Archive for October, 2013

31
Oct
13

Quote of the Day

HomerDogPoker

“We come now to the final and most terrifying painting of the evening.  To even gaze upon it is to go mad.” – Bart Simpson
“Ahh!  They’re dogs and they’re playing poker!” – Homer Simpson

30
Oct
13

Quote of the Day

Treehouse of Horror IX3

“You cannot smoke in here.  Please, the sign is clearly posted, sir.” – Apu Nahasapeemapetilon
“Aw, God, you smokers disgust me.  Hey, Pu, you got a breakfast cereal for people with syphilis?” – Moe

29
Oct
13

Quote of the Day

Treehouse of Horror VI8

“Homer, where did you get that?” – Marge Simpson
“Get what?” – Homer Simpson
“That giant donut.” – Marge Simpson
“Well, I acquired it legally.  You can be sure of that.” – Homer Simpson

Happy birthday Dan Castellaneta! 

28
Oct
13

Quote of the Day

Treehouse of Horror IV18

“Read the back, the back!” – Marge Simpson
“Argh, ’tis some kind of treasure map.” – Blackbeard the Pirate
“You idiot, you can’t read!” – Benedict Arnold
“Aye, ’tis true.  My debauchery was my way of compensating.” – Blackbeard the Pirate

Happy 20th Anniversary to “Treehouse of Horror IV”!  Original airdate 28 October 1993.

27
Oct
13

Quote of the Day

Treehouse of Horror VIII11

“Well, that’s seventy-five witches we’ve processed.  That ought to show God whose side we’re on, eh pastor?” – Nedwin Flanders
“Yes, Nedwin, but we have many more strumpets to incinerate.” – Pastor Lovejoy

26
Oct
13

RIP: Marcia Wallace and Mrs. Krabappel

Bart the Lover12

“Bart, it’s such a nice day today, let’s have detention outside.” – Mrs. Krabappel

Sad news, Marcia Wallace, Mrs. Krabappel herself, died yesterday.  The cause was “complications from breast cancer”:

She would also build a second career as a voice-over actress, giving life to Edna Krabappel, Bart Simpson’s cynical and chain-smoking fourth grade teacher on “The Simpsons.” The role, a sublime parody of disaffected instruction, earned her an Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance in 1992. The show’s executive producer Al Jean said Saturday that the character would  be retired out of deference to Wallace’s death.

Good on Jean.  So long, Marcia.  We’ll miss you. 

RIP Marcia Wallace

Left image shamelessly yoinked from The Wrap link above.  Right image, one final “Ha”.

26
Oct
13

Animation Alley: Treehouse of Horror VI

tohvi-01(this episode directed by Bob Anderson)
Matt Groening has talked about how he feels the less lines needed to convey a character or emotion, the better. This show, and to some extent Futurama, has always hinged on simplistic design, but in an incredibly economical way. A great example is Homer with pantyhose on his head here. Two lines on his forehead to represent the stretching, and his nose being pushed down, and that’s it, you perfectly understand what’s happening. The second frame is unrelated to this topic, I just love Lard Lad’s pose as he comes to life with a Godzilla roar.

tohvi-03I love the framing of this shot, and throughout the episode, of human size vs. Lard Lad size. This donut is literally as big as the Simpson living room, which begs the question of how the hell Homer got it into the house in the first place. No matter though, he can think of no better way to celebrate than stripping down to his skivvies and chugging a beer. He didn’t even take the pantyhose off all the way. The shot of Homer answering the door is fantastic, with Lard Lad’s stern, angry face taking up nearly the entire doorway. How we just hang on the closed door and just hear the sounds of Lad smashing Flanders’ house, realizing Homer lied to him, then storming back is just great. Also, rather than smash the house for lying, he just rings the doorbell again. Homer opens, and it’s the same shot, but with a little Ned running by in the background screaming.

tohvi-02I don’t care what Lou said, this guy is a monster. Look, he’s taller than the buildings! He’s no high schooler, he’s got to be at least twelve feet tall.

tohvi-04The small touches really make this show great. Lisa sees the copyright stamp on Lard Lad’s footprint, and we cut to the ad agency, where we see Lisa’s bike parking outside. You didn’t need to put it there, but that extra detail communicates how she got there, and also emphasizes while she’s clearly smarter than the whole damn town in dealing with this horrible situation, she’s still a child needing to rely on her bike. Also, great posters on the wall: “50 Million Cigarette Smokers Can’t Be Wrong!” and “If You Like Ike, You’ll Love Laramie Septic Tanks!”

tohvi-05This has got to be my favorite Kang and Kodos cameo. It happens so late, so it’s so wonderfully random. I love their shit eating grins as they try to win over the rolling donut, but to no avail (“Oh, shazbot!”)

tohvi-06Our second segment opens seemingly calm and idyllic, but I love how the dream atmosphere is subtly set up with the painterly backgrounds, so you can already tell something is wrong. Then when Santa’s Little Helper gets on his hind legs and starts talking, and Bart does extreme takes like a Tex Avery cartoon, your suspicions are confirmed.

