“The Sweetest Apu” Makes Baby Jesus Cry

A Star is Burns6

“But first we have a special guest: Rainer Wolfcastle, star of the reprehensible McBain movies.” – Jay Sherman

I have very little memory of this episode. Turns out that’s a good thing, because it’s bad. And since the commentators didn’t bother to comment on it much, I’m not going to either. I will say that, unlike most of the times they just completely ignore the episode, this one could have been very entertaining. Unfortunately, I’m not a big fan of Inside the Actors Studio. If I were, I would have found this fascinating. There’s a lot of information from Lipton about the beginning of the show, how it works, and even a story he’s never told before! You could footnote half a Wikipedia article from this commentary alone.

So, if you like Inside the Actors Studio, I can wholeheartedly recommend this. If, like me, you’re pretty meh about Inside the Actors Studio, I would find something else to do with your twenty-two minutes.

Seven guys on this one, including James Lipton (again) and Castellaneta.

0:30 – And we start off with Jean asking Lipton about how he got on Inside the Actors Studio. Lipton tries to demur, but everyone laughs and they go ahead with the story.

1:30 – Jean keeps the Lipton biography going with this probing question, “When did you realize you would be getting so many amazing actors to come into the show?”

2:30 – Lipton still droning on. If you’re really into Inside the Actors studio, this might be interesting to you. Remember, I said “If”.

3:00 – Lipton says that the two most popular episodes of his show were the one with the Simpsons people and Robin Williams. Jean thinks it was probably the only time the whole voice cast was interviewed together.

3:25 – Jean startles Castellaneta by asking him what it was like being on Lipton’s show. He wasn’t paying attention.

3:35 – Castellaneta liked being on.

4:15 – Someone else asks Lipton another question about his show. Now they’re talking about the various parodies.

5:20 – After Frink shows up with his giant mechanical spider, Jean helpfully points out that this is a “reference” to Wild Wild West.

5:45 – Still talking about Inside the Actors Studio, people ask all the time about why Julie Kavner disappeared in the middle. She had to catch a ferry.

6:45 – More celebrity stories about Inside the Actors Studio.

7:10 – Jean breaks in briefly to say that the long joke where Homer walks backwards was Swartzwelder’s idea. Then back to Lipton.

8:10 – Lipton still talking.

8:50 – Lipton’s at least talking about The Simpsons instead.

9:00 – Jean’s telling a story about Taxi.

10:00 – Lipton’s praising the show some more.

10:20 – Jean says that the sign humor, basically written stuff in the background, is the thing that takes the most time compared to the amount of time on screen. That must be why things like this happen.

10:55 – It impresses Lipton that the show has “fornication” in it.

11:35 – When Lipton was a kid he had to get his pornography in the form of outlaw comic books. Someone then pipes in that when he was a kid he jerked off to breast self exam advertisements.

12:00 – Jean’s describing how they got cracked down on for nudity after Janet Jackson again.

13:00 – Everyone gets quiet as the actual Lipton parts are on.

13:40 – Jean’s asking his standard question about how people reacted after they were on the show. Lipton got a lot of voicemails.

14:00 – Jean wants Lipton to reveal something about Inside the Actors Studio again. This time, he wants a story Lipton’s never told before. Have you ever heard the one about the priest and Charliez Theron’s mom? It’s a lot less dirty than I just made it sound and the story ends with “and nothing happened”.

15:45 – Lipton’s telling stories again.

16:45 – They’re actually talking about the episode here. They like the divorce lawyer.

17:30 – Jean always thinks the animators do a good job whenever they have to animate snow for a winter episode.

18:20 – Long silence.

19:00 – Hey, an actual piece of information. After Apu breaks up with his mistress on her doorstep, they were going to show that she had Chief Wiggum inside and was also having an affair with him. But they thought all that marital infidelity was too sad.

19:40 – Jean’s telling an unrelated story again, but this one is funny. When he was at National Lampoon they had a cartoonist who submitted a cartoon to The New Yorker with some erudite caption like “I say, it’s raining outside.” He then submitted the same exact cartoon to the Lampoon, the caption was “Blow me.”

20:30 – Jean explains that they didn’t set out to hire all Harvard guys, it just sort of happened. You need something written, and one Harvard guy calls a friend who’s funny. This is the real value of a first class education.

21:10 – After another long silence, Lipton’s yelling about how much he loves the show again.

21:35 – And it ends with a round of applause.

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