Posts Tagged ‘King-Size Homer

05
Nov
19

Quote of the Day

“What can I do to speed the whole thing up, doctor?” – Homer Simpson
“Well, be creative. Instead of making sandwiches with bread, use Pop-Tarts. Instead of chewing gum, chew bacon.” – Dr. Nick Riviera
“You could brush your teeth with milkshakes!” – Bart Simpson
“Hey, did you go to Hollywood Upstairs Medical College too?” – Dr. Nick Riviera

31
Jul
19

Quote of the Day

“I pity those poor suckers on the freeway. Gas-brake-honk. Gas-brake-honk. Honk-honk-punch. Gas-gas-gas.” – Homer Simpson

08
Jul
18

Makeup Quote of the Day

“Heck, I can’t decide without the pictures.” – SNPP Employee

18
Jun
18

Quote of the Day

“I’m looking for something loose and billowy, something comfortable for my first day of work.” – Homer Simpson
“Work, huh? Lemme guess: computer programmer? Computer magazine columnist? Something with computers?” – Vast Waistband Salesman
“Well, I use a computer!” – Homer Simpson
“What’s the connection? Must be the non-stop sitting and snacking…” – Vast Waistband Salesman

22
Jun
17

Quote of the Day

“Sir, if you just quiet down, I’ll be happy to treat you to a garbage bag full of popcorn.” – Theater Manager
“This may surprise you, but you can’t buy me off with food!” – Homer Simpson

18
Jan
16

Quote of the Day

King Size Homer24

“When I grow up, I want to be a lardo on workman’s comp, just like Dad.” – Bart Simpson
“I wash myself with a rag on a stick.” – Lardo Bart

05
Nov
15

Quote of the Day

King Size Homer23

“You’ll want to focus on the neglected food groups, such as the Whipped Group, the Congealed Group, and the Chocotastic.” – Dr. Nick Riviera

Happy 20th Anniversary to “King-Size Homer”!  Original airdate 5 November 1995.

04
Oct
15

Quote of the Day

DoctorRecommended

“Obesity is really unhealthy, any doctor will tell you that!” – Lisa Simpson
“Oh, yeah?  Well, we’ll just see about that, little miss smart guy.” – Homer Simpson
“My God, that’s monstrous!  I’ve never heard of anything so negligent.  I’ll have no part of it.” – Dr. Hibbert
“Can you recommend a doctor who will?” – Homer Simpson
“Yes.” – Dr. Hibbert

01
Jun
15

Quote of the Day

King Size Homer22

“If you gain sixty-one pounds, they’ll let you work at home?” – Bart Simpson
“That’s the deal.  No more exercise program, no more traffic, no more blood drives or charity walks!” – Homer Simpson

12
Feb
15

Compare & Contrast: Proudly Fat Homer

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“I’m sick of all your stereotypes and cheap jokes!  The overweight individuals in this country are just as smart and talented and hard working as everybody else!  And they’re gonna make their voices heard!  All they need is a leader!” – Homer Simpson

Conventional wisdom has it that everyone is getting fatter these days and that’s a bad thing.  Reality, as usual, is considerably more complicated.  Moral panics over fat have been a recurring feature of American culture for over a century; the actual effects of obesity are deeply misunderstood at best; and the amount of societal and cultural abuse heaped on fat people is cruel, idiotic, and generally harmful.  In short, a “fat acceptance” support group (like the one Homer joined in “Walking Big & Tall”) is a thoroughly modern byproduct of something about which America is both obsessed and deeply conflicted.  In the right hands, it’s a target rich environment for comedy.  In Zombie Simpsons, it’s shambolic background for a whole lot of nothing.

Let’s start with what is easily this episode’s go to joke: a rubbery sound effect.  They use it when Homer crams himself into the seats at the theater.  They use it when he finally gets out of his theater seat (and then immediately again when he gets stuck in the door).  They use it over and over again when Homer gets locked up with the other fat people.  They even use it when Albert the fat guy puts a straw in a cup.  It’s in so much of the episode that they may have simply done that last one out of habit.

