Posts Tagged ‘Itchy and Scratchy and Marge

21
Dec
19

Double Secret Makeup Quote of the Day

“I didn’t know they still made TV dinners this bad.” – Homer Simpson

19
Aug
19

Quote of the Day

“This is the kind of entertainment they think is suitable for younger and more impressionable viewers!” – Marge Simpson
“Yeah, but what are you gonna do?” – Homer Simpson
“I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to write a letter!” – Marge Simpson

21
Dec
18

Makeup Quote of the Day

“Is it a masterpiece or just some guy with his pants down? That’s our topic tonight on Smartline.” – Kent Brockman

22
Jul
18

Quote of the Day

“It’s a tool that every home handyman needs! It’s a jigsaw! It’s a power drill! It’s a wood turning lathe! It’s an asphalt spreader! It’s sixty-seven tools in one! How much would you pay for a machine that can do all this!” – TV Announcer
“One thousand dollars!” – Homer Simpson
“Oh, don’t answer yet!” – TV Announcer
“Oh, sorry.” – Homer Simpson

22
Dec
17

Quote of the Day

“Join us tomorrow when our topic will be religion: which is the one true faith?” – Kent Brockman

20
Dec
16

Quote of the Day

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“Hey, tomorrow night, how about making some of your patented pork chops?” – Homer Simpson
“Sure! . . . Oh, dear, I can’t. I’ve got three protest rallies tomorrow.” – Marge Simpson
“Twenty million women in the world and I had to marry Jane Fonda.” – Homer Simpson

19
Jul
15

He Was Moe Green, Damn It!

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“That screwball Marge Simpson, we’ve gotta stop her!  But how?” – Roger Meyers Jr.
“Drop and anvil on her?” – Cartoon Writer #1
“Hit her on the hear with a piano?” – Cartoon Exec #1
“Stuff her full of TNT then throw a match down her throat and run?” – Cartoon Exec #2
“All your fancy degrees and that’s the best you can do?  You make me sick!” – Roger Meyers Jr.

Alex Rocco, the voice of Roger Meyers Jr. and the iconic “bullet through the eyeglasses guy” in The Godfather, died yesterday.  Our friends over at Flim Springfield have an excellent write-up of his career:

RIP Alex Rocco, 1936-2015. Voice of Roger Meyers Jr.

If you’re feeling it, his three turns were in Season 2’s “Itchy and Scratchy and Marge”, Season 7’s “The Day the Violence Died”, and Season 8’s “Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie”.  So long, Alex, nobody ever had a voice quite like yours.

22
Dec
14

Quote of the Day

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“And, joining us live via satellite from Vienna, the home of Sigmund Freud, the world’s most famous psychiatrist, to give us an insight into the human mind, Dr. Marvin Monroe.” – Kent Brockman
“Hiya.” – Dr. Marvin Monroe

30
May
14

Reading Digest: Call for Guest Posts Edition

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Between the holiday, the end of the television season, and the fact that it’s now basically summertime, the Simpsons had a pretty sparse week on-line.  All those things also mean that it’s time for my annual solicitation for guest posts.  If you’ve got something you’d like to say about the show, send it in.  We accept rants, cranky letters to the editor that end with “I am not a nut”, well thought out analyses, and just about anything else.  Pictures and images are welcome, and we’ll be happy to link back to your Twitter account, blog, or what have you.  String a few sentences together, and a tiny slice of internet fame can be yours.  You’re certainly welcome to send in something completed, but if all you’ve got is an idea, I’m happy to help you think it through and flesh it out a little.

As for this week’s actual links, we’ve got a beaded Bart, memories of Phil Hartman, a Lisa inspired music video, a couple of lists, and one of the junior Murdochs being such a ridiculously callous business executive that I could almost believe he was just trolling poor, hapless Variety.  Almost.

Anyway, enjoy, and get thee to a keyboard if you want to publish a guest post.

What HiFi stereo system is in The Simpsons house? – Stereo geeks take a guess at what kind of system the Simpsons have.  Perhaps a Pioneer C-5600?

Dear Phil – A nice remembrance for Hartman:

I still hear your voice, you know. It’s one of the most soothing sounds in life. Seriously!!! Hahahaha and not disembodied as I go through my day – though it does happen from time to time. Picture it: I’ll see something funny on the subway, and you’re narrating it like Troy McClure. It just takes the hilarity to a whole new level.

WWLSR – What Would Lisa Simpson Read Project – Now this is a project idea:

since I have been so involved in book clubs recently I thought it would be fun to read the books that Lisa reads on the show, in the order that she reads them. There is a Lisa Simpson book club out there in Tumblr land, but their reading list is missing a few titles, and is also not in chronological order. I’m a little OCD, so I’m rewatching all the episodes from se01ep01 to the current season so I can make a complete list of books read or referenced by Lisa Simpson. I’ve created a group on the Goodreads website (find it here!) but will also post about it and include my screenshots (Yes, I am ridiculously thorough). This post covers seasons 1, 2 and most of season 3.

That’s gonna be a lot of reading, and don’t forget that at the end of Season 3 she finally gets a copy of Ethan Frome to call her own.

: in remembrance : – Aw:

That’s my dog, his name was Bart. Together, we were Bart and Lisa. You know, The Simpsons?
He was one of the world’s great dogs and we were inseparable.

Sniffle.

Sexism in Springfield – On the less than stellar dialogue of Tapped Out.

