Reading Digest: Great (And Not) Songs Edition

All Singing, All Dancing1

“Singing is the lowest form of communication.” – Homer Simpson
“Homer, you sing all the time.” – Marge Simpson
“No, I don’t.  I hate to rhyme.” – Homer Simpson

The first item this week isn’t even a link, it’s just a cute dog sent in by reader David:

I just got a new French bulldog puppy not too long ago and of course named her “Beatrice Simmons” after my 2nd favorite episode next to “Lisa’s Substitute”.


Bea Simmons

I bet Audrey Meadows would love that.  (Good work, David.)

In terms of regular stuff this week, we’ve got musical entertainment all over the place.  There’s a fan made song about Milhouse, plus a list of some of the current show’s writer’s favorite songs (unsurprisingly, there is way too much Zombie Simpsons), and someone who was inspired by that to break out two old Simpsons CDs.  In addition to all that, we’ve got a Simpsons sand sculpture, Vulture magazine trolling the internet, a poor soul who’s mostly seen Season 11 and later, and an interview with Jay Kogen that would’ve been longer except that the Huffington Post is run by monkeys.  


Artist organizing ‘Simpsons’ and ‘Akira’ mash-up – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this call to action:

“Milhouse is Kaneda. Lisa is Kei. Bart is Tetsuo,” Harvey posted on his blog. “Let’s do it.”

The idea all started when artist Ryan Humphrey posted an impromptu short mash-up of the two, provoking Harvey to take that errant idea and turn it into a full-scale project with different artist drawing different portions of the book. Harvey is taking submissions from artists at bartkiracommittee@gmail.com. He’ll choose the artists, and give each a five-page segment of the story and guidelines of which Akira characters match up with which Simpsons characters.

As for the $64,000 question that all of you are no doubt asking, Harvey was upfront about the legality. “Since it’ll be non-profit, parody/satire, crowdsourced and distributed peer-to-peer, I feel like it’s juuust on the right side of the legal grey area it inhabits,” Harvey explained. “If not — let’s do it anyway. I’ll take the rap.”

I cannot draw, and I’ve only ever seen the Akira movie, but many of you who read this site can draw and have read the books, so there you go.  Click here to see the original images.  Damn good idea.

This song about Milhouse from The Simpsons will bring a tear to your eye – This was making the rounds earlier this week, and deserves the full embed treatment because it is awesome:

The young lady on the left there has an album coming out soon, and (h/t to @dailysimpsons) also has a song about Grimes:


My Favorite ‘Throwaway’ Simpsons Joke – While we’re on the subject of Milhouse, YouTube of “guess who likes you”. 

Playwrights Horizons Season To Range from Simpsons to Kama Sutra – Everybody’s favorite post-apocalyptic Simpsons play is coming to New York City:

The season will begin with “Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play,” a post-apocalyptic tale by Anne Washburn about a future in which the “Cape Feare” episode of the “The Simpsons” is all that remains of Western literature. The play was unveiled last year at Woolly Mammoth Theater Company in Washington, D.C., to good reviews. The New York production will have the same director, Steve Cosson, and previews start Aug. 23.

It’ll probably make it out here to the provinces shortly before the actual apocalypse. 

‘Simpsons’ Writer Reveals Origin Of Bart’s Hair – A short video interview with Jay Kogan about James L. Brooks.  There’s a link to a longer (30 minute) interview that I couldn’t get to work in Firefox or IE because – holy shit – “Huffpost Live” is the worst designed video site I’ve seen since about 2003.  It’s cluttered, confusing, plays something (not necessarily the video you want) as soon as the page opens, and has all kinds of other problems I thought the internet had overcome a long time ago.  Jebus. 

Ned Flanders – It’s Pronounced SHAH-DAY ep by Llama Farm Recordings – There’s someone calling himself Ned Flanders putting pretty decent house music on Soundcloud.  That is all. 

The Big Ten Conference (2014 version) – From reddit comes this rather good image:

Simpsons Big Ten

Barney as Wisconsin is my favorite, though the whole thing is a bit spoiled by using that lame Zombie Simpsons turtle instead of, say, the one Homer kicks in “El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer”.

