Reading Digest: Harry Shearer in Japan Is Only Part of the Awesome Edition

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With the pall of Season 22 lifting from across the pop culture landscape, the internet was in a generous mood this week; there are many spectacular things below.  First and foremost are three, count ’em three, different bloggers who’ve had it with Zombie Simpsons thanks to their embarrassingly cheap cliffhanger ending.  (And, for the record, I didn’t find anyone feeling the opposite.)  There’s also Harry Shearer in an awesome six minute YouTube video that could be titled “Kent Brockman Goes to Japan”.  All by itself that would be a pretty nice haul, but on top of that there’s several links to cool fan made stuff, including to some of the embroidery we were promised last week, two genuinely nauseating pieces of crappy merchandise, plus an original rendition of the theme song.  And I haven’t even gotten to the Click of the Week yet. 

But first, a funny thing happened on Twitter yesterday.  Jenkins7777, a brand new account with zero followers, three tweets, and not following anyone, got James L. Brooks to call him a “shithead”, then not apologize.  Brooks originally tweeted this:

Brooks Tweet1

To which Jenkins7777 replied:

Jenkins7777 Tweet1

At this point, things get a little confusing, because I think Brooks deleted a tweet.  Here’s the next message in the stream, also from Jenkins7777:

Jenkins7777 Tweet2

Brooks then replies with a non-apology apology for what I assume is the deleted tweet:

Brooks Tweet2

Giggle.  Like I said, some weeks the internet just gives and gives, and thanks to Jenkins7777, both for doing this and for letting us know about it. 

On a slightly more substantive topic, what are the two Simpsons things Brooks is nervous/excited about?  If we assume one of them is the execrable on-line voting for their summer cliffhanger, I think I may have found the other one below.  Though at this point figuring out all of horrible things the Simpsons franchise is into is harder than finding all of Voldemort’s Horcruxes, so who knows?  Let’s just hope it’s not another movie.  On to the links!

[Edited to add: Don’t forget to vote for your choice of season for tomorrow’s marathon.  Right now Season 3 is in the lead, but Season 7’s awfully close.]

The Simpsons: 5 Million Viewers, Who Sit in Silence – Smooth Charlie’s Click of the Week comes from our friends at Stay Tooned In, who posit the inverse of Zombie Simpsons, Simpsons Zombies:

You’re watching “The Simpsons”. You sit mindlessly in front of the TV for 30 minutes, during which you don’t have a single laugh of out loud moment. Sound familiar? That’s because you have become a Simpsons Zombie. Yes it’s An Epidemic, effecting at least 5 Million people WorldWide

It’s like a public health warning, but fun.  

The Simpsons Theme Song played on a Musical Saw – Awesome:


Simpsons Iced Ring D’oh Nuts – The harrowing tale of what happens when crappy donuts get the Krusty Brand Seal of Approval.  A small sample:

The Sainsbury’s label says that the donuts are “unsuitable for vegetarians?” I am not a vegetarian, but what the hell is in these? What is Flour Treatment Agent?


EA preparing Simpsons Facebook game – James L. Brooks noted two Simpsons projects, might this be one of them?  Except for a September (i.e. start of new season) release date, there isn’t much information in the article beyond the headline (via). 

Five weird Harry Shearer roles – I knew Shearer had been a child actor, I didn’t know he was in the pilot for Leave It to Beaver.  Of greatest interest here is #5, the small role he had in 1998’s utterly forgettable Godzilla remake.  The reason is that there’s a YouTube of him, in Japan, basically doing Kent Brockman and reporting on the original Godzilla movie.  Sample:

I met with some members of the old guard to find out what it was like in earlier times, when life was simple and the world was free of giant creatures mutated by radiation. 


Temple of the Fish God, huh?  Does that mean the . . . is the fish a god, or is it a god that fish pray to?

Best YouTube I’ve seen all week. 

The Simpsons Duff Beer Can Mints – It must really kill the marketing people.  Here they have a fake beer with all the name recognition in the world, but they can’t use it to actually sell alcohol even though it would make millions, so they have to slap the Krusty Brand Seal of Approval on things that look like Duff beer but aren’t. 

Oprah’s Last Show…In 10 Words – I doubt very much we’ve seen the last of Ms. Winfrey, but anything that reduces screen time for exploitative charlatans like Jenny McCarthy, Dr. Phil, and the con artists behind the transparently stupid “The Secret” is fine by me. 

Dune…In 10 Words – Shai-Hulud and “Fear of Flying”, I did not see that one coming.

Jets or bust? Really? – NHL hockey is coming back to Winnipeg, and a local columnist wrote this:

Heck, all this good fortune headed our way was even timed to coincide with a long weekend that, to this point, hasn’t been interrupted by the rapture. In other words, this might be the best week in the city’s history since that time it was featured on an episode of The Simpsons.

Excellent reference.

Simpsons Video of the Week: I’m Smarter Than the Devil – “I’ll see you in Hell yet, Homer Simpson!”

We Don’t Sleep At Night – Cool street art with Wiggum, Willie and some other characters. 

How Far We Go – From the same site as the above, more of what looks like the same wall.  These are great. 

the simpsons embroidery project – Remember last week when we had that new blog that was going to do Simpsons embroidery?  Well, here’s the first installment.  I love the one of Homer doing his thinking dance from “Homer the Vigilante”. 

