“I want you to clear out all the weeds. You do know which ones are weeds?” – Mrs. Glick
“All of ‘em?” – Bart Simpson
“Good boy.” – Mrs. Glick
Posts Tagged ‘Three Men and a Comic Book
“Young people of Springfield, as your mayor I’d like to welcome you to our annual funny book convention. And thank you for pumping almost three hundred dollars into the local economy. Your youthful high spirits have imparted a glow to this old war horse, you might say I feel like Radiation Man.” – Mayor Quimby
“That’s Radioactive Man, jerk!” – Jimbo Jones
“I stand corrected. Well, have fun, and be sure to clear out by six for the Shriners. Get that punk’s name, no one makes a fool out of Diamond Joe Quimby.” – Mayor Quimby
We have a ton of links from San Diego this week. There’s video, a little bit of actual news, some reactions to all the crossovers, and even a full breakdown of the Simpsons panel for those so inclined. In addition, we’ve got a new Simpsons math book, a high school graduate getting through with help from the show, a fan made oil painting, and not one, not two, but three (3!) favorite episodes lists, every one of which agrees with us.
Terminally Ill ‘Simpsons’ Co-Creator Vows to Give Away Fortune – Sam Simon continues to do cancer about as well as it can be done:
THR: Do you get frustrated with bad things happening to good people? Like, why didn’t someone else get this cancer?
Simon: No. I don’t think that’s what karma is. It never crossed my mind.
THR: So you’ve decided to scale up the foundation?
Simon: We are going to expand all this stuff. We do a day in our mobile clinic where we do dog and cat surgeries for free except complicated procedures. For the first nine months, we couldn’t fill up the truck. But now it’s a huge success. It just took a while for the community to find out about it. And now I think we’re going to add another day for free surgeries. The Sam Simon Foundation is going to be very well endowed, and there’s a lot of stuff I want them to do.
THR: What allows you to do more?
Simon: The Simpsons money got bigger and bigger. When I left The Simpsons, no one thought that this thing was going to still be around. It’s the cumulative effect. It’s like, "Oh my God, 25 years later, and it’s still coming in."
Keep your head up, Sam. We love you.
On Graffiti of The Simpsons in the Downtown Eastside – An intrepid young woman tracked down more of that Simpsons graffiti in Vancouver, and she took pictures!:
Then this mysterious back door opened and this nice girl comes out and catches me gawking curiously at the graffiti inside her workplace. We chatted briefly, turns out that the artist goes by the name of Soap. And that these graffiti change from time to time.
Threadless News! “Face of Springfield” up for scoring! – The Simpsons design contest is still going on, and this guy submitted one. I think it looks better on black, but that’s just me.
Lisa Simpson, The Scream Reproduction – Awesome fan made oil painting of exactly what it says. Bravo.
List O’ The Week – Top 25 episodes of The Simpsons – A gargantuan and detailed list, with nothing past Season 8, from someone who’s done the real work of burrowing into the show:
Full Disclosure: I still have, to this day, 40+ VHS tapes of The Simpsons episodes that I taped off the TV (that’s right, I’m bad) as a young lad. I have all the DVDs up until season 11 where the horrible packaging made it impossible to remove the discs. Most embarrassingly, I have an entire folder full of sheets (almost 100 in total) which perfectly document which episodes are on which tapes (and a brief description), whether or not the episode exists in its entirety or was only half taped, and a grade out of 10 for each. So this list is in honour of that boy who had (and clearly still has) way too much time on his hands.
[Oh dear God. I just found the folder. 100 pages was a VAST understatement. I also have sheets listing exactly (to the second) how long each tape was, a running tally of how many episodes per season are centred around certain characters and a list of who is on each DVD commentary track for the first 10 seasons. In fact I made a top 20 list back then as well which has a bizzare mix of great and mediocre episodes, although certainly there are still epsiodes which I've loved since then that aren't loved by the fandom. Wow my handwriting was markedly better back then].
That is an impressive act of geekiness. Well done.
Like The Simpsons? Like maths? Or even a bit apathetic about maths but like geeky in-jokes? Then this event is for you.
It isn’t happening until October but about half the seats are already gone, so we thought we’d better flag it up now. Simon Singh’s written a book about the maths inside The Simpsons – it’s not released until 29 October, but a week earlier he’s at the Southbank Centre talking about it.
‘The Simpsons’ to join forces with ‘Futurama’ for crossover episode – This was the big news out of the whale’s vagina, and is just what it says:
The plot will revolve around bad boys Bender and Bart: “Bender has to come back from the future to kill Bart because there’s something that Bart does now that makes the future really, really, really bad,” Jean continues. “Tip of the hat to Harlan Ellison.” (Ellison, by the way, will lend his voice to a different episode this season.)
