Reading Digest: Legitimate Theater Edition

Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play

Image grabbed from the YouTube video that is today’s second link.

“I’ve seen plays that were more exciting than this.  Honest to God, plays!” – Homer Simpson

I don’t know if it’s Memorial Day related or not, but it was slim pickings this week for Simpsons related stuff on-line.  (If you’re bored, I know a relatively well regarded book you can read.)  But the publicity campaign for the post-apocalyptic Simpsons play is in full swing, so we have three links to that.  (The image above comes from the second act, when the destroyed society has professional Simpsons re-enactors.)  There’s also a number of fame/celebrity related links this week, as well as some LSD, a very decent YouTube mashup, a couple of college students contemplating The Simpsons, and a thorough examination of Homer’s defeated Grammy foe, Dexy’s Midnight Runners.


‘Mr. Burns’ Morphs ‘The Simpsons’ at Woolly MammothThe New York Times has a thorough rundown of the play, including this unfortunate modern reality:

Mr. Cosson said he showed lawyers the script and was assured that “Mr. Burns” fell within the fair-use parameters of copyright law.

Ms. Washburn stressed that her play was “not a ‘Simpsons’ story,” but “a story of people telling ‘Simpsons’ stories.”

Perhaps the drastically, poignantly new telling that she has created at the end of “Mr. Burns” will serve the dual purpose of bringing audiences in and keeping the Fox network’s lawyers away.

MR. BURNS, A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY – Via @dailysimpsons comes this great YouTube promo video:

The background music is a string version of “Bad Romance”.  We’re never going to get away from Lady Gaga here, are we? 

Interview with Misha Kachman, Set Designer for Mr. Burns – Designing scenery ain’t easy, though I must disagree with this:

BM: So building off of that, what sorts of research did you have to do for this show?

MK: Well we did lots of research about the iconography of the cartoon itself. People of the future don’t have visual evidence of what The Simpsons were like, everything is oral tradition. We studied how the imagery mutates—are the Simpsons recognizable 80 years from now?

Even if there’s no electricity in the future, there would still be plenty of physical things that bore the image of Simpsons characters.  I’m not sure that even a full blown nuclear exchange would be able to wipe all of the merchandise from the planet.  Play still looks great. 

As Usual, Thanks For Nothing – A podcast in which three young men discuss their favorite episodes of some television shows.  The Simpsons comes up at about the 9:20 mark, and if you skip to 29:20 you’ll hear two people not get an easy “Lisa’s Substitute” question.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is the cost of Zombie Simpsons

The Simpsons – “A Streecar Named Marge” – Speaking of the stage, there’s no shame in this:

All right, confession time: my very first exposure to Tennesse Williams’s classic play A Streetcar Named Desire came from this episode of The Simpsons.

Lots more at the link.

Top Five Worst Simpsons Games – There are some pretty bad games on here.

In Philly, keeping tabs on LSD – The DEA seized 9,500 hits of LSD in January.  Included in that haul was a sheet printed with this Homer image I linked years ago:

Homer LSD Sheet

Mmmm, mind expanding. 

10 Things With ‘Parks and Recreation’ Writer, Aisha Muharrar – The continuing influence of The Simpsons:

3. Aisha’s first big break came when she interviewed with Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein, two writer/producers who ran The Simpsons during seasons seven and eight. While she had initially interviewed with them to be their assistant, the job never materialized. However, the two were willing to read her writing. They were so impressed with her work that they offered her the chance to write for Sit Down, Shut Up! While the show didn’t last long, it led to Aisha landing an agent and being sent out on her first staffing season. She met with different shows, but the best fit came when she met Greg Daniels and Michael Schur of Parks and Recreation.

Malin Akerman shares her love of Bart Simpson while greeting fans at Sayers Club in Hollywood – Few things creep me out more than modern celebrity, so I feel slightly dirty posting this.  However, the video is at least mercifully short, and the part in question starts at the 0:45 second mark when we hear a voice from off camera say, “I’ve got a softball question for you.”  It continues:

Guy: Who’s your favorite cartoon character?
Akerman: My favorite cartoon character?  Bart Simpson.  Why would ever ask that?
Guy:  Bart Simpson?  Because you’re kind of like a prankster inside?

