Archive for the 'Reading Digest' Category



12
Jun
15

Reading Digest: Fucking CNN Edition

Homer Defined14

“Forget the hair, just give me the blush!  Oh, we’re on.” – Kent Brockman

Fucking CNN.  This one is bad even by their impressive standards of idiocy and misinformation.  Thanks to their sloppiness, the internet went briefly nuts this week over the supposed “revelation” that Homer and Marge were going to permanently separate in the upcoming season.  Here’s what happened.

On Sunday, Variety published a bog standard publicity interview with Jean about the upcoming season.  The penetrating and hard hitting questions included, “How does it feel to reach season 27?” and “How do you still manage to keep it fresh and timely?”.  Articles like this are the reason Variety exists, so the entertainment industry can let the public know about its new stuff.  (Know how you can tell it’s straight PR?  The word “Shearer” does not appear.)  The headline was “‘Simpsons’ EP Al Jean on Homer’s 2016 Vote, Another Movie & the Star He Still Wants”.

Here is the relevant section:

What’s ahead this season?

In the premiere, it’s discovered after all these years Homer has narcolepsy and it’s an incredible strain on the marriage. Homer and Marge legally separate, and Homer falls in love with his pharmacist, who’s voiced by Lena Dunham. We’ll have cameos from the other women from “Girls.” We have an episode coming up where Lisa befriends a homeless woman who turns out to be an incredible singer. The woman’s voiced by Kate McKinnon, but the singing is done by Natalie Maines. In another episode, Spider Pig makes his return. Sideshow Bob appears in a segment, and we finally see him do something he’s wanted to do for 25 years. And we have an episode based on the film “Boyhood.” It’s a flashback/flashforward about Bart. We go to various points in his life and his life to come which I think came out really well.

Jean rattles off a few episode plots, one of which is about Homer and Marge legally separating.  This wasn’t considered big news, and most of the follow on articles I saw were about Sideshow Bob finally killing Bart in the Halloween episode.  For three days, that was the biggest piece of information anyone cared about in this article.

Then, on Wednesday morning, CNN got around to writing it up:

(CNN) – We already knew that it can be hard to make a marriage work in Hollywood, but it looks like it’s also tough to keep things afloat in Springfield.

According to an executive producer for “The Simpsons,” Homer and Marge will legally separate in the upcoming season.

The animated series is heading into its 27th season, and the show plans on keeping fans intrigued. Executive producer Al Jean told Variety that one of the plot points for the new season is Springfield’s supercouple splitting and the appearance of a surprising other woman.

In terms of whether or not Homer and Marge are permanently separating, those four sentences are pretty vague.  Since four whole sentences in three whole paragraphs is way too erudite for the modern internet media company on the go, there’s also a “Story highlights” box for people who are really pressed for time:

CNN'sFinest

The “Story highlights” read, “A producer says the longtime couple will split in new season” and “‘Girls’ star Lena Dunham will appear on the show”.  The first one greatly lessens the ambiguity by strongly implying that the “split” will last for a whole season.  The second one introduces a currently popular and reliably controversial celebrity.

That alone might have done it.  But what to do when even the misleading “Story highlights” take too long to read?  That’s what seriously misleading headlines are for!  Behold:

CNN'sStupidHeadline

Combine “‘D’oh! Homer and Marge set to split on ‘The Simpsons'” as a headline with the “Story highlights”, add in the internet’s notoriously poor reading comprehension skills, and you get a completely untrue viral story echoing around the internet, radio, and teevee.  It got out of hand enough that the show’s official Twitter account felt the need to rebut it.

Now, sometimes I get it when mainstream publications completely misunderstand a long running franchise, like a couple of years ago when they did the hapless “Nedna” thing.  Anyone still bothering to watch knew it wouldn’t matter in the least if they stayed a couple, but news from Springfield equals pageviews, so everyone wrote it up anyway.  But to think that Homer and Marge are permanently divorcing on a show like Zombie Simpsons is a whole other matter, especially when one or two clicks is all it takes to get to the original that clearly states that it’s just for a single episode.

Partly this is due to the Lena Dunham Effect.  She causes all kinds of people to flip out and yell at each other for reasons that I cannot fathom.  (I’ve never understood square dancing either.  Some things in life are mysteries.)  If this had been just about anybody else, I doubt it would’ve blown up this big.

But Dunham wasn’t the cause.  The cause was CNN writing up three day old news with a headline and teaser that strongly implied something that the article itself was basically silent on.  So, thanks for wasting everybody’s time.

On the bright side, and even though it was unintentional, the sheer reach of this easily debunked rumor might be the most biting satire of the media the show has done in fifteen years.  The links below are by no means an exhaustive list of the major publications, old and new, that apparently consider two clicks to be too much fact checking.

Anyway, I did manage to pick out a few fun regular links from all that nonsense.  This week, we’ve got a donut sensation, a metal band that uses Simpsons quotes in their lyrics, a fan made hat, a great story about “Who Shot Mr. Burns”, and more.

Enjoy.

The making of “Who Shot Mr. Burns?” – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this great article from the A.V. Club about the show’s famous cliffhanger.

Eye On Springfield with Jono Colliver of Dr. Colossus – Awesome:

There is a fine line a band has to walk when writing songs based on TV shows or movies. Do you full on quote from the source material or do you try to compose your own lyrics? Do you try to make your band funny or keep it serious? Add to that something as serious as heavy metal and it seems like an impossible task. Enter Australian doom metal/rock band, Dr. Colossus. Consisting of Nathan Johnston on drums and Jono Colliver on guitar and vocals, the two piece manages to meld some seriously good doom with lyrics all based off episodes of The Simpsons. Combining original lyrics with classic lines taken straight from the show, the lyrics paint a cryptic picture while also adding a fun feel any time you recognize a quote from the show.

What if The Simpsons Had Only Lasted One Season? – The world would be a dark and terrible place and even newscasts would have laughtracks (via @DailySimpsons).

7 Times Marge Simpson Should Have Divorced Homer – And here we go with the divorce links.  Uproxx at least realized it was a joke, but then went ahead with a very Zombie Simpsons heavy list.

Worst. Idea. Ever. Marge and Homer will ‘legally separate’ on ‘The Simpsons’ – First up on our list of total shame, The USA Today:

In the equivalent of The Brady Bunch adding Cousin Oliver, The Cosby Show adding Olivia or any other aging sitcom adding a new character (usually under six years old) that doesn’t have a Oliv- prefix in order to spice up plot lines and stories that have become stale, The Simpsons will have Homer and Marge “legally separate” in the 479th season premiere of the Fox animated show. Or maybe it’s the 27th season — does it really matter anymore?

Simpsons producer Al Jean described this desperate attempt at relevancy interesting twist to Variety.

While it agrees with us that the show is garbage now, it’s not exactly helping the cause.  The whole thing is very sarcastic, which is not a tone you want to deploy when you’re being this gullible.

The Simpsons: Homer and Marge Split Will Join Other Famous TV Breakups – While we’re in the “Print Publications No One Will Miss” category, Time magazine, everybody:

What’s surprising about The Simpsons returning to this well is that the show hardly needs to; it’s not as though Homer or Marge is going to be written off the show. With few exceptions, the show resets back to where it began at the end of every episode.
But perhaps that makes The Simpsons ideally placed to feature divorce; so few comedies deal with the end of a marriage as something other than a way to expediently get someone out of your life forever that The Simpsons‘s reconciliation plotline will, at least, be novel.

I read this article twice, looking for any sign that they understood that this wasn’t permanent.  Zilch.

After 35 years, Homer and Marge Simpson are breaking up – But let’s not limit ourselves to old media, here’s new media darling Vox going all in on it.

Homer, Marge separated (or not) when new season of ‘The Simpsons’ begins – After using the word “revelation” un-ironically, Canada’s Global News at least had the decency to add that, “Jean took to Twitter to seemingly suggest he was playing the media for fools.”.  Seemingly?  What about this is so hard for people to get?

Marge and Homer Simpson to call it quits (thanks, Lena Dunham) – This one’s a twofer, as it’s Canada’s National Post unthinkingly reprinting a writeup in the Washington Post: 

Yes, Marge will be as blue as her towering hair, because Homer seeks a cure for his narcolepsy, and soon “falls in love” with the woman who can treat what ails him: a pharmacist voiced by Girls actress-writer Lena Dunham.
[…]
Homer and Marge have physically split before — such as when Alaska beckons in The Simpsons Movie — but have never legally separated.

Simpsons bosses set the record straight on Homer and Marge’s ‘separation’ – Metro UK bought it hook, line and sinker, even after the correction.

‘View’s’ Whoopi Goldberg on Homer Simpson Leaving Marge for Lena Dunham: ‘What About a Sister?’ – This is another twofer, with an uncritical writeup from entertainment industry rag The Wrap about the ladies on The View complaining about this.  It’s also evidence for my Dunham Effect theory, when Whoopi Goldberg says it’s Dunham, they put up this graphic and the crowd gives one of those “Ooohs” of disapproval:

BooLenaDunhamBooThisWoman

I could do twenty more of these, but I think I’ve made my point.  Fuck you, CNN.

The Simpsons Nancy Cartwright Is Working On Her Own Animated Series ♫ theMusic.com.au – Hey, look, actual news that got swamped by panicky idiocy:

In an interview with theMusic.com.au’s Daniel Cribb, Cartwright – who you probably know as the voice of Bart Simpson, Ralph Wiggum, and wealth of other Springfield characters – revealed she has been developing an animated comedy series called Unassisted Living.
“We’re in development and pitching, but it is fully fleshed out and ready to go,” Cartwright revealed.
“It takes place in a retirement facility and everybody thinks they’re dying and somebody comes in to run the place that is only 22 years old and she gets them all working and contributing.

I’d give that a shot.

Sideshow Bob to finally get his boy – Enh.  Even the Halloween episodes are lifeless these days.

Here Are 10 Times ‘The Simpsons’ Predicted the Future – Some of these are a bit of a stretch, but if you’ve got six minutes to kill, you could do worse.

The 5 Worst Sitcom Doctors Of All-Time – Needless to say Dr. Nick makes the list.  There’s also a lot of good YouTube (Simpsons and otherwise).

DIY Painted Sun Hat – Turning a sun hat into a fan made Simpsons masterpiece.  Bravo!

Donutella-uva bomb: the experience – Excellent real life reference:

He couldn’t bloody believe it. Neither did I. I made him re-tell several parts of his story bit by bit. “And this is the milkbar I used to hang out at? Corner Vic Drive and Carrington?” I was still in disbelief.
“Yes.”
He said it was crazy like the ‘Flaming Moe’s’ fad from that popular Simpsons episode. Everyone was going there, everyone wanted one, and it was making the people mad. A little place, turned into a sensation, just because of a simple variation on a regular food item. Nothing extraordinary. Just Nutella on a doughnut.

90s Bart Simpson Radical Dude Don’t Have a Cow Original 1989 White Vintage t-shirt Youth Large – Everything old is new again.

Ralph Wiggum T-Shirt | Ralph Laurel – Heh.

Sounds of the City: Springfield! Springfield! – An appreciation of the music of the city, with some excellent YouTube.

New trending GIF tagged food the simpsons eating… – Well, well, well, finishing something?

New trending GIF tagged dancing the simpsons eating… – At the Copa, Copacabana!

New trending GIF tagged reaction sexy the simpsons… – Oh, what the heck, give me your number.

It’s time to finally end The Simpsons – And finally, I get to end the way I like, with someone who agrees with us:

Dear Al Jean, Matt Groening, Jebus, and anyone else who might be listening:
It’s time for The Simpsons to end.
Year after year, I watch the venerable cultural monolith that helped shape me as a person wither and twist in the wind – and I wish that it hadn’t come to this.
A show that was once defined by unparalleled writing, topical humour and brilliant voice acting has been reduced to a gimmicky, one-note shadow of itself that exists more as a merchandising vessel than as the greatest sitcom of our time.

He then calls the Dunhan thing as an “obvious gimmick”.  Amen, sir.  (Click through for the bitchin’ Blinky tattoo, as well.)

05
Jun
15

Reading Digest: Pondering the Absence of Shearer Edition

Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk13

“Oh, sir, what will you do next?” – Mr. Smithers
“Well, first I’ll get that new hip I’ve been hankering for, then, who knows?  Beekeeping, boxing, bocce ball, the world is my oyster, Smithers!  Farewell.” – C.M. Burns

I’m finally digging out all the Shearer related stuff I didn’t have time to get to over the last couple of weeks, and I have found a couple of gems.  There’s a Hollywood insider take, a journalist take, and a fan take, all on what his (potential) leaving means for the show.  In addition to that, we’ve got some excellent references, great fan art, a bunch of .gifs, and a wildly dickish local news team.

Enjoy.

Harry Shearer’s excellent Simpsons adventure – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this Hollywood insider perspective on Shearer’s situation from a longtime TV writer who actually knows him:

“What is he thinking?” asked dozens of text messages from people who know that we’re friends. “Is he insane?”
He is not insane, I told them. Harry Shearer is a fantastically gifted writer-performer-director, and after 26 years of voicing the characters of Mr Burns, his devoted assistant Smithers, school principal Skinner, irritating neighbour Ned Flanders, and many others, Harry simply decided to do something else.
“He’s ill, isn’t he?” asked one person. No, I said. He isn’t ill, either mentally or physically. He just can’t see how he’ll be able to devote the time his future projects require if he’s also committed to several more years of The Simpsons.

He goes on to make the case that the money is the least important part of this.  I still don’t know whether or not Shearer’s actually leaving, but this is very good perspective.

Why a Shearer-less ‘Simpsons’ can survive – I like this article.  The basic premise is that the show sucks anyway so who cares if they replace Shearer?

Variety bash team Simpsons Car 1111 hosts a charity golf day – That is phenomenal Simpsons swag from Australia.

Q & A With Bill Oakley on Portland Playhouse’s “Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play” – Heh:

Have you seen the play? If no, why not? If yes, thoughts?

BO: I have not seen the play because I do not like to leave my house. If they want to come over here and perform it, I can push back a couch in the living room and maybe provide Cheetos and Snapple.

And:

There have been so many celebrity cameos on The Simpsons. Who has not been on the show yet that you would like to see make an appearance.

BO: We could never get Stockard Channing to appear on the show for some reason and I’m pretty sure she is still alive. So STOCKARD CHANNING it is.

The Simpsons – Absolutely outstanding Simpsons tablecloth which can be yours on Etsy for $200.  Click through for lots of detailed pictures and real Simpsons love:

The tablecloth was found in a thrift store, like all of my accoutrements. The lace edge and sunshine yellow called my name, screamed my name, and I was truly giddy taking it home. I first envisioned stitching Yellow Submarine on this gem. When The Simpsons also came to mind, I went with the franchise I felt was less likely to sue me.

Heh.

Breaking Bad, Simpsons, True Detective Fictional Foods – The Duff can and Krusty burger are phenomenal.

The War Of The Simpsons – Fantastic line:

“…That music always sends a chill down my spine…”

TV Legends Revealed: What’s the Secret, Lazy Origin of ‘The Simpsons’ Opening? – Time has always been hard to fill, no doubts there.

Sepp Blatter…In 10 Words – He’s crossed that line from everyday villainy into cartoonish super-villainy.

FOX 46 Charlotte – Bart Simpson graffiti sticks again, City of CLT says it needs to – See, this is why nobody likes local news:

The City was unaware of the NoDa graffiti until FOX 46 News notified them. There has been no word yet from the owner of the apartments if the graffiti will stay.

The media called the cops.  Boy, you guys suck.  There are, of course, good pictures at the link, if you’re interested.

Model Antonina Petkovic’s Simpsons T-Shirt – Apparently, Bart can be “grungy-chic”.

19-year veteran AP English teacher fired for reading Allen Ginsberg poem to class – Excellent reference:

Oilo’s colleagues, friends, and students were quick to defend him. Said one former student “There has been a definite tonal change since I grew up here. It makes me think of Mrs. Flanders from The Simpsons: ‘Will no one think of the children??’ I mean, if there are parents in town who think their teenagers don’t know what a blow job is, they are sorely mistaken.”

