“My eyes, the goggles do nothing!” – Rainier Wolfcastle
Happy 20th Anniversary to “Radioactive Man”! Original airdate 24 September 1995.
“Ever since I became a movie star I’ve been miserable. I had to get up at 5am just for makeup. I like the way the blush brings out my cheekbones, but it’s not worth it.” – Milhouse van Houten
There’s a simple and very creative Lego Milhouse picture this week that headlines a collection of cool fan art in the mediums of Lego, ink, cross-stitch and more. We’ve also got a bunch of lists, more Season 2, Burns memories, a couple of pieces of great usage, and more.
May-August developments in new works… – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the week is this collection of freaky Simpsons collages. Stop the Planet of the Apes on top of young Master Burns’ eyes is particularly good.
The Character Files: Mr. Burns – This list of recommended episodes is, of course, very long. And:
Well, to his friends he’s known as Monty. But to you it’s Mr. Burns.
I can’t read that without singing it.
Movie Music: Danny Elfman – I forgot he did Men In Black.
My 6 Favorite Simpsons One-Off Characters – Oh, you gave him a quarter!
Professional Lego builder’s life-sized Homer heading to Edmonton Expo – A giant Homer made of Lego and dressed as Spock? Well done, sir.
Mirror – And speaking of Legos, Milhouse sees himself as Fallout Boy.
Piggie-gang – The Lego boys with pig bodies. There really should be more easily decapitate-able toys.
The Top 25 Simpsons Episodes – Reader Eric P. sent in yet more proof that nobody cares about Zombie Simpsons.
The Top 25 Simpsons Episodes – And here’s someone else observing:
My absolute favourite show is The Simpsons. Older episodes of the Simpsons that is. There are barely any good new episodes.
I’d go with none, but that’s just me. (Looking forward to your list, though!)
Eye On Springfield With Diego Fernandez of Eye Of Horus – Remember when the Devil told Bart to listen to heavy metal music? Looks like it works:
Like most people, I started watching over the shoulder of my parents, then when I was old enough, I would watch them on my own. I remember the first time I saw the show because it was also the first time I heard ‘ass’ being said on TV. Obviously hearing that at such a young age is what set me off into being a death metal musician!
Stark Raving Dad – Other things that enjoyably warped my childhood brain:
-“Marge, I can’t wear a pink shirt to work. Everybody wears white shirts! I’m not popular enough to be different.” And then, of course, Mr. Burns commenting on the pink garb: “Well, judging by his outlandish attire, he’s some sort of free-thinking anarchist!”
Like many people who grew up with The Simpsons, I used to be an enormous fan, until the gradual decline in quality a decade or so ago began to disenchant and eventually disinterest me in the series. But when Playmates Toys released their World of Springfield action figure line in 1999, I was still very much obsessed with The Simpsons, and obsessively collected the toys. I’d even cut out the UPC codes to get the limited edition ones you had to mail away for, and buy ones I couldn’t find on eBay.
S02 E16 – Bart’s Dog Gets an F – Always liked this:
While she’s home, Marge shows Lisa the Bouvier family quilt, and informs her that she’s going to learn how to stitch so she can contribute a square herself. Marge is a sewing master, which is she demonstrates by lighting flame under her calloused skin.
It’s a very Simpsons combination of sweetness and horror.
S02 E17 – Old Money – Indeed:
They end up going to the Plato’s Republic Casino and Hotel (that joke is amazing)
Probably took me ten years to get that one.
S02 E18 – Brush with Greatness – Season 2 really was when the writing became itself:
I absolutely love the interaction Burns and Smithers have when Burns realizes his good fortune of having an artist dropped into his lap: “Somebody up there likes me Smithers.” “Somebody down here likes you too sir.” “Shut up!” Oh Mr. Burns, you’re the worst.
S02 E19 – Lisa’s Substitute – This is true:
Another classic Lisa episode. Man, I really forgot how consistently great Lisa episodes were.
From time to time I’ll find someone complaining about how Lisa episodes are boring, and my only response is that you’re right, but only because you’re watching Zombie Simpsons and all the episodes are boring. Lisa episode in the actual Simpsons are fantastic.