This little exchange involves pretty much everything I hate about celebrity culture.  Dishonest questions, dishonest answers, using a camera as a threat, overall pointlessness, and the general humiliation of everyone involved.  Then, of course, there’s the fact that after watching it, I can’t honestly say that I now know that Bart Simpson is Malin Akerman’s favorite cartoon character.  (On the off chance that he is, good for her.)  Of course, the whole point of stupid exchanges like that is to get Celebrity Name A in the same sentence as Other Famous Thing B (in this case “Bart Simpson”) so that people on the internet will link to it and talk about it, which I’ve now done.  So, if you’ll excuse me, I need a drink and a shower. 

Street Violence – Media Influence – Maybe it’s just me, but we’ve seen a noticeable uptick in student blogs/class papers involving the show.  This one comes with shaky cam YouTube of several Itchy & Scratchy cartoons, none of which are from Zombie Simpsons. 

WIL WHEATON dot TUMBLR, Some days you’re Sideshow Bob, and some days,… – An animated .gif with a pretty good letter approximation of that sound Sideshow Bob makes.  Also, it’s another celebrity link. 

She Loves The Simpsons – Another vaguely unsafe for work giggle from this new site, “Journal of Homerotic Photography”. 

Hatfields and McCoys…In 10 Words – Hey kids, you may not believe this, but there was a time when Kevin Costner was both a) one of the most popular movie stars on Earth and b) one of the most respected actors in Hollywood.  Now he’s sharing top billing in a mini-series on a cable channel that’s best known for giving airtime to lunatics who believe aliens built everything on Earth. 

Workaholics…In 10 Words – Had two different people recommend this show to me, watched about three episodes and couldn’t get into it.

The Annoying Orange…In 10 Words – Had never heard of this.  Am I so out of touch?  No.  It’s the internet that is wrong. 

Fus ro dah! + Megaphone = Epicness – A brief and amusing mashup of “Skyrim” and “The Secret War of Lisa Simpson”. 

The 8 Best Parodies of Gone With the Wind – The edited for seniors version makes the list here.

in defence of dexy’s – More than you probably know about Dexy’s Midnight Runners with excellent usage:

While being congratulated by the rest of the Simpsons on the phone a toddling Lisa notes that the Be Sharps beat out Dexy’s Midnight Runners for Outstanding Soul, Spoken Word, or Barbershop Album of the Year. Homer replies: “Well, you haven’t heard the last of them.”

Use Your Imagination – Ah, when Ralph was funny without saying something too stupid. 

Simpsons – Thinking Music (gif) – Exactly what it says.

Girl on Girl on TV: Week of May 20-26, 2012. – And finally, we end with one last dig at “Lisa Goes Gaga” courtesy of our old friend Lenny:

The Simpsons: I found out that Lady Gaga was going to guest star on a Simpsons episode and kiss Marge over half a year ago and ever since then I’ve been thinking, “Wow, that is going to be bad.” So, it means something when I say this: Lady Gaga kissing Marge was much worse than I’d expected. It starts with Marge suddenly hating to be touched. Is anyone else worried about what scarring thing happened to Marge before this episode that led to this new aspect to her? So, Lady Gaga, sensitive soul that she is in this portrayal, reacts as you always should to someone being uncomfortable with being touched: She abruptly kisses her without asking. Then, since this show hates me and humanity, Marge is so aroused by the other woman that she…immediately goes and has amazing sex with Homer. Well, fuck you, too, Simpsons.


4 Responses to “Reading Digest: Legitimate Theater Edition”

  1. 1 June 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Weird, I started watching Workaholics last week when a few people reccomended it to me. It’s watchable enough, I haven’t laughed much.. but comedy-wise, I’m spoiled by Curb and Simpsons so maybe I’m a bit jaded…

  2. 1 June 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Workaholics is definitely a hit or miss show. The episode that aired this week had a character honestly ask if she sounded like one of Marge’s sisters. As for Annoying Orange, I apologize for letting you know this exists. I wish I didn’t know, either.

    By the way, here’s something I posted at my other blog this week that features a Simpsons shoutout: http://galileo908.blogspot.com/2012/05/flea-market-finds.html

  3. 1 June 2012 at 11:29 pm

    Hey thank you for the link on your website…Im josh, part of the As Usual, Thanks for Nothing Podcast and I’ve been going through your blog here and I have to say, this is an Awesome site. I’m a fan of the older seasons of the Simpsons too. Thanks again and awesome site!

  4. 3 June 2012 at 12:14 am

    The premise for that play is so imaginative & intriguing, it’s a shame I’m not in the area (or in the US, for that matter) or I’d definitely see it. And I say that not just as a SImpsons nerd, but also as a history student/nerd, so I’m aware of how stories can change over generations and elements are added/dropped.

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