Posts Tagged ‘A Star Is Burns

05
Mar
18

Quote of the Day

“I’ve learned that I have a gift to share with the world. From now on, there’ll be a new Barnard Gumble! I’m working clean and sober!” – Barney Gumble
“Congratulations, Barney. And enjoy your grand prize, a lifetime supply of Duff Beer.” – Mayor Quimby
“Just hook it to my veins!” – Barney Gumble

26
Aug
17

Quote of the Day

“Action!” – Lisa Simpson
“Hello, I’m Bart Simpson. In the past, I’ve brought you such classic films as Homer in the Shower and Homer on the Toilet. And now, I give you: The Eternal Struggle.” – Bart Simpson
“Relaxed fit my Aunt Fanny! Stupid Dockers! Oh, the belt is buckled . . .” – Homer Simpson

05
Mar
17

Quote of the Day

sunriseatcampobello

“In culture, dead last…” – Kent Brockman
“Eleanor, we’ve got to do something about this Depression. So I propose . . . oh, that’s right, I’m crippled.” – Krusty the Klown

05
Mar
16

Quote of the Day

A Star is Burns21

“Tonight, we review an aging Charles Bronson in Death Wish 9.” – Jay Sherman
“I wish I was dead. Oy.” – Charles Bronson

29
May
15

Reading Digest: Open Audition Edition

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“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]

05
Mar
15

Quote of the Day

A Star is Burns19

“The metric system is the tool of the Devil!  My car gets forty rods to the hogshead, and that’s the way I likes it!” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson

Happy 20th Anniversary to “A Star Is Burns”!  Original airdate: 5 March 1995.

02
Oct
14

On the Family Guy Thing

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“And if you ever want to visit my show…” – Jay Sherman
“Nah, we’re not gonna be doing that.” – Bart Simpson

Family Guy has been a raw nerved subject for Simpsons fans pretty much since it began.  This owes in part to the fact that no less a person than Harry Shearer has said that it was cooked up by FOX for the express purposes of squeezing the underpaid voice actors on The Simpsons.  (I don’t know if that’s actually true or not, but it certainly sounds like something FOX would do and Shearer is orders of magnitude more trustworthy than they are.)  Whatever the initial motivation, however, the fact remains that Family Guy came on air right as The Simpsons was crumbling, on the same network, and with the same basic setup, and that’s more than enough to put the word “rip-off” on the tip of people’s tongues.

Chasing the white rabbit of “who copied who” and “how closely” can be fun, but questions of creative influence and credit slip down bottomless holes when you try to pin them down.  There’s no doubt that Family Guy wouldn’t have existed without the success of The Simpsons, but there’s also no doubt that Family Guy is a different show with a different sense of humor and a different creative core.  Flame wars and exhausting discussions can rage in the borderlands between those two certainties, but, like most rabbit chases, they rarely produce any tangible insights or results.

Further complicating matters is the way that Family Guy itself has fallen into the same kind of comedic mediocrity as Zombie Simpsons.  It fell from a much (much) lower height, but, like it’s elder, it’s been reduced to going through the motions for years now.

Being cartoons, both shows are immunized against the inevitable aging that kills even successful live action comedies after a few years.  But critical attention and media interest have mostly moved on, and here in 2014, both shows are kept alive by habit and routine, on the part of the audiences and the staffs.  The people watching know what they want to see (Homer get hurt, Stewie say something evil, etc.), and the people making the show know how to meet those minimal expectations.  Both have become rote and safe entertainment, the kind of dull monotone that keeps enough people tuning in not because they want to see something new and exciting, but because they want something familiar and predicable.

That is the context in which the crossover episode must be understood, and the irony that a show long criticized for mindlessly copying The Simpsons has blithely followed it into senility is easily the most amusing thing about its bloated, double-episode runtime.  Family Guy, long a show that will happily acknowledge criticism even as it ignores the substance of said criticism, basically said so itself on Sunday:

Chris: Yay!  A crossover always brings out the best in each show!  It certainly doesn’t smack of desperation.  The priorities are always creative and not driven by marketing or-
Stewie: Okay, that’s enough.

As a one off joke or deflection, that’s not bad.  But the rest of the episode is a long, drawn out exercise in proving Chris’s sarcasm right.  The episode is laden with one-note crossover jokes about how this or that is slightly different on one show or the other.  Each character gets matched up with their rough equivalent (Peter and Homer, Lois and Marge, Lisa and Meg, Bart and Stewie), and things plow forward from there.  Homer and Peter are both irresponsible jerks, so let’s watch them be so in their slightly different ways: animate, rinse, repeat.

When they announced this ploy last summer, my official reaction was “meh“.  Having now sat through the thing, I don’t have much more to add.  The godmother of this kind of crossover is The Jetsons Meet the Flintsones, where, you guessed it, George and company go back in time to Bedrock while Fred and his family go into the future.  Each family member has to deal with living their life in the other time, fish out of water hilarity ensues (<- not really), and then everyone gets back at the end.  “The Simpsons Guy” is pretty much that.

It’ll be a curious little footnote in the history of both shows, but nothing that happened in the episode was particularly memorable or even really risque (at least by Family Guy standards).  Meg cuts herself, there’s a pointless rape threat (shock comedy is weak and often not even comedy), a waste of time music video, cameos from other FOX shows, and then Peter and Homer engage in one of Family Guy‘s trademark “chicken fights” before it ends.

The repetitiveness and lack of imagination on display are the real reason so many people said this was a bad idea.  Both sets of characters are long since played out, and watching them go through their motions with each other isn’t any more entertaining than when they do it a half hour apart.  Mostly, it’s just boring.




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