing Techniques

“Thanks to modern editing techniques we can using existing footage to complete the film without Milhouse.  Watch.” – Hack Editor
“Looks like we’re in trouble, Fallout Boy.” – Radioactive Man
“Jiminy Jillikers, Radioactive Man!” – Fallout Boy
“We’ll have to fight our way out.  Are you ready?” – Radioactive Man
“Yes.” – Fallout Boy
“Seamless, huh?” – Hack Editor
“You’re fired.” – Movie Producer
“And with good cause!” – Hack Editor

We’ve got quite a bit of video this week, including two Simpsons mashups, one with Kanye West and the other with Breaking Bad.  God bless modern editing techniques.  There’s also video of an office with some nice optical illusions and the best rolling trampoline you’ll see all day.  In addition to that we’ve got an excellent selection of fan art, a podcast that dislikes Family Guy, the usual assortment of usage, and some more postcards like the Barney one from last week.


Lord of the Simpsons – These fan made drawings of Simpsons characters as Lord of the Rings characters is easily Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week.  They look fantastic, and Moe as Gollum is inspired.  Check out her DeviantART page for some additional crossovers, including Lisa in Assassin’s Creed and Skinner as Severus Snape.  Bravo all around.

Mash-up Monday: Bart Simpson vs. Kanye West feat. Daft Punk- “Do the Bartman (Stronger Remix)” – If I couldn’t embed this it would be Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week.  But I can embed it so you don’t actually need to click through:

At first I thought it was just the song and the video, but then they kept the vocals from “Do the Bartman” on top.  Sweet.  And for our second mashup . . .

Simpsons/Breaking Bad Mashup Wins The Internet This Week – . . . you need to know at least a little bit about Breaking Bad to get this, but it’s pretty good:

Sadly it involves that stupid, out-of-nowhere meth plot on Zombie Simpsons from a couple of weeks ago, but the vast majority of the clips are from the before time, the long long ago. 

New map: In honour of 22 years of "The Simpsons", Springfields of the world – Maps of both the US and the world with various Springfields plotted on them.  There are quite a few in Australia. 

Maggie Simpson – Remember that Barney postcard from last week?  Here’s Maggie’s from the same series.  There’s a high-res copy if you click through and want to read Maggie described baseball card style.  (Oh, and thanks for the link.) 

Spreading some Love – And here’s one of Bleeding Gums Murphy that looks like it was done a long time ago.  It quotes about half his dialogue from “Moaning Lisa” and lists him as “Lonely Bluesman”.  Aww.

The Lucy Show…In 10 Words – So many harebrained schemes.

The Nine Best Sitcom Couches – A truly cromulent list:

1. The Simpsons
Tell the truth. When you saw the headline, did you think that any other couch could possibly finish in the top spot? There’s absolutely nothing remarkable about the couch on The Simpsons, other than Homer’s ass groove. And yet, it’s been the source of a different couch gag for hundreds upon hundreds of episodes. More fun has come from the couch on The Simpsons than all of the other couches on this list combined. It’s the king of the list, the unquestioned number one.


Amazing Character Illusions!**MUST SEE** – I don’t know what company’s office this is, but it sure looks fun:

Damn fine job.

UH Alum Ready to Rock Again – There is a Houston band called “Mr. Plow”:

Creative Pride: Let’s go back to 1999. How did you guys decide on the name of the band?

Jeremy Stone: We started thinking of names, and Mr. Plow got thrown out there. For better or worse, it stuck. It was the least offensive choice. And, we all love “The Simpsons.”

But did they cover the Mr. Plow song? 

Lisa Simpson by ~DaniellBlack – Evocative fan made drawing of Lisa playing her sax with everything she’s got.  Excellent. 

Snarky holiday sentiments – Moderate usage:

4. Aren’t we forgetting the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of Santa? — Bart Simpson

Bart actually says “this day” instead of “Christmas”, but if you’re making a list of funny holiday quotes I suppose you might need to put the actual word in there like that. 

Pop and Rock Listings for Dec. 9-15 – The New York Times gets in some decent usage:

The Devil Wears Prada (Tuesday) Despite the bewildering, self-imposed indignity of sharing their name with an Anne Hathaway rom-com, these screamo rockers from Ohio balance aggressively thrash guitars with blood-curdling histrionics. This slipshod Christian group may be the first religious rockers to take Bart Simpson’s sage advice: “All the best bands are affiliated with Satan.”

Perfectly quoted, though I don’t think it’s meant to be complimentary.  On the other hand, being scoffed at by the Times might be high praise in Christian rock circles. 