tohvi-07Martin dying is one of the most horrifying things in any Treehouse of Horror. The extreme poses, and Russi Taylor’s absolutely blood curdling scream is absolutely unreal. But, of course, it’s immediately paired with funny as his frightening corpse is revealed to the class, and then subsequently wheeled into the kindergarten. Only The Simpsons could make traumatizing four-year-olds hysterical.

tohvi-08The flashback to Dream Willie’s origins is so fantastic, the quick cuts back and forth from his escape attempts to the budget meeting besting him at every turn. Then when he finally bursts into the classroom, he’s forced to sit down, still on fire. I love how lame he looks sitting here, as he proceeds to burn to death while the most inconsequential discussion about the kids’ lunch schedule goes on. Skeleton Willie is incredibly eerie as well, at least until he dissolves into dust. And, being the school groundskeeper, he cleans up after himself with a dustpan.

tohvi-09Oh, and look at this shot of these three fat fathers in the front room, crouched down and scrunched into these children’s seats. Amidst the tense scene, this shot always makes me laugh.

tohvi-10Once Willie hits the “sinky-sank,” he’s seemingly done for, and quickly morphs through his many other forms before turning back to regular Willie and sinking to his demise. We’d never seen him as an elephant, tank or rocket before, but seeing as they’re all dangerous weapons (especially that elephant), I’m guessing they were forms of destruction he never got a chance to torture kids with.

tohvi-11A really quick bit I really love, a cartoon classic where Homer lifts the flat rug, only to find Santa’s Little Helper and Snowball II hiding under there somehow. And how their growling starts and stops when Homer lifts and puts down the rug.

tohvi-12The money shot of the entire segment, where 2D Homer becomes 3D Homer. Again, looks a whole lot better watching it than staring at framegrabs. The 3D sections were done by Pacific Data Images, who would soon after this pair up with DreamWorks and start up DreamWorks Animation. Keep in mind, this episode aired a mere month before Toy Story released in theaters, so at the time, this was definitely pretty eye opening.

tohvi-13The 3D certainly looks dated by the super technologically advanced age we live in today, but I still like the look of it. They went simple by their means, but also the serve the story. The idea is that Homer is trapped in the third dimension, as in literally the concept of 3D. So he’s just on this grid with a bunch of cones, cubes and spheres, like he’s trapped in a primitive Maya scene file. Also floating around the background are a bunch of 3D and mathematical in jokes, most notable being the Utah teapot, the first object to ever be rendered in 3D. All those math equations I’m sure was the work of writer David S. (later X.) Cohen, who would go on to co-create Futurama, a series with a writing staff who all held phDs, and who put them to work.

tohvi-14Back in 2D, this was a wonderfully nice subtle touch of Frink’s hair bouncing up and down as Wiggum fired blindly into the unknown abyss.

tohvi-15I remember Homer breaking apart falling into the black hole always kinda creeped me out as a kid. It also feels a bit similar to him being broken up in a similar way during the epiphany scene during the movie. Surely a coincidence though. I also remember seeing this segment in an IMAX film CyberWorld. It was a 2000 release that I’m sure played in very, very few screens, I saw it in NYC; it was basically an anthology film of different CG animated segments, which included some short films, the dance scene from Antz, and of course, Homer^3. And it was in 3D! And I only saw it because I wanted to see The Simpsons on an IMAX screen. Does anyone else remember this? Anybody?

26
Oct
13

Quote of the Day

Treehouse of Horror I9

“You . . . you speak English?” – Marge Simpson
“I am actually speaking Rigellian.  By an astonishing coincidence both of our languages are exactly the same.” – Kang

25
Oct
13

Reading Digest: Math Class Edition

Bart the Genius10

“So Y equals R cubed over three.  And if you determine the rate of change in this curve correctly, I think you will be pleasanelty surprised. . . . Well, don’t you get it Bart?  Derivitive DY equals 3R squared DR over three, or R squared DR, or RDRR . . . harde-har-har.  Get it?” – Miss Milan
“Oh, yeah.” – Bart Simpson

This week we’ve got three links to that new Simpsons math book, including one upcoming author appearance and a writeup of a just completed author appearance.  In addition to that we’ve got some FCC complains, lots of YouTube, more Halloween stuff because we’re inside a week now, and plenty of usage and fan made items.  Enjoy.
Top 10 Songs from the Simpsons. Again I must stress that these aren’t in any order what so ever, because it is was too stressful to put any of these songs in order. – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week has lots of great YouTube, and the only entry from the Zombie Simpsons era is Spider-Pig, which I can’t really complain about.
The Comic Book Gal – Not that we really need further proof or anything, but The Simpsons was never a show you needed to see as a kid to get into:

When I was in college at the University of Florida in Gainesville in 1990, we had heard of this super funny bunch of shows on this network called Fox that we didn’t have.  But this deli that was frequented by the student body called Joe’s Deli had a satellite, and every Sunday night it was SRO to watch The Simpsons, followed by In Living Color, followed by Married With Children.  My cousin/sorority sister Stephanie and I would go early to grab a table, and I would quietly and without judgment eat an entire 9-inch-long turkey sub all by myself, plus a beer I somehow managed to order despite the fact that I was only 20, because those servers at Joe’s were the fucking shit.
Week after week we did this, and our minds were blown.  This was a show for us.

