Archive for July, 2013

31
Jul
13

Quote of the Day

The Secret War of Lisa Simpson6

“So, the next time you’re walking on the beach, enjoying an hourglass, or making cheap, low grade windshields, think where we’d be without sand.” – Sand Movie Narrator
“Sand.  Sand.  Sand!” – Chorus

30
Jul
13

Quote of the Day

King of the Hill5

“Oh, Marge, how could you let me let myself go like this?” – Homer Simpson
“Me?  I’m not the one who puts butter in your coffee.” – Marge Simpson

29
Jul
13

Quote of the Day

Faith Off2

“I invented a program that downloads porn off the internet one million times faster.” – Skinny Nerd
“Does anybody need that much porno?” – Marge Simpson
“Ohhh, one million times.” – Homer Simpson

28
Jul
13

Quote of the Day

Bart the Daredevil9

“Two titans at the height of their careers.  Oh, if you ask me, this is going to be one hell of a match.” – Bart Simpson
“Oh, Bart.  I hope you’re not taking this seriously.  Even a five-year-old knows that this is as choreographed as any ballet.” – Lisa Simpson
“Ah, Rasputin’s got the reach, but on the other hand, the Professor’s got his patented Coma Lock.” – Homer Simpson

27
Jul
13

Saturday Morning Movie References

Colonel Homer9

“Oh, wait, I heard how this ends.  It turns out the secret code was the same nursery rhyme he told his daughter.” – Homer Simpson

This started making the rounds yesterday:

Every Movie Reference In ‘The Simpsons’: Seasons 1-5 | NextMovie

It’s twenty minutes long, but don’t let that discourage you.  If it doesn’t have every single one, it’s gotta be awful close.  There are a couple that I think are a little bit of a stretch, but not many, and there were definitely a few I’d never noticed before.  (Thanks to Michael for the e-mail reminder.) 

27
Jul
13

Quote of the Day

Simpson Tide6

“Daybreak, Jakarta, the proud men and women of the Navy are fighting for freedom.  But you’re in Lubbock, Texas, hosing the stains off a monument.  You’re in the Naval Reserve, America’s seventeenth line of defense, between the Mississippi National Guard and the League of Women Voters.” – TV Announcer

26
Jul
13

Reading Digest: Geek Gathering Post-Mortem Edition

Three Men and a Comic Book10

“Young people of Springfield, as your mayor I’d like to welcome you to our annual funny book convention.  And thank you for pumping almost three hundred dollars into the local economy.  Your youthful high spirits have imparted a glow to this old war horse, you might say I feel like Radiation Man.” – Mayor Quimby
“That’s Radioactive Man, jerk!” – Jimbo Jones
“I stand corrected.  Well, have fun, and be sure to clear out by six for the Shriners.  Get that punk’s name, no one makes a fool out of Diamond Joe Quimby.” – Mayor Quimby

We have a ton of links from San Diego this week.  There’s video, a little bit of actual news, some reactions to all the crossovers, and even a full breakdown of the Simpsons panel for those so inclined.  In addition, we’ve got a new Simpsons math book, a high school graduate getting through with help from the show, a fan made oil painting, and not one, not two, but three (3!) favorite episodes lists, every one of which agrees with us.

Enjoy.

Terminally Ill ‘Simpsons’ Co-Creator Vows to Give Away Fortune – Sam Simon continues to do cancer about as well as it can be done:

THR: Do you get frustrated with bad things happening to good people? Like, why didn’t someone else get this cancer?

Simon: No. I don’t think that’s what karma is. It never crossed my mind.

[…]

THR: So you’ve decided to scale up the foundation?

Simon: We are going to expand all this stuff. We do a day in our mobile clinic where we do dog and cat surgeries for free except complicated procedures. For the first nine months, we couldn’t fill up the truck. But now it’s a huge success. It just took a while for the community to find out about it. And now I think we’re going to add another day for free surgeries. The Sam Simon Foundation is going to be very well endowed, and there’s a lot of stuff I want them to do.

THR: What allows you to do more?

Simon: The Simpsons money got bigger and bigger. When I left The Simpsons, no one thought that this thing was going to still be around. It’s the cumulative effect. It’s like, "Oh my God, 25 years later, and it’s still coming in."

Keep your head up, Sam.  We love you.

On Graffiti of The Simpsons in the Downtown Eastside – An intrepid young woman tracked down more of that Simpsons graffiti in Vancouver, and she took pictures!:

Then this mysterious back door opened and this nice girl comes out and catches me gawking curiously at the graffiti inside her workplace. We chatted briefly, turns out that the artist goes by the name of Soap. And that these graffiti change from time to time.

Excellent.

Threadless News! “Face of Springfield” up for scoring! – The Simpsons design contest is still going on, and this guy submitted one.  I think it looks better on black, but that’s just me.

Lisa Simpson, The Scream Reproduction – Awesome fan made oil painting of exactly what it says.  Bravo.

List O’ The Week – Top 25 episodes of The Simpsons – A gargantuan and detailed list, with nothing past Season 8, from someone who’s done the real work of burrowing into the show:

Full Disclosure: I still have, to this day, 40+ VHS tapes of The Simpsons episodes that I taped off the TV (that’s right, I’m bad) as a young lad. I have all the DVDs up until season 11 where the horrible packaging made it impossible to remove the discs. Most embarrassingly, I have an entire folder full of sheets (almost 100 in total) which perfectly document which episodes are on which tapes (and a brief description), whether or not the episode exists in its entirety or was only half taped, and a grade out of 10 for each. So this list is in honour of that boy who had (and clearly still has) way too much time on his hands.

