Posts Tagged ‘The Front


Reading Digest: High School Matt Groening Edition

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“Ah, my high school yearbook.  You handsome devil . . . ‘I can’t believe I ate the whole thing’.” – Homer Simpsonr
This week we’ve got two links to pictures of Groening, one from just a few years ago, and one from way back when he was a squeaky voiced teen.  In addition to that, we’ve got a lot of cool YouTube this week (including a couple of clever Simpsons/Lego ones), some excellent usage, a couple of good lists, and a True Detective/Simpsons drawing from a kid.
A tale of two Springfields – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this article about a bar that may or may not be the inspiration for Moe’s.  The link is worth the click just for the gawky pictures of high school Matt Groening.  
LEGO® CUUSOO | The Simpsons | Kwik-E-Mart – Cool fan made Kwik-E-Mart, complete with squishee machine.
Simpsons: Evil Monk – This is a site with a bunch of comics that updates daily.  There are a lot of Simpsons ones, and the McBain part at the link is quite funny.
The Simpsons’ Couch Gag in Lego Form | Graphic Policy – It’s the opening with heads and bodies mismatched from the Lego movie and the Simpsons Lego set.  Cool:
Lego The Simpsons Short Film 60 Subscribers Special – On a similar theme, this came from our old friend Friz:
It could use better audio clip selection (happy to help!), but if they made a longer one I’d probably watch it. Video: St. Judes Recreate Classic Simpsons Moment – While I’m embedding YouTube videos, here’s some Irish people doing a hell of a live-action recreation of the garbage man song:
Watch This: ‘The Simpsons’ Couch Gag à la Française – Those episodes this week were awful, but the Chomet opening was pretty cool.
Couple of good .gifs, too.
The 8 Best Simpsons References In Hip-Hop – Fantastic list with a lot of great rhymes, especially the song at #1.
Harriet M. Welsch, Scout Finch, and How to Be a Good Bad American Girl – Excellent references in The New Yorker about Lisa invoking both To Kill a Mockingbird and Harriet the Spy as meta-invocation of American girlhood.
The Simpsons: Krabappel of my eye – A nice encomium for Marcia Wallace.

When it comes to sourcing our security software, the great analyst Marge Simpson was right: “We can’t afford to shop at any store that has a philosophy” — whether that philosophy is about being designed by Apple in California, or many eyes, or freedom, or whatever hand-waving feelpinions people might proffer.
No, we don’t need a philosophy so much as need need science — or, more accurately, engineering.

Ay Caramba! Sawtelle Shop Black Market Salutes The Simpsons – Simpsons clothing on prominent display in Los Angeles. 
TSTO Tricks – Official Launch! – One of the main writers over at has launched a second site that takes you through the entire game.  That’s a hell of a lot of work, but looks very comprehensive.
Here We Grow Again – Speaking of, they’re looking for a few more writers.  If you play the game and want to talk about it on-line, drop them a line.
5 Shows Everyone Would Like to See on Netflix – FOX will never allow that (at least not for years and years), but it would be pretty damned awesome.
The Simpsons 25th Anniversary Limited Edition Mega Set – Two hundred and twenty bucks ought to get you a lot of bendable Simpsons toys.
Simpsons Pewter Diorama – You can’t buy it or nothing, but that is pretty damned cool.  (via @woohootriviaCHI)

No TV and No Beer Make Homer Something Something – A blog where the author gives up something each month.  She’s on TV for March:

Reflection so far: Giving up TV is good. I find plenty of ways to entertain myself, and to be honest the only TV shows I’m hanging for once this month is up is Game of Thrones, and Supernatural (which I’m already a season behind on, and am waiting for the DVD…) That’s it. I think I want to keep our growing habit of having the radio on during dinner (and actually eating at the dining table instead of on the couch, for that matter) because we TALK now. Which is good. As much as I enjoy the Simpsons, I don’t need to watch it every day.

I try to watch one every day.  Don’t always succeed, but that’s just how I was raised, damn it!

Homer-Apple – That always was a cool iPhone skin/case/whatever.

Enter GIFGIF – Lisa dancing to the Soul Mass Transit System.

I believe I can fly – We can all relate to this:

I haven’t been able to blog often because of work and, like I said earlier, gym time. Also, from now on please read gym as gime (Homer Simpson style) it’ll make all the times I mention the gym slightly more interesting (did you do it?).

I pretty much always read it as “gime” now.  Once it’s in your head there’s no getting rid of it.

Rotisserie Chicken – they see me rollin’; they hatin’ – Jebus, that looks good, and bonus points for the .gif of Homer rotating his head with the spit.

With Matt Groening, Creator of The Simpsons – Groening has mastered the non-committal-famous-person-in-picture face.

