Posts Tagged ‘Krusty Gets Kancelled

13
May
19

Quote of the Day

“It’s time to take out the trash.” – Bette Midler
“I’ll get you for this, Midler!” – Doomed Litterer

05
Mar
19

Quote of the Day

“Look, there must be something I can do on the show. Please, for Mom’s sake?” – Sideshow Luke Perry
“Well, maybe we can find something.” – Krusty the Klown

RIP Luke Perry

13
May
18

Quote of the Day

“Here’s your taco, sir.” – Squeaky Voiced Teen
“I don’t want it.” – Krusty the Klown
“But this comes out of my salary! If I had a girlfriend, she’d kill me!” – Squeaky Voiced Teen

29
Sep
17

Quote of the Day

“A lot of people know about the grotto and the game room.” – Hugh Hefner
“Of course.” – Bart Simpson
“But few know about the laboratory, the biosphere, the alternative energy research center.” – Hugh Hefner
“Fascinating.” – Bart Simpson

So long, Hugh Hefner.

13
May
17

Quote of the Day

“C’mon, you stupid horse! I got my last ten bucks on you! . . . No, don’t look at me! . . . Run! . . . No, don’t come over here. . . . Ugh.” – Krusty the Klown

13
May
16

Quote of the Day

BiggerLolly

“Dancing around in their underwear, that is so degrading.” – Krusty the Klown
“Thirty seconds till your Lil’ Stinker sketch.” – Stage Manager
“Gimme a bigger Lolly!” – Krusty the Klown

16
Sep
15

Quote of the Day

Krusty Gets Kancelled21

“Hey, boyo, what’s so funny?” – Cameraman
“Well, it’s . . . nah, you wouldn’t be interested.  It’s too lowbrow.” – Bart Simpson
“No, I’m quite lowbrow.” – Cameraman
“Well, somebody just wrote a bawdy limerick on the men’s room wall.” – Bart Simpson
“This I gotta see!” – Cameraman

13
May
15

Quote of the Day

Krusty Gets Kancelled20

“Krusty, are you making any money?” – Bart Simpson
“Nah.  That guy’s giving it away for free.” – Krusty the Klown
“Old gray mare she ain’t what she used to be, ain’t what she used to be, ain’t what she used to be!” – Crazy Old Man Singer

16
Feb
15

Quote of the Day

Krusty Gets Kancelled19

“I’m a star again.  I don’t know how to thank you kids.” – Krusty the Klown
“That’s alright, Krusty.” – Bart Simpson
“We’re getting fifty percent of the t-shirt sales.” – Lisa Simpson
“What?  That’s the sweetest plum!” – Krusty the Klown

Happy (one day belated) birthday, Matt Groening!  

05
Dec
14

Reading Digest: RIP, Real Life Bumblebee Man

Krusty Gets Kancelled18

“Dos huevos, por favor.  Oh, que lastima.” – Bumblebee Man
“I gotta steal that bit.” – Krusty the Klown

Late last week, it was announced that Chesperito, a/k/a Roberto Gómez Bolaños, a/k/a the inspiration for Bumblebee Man had died at the age of 85.  Reader Alex from Chile, writes in:

He and his characters were loved in all Latin America and it’s easy to compare his shows rise and fall with the Simpsons, being the 70s the golden years of “El Chavo del Ocho” and “El Chapulin Colorado” and then from the 80s until now having nothing but the zombification of all his programs. Luckily in Chile we only have reruns of the best years of Chespirito’s career, but that’s another story.

We’ve got a couple of Chesperito links for you, along with some excellent usage, a giant tattoo, more fashionable clothing, quite a few .gifs, and the odd bit of Australian politics.

Enjoy.

Mexico comic icon Gomez Bolanos ‘Chespirito’ dies at 85 – Adios:

Known as Chespirito (Little Shakespeare), the Mexican’s work delighted children over four decades.

[…]

In 2011 he said: “Nicknames are the most essential in life, more valuable than names.”

Funeral Plans For Chespirito, The Simpsons-Related Mexican Comedy Icon [Videos] – If you want to see some of his work, YouTube has you covered.

Duffman Runner – An awesome Duffman costume (via @joggingjeans).

Simpsons-mad grandfather tattoos back with EVERY character from the show in world record bid – I linked this guy earlier in the year, but his back is done now, and David Mirkin brings the snark:

MirkinTweet

Simpsons Now – And speaking of Twitter, here’s a new account that highlights the awfulness of Zombie Simpsons ins a delightfully understated way.

Mental Health Minister Jack Snelling under fire for referring to former Liberal Leader Isobel Redmond as ‘Crazy Cat Lady’ from The Simpsons – Commenter P. Piggly Hogswine sends us this piece of Parliamentary bickering from Australia:

Mr Snelling was interrupted by former Liberal Leader Isobel Redmond while speaking on the State Government’s plans to reform the health system.
He responded by saying “Eleanor Abernathy is talking again”, referring to a character from The Simpsons who is described online as “the Crazy Cat Lady” and “a mentally-ill woman who surrounds herself with a large number of cats”.

The Real-Life Drawbacks of Aspect Ratio Preservation – Our old friend Nebel tells you everything you need to know about cropping TV shows for, uh, TV.

Sonic Boom Rise of Lyric: Should Sega give up on Sonic the Hedgehog? | Metro News – Excellent usage:

In spite of some bright spots – and crowd-pleasing visits to Super Mario’s world at every opportunity – his recent games haven’t been stellar.

It’s the sort of status quo which makes you wish someone would put this mascot out of his misery.

As said by a not-at-all-wise-child on The Simpsons: ‘Stop, stop… he’s already dead!’

Happy Thanksgiving! – Can’t have Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce a la Bart.

Family: A (Very Late) Thanksgiving Story – Illustrating family with “Bart vs. Thanksgiving” and the above linked cranberry sauce scene.

TV Review: ‘How Murray Saved Christmas’ is a rare, irreverent holiday special – The kids book that Mike Reiss wrote that got picked up as an animated special is airing tonight.

