Archive for June, 2012



26
Jun
12

Crazy Noises: E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)

E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)1

“You’re not gonna grow nothin’ on the old Simpson place.  That’s why your Daddy abandoned it.” – Chuck Sneed
“Aw, what do you know?” – Homer Simpson
“Well, I know your soil pH is up around 9.6, and you need it 7 to 8, max.” – Chuck Sneed
“Oh, that’s just superstition.” – Homer Simpson

For the fourth summer in a row, we here at the Dead Homer Society will be spending some time discussing twelve year old Simpsons episodes.  This year we’re doing Season 11.  Why Season 11?  Because we’ve done Seasons 8, 9 and 10 already, and it’s time to take an unflinching look at the end of the show.  Since Skype and podcasts didn’t exist in 1999, and we want to discuss these episodes the way the internet intended, we’re sticking with the UTF-8 world of chat rooms and instant messaging.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (shockingly enough, not on “Grasshopperus”).

Today’s episode is 1105, “E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)”.  Tomorrow will be 1106, “Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder”.

Mad Jon: Sometimes, like tonight, I watch something I don’t want.

Charlie Sweatpants: If that’s your way of saying we should get started, I’m game.

Mad Jon: No rush, just a convenient entry and phrasing opportunity.

But I accept your challenge

Let us begin with E-I-E- Doh.

I think I forgot an ‘I’

Charlie Sweatpants: Enh. This one is just the Tomacco one.

Mad Jon: Tomacco it is.

Whenever I watch this one, and it is probably because I smoked so many years, I can taste the Tomacco.

It’s pretty bad y’all.

Dave: Your smoking habit, the episode, or both?

Charlie Sweatpants: The inherent disgustingness of Tomacco doesn’t help, that’s for sure.

Mad Jon: Well, the flavor I assume the Tomacco has is to what I was referring.

But all the rest fall in there as well.

Charlie Sweatpants: This episode has a couple of decent gags in it, but man, between the plutonium, the Tomacco, the farm animals, the dueling, it’s way too much of a mess.

Dave: Don’t forget the B52s.

Charlie Sweatpants: It’s classic Zombie Simpsons in that it leaps ahead plot wise so many times you aren’t sure what’s happening, then it slows way the fuck down and you get time killing scenes like that thing with the Christmas tree, or Lenny sending the mail.

The song is one of the few redeeming parts here.

Mad Jon: The only ‘+’ I have on my sheet is from the credits of the Zorro movie, where James Earl Jones is credited as the “Voice of Magic Taco”

Charlie Sweatpants: The credits for Zorro are pretty good in general, and the fake movie titles at the beginning are the same way.

Mad Jon: They still had a .700 slugging average with signs in this season.

Charlie Sweatpants: “My Dinner with Jar Jar” is hilarious, ditto “Shakespeare in Heat”.

And, of course, this one has “Sneed’s Feed & Seed (Formerly Chuck’s)”, which should be in some kind of sign gag hall of fame.

But the main parts of this episode can’t even begin to live up to that standard.

Mad Jon: Yeah, I am sure, as you said, there are a couple of gags here and there, but they are drowned out by constant crushings via tractor, glove slap montages, and an invisible plant dance.

I also hated the “just one man” speech. Because it couldn’t have been less Homer than that.

Frankly these things along are enough to make me forget anything positive worth mentioning.

Dave: Basically right. A good few tidbits here and there can’t make up for the whole.

Charlie Sweatpants: Agreed. I essentially never watch this one because there are just way too many annoying scenes, several of which Jon mentioned. The tractor thing gets old real fast.

Mad Jon: And it just, doesn’t, stop.

Charlie Sweatpants: And, of course, there are the insanely addicted animals, which resolve the plot (sort of), but don’t show up until the fucking nineteen minute mark.

This one hits a really aggravating sweet spot where it’s both nonsensical, and moving so fast that you have no idea what’s even supposed to be happening.

And there’s lots of Jerkass Homer. Lots.

Dave: It wouldn’t be Zombie Simpsons without.

Mad Jon: That’s fer sure.

Charlie Sweatpants: I will say, for some reason the line about Chad Everett and “Grasshopperus” always gets a laugh out of me.

But I could’ve done without 90% of Homer’s dialogue and actions here, and it’s made even worse as the rest of the family (with the occasional objection) just goes along with it.

Mad Jon: The Everett and “Grasshopperus” is lost on my simple mind. But I’ll take your word for it.

Charlie Sweatpants: I’d never even heard of Everett before I saw this episode (he’s your standard 1960s-70s TV leading man), I just like the obviousness of Castellaneta’s delivery on “Only cause he tried to reason with him.”

Mad Jon: Ah.

Charlie Sweatpants: Anything else here?

This one is just such formulaic Zombie Simpsons that I’m not sure there’s much to say.

Dave: I’m fine with moving on.

Mad Jon: Not much else here to complain about. I agree.

Charlie Sweatpants: The plot makes no sense, there’s lots of filler, Homer’s an ass, and the pacing is schizophrenic.

To end on a positive, I do kinda like Homer getting butter on his milk duds.

