Posts Tagged ‘Brush with Greatness

23
Dec
19

Quote of the Day

“Smithers! I want my tea!” – C.M. Burns
“Doesn’t it bother you that he orders you around like that?” – Marge Simpson
“Oh, actually, I value every second we’re together. From the moment I squeeze his orange juice in the morning til I tuck him in at night. He’s not just my boss. He’s my best friend, too.” – Mr. Smithers
“Bah! Too hot!” – C.M. Burns
“You’re right, sir. It’s scalding me as we speak.” – Mr. Smithers

Happy Birthday, Harry Shearer!

11
Apr
19

Quote of the Day

“No! The slide is perfectly safe! This was an isolated incident!” – Krusty the Klown
“I understand that, Krusty. But, Krusty! Isn’t that exactly what you said right before the recall of tainted Krusty brand mayonnaise?” – Kent Brockman
“Now, Kent, you know that question is out of bounds! This interview is over!” – Krusty the Klown

09
Mar
18

Quote of the Day

“Smithers, find me an artist!” – C.M. Burns
“Sir, I’m afraid you’ve systematically alienated Springfield’s entire art community. The only one left is this Mrs. Homer Simpson.” – Mr. Smithers
“Who?” – C.M. Burns
“She won first prize in the Springfield art fair, and as the wife of an employee she’ll be easily intimidated.” – Mr. Smithers
“Excellent. Once again the wheel has turned, and dame fortune has hugged Montgomery Burns to her sweet, perfumed bosom. Somebody up there likes me, Smithers.” – C.M. Burns
“Somebody down here likes you too, sir.” – Mr. Smithers
“Shut up.” – C.M. Burns

17
Jun
17

Ad Hoc Beer Marathon

“Hey, Homer, you busy?” – Lenny
“Yes.” – Homer Simpson

I used to do these with more preparation, but it’s Saturday, I’m sick and tired of being responsible, and my fridge has a lot of beer in it. May the Lord bless and keep the VLC random play function…

The Last Temptation of Homer

– Bart’s parking line prank is one of his best. Especially since the punchline is the psychological frailty of the faculty.

– Look how bored Burns is when Charlie describes the fake emergency exit. He’s not even mad yet, and he’s always kinda mad.

– That plane crashed on his property!

– “Your appearance is comical to me.”

– “Hey, Joey Joe Joe!” Great throwaway joke.

– There’s such wonderful layers to Homer’s “Foul temptress! I’ll bet she thinks Ziggy’s gotten too preachy too!” It’s eleven words, moves the plot, and there’s like three jokes.

– God I miss Phil Hartman. He has one line in this whole episode, and it’s perfect.

– Fucking Season 5, I could write a whole post about almost every scene.

– Stewart callback!

– There’s no way to do the porter’s many sex sounds in text. You can’t even really quote it well. But it’s awesome.

– “Hey, kids, did anyone pray for giant shoes?”

– Simpsons Did It

– I love the immediate and unbridled hostility of the energy convention MC’s “No” when Homer asks if he can get out of dinner with Mindy.

– The ending of this episode is a great example of how the show handled real conflict and emotion with speed and humor. We get right up to Homer thinking he might cheat on Marge with Minday (who’s in the room), which cuts immediately to the reveal that it’s actually Marge in his room, which cuts immediately to her noticing that there’s a turkey behind the bed. On Zombie Simpsons that would take a minute and a half and Homer would explain how he’d been thinking about cheating on her.

Home Sweet Homediddly-Dum-Doodily

– Love the 1960s Batman sound when Marge wraps the sandwiches. #RIPAdamWest

– Count Homer’s test drive would be so much worse on Zombie Simpsons. They’d probably make it a montage instead of just using “gently massages your buttocks” as a punchline.

– “See you in hell, you wingless bloodsuckers!” (Also more great sound effects with the lice squeaking pathetically as they’re incinerated.)

– Stupid baby

– Now that’s a quick sign gag.

