Archive for May, 2015

31
May
15

Quote of the Day

Sideshow Bob's Last Gleaming9

“At this point in time, I would like to direct your attention to the particular air vehicle next to which I am currently standing, the Harrier jet is one of our more dollar intensive ordinance delivery vectors.” – Air Force Guy

30
May
15

Quote of the Day

Lard of the Dance5

“Marge, if you don’t mind, I’m a little busy right now achieving financial independence.” – Homer Simpson
“With cans of grease?” – Marge Simpson
“No, through savings and wise investments.  Of course with grease!” – Homer Simpson

29
May
15

Reading Digest: Open Audition Edition

A Star is Burns20

“Sir, the actors are here to audition for the part of you.” – Mr. Smithers
“Excellent.” – C.M. Burns

It’s a short Reading Digest this week because I’m still behind the eight-ball, and the Dead Homer Society inbox still has rainbow wigs and floppy shoes everywhere, but some Reading Digest is better than no Reading Digest (right?).  Since the announcement of the (possible, still very unconfirmed) departure of Harry Shearer, plenty of people have been throwing their voices into the ring.  This week, we’ve got three of them (kinda).  We’ve also got some excellent usage, another Simpsons recasting, globetrotting Nancy Cartwright, (Britain, hurt feelings of), and a free silent movie starring Weird Al.

Enjoy.

I Hate the Sea and Everything In It: JAWS – Our friends at FLIM Springfield have done another of their .gif-tastic recastings, and this one is maybe their best yet.  Here’s some chum to get you swimming their way:

frink-hooper

Prof. Frink as Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss)
Elementary chaos theory tells us that all Great White Sharks will eventually turn against humans and run amok in an orgy of blood!

Here’s What The Opening of “The Simpsons” Looks Like Recreated With Stock Footage – This was making the rounds last week.  It’s impressive, but pretty uneven.  Some of the shorts are really good and pretty close to the intro.  Others are a bit tenuous.

This dude could easily replace Harry Shearer on ‘The Simpsons’ – This guy is very good (though some of the voices are a lot better than others), but it’s not hard to tell the difference, either.

▶ 28 Simpsons Impressions! Comedy Brian’s tribute to the Simpsons. – This is more than just Shearer voices, and again there are some very good ones in here (Burns and Patty & Selma, particularly).  (Thanks for sending this in, Brian!)

Harry Shearer Replacements for Mr. Burns – Reader Gary Lee sent in this compilation of clips with celebrities doing Burns lines.  Way more Zombie Simpsons than I would’ve used, but some of them are very good.

Michiana man aims to break world record for largest Simpsons collection – That is a lot of Simpsons stuff.

What If The Simpsons Became Our Post-Apocalyptic Mythology? – A nice writeup of the play in Portland.

‘The Simpsons’ Nancy Cartwright Interview: Cannes Film Festival – Cartwright went to France to promote a small movie she did based on a one-woman show she did twenty years ago called “In Search of Fellini”.  She does talk a bit about doing French for “The Crepes of Wrath” and artfully dodges a question about Shearer leaving.

Nancy Cartwright Added To Supanova Perth & Sydney – And then she’s off to Australia.

The Moving Picture Co. 1914 – Remember that silent movie with Weird Al that Mark Kirkland made?  Well, now you can watch it.

Movie review: Even the cast is too familiar with the plot to be scared by ‘Poltergeist’ – Excellent reference:

The 1982 Tobe Hooper-Steven Spielberg film is an oft-telecast classic. But generations have been exposed to the plot and its loopiness, thanks to reruns of “The Simpsons.” Hard to get too worked up about a “Treehouse of Horror” tale.

Skyler: Parents, foster the success of dealing with failure – Another excellent reference:

Eighty percent of the baby boys continued to pull on the string, yanking harder and harder, some even getting a foot into the pulling action, until they were exhausted with anger and frustration.

Eighty percent of the baby girls tried the string once or twice, realized immediately it no longer worked, then began to cry.