Never tried it, but I bet I’d like it.

Mad Jon: It looked pretty nauseating, but actually seemed like something Homer might do.

26
Jun
12

Quote of the Day

Selma's Choice8

“I’m Lionel Hutz, executor of Miss Bouvier’s estate.  She left a video will, so I earn my fee simply by pressing this play button.  Pretty sweet, eh?” – Lionel Hutz

25
Jun
12

Quote of the Day

The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace2

“Authorities say the phony Pope can be recognized by his high top sneakers and incredibly foul mouth.” – Kent Brockman

24
Jun
12

Quote of the Day

The Boy Who Knew Too Much7

“Oh my God, someone’s taken a bite out of the big rice krispie square! . . . Oh yeah, and the waiter’s been brutally beaten.” – Chief Wiggum

23
Jun
12

Quote of the Day

TS for Them

“This gets uglier every year.  Any sign of Bart and Milhouse?” – Richard
“No, and if they don’t get here soon, it’ll be TS for them.” – Lewis
“I don’t feel right.” – Ralph Wiggum

22
Jun
12

Reading Digest: Groening Retires Edition

Retirement

“Please don’t make me retire.  My job is the only thing that keeps me alive.  I never married and my dog is dead. . . . I’m not finished!” – Jack Marley
“Oh, yes, you are.” – C.M. Burns

Matt Groening quit two things this week, his long running “Life in Hell” comic, and a gag charity band he was in with a bunch of other famous people.  As a retirement gift, may I strongly recommend the first YouTube video embedded below?  I’m warning you now: it’s 5m:44s.  It’s also worth watching.  In addition to that we have non-Zombie Simpsons D.C. dating advice, a list that matches the characters with (what I assume are) well known perfumes, a fan made Homer guitar, the Simpsons as X-Men, and some leftover Father’s Day links. 

Enjoy.

How many main characters are there in The Simpsons? – You don’t need to click through to Smooth Charlie’s Click of the Week, just watch it:

This ought to have a lot more than 21k views.  I don’t usually make it all the way through a lot of five minute YouTube videos, but I did here, and the artist asks for it to be forwarded to Groening.  I don’t know if that’s happened yet (the video is a year old), but if anyone reading this has the ability to bring it to his attention (he quit a band and retired his comic strip, he’s got time), please do.  That drawing is amazing. 

Making of Homer Simpson Guitar – Speaking of excellent fan made projects:

Cool.  The Homer slippers at the end are a nice touch. 

South American Bart Simpson – Fantastically detailed writeup of early Simpsons merchandise from South America.  They made Bart a ninja (or something)! 

Matt Groening: "It’s pretty obvious that I ran out of jokes a couple of decades ago" – As has been noted pretty much everywhere, Groening is hanging up his pen.  The always reliable rubbercat.net/simpsons caught a doozy:

Why pull the plug on Life in Hell now? Did you simply run out of jokes?
It’s pretty obvious that I ran out of jokes a couple of decades ago – but that doesn’t stop any cartoonist!

Indeed it does not.  Sincere thanks, though, Groening.  “Life in Hell” had some damn funny stuff. 

BrightestYoungThings: The Simpsons Guide To Dating In DC – A shockingly excellent dating advice guide.  I can’t speak to the specific locations it mentions, but it has lots of YouTube, animated .gifs, and doesn’t reference a single episode past Season 10.  It even recommends going to the Simpsons apocalypse play.  Bravo.

Of a Kind – In Character: Lisa Simpson – Deconstructing Lisa’s outfit in the most fashionable way possible.

Showcase XII – Giant-Size X-Men Simpsons – Awesome fan made drawing of the Simpson family as X-Men.

Another bit of Simpsons gold: Homer Simpson on God – Great quote.

We are working to improve your The Simpsons: Tapped Out experience – EA customer support responds to questions they made up. 

What We Want From a Muppets Videogame – Excellent paraphrase:

Video games based on movies suck. Or more accurately, to quote from the Bart Simpson Book of Wisdom, "we didn’t think it was physically possible, but they both suck and blow".

A brief update on the #Facebook and the #Tumblr – Weaseling out of things is important to learn:

Thus, it’s with almost complete indifference that I now announce the semi-retirement of both.

And it comes with moderate usage:

“It was supposed to be a thing of beauty, not this monstrosity!”

–C. Montgomery Burns

Burns says “abomination” not “monstrosity”, but the sentiment is perfect.

RetroGirl – The Simpsons Arcade – YouTube review/playthrough of the arcade game.  Also, “GirlBandicoot” is a fantastic user name. 

COFFEE TABLE the seventh – You can buy a collector’s doll of Comic Book Guy as The Collector?  Of course you can.

‘The Simpsons’ Co-Creator is Buying Sea Shepherd a New Ship – Sam Simon promised to buy the Whale Wars guys a new boat. 

Rockland Needs A Monorail – YouTube of the monorail song.

Simpsons – Me fail english (gif) – Animated .gif of exactly what it says.

Simpsons – Homer Tripping out (gif) – Same as above, but from “El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer”.

Gay Steel Worker from The Simpsons – There are some pretty awesome mustaches at The Anvil.