The Futurama cast members who will visit The Simpsons include Billy West, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio, Phil LaMarr, and Maurice LaMarche. (Tress MacNeille will also be heard in the episode, as she’s also a voice actor for The Simpsons.) And DiMaggio has played Bender before on The Simpsons; he recorded a brief cameo as the foul-mouthed robot for a season 16 episode.
Can we put the Futurama production staff in charge? Pretty please? They have been killing it this summer (that episode with the three different Saturday morning cartoons was as good as anything they ever did).
Stinson: The Simpsons are David Silverman’s extended yellow family – Silverman is going to be at the Toronto Animation Arts Festival International today and tomorrow, and this is a nice little puff interview with him. I did find this mildly ironic:
He says that Matt Groening, who created the characters, and James L. Brooks, one of the original executive producers, were insistent that “you can never sacrifice story for the sake of a joke.”
That insistence has greatly mellowed with time.
‘Simpsons’ Director David Silverman – And another interview with Silverman:
You directed "Mother Simpson," one of the funniest but also most heartbreaking episodes in the canon. Can you talk about the construction of its final shot?
It was during the table read when I thought about that shot. I had this image of a big wide shot of Homer waving goodbye as his mother left him, and then of him sitting on his car looking at the stars — that wasn’t in the script. As I was drawing it, I almost started tearing up. It really affected me. Everyone can relate to that. Sometimes things happen to us and all we can do is contemplate and look at the stars.
‘The Simpsons’ Writers Have a Fantasy League of Their Own – Jebus knows I don’t think much of the output of the current writing staff, but a highly competitive movie box office fantasy league sounds like a lot of fun.
‘Simpsons’ Comic Book Guy Guide To Being Worst. Nerd. Ever. – There’s some Zombie Simpsons in here, but for the most part it’s fun.
Summer free Shakespeare season winds down – Mike Reiss, budding playwright:
"Simpsons" writer Mike Reiss, who opened the summer season at the Ivoryton Playhouse in Essex with "I’m Connecticut," has a new comedy that will get a test run at the New York International Fringe Festival next month.
The Bristol native’s play "Rubble" is set for five performances between Aug. 10 and 25. The play will star Bruce Vilanch and Litchfield actor Jerry Adler (who was featured in "I’m Connecticut" at Ivoryton).
Reiss, an Emmy winner for his work on "The Simpsons," has written a semi-autobiographical play about an aging Los Angeles comedy writer who is taking a meeting with a network executive when a major earthquake strikes.
Rob Lowe On Playing JFK Without Sounding Like You’re On ‘The Simpsons’ – Hey, he is no longer illiterate:
How do you do a JFK voice that doesn’t sound like the Massachusetts-y Mayor Quimby on The Simpsons? The suave way I decided to put this question to Rob Lowe was essentially … "How do you do a JFK voice that doesn’t sound like Mayor Quimby on The Simpsons?" I had a brief moment of fear that he wouldn’t know what I was talking about, which could have been very embarrassing, but happily for me (and presumably for Mayor Quimby), he did, and he laughed. (Thank goodness.)
"Just technically, what I learned was he really had two voices. He had the voice that we all know — you know, [Mayor Quimby-ish Kennedy voice] ‘Come to Berlin,’ you know. He had that voice, which is the voice that everybody imitates, and then he had the way he spoke in private, which was very different. And there’s actually a linguistic term called the ‘Kennedy stutter step,’ not to get too technical.
That sick freak.
Don’t Throw Parties, Kids – The dangers of using your iPod at a party:
The Simpsons – Honey Roasted Peanuts
Come on now. This is ridiculous. I’m a pretty big Simpsons fan and I would stand by any music from the show if it were to play at a party. Their songs are clever both musically and lyrically. This, however, is a short scene in which Homer, the patriarch of the family – if for some reason you’ve never even heard of the show, perhaps due to a 30 year long coma or a memento-like illness – eats a pack of peanuts, but not before reading the ingredients first. Yeah, this is a weird one. Maybe one guy as lame as me (Will) at the party might have enjoyed it.
Smith At SDCC – Matt Smith from Doctor Who walked around Comic-Con with a Bart Simpson mask, and there’s YouTube. The stunt doesn’t quite work because the mask is terrible, so the rest of the people at the convention just think he’s some lame dork begging for attention for his shitty costume. The sarcastic kid at the 0:30 mark nails him.