Fashion Spotlight: Moe’s Where Everyone in Springfield Knows Your Name – I might buy one of those if they actually made them.

Homer Simpson is the ‘Yellow King!’ – I’ve still got a few episodes to go, but I will be very surprised if the bad guy turns out to be Dan Castellaneta.

Glennis Presents “The Simpsons Classics” On Facebook! – That San Francisco TV station that agrees with us by deliberately separating out Zombie Simpsons from their rerun pool has a “Programming Coordinator” who looks like she’s got a pretty Simpson heavy office.  They would also like you to like them on Facebook, if that’s your thing.


Quote of the Day

The Front14

“Hey, Mel, bring me another nicotine patch.  Uh, I think there’s some space on my butt.” – Krusty the Klown


O’Brien, Jean, Reiss, Kogen and Martin

Cartoon Writers

“Cartoons have writers?” – Bart Simpson
“Enh, sort of.” – Lisa Simpson

The 81 minute roundtable discussion Conan O’Brien hosted with Al Jean, Mike Reiss, Jay Kogen, and Jeff Martin is now live on O’Brien’s website.  (I couldn’t get the embedding to work here on WordPress.)  I must warn you: it is very addictive.  I started it thinking I’d watch a few minutes and then come back to it tonight when I had more time.  Nope.  Watched it straight through my lunch. 

As a Simpsons fan, it’s a must-see.  They talk about the origins of the show, joke about specific memories and episodes, and generally just crack each other up.  It’s funny from start to finish, and at one point O’Brien puts this picture up:

Simpsons Writers Clockwise from lower left: John Swartzwelder, David M. Stern, Mike Reiss, Conan O’Brien, Jeff Martin, Jon Vitti, Matt Groening, George Meyer, Al Jean (facing away from camera). Jean joked that this was a Potemkin village photo in that they brought in all the cutouts and cleaned the place up. 

There’s a lot of great stuff in here, but for now just let me note that at the 28:00 minute mark, Kogen says, “I remember when the show was at it’s, well, it’s still at it’s height.”  Heh.  Caught himself midsentence.


Quote of the Day

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“Alright, brain, you don’t like me and I don’t like you.  But let’s just do this and I can get back to killing you with beer.” – Homer Simpson
“It’s a deal.” – Homer’s Brain

Happy 20th anniversary to “The Front”!  Original airdate 15 April 1993.


Quote of the Day

The Front12

“Abe, tell ’em about your amazing life.” – Roger Meyers Jr.
“I spent forty years as a night watchman at a cranberry silo.” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson
“Wow!” – Roger Meyers Jr.


Quote of the Day

The Remains of Modern Bride Magazine

Image captured from the website of Brides magazine (the successor to Modern Bride).

“When I read your magazine, I don’t see one wrinkled face or single toothless grin.  For shame.  To the sickos at ‘Modern Bride’ magazine.” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson


Crazy Noises: Homer Scissorhands

A Milhouse Divided5

“Homer, what are you doing?” – Marge Simpson
“I wanted to surprise you with a kinky summer ’do. How many husbands would do that for their wives?” – Homer Simpson
“None, they’d have more sense than that.” – Marge Simpson

In our ongoing mission to bring you only the shallowest and laziest analysis of Zombie Simpsons, we’re keeping up our Crazy Noises series for Season 22.  Since a podcast is so 2004, and video would require a flag, a fern and some folding chairs from the garage, we’ve elected to use the technology that brought the word “emoticon” to the masses: the chatroom.  Star Trek image macros are strictly forbidden, unless you have a really good reason why Captain Picard is better than Captain Kirk.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (surprisingly enough, not on “Esquilax”).

Matthew brought this up in comments on Tuesday, but the idea of Homer as a hairdresser is really scraping the bottom of the barrel for ideas and/or jobs he hasn’t had yet. There’s the whole “instant professional” thing, but even setting that aside, we’ve already seen Homer attempt – and fail at – cutting women’s hair, and in a salon no less.

I try not to care about inter-episode continuity, I really do. After all, this is a comedy where each episode is its own self contained story. It’s not like 30 Rock or Arrested Development where there are subplots and overarching stories that unfold over many weeks. There you need things to make sense from one episode to the next, here you don’t. And it’s just not fair to expect the writers to labor under years of accumulated personal developments and backstories when the show was never designed to evolve like that. But when Zombie Simpsons does shit like this, when they show Homer wildly succeed at things we’ve already seen him spectacularly botch, they do make it hard. 

Just for good measure:

The Front11

Mad Jon: Well, are you guys ready to get this going?

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, let’s do it.

As we seem to like to start with the couch gag recently, was that some kind of record?

  For length, I mean.

Mad Jon: It may have been. It was quite over the top. Also there wasn’t a TV in the exhibit for them to watch. So all that for nothing.

