Archive for April, 2011



26
Apr
11

Quote of the Day

Reactor #4

Image used under Creative Commons license from Flickr user Timm Suess. More here.

“And thank you most of all for nuclear power, which has yet to cause a single, proven fatality . . . at least in this country.  Amen.” – Homer Simpson

25
Apr
11

Monday Evening Cartoons

Bart the Murderer9

“Hey, I like this kid.  I can’t believe we we’re gonna shoot him.” – Fat Tony

As part of the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day that opens this episode, Bart eventually falls down some concrete stairs, only to have a halo of guns surround his head.  His ultimate fate is decided in court, on charges of murder; in between he is in various forms of serious jeopardy.  But no matter how many times guns are jammed in his face or adults scheme his false conviction, the story is never played for tension or suspense.

This extends to Bart’s nightmare, where he’s haunted by grim, black-and-white imaginings of the many ways his new compatriots may have gruesomely disposed of his principal.  But even that turns into less The Seventh Seal and more Young Frankenstein once Reverend Lovejoy and Homer show up to, respectively, tacitly condone and enthusiastically encourage the execution of a ten-year-old.  Even in the protected confines of a network comedy, an audience would be expected to blanche at a child contemplating wrongful execution.  Yet The Simpsons not only hung their entire ending off of it and made it funny the whole way, they let the real bad guys get away in the end.

25
Apr
11

Bonus Quote of the Day

Marge vs. the Monorail5

“Pardon me, but I would like to see this money spent on more police officers.  I have been shot eight times this year, and as a result I almost missed work.” – Apu Nahasapeemapetilon
“Crybaby.” – Chief Wiggum

Happy birthday Hank Azaria!

25
Apr
11

Quote of the Day

Lisa's Substitute3

“They need me over in the projects of Capital City.” – Mr. Bergstrom
“But, I need you too.” – Lisa Simpson
“That’s the problem with being middle class, anybody who really cares will abandon you for those who need it more.” – Mr. Bergstrom

Happy 20th anniversary to “Lisa’s Substitute”!  Original airdate 25 April 1991.

24
Apr
11

Quote of the Day

ET Easter

“I remember another gentle visitor from the heavens.  He came in peace, and then died, only to come back to life.  And his name was . . . E.T., the Extra Terrestrial.  I love that little guy.” – Reverend Lovejoy

23
Apr
11

Quote of the Day

Realty Bites4

“Hey, Skinner, wanna drag race?” – Homer Simpson
“My high school sweetheart was killed in a drag racing accident.” – Principal Skinner
“Come on, it’ll be fun.” – Homer Simpson
“That’s what Debbie-Sue said.” – Principal Skinner

22
Apr
11

Reading Digest: Children’s Art & Crossover Edition

A Star is Burns7

“Coming up next, ‘The Flintstones Meet The Jetsons’.” – TV Announcer
“Uh-oh, I smell another cheap cartoon crossover.” – Bart Simpson

There is a larger than usual list of links this week, we’ve got everything from lawn mowers and Lithuanian comic books to Homer cakes and another rebuttal of the idea that pop culture necessarily ages badly.  As for the title, well, there are two of them.  First someone pines for a crossover, and then an art teacher talks about how the interests of kids have changed over time.  Then someone gets a crossover, and we discover a way to infiltrate the very young.  Plus there’s the usual assortment of excellent usage, lists, and people who agree with us. 

Enjoy. 

Malibu Stacy lives on. – Smooth Charlie’s Click of the Week comes from our friend and commenter lennyburnham as she takes a look at some modern examples of the timelessly horrible things Talking Malibu Stacy says.  This is my favorite, referring to a chemistry set marketed to 9-year-old girls:

If your box says “Wrap your hair SPA STYLE with the cool hair wrap”, maybe it’s time to stop marketing your product as educational.

Indeed.

A quotable cake. – A delectable looking Homer cake, complete with lots of quotes and photos.

Homer Simpson’s Duff beer gives Lithuanian publisher a headache – I don’t know much about Lithuania, but this seems pretty dumb.  Lithuania has rules against advertising alcohol in comics.  Some genius, or shakedown artist take your pick, decided that even though Duff is fictional, because there are bootleg versions of it available in places like Mexico and Spain that depicting it requires a shutdown in publishing and a nearly $4,000 fine (via). 