We got to Check Out The Simpsons Springfield Grand Opening at Universal Studios, Hollywood! – There was a ceremony at an amusement park.  Here’s a 1 minute YouTube video of it.

The Simpsons, Doctor Who, More Coming to Lego Dimensions – It took awhile, but Lego turned into the King of Licensing so gradually, I didn’t even notice:

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment today confirmed that its Lego Dimensions title, slated for release this fall, will include gameplay from The Simpsons, Doctor Who, Ghostbusters, Jurassic World, Scooby-Doo!, Portal, Midway Arcade, and Lego Chima.

4 Reasons Why ‘Simpsons’ Dimwit Ralph Wiggum Might Be Secretly Smart – He’s not, but that was a decent read with plenty of good YouTube and no Zombie Simpsons.

Eye On Springfield with Dan Jackson of Void Ritual & Desu – This blog is called “Xtapolapometal”, “A blog about metal and The Simpsons”.  Excellent.  (Also, the interview is good, too.)

Eye On Springfield with Chris Alfieri of Vattnet Viskar – Same blog as above:

It depends on my mood really, I do like when they take on cultural issues without trying to outwardly make a fool out of people who may not share their view. They have a lot of tact which I respect a ton. But occasionally I just need to see a brainless but well written episode like the Trilogy of Error episode.

That is a great way to describe “Trilogy of Error”.

Disney princesses and Marge Simpson turned into breast cancer survivors to celebrate ‘courage’ – This is by that same Italian artists who’s been doing these lately.

Simpsons joke origins: Sideshow Bob’s campaign ad – And to think, that commercial was only aired a single time.

Someone has made the actual gummy Venus De Milo from The Simpsons and it’s incredible – This is at least the second time someone’s done this, and maybe the third.  Bravo, everyone.

Hall and Oates – An essay about Homer (well, non-Zombie Homer, anyway) as a classic Fool.

Homer’s Heaven – Lego Homer, real donut.

Five Fandom Friday: Five Characters That Get Me – Lisa tops the list, but it’s nice to see Wednesday Addams on there too.

5 Fandom Friday: 5 Fictional Characters You Most Identify With – Homer makes this one.

Photo of the day: Christen Press and Christen Press – One of our forwards got life size Simpsonsized.

The Simpsons: Hit & Run – Old video game review complete with .gifs.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons simpsons homer… – Clean as a whistle!

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons simpsons smoking… – He’s got money to singe!

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons bye goodbye… – Poochie goes home.

Etsy: Patty and Selma Cross Stitch – It’s not just Patty & Selama, it’s Patty & Selma freshly back from the beauty parlor.

Tristin Hopper: Like the Vatican, the Church of the Simpsons will go on – And finally, I get to end with someone who not only agrees with us, but does so in rousing, theological ways:

For someone who grew up on the Simpsons but stopped watching in the 1990s, seeing a contemporary episode is akin to Jesus Christ walking into the Vatican. The basic tenets may be familiar, but the presentation is shockingly dissimilar from its origins.

Throw out the heretics!

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]

08
May
15

Reading Digest: The Show Will Go On, The DVDs Will Not Edition

Lisa the Skeptic6

“Come on, who wants to complain with me?” – Lisa Simpson

The obvious big news this week was the renewal.  For those of us who were paying attention, it wasn’t the least bit surprising.  For the overwhelming majority of people who have the good sense not to be paying attention, it was big news.  So the Simpsons signal-to-noise ratio went bonkers and, as is always the case when that happens, this is a pretty short Reading Digest.  We’ve only got one renewal link, and that was just because it has a marvelous headline.

In other not-news news, there will be no more Simpsons DVDs.  Once again, we have a lone link because there just isn’t much here.  When they did that cash grab Blu-Ray/DVD release of Season 20 (sans extras or commentaries) back in 2009/2010, I joked that they were probably never going to catch up because at the rate they were doing them, Season 20 on DVD wouldn’t be coming out until like 2018, and does anyone really think people are going to be buying DVDs in 2018?  Well, it turns out there are some people who thought that, and they are upset about this.  We have an outraged YouTube video from one of them, but I only made it about a fifth of the way through the fifteen minutes runtime.  I have long experience caring about things most people don’t care about, but there are limits.

But, hey, we’ve also got some fan art, more cross stitch, an excellent piece of usage from a financial analyst (of all people), and more.

Enjoy.

MR BURNS – Fan made drawing of Burns and Smithers in what I assume is one of Smithers’ favorite positions.  (NOTE: It’s not as dirty as I just made it sound.)

Etsy: Moe Szyslak Cross Stitch – The Moe cross stitch has been completed.

The Simpsons go to the boards in Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play – Backstory on the play coming to Toronto.

128th-Final, Round 8: Homie the Clown vs. Bart’s Girlfriend – Oof, that’s tough, though that is a great screen grab of Homer and Flanders from “Homie the Clown”.

Lisa’s Subsitute – This:

-I like Skinner explaining, in excruciating detail, how Lyme Disease works…to a second-grade class.

Meanwhile, Hoover’s standing there getting queasier and queasier.  The Simpsons: making malignant spirochetes funny.

Round 1, Battle 11 – (S.3 Ep.13) Radio Bart vs (S. 9 Ep. 22) Trash of the Titans – That’s “Radio Bart” by knockout in the first so hard that the sanctioning body should be ashamed of itself.

Round 1, Battle 13 (S. 9 Ep. 18) This Little Wiggy vs. (S. 5 Ep. 15) Deep Space Homer – Going against Season 9 again, for sure.

Round 1, Battle 14 – (S.4 Ep. 9) Mr Plow vs (S.4 Ep. 14) Brother From the Same Planet – But this one is too close to call.

The Simpsons First-Impression Matrix – Su-san from the country club would probably scoff at this.

‘The Simpsons’s Nancy Cartwright Made A Bartman Statue Out Of Clay – That Bart statue from last week was actually made by Cartwright.

Postmodernity in ‘The Simpsons’ – Always one of my favorite aspects of the show:

Metanarratives play a key role in the structure of ‘The Simpsons’. Authority and authoritative figures are ever-present in Springfield and are almost always cast in a negative light.

And people wonder why kids who were born after the show went south still love it.

Twenty Quotes from The Simpsons That Prove This Show is THE GREATEST – One from Zombie Simpsons, but other than that it’s a great list (and quite original, too, don’t often see some of these on quote lists).

No More “The Simpsons” DVD Sets – I have a hard time caring about this, but that is an inspired .gif choice.  In related DVD news, reader Dastardly Devious sent in this YouTube rant about the DVDs.  I stopped at the three minute mark when he said he wasn’t addressing people who are capable of admitting the show sucks now, but if you seriously care about Zombie Simpsons DVDs and teevee DVDs in general, I guess you might like it.

Deutsche Bank Bart Simpson ASX chart – Excellent financial/visual usage:

Morgan noted a chart he’d seen which attempted to show recent market tops on the S&P500 were spread 1897 days apart and showing we’re now at the end of the next point in that cycle. Which prompted this:

I usually put this sort of analysis in the same bucket as astrology and tarot card reading, but I had a technical look at our own market and was also alarmed with what I saw. Do you see what I see in there? A Patrick Star gave way to a half-Batman and then yielded to a full Bart Chart. Janet Yellen is right – there is nowhere to go but down from here.

bart-stock-chart

It’s even the Michael Keaton Batman!  Well done.

Bart’s Nightmare Review (A Doug Walker Tribute) – No, it was not a great game.

Fox Renews THE SIMPSONS, Water is Wet – Old news, but great headline.

Guessin’ Ages – Heh.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons dad bod… – Heh.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons awkward laughing… – Troy McClure catching himself laughing from “138th Episode Spectacular”.

Arctic Characters and Character Arcs – Excellent usage:

This is partially a legacy issue. The original crucible for the characters was in the form of short stories, almost like a TV anthology series, where each episode ended with the characters back in the position they were in at the start.

[…]

In the words of philosopher and influential third-wave feminist Lisa Simpson:

“Don’t worry, Bart. It seems like every week something odd happens to the Simpsons. My advice is to ride it out, make the occasional smart-alec quip, and by next week we’ll be back to where we started from, ready for another wacky adventure.”

It is the nit pick of nit picks, but Lisa does say “an occasional” not “the occasional”.  Still, that hardly matters.  Great quote and very apt.

JOYRICH SIMPSONS SWEATSHIRT POLKADOTS / BLACK – More high end Simpsons clothing.

Parleok Baut – And knockoff but kinda looks like high end Simpsons clothing.  No idea what language that is, though.

 

01
May
15

Reading Digest: Real Life Soul Donut Edition

Treehouse of Horror IV20

“Well, well, finishing something?” – The Devil

This week, someone not only made Simpsons donuts and posted the recipe, they made the Soul Donut!  Excellent.  In addition to that we’ve got fan art everywhere from crosstitch and felt to statues and house paint.  Plus there’s some excellent usage, more episode rundowns and reviews, and more.

Enjoy.

Note: Still no news on contract renewal.  I continue to assume there will be a full Season 27.

Homer Simpson’s Donut Recipe – Just what it says, with easy to follow instructions and this:

real-forbidden-donut

Etsy: Marge Simpson Cross Stitch – Excellent and for sale.

Works in Progress – And coming soon from the same woman as the link above, Moe!

Simpson – Fan made Homer out of felt.  Excellent.

5 ‘Simpsons’ Episodes That Could Have Been The Series Finale – “Behind the Laughter” still gets my vote.

This website archives everything Bart Simpson has ever written on the blackboard – Metro.co.uk rediscovered that site that has all the chalkboard images on it, so it was making the rounds this week.

Brighton students wake up to massive Simpsons mural being painted on their home – Neat:

Renowned Brighton graffiti artist Aroe MSK was commissioned by the landlord to paint the striking artwork on the house in Hartington Road as a result of his Viaduct Road piece last month.

There’s a couple of good pictures at the link.

Weekend Gaming Goodness – Awesome:

The Simpsons trivia tournament was, as many predicted it would be, perfectly cromulent.
The questions were tough, the players were nerds. I went into that tournament all but certain we’d win; we placed fourth.

I am an early Simpsons nut and the questions were all from seasons three to ten. How could I fail? I’ll tell you how: questions like What is the name of the gun store from which Homer buys his gun?

Fourth. Shameful.

Really though, my friends and I had a blast. The host was dressed as Otto and the prize for winning was an inanimate carbon rod.

Our team name? Worker and Parasite.

PeteSnyder on Twitter – Apparently there’s now a “Bartman” sculpture in front of the FOX News headquarters:

BartmanFoxNews

Old Money – I love that wool shawls are in “Activewear”:

-“Grandma’s World” has to be real store somewhere.

Brush With Greatness – Ah, for when Homer’s screams were quick and meant something:

-My favorite part of the episode? Probably Homer’s reaction to seeing Burns in his house. He screams the most abrupt scream in the history of television.

Round 1, Battle 6 – (S.9 Ep. 16) Dumbbell Indemnity vs (S.2 Ep. 1) Bart Gets an “F” – That’s an easy one.

Round 1, Battle 7 – (S.8 Ep.14) The Twisted World of Marge Simpson vs. (S.7 Ep. 11) Scenes from a Class Struggle in Springfield – That’s close, but I gotta go with those stuck up rich snobs and their abalone sandwiches.

Round 1 – Battle 8 – (S.8 Ep.16) Brother From Another Series vs (S.8 Ep. 20) The Canine Mutiny – Yeah, gotta go with the Sideshow brothers there.

Round 1 Battle 9 – (S. 2 Ep. 22) Blood Feud vs (S. 3 Ep. 5) Homer Defined – Oof, that’s rough.

TV Pick of the Day – Heh:

Watch it for: Some dark Simpsons gags (think cops and brothels), a lesson in the dangers of the household rake.

You may remember me from such shows watched from the set of $ale….. – Heh.

Tao of Homer – Philly sports bar heh.

Hello Kitty x The Simpsons – One of the shirts in the wild on a real person.

This leaked Sony email helps explain why most Hollywood movies are garbage – Excellent usage:

Shore’s email (Subject: “Spidey thought”) reads like the pitch scene from the Poochie episode of The Simpsons (“He needs more attitude!“) It imagines an EDM blasting, Tough Mudder-running, Snapchat-obsessed douchebag Spider-Man.

Sony: The Studio That Makes FOX Look Competent.

Doctor Who and The Simpsons among the most important television articles on Wikipedia – Well, most referenced, anyway.

The Simpsons Transcend the Apocolypse in Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play – The Vegas version of the play has some seriously creepy Simpsons masks.  Bravo.

Ignore the news and watch The Simpsons – Good advice:

Thoughtful investors know their job is to restrain the reflexive response, which produces behaviour that is the very antithesis of intelligent investing.

I follow the maxim of a commentator who said: “The best thing to do at key turning points is to ignore the news completely and watch the Simpsons”.

I have found this to be good advice.

Minecraft PS4 Adds The Simpsons DLC This Week – That is all.

Cate Street deal shows danger of crony capitalism – Excellent reference:

Given all that, the idea that Maine might end up playing Springfield to Cate Street’s Lyle Lanley should come as no surprise. The only difference between the Cate Street scheme and Lyle Lanley selling Springfield a monorail in “The Simpsons” with the city’s nuclear fallout settlement money is that at least Springfield was lucky enough to have Marge Simpson as a lone voice of reason. Though she was completely ignored, she argued to use the settlement money on traditional infrastructure improvements, like repairing Main Street.
Under the dome in Augusta, there was no Marge Simpson: the New Market tax credit plan sailed through with bipartisan support.

New trending GIF tagged tv cartoon the simpsons… – Burns and his favorite word.

New trending GIF tagged tv cartoon the simpsons… – Nerd!

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons woody allen… – That’s noted taxpayer Willie Nelson, not Woody Allen.

24
Apr
15

Reading Digest: Perfectly Timed Door Slam Edition

Lisa's Substitute11

“I’m glad I’m not crying, because I would hate for you think that what I’m about to say is based on emotion.  But you, sir, are a baboon!” – Lisa Simpson
“Me?” – Homer Simpson
“Yes, you!  Baboon!  Baboon!  Baboon!  Baboon!” – Lisa Simpson
“I don’t think you realize what you’re saying.” – Homer Simpson
“Baboon!” – Lisa Simpson

First off, sorry for the lack of Compare & Contrast this week.  I’m still in the thick of it at work and didn’t have time.  (Things will – he typed hopefully – ease off starting next week.)  In regular news, we’ve got some great links this week, including outstanding fan art (there’s a whole exhibition of the stuff!), a brand new Simpsons blog, some excellent usage, and an on-point article about one of those perfect little subtleties in “Lisa’s Substitute” (which, coincidentally enough, aired for the first time twenty four years ago tomorrow).

Enjoy.

The Timing of a Door Slam on The Simpsons – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this fantastic observation about the end of “Lisa’s Substitute”.  It’s one of those things you don’t notice because it’s so flawlessly done.  Well worth a click.

Simpsons-inspired art exhibition opens in Liverpool – With lots and lots of pics!  The Marge mirror and the Thrillhouse thing are outstanding.

The Simpsons’ top 30 movie references – Great list (although it bafflingly leaves out The Shining) at Den of Geek.  Two unsurprising things deserve note: 1) none of the entries are from Zombie Simpsons and 2) they don’t mention that at all because nobody wants the hassle.

Ted Cruz loves ‘The Simpsons,’ but he botched his favorite quote – He was close enough for moderate usage.

A Trap Music-Style Remix of Homer Simpson’s ‘Treehouse of Horror’ Meltdown – Pretty good.

10 Simpsons Characters As Real Humans – A decent collection of comparisons that have mostly been done before.

Cocktail Recipe: The Marge Simpson – I’d probably go with gin over vodka, but that’s just me.