There is no flaw in the Simpsons – Speaking of reddit, Bill Oakley tweeted this earlier this week.  It’s true, there is no flaw. 

Hallelujah. S1 – Best door ever. 

Steve Hummer: So many Halls of Fame to visit – Excellent usage:

“The Simpsons” has taught us so much through the years. On the big subjects such as child-rearing, work ethic and diet. And on matters as seemingly trivial as appreciating our nation’s obscure sporting shrines.

“Homer,” Marge Simpson asked her husband in one episode, “do you remember our last family vacation when you made us go to the Bowlers’ Hall of Fame in St. Louis, Mo., so you could see that car shaped like a giant bowling pin?”

“Remember?” Homer answered. “Who could forget?”

I am proud to say I, too, have made that pilgrimage, and thrilled to the story of the late Don Carter’s rise from humble pinsetter to champion to Paula Sperber’s husband.

Perfectly quoted and highly apt. 

If I could turn back time… – Don’t think I’ve ever seen the episode, but that’s a pretty decent joke:

As Lisa Simpson said to Professor Frink’s Dad when he was brought back to life in Treehouse of Horror XIV, ”Sir your son has brought you into the twenty-first century. It’s a lot like the twentieth but everyone’s afraid and the stock market is much lower.”

It’s even aged well.

Bubble Bath Decapitations • Bart Simpson – Heh. 

"Mr. Burns" Presides Over Trial of "Bart Simpson" – Via @rubbercatsimp comes this amusing real life crime story:

But given enough time, at least some subset of all possible events will obviously happen, and some of them will be extremely unlikely. And so it was that on Monday, "Barton Simpson" stood trial before "Mr. Burns":

Few details were available, but according to this report Simpson was charged with possessing a prohibited firearm at Birmingham Airport last year, but pleaded not guilty. (So this may have been only a preliminary hearing, not a trial.) A court worker was quoted as saying, "It’s a bizarre coincidence that Bart Simpson is actually on trial in front of Mr Burns but it’ll proceed as any other criminal case would." Did a reporter actually ask something like, "How will the proceedings change given the fact that two of the participants share names with characters in an American cartoon?"

I guess that’s not impossible, it just seems really unlikely.

Sitcom Smackdown Finals: Cheers vs. The Simpsons – Vulture decided that The Simpsons was the best sitcom.  I did not need to be told that.

The Simpsons’ Writers Pick Their Favorite Songs – And then Al Jean showed up at Vulture to take victory lap and try to slip some Zombie Simpsons songs into a list of best Simpsons songs.  Nice try, Al, and while it’s not scientific or anything, this reader list that comments on yours doesn’t contain anything from Zombie Simpsons. 

Songs in the Key of Springfield & Go Simpsonic with The Simpsons – This is short, so I’m going to quote it in its entirety:

Yesterday, The Ten Best Simpsons Songs, As Picked by the Show’s Writers showed up in my Twitter feed. There are some fine songs in that list, but there are also some fine songs mentioned in the comments section to the story that were left off of the list, too. So, I pulled out my Simpsons CDs for my drive today. It was a pretty good time. I’d like to tell you that I am embarrassed that I know the words to all of the songs, but I’m not. Not one bit.

Neither is anyone else here.  The track lists are just a murderer’s row of stuff from the show, and you get things like that demo singer version of the garbage man song with the extra verse about Milhouse’s parents getting divorced.  

18 Academic Papers About ’90s TV Shows – There are two about 9the show on here, one titled (via) “From the Simpsons to the Bundys: A critical analysis of disrespectful discourse in television narratives”.  Now that’s my kind of science. 

The Best Sitcoms of the Past 30 Years – And as always, the Cost of Zombie Simpsons is borne by the young:

The past few weeks, Vulture has been has been having a bracket-style “Sitcom Smackdown” to determine the best sitcom of the the past 30 years.  Yesterday, The Simpons was chosen as the winner.  Today, however, Arrested Development was crowned in the readers’ bracket.  Here’s how I how I would have ranked the shows that were in contention.


