Archive for December, 2010


Reading Digest: Retrospective Edition

Summer of 4 Ft 2(6)

“Ah, the reward for a year’s worth of toil and sacrifice: Retrospecticus.” – Lisa Simpson 

It being the end of the year and all, people are taking stock and looking back.  This week that includes one long generalize look back at the show and two people who did what I did and looked back at “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire”.  In addition to that we’ve got lots of usage, retrospectives on other Christmas specials, David Silverman’s New Year’s card, old t-shirts, and a couple of people finding inner peace through The Simpsons.


Review of Daft Puck’s album Tron: Legacy Original Soundtrack released through EMI – It opens with excellent usage in the form of a paraphrase of Milhouse:

They started out like Romeo and Juliet, but it ended up in tragedy.

Ralphie Parker vs. Ralph Wiggum – Comparing the Ralphs from “A Christmas Story” and The Simpsons

I start to see The Simpsons – A guy from northern Iran is just getting started with The Simpsons.  This is awesome:

I knew that this cartoon may have copy right but something that you might knew that is in my country we don’t have any sales with this products and the other side we don’t have lows for stop the copyright brokers. So to this time I download 3 seasons of Simpsons but see 4 episode of it and I can tell you that were amazing and I enjoy it and tell you that you might see it!

Cheers to Amin in Iran.

2. The Simpsons – A well written retrospective that doesn’t dance around the sad existence of Zombie Simpsons. 


A fantastic quote from an otherwise sub-par episode.

Whats hot on the street: Vintage Black Bart Simpson t-shirts – Sweet old Simpsons t-shirts.  In the irony department, the only one actually being worn appears to be on a white guy. 

My Favorite Movie – Animated .gif of man getting hit by football. 

Week 21 Review: The Satisfaction of Pop-Culture Exegesis, or The Unexamined Simpsons Episode is Not Worth Watching – An examination of “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire”, including an in depth examination of Lisa’s gentle but thorough evisceration of Patty for thoughtlessly bashing Homer:

And then the way that Aunt Patty dismisses Lisa is compelling to me. She pauses, considers what Lisa just said, and then just tells her to watch her cartoon. Does she do this because she feels embarrassed that she’s been called out by her niece? Does she not fully understand what Lisa’s just said? Or perhaps she’s just decided she’d rather not think too deeply about the implications of Lisa’s statements?

If I may take a stab at answering that, I’ve always loved Patty’s dismissal of Lisa.  The Simpsons had that wonderful anti-authority streak to it, and this is just one of the many subtle forms it takes.  Even though Lisa won the argument hands down, Patty, by dint of her senior position in the family pecking order, is able to just blow her off.  The kid is right, but the adult wins. 

My Favourite Christmas TV Specials – Our old friend Charles at Animation Anomaly takes a look some Matt Groening Christmas specials. 

Excellent – Adorable picture of an infant doing the Mr. Burns thing with his/her fingers.  There’s even excellent usage beneath it. 

Simpsons Wedding Cake – A sweet Simpsons cake complete with excellent usage from “Secrets of a Successful Marriage”. 

Simpson cupcake set – Fredy – Pretty much what it says, Simpsons cupcakes. 

Yes, I AM making fun of The Simpsons. – An eight pane comic that ends with Lisa’s nightmare future from “Lisa the Simpson”. 

So this is the New Year… – Welcoming the new year with a sense of inner calm thanks to the meditative effect of a ten minute YouTube video of “Dental Plan-Lisa Needs Braces”. 

No More Emotional Pink Bellies – Vowing not to beat oneself up because, as Bart says, “That belly ain’t gonna get any pinker.” 

David Silverman – Simpson alum David Silverman’s New Year’s card for this year. 

25 Days of Christmas Episodes Day 16: The Simpsons – “Simpsons Roasting on an Open fire” – Another long look at the first episode.  It’s worth reading in full, but I’m going to end with this:

The problem with writing about The Simpsons is that there’s so much to say. Despite its current state as a shell of its former self, this is a show that sustained a level of brilliance for a length of time that I don’t think has ever been achieved before in this medium.

Damn right.


Quote of the Day

Flaming Moe's3

“Take it easy Homer, I learned how to make other drinks at bartender school.  Gin and . . . tonic?  Do they mix?” – Moe


The Frying Game Makes Baby Jesus Cry

Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo1

“Before I go I want to say something. Game shows aren’t about cruelty. They’re about greed, and wonderful prizes like poorly built catamarans. But somewhere along the line you lost your way. For shame.” – Homer Simpson

This is the final sentence of the plot summary on the Wikipedia entry for “The Frying Game”:

Carmen Electra tries to explain, but Homer is too busy looking at her chest.

Nothing further need be said. There are nine people who felt the need to commiserate though, including Groening and token woman Deb Lacusta.

0:50 – The “Screamapillar” was Swartzwelder’s idea. And it was Castellaneta who did the screaming, so they had to be mindful of not wearing out his voice. Jean casually mentions that there was a lot of screaming in the movie. Yeah, we know.