I was reminded of the “Simpsons” episode in which Lisa devised an experiment called “Is my brother dumber than a hamster?” Every time Bart reached for a cupcake, his hand was shocked. Despite this pain, he reached for the cupcake over and over and over.

Someone got a Drake as Bart Simpson tattoo (Photo) – The headline says it all.  Well done, someone.

The myth of bad British teeth – The BBC takes exception to a stereotype:

Having bad teeth is one of the stock American jokes about British people. In the world of film, spoof super-spy Austin Powers cavorts around London as a would-be sex symbol, not realising that his discoloured, crooked grin is being mocked.
In one episode of the Simpsons, a dentist scares a young patient into better oral hygiene by exposing him to a horrific publication called The Big Book of British Smiles. It features mocked-up pictures of gappy, unaligned teeth belonging, among others, to Buckingham Palace guards, the Prince of Wales and Sherlock Holmes.
Chris van Tulleken, a British doctor and TV presenter, has joined the criticism by telling Radio Times magazine that British dental standards are globally infamous and having “brown, foul teeth doesn’t really bother us”.
But are British mouths really in such a state and is there such a lack of vanity?

Oinkster Burger Week 2015 is here! Get ready for seven days of burgers – Heh:

Also, for the first time, the folks at Oinkster have collaborated with their neighbors at Highland Park Brewing to create a Burger Week beer. Red Tick ale is a sessionable red ale, the name for which is an obscure “Simpsons” reference (one episode from the eighth season).

Here’s what it sounds like when Generation X runs for president – The Washington Post – Weak reference:

Declaring Tupac Shakur superior to The Notorious B.I.G. Listing off favorite Clinton-era episodes of The Simpsons. A romantic epiphany that involved a foam party and a pay phone.
It could all be late-night chatter in a mid-1990s dorm room – or the recent musings of Republican men vying to be the leader of the free world.
Generation X has hit the campaign trail.

[Rant]There is no such thing as “Generation X”.  There is no such thing as “The Greatest Generation” or “The Silent Generation” or “Millennials” or “Generation Y” or (and I have seen this) “Generation Z”.  There was a “Baby Boom“, it was the result of a unique set of historical circumstances, the big one being that it was a lot harder to have and raise kids from 1929-1945 than it was after that.  Once those circumstances faded, population growth went back to normal.  The only demographic bulge is the post-WWII one, everything else is just lazy shorthand for trend piece writers that means nothing.[/rant]

29
May
15

Quote of the Day

Snrub

“Hello, my name is Mr. Snrub, and I come from . . . someplace far away.  Yes, that will do.  Anyway, I say we invest that money back in the nuclear plant.” – C.M. Burns
“I like the way Snrub thinks.” – Mr. Smithers

Happy birthday, Danny Elfman!

28
May
15

Quote of the Day

TrafficReport

“Lousy traffic jams!  The traffic report’ll get me out of this one.” – Homer Simpson
“This is Arnie Pie, looks like we got a little accident that’s backing traffic up as far as this reporter can see.” – Arnie Pie

27
May
15

Quote of the Day

Flaming Moe's16

“What do you offer in the way of salary?” – Not Shelly Long
“Minimum wage and tips.  Of course, there are fringe benefits.” – Moe
“Such as?” – Not Shelly Long
“An unforgettable weekend at Club Moe.” – Moe
“I’d prefer to take my vacations someplace . . . hot.” – Not Shelly Long
“I like your moxie, kid.  You’re hired.” – Moe
“You shan’t regret this.” – Not Shelly Long
“Methinks I shan’t.” – Moe

Happy Birthday Jo Ann Harris!