Hello Kitty x The Simpsons by JapanLA Clothing – Models modeling.  Also, there are bizarre hairstyles, I’m sure worn only for shock value.

Fashion Spotlight: Lisa Vs. The World, Bad To the Bone, and Bite and Fight – Not sure if these are actually still for sale or not, but Lisa in the style of Scott Pilgrim is pretty damned good.

Five Favourite Birthday Episodes – “Stark Raving Dad” tops the list, but there’s some other good ones here and plenty of YouTube.

Springfield, USA: Small Town and Society Through the Simpsons – A nice little writeup of “22 Short Films About Springfield”:

Rather, it seems as though the whole episode is concerned with exploring how the people of Springfield fit into the wider fabric of their society, and then by extension ours. The transitions create an entwined society, forcing us to think about the connections that we unknowingly share and the stories that happen outside of our context.

“All right, Rubbermaid; you just made THE LIST!” – Everyone should have a list.  Mad Jon carries his in his wallet.

Imagining a Live-Action Version of ‘The Simpsons’ with Celebrity Look-Alikes – These come along every so often, but Ed Helms as Frank Grimes is pretty inspired.

Trans life: the benefits of a urinal-free world – I learned something today:

There is an episode of the Simpsons in which Bart gets a job at a burlesque house. In one scene, he’s working the door when Grandpa Simpson arrives, whistling nonchalantly. Grandpa turns to hang his hat, keeps turning and notices his grandson Bart. Then, without stopping, he continues to turn, picks up his hat and leaves the same way he came in. It’s a perfectly smooth abort, the only giveaway being a slight widening of his eyes.
The clip is often shared in social media groups for trans men. Not because we are all huge Simpsons fans (though in my case this is true), but rather because this is the best representation of an experience only we can relate to – that of walking into the gents, seeing there’s no cubicle for a private pee, turning on your heels and walking straight out again.

Heh.  I can’t ever recall seeing a bathroom without a single stall, but I’ve never been to Britain either.

Kojak, Farrah, Rachel and Bert: TV’s greatest hairstyles – Marge justly tops the list, though I’d have put Mr. T higher.

Photos: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Through The Years – Scroll down for a great picture of the inaugural Bart balloon in 1990.  Be warned, though, some of the older ones are serious nightmare fuel.

When the Raven meets Homer Simpson – “Treehouse of Horror” remains a valuable, even bilingual, teaching tool.

TV Review: The Telltale Head – Heh:

I like how Homer gets extremely offended at the fact that monkey’s don’t go to heaven. Which sounds like a country song title.

Also, Homer talking to Bart about popularity remains a series highlight.

The Inappropriate Time To Say Hello! – Excellent real life usage:

Steve was indeed a gentleman but he was no salesman. In fact the team started to call him ‘Gil’ after a few weeks, which was the name of hapless salesman in The Simpsons. He took this bit of team banter very well and would even do the odd impression of Gil from the Simpsons, which was very accurate.

Best GIF ever? – I don’t know about best, but it’s pretty good.  It’s Superman (I think) quickly rotating through outfits of other characters, including Flanders, the Tin Man, and even Arthur from The Tick.

New trending GIF tagged tv cartoon the simpsons… – Burns “Excellent”ing.

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons laughing taunting… – Marge, Homer and Lisa laughing at Bart’s stamp collection.

Can’t Get Enough of That Wonderful Duff! – Unofficially licensed beer tastes just like it should:

Surely an American company that tried this would lose the fight, but this beer is German, and Europeans love sticking it to America almost as much as they love protected place names. The beer itself probably isn’t too different from what the Simpsons creators had in mind. It really is a very ordinary mass-produced beer. The only hint that this is really a cheap German lager instead of a cheap American lager is that there is no hint of corn or rice in the flavor and there is a little bit of hoppy dryness in the finish, maybe even a touch of grass. I overpaid just because of the name, but if this were priced the same as beers of similar quality, I could definitely see my way to imitating Homer and drinking a lot of it.

That’s the idea!

Stupid Pop Stars – Sounds nice:

Been having a Simpson’s binge the last couple of days – Seasons 3 and 4, the halcyon days of the Simpsons. Stuff that genuinely makes you laugh out loud though I have to confess that at least part of the chuckles are nostalgic. When it was no longer about Homer’s stupid antics, when Lisa was less of a know-it-all, when characters weren’t caricatures and when Springfield could enjoy Troy McClure, Lionel Hutz, Edna Krabappel, Maude Flanders and Lunchlady Doris (all sadly missed).

Enjoy Seasons 13 – Present of The Simpsons – And finally, I get to end with someone who agrees with us.  This blog is called “Things I’ll Never Do”, and it even comes with a nice cartoon.  Amen, sister.

03
Sep
14

Quote of the Day

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“Alright, here’s the deal: every time you watch my show, I will send you forty dollars!” – Krusty the Klown
“Checks will not be honored.” – TV Announcer

27
Jun
14

Reading Digest: Teaser Announcement Edition

Gabbo

“What’s Gabbo?” – Bart Simpson
“I figure it’s some guy’s name.  Some guy named Gabbo.” – Homer Simpson

It’s been relatively quiet around here the last few weeks.  I’ve had a Season 16 disc from Netflix sitting next to my computer since the beginning of the month, but haven’t yet gotten around to more Lies Make Baby Jesus Cry or anything else.  However, it was all in the service of something equally pointless: another little mini-book.  It’s much shorter than “Zombie Simpsons”, so even using the word “book” feels like a stretch, but it does have a cover:

Tapped In (640)

Thanks, Cessna!

In case my indirect and overlong title is confusing, it’s about The Simpsons: Tapped Out and it’s not flattering.  The full announcement post should go up on Tuesday of next week, though this thing has already taken so much longer than I originally intended that I wouldn’t carve that in stone or anything.  I sincerely hope you all like it, but I’ll forewarn you that it’s far more about the game than it is about the show.

