Reading Digest: Reminiscing Holiday Edition

Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire8

“Dear friends of the Simpson family, we had some sadness and some gladness this year.  First the sadness, our little cat Snowball was unexpectedly run over and went to kitty heaven, but we bought a new little cat, Snowball II, so I guess life goes on.  Speaking of life going on, Grampa is still with us, feisty as ever.  Maggie is walking by herself.  Lisa got straight As.  And Bart, well, we love Bart.” – Marge Simpson

As we’re now at t-minus 11 days and counting to the biggest holiday on the American calendar, the internet’s thoughts are turning to Christmas in a big way, and that means lots of talk about not only “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire”, but also the Simpsons past generally.  This week we’ve got plenty of both.  In addition to that, we’ve got two disappointing list rankings, one of the most creative things ever done in Lego Duplo, a young woman doing Simpsons voices, two pieces of evidence for the toothless crappiness of this week’s episode of Zombie Simpsons, and a reminder that The Simpsons was so great that it’s the best part of a terrible movie that it’s barely in. 


The Simpsons Top 25 episodes of all time – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this great list, which is detailed, thorough, and contains not a whiff of Zombie Simpsons.

Simple Simpsons – You’ve seen the Simpsons rendered in Lego, but how about Duplo?  Awesome.

The Simpsons Impressions Moe Hunt – A collection of one young woman’s Simpsons voices.  Her Burns is okay (needs to be a bit deeper), but she’s damned good at a lot of the kids, Milhouse, Nelson, Ralph, etcetera.  Also, excellent quote selection (no Zombie Simpsons).  Worth a look. 

Starting the Simpsons Journey – Another blogger is taking up the challenge of watching all the episodes.  She hasn’t started yet, but seeing as how Monday is Simpsons Day, that’s a great time to get going. 

December 17th – Some other notable events in history that have taken place on Simpsons Day. 

Daily Prompt: My Hero! – Some great advice from Homer and why you should take it.  Lots of early season stuff here and no Zombie Simpsons.  Bravo.

#34 TV Review: The Simpsons (1989-Present) – A librarian in training summarizes the show, and this is perfect librarian for “massive quality collapse”:

It holds the title as the longest prime-time animated running series in the United States. Although the quality of the series has arguably declined in the past few seasons


Die Hard 2 (1990) – Bruce Willis actually gets called a “loose cannon” at one point in this movie, which is why this may be the only un-ironically good thing about the entire film:

Super fun fact: I believe this is the first appearance of “The Simpsons” on the big screen, as a bit from the first Dr. Marvin Monroe episode is briefly shown during the film.

The Simpsons: Tapped Out – I knew you could buy stuff in game here, but Jebus:

And the game plays nice at first, with Lisa instructing you on the basic mechanics to get you up and running. It doesn’t take long for you to realise though that actually getting anything resembling Springfield up-and-running, is a long-winded affair. Luckily for you, the developers put together a neat package for ‘premium money’ (which comes in the form of doughnuts) that let you purchase items a lot sooner than through the typical means. The packages range from £1.49, all the way up to £69.99.


Call of Duty doesn’t even cost that much.

It’s twice as annoying when you soon realise that there’s a sizable portion of content in the gate that can only be purchased with premium money – and it isn’t cheap either.  For example, the Duff Brewery costs 190 doughnuts; take into account the closest monetary package available is 300 doughnuts (costing £13.99).

Remind me again why it was so important for the voice actors to take a pay cut?

MacHomer: A Tale Told (about) an Idiot – The MacHomer guy is getting ready to hang it up.  This is a profile/interview of him and talks about both the show and Shakespeare.

The Bloopers To End All Other Bloopers – YouTube of Albert Brooks improvising from the Season 1 DVDs.