SDCC VIDEOS! – The third video down is from the Simpsons panel, and includes the singing group and a drawing contest.
Media Monday #20: The origin of The Simpsons – YouTube of Groening at Comic-Con charmingly blowing off the question he’s been asked more times than any other.
The Simpsons 2013 Comic-Con Panel Live Blog – And, for our final Comic-Con link, a short blow-by-blow recounting of the Simpsons panel.
The Billion-Dollar Empire of "The Simpsons" – Here’s another periodic reminder that, unwatchable as it is, Zombie Simpsons still produces ungodly amounts of cash.
As vozes por trás dos 105 personagens de “Os Simpsons”! (6 fotos) – I’m not sure if these are new or old, but it’s six pictures, one each of the main cast, with all the characters they do.
Best. Episode. Ever. (Round 51) – “Bart’s Comet” vs. “Who Shot Mr. Burns, Part 2”, that’s a tough one.
Best. Episode. Ever. (Round 52) – Season 9 beats Season 18.
R.I.P.D. …In 10 Words – You’re off the case, zombie McGarnagle!
Carlos Danger…In 10 Words – There are three ways to do things, the right way, the wrong way, and the Carlos Danger way! Isn’t that the wrong way? Yes, but after you resign from Congress!
The Simpsons Crossover: Have they Jumped the Shark? – Here’s an interesting angle on the Family Guy and Futurama crossovers I hadn’t considered: it might finally convince even more people that Zombie Simpsons sucks ass:
To those people who have asked if the show has declined in quality I usually say that it’s still better than most of the stuff that’s on TV now anyways. This time though I can’t imagine this crossover idea will work out well.
Speaking of crossovers… – A little more evidence:
Now we’re hearing that there’s going to be a Simpsons/Family Guy cross over.
Goddamn I don’t want to live on this planet any more…
It’s one thing to do a crossover to launch another series, it’s quite another for two long expired series to try and prop each other up.
LIfe and other weird ideas – Getting through Ramadan ain’t easy, but this isn’t a bad way to do it, either:
No hospital shift today so I am enjoying a lazy day. But it does go slower that’s for sure. I made up for it by watching two episodes of Scrubs back to back and will hold out for the Simpsons at 6.
Bloggy Odds and Ends – Twenty three years later, and “Bart Gets an F” still gets through to the kids:
Math has always been a difficult subject for me, and I had such a hard time getting momentum to do all the extra homework. I decided to bribe myself with old Nostalgia Critic videos, since I had fallen behind in watching them.
After completing a good lot of grad math homework and some tests, after many many on the first day, I decided, “Hey, I’ll watch the top 11 Simpson Episodes one!”
(SPOILERS) When it got to number one, my heart just exploded. At that moment, I was Bart! Grad-math, and subsequently passing high school seemed SO impossible at that point, and no matter how hard I tried, math didn’t make sense to me.
I wound up crying and feeling a bit discouraged, but not passing high school was not an option! I kept with the system of bribing myself with Nostalgia Critic videos, and then Demo Reel (which gave me more reasons to cry) until I completed the program.
Like ‘Bart Gets An F’ I did have a ridiculously happy ending happen to me. I passed the test and graduated high school (obviously).
The kids are alright.
What I think sometimes when I’m working/studying:
Milhouse: So this is my life . . .
Dag 169 – Oh, nothing, just a straight Duff shirt.
Today on the tray: Hot dogs – In celebration of national hot dog day (which was earlier this week), we’ve got some YouTube of old hot dog commercials and the Oscar Meyer song from “A Star Is Burns” . . . in Italian!
Simpsons Super-Cuts – I do not have a device on which to watch this, but some of you do:
As an editor, I felt it was important to compile these clips as an ode to the funniest era of Simpsons superiority. Plus, they’re fantastic to watch if you’re hungover this weekend.
App Store becomes EA’s biggest retail partner by sales for the first time in June – That freemium shit really, really, really works:
Apple has become “EA’s biggest retail partner as measured by sales” as a result of the App Store. It’s a big announcement for the publisher that previously sold the majority of its content through retail channels for console games, and it could be a sign that EA will be investing more in iOS and other mobile titles in the months to come. In its earnings release, the company noted that it was “the #1 global publisher in the iOS game market in the June quarter,” and also highlighted a few of its more successful iOS titles, including: The Simpsons: Tapped Out, Real Racing 3, and The Sims:
- -The Simpsons™: Tapped Out recorded its highest revenue quarter* in Q1 since launching in August 2012.