For today, we’ve got a decent if somewhat skinny (it is summer, after all) link selection.  We’ve got a couple more play reviews, the possible origin of the Mathemagician, more Bartkira art, the artist currently known as Pitbull, and frickin’ bacon donuts.

Enjoy.

Mmm…collectibles: estate sale at home of Homer Simpson’s dad – Castellaneta’s father’s stuff is for sale in suburban Chicago today and tomorrow.  Click through for the drawing of Dan done by his dad.

My Tapped Out Anniversary – I didn’t make it a whole year, but I understand.  Keep up the good work.

Talk Tuesdays w/ Steve Reiss, The Math Magician and The Most Boring Author in San Diego – I did not know this, but apparently Mike Reiss has a brother who is a “Math Magician”.  Was he the basis for the man who tried to make a remainder disappear?

Who Is America’s Favorite TV Family? Answer Depends on Age, Gender and Political Affiliation – Well, mostly age.  As in, if you aren’t currently over 50, you probably like The Simpsons.

The Simpsons Challenge – 552 episodes of glory? – Todd, don’t do it:

So 552 episodes (currently) in 365 days should be pretty easy.  Much easier than my Doctor Who challenge (800 episodes some hour-long ones!).

It starts off as 1.51 episodes a day as a target.  I’m 44 episodes in, having rewatched all 1st and 2nd season episod

Quit at 11.  For pity’s sake, quit at 11!

Simpsons/Akira mashup Bartkira volume one released online – “Moe’s Bar”, yes!

INTERVIEW: ALISON WONDERLAND ON THE SIMPSONS AND HER SKYROCKETING SUCCESS – The kids remain alright:

You also post Simpsons screenshots pretty regularly on social media. If you could collaborate with one Simpsons character on a track, who would it be and why?

It’d be Otto!

Vocal sample?

Yeah, definitely! Or Barney burping, I could totally sample that. Tune it, make it an instrument. That would be kinda weird.

I asked The Game the same question and he said Maggie. He wants to sample her pacifier noise into a beat.

Oh, that’s sick. I wanna sample Barney’s burp.

On your next EP?

Okay, done! I’ll credit you.

In London, ‘Mr. Burns’ and ‘Adler & Gibb’ Stir Things Up; ‘Khandan’ Provides Relief – The official New York Times stamp of approval.

From the Bard to Bart: how Mr Burns challenges our common culture – And from The Guardian.

A Numerical Bart Simpson Snack Store in Hengyang – Don’t think FOX is getting a check for that.  I’m sure they’ll be okay.

VIDEO: Giant Duff Beer Pong With Pitbull And Jimmy Fallon – The title pretty much says it all.  This, by the way, does not detract from my theory that Pitbull is not a real person, but rather was created explicitly for the purposes of selling Dr. Pepper and Bud Light.

10 Hilarious Visual Gags from The Simpsons – Nary a trace of Zombie Simpsons.  Bravo.

Donut Sundae! – Apparently they serve donuts with ice cream at the amusement park in Florida.

Top Thirteen Female Characters – Honourable Mentions – Marge makes it between Belle and Jessica Rabbit.  Hopefully Lisa will make the actual list, which is counting down and hasn’t fully been published yet.

List O’ the Week: 20 Worst episodes of the Simpsons (Classic Era) – Part. 2 – Oof.

Has it ever happened to you, KalZ? – Heh.

Hot Smoked Salmon – Our old friend Gusface Grillah with an excellent paraphrase:

I don’t often eat salmon because the thought of having to wrestle a bear to snatch away his favourite delicacy frightens me.
But then I remembered the wise words of Homer Simpson, “Hey, if you want wild bears eatin’ your children and scarin’ your salmon, that’s your business. But I’m not gonna take it! Who’s with me?” (Unfortunately the bear patrol was as ineffective as a rock that keeps tigers away… ‘Lisa, I’d like to buy your rock’

Bacon Week Continued – Bacon Donuts – Homer would plotz.

Batman: Arkham Knight – 8 Reasons It Should End The Franchise – If you want to invoke pop culture zombies, there’s only one place to turn:

Sometimes one of the most amicable traits a creator of any entertainment property can show is restraint. Hell, just look at how perfectly Vince Gilligan knew how to handle Breaking Bad, as oppose to what remains of something like The Simpsons in 2014 being every possible plot thread has been pulled at until there’s nothing left.

Stop . . . stop, they’re already dead.

02
May
14

Reading Digest: Marketing Success Edition

Gabbo This Gabbo That

“Everyone is saying Gabbo this and Gabbo that!  But no one is saying worship this and Jericho that!” – Reverend Lovejoy
“What’s this about Gabbo?” – Jasper 

Yet another clipped Reading Digest this week because there are two idiotic pieces of public relations sucking up the internet’s attention.  Firstly, they released a trailer for this week’s much hyped Lego episode.  For the record, I quite liked The Lego Movie and it would be a welcome and pleasant surprise if Sunday’s episode was even half as entertaining.  But I do not have my hopes up.

Secondly, Jean, a practiced hand at managing PR stunts, compared whatever that upcoming “major character” death is to Game of Thrones, a show that (despite being on premium cable) is watched by far more people than Zombie Simpson.  He called it the “Yellow Wedding”, and pageview desperate bloggers and magazines swooned at being able to tap people’s insatiable need to click on anything Game of Thrones related.  My money remains on it being a total head fake nothingburger, with the “death” being a reincarnated Dr. Nick or something else that won’t affect the show at all.  Remember when they ran that big contest to have people create a character and then killed him five seconds after they introduced him?  This looks an awful lot like that.

What we do have though is quite a few very solid links, including cool fan art, an internet retelling of “Cape Feare”, Poochie used to lampoon How I Met Your Mother, a couple of cromulent lists, and a nightmare inducing fan made Mr. Burns mask.  Also, there are several factually incorrect links about the low ratings of the show.

Enjoy.