4. The Simpsons (started watching regularly in season 11, seen a handful of episodes from before then)

That’s just tragic, like watching the Star Wars prequels only or something. 

You’re running a marathon! Ha! Ha! – This sign is exactly what you want to see around Mile 20 or so.  (Thanks, Jill!)

Simpsons: Tapped Out…In 10 Words – I have selected power drive.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone…In 10 Words – So much nicer than the savagery of the jungle, ja? 

Leprechaun (movie)…In 10 Words – He tells me to burn things.

“Numero Uno” and “Due” – Excellent Simpsons art of Homer made from . . . words, or printing press letters, something.  Credited as “Mixed media by Barbara Guolo”.  Well done.

The Mercedes G63 AMG 6×6 vs. The Simpsons’ Canyonero: Which Is the Badass-est? – Mercedes has created a six wheeled monstrosity, this is a comparison.  They should’ve made it two lanes wide. 

Horror Story – An unfortunate bathroom encounter punctuated by a great YouTube of Homer’s screams set to the Simpsons tune. 

UltChart Tweets For 16 March 2013 – UK/US/Aus No1s on this day – Here’s something I didn’t know:

22 years ago this week (1991) ♫ The Simpsons – Do the Bartman♫ topped the Australian Chart

Click through for YouTube of that and other hits. 

Cake Bart Simpson – Lini Geriana – No idea what language this is, but it’s a rather cute Bart cake, and that needs no translation. 

Diary of an Arts Graduate #16 – Heh:

– A local Toronto resident is in the news because his name is Francis Pope. Reminded me of the episode where Homer Simpson becomes famous because he shares the same name with a popular television character, also named Homer Simpson. Never thought I’d see the day where instead of art imitating life, its life imitating The Simpsons.

Homer Simpson on the beach in Barcelona – Sand sculpture of Homer.

The Shining (1980) – A discussion of the movie that includes shaky cam YouTube of The Shinning with subtitles some language I can’t even identify. 

The Five Worst Musical Guests In Simpsons History – And finally, I get to end with someone who agrees with us.  After listing four pointless musical cameos from Zombie Simpsons, Kid Rock showing up in “Kill the Alligator and Run” checks in at #1:

Not only is the episode absolutely dreadful, and Kid Rock’s cameo completely pointless, but it marks the turning point when I personally realized that The Simpsons was never going to be a great show again. It came on the heels of a wildly successful run for the first nine seasons and even if Season 10 had its ups and downs, it seemed like the show could still rebound.

This episode, however, ended up being unwatchable. So congrats, Kid Rock. Whether you meant to or not, you will forever be associated in my mind with the day that one of the greatest shows of all time started to suck.


8 Responses to “Reading Digest: Great (And Not) Songs Edition”

  1. 22 March 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Thanks for the link to my “Horror Story” . I couldn’t think of a better scream than Homer Simpson’s…

  2. 2 Robert
    22 March 2013 at 3:03 pm

    It’s Swedish.

  3. 3 FireFlower
    22 March 2013 at 6:51 pm

    I have to say Lady Gaga is the worst musical guest in Simpsons history. THAT episode was for sure nothing but a ratings stunt (that failed).

  4. 22 March 2013 at 10:09 pm

    I always loved the scene where Milhouse gives Nelson the “Guess who likes you?” note and Milhouse is being stretchered out in the next scene. Lisa tries to apologize to Milhouse but they tell her “He can’t hear you. We had to plug up his ears with gauze.” Now, THAT’S funny.

    Also, Treehouse of Horror XIV is surprisingly decent (IMO), especially compared to today’s Treehouse of Horror episodes.

  5. 23 March 2013 at 11:22 am

    Yeah that Milhouse song is really good. Very Cat Power-like, but much funnier.

  6. 8 Anonymous
    25 March 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Married with Children was one of my favorite shows, a perfect complement to classics like this show, MASH, All in the Family and Just Shoot Me. It was released almost 3 years before The Simpsons, according to the I.M.D.B, so the article title gets it backwards.

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