In addition to being a pretty weak joke (Once? Sure. Twice? Maybe. Three and more? Uh, no.), it neatly summarizes just how vapid the whole episode is.  Their most used gag is that fat people don’t fit into the same spaces as skinny people.  That’s it.

You can see that shallowness all over the place: the only other fat person who gets any lines is Comic Book Guy, and most of what he does is list foods, Homer himself doesn’t actually do anything in the episode besides stand around, and roughly half the dialogue is people recapping things we’ve already seen.  Even the gag at the end about Albert’s ashes needing a lot of urns goes on way too long, and that’s before they literally spelled it out for us.  You really have to wonder at the mentality and incuriosity in the writers room when they do an entire episode on fat acceptance and most of what they come up with is “fat people are big”.

AlbertsAshes

Get it?  GET IT?

By contrast, “King-Size Homer” also sees Homer become proud of being a fat guy.  But instead of him joining a support group then not doing anything but talk about joining a support group, we actually get to see him be a proud fat guy.  He’s ecstatic about getting out of work.  When Marge calls him on it, he redoubles his efforts to be a “big fat dynamo!”.  At the end, he stands up to the crowd at the theater that laughs at him.  He’s even proud of his “fat guy hat”.  “Walking Big & Tall” tells us (ad nausem) that Homer is proud of his fat self.  “King-Size” Homer actually shows him doing it.

Case in point: fat guy insults.  At the theater, right before the manager attempts to buy him off with “a garbage bag full of popcorn”, the sarcastic guy shouts at him, “Hey, fatty, I got a movie for ya: A Fridge Too Far!”.  That’s a great Simpsons joke: it’s a cultural reference, it’s innovative and mean, it fits the story, and it’s done by one of their best non-named utility characters.  And, of course, there’s little stuff to notice, like how the Squeaky Voiced Teen (who’s taking tickets) and the manager both laugh at first before quickly stopping themselves while everyone else keeps going.

King Size Homer19

On The Simpsons, there is *always* a reason to pay attention.

Compare that to this unedited brainstorm pad:

 Chubby, Chunky, Blob-O, Slob-O, Fat Bastard, Michelen Man, Stay Puft, Chumbawumba, “It is balloon!”, Papa Grande, Augustus Gloop, Beached Whale, Big Boned, Wisconsin Skinny, Butterball, Dump Truck, Jelly Belly, Pudgy Wudgy, Lard Ass, Bloberino, Buddah Belly, Hurry E. Tubman, One Ton Soup, Blob Sagat, Chub Hub, Calvin Coolwhip, Manfred Manboobs, 21-Lump Street, Walking Before Picture, Fatso, Harvey Milk Chocolate, Obese Wan-Canoli, Mahatma Gumbo, Salvadore Deli, Elmer Pantry, KFC & the Spongecake Band, Snacky Onassis, The Foodie Blues, Hoagie Carmichal, and Wide Load

As I said on Monday, there are a couple of decent ones in that mess.  But there is also a ton of filler.  For every creative one like “Obese Wan-Canoli” there are three or four regular old insults (Fatso, Wide Load, Fat Bastard, Chubby, etc.) or unmodified cultural references (Augustus Gloop, Stay Puft, Butterball, etc.).  What’s more, it’s just a list.  This is a Buzzfeed headline in Zombie Simpsons form: 40 Great Fat Insults.  And, like Buzzfeed, you knew a bunch already, and most of them aren’t great.

The Simpsons picked one (1) good one and slipped it into a scene that’s integral to the plot.  If Homer doesn’t want to see “Honk If You’re Horny”, he doesn’t leave the drinking bird in charge, in which case he doesn’t resolve to mend his ways after getting insulted, and, oh yeah, the gas gets vented, preventing explosion.  The entire episode doesn’t work without this scene.

In Zombie Simpsons, the list is the only scene at Moe’s and the only time we see any of those characters.  It’s a one off tangent that has nothing to do with anything, they just had a list and time to fill.