MR. BURNS: A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY to Run 5/13-6/7 at Portland Playhouse – And the play goes to Portland.

The Character Files: Rafael – He’ll always be the Sarcastic Guy to me.

The Character Files: Very Tall Man – I do find him comic while driving his automobile, but I probably wouldn’t say that to his face.

Catch-23 No. 27 ‘Big Other’ Part 8 – Heh.

Instagram Crush: @madnails – Great set of Simpsons nail art.

5 ‘Simpsons’ Characters You Didn’t Know Were Voiced By Hank Azaria – Uproxx must do good pageviews on their endless array of Simpsons posts.  I’m certainly in favor of them keeping it up.

‘Simpsons’ Photos To Describe Losing Your Virginity – What about that Stock Footage Festival the kids went to?

Moving Away from Evergreen Terrace – For anyone wondering why the DVDs got canned, this, from a longtime fan, should explain things:

When the season 17 set was released last December, I held off on buying it because it didn’t feel worth the week-of-release sale price. We have to have it someday because Sideshow Bob is on the cover, but perhaps we can wait for Black Friday pricing. No hurry. We haven’t even cracked open the season 16 set.

Habit buying ain’t gonna pay the freight.

Top 5: Television Cartoon Dogs – Santa’s Little Helper comes in at #3, though I can’t really argue with Scooby at #1.

The Classic Simpsons Battle Royale! – Another site is going through the episodes, tournament style.

Round 1, Battle 1 – Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy VS I Married Marge – That’s a tough one.

Round 1 Battle 2 – Old Money vs Like Father Like Clown – Also a tough one.

Round 1 Battle 3 – (S. 12, Ep.6) The Computer Wore Menace Shoes vs (S. 10, Ep. 23) Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo – Whereas here I can just go with Season 10.

Crack open a virtual Duff with Homer Simpson on his legendary couch – Someone created a virtual Simpson home you can wander about if you happen to be wearing one of those VR headsets.

This episode of Mad Men felt like a spinoff – Excellent reference:

Todd VanDerWerff: Do you guys remember that one episode of The Simpsons “The Simpsons Spin-off Showcase”? Airing in season eight, it purported to show three separate proposed spinoffs from the series, including a cop show, a stupid gimmick sitcom, and a variety show. The terribleness of the ideas was the point — this is what television networks do when left to their own devices, the episode seemed to snark.
Well, I feel roughly similarly about “New Business,” which feels for much of its running time like “The Mad Men Spinoff Showcase.”

All shows must die — even Game of Thrones – Excellent usage:

In The Simpsons episode “Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie” — which, by virtue of being a Simpsons episode about the internal machinations of television, makes it one of our best excoriations about how stupid the internal machinations of television are — Homer is drafted to provide the voice of Poochie, a hip dog brought in to revitalize the flagging cat-and-mouse cartoon show. For his first voice session, he’s understandably nervous: “Is this episode going on the air live?” he asks. “Very few cartoons are broadcast live,” an old hand reassures him. “It’s a terrible strain on the animators’ wrists.”

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons homer simpson… – a deer, a female deer!

New trending GIF tagged simpsons weed homer simpson… – Homer disappearing into marijuana instead of a hedge.

CMW 2015 Preview: First You Get The Sugar – “Foreign Lands” – We’ve got another band named after a Simpsons quote.  I do so enjoy these.

“A Star Is Burns” – The Simpsons Season 6 episode review – A little love for one of Season 6’s many gems.

Ten funny gene names – part 2 – I learned something today:

2. Maggie – Fruit flies with a mutated Maggie gene results in arrested development, like Maggie Simpsons from the cartoon series The Simpsons.

Trial and Error – And finally, I get to end with some academic types who agree with us:

For the group survey and interview assignment my group and I have decided to look at how families are represented in television sitcoms and if it has changed over time, with specific reference to The Simpsons (pre 2000) and Modern Family.

No point going beyond that.

10
Apr
15

Reading Digest: Still Waiting For Renewal Edition

New Kid on the Block23

“You’ve been flushing for twenty minutes.  Is there a problem?” – Principal Skinner
“Uh, no, Principal Skinner.” – Jimbo Jones
“Very well.  I’ll continue to wait.” – Principal Skinner

As near as anyone can tell, the show remains without an official renewal.  Eika Isabel Vega, who’s been a real good sport about me using her Twitter feed to track the potential death of her job, tweeted this an hour ago:

VegaTweet2My guess is still that it’ll be renewed, but it looks like production is beginning to shut down, so we’ll see what happens.  In regular link news, this week we’ve got some great fan art, the death of DVDs, emoji Simpsons, a look back at when the show knew how to inject culture into its episodes, and more.

Enjoy.

11 Minimalist Simpsons Posters – Oh, wow, some of these are outstanding.  And you can download them as wallpapers if you like.

And now for something completely silly – Classic Simpsons quotes told through emojis.  A sample:

emojiquote

There’s a few more at the link.  The dogs with bees in their mouths in inspired.

The Similarities Between Saul Goodman And Lionel Hutz – Pretty much the same guy.

Jerkface – The Donut Mobile – Someone painted a small truck with Homer and donuts.  Excellent.

The Simpsons Outlives DVD Market – Darn, I guess I’ll never get to own all those great Season 18 episodes.  Then I will hug and kiss some poisonous snakes.

No More Simpsons Seasons Released on DVD – Reader John H. sends in this IGN link, with a picture/headline juxtaposition that doesn’t quite convey the sadness the article presumes to be occurring among fans:

WooHooNoMoreDVDs

Heh.

Pixar’s Brad Bird Talks French Food, Animated Rats And New Film ‘Tomorrowland’ – Bird was on some NPR show and they gave him a truly dumb Simpsons quiz near the end.  He missed one, but the impression he was supposed to be guessing was terrible.

128th-Final, Round 6: Itchy & Scratchy Land vs. Bart Sells His Soul – That’s a tough one.

11 best uses of bad grammar from The Simpsons – There are about three Zombie Simpsons entries on here, which is three too many considering they left out “perfectly cromulent”, “no more apples in the vending machine please”, and Lionel Hutz not working on contingency.

iOS 8.3 Emoji with ‘Simpsons’ complaints – Definitely a bit of resemblance there.

Locating Springfield, A Simpsons Theory. – Enjoyably pointless.  Heh.

The Simpsons and King Arthur – Ah, for when the show made pointed little cultural insights a habit:

During its second season, The Simpsons aired an episode entitled “Dead Putting Society,” about a miniature-golf match between Bart Simpson and his neighbor Todd. What qualifies this episode as a “medieval afterlife” is the miniature-golf setting itself. On Bart’s first visit, it’s introduced by a sign at the entrance: “Sir Putt-a-Lot’s Merrie Olde Fun Center,” with a cartoon icon of a jousting knight; further attractions listed include “Her Majesty’s Batting Cage” and “Merlin’s Video Dungeon.” The “Merrie Olde Fun Center” itself, shown in the background, is a pseudo-medieval castle, and throughout the episode attentive viewers may catch sight of signs for “Ye Olde” everything: “Ye Olde End of Course,” etc.
I’m always charmed by this episode because these post-medieval features are treated as throwaways: they’re not necessary to the plot, and no one calls attention to them; indeed, the viewer has to slo-mo through the entrance sign if s/he is to appreciate the Fun Center’s features. It’s all just part of the lower-middle-class decor, and thus reflects an important aspect of the medieval Arthurian afterlife in the USA: its association with class aspirations. Everyone has seen a trailer park or motel named “King Arthur’s Court,” and the creators of The Simpsons clearly understood this phenomenon as widespread enough to be satirized for the TV audience.

Welcome to Springfield, U.S.A!!! – Having a few of the Seven Duffs as shrubbery is pretty cool.

My New Favorite Cardigan – One of those Hello Kitty/Simpsons sweaters out in the wild on a real person.  Looking good.

this makes me really want donuts – Animated .gif of Homer in Hell, eating all the donuts in the world.

New trending GIF tagged tv dancing the simpsons… – Homer wants candy.

New trending GIF tagged dancing the simpsons martin… – Finland, let’s see that native dance.

03
Apr
15

Reading Digest: Eating Like Homer Edition

Simpson Tide9

“Gentlemen, there’s only one solution: we place this last donut in the reactor core, exposing it to radiation, thereby making it big!” – Homer Simpson

This week we’ve got two links to great moments in food related Simpsons fandom, one on the consumption side and one on the production side.  Happily, both of them are even videos, so you don’t have to reduce your boredom by reading anything.  In addition to that, the play is spreading like the Osaka Flu, we’ve got three late obituaries, lots of drawings of Milhouse, a couple people who agree with us, another Simpsons-movie casting mashup, and more.

Enjoy.

Man recreates scene of homer pigging out on couch – Fantastic:

Bye bye belt!

10 illustrated tributes to The Simpsons’ Milhouse – More of “Milhouse from Memory”.  Damns, some of those are really cool.

Gone Girl: Cool Girls and Yellow Trash – Our friends over a Flim Springfield have done another of their .gif heavy casting calls.  Officer Marge as Kim Dickens is inspired.

The ‘Simpsons’ Episode That Introduced Homer To The Real World – A nice writeup of “Secrets of a Successful Marriage” by our old friend Johnny Sugar.  Also, there’s YouTube.

Principal Charming – Love this line:

“Homer, lighten up. You’re making Happy Hour bitterly ironic.”

Also, Noah would like some suggestions:

(EDITOR’S NOTE: While this will always primarily be a “rewatch-’em-all” blog, I’m thinking about occasionally doing posts about other Simpsons-related things, such as characters, locations, lists, what-have you. I’m criminally wishy washy, so if you’ve read this far, I beg you [please?] for some input. Advance thanks!)

Hmm, how about Ghost Mutt?  Or, like Hans Moleman in this episode, a look at the first (or only) time we see characters?

In search of some Modern Art – Tastefully and artistically done nude of Patty & Selma.

Posters from McGarnagle: The Movie and other films from The Simpsons – I’ve seen some of these before, but whoever put a Jay Sherman “Reprehensible” quote on the McBain poster was a genius.

‘Simpsons’-‘Goodfellas’ Lawsuit: Fox Wants To End $250M Suit – FOX has responded to that weird, longshot lawsuit.  I continue not to care.

The Simpsons Expansion at Universal Studios Hollywood [Video Walkthrough] – Would you like to watch a three-and-a-half minute YouTube of someone else walking through an amusement park in California?

VR vs. School – I will buy a VR system as soon as I can go where Genghis Khan goes, defile what he defiles, and eat who he eats.

Confusion Is Sex (1983) – A discussion of Sonic Youth that includes the obligatory Simpsons mention:

It’s obvious Sonic Youth didn’t get on The Simpsons off the back of this record. Nor did they want to. This is not the album of a band whose objective was mainstream success, rather the album of a band who just wanted to do their own thing and cater for the fans of their local music scene.

Of course, the blog header for their month of Sonic Youth is those damn kids eating Peter Frampton’s watermelon.

OakOak pays tribute to Banksy & Homer Simpson – Excellent Homer donut art.

Giant Donut Cake – And speaking of donuts, holy shit:

Full recipe at the link.

Twentieth Century Fox readies merchandise with new ally – If you live in India, FOX is preparing to blast the merchandising cannon at you directly:

Dream Theatre has tied up with Bio World, a Delhi-based manufacturer and distributor, specialising in licensed merchandise. It had earlier partnered with The Simpsons’ franchise outside of India.
“The Simpsons has a huge fan following and with direct-to-retail now an option, thanks to e-commerce, we plan to launch the apparel range in the coming months. The fact that our audience is also an avid user of the e-commerce platform makes it better for business,” says George. He adds that with a franchise that has been around for 26 years, it makes sense to have as many merchandising options as possible.
“We want to go as horizontal as possible with The Simpsons. Apparel and accessories are the most obvious routes, but there is a lot of scope in the novelty, gifts, collectibles and figurines segments. In fact, within accessories, we have products like mobile cases which are popular with young adults. So, you see, the scope to scale up is huge with The Simpsons,” he says.

I know those words, but that sentence makes no sense.

Tickets to Outside the March’s ‘MR. BURNS’ Now on Sale – The play goes to Toronto.

The Ball State Daily – And Indiana.

‘Simpsons’-inspired ‘Mr. Burns’ presents Bart as art – And here’s a review of the Minneapolis one.

Analog Stick’s – Top 3 most overrated games of all time – Simpsons Hit & Run makes the list.

Phil Hartman – Our old friend Gran2 has a new project called “Late Obituaries”.

Leonard Nimoy – They’re short but informative.

Sam Simon – And many, but not all, have a Simpsons bent.

Las Enseñanzas de los Simpsons – Heh.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons the simpsons… – Homer getting back with the people, the young people.

New trending GIF tagged tv cartoon the simpsons… – His jiggling is almost hypnotic.

New trending GIF tagged tv cartoon the simpsons… – Homer doing the standard scream.

New trending GIF tagged love simpsons talking phone… – Sounds delish, he’ll just throw on some jeans and . . . wait, who is this?

117 – Adaptation and Bart’s Soul – Don’t feel bad, lots of people were unfamiliar with the works of Pablo Neruda:

I learned about Pablo Neruda from the Simpsons in an episode where Bart sells his soul. I learned about classic film, scientific theories and television history from them as well. The Simpsons led me to consume better art and comedy. It may be the easiest pop culture touchstone to praise.

Day 198- Simpsonized – Continuing from last week, more simpsonized portraits.

Day 199-Simpsonized – See above.

Day 200-Simpsonized – See above.

Day 201- Simpsonized – Last one, since from here it moves onto The Jetsons.

“You couldn’t fool your mother on the foolingest day of your life if you had a electrified fooling machine!” – With a little YouTube.

TV Pick of the Day – Wednesday 1 April – And finally, I get to end with someone who agrees with us:

Lemon of Troy is a classic Simpsons episode in which the neighbouring town of Shelbyville (boo, hiss etc) steals Springfield’s prized lemon tree. This may not sound like much of a plot but, in the capable hands of The Simpsons’ finest writers, it becomes one of my favourite episodes of all time. My favourite gag centres around Springfield’s belief that the residents of Shelbyville have a tendency towards inbreeding. Awesome.

Watch it for: The incest gag, the Shelbyville doppelgängers, a reminder of how good this show used to be.

But their cousins are so attractive!

27
Mar
15

Reading Digest: The Simpsons Will Outlive Us All Edition

Bart's Friend Falls in Love17

“Hey, Bart, according to this magazine, in another million years man’ll have an extra finger.” – Lisa Simpson
“Five fingers?  Eww, freakshow.” – Bart Simpson

For obvious reasons, this site takes the position that The Simpsons was and is the greatest show ever.  (Zombie Simpsons naturally excluded.)  Of course, plenty of people disagree about that for one reason or another, but the nice thing about being a Simpsons advocate is that I get to cite examples, lots of them.

For instance, this week we have a link to an article about the best sitcom of the 1990s, the author presumes that The Simpsons is grander than all of them and excludes it because it isn’t quite a sitcom.  We also have an interview with Anne Washburn, author of the Mr. Burns play, in which she discusses considering and rejecting a number of other television shows for her premise.  We also also have someone explicitly saying the show will never die while pretending to praise Zombie Simpsons.  And that’s before we get into the tattoos.  And while I can think of no reliable source of information to prove it, I’m willing to bet that Simpsons is the most tattooed show in history.  Oh, and we’ve got usage, fan art, and all the other usual stuff.

Enjoy.

35 Simpson Tattoos – Whoa, are there some good ones in there.  I’m partial to Homer as the jack-in-the-box from “Treehouse of Horror II”, Rod and Todd on the thumbs, and Floreda.  Baphomet Lisa is pretty evil too.  As a bonus, here’s another one via Maggie Roswell’s Twitter:

C.M. Burns tattoo

BWW Interviews: MR. BURNS, A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY’s Anne Washburn Ponders Pop Culture After the Apocalypse – The play is coming to Minneapolis, and this is a great observation:

Q: What about “The Simpsons” do you think captures people’s imaginations enough that it would survive a nuclear meltdown?
A: I think people would remember really enjoying it. And it’s a show in which the humor is so verbally precise that lots of people enjoy the act of remembering it even now, and so I think chunks of it would be in readiness.