Battersea – The Butcher & Grill (review) – Excellent reference:
If you will allow me to self-indulge, I imagine that if I became a food reviewer in my current state that pandemic obesity would clutch the world in a lardy grip. Much like the episode of the Simpsons where Homer does just that, only to miss the poisoned eclair by the skin of his teeth.
My Top 10 Episodes of The Simpsons – And finally, I get to end the way I like, and not just with one person who agrees with us, but two blogger buddies. Plus, I did not know this:
The most moving sign of the show’s influence is that, when the editors of the New York Times took on the task of writing obituaries for every person who died on 9/11, they found that most of the men in that age group they profiled “were described as admirers of the show,” so much so that they stopped mentioning this fact in the obits.
That’s pretty cool. Onto the list:
So, when my friend and fellow blogsmith Juan Alvarado Valdivia and I challenged each other to write our Top 10 Episodes of The Simpsons, I knew it would be tough. I didn’t know that it would turn into the single most difficult post in the history of the blog. There are so many classic episodes with lines of dialogue that have become part of our national consciousness. And I say this as someone who thinks the show fell off precipitously and hasn’t really watched it in years (my list has no episodes later than Season 8).
Naturally. And for Mr. Valdivia . . .
My Top 10 Simpsons Episodes Ever – . . . the same sentiment:
At first, coming up with a list to accompany (and compete!) with my homeboy, J-Oro’s list seemed like a terrific, exciting endeavor. Ultimately, it still was, but by the end—after watching and carefully considering at least fourteen episodes for my final four spots—it wasn’t so fun. Coming up with a top 15 list would have been dandy, like a stroll through a verdant park with a pretty girl, but picking only ten best episodes from the entire Simpsons repertoire seemed like an unfair exercise. (And really, I only looked at Seasons 2 – 8.)
There are 165 episodes in Seasons 2-8 (and they weren’t counting Halloween, clip shows, and specials), and picking ten is nigh impossible. Well done, sirs.
“Can you let me have it for forty dollars?” – Martin Prince
“Forty bucks? Forget it! You made me get off my stool for that?” – Comic Book Guy
“It’s all I’ve got! I sold seeds, I visited my aunt in the nursing home, I fished a dime out of the sewer for God’s sake!” – Martin Prince
Happy Birthday Russi Taylor!
“Today, we wash Beulah. You know what that is?” – Mrs. Glick
“Some old lady thing nobody’s heard about for fifty years?” – Bart Simpson
“No. It was my wedding dress. But then I dyed it black and it became my mourning dress.” – Mrs. Glick
“Who’re you supposed to be?” – Comic Convention Guy
“I’m Bartman!” – Bart Simpson
“Never heard of him, full price.” – Comic Convention Guy
We’ve got several comic book links this week, but the first one is over the moon outstanding. On top of that there’s another piece of banana art, another Harry Shearer interview, lots of lists, a Julie Kavner update, and what may be the most awesome Kang (or is it Kodos?) t-shirt ever made.
The Line It Is Drawn #62 – Comic Book Characters/Simpsons Characters – Smooth Charlie’s Click of the Week is almost too awesome for words, and I’m not even a big comic book fan. This is worth clicking for the drawing of Lovejoy as “Reverend” alone, and that’s just one of them.
Top Ten Treehouses of Horror – As usual, nobody likes Zombie Simpsons, there’s one segment from Season 11 here, but nothing past that.
Kang from The Simpsons – Best Kang t-shirt ever? Best Kang t-shirt ever.
Time to waste time with Harry Shearer – Another non-Simpsons interview with Shearer, this one about ballsy comedies conducted by the Adult Swim people.
The Simpsons’ Top 11 Musical Guests – A truly cromulent list, lots of YouTube, and just a whiff of Zombie Simpsons towards the end.
The Gay Gal’s Guide to the 10 Best Halloween Episodes. – Our friend Lenny breaks it down, with Treehouse of Horrors coming in at #10 and #1.
Woody’s ‘Honeymoon’ Home Run – A while back I linked to that play Julie Kavner was going to be in. Well, here’s the review:
“Honeymoon Motel” is in a league of its own. It takes place entirely in the garish hideaway to which Jerry Spector (Steve Guttenberg) has abducted his son’s bride, Nina Roth (Ari Graynor), dragging her from under the chupah. Before long, the entire wedding party wends its way to the motel room, including Jerry’s horrified best friend, Eddie (Grant Shaud), his wife, Judy (Caroline Aaron), Nina’s parents, Fay (Julie Kavner) and Sam (Mark Linn-Baker), and even the pompous rabbi (Richard Libertini).
