Posts Tagged ‘The Day the Violence Died

18
Mar
19

Makeup Quote of the Day

“That does it! One of them has to go!” – Marge Simpson
“Okay. Grampa.” – Homer Simpson
“No.” – Marge Simpson

04
Jan
19

Quote of the Day

“As for the rest of it, I’m gonna buy the one thing I’ve been dreaming of all the years I spent in the gutter: a solid gold house.” – Chester J. Lampwick

18
Mar
18

Quote of the Day

“That drawing is worth exactly seven-hundred and fifty dollars American.” – Comic Book Guy
“It’s valuable, huh?” – Bart Simpson
“Ooh, your powers of deduction are exceptional! I simply can’t allow you to waste them here when there are so many crimes going unsolved at this very moment! Go! Go! For the good of the city!” – Comic Book Guy

06
Jul
17

Quote of the Day

“Alright, gentlemen, I’ll take your case. But I’m going to have to ask for a thousand dollar retainer.” – Lionel Hutz
“A thousand dollars? But your ad says no money down!” – Bart Simpson
“They got this all screwed up.” – Lionel Hutz
“So you don’t work on a contingency basis?” – Bart Simpson
“No, money down! . . . Oops, shouldn’t have this bar association logo here either.” – Lionel Hutz

18
Mar
17

Quote of the Day

“Now, Mr. Lampwick, when Roger Meyers stole your character-” – Lionel Hutz
“Objection.” – Blue Haired Lawyer
“Sustained.” – Judge Snyder
“If I hear ‘objection’ and ‘sustained’ one more time today, I think I’m going to scream!” – Lionel Hutz
“Objection.” – Blue Haired Lawyer
“Sustained.” – Judge Snyder
“Ahhhhhhhhh!” – Lionel Hutz

19
Jun
16

Quote of the Day

The Day the Violence Died13

“Roger Meyer’s junior’s in charge of the studio now. He’s a good man. Every Christmas he goes down to the pound and rescues one cat and one mouse and gives them to a hungry family.” – Bart Simpson

17
Mar
16

Quote of the Day

The Day the Violence Died12

“Itchy runs afoul of an Irishman.” – Bart Simpson

Happy 20th Anniversary to “The Day the Violence Died”! Original airdate 17 March 1996.

30
Jan
16

Quote of the Day

The Day the Violence Died11

“You invented Itchy?  The Itchy & Scratchy Itchy?” – Bart Simpson
“Sure.  In fact, I invented the whole concept of cartoon violence.  Before I came along, all cartoon animals did was play the ukulele.  I changed all that.” – Chester J. Lampwick
“Well, I’m not calling you a liar, but . . . but I can’t think of a way to finish that sentence.” – Bart Simpson

14
Mar
15

Quote of the Day

The Day the Violence Died10

“And now the parade has entered Bumtown!  Oh, it’s all just so exciting, Dave!” – Suzanne Somers
“This certainly seems to be a poorly planned parade route.” – Not David Brinkley

30
Jun
14

Quote of the Daye

The Day the Violence Died9

“I give up; there’s nothing we can do.” – Lisa Simpson
“Yeah, I agree.  You want to start on trying to get Apu out of jail?” – Bart Simpson
“Okay.” – Lisa Simpson

22
Feb
14

Quote of the Day

The Day the Violence Died8

“Save our seats!” – Bart Simpson
“Will do!” – Homer Simpson
“Hello.” – Strange Man
“Oh.” – Homer Simpson

29
Aug
13

Quote of the Day

The Day the Violence Died7

“I don’t have the money to produce the cartoons!  I lost everything!  I can’t even keep my Dad’s head in the freaking cryogenic center anymore. . . . You comfortable in there, daddy?” – Roger Meyers Jr.