INTERVIEW | Werner Herzog on 3D, “The Simpsons,” and Nicolas Cage – In an interview with Werner Herzog, someone pointed out to him that Zombie Simpsons sucks.  He didn’t care:

How did your voice acting on “The Simpsons” come about?

Well, the crazy thing that I have to confess was that I did not know it was an animated show. I had never seen it. However, I knew what it looked like because I had seen it in print media. I thought it was a comic strip, like Charlie Brown or something. When they approached me, I said, “What do you mean by speaking a guest part? Do they speak?” And they couldn’t believe it. They thought I was pulling their legs. But I really didn’t know, and I asked them to send me a DVD with some samples of the animated show, so I would understand how cartoonish the voices were. Still today, I think they believe I’m joking.

Well, that is pretty hard to believe. It’s “The Simpsons.”

Yes, I was told it has existed for more than twenty years, and they have been moving and speaking for more than 20 years. But I didn’t know. I watched a DVD of two or three excerpts from the last few episodes.

You should know, then, that the earlier seasons are a lot better.

I think these ones are still quite good. There’s some wonderful, vitriolic, subversive humor in it. I really liked working with these people and I think it is a wonderful step for me as an actor. Whatever I’ve done, I’ve done well, but of course my scope as an actor is limited. I’m always really good when it comes to violent, hostile, debased characters.

DUFF UNLOADS – This is a story about longtime Guns N Roses bassist Duff McKagan.  But I’m suspicious of this:

Yep, that’s right; the man whose legendary alcohol consumption allegedly inspired The Simpsons’ beer-mascot Duff Man now wants his peers to trust him with their royalties.

I, uh, never heard that Duff beer was based on him.  Nor do I think it was. 

Simpsons fan turns living room into model of cartoon town Springfield – A Daily Mail story (with lots of pictures) about Forty Square Feet of Awesome (via @springfieldx2). 

Nazi zombie simpsons – This is just a video of a Call of Duty mod someone made of the Simpsons house where the bad guys are zombies dressed like Homer.  You can watch 15 seconds of it and get the flavor, but there’s no way I’m not linking something called “Nazi zombie simpsons”. 

Waiting for someone else – Excellent usage from the University of Virginia’s student paper:

CAN’T SOMEONE else do it?” For “The Simpsons” aficionados, this slogan conjures up the episode in which Homer ran for sanitation commissioner and sang a parody of “The Candy Man” called “The Garbage Man.”

DVD Review: The Simpsons – Season 8 – I don’t think 8 is “the best” season, but I wholeheartedly agree with this:

Anyone who disputes the brilliance of The Simpsons needs to be hit over the head with this season.

You Are Lisa Simpson – That remains one of the most bittersweet moments in the entire show.  Also this is a blog titled “What I’m With Isn’t It. . .”.  Nice. 

Weed…In 10 Words – The hover text is from the only decent segment (notice I did not say “episode”) in Season 13. 

On pop culture references – That Matt Zoller Seitz article about the longevity of pop culture continues to echo through the internet.  This nice summation includes everything from Arrested Development to Jane Austen. 

quote of the day. 04/17/11 – The quote is missing a “just” between “you” and “go”, but that’s nitpicking, not the American way. 

Mr. Harper for PM, I mean, Mr. Burns. – Excellent Hulu YouTube of the Burns for Governor campaign team. 

The Lead Taker: Advice, advice, it’s all very nice – Excellent usage:

This month’s article begins with Bart Simpson lamenting “you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t”. How very true!

Spring Has Sprung, the Grass is Riz… – A post about the old fashioned push mower:

Whenever I do this, I think of Homer Simpson at the end of “Dead Putting Society” (from Season Two, at least eight seasons before the show began to head downhill). He and Ned entered into a wager about the miniature golf competition their sons were in. Because the contract was poorly written, both fathers lost the bet and each had to mow the other’s lawn in his wife’s Sunday dress.

Homer’s mower is like ours and the animators have him push-push-pushing the mower when it gets caught up on the grass. I wasn’t wearing a churchy dress (I was wearing jeans and a nursing top with lace on it), but I always picture Homer when I’m mowing.

I, too, have a push mower and, yes, it is impossible to use that thing without thinking of that episode.

Simpsons Sign WIN – The political wisdom of Kang and Kodos will be with us always. 

Harry Plopper WIN – Someone gave the recently released Harry Potter DVDs a nice sign. 