– The “turn tape over” gag is a piece of history now.

– “I don’t judge Homer and Marge. That’s for a vengeful God to do.” Maude Flanders was really an awful human being and it made her a great foil for Ned.

– This isn’t the goriest Itchy & Scratchy, but it is one of the most straight up horrifying. “Why? Why? My only son.”

– Homer in front of the judge is hilarious. He actually does love his kids, but way, way less than he’s annoyed by them. His unthinking default is that he doesn’t want to be around them.

– “I want wintergreen!”, “Unflavored for me.”. On a related topic, I’ve been watching “The Handmaid’s Tale” on Mrs. Mad Jon’s Hulu login.

– “Put your garbage in a garbage can, people. I can’t stress that enough.”

– The scene where Bart and Lisa watch the Flandereses put Maggie to bed is another example of how ruthlessly efficient the storytelling used to be. It sets up Maggie as the one Simpson who might like it next door, has several jokes, and shows us how much Bart and Lisa both hate it there and miss home. It takes like ten seconds.

– The Vulgate of Saint Jerome! That’s The Simpsons, an obscure, fourth century bible translation as a punchline.

– “Ned, have you thought about one of the other major religions? They’re all pretty much the same.”

– More great storytelling, the way Maggie instantly bails on the pond soaked Homer, Bart, and Lisa for the Flandereses, only turning aside when Marge shows up. It’s perfectly in character and fast.

 

In Marge We Trust

– Late 90s French nuclear weapons test were a gift from God to the Simpsons writers room

– “In that case, he should’ve made the week an hour longer. Lousy God.”

– As someone who spent far too many weekend hours in un-air conditioned churches, I really identify with Lovejoy’s constancy sermon.

– “No, no, I don’t feel like going to a trash pile today.”
“It’s your life.”

– Season 8 isn’t the first time we see A and B plots that are completely unrelated, but it does seem like where it becomes kinda standard.

– “Do you know thanks to you I’ve rediscovered a form of shame that’s gone unused for 700 years?”

– Lovejoy’s decades long irritation with Flanders is a pretty solid foundation for an episode. “I think I may be coveting my own wife.”

– “Hi, it’s me again. I got another problem. This one’s about my cat.”

– Great fourth wall joke with Marge insisting that nobody is watching them right now.

– Gotta love the librarian as Homer starts clearly dialing Japan.

– I don’t know if “You’re just lucky God isn’t here” is a George Meyer line, but it feels like one.

– 

– “Awesome power”

– I love Season 8, but it has a bad tic of weird endings, the ape fight in this one definitely included. (See also: fan man, phony kidnapping, rocket house, The Eliminator…)

– “She taught me that there’s more to being a minister than not caring about people.”

– And then it ends on a much more entertaining, but completely a-religious sermon. It’s the little things that make this show so rewatchable. (Eat me, spellcheck, “rewatchable” is too a word.)

 

The Springfield Connection

– Upper lower middle class types. Heh.

– “You’re giving three card monty a bad name!”, mumbled punchlines are a great way to say something really stupid and make it even funnier than it otherwise would be. The finger thing means the taxes.

– Homer just assuming Marge is a hysterical woman saved by the police is typical of how the show made fun of sexism without getting preachy like Ziggy. At it’s most basic, sexism is stupid, and Homer is it’s perfect unthinking adherent. Look at her face here!

– Ditto the cops laughing when she says she wants to be a police officer.

– “Forget about the badge, when do we get the freakin’ guns?!”

– I think I mentioned this on the Season 6 beer marathon, but I’ve never been able to get those Magic Eye things to work.

– I watched Zootopia recently. Great movie co-directed by Simpsons alum Rich Moore. The police briefing scene there is a lot like the one here. I mean, police briefing scenes are pretty well trod ground (and this whole thing is a Hill Street Blues parody), but the way the jokes flow is very similar here.