6 Fictional Beers you’d love to drink – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this list of fake beers (with plenty of YouTube), half of which are from The Simpsons.

48 reasons ‘Cape Feare’ might be the greatest episode of The Simpsons – The whole story of “Cape Feare” told in .gifs and screen grabs.  Outstanding.

A Chat with the Cast and Crew of ‘The Simpsons’ – A writeup of a panel discussion Groening, Jean and some of the other big names did:

At one point in the panel they are asked if they’re ever worried about running out of story ideas and Matt admits that they really aren’t. More often, “we find ourselves wondering if we’ve already done a joke.”

That was in 2003.  Jebus.

“The Simpsons” Movie Poster Parodies – More fake movie posters.  Some I’ve linked before, but “Re-Hominator” is new (I think).

Animated sitcoms punching up arcade’s past – The Simpsons – A writeup of the arcade game, and worth the click for the Japanese promotional flyer at the top.  (Also, “World 1-1” is a great blog name.)

Sweet 17 Syrup and Cinnamon Cake – Cool Simpsons birthday cake:

If a list of TV shows that summed up our early years together were in existence, The Simpsons would be pretty near the top, so I’ve tried to incorporate a resemblance to the classic Simpsons donut. It kinda works.. but the icing is white because I didn’t have pink food colouring and nobody’s perfect.

Bet it was good, though.

DUFF BEER BATH – That is one happy looking wooden Bender.

Complete Collection Of Celebrity ‘Simpsons’ Couch Gags – Lots of YouTube of the only thing on the show anyone talks about.

9 TV Roles From Hank Azaria’s Early Days You Might Have Missed – Azaria had guest spots on such classics as Family Ties and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Cartoons that made me feel something (Spoilers) – “And Maggie Makes Three” and “Mother Simpson” both make the list here.

‘How I Met Your Mother’ Finale: Poochie Edit – Heh:

Immortalizing Mr. Burns – A creepy looking Mr. Burns ceramic mask and charcoal painting.

Major ‘Simpsons’ death will be a ‘bigger deal’ than Game of Thrones’ Purple Wedding, show producer Al Jean says – There were a lot of these this week.  This is one of them.  No, there is no actual news.  The closest thing to news is Jean saying that whoever dies may still come back in future episodes, but we already knew that.

Is Bart Simpson an Anarchist? – Audio – Say what you will about the impracticalities of anarchism, but at least they don’t get flustered about using copyrighted stuff on their posters.

Best Episodes of The Simpsons – Excellent list, nothing from even close to Zombie Simpsons.  Plus there’s a poll.

My 6 Favorite Episodes of The Simpsons – Another explicitly non-Zombie Simpsons list:

But we were hooked from that very first episode, and I have been a lifelong fan of The Simpsons ever since.
Even if I haven’t seen a new episode in years…

Good move.

Best TV Episodes of All Time – “Cape Feare” comes in at #4 here.

5 Timeless Cartoons – The show comes in handily at #1.

I’m All Tapped Out – On deleting a deliberately addictive app:

It was a great move deciding to play Simpsons Tapped Out at the start of the year. I’m not joking here, I played that game every single day from the day I downloaded it, to yesterday evening. It controlled my life. I wouldn’t sleep until certain characters tasks were done and I was constantly tapping away. It’s absolutely for the best that I deleted the app.

Nancy Cartwright Talks ‘Simpsons’ Lego Episode, Charity Poker Tournament & More – The publicity for that music live show they’re doing at the Hollywood Bowl this summer is getting started.

Springfield bar scene offers craft beers to broaden patrons’ palates – Excellent reference from Springfield, IL:

On a tour of Duff Brewery, Homer Simpson discovers that Duff, Duff Light and Duff Dry all come from the same vat. The joke is that the different varieties of beer are indistinguishable by taste. For craft beer lovers, it spoke to what they believe is a larger truth — that the popular beers from domestic mega breweries don’t taste like much at all.
If Homer were to venture outside of Moe’s and visit the real Springfield, he would discover a cornucopia of beers that vary greatly in taste and style.

The Simpsons play Mr Burns is coming to London’s Almeida Theatre – The post apocalypse play is crossing the Atlantic.

The Simpsons Lego Episode Could Be the Show’s Best in Years – Low bar, very low bar.  (The trailer they released is there, too, if you haven’t seen it.)

Check Out The Simpsons Lego Episode Poster – Also, there is a poster.  Too bad they don’t put this much care into writing the episodes.

The Simpsons ‘ratings crisis’: Matt Groening favourite pulls in all-time low with just 3.4 million viewers – This is from Britain’s Mirror, so the scare quote in the headline (‘ratings crisis’) isn’t anywhere in the article and they get their lead fact wrong:

It looks like the magic of The Simpsons could be over.

The animated adventure following the Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie and the residents of Springfield achieved its lowest ever ratings last night in America.
Just 3.4 million viewers tuned in to watch What To Expect When Bart’s Expecting on Fox in the US, signalling an all-time low for the long-running series which is in its 25th year.

It wasn’t an all-time low, it was second.  More importantly, the show is already renewed for another season and its demographic numbers hold up a lot better than the awful topline number would indicate.  So there is a lot of slapdash lazy journalism there.  And yet . . . I’ve long maintained that the only way they’ll cancel Zombie Simpsons is if the ratings get bad enough that they become embarrassing to the far more important merchandising brand.  Replicated enough times in other mainstream publications, headlines and articles like that (missed facts, made up scare quotes and all) could bring enough public embarrassment that the monkeys who run FOX might start thinking that the world doesn’t really need that full 27th season.

‘The Simpsons’ falls to all-time ratings d’oh! – No, Entertainment Weekly, it didn’t, but thanks for furthering the impression.

‘The Simpsons’ Hits All-Time Ratings Low – The same goes for you, Splitsider.  Jebus, the entertainment press is wretched.

