Reading Digest: Joining the Club Edition

Beyond Blunderdome2

“But we’ve already bought five Golden Globe awards!” – Studio Executive
“I don’t make movies to win awards!  Especially now that I have two Oscars.” – Mel Gibson

As has been reported widely on Twitter and lesser outfits like British newspapers (synergy!), “The Longest Daycare” was nominated for one of those twinkly statues respectable celebrities are always holding.  I have no idea whether it will win or not, though David Silverman would be foolish not to already be working on a speech.  Regardless, it’s a great short, and if it’s going to get a phony accolade, why not the one with the most clout?

Relatedly, Rich Moore, one of the all time champion Simpsons directors, is up for “Best Animated Feature” for Wreck-It Ralph.  Moore’s name is on a ton of classic episodes, and he worked on The Critic and Futurama.  He also directed the Alzheimer’s episode of Drawn Together, which is about as mean and insensitive as you can be on television and the furthest thing possible from Wreck-It Ralph, so he’s a guy who can pretty much do it all.  Best of luck to the both of them.

That said, remember when the show hated awards and the awards hated the show?  Good times.

In regular old news this week, we’ve got a couple of great Simpsons song collections, an epic Russian kitchen, two pieces of excellent image usage, and some for real not safe for work pictures!  There are also interviews with Mike Reiss and Rich Moore, some cool fan art (including shoes and a table full of famous clowns), and plenty of people citing the Simpsons over that brilliant trillion dollar coin idea.


Songs of The Simpsons – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is part one of this collection of Simpsons songs, complete with YouTube.  It’s worth the click just for the Lurleen Lumpkin mural that’s the background picture for “Your Wife Don’t Understand You”.

Songs of The Simpsons, Part Two: Readers’ Choice – And part two, with more songs and more YouTube.

Simpsons family | : : : Paint Kitchen : : : – This is a fan made mural of Springfield done in what is apparently a Russian kitchen.  It’s got it all: monorail, beheaded statue, the soft serve ice cream place that Maggie thought might be Marge in “Homer Alone”.  Wow.

2009-2012 DIY Shoes – Scroll down about 2/3 of the way for a cool set of fan made Simpsons shoes.  Homer even appears to have a tattoo of himself on his own head.  Cool.

Doh! Don’t miss ‘Simpsons’ back story – An interview with Mike Reiss about his appearance at the Tucson Jewish Film Festival.  Apparently he’s got his act down pat, at this point:

What should the audience expect from "The Simpsons and Other Jewish Families" tonight?

I have an hour of funny stories and anecdotes about the shows. … If you don’t have a good hour of stories after 24 years, then you’re not paying attention.


Have you done this for other film festivals?

The organizer of the San Francisco (Jewish) Film Festival, he had the idea to do this. He was someone I knew in college. I went to give the speech to a sold-out 1,300-seat auditorium. It was the biggest event in the history of this festival. The box office records have sold the idea of this. As a result, every Jewish film festival in the country has invited me to come and give this lecture. We just had sold-out shows in Nashville, San Diego, New Orleans and Charlotte.

That sounds like it’d be a lot of fun.  For fans of the show there’s the usual blather about Zombie Simpsons, but there’s also this:

What are you most proud of during your time writing "The Simpsons"?

It’s not that I feel proud of it, but I co-wrote this episode very early in the series where (Bart) saws off the head of Jebediah Springfield. It was in a very offhand thing; we wrote it in three days, and it introduced 10 major characters in that episode. We introduced Eddie, Lou, Chief Wiggum, Apu, Mayor Quimby, Jimbo, Dolph and Kearney in this one episode. At the time we didn’t think we were making history; it was just a summer job for all of us. We just made up these characters on the fly and named them after our friends.

It remains mind-blowing how they put that whole thing together so quickly.

How ‘The Simpsons’ Helped Launch ‘Wreck-It-Ralph’ – An interview with Rich Moore, mostly about the movie.  Count me among those who hope they make a sequel.