– “This padding’s so easy on the knuckles, I could punch all day.”

– Homer and the police tape. It builds and builds and builds right up to Flanders nearly cracking as Homer wallows in his own crapulence.

– The extremely bleak politics of the show shines through when Lisa asks Marge about the police enforcing the status quo for the wealthy elite. That’s “woke”.

– Love the light flicker after Moleman gets executed.

– Poor Antoine Bugelboy

– Homer’s reflexive sexism pops up again when he tells Herman to “leave the girl out of this!”.

– The show even sneaks in a quick parody of the end of all those detective and mystery shows when Homer asks Marge how she figured it out.

 

Brush With Greatness

– Minor point, but Bart and Lisa holding hands about what a “great week” it’s been is pitch perfect in the way networks/channels try and get people to believe they were there for something.

– I wanna go to Mount Splashmore. Take me take me take me take me now! Now! Now! Now! Now! Now!

– Another wonderful Homer moment when his first reaction to Marge’s heartfelt tale of quitting painting and going to art class is, “Do I have to do anything?”.

– Only 35 calories . . .

– Jon Lovitz never had a Troy McClure or Lionel Hutz, but he was one of the greatest recurring guest stars. He nailed every voice.

– Case in point: “Marge, please, I don’t take praise very well!”

– “And as the wife of an employee she’ll be easily intimidated.”

– Carl with Lenny’s voice, ah, Season 2.

– Ringo on “Gear!”, remember when the show gave celebrities fun things to say?

– “Thank goodness. Another day in this suburban nightmare and I would’ve needed half a white Valium.”

– Marge’s brief painting montage is another little moment of character display. We see her painting, but we also see 1) the whole family watching, then 2) only Lisa and Maggie watching (and Lisa yawns), and finally 3) just Maggie there, asleep in the background.

– He’s no art critic, but he knows what he hates.

10
Mar
17

Quote of the Day

“Booo!” – Crowd
“Eyewitnesses estimate the man’s weight at somewhere between four and five hundred pounds.” – Scott Christian

21
Jul
16

Quote of the Day

Brush with Greatness14

“You’re so supportive. I wish every teacher was like you!” – Marge Simpson
“Marge, please. I don’t take praise very well!” – Professor Lombardo

Happy birthday, Jon Lovitz!

21
Jul
15

Simpsons Survey

Brush with Greatness13

“I hope all you kids come out this weekend and really pack this place, just to show ’em how grateful I am.  I told them you would!  Don’t make me a liar.” – Krusty the Klown

Our old friend Philip J. Reed is conducting a survey about the show:

I’ve prepared a very quick 10-question survey that I’d like you to answer if you’ve ever seen The Simpsons.
Seriously; it should be damned quick. If it’s going slowly, it’s because you’re driving yourself insane trying to be comprehensive…so don’t do that. Say what comes to mind, give it a little bit of thought at most, and submit.

This is all a prelude to some other, grander project, but he needs your Simpsons opinions, so you should probably go give them to him:

http://goo.gl/forms/1qNLH3OOxl

I just took it.  Didn’t hurt a bit.

11
Apr
15

Quote of the Day

Brush with Greatness12

“Oh, why did I have to start my diet on pork chop night?” – Homer Simpson
“Now, Homer, we’ve got steamed vegetables and rice cakes for you.” – Marge Simpson
“Wait a minute, hey, I’ve been setting my drinks on these things.” – Homer Simpson

01
Oct
13

Quote of the Day

Brush with Greatness11

“I am going on a diet.  From this day forward, I pledge there will be no pork chop too succulent, no donut too tasty, no pizza too laden with delicious toppings to prevent me from reaching my scientifically determined ideal weight!  As God as my witness, I’ll always be hungry again!” – Homer Simpson

21
Jul
13

Quote of the Day

Delta Sector

“Looks like there’s a jam in delta sector.” – Water Slide Technician #1
“Well, it’s too big to be human.  Send down a few kids, that should dislodge it.” – Water Slide Technician #2

29
Sep
12

Quote of the Day

Brush with Greatness10

“No, not another portrait of that bongo beating Liverpudlian.” – Mr. Schindler
“But, Mr. Schindler, I-” – Marge Simpson
“Oh, someone might have used this canvas to create a masterpiece.  Instead you’ve soiled it forever.  Now this is art!” – Mr. Schindler

Happy birthday Gabor Csupo! 

