Posts Tagged ‘Bart Gets an Elephant



10
Apr
10

Vintage Simpsons Commentary

“I want you to throw away these old calendars and TV Guides.” – Marge Simpson
“Are you mad, woman?  You never know when an old calendar might come in handy.  Sure, it’s not 1985 right now, but who knows what tomorrow will bring.  And these TV Guides?  So many memories, ‘Gomer upsets Sergeant Carter’, oh, I’ll never forget that episode.” – Homer Simpson

Remember The Face magazine?  I don’t.  But I’m not British, so it’s okay.  Wikipedia informs me that:

The magazine, often referred to as the "80s fashion bible", was influential in championing a number of fashion music and style trends, whilst keeping a finger on the pulse of youth culture for over two decades;

It folded in 2004, but blogger Lady Lixa has a hard copy of the June 1990 issue (Madonna was on the cover) and scanned in some of the pages.  Here’s what it had to say about The Simpsons, post Season 1:

The Face Magazine June 1990 Simpsons1The text reads:

In America, Bart Simpson is hipper than De La Soul, Air Jordans and African pendants.  For a drawing, that’s an achievement.  The Simpsons started life as animated shorts breaking up the sketches on The Tracey Ullman Show.  (The BBC, in its infinite wisdom, bought Ullman’s series but cut the Simpsons from it.)  By Christmas ’89 they were so popular with American viewers that a special became inevitable.  Now on Fox TV for 30 minutes every Sunday night – the first prime-time cartoon since The Jetsons in the Sixties – the show is essential viewing for Yank youth.  Drawn by Matt Groening, the Simpsons make the Flintstones look stone age.  The format is simple – middle-American family dealing with the tribulations of modern life – but the style is anarchic.  Homer, the grumpy dad, works in a nuclear plant and is a sentimental slob.  Marge, his wife with a metre-high blue beehive, keeps the family together.  Bart (anagram: Brat), a kid with a spiky flat-top, is perpetually in trouble: he enjoys taking snapshots of his own butt, and loses his dad’s job for him.  Lisa plays the baritone sax and aims to get everyone in the poop as often as possible.  Maggie is a gooey, dummy-chewing infant.  All have mouths that swallow their faces when they open them.  The pace is utterly manic, the bickering relentless and the colour lurid; to some The Simpsons is a half-hour headache.  No UK broadcast date has been fixed, but Sky are picking it up for autumn.  In the meantime, Bart is appearing in bootlegged form on American dance flyers and T-shirts everywhere.  If that’s not a sign of a legend in the making, nothing is.

Awesome.  I love how the image they have is from the shorts and not from the series.  (Also, The Flintstones, not The Jetsons, was the last primetime cartoon before 1989.)  Two questions for our British readers:

1) Are pacifiers called “dummy”s the same way botulism is called steak and kidney pie?
2) What the hell does “aims to get everyone in the poop as often as possible” mean?

There’s more:

The Face Magazine June 1990 Simpsons2

Text:

T-shirts of the cult US cartoon show The Simpsons (see p16) are becoming standard club wear in America.  Quick off the mark, Passenger of Beak St and Floral St, London, are stocking them at £15

£15 . . . in 1990 . . . for a T-shirt?  Ouch.  I didn’t pay that much for my Spinal Tap Tour ’92 shirt.

The article and the little t-shirt blurb are great; in the era of Zombie Simpsons it can be tough to remember how revolutionary the show really was when it first started (“cult US cartoon”).  But there it is, straight from the horse’s mouth in June of 1990.

Ten thousand thank yous go to Lady Lixa for having these, scanning them, and letting me copy them. 

06
Mar
10

Season 5 Marathon: 22 episodes, 22 beers, 8h:24m:50s

Homer's Dream

Image used under Creative Commons license from Flickr user rodricg.