2:00 – Lacusta was about to tell a story about when she knew Swartzwelder back in Chicago, but then the Screamapillar appeared and they all stop to listen to Castellaneta’s yells.

2:30 – Lacusta’s story resumes. She use to work at an advertising agency with Swartzwelder, and he almost never came out of his office, but was still kind of the star of the office.

3:30 – This leads to general reminiscing about Swartzwelder and how he got to write from home eventually.

5:00 – Still going on about Swartzwelder. It’s fun. Someone asked of he was conservative, but Jean didn’t really think so. During the Clinton Administration he would talk about how he thought Clinton would end up being hung from a tree while he was President, but Jean didn’t think he was trying to do anything other than piss off the mostly liberal writing staff.

6:00 – The episode is falling apart on screen, but everyone’s still joking around about Swartzwelder. Before he got started he would write letters to celebrities asking if he could have a thousand dollars. Nobody ever responded, but he didn’t think it hurt to try.

6:45 – Long silence.

7:00 – Laughing at the improbability of their goofy game show setup and how seriously people took the ending.

7:45 – Another long silence.

8:30 – They’re telling a story about Dana Gould and Vampira. Apparently he helped her out in her final years and even helped pay for her funeral. This leads to much laughing about the complication of vampire funerals.

9:10 – Tom Gammill, who is easy to like on these commentaries because he comes across like a true goofball, asks Lacusta how she and Castellaneta met. It was an improv class in Chicago. Castellaneta was wearing brown plaid polyester and she thought she could work with that.

10:15 – As Lacusta’s story winds down, Jean picks up the thread and says that Mike Reiss’s wife met him similarly. The first time she saw him he was on stage hosting a talent show. On screen, there was just a phony murder.

10:45 – More fun personal facts while Homer and Marge are being ham handedly framed for murder. Castellaneta doesn’t lapse into Homer’s voice when he’s mad, but Lacusta finds it amusing that “D’oh!” is part of the vernacular now.

11:20 – Castellaneta once recorded an answering machine message for a friend in Homer’s voice, but it instantly filled up with people making Simpsons jokes.

12:00 – Bored with the episode, they’re laughing about getting GPS direction in Homer’s voice.

12:10 – Jean’s recounting tales of Nancy Cartwright surprising people with the Bart voice.

12:40 – Jean remarks that once, in a different episode, they cut a joke of Lovejoy driving past the church marquee and commenting on how he never sees those messages on it.

12:55 – More tangentially related tidbits. In Hollywood you really can take a tour of places people are buried just like Otto is doing on screen right now.

13:30 – Still talking about all the tours of places people died or are buried, which leads to thrilling tales of whose in-laws were in town while this was recorded. That last part is not a typo.

14:10 – After a small silence and the realization that the commentary had completely left the orbit of the episode, Jean asks director Michael Polcino if he has anything to add. He doesn’t, though it then comes up that Polcino has never met Swartzwelder.

14:40 – Jean takes the opportunity to recount and deny the old rumor that John Swartzwelder was a made up name that the staff used whenever they had written an episode together.

15:15 – That leads to more Swartzwelder stories. I guess he has sometimes rented out the Mariners stadium in Seattle so that he and his friends can play baseball in a Major League park. There is some debate as to whether or not they play by very old rules when they do this and discussion of Swartzwelder’s love of baseball history.

15:50 – Homer and Marge were just convicted of murder during a rather long silence.

16:30 – They notice the episode long enough to mention the priest versus minister fight.

17:00 – Now they’re talking about prisoners last meals and the death penalty in general. Jean’s opposed to it.

18:20 – There’s a very brief part that’s like The Green Mile here, and I guess Michael Clark Duncan was on the FOX lot that day for something else but didn’t want to come in and play himself. My affinity for Michael Clark Duncan just increased.

18:45 – That segues into Jean talking about that Stephen King book with the dome.

19:30 – The usual nervous laughter and bad excuses are being made as the ending twists.

20:00 – That leads to discussion of other reality shows and how bad they are.

21:00 – And then it ends.


Quote of the Day

Bart's Dog Gets an F8

“Is my dog dead, ma’am?” – Bart Simpson
“You don’t know how often I’m asked that.  ‘Choke chain’ is a misnomer, trust me, they are always breathing.” – Emily Winthrop

Happy birthday Tracey Ullman! 


I Am Furious (Yellow) Makes Baby Jesus Cry

Stan Lee

Image used under Creative Commons license from Flickr user heath_bar. 

“How about if we tell you our problems with relationships?” – Principal Skinner
“Yeah, yeah, that’ll eat up some time.” – Homer Simpson

Stan Lee did a guest voice in this episode and they invited him back for the commentary. If you’ve read any of the previous installments in this series, or listened to any of these commentaries, you can probably guess what happens. This is basically twenty-two minutes of them shooting the shit with Stan Lee.