[Oh dear God. I just found the folder. 100 pages was a VAST understatement. I also have sheets listing exactly (to the second) how long each tape was, a running tally of how many episodes per season are centred around certain characters and a list of who is on each DVD commentary track for the first 10 seasons. In fact I made a top 20 list back then as well which has a bizzare mix of great and mediocre episodes, although certainly there are still epsiodes which I’ve loved since then that aren’t loved by the fandom. Wow my handwriting was markedly better back then].

That is an impressive act of geekiness.  Well done. 

Discover The Simpsons’ Mathematical Secrets – Cool:

Like The Simpsons? Like maths? Or even a bit apathetic about maths but like geeky in-jokes? Then this event is for you.

It isn’t happening until October but about half the seats are already gone, so we thought we’d better flag it up now. Simon Singh’s written a book about the maths inside The Simpsons – it’s not released until 29 October, but a week earlier he’s at the Southbank Centre talking about it.

‘The Simpsons’ to join forces with ‘Futurama’ for crossover episode – This was the big news out of the whale’s vagina, and is just what it says:

The plot will revolve around bad boys Bender and Bart: “Bender has to come back from the future to kill Bart because there’s something that Bart does now that makes the future really, really, really bad,” Jean continues. “Tip of the hat to Harlan Ellison.” (Ellison, by the way, will lend his voice to a different episode this season.)

The Futurama cast members who will visit The Simpsons include Billy West, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio, Phil LaMarr, and Maurice LaMarche. (Tress MacNeille will also be heard in the episode, as she’s also a voice actor for The Simpsons.) And DiMaggio has played Bender before on The Simpsons; he recorded a brief cameo as the foul-mouthed robot for a season 16 episode.

Can we put the Futurama production staff in charge?  Pretty please?  They have been killing it this summer (that episode with the three different Saturday morning cartoons was as good as anything they ever did).

Stinson: The Simpsons are David Silverman’s extended yellow family – Silverman is going to be at the Toronto Animation Arts Festival International today and tomorrow, and this is a nice little puff interview with him.  I did find this mildly ironic:

He says that Matt Groening, who created the characters, and James L. Brooks, one of the original executive producers, were insistent that “you can never sacrifice story for the sake of a joke.”

That insistence has greatly mellowed with time.

‘Simpsons’ Director David Silverman – And another interview with Silverman:

You directed "Mother Simpson," one of the funniest but also most heartbreaking episodes in the canon. Can you talk about the construction of its final shot?

It was during the table read when I thought about that shot. I had this image of a big wide shot of Homer waving goodbye as his mother left him, and then of him sitting on his car looking at the stars — that wasn’t in the script. As I was drawing it, I almost started tearing up. It really affected me. Everyone can relate to that. Sometimes things happen to us and all we can do is contemplate and look at the stars.

‘The Simpsons’ Writers Have a Fantasy League of Their Own – Jebus knows I don’t think much of the output of the current writing staff, but a highly competitive movie box office fantasy league sounds like a lot of fun.

‘Simpsons’ Comic Book Guy Guide To Being Worst. Nerd. Ever. – There’s some Zombie Simpsons in here, but for the most part it’s fun.

Summer free Shakespeare season winds down – Mike Reiss, budding playwright:

"Simpsons" writer Mike Reiss, who opened the summer season at the Ivoryton Playhouse in Essex with "I’m Connecticut," has a new comedy that will get a test run at the New York International Fringe Festival next month.

The Bristol native’s play "Rubble" is set for five performances between Aug. 10 and 25. The play will star Bruce Vilanch and Litchfield actor Jerry Adler (who was featured in "I’m Connecticut" at Ivoryton).

Reiss, an Emmy winner for his work on "The Simpsons," has written a semi-autobiographical play about an aging Los Angeles comedy writer who is taking a meeting with a network executive when a major earthquake strikes.

Rob Lowe On Playing JFK Without Sounding Like You’re On ‘The Simpsons’ – Hey, he is no longer illiterate:

How do you do a JFK voice that doesn’t sound like the Massachusetts-y Mayor Quimby on The Simpsons? The suave way I decided to put this question to Rob Lowe was essentially … "How do you do a JFK voice that doesn’t sound like Mayor Quimby on The Simpsons?" I had a brief moment of fear that he wouldn’t know what I was talking about, which could have been very embarrassing, but happily for me (and presumably for Mayor Quimby), he did, and he laughed. (Thank goodness.)

[…]

"Just technically, what I learned was he really had two voices. He had the voice that we all know — you know, [Mayor Quimby-ish Kennedy voice] ‘Come to Berlin,’ you know. He had that voice, which is the voice that everybody imitates, and then he had the way he spoke in private, which was very different. And there’s actually a linguistic term called the ‘Kennedy stutter step,’ not to get too technical.

That sick freak.

Don’t Throw Parties, Kids – The dangers of using your iPod at a party:

The Simpsons – Honey Roasted Peanuts

Come on now. This is ridiculous. I’m a pretty big Simpsons fan and I would stand by any music from the show if it were to play at a party. Their songs are clever both musically and lyrically. This, however, is a short scene in which Homer, the patriarch of the family – if for some reason you’ve never even heard of the show, perhaps due to a 30 year long coma or a memento-like illness – eats a pack of peanuts, but not before reading the ingredients first. Yeah, this is a weird one. Maybe one guy as lame as me (Will) at the party might have enjoyed it.

Smith At SDCC – Matt Smith from Doctor Who walked around Comic-Con with a Bart Simpson mask, and there’s YouTube.  The stunt doesn’t quite work because the mask is terrible, so the rest of the people at the convention just think he’s some lame dork begging for attention for his shitty costume.  The sarcastic kid at the 0:30 mark nails him.