“Daddy has to go to a beer drinking contest today.” – Homer Simpson
“Think you’ll win?” – Bart Simpson
“Son, when you participate in sporting events it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how drunk you get.” – Homer Simpson
“Gotcha.” – Bart Simpson

Good morning everybody and welcome to the Simpsons/Beer marathon!  I’m planning on updating this whenever the hell I feel like it (the idea of adhering to a schedule on this most relaxing of Saturdays makes me nauseous).  I might do six updates for three hundred words, I might do fifty updates for six thousand words, nothing would surprise me.  Typos and screwed up grammar are to be expected.  I’ve listed all the episode titles below and comments will be entered next to the one that I’m currently watching.  If I don’t comment on an episode please don’t construe that as a slight against it, I just might not have had anything update worthy on my alcohol soaked mind.  I love everything in here and I look at it as a big puffy cloud of pure joy that I get to float through.

In general I have a very “hands off” approach to the pause button.  The ending/opening credits provide ample time for bathroom and kitchen trips so there’s no need to miss anything.  However, I am not above pausing or skipping back a few seconds if I need to get a quote right for an update.  The fast-forward command will absolutely, positively not be used.

The comments section is open.  I will try to read whatever may (or may not) show up, but I make no promises and thoughtful replies are probably not in the cards.  Brevity is your friend.  But enough of my preamble bullshit, let’s watch some Simpsons!

1. Homer’s Barbershop Quartet

  • We begin with literally three couch gags, they’re all funny, and combined they take less time than most of the ones you see on Zombie Simpsons. 
  • The Be-Sharps existed eight years before the time of this episode, and this episode is now almost seventeen years old.  I don’t have a point, I just wanted to test the update system. 
  • Love baby Lisa dressed like Maggie, except in orange and with pearls.
  • True story: I bought this album in about 1997 specifically because they were called the B Sharp Jazz Quartet.  I heard their name on the radio and pretty much drove right to the record store.  I still listen to it today, track 11 (“Church Bells”) owns.
  • The scene at the end where Bart and Lisa point out how none of this makes sense is funny, quick, and makes you care not in the least that it’s all wildly improbable.  Fantastically deft.  Also, this episode is so wall-to-wall with pop culture references I’m certain there are still things I’m not noticing seventeen years later. 

2. Cape Feare

  • “That is some outfit Skoey, it makes you look like a homosexual.” – Rainier Wolfcastle
  • “Boo!” – Crowd
  • “Oh-ho, maybe you all are homosexuals too!” – Rainier Wolfcastle
  • What terrible thing(s) did Linda Lavin do?  I’ve never been able to figure that out. 
  • Cape Feare1 
  • Also, Terror Lake Salutes Hannibal Crossing The Alps.  (I love that there’s a whole elephant for “The”.)

3. Homer Goes to College

  • All places of work should have nap time. 
  • The Jade Monkey joke almost killed me the first time I saw it. 
  • I love how they invented a Cory for “School of Hard Knockers”.
  • Just another example of how completely different this is than Zombie Simpsons: when Bart accuses Homer of hanging with nerds Homer threatens him with a steak knife.  It takes less than a second and is completely unacknowledged by the soundtrack.  It’s hilarious precisely because it’s not emphasized for five seconds.  You can do horrible things like have a father threaten his son with a knife, but they become less funny the more you focus on them. 
  • “Oh dean, this is what your new hip is going to look like.” – Dr. Hibbert
  • Addendum to the above: this episode handles physical violence and the threat of said violence really, really, really fucking well.  It’s quick, it’s brutal, and it’s still funny even when it’s not a surprise because you’ve seen it eight dozen times.

4. Rosebud

  • Oh yeah, this season has shortened intros.  Must . . . pee . . . faster.
  • The fact that Burns is always watching his employees on his wall of monitors is the perfect illustration of this show’s complete and utter disdain for Authority of any kind. 
  • Two episodes in a row with Nixon!  One of the best things Futurama ever did was bring him back as the President.  I wonder if, twenty years from now when the wounds aren’t as fresh, Bush the Younger will make an equally hilarious villain.  Probably. 
  • “That rare first draft of the Constitution with the word ‘suckers’ in it.” There are alumni of first tier law schools who’ve never said anything that perceptive about the law. 
  • I’ve been watching the DVD versions for so long now that I’ve mostly forgotten where the syndication cuts were.  I could look it up on SNPP, but I’m pretty sure the “Homer’s recording studio” thing used to get cut out and I know the “you too huh?” thing from Jimmy Carter used to get cut out. 
  • Why – why – didn’t I buy slices of American cheese when I was at the store yesterday? 
  • “Excuse me, we wanted to see the geek who valued the happiness of his children more than money.” – Power Plant Guy
  • The third act of this episode is 1/63rd as long as Season 20 and I would rather watch it on a loop than all of that piece of shit. 