Trambopoline!!! – Excellent YouTube usage:


13 Simpsons Scenarios Since Season 10 James Lavender Won’t Like – This James Lavender sounds like a fine fellow:

James Lavender and myself often argue about the relative merits (or lack of) of The Simpsons since its (approximate) Season 1 -10 heyday. He thinks it stinks since 1998; I don’t. So I thought I’d show him what’s what.

Then I decided I might as well just prop up his point by going for the stupidest Simpsons episode ideas since Season 10.

There’s a gallery of ghastly stupid Zombie Simpsons episodes there.  Just on these examples, it’s a tight race between Season 15, Season 17 and Season 19 for supremacy in “holy shit, that’s dumb”. 

Random Assault Podcast Episode 012: 25% Less – A long podcast that features a ten minute Simpsons-Family Guy discussion, with lots of love for The Simpsons, starting at the 100 minute mark.  You can download the mp3 by clicking on the image. 

Slow News Day, Check Out ‘The Simpsons’ Next 30 Years – Want to see all those Christmas cards from the beginning of last Sunday’s Zombie Simpsons?  Here you go. 

Mr. & Mrs. Ned Flanders – This is not the best picture, but those are pretty damn good costumes. 

The instant expert: The Simpsons – Things I learned today:

D’OH! A Simpsons episode, Trash of the Titans, provoked considerable controversy (and no little mirth) for two uses of the word "w****r" when it aired in the UK at its usual 6pm time slot on April 15, 2008. While the word is not well known in the US, it is of course considered offensive in the UK. Ofcom, which deals with UK television complaints, received 31 calls of protest. Channel 4 said the compliance staff had incorrectly certified the programme as suitable.

IN ARABIC The show was broadcast in the Gulf region with Arabic subtitles on networks such as Showtime Arabia and Dubai’s One TV. It was finally given an Arabic translation in 2005, with references to alcohol, pork and many other themes deleted or significantly modified. A baffling curiosity, it was not a success.

I had no idea “wanker” was considered unsuitable for children.  Then again, seeing as how the protest was lodged in 2008 on an episode that premiered in 1998, it’s probably just another case of one concerned prude with too much time on his hands.   

Classic Christmas: The Andy Williams Christmas Album – Other things I learned today:

There are two reasons we think of Andy Williams fondly. First, there is the classic episode of The Simpsons when Bart, Milhouse, Nelson and Martin travel to Branson where they see Williams perform. A teary-eyed Nelson said, "I didn’t think he’d do "Moon River," but then — bam! — second encore!"

The second reason is The Andy Williams Christmas Album, which was as common in adult Christmas record collections in the ’70s as avocado green and mushrooms were on decor in the kitchen.

Nelson actually says “he was gonna do”, not “he’d do”, but it’s still excellent usage. 

FN Spy: All About Eve…Heel Thing – A Yeardley Smith interview promoting her shoe line and that New Year’s Eve movie contains this:

It made me giggle that the three [actors] who play my kids were [so] excited to meet ‘Lisa Simpson.’ She might have been 8 years old for the past 23 years, but [Lisa] is a force to be reckoned with.”

Ah, the absurdities of animation. 

"Tebowing" Is Now An Official English Word, Except It’s Probably Not – Nice use of cromulent here:

Today’s entry: something called the Global Language Monitor says that "Tebowing" is now an accepted English word. Defined as "the act of taking a knee in prayer during an athletic contest," Tebowing now takes its place alongside other the perfectly cromulent words in the English language, if a provocative press release is to believed.

The rest of the article just takes whatever that Global Language Monitor is to task for being publicity whores.  I’ll believe “Tebowing” is a word if he isn’t hanging off the ass end of someone’s depth chart three seasons from now.  (Thanks to David via e-mail!) 

Sideshow Bob by ~Lalazinha07 – Sweet fan made drawing of Sideshow Bob during the finale of HMS Pinafore

Real life summer of 4 foot 2 (Simpsons) – Cool:

Just came back from a walk to library to return books.

There were teens skateboarding outside on the ramp for disabled people. One dude was wearing a tie-dye t-shirt and had blonde shoulder length hair.

It made me think of the episode of the Simpsons when they go on holiday and Lisa goes to the library, but doesn’t want to go in because she’s left her old nerdy self at home.

The tie-dye  dude would definitely call people dude and say words like narly and give people high fives.

I’ll try to remember this the next time I hallucinate Alice and Eustace Tilley popping out of the stacks.

A Hairy Situation – Regarding one of the excellent 60s haircuts in Faster, Pussycat! Kill Kill! comes an excellent reference:

Seeing as I can’t just become her completely, I’ll just settle for having her hair. Maybe some aspect of her astounding personality will be passed on to me, somewhat like the way Homer was possessed by Snake’s spirit in Hell Toupée. What? That doesn’t seem at all possible? Oh well, a girl can dream.