SDCC VIDEOS! – The third video down is from the Simpsons panel, and includes the singing group and a drawing contest.

Media Monday #20: The origin of The Simpsons – YouTube of Groening at Comic-Con charmingly blowing off the question he’s been asked more times than any other.

The Simpsons 2013 Comic-Con Panel Live Blog – And, for our final Comic-Con link, a short blow-by-blow recounting of the Simpsons panel.

The Billion-Dollar Empire of "The Simpsons" – Here’s another periodic reminder that, unwatchable as it is, Zombie Simpsons still produces ungodly amounts of cash.

As vozes por trás dos 105 personagens de “Os Simpsons”! (6 fotos) – I’m not sure if these are new or old, but it’s six pictures, one each of the main cast, with all the characters they do.

Best. Episode. Ever. (Round 51) – “Bart’s Comet” vs. “Who Shot Mr. Burns, Part 2”, that’s a tough one.

Best. Episode. Ever. (Round 52) – Season 9 beats Season 18.

R.I.P.D. …In 10 Words – You’re off the case, zombie McGarnagle!

The Conjuring…In 10 WordsFeh.

Carlos Danger…In 10 Words – There are three ways to do things, the right way, the wrong way, and the Carlos Danger way!  Isn’t that the wrong way?  Yes, but after you resign from Congress! 

The Simpsons Crossover: Have they Jumped the Shark? – Here’s an interesting angle on the Family Guy and Futurama crossovers I hadn’t considered: it might finally convince even more people that Zombie Simpsons sucks ass:

To those people who have asked if the show has declined in quality I usually say that it’s still better than most of the stuff that’s on TV now anyways. This time though I can’t imagine this crossover idea will work out well.

Speaking of crossovers… – A little more evidence:

Now we’re hearing that there’s going to be a Simpsons/Family Guy cross over.

Really folks?

Really?

Goddamn I don’t want to live on this planet any more…

It’s one thing to do a crossover to launch another series, it’s quite another for two long expired series to try and prop each other up. 

LIfe and other weird ideas – Getting through Ramadan ain’t easy, but this isn’t a bad way to do it, either:

No hospital shift today so I am enjoying a lazy day. But it does go slower that’s for sure. I made up for it by watching two episodes of Scrubs back to back and will hold out for the Simpsons at 6.

Bloggy Odds and Ends – Twenty three years later, and “Bart Gets an F” still gets through to the kids:

Math has always been a difficult subject for me, and I had such a hard time getting momentum to do all the extra homework. I decided to bribe myself with old Nostalgia Critic videos, since I had fallen behind in watching them.

After completing a good lot of grad math homework and some tests, after many many on the first day, I decided, “Hey, I’ll watch the top 11 Simpson Episodes one!”

(SPOILERS) When it got to number one, my heart just exploded. At that moment, I was Bart! Grad-math, and subsequently passing high school seemed SO impossible at that point, and no matter how hard I tried, math didn’t make sense to me.

I wound up crying and feeling a bit discouraged, but not passing high school was not an option! I kept with the system of bribing myself with Nostalgia Critic videos, and then Demo Reel (which gave me more reasons to cry) until I completed the program.

Like ‘Bart Gets An F’ I did have a ridiculously happy ending happen to me. I passed the test and graduated high school (obviously).

The kids are alright.

Top Ten Thursday #11: Ways I Relate To Milhouse Van Houten – Heh:

What I think sometimes when I’m working/studying:

Milhouse: So this is my life . . .

Dag 169 – Oh, nothing, just a straight Duff shirt.

Today on the tray: Hot dogs – In celebration of national hot dog day (which was earlier this week), we’ve got some YouTube of old hot dog commercials and the Oscar Meyer song from “A Star Is Burns” . . . in Italian!

Simpsons Super-Cuts – I do not have a device on which to watch this, but some of you do:

As an editor, I felt it was important to compile these clips as an ode to the funniest era of Simpsons superiority. Plus, they’re fantastic to watch if you’re hungover this weekend.

App Store becomes EA’s biggest retail partner by sales for the first time in June – That freemium shit really, really, really works:

Apple has become “EA’s biggest retail partner as measured by sales” as a result of the App Store. It’s a big announcement for the publisher that previously sold the majority of its content through retail channels for console games, and it could be a sign that EA will be investing more in iOS and other mobile titles in the months to come. In its earnings release, the company noted that it was “the #1 global publisher in the iOS game market in the June quarter,” and also highlighted a few of its more successful iOS titles, including: The Simpsons: Tapped Out, Real Racing 3, and The Sims:

  • -The Simpsons™: Tapped Out recorded its highest revenue quarter* in Q1 since launching in August 2012.

Battersea – The Butcher & Grill (review) – Excellent reference:

If you will allow me to self-indulge, I imagine that if I became a food reviewer in my current state that pandemic obesity would clutch the world in a lardy grip. Much like the episode of the Simpsons where Homer does just that, only to miss the poisoned eclair by the skin of his teeth.

“I’m not a state…I’m a monster!” – Heh.

My Top 10 Episodes of The Simpsons – And finally, I get to end the way I like, and not just with one person who agrees with us, but two blogger buddies.  Plus, I did not know this:

The most moving sign of the show’s influence is that, when the editors of the New York Times took on the task of writing obituaries for every person who died on 9/11, they found that most of the men in that age group they profiled “were described as admirers of the show,” so much so that they stopped mentioning this fact in the obits.