26
May
15

Quote of the Day

Homer's Barbershop Quartet15

“Wow, an original Malibu Stacy from 1958!” – Lisa Simpson
“Yeah, they took her off the market after some kid put both his eyes out.” – Swap Meet Guy
“Oh, my.” – Lisa Simpson

25
May
15

Quote of the Day

Lisa the Vegetarian16

“Look, kids, I just got my party invitations back from the printer’s!” – Homer Simpson
“Come to Homer’s B-B-B-Q.  The extra B is for B-Y-O-B-B.” – Lisa Simpson
“What’s that extra B for?” – Bart Simpson
“That’s a typo.” – Homer Simpson

24
May
15

Quote of the Day

Missionary Impossible4

“We taught them some English, and ridiculed away most of their beliefs.” – Craig
“So, you can take it from there.  Bye!” – Amy
“Don’t let the bed bugs bite!…Seriously.” – Craig

23
May
15

Quote of the Day

Homer the Vigilante15

“So, I said to him, look, buddy, your car was upside down when we got here!  And as for your grandma, she shouldn’t have mouthed off like that.” – Homer Simpson

22
May
15

Behind Us Forever: Mathlete’s Feat

Treehouse of Horror X5

“Oh, my God!  Lisa!  She’s been crushed, and so have the hopes of our mathletics team.” – Principal Skinner

Sorry (again) for the non-existant blogging around here, still been busy.  There probably isn’t going to be a Reading Digest today, but on the plus side, Season 26 is over, so I’ve got plenty of time to pretend that I’ll get caught up at some point.  On the Harry Shearer front, there has been nothing but silence from both sides so presumably they’re still talking.  Read into that whatever you’d like.

As for the finale, “Mathlete’s Feat” was bog standard: lots of filler, even more exposition, several magically appearing characters, and a couple of montages.  After a rich school beats Springfield Elementary’s mathlete team, the Nerds (from “Homer Goes to College”) buy the school a bunch of computers, that promptly get fried, which leads to a lot of flattering exposition about Waldorf schools, which leads to Bart becoming the captain of the math team (for some reason), which (just one scene later) leads to a rematch with the rich school, which leads to the usual unconnected ending.

– Hey, Rick and Morty, that’s better than this.  Thank goodness this “couch gag” took over 10% of the episode.

– “Good Seats Will Always Be Available” is pretty decent for an opening sign gag.

– But things go south fast with a literal drive by appearance from Nelson and twenty-seconds of Homer not laughing at a math joke.

– The Nerds are back for a hopefully brief cameo.  Oh, and the math competition has a full audience.  They didn’t even remember their own sign gag.

– Krusty just showed up to apparently host and yell the words “Drug Reference!” at the audience.

– Okay, Krusty’s gone.  Now we’re on “introductory videos” for each team.  Oh, and the rich kids video is directed by a yelling Michael Bay.  South Park did that way better a long time ago.  Just sayin’.

– Lisa’s monologing for some reason.

– Homer is explaining Lisa’s emotions.

– The Nerds are sticking around.  Apparently they went to Springfield Elementary.

– Sigh.  Skinner just appeared out of nowhere in Miss Hoover’s class, grabbed a film strip projector, and hurled it out the window (breaking it) and causing Willie to scream in pain.  Remember when Skinner was funny because he was a buttoned down square and not another zany nutbar?  The writing staff doesn’t.

– Montage!

– The “state of the art digital book burner” was a bit of a stretch, but they did set its temperature to 451F.

– And now the computers the Nerds bought have all been fried.  That took a while, and involved a lot of exposition and urgent horn music.

– Back from commercial and we are literally watching them do nothing.

– The teachers now have no electronics and the Nerds have vanished from the plot without so much as a goodbye, so we’re getting their new, non-technical classroom activities exposited to us.  Like Nelson reading his marshmallows.

– Lisa just left class and walked outside to see Willie, who didn’t so much as greet her before he went into a monologue of his own.

– Oh, for fuck’s sake, after getting several things explained to us, Lisa declared, “Move over, metric system, I’m learning the gastric system!”.

– And now Lisa just walked in on Skinner and Chalmers to exposit some more about learning math from Willie.  It’s bad, “Willie has showed me that losing our technology doesn’t have to be the end of our learning.  We could turn our school into a Waldorf school.”  This reminds of that scene in Spaceballs where Rick Moranis looks right at the camera and asks, “Everybody got that?”.  Only there it was intended to be funny.