S02 E20 – the War of the Simpsons – Here’s your crown, your majesty!
thank you comedy – Lisa to the rescue again:
I realized I wasn’t a freak or alone in my skepticism of Christianity when I saw an episode of the Simpsons called “Lisa the Skeptic” in which she digs up a skeleton that looks like an angel that sets the town into a religious fervor and Lisa questions the existence of god. Hearing Lisa question it made me feel more confident to question it myself and that episode has stuck with me for years.
Simpson’s Treehouse of Horrors Retrospective (Pt.1) – Podcast the first.
Simpson’s Treehouse of Horrors Retrospective (pt. 2) – Podcast the second.
Katie Hopkins – I do not know who Katie Hopkins is, but Paul Anka is a wise man.
H is for Homer Simpson – Great fan made Homer drawing.
WIP Wednesday: Simpsons Couch #2 – The couch cross stitch I linked before is coming along nicely. It’s even got the bag of chips on the floor.
Str8 up Menace – Having Bart’s skull and crossbones logo on a slingshot tattoo is a very nice touch.
Combating “The Homer Simpson Effect” – Excellent usage:
There really is a “Homer Simpson” effect in neuroscience. The phenomenon was given this name in honor of the Fox network character, Homer Simpson. Homer once told Marge, “Every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain.”
Bloomberg’s terminals face threat from start-ups like Goldman Sachs’s Symphony – Excellent reference:
Mr Khan at ING Bank said that even if Money.Net did not catch on, for his generation, the prestige of the expensive terminal was losing its allure.
“They are like Grandpa Simpson. They used to be with it, but then it changed,” Mr Khan said of both Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters.
How to handle online sexism: Laugh at the trolls and fight back – Excellent strategy:
Ford said she had tried to develop a thick skin, with a dash of humour. “What I’ve found has worked has absolutely not been stoicism or silence or just getting on with things, but has been a combination of exposure and also laughing at them,” she explained. “It comes back to that Margaret Atwood quote: ‘Men are afraid women will laugh at them, and women are afraid men will kill them’.”
When she gets abusive emails, she sometimes responds with a picture of Poochie from The Simpsons. “I love the idea of them getting indignant about the fact I didn’t read their email properly,” she laughed.
“Paid In Full” – Lenny and Carl, the album cover.
“Insane Sideshow Posse” – Chalk Bob, but no mention of his thoughts on magnets and how the fuck they work.
Tooned Series (2015 New Model): THE SIMPSONS FAMILY CAR – You can now get a diecast model of the family sedan in addition to The Homer.
Mr. Burns: A comedy of the darkest variety – The play goes to Virginia.
‘The Simpsons’ gets an imaginative treatment in a dystopian drama – And St. Louis.
Concert Review: Ned Flanders Metal Band Okilly Dokilly – Sudden fame has advantages and disadvantages, but the crowd liked ’em, and that’s what counts.
Erroll’s Top 10 Favorite Games (In No Particular Order) – The arcade game makes the list.
My Five Favorite TV show Credit Sequences – The Simpsons entry has a Halloween flavor.
Hank Azaria Cast in HBO’s Bernie Madoff Movie – Azaria gets to play Robert DeNiro’s right hand man, which I suppose is better for him than when they were in Heat together.
Dissolving into the Ether – The Homer into the bushes .gif, but with video static.
New trending GIF tagged the simpsons leonard nimoy… – His work is done here.
New trending GIF tagged swag the simpsons chill… – She can’t hear you, son, she’s wearing a Jacuzzi suit.
New trending GIF tagged the simpsons simpsons bart… – Staring down his nemesis, Lester.
“Mickey Rooney!” – Bart Simpson & Milhouse van Houten
“Hi, Milhouse! The studio sent me to talk to you, being a former child star myself, and the number one box office draw from 1939 through 1940.” – Mickey Rooney
“Wow, spanning two decades.” – Bart Simpson
(Thanks to commenter dvcnick for reminding me that I hadn’t used all the Rooney quotes yet.)
“Come on, Milhouse, you have to do this. If not for yourself, then for the movie going public, and for the foreign markets that more important than ever nowadays, and finally, for me, the Mickster.” – Mickey Rooney
“No.” – Milhouse van Houten
“Alright, I tried.” – Mickey Rooney
I’m on record as saying that the “travel” episodes tend to be the least unwatchable. They still can’t tell a story for shit, the dialogue remains hamfisted and expository, and nothing makes sense even within individual scenes, but giving them a fresh topic usually does result in a couple of decent laughs. “Steal This Episode” was basically that, except instead of traveling somewhere, Zombie Simpsons turned its cataract clouded eye towards movie downloading. It lent itself to some decent jabs at the entertainment industry for a while until, as they always do, things went haywire with prison bus crashes, Swedish consulates, weird courtroom drama, and the almost obligatory crush of self voiced celebrities.