D is for diorama – Pretty sure I learned that word from the show, too:

but it is only down to The Simpsons that I knew what was expected when Child 3 came home announcing she needed to make a diorama. I first heard the word in this context in the episode Lisa’s Rival (1994), where Lisa fears another girl’s diorama will be better than hers and plans to sabotage it.

James Murdoch on Cord-Cutting, ‘Fault in Our Stars’ and ‘Simpsons’ Syndication – I forget which one of Murdoch’s kids he is, but he has certainly mastered the content-free timbre of corporate speak:

“We are in an environment of really extreme plurality for customers … you have to have things that are differentiated,”

What does that even mean?

“Over the next three-to-five years we see a lot of really attractive filmic product coming through,”

Ooh, I love “filmic product”!

“The challenge for us is how do we monetize that video?”

Fry, get back to the office, shift some paradigms, revolutionize outside the box!

Classic Album Covers Get The Pop-Culture Parody Treatment – You’ll have to scroll through a few, but the Homer/Radiohead one is pretty good.

Family guy the quest for stuff – Uh-oh, dedicated Tapped Out players are migrating to Quahog.

The Simpsons: 10 Best Episodes Focusing On Minor Characters – Serious pageview whoring on this list, but at least there’s no Zombie Simpsons.

The Simpsons: 10 Greatest Movie Spoofs – Same as above, except there is some Zombie Simpsons.

Simpsons casting director chosen Expat Finn of the Year – Awesome:

Bonita Pietila, a name familiar to every Simpsons fan, was in Finland this week to accept an award for Expatriate Finn of the Year from the Finland Society.

Congratulations!  I always assumed that name was Spanish of some extract, guess not.

Wolf Alice – ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’ – Musical usage:

The video stars Ellie Roswell, who explained the video in a statement: “‘Moaning Lisa Smile’ was inspired by our favorite 8 year old girl, Lisa Simpson. We wanted to create a Lisa-type character and follow her in a pursuit to happiness. Although faced with obstacles in the shape of some nasty bitches, Lisa soon finds the group who make her feel like she belongs.”

The video’s pretty good, and certainly has a more coherent story than any episode in the last decade.

Perler Beads : Bart Simpson – Just what it says.  Well done (and the skateboard is a nice touch).

WATCH: Wisconsin police officer escorts ducks across busy road – Excellent usage:

You may remember a scene from “The Simpsons”, when Apu (in his role as a volunteer firefighter) is racing to the scene of a fire – only to be halted by a mother duck and her ducklings, lazily strolling across the road.

“You ducks are really trying my patience!” Apu complains. “But you’re SO cute!”

There are likely a few commuters in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, who can appreciate that sentiment.

Dining to the Oldies at Stewart’s Busy Apron – I’m not quite sure what it means in context, but it’s a great reference:

The blinds are always down at Stewart’s Busy Apron in Anaheim, but not to keep out the sun. This is the diner version of that sign on The Simpsons outside the retirement home announcing to visitors, “Thank You for Not Discussing the Outside World,” for here is a museum piece.

Duff beer labelled dangerous by Australian Medical Association – Expect more like this as Duff spreads around the globe.

Variety bash team takes on Dave’s obession with The Simpsons – While we’re on the subject of Australia, remember that Simpsons car from a couple of weeks ago?  Here’s the team, complete with Duffman and Duffwoman costumes.

Aaaah, so that’s how you ruin The Simpsons. #PicOfTheDay – Still of what I assume is some kind of Korean game or lottery show with people dressed as Bart, Marge and Homer.  I’d say the weird french fry looking thing on Bart’s head is the oddest part, but the white circles around Homer and Marge’s eyes aren’t far behind.

Music From The Simpsons – Spinal Tap – Lotta good YouTube, here, including the immortal, “These go to eleven.”.

Round 115: Trilogy of Error vs. The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show – “Trilogy of Error” is possibly the best episode in Season 12, it just happens to not really be funny at all, which is a bit of a handicap if you’re going up against Season 8.

de kooning – groening – Can you see Bart with “woman lips” in that?  I kinda can.

D’OH Boy – I think there’s like four puns in there, and I maybe get two of them.

Best Summer Vacation TV Episodes – “Summer of 4 Ft. 2” naturally makes the grade.

Bacon Bourbon Pecan Pie & Maple Bacon Ice Cream – Yet more good food with Simpsons YouTube and a .gif of Homer trying to eat pie with his eyes closed.

Memorial Day: Which pop culture cookout would you crash? – And speaking of summer themes lists desperate for pageviews, here’s one that manages to list both “Lisa the Vegetarian” and Bad Boys 2.

 

16
May
14

Reading Digest: No One Cares About the Season Finale Edition

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“Aren’t you going to watch the rest of your cute cartoons?” – Marge Simpson
“Nah, come on Lis.” – Bart Simpson
“Maybe there’s something else to do on this planet.” – Lisa Simpson

Thank Jebus, most of the Lego hoopla has fallen down the internet memory hole and we’ve got a full set of great links for what feels like the first time in forever.  There’s crazy people driving a Simpsons car across Australia, tons of cool fan made stuff (everything from Homer as a serial killer to a nice Malibu Stacy cross stitch), some fun lists, several people who agree with us, and the most bizarre Bart(ish) statue I’ve ever seen.  Better yet, even though the season finale is two days away, nobody seems to care in the least.  A few people linked to the typically lifeless preview video, and that was it.  Even the recently announced (and sure to be godawful) Family Guy crossover didn’t get any internet love outside of the dutiful stenography of the entertainment press.

Enjoy.