Finally, there’s Homer himself.  It’s not just that we get to see him being a proud fat guy in Season 7, there’s a reason for him to be a proud fat guy.  Homer, being Homer, hates exercise and tries, in Lisa’s words, “abusing a program intended to help the unfortunate”.  He loves not having to go to work so much (“gas, break, honk”), that he overlooks everything else.  In “Walking Big & Tall”, Homer hurls people across entire theaters before happening to walk past the wrong support group.  One of these involves the character being himself and matters to the rest of the episode; the other does not.  Homer, let me introduce Jerkass Homer; Jerkass Homer, please meet Homer.

05
Nov
14

Quote of the Day

CoverForMe

“You promised Mom you wouldn’t wear your dress outside.” – Bart Simpson
“Nuts to that, I’m going to the movies.” – Homer Simpson
“Shouldn’t you be working?” – Lisa Simpson
“I got someone to cover for me.” – Homer Simpson

31
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

King Size Homer18

“Lucky for you, this stuff doesn’t work.” – Springfield Nutrition Center Guy

21
Mar
14

Compare & Contrast: Marge Becomes Less Attracted to Homer

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“Mr. Burns, can you make me thin again?” – Homer Simpson
“I guarantee it. . . . One . . . one! . . . one! . . . Bah, I’ll just pay for the blasted liposuction!” – C.M. Burns
“Woo-hoo!” – Homer Simpson

The Simpsons always had an acknowledged and popular soft touch with big emotions.  For all the craziness going on in the rest of the episode, they could deftly deliver both believably sweet moments and ones that packed real punch.  The same show that has Marge finally snap at Bart’s selfishness and yell that he ruined Thanksgiving could also put Homer in a job he hates staring at his “Do It For Her” wall of Maggie pictures, miserable and happy at the same time.

Even small moments that aren’t pivotal to the plot play well, like Bart thanking his mom for sticking up for him as he runs off with his BB gun to Milhouse’s, or when Lisa and Marge quickly and silently bond over keeping Marge’s cash safe from Homer’s idiotic desire to burn it at Krusty’s stand up performance.  Neither are big, emotional moments that define the story, but they’re still given that little flourish, partly because it makes the scene flow better, partly because that’s just who the characters are, and partly just because it can be funny.

As with so many other things, Zombie Simpsons is utterly tone deaf with small emotional moments.  And since it always repeats something from The Simpsons, it’s easy to see how they can take the same emotion between the same two characters and make it much shabbier.  In the case of “The Winter of His Content”, it’s a scene wherein Marge hesitantly confesses that she’s starting to become less enamored of her husband.

It’s a weak scene in a weak episode, with Marge confiding to Patty & Selma (or at least trying to) about Homer acting like an old man.  The scene, in its entirety, consists of Marge describing things Homer does while we see him do them, then Patty asks her to say she’s no longer attracted to him, to which Marge simply replies “Maybe”.  It’s played as sad, and, as is standard with Zombie Simpsons, it has basically no connection to the rest of the episode.  It’s the first time we see Marge act with real worry and it’s the last time we see Marge at all until the very last scene after everything has worked itself out.

It’s just a quick little emotional moment.  But in addition to being left awkwardly unsupported by the rest of the episode, it also trivializes one of the core elements of the show: Marge’s loving but completely irrational attraction of Homer.  At this point, Homer acting like an old man barely rates a 3.0 on the Captain Wacky Scale and they’ve not only got Marge acting like he’s jeopardizing everything, but they also drop the subject for literally the rest of the plot.  It’s the emotional equivalent of telling someone that you have six months to live and then neither of you asking or offering any more on the subject.  It’s just weird.

Mild Concern

You can tell it’s serious because Marge takes up only a small part of the shot and looks slightly gassy.

Compare that to the same sentiment in “King-Size Homer”, when Marge makes it perfectly clear that she’s not playing around by saying: “Con, I’m finding myself less attracted to you physically.”  It’s a much more personal and appropriate line than “Maybe” because it’s the exact kind of thing Marge would say (stern but phased as gently as possible) and it fits with the gravity of what’s being portrayed.