“verbally precise”, yes.

NewsRadio was the best sitcom of the 1990s – The link above also has a bit about other shows she considered, but statements like this are part of the reason why The Simpsons won out:

This is a high honor. The ’90s featured a host of great sitcoms. There was Seinfeld and Roseanne and Frasier and Friends and The Larry Sanders Show, all shows that are the ancestors of so many great shows on the air right now. (They also had the golden years of The Simpsons, which I don’t classify as a “sitcom,” because it’s animated. Accuse me of splitting hairs, if you must.)

You can have a debate about Newsradio versus other shows.  You cannot have one about The Simpsons.  It’s so absurd that it gets its own explanatory parenthetical in the opening paragraph of an argumentative article at a mainstream media site.

The Simpsons Get A Film Noir Makeover – Some of these paintings I’ve linked before, but I think the Mr. Plow one might be new.  It is gorgeous.

Don’t Have A Cow, Man – This is true:

As a child, I was allowed to watch The Simpsons.

Other children my age weren’t so lucky. Some parents considered The Simpsons as an evil that could negatively effect the minds of their innocent children. It was to be avoided at all costs.

Usually when I see that statement, it’s “As a child, I was NOT allowed”.  Good on your folks.

Northland, Politics, Transport, and Pork – Via reader James T. comes this piece of excellent visual usage from New Zealand:

Why is this important? Well, I suspect what all of these conservative parties have done, including National, is held focus groups where they’ve asked people whether they support more investment in roads. In response, many of these people have said “yes”. Something like these guys.

itchyscratchypoochieNewZealand

The Simpsons makeup! – The Marge makeup as used by an actual person.  Bravo on the two tones.

Simpson Characters V2 – Fan drawings, including the rather clever and awesome “Sideshow Warhol”.

How ‘The Simpsons’ Became Immortal – This is one of the most halfhearted defenses of Zombie Simpsons I’ve seen in a while:

I quite enjoy the new Simpsons’ episodes. Granted, they are not as great as the glory years, but I quite enjoy the long-running series’ hot takes on political issues.
And, I can always keep re-watching the old stuff, too.

Talk about damning with faint praise.

Tampa Bay Lightning with the A+ Simpsons reference to mock Bruins fans – This is truly excellent usage:

Bruins-Lightning

Hiekkamyrsky Helsingissä – I’m not sure what this all says, but if you scroll down you’ll find a well done Simpsons family, with couch, in beach sand.

March 19, 1990: America loves ‘The Simpsons’; Buffalo, not so much – There’s an image of a TV column from The Buffalo News from twenty-five years ago.  Apparently, “Life on the Fast Lane” didn’t do so hot in the local ratings that week, though the guy (who looks like Ron Swanson) does note that it’s doing much better nationally.  He even closes with this little zinger:

“Elvis” is being marked return to sender, address unknown. ABC is removing its critically acclaimed series from the scheudle and says it will return at a later date. Despite a strong lead-in from “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” “Elvis” has been getting destroyed in the rations nationally by Bart, Homer and the rest of “The Simpsons”.

According to IMDb, ABC dumped the rest of the episodes in the summer then canceled it.

Day 196-Simpsonized – A simpsonized caricature, part the first.

Day 197- Simpsonized – And another.

The Joy of Glitches – I gave up on Tapped Out a while ago, but that is pretty cool looking.

Bartkira! – Is Bender sneaking in there too?

Homer Vs. Lisa And The 8th Commandment – The Mt. Sinai parts are just fantastic:

-The animation of Mt. Sinai is terrific. It’s the kind of quality you can only get with hand-drawn animation. I really wish at least one animated show nowadays would go back to hand-drawn. There was a Peanuts special a few years ago that did that, and it gave the cartoon some nice, charming feel.

-There are lots of funny things going on in the background at the beginning. People beating the crap out of each other, guys chasing woman, and my personal favorite: Homer (the thief) stuffing his shirt with calf idols every time the carver-guy turns around.

Don’t worry, they’ll be wandering out there two weeks, tops.

Brazil legend Pele to lease forehead for commercial advertising – Pele is king of the soccer field, to be king of your lapels, use Crestfield wax paper.

How I’m Feeling Of Late – Heh.

Has ‘Bob’s Burgers’ Surpassed ‘The Simpsons’? – Zombie Simpsons?  Of course.  I think they did that about ten minutes into the pilot.

New trending GIF tagged television the simpsons the… – Remember The X-Files?  They’re back.  In .gif form.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons season 8… – Poochie would like you to recycle.

Happy Birthday, Spock! – No reason not to have some more Nimoy love, including Simpsons YouTube.

SMARCH with the Simpsons – And finally, I get to end with someone who agrees with us:

Every Sunday at Tattooed Mom, there are free arts and crafts. For the lousy Smarch weather, we’re going to have a Simpsons themed night. Classic Simpsons episodes will play, Ninties episodes only! You will learn how to draw the Simpsons, color the simpsons and paint eggs from Vincent Price’s Egg Magic.

If you’re in or around Philadelphia, that’s happening Sunday night.

20
Mar
15

Reading Digest: Moar Sam Simon Tributes

LandOfChocolate

Sam Simon was so widely beloved that there was no way to sort through even a part of people’s tributes to him last week.  Now that the noise has settled down and big media outlets are on to the next thing, this week we’ve got a ton more great stuff about the man.  There’s other stuff too, of course, but mostly it’s Simon.

Enjoy.

My buddy Sam Simon. – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this long and loving encomium for Simon by a writer who met him over poker.  It’s long, but it’s a great read.

Someone built all of Springfield in Minecraft to recreate the ‘Simpsons’ opening – Now this is an impressive act of geekery:

There’s a little tour of the place at the link.

Dark Ink Art To Release Dave Perillo’s Second Simpsons Treehouse of Horror Print On March 17, 2015 – I do not have $50.  But that is gorgeous.  (And no Zombie Simpsons!)

The secret heart of The Simpsons – Our old friend Alec Nevala-Lee takes a look at the creative mix that made the show and how it’s impossible to either pin down or overstate Simon’s contribution.

Remember Sam Simon – Well put:

 Sam Simon’s legacy for The Simpsons was the creation of a cartoon that an educated person could watch and not be ashamed at; the humor would be intelligent and not dumb itself down for the lowest common denominator.

The Simpsons pub trivia is SUPER SERIOUS. – A great writeup of the last trivia in Chicago.

Easton Hospital buys site for new hospital in 1915 – Almanac March 11, 2015 – Look at all the neat stuff you can find digging through newspaper archives:

25 years ago: Be cool, dude: In answer to an Express Street Talk question about U.S. Postal Service plans to raise the price of stamps from 25 cents to 30 cents, “Who do you think should be on the new stamp?” Donna Snyder, of Allentown, said, “Tom Petty. I like his tunes.” Joanne Panulla, of Belvidere, said, “Boomer Esiason, he looks great on a football card and he would look even better on a postage stamp.” Said Phillipsburg student Robin Torquati, “Bart Simpson. He’s a cool dude and he’s my idol.”

Bartmania lives on.

Simpsons Homer Dan Castellaneta Remembers Sam Simon – Some nice words from Homer himself:

“I first met Sam while we were doing “The Tracey Ullman Show.” My first memory of him from those days was that although he had already been in the business for a while, he was still kind of a wunderkind.
He’d be sitting there with all these experienced guys — Jerry Belson, Jim Brooks — and there’d be times when people would be stuck for a line. I’d see Sam thinking and talking to himself, and then he would say something. At least 70% to 90% of the time, it would be a really great, succinct line.

Mad Men’s Peggy Olson and the allure of TV spin-offs – Excellent usage:

“Spin-off”! Is there any word more thrilling to the human soul?” Troy McClure, the Simpsons’ fading actor once asked. It’s a question you’d imagine AMC would respond to with a resounding “yes”, given how eagerly they seem to be churning out the things.

Akira, Redrawn Using The Simpsons, Is Incredible – More Bartkira, including a .gif of Bart on the motorcycle.

Robyn Urback: An ode to ‘Simpsons’ co-creator Sam Simon, the most cromulent guy around – We’ve all had moments like this:

Indeed, The Simpsons facilitated a type of cartoon-osmosis through which I learned the songs of an 1878 comedic opera, though that was just one of many worthwhile literary and cultural references I absorbed by staring at the show every weekday. There were references to the Salem Witch Trials, the Freemasons, contemporary American politics, religious and environmental issues and so forth, all delivered through a cartoon cast that was somehow made real. And if you ask those who know the behind-the-scenes of the show best, that was Sam Simon’s doing.

The Glesga Simpsons: student gets creative with Scottish inspired drawings of hit show – Fan made Scottish Simpsons images.

Here’s exactly what would happen if EastEnders characters were in the Simpsons – Heading South from Scotland, here are some fictional Londoners done the same way.

Ranking The Simpsons Season 8 – a review – I’d probably only have “Burns, Baby Burns” and “The Homer They Fall” under the “Meh” category, but at least they’re both there.

Groening and Barry Take New York – I think these two might just make it in showbiz.  Not everyone gets a writeup in The New Yorker.

‘Milhouse From Memory’, A Book Featuring Artists’ Illustrations of Milhouse From ‘The Simpsons’ Drawn From Memory – The link has a couple of samples.  Cool.  (via @DailySimpsons)

RIP: Sam Simon – Our old friend Noah says goodbye in cartoon form.

Let’s NP-Ify: The Simpsons – And has some great sketches of the rest of Springfield.

The Thrill: Kimmy Schmidt, Can-Con, and the Simpsons – A CBC podcast that discusses Simon and his legacy starting at the 26:50 mark.  They also spend some time agreeing with us that the show has gone to hell.

Ron English x Garageworks Industries x The Simpsons 1:1 Bart Grin Sculpture – A four foot tall Bart sculpture with teeth that are borderline H.R. Geiger.  Neat.

The Way We Was – Love this line:

“Get off the edge of your seat. They got married, had kids, and bought a cheap TV, okay?”

Homer Simpson’s Profound Quotes In One Place – Some of these are a little screwy, but at least there’s some YouTube and very little Zombie Simpsons.

128th-Final, Round 4: Homer and Apu vs. Sideshow Bob Roberts – That’s a tough one.

128th-Final, Round 5: The Homer They Fall vs. Lady Bouvier’s Lover – But this is not.

7 Wild ‘Simpsons’ Fan Conspiracy Theories – Reader Dan O. sends in this list of pretty out there theories.  As he said via e-mail:

5. THERE ARE MULTIPLE MOLEMEN. LOL

The Simpsons Meets Metal! – Great fan made metal version of the opening theme song:

The Simpsons – Building an Icon Set by Oliver – Fan made set of Simpsons sketch icons.  Bravo.

Hey, Kwik-E-Mart truck: Where’s the (wadded) beef? – A picture of that truck they sent to SXSW.

Bruce Vilanch to Lead SIMPSONS Writer Mike Reiss’ RUBBLE Reading Next Week – Reiss wrote something (play? movie? I’m not sure):

The story of RUBBLE is as follows: Alvin (Vilanch), an aging, down-on-his-luck comedy writer who — much to his chagrin — has narrowly escaped fortune, fame, and Emmy awards, is on a last-chance meeting with a network executive. During a spirited pitch of his new series idea, “My Brother, The Pope,” a massive earthquake hits LA, leaving him buried up to his neck in a pile of rubble. What ensues are a series of hilarious visits – from his older-and-more-useless-than-dirt agent Lee (Adler) and his ex-wife Brie (Wilson), to a pompous Dad (Still) and a singing and dancing Jesus (Maroulis).

Lisa Simpson’s Guide to Geek Chic (Book Review) – They released another officially licensed book.  Here is a review of it.

April ’15 – Sonic Youth – Once you were on The Simpsons, it defines you forever:

JAMIE: I still remember the very first time I heard of Sonic Youth. It was about 1996 and a 12 year old me was watching an episode of The Simpsons called Homerpalooza.

Vintage-loving hipsters can eat my shorts – Excellent usage, albeit copied and pasted direcrtly from Wikiquote.

Hold on to your hats! – Nebel with a great pull:

In the episode “Brother from the Same Planet,” Homer engages in a long, drawn-out fist fight with Bart’s Bigger Brother, Tom. It wasn’t until I bought the DVD set of season 4 in 2004 that I learned this was a direct reference to the 1952 John Ford film.
Showrunner Al Jean explains in the episode’s audio commentary:
“We were looking to rewrite the ending of the show, and [Sam Simon] suggested that we look at the movie ‘The Quiet Man,’ the John Wayne movie where he and Victor McLaglen have this huge fight that goes all the way across Ireland. And I remember we came in on a Saturday to watch that movie, or to watch at least the fight sequence, which goes on for a long time.
It’s a great fight. Just two huge guys pounding each other all the way across Ireland. And the people in the community really love the fight. John Wayne, at one point, is dragging his wife across town, and a woman comes up and goes, ‘Here’s a stick for you to beat the pretty lady with.’ It’s these attitudes you certainly couldn’t put in a movie now.”

VIDEO: Conan And Zachary Quinto Remember Leonard Nimoy – O’Brien recalls freaking out when he first met Nimoy.

The Simpsons Kwik-E-Mart Comes to LEGO and Second Series of Minifigures – Want to see lots of pictures of the Lego Kwik-E-Mart?  Here you go.

“Stupid sexy Flanders” – True:

During times like this, it may be better to try not to think about the thing we want to remember. Rather, just relax and let your mind wander back to what it’s supposed to be thinking off in the first place.

It includes YouTube.

Ballarat Swap Meet: Barney – Streaking Barney as a hood ornament?  Awesome.

Good Old Classic Homer – “And Maggie Makes Three” really should be the official episode to get parents to let their kids watch the show.

100 Funny Signs From Around Springfield on “The Simpsons” – And very little Zombie Simpsons.

Sam Simon – Please to be forwarding this to the Zombie Simpsons staff:

Simon cuts straight to the heart of the matter. He tells Maron there are 3 rules for good writing:
1. Story above all.
2. Don’t be afraid of the quiet moments.
3. Love your characters.

Can’t Do It: TV Shows I Stopped Watching – This is about when I quit:

When I Bailed: Midway through Season 14

A Sam Simon lament: Depression in the creative industry – Among a discussion of how writing and sadness seem to go together, here’s a full George Carlin quote:

“The biggest problem, though, was that Sam Simon was a fucking horrible person to be around. Very, very funny, extremely bright and brilliant, but an unhappy person who treated other people poorly.”

Universal Studios Hollywood: March 2015 Harry Potter and Simpsons Construction Update – The Simpsons land is coming to California, and there are construction pictures.

Annoying Popcorn, and Some Stuff About Sam Simon – Plenty of us did this:

People think it’s ridiculous to say some entertainment was important for your childhood, but “the Simpsons” really impacted me. I remember watching it in kindergarten, but others say I was interested in it from birth. One of my favourite feelings in the world is lying around on a lazy Saturday, maybe when it’s raining outside, and watching reruns of the show. I did that all the time when I was a kid, and sometimes I still indulge. When I felt lonely being the little kid in the house, I watched the show. When I dreaded going to school the next day, I watched the show. When I came home from the mall where I was supposed to meet my dad – separated from my mum – and he didn’t show up, I watched the show.

It’s a guaranteed pick me up.

The 8 Tragic Misfortunes In ‘Homer At The Bat,’ Ranked – Ozzie Smith needs to be higher here.