Last night’s Simpsons episode set an all-time ratings low – Not sure where the A.V. Club is getting its facts:

Given that The Simpsons has been long been on the decline in the eyes of critics and fans, it’s only logical that it will routinely set new records for all-time low ratings as it carries on. Season 22’s “The Great Simpsina” last held the title, but last night’s episode, “What To Expect When Bart’s Expecting,” dropped ratings to a new low, nabbing only 3.4 million viewers in the show’s Sunday night slot.

At 5.00 million viewers, “The Great Simpsina” would be a certified hit by today’s standards.  I’ve got it at #31 all time on my list.

Batman: “Pure West” – Excellent shakycam YouTube.

2faced homer – Neat fan made image.

Council clears way for gigabit Internet service – Nice reference:

City Council members have OK’d a contract that helps clear the way for AT&T to begin installing gigabit-speed Internet service in some parts of Durham sometime in 2015.
The 5-0 decision didn’t come without some skepticism, expressed most forcefully by Councilman Don Moffitt.
“All of this is vaporware until we start seeing connections,” he said, adding he was “reminded of ‘The Simpsons’ episode where they came in and sold the town a monorail.”

Cartoons of a Generation – And finally, I get to end with someone who very efficiently agrees with us:

Anyone who, like myself, grew up as a child during this era would be aware that there were some epic cartoon adventures that just aren’t matched these days.

[…]

(the best of) The Simpsons

What could possibly match it?

03
Oct
13

Renewal Season: Watching the Wall

Krusty Gets Kancelled16

“Hey, Red Hot Chili Peppers, would you guys like to appear on a Krusty the Klown special?” – Bart Simpson
“Sure, if you can get us out of this gig.” – Flea
“No problemo.  Hey, Moe, look over there!” – Bart Simpson
“What?  What am I looking at?  I don’t see nothing.  I’m gonna stop looking soon.  What?  What, is that it?” – Moe
“Hey, Moe, can I look too?” – Homer Simpson
“Sure, but it’ll cost you.” – Moe
“My wallet’s in the car.” – Homer Simpson
“He is so stupid.  And now back to the wall.” – Moe

[Note: Apologies for speculating about the end of your jobs, people on the staff.  You’ve been nothing but courteous and wonderful when contacting us; please understand it’s not personal.]

Back in October of 2011 there were widespread rumors that the show was at last on the verge of cancellation.  FOX and the principle voice actors were deadlocked over the renewal of the contract.  But after a very busy week of anonymously sourced leaks to the press, rampant speculation, and confusion about whether or not there had already been a decision to finally let the show die, it all came to nothing.  In the end, the negotiations were less cordial than usual, but the very wealthy people on both sides of the table unsurprisingly agreed to continue making each other slightly wealthier. 

For all the smoke in the media and on-line, there was very little fire.  All those articles, blog posts, comments, Tweets and general what have you stemmed from just three or four anonymous quotes all week.  The only person directly involved who was willing to stick his name by anything in the media was the ever admirable Harry Shearer, and all he was doing was dumping on FOX. 

Well, it’s now October 2013, which means we’re in the same part of the contract cycle as they were two years ago when “Simpsons cancelled?” was one of the big stories of the week.  That deal runs through episode 559.  “Homerland” was 531; and given the extremely long production time of each episode, it’s likely that episode #559, which will probably be broadcast next Fall, is even now in its earliest stages. 

Contract negotiations can be easily kept private, especially if they’re going well or both sides just want a simple renewal.  But any disruption in the production of the show, or even the ordering of a series finale, would be very difficult to keep off the internet.  It was never confirmed or anything, but supposedly one of the reasons the negotiation problems became public last time around was that they were up against a deadline as to whether or not they’d be able to produce a series finale.  (Jean later said that had the talks failed, they would’ve held over that future Christmas episode until late 2012 and made it the finale.) 

If that’s true, then the extension of the show past the current 559 episode contract will become a forgone conclusion sometime in the next few weeks or months, because if anyone in charge seriously thought #559 was going to be the end they’d stop the production of #560.  So, in this case, no news would itself be news. 

If last time is anything to go by, then we can be at least somewhat confident that the show will be getting a full Season 26 and Season 27 if nothing about renewal or death becomes public by, say, the end of October.  (The current contract provides for enough episodes for a shortened Season 26.)  If nothing is said until after New Year’s, then things just become that much more likely.  Obviously this is all much too speculative to put any numbers on, and we could get news tomorrow that they’ve decided to end things or that negotiations are at a potentially fatal impasse.  But if Zombie Simpsons is going to come to an end before the Rio Olympics do, we should find out sometime very soon.  It probably won’t, but this is the time to pay attention. 

13
May
13

Quote of the Day

Krusty Gets Kancelled15

“Well, you’ve been on TV longer than I have.  I’m sure you’ve saved up quite a nest egg.” – Johnny Carson
“Uh, yeah.  Do they still buy human hair down at the wig shop?” – Krusty the Klown

Happy 20th anniversary to “Krusty Gets Kancelled”!  Original airdate 13 May 1993.

04
Oct
12

Quote of the Day

Krusty Gets Kancelled14

“I admit I used the city treasury to fund the murder of my enemies.  But, as Gabbo would say, ‘I’m a bad little boy’.” – Mayor Quimby

28
Jun
12

Compare & Contrast: Celebrity Game Shows and Homer Simpson

Krusty Gets Kancelled12

“Hurry, Charley, there is not much time.” – Rainier Wolfcastle
“I ain’t goin’ nowhere.  I’ve been in this square fer near thirty seasons, and I ain’t a leavin’ now.  Aaaahhhh!” – Not Charley Weaver
“He’s dead now.” – Homer Simpson

Without drawing too broad a conclusion from just one example, there aren’t many clearer comparisons for how the show’s sense of humor deteriorated than to look at the two times they poked fun at The Hollywood Squares, first in Season 4’s masterful “Krusty Gets Kancelled”, and then again in Season 11’s pathetic “Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder”.  What makes these two so revealing isn’t just the way Season 11 did a rote copy and paste job from Season 4, it’s also the way the two episodes make use of Homer.