The insults and recriminations fly, with a constant string of revelations about each character’s most embarrassing flaws and most intimate sexual history. Kavner, whose nasal voice is best known as the voice of cartoon character of Marge Simpson, is especially funny as a doleful, cantankerous woman whose own marriage leaves much to be desired.
Love In The Time Of Matt Groening – The perils of dating a non-Simpsons fan, both highly entertaining and kinda depressing.
A Love Letter to Lisa Simpson – Pretty much what it says. Sadly contains Zombie Simpsons YouTube, happily also contains actual Simpsons YouTube.
Homer Simpson carved on to banana – Last week we had the Marge banana, here’s the Homer version.
I am the 1 Percent. – Burns is the 1%.
Best thing to happen to The Simpsons in YEARS, the “couch gag” at the end by John Kricfalusi. Behold actual funniness: – If you want to watch the Ren & Stimpy opening, Freakoutville has you covered.
Some records might not be worth having – From a tongue in cheek NHL breakdown:
Brendan Shanahan At the current pace, his “Brendan Shanahan Explains a Suspension” series will have produced more episodes than The Simpsons by mid-December.
Coke Names – This is almost excellent usage:
A couple of weeks ago when I saw ‘Wen’ as one of the names, I had a theory that some Coke execs’ son got his name on one of the bottles. Now with these other wacked-out names floating around, I came to believe the execs must be playing around with a Sarah-Palin-name-generator.
The whole thing reminds me of the old Simpsons scene:
Bart: Cool! Personalized plates! Barcley, Barry, Barry, Bert, Bort…come on…Bort?
Kid: Mommy mommy! Buy me a license plate!
Mom: No! Come along Bort!
Guy: Are you talking to me?
Mom: No, my son’s name is also Bort.
“Barry” is only said once, and the mom says “No, my son is also named Bort”, but other than that it’s dead on.
canned squid – It’s a real thing, which understandably prompted this:
it reminds me too much of the Simpsons episode where they buy cans of plankton. i am not trying to hate on canned sea creatures, but….for some reason that canned plankton just sticks with me as a real benchmark of what i’d like to avoid.
I’ve had enough good sushi in my life to know that squid can be delicious, but that does not look appetizing.
Keep your shirt on while you ogle them – Tiny representations of pop culture characters. The Simpson family are among the easiest here.
Top ten Twilight Zone references in pop culture – Only one entry from The Simpsons and it’s at #9? That’s shockingly low placement.
Top 10 Reasons Why I Love America | Debating Dykes – Ah, this is better. It’s a list of ten things about what makes America great with entries for an entire family of television channels (#7 ESPN) as well as the concept of television itself (#4 Television), and The Simpsons still makes the list with its own entry.
THE SIMPSONS Treehouse Of Horror XXII Promo Posters – There they are. You likely won’t remember them a week after the episode airs, but they’re there if you want to see them.
Today’s hybrid dessert: Doughnut Cake. Someday: Cookie-stuffed Pie, Chocolate Lava Baked Alaska* – Oh man, that pink frosted donut cake.
Long Night Of Driving And Gyros – It’s a YouTube video of nothing but the drunk cameraman “Technical Difficulties” sign and “Spanish Flea”. Well done, whoever.
The 10 Most Memorable Simpsons Alter-Egos – This is 100% Colombian link bait (it contains some guy from Season 21 I’d forgotten about and Armin Tamzarian), and it isn’t all that funny. I’m just linking it as further proof that no one remembers anything about post Season 10 Simpsons.
Hector Villagra: Who Should Police the Police? – Excellent usage:
In 1994, Lisa Simpson — daughter of Homer, sister of Bart — posed the question that continues to plague law enforcement: "If you’re the police, who will police the police?"
Homer answered, "I dunno; Coast Guard?"
New York Shitty Photo du Jour: Eyes On The Street – A little graffiti outline of Marge.
Six and a half cracking Star Wars parodies – Bi-Mon-Sci-Fi-Con is on here, and there’s lots of good YouTube.
A Simpsons Suffering – Allow me to answer these for you:
The Simpsons is a great show, or at least it was. The last decade has seen a clear decline in quality and ratings, and the show is no longer the alpha male in a pack of youthful ani-coms. But then again, drama like this often gives fire to an otherwise chilled entertainer. Now that the Simpsons is given another chance, and has less money as well, should we expect some sort of new exciting chapter in the Simpsons story? Will the writers, cast, and producers try to prove themselves to a patient fan base and a doubtful network? We shall certainly hope.
Respectively, the answers are “no” and “no”. Hope is futile, at least when it comes to Zombie Simpsons.