Season 14 Boxart Revealed – If you’re curious about what the Season 14 DVDs you probably won’t be buying will look like, our friends at Everything Simpsons have you covered.

Welcome to the Crapture – A companion and watch list of what you’d do if you knew the world was going to end, including two episodes from Season 7 and a shaky cam YouTube of the filmstrip from “Lisa the Vegetarian”. 

“Old people don’t need companionship. They need to be isolated and studied so it can be determined what nutrients they have that might be extracted for our personal use.” -Homer Simpson – I very much admire Freakoutville’s attention to quote accuracy. 

Matt Groening Leaves Coppelia a Present; $20 Burger and Oyster Deal in Jersey – Signed comment card for a Cuban diner in New York. 

Slaughterhouse 5 – Continuing last week’s theme of famous novels I have never read:

It is one of those books that manages to combine staggering writing, interesting premise and laugh out loud hilarity.

For me, it is probably like a prose version of The Simpsons, in that each time I read it, I get something new from it.

The Simpsons lack-of-a-finale. – And finally, I get to end the way I like.  But instead of one link to people who agree with us, there are three.  These guys are actually pretty generous to Zombie Simpsons:

While I will certainly admit that the show has been steadily declining in humor and originality, it has still been entertaining enough that I do not disagree with FOX continuing to renew it.

And yet:

They’re clearly putting more effort into it than a normal episode, but nowhere near enough to make it something that we will remember for the premier.  (I’m sure I will have an “Oh, yeah, that was happening” moment when I see them running the promos in the fall.)

Exactly my point from yesterday.

The Simpsons- WORST EPISODE EVER. – The cliffhanger was just too much:

For many years I have been in denial. I have been standing behind this show in much the way that Marge stands behind Homer through all of his idiocy. But just as we learned in The Simpsons movie, everyone has her breaking point. For me this stale, uncreative, desperate attempt at a buzz-generating (for lack of a better term- thanks for nothing thesaurus.com) finale is my breaking point.

I’m sorry. I can’t do it anymore. Please don’t hate me; I’ll always love you. But I am breaking up with you The Simpsons. Believe me, this is harder for me than it is for you. But, I’m tired of the disappointment.

It’s a liberating moment once you realize you don’t have to pretend the show is still good. 

The Simpsons. Fucking Again. – And one more:

I can’t do this Ned & Edna thing. The screenshot on Hulu was enough for me to finally put it down and say no more. There are a lot of things I can deal with. I can deal with you telling me that Homer and Marge had these amazing college years that we know they didn’t have. I can deal with you telling me that Lisa fell for Milhouse, cos nerd love kind of makes sense….but…

Ned Flanders and the bitterest and most cynical of all the elementary teachers in existence? No. Just no. I’m not going to watch it and fuck you, Simpson’s writers for thinking I will.

Preach it! 

8 Responses to “Reading Digest: Harry Shearer in Japan Is Only Part of the Awesome Edition”

  1. 1 Joe C.
    27 May 2011 at 2:57 pm

    I never thought of myself as a Simpsons Zombie. Damnit, now I’m turning into one of them!

    On a side note, it’s good to see that some people are FINALLY starting to feel the ill-effects of ZS. The more blogs people put out about ZS, the quicker we can spread word that ZS is no longer worthy of even thinking about.

  2. 2 Nick
    27 May 2011 at 5:52 pm

    My favorite non-Simpsons/Spinal Tap Harry Shearer role was seeing him and Jeff Goldblum as NASA recruiters in The Right Stuff.

    And what are Kang and Kodos doing on the Season 14 DVD covers? I don’t remember them in any season 14 episodes, but it’s been a while since I’ve watched any of those.

  3. 27 May 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Saying “thank you” for linking to my blog post about how tragic The Simpsons has become feels bittersweet. I’m kind of sad to realize how many people agree with me. But still thanks for the link. :)

  4. 27 May 2011 at 8:44 pm

    “You are watching Fox.”
    “We are watching Fox…”

    Again, another self-fulfilling prophesy the show foretold eons ago is coming true.

    As for the Dune entry, whenever someone babbles on about something I couldn’t care less about, I always think of “Yes, yes, it’s all a rich tapestry.” Doubly true since my major? Psychology.

    BTW, here’s a link for next week:

  5. 27 May 2011 at 9:46 pm

    Oh my lord!!! The exchange with Brooks made my day! After reading various accounts of his personality, that guy is a major ass-hat and it’s nice to see his reaction to someone telling him how it really should be.

    Also, I’m not sure if you’ve seen this yet, but there was an even more embarrassing error in the Season finale and what appears to be happening with Edna should’ve happened to the entire episode:

    Look at her waist next to the table. Oy!

  6. 27 May 2011 at 10:02 pm

    Thanks for linking to my blog! I’m quite pleased to have discovered that this blog exists. I just haven’t watched new episodes of the Simpson’s in years and didn’t even realize I was avoiding it. I guess I just didn’t want to admit it to myself, but I can see why now…

  7. 28 May 2011 at 2:13 pm

    thanks for putting out a link to my blog! more simpsons embroideries to come!!

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