Americain – Discussing an “American” sandwich in France, leaves us with a grease stained wrapper and excellent usage:

“And remember, if you’re not sure about something, rub it against a piece of paper. If the paper turns clear, it’s your window to weight gain.” -Dr. Nick

Send in the clowns – Fan art of clowns at the last supper, including Homie, Krusty, and three Jokers.

Guy Fieri is America’s Krusty the Clown – This is a great comparison:

Fieri has become a real-life version of the ultimate celebrity marketing strumpet, The Simpsons Krusty the Clown. As Krusty is to comedy, Guy is to food — a living cartoon, a face to be plastered on any product presented to him alongside a slow-cooker full of coin, a hollow symbol of grub for which quality is no object.


$US1 trillion coin debt solution gains currency – Burns, Homer and the trillion dollar bill are being mentioned left and right these days.  This one is from Australia:

"While this may seem like an unnecessarily extreme measure, it is no more absurd than playing political football with the US – and global – economy at stake," the petition said.

The TV series The Simpsons could take credit for at least some of the inspiration. In an episode in 1998 a $US1 trillion dollar bill from the postwar years went missing. It was Homer Simpson’s mission to find it.

Thanks to reader David L. for sending this one in. 

Father Of Animation – Those of you more expert in animation than I will have to fill in the blanks here:

Otta Messmer was employed by the Pat Sullivan Studio in 1916.Three years later he created Felix the Cat; it was a milestone in the development of animation as an art form. Not since Gertie the Dinosaur had a cartoon character exhibited such a degree of personality animation as Felix’s brooding, ponderous walk. Indeed, Messmer probably would have take the secret to his grave had not animation historian John Cane-maker tracked him down in 1976 (the revelation produced quite a stir in animation circle…twenty years later the story was lampooned on an episode of “The Simpsons”).

The only thing I could find was this, at Wikipedia:

In an episode of The Simpsons, Dean Scungio quotes from The Encyclopaedia of Animated Cartoons on the history of Felix: "A Felix doll became Charles Lindbergh’s companion on his famed flight across the Atlantic." Another episode of The Simpsons, in which the origins of the cartoon characters Itchy & Scratchy are explored, parallels some of the disputed history Felix’s creation set forth above, and includes a spoof film entitled Manhattan Madness, presented as the first Itchy & Scratchy cartoon, supposedly from 1919, that is similar in style to "Felix in Hollywood" and other early Felix animations.

[Update 5:30pm Eastern: And we have an answer:

Studios Always Take the Credit

In case you can’t see the image, that’s a tweet from Henry Rothschild (@misterculture) reading:

Re: Felix, Sullivan took credit a la Roger Meyers Sr. in “The Day the Violence Died.”


What I’ve Been Reading: January 6, 2013 – Heh:

Finally, a dolphin trainer in Ukraine has trained a dolphin to crawl on land. You can watch a video of it here. Oh my God, IT’S HAPPENING.

Films Referenced on The Simpsons – My Criterion – A good list of Simpsons movie references that only has one Zombie Simpsons entry.  (via)

The Dude abides… – YouTube of the bowling scene from “Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder” set to the “peed on your fucking rug” scene from The Big Lebowski.  Bravo.

Academy gets a few things right for 2013 Oscar nominations – There’s a reason for this:

The Simpsons catches up to South Park.  One surprise is seeing The Simpsons finally catching up to South Park as Oscar nominations go.  The Simpsons got a nomination in the animated short film category (South Park was previously nominated for best song for the film South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut).

The South Park movie was awesome.  The Simpsons movie wasn’t.  But “The Longest Daycare” was excellent, so there you go.

WordPress Wednesday – 8 New Plugins From The WordPress.org Plugin Directory – Check out number 7:

This plugin is a chance to relive your childhood. The Hello Simpsons Chalkboard Gag plugin was based on the Hello Dolly plugin that most active WordPress users are familiar. Much like the reason why Hello Dolly was created, the Simpsons Chalkboard Gag plugin was designed to bring a little light-hearted fun into every page of the admin panel.