Basket Case…In 10 Words – “Give it a try. It’s like kissing a peanut.” “Homer, I want that thing out of my house.”
Comic Book Pick of the Day: Simpsons Comics #180 – A positive review of the comic book.
Magazine Design Fail – A less than positive review of the comic book.
Other themes you could use with The Simpsons; the elderly (Abe Simpson), friendship, families, childhood, marriage, relationships, responsibility… there are loads more I’m sure. You could also use it when studying narrative tenses, and get the students to write the plot of the story.
Stay south of Season 10 and you’ll find more themes than Shakespeare.
Most Misleading Movie Titles Ever – Excellent reference:
The NeverEnding Story – 1985
Now this one was just too obvious not to write about! I love the episode of The Simpsons where Lionel Hutz admits that he actually tried to sue the creators of this film for false advertisement.
I can imagine the court room scene now though. A really sharp looking laywer in full business suit complaining of the emotional torment and stress this film caused their client because they bought the film only because it promised to never end and the client thought “what a bargain.”
Hey, weird German puppets are their own never ending story, and Atreyu’s adventures live on inside all of us. Also, they did make two sequels, and, oh crap, apparently they’re remaking it as well.
An EB Expo, GoW3, Simpsons and Mango Epic. – A four year belated review of the Simpsons video game:
I’ve gone 4yrs back in time and started playing The Simpsons game. The camera angles are, quite frankly, complete shit. The number of times I have climbed up a pole and then tried to jump off onto a ledge, only to fall to my death because it’s so difficult to line it up properly is ridiculous. In general though, I am actually really, really enjoying it.
The Simpsons. Yet Again. – This is more generous than I’m willing to be, but I can’t disagree with any of it:
What transpired, most notably in the recent years, were episodes that came off as…disjointed. Story lines came about that were unbelievable, and quite frankly, completely off-book as far as the Simpson’s canon goes….
Yup, that’s about the size of it.
“Ah, these Laramie cigarettes give me the steady nerves I need to combat evil.” – Radioactive Man
“Gee willikers, Radioactive Man, wished I was old enough to smoke Laramies.” – Fallout Boy
“Sorry, Fallout Boy, not until you’re sixteen.” – Radioactive Man
Happy 20th anniversary to “Three Men and a Comic Book”! Original airdate 9 May 1991.
“Who’s that?” – Bart Simpson
“Oh, that’s my brother Asa. He was killed in the Great War. Held a grenade too long.” – Mrs. Glick
“This one’s for you Kaiser Bill, special delivery from Uncle Sam and all the boys in D Company. Yeah, Johnny, Harris, Brooklyn Bob, and Reggie, yeah, even Reggie, he ain’t so stuck up once you get to-” – Asa
“You know, kids, I’m sure we’d all like to remember actor Dirk Richter for his portrayal of Radioactive Man, and not the sordid details of his final years, so let’s keep the questions tasteful, okay?” – “Close Encounter of the Comic Book Kind” Convention Guy
When The Simpsons was still on the air, one of the most remarkable things about it was the sheer joke density of the writing. There were very few lines that weren’t jokes of some kind. Somewhere in the Ortved book, which I don’t have with me at the moment, someone recalls that at a writers’ meeting once they were arguing over a line. They were trying to cram extra gags into a single line so maniacally that whoever was in charge had to call a halt to things and say, “One joke per joke”.
The above is a perfect example of that kind of relentless obsession with pitch perfect comic density. All by itself it’s a damn funny line, alluding to all those marvelously salacious stories of what happens to celebrities once the spotlight fades. And putting it into the mouth of a nervous adult who clearly doesn’t want to be discussing such things in front of kids just makes it better. But it’s not even the joke, it’s just a setup.
The real joke comes twenty seconds later (twenty seconds of dialog that’s also crammed with punchlines), when Bart asks, “Do you think the ghost of Dirk Richter haunts the bordello where his bullet riddled body was found?” Bam, payoff! Now we know about those “sordid details” and, of course, it leads to Buddy Hodges’ hilarious breakdown where he calls Richter a “beautiful man”.
“Here you go, Apu.” – Bart Simpson
“Oh, very good. Would you like the deposit defrayed from the cost of a jumbo cherry Squishee?” – Apu Nahasapeemapetilon
“No, not today. I need the dime.” – Bart Simpson
“Oh, it is good to see you are learning a trade.” – Apu Nahasapeemapetilon
Image used under Creative Commons license from Flickr user Xopher Smith.