Besides being a much better line, it’s also tied into the rest of the episode, both before and after.  The first time they bring it up is when Homer reveals to Marge his plan to get fat enough for disability and promptly blows off her objections, still too enamored of his plan to listen:

Marge: Have you thought about your health, or your appearance?
Homer: Oh, so that’s it, isn’t it, Marge?  Looks.  I didn’t know you were so shallow.
Marge: Oh, please, I would love you if you weighed one thousand pounds!
Homer: Beautiful!  Good night.

When she brings it up again at her pro and con session in the kitchen, the groundwork for a quick but sincere emotional moment has been done.  She raises the stakes by telling him quite seriously that she’s losing it for him and Homer ups them further by acting defiant instead of feigning ignorance.

King Size Homer15

Up close and personal, we can see the real doubt and pain on her face.  Shit is getting real.

That buildup works so well that the final time this serious emotion is raised, it doesn’t require a single word of dialogue between the two.  The main plot is fat Homer saving the plant from his own lazy stupidity, and when that’s over and Burns asks if there’s anything Homer wants, Homer and Marge need only share a look.

King Size Homer16

Even just drawn with simple lines, her face says it all.

In neither episode is this vital emotional risk the key to the story.  But Zombie Simpsons treats it like a single scene afterthought where – wham! – Homer and Marge are back and happy because that’s just how things were always going to go.  The Simpsons, on the other hand, made that risk an important part of the ending without even uttering a word.  It’s the kind of thing you can only do if you take it seriously enough to weave it into the entire episode instead of just tossing it off in a scene that didn’t even need to be there.

09
Nov
13

Quote of the Day

King Size Homer14

“All my life I’ve been an obese man trapped inside a fat man’s body!” – Homer Simpson

18
Jul
13

Quote of the Day

King Size Homer13

“Free sample of fabric softener?  Woo-hoo! . . . Mmm, I can feel three kinds of softness.” – Homer Simpson
“Dad, what are you doing down there?” – Lisa Simpson
“Washing my fat guy hat, honey.” – Homer Simpson

14
Jan
13

The Simpsons 23rd Anniversary Yellow Jubilee

King Size Homer12

“Push out the jive.  Bring in the love.” – C.M. Burns

If there is one persistent misperception about this blog on the wider plains of the internet, it is that we simply hate Zombie Simpsons and that’s it.  Beneath that strong and oft expressed dislike, however, is the real reason we’re all here: love.  We love The Simpsons.  It was a show beyond even the most enthusiastic superlatives, and it remains so more than two decades after it took America and the world by storm.  Its creation was a once in a lifetime alignment of immensely improbable coincidences that came together with perfect timing.  It never should’ve happened, but it did, and the world is a much funnier place for it. 

That incredible show has endured so well that, in nearly four years of weekly Reading Digest posts, we’ve been able to link to thousands of Simpsons related pages that were viewed by untold millions of people, and that’s just the stuff that came into the narrow slice of the internet that we survey.  Every week there are blog posts about favorite episodes, fan art of various kinds, and an endless stream of people who quote the show when something in their life resembles that collection of twenty year old television episodes.  All the time, thought, attention and creativity that goes into generating that endless torrent of words, images and real world stuff is a testament to how much joy The Simpsons still produces.  It seems unlikely that any other two decade old piece of culture – in any medium – still generates even a significant fraction of that interest and activity.  So we are hardly alone in our love of this show.

To celebrate that, and keeping in mind the show’s traditional disdain for meaningless milestones, today we are launching The Simpsons 23rd Anniversary Yellow Jubilee.  What is that?  Well, we’re not entirely sure yet.  For starters, we’re going to be watching Season 1 and following along as the episodes move through the 23rd anniversary of their original broadcasts.  Starting today and continuing throughout the week with “Bart the Genius”, we’ll be looking at the DVD commentaries, the animation, the quotes, the sign gags, and the episodes as a whole.  As for what precisely that entails in terms of recurring posts, well, that’s what we’re still figuring out.