Are Weezer The Simpsons of the Music World? – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this excellent comparison of two faded 90s icons that completely agrees with us:

When looking at the latest Weezer song or the latest Simpsons episode, what’s maddening is that they come off as imposters of their past selves – almost like a cover band or bad fan fiction.

Worth the click.

Part I: The End of Easter – There is much discontent in virtual Springfield:

It is no secret that the Easter event was met with a variety of negative emotions; including disappointment, anger, stress, and frustration.

Part II: What Went Wrong – And it’s well justified:

Investing your time was the priority, as it should be. Players who stick with something for years are more likely to buy something down the road, as oppose to this event which clearly just wanted players to invest their money, because there was never going to be enough time to win all of the prizes through regular game play.

Part III: Economic Voices – But not unexpected:

If you truly don’t like these types of events, you’ll have to break the Pokémon mentality (i.e. “Gotta catch ‘em all!”) and accept that you’re not going to be able to earn certain prizes, no matter how often you play the game. Of course this is easier said than done.

Much easier said than done, deliberately so.

Malibu Stacy – Fan made cross stitch with quote.  Bravo, Chloe.

Dan LuVisi – Cartoon Heroes As Serial Killers – Very impressive fan made art of just what it says.  Homer and Yoshi are particularly cool.

For My Bucket List: With gratitude to The Simpsons – A second “to do before death” list inspired by the family.

Round 109: Lisa’s Wedding vs. Treehouse of Horror XIV – Welcome back, Nebel.  (Oh, and Season 6 obliterates Season 15, but you knew that already.)

Losing the Why and How for the What: A Case for Spoilers – There is no such thing as “overfamiliartiy” when it comes to the show:

While I can’t speak to the specifics of the original Dallas story line (as neither was I born, nor have I ever watched Dallas), I have a fair understanding of the story entirely based on my familiarity (some say overfamiliarity, I say go fuck yourself) with The Simpsons episode.

Huzzah.

Wishlist – This is (partially) about collecting the Lego minifigs, but it’s also worth clicking for the awesome Milhouse blog header.

Return of Bartzilla! –  We must flee!

From the extended edition. – From the same blog as the above, Marge would’ve made those much better movies.

umm That ain’t me kid. – One more.  Heh.

The Zombie Simpsons Family – Not sure of the source, but it’s a black and white image of the family as zombies.

cape_town – Reader Frank C. sent in this picture of a statue in Cape Town, South Africa writing simply “Don’t know what it means, but here you go”.  Well put:

Africa Bart Statue

Thanks, Frank!

In Defense Of Zac Efron: We’ve Rounded Up Some Of TV’s Worst Neighbors – You know who’s #1:

The Simpsons — Homer Simpson

Offenses: Uh, let’s see. Being indirectly responsibly for the death or your first wife. Getting you married to a Las Vegas hooker. Not returning borrowed household items. To list them all would require more time than this writer has.

Bad Neighbor Rating: 10.0

The episode where Maude dies sucks, but “War Rocks” always gets me.

List O’ the Week: 20 Worst episodes of The Simpsons (Classic era) – Part. 1 – Oof, picking bad episodes out of Seasons 3-8 seems basically impossible to me, but to each their own.

Scanning the Simpsons – Scanner pictures of the Simpsons Lego characters.  Cool.

It Was A Simpsons Sky – Fan poem.  Neat.

Why ‘The Simpsons’ Is the Best TV Show Ever – A long love note to the great years of the show.

The Simpsons! – Cool fan made sketch of the family.  But how come Maggie’s head isn’t being vomited out by someone else?

It’s The Simpsons! – A handy fan made fact sheet, including the depressing fact that FOX owns the show until 2082.

Tuesday “News:” 90s-Related Media I Discovered Last Week – The 90s Project rolls on.

Simpsons – Gun Accessories – Big screen grab of Homer’s gun purchase.

BREAKING: Beloved TV series eerily predicted Hank Scorpio’s takeover of the eastern United States – A lot of people wrote up that goofy story about Syria’s government blaming the show for something.  This one is the best I’ve seen:

OK, first of all, “New Kids on the Blecch” is a mediocre effort at best. The boy band parodies are OK but too on the nose, and the navy stuff is just flat. Second of all, say whaaaaaa?

Toy Review – LEGO Simpsons House (71006) – Serious minded review of the Lego set:

I also really like the items the family gets. Not just the things like the couch and a kitchen table, but they also get a piano, and accessories for every bedroom. It also may be the first product to feature an official LEGO toilet.

If that’s not a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is.

GAME REVIEW: The Simpsons – Bart vs The World – A review of the second Simpsons game.  Bonus points for using the Sega Master System version instead of the NES one.  Don’t see that much.

A “Simpsons” and “Family Guy” crossover episode is coming whether you like it or not – Oh, relentlessly positive corporate PR, don’t ever change:

Fox chairman Kevin Reilly was delighted to share the news, saying, “Generations of fans will be talking about this one.”

What was I laughing at now?  Oh, yes, that crippled Irishman.

Yeppoon trio ready to drive The Simpsons through the bush – Some rather awesome people are going to drive a Simpsons themed VW Bug around Australia.  That license plate is fantastic.

Chomet the way to Springfield: Sylvain Chomet on turning TV’s favourite family French and the virtues of hand-drawn animation – A little more about how that couch gag came about:

The 50-year-old can trace his relationship with The Simpsons back to when he had a studio in Scotland while working on The Illusionist. “We had this actor, Harry Shearer, who does a lot of voices for the show, including Mr Burns,” he explains. “He said ‘you know they [Groening and long-time Simpsons producer Al Jean] really like your work’.”