“Guess what? For a dollar a man sold me thirty-five “Casper”s and a dozen “Lois Lane”s.” – Lisa Simpson
I think the total number of links is down this week, but I also think I spent more time on some of them than I usually do. Whether or not this means an increase in quality or an increase in useless bloat is up to you, the reader. There’s an Ortved book review, a great blog (it’s the first link), some fan made art that combines Krusty and vodka, a philosophical question, and lots of usage.
Update 5:57pm: The link about the interview with Simpsons alum Bill Oakley doesn’t video, but someone from the show he was on commented and pointed it out on YouTube. I’ve put up a separate post with the interview embedded. Many thanks.
my favorite songs from the simpsons – This list is 100% pure Colombian WIN. It’s all classics, it’s got YouTube for all of them (though embedding is disabled on one) and the title of the blog is “lovely entropy”. Mmmmm, lovely entropy. As a special bonus if you click over there – which I strongly recommend you do – check out the graphic on the right hand side of “Links for Sunday”. If you have picked up a Nintendo controller in the last quarter century you will not be disappointed. (Also, she liked Ortved’s book.)
BE MORE FUNNY! – This review of Ortved’s book strikes me as rather harsh. He criticizes using the concept of an “oral history” without freshly interviewing many big names but doesn’t mention the fact that getting guys like Simon, Swartzwelder, Meyer or Groening might be impossible. This, in particular, strikes me as rather narrow minded:
But hey, we spend lots of time talking to various execs from Fox, and learn all about how the show got on the air–as if that’s the story anybody wants to hear.
I wanted to hear that. I really enjoyed learning about how the show first got off the ground, if anything it gave me a fresh appreciation for just how fucking lucky we are that The Simpsons ever existed. The alignment of planets that allowed a show with that much editorial freedom to be so widely distributed at such a ripe moment for cultural satire will very likely never come again.
I would also take exception to this:
He claims The Simpsons was unique in sitcom history for its caustic worldview, though everything from Sgt. Bilko to Buffalo Bill prove otherwise. He wants us to believe that the show appeared fully-formed in a sea of prime time mediocrity, though its first season was wobbly and the network landscape already included Cheers, Roseanne, The Wonder Years and an early incarnation of Seinfeld. (True, none of these shows were as good as The Simpsons at its best, but they weren’t chopped liver.)
Yes shows like “Cheers” and “Roseanne” were very popular and probably better than most of the dreck on television, but they were also formulaic as hell and nobody quotes them anymore. Whereas people still talk about and quote Season 1. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
Lack of interest, or short attention span? – I don’t really agree with this guy’s point (especially about the History Channel, which is now a non-historical cesspool almost 24 hours a day) but he does start it off with a great quote and he gets it dead on correct. So, excellent usage.
Absolut Krusty – It’s an image that’s exactly what you think it will be, but it’s still neat.
FOX 2009-10 Season Finale Dates – Summer vacation from Zombie Simpsons starts May 23rd.
Top 9 Cartoon Characters with Glasses – Frink is on here, and Hans Moleman is #1, but I get the feeling (especially looking at the honorable mentions) that this list could’ve very easily been all Simpsons and South Park.
The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future – Way to go kid in the comments.
Jokes For Your Mobile Phone – This is just horribly mangled:
"If a man wants to earn any money in this world, then they have to work! Now shut up son I’m trying to hear the lottery numbers."
The actual quote is:
“Son, if you really want something in this life, you have to work for it. Now quiet! They’re about to announce the lottery numbers.”
Bart Simpson Kids Bicycle Bell New – This is exactly what it says it is, I’m only linking it because on the picture you can clearly see the copyright is 1997. Anything and everything that can have a Simpson slapped on it will, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
An unequivocal ‘no’ – The question is “Does suffering improve us?”. I tend to agree, suffering, on balance, sucks ass. And this is excellent usage, apt and perfectly quoted:
I suspect that, as usual, The Simpsons gets it right. In one episode, Homer thinks he has 24 hours to live, but actually survives into the 25th. Jubilant, he declares, "From this day forward, I vow to live life to its fullest!" Over the credits, we see him back in front of the TV, his belly the only thing filled to its fullest.
Why Smithers Picked Me . . . – This is funny, but not, I think, in the way its author intended. The blog is from some consulting company in Utah (it seems to average about three posts a month). They’re peddling a book on “leadership” and seminars where people probably sit slack jawed and listen quietly in order to learn how to be inspiring leaders. Here is the opening of this post (bold in the original):
In his typical upside-down thinking, the popular cartoon character Homer Simpson once observed, “I think Smithers picked me because of my motivational skills. Everyone says they have to work a lot harder when I’m around.”