5. Treehouse of Horror IV

  • I don’t know if it was intentional or not, probably it wasn’t, but the Donut Demon sounds so much like Moe that I can’t help but think they were making some kind of an addiction joke.
  • Three in a row with Nixon (and second of the season with Lizzie Borden)!  Also, Benedict Arnold had a tiny penis.
  • “Marge, look at all this great stuff I found at the marina.  It was just sitting in some guy’s boat.” – Homer Simpson
  • Mit Iodine!
  • This is an off topic tangent, but the whole Dracula segment reminded me of Keanu Reeves, who was the main, though by no means the only, so-bad-it’s-good attraction of Point Break.  If Kathryn Bigelow doesn’t win an Oscar tomorrow night and someone you know complains about it, just point them to this Wikipedia article and rest your case. 

6. Marge on the Lam

  • “Mr. Simpson you do realize this may result in hair loss, giddiness, and the loss of equilibrium?” – Army Doctor
  • This episode isn’t as famous as the preceding ones, but it’s a testament to the merciless quality of Season 5 that it’s no worse.  I’m five minutes in and we’ve had a stolen power sander, trapped inside vending machines, the bear in the little car, an Army serum to avoid dinner with Patty & Selma, and Edward the Penitent.  Holy shit, that’s a murderer’s row and we’re three plus minutes from the first commercial. 
  • If you have never shot at cans I can assure you that you are missing one of life’s great pleasures. 
  • I’ve never smashed a weather station, but I imagine the same applies.
  • Miguel Sanchez!
  • Classic car chase music.
  • “I’m directly under the Earth’s sun . . . now”, I use that all the time. 
  • And it’s immediately followed by Brockman’s insane sermon.  Jebus I love this episode. 

7. Bart’s Inner Child

  • Brad Goodman was funny at the time, but if anything the kind of idiotic woo that people like him pitch has gotten worse since this was first broadcast. 
  • “Troy, this circle is you.” – Brad Goodman
  • Gotta love the nonsensical, self-help bullshit phrases like, “life script” and “shame spiral”.  Clearly anyone capable of such seemingly clever diction (and a turtleneck) can solve your problems for $24.95. 
  • Going off something we were talking about here a few weeks ago, it’s amazing how much of the crowd at the seminar is made up of anonymous nobodies.  It’s not populated by stock characters and that definitely makes it work better.
  • Smithers’ teal tank top is adorable.
  • Love the Brad Goodman Idol. 
  • It’s our first McGonigle reference, but there will be another.

8. Boy-Scoutz ‘N the Hood

  • I fell asleep twenty or so minutes in to “My Dinner with Andre” and never went back to finish it.
  • There was a squishy machine in my high school cafeteria but the lunch ladies would never let us make one entirely out of syrup.  We gave them like $5 one time too.
  • I’ve never seen “New York, New York”, and I even like musicals. 
  • “Weaseling out of things is important to learn!  It’s what separates us from the animals . . . except the weasel.” – Homer Simpson
  • Seven and a half beers in I’ve attained the rank of “Pussywillow”.
  • Floor pie! 
  • I know Ernest Borgnine best as Dominic Santini from Airwolf, but that’s just me.  Also, Borgnine rules.
  • Love how Bart imagines Homer making a hat out of the map, and then Homer actually makes a hat out of the map.
  • I don’t know if one person just thought it up, or if there was a discussion of “what’s the most wasteful thing Homer could do with the water?”, but washing his socks is perfect. 
  • I haven’t watched enough Zombie Simpsons to know the real answer, but when was the last time Patty and/or Selma openly wished for Homer’s death? 
  • Excellent way to end things with Homer and Bart reconciling and Homer telling him to “Go away, eating.”