Even in its senile years, Harry Shearer does what he can to brighten Zombie Simpsons.  Also, that would be the animated 2010 The Illusionist, not that crappy 2006 Edward Norton movie.

The 10 Worst Simpsons Episodes of All Time – A perfectly cromulent list:

With that in mind, we present the 10 worst episodes in The Simpsons’ history. Unsurprisingly, none of these episodes come from the peak of the show’s run, when it was considered nigh universally great. Perhaps surprisingly, they all come from a period in the show’s run even later than the time when you most likely stopped watching. (You’re such a quitter.)

I kinda thought the talking bar rag would be higher, and there’s no Lady Gaga, but those were all certainly terrible and forgettable.

Product Launch – AUS: Duff Beer – The real Duff soon won’t just be for Aussies and tourists at Universal Studios:

Duff has only been available previously through counterfeits and imitations.
“Australia as a beer-loving nation felt like the perfect place to launch the official Duff Beer,” a spokesperson told just-drinks.
A global roll-out over “the next few years” is planned, the spokesperson added.

I’ll bet it is.

The Simpsons x Johnny Cupcakes – The merchandising has now reached the frosted arts.

THE SIMPSONS x CONVERSE JAPAN JACK PURCELL SLIP-ON JP – Also, more shoes.

The Simpsons 25th Anniversary 5″ Celebrity Guest Stars Action Figure – Series 03 – And more collector crack.

Brief thoughts on the Simpsons – This is far gentler on Zombie Simpsons than I’m willing to be, but this is a pretty cool story:

When I was five my family was called by the Nielsen people wanting to know what we were watching on television, it just so happened that we were watching a very early episode of the Simpsons. While I might not have fully understood what I was watching, I knew that I liked the show. I can remember my mom telling the woman on the phone that we enjoyed the show and hoped to see more of it.

Crossover: The Simpsons x Family Guy – I smell another cheap cartoon crossover.

The Simpsons: The first year – Our old friend Stefan Grasso does an epic writeup of the entirety of Season 1.  He concludes:

25 years later, the show’s producers had betrayed Groening’s original vision, causing The Simpsons to become the same mainstream trash that Groening didn’t want to make, and that’s where The Simpsons had gone wrong. Unfortunately, by the time Mike Scully’s reign of terror ended, the damage had already been done.

I maintain that Scully attracts way more blame than he deserves, but there’s no arguing that when he stepped down the show was kaput.

Nielsen Infographic: How Long It Takes To Binge Watch Popular TV Shows – Uh, Nielsen?  I think you’re missing one there.

The Simpsons Sucks Now – And finally, I get to end the way I prefer, with someone who epically agrees with us:

We have been sucked dry by the series and have little to show for it aside from distant memories. The Simpsons sucks now.
Gone are the detailed plots that show the shenanigans of the town. There is no longer a running story. The episodes now are simply a one and done experience. We are hit over the head with “guest appearances” and it is painful. It legitimately upsets me how little the writer’s care about the loyal fans who have been keeping up with the show for the 20 plus seasons.

Preach, brother.  Preach.

01
Mar
14

Quote of the Day

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“Take a letter, Miss White.  Dear valued viewer, thank you for taking an interest in the Itchy and Scratchy program.  Enclosed is a personally autographed photo of America’s favorite cat and mouse team to add to your collection.  In regards to your specific comments about the show, our research indicates that one person cannot make a difference, no matter how big a screwball she is.  So let me close by saying . . .” – Roger Meyers Jr.
“And the horse I rode in on?  I’ll show them what one screwball can do!” – Marge Simpson

Happy birthday Alex Rocco!  (Well, he’s a Leap Day baby, but close enough.) 

20
Dec
13

Quote of the Day

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“You heard me, I won’t be in for the rest of the week. . . . I told you, my baby beat me up. . . . Oh, it is not the worst excuse I ever thought up.” – Homer Simpson

24
Aug
13

Quote of the Day

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“I knew all this stuff would come in handy someday.  Let’s see now, ah, here it is: the Complete Handyman’s Bookshelf, Volume 1, Spice Racks.” – Homer Simpson

21
May
13

Hey, Everybody, Season 24 Is Over

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“Hi, kids! . . . What the . . . is this Saturday?” – Krusty the Klown

I’m still going to do Behind Us Forever for this week’s episodes, but the last two days have not been kind in terms of free time.  In the interim, how about a little ratings schadenfreude?

Sunday’s episodes both scored dismal ratings, with the first one (“The Saga of Carl”) coming in at just 4.01 million viewers, and “Dangers on a Train” bumping up a bit to 4.52 million.  The former is good for #2 on the all time least watched list, with even the higher rated second episode coming in at #10.  Here is the current bottom twenty in terms of viewers:

#

S-Ep

Airdate

Viewers
(millions)