01
Dec
12

Quote of the Day

The Day the Violence Died6

“Mom, there’s a weird smell and a lot of cursing coming from the basement, and Dad’s upstairs.” – Lisa Simpson

30
Aug
12

Quote of the Day

Surprise Witnesses

“Keep the trial going, I’ll be right back.” – Bart Simpson
“Your honor, I’d like to call all of my surprise witnesses again.” – Lionel Hutz

29
Feb
12

Quote of the Day

Animation Plagiarism

(Image sources: Honeymooners, Flintstones, Phil Silvers (Bilko), Top Cat, Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, Andy Griffith, Edward G. Robinson, Art Carney)

“Okay, maybe my dad did steal Itchy, but so what?  Animation is built on plagiarism!  If it weren’t for someone plagiarizing ‘The Honeymooners’, we wouldn’t have ‘The Flintstones’.  If someone hadn’t ripped of ‘Sgt. Bilko’, there’d be no ‘Top Cat’!  Huckleberry Hound, Chief Wiggum, Yogi Bear?  Ha!  Andy Griffith, Edward G. Robinson, Art Carney.  Your honor, you take away our right to steal ideas, where are they gonna come from?” – Roger Meyers Jr.

Happy (real) Birthday Alex Rocco!

09
Dec
11

Quote of the Day

Kirk Douglas

“Studio’s closed until Tuesday, animators have AA on Monday.” – Chester J. Lampwick

Happy 95th birthday Kirk Douglas! 

(Left column from top to bottom: “Ace in the Hole”, “Spartacus”, “Town Without Pity”, “The Day the Violence Died”, “The Vikings”.  Right column from top to bottom: “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, “Paths of Glory”, “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral”, “Seven Days in May”, “The Villain”.  Images for “The Vikings” and “The Villain” from IMDb, all other images are my screen grabs.  Yes, that’s Ann-Margret and Arnold Schwarzenegger in the last picture.) 

14
Oct
11

Quote of the Day

The Day the Violence Died5

“I don’t need any more money.  I’m not greedy.  As long as I’ve got my health and my millions of dollars and my gold house and my rocket car, I don’t need anything else.” – Chester J. Lampwick

03
Jun
11

Quote of the Day

The Day the Violence Died3

“Show some respect, man.  That no talent created Itchy & Scratchy.” – Bart Simpson
“He didn’t create Itchy, I did.” – Chester Lampwick
“Huh?” – Bart Simpson
“He stole the character from me in 1928.  When I complained, his thugs kicked me out of his office and dropped an anvil on me.  Luckily, I was carrying an umbrella at the time.” – Chester Lampwick

06
Oct
10

Crazy Noises: Loan-a-Lisa

Original Concept Art

Original concept art for Itchy & Scratchy “Up” parody in “Loan-a-Lisa”.

The Itchy & Scratchy bit at the beginning of “Loan-a-Lisa” was, to put it mildly, creatively bankrupt.  It starts by spending forty-five seconds re-enacting “Up” with nary a joke in sight; that would be bad enough, but Zombie Simpsons then makes things even worse.  Instead of ending with some kind of “Up” inspired violence (a balloon house falling on them, a giant blimp attack, a pack of remotely controlled dogs tearing them to pieces)  it ends by repeating not one, not two, but three (3) scenes from previous Itchy & Scratchy episodes.  In other words, they faithfully recreated “Up” until they could no longer directly copy the source material, then they copied something else.  They couldn’t be bothered to come up with their own ideas, even derivative ones. 

I know I said this last week, but it really does seem like they think developing new ideas is beneath them. 

Mad Jon: You guys ready?

Charlie Sweatpants: Sure am, let’s get this over with so I can never think about this episode again.

Dave: Word.

Mad Jon: This was pretty bad.

How many inheritances does Grandpa have to give out?

Charlie Sweatpants: As many as need be between now and the time the show becomes unprofitable.

Dave: Two so far and it was only funny the first time.

Mad Jon: It pains me that we are now to the point they don’t even try to avoid re-doing premises.

Dave: No they sort of revel in it.

  Faded glory and all that.

Charlie Sweatpants: Pretty much. That joke way back in Season 11 where Comic Book Guy comes on and says they did this already is looking better and better in hindsight. Now we don’t even get that.

Dave: They must think we’re stupid

Mad Jon: It’s probably more that they don’t care what we think or if we are stupid.

Dave: Well, that too.

Charlie Sweatpants: While we’re on the opening though, there are two excellent examples of painful joke stretching here. The small one is Bart mentioning how that won’t pay his vig, and then, because that line was so hard to come up with and didn’t last long enough, they cut to a shot of Jimbo in a conveniently placed window.

The second and much larger one was the whole deck of cards thing.

  That Grampa’s hands shake so bad he can’t play cards is kinda funny, but then they ruin it by having Marge extend the gag for another ten seconds of tortuous screen time.

