16
Sep
10

“The Bart Wants What It Wants” Makes Baby Jesus Cry

“Why would anybody wanna touch a girl’s butt? That’s where cooties come from!” – Bart Simpson

This is another one of those Season 13 episodes that blazes around at high speeds, shifting gears at random while not doing a whole lot in the a) making jokes or b) making sense categories. It’s also another in the long line of Bart-gets-a-girlfriend episodes and, like most of them, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and involves a lot of awkward pauses and pointless exposition. The commentary does its best to ignore all this and is greatly aided by the presence of Pamela Hayden who does the voice for Milhouse. They spend more than half the commentary just asking her random Milhouse questions. The end result is that there is some decent Milhouse trivia here, but no insight into this craptacular excuse for an episode.

Eleven guys on this one, including Hayden as the token female.

0:55 – Apparently this is Hayden’s first commentary recording.

1:10 – Jean asks Hayden how she came up with the voice of Milhouse. She originally tried out to be the voice of one of Bart’s friends in a Butterfinger commercial, pre-series.

tmyk2

2:15 – They changed the Olympic rings on the side of the helicopter just enough so they don’t have to pay. You know who the real crooks are? Those sleazy Hollywood producers.

3:00 – The Canadians were disappointed as this was billed as a Simpsons-go-to-Canada episode and Canada is barely in it.

3:45 – They’re talking about Canada, not much is going on.

4:15 – Important trivia point: “Now, this is really Wolfgang Puck.” Sadly, he brought no food to the recording.

4:30 – Saying how nice Reese Witherspoon was.

5:25 – They were going to make a George Bush joke, but didn’t on account of they thought it was too soon after the 2001 attacks. That leads into a discussion of why they never made fun of Bush much, and Jean lays the blame on the fact that they never had someone who could do the voice really well. I try not to break out Comic Book Guy’s most famous expression very often, but: Worst. Excuse. Ever.

You have what might be the most talented and versatile voice casts in the history of television plus any number of serious actors and comedians who would fall over themselves for a reoccurring role on your show, and you couldn’t get someone to do a presidential impression? Bullshit.

6:30 – After a long silence, they’re working Hayden into the conversation when the subject of Milhouse’s original design comes up. There’s a rumor that it was based on Joel Cohen’s brother Rob, but Jean says that though he wasn’t there when they did it, he heard Milhouse was modeled after the friend on The Wonder Years. There’s certainly a resemblance.

7:05 – Long silence.

7:25 – More Milhouse trivia. Hayden can’t remember her first line as Milhouse in the commercial, nor if she met Cartwright then. To her credit, she finishes with a quick Grampa line, “It was nineteen aught two . . .” to laughter.

8:40 – Laughing at the dated-ness of making fun of what at the time was the relatively new format of DVD.

9:20 – The family is sitting down to dinner with Wolfcastle, and they remember that Schwarzenegger used to have a sausage restaurant.

10:15 – Milhouse shows up to do the Budweiser “Wassuuuuup?” thing about three years after people stopped doing it, and two and a half years after people stopped making fun of it. This leads to people remembering the commercial.

10:45 – Long silence as Homer introduces Wolfcastle to Lenny and Carl at Moe’s.

11:30 – Silence broken by a discussion of celebrity lookalikes, quickly returns to silence.

12:05 – Someone notices this and says, “Lotta quiet for twelve people.” (I counted eleven, but whatever.) So Jean tells a very old joke (seriously, this thing is ancient, I think I heard it the first time in about the sixth grade):

There’s a guy who’s really sick, and his wife has no money so she has to earn money and she goes out and sleeps with a bunch of guys. And she comes in and goes, “Well, I earned $630.05.” And he goes “Who paid you five cents?”, and she goes “Everybody”.

12:25 – Joke over, silence returns. This time someone breaks it by playing Delroy Lindo and asking Hayden if when she started doing Milhouse she ever thought he would be this global icon. If the staff of the show starts asking itself the same inane questions that lazy entertainment reporters ask them, isn’t that going to lead to some kind of feedback loop that will cause the media universe to collapse in on itself?

13:00 – Still asking Hayden about the early days of Milhouse, now they’re wondering in which episode he made his first appearance.

13:25 – Talking about other characters that may have originated in commercials. As per usual, not a whole lot of commentary about what’s going on in the episode.

13:55 – Lisa’s hair is in curlers for some reason and gets noticed, but the closest the commentary comes to actually commenting on it is to wonder how that results in her spiky hair look.

14:40 – Again joking that Canada hasn’t been in the episode yet.

15:15 – Now discussing who’s got Canadian citizenship and who’s got American citizenship. Scintillating.

15:45 – Discussing whether Rob and Joel Cohen are the only brothers to have written for the show. They are not. Mike Scully and his brother Brian both wrote for the show. Marc Wilmore is the brother of Daily Show correspondent Larry, but Larry never wrote for the show.

16:15 – Now we’re discussing whether or not Reese Witherspoon’s character really likes Milhouse or whether she was just doing it to get back at Bart. This lead to a discussion of all the girlfriends Bart has had, and they wanted to do a joke about it with all his exes in a bus flipping him off.