04
Feb
12

Drool Worthy Simpsons Art

“Then I’m in the class?” – Marge Simpson
“Oh, my dear, there couldn’t be a class without you!” – Professor Lombardo

There really isn’t a great deal I can add to these amazing drawings, so I’ll let them speak for themselves.  The artist is Tim Doyle; and they’re part of a show he’s got going in San Francisco.  You can read all about it (and see higher resolution images) at his website

Tim Doyle - Night Falls on the SNPP (Small) Tim Doyle - Embiggen the Smallest Man (Small) Tim Doyle - Amanda Hugginkiss (Small)

Click each one for the gorgeously large “original” size.

These are part of a larger series, with images of fake places from everything from Seinfeld and Arrested Development to Sesame Street.  You can get prints of any of them starting at a mere $40 from the gallery’s store.  If you’re in the Bay Area and you want to go see them for yourselves, they’ll be up until February 23rd at Spoke Art in San Francisco

(Massive hat tip to The Sonny Wilkins Chronicle.)

15
Nov
11

Quote of the Day

Brush with Greatness8

“Hey, what gives?  These donuts are piling up.” – Donut Guy
“Homer Simpson went on a diet.” – Carl
“Oh my God, and I just bought a boat!” – Donut Guy

11
Apr
11

Quote of the Day

Brush with Greatness7

“Incidentally, thanks for not making fun of my genitalia.” – C.M. Burns
“I thought I did.” – Marge Simpson

Happy 20th Anniversary to “Brush with Greatness”!  Original airdate 11 April 1991.

06
Mar
11

Quote of the Day

Brush with Greatness6

“Hey mom, these paintings are good.  While I know first hand how fragile young talent is, I’d love to hear the particulars of how your gift was squashed.” – Lisa Simpson

[Note: I originally set this for 8pm instead of 8am.  Whoops.]

16
Oct
10

Actual Instructions for Drawing Homer Simpson

Jamie Sale Simpsons Sketches

“Now, using the Lombardo Method, you’ll learn to see everyday objects as a simple grouping of geometrical shapes.  Here, we see how two concentric circles, various trapezoids, ellipses – and yes, even a rhombus! – can create an adorable little bunny rabbit.  It’s just that easy!” – Professor Lombardo

One of my little hobby horses around here is posting videos of people either drawing Simpsons characters or purporting to teach you how to draw Simpsons characters.  I find these videos oddly fascinating, mostly because I can’t draw for shit and it’s neat to see how something like that gets done.  However interesting I find them, they usually aren’t all that instructive.  Though many of them are labeled “How to Draw Character X”, often they’re just demonstrations that don’t contain any actual instructions on how to duplicate what you’re seeing.

The three videos by British cartoonish Jamie Sale that I have linked below, however, actually give some lessons.  He tells you what he’s doing and why he’s doing it, from the number of spikes on Bart’s head, to the number of eyelashes Marge has, to how to get Homer’s collar right.  (It starts out as a “V” and then becomes more of an “N”.)

Setting aside the slightly overwrought music, which seems to be par for the genre, these are vastly better than most of those other “learn to draw this” videos I’ve seen.  Sale’s a freelance cartoonist, so if you need something drawn, give him a thought.