Mad Jon: I actually was physically embarrassed when that kept going.

  That’s pretty rare for me with Zombie episodes, I usually just boil in anger.

Dave: You have a range of emotions as a human being.

Mad Jon: So I’ve been told.

Charlie Sweatpants: My "sympathy embarrassment" feelings for this show are pretty well numbed at this point.

Dave: Perhaps you will experience love next. But it sure as hell won’t be with Zombie Simpsons.

Charlie Sweatpants: He is married, you know.

Mad Jon: True, but in all fairness Teevee was my first love.

  My wife was 15 years or so too late.

Charlie Sweatpants: Speaking of marriages, did you enjoy the condensed 45-second version of Up? I sure didn’t.

Dave: Ha.

  No, that was miserable.

  It just kept going and the payoff was nonexistent.

Pretty much like every other I&S in recent memory.

Charlie Sweatpants: No, it existed. It was just a rehash of about three other Itchy & Scratchys.

Mad Jon: That was really bad. Up made me feel things and stuff, the never ending I & S made me want to cry.

  But not for the same reasons.

Charlie Sweatpants: There was another one like last year, albeit with a far more obscure film.

Mad Jon: Not that I cried at the opening of Up. No matter what any multiplex employee tells you.

Charlie Sweatpants: They are liars.

Dave: Jon, I share your secret shame.

Mad Jon: Not so secret anymore is it.

Dave: As long as we’re not flying to Holland and eating tulips.

Charlie Sweatpants: Now that was a movie parody. And I didn’t even need to suffer through "Sliver" to get the joke.

Mad Jon: What a delightful romp.

Charlie Sweatpants: In the spirit of good conversational transitions, Milhouse’s overly long rendition of "Hot Cross Buns" was another example of something that could’ve been funny if it had taken up about 10% of the screen time it actually did.

The first three words of that song was the joke, the next forty or so were just filler.

Mad Jon: Indeed, Milhouse’s girly behaviors can be wielded well, or poorly.

  This was poorly.

Charlie Sweatpants: There was also Skinner’s whole 11-dollars-an-hour thing.

It was funny at first.

  Then he ripped off his sleeves.

Mad Jon: Yeah, I was kind of checked out by then.

Charlie Sweatpants: Then Chalmers showed up.

Mad Jon: Oh yeah, then they argued about who saw it first.

  That just kept going.

Charlie Sweatpants: It did provide them with a way to explain the bad epoxy to Nelson. Though why Skinner didn’t mention it sooner was left like a turd on a buffet table.

Continuing my transitional efforts, the Wiggum buffet scene also sucked, as did the whole "bag in danger" . . . motif? Action sequence? I’m not even sure what that was, but it lasted for a very long time and had a lot of string music of suspense.

Mad Jon: I was a bit confused as to what to call the returning items thing, was that just one extra mini-plot or are we talking B-plot sub a and sub b?

Because there was the bag thing, and the Homer stuff.

But I guess that is relatively unimportant.

Dave: Classification in this case is superfluous, yes.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, it was unusual in that the b-plot started off as the a-plot, then it took a drastic left turn and became the b-plot.

  Really, the guilty party here is us, because we’re using the word "plot" to describe things that have no resolution.

Dave: Also true.

Mad Jon: Bad student. Uh-uh-uh, bad principal.

Charlie Sweatpants: The "returning things" story was premised on the idea that Homer couldn’t afford these things, and at the end he got stuck with the bill (sort of) and nothing happened.

Mad Jon: And Chris Hhhaaaannnsooon was there too.

Charlie Sweatpants: Again, sort of.

  Also, didn’t "To Catch a Predator" jokes get old about three years ago?

Mad Jon: Yep. Back when South Park did an episode about it.

Charlie Sweatpants: Sounds about right.

  Pop quiz: which guest voice was more pointless, Yunus or Zuckerberg?

Dave: Both?

Charlie Sweatpants: Nice try, but it’s a trick question. There is nothing colder than absolute zero.

Mad Jon: Nice.

Dave: It’s cute that Zombie Simpsons wanted to tackle microfinance. But it’s way, way out of their league.

Charlie Sweatpants: Does that mean that there are still some things in their league?

Mad Jon: Play-dough?

  Matchbox cars?

  Finger painting?

  …. that’s all I got.