Episode Title

1 23-21 13-May-12 4.00 Ned ‘N Edna’s Blend
2 24-21 19-May-13 4.01 The Saga of Carl
3 24-20 12-May-13 4.05 Fabulous Faker Boy
4 24-17 14-Apr-13 4.07 What Animated Women Want
5 24-12 10-Feb-13 4.19 Love Is a Many-Splintered Thing
6 23-13 12-Feb-12 4.33 The Daughter Also Rises
7 24-8 16-Dec-12 4.41 To Cur With Love
8 24-19 6-May-13 4.43 Whiskey Business
9 24-18 28-Apr-13 4.48 Pulpit Friction
10 24-22 19-May-13 4.52 Dangers on a Train
11 24-13 17-Feb-13 4.57 Hardly Kirk-Ing
12 24-14 3-Mar-13 4.66 Gorgeous Grampa
13 23-20 6-May-12 4.75 The Spy Who Learned Me
14 23-22 20-May-12 4.79 Lisa Goes Gaga
15 24-15 10-Mar-13 4.85 Black-Eyed Please
16 23-18 15-Apr-12 4.86 Beware My Cheating Bart
17 24-16 17-Mar-13 4.89 Dark Knight Court
18 23-16 11-Mar-12 4.96 How I Wet Your Mother
19 22-18 10-Apr-11 5.00 The Great Simpsina
20 23-19 29-Apr-12 5.00 A Totally Fun Thing That Bart Will Never Do Again

Of those twenty, nineteen are from Seasons 23 or 24, with the lone exception being from Season 22.  Every single episode broadcast since February of this year has made the list.  And not a single episode in all of Season 24 was viewed by more than 10 million people, the first time that’s ever happened.  (The only one even close came after an NFL playoff game.)

In terms of average viewership, Season 24 ran away with the title of least viewed ever.  After bumping along in the low seven million range from Season 20 through 22, last season fell down to just 6.13 million viewers on average.  Season 24 sunk even further, averaging just 5.47 million viewers over its twenty-two episodes.

Now, the usual caveat about these ratings: these are just the overnight numbers.  When there are significant changes to them (usually because a sporting event runs long), I make those updates, but these are not the fancy pants final numbers that take into account demographics, DVR viewers, and whatever else advertisers complain about.  Nielsen only makes very limited data available to the public (at least, as far as I can tell), so these are the numbers I use, but don’t try reading anything into these in terms of “Will the show get cancelled?”.

The thousand monkeys at a thousand Blackberries who run FOX will be looking at those more detailed ratings as well as factoring in all kinds of things like whether or not a replacement would provide the same lead-in numbers for the rest of the Sunday lineup, how expensive said replacement would be, and how much Jean and company react when feces are thrown at them during meetings.  (MacFarlane doesn’t even flinch.)  Given the production lead time, we should be hearing something about a renewal beyond the current contract (on which there are 29 episodes left) sometime in calendar 2013, but that’s about all that can be said right now.

[Update 6:45pm EDT: Just saw this: CBS Takes Key Ratings Crown for First Time in 21 Years.  FOX lost the battle for the nuts and gum people to CBS this year and their overall viewers were third at 7.0 million.  No idea what the monkeys will think of losing to the old people network and having Zombie Simpsons dragging down their overall number, but it seemed worth mentioning.]

22
Feb
13

Reading Digest: Foreign Art Edition

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“This will be the art event of the century!  The greatest masterpiece of Italian Renaissance, Michelangelo’s David, on a coast-to-coast tour, United States.” – Italian Art Guy
“Sir, which cities will be included in your itinerary?” – Reporter
“Ah, New York, Springfield, and if we have time, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles.” – Italian Art Guy

This week we have four(!) outstanding pieces of serious Simpsons art from a bunch of foreigners.  There’s a Canadian, a Frenchman, Brits, and one that I think is Brazilian, but I couldn’t tell for sure, and all of them are excellent and click worthy.  There’s also a couple of people marking Groening’s birthday last week, several others who agree with us, two mentions of “Bart’s Comet” since deadly rocks became all the rage last week, and a bunch more links about “The Longest Daycare”.

Enjoy.

Smooth Charlie’s four part Click of the Week presented in no particular order:

Happy Birthday Matt Groening: A look back at the legacy of the animation legend – A quick tour of some of what made the show so great that also agrees with us directly and indirectly.  For the indirectly, all of the examples it cites for why the show was great (with one tiny exception) come from The Simpsons, not Zombie Simpsons.  For the directly, there’s this:

Celebrity Cameos

Although this later became a hindrance due to including celebrities just for the sake of it, there is a plethora of worthwhile cameos from the illustrious kind.

Worth a read, and there’s an awesome, thirteen minute YouTube video that’s nothing but songs (none from Zombie Simpsons).

Sketchbook Feb 18, 2013 – This is just a sketch, but check out Kirk wearing a Gudger sweatshirt.

15th February 2013 – Matt Groening’s Birthday – Celebrating Groening’s birthday by watching Duffless, which itself just turned 20 on Monday.

Three (Day 47) – A woman took a picture of her son’s “Simpsons magazine” and, tsk-tsk, someone didn’t do the proof reading.

‘The Simpsons’ Oscar-Nominated Short, Starring Maggie And Baby Gerald – Warming Glow, a television blog named after a Simpsons reference, handles the delicate issue of being critical of Zombie Simpsons well here:

The short, titled The Longest Daycare, features Marge dropping Maggie off at daycare, and the butterfly-related adventure she goes on while she’s there. In four dialogue-free minutes, it manages to be both funny and charming, which [fill in complaint about newer seasons of The Simpsons versus the golden years].

Yes, Apatow’s Simpsons Script Will Be Rewritten – Confirmation from Mike Reiss that yes, they are going to make Judd Apatow’s script:

"We never got around to it, and decades went by," Reiss said. At one point, ten years or so after receiving Apatow’s idea — a hypnotist regresses Homer to childhood, enabling him to pal around with Bart — The Simpsons did an episode with a hypnotist, 2001’s "The Blunder Years," where Homer was hypnotized and discovered repressed memories, "so we had to wait another ten years," Reiss said.