Man Seeking Woman Creator: The Simpsons is Behind Every Great TV Comedy – It’s true!:

I’m sure the cause is a lot of factors as to why TV has gotten so good, and some are cultural, some are just a shift in commercial realities, but if I had to point to one thing, I would say it’s The Simpsons. I know that sounds simplistic, but I think 25 years ago, nobody had ever seen The Simpsons, and now, every comedy writer has seen The Simpsons, and as a result, comedy in America has gotten funnier. I’ve never been in a writers room before where somebody didn’t reference The Simpsons once an hour. I don’t know how you would ever write a good show without constantly trying not to rip off a specific Simpsons script. So if I had to point to one factor, it would just be the fact that every comedy writer in 2015 has seen between 50 and 200 episodes of The Simpsons.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons mr burns… – Mr. Burns tenting his fingers.

New trending GIF tagged cartoon the simpsons the… – Blinky blinking.

New trending GIF tagged cartoons & comics cartoon… – Homer lounging in Herb’s pool.

New trending GIF tagged kiss 90s retro simpsons… – Homer kissing Flanders.

The Password Is: The Simpsons – How the show can warp on-line dating.

R.I.P. Sam Simon (1955-2015) – A fitting send off ends with:

There was a great outpouring of mourning and gratitude on social media following the news of Simon’s passing. All that can be said has been said by the right people.
So all I can say is: Thanks, Sam.

Amen.

18
Mar
15

Compare & Contrast: Vintage Duff Commercials

Duffless14

“Only Duff fills your Q zone with pure beer goodness.  So drink up, and up, and up!” – Cartoon Doctor
“Duff Beer, proud sponsors of Amos ‘n Andy!” – Narrator 

It’s always nice when Zombie Simpsons provides a wealth of options for Compare & Contrast.  For “Waiting for Duffman”, I could’ve gone with Homer quitting drinking like he did in “Duffless”.  Of course, there he quits because Marge thinks he might have a problem and we see just how awful and ubiquitous beer advertising really is, whereas here he gets a fake microchip implanted in him and screams a lot.  I could’ve also gone with the Duff calendar contest from “Pygmoelian” against that hapless, celebrity voiced reality show facsimile they strung together this week.  I almost contrasted the time Lisa rejected being a corporate spokeshack in “Lisa the Beauty Queen” with Homer’s abrupt and nonsensical about face as Duffman.  Hell, I could’ve even gone with Homer being dropped into a store’s publicity event, which is done much better in “Homie the Clown” than it was this week.

Instead, I want to take a detailed look at that one-dimensional Yogi Bear beer commercial and how poorly it fares next to the one Homer and Barney see on the brewery tour in “Duffless”.  The premises here are exactly the same: wildly sleazy commercials from a time when advertising could get away with even more than they can these days.  The differences are all in the execution.

The problems with the Zombie Simpsons version begin even before the commercial itself.  The scene preceding the commercial is that big Game of Thrones montage that takes up nearly a minute and a half.  That thing finishes with Homer taking an oath in this room:

GameofThronesMontageEnding

From there, the family and the beer guy are walking in this hall:

HeyAHallway

And from there, with nary a single word of intervening or introductory dialogue, they walk over to a TV and start watching:

HeyATelevision

Normally, I accuse Zombie Simpsons of overexplaining things, be they jokes, plot points, or whatever.  (And Jebus knows they do that enough elsewhere in this one.)  But this is them actually doing the opposite.  We can infer from the stuff on the walls that they’re in some kind of Duff museum, but the beer guy doesn’t appear to be giving them a tour (he certainly isn’t saying anything) and the TV they walk up to just snaps on without any of them so much as even looking at it.  Immediately they all stare at it and we go into the commercial in full.  There’s no transition, no continuity, just one unrelated bit stuck between two others.

By contrast, at the Duff Brewery in “Duffless”, not only do we know where they are and why they’re there, but we get a quick introduction that sets up the commercial.  The tour guide, fresh off denying that a batch of Duff had been contaminated with strychnine, says:

Here’s one of our favorite Duff beer commercials from the early 1950s.

This is how you set up a bit: it’s short, the tour guide is still in character with his fake pride (“one of our favorite”), and it seamlessly drops in the historical context.  From there we get the commercial itself, which is wall to wall with jokes at the expense of both Duff and the 1950s: “q zone”, the doctor telling people to drink “up, and up and up”, and, of course, “Proud Sponsors” of Amos & Andy, last and grandest of the nakedly racist mainstream minstrel shows.

FavoriteCommercials

Plus, look what Wikipedia just told me:

Adapted to television, The Amos ‘n Andy Show was produced from June 1951 to April 1953 with 78 filmed episodes, sponsored by the Blatz Brewing Company.

Real life Amos ‘n’ Andy was actually sponsored by a very Duff like beer brand, that’s fantastic!  That’s the kind of density this show has: it’s twenty years later and I just got something new.

Compare that with the unintroduced, not quite Yogi Bear ad.  This is the full transcript:

Narrator: When life looks hopeless, it’s not.

Chorus: Duff beer, feeling no pain/
Made from Canadian rain

Chorus: Tastes like nickle champagne/
Not Yogi: It will tickle your brain

Animals: Duff beer, feeling no pain/
Made from Canadian rain

By Zombie Simpson standards, that song is pretty good.  It only repeats a lyric once, and it doesn’t even have a clock eating montage stuffed into it.

But it also takes much longer than the commercial in “Duffless”, and, worse, it doesn’t come at the expense of anyone but Yogi.  It’s just this little, self contained thing that, however funny it may or may not be on its own, can be dropped into a random scene because it relates to precisely nothing else in the episode.

In addition to being part of an episode that goes out of its way to mock beer and beer advertising, the “Duffless” commercial had a point: the 1950s sucked and we are well rid of them.  Justly deserved ridicule is rained down on commercials where beer gets sold with health claims, minstrel shows on television, and the people dumb enough to fall for the former while enjoying the latter.  The Yogi hunting commercial, on the other hand, is little more than cartoon violence.

DeadAnimalHeads

Ha ha, they got shot [snare drum].

And while there’s nothing wrong with cartoon violence (I’m certainly a fan), if you want to be The Simpsons or even pretend to, you need more than just that.  Your beer commercial needs to be part and parcel of a larger whole; one that itself is making fun of huge variety of subjects.  It’s a tall order, I know, and Zombie Simpsons is never up to it, but The Simpsons always was.

13
Mar
15

Sam Simon Roundup

138th Episode Spectacular3

Did you know he drew this?  I didn’t know that.

“You looked so peaceful lying there.” – Marge Simpson
“There’ll be plenty of time for that!  I got tons of important stuff to do!” – Homer Simpson

This post was originally going to go up Tuesday, then Wednesday, then yesterday, but I kept finding more great Simon articles to add.  Regular Reading Digest will be back next week, including all the non-Simon stuff I missed from this week.  Several of these are from @DailySimpsons and @rubbrcatsimp, both of which are great follows if you want news and quotes from the show.

By Ken Levine: My thoughts on Sam Simon – I will leave you with two brief excerpts from Ken Levine’s goodbye note, but it’s worth clicking on in full right now:

In 1985 David Isaacs and I created a series for Mary Tyler Moore. For reasons I won’t go into here, it was a nightmare. We knew Sam Simon from our time on CHEERS. He graciously agreed to join the staff and help on this Mary project. As things went from bad to worse to the brink of thermonuclear war, Sam stood by us. Most of the other writers bolted. Not Sam. He steadfastly hung in there with us. Honestly, we could not have done it without Sam. For that and that alone I have always loved Sam Simon. He could do no wrong in my book.

And:

I worked with Sam on seven series and pilots. He attended family seders, special occasions, and he spoke at my SITCOM ROOM seminar (telling students that sitcoms were dead – thanks for that). He had a wicked sense of humor, even during his recent suffering. A few months ago, when PBS aired the Roger Ebert documentary he was tweeting “get to the cancer already.”

Ha.

‘Simpsons’ producer Al Jean remembers Sam Simon – It always has been one of my favorite lines:

“Here’s a joke that he put in in a show that was written with him and Matt [Groening, the show’s creator] and Mike and me. Bart is doing something to be popular and Homer goes, ‘Son, being popular is the most important thing in the world.’ And that kind of summed up The Simpsons, where it’s this dad giving what seems to be TV Dad advice, but it’s the worst advice in the world. It’s what no TV Dad should ever say. There were very few jokes that encapsulated The Simpsons as perfectly as that one.

Sam Simon (1955 – 2015) – Our old friend over at rubbercat.net/simpsons wrote the best and most complete obituary I saw, and it’s got a ton of great links.

RIP, Sam Simon: How a lone fear led to creating a key character on ‘The Simpsons’ – Great story:

“He was a hard guy. He was a really tough guy,” Silverman tells Comic Riffs. “He gave me a dismissive hand at first.”
One of the show’s first-season episodes, though, proved a turning point. Silverman — who had also worked on the 1989 TV short, “The Simpsons: Family Therapy” — wanted a prominent onscreen credit for directing the episode “Bart the General.” Simon, ever the writer, told Silverman he would give him that screen credit if Silverman could prove that directors really made a difference.
After Silverman directed the episode, he went to the dubbing session. There, with a credit as prominent as the writer’s, was Silverman’s directing nod.
“The guy in the session said to me: ‘You proved it.’ Sam was tough, but fair.”

Sam Simon: 1955–2015 – And another great story:

He was the funniest dying person I’d ever met. He found it hilarious that people were praying for him, because he was an atheist, and because the idea of fans asking God to heal the cocreator of a show like The Simpsons was inherently ridiculous: “It must be His least favorite show.” Toward the end of our conversation, his assistant brought him a stack of printed email messages. Media requests from various outlets. He sifted through them and grinned. “I wish publicity cured cancer,” he said.

‘Simpsons’ Co-Creator Sam Simon’s Battle Over Three-Eyed Fish – I did not know this, but apparently the show pissed off the nuclear industry so badly that they got to take a tour of a nuclear plant.  That’s how you know it’s good comedy: when it can get you past two layers of razor wire and twenty-four hour armed guards.

How Sam Simon Helped Make The Simpsons What It Is Today – This is a little clueless in terms of being about the show.  (The author calls “Treehouse of Horror” a “crucially underrated moment”, because, you know, nobody remembers the Halloween ones.)  But it’s nice to see this in the toniest of tony Eastern magazines:

the cultural legacy of The Simpsons cannot be understated.

How Tension Between Sam Simon and Matt Groening Built “The Simpsons” – Speaking of tony and Eastern, The New Republic, everybody:

Simon was as responsible as anyone for the unique “Simpsons” sensibility, that combination of gleeful impudence and populist courtesy

You had me right up until “populist courtesy”.  What the hell does that mean?

Sam Simon Dead: ‘Simpsons’ Co-Creator Dies at 59 – This is true:

Decades later, he told Stanford magazine of “The Simpsons”: “It was largely based on what I didn’t like about the Saturday-morning cartoon shows I worked on. ‘The Simpsons’ would have been a great radio show. If you just listen to the sound track, it works.”

Sam Simon Wiki: 5 Great ‘The Simpsons’ Moments From His Era – A video heavy appreciation of some of the innovations of the early seasons.

Seth MacFarlane was nice:

Had the mind of Sam Simon not paved the way for all of us in primetime animation, I wouldn’t have a job. He will be sorely missed.

Via David Silverman on Twitter, here’s (L to R), Wes Archer, Silverman, Rich Moore and Simon looking like a bunch of high school kids on their way to prom:

SimonArcherSilvermanMoore1990

Mike Scully with a great little story:

In 1985 @simonsam, who I had never met, called to go thru my spec Cheers script & gave me great notes & encouragement. Best rejection ever.

25 Years Later, This ‘Simpsons’ Episode Still Hits Too Close To Home – “Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish” was prescient in far too many ways.  Simon wrote it with Swartzwelder.

Sam Simon, Co-Creator of The Simpsons and Atheist Philanthropist, Dies at 59 – I did not know this:

“People say I’m trying to buy my way into heaven, which I don’t believe in. So that can’t be true,” Sam says. He paid for those atheist billboards that make news from time to time. Like the one by the Lincoln Tunnel, in New York, that read, IT’S A MYTH, on a picture of the stars over Bethlehem.

“The Simpsons” wouldn’t have been “The Simpsons” without Sam Simon – Good point:

Simon’s lasting effects on pop culture can be found in slightly more indirect ways as well. Just look at the accomplishments of former Simpsons staffers like Brad Bird (“The Iron Giant,” “The Incredibles,” “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol”), Greg Daniels (“King of the Hill,” “The Office,” “Parks and Recreation”), David Silverman (“Monsters, Inc,” “The Road to El Dorado”), Jim Reardon (“Wall-E,” “Wreck-It Ralph”), and O’Brien, among so many others. Granted, they weren’t all Simon’s hires. But without his guidance, the show wouldn’t have lasted long enough to employ any of them.

I know that Daniels and O’Brien are more famous than Bird, Silverman and Reardon, but Simson did hire those three guys.  No need to pad the list.

Sam Simon – Chris Ledesma tweeted out his blog post from two years ago when Simon announced he had cancer.  This is a great image:

What I do remember is that he was very funny off the top of his head, he laughed heartily at things he thought were funny, and he was seldom without a cigar between his teeth.

I Hope To Die As Well As Sam Simon Did – Don’t we all?

Something called Voodoo Doughnut did this awesome tribute:

VoodooDonut

Maybe it’s not the best thing to say about the recently deceased, but I would eat the shit out of his jacket and head.

Was Sam Simon-era Simpsons the show’s golden age? – Half of it, yes.  This has been simple answers to simple questions.  (Oh, and I will argue the merits of Season 1 any time.)

I’ve linked this whole video before, but this seems like an appropriate send off:

06
Mar
15

Reading Digest: Snowmen Edition

Marge Be Not Proud12

“Check it out, boy, it’s like looking into a living snow mirror.” – Homer Simpson

Two different people in St. Louis decided to use this winter to make some snow Simpsons.  One is just Homer, but the other is the whole family and the couch.  It’s great.  In other impressive fan feats this week, there’s glow in the dark zombie Simpsons, a zombie Springfield, a grammar rodeo t-shirt, and money.  In addition to that we’ve got some excellent usage, lots of Nimoy links, reviews of old episodes and Season 7, and someone who literally agrees with us.

Enjoy.

Zombie Simpsons MAGGIE by Undead Ed Glows in the D by Undead-Art – A Maggie figurine, zombified.  There are lots more, including the rest of the family, Burns, Wiggum and Krusty.

Springfield Zombicide Map: (Part One) The Simpson’s House – A fan made look at what Springfield might look like post zombiepocalypse.   Nice touch on the plywood saying “P.S.  Screw Flanders”.

Zombicide in Springfield: Moe’s Tavern – Construction photos of Moe’s.

That’s it! Back to Winnipeg! – Excellent fan made National Grammar Rodeo t-shirt.

The Simpsons – The Springfield Files (Review) – A very thorough discussion of how The Simpsons and The X-Files complimented each other.  Also, heh:

o cite a convenient example of The Simpsons‘ anti-authoritarian leanings, The Complete Guide to The Simpsons pointed out that the episode which aired directly before The Springfield Files – the classic El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer – included a “blink and you miss it” gag about government surveillance. In a joke that seems even harsher in 2015, a quick peek through the Simpson family floorboards reveals that the phone is tapped by (handily labeled wires to) the CIA, FBI, ATF, NSA, KGB and MCI. No wonder the Cigarette-Smoking Man got down so quickly.

Money Art by Donovan Clark – One dollar bills with various characters on them, including Homer, Otto and Wiggum.

In Post-Apocalyptic ‘Mr. Burns,’ ‘The Simpsons’ Are, Literally, Legendary – The San Francisco version has opened to the customary positive reviews.

Hipp regulars light up stage in dark comedy ‘Mr. Burns’ – The play has also made it to Florida.  Like most things, it probably won’t get out alive.

Exploring ‘Trilogy Of Error,’ The Most Ambitious ‘Simpsons’ Episode Ever – I’ve never found it funny, but it is impressive in its way.