Top Ten Favorite TV Dads – Homer checks in at #1 here, and there’s YouTube of a famous scene from the first episode of The Cosby Show.

Homer is Sweet – You better be dying.

FRANKEN-DAD – Combining TV Dads into one.

Scent a Celebrity Series: Spritzing Springfield – Scenting The Simpsons Part 1 – One guy’s attempt to match each family member with a perfume fragrance.  I don’t know enough about perfume to comment on his choices, but I will say that this is the most original Simpsons list I’ve seen in a long time, and I see a lot of them.

The Emmys Needs to Change Eligibility Rules For Animated Shows – Speaking of things I neither know nor care about, the Emmys.  I’ll just support whatever Jean said:

On Monday, Simpsons writer Al Jean wrote a letter to The  Academy of Television Arts and Sciences asking them to consider reworking the organization of Emmy nominations. In it, he criticized the lack of recognition for the individual achievements in animation.

There’s more here, but I just can’t get too worked up over one of the biggest farces I’ve ever seen.

Seeking A Friend For The End of The World…In 10 Words – Maybe that extra layer of pollution will finally come in handy.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter…In 10 Words – But did he sell poisoned milk to school children?

D’oh! Homer wins favourite film dad – Legitimately better than an Emmy:

FECKLESS family man Homer Simpson has topped a poll of favourite film dads.

The cartoon star, voiced by Dan Castellaneta and star of ‘The Simpsons Movie’, was also named most embarrassing dad, funniest film dad and best role model dad in Empire Cinemas’ ‘Fathers In Film Awards’, which polled more than 2,000 film fans.

Sacrilicious The Simpsons Tin Tote – This one earned its Krusty Brand Seal of Approval.  It’s a lunchbox, that says “Sacrilicious”, so far so good.  But it has Homer dreaming of a donut instead of the waffle Bart threw on the ceiling.  Would it kill them to run the merchandise past at least one insane geek before they approve it? 

Saturday, June 23 – Even boilerplate descriptions in newspapers can’t hide how boring Zombie Simpsons is:

The most innovative aspect is the opening ”couch scene”, which was handed over entirely to Ren & Stimpy’s John Kricfalusi, who turned in something characteristically bizarre.

The rest of it is so forgettable that they don’t even bother describing it. 

Stephen King and Matt Groening Retire Their Rock Band After Learning Almost Four Chords – Groening’s semi-fake band is calling it quits. 

Fans meet stars at Saugatuck film festival’s first park party – Yeardley Smith made an unannounced stop at a film festival in Michigan. 

Interview: Billy West (Fry) of ‘Futurama’ – This isn’t strictly Simpsons related, but here’s something to at least acknowledge that Futurama came back this week.

Six Things That I Would Do If I Had A Time Machine – Wow, someone even harsher than us:

There’s exactly ten things that I would do if I had a time machine.  Most of us would just go back to the early 90′s and invest in Google.  Other people would go back and try to stop the Simpsons from having more than 3 Seasons.

FOX Announces Fall Premiere Dates – I hate to spoil anyone’s summer, but Zombie Simpsons will be returning on September 30th.  That is all.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery ;) – Fan made cartoon features the fish versions of Bart, Stewie Griffin, and Shrek.

Best TV Channel Tournament Primer: FOX – This is more lenient on Zombie Simpsons than I am, but it’s in the ballpark:

Many will argue that the show is now one of the worst shows on television, but I would argue that they simply haven’t watched the show in ten years.  It’s not a bad show, it’s just a reasonably decent one that is half as good as it was during it’s run as probably the best written television show of all-time.

I do watch, and I’d say it’s more like 3% as good as the original, but Zombie Simpsons isn’t the worst show on television.

Critic’s Notebook: Has Pixar Gone the Way of ‘The Simpsons’? – And finally, I get to end the way I like, with someone who agrees with us (and neatly reviews Brave at the same time):

Watching "Brave" and waiting for something more original or inspiring than an underdeveloped kids movie, I realized that Pixar’s apparent downfall mirrors that of "The Simpsons," a show largely seen as one of the freshest, insightful and widely accessible pop culture achievement during its initial five or six seasons.

In the last 15 or so, however, "The Simpsons" has suffered from any number of factors that have lowered its quality: overexposure, commercial demands, and a dearth of good ideas, not to mention the diminished presence of creator Matt Groening.

I’m not sure about “overexposure”, but other than that, yeah. 

22
Jun
12

Quote of the Day

Sprinkles

“Wait a minute.  These are not sprinkles, sir.” – Apu Nahasapeemapetilon
“What do you mean?” – Homer Simpson
“You’ve clearly taken items from the candy rack and placed them on top of the donut in an attempt to pass them off as sprinkles.” – Apu Nahasapeemapetilon
“Well, it was like that when I got here, it really was!” – Homer Simpson
“A Mounds bar is not a sprinkle!  A Twizzler is not a sprinkle!  A Jolly Rancher is not a sprinkle, sir.  Perhaps in Shangri-la they are, but not here!” – Apu Nahasapeemapetilon




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