First, though, remember what The Hollywood Squares is.  Tic-tac-toe with minor or fading celebrities has been around, on and off, since the 1960s.  As you’d expect, Wikipedia has an entertainingly thorough article on it, including exhaustive write ups of all four (4!) times it’s been resurrected from cancellation.  But through all its iterations, including the new one that’s built around rappers, the basic concept has remained the same.

Hollywood Squares 5 - Square Harder

Pimpin’ ain’t easy.  (Image shamelessly yoinked from here.)

It’s a show that’s cheap to produce and cheap to market because it relies on cobbling together the renown of nine low wattage and low pay stars to take the place of one big, expensive star.  Given the public’s insatiable appetite for famous people (however generously defined) and the entertainment industry’s constant bestowing of mild fame on new people (as well as pushing previously big celebrities further down its guest lists), the show’s durability is no surprise.

Any institution that sticks around that long will eventually become ripe for parody, but The Hollywood Squares was born ripe.  Its entire reason for existing is to wring a few coins from the leftover scrapings at the bottom of the fame barrel; taste, thought, and embarrassment be damned.  Worse, not only is it trashy entertainment; it isn’t even popular trashy entertainment.  After once being a hit network show, it now bounces around as cable and syndication filler, just another undistinguished part of the background noise of television.  There’s a reason that all the versions are big on scripted jokes and having everyone over-laugh at them: literally none of the “celebrities” really want to be there.  That’s pretty sad when you think about it, and distracting the audience from that fact is vital to the show’s appeal.

Krusty Gets Kancelled13

“Live from Springfield Harbor, where the sewage meets the sand!”

The Simpsons fully understood that inherent patheticness, which is why the show itself is the target of the jokes.  Zombie Simpsons, which “Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder” epitomizes, can’t be bothered with that much thought, so they make Homer acting like a dick the focus of their attempt.  For example, consider the way each handles the fact that The Hollywood Squares writes jokes for the celebrities who are supposedly just hanging out and being super nice and approachable.

On Zombie Simpsons, Homer just holds up two pieces of paper and asks which one he reads from.  It’s a semi-clever way to acknowledge that the whole thing is a sad farce, but it’s just telling the audience what’s going on instead of showing us by making an actual joke.  On The Simpsons, Kent Brockman and Rainier Wolfcastle botch the same idea:

Brockman: Oh, Rainier Wolfcastle, star of McBain and the upcoming film ‘Help, My Son Is a Nerd’.
Wolfcastle: My son returns from a fancy East Coast college, and I’m horrified to find he’s a nerd.
Brockman:  Ha ha ha ha, I’m laughing already.
Wolfcastle:  It’s not a comedy.

Not only is this yet another multi-layer gag where the setups are just as funny as the punchlines, but it perfectly illustrates how depressingly lame the whole ‘Hollywood Squares’ idea really is.  Brockman and Wolfcastle are following the joke-laugh-answer formula exactly, but they’re so apathetic toward what they’re doing that they can’t even accomplish a simple thing like mindlessly plugging Wolfcastle’s hilariously terrible movie.  This is what The Hollywood Squares actually is: bored entertainers phoning it in because they’d rather be doing almost anything else.

By contrast, when Homer shows up to the show in Season 11, he gets in a fight with Ron Howard (which he’d already done just one season earlier), and is actually pitied by him and Kent Brockman:

Brockman: We’ve got to stop putting these flavors of the month on.
Homer: Flavor of the month?  Me? 
Howard: Yeah, Homer, you can’t just ride one accomplishment forever.

Homer acting out and other characters responding to him is the only thing that’s going on.  The show itself is assumed to be something decent and worthwhile that Homer is ruining with his brutish behavior.  It’s one note comedy compared to the symphony of ideas and jokes in “Krusty Gets Kancelled”, but that’s only the half of it.

In Season 4, Homer isn’t involved in the show; he’s watching it.  This is crucial because it perfectly illustrates just how demeaning The Hollywood Squares really is.  He and Bart are exactly the kind of viewer the lowest rung of television is pitched at: bored flyover state residents who tune in to leer at the last glimmers of fame.  That he is their audience is part of what’s so humiliating about the show.  Entertainers who were once at or near the top of their game have been reduced to trading on whatever recognition they have for a (probably not very generous) paycheck.  Worst of all, they have been reduced from stars to replaceable cogs so easily dismissed that when one of them is crushed (and presumably killed) by a tidal wave, their target audience thinks only to laugh. 

“Krusty Gets Kancelled” sees through the forced laughter and glittering lights to the cheap sets and career desperation because it understands that no one has ever gotten into show business to be on The Hollywood Squares.  “Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder”, on the other hand, buys into all that lame self promotion that The Hollywood Squares uses to distract the audience from just how sad it really is.

21
May
12

A Spectacular and Unwatched Catastrophe

Chalkboard - Lisa Goes Gaga

“What the hell was that?” – Krusty the Klown

Give Zombie Simpsons credit, when they embarrass themselves for a pop star, they really embarrass themselves for a pop star.  From start to finish, “Lisa Goes Gaga” relentlessly displayed the pitiful imagination and mediocre craftsmanship behind Zombie Simpsons.  In an episode where they outright tell the audience, right up front in an opening narration, that they’re discarding the usual rules and that weird and strange things are going to happen, just about the only weird and strange things that they managed to conjure were a lot of Lady Gaga outfits. 

Unfortunately for them, dresses made of birds and fire spitting bras will not fill an entire twenty minutes of screen time.  They had to fill in the moments when they weren’t expecting us to laugh because Lady Gaga did something weird with empty and pointless scenes like the school awards, Flanders showing up to converse with Gaga and then disappearing, Marge’s weird behavior at the kitchen table (where she apparently lost the ability to let someone touch her and then quickly regained it), the flash mob, and Homer tossing Lisa around like an hourglass for no reason other than it took up a lot of time. 