Jonathan Bradley on Instagram: “Feels like I’m drinking nothing at all… nothing at all… nothing at all…” – Flanders beer:

SexyFlandersBeer

Remembering Leonard Nimoy’s Enduring Pop Culture Reach: Bilbo, The Simpsons and Big Bang – It’s been a week, but who couldn’t use a little more Nimoy appreciation?

10 times Leonard Nimoy proved he was the king of cameos – I didn’t know he was a bad guy on Columbo one time.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons leonard nimoy… – Great .gif of Nimoy beaming out after saving the monorail passengers.

RIP: Leonard Nimoy – Our old friend Noah does a send off.

Fashion Spotlight: Ridley Buster, As You Wish…, and Donut Portal – Donut Portal is great.

HYPE. THE SIMPSONS COLLABORATION – Yet more high fashion Simpsons clothing.

“The Streetsons” – And the Simpsons drawn with their own trendy threads.

The Simpsons Skin Pack now available for Minecraft on Xbox One, Xbox 360 – Excellent reference:

Are you ready to rasta-fy your Minecraft experience by 10%?

Father and son make snow sculpture of the Simpsons – That is fantastic:

SnowCouch

If you watch till the end of the video, you can see the horrific, melted aftermath.  Plus someone else made a Homer:

SnowmanHomer

Ranking all 25 Episodes of The Simpsons Season 7 – There’s a lot more in the “Not Classic” category than I would have, but to each his own.

‘Whoa, Mama!’: A Voice Actress’s Road To Fame As A 10-Year-Old Boy – A four minute NPR segment of Cartwright recalling her audition for Bart.

One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish – There was no way around this:

-The first time I shaved, the scene with Homer teaching Bart how to do it was playing in my head the whole time. Probably because my Dad was the one teaching me how to shave, and he brought the scene up.

I never was able to get the piece of toilet paper thing to work.  Fortunately, it’s much easier to just not cut yourself in the first place.

The Way We Was – Heh:

-Homer: Debate? Like…arguing?
Teacher: Yes.
Homer: I’ll take THAT, you dingpot.
I have no idea what a “dingpot” is, but it’s still a great line.

I’ve always heard it as “stinkpot”, but either way, it is a great line.

Homer Simpson ‘discovered the Higgs boson’ – No, he didn’t, but they did have a similar equation in “The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace”.

11 Best Uses of Bad Grammar from ‘The Simpsons’ – There’s a little Zombie Simpsons in here, but not much.  I love “unfaceuptoable”.

Mid-concert selfie stage invasions – hasn’t Dvorák suffered enough? – Excellent usage:

There’s an episode of Simpsons in which Homer ruins a U2 concert by coming on stage mid-song to boost his campaign to become Springfield’s sanitation commissioner. As the audience boos, Homer explains that he would be, if elected, “the most whack, tripped-out sanitation commissioner ever! Can you dig it?” Not before time the security goons drag him off stage. “Don’t worry, he’ll get the help he needs,” Bono tells the crowd. A video screen behind the band reveals Homer getting his face filled in by the aforementioned goons – totally justifiably in my view – as the band play the richly ironic accompaniment, their song In the Name of Love.

20th Century Fox & FXX Unveil THE SIMPSONS Kwik-E-Mart Truck! – The headline tells you pretty much what you need to know, they’re going to have a traveling food truck trussed up as a Kwik-E-Mart.  The article refers to it as an “activation”.

The Simpsons has been on for a long time… – This August it’ll be five years since the date Lisa was supposed to get married in the future.  Time flies.

A Case of Plagiarism – Competing versions of “what MLB players would Burns hire today”.

Universal Studios: Krusty Burger – Heh:

The Krusty burger is just a regular burger with this yellow sauce on it, I believe it’s cheese? It’s a bit scary, the fact that I can’t tell what I’m eating, but I trust Krusty.

It probably wasn’t circus animals.  Probably.

QC on TV: A Series – Some love for everyone’s favorite attorney.

Hello! Hello! Hello! – .gif of Homer wolfing down NFL snacks.

Lisa Simpson on Thinking – Heh.

Sadly truth – Heh.

The Simpsons – A couple of cool Simpsons logo designs.

17 Simpsons quotes to cheekily work into everyday life – And finally, I get to end with someone who agrees with us:

For me The Simpsons ended around season 13.

Anything after that doesn’t count as The Simpsons I watched at 6pm every night, except not on Saturdays during footy season when Channel 10 had the rights to the Saturday AFL matches.

It didn’t matter if you had seen the episode twenty times beforehand, something was reassuring about knowing the plot and jokes, even the ones you didn’t get because they referenced something from the early to mid 1990s in the United States.

I will continue to refer to The Simpsons in the past tense, as it is how I will always view it.

Agreed.  (Also, there are some great quote suggestions in there.)

20
Feb
15

Reading Digest: Over the Gorge Edition

Bart the Daredevil14

“I’m the king of the world!  Woo-hoo!  Woo-hoo!” – Homer Simpson

The first and best link we have this week is a fan made poster of Homer’s disastrous attempt to teach Bart a lesson.  I cannot recommend it highly enough.  After that there are a bunch of other links to great fan made stuff, including Legos and crayons.  And after that, we’ve got the play moving to America’s wang, a whole website dedicated to Simpsons tattoos, idiotic donut marketing, and more.

Enjoy.

Cool Stuff: Official Mark Englert Simpsons Poster – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this high res poster of Homer not making over Springfield Gorge.  Outstanding.

It’s December 1941 in Casablanca. What time is it in Springfield? – As usual, the fading .gifs for the casting images are great, and “Dr. Wolfe as Major Strasser” is an inspired pick.  But I don’t think Wiggum is smart enough to be Captain Renault.  Rex Banner, maybe?

Milhouse – A fan made Lego Milhouse head.  Click this.  It even has his little cowlick.

Crayola Mini-Scultures of Bob’s Burgers, Simpsons, Groot, and More – The family carved into crayons.  Excellent.

Worst. Tattoos. Ever. – There is an Instagram just for Simpsons tattoos.  Neat.

Matt Groening and Lynda Barry: A loving and productive friendship. – Always nice to see them together:

“We disapprove of each other,” Groening said, after he revealed that he’d once asked Barry to marry him. (Her response: “THE HELL!”) She hates his swank Malibu house, and he calls Wisconsin, where she lives, “colder than Scott Walker’s tit.”

Bart Gets Hit By A Car – Season 2 often creeps up on the unsuspecting:

Well, here’s an episode that’s even better than I remembered. It’s sorta like “Simpson & Delilah”; I remembered it being good, but not as good as it actually was.

I barely moved all day the first time I got my hands on the Season 2 DVDs.

Pop culture unplugged: ‘Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play’ opens at The Hipp – The play goes to Florida, where “post-apocalyptic” just means “Wednesday”.

This Website Tells You Which Episode Your Favorite ‘Simpsons’ Quotes Come From – Daily Simpsons alerted me to this on Twitter.  It’s kinda fun.

Every Scene In “22 Short Films About Springfield,” Ranked – Our old friend Johnny Sugar naturally puts Skinner and the Superintendent at #1.  (Good YouTube there.)

[VIDEO] Christopher Lloyd On ‘The Simpsons’ — Plays Taxi’s Jim Ignatowski – Yes, that was Doc Brown last week on Zombie Simpsons.  No, nobody cares.

Homer Simpson Desk – A fan made animation of a desk way more complicated than Homer would ever use, but that is pretty cool nevertheless.

‘The Simpsons’ Fan Theory: Has Homer Been In A Coma For 20 Years? – No.  This has been simple answers to simple questions.

The Simpsons Is Now Streaming At 4:3, Too – Our long national nightmare is over.

Krispy Kreme Accidentally Promotes KKK Wednesdays, You Know, For Kids! – Via pretty much everyone, British outlets of American donut factories are not the best at marketing.

The most romantic moments in Simpsons history: #2! – I might’ve gone with this as #1, but that’s just me.

The most romantic moments in Simpsons history: #1! – But this isn’t a bad choice:

The police spotlight shining through the colander provides a romantic backdrop while they slow dance to a wonderful version of “Embraceable You”…is it any wonder we chose this for #1? The look of bliss on each of their faces says it all.

Plus there’s honorable mentions.

Happy Valentine’s Day! – Great .gif of Ralph’s empty Valentine’s Day box.

Electric Needle Room… – If you’re going to get facial hair burned off, you might as well cite Homer and Bart.

Bored Gaming: Simpsons Tapped Out – That game is evil, I tells ya, eviiiiil.

2015-16: New Competition in Disneyland’s Local Realm – Looks like the California park is getting the same expansion the Florida one got.

NECA To Release Wave 5 Action Figures Featuring Matt Groening, Lenny Kravitz, Adam West, Stan Lee & Tom Petty – Merchandising, merchandising, where the real money from the teevee show is made.

When Fiction Meets Fiction – And speaking of merchandising, Lego put Homer’s head on the Wolverine figure (plus some other combos).  Meh.

The Simpsons on Twitter: “RT to congratulate Moe on his new position as supervisor! – Twitter interns are the lowest level of the Hollywood totem pole, and pathetic crap like this is why.

The Simpsons has been on for a long time… – Some well deserved love for “Lisa’s Wedding”.

Know-This-Geek of the Week- The Tale of Two Apples….er…One Apple and One Apple… – Some well deserved love for Rich Appel.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons the simpsons… – Homer’s thought process.

13
Feb
15

Reading Digest: Fan Made Donuts & Zombies Edition

King Size Homer21

“Aww, honey, that looks just like a real donut.” – Homer Simpson
“Dad, it says ‘non-toxic’.” – Bart Simpson
“Well, that’s a plus.” – Homer Simpson

This week we have two excellent pieces of fan art, one a painting the other some CGI zombies, and both are great.  Since Bacon Day is tomorrow, we also have a bunch of links involving “I Love Lisa” one way or another, plus some excellent references, Groening on live TV, a protest south of the equator, someone who agrees with me about the lameness of last week’s Zombie Simpsons, and much more.

Enjoy.

Zombie Simpsons by Dan Osborne – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the week are these fan made images of Zombie Krusty, Zombie Krabappel, Zombie Otto and Zombie Willie.  Outstanding.

Rrrrrrrgggggggh~ dOnut on canVas – A picture history of a fan made painting of Homer’s favorite pink donut.  Awesome.

Don’t They Have A Job? People In Bolivia Protest For ‘The Simpsons’ TV Slot – I really wasn’t sure this wasn’t a hoax or a prank, but it appears to be legitimate.  Viva Bolivia!

Tele Tuesday: The Simpsons is Bad and Matt Groening Should Feel Bad – Yup:

I didn’t walk into last Sunday’s episode of The Simpsons expecting anything great. It hasn’t been great—hell, it hasn’t been tolerable—for quite some time. Regardless, I still found myself impressed by the lack of quality.

[…]

mention current affairs–but don’t talk about them in any meaningful way!–in a stream of consciousness storyline whose only humor lies in half-baked one liners. If the show was a horse I wouldn’t suggest taking it out back to shoot it; that would imply it’s alive and suffering. It’s been dead for some time, we’re just looking at a taxidermied corpse, foolishly expecting it to majestically gallop at any minute.

It goes on about how lazy and one dimensional “Walking Big & Tall” really was, especially with nothing but one note fat jokes.

SMarch at Tattooed Mom- Sunday Smarch 29th – For those of you in and around Philadelphia, this sounds pretty neat:

Screening CLASSIC Simpsons episodes … from the 90’s!

[…]

FREE craft projects including
The Infamous Vincent Price and his diabolical Egg Magic kit,
How to Draw the Simpsons,

7 February 2015. WTF! It’s Got to be Russia! – Some cool (and colored) snow sculptures of the family.

A Guide To The Many Loves of Bart Simpson – This is, for obvious reasons, mostly Zombie Simpsons.  I’m only linking it because the comments are about half things like this:

Oh God. I’m only familiar with the first two. And after reading this, I think I’ll keep it that way.

Itchy & Scratchy & Marge – I always thought this too:

-I wonder if Bart’s line about the soapbox racers was intentionally foreshadowing season 3’s “Saturdays Of Thunder”; like they already had that episode set to run.

Probably?

Bye, Boooooook! A Review of Bongo Comics McBain One-Shot – Just what it says.

Whatcha Realizing, Jerk? – Trying to figure out what you do and don’t care about other people’s thinking with help from the show.

Why I am choo choo choosing me – A few Bacon Day resolutions, complete with lots of Simpsons .gifs (though there is some Zombie Simpsons, there’s not much).

Best Episode of the Simpsons Ever: I Love Lisa – Point.

The Best Episode of the Simpsons Ever: Cape Feare – Counterpoint.  (Both are pretty well argued and illustrated.)

The top ten most romantic moments in Simpsons history (seasons 1-10) – It’s a countdown:

For Valentine’s Day, and another special reason you will hear about soon, your favorite Film Crickets compiled a list of the ten most romantic moments from the first ten seasons of the Simpsons.

We will be posting one or two a day until Valentine’s day!

And each one gets its own graphic and explanation.  Here we go:

The most romantic moments in Simpsons history: #9! – Homer and Smithers.

The most romantic moments in Simpsons history: #8! – The family and Mrs. Krabappel.

The most romantic moments in Simpsons history: #7! – Mr. Bergstrom and Lisa.

The most romantic moments in Simpsons history: #6! – Milhouse & Samantha.

The most romantic moments in Simpsons history: #5! – Lisa & Ralph.

The most romantic moments in Simpsons history: #4! – Homer & Marge

The most romantic moments in Simpsons history: #3! – Marge & Homer (with bonus real life cake for you to ruin).  Check back over there to finish up the run between now and Bacon Day tomorrow.

Simpsons-Themed Doughnuts Are Coming, Courtesy of Dynamo and A.C.T. – Not only is the play coming to San Francisco, it’s getting donuts to go with it.

[The Simpsons] Homer Simpson is a vegetable in a coma, and has been for over 20 years. : FanTheories – Long story short, Homer’s still in the coma he lapsed into in “So It’s Come to This”:

‘He is subconsciously aware of time passing, so his mind will often “update” his memories so that the year they occurred matches up with the age he thinks he is (eg. That 90’s Show contradicting other flashback episodes).’

His theories are subsequently backed up by pointing out how different the plots became after this point – with the relatively low-key episodes such as Lisa’s crush on her teacher and Bart cheating on an IQ test replaced by far grander stories.

Yeah, that could be it.  Or FOX could just suck at developing new shows and this one stayed around forever because it still earns bread.  (Thanks to reader Richard J. for sending this one in!)

7 Valentine’s Day episodes to warm your heart – I think you can all guess which Simpsons episode makes this list.

The Greatest Quotes From Your Favorite ‘Simpsons’ Characters – It’s one big long image, and there are some good ones, but there’s also way too much Zombie Simpsons for my taste.  (Thanks to reader Daniel P. for sending it in!)

The Television List – I’m all for people watching TV, but spare yourself the horror of Zombie Simpsons:

I foresee a lot of Netflix bingeing in my future. Some it would probably kill me…like to watch all of The Simpsons…so that show I may just watch some from each season ( There are like 25+)

Just let it peter out around Seasons 9/10/11.  There isn’t anything worth it past that, and you’ll save yourself a lot of time.

What I Watched: Week 5 (Feb 1-Feb 7) – Gotta have at least some:

And like usual, I watched a few episodes of The Simpsons here and there. This week I was watching the 1st disc of the 5th season which features the Cape Feare, Treehouse of Horror IV, Homer’s Barbershop quartet, and Homer Goes To College episodes.

Great disc.

Aussie duo’s pixel art Simpsons tribute to become the show’s next opening – The behind the scenes story:

Twelve hours after the video was uploaded Ivan received an email from the show’s creators, asking him to call them straight away.
“The email went to my spam folder, so I actually thought it was a hoax, ” said Ivan.

Good on Jean and company.  That thing really was well done.

Farmington Hills church shares gospel according to the Simpsons – Speaking of Jean:

JeanTweetChurch

Revisiting The Simpsons as Lego – There are more Simpsons Lego sets coming.  Much more.