Indeed.  The author is a writer who later worked with Greg Daniels and some other Simpsons-alums, and she’s got a couple of tidbits at the link.
The Raven and The Simpsons – It’s the time of the year for appreciations of Poe and “Treehouse of Horror I”.  This one comes from someone who knows all about it:

My students love this poem even though the language is initially foreign to them. What helps them is viewing this poem told by Lisa Simpson. Yes, THE Lisa Simpson. This first aired in The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror on Oct. 24, 1990.

The one thing I wondered about was how the author would sustain such a long book when mathematics is essentially simple and elegant. And the answer is that the second half of the book on Futurama. This was mildly interesting, but I didn’t read it all – it didn’t resonate in the same way The Simpsons had through my life, exploding as it did anarchic and yellow into my schooldays, following me through Friday evenings and the beginning of the weekend with my friends at Uni, and then into entertaining my own children when they were young.

Notorious Baldies – Cool fan made images of famously bald pop culture dudes, including Homer, Yoda, and – awesomely – Mr. Miyagi.
Homer Pumpkin – by Manny Pavao – Exactly what it says.  Click through for all the elaborate Halloween awesomeness.
Around the Water Cooler: “The Simpsons,” Season 25 and Imminent Death – They’re talking about that announcement of an impending character death, but it’s most revealing that this is the pertinent question:

3) Who still watches the show, and how was the Treehouse this year?

10 Changes In A Springfield Without Homer – Speaking of the dead character publicity stunt, what might it do to Springfield if they did the “unthinkable” and killed Homer?  The possibilities are endless, but here’s ten of them.
Is ‘The Simpsons’ A Show For Children? FCC Complaints Leaked – Zombie Simpsons can’t do much, but it can still piss of Grampa Simpson types who like to write letters to the editor.

 On Monday, Mother Jones asked Al Jean, a longtime Simpsons executive producer, what he thought about this archive of complaints against his show. Jean sent along the following statement:
Well, at least they weren’t complaining about us being on too long.

That job is taken.
How Nancy Cartwright (and Bart Simpson) Mind Their Bodies – It’s Cartwright’s birthday today, and Parade magazine asked her how she takes care of herself:

If you could undo one bad health habit, what would that be?
Stop licking my plate.
How do you take care of your brain and your mental health?
My brain takes care of itself. As for mental health, laughter is the best medicine!

The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets with Simon Singh – Nov 6, 2013 – If you’re in D.C. on November 6th, you can attend an event with the guy who wrote that new Simpsons math book.
Review: Simon Singh talks The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets – And here’s a writeup of a talk he gave on the book in Ireland last week.
Video: Lunatic backflips over 72ft canyon gap on mountain bike – There was a video making the rounds earlier this week from the helmet cam of a guy who ran a dirt bike down half a mountain.  That video is here, as well as Homer’s attempt at something similar in “Bart the Daredevil”.
Enough of the heavy! Watch The Simpsons :) – Another video making the rounds this week is this one with ten Simpsons facts.  There’s nothing new here, but it’s got 1.7 million views in two days, so I figured I’d mention it.

Could it be getting worse? Could we, like Milhouse Van Houten once soberly stated, be “through the looking glass” at this point? All conspiracies aside.
Though at this point, I’d take some reverse-vampire theorizing if it made sense as to how the Bears lost yesterday’s game and how on top of that we now have to deal with losing both Jay Cutler and Lance Briggs for a significant amount of time.

Diary of a Nerdy Kid: Life. Well. Spent. – The Tapped Out game has spawned an enormous number of websites and online activity generally.  This is a write up of everyone’s favorite geek curmudgeon built around his actions in the game.
The Simpsons Tapped Out- Halloween Update – It’s also worth noting that plenty of people who play the game don’t watch Zombie Simpsons:

When I clicked on the Simpsons house a few days into this update it asked me a question ‘what item of Moe’s does Homer Covet in this year’s Treehouse of Horror’s episode’ if you don’t live in America then you probably won’t know the answer – it is An Emerald Ring. This will give you Homer’s Strongman Costume!

The Smithers Test: How TV fails to depict gay characters – This is what I’m talking about when I say the show used to be way ahead of the curve and is now just as far behind it:

Much like Apu, his South Asian costar on “The Simpsons,” Smithers elicits guilty giggles but feels somehow retrograde. He’s funny because he’s a desperately lonely, effeminate gay man who collects dolls. He’s a gay character on television, but he’s more gay than character. It’s an open question as to whether or not the character would be put on “The Simpsons” were the show debuting in 2013, but as antique as the assumptions underpinning Smithers are, he’s hardly out of place on TV.

