Page to Screen

One of the consistently puzzling aspects of Zombie Simpsons, for me anyway, is trying to imagine how anyone, in a writers room, at a table read, really at any point in the creation of the show, could’ve found some of this stuff funny.  Was it really a laugh riot in the studio when they were discussing different things for Marge to spell out with the rhythmic gymnastics ribbon?  Did somebody mention old Rodney Dangerfield movies and everyone just started cutting up?  It’s pretty hard to picture. 

The examples above are from Season 21, but this interview with George Meyer (which is partially excepted in the Ortved book) sheds some light on a possibly similar situation from Season 12.  In discussing the Hobo from “Simpsons Tall Tales” Meyer says:

That one had my personal favorite internal gag that nobody outside of the show will ever see. At one point, the hobo is spinning a yarn, and Lisa interrupts with a story of her own. The hobo snaps, “Hey, who’s the hobo here?” And in the script, his dialogue note is “[ALL BUSINESS].” [Laughs] I love the idea that a hobo would be “all business.”

I laughed when I read that (it’s in the book).  The idea that a hobo would be “all business” is hilarious, but when you watch that the episode that gets lost.  The description is better than the actual scene. 

It’s clear from the quote that Meyer knows that those of us not in the room won’t see that.  But it’s also clear that the creation process was funnier than the finished product.   And while this is just one example, and it probably doesn’t apply to the overwhelming majority of Zombie Simpsons crapola, it’s illustrative of how things can get lost in translation. 

(The whole Meyer interview is a good read.) 

2 Responses to “Page to Screen”

  1. 21 October 2009 at 2:41 am

    Ah, George Meyer. Did you guys ever read this article?


    George Meyer used to live in Wilt Chamberlain’s palacial Bel Air mansion. Nothing but the best when you’re the guy who wrote “Separate Vocations” and “Homer the Heretic”…

    • 2 Charlie Sweatpants
      21 October 2009 at 4:22 pm

      I heard about that but I thought “George Meyer sells house two years ago” was too weak to hang a post off (even for us). That is a sweet house though.

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