That’s pretty cool.  Onto the list:

So, when my friend and fellow blogsmith Juan Alvarado Valdivia and I challenged each other to write our Top 10 Episodes of The Simpsons, I knew it would be tough. I didn’t know that it would turn into the single most difficult post in the history of the blog. There are so many classic episodes with lines of dialogue that have become part of our national consciousness. And I say this as someone who thinks the show fell off precipitously and hasn’t really watched it in years (my list has no episodes later than Season 8).

Naturally.  And for Mr. Valdivia . . .

My Top 10 Simpsons Episodes Ever – . . . the same sentiment:

At first, coming up with a list to accompany (and compete!) with my homeboy, J-Oro’s list seemed like a terrific, exciting endeavor. Ultimately, it still was, but by the end—after watching and carefully considering at least fourteen episodes for my final four spots—it wasn’t so fun. Coming up with a top 15 list would have been dandy, like a stroll through a verdant park with a pretty girl, but picking only ten best episodes from the entire Simpsons repertoire seemed like an unfair exercise. (And really, I only looked at Seasons 2 – 8.)

There are 165 episodes in Seasons 2-8 (and they weren’t counting Halloween, clip shows, and specials), and picking ten is nigh impossible.  Well done, sirs. 

26
Jul
13

Quote of the Day

Homer Alone12

“’Allo, gov’nor, lube job while you wait?” – Squeaky Voiced Teen
“Don’t touch me.” – Pedestrian

25
Jul
13

The Simpsons in Australia: A Fan Remembers (And Rambles)

Bart vs Australia14

By D.N.

The Simpsons has been such a massive part of my life – probably more of an influence on my sense of humour and my pop-culture savvy than anything else I can think of – that it almost feels strange to recall a time before I became aware of the show’s existence. My very first Simpsons-related memory hails from before the series made it to Australian television – during a front-yard cricket game in 1990 (I was about 8 or 9 years old). One of my next-door neighbours, who had recently visited America, talked about something he had seen over there. My mind was more focused on the cricket, but I did overhear some vague details about a TV show involving something called “Do the Bartman.” This was confusing to me at the time, but it made a lot more sense in 1991, when The Simpsons began its run in Australia. In proportion (i.e. taking into account the difference in population), The Simpsons might be as popular in Australia as it is in America. Certainly, we latched onto the show years before the UK did. (The Simpsons didn’t really take off in Britain until the mid-1990s.)

Some background: Prior to the arrival of cable (and later, digital) television, Australian TV in general consisted of five channels: the three commercial networks (Channels 7, 9, and 10), and the two public broadcasting networks (ABC and SBS). All five “free-to-air” channels, still in operation today, have a prerequisite amount of (mostly lousy) local content, but 7, 9, and 10 screen a lot of American stuff, the ABC screens a lot of British stuff, and SBS screens a lot of non-English-language stuff. At the dawn of the 1990s, The Simpsons was poised to be scooped up by one of the commercial networks. That Channel 10 acquired the show is, in hindsight, not surprising – in the 1990s, 10 had a reputation for screening the “edgier” American shows, including Roseanne, Seinfeld, The Ren & Stimpy Show, and The X-Files, although Seinfeld started out late-nights, and largely unwatched, on Channel 9, before becoming a hit on 10. (Channel 9 kept hold of Married…with Children, though.)

So Australia got The Simpsons, albeit a full year after the series began its run in America. Why the wait? These days, to compete with the internet and DVDs, Australian networks tend to “fast-track” episodes of US shows and screen them fairly close to the US air dates (“Express from the US!”, as the promos go). This is a relatively recent innovation. Australian television’s big ratings period excludes summer (December-February), and before the advent of fast-tracking, imported US material was made to abide by the traditional structure.

This meant we’d get first-run episodes quite a while after they screened in the US. Since we couldn’t get The Simpsons at the same time America did, and we couldn’t have a new series premiere mid-year, we had to wait until the beginning of 1991. (And I suspect the powers-that-be wanted to wait and see how the show played out in America – had The Simpsons been cancelled after its first season, I doubt this country would have seen it at all.) So, by the time we got season 1, America was halfway through season 2. (I don’t know if The Tracey Ullman Show aired in Australia prior to 1991. It definitely aired years after that, in a late-night timeslot.)

In those barbaric, pre-internet days, it would’ve been difficult for folks here to know much about The Simpsons until it got close to the show’s premiere. Amid a blaze of publicity (commercials, magazine and TV Guide front-covers), The Simpsons premiered in Australia on Sunday, 10 February 1991, at 7:30pm with a double-screening of “Bart the Genius” and “Homer’s Odyssey.” Subsequently, Channel 10 screened the season 1 episodes in a unique order (it wasn’t the US broadcast or production order). I missed the opening double-header, and I didn’t tune in for the next two weeks’ episodes, “Bart the General” and “Call of the Simpsons.”

(I don’t know why I missed them. I can’t imagine that I had anything better to do. I was 9 years old. What the hell was I doing on Sunday evenings? Doing my homework? Pretending to do my homework? Playing with my Ninja Turtles action figures?)

My first, real experience of The Simpsons was watching the premiere of “Moaning Lisa” on Sunday, 1 March 1991. What an amazing introduction it was. The Simpsons was funny and smart, it looked and sounded weird, and it was totally unlike anything I’d ever seen before. For an animated show, it was funny in a way I was not familiar with. (I grew up on 1980s animated fare, but of the non-comedic kind – Transformers, G.I. Joe, He-Man, Dungeons & Dragons, Thundercats, etc. I wasn’t really a fan of Hanna-Barbera – I liked Scooby Doo, but I didn’t find it especially funny. The only “funny” cartoons I liked were the old Warner Brothers shorts.) The fact that The Simpsons was a cartoon that screened in the evening made an impression on me; I was also impressed by the fact that the characters blinked. (This might seem like a weird thing to latch onto, but was little touches like that helped to rapidly endear the show to me – I don’t think I’d ever seen animated characters blink like real people before.) I also loved how the show referenced stuff like religion and movies, and how it had a massive supporting cast of characters that expanded with every episode. (The number of locales in Springfield – the Simpsons’ house, Springfield Elementary, the nuclear plant, Moe’s Tavern, the Kwik-E-Mart, Burns Manor – also gave the show an added dimension.)

