“Were you on my roof last night, stealing my weather vane?” – Ned Flanders
“This interview is over!” – Homer Simpson
The big 12 day marathon on a channel neither I nor millions of other people get will begin next Thursday morning. This week we’ve got several links about it, including the full transcript of a conference call interview Al Jean did earlier this week (there’s actual news for once!) and some very cool posters. In addition to that, we’ve got more of the fan made Lego Springfield, an unveiling date for the building sized mural in Oregon, Harry Shearer being Dick Nixon, very old sneakers, and a great vacation photo from Washington D.C..
The Simpsons – Al Jean Interview - This is a full transcript of a conference call Jean did on Wednesday. Mostly it’s just him efficiently blowing through questions he’s heard dozens of times before (Will there be a sequel? How about those upcoming crossovers? He even makes a joke about someone asking where Springfield is.), but there is some real news buried in there:
- The app will allow for fan rankings of the episodes:
Q: can you talk a little bit about at TCA you were talking about the database of their new website and there would be a ranking of episodes based on fan favorites. How that ranking is determined?
A: It’s to be determined. It’s up to the fans. We went and listened to what it seemed that people wanted out of the show, and when the app is fully up and running, which probably won’t be until early next year, you can get clips, you can send clips to your friends, you can do an assortment of clips almost like re-edit like people did with the [indiscernible] stuff, and the voting will be up the users too. It will be whatever everybody who logs in votes for and shows they like or dislike. Shows that people dislike the most may actually get some interest viewing, and it’s not for us to say. That’s the great thing about this app.
That sounds . . . interesting. Everything depends on implementation, but I’ll be curious to see both a) how it shakes out and b) how they react if the fan rankings massively denigrate almost everything after Season 10 or so. Also note that while the app is scheduled to launch in October, he’s already talking about it not being all the way up and running until 2015.
- This is about the upcoming marathon on FXX:
we’re going to be live tweeting, not continuously, but every time there’s an episode I wrote or a show ran, I’ll try to get in on them. We’re asking guest stars who did the show if they’d like to tweet with the writers. So, we hope to have a discussion going on for the whole way and throw in interesting things people may not have heard.
I bet that’ll depend greatly on when the episodes air. For example, they’re starting at 10am Eastern next Thursday, so assuming two episodes per hour, Season 3 will be starting at 2:30am Eastern.
- Answering a question about what format the episodes on FXX will be:
Well, the versions as I understand it are the original versions, but they’re expanded to HD except on the app, you can get the original 4X3 because people would want to see the 4X3 so that will be available, but the ones that they’re broadcasting, as I understand it, are the originals with the HD expansion for the ones that weren’t in HD.
I’m not sure what “HD expansion” means, black bars, that blurry extra side thing people do sometimes?
- One more thing about live tweeting during the FXX marathon:
Yes, we’re totally encouraging it. It’s @BestSimpsons is the Twitter site reserved for the marathon. So, yes, it starts at 7 a.m. August 21st Pacific Time/10 a.m. Eastern and I’ll be tweeting then.
@BestSimpsons looks an awful lot like an abandoned fan account. There’s only 79 tweets total, and though the most recent is about the FXX marathon, it was from last month and was the first since January. It links to what also looks like an abandoned fan site, which hasn’t updated since May of last year. Now, this is from a transcript, so it’s possible that this is a transcription error and is missing a character or two. I asked Jean on Twitter right before I posted this (and went to lunch), so if he responds (and he often does), I’ll update.
Simpsons Trivia Night (Published on The West End Magazine) - Recently, the classic Simpsons trivia competitions have taken a step up, holding “film festivals” and doing Diorama-ramas, but the bar has been raised by this group in Australia. They set up a fake Simpsons living room! Excellent.
The Simpsons – FXX Posters - I don’t often get a chance to say this, but: well done, FOX marketing department. Those are gorgeous and creative and just generally cool. I might even go so far as to buy a poster if they got rid of the logo and the hashtag.
Watch the trailer for the ‘Simpsons’ marathon - On the other hand, this promo, while pretty, is also quite dumb.
FUSION — Fusion Announces Documentary Project with Sam Simon, Co-Creator of The Simpsons - Simon continues to handle hideous disease about as well as is humanly imaginable.
The Simpsons Bart Boot Sneakers - Actual Simpsons sneakers from the early 1990s, including the stylized box. Very cool.
Fashion Spotlight: Better Call Hutz, Bartman Begins, and Doh! Zombies! - The punctuation in Hutz’s word bubble is brilliant.
Happy birthday, Dustin Hoffman, or “Mrs. Krabappel, are you trying to seduce me?” - A framed picture of Mr. Bergstrom is pretty damned cool.
HickoryDickoryDank comments on How would you like to see The Simpsons end? - This Reddit thread was making the rounds this week, but the best answer I saw came from a two year old thread on the same idea.
Corn maze season starts in September and it is the busiest time of year for the Meuer Farm.
They started planing in February to get “The Simpsons” themed maze just right. The maze has two phases that have a total of around three miles of paths.
There’s an aerial picture at the link. Looks very fun.
The Weird Minutes Before Nixon’s Resignation - Harry Shearer re-enacts Nixon’s resignation:
The recording of the minutes before the resignation is one that Shearer has always found confounding. It is so clear that the camera crew is unmoved by Nixon’s small talk. “If you were a comic, you’d stop after two of your jokes bombed like that, but he just keeps going,” Shearer said. “For years, I was puzzled by that behavior. Why didn’t he just sit quietly until the time came to deliver the speech? What was going on there?” The answer that finally came to him, as he rehearsed the scene, is that Nixon already had an eye on rehabilitating his reputation. “Those people in that room were going to go out and say, ‘He wasn’t depressed, he wasn’t angry. My god! He was the nicest guy in the world.’ I think that’s exactly who he was. That’s how he got out of his depression, on fight. And the fight starts here.”
Shearer’s the best.
“Bart! Get out of the Spirit of St. Louis!” - Now that is a great Air and Space Museum photo. Bravo.
The Simpsons’ Town of Springfield, to Scale, in Lego - There is now a YouTube tour of that fan made Lego Springfield.
Old LA Zoo - Oh, cool:
The first Saturday of every month a local comic book store, Nerd Melt, hosts Simpson trivia, called Stonecutters. We lucked out this month because they pushed it back a weekend so we were able to attend. There are 3 rounds of trivia, which get progressively more difficult, with episodes of The Simpsons shown between each round. Every month they bring in special guests who have worked on the show and the episodes played are generally episodes the guests have worked on, so that the guests can give live commentary. This month there were two former directors and a storyboard artist.
Voice of Lisa Simpson to attend mural unveiling Aug. 25 - I guess we’ll get to see that mural a week from Monday.
doh! if only it worked that way! - Sadly, we cannot all escape from reality as easily as Homer.