Different Dollhouse Occupants- Simpsons Chess Set – Nice photo of Simpsons chess pieces all lined up, family like.

Just don’t. – A poorly translated (?) Bart t-shirt.

Portlandia Rips Off The Simpsons In This Awesome Clip – Groening did a guest spot on Portlandia.  That is all.

A brief history of The Simpson’s Radioactive Man – Just what it says.

The Quietus – Excellent reference:

There’s a great episode of The Simpsons where for several weeks the residents of Springfield are repeatedly bombarded with the name ‘Gabbo’ and informed by billboards and Kent Brockman alike that ‘Gabbo is coming!’; everyone, it seems is “saying ‘Gabbo this’ and ‘Gabbo that'” until the moment Gabbo is finally revealed to be a ventriloquist’s dummy, whose variety show antics captivate and enthral the entire town. Given, then, that the band are self-confessed Simpsons fanatics it seems somewhat fitting that it was in similar circumstances that the Quietus first became aware of the psyche-bludgeoning exploits of Portland-based trio Prizehog.

It started about nine months ago, as most things do these days, on Facebook. Little by little, the odd mention here and there – “Prizehog this” and “Prizehog that”; “Prizehog are melting my brain”; “Look Smithers, ‘Prizehorg’ are coming!” and remarks of that nature seemed to be popping up in newsfeeds with some regularity

New York City: 1 Homer Simpson: 0 – And finally, this look back at the Season 9 premier agrees with us right on the nose:

Hot off the wildly successful marathon of The Simpsons that launched FXX, I decided to watch the first 10 seasons of the series in succession. Paramount among my reasons to sit back and binge watch over 220 episodes of one of the greatest TV shows ever created was to try and analyze when exactly the series started to fly off the rails.[1]

[1] Around season 10, but the writing on the wall was evident as early as season 7.

Sadly, it was.

06
Feb
15

Reading Digest: Pixels Pixels Edition

Boy Scoutz 'N the Hood16

“Keep cool, Simpson. Be in the game, but not of the game.” – Bart Simpson
“No es bueno!” – Panamanian Strongman

There was one link that dominated the Simpsons internet this week.  Usually when that happens it’s yet another lame publicity stunt or the latest celebrity to do a guest voice.  This time, however, it is truly worthy:

Watch it.  Then watch it again.  It’s so slick and professional that at first I thought it was another one that Zombie Simpsons had commissioned.  Nope.  Just some guys who have serious skills and love the show.  Excellent.  Bravo.  Well done.  Kudos to you, Paul Robertson, Ivan Dixon, and Jeremy Dower!

In other news before we get to the links, this Monday will be the first ever Woo-hoo Simpsons Trivia here in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  If you’ve ever been to one of the ones in Toronto, New York, Chicago or elsewhere, this’ll be pretty much the same.  I even went to the trouble of hacking together this little flyer:

Flyer1

My apologies to everyone who gets tired of me flogging this on Twitter all weekend, but I would vastly prefer not to be the only one who shows up.  There will not be free balloons for everyone who enters, but we do have prizes for first, second and third place.

In actual links this week, we’ve got a couple of arcade games, Al Jean accidentally endorsing the idea that Zombie Simpsons sucks, lots of .gifs, frivolous lawsuits, and fan made Homers in the mediums of snow and banana.

Enjoy.

13 Things You Never Noticed About ‘The Simpsons’ Pilot Episode Because A Lot Has Changed In 25 Years – My guess is that most of you have noticed these things, but there are some very good .gifs here, and it’s always nice to see Season 1 get some love.  (via @dailysimpsons)

Macedonia man builds winter wonderland – He’s got an Xtapolapocetl sized Homer snow head in his front yard.  Bravo.

Bart The Daredevil – Noah takes a look at Homer falling down the cliff, and I agree completely:

This Gorge-jumping scene with Homer is truly the start of the Homer pain gags we’d see often, especially post-season 9. However, here it’s done in a different manner than the latter-season beatings. In this episode, the Homer beating may be brutal, but it’s fairly quick, isn’t overly graphic, and doesn’t involve him screaming for the entire time. Now, we have seen post-classic-era beatings that have been relatively funny, however I feel that this is truly the “right” way, if I may call it that, to beat the living hell out of Homer Simpson.

And he doesn’t bounce right back, he ends up in traction next to Lance Murdock.

The Jazz Hole – A very early look at a Lisa poster they’re apparently releasing next month and that will also be at Comic Con this summer.  You can’t quite see the whole thing, but it looks great.

the wit and wisdom of homer j. simpson – A collection of quotes without even a hint of Zombie Simpsons.

Stephan Brusche transforms bananas into icons and famous artworks – Yes, this man turned a banana into Homer Simpson.  He will be our new god.

Eddie Huang Rates the Best (and Worst) Coming-of-Age TV Shows of All Time – Publicity interviews are usually a complete waste of time, but occasionally you get a gem:

Okay, let’s go a little more recent: Bart Simpson.
I love Bart, man. One of my first CDs was that Simpsons soundtrack with Bart doing the Bartman. Bart was fucking a downtown New York cartoon character.

I don’t think he’s aged well, though.
He got that Asian dolphin skin. And hey: The Simpsons might be the first Asian-American family on television.

Because they’re yellow?
They are!

That’s fucked up, Eddie.
My last name means yellow.

10 Favorite Arcade Games – A little arcade nostalgia, with the Simpsons game coming in at #4.

Game NOT Over: Pasadena couple resurrects Monster Bash, other retro arcade games – And speaking of the arcade game:

The frustrating difficulty of these games might be their biggest charm. Guenther recalls a group of patrons gathered around The Simpsons Arcade Game on opening night, “They finally beat it just at the end as we were closing down, and I’ve never seen the closing credits on that machine.”

The Simpsons: Road Rage (2001) – A harsh review of an old game.

8 People Who Tried To Sue The Simpsons – This is one page per entry click whoring, but it’s at least got some novel information.  I’d only heard about a couple of these.

Harley visits Springfield – A well done photo of a tiny plastic Bart in a tiny plastic Simpsons living room getting visited by a tiny plastic Harley Quinn.

Lisa it’s your birthday – The “Lisa It’s Your Birthday” song works for anyone so long as their first name has two syllables.  There’s no way not to think about it.

Look of the week – Hey, hey, hey, there’s nothing “tacky” about Simpsons socks!  Oh, wait, yes there is.

A.C.T. Partners with San Francisco Institutions for MR. BURNS, A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY Events – Not only is the play headed west, it’s getting a pretty awesome guest:

Following the 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday, March 7, Emmy Award winner and former head writer of The Simpsons, Jon Vitti, will participate in a postshow symposium with Carey Perloff. Vitti has written 25 episodes of The Simpsons, including the “Cape Feare” episode.

TV’s top entrepreneurs: Homer Simpson as Mr. Plow – Homer Simpson, businessman, evaluated.

HIGH FIVE! Homer Simpson’s Parenting Quotes – There’s some good quotes here, and there’s a great YouTube video of Homer getting hurt that’s all non-Zombie Simpsons.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons pixel art… – Part of that awesome pixelated opening.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons super bowl… – This mashup of “I Love Lisa” and Richard Sherman’s reaction to the interception that won the Super Bowl was making the rounds this week, for obvious reasons.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons angry snow… – Brockman cursing the storm that never happened.

Deals of the Week: $30 DualShock 4, Seasons of The Simpsons, $36 Xbox Live – And finally, Al Jean tweeted out this link:

JeanDVDTweet

Where it says:

A few Simpsons Seasons Are Suddenly Cheap

We’re talking good seasons too. Season 4season 5, and season 6 are all just $10. Our best Simpsons episodes list makes a nice buying guide.

Heh.  (That list of best episodes also has no Zombie Simpsons.)

30
Jan
15

Reading Digest: Suggested Search Edition

Deep Space Homer11

“I suggest a lengthy, inefficient search, at the taxpayers’ expense, of course.” – NASA Scientist
“I wish there was an easier way.” – NASA Director

It’s a very short Reading Digest this week.  The WordPress “Simpsons” tag wasn’t working, those Auschwitz images I linked last week went kinda big, plus all the chatter about Elon Musk meant the signal to noise ratio went to hell again.  We’ve got some usage, some more play reviews, a couple of cool fan doodles, and the first few instances of Bacon Day cards, so it’s not like it’s completely barren.  Things should smooth out by next week.  But first, in the silly fun category, reader Feodor sent in this search suggestion:

ZombieSuggestion

Heh.  Thanks, Feodor!

Enjoy.

Definitive proof that The Simpsons is getting worse – This is just the IMDb ratings put into a nice graphic.  It’s been done before (here and elsewhere), but it’s nice to see people paying attention to how clearly different The Simpsons and Zombie Simpsons are.

Simpsons Star Wars Doodles… – The one of Homer in the famous Episode I poster is great.

The Avocado is the Hipster of Vegetables! – Scroll down for a printable Choo-Choo-Choose You image.

New Valentine’s Day Cards! – And here’s a fan made Etsy version for all your Bacon Day needs.

The I, Omnibus Top Ten (US) Cartoons of the 1990’s – A short history of why cartoons became much better in the 90s:

There were three major factors that brought US animation out of its “Ghetto Age” that lasted throughout the 1960’s, 70’s, and 80’s, and into its “Golden Age” of the 90’s. One was the Disney Renaissance – its rebirth of motion picture animation, which funnelled over to the television side. The second was the success of The Simpsons, which brought animation back to “Prime Time.” And the third was the success Ren and Stimpy, which reminded network executives that cartoons were once catered towards adults, and could be once again.

Reviews: Theater for thought and laughter – The play in Chicago gets some more critical love.

THEATER REVIEW Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play – Oh, hell, one more.

The Minimalists – Excellent usage:

The rigidity of minimalism’s reductionism has been parodied in mass entertainment, from Absolutely Fabulous (which taught us that if you make your home a white cube, there’s nowhere to stash the booze) to The Simpsons – think of the early 1990s episode in which a Yoko Ono-esque character sits at Moe’s bar and orders “A single plum, floating in perfume, served in a man’s hat”.

New trending GIF tagged happy the simpsons excited… – Here’s an appealing fellow.  They’re a-peeling him off the pavement.

The Full McBain – YouTube of all those McBain clips stitched together.

A kid-filled day – Adorable 4-year-old discovers Simpsons arcade game at a roller rink.  Aww, the kids love it too.

Boo-Urns Night. – Heh:

Nonetheless, Burns Nicht is celebrated all over Scotland (and indeed in many other places worldwide) and the celebration typically features more outlandishly Scottish stereotypes than a heroin-fueled Caber-Toss between Groundskeeper Willie and Ewan McGregor.

Excellent reference.

Rod McKuen, Prolific Poet and Lyricist, Dies at 81 – And finally, this is Critic rather than Simpsons, but this scene always cracks me up:

23
Jan
15

Reading Digest: Cranky with the Media Edition

Bustling Newsroom

“Wow, a bustling metropolitan newsroom, funneling scoops from all over the globe.” – Lisa Simpson
“Hi, are you interested in a subscription to the Shopper?” – Sales Dude
“Low introductory rates.” – Sales Lady
“No, please, you gotta help old Gil.  What’s it gonna take to keep you on the phone?  Dance for you?  But you wouldn’t even see it.  Alright, I’m a dancin’!” – Gil

This week, I make only tangentially relevant complaints about several linked articles: lazy sourcing, inappropriate pageview whoring, and two instances of recycled content that sort of, somehow had something to do with the show.  Happily, we’ve got a lot more stuff as well, including more Season 2 breakdowns, a couple of great pieces of fan art, Lego Grampa, and a real life electric hammer.

Enjoy.

Snowpiercer: “Sorry Mom, the Mob has spoken!” – How would you cast a dystopian train movie with Simpsons characters?  Start with Mr. Burns taking Ed Harris’s part and work backwards.  (Thanks to JRC & Diana for e-mailing their post in.)

Bart Vs. Thanksgiving – Our buddy Noah continues his adventures through Season 2.

Dead Putting Society – This is the episode that really turned Flanders into Flanders.  It’s not just that he’s richer, nicer, and more popular than Homer, there’s a real guy under there, one who can get pissed off but who’s still relaxed enough to not care about mowing the lawn in his wife’s Sunday dress.

Dancin’ Homer – The original story of degradation and humiliation.

Two Cars In Every Garage And Three Eyes On Every Fish – Heh:

The first time I saw this episode, I honestly thought Mary Bailey was a real governor (I was young, OK?), and I was wondering why the show was kissing this person’s butt so much.

But it’s “Not Just Another State”.

Abe Simpson – Click this.  It’s Grampa made out of Legos.

Gr8at: The Simpsons Jokes – Just some gags from the show.

29 Jokes Only “Simpsons” Fans Will Find Funny – This is a Buzzfeed link, so the headline is misleading clickbait and the actual post is mostly a rehash of stuff that’s been floating around forever.  That said, there were a couple I’d never seen before.

‘The Simpsons’ creator Matt Groening will attend Saturday screening of his father Homer’s films – The headline tells you pretty much what you need to know.  If you’re in or around Portland, tickets are $15.

My Favorite Simpsons Quotes – It’s a twofer, with YouTube.

The Top 5 Best Movie-Inspired Theme Park Rides – The Simpsons ride comes in at #3, but it’s worth the click for the aerial photo of the Harry Potter ride.  The castle the visitors see is dwarfed by the warehouse that actually has the ride.

One Image Shows Just How Talented The Simpsons’ Voice Actors Are – This old chart of who does the Simpsons voices was making the rounds this week.

TV’s best shows mostly exist because of crappy sitcom reruns – How reruns of The Simpsons and other shows pay for all those critical darlings.  I have no real objection to the article, but I must object to this:

FXX paid so much money — $750 million — for The Simpsons because it knew this, and because The Simpsons was one of the few remaining cash cows without a cable deal.

That link takes you to this:

The deal also is set to make TV history as the priciest off-network pact ever, expected to fetch at least $750 million, and the first one to include full digital rights. The enormous size of the deal — which some say could potentially reach $1 billion if the series keeps producing new seasons — stems from the staggering volume of Simpsons episodes available

Not only is the $750,000,000 number just “expected”, but it also doesn’t have a source.  It’s like numbers for how much each cast member makes per episode of Zombie Simpsons: a rumor repeated so many times that people take it as fact.  The reality is that nobody outside of News Corp really knows what’s in that deal or how much it’s worth.  I get that writers need to cite facts and stuff, but the entertainment press is really sloppy and lazy and publishing these numbers again doesn’t make them any more trustworthy.

Homer Simpson’s Electric Hammer Created In Real Life (video) – Good idea, but sadly it doesn’t appear to actually hammer nails very well.

Dudeoir Photography – Remember when Homer got Homerotic for that boudoir photo shoot?  Turns out there’s actually a term for that:

Dudeoir is Boudoir for men wrapped up in the “macho” phrase to make it more appealing to men who are insecure of their masculinity.

The Simpsons: three notes that pay composer Danny Elfman’s health insurance – Heh:

“Those are the three notes that kept me in health insurance for 25 years,” composer Danny Elfman says of the opening to The Simpsons theme music.

REVIEW: Mr. Burns a Post-Electric Play at Theater Wit – The Chicago version of the play gets a nice review.

Artist aleXsandro Palombo depicts The Simpsons as Jews in a concentration camp to mark 70th anniversay of Auschwitz liberation – This is that same Italian guy who’s been on a roll with these lately.  (Pro tip: if the word “Auschwitz” appears in the headline, maybe don’t make the related stories sexy celebrities and a bikini model so emaciated I can count her ribs.)

Mr Sparkle – Homer Simpson by Lucas Jubb – Fan made Homer, complete with sunshine, stars and those creepy eyes.

Five Questions For A Blogger. (3) – Including some Simpsons love and a .gif of Milhouse petting that nice doggy on the beach.