Charlie Sweatpants: Jokes about when your lazy butler washes your sock garters and they’re still covered with schmutz?

Dave: Sure, that.

Mad Jon: Look at that waxy buildup.

Charlie Sweatpants: So this thing has totally wasted guest voices, stretches jokes way too long (the couch gag was interminable), and repeats shit from old episodes.

  Is that about it?

Dave: Wasted implies value. I’d call them pointless.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well put.

Mad Jon: Yep, potentially two or three shitty episodes cut short, except for where it would have helped, rolled into one 22 minute puke fest, sprinkled with old events redone, cook for 20 minutes at 150 and everyone dies from e-coli.

12
Aug
10

How Long Has It Been Since This Show Invented a Character?

Ghost Mutt

Image used under Creative Commons license from Flickr user JS North.  (It was the first CC search result for “Ghost Mutt”.)

“How ’bout . . . Ghost Mutt?” – Marge Simpson

One of the things that set The Simpsons apart from everything else on television, and has since been imitated innumerable times, was the breadth of its supporting cast.  Right from the very first episode, when it introduced characters like Barney, Moe, and Flanders, the show went out of its way to take the family sitcom template out of the living room.  The depth and distinctiveness of the characters – and the basically unlimited vocal versatility of the cast – meant that it was easy to have a secondary character pop up in an episode for a single scene without worrying whether or not the audience remembered them (or having to pay market rates for another actor with a name and a face).  Whether we’re talking about the staff of the school, the other workers at the nuclear plant, or just the general denizens of the town, it was very common for someone to show up just to utter a joke or two related to the main plot.

Of course, most of the characters that are so iconic today were introduced in the first two seasons.  That’s only natural.  But even years after the basic template of the show had been established, The Simpsons was still churning out characters that have since become a regular part of the cast.  Unsurprisingly, Wikipedia has a list of all of these recurring characters, from Agnes and Akira to Snake and the Squeaky Voiced Teen. 

Characters Introduced By Season

(Note that these are minor recurring characters, so characters like Dr. Hibbert and Rev. Lovejoy aren’t here, but their wives are.  Scroll to the bottom of the Wikipedia link to see how the other characters are categorized.  Had most of the major ones been included, all it would’ve done is swell the Season 1 and Season 2 numbers.  Where the Wikipedia article didn’t include a first appearance reference, I went with the Wiki Simpsons character page.) 

These numbers don’t tell us a whole lot more than we already knew: the show went off the cliff around Seasons 9/10, then became mega-zany and has been in a comfortable and uncreative rut ever since.  There are sixty-eight characters on this list, of whom only six (8.9%) originated in double digit seasons, not a one after Season 14.  And those later ones aren’t exactly setting the world on fire with their famous renown.  Observe:

  • Frankie the Squealer & Johnny Tightlips – These are, for lack of a better word, legit.  They came from the same episode, but who cares?  The two of them were one of the few bright points of that thing.
  • Gloria – When I saw this entry, my first thought was, “That woman at the marriage retreat in Season 2?”.  Turns out this is a different woman who showed up in Season 13 and is listed on Wikipedia as Snake’s girlfriend.  I guess he broke up with Shoshanna. 
  • Grady & Julio – This is the gay couple so flat, stereotypical and unfunny that Harvey Fierstein – Springfield Hero – refused to have anything to do with them
  • Judge Constance Harm – Much like “Gloria”, I first thought she was from an earlier season.  In this case, I got her confused with the family court judge from “Home Sweet Homediddly-Dum-Doodily”.  Nope.  Turns out she’s a Judge Judy clone, too bad no one cares about Judge Judy anymore.
  • Mrs. Muntz – For the sake of consistency I counted this one on Season 10, but she’d been referred to numerous times earlier even though she hadn’t shown up.  Apparently she didn’t get her first speaking engagement until Season 15. 
  • Yes Guy – Nice of them to do a tribute to Frank Nelson, but when you’re nakedly recycling gags from the 1950s it doesn’t speak well of your ingenuity. 

The above listed characters aren’t exactly comedy genius, and yet even those are apparently better than anything from the last seven years of the show.  The official line is “Good as it ever was!”, but they’ve never seen fit to bring back any of their creations from Season 14 or later.  That’s some 150 episodes that nothing they’ve come up with has been worthy, even by their low standards, of a return engagement.  That’s pretty damning. 




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