9. The Last Temptation of Homer

  • If I ever have a desk people can stand in front of I want a button to push.  It doesn’t have to suck them into a tube or open a trap door, but it has to do something. 
  • Equal employment people dressed as ninjas.  Need I say more?
  • “Colonel Klink, why have you forsaken me?” – Homer Simpson
  • Even in the darkest moment of temptation for his marriage, one inspired by something as mundane as a fortune cookie, Homer still hates Bart.  Bravo.

10. $pringfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)

  • It takes a great deal of historical awareness and comedy genius to make people cower in terror as a train comes at them on their 10” TV screen. 
  • It’s a hundred years later and we’re back to McKinley-nomics. 
  • Predicting tiger attacks on gay lion tamers years before it actually happened.  Life truly does imitate The Simpsons.
  • Speaking of syndication cuts, I’m pretty sure the Rainman thing wasn’t syndicated.   
  • The Bogy Man sequence is . . . well, you know.  They should have sent a poet.
  • I’m Idaho!”

11. Homer the Vigilante

  • I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: nobody gets it worse on this show than old people.  It’s beautiful that even they get their revenge in this episode. 
  • World domination!  “Mental note, the girl knows too much.” – Homer’s Brain
  • Forfty!
  • Not unlike “You Only Move Twice” where there’s a Bond Villain who, in defiance of all convention, cares about his employees, this episode is based on a single yet perfectly absurd twist: a burglar who only steals things with sentimental value.  To call it genius is to fall well short of the mark.
  • I saw “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World” once when I was a kid and I remember liking parts of it. 
  • “Dig up, stupid.” – Chief Wiggum

12. Bart Gets Famous

  • The empty beer cans are beginning to take up an alarming large portion of my teevee table.  Feels odd that I’m already half done.
  • Unpredictable Mexican sitcoms are made by gentlemen with proper British accents.  Isn’t that obvious?
  • This is the second time Quimby has admitted to, and gotten away with, cheating on his wife this season.  It’s almost like he’s a serial adulterer.  Awesome.
  • Oh for Conan O’Brien to take over the show and end it in a year and a half.
  • I love how you can see the seeds of Futurama in all the Simpsons glimpses of the future (e.g. Match Game 2034).
  • Gotta love any Pavlov joke that doesn’t involve the word “Pavlov”.

13. Homer and Apu

  • I buy the cheap/old meat all the time, haven’t been to the hospital yet.
  • “I can see through time!” – Lisa Simpson
  • James Woods is an excellent example of a well done celebrity cameo.  He’s playing himself, but it’s okay because the reason he’s playing himself is semi-plausible and, more than that, incisively funny.
  • Though I enjoy chit chat, as a pathetic single man I can assure you that I am keen to clear the checkout lane as quickly as possible.
  • Seriously, Woods has like twelve punch lines in fourteen lines of dialogue and he nails them all.  If it wasn’t so funny it would be terrifying. 

14. Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy

  • The Buzz Cola ad should be mandatorily shown before all the YouTube clips of the Zombie Simpsons Super Bowl Coke ad. 
  • Aw crap, hiccups.
  • For all the dumbass Zombie Simpsons fans who bitch whenever their precious fraud of a show does a Lisa/Marge episode, I submit this as Exhibit A in support of You Are Fucktard.
  • Nuts and Gum!
  • Speaking of all time classic guest voices: Kathleen Turner.
  • I would buy Hortense the Mule-Face Doll.

15. Deep Space Homer

  • Bring me the head of Colonel Montoya!
  • NASA is the perfect target for The Simpsons, they’re utterly earnest and uncompromisingly focused on substance over style.  It’s a recipe for disaster. 
  • One of the dirtiest things the show ever slipped past the censors: “How come I can’t get no tang round here?”  And then they compound it by asking Clinton (pre-Lewinsky) if knows where to get some. 
  • Everybody loves the music from when Kirk fought Spock.
  • I, for one, totally believe that Art Garfunkel would have an industrial strength compressor.
  • Hail Ants!

16. Homer Loves Flanders

  • This is the warmest weather we’ve had all year.  Happiness with my decision to spend the whole day indoors watching sixteen-year-old cartoons I can recite from memory?  100%.
  • Sacrilicious!
  • Why don’t we have robot cars yet?  I’m serious.
  • “I used to party all night and sleep with lingerie models until Ned and his Bible group showed me that I could have more.” – Stan “The Boy” Taylor
  • Pixie Stix : Child Cocaine
  • Just having got through the Terminator 2 part where Homer hangs on the car, it dawns on me that this is about the twelfth (probably more) explicit yet unstated movie parody this season.  They aren’t spelled out, they aren’t drawn out, they’re just there.  Pop culture usage doesn’t get any better.