As an added bonus, this plugin creates the [simpsons] shortcode which can be included on any page or post and, when used, will return a different Bartism each time the page is loaded.

WUB! WUB! WUB! WUB! – This is a cool fan drawing of Zoidberg, which isn’t technically Simpsons, but it’s still pretty cool.

homer simpson – This is not the first time I’ve seen a picture of Homer drawn on a woman’s naked crotch, and if you’re reading this on an employer owned computer where bare labia isn’t a good idea, it’s probably best not to click at the moment.  That said, the first image does give him a rather awesomely pensive look.  Not sure what’s with the cucumber in the others, though.

The Keys of Marinus – Story #005 – This is a Dr. Who review blog run by a couple, and anything that geeky is bound to touch on The Simpsons sooner or later:

On a personal note, I was very impressed (impressed, is that the right word?) that Jael decided to use the simple phrase “D’oh!”  My attempt to Simpson-ize her is working.  Please, dear reader, ask her what her favorite line from The Simpsons is; I know what it is, but having her say it is much more rewarding (especially given her major in college).

I’m guessing she was a philosophy major.

Television-impaired – The author is going a month without television, and she opened it with this:

Lisa: Maggie, come to the one you love best…

There’s also a picture of Maggie hugging the TV.  Excellent usage.

The Simpsons in Cameos: 6 Greatest Guest Star Appearances Of All Time – This is an unusual list in that you don’t see many of the usual suspects (Michael Jackson, Glenn Close), but there’s nothing past Season 11, so it’s okay by us.

Texas Chainsaw 3D…In 10 Words – Rustier!

A Trillion Dollar Platinum Coin…In 10 Words – The obvious Simpson joke here is already popping up in a lot of places.

Stars in Danger: The High Dive…In 10 Words – But Marge, Alan Thicke is throwing knives at Ricardo Montalban!

Bunheads…In 10 Words – Gonna go see the bear in the little car, huh?

Things I Love Thursday: American Comedy – A Brit discusses her love of American comedy with some good YouTube, including the rakes.

Simpsons – I’m Freaking Out – Just a jpg of Milhouse freaking out from “Team Homer”.

Five of Television’s Underrated Characters – Flanders makes the list here.

When I’ve had a bad day – Great line.

Welcome to my world 25 – Animated .gif of Bart become isolated and weird.

January 7: The Typewriter Patent – Some interesting history comes with monkey Simpsons YouTube:

Our need to share thoughts in a formal easy to read manner has driven much of the technology we share today, and some of the best mathematical myths. The Infinite Monkey Theorem states that if you put a monkey at a typewriter eventually they would almost surely produce the complete works of Shakespeare.

The Best Musical Guest Stars on The Simpsons – And finally, I get to end with someone who (basically) agrees with us:

It’s no secret that the series has had its share of struggles as it approaches the quarter-century mark, but if viewers can accept the unfortunate realization that, no matter the quality of the writing, characters just aren’t able to garner the same interest more than 500 episodes later, there is still plenty to enjoy about watching Springfield’s hapless first family galavanting around their quaint, and surprisingly durable, little town. I’ll admit that I am not a regular viewer of new episodes, but I religiously watch the first fourteen or so seasons.

Fourteen’s generous, but yeah. 

5 Responses to “Reading Digest: Joining the Club Edition”

  1. 11 January 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Thanks for including my posts! Completely agree with the goal of the Dead Homer Society.

  2. 2 Stan
    11 January 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Russian kitchen = awesome. But you sure it’s fan made? Looks like those are just sold stickers which can go anywhere.

  3. 13 January 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Thanks for the shout-out! Love the blog, and of course, we love The Simpsons (and Doctor Who).

  4. 5 Monty Python Forever
    13 January 2013 at 4:20 pm

    One of the related videos on that monkey one is the classic episode “Whacking Day.”

    Stars in Danger and all those other reality shows in 10 words: “We Hollywood types were idiots back then, not like today.

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