If the show had gone off the air after Season 11, Smithers and Apu would probably be remembered fondly as groundbreaking characters.  Instead they’ve hung on as outdated stereotypes that stopped being funny a long time ago.
462. Moe Letter Blues – Mike’s one good thing is sometimes hard to find:

One good line/moment: The boat smashing into the dock at Weasel Island and exploding. Random and stupid, but it was the only thing I smirked at the whole show. Also, it was a moment where something actually happened.

464. Judge Me Tender – Like, impossible to find:

One good line/moment: Nothing. Fuck this episode, and this show.

That American Idol episode was unbelievably bad.
Best. Episode. Ever. (Round 70) – Season 2 vs. Season 8.
Best. Episode. Ever. (Round 71) – Season 15 vs. Season 19 when so many better episodes go down in flames?  That randomized Excel sheet sucks.
Best. Episode. Ever. (Round 72) – Season 2 slaughters Season 15:

The writers love torturing Homer, and sometimes, with a little restraint and focus, that can make a good episode (“The Homer They Fall,” “Homerpalooza“), but this is season 15, and restraint and focus are long gone.

Ah, that’s more like it.
Best. Episode. Ever. (Round 73) – Season 5 easily handles Season 19.
Business as Usual Notebook-Paper – A paper design with sad little Bart.  I’d write on that.

Horns are blaring and Khan’s repenting—self-flagellation aplenty: “There is darkness in every inch of my veins”—but he can’t help backsliding to boasts: “I got two ladies on each arm and it ain’t doin’ me no harm.” It’s a collision between Brother Faith’s Revival and the “Twist And Shout” scene from Ferris Bueller.

The music video is . . . interesting.

As Homer Simpson once pondered: “What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never mind”.
Debate of a more thoughtful nature takes place at Swedenborg Hall, Bloomsbury on 6 November.

   A mysterious love heart hanging from a Brighton bridge has had drivers craning their necks in curiosity.
The object, modelled on the retro Lovehearts sweets, current carries the message Eat My Shorts.
The Simpsons cartoon reference has replaced an earlier inscription which read Heartbreaker.

Cool, they broke his brain.  Click through for a picture.
Funny _____ of the Week: October 23rd, 2013 – Just some funny TV screen grabs, including Marge and Ruth Powers at Shot Kickers.
How is the Worst Show on Television Still on the Air? – This is about Dads, but this is a horribly frightening thought:

More importantly, Family Guy is a hit with audiences in a broadcast television landscape feeling the effects of lower ratings and quick cancellations. The show is in its 12th season, and the network has little impetus to cancel the momentum of one of their few hits. Factor in syndication deals with nearly every network that shows comedy, and it’s not inconceivable that Family Guy could challenge The Simpsons’ 25-year (and counting) record for longest-running television series.

UNSCRIPTED: It’s time to say ‘farewell’ to fading ‘Simpsons’ – And finally, I get to end with a Pennsylvania newspaper columnist who agrees with us:

It’s gone from something I used to plan my Sunday nights around to something I barely even remember to watch anymore. And when I do catch an episode, I’m inevitably disappointed.

Indeed.
25
Oct
13

Quote of the Day

Treehouse of Horror VII7

“Wait a minute, Hugo’s scar is on the wrong side.  He couldn’t have been the evil left twin.  That means the evil left twin is, and always has been, Bart.” – Dr. Hibbert
“Oh, don’t look so shocked.” – Bart Simpson

Happy Birthday Nancy Cartwright! 

24
Oct
13

Animation Alley: Treehouse of Horror V

tohv-01(this episode was directed by Jim Reardon)
I love the very few times the show utilizes live action, here where Marge discovers tonight’s episode was banned by Congress, and instead the classic film 200 Miles to Oregon. Funny how this movie is fake, while Paint Your Wagon turns out to be real. Anyway, no wraparounds anymore, we go to our title sequence, which has been getting more and more gruesome over time. You don’t see many cartoons where a boy chops the head off his school principal, who authorizes it with a gleeful thumbs up.

tohv-02The first segment is, of course, a parody of The Shining, and many moments and shots from the film are recreated here, all looking fantastic, be it from the establishing shots of the mansion and hedge maze, the blood escaping the elevator, or the awesome wraparound of the room scrawled with Homer’s maddening message. What makes it all work is the aim of the humor: the joke isn’t that they’re doing The Shining, it’s just the story they’ve decided to tell, and the jokes come from their twisting of the source material, combined with the personality of our characters within it.

tohv-03If you didn’t already have enough Shining references, here’s yet another, with Maggie spelling ‘Redrum’ with blocks. Not exactly a freeze frame moment since it’s pretty clear in the shot, but still a nice touch.