And we want to hear from you.  (Yes, you!)  Whether in comments or via e-mail, we want to hear about your favorite parts of the episodes, personal memories, and anything else you can think of.  Guest posts about each week’s episode are most definitely welcome, but this is much more “Do What You Feel” than “Do As We Say”. 

The important thing is that we’re watching television.  So if you’ve got the DVDs at home, know where to watch them elsewhere [legally unactionable stage cough], or can score them from a library, Netflix, or Amazon (Season 1 $25 new, ~$6-10 used), sit down and bask in television’s warm glowing warming glow with us. 

19
Dec
12

Quote of the Day

King Size Homer11

“Arnie Pie in the Sky with the morning commute.  Traffic this morning is as bad as it gets.  Due to a fire at the Army testing lab, a bunch of escaped, infected monkeys are roaming the expressway.  Despite the sweltering heat, don’t unroll your windows cause those monkeys seem confused and irritable.” – Arnie Pie

07
Jul
12

The Glories and Vagaries of Blogging

King Size Homer10

“Where’s the ‘Any’ key?  I see ‘Esk’, ‘K-tarl’, and ‘Pig up’.  There doesn’t seem to be any ‘Any’ key!” – Homer Simpson

From time to time the tags on WordPress don’t update properly.  I have no idea why this is, but it does happen.  This week it happened on the “Simpsons” tag:

Wordpress 'Simpsons' Tag (7 July 2012)

That’s what it looks like this morning, Saturday, July 7th.  (And please note that this is in a browser in which I am not logged in with my WordPress account.)  Some of those links I used for last week’s Reading Digest, but with the exception of yesterday’s Reading Digest up at the top, they’re all at least several days old.  Normally, a full week of posts tagged “Simpsons” would run to two pages at least, but right now you don’t see more than a handful.  This is why our old friend Galileo had good cause to bitch in yesterday’s comments.  (The tag for “The Simpsons” seems to be working fine.)  I missed some of his posts, and I am hereby laying the blame on the malfunction in the WordPress tagging system. 

So, without further ado, here’s a quick update on some of our blogging friends and allies:

Magic Mike…In 10 Words – If that phrase is actually in the movie, I’ll at least think about violating my “never pay to see McConaughey” rule. 

The Andy Griffith Show…In 10 Words – Sigh.  I miss Charles Bronson. 

Matlock…In 10 Words – Grampa no longer has Matlock to keep him company. 

Canada Day…In 10 Words – Hope you guys had fun all tucked away down there.

Announcement: Partially Moving to a New Home. – Lenny is moving up in the world:

I’m happy to announce that after being an amateur blogger for a year and a half, I’m movin’ on up to contributing to NY Press.

She recommends that you follower her Twitter feed as well.  Congratulations! 

278. Jaws Wired Shut – Mike is pressing Bravely through Season 13:

These reviews are getting harder and harder to kick off; at some point I might just forgo trying to come up with an opening statement and just jump into the episode. It’s not like there are any overarching themes or interesting character stuff to talk about, these shows are just a bunch of stuff that happens.

If he makes it all the way through to episodes that are being broadcast now, I’m buying him a bottle of something with a high alcohol content. 

Vout – Finally, check out Springfield Historical Society’s entry on a possible linguistic inspiration for Flanders.  I’ve learned a few things following his blog, but yesterday’s entry was especially cool, it even got the attention of Bill Oakley:

McGarnagle-Oakley Twitter

Watch at least the first part of the first Slim Gaillard YouTube video at the link.  I’ve seen people play piano and do comedy, but I’ve never seen anyone make the way they play piano into comedy.  It’s genuinely amazing. 

02
May
12

Quote of the Day

King Size Homer9

“Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?  No.  Lumber Lung?  No.  Juggler’s Despair?  No.  Achy-Breaky Pelvis?  No.  Oh, I’m never going to be disabled.  I’m sick of being so healthy!” – Homer Simpson

23
Feb
12

Quote of the Day

King Size Homer8

“And remember, if you’re not sure about something, rub it against a piece of paper.  If the paper turns clear, it’s your window to weight gain.” – Dr. Nick




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