“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.