What I Watched: Week 2 (Jan 11- Jan 17) – This is wise:

The Simpsons is by far my favourite TV show of all time. I own the first 12 seasons and they’re definitely the most watched discs in my collection because I often grab a season and put in whatever disc. This week I was watching some of season 8 which features Homer’s best buddy Frank Grimes (or Grimey, as he liked to be called).

Monday has spoken… – Heh.

Simpsons at its finest – Heh.

Osteology everywhere: Graffiti – Explaining the lack of graffiti in Kazakhstan with “Lemon of Troy”.

That’s a Coconut Cake! Part 1 | You Can’t Have That One, That’s a Coconut Cake – Trying to recreate Agnes’ inviolable cake on a blog named after it.  Good luck.

An Open Letter to Great Indian Litterbugs – Never having been to India, I can’t comment much on the main subject here, but there is a .gif of Homer and Bart making garbage angels.

16
Jan
15

Reading Digest: Yet Moar Anniversaries Edition

I Married Marge14

“I was twenty-four years old with a beautiful girlfriend and a job with a future. . . . Hey, you’re supposed to be listening to my story!” – Homer Simpson
“I thought it was over.  You had a problem turning blades, you overcame it, the feel good story of the year.” – Bart Simpson

So the 25th anniversary of “Bart the Genius” was this week, which gave lots of people another chance to go back and talk about all the things the show has done.  Most notably, this included internet pop culture factory The A.V. Club, which had a “Simpsons Week“.  We’ve got a few of their articles linked below as well as a bunch more, plus the usual assortment of usage, fan made stuff, and weird stories from foreign countries.

Enjoy.

10 Simpsons from the last 10 seasons that aren’t the… Worst. Episodes. Ever. – I’ll admit that part of the reason I’m linking this here is that it mentions us (thanks for the extra few thousand pageviews!).  More importantly, however, are the pretzel like word-knots needed to in any way shape or form defend Zombie Simpsons.  Observe:

Placed one episode after the other, 220-plus hours of Simpsons episodes doesn’t look like a steady rise through the early years, a pleasant plateau from seasons six through 10, and then a precipitous drop. Viewed in this context, with the filters of nostalgia and goosed-up memories removed, The Simpsons maintains a remarkable consistency through its 25 years on the air.  Yes, it’s produced a few genuine clunkers over the years, but between the truly great moments and the truly regrettable ones, there’s a midrange of Simpsons episodes that any other series would be proud to claim.

That’s the opening paragraph.  It would seem to not agree with the third one:

To admit that the “good” version of The Simpsons couldn’t last for 26 seasons is to admit that the greatest TV show ever made is also just another TV show. The Simpsons was so transcendently good for so long, but that doesn’t mean it’s immune to the vagaries of inspiration and production that every other show deals with.

So, wait, where’s the twenty-five years of “remarkable consistency” if it was “transcendently good for so long” before falling victim to the same forces that destroy all television shows?  It can be consistent, or it can be great and then fall apart, hard to see how it can be both.  Here’s the kicker, the last sentence of that paragraph:

Quality be damned, the show remains a cultural force.

Under all the verbiage, there remains no denying that the show that’s on now isn’t the same one that started all those years ago.

What’s your favorite Simpsons quote? – For further evidence, here’s nineteen A.V. Club people picking their favorite quote.  Eighteen of them pick from a non-Zombie Simpsons season (including the author of “10 Episodes” link above).  The one dissenter writes this:

I’m going to court controversy—and possibly incite a whacking stick-wielding mob—but my choice comes from an episode that aired within the last 10 years. “Papa Don’t Leech,” from the 19th season, is not, by any conceivable measure of quality, a good episode of The Simpsons. Its sins are various—the opening dream sequence of Homer gleefully murdering Abe is bad, but that’s nothing compared to the way the episode craps on the show’s past by unnecessarily revisiting country music seductress Lurleen Lumpkin, from the classic “Colonel Homer.”

You’ve got to pick through a lot of shit to find something worthwhile in Zombie Simpsons.  The same cannot be said of The Simpsons.

The irrational rightness of The Simpsons – Our old friend Alec-Nevala Lee on the show’s inexplicable weirdness:

What I’d like to highlight here is a quality that doesn’t get mentioned often enough: the show’s underlying strangeness. Looking back at the golden years of the series, it’s striking how many lines, scenes, and images are both inexplicable and totally right. They’re often tangential beats that go on longer than seem comedically possible—not just the rake gag from “Cape Feare,” but Mr. Burns laughing over the crippled Irishman in “Last Exit to Springfield,” or Homer twiddling his thumbs in “Bart’s Comet.” They’re the comedic version of what Donald Richie, in his discussion of Kurosawa, calls “the irrational rightness of an apparently gratuitous image in its proper place,” and as Richie points out, they’re often the things we remember.

The Simpsons: The Genius of “Bart the Genius” After 25 Years – Den of Geek with a tremendous write up of “Bart the Genius”.  A sample:

The episode crystallized the Simpsons vision. The writers turned intelligence and authority on its head. They ridiculed open education and peppered it with subversion. Left, right and center are all off-kilter in Springfield. Blue noses were tweaked and ratting was rewarded. Bart runs bare-assed across the family living room.

Top 5 Kubrick References in ‘The Simpsons’ – With no Zombie Simpsons whatsoever.

On Endings – Very true:

The truly sad thing about these endings is that they can all be done so well, yet many shows never get a chance to try them, since it is far easier to milk a show until it stops paying, then cancel it abruptly. If The Simpsons had ended when it seemed appropriate to wrap it up, a lot of money would have been lost.

Judd Apatow’s ‘Simpsons’ Episode — Season 26 Interview With Writer – Jean and Apatow doing a short publicity interview.  I’d kinda like to read this:

JEAN | I actually had a Golden Girls [spec script]. … It was one where Dorothy had an auto accident with Mother Teresa and everyone hated Dorothy.
APATOW | Did you get the job?
JEAN | No, they hated it. [Laughs]

Springfield Stitches – Excellent fan made versions of Ralph not getting any valentines and Kirk van Houten’s master pictionary skills.  Some are even for sale if you click through.

Here’s the unfinished first line of paintings at about 97% complete all around and many more to come soon on Etsy! – The devilish look on Bart’s face is great.

Russian Man to Build Copy of ‘The Simpsons’ House in Moscow Region – That’s a much better headline than “Man to Build House”.

This guy recorded alternate versions of your favorite TV theme songs, and they’re incredible – Here’s the Simpsons one:

Find Your Somate, Homer – Heh:

Sometimes, though, the curtain gets pulled back, and great search terms come through. Today, I was treated to this:

“Find your somate, Homer.”

This was either a typo (“find your soulmate, Homer” are the immortal words of Johnny Cash, in his guise as Space Coyote, to Homer Simpson) or an earnest call for Homer Simpson to manifest in the physical world.

What’s Marge Simpson’s problem? – Never thought of it like this:

The thing that bothers me is that in many previous episodes, Marge has consistently stood by Homer no matter how stupid he was, but in this episode, Marge is always against Homer and is constantly locking horns with him over religion. What I’m wondering is, in “Homer the Heretic”, why does Marge get so easily flared up over religion? In every episode where the family goes to church, Marge always has to play the role of the traffic cop, rushing the entire family to go to church looking clean.

Seems pretty Marge like to me for her to pray (“he just likes to sleep in on Sundays”), invite Reverend Lovejoy over, and just keep going back, but that’s just me.

Simpson And Delilah – Some Season 2 love.

Treehouse Of Horror – And some more.

Ript Apparel: Future City, Action Packed 1st Issue!, and Police Dept. of Springfield – Wink wink, indeed.

Wade Boggs — 107 Beers – Pitt the Elder!

Simpsons did it: Springfield’s denizens coming to Minecraft for Xbox – The headline tells you pretty much everything you need to know, but click through and try to count all the references in the actual article.  I dare you.

Photo of the Week: The Simpsons in NYC – Nice.

The Simpsons Serves Up a Stinker – Man, people really didn’t like that alien episode.

Mobile Gaming: The Simpsons vs Family Guy – Heh:

I agree: You can’t really compare The Simpsons to Family Guy on television. They’re different shows and comparing those two would be like comparing cats to dogs. Whichever you like best is your own opinion. But, their mobile games… Those I can compare.

If You Can Do The Bartman, You’re Bad Like Michael Jackson – A history of the show’s early musical success.

Orange juice – Heh.

Why ‘The Simpsons’? – The show remains very useful:

do worry that one day “The Simpsons” will be completely out of date and every year I find fewer students who are able to fill in “how does this episode end?” questions. However, I still get good reception from students on the whole. I’ve had older students who said before class they avoided the show because it was “trashy” but really enjoyed the clips. That being said, most of my clips are from the first eight seasons when the show was focused on the characters much more than the newer episodes are.

Stick with those and you’ll be okay.

Buy me some peanuts and Cracker-snax! – A guinea pig (I think) wearing sunglasses and a tiny Duff foam dome.  Excellent.

Random Photos – Jan13 – Ah, the world of Legos, where Spider-man can drink a coffee next to Marge.

Flaming Moe’s – Episode #045 – Ash heads to a place right down the block where you can drink your misery away.

No Need To Worry When Playing With House Money – Oregon’s crushed football hopes put into perspective with excellent usage:

Homer: Will you remember this the next time I wreck your life?
Lisa: It’s a deal.
That episode reminds us that we can’t look at tonight’s game from the filter of where the season is now, but rather from where the season began, through a lens of the preseason narratives that the cynical fans believed and the optimistic feared going into the season.

Kitty Says Cobrashark – Pretty creepy Burns/skull design.

I hate being Ill but its a great excuse to watch Simpsons under my duvet and not move. – Well put:

Unfortunately after all of those cuddles from the children within the nursery I am not poorly I’m all flued up with a poorly stomach so this is my perfect excuse for not moving and watching Simpson episode after Simpson episode there is something about the Simpsons that cheers me up im not quite sure whether its cause it takes me back to my childhood and sitting with my dad to watch them or whether its just because they are awesome and by awesome I mean seasons 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11 there are none of the newest ones I don’t like them end of lol.

09
Jan
15

Reading Digest: Roots Edition

Treehouse of Horror VI11

“I am the wondrous wizard of Latin!  I am a dervish of declension, and a conjurer of conjugation, with a million hit points and maximum charisma!” – Martin Prince 

This seems to be the week for rare, higher quality stuff, and while there are fewer links than usual below, what we lack in quantity we make up for in quality.  There are three or four that would be a Link of the Week most of the time, including the Latin language link, the six eras of the Simpsons link, the 9 minute video about Homer, and the one about movie plots.  And that’s not all!  We’ve got the family made out of snow, a great fan painting, a couple of looks at Season 1, and more.

Enjoy.

Latin on “The Simpsons” – An impressively thorough recounting of the many ways Latin has been used and abused on the show.  Also, there could even be a Latin root for cromulent:

The most famous coinage on “The Simpsons” is “cromulent,” which has become a perfectly cromulent word meaning “authentic” or “legitimate,” ever since its initial appearance in “Lisa the Iconoclast” (3F13, 1996). I’m sure writer David X. Cohen coined it with no thought for its possible etymology, but given that adjectives ending in “-lent” are usually derived from Latin, I propose an etymology from the Latin word “croma,” a first declension noun defined by the 1982 Oxford Latin Dictionary as a “surveying instrument for taking bearings to fix lines of orientation.” The noun’s diminutive form would notionally be “cromula.” I know no other Latin word with the root “crom-,” and it’s easy to imagine that a small instrument whose purpose is to measure straight, accurate lines could yield an adjective meaning “legitimate” or “authentic.”

Watch S2E17 – Homer Simpson – This is a 9 minute video with a talking cardboard box describing the rise and fall of Homer as a character.  The premise gets a little wobbly near the end (I only buy one shift in Homer, not two; and I don’t think According to Jim and various other terrible shows influenced Zombie Simpsons much, if at all), but overall it’s very well done and uses big words in addition to simpler ones:

“The Homer of today is very different from the Homer the show started out with.”

Bristles Babbles #22: The Simpsons Season 1 Review (1989-1990) (SPOILERS) – I got the above link from this thoughtful dissection of Season 1, including this which I’d never noticed before:

Yet another slip-up in episode 8 that I managed to catch on to just by being lucky enough to pause at the right moment comes when the chalkboard gag “I DID NOT SEE ELVIS” changes for a frame before it goes off screen to “I WILL NOT WASTE CHALK”, which was the gag from episode 2.

It really was just a single frame:

The Telltale Head16

Good eye.

Season One: In Retrospect | You Don’t Win Friends With Simpsons – And speaking of Season 1, our old friend Noah P has started a rewatch them all blog.  Here’s his Season 1 retrospecticus with links to each episode.

Saturdays Of Thunder – Episode #044 – And speaking of watching every episode, Ash is up to the National Fatherhood Institute.

Movie plots I have pieced together from The Simpsons – We’ve all had the experience of seeing a movie and thinking, “Wait, I saw that on Simpsons”.  And there’s nary a trace of Zombie Simpsons.  Well done.

Review: The Simpsons: “The Man Who Came To Be Dinner” – I rarely read other reviews of Zombie Simpsons, but this being kind of a weird week, I did read this one.  I am unimpressed.  The author has given a “B-” or higher to every episode so far this season, then he writes stuff like this:

It would be a lot easier to make the case that The Simpsons still has value if the people behind the show seemed to give a damn. But an episode like “The Man Who Came To Be Dinner” is a product of such slapdash, breezy disregard for what makes The Simpsons The Simpsons that it functions as a dispiriting signpost to the show’s hastening irrelevance.

And this:

The Simpsons has survived because of that world and the characters in it—that’s why it can stretch itself into ludicrous shapes for an episode and spring back to its original shape unharmed by the next. The show has rules, the characters have integrity, and actions and emotions have consequences. When “The Man Who Came To Be Dinner” just says, “fuck it” and throws the show’s reality out into space, The Simpsons is left just drifting there, unmoored from what makes it itself.

And that’s not true of pretty much all Zombie Simpsons . . . how, exactly?  Everyone gets their own opinions on the internet, but if you’re willing to swallow – just so far this season – Moe coming down the chimney, an Itchy & Scratchy cartoon without Itchy, Homer getting repeatedly washed overboard during a hurricane, a giant & secret drilling rig in the middle of Evergreen Terrace, and all that weird, magical shit at Burning Man, how does Kang and Kodos cross a line?  The show lost all of its dignity and rules a long, long, long time ago, lamenting that this episode somehow damaged something is illogical and inconsistent at the very least.

The Way They Was: Six Totally Different Shows The Simpsons Has Been – Thanks to reader Cory F. for e-mailing this in, and thanks to the at least two people who linked us in the comments.  I don’t think you can chop up the early seasons with quite that much granularity, but this is one of the more inventive takes on the show I’ve read in a while.

The Simpsons Go Original Star Trek – A rundown of some of the Star Trek references from last week’s closing credits.

In the veganning: Part 1 – A conversion to veganism explained (partially) through the medium of Simpsons references:

When I figured out that lamb chops came from lambs (my Lisa Simpson moment), I refused to eat them anymore.

In Tune With The Drip by Duane Gavins Jr. – Absolutely excellent fan made painting(?) of Lisa and her sax.

Making the Best of Snow – Among other things, there’s a guy next to the entire Simpson family on a snow couch.  Bravo, good sir.

The ‘Mythbusters’/’Simpsons’ Crossover Finally Has A Trailer – Crossover seems like the wrong word here, anonymous headline writer person.

Characters tackle post-apocalyptic challenges in Simpsons play – The play is headed to Albuquerque.

TV Legends Revealed | What Famous Guest Wouldn’t Let ‘The Simpsons’ Make Fun of Him? – But that’s because he was the greatest entertainer in the world.

New trending GIF tagged tv the simpsons pizza… – We got everything we need on you.

‘Bartman’ Outsells ‘Batman’ In France, And So Do These Other Comics – Not much to this more than the headline, but it’s kind of interesting.




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