– Lisa is now explaining a Waldorf school. . . . and now she’s teaching in the kitchen with no teachers around and, ugh, Lunchlady Doris.

– Now Lisa is back in class learning from Miss Hoover.  I guess they ran out of things for her to explain.

– Now Marge is reading from a pamphlet at the dinner table to further the explanations.

– There’s a song now, which Homer liked enough that he took over the explanations about the school in the next scene.

– Oof, this is a mess.  Willie was outside with some kids, and then Lisa and Skinner ran up out of nowhere to inform him that the plot needs to move along.

– After Lisa promoted Willie to coach of the school math team, he starts yelling and chasing Chalmers with a whip.  I take back my previous “Oof”, now it’s really a mess.

– Now Chalmers crashed his car after Bart hit him with an egg.  Now Bart is leading the math team.  Now, now, now.

– And we’re back at a math competition against the same school from the beginning.  Full audience again.  Sigh.

– Willie has a Gandalf hat and stick for some reason, so the squeaky voiced asks him about college so he can pretend to be a sorting hat from Harry Potter.  References!

– Lisa answers a math question correctly (which for some reason is taken as stunning, but whatever), then Bart complains that no one said there’d be math, then Lisa feels compelled to remind everyone that Bart is the math team captain.  That happened one scene ago, but since it doesn’t make any sense and we never saw Bart do any captaining before getting to the competition, I guess they felt the need to restate it.

– Luigi just stood up from the crowd to yell for a bit and then walk into a pole.  Huh.

– Montage!

– Though it is giving them a chance to flash a few equations on the screen.

– Then Bart somehow got the last question by drawing on Homer’s head.  Then Homer yells about what we just saw.

– Our post-plot comedy sketch this week is an after party where Lisa is somehow drunk on “Mountain Doo”.

– Nevermind, that was our first, post-plot comedy sketch.  The second one is introduced with a title card that reads, “The Simpsons Post Show Jug Band Fills The Time”.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: they know how crappy these are and do not care.

– The jug band filled twenty-five seconds of dialogue free time, though, so at the very least the title card wan’t lying.

The numbers are (long since) in, and they’re about what we’d expect.  Last Sunday, just 2.79 million people wished Rick, Morty, and the jug band thing could’ve taken more of the runtime.  That’s good for #4 on the all time least watched list, and pulls Season 26’s average viewership down to just 4.80 million.  Season 25 previously held the record for least watched Season at 4.99.  Come on down, Season 27!

As always with the ratings, the nuts and gum numbers are better than the overall ones, and since we now know that FOX has the option to keep the show on until 2019, I wouldn’t hold out any hope that they’ll drive the show off the air.  But it is fun to point and laugh.

22
May
15

Quote of the Day

Behind the Laughter5

“I want to set the record straight: I thought the cop was a prostitute.” – Homer Simpson

21
May
15

Quote of the Day

Who Shot Mr. Burns Part 1m

“Since the beginning of time, Man has yearned to destroy the Sun.” – C.M. Burns

Happy 20th Anniversary to “Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part 1)”!  Original airdate 21 May 1995.

20
May
15

Quote of the Day

Secrets of a Successful Marriage10

“Can I take your order?” – Squeaky Voiced Teen
“Nothing for me today.  I’ve got a class to teach!” – Homer Simpson
“Sir, it’s a felony to tease the order box.” – Squeaky Voiced Teen

19
May
15

Quote of the Day

Homerpalooza14

“It makes no sense.  I haven’t changed since high school and suddenly I’m uncool.” – Homer Simpson

18
May
15

Quote of the Day

The Secret War of Lisa Simpson10

“Now, everyone follow me to my chair, where I just need to get off my feet for a few minutes. . . . Aww, oh, I won’t be getting up soon.” – Chief Wiggum

17
May
15

Sunday Preview: Mathlete’s Feat

Mathlete's_Feat_promo_2

When a modernized Springfield Elementary has a technical meltdown, Lisa transforms it into a Waldorf school. Meanwhile, Groundskeeper Willie becomes the coach of the mathletes

Season Finale! For this year’s death rattle, Lisa has apparently been given the ability to force families to send their formally publicly educated children to a school that won’t grade anyone.  All this makes me think about is that Otto almost had tenure at Brown.  Also Willie is now a modern day Archimedes, so you know, whatever.  Frankly the only interesting thing that is related to this episode is that i don’t have to watch any previews for a few months.  Have a great summer.