23
Jul
10

Quote of the Day

Brush with Greatness5

“Maybe you could take a class at Springfield Community College.” – Lisa Simpson
“I think it’s a very nice idea.  Don’t you Homer?” – Marge Simpson
“Do I have to do anything?” – Homer Simpson
“No.” – Marge Simpson
“Great, fine, go nuts!” – Homer Simpson

15
Apr
10

Compare & Contrast: Nude Burns

“Hey Mom, did he have those spots all over his body?” – Bart Simpson
“I heard that!” – C.M. Burns

One of the few genuinely interesting things I learned while tormenting myself with the Season 12 commentaries was that Zombie Simpsons isn’t allowed to show ass crack.  (Of course, The Simpsons was so fond of cartoon nudity that they had enough for an entire ending credits montage of it by the middle of Season 7.)  Now, all shows labor under some burden of censorship, that’s just the way of the world.  But Zombie Simpsons doesn’t even try to get clever with it.  Burns isn’t wearing some kind of special rich guy underwear, nor a drab prison pair, just sparkling clean tighty-whities.

But even if we set aside childish squeamishness about fleeting nudity, the HD animation still looks dry and dismal when compared with the genuine article:

Nude Burns

Look how much more desiccated Burns appears in Season 2.  He’s got the liver spots all over his body, instead of just on his head, and the bags under his eyes are much more pronounced.  His spine is an unbroken ridge indicative of a man with, in his own words, “a mighty hump”.  The lines in the Season 21 drawing are certainly cleaner, but that only serves to highlight the lack of detail.  Look what happens when we zoom out and take in the full images:

Sterile Background

Look at how sterile and lifeless the background is.  Most of the coloring looks like it was done with the “fill” command (which it probably was).  There’s no cynical work posters, no frightening prison cavity search implements, nothing.  It’s just a nameless, character-less guard and Burns.  Now, look at the scene from “Brush with Greatness”:

Brush with Greatness4

Here a lot of thought and care have been put into both the background and the other characters.  All the accouterments of an upper-lower-middle class bathroom are present: the hamper, the fuzzy toilet seat cover, even the stick-on wall fish.  Marge is holding a laundry basket so we know she has a reason to enter the bathroom, and Smithers is eyeing Burns’ crotch.

In Season 2 we see something that was put together with an eye towards quality, in Season 21 it’s just cookie cutter mass production.  And, by the way, some of the distortion on the Season 2 images comes from the fact that I grabbed them from my ripped .avi files, not from the DVDs themselves.  So even at a compression handicap, The Simpsons still blows Zombie Simpsons away.

Special thanks to commenter Derp for reminding me a while ago that I needed to do an animation post.

24
Feb
10

Synergy Wasn’t All That

Brush with Greatness3

“Alright family, I want the truth.  Don’t pull any punches.  Am I just a little bit overweight? . . . Well, am I?” – Homer Simpson
“Forgive us Dad, but it takes time to properly sugarcoat a response.” – Lisa Simpson

This was one of those rare weeks where the Zombie Simpsons episode was so bereft of humor, or even just attempts at humor, that even wholly owned News Corporation subsidiary IGN couldn’t gin up too much praise.  It concludes by saying:

“The Color Yellow” just wasn’t all that worth it.”

Of course the numerical score is still a 6.4, but that’s because IGN sucks at math.  Speaking of “wasn’t all that”, it’s IGN’s Faint Praise Phrase of the Week.  Instead of just coming out and saying that it wasn’t funny IGN used a lot of wobbly kneed qualifiers of which “wasn’t all that” was the favorite.  Fortunately, all you’ve got to do is drop the “all that” and a quivering synergy sentence becomes a nice, clean statement, though it may not be one the higher ups would find pleasing. 

As always, I’ve edited out the synergy. 

February 22, 2010 – You know something? If a television series stays on the air for two decades, eventually you’ll get around to a jumbled and ham fisted storyline involving slavery. It’s just a fact. And so we have Sunday night’s The Simpsons Zombie Simpsons, where we were taken back to the 1860s to learn about the history of the Simpson family tree though the use of cliffhanger flashbacks. Though the episode contained this sensitive subject matter, they avoided the kind of shock humor other animated series are known for. Unfortunately, the episode also seemed to be avoiding avoided the laughs. Putting more effort into the roundabout telling of the story would’ve been a good idea, but even so "The Color Yellow" just wasn’t all that funny.