America Fun Fact of the Day 4/18- Insane American Patents – Some old, enjoyably wackaloon patents that I hope never got made, with bonus reference to “Deep Space Homer”. 

“When will I learn? The answer to life’s problems aren’t at the bottom of a bottle, they’re on TV!” -Homer Simpson – God bless Season 1 quotes from Freakoutville. 

Something that needs to happen… – First, the picture:

Homer & Bender

Ask:

I always love watching the old re-runs on Sky 1 but never the new episodes. The older ones bring back so many memories; the ‘monorail’ episode from season 4 sticks in my mind constantly. It seriously needs a new direction. The picture above is a hint to what I am thinking of…

The Simpsons Futurama Crossover Crisis (2010) – And ye shall receive:

The conceit behind these stories is that Fry reads Simpsons comics and he can be sent into their fictional world (a great way to avoid any “timeline conflicts,” should anyone care about that sorta thing.

In the first part, the brains that terrorize everyone in New New York (except Fry who is immune to their brain waves) make fictional characters come alive (much fun is had with that).  And since Fry has a Simpsons comic, all of the Springfield residents come to New New York and mayhem ensues.

Social Networks Are ‘Huge Boondoggle for Bad Guys’ – Still more excellent usage, this of the non-quote variety:

"The social media world has been a huge boondoggle for bad guys, not just in digging up information about you, but also in the vector of attack," said Stuart McClure, general manager, SVP and CTO of the risk and compliance unit at McAfee. "Bart Simpson used to put 10 megaphones together and whisper so it became a huge cacophony of sound. Much the same thing is happening with social media."

Back in the Day: meet the Simpsons – Nice picture of Groening and some people in costumes with the dead eyes. 

Middle school show returns to celebrate young artists – Aww:

Layne said when he began teaching art all of his students wanted to do projects featuring Bart Simpson, and later they wanted to do Spongebob Squarepants.
“Betty Boop has made a comeback, and this year it’s been Sesame Street,” he said. “I’ve got Cookie Monster and Oscar and several Elmos.
“For the first time ever I’ve had ‘Wizard of Oz,’” he added. “After all these years of teaching someone’s finally done ‘Wizard of Oz’ characters.”

Damn kids, not fawning over Bart like it’s 1990.  If only there was a way to correct that . . .

Coloring Pages maggie simpson – . . . how about some printable coloring book images for toddlers?  Get ’em young, I say. 

Handsome Pete – The Haiku. 

Homer – The Kindle screensaver.

The Top 5 Simpsons Episodes – This list is from our friends over at Stay Tooned In.  Good on them for having nothing past Season 7. 

Catch TV’s Greatest Hits The Concert in Sydney – On May 5th this is happening in Sydney:

Visitors can expect to hear addictive themes from programmes including Skippy, The Brady Bunch, I Dream of Jeannie, The Simpsons and many more.

It will be performed by Brady Bunch Singers and Gilligan’s Island Orchestra, with the organisers also promising special appearances from a number of secret guests.

Joe Montegna Honoured With Walk Of Fame Star – Watch out, Laszlo Panaflex. 

Maggie Roswell is wanted dead or alive by folks on "Simpsons" – A rather fawning interview with Maggie Roswell in The Denver Post.  Interesting tidbit, she rarely watches Zombie Simpsons. 

Ed Helms Totally Looks Like Frank Grimes – In that picture he does. 

Paper Pezzy- Ned Flanders by ~CyberDrone – Printable papercraft Ned Flanders. 

Teenage Maggie Simpson by ~Kenny-The-O – Fan made sketch of teenage Maggie from “Lisa’s Wedding”. 

Homer Simpson – Amazingly intricate (look at the hands!) balloon hat version of Homer from the 2010 Rose parade (via @springfieldx2)

Divorce Papers – This is from 2007, but it’s new to me (via @keymakerFD)

Scorpio, Wherefore Art Thou? – Same site as the above, but of a more recent vintage. 

2011: Armageddon Comes Early To Hopeless Film Geeks – Inspired by Werner Herzog’s recent guest turn on Zombie Simpsons, here’s a list and description of some other wacky projects that could involve cult directors.  Before it gets to that, we get this:

Well past its twentieth season, the once brilliant show has wrung itself painfully dry of laughs, and has only to be retired in physical fact as well as in attitude and spirit.

Got that right.




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