– This Radioactive Man spoiler thing got tiresome quickly. It’s fun to make fun of absurd comic movie plot twists and all, but it probably shouldn’t take the first five minutes of the episode to do so.
– “Joke?” on the church sign may be the laziest thing ever put there. It’s like a script note that never got looked at.
– So, Bart hasn’t seen the movie even though he was sitting at Krusty Burger with Milhouse getting the toy thirty seconds earlier? I guess they didn’t specifically say he saw it, but they have intra-episode continuity problems so often that they don’t get the benefit of the doubt anymore.
– “Hey, they tricked us, that’s a commercial.” Just once this season I’d like to get through an episode where what I just saw isn’t explicitly explained to me immediately after. This is the ninth episode, so there’s probably about thirteen to go. I don’t like my chances.
– The FOX logo with the NASCAR thing keeping people from finding out how to download stuff was funny. The callback was weak, but at least it was brief.
– Steady stream of animated misfires was good, too.
– But the FBI angle is getting worn out already.
– The Star Wars crawl was pretty good even if things are starting to spin out of control.
– And the FBI thing has officially disintegrated with earplugs, blinders and all kinds of screaming. The whole thing is pointless filler.
– “It’s probably someone I would never suspect, never suspect. Your moans of sympathy are all I have! Whoever did this to me will be haunted by unbearable guilt forever . . . forever.” – This kind of intentionally silly exposition could be funny if it were a) done better and b) not done every other damn scene.
– Someone thought prisoners talking like entertainment industry insiders was very funny. You know, up until the pointless bus crash.
– And now we’re at the dinner table for more of Expository Guilt Theater: “I just can’t imagine anyone turning him in.”
– So, why are we in a Swedish consulate?
– “You like this?” – said the audience incredulously
– “Consulate. Consulate’s are regional offices which serve the embassy in the capital.” <- Filler Sentence That Did Not Need to Be Written, Much Less In the Actual Episode
– Here’s Apatow for some more weak Hollywood insider ranting.
– Wow, they’re throwing celebrity guest voices at us with a remarkable clip. It’s not funny or anything, but it’s kind of impressive in its own manically sad way. I suppose it was nice of them to let all these people show up to gently mock their industry even as they promote it and themselves.
One of the big reasons why the show will never regain even a scrap of its former greatness is the unavoidable repetitiveness of it. Movie downloading isn’t exactly a fresh topic generally, but it was something mostly new for Zombie Simpsons. But while it gave them a couple of relatively easy and untouched topics to make fun of, they immediately fell into their familiar pattern of bashing Homer around for no real reason, piling on celebrity voices just because they can, and hanging everything on a frayed string of a story that snapped completely right around the time it was literally thrown under the bus. So while they got a nice writeup on Torrent Freak and a .gif of Homer yelling at the rude movie patrons was one of the biggest items on Reddit yesterday, no one is going to care about or really remember this episode even a year from now, much less twenty or more. Like that YouTube picture-a-day takeoff from back in Season 19, one little part might earn some minor internet renown, but the rest of the episode will quickly fade to indistinguishable nothing because it’s a forgettable mess.
Anyway, the ratings are in and they are hugely improved, though it’s a one time only deal that had nothing to do with the episode itself. FOX had the 49ers-Packers playoff game (Zombie Simpsons started seven minutes late), and that bleed through gave them 12.04 million viewers. That number will come down on a final revision, but even after that it’s almost certain to be the highest rated episode of the entire season. Next week, CBS has the late playoff game, and the weekend after that there won’t be a new episode as the respective NFC and AFC championship games start later than usual to get into those sweet, sweet primetime advertising hours.
“So where could we shoot this picture? We need a city that has a nuclear reactor and a gorge and can guarantee us the full cooperation of city officials.” – Movie Executive #1
“I’ll check Variety.” – Movie Executive #2
This week we’ve got three links to Variety. (Weird.) One is about the brand new cable deal FOX just announced with itself, and the other two are about a couple of panel discussions at USC. In addition we’ve got the typical assortment of usage, some excellent fan made stuff, a bridge possibly getting named after Lisa, a trans-Atlantic look at “The Crepes of Wrath”, and more.