I don’t think Homer quite gets it. He is confusing obligation with inspiration. When Homer is “on the job,” his co-workers are obligated to work hard because he’s slacking off, rather than choosing to work hard because he inspires them. There’s a big difference.
He gets the quote slightly wrong (there should be an “always” between “everyone” and “says”) but the real fun is No-Shit-Sherlock quality of the second paragraph. Are you trying to tell me that Homer Simpson – Homer Simpson(!) – isn’t a good employee? Holy shit, I had no idea. It goes on from there and eventually concludes that even Homer could become a good “leader” with their books and seminars.
For bonus fun check out their actual website. It is a masterpiece of generic, small business web design. It features the unnecessary use of Flash, a contact page that doesn’t list an e-mail address but does have a submission form with 10 required fields, and, the paramount requirement for all websites of this type, lots of stock photos of smiling, multi-ethnic people in business attire.
60% Off Abraham Lincoln Children’s Book – Through February 21st you can get a kids book by Mike Reiss for just $5. The book is called “The Boy Who Looked Like Lincoln”, check this out:
Life isn’t easy for Benjy. He looks just like Abraham Lincoln — right down to the wart and beard. He receives stovepipe hats for every birthday and has to play Lincoln in every school play — whether he’s part of the story or not. The teasing never stops.
But then he spends a summer at Camp What-cha-ma-call-it — for Kids Who Look Like Things!
And if you’re wondering, yes, Reiss is credited on “Homer’s Triple Bypass”.
Friend Qualifiers – Can you be good friends with someone who doesn’t like The Simpsons? I suppose you can but I am always dismayed when people shrug their shoulders at the show. I blame Zombie Simpsons for cheapening them.
Lea Michele, Cory Monteith and Amber Riley to appear on The Simpsons – Some of the cast of Glee is going to guest voice next season on Zombie Simpsons. Cross promotion troopers, forward!
Bill Oakley – Oakley was on a Portland area TV show that broadcasts at 6:30 in the morning on Sundays. Uh, I missed it. Unfortunately I can find neither video nor a transcript.
The Simpsons Movie (2007, Animated Satire) – 1/10 movie review – I’m not a big fan of the movie, but this guy really hates it:
Made several years after The Simpsons ran out of ideas, jokes and even vaguely competent writing and story-telling ability, this is an embarrassing (featuring the ever hilarious lynch mob, glassing, homosexual policemen, suicide and pig beastiality), unconvincing, boring and amazingly unfunny big-screen outing for the yellow ones. According to IMDb, it took 158 drafts to remove all the jokes. It culminates in the most horrifying word they could possibly utter: sequel.
At least we know he hates Zombie Simpsons.
“Well, you know what I think? I think Casper is the ghost of Richie Rich.” – Bart Simpson
“Hey, they do look alike!” – Lisa Simpson
“Wonder how Richie died…” – Bart Simpson
“Perhaps he realized how hollow the pursuit of money really is and took his own life.” – Lisa Simpson
“Kids, could you lighten up a little?” – Marge Simpson
“We worked so hard and now it’s all gone. We ended up with nothing because the three of us can’t share.” – Bart Simpson “What’s your point?” – Milhouse van Houten “Nothing, just kinda ticks me off.” – Bart Simpson
That is how you end an episode between Bart and Milhouse. Or, if you need them to reconcile, you can have Bart smash open a Magic 8 Ball on Milhouse’s skull, but it’s a sweet moment because he didn’t use the brick, broken bottle or pair of scissors.
Flowers and apologies? Fuck off, Zombie Simpsons.
“Hey, when I was your age fifty cents was a lot of money.” – Homer Simpson
One of the many horrible side effects of the fact that there hasn’t been a genuine Simpsons episode in more than a decade is that we are now raising a generation of Simpsons cripples. Anyone born after the late 1980s didn’t become old enough to really appreciate the show until well after it’d fallen on hard times. These days even the syndication runs are so polluted with Zombie Simpsons and its semi-lifeless forbearers that a decent appreciation of the classics needs to be deliberately sought out or instilled.
For example, I have a bunch of nieces and nephews ranging in age from six to thirteen; they all like watching The Simpsons. But they have a hard time distinguishing real Simpsons from Zombie Simpsons. When I get out my laptop at family gatherings and queue up some of the classics they’ll sit there, riveted to the screen, and laugh out loud. They TiVo the syndicated episodes at home, but until I started showing them the original seasons they had hardly seen any of those episodes. To them, The Simpsons is just another television show; there was never a time in their lives when it stood head and shoulders above everything else.