The episode itself is about as lazy and uncreative as they come, though that’s hardly unusual for Zombie Simpsons. In case you’ve forgotten, it involves Homer getting the shit beaten out of him for pretty much the entire episode. But thanks to Lee, they won’t have to talk about it at all.

Ten guys on this one, including Groening and Lee.

0:30 – Jean’s praising Lee like he’s introducing him in front of a Ladies Auxiliary or something.

1:05 – Lee’s answering a question about “Fantastic Four”.

1:40 – Selman is recounting the premise of this story by kissing up to Groening and Lee.

2:30 – Much self congratulatory chuckling going on.

3:10 – Jean’s asking Lee generic fanboy questions. It’s actually mildly entertaining, though I get the sense that Lee is giving a speech he’s given at conventions and in interviews several hundred times.

4:15 – Lee’s speech ends, and the questions about comic books continue.

4:45 – Lee’s recounting the story of how Wolverine got created.

5:40 – After some talk about various internet animation projects the writers were involved in, Stan Lee shows up on screen and everyone shuts up.

6:10 – After a long silence, they resume kissing Lee’s ass.

6:50 – This is Chris Farley Show level. Jean literally just reminded Lee of a time he was in one of the comic books as himself and asked him how cool it was.

7:40 – Lee is at least game for having his ass kissed. It’s kind of entertaining, though I continue to get the feeling he can do this in his sleep.

8:40 – See above. On screen Homer just had a couch fall on him.

9:30 – I don’t know Matt Selman, I don’t know what he’s like in real life, and I don’t want to pick on the guy, but he really comes across as a brown nose in these commentaries. He just asked Stan Lee if he would win in a fight against Spike Lee, and laughed heartily at the response when most everyone else remained silent.

10:35 – Mildly interesting animation note here about how they did the computer animations for Bart’s comic. They were going to use Flash, but the Flash department at Film Roman couldn’t do it in time, so it’s faked Flash.

11:40 – Animation interlude over, it’s back to asking Lee questions.

12:20 – Selman asks Lee about which of the recent big comic book movies made changes that annoyed him the most. The winner? Spider-Man 3 and their gigantic Sandman. Holy crap that movie was boring.

13:10 – Whoa, irony alert. Lee’s criticizing the sloppy plotting of Spider-Man 3 and Jean agrees with him.

13:30 – Selman asks which character Lee wants to see get a movie. It’s Dr. Strange.

14:10 – Jean asks Lee when he knew Spider-man and such would be popular. Oh, and this episode is basically nothing but Homer getting hurt.

15:15 – Lee’s talking about how he likes to write standing up, which prompts Selman to compliment him on his figure. Lee actually gets a little embarrassed, but Selman keeps it up.

Look, I’ve never met anyone I’m a huge fan of, and I’d probably turn into a simpering pile of fanboy mush around a lot of people, but this is really out of hand. Selman is just relentless, filling even the tiniest opening in the conversation with some question or comment that flatters Lee. I feel bad for both of them.

16:20 – The commentary takes a brief second to notice the episode, but then quickly returns to the Mutual Admiration Society. Meanwhile, Homer just got hit with a piano.

17:20 – Reminiscing about how “Three Men and a Comic Book” was one of the first times a comic convention or any of that culture was portrayed on television.

18:30 – After a little talk about how it made sense when Homer turns into the Hulk, Lee says that one of the best things about the show is how logical and realistic it is, how “they are just like the people next door”. He was being sincere, but there was some laughter when he said it. Not everyone knew he wasn’t kidding because they know how crazy the show has gotten even if he doesn’t. Jean responds, “Would you mind going on-line and saying that?”.

19:15 – That leads to Jean asking how Lee heard from fans back in the day. They got letters, but I get the sense that most of them were positive. Meanwhile, the show is earning its Hulk moment by dragging Homer upside down through cactuses and diapers.

20:50 – True to form, they’re going out with more about how awesome Lee and his work are.

21:30 – A big part of Lee’s shtick is half-ragging on D.C. Comics, and that causes someone to say “D.C. is your Family Guy”. Okay, that’s kinda funny.

21:45 – And we end on applause.


Quote of the Day

The Old Man and the Lisa4

“Sorry kids, the trip to Albany is off, and there is to be no more recycling.” – Principal Skinner
“But we didn’t do that badly.  We collected enough paper to save one whole tree.” – Lisa Simpson



Homer at the Bat4

“Something told me this was a very special, very magical piece of wood . . . that I could make a bat out of.” – Homer Simpson

What do you see in the picture below?


If all you see is a pile of wood in a plastic bad then you are only partially correct.  For at the time this picture was taken, one of those pieces of wood held a bitching carving of Homer Simpson.  Click here for the full gallery of images, from unformed to carefully carved with hair on top.  I know I say this a lot, but projects like this one are a million times cooler than any amount of collectable plastic. 


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