Meh.

Your Top 20: Television Cartoons of All Time – This is from the same site that had the shown down at #10 for all time best shows, but it’s #1 here for cartoons.

Festival of Animation welcomes ‘Simpsons’ Producer David Silverman to La Jolla – The possibly-soon-to-be-Oscar-winner Silverman stopped by a San Diego animation festival and earned this nice writeup.  Not much news, but Silverman does appear to be wearing a Homer T-shirt where he’s wearing 3-D glasses.

Dress up or dress down with a classic bow tie – Excellent reference:

Sporting a bow tie in broad daylight – or really anywhere other than a horse race — may seem the sole domain of uppity pricks. Donald Duck and the Cat in the Hat gave bow ties a comedic reputation, and Krusty the Clown didn’t exactly help the professionalism of bow ties either.

The article is actually in favor of rocking the bowtie, but the truth is, you should never trust a man who wears a bowtie.  A cravat’s supposed to point down to accentuate the genitals.  Why’d you want to trust somebody whose tie points out to accentuate his ears?

Oscar Shorts: Animated nominees – Comparing and discussing all the nominated movies, goes with “Fresh Guacamole” as the predicted winner.

Maggie Simpson’s Oscar dress – The show put out some drawings of Maggie in snazzy looking Oscar dresses this week.  Cute.

David Silverman on Guiding ‘The Simpsons’ to the Oscars via ‘The Longest Daycare’ (Video) – Some fluff background on Silverman’s career and how “The Longest Daycare” got started.

Maggie Simpson Stars in ‘The Longest Daycare’: Where Babies Face Off – Still more praise:

the The Longest Daycare uses Maggie’s silence to reinvent the sort of irreverent comedy and affable charm that has made the series so enduring.

Review: Oscar Nominated Shorts – An animator’s take on the short:

The film is funny but it’s also very touching and it isn’t afraid to mix the two to get the desired effect. This again, is why the Simpsons has been on for so long, because of its ability to have such empathy in its characters. The animation itself is a blend of 2-D animation with 3-D elements, which is quickly becoming the standard today and it was used very effectively. I think the fact that these people have been working with these characters for so long just gives this short a certain level of polish that only comes with time and the 3-D elements are well integrated and don’t feel in any way added unnecessarily. So how have they readapted to their original format: with humorous elegance.

And the Oscar Goes to…D’oh – Seeing “The Longest Daycare” rekindles the Simpsons spark for someone who lost it around Season 10.

HOMER SIMPSON – It doesn’t quite qualify as great art, but here’s Homer as done in snow.  They even got the hair, bravo.

Five Best Fictional Meteor/Asteroid/Comet Moments – Bart’s Comet ranks at #2 here.  Great list idea.

I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that – Watching 2001: A Space Odyssey for the first time and finally getting all the references.  Don’t forget the Dawn of Man thing at the beginning of “Lisa’s Pony”.

Happy Valentines Day Part Deuce! – A (fan made?) choo-choo valentine that reverses the syntax.

I Got the Job! – Celebrating the acquisition of employment with YouTube of Homer doing the same.  Congratulations.

Simpsons – Oink (gif) – Animated .gif of Homer meeting Old Zeke.  Heh.

A Good Day to Die Hard…In 10 Words – Don’t worry, boy, you don’t have to follow in my footsteps.  That’s okay, I don’t even like using the bathroom after you.

That Meteor That Struck Russia…In 10 Words – At least it landed in a lake and not on someone’s bomb shelterini. 

Beautiful Creatures…In 10 Words – Must . . . drop . . . pantaloons. 

‘The Simpsons’ Perfectly Sums Up U.S. Politics In Less Than A Minute – Shaky-cam YouTube of the epic PTA meeting from “The PTA Disbands”.  The finger thing means the taxes.

Mississippi looks like Bart Simpson – I’ve seen this comparison before, but this one does have a nice image to go with it.

The Simpsons Might Win an Oscar! – A brief discussion of “The Longest Daycare” that agrees with us:

I rather enjoyed this little cartoon. The ending is especially fun. And it would be delightful to see The Simpsons win an Oscar. I’m a long-time Simpsons fan, though, of course, I haven’t seen a new episode in years.

Of course.

Area Man Has Opinion On Oscar-Nominated Short – And finally, I get to end the way I like, with someone who agrees with us, rather epically, it turns out:

Maggie Simpson’s animated adventure “The Longest Daycare,” screened before last year’s Ice Age: Continental Drift, has been nominated for an Academy Award. I didn’t see the thing until five minutes ago, and my reactions are thus: Thank Jeebus a cinematic “Simpsons” product of merit has come along to atone for that deflated mess in 2007 they called The Simpsons Movie. Let me also jam in the requisite complaint that “The Simpsons” tv show hasn’t been able to do anything with a fraction of this much soul since Dikembe Mutombo played for Atlanta.

Where is the soul, “Simpsons” brain trust? Where is the love? Must you give us irony in place of balls, balls in place of brains, and brains in place of soul?

Well said.

