“I think I could actually hear the air being torn, sir.” – Mr. Smithers
“Oh, shut up.” – C.M. Burns
“Look, there’s only one thing worse than being a loser. It’s being one of those guys who sits in a bar telling the story of how he became a loser, and I never want that to happen to me.” – Homer Simpson
“Please, Homer.” – Barney Gumble
“Yeah, come on, Homer.” – Moe
“Well, okay.” – Homer Simpson
We’ve got three links about Season 2 this week, and not just “here’s a thing that happened in this episode”, but lots of love for the whole season. Excellent. In addition to that, Hank Azaria got a new part, there’s some cool fan art, further evidence that old sitcoms were atrocious, a new ebook about the show, and a cool retrospective on Julie Kavner’s non-Simpsons career.
An alternative Simpsons timeline – I don’t agree with everything in Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week, but it is a very thoughtful overthinking of what the show could’ve been if it had aged the characters and gone off the air before the Fall.
More early rough sketches and drafts from David Silverman – I love the one of Homer ridiculing Marge from “Blood Feud”. They don’t even attempt that kind of expressive animation anymore.
The Hollywood Bowl’s 2014 summer season includes Beatles, ‘The Simpsons’ tributes – The weekend of September 12-14 there will be three concerts at the Hollywood Bowl celebrating the 25th anniversary of the show with fireworks. Sounds fun, but tickets don’t go on sale until May.
Marge Simpson’s Julie Kavner Is a National Treasure – Indeed she is. Click through for a recounting of her career and a picture of her from what looks like her mid twenties.
Fashion Spotlight: Big Trouble Mixes The Simpsons and Big Trouble in Little China – Fan made mashup image of the two. I especially like Burns as Lo Pan with Blinky on his forehead.
Scripting (Comedy): The Simpsons, Season 2 – Oh, nothing, just some quotes from the first seven episodes of Season 2.
Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? – Episode #028 – Ash is down on this one:
Infuriated, Herb hops on a bus but before leaving he hisses to Homer that he has no brother. As Lisa said, “his life was an unbridled success until he found out he was a Simpson.” I guess all Simpsons are meant to have bad luck in their lives.
It’s more than just luck, it’s that they’re inherent losers who expect defeat and keep going anyway.
Robert & Homer Simpson: When Composers and Comedians Share a Name… – As even the post itself admits, there isn’t much at this link. There is, however, a cool drawing of Homer playing a guitar with the lines coming out of some sheet music.
My 14 Favorite Episodes of The Simpsons, season 2 – It’s just a Season 2 kind of week:
This was a tough list to make as the second season of The Simpsons doesn’t really have any bad episodes.
Proof of that is a list of favorites that covers nearly 2/3 of the season.
The Simpsons’ Hank Azaria Lands Major Arc on Ray Donovan – It’s a Showtime show, so he’ll probably get to say “fuck”:
The actor – who most notably lends his voice to several characters on The Simpsons – will play James Cochran, the ambitious head honcho of the Los Angeles FBI who becomes a thorn in Ray’s (Liev Schreiber) side.
Tim Doyle Teams Up With Spoke Art For His Third Solo Show And The Continuation Of His Uber Successful: “UnReal Estate” Series – Yet more of those pop culture paintings, including one of the First Church of Springfield (complete with one of the best signs they ever did).
So, Bob Dylan Made A Super Bowl Commerical (and the Broncos Lost 43-8) – Was it a Canyonero moment? Also, excellent usage:
In the words of Principal Seymour Skinner: “The times they are…becoming quite different.”
Week 4: What Cartoons Did I Watch Growing Up? – The Simpsons, of course, especially good old Lisa.
Ugggh Broncos! – Marge just doesn’t know about football.
Round 99: Kiss Kiss Bang Bangalore vs. Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious – Hey, that’s not Season 17, that’s footage of Kent Brockman interviewing the Pope!
Round 98: The Old Man and the Lisa vs. ‘Scuse Me While I Miss the Sky – You could write this about a lot of Zombie Simpsons:
I remember liking this episode when it first aired, but it really doesn’t hold up. Compared to “The Old Man and the Lisa” the script’s flaws and gaping plot holes become obvious, and the few jokes and gimmicks that might have made you chuckle at first don’t offer anything worth revisiting.
Round 97: A Milhouse Divided vs. King of the Hill – Most of Season 9 isn’t going to be able to hang in late rounds. There are some great episodes in there, but the rot had clearly set in by that point.
No, The Simpsons Did Not Predict The Super Bowl Nine Years Ago – Headline says it all. Also, it’s Zombie Simpsons.
Sitcom sports: Classic episodes featuring skating or hockey – “Lisa on Ice” is here, as well as this excellent reason to never watch “Leave It to Beaver”:
“Leave It to Beaver” (“Beaver’s Ice Skates,” 1961) Beaver (Jerry Mathers) is too embarrassed to tell his parents that a salesman pressured him into buying ice skates three sizes too big.
Meet the real-life ‘Simpsons’ kids in a 1969 film made by Matt Groening’s father, Homer – This is old but was making the general internet rounds again this week. Basically, Matt Groening’s father made short nature documentaries, and one of them had his kids in it. It’s six minutes and you can watch it at the link.
Simpson Effect [WIP#2] – The slow but steady progress of a fan made Simpsons/Mass Effect combination.
Simpsons or family guy?-One month on – No surprise:
One month(And a week) ago,we asked you whether you liked The Simpsons or Family Guy,since then, we have had a lot of voters. So I am pleased to announce the results:
2nd-Family Guy and Both-20% each
New HUGE Art Bust Statue – Homer Simpson as Batman, The Dark Knight! – However you look at it, this giant Homer/Batman head is a pretty cool eBay find.