Simpsonization of Russian Art – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week are these famous Russian artworks Simpsonized by Russian art students. Excellent.
The Simpsons – They say the children are our future, in which case I think the show will be okay. Here’s a discussion between a nine-year-old, his five-year-old sister, and their dad about The Simpsons. Plus there’s a drawing the brother did that has Bart stepping on Homer’s eyes.
‘The Simpsons’ Lands $750 Mil Cable Syndication, VOD Pact with FXX – This was late breaking and is filled with the typically overwrought horseshit you find in Variety. Here are the important details minus the glamour quotes, entertainment industry circle jerking, and as much of the stupid as I could excise:
With 530 episodes and counting, the sale is valued at upwards of $750 million over the life of the deal.
The term of the deal is said to be about 10 years.
FXX and FXNow will have access to the past 24 seasons of “Simpsons” starting in August. The following month, the show’s 25th season will become available, as the show begins season 26 on Fox. It’s unclear how many older episodes will be made available at any given time on FXNow. (Details of the FXNow launch will be unveiled at a Gotham news confab on Dec. 3.) FXX is expected to stack six to eight episodes on one or two nights, probably in thematic packages, rather than air them across the week as in traditional syndication.
Long story short: FXX will be broadcasting old episodes starting in August of 2014. Their new streaming thingie will be detailed next month. No word on how they’ll choose which episodes to broadcast or stream. It’ll be interesting to see how much higher the ratings are for The Simpsons than for Zombie Simpsons. They’ll be higher, the question is how much.
THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1 Brush With Greatness vs. Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes On Every Fish – I used to wonder about this when I was a kid:
The only minor blemish I find in this episode is that seeing as how Burns was so critical of the other portraits that were done of him prior to going to Marge for help, shouldn’t he have wanted to see Marge’s finished painting before the unveiling at the museum?
They sort of mention that there’s a timing issue with the opening being very soon, but it doesn’t really matter either way.
THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1: One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish vs. Simpson & Delilah – Don’t forget the bowling announcers:
This episode could have been sappy, but they do a good job of injecting humor into every emotional scene like when Homer ad libs while Lisa plays her sax, or the problems with the after shave during his man-to-man with Bart. It’s the Simpsons doing what it does best, mixing humor with heart.
Besides, we get one of my all time favorite prank calls to Moe’s: Seymour Butz.
THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1 The Way We Was vs. Life On The Fast Lane – Not a bad suggestion:
“The Way We Was” is part of a series of episodes which I consider to be the quintessential 4 episodes of the entire series that tell the story of how The Simpson family came to be. The other 3 episodes being, “I Married Marge”, “Lisa’s First Word”, and “And Maggie Makes Three.” I’m not sure if any of them will win this tournament, but if I met someone who’d never watched The Simpsons before, I would encourage them to watch those 4 episodes.
The Plow King – Fan made watercolor of Barney as the Plow King. Awesome.
Treehouse of Horror – . . . and another watercolor, this one of Bart in a skeleton costume and King Homer.
Round 85: You Only Move Twice vs. Lisa the Skeptic – Our old friend Nebel has taken his Simpsons tournament to a new URL. Herein, Season 8 crushes Season 9.
Serious As A Heart Attack About the Lisa Simpson Bridge – Absolutely:
When the Tribune’s Peter Korn first called me, I initially told him that my favorite was Ursula LeGuin (I think I said “Ged the Archmage can whip Harry Potter any day of the week”). But then I acknowledged that ideally, the bridge should be named after a female (there are enough things named after men) environmentalist (because the bike / pedestrian / transit bridge embodies our environmental values). LeGuin meets the first criterion, but she’s not especially identified with environmentalism. And then it hit me, like a bolt from the blue: the most prominent environmentalist with Portland roots is, by a country mile, Lisa Simpson, created by Portland’s own Matt Groening.
C’mon, Portland, you’re supposed to be the fun city, name it the Lisa Simpson bridge. Think of the children! (Vote here.)
Simpson No-No’s – An illustrated guide to animating the show from 1991! Pro-tip: No sharp teeth “unless directed”.