So, I was a Simpsons convert (even if it took me four weeks to tune in). I fell for Bat-Mania in 1989, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fad in 1990; The Simpsons was my next craze. “Moaning Lisa” hooked me, and the following week’s episode, “Some Enchanted Evening,” reeled me in even further. (Seeing kids being terrorised and tied up by a larcenous babysitter, and it being funny, blew my 9-year-old mind.) Over the next three weeks, I caught “Krusty Gets Busted,” a re-run of “Homer’s Odyssey,” and “The Telltale Head.” (The mixed-up episode order made the opening of “The Telltale Head” even more disturbing. At the end of “Krusty Gets Busted,” I saw Bart receive heartfelt thanks from Krusty for trusting him. Two weeks later, I saw an enraged Krusty baying for Bart’s blood.)

I dug The Simpsons. But how popular was The Simpsons in Australia at the time? Looking back now, I’m not really sure. It seemed to me that the show was incredibly popular, because I watched it, as did my family and my friends, and we all talked about it. But beyond my limited sphere of perception, it took a while for The Simpsons to become a ratings hit in Australia. Maybe the show was too damn unusual to become an instant success, but it eventually did catch on, thanks to the power of re-runs and word of mouth (not to mention the fact that with only five channels, television viewing options were relatively limited). In Australia, The Simpsons, as it had done in America, dealt with negative publicity on its way to becoming a mainstream hit. There was a fair bit of tut-tutting in the media over the show’s, and more specifically, Bart’s, supposed bad influence (There were kids at my school whose overprotective parents banned them from watching the show, and teachers who would sneer contemptuously at ‘The Bart Simpson Show’ [sic]).

It was easy for non-fans to be cynical about the show, what with the rampant merchandising: this county got hit with all, or most of, the predominantly Bart-centric Simpsons merchandise, repeating the Ninja Turtles onslaught of the previous year. There was even an Australian edition of Simpsons Illustrated. (I don’t know how many issues it lasted for, though – I got the first three, and I don’t believe there were many, if any, after that. Man, that that magazine was a godsend while it lasted – in those pre-internet days, it was my only source of info about the show and intriguing upcoming episode plots. Lisa goes bad! Mr Burns sells the nuclear plant to foreign businessmen! This was manna from heaven.)

The first four seasons of The Simpsons aired on Channel 10 between February 1991 and August 1993 (bouncing between Sunday and Tuesday evenings), but season 5 didn’t premiere until February 1995. For a year and a half, Australia didn’t get any new episodes of The Simpsons! Instead, 10 screened re-runs of seasons one to four, 6:00pm Monday to Friday (replacing re-runs of M*A*S*H). This had the effect of fans of the show becoming really, really, really familiar with those episodes. (Having seen those episodes so many times in that period, combined with my pre-pubescent age at that time, means it’s difficult for me now to remember the first time I saw them, although I definitely remember the very first time I saw Homer plummeting down Springfield Gorge, and thinking it was the single funniest thing I had ever seen in my entire life. I also remember the first time I saw “I Love Lisa” – well, not the episode itself, but I recall laughing the next day with my fellow seventh-graders over Skinner’s tragic ’Nam flashback, which we agreed was one of the most hilarious things the show ever did.) There weren’t many official Simpsons VHS releases at the time – only a smattering of season one episodes – but of course, there was the magic of the VCR. That said, it almost felt like there was no point in recording any episodes, because it wouldn’t be too long before they aired again.

The lack of new Simpsons episodes in 1994 meant that it was a massive deal when season 5 finally premiered the following year. And boy, did Channel 10 hype the advent of new episodes. The long wait was over! (And that long wait delineated the show for me: I tended to look upon seasons one to four as “old Simpsons,” and seasons five onwards as “new Simpsons.” Of course, these days, I regard about the first ten seasons as The Simpsons and everything after that as “Zombie Simpsons.” Thanks, DHS.  [Ed note: We do what we can.]) In 1995, season 5 was screened every Wednesday evening. This was followed by season 6 (which – oddly – continued through the 1995/1996 non-ratings period). Channel 10 still kept the weekday seasons one-four re-runs going, this time at 7:00pm (the 6:00pm slot went to old episodes of The Brady Bunch. The Brady Bunch?! This seems weird now, but at the time, Ten tried to capitalise on the release of The Brady Bunch Movie). Also, “Treehouse of Horror IV” and “Treehouse of Horror V” premiered together on one night, on 1 November 1995. I remember that, after “Bart Simpson’s Dracula,” there was a commercial break, followed by “The Shinning.” We were deprived of the opening credits of “Treehouse of Horror V” for some years. Other noteworthy occurrences included the screening of “Bart vs. Australia” (it didn’t go down well, but that’s a whole other story), and the revelation of who shot Mr. Burns getting leaked here a while before “Who Shot Mr. Burns? Part 2” actually aired. (I remember lots of people at school mentioning that Maggie did it. Turns out that radios DJs were spilling the beans, although I imagine the nascent World Wide Web played its part.)