tohv-04David Silverman comes back with a vengeance, outdoing himself from the dogs playing poker bit from last year’s special. Homer going mad here is one of my favorite animation moments in the entire series; between the amazing drawings and Castellaneta’s hilarious performance, it’s a wonderful marvel to behold. If this were attempted by an artist now, it would all be thrown away for being too off-model. This would never make it to air.

tohv-05I love that for no discernible reason, we have cameos by franchise monsters like Freddy Kreuger, Pinhead and Jason Vorhees as Moe’s fellow ghouls who want to see Homer waste his family. I guess Homer’s sloth-like nature and love for food could only be dissuaded with the help of all the famous movie monsters at once.

tohv-06I love the look of Willie’s room, this nice calming green after all the shots before it of the gloomy blue mansion. The beguiling Scottish lass with bagpipes above the headboard is a great touch.

tohv-07I’ve always loved this shot, a low angle up at Homer, looking truly possessed, lumbering through the snow to murder his entire family. The Halloween shows’ greatest triumph is being able to make us feel real tension amidst the stupidest of situations. Mere scenes ago we had Homer optioning to stuff his face rather than follow the orders of the Mummy and Dracula, but now, thanks to the great drawings, music, performances, everything coming together to make us really believe that our favorite dumb lovable oaf is capable of doing something so horrible. Weaving from dumb jokes to believable tension… it ain’t easy, but the show in its heyday did it in spades every year.

tohv-09The first reality Homer returns to being ruled by Flanders has so many great moments. You have the floor morphing to a monitoring screen, a la Terminator 2, and the hooks forcing all the citizens to smile, such a wonderfully grotesque image. And I’ll mention again, despite the silliness of a Flanders-run universe, the show still makes us feel uncomfortable. The totalitarian nature of this world, as well as the far-gone looks of Marge and the kids post-lobotomy (Kavner’s dead reading of “It’s bliiiiisss” is so disconcerting), you really do feel uneasy.

tohv-11One of my favorite moments in the whole series (I’m sure I say that a lot… but this time I mean it) is when Homer finally snaps and wreaks as much havoc upon the prehistoric land as he wants. After smashing a few things with his club, he squashes a lizard two times, kicks up some dirt for whatever reason, then flat out cold cocks a giant dragonfly and starts bashing it with his club. There’s just something about this scene… the rhythm of the animation, it all seems to happen so quick, Homer’s squishing foot feeling somewhat delicate for some reason, the follow-through of Homer going from kicking dirt to his left, then turning and just decking that insect to his right, and the loud sound effect accompanying… it’s moments like these where screencaps just do no justice whatsoever.

tohv-13Great bit of a stircrazy Martin, just violently pulsating in his cramped little cage. You can’t help but feel bad for him.

tohv-14This may be the creepiest segment to me, for this ending alone, of the faculty just having completely lost it, becoming insatiable cannibals. It starts with Lunchlady Doris, unable to speak a word but letting out a guttural growl, seemingly having gone mad from killing so many children. Skinner is absolutely intimidating in the bit where he considers where he will begin devouring his arch nemesis. Which then leads to…

tohv-15…the giant blender. I mean, just look at that fucking thing. The vat to the side of it just splattered in blood, the innards of all of their former classmates. You don’t need anything more than that, that image is horrifying enough. Then afterwards, we get Milhouse falling to his death; his terrified expression, and then the brief churning noise after we cut back to Bart and Lisa… so, so upsetting,

tohv-16And if all that wasn’t traumatizing enough, we have our finale, where the family gets their skin turned inside out in a truly violent fashion. What else is there to do than to end with a big musical number! And just when you let your guard down, we have Santa’s Little Helper gnawing at Bart’s innards and dragging him off screen, leaving a wet pool of blood trailing behind him. Happy Halloween, everybody! Pleasant dreams!

24
Oct
13

Quote of the Day

Treehouse of Horror V10

“Now look, boy, if your Dad goes gaga, you just use that ‘Shin’ of yours to call me and I’ll come a running.  But don’t be reading my mind between four and five.  That’s Willie’s time!” – Caretaker Willie

23
Oct
13

Quote of the Day

Treehouse of Horror III9

“Do you sell toys?” – Homer Simpson
“We sell forbidden objects from places men fear to tread.  We also sell frozen yogurt, which I call frogurt.” – House of Evil Owner

22
Oct
13

Quote of the Day

Treehouse of Horror II12

“Hey, here’s a good job, Dad.  Oh, wait, you have to know how to operate an ultra-sonic lithotripter.” – Lisa Simpson
“How hard can it be?” – Homer Simpson

21
Oct
13

Quote of the Day

Rosebud14

“Hey!  No one-termers.” – Burns Security Guard
“You too, huh?  Hey, I know a good yogurt place.” – Jimmy Carter
“Get away from me, loser.” – Bush the Elder

Happy 20th Anniversary to “Rosebud”!  Original airdate 21 October 1993.

