Reading Digest: Halloween Traditions Edition

Treehouse of Horror I8

“Hello, everyone.  You know, Halloween is a very strange holiday.  Personally, I don’t understand it.  Kids worshipping ghosts, pretending to be devils, things on TV that are completely inappropriate for younger viewers, things like the following half-hour.  Nothing seems to bother my kids, but tonight’s show, which I totally wash my hands of, is really scary.  So if you have sensitive children, maybe you should tuck them in to bed early tonight instead of writing us angry letters tomorrow.  Thanks for your attention.” – Marge Simpson

As you’d expect, we’ve got lots of great Halloween links this week, including multiple people who make time to watch Treehouse of Horror episodes every year and who’ve noticed that there’s no point in adding the newer ones to those viewing sessions.  On the downside, though, it seems that Zombie Simpsons sells some of the most expensive commercials in all of television, so don’t get your hopes up that it’s going to end anytime soon.  In addition to that we’ve got fan made art, fan made costumes, lots of animated .gifs, and a review of a terrible Roger Corman movie starring Doug McClure, one of the guys who donated half his name to Troy McClure.


The Twenty Greatest “The Simpsons” Episodes EVAH – Part 1 – This is the first half of Smooth Charlie’s Link of the week.  And this . . .

The Twenty Greatest “The Simpsons” Episodes EVAH – Part 2 – . . . is the second half.  Both are chock full of awesome YouTube and the only episode past Season 9 is “Behind the Laughter”, which includes this sentiment that I think many of us share:

I have wished more than once that the show had opted to end the series with this episode, because it really is the perfect way to wrap things up. It is funny, it is family driven, it has throwbacks to earlier episodes – it’s just a great episode for a fan of “The Simpsons”. I love the ridiculous over-the-top, vaguely ominous metaphors that they throw in (which are a staple of “Behind the Music”). I love that the family falls apart but, as always, come back together in the end. I think that this episode will always be the “finale” in my heart because it closed out what I think were really the best years of the show.

That’s certainly how I think about it.

Random Idea – Holy shit, that explains everything:

Whenever a show gets cancelled, the Grim Viewer (a douchebag in a hoodie) comes to take them away to the TV underworld. In it, tv shows live out the rest of their days either enjoying paradise in Re-run heaven, or get tortured in attic DVD box hell. If a cancelled show makes a deal with the Viewer, they are allowed a trip back up to earth. Some shows have had to also make deals in order to stay alive. The Simpsons, long ago, made a pact with the Grim Viewer to stay on forever in exchange for its soul (quality). The Viewer also required a pure virgin (firefly) for sacrifice in exchange for the Simpsons duration

Well, that and our next link . . .

TV Ad Prices: ‘Idol’ No Match for Football – According to Advertising Age, Zombie Simpsons is the sixth most expensive primetime show on which to buy a 30-second ad:

And they are finding them in Bart and Stewie. Veteran Fox sitcoms “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy” take the sixth and seventh spots (the Thursday edition of “Idol” ranks fifth). The average cost of a 30-second ad in “The Simpsons” jumps to $286,131, up from $254,260 last season. The average cost of a 30-second spot in “Family Guy” rises to $276,690, up from last season’s $264,912, according to Ad Age’s calculations.

This is why I see no reason to conclude that Season 25 will be the end.  Even with all the production costs that is a shitload of reliable revenue, and I don’t see FOX giving that up until somebody dies or they decide to blow up the whole Sunday animation bloc.  (via)

Say hello to “Simpsonizing” – Cool fan made self portrait painted in a Simpsons style because:

the reason why the skin is yellow is because there wasn’t any fleshy color in my medium that I could use and I forgot how to make flesh with 2 colors (am such a noob I know)  but once I painted yellow on the canvas I liked the way it looked, in fact I decided to call it “simpsonizing” after the Simpsons

Always remember, if it’s stupid but it works, then it isn’t stupid.  Well done.

Schlocktoberfest II – Day 21: Humanoids From The Deep – Before there was Troy McClure, there was Doug McClure:

Even if you’re not a fan of Roger Corman, I’d advice you to think twice. Its a fun and entertaining monster movie. It reeks of late 70′s slasher/animals run-amok horror tones. And the star is non other than Doug McClure, who is one-half the basis of Troy McClure from The Simpsons!

Top 10 Halloween Specials – The various Treehouses of Horror come in at #2 with this perfect summation:

the first 8 or so installments of Tree House of Horror feature some of the wittiest, most inventive writing on what is one of the best sitcoms of all time. Halloween brings out the best in every one!

Halloween Watch: The Treehouse of Horror – This is a blog run by a public library, and even the keepers of the books acknowledge the literary quality of the early years:

Besides, in the early days, The Simpsons had truly brilliant writing.  Since the yearly Halloween episode usually gave more creative freedom to the writers and animators, Treehouse of Horror could always be counted on to deliver strong writing, creepy visuals, and dark humor, as well as to be among the best episodes of any given season.

Got that right.  It being a library and all, they go on to discuss “The Raven”.

TV Shows Survey – An interesting way to compare your favorite television shows, and this example includes The Simpsons.

Know your fright: Scary ‘Simpsons’ episodes – A guide to some of the best quotes and source material from some of the best Treehouse of Horror segments ever.  (via @dailysimpsons)

Simpsons Halloween Countdown: Bart Simpson’s Dracula – A run down of various Treehouse of Horror segments includes this:

It’s classic bumbling Springfield at it’s finest. Where it should be clear that a vampire is the town’s villain Wiggum is confident in his completely wrong assumption, and apparently so is the rest of Springfield, except Lisa, who is the only human left at the end when everyone ends up being a vampire.