For most of the 1990s, Channel 10 was the sole dominion of The Simpsons in Australia, with a combination of weekly first-runs and weekday re-runs. The arrival of the cable channel Fox 8 in the late-1990s meant there was another outlet for Simpsons episodes. (For the most part, Fox 8 only showed episodes that 10 had already screened, although there were several season 6 episodes that received their first run on Fox 8.) The Simpsons content on both channels was considerable – around the turn of the millennium, the combination of 10 and Fox 8 meant that viewers got somewhere in between 40-50 different Simpsons episodes a week!

Another massive Simpsons event was Fox 8’s alternative programming to the Sydney Olympics in 2000. For the duration of the games, Fox 8 screened a Simpsons marathon consisting of all the episodes that had been shown here before – roughly, the show’s first ten years – an almost total non-Zombie Simpsons run. (Fox 8 has continued its tradition of animation marathons during the Olympics, although said marathons have expanded to include not only The Simpsons, but also Futurama and the shows of Seth MacFarlane.)

Today, The Simpsons is probably about as well-regarded (or disregarded) in Australia as it is in America. I remember reading an article in 1999 that claimed that The Simpsons would end in 2001. That sounded about right to me – some lame episodes had already creeped in, and I thought it would be good for the show to bow out before the overall quality declined. Of course, the show didn’t end then, and, technically, it hasn’t ended since. For the last dozen years, Zombie Simpsons has lumbered around with a counterfeit claim to be The Simpsons…but I’m sure that there are plenty of people in this big sunbaked country who appreciate The Simpsons enough to recognise Zombie Simpsons when they see it.

25
Jul
13

Quote of the Day

Lard of the Dance3

“Hey, this hot dog tastes different.” – Homer Simpson
“Yes, I just cleaned out the machine, sir.  So the snack you are enjoying has not been soaking in putrid grease.” – Apu Nahasapeemapetilon
“Yeah, but without the grease all you can taste is the hog anus.” – Homer Simpson

24
Jul
13

Quote of the Day

The Canine Mutiny8

“Marge, mail’s here.” – Homer Simpson
“Bills, bills, ooh a free sample of gasoline; oh, a note from Publisher’s Clearing House saying we’re out of the running.” – Marge Simpson

23
Jul
13

Quote of the Day

Homer Loves Flanders8

“Oh, you poor, unfortunate man.  Let’s get you out of those clothes immediately, and we’ll do whatever we can about the smell.” – Father James Helter
“But, I . . . alright.” – Homer Simpson

22
Jul
13

Quote of the Day

Lisa's Sax10

“The point I’m trying to make here is that Bart must learn to be less of an individual and more a faceless slug.” – Dr. J. Loren Pryor

21
Jul
13

Quote of the Day

Delta Sector

“Looks like there’s a jam in delta sector.” – Water Slide Technician #1
“Well, it’s too big to be human.  Send down a few kids, that should dislodge it.” – Water Slide Technician #2

20
Jul
13

Quote of the Day

Homer vs. The 18th Amendment7

“What’s the matter, Chief?” – Eddie
“Yeah, you barely touched your Banana-Ka-Boom.” – Lou
“This isn’t a very happy birthday for Rex Banner.” – Rex Banner 

19
Jul
13

Reading Digest: Family guy Crossover Edition

Missionary Impossible2

“So, if you don’t want to see crude, low brow programming disappear from the airwaves, please call now.” – Betty White

It was going to be a slow week for Reading Digest, and then the hard working scribes at Entertainment Weekly reported that Zombie Simpsons will be doing a crossover episode.  Predictably, that caused everyone and their sister to comment on it, even though the episode won’t be airing until Fall of 2014.  Plus, despite taking place in Springfield, it’s going to be a Family Guy episode. 

By the laws of blogger kanly I supposed I have to say something about this, so here it is: meh.  Both of these shows are long past their expiration date and this won’t change that at all.  We get linked from random internet forums, discussion boards and the like quite a bit, so I see a lot of generalized fan discussion about the show, which often includes discussion of Family Guy as well.  Based on that anecdotal experience, my sense is that a lot of fans have the same opinion of current Family Guy episodes that we do about Zombie Simpsons: that it basically goes through the motions and isn’t nearly as funny as it once was.

(For whatever it’s worth, I gave up on Family Guy about three years into the second run.  I thought their first season back was one of their strongest ever, but they ran out of steam very quickly.)

In addition to the crossover non-event, we’ve got the usual smorgasbord of Simpsons goodness: lots of fan art, some excellent usage and references, a couple of lists, more graffiti from Illinois and British Columbia, a comparison of Martin Prince and James Joyce, and proof that extreme dog grooming can be used for good, instead of evil.

Enjoy.

High Art: Interview with artist Ryan Humphrey – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this interview/photo spread of one of the guys who’s working on the Bartkira project.  Plus this:

When looking at something like your version of ‘Battle Royale’ with the characters from ‘The Simpsons’ it would seem that some type of sketch work would need to be done beforehand, yet you keep the work so loose and alive. What’s your process on a project like that?

It’s strange because most of the work I do there is hardly any planning at all. Some of the ideas that pop in my head appear instantly and then I start to work right away. I work usually in one good hit; nearly all of my work will be completed in around 3 days. I try to make them as fresh as the idea is in my head.

Click through for a bunch of cool Simpsons sketches. 

Someone Please Help This Poodle Groomed to Look Like The Simpsons – You should probably look at this dog.  Wow. 

Saturday Mornin’ Cartoons: My Top 5 Animated Shows – The show takes its proper place at #1 here, with this cromulent insight:

The Simpsons is one of the shows that grows up as you do. I thought Bart was funny when I was a young guy and suddenly when boobs and beer becomes my priorities, Homer J. Simpson became my role model. The Simpsons is one of the greatest animated shows and I will always watch whenever it is on and JUST EAT THE DAMN ORANGE!