17
May
15

Quote of the Day

Natural Born Kissers6

“If somebody’s in here, you’re in for some serious ass forkin’!” – Farmer

16
May
15

Rumor Control: Shearer Negotiations Still Open

I Married Marge16

“Is Mom gonna have another baby, Dad?” – Lisa Simpson
“Maybe.” – Homer Simpson

Apologies for the lack of Compare & Contrast, Reading Digest, and general radio silence around these parts the last couple of days.  My Dad went in for a long planned surgery yesterday (which went fine), but between that, work, and the Shearer kerfuffle, regular blogging fell down a hole without even the benefit of Leonard’s carcass to land on.

In terms of actual Simpsons news, there have been two developments of note.  The first is Shearer related, though it needs to be kept in context.  Good ol’ CNN Money reports:

For all “The Simpsons” fans concerned that a Mr. Burns voiced by Harry Shearer has spent his last days in Springfield, the voice actor has two words for you: “stay tuned.”

This was the response Shearer had Friday when asked by CNN Money if there was a possibility that he could return.

Shearer had no other comment, other than to reference a tweet from “Simpsons” producer James L. Brooks. On Thursday afternoon, Brooks wrote, “Hey, we tried. We’re still trying. Harry, no kidding, let’s talk.”

Does this mean anything?  Short answer, yes with an if: if Shearer or FOX found the uproar over his departure (I even heard a segment about it on BBC World Service) so disruptive that one of them caved on some previously stuck negotiating point, then maybe he’ll be back.

Long answer, no with a but: but this is third hand information glimpsed through the notoriously dirty lens of CNN.  It implies that they’re still talking, but that’s all it does.  It doesn’t change the fact that Shearer’s only public statement to date was that he seemed to be done.  Of course, even that is open to interpretation since all he really did was quote a letter from a lawyer and thank people for their support.  Jean was (publicly, at least) taking it seriously, but even that could be posturing.

So, what do we actually know?  As always in these situations: very little.  Shearer saying “stay tuned” certainly moves the needle a little bit back towards “he isn’t leaving”, but since it was never even close to definitively pointed at “he’s gone”, that doesn’t say much.  Until we get either a) a definitive statement that Shearer has signed and is returning, or b) an announcement of new voice actors for some or all of his characters, we can’t know for sure.  Whatever happens, the substantive conversations will take place well out of public view, so it’s best to treat all non-definitive news as suspect until proven otherwise.

The second piece of news, which was absent from every single renewal article I came across, is from an interview Jean gave with The Hollywood Reporter:

Do you think this opens the door for other cast? I know that they’ve signed for two more seasons but given the show’s track record do you think that there’s concern?

It’s a really different issue. They are signed for a four-year contract [with] two-year options on Fox.

So at this point Fox has options for seasons 29 and 30?

Yes.

It turns out that there will be no negotiations due in October of 2016, because the most recent renewal wasn’t just for two more production runs, it was for two more production runs with a FOX option for two more after that.

In addition to being further evidence of the incompetence and incuriosity of the entertainment press (a network option for two more years isn’t a minor detail), this overlooked nugget means that, if FOX wants it, the show will be on until 2019 at the least.  Assuming twenty-two episode production runs for the option, that would bring the show to 669 episodes.  As a reminder of how long Zombie Simpsons has been on, “Behind the Laughter” (the Season 11 finale) was episode #248.

Whether or not Harry Shearer will be there for all that, I have no idea.

16
May
15

Quote of the Day

Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo5

“Coming up next, a Canadian couple who say they are deathly afraid of scorpions.” – Wink
“Ooh, that stings, eh!” – Canadian




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