07
Oct
12

Quote of the Day

Itchy and Scratchy and Marge11

“Marge, I’m gonna build you a spice rack.” – Homer Simpson
“Oh, you don’t have to go to all that trouble just for me.” – Marge Simpson
“It’s no trouble, I got a whole garage full of tools I never use.” – Homer Simpson

19
May
12

Quote of the Day

Itchy and Scratchy and Marge9

“What do you have to say to all those Marge Simpson wannabes out there who wish to suppress David’s doodle?” – Dr. Marvin Monroe
“Hmm, I don’t know.  I guess one person can make a difference, but most of the time they probably shouldn’t.” – Marge Simpson

10
Apr
12

“Itchy & Scratchy & Marge” Spews Truth

Itchy and Scratchy and Marge8

“I’ve started a crusade against cartoon violence.  I can protect my own children, but there are many others whose minds are being warped every afternoon at four.” – Marge Simpson
“That reminds me, I gotta get over to Milhouse’s and . . . play sports.” – Bart Simpson
“Alright.” – Marge Simpson
“And I’m going over to Janie’s again.  We’re going to be, um, making the most of our childhood years.” – Lisa Simpson
Have Fun!” – Marge Simpson
We will.” – Bart and Lisa Simpson

They talk quite a bit about this idea near the end, but “Itchy & Scratchy & Marge” has always been one of the premier examples of the way the show could be funny about every aspect of something.  They are a violent cartoon show, but they’re still able to make violent cartoon shows look bad. 

Four guys on this one, Groening, Jean, Reiss, and Jim Reardon. 

0:35 – Reiss notes that Swartzwelder loves Itchy & Scratchy.

1:00 – Groening recounts how when he was a kid he and his friends would fantasize about what an ultraviolent version of Tom & Jerry would look like.  This leads to him introducing Reardon by pointing out that one of the reasons Reardon was hired was because of a short film he made.

1:15 – Reardon picks up the tale of a student film he made called “Bring me the Head of Charlie Brown”, which is funny and ends with, “I got a reputation for doing violent cartoons, which served me well in this episode.”

2:25 – Reiss briefly mentions Herman & Katnip as a truly terrible Tom & Jerry knockoff.

2:40 – Jean points out that they had a running theme in the early years of Homer being an incredibly bad workman, nothing he produces is any good (he cites the soapbox derby racer and the BBQ pit).  Too bad these days he’s instantly good at everything.

3:00 – As Maggie goes Psycho on Homer, Reiss mentions how great it was that VCRs existed then, because they could go back and get the scenes right.

3:05 – They all crack up as Maggie hops away.

3:35 – Groening laughs and declares it his favorite moment as Marge wonders where Maggie got the idea as she puts her down right in front of the television.

4:15 – Irony alert.  Groening was talking about how they get fan mail asking for Itchy & Scratchy to get their own series, and he had a demo reel of nothing but their cartoons that he’d show to people, but that they’d get numb after about a minute and a half.  This prompts Jean to joke that through ten years there probably wasn’t twenty minutes of actual footage because they’re “incredibly quick”.  Of course, the last two or three seasons, when they do have Itchy & Scratchy, it’s always some forty-five second long movie remake.

5:10 – Since this was Reardon’s first episode, he remembers that they were at the Christmas party when the FOX satellite went on the fritz and the whole west coast missed the first act, so nobody saw his name on the credits.  Aww.

5:40 – They’re laughing at Swartzwelder having Scratchy’s “bombs for eyes” actually work as eyes, and then Groening cracks up at “Dogs Tricked” on Marge’s list of violent acts.

6:15 – When the nerdy looking animator throws Marge’s letter over his shoulder and into the wastebasket, Reiss asks if that’s Reardon.  Apparently it’s a guy named Eddie who used to work with Sam Simon.

6:30 – As Alex Rocco appears to dictate the letter, Reardon jokes that they tried to find a way to get his eye shot out, but they couldn’t “fit it in”.  They would’ve found one these days, methinks.

6:50 – Joking around about the fact that there’s an Itchy & Scratchy on Ice poster in Meyers’ office, and then they actually did do a Simpsons on Ice.  Groening wrote the script and got paid in pinball machines.

7:30 – Reardon notes that all the picket signs are a pain because you’ve got to keep the lettering from bouncing up and down.

8:20 – Laughing at Moe’s sign to “Bring Back ‘Wagon Train’”.

9:20 – They’re just sort of quietly giggling at the episode, with compliments here for Castellaneta’s Krusty.

10:15 – When another animator appears on screen, Jean guesses that it’s supposed to be Rich Moore, but they all kinda look the same and nobody even responds.

11:00 – Reiss laughs that if anyone should understand who the squirrel is supposed to be, it would be Homer, and yet it “goes right by him”.

11:20 – Reiss asks Jean if they were going to get O.J. Simpson for the Smartline panel, but that was going to be for “Last Exit to Springfield” where they got Dr. Joyce Brothers instead.

12:00 – Again, they’re just quietly watching and laughing.  Maybe I’m projecting, but it sure seems like they enjoy watching these episodes a lot more than the Zombie Simpsons ones.

13:00 – Minor animation goof pointed out by Rich Moore when “Live From Vienna” pops up under Dr. Marvin Monroe from one shot to the next.  It must be at least kinda frustrating to have gone through every frame of this a decade earlier, then have to see it all again when you’re far enough removed from it to spot all the little mistakes.

13:20 – As Monroe makes an ass of himself, Jean laughs about how they never had much use for psychiatry.

14:20 – Reiss asks about the shot with all the mail trucks backed up, if it was sort of from Field of Dreams.  Jean deadpans, “Yeah, why not?”.  As usual, I can’t do his delivery justice.

14:35 – Reardon says that this scene where the cartoon gets edited was near to his heart because he always hated it when the Saturday morning cartoons would get half their punchlines edited out.