17. Bart Gets an Elephant

  • “Push her down, son.” – This is what I’m talking about when I say that the implication or light/quick implementation of violence is far funnier than the genuine article.
  • At KBBL, what’s with Homer walking away with a record and then standing in the sound booth with headphones on?  Was that on the DVDs and I didn’t watch it?
  • All current politics aside, you know how I know that current fears of terrorism are overblown?  This episode came out when the Unabomber was at large and yet there’s a (very good) letter bomb joke and nobody cared. 
  • Did anyone else ever notice that right as he’s walking out Mr. Blackheart sounds like Skinner?
  • The peanut factory manager is brilliant absurdity. 
  • You know that you’re amongst true hearted Simpsons people when you can ram your head into their shoulders and have them laugh because you might just be a jerk.

18. Burns’ Heir

  • When you think about it, it’s really surprising you don’t see more people on message boards with Burns holding the bong as their avatar. 
  • Burns with a sweater knotted around his shoulders is too perfect.
  • “We’ll see what the lab has to say about that.” – C.M. Burns
  • Burns wants to give his money to the Egg Advisory Council, and it’s not until next season that we get the Egg as a Stonecutter member.  Conspiracy!
  • Love the menorah at the end of Bart’s Christmas themed joy ride.
  • Burns’ trapdoor gets a wonderful amount of use this season.

19. Sweet Seymour Skinner’s Baadasssss Song

  • Going all the way back to “The Old Man and the Sea”, I always enjoy Martin’s class presentations.
  • Not that this was a surprise, but add Aliens to the list of brilliantly used movies.
  • Billy and the Cloneasaurus! 
  • Pre-derangement Agnes Skinner is hilarious.  Post-derangement Agnes, not so much.
  • Here’s another Simpsons thing that’s sadly missing from modern discourse: mockery of the military.  The actual troops make personal sacrifices that are as ill appreciated as they are misunderstood, but the institution itself has gone far too long without sufficient mockery. 
  • Also, it won’t be much longer that you can get out by hitting on your commanding officer.
  • “Just like facts have no place within organized religion!” – Superintendent Chalmers  And just like that I fall in love with this show all over again. 

20. The Boy Who Knew Too Much

  • I spent nine years in ultra-hard, posture-ific chairs and I can assure you, despite what the manufacturer may claim, that I still slouch.
  • Gotta love Homer and Bart passing each other on the street, each unwilling to admit their casual dishonesty to the other. 
  • Reporters dashing to pay phones, there’s a cute anachronism.

21. Lady Bouvier’s Lover

  • I love the horror at what a first birthday looks like from the kid’s perspective.  When you think about it, from the point of view of a twenty-five pound person, flaming candles and flash photography do kinda seem like torture. 
  • “Each Matlock could be our last!” 
  • “You remind me of a poem I can’t remember, and a song that may never have existed, and a place I’m not sure I’ve ever been to.” – Abe “Grandpa” Simpson  I feel that way about so many things . . .
  • When this first came out I thought the idea of selling an animation cel was farce, but then it turns out they actually did this and the show’s mockery of it takes on a whole new meaning. 
  • Jasper’s stripper-cake failure – “call the nurse” – set the bar for “jumping out of cake” humor for a decade and more. 
  • “Hello Grandpa my old friend . . .” – Simon and Garfunkel (second mention this season) are easy to mock, but this is sublime, funny and yet appreciative, just the way the elderly would’ve wanted.

22. Secrets of a Successful Marriage

  • I’m pretty sure I could type out a long ass rant about this episode but it would basically boil down to this: outside approval cannot save your fundamentally crappy relationship.  I could teach a class.
  • Speaking personally, I would flunk the orange eating class.
  • I’ve mentioned this before, and I’m sure I’ll do so again, but this show had an unprecedented ability to take an emotionally grotesque situation like a woman throwing a man out of the house and acknowledge the sad parts while emphasizing the funny ones without seeming patronizing or formulaic.  Were I any kind of sober I could elaborate on that, but I don’t think it would matter.  You either know what I’m talking about or you don’t.
  • This episode features the Moe I know and love: not the epically wussy love struck cartoon he’s become. 
  • Ten million Cynicism Points to this episode for “complete and utter dependence” as a romantic idea. 