16:40 – In regards to Bart, “He’s certainly dated all the up and coming young starlets. He’s like the Warren Beatty of cartoons.” At least they’re aware they’ve done a ton of these.

17:15 – A lot of small giggling here about not much in general.

17:30 – Once upon a time Jean was surprised that they have adult women doing the kids voices.

18:15 – Finally got to Canada, which is followed by the fact that this is the song from Bob & Doug McKenzie, which is followed by a discussion of the fact that the US dollar used to be worth more than the Canadian dollar.

19:10 – Jean tells a story, which he admits might be false, that once upon a time someone was shooting a movie in Toronto that was set in New York. To make it look more like New York, they put garbage in the streets, but each night it would get picked up and they had to trash the place again in the morning. This has nothing to do with the episode, which now has Homer and Bart sneaking onto a movie set.

20:00 – The history of Bob & Doug McKenzie.

20:15 – Now they’re all reminiscing about how they got writing gigs and various other Canadian comedians. Meanwhile, Bart and Milhouse are fighting on a curling sheet.

20:50 – Still reminiscing about old Canadian comedy.

21:15 – “I like how all the curling audience is just enthralled by this.” That’s met with general laughter.

Thrilling Conclusion

Like the curling crowd, the writers are sure you’ll find the conclusions of their episodes more
exciting than a weekend with Batman.

21:40 – Now some of them are remembering sports they played in school.

21:55 – Someone jokes, “So this show needs an Act 4.” Again, it’s met with laughter before Jean puts on his Future Cap: “We switched to four acts, but I always think in the world of the future where you the view sit, they’re just gonna be all one piece because you’re going to be watching them on downloads or DVDs.”

22:10 – And a general cheer for Hayden ends things.


7 Responses to ““The Bart Wants What It Wants” Makes Baby Jesus Cry”


  1. 16 September 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Not sure if you knew this (your wording was a little vague), but Milhouse was created for The Simpsons’ first Butterfinger commercial, and was never originally intended to be a character on the show.

    • 2 Charlie Sweatpants
      17 September 2010 at 10:14 am

      That’s what Hayden said. It was news to me, and to pretty much everyone else commenting with her.

  2. 3 Derp
    16 September 2010 at 9:04 pm

    Fascinating that they fail to really comment on the episode.
    I suppose that shows how vapid the episode really is if they have to resort to telling jokes and long silences.

    I’ve watched the classic seasons so much that I never contemplated getting the DVDs. However, now I’m wondering what their commentaries are like.
    Any comments?

    • 4 Jacob Brown
      16 September 2010 at 9:23 pm

      The commentaries for the classic episodes are pretty good, actually. Lots of insight and jokes on each episode.

      • 5 Charlie Sweatpants
        17 September 2010 at 10:13 am

        I haven’t listened to too many of the classic year commentaries. Mostly because whenever I do watch one I quickly start wanting to just watch the episode instead of listen to the commentary. But I did listen to the commentary for “Homer’s Night Out” way back when I got Season 1 on DVD nine years ago. It only had three guys commenting so they could actually had a conversation, which is vastly better than these mega-rooms where you can’t tell who’s talking and there’s no flow whatsoever. I still remember Jon Vitti talking about how, in those pre-internet days, it took them forever to figure out the anagram joke when Bart rearranges “Cod Platter” to “Cold Pet Rat”.

        • 6 D.N.
          17 September 2010 at 8:50 pm

          I’ve listened to all of the commentaries for seasons 1-8, and I’d say that generally they’re all pretty good. The ones with Conan O’Brien are especially funny. I’ve seen all the episodes a gazillion times so I can watch them with commentary without wanting the people to shut up!

          I think I listened to about half the commentaries on season 9 before losing interest – and I’m sure the dullness of the commentaries must have something to do with the declining quality of the episodes themselves. The commentators probably can’t muster anything much in the way of decent conversation when the episodes aren’t worth talking about. I can only say, my hat’s off to Charlie for slogging through the season 12 and 13 commentaries.

  3. 7 D.N.
    17 September 2010 at 8:55 pm

    “They were going to make a George Bush joke, but didn’t on account of they thought it was too soon after the 2001 attacks. That leads into a discussion of why they never made fun of Bush much, and Jean lays the blame on the fact that they never had someone who could do the voice really well. I try not to break out Comic Book Guy’s most famous expression very often, but: Worst. Excuse. Ever.

    You have what might be the most talented and versatile voice casts in the history of television plus any number of serious actors and comedians who would fall over themselves for a reoccurring role on your show, and you couldn’t get someone to do a presidential impression? Bullshit.”

    The very fact that Jean’s offered up such an obviously bullshit excuse makes me sniff a cover-up. I mean, both the original Bush and then Clinton were both parodied in the show during their respective administrations, then W. is conspicuously absent during his eight years? D’you think Fox mandated Bush a no-joke zone to the makers of The Simpsons? Whatever the reason, the non-presence of Bush in Zombie Simpsons is especially egregious. The fact that Family Guy had no problem portraying Bush as a simpleton, and Zombie Simpsons didn’t portray Bush at all, just goes to show how toothless the latter show had become.


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