On top of all that, what little plot and story that did manage to exist between the Gaga fluffing and the filler didn’t make any sense and crashed into itself several times.  Take, for example, the reaction of the townspeople to Gaga.  When she arrives, they’re head over heels in love with her.  Then, for no reason we see, they cheer that she’s sad as she’s leaving.  Oh, and there were songs, but the less said about those the better.

Somewhere in all that mess, Lisa moped around for a while before she felt better, but we didn’t really know why she felt better until she explicitly exposited it – twice.  The first one:

Lisa: Dad, thank you.  Like always, the fact that I could tune you out without fearing that I’d miss out on something gave me the time to take stock and realize how ungrateful I have been.  Which means, I’ve got a train to catch.

Sure enough, Lisa then catches a train, at which point we get explicit exposition #2:

Lisa: Gaga!
Gaga: Lisa?  Why are you here?
Lisa: To thank you.
Gaga: For what?
Lisa: Look at me!  You did help me, by allowing me to inappropriately focus eight years of rage and rejection on you.  It was like a great sneeze.  And now I can say what’s good about me.

That is appallingly bad writing.  It basically boils down to this:

Gaga: Why are you here.
Lisa: Let me tell you.
Gaga: Okay, I’ll ask again.
Lisa: Now I’ll tell you.

Fortunately for Lady Gaga, Zombie Simpsons isn’t relevant enough to damage her pop culture standing, but that was weird, dumb, unfunny, and boring, even by their standards. 

Anyway, the numbers are in, and Gaga did them no good.  Just 4.79 million people tuned in for that hacktacular exercise in misbegotten pop culture references and inane self help statements.  That’s good for #4 on the all time least watched list, and leaves Season 23 with an average viewership of just 6.13 million people, by far the lowest ever.  Here’s the last five years of Zombie Simpsons:

Season 19 – 8.26 Million
Season 20 – 7.12 Million
Season 21 – 7.13 Million
Season 22 – 7.10 Million
Season 23 – 6.13 Million

At the time, Season 19 was easily the lowest rated ever, and then Seasons 20-22 were even worse.  But Season 23 is a down a whopping 14% just from Season 22.  This does set the bar low for Season 24 to avoid being the third consecutive least watched season ever, but tripping over low bars has become something of a specialty for Zombie Simpsons. 

07
Dec
11

Compare & Contrast: Krusty’s Nadirs

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“That dummy doesn’t scare me.  I’ve had plenty of guys come after me and I’ve buried ’em all: hobos, sea captains, Joey Bishop.” – Krusty the Klown
“Don’t forget the Special Olympics.” – Ms. Pennycandy
“Oh yeah, I slaughtered the Special Olympics!” – Krusty the Klown

In the introduction to yesterday’s Crazy Noises, I mentioned that “Krusty Changes His Show” should be up there with travel episodes, Homer gets a job, and other serially repeated plots (Lisa gets a cause, Bart gets a girlfriend, etcetera).  A corollary to that is the way we see Krusty freak out once he’s at his wit’s end.  That’s another thing they did several times even before the show’s EEG went flatter than Kansas (“Bart the Fink”, “Last Temptation of Krust”), but for comparison to the hapless ball pit bath we see in “The Ten-Per-Cent Solution” I’d like to look at the first time we see it, in “Krusty Gets Kancelled”. 

I would submit to one and all that this is a man truly at a low end:

Krusty Gets Kancelled10

Take a good look at the above image for a second.  Krusty’s gaze is lowered and his hair is disheveled; his shirt is frayed and his pants are faded.  His sign is haphazard looking even before you read that unlimitedly pathetic message that’s scrawled on it.  From the point of his shoes to the droop of his hair, he is every inch unhappy, ashamed, and hopeless.  Now take a look at this character:

Chillin In a Ball Pit

He’s not happy exactly, but everything from his clothes to his hair to his face is on model and looking quite spiffy.  Nor is he outside on a street corner, he’s sitting in a ball pit in a nice, comfortable and climate controlled Krusty Burger.  Nothing about his appearance or location even remotely bespeaks the kind of desperation as the Krusty from Season 4.  That difference becomes magnified when they start talking.

Zombie Krusty acts like he normally does, screaming, yelling, and generally very manic.  When Lisa informs him that he isn’t her hero, he just ups the ante for wailing and thrashing about.  The whole thing is designed to be funny the same way so much of Zombie Simpsons is: franticly and with a maximum of zaniness.  Neither his dialogue nor his behavior matches the events or emotions he’s theoretically experiencing.  Though, to be fair, that may be expecting too much from a show that just just fired him back and forth between two cannons.

This is the only thing “Will Drop Pants for Food” Krusty says, in response to Bart asking him if he’s making any money:

“Nah, that guy’s giving it away for free.”

This is another one of those perfect, multi-layered Simpsons lines.  In just eight words we understand that Krusty is totally defeated, unable even to succeed here at his lowest, pants dropping ebb.  Worse, he’s being out pants-dropped by a disheveled old man and is so despondent that he doesn’t care enough to walk to a different street corner to try again.  Nor does the animation let up.  Krusty’s head never raises and he meekly goes with Bart and Lisa when they take his arms on their shoulders.  On top of all that, there’s the harmless but wonderfully insane absurdity of the crazy old guy with his pants down singing “The Old Gray Mare”. 

And Krusty’s ordeal isn’t over.  Bart and Lisa still have to cheer him up, convince him he can be a star again, and then get him back into shape after he drinks nothing but milkshakes.  The point of doing all that – aside from the way it’s funny as it’s happening, of course – is to make the ending have a satisfying payoff.  We see not only Krusty have a real crisis, but also why his special is such a success, how he got in trouble in the first place (stealing bits, wasting his money), and finally, with the ruby studded clown nose, the fact that he’s already back to his self destructive ways. 

That, boys and girls, is a hell of an ending.  Not only do they tie in all the celebrities and give them something to do, but they don’t moralize or show Krusty being anything other than the self centered jerk we all need him to be. 