That’s all folks!  Even in my drunken state I can’t gin up anything super profound about all this.   I got drunk, I watched a cartoon show.  It’s silly and stupid and easily mockable, and without denying any of those descriptions I’d point out one more thing: it was worth doing.  This show never focused on passing situations or hypocritical fad mockery; rather, it chose to make fun of the world we live in instead of the ways we live in it.  Maybe that’s a distinction without a difference, and I’m in no shape to contest it right now, but I don’t think so.  The reason it’s still worth watching all these years later is the same reason it’s still quoted endlessly: it made fun of us, not just our times.  Much as we might like to pretend otherwise we don’t really change that much in a mere twenty years.

Update: My phone is old, its connection software is older still, and my laptop predates them both.  Getting all three of them to cooperate for the simple purpose of uploading a picture is an adventure even when I’m sober.  But I got it, so for any internet doubters out there, here’s the beer:

Dead Soldiers - Season 5 Marathon

03
Feb
10

Crazy Noises: Million Dollar Maybe

Lottery Money

Image used under Creative Commons license from Flickr user Lisa Brewster.

“Bart, with $10,000 we’d be millionaires!  We could buy all kinds of useful things like . . . love.” – Homer Simpson

In our continuing mission to bring you only the finest in low class, low brow, and low tech internet Simpsons commentary we’re bringing back our “Crazy Noises” series and applying it to Season 21.  Because doing a podcast smacks of effort we’re still using this “chatroom” thing that all the middle schoolers and undercover cops seem to think is so cool.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (especially on “aggravating”).

This installment of Zombie Simpsons was so lifeless, so barren of anything that could be called originality or humor that we really didn’t have much to say about it.  (That our collective blood alcohol level was lower than usual didn’t help.)  How many times can you point out that the characters are acting like comedy writers instead of themselves?  How many times can you observe that the ratio of filler to content is sky high?  How many nonsensical plot points can three men endure? 

Seriously, this episode is to comedy what the lunar surface is to life. 

Charlie Sweatpants: Shall we get down to it?

Mad Jon: Ok then

  I just watched this today, and as usual I was unable to pay it full attention.

Charlie Sweatpants: Full attention is not what this one deserves.

Mad Jon: But if I remember correctly Homer wins 1 million dollars and can’t tell Marge right?

Dave: Yep, exactly

Charlie Sweatpants: It’s that rare trifecta of suck where they a) didn’t have remotely enough material, b) what they did have was crazy and boring and c) had a celebrity guest voice playing himself for no reason whatsoever.

Mad Jon: So the man who told a classroom of people what turns Marge on, can’t tell her he was late to a wedding for a million dollars.

Wait, wait, wait, Are you telling me the Man who skipped marriage counseling so he could go fishing, can’t tell his wife he won a million dollars.

Dave: Yes in name and but not character, they are one and the same

Charlie Sweatpants: And that’s only the beginning of its problems.

We could be here a long time if you recite all of the more difficult things Homer has done in the past.

Mad Jon: You know, I think there was one funny line. But it was followed by the second most aggravating thing that happened in this episode.

Charlie Sweatpants: Do tell.

Mad Jon: I laughed when Bart asked Homer why he wasn’t having fun or something, and Homer said that if he wanted to have fun he would have left when Bart was born. That was kinda funny.

  It was, of course, followed by Homer asking for advice from Bart about how to be more selfish.

  Which was the 2nd most aggravating thing I saw.

Dave: What won the prize?

Charlie Sweatpants: I don’t know man, okay that was bad, but I can think of a lot more than just one other thing that was more aggravating that that.

Mad Jon: Well, we will have to agree to disagree. As other than the fact that Homer’s first stop after getting the money wasn’t Moe’s, I found that line the most blood-angering.