El Barto Strikes Again: More Simpsons Graffiti Art in Naperville – Just what it says, with quite a few pictures of El Barto’s signature. 

El Barto uses the potty – And another from inside the men’s room. 

Bubbles – More elaborate Simpsons graffiti from Vancouver, including Marge in a bubble bath.  That kid in Illinois is falling behind. 

The Simpsons Chess Set – Just what it says.

The Best Recurring TV Characters of All Time. – Grampa makes a list that is mostly characters from far more recent series.

James Joyce: “Spring forth, burly protector, and save me!” – Hemmingway was kinda like Nelson. 

Homer and Bart Simpson – Fan made hard boiled eggs.  Cool.

Canstruction Fights Hunger, One Can At A Time – Canned food turned into temporary sculptures includes one of a giant Krusty the Klown head.  (It’s the fifth picture in the slideshow.)

MineSimpsonArts – Pixel art Maggie Simpson / partie 1 – The narration is in French, and the whole YouTube video goes on for sixteen minutes, so you don’t need to watch it all.  But there is a rather impressive Minecraft construction of the family right at the beginning. 

CANOE – JAM! Television: ‘Summer Camp’ a battle of the sexes – Another nice reference:

This is no Kamp Krusty.

Viewers of The Simpsons will remember the state of that dilapidated endeavour. Hey, they drove a dump truck full of money to Krusty’s house. He’s not made of stone.

The digs are much better on the new reality-competition series Summer Camp, which makes its Canadian debut Friday, July 19 on Slice. And there’s plenty of physical eye candy for any sexual persuasion, too, as opposed to, you know, Milhouse.

Nobody likes Milhouse. 

See Your Favorite Pop Culture Characters As "Simpsons" – A little background on the guy who made the Simpsonized Game of Thrones characters, with a couple of examples.  The Sopranos one is really good. 

‘The Simpsons,’ ‘Family Guy’ doing crossover episode – Here it is folks:

Simpsons castmembers Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith and Hank Azaria will lend their voices to the installment, in which Peter and the rest of the Griffins embark on a road trip and wind up in Springfield. There, they cross paths with Homer, who graciously greets his new “albino” visitors, and the two families become fast friends. Stewie is impressed with Bart and his assortment of pranks, Lisa tries to figure out exactly what it is that she’s good at, and Marge and Lois do some bonding. Meanwhile, Peter and Homer argue over which beer is better: Pawtucket or Duff.

I’m slightly curious to see how Springfield looks when done in Family Guy’s animation, but only slightly. 

The Simpsons: 10 Awesome Easter Eggs – This is one of the pageview whoring things where every fucking entry is on a separate page, so I wouldn’t recommend clicking all the way through.  I’d just like to note that this is the intro:

This is a list of 10 ‘easter eggs’ hidden throughout The Simpsons’ 24 season life span.

Except, of course, that there’s only one entry from past Season 9, and it’s the time Peter Griffin was drawn into that Homer cloning Halloween segment.  Nobody like Zombie Simpsons either. 

10 Cases of ‘Family Guy’ Ripping Off ‘The Simpsons’ – And speaking of Family Guy, here’s another list with only one Zombie Simpsons entry.

Op-ed: The Simpsons, Comic-Con, and Me – A little more anecdotal support for that study about the support the show has for LGBT people, issues and general what have you.

Mr. Hockey: The Gordie Howe Story – Oh, Gordie:

Gordie Howe’s name is synonymous with the sport he played, ice hockey. True, to some of a certain age, he is also known as the long-distance love interest of Edna Krabappel, Bart Simpson’s teacher on an episode of “The Simpsons.” Bart uses a picture of the hockey Hall-of-Famer to give Miss Krabappel a whirlwind letter-writing romance. To the rest of the world, he is simply Mr. Hockey.

Is there a Woodrow Howe out there somewhere? 

Logitech Makes Computer Speakers Cool Again with the Z600 – Nice reference:

Logitech has come out with an affordable set of Bluetooth speakers that should do nicely for anyone wanting to replace their desktop or laptop’s stock audio offerings.

The speakers, which sort of resemble futuristic towers or the nuclear power plant stacks from The Simpsons, come in a pair and can connect to any Bluetooth device.

The Battle of the Domes – I haven’t watched The Dome, but lots of people have been making the comparison to the movie, and this is a nice one. 

Those four fingered, yellow freaks we all know and love – A photo montage of some of our favorite wacky characters.

Bart Simpson – A stylish lady in a stylish Bart Simpson dress in Singapore.   

Meet marge – Heh.

Is This The Real Life…Is This Just Fantasy? – Nothing’s ever as good as it looks on TV:

As a young tike, I remember watching The Simpsons. I was always intrigued when Homer would stroll into Moe’s Tavern and order a beer. Moe would grab an icy mug and fill it up with Homer’s favorite Duff beer. The head of the beer flowing over the rim of the mug; exuding a succulent presentation. It always made Homer content to be downing the cold beverage. The foamy goodness of the beer head reminded me of the sugary texture of cotton candy (or “fairy floss” if you are from down under). I yearned for an opportunity to drown my taste buds in it. When the day arrived on my, ahem, TWENTY-FIRST BIRTHDAY, ahem, I ordered a Newcastle Brown Ale at a local pub. The beer had a good head on it, and all my childhood memories of the Simpsons flooded my mind. I lifted the glass to my lips, feeling the condensation of the glass on the palm of my hand and the droplets of fizzled beer splashing about.  I tilted my head back and took a big gulp.

Yucky. Yeah, men say yucky.