By contrast, in “The Ten-Per-Cent Solution”, Krusty doesn’t go through much of anything.  After that extended flashback, Joan Rivers takes him back as a client almost immediately.  As soon as that happens, he gets himself a revival show, and no sooner is that finished than they’re back together as a couple and he’s off to HBO.  There’s no connection or cause to any of this, it’s just a bunch of stuff that happens.

Even Zombie Simpsons can’t just fizzle out quite that easily though, so they manufacture a conflict out of thin air by having Rivers go nuts once she and Krusty get to HBO.  Bear in mind that this isn’t something that is so much as hinted at earlier in the episode.  Despite the fact that they could’ve easily set it up during his revival show or the flashback, it drops completely from the sky just a few minutes before the credits roll.  In fact, Rivers-the-loony-agent is so thin and transient that it gets dropped just as completely as it got conjured almost immediately.  Rivers is threatened with getting fired, but instead of that happening, she and Krusty get a different HBO show.  Roll credits.  Huh? 

Worried Stagehands

Everyone looks upset, and with good cause.  The final conflict is about to be introduced at the 16:00 mark.

That, boys and girls, isn’t even an ending.  Rivers wasn’t acting crazy, then she was, then she wasn’t.  It’s like a sentence that trails off in the middle. 

Here’s the kicker, “Krusty Gets Kancelled” is easily the wilder and more improbable story of the two.  For all its sloppy execution, Krusty gets fired –> reconnects with old agent –> gets new show isn’t an insane plot.  (By Zombie Simpsons’ standards it’s downright tame.)  Bart and Lisa get in touch with half a dozen celebrities they’ve never met to put on a star studded show right there in Springfield is much stranger and unrealistic.  But none of that matters because the story is well told.  We see Krusty go through a real crisis, we see him claw his way back up, we see the celebrities doing things that are sort of what you’d expect (Midler being a do-gooder, the Chili Peppers playing a concert, Hefner hanging out in a smoking jacket) while still being funny and twisted (crashing the pickup truck, having a promoter believe Moe’s holds 30,000 people, a research facility staffed by women in bunny costumes). 

You can get away with crazy stuff from time to time if you make the effort to slip it into something the audience cares about.  On the other hand, you can’t get away with even sane stuff if you don’t bother to make it anything other than a disconnected series of skits. 

04
Oct
11

The End of Zombie Simpsons Would Be Great; Still Probably Not Happening

Not Enough Information

“I don’t think they’re giving you enough information, Dad.” – Lisa Simpson
“I’ll figure it out.  I’m gonna use all the power of my brain.” – Homer Simpson

The NFL escaped from its lockout basically unscathed, the NBA is getting into serious crunch time with theirs, and now Zombie Simpsons has added its name to this year’s list of labor-management disputes between millionaires and billionaires.  This morning, gossip and media columnist Lloyd Grove published an anonymously sourced article on The Daily Beast reporting that contract negotiations between FOX and the voice cast aren’t going well (thanks to Gran2 in comments).  Let’s wade into the weeds of spin-tastic journalism:

Fox studio execs have occasionally threatened to replace uncooperative cast members with sound-alike actors. But for the first time in nearly a quarter century of haggling, the executives have insisted that if the cast doesn’t accept a draconian 45 percent pay cut, The Simpsons will die an abrupt death as a first-run series.

According to Grove’s anonymous “insider”, the threat here isn’t that they’ll continue the show with a new cast, it’s that they’ll just stop it at the end of the current production run.  The article goes on to relate details of the negotiation, of which there are two actual pieces of information:

Sticking Point #1 – FOX is asking for a 45% salary cut, actors are offering 30%.
Sticking Point #2 – In exchange, the actors want a back end percentage.  FOX doesn’t like that.

The rest of the article is mostly filler, including the widely reported but dubiously sourced claim that the six principle voice actors are currently making $8,000,000 per year (which is roughly $400,000 per episode).  Headlined “Money Dispute May End ‘Simpsons’”, the story has already been linked on Jebus knows how many other sites (Google has it on Vulture, USA Today, Huffington Post, and The A.V. Club already, none of which I’m going to link because all of them just point back to the original article) and is currently eating the #Simpsons tag on Twitter. 

So, what if anything does this new information mean?  Until something more concrete comes along, the answer is “not much”.  You will be seeing this story all over the place for the next week at least, but unless some more actual information bubbles to the surface it will be nothing but rehashed speculation, not unlike the recent “Simpsons channel” non-story.  So if you’re reading something and all it does is link back to The Daily Beast, you can safely ignore it. 

Whoever Grove’s source, they obviously have an interest in the negotiations, but we don’t even know if they’re labor or management so I wouldn’t put too much energy into analyzing either sticking point.  Furthermore, there is no reason to believe that FOX wants to end the show.  Their motives in keeping it on the air have been purely mercenary to this point, and nothing in Grove’s story indicates a change in attitude. 

The bottom line is that while it is possible for a money dispute to finally get Zombie Simpsons off the air, we are a very long way from that happening.  Especially considering that previous money disputes were all resolved to mutual financial benefit (if not quite always amicably), there is every reason to believe that this is a tempest in a teapot.  Based on what we actually know, I’d say this article raises the chances of there not being a Season 24 from “less than 1%” to “slightly higher but still less than 1%”. 

It is nice to see people talking about ending the show.  The comments at the original article contain gems like this:

clairels

15 Minutes Ago

FOX, by keeping this show on the air through more than 10 unnecessary, astonishingly unfunny seasons, has continued to brutalize the legacy of this once-brilliant show. Hopefully this final blow will allow The Simpsons to rest in peace.

And this:

LocalMan

49 Minutes Ago

About time. This used to be the funniest show on TV but it hasn’t been very amusing for a loooong time. I gave it a chance last week and immediately turned it off after they did a Breakfast Club flashback joke that could have been stolen directly out of Family Guy.

But until there is real confirmation of this – as opposed to articles just linking the original and adding speculation – there isn’t (yet) much to see here.




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