A Real Holiday Letter – A rather amusing fan written version of the Simpsons’ Christmas letter.

Mmmmmm Shanghai – Awesome Brooklyn sandwich board. 

Thought of the Day – I can’t recall having heard this theory before:

Is C. Montgomery Burns of The Simpsons a partial caricature of Peyton Place‘s malevolent town patriarch Martin Peyton?  No one else on the whole of the internet seems to have suggested this idea, and I grant it would be an obscure connection.  But Burns’s voice, in particular, recalls the breathy, aged drawl of the great George Macready.  And it strikes me as the kind of thing that Harry Shearer, who voices Mr. Burns, would remember.

I’ll defer this to any readers who are more familiar with Peyton Place than I am.  Though I am pretty sure it was in a somewhat famous Billy Joel lyric. 

I can assure you, my intentions are strictly homer-able … – Fan made Homer post-it note.

The Three Stooges Syndrome: a life lesson I learned from The Simpsons – Even Season 11 has some moments that stick with us forever.

The Sitter…In 10 Words – Probably would’ve been better with a hobo.


Quote of the Day

Radioactive Man5

“Uh, these aren’t real x-rays are they?” – Milhouse van Houten
“Good question!  We’ll check into that.  Okay, x-ray machine to full power and . . . action!” – Director


Knowing Your Audience

Chalkboard - Angry Dad The Movie

“Thank god we’re back in Hollywood, where people treat each other right.” – Movie Guy

No sooner do I make fun of Zombie Simpsons for its relentless Hollywood navel gazing than they spend an entire episode navel gazing in Hollywood.  Starting with that interminable Itchy & Scratchy thing and running through awards ceremony cliches and a stunning number of glacially slow short films, this thing was one long exercise in entertainment industry self congratulations.  (I’m sure these sorts of things will get people at L.A. area cocktail parties to praise them, but for the rest of us it’s a little less fun.)  In between all that we were treated to some truly bizarre set pieces that had nothing to do with anything.  Was Lisa hallucinating when the Pixar lamp attacked her?  Was that the theme music for Jurassic Park and, if so, why?  What ever happened to the chair guy? 

This episode was like watching one of Michael Bay’s more impatient films.  Characters and storylines appear and disappear at random, most scenes have nothing to do with the ones before or after them, and all the pyrotechnics can’t conceal how poorly constructed the whole thing is.  You’ve got twenty minutes to fill, you shouldn’t be worried that people are going to click to a different browser tab every ninety seconds.  These are not YouTube videos or, at least, they’re not supposed to be. 

Anyway, the numbers are in and while they’re up from last week they’re still bad.  Last night’s unintentional warning about the dangers of attention deficit disorder was left on by 6.35 million people while they clicked around Twitter and Facebook.  That’s the second lowest number all season, though it’s going to need to get worse if Season 22 is going to take Season 20’s crown for least watched.


“Jaws Wired Shut” Makes Baby Jesus Cry

Radioactive Man4

“Excuse me, you didn’t answer me. You just trailed off.” – Kirk van Houten
“Yeah, yeah, I did kinda trail off there, didn’t I?” – Chief Wiggum

I had such high hopes for this commentary. It has Joe Mantegna, a man with a proven ability to rescue Zombie Simpsons commentaries from their ordinary mediocrity. Sadly, although Mantegna was here, he barely spoke. The commentary was actually worse than normal, in no small part because the third act of this episode is so wretchedly bad that Al Jean and company basically admit it sucks and then talk about anything else that occurs to them. And, as you’ll see, I mean anything else that happens to pop into their heads: people they saw at the coffee shop, Anthony Hopkins, what their wives do in their spare time.

Seven people on this one, including token female Caroline Omine and Joe Mantegna, even though Fat Tony isn’t in this episode.

1:30 – In discussing the concept for this episode, Selman talks about how having Homer unable to speak makes things a lot more difficult because he’s their best character. Things are a lot harder for them when they can’t have Homer acting crazy all the time. Jean then jumps in and talks about how this is a bit of a departure because Homer realizes that Bart has feelings. Basically, they admit that without Jerkass Homer they’re kinda lost. Zombie Simpsons, everyone.

2:15 – Short discussion about coming up with fake movie titles. It’s fun to do.

3:00 – Reminiscing about Simpsons things that used to be on before movies. There was a Dolby sound thing with Grampa and they put some of the Ullman shorts before some movies.

4:05 – They think this may have the most boner jokes of any episode.

5:00 – Homer takes his shirt off a lot in public, according to Jean.

6:00 – Discussing the realities of having one’s jaw wired shut. Apparently it happened in real life to one of the writers.

6:30 – General laughter when Homer inhales a piece of steak up his nose and Jean says that this would kill him in real life. Mantegna’s only said like two things, why won’t they just let him monologue?