Why Channel 4 officially sucks – Shame on you, Channel 4:
I only ever bother going to Channel 4 for episodes of The Simpsons, but even then…
They censor some episodes of The Simpsons
The nail in the coffin, however, is that they’re apparently big enough wusses to censor certain episodes of the Simpsons, even if some of that censorship doesn’t exist on Sky 1.
As with almost everything, the billboard allows for a golden era Simpsons reference. Hopefully the Royals will have as much success with their new billboard as Springfield-area English Muffin advertisers.
This year, get her Kansas City Royals tickets, whatever you say, Mr. Billboard!
Yungaburra & Cairns Shop-a-thon – Scroll all the way down for further evidence of the global reach of cheap merchandise: Simpsons flip flops in Australia (where they are apparently called “thongs”).
The Twilight of Charlie X – A little background on, among other things, the Twilight Zone episode that was the basis for the Bart the Monster segment of “Treehouse of Horror II”.
15 Best Guest Voices Of The Simpsons’ Golden Era – This is a promotional list for a new book about the “Golden Era” of the show. (Pro tip: You can just say Simpsons, everything else is Zombie Simpsons.) Anyway, it inherently agrees with us and have some good YouTube, but what I’d really like to point out is that only three of these are for celebrities voicing themselves. The book is five bucks on Kindle.
“Oh, Marge, sitting next to the boss, the best night of the year and it’s ruined!” – Homer Simpson
Last year Simpsons Day fell on a Saturday and I got to spend the whole thing sitting on my ass and watching cartoons. Sadly, today is a work day, but there’s still plenty of great, old Simpsons stuff to enjoy on-line. For starters, check out this 1990 interview with Groening, Brooks and Simon:
Near the end, the interviewer asks about all the merchandise (remember, this was the absolute height of Bartmania), and Groening plugs some of the upcoming licensed crap:
We’ve got some great stuff on its way out, just stay tuned for the Nintendo game, and the Simpsons pinball machine, the official Bart Simpson vehicle of destruction, that’s a skateboard, and lots more.
The great big flashing neon irony of the video comes when Groening is asked about the origin of the show and, referring to the original bumper shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show, says:
I think it’s a very insidious way of keeping people paying attention to a TV show is to make little short cartoons about the length of a commercial so people had to pay attention. If you blinked you’d miss them when they were on the Tracey Ullman show.
The interviewer then asks, “Did you draw them immediately the way they are now?”, to which Groening responds:
Well, if you watch them on Lifetime, cable, you’ll see that the Simpsons have transformed quite a bit since the early days.
Ha! Now 1990 is the early days, far more so than 1987 was at the time.
Speaking of 1990, to give you an example of just how immensely popular and phenomenal the Simpsons were at the time, here is a “video yearbook” from some high school’s 1989-90 school year:
Season 1 had just finished airing when this was made, and Bart not only gets the last word (it’s right at the end), but he also gets about as much time as the Berlin Wall coming down. In a similar high school vein, take a look at this marching band performance of the opening theme in 1990:
The cameraman isn’t doing anyone any favors here, but note the big cheer that goes up from the crowd at the 15 second mark when they recognize the theme. It’s much bigger than the cheer that the band got before they started playing Elfman’s catchy masterpiece.
Finally, this is a video from 1990 produced by British Sky Broadcasting for “dealers”, which I presume means the middlemen who have to decide whether or not to carry the channel. Basically, it’s an in-house promo for how great their programming is and why it’s worth carrying. At the 7:30 mark they talk about Sky One and how it reaches tons of younger viewers, and they specifically cite The Simpsons as a big reason why.
When the promo starts, it not only calls the show “the smash hit of the 90s”, but it contains this rather amazing slice of 1990, then Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney holding a Bart Simpson doll while Colin Powell stands behind him:
I’ll hopefully have more a little later. In the meantime, happy Simpsons Day, everybody!
“I can’t think of a better place to spend a balmy summer’s night than the old ball yard. There’s just the green grass of the outfield, the crushed brick of the infield, and the white chalk lines that divide the man from the little boy.” – Lisa Simpson
“Lisa, honey, you’re forgetting the beer. It comes in seventy-two ounce tubs here.” – Homer Simpson
Good morning and welcome to the sixth Simpsons-Beer Marathon. Today we’re doing Season 2. As with previous efforts, I will make use of the pause and reverse buttons to get a quote right or take a screen grab, but the fast-forward button will go totally unused.
Since I’ll be in no condition to do it later in the day, Chapters 11 & 12 of the book are on-line right now. That gets us through the bulk of the text. Most of the appendices are short, and I’ll put them up sometime next week. Serious thanks once again to everyone who has read the book, found one of my mistakes, linked it somewhere, or actually bought it. And now, it’s been Simpsons-Beer Marathon day for hours and I’m still not drunk yet, so let’s get going.
1. Bart Gets an F
2. Simpson and Delilah
3. Treehouse of Horror
4. Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish
5. Dancin’ Homer
6. Dead Putting Society
7. Bart vs. Thanksgiving
8. Bart the Daredevil
9. Itchy & Scratchy & Marge
10. Bart Gets Hit by a Car
11. One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish
12. The Way We Was
13. Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment
14. Principal Charming
15. Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?
16. Bart’s Dog Gets an F
17. Old Money
18. Brush with Greatness
19. Lisa’s Substitute
20. The War of the Simpsons
21. Three Men and a Comic Book
22. Blood Feud
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