20
Oct
13

Quote of the Day

“I bet the guy she was singing about was real happy.” – Homer Simpson
“Actually, she was singing about God.” – Marge Simpson
“Oh, well, he’s always happy.  No, wait, he’s always mad.” – Homer Simpson

19
Oct
13

Animation Alley: Treehouse of Horror IV

tohiv-01(this edition directed by David Silverman)
For our wrap-arounds in this edition, Bart steps in for Rod Serling in a Night Gallery parody, walking past a collection of famous paintings, Simpson-ized. It’s a real treat for anyone who’s taken an art history course. My favorite is probably the center, Jacques-Louis David’s “The Death of Marat,” except here, it’s Homer holding a shopping list of Duff, chips and pork. It even has David’s name on it too, and ‘Simpson’ subbing for ‘Marat’ above it.

tohiv-02bI love the deranged look of the little demon chef. Also we have Devil Flanders’ chilling alternate form, who just looks fantastic, clearing paying homage to the monstrous Chernabog from the “Night on Bald Mountain” segment of Fantasia. And excellent freeze frame moment where you see Flanders’ face from an instant before he disappears.

tohiv-03The vortex in the kitchen floor is such a great effect. The first shot has almost like a fish eye lens, and the second, I love how Marge’s nightcap is sucked up immediately, causing her hair to sway forth as well, becoming even more elongated.

tohiv-04This short and simple bit in Hell is fantastic. You have this wonderful contraption forcefeeding Homer donuts, and he of course couldn’t be happier. The ironic punishment demon laughs maniacally, thinking he knows the fun won’t last. Dissolve to an engorged Homer still willfully eating, and the demon is no longer so pleased.

tohiv-05As if you needed more reason to doubt the professionalism of Lionel Hutz, he first walks into the scene combing his hair with a fork. With her husband’s soul at stake, Marge sure pulled out the big guns.

tohiv-06I love how displeased Flanders is with the seating arrangements, as Marge pulls every object from the house to accommodate the jury of the damned. Best of all, of course, is Blackbeard stuck with an infant high chair. I love how awkward and uncomfortable he is on it (“This chair be high, says I!”)

tohiv-07Excellent drawing of the tense bit of Homer’s sentencing. It’s just a camera push-in, and the only animation is on the fire of the cage. This is all you need to convey the emotion of the scene.

tohiv-08Another amazing drawing from Homer and Marge’s wedding day. I love how Lovejoy’s there with the Bible open at the foot of the counter, as if he’s still officiating the marriage during Homer’s medically questionable state.

tohiv-09Bart’s nightmare of the school bus having a head-on collision ends with repeated flashes until we’re back in reality in the bedroom, but not until we get a few glimpses of skeleton Bart over here.

tohiv-10I absolutely love the gremlin, from the animation alone you can tell what perverse glee he takes out of wreaking such havoc. I’ve been playing through the Halloween event of the Tapped Out mobile game, and was really pleased that they included the gremlin in it. When you tap to get rid of him, he growls and does the throat cut animation. Fantastic.

tohiv-11Upon finding it, Flanders treats the gremlin with his usual warmness and good nature. Not even a claw to the eyes can deter him. I love how it reverts him to a confused animal state at first. But then, of course, we get our ending, which is one of the more genuinely disturbing moments in any Treehouse of Horror. The spinal column, Flanders’ wall eyed expression and the ghostly tone of his voice… so creepy.

tohiv-12An absolute David Silverman tour-de-force as Homer goes mad from the painting of dogs playing poker. A veritable freeze frame haven.

tohiv-13I love not only how pleased Homer is to submit his dirty rag for his family’s approval, but just how… filthy it is. That’s just from his neck! Imagine the rest of his body… on second thought, don’t imagine…

tohiv-14In one of the segment’s many references to Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula, Burns’ shadow moves on a delay from Burns himself, which is such a subtle touch at first. Then when he turns, we see the shadow throw in a quick game of cat’s cradle and yo-yo before it follows as well.

tohiv-16The scene of vampire Bart and the family finding him out has a lot of excellent extreme poses. I love Homer diving in and squashing back Bart’s nose accusingly.

tohiv-17I laugh every single time during Homer raising his arms up and down in glee (“Super fun happy slide!!”)

tohiv-18All seems lost for Lisa… but the episode’s over, so not only will we completely dissolve the tension, we’ll end on A Charlie Brown Christmas. Why? Why not? One holiday’s just as good as another, right?

19
Oct
13

Quote of the Day

Bart the Daredevil10

“Squealer.” – Bart Simpson
“I’m sorry, Bart, but if you got hurt or died, despite the extra attention I’d receive, I’d miss you.” – Lisa Simpson

18
Oct
13

Reading Digest: Expanding the Krusty Brand Seal of Approval Edition

Krusty Sez Buy More

“I’ll just make some more money.  Crank out some cheesy merchandise.” – Krusty the Klown
“But you’ve already merchandised everything: Krusty’s Monopoly game, the Krusty crown control barrier.” – Accountant

If you’ve noticed an uptick in Simpsons merchandise, including Tapped Out, you’re not imagining things.  This is from today’s fourth link:

And 20th still feels there’s more coin to collect. This year, 20th has aggressively gone after a slew of new deals to make sure Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie remain popular with existing and new fans worldwide.