I always like that scene in “Bart on the Road” where the boys go to Moe’s and Barney invites them to “Join the party”. 

Grown Ups 2…In 10 Words – Toga, toga, toga, 2000!

Pacific Rim…In 10 Words – I got nothing here.  Everyone should see this in the theater.  (I’ve done so twice.)  Easily my favorite sci-fi movie of the year. 

Best. Episode. Ever. (Round 49) – Marge, I agree with you in theory.  In theory, Simpsons episode tournaments work.  In theory.

Best. Episode. Ever. (Round 50) – George Lucas makes him pay for those.

Droool … “The Simpsons” collection gets starstruck with NECA’s “25 of the Greatest Guest Stars” action figure line – And by that they mean celebrities voicing themselves.

Catch a Wave with Whimzie Quiltz – Oh, cool, the woman who runs this site makes custom quilts and you can order them with Simpsons fabric. 

A History of the Side-Scrolling Beat-‘Em-Up – Part 2 – As I learned from doing this very site, the reason everyone links the Ninja Turtles arcade game and the Simpsons arcade game is that they’re actually the same freaking game, just with different sprites and pixels.  Fun as hell, the both of them (especially for early 90s button mashers), but the same game nevertheless. 

DailyTech – Paper Suggests Neanderthals Could Speak – Heh:

But can they sing? And was Dr. Zaius involved?

Chorus: "He can speak, he can speak, he can speak!"
Troy McClure as Taylor: "I can singggg!"
"Planet of the Apes: The Musical" from The Simpsons epsiode "A Fish Called Selma"

The chorus actually says that he can “talk”, but that’s still good for moderate usage.

Know It All – A column of random facts contains this:

A group of monkeys is called a troop.

***

Different monkeys have been in episodes of the animated series “The Simpsons” (1989-present) over the years. Homer Simpson had a helper monkey named Mojo. Krusty the Clown had a chain-smoking monkey named Mr. Teeny. Mr. Burns had a fighting monkey named Furious George.

***

Marge Simpson’s mother on “The Simpsons” is named Jackie Bouvier.

***

After graduating from college in 1951, Jackie Bouvier (1929-1994) worked for the Washington Times-Herald as the Inquiring Camera Girl. She asked people on the streets questions about issues and their opinions were printed along with their picture. That is how she met her future husband John F. Kennedy (1917-1963).

Yeah, but why did she think that Mindy lived with “Mark”?

Marge’s nutmeg a pinch of salt – Excellent usage:

IN an episode of The Simpsons, Marge visits not Walmart but Monstromart, exclaiming, "Ooh, that’s a good price for 12lb of nutmeg" as she places the giant box in her trolley. It’s ambitious to think that anyone would need that much nutmeg in a lifetime. And yet because Marge believes the price is cheap she buys it. I call it "going broke saving money". It’s a popular strategy in the stockmarket.

“Treehouse of Horror V” | The Simpsons (Classic) – And finally, the A.V. Club’s very slow Simpsons review rolls on, and tacitly agrees with us:

It’s weird these days to think of The Simpsons as an aggressive show, but that’s exactly what “Treehouse Of Horror V” was—an act of aggression by showrunner David Mirkin. It’s spectacularly funny, arguably the best “Treehouse” ever (certainly right up there in the pantheon), and it’s also surprisingly gross and just a little bit disturbing.

Zombie Simpsons is many things, but aggressive certainly isn’t one of them.

19
Jul
13

Quote of the Day

Marge vs. the Monorail10

“Homer, there’s a family of possums in here!” – Marge Simpson
“I call the big one Bitey.” – Homer Simpson

18
Jul
13

Quote of the Day

King Size Homer13

“Free sample of fabric softener?  Woo-hoo! . . . Mmm, I can feel three kinds of softness.” – Homer Simpson
“Dad, what are you doing down there?” – Lisa Simpson
“Washing my fat guy hat, honey.” – Homer Simpson

17
Jul
13

Free San Diego Swag and Summer Guest Posts

Itchy and Scratchy Land14

“As Roger Meyers Jr., the owner of the park, I’d like to thank you for stopping the killer robots.  And to show my appreciation, here are two free passes.” – Roger Meyers Jr.
“But there are five of us.” – Homer Simpson
“Here are two free passes.” – Roger Meyers Jr.
“That’s better.” – Homer Simpson

Last week I mentioned that Simpsons singing group from New York that will be performing in San Diego this Saturday.  Well, they’ve been very generous and offered us two free tickets to their performance.  Like last year with the Mr. Burns play in D.C., none of us can go, but we’ll be giving those tickets to the first person who offers to see it and write us a quickie review for it.  You pick, 5:30pm or 9:30pm on Saturday the 20th at the C3 Performing Arts Center.  (You can watch the trailer video here.)  If you want to see the show but don’t want to write a review, you can always toil in our underground sugar caves or work the lima bean harvest for the first 100,000 years, but we’d rather have a few hundred words about whether or not you liked what you saw.  

I’ve also been reminded via e-mail that it is now summer, which means that it’s also the season for guest posts.  I’ve got a couple in the hopper, but if you have a Simpsons related rant/theory/favorite episode/personal story/editorial reply, we’d love to read it.  Pictures and images are welcome, and we’re happy to link back to your blog, Twitter account, or other on-line haunt.  As always, no money and (very) minor internet fame can be yours! 

Please e-mail us if you want the tickets or if you have a guest post or post idea.

17
Jul
13

Quote of the Day

And Maggie Makes Three10

“Show up tomorrow; bring three rags.  Oh, and change your pants.” – Uncle Al
“Why?” – Homer Simpson
“When it happens, you’ll know.” – Uncle Al




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