It began with Miss Hoover randomly assigning her class the project of researching their family tree. Lisa was hoping to find something noble in her family’s history, but only came across thieves, killers and alcoholics, any one of which would’ve been more fun than this. Looking through heirlooms in the attic, Lisa uncovered the diary of Eliza Simpson dating from the 1860s. Lisa thought she found her noble spark, until Eliza wrote of being happy that "tomorrow I get my first slave cliffhanger flashback." This line, and the accompanying gasps from the Simpson family, ended the first act. Except for Groundskeeper Willie’s battle with a tree stump, the majority of Everything in this opening was a dud.

The edgiest line of the episode came in the early moments of the next act. Learning that an ancestor might have owned a slave, Homer quipped, "For once, the Simpsons were in management." This was as shocking as the episode really got, and it was worth it for an unexpected laugh tame and boring and not the least bit funny. From there, the episode eased the slavery issue by revealing Eliza and her family were a stop on the Underground Railroad Flashback Cliffhanger Express. Learning that the Underground Railroad had no trains and wasn’t underground, Bart stated it should have been called "The Above Ground Normal Road." And it was uninspired jokes likes this that peppered the episode.

The majority of the focus, and the only really interesting thing to watch in the episode, was the pieced together way the story of what happened with Eliza and her slave were revealed. First it was the diary, but that only revealed so much before the pages turned to cliffhanger dust. Next there was an out of place cliffhanger footnote in Eliza’s mother Mabel’s cookbook, and then Milhouse read from his relative’s cliffhanger journal showing another side of the story. This was a clever time consuming way to reveal the story, but more funny any jokes would have been a better way. There were a few standout truly pointless bits, but none were enough to lift the episode’s ranking out of place in Zombie Simpsons. Colonel Burns demanding that the waltz change its time signature was funny took at least thirty seconds, as were did the riffs repetitions on the Simpson motto, "Quit while you’re ahead." Learning that Marge had stopped watching Carrie just as she was named prom queen was great a stretch even by Zombie Simpson standards.

But the episode as a whole just felt was flat and boring. I guess it’s difficult to find the humor in slavery, even for The Simpsons and it’s well beyond the capabilities of Zombie Simpsons. The big  way out of place twist ending was revealing that the rescued slave and Mabel Simpson started a life together in Canada, and that the rest of the Simpson clan were descendants of the pair. This made our favorite animated family one sixty-fourth black. Bart: "So that’s why I’m so cool." Lisa: "That’s why my jazz is so smooth." Homer: "And that’s why I earn less than my white co-workers." Will this historical fact ever come up again in future seasons of The Simpsons Zombie Simpsons? Most likely no. So it makes you wonder, "Why bother?" The episode wasn’t all that funny, the storyline not that shocking was hopeless beyond repair, and the reveal of the Simpsons having African-American roots will likely never be referenced again. "The Color Yellow" just wasn’t all that worth it.

30
Nov
09

High Art Simpsons

“Indeed.  Marge you find the inner beauty of your subject and bring it out for all to see!” -  Professor Lombardo 

Check out these fan-fugu-tastic Simpsons renditions by David Barton.  He’s done them in the styles of famous artists.  Here’s Marge in Vermeer’s “Girl with Pearl Earring”:

Vermeer Marge The necklace instead of the earring really makes it.

Then there’s Groundskeeper Willie, van Gogh style:

Willie Van Groundskeeper When a man this intense says ‘Ach! Keep off the grass’, man, you’d better keep off the grass.

There are two more at the site, one of Apu as Salvador Dali and a Rembrandt style Homer.  Check both of them out, they’re just as awesome as these two. 

(found via Web Designer Depot)




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