Seriously, the man went to Moe’s the instant he sold his entire stock portfolio for $25 bucks.

Charlie Sweatpants: You’re right about that.

That is easily the most out of character thing there was, and for this episode that does say something.

The break dancing cave man was bad, which was only there because they had already stretched that wretched scene at the dinner table well past the breaking point. Both “money spending” montages were weak to say the least, it felt like I was watching one of Adam Sandler’s lesser offerings. The toast, both the rehearsal and the actual one, were painful.

Mad Jon: Yeah, but they dragged on so long that I experienced more boredom than anger. I think I have been conditioned.

Charlie Sweatpants: Of course if they’d had Homer go to Moe’s and open a tab he would’ve died of alcohol poisoning three minutes later and then they’d be about 13 minutes short.

Dave: No you’re wrong about that Charlie

  They would’ve had another piece of shit montage. That seems to be their thing this season.

Mad Jon: Or he could have stumbled home, drunkenly told Marge what happened, she gets pissed, he spends episode trying to figure out what went wrong, until Lisa or Apu saves the day.

At least we could have had montages similar to those in seasons 9-12 as opposed to those of seasons 13-20.

Charlie Sweatpants: Enh.

[Editor’s Note: There was about a three minute pause here where no one said anything.]

Charlie Sweatpants: So, uh, I got nothing, apparently.

I know this episode is utterly devoid of content, but it feels like we’ve barely started.

Dave: I dunno, you’re both more riled up than me. Apparently I’m just numb to all of this now

Charlie Sweatpants: I wish I were numb . . .

Mad Jon: The Cartridge Family, I’m with Cupid, Take My Wife, Sleaze, etc. There are many episodes that are kind of crappy, but not the shithole this one was, that follow the same plot line I just said. And this could have been one of those pretty crappy episodes.

But now I feel kind of greasy for trying to defend the fact this could have been a bad, but not as bad episode.

As an act of contrition, I will now try to kick myself in the balls.

Dave: How’d that work out for you?

Mad Jon: Hold on…

Charlie Sweatpants: This one had “blast crater” written all over it from the start. The b-plot is thin and has no conclusion, the a-plot is even thinner but manages to take up all of its allotted time through montages and unrelated set pieces that make an episode of SNL look like a tightly plotted ballet.

Mad Jon: There was a b-plot?

Dave: The Funtendo Zii

Charlie Sweatpants: Lisa with the old people and the not-Wii.

Mad Jon: Oh yeah….

Dave: Again, they reference stuff but fall well short of parody or humor

Mad Jon: A little Deus ex machina to end that one if I remember. The aides dishwash the Wii right?

Dave: Bingo

Charlie Sweatpants: There’s yet another wasted comedy opportunity as I’d previously thought old people + video games has a decent chance.

Mad Jon: Remember when Bart was trying to teach Grandpa to play video games… That was something could all enjoy.

Charlie Sweatpants: That was, what, Season 3?

Mad Jon: Something like that.

Charlie Sweatpants: You’re correct, of course.

  Now we have to treat the old people with respect.

  Speaking of which, why the hell was Burns trying out a Wii?

Mad Jon: I don’t know. Something about killing Nazis

Charlie Sweatpants: That was almost as bad as the Moe scene in terms of, “Help we’ve got to fill some time!”

Anything else we should mention, specific or general?

Mad Jon: When I saw Moe walk up I thought to myself “Hey, He’s going to ask why Homer isn’t at the bar! That would make sense!” But then I remembered that nothing in the parallel universe that is Zombie Simpsons actually makes sense.

Charlie Sweatpants: It would’ve also been funnier.

Mad Jon: Perhaps, but I guess we will never know.

Charlie Sweatpants: I think we can make a fairly confident guess.

Dave, has your numbness abated enough to spew some hate? That’s cool if not, as I said I kind of envy you. I’m not trying to prod, I’m trying to wrap this up.

Dave: Nah, I’m sort of floating through this one. I think you’ve both hit on all the things I should’ve have been annoyed with, but for one reason or another wasn’t

Mad Jon: You could say Charlie has the same goal as a man kicking himself in the junk, he just wants the pain to end. Trust me on that one.

Charlie Sweatpants: You need to put me in contact with your drug dealer, post haste.