Universal Studios Orlando added a Springfield-themed area this summer around its existing “Simpsons” ride, with stores and eateries, while 20th also brokered a deal with Lego for “Simpsons” playsets, reunited Bart with Nestle’s Butterfinger in a new marketing campaign and brokered the show’s first shoe deal, with Converse, involving a series of Chuck Taylor All-Stars.

That’s after entering the world of high fashion for the first time last year, through a deal with designer Jeremy Scott and a collection at New York Fashion Week and the Joyrich street brand in Japan.

They thought that 750 million ($750,000,000) a year was embarrassingly small, and have decided to really get serious.  This week we’ve got links to a couple of their new money making adventures, with untold more on the way.  In addition to that, we’ve got brain scans, two links to explanations of things unrelated to The Simpsons with Simpsons .gifs, some fan art, quite a bit of usage, and even some usage instruction.

Enjoy.

16 Of My Favourite Simpsons Quotes And How To Use Them – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week has quotes, YouTube, and usage suggestions, and it goes almost without saying that there’s no Zombie Simpsons.

Crazy Little Thing I Love – Simpsons Quotes Used In Life – Some excellent real life usage in sign form.

‘The Scarlet Letter’ explained in ‘Simpsons’ GIFs – Just what it says, and with the added bonus that none of them are from Zombie Simpsons.

‘The Simpsons’ Merchandise 20th Century Fox TV’s Biggest Moneymaker – This is from Variety, so take it with a grain of salt, but that FOX is openly acknowledging this does not surprise me:

The Fox division hopes to fan interest in “Simpsons” merchandise as ratings for the show decline, and it sees opportunities like a themed area in theme parks as one way to do that.

“Fans will literally be able to live and breathe Springfield as they visit the statue of Jebediah, enjoy a Krusty Burger, and have a seat at Moe’s Tavern,” Godsick says of Orlando.

I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but when FOX thinks about the future of Zombie Simpsons their primary concern is how it affects the merchandising.  That they still have a television show on the air is almost and afterthought at this point.

Universal puts guests on couch with Simpsons – Speaking of that theme park:

In an open-air booth in the park’s Springfield section, across from the Simpsons Ride, rests an orange couch in front of green-screen backdrop. Guests can pose several ways and be inserted into six wacky situations, including a Vegas scene, a shark attack (with skiing Simpsons) and a couple of burglars carrying them — and the couch — away. A print costs $19.95.

We could finally get rid of those termites for the cost of that photo.

The Big Bang Theory Gets the Highest Ad Rates Outside of the NFL – Thanks to its continuing relative demographic strength, advertising on Zombie Simpsons will cost you a quarter of a million bucks for thirty seconds.  Nothing to sneeze at.

The Simpsons join the world of football – And in yet more ways to squeeze dollars out of the Simpsons:

Russian side Zenit St Petersburg have taken to their official website to announce their new partnership with the company that produces The Simpsons, Twentieth Century Fox.
The new partnership will mark the 25th anniversary of the TV series ‘The Simpsons’ as well as the World Cup which will take place in Brazil next year. A special show will be dedicated to the World Cup and this will take place in March 2014 on Fox. A special collection of gifts will be brought out featuring the main characters endorsing the clubs affiliated with Twentieth Century Fox and the World Cup in Brazil.
The cooperation between The Simpsons and football clubs will include such sides as Barcelona, Zenit, Corinthians and Boca Juniors.
The president of Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products Jeffrey Godsik revealed how excited he was with the opportunity for The Simpsons to be involved with the World Cup, and do their part to endorse the tournament.
“For us, it will be an excellent opportunity to present a special line of football souvenirs, individual issues series and other things that will certainly be appreciated by fans of “The Simpsons.”

Give us your money, collectors, we know you can’t stop.

Guillermo del Toro Intro – All References” on YouTube – There are a lot of them.  I wouldn’t have caught that Hitchcock outline on the wall if I’d watched it twenty times:

Small Actors: Alex Rocco – A look at one of Roger Meyers’ Jr.’s early roles as a not-all-that-far-removed-from-reality Boston criminal.

Peyton Manning Bowl: Brutally Honest Preview of Colts vs Broncos – Moderate usage:

Wow this Indianapolis Colts versus Denver Broncos game on Sunday night is completely under-the-radar. It’s a shame they can’t generate more buzz for such a “sleeper” and overlooked contest.

Obviously, you know I’m joking. If not…to quote the obese Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons, “since you are unfamiliar with the concept of sarcasm, I will now close the register at this point.”

Comic Book Guy actually says, “Seeing as we are unfamiliar with sarcasm, I shall close the register at this point”.