15:15 – Groening compliments the way the animators look here because they’re not overly elaborate.  In other words, they don’t look like any more time was taken on them than on anyone else.

16:40 – Again, I may be projecting, but you almost can’t count the number of times someone says “I always liked this” or “We love this” on these old commentaries.  Similarly, none of the silences are broken by someone talking for the sake of talking, it’s always about the episode.

17:15 – Groening loves the montage because it’s a satirical point that’s the opposite of what they believe.  They don’t actually think everything would be Norman Rockwell if cartoons were banned, but they did it anyway because it’s funny and the cartoons here are getting made fun of just as much as the censorship.  Things like this really are what made the show so damn good.

17:30 – They’re complimenting the pastoral montage, and Reiss cracks up recalling that Brooks had wanted it to end with everyone happy like this and Itchy & Scratchy banned.

18:00 – The Beethoven was in Swartzwelder’s script, it wasn’t a later addition.

18:45 – Jean notes that Bart’s line about building a soapbox racer was the genesis for next season’s episode where that happened, and how they often combed over old episodes to find new ideas.  Reiss mentions that Skinner’s line about seeing some awful things in ’Nam was kind of the same way.  Afterwards, they just kept coming up with more.

19:30 – Reardon’s favorite joke is the newspaper headline that reads “Michelangelo’s David in 1958”.  That is a great joke.

20:20 – Jean recalls having seen a picture of a David statue in Florida that really did have marble pants on it.

20:35 – Reiss jokes that “Scratchy’s the cat, by the way”.  They could only remember because “Scratchy” has the word “cat” in it.

22:10 – And we end with Jean joking that at least they didn’t have to pay old Ludwig any royalties.

20
Jun
11

A Heartwarming Tale of Friendship Overcoming Zombie Simpsons

Itchy and Scratchy and Marge7

“You know, some of these stories are pretty good.  I never knew mice lived such interesting lives.” – Homer Simpson

If the only thing the dull eyed, undead colossus of Zombie Simpsons cost the wider world was half an hour on FOX every Sunday, it wouldn’t be a problem.  There are a lot of television channels these days, and wasting one more timeslot on a mediocre show that fades from your mind as soon as the credits roll isn’t the least bit meaningful.  In the context of the entertainment panoply of the early twenty-first century, everything from movies on demand to the inexhaustible firehose of fun that is the internet, a show as consistently meh as Zombie Simpsons shrinks to near total insignificance.  Unfortunately, that stumbling wreck of a television program does more than fill airtime almost no one watches, it dissuades people from watching The Simpsons, a show that, twenty years later, remains brilliant, biting and laugh out loud funny.

All over the world there are people who, given the chance, would laugh until they cried upon seeing the ambulance hit the tree, giggle to the point of bladder hostility at the look on the wolf’s face when Krusty announces the secret word, and smile uncontrollably whenever they thought of “sacrilicious”.  Instead of that, many of them take a look at two decades of episodes and come to the perfectly reasonable conclusion that they don’t want to wade through it all.  Life is short, and there are an enormous number of other things to do.  When watching it would take so long, why not leave The Simpsons alone?

That is precisely the logic invoked here by WordPress blogger mekkalekkah (whose “Heavy Metal” profile picture indicates that she’s favorably disposed toward subversive cartoons):

When that show premiered, I worked at night and I never had a chance to watch it.  By the time I had a regular schedule, it had been on for so many years I felt like I was way behind.  Now it’s been on for so long, there seems no point in starting to watch it now.  I have Googled most of the pop culture references such as I, for one, welcome our robot overlords so I can figure out what’s going on if people talk about it.  I wish that someone would just make a Best of Simpsons DVD so I could consume it in an unhealthy binge weekend.

Ordinarily, this is where I’d shake my fist at Zombie Simpsons and lament that they already made a “Best of Simpsons DVD” and it was called Season 2.  Then they did it again and called it Season 3.  Seasons 4, 5 and 6 followed in course, and while Seasons 7 and 8 miss in a place or two, they’d be the pinnacle of almost any other program.  Happily, I don’t have to do that.  WordPress blogger thethousandbookproject did it for me in the comments:

I bet I can give you a list of Simpsons episodes to watch on a binge. Basically you want to avoid the past ten years.

You’ve got that right, mekkalekkah then replied:

Yeah, if the Simpsons is on Netflix streaming I’d be up for a list! I feel like I missed out on a lot of funny stuff.

Sadly, it isn’t available on Netflix streaming, but you can have Netflix send you literally any disc from the seasons I mentioned above and be completely safe.  “I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords” is on Disc 3 of Season 5 (along with a ton of other great stuff, everything from James Woods at the Kwik-E-Mart to “Nuts and Gum: Together at Last!”).  The single digit seasons are your friend.  Oh, and a great big thumbs up to the author of thethousandbookproject (which itself looks pretty cool).

28
Feb
11

Quote of the Day

Itchy and Scratchy and Marge6

“In preparing for this debate I did a little research, and I discovered a startling thing.  There was violence in the past, long before cartoons were invented.” – Roger Meyers Jr.
“I see, fascinating.” – Kent Brockman
“And there was something called The Crusades, for instance, tremendous violence, many people killed, the darn thing went on for thirty years!” – Roger Meyers Jr.
“And this was before cartoons were invented?” – Kent Brockman

Happy birthday Alex Rocco!  (Well, technically it’s not until Leap Day 2012, but I’m sure he’s learned to make do.)




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