6:55 – More chuckles at how scenes are just kind of smashed together here.

7:35 – Here’s a fascinating story: at the coffee shop that morning one of the writers saw someone with a tattoo. The end.

8:15 – Trying to remember where they got the chalkboard idea leads to joking about Anthony Hopkins movies.

9:05 – Interesting animation note about trying to keep things consistent between close ups and other shots. On a close up the camera is so much closer to the artwork that it makes the lines seem thicker.

10:00 – Long, post-animation discussion silence is broken by someone basically rehashing the premise and telling a story about the time he had to use a pad to write notes to people after he had throat surgery.

10:55 – Helpful tip from Al Jean, if you’re doing something with a mirror reflection, lighten up the yellow a little bit in the reflection.

11:15 – More discussion about the “man yells at cloud” thing and how often that gets used.

12:30 – Okay this was actually funny. Someone points out that Homer and Marge are at an awfully formal looking event, and Jean cracks that it’s because “The Blue Danube” is free.

13:20 – The episode just went to its second commercial break, and Jean comments that everything at the read through went well right until here.

13:45 – More chuckling at their dirty jokes.

14:40 – Jean’s helpfully explaining that this is a parody of The View.

15:05 – Still discussing the cast of the view.

15:10 – Finally, Mantegna gets a word in edgewise and it’s a crack on Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Heh. Keep it up, Joe. We’ve only got seven minutes to go.

15:45 – Uproarious laughter at Homer fighting an ostrich.

16:30 – Someone notices a long silence.

17:05 – Commentary’s going downhill here, lots of chuckling but little actual commentary.

17:15 – I think they’re kinda embarrassed at how dull this is. Jean’s rambling about how much tougher it is to be funny when Homer is being intentionally boring.

17:40 – We’re talking about people’s personal lives now.

18:40 – Selman is plugging his wife’s store. Meanwhile, there’s a demolition derby going on.

19:10 – See above. They just got done arguing about where the store is.

20:00 – About twenty seconds ago Jean nudged things back to the episode, and then it got instantly quiet again.

20:40 – Homer’s little Popeye impression means they can talk about Popeye now.

21:30 – Still talking about Popeye.

22:00 – And we end on them plugging things their wives do.


Quote of the Day

“Oh, I only grew half an inch. I’m still too short.” – Bart Simpson

“Growing half an inch in one day is still pretty good, Bart.” – Marge Simpson

“Yeah that’s how fast Grampa is shrinking.” – Lisa Simpson
“Oh I’m as tall as I ever was.” – Grampa Simpson


Quote of the Day

“William Faulkner could write an exhaust pipe gag that would really make you think.” – Moe Szyslak


Quote of the Day

Radioactive Man3

“Oh my god!  He’s killed the original Alfalfa!” – Studio Hand
“Yeah.  Luckily Alfalfa was an orphan owned by the studio.” – Moe


Quote of the Day

Radioactive Man2

“Milhouse, baby!  Lionel Hutz your new agent, body guard, unauthorized biographer and drug dealerrr . . . keeper-awayer.” – Lionel Hutz


Picked Up Right Where It Left Off


“Go ahead, try and grab some flab.” – Homer Simpson

Season 21 picked up pretty much where Season 20 left off, in the darkest center of a comedy black hole from which nothing can escape.  It hit all the usual Zombie Simpson notes: recycling plots and jokes, filling time with humor free “action” sequences, giving Homer a new job, and having him act bipolar.  In this particular instance it was a wretched cross of “Radioactive Man” and “King of the Hill”, only it was actually worse than that because it was so openly aping Entourage that it mentioned  one of the characters.

There’s lots to pick on here, but for tonight I just want to highlight this little nugget of smug, baseless self satisfaction:

Zombie Bart: That was awesome!

Zombie Lisa:  Although there were a few holes in the story.

Movie Guy: That’s the problem when you have seventeen writers.  But don’t worry, we have two fresh ones working on it.

(Cut to Maggie and Mr. Teeny baning on laptops.)

Clearly the Season 12 commentaries are not an anomaly.  Going by previous season premiers, plus the heavily advertised debut of the newest Family Guy spinoff, I’m setting the over/under on the ratings at 9.5 million viewers.  As always, I’m hoping for the under.

Update: The numbers are in and the under has it.  Last night’s Zombie Simpsons was endured by a mere 8.21 million viewers.  Pointless gloating here.


Quote of the Day

“I don’t see why Rainier Wolfcastle should be the star.  I think we should bring back Dirk Richter, kids will want to see the original Radioactive Man.” – Movie Executive #1

“I keep telling you, he’s 73 years old and he’s dead.” – Movie Executive #2

“Granted.” – Movie Executive #1


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