Matt Selman, the writer of last night’s episode of The Simpsons, explains the A.V. Club cameo – I’m under no illusions that the writers of The Simpsons were comedy monks who didn’t admire some of the things they were sending up.  But last Sunday’s episode wasn’t satire, it was a mash note, and while that’s nothing new for Zombie Simpsons, this one does come with confirmation of just how obsequious the people behind the show are now:

We here at The A.V. Club continue to bask in the afterglow of our unexpected cameo in last night’s episode of The Simpsons. But how did it come about? How did a reference to our humble publication end up in this most venerable, beloved and influential of pop-culture institutions? For an answer, we emailed Matt Selman, the episode’s writer, who was kind enough to give us the following explanation for our appearance:

    “I love it when The Simpsons references specific real world things that people are passionate about.  It’s what drew me to the show when I was just a fan, and I love putting those specific references in now that I have some power over these things.  To include The Onion and The A.V. Club is an honor.”

“an honor”?  Zombie Simpsons gave up on being funny a long time ago, now they just want to fit in with the cool kids.  Click through for more shameless ass kissing.

Tutorial Notes on Outsider Art – An actual explanation of outsider art that happens to include “Mom and Pop Art”.

Episode: A Simpson’s Christmas – A podcast about both “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” and “Marge Be Not Proud”.  They do agree with us that the show has gone downhill.

First Friday’s Fictional Friday – Waylon Smithers – A profile of Smithers from a business/employee point of view, and contains several quotes (none of which are Zombie Simpsons).

The Simpsons’ time has already passed – A long post that agrees with us, but thinks the decline is much more recent.

The Best Animated TV Shows of All Time: Yes, another Best of List, Get Over it – The show clocks in at #3 here, which seems unusually low, so I’m blaming Zombie Simpsons.

12/12/12…In 10 Words – If you were seventeen, we’d be rich!  But no, you had to be ten (er, twelve).

121212: The Concert For Sandy Relief…In 10 Words – Celebrities, who normally steer clear of fashionable causes, etcetera.  Whatever’s left they throw in the ocean. 

D’oh! The Simpsons feature West Ham, get colours wrong – More inattention to detail at Zombie Simpsons:

West Ham United have become the first Premier League club to appear in The Simpsons — there is just one slight problem — the show got their colours wrong.

A flag celebrating the Hammers appears in the latest episode of the long-running cartoon but it is in green and not the club’s famous claret and blue.

Obviously nobody should get fired over this blunder, it’s completely unimportant to the show, but think of all the layers of review that went through and nobody took the two seconds to check it.

Yum! A Simpsons-Themed Gingerbread House – YouTube of the construction of a gingerbread family and 742 Evergreen Terrace.  The chalkboard(?) drawing at the beginning is pretty impressive in its own right.

The Simpsons Movie – Other than that Spider Pig is all anyone remembers, this is a sentiment that seems to be more or less universal about the movie:

They just waited too long to make it. It would have been awesome if it came out in 1997. The show has had so many episodes and zany situations that nothing surprises you in the movie.

Eagle Vision? Meet Donut Vision – Unsure of the source, but it’s a fan made drawing of Homer and Flanders, Assassin’s Creed style.  Cool.

Top 10 Shows – The show only comes in at #9 here.  As always, I blame Zombie Simpsons.

Amazing – JPG of Wiggum explaining the Esquilax.

Poochie, we hardly knew ye – Animated .gif of Poochie returning to his home planet.

There’s only one Ralph Wiggum – Animated .gif of Ralph’s academic alert.

If animated .GIFs could be “on-hold music”… – Homer think-dancing while Lisa plays the jug.

Day 2: “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire,” The Simpsons (1989) – Our old friend Philip J. Reed and some collaborators are going through Christmas TV episodes.  Amidst some personal and social context for the first episode, they agree with us:

“Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” is perhaps the crystallization of that perfect old TV show, the first episode, with all of its early, unsure steps and lines that sound less like real dialogue and more like catch phrases to be printed on t-shirts – which they of course in turn were. But it’s also a much more mature Simpsons than the show that we know now, about the family that flies internationally on a whim, fights murderous robots in a theme park and saves its town from becoming encased in a giant dome (a plot that Stephen King would later rip off).

The insanity is so regular now you almost don’t notice. 

3 Responses to “Reading Digest: Reminiscing Holiday Edition”

  1. 2 Anonymous
    17 December 2012 at 6:54 am

    this is a hockey thing but it’s a joke thread based on the simpsons(homer at the bat):


  2. 18 December 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Thank you for the shout-out, really appreciate it. Picking 25 from classic Simpsons was really difficult as I’m sure you would know

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