How the Simpsons (And You) Can Multiply by Seven Using Your Fingers – I don’t think I’ve used that multiply by nine on your fingers thing since the third grade, but yes, in a base eight world the Simpsons could do the same with seven. Of course, this presumes they got rid of those text books with that base six crap in them.
We’ll really miss you Mrs. K – The Argus – Canadian college students remember Marcia Wallace.
When a Tasteless Tongue Approaches the Smorgasbord of Eloquence – Explaining some of our foibles with Blazing Saddles, Seinfeld and The Simpsons. Also, excellent usage.
It’s Been Too Long – Fun thing about Tapped Out, you can put the nuclear plant closer to houses than even Mr. Burns would be able to.
Speculation: Opening Scene – And in other Tapped Out news, here’s some people and buildings that could be added based on a scene-by-scene analysis of the opening video.
Developer creates The Simpsons entirely in CSS – The actual Github link is down, but you can see the end result here (and the crappy way it looks in IE).
Krusty Burger – A fake Krusty Burger review:
fter my first experience, I went back six more times. Why? Maybe I felt guilty for the owner, maybe it was because the place was a Springfield, Oregon staple, or maybe I’m that optimistic person who thinks that any bad review of a restaurant will cause the restaurant to change for the better. Did it change? Nope.
You want me to die??! – Could be worse, someone might want you to diet . . . Oh, I see what you did there. Heh.
Blinky the crab has three eyes – Cool:
Meet Blinky. This tiny freshwater crab has three eyes, just like its mutant fish namesake from The Simpsons. But unlike the fictional Blinky, whose deformity is blamed on nuclear waste, this crab may actually be a pair of conjoined twins, one of which is nothing but part of the head.
Bacon Fantasy #15 – A (fan made?) cartoon cover t-shirt design featuring Spider-Pig.
An Albanian Spy in America? Re-watching that great episode of “The Simpsons” as an American in Albania – I’ll bet that does provide some interesting perspective:
Before I learned that I would live in Albania for two years, I was like perhaps many Americans of my generation in that my only knowledge of Albania was based on one episode of The Simpsons. Re-watching, I wanted to share some of my favorite parts of this hilarious episode .
The Simpsons Couch Gag – How about some couch gag YouTube?
“I’m Bart Simpson. Who the hell are you?” – Another new Simpsons blog . . .
Fox picks up new Seth MacFarlane ‘toon – There will be another one. That is all.
Bob Sansevere: Vikings grasp fundamentals just in time – Excellent usage:
Rockne’s quote embodied what the Vikings haven’t been able to accomplish for much of this season.
A Homer Simpson quote capsulized what they have done more often than not: “I’ve seen teams suck before, but they were the suckiest bunch of sucks who ever sucked.”
Homer actually says “sucks that ever sucked”, but that’s close enough for excellent usage.
Quick cancellations and going back to Springfield – A TV critic writes:
At one time you couldn’t turn on a TV and not find everyone’s favourite animated family somewhere on the dial. And while the show began its 25th season this year, and is still getting big ratings, I hadn’t watched an episode of the show — a show that was once my religion — in at least three or four years.
I decided to start at Season 7, the most recent season I have on DVD, and work my way backwards.
It’s both amazing at how much I’ve retained from constant rewatchings of these classics, and how well most of the episodes hold up to this day
Preach it, sister!
Conan O’Brien, ‘Harvard Lampoon’ Alumni Dish About Modern Comedy – O’Brien, Jean and Greg Daniels were at some panel at USC last weekend, but the crappy Variety writeup doesn’t really tell you much.
James L. Brooks, David Silverman Talk ‘Simpsons,’ State of Toon Market – Another crappy Variety writeup of a different panel about the show. They did get James L. Brooks saying this, which basically agrees with us and is an admission that Zombie Simpsons is a completely different show:
“We wanted to make (the show) about character and story,” Brooks, said of “Simpsons’” origin and longevity. “We were religious about that, we were nuts, we were obsessive about that. Anything that was farfetched we wouldn’t do, we didn’t want anybody to know who the actors were, we wanted nothing to break, and I think it’s because we started that way and held to it and then over the years let it go completely. It’s great having rules that you treat like the Bible and then throw away at a certain point.”
As per usual, when not directly doing publicity, even people involved with the show will always note how much it’s changed/degraded.
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