Fake TV Guide Listings: The American League Championship Series on Fox – Heh:

The secret to the continued success of the way-past-its-prime animated series “The Simpsons”  is revealed: Fox puts on baseball playoffs for 3 hours, 30 minutes every night for a month. By comparison, “The Simpsons” looks positively fresh and vital.

Moran Cerf: our brain is the puppeteer, we are simply agents – Neat:

So patients tend to be those in the operating theatre wanting to remove tumours or a part of the brain responsible for epileptic seizures. Cerf and his team use the fact that their are electrodes in the brain as an opportunity to study cognition in the awake subject to better understand how the brain operates.

“We can see singular thoughts. You can hear sound of one brain cell,” he said. He showcased the electrical activity of a nerve cell associated with the memory of The Simpsons. This was picked up by showing a subject a series of clips and seeing when the neuron fired. They then asked the subject to recall what she had seen.

The interesting thing about the brain readings was that the electrical activity of the neurone spiked well before the person was able to vocalise that they were thinking of The Simpsons. “We see her memory in action before she knows about it.”

A Walking Tour of Mr. Fauth’s Classroom, Part Two – My teachers never had cool shit like this:

one year a fast food restaurant had Halloween Simpsons toys, based on episodes of their annual Treehouse of Horror episodes (back when they were good.) Students brought them in and gave them to me.

I like Frankenstein Burns with the ice cream scoop.

The 2013 Government Shutdown…In 10 Words – We were defenseless without the Bear Patrol!

The Goldbergs…In 10 Words – Patton!  What are you staring at?

Canadian Thanksgiving…In 10 Words – How long are we going to have to sit here and listen to you badmouth us to the nice people upstairs?

Captain Phillips…In 10 Words – Pirates?  That’s hardly the image we want for Long John Silver’s!

five mistakes – Don’t forget, that prediction was made in 1997:

In an episode of The Simpsons, Bart tells a chilling story by a campfire. He points a flashlight at his face and says, “And that is how much college will cost for Maggie.” Homer then screams in horror.
I suspect Canadian parents can relate. According to BMO, 83% of Canadian parents expect to pay for their child’s post-secondary education; but the cost continues to rise. A four-year university degree is expected to cost as much as $60,000 and that sum could rise to more than $140,000 for a child born this year, BMO says.

Apt and perfectly quoted, excellent usage.

‘The Simpsons’ should start getting older – Yet another of the “age the characters to restore the show” articles.

Brit Music: Two old Beatles stories… – Life imitates The Simpsons once again:

If you remember the old episodes of the Simpsons, you might remember an episode where Ringo Starr guest-starred. Marge sent Ringo a painting she had made of him, asking for an honest opinion, and 30 years later, he finally got around to responding to her message.

[…]

In 1963, Barbara Bezant and Lyn Phillips made an audiotape saying things like “This dream is just to come round the back and see you, but I don’t suppose that’ll ever happen. But we can always live in hope, can’t we?”  They sent it to the Finsbury Park Astoria, where the Beatles were staying during a gig at London’s Lewisham Odeon. The Beatles didn’t get it.

Found fifty years later, Paul McCartney responded.

Neymar Provides Real-Life ‘Man Getting Hit by Football’ Moment vs. Zambia – Ouch, with animated .gifs.

Homer Simpson’s Food Addiction, As Shown By GIFs – Pretty much what it says.

Best. Episode. Ever. (Round 68) – “Summer of 4 Ft. 2” vs. “Itchy and Scratchy: The Move”?  Yikes.

Best. Episode. Ever. (Round 69) – Another impossible choice, this time between Season 3 and Season 7.

Simpson Effect – Fan made sketch of Mass Effect Simpsonized.  Here’s hoping he finishes it.

Dag 251 MMW – A Simpson/Despicable Me mashup t-shirt.

Two Cars In Every Garage And Three Eyes On Every Fish – I’ve often wondered this as well:

I wonder what Blinky would have tasted like. If the Power Plant were responsible for this mutation than I would assume toxic. I guess Burns will be the only one who knows.

I always did think it was a bit of dirty pool on Marge’s part to serve him the head, but Burns is in no position to complain about underhanded tricks.

I Simpson – Some shaky cam YouTube of “The Mansion Family” in Italian.

Happy Thanksgiving Canada! – Click through for an old-style Simpsons Thanksgiving table drawing, complete with sleeping Grampa and Barney.

5 TV Characters Who Deserve Spin Offs – Sideshow Bob makes the list here.

Treehouse of Horror #15 CGC 9.8 SS Signed and Sketch by Matt Groening – Picture of exactly what it says.

Favorite Treehouse of Horror story? – And finally, I get to end the way I prefer, with someone who agrees with us.  After citing a bunch of classics, things end on a dour note:

My least favorite is easily The Diving Bell and the Butterball. Congrats, you made an 8 minute long fart joke with a random Spider-man parody. What the hell were they thinking with that?

They weren’t.

18
Oct
13

Quote of the Day

Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song11

“Young man, your gargantuan cone is making a mockery of our self serve policy.” – Apu Nahasapeemapetilon




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