Dave: Also, this is the second episode in as many weeks with a romantic ending, and I’m a grumpy fuck

Mad Jon: Why? Are you going to make him fight yours for the territory?

Charlie Sweatpants: All in the game.

22
Dec
09

DJ 3000 Lives

DJ 3000

“Hey, hey. How about that weather out there? Woah! That was the caller from hell. Well, hot dog! We have a weiner!” – DJ 3000

“Man, that thing’s great!” – Bill

“Don’t praise the machine!” – Marty

Recently I discovered that one of the radio stations in my listening area has converted to a DJ 3000 format. There are no DJs, all the music is alt/pop rock from the mid 90’s ’till now, and the commercials are only 1 minute long and always followed by the Computer saying something like “That was short, now back to the music..” or “92.3, enjoy.”  There is no mindless blabber or stupid callers and the music is from my angsty years, so it fast became my favorite station. Just wanted to point that out. Sorry Bill and Marty…Thanks DJ 3000.

01
Aug
09

An Illustrated Example of Good and Bad Vortex Humor

In Season 5’s “Bart Gets an Elephant”, Stampy escapes and Homer and the family try to find the pachyderm by following the trail of destruction.  Unfortunately, a tornado has come through since Stampy did.  Homer then points up and says, “Look, it got Patty and Selma!”  We’re then shown Patty and Selma in rocking chairs (a la The Wizard of Oz) and they make a joke:

Bart Gets an Elephant2

"I feel it all the way up my skirt." - Patti, "Ditto." - Selma

Now, compare that with Season 8’s “Hurricane Neddy”, which we discussed at length back in June.  Homer ventures out of the basement during the eye of the storm; then, for no real reason, he’s caught up in a tornado-like wind, which causes the following:

Move along, nothing funny to see here.

Move along, nothing funny to see here.

Homer is grabbed by Lisa, Lisa is grabbed by Bart, and Bart is grabbed by Marge who then pulls them all back into the basement.  This isn’t even a subjective example, where I don’t think a joke is funny but someone else does.  There simply is no joke.  The musical score is set to “exciting action” and nothing at all funny happens.  As soon as they’re back inside Marge begins praying for their safety (which is itself not nearly as funny as when she does the same thing in “Homer Defined”).  There’s no punchline and nothing to be quoted, just a few seconds of cartoonish “danger”.

Both segments are short and both involve characters getting sucked up into the sky, but only one is funny.  The other doesn’t even try.  Sadly, it’s sequences like the one from “Hurricane Neddy” (family-in-danger!!!!!) that have become a staple of Zombie Simpsons.

19
Jul
09

Quote of the Day

elephant“Where’s my elephant?!” – Bart Simpson

20
Apr
09

For Once The Government And I Agree

“Hey Clinton, get back to work!” – Moe

“Make Me!” – Bill Clinton

There has been much talk about The Simpsons postal stamp deal and even though most of my thoughts about the subject fall in the ‘Unimpressed/Murderously Angry’ category, it has occurred to me that the US Government has made an overlooked statement here. Unless I am incorrect, and that may be the case as I have done absolutely zero research on the subject, a person must be dead for ten years before they are eligible to be on a postage stamp. I believe this to be the case because I remember seeing a news report about the Elvis stamps released quite some time ago, and I remember the news caster saying this was proof that Elvis was actually dead, and not at Krispy Kreme.

Disregarding the obvious point that The Simpsons are a cartoon and not a real person, it is clear to me that The USPS has decided to get on board with the team here at DHS. 

On May 2nd 1999 “Monty Can’t Buy Me Love” was broadcast. Simple logic would show that 5 days later the government (Lead at the time by Slick Willy, God bless’em) decided that in the depths of the fetid quagmire that was season 10, The Simpsons had died, leaving only a corpse which would soon be reanimated and roam the earth longing  to feed on the brains of unwitting fanboys.

Thank you Government, now if you would please issue a Matt Groening stamp I would be able to prove my theory that he has also been dead for a decade and any decisions regarding The Simpons since then have been made by the break dancing Richard Simmons robot brought in to replace him.

Also I apologize for writing yet another post regarding the stamps, but somethings just can’t be left unsaid.




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