It makes no narrative sense, of course, that EVERYONE would be a vampire and simultaneously claim to be head vampire. So the segment breaks completely into a rendition of the dance number from the Peanuts cartoons. The whole thing is a classic example of The Simpsons poking fun at a genre trope then, proving that there is no point to it beside making fun of it, breaking down completely and enjoying the openness of being a cartoon.

Marge does have a life outside the house, you know.

Don’t Blame Me, I Voted for Kodos – A great rundown of some of the political gags in “Citizen Kang” with lots of YouTube.

Happy Birthday, Nancy Cartwright! – We wished Cartwright the same back on her actual day, but this one comes with a Bart toy professionally Instagramed into looking like a piece of art.

Alex Cross…In 10 Words – Oh, man, Tyler Perry in front of a brick wall for ninety minutes would’ve been much better than Alex Cross.

The iPad Mini…In 10 Words – I dunno, Herb, people are afraid of new things.  You should’ve taken an existing product and made it slightly smaller or something.

Chogokin King Robo Mickey & Friends (aka Disney Voltron)…In 10 Words – Roger Meyers Sr was beloved by all the peoples of the world, except in 2012 when he released his controversial movie Giant Fighting Robots Will Kill Us All.

Skating Like Bart Simpson – Understand that this blog is titled “A Day in the Life of a High School Culinary Arts Teacher”:

J: Man my skateboard broke.
Mr. C: Oh yeah?
J: Either that or I need to tighten a screw.
Mr. C: Okay.
J: It’s cause I went off the roof onto a car.
Mr. C: (Thinking he is joking) What like Bart Simpson? In the opening of the show?
J: Yeah but I did it for real. And I didn’t fall. I went off the roof and rode down the windshield and then went down the hill in my neighborhood.
Mr. C: Wow.


aimless introspection #6 – Moving always sucks:

We purchased a floor mat for our apartment and it smells like a goddamn tire. The entire living room smells like the Springfield Tire Fire from the Simpsons. Do I look like a damn mechanic? Someone tell me how to get rid of this god forsaken smell. I don’t like waking up to the smell of the Michelin Man’s nutsack.

My recommendation is to find an overly nice neighbor and steal his welcome mat, TV tray and weather vane.

The Simpsons – Lisa & Ralph cosplay – I’m almost positive I linked this around last Halloween, but who cares?  That is one of the greatest Simpsons costumes ever.

Ralph Wiggum speaks for the Internet – Heh.  I never thought of that before.

HA – Or that.  Ha.

There’s only one Homer Simpson – Animated .gif of Homer conversing with his brain about the difference between twenty dollars and a peanut.

The Simpsons demonstrate how to do Halloween properly – Animated .gif of the Simpson family wolfing down their haul from “Treehouse of Horror II”.

Say some “gangster” is dissin’ your “fly girl”. You just give ‘em one of these.. – Animated .gif of Moe’s adult education course.

Changing Plans, Trivial Pursuits And The Color Yellow – Victory in a Simpsons trivia contest:

I sat in Buckley’s in Belltown on 2nd Avenue in Seattle with two of my children, a niece, a nephew and a close family friend where we participated in a Simpson’s trivia contest. We blew away the competition and went home with a cash prize.


A few questions at the contest, most having to do with those later seasons, stumped us. But we came away victorious in our general knowledge of nothing important to mankind, and were paid for our efforts.

For my two sons, it was also a moral victory because they won the competition last time, and were looking to retain the crown. These boys are ringers. They know The Simpsons well, obscure details and all.

Congratulations.  Sounds like Seattle could support a Classic Simpsons Trivia night, too.

Top 5 Cartoons – The show comes in at #2 here, but #1 is Tom and Jerry, which I obviously don’t agree with, but is a pretty decent choice.

“Thank you, come again.” “No, thanks.” – And finally, I get to end with two someones who agrees with us.  First:

The ironic thing now, is that whenever I watch the more recent episodes of The Simpsons, I can’t help but see aspects of Family Guy: the underdeveloped, aimless and disassociated jokes, completely straying away from the storyline, whilst being dragged out pointlessly, almost as if the creators of the show are trying their best to fill up airing-time because they’ve run out of ideas. The other day I watched an episode where Milhouse’s parents get back together again (I’m sure a similar thing has happened before?), and besides the boring, repetitive storyline, there was little humour.

Preach it!

Longest Running Halloween Traditional – And second, yet another person using Halloween to talk about how bad the show has become:

I don’t think I’ve seen the latest episodes and the last one I watched was just an anthology of movie parodies.  Not horror movies, not even a scary cartoon, just a funny parody.

I think it was Treehouse XXI where I lost the will to follow the series.

You held out longer than most of us.

5 Responses to “Reading Digest: Halloween Traditions Edition”

  1. 1 Monty Python
    26 October 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Apple in 10 words: No games, 800% markup make Homer go crazy!

  2. 26 October 2012 at 3:33 pm

    No T.V. and no beer made Homer go crazy until Modern Family started, then Homer did not mind until Revolution started!

  3. 3 Robert
    27 October 2012 at 3:13 am

    ‘chalk full’?

  4. 28 October 2012 at 4:32 pm

    There is also something I wrote for the website HelloGiggles.com that The Simpsons’ facebook page shared:

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