Dave: It sure felt that way.

Mad Jon: I wasn’t even sure if it was a new one or not.

Charlie Sweatpants: I think it was new, I kept being surprised when they found new ways to stretch it out.

Mad Jon: I wasn’t going to be surprised either way

Dave: It was also humorless and not really all that clever. That they kept it going was quite a feat.

Charlie Sweatpants: Someone’s been the museum recently.

Mad Jon: Or broken into one. Maybe those t-shirts aren’t selling like they used to.

Charlie Sweatpants: Always possible.

Speaking of going on too long, I thought the idea of Milhouse not knowing that Nemo’s mom died at the beginning was kinda clever. Half a minute later I was less impressed.

Mad Jon: I’ve never actually seen that movie, so I had to think about it for a second. Having assumed that his Mom was sheltering him, it was actually kind of clever. But then it forced Milhouse to fall in Love with Lisa or something, so….

  …that happened again.

Does having a guest star voice someone in a recurring theme make it a new plot?

Dave: No, I don’t think that counts.

Charlie Sweatpants: That depends on how you count.

Mad Jon: Please explain

Because I am pretty certain that the Milhouse loves Lisa, yet Lisa may actually like Milhouse, but maybe not because you have to embrace life because Nemo’s mom died, was the B-plot.

Charlie Sweatpants: I don’t entirely follow you, but it’s still more thought than the show put into it.

Mad Jon: And the plot was based on the recurring theme of Milhouse’s love for Lisa

But whatever, I just watched the episode like an hour ago, so it may be my anger speaking. But even with the Kristen Schaal guest voice-love interest twist, I feel like that was the least original B-plot in a while. And that’s poor, even for this season.

Charlie Sweatpants: I’m pretty sure this whole episode was fan service. The Lisa-Milhouse kiss was the exact kind of thing long running shows do to gin up fan interest once they’ve run out of things to say. I cite every NBC comedy ever.

Mad Jon: Touche Salesman.

Charlie Sweatpants: The A-plot was the same thing. At first I wasn’t sure if they had Homer using gardening shears to cut hair at the beginning on purpose, but after the rest of the episode, including Martin playing the lute, it was definitely a call back.

Mad Jon: That would explain a couple other things too, such as "Everything’s coming up Milhouse"

Charlie Sweatpants: Guh.

Dave: Right. That stuck out like a sore thumb.

Charlie Sweatpants: I thought I was numb to this show. I really did.

Mad Jon: That was the best line of season 10, so its not that I really care that much.

Charlie Sweatpants: I’d need some time to ponder if I agree completely with that, but it’s definitely up there.

Mad Jon: Yes, well, that would be a colossal waste of time.

Charlie Sweatpants: Summer’s almost here, remember. Season 10 is very much on your horizon.

Dave: Oh boy!


Charlie Sweatpants: I got it. The sarcasm sensor on my desktop spiked.

Mad Jon: Which is why we don’t need to worry about it right now. We’ll be there soon enough

Charlie Sweatpants: Good point.

There were two other gluttonous time wasters here, the first being Milhouse’s song and the other being Wiggum’s, I don’t know, whale song? What was that?

Mad Jon: Oh god, the thirty seconds of Azaria making the most annoying sound in the world?

This is the same man who makes me piss my pants when I think of the scene in "Lisa’s Wedding" when Wiggum explains the beasts of lore.

  Yeah, Esquilax!

Charlie Sweatpants: A horse with the head of a rabbit, and the body (perfect beat pause) of a rabbit.

  Gets me every time.

Mad Jon: Also I am too lazy to look up what a Theremin is? Can you please explain it to me?

Charlie Sweatpants: No, but Wikipedia can:

Mad Jon: Ah, Thank you.

It is similar to what I thought it might be.

Charlie Sweatpants: That was another one of this episode’s jokes that I didn’t hate until it was burned into my ear drums and retinas by going on far longer than it had any right to.

Mad Jon: I liked the beginning of the scene in the bar when Homer complains that he has to listen to people complaining, and Moe smiles. That was funny. And very short.

  The Moe part, not the rest.

Charlie Sweatpants: Agreed, and then it went on too long, just every other damn thing in this episode.

Mad Jon: Agreed.

Dave: It seems that this episode had a greater number of almost okay moments.

Mad Jon: That were all stretched out as long as the couch gag.

Dave: Relative to the rest of the trash this season. That still doesn’t make it good.

Charlie Sweatpants: No, no it does not.

Mad Jon: As per usual, I get the feeling that they found a couple of things and then just kept molding them in front of our faces as if to say "You still laughing? How about now?"

Charlie Sweatpants: It had three or four things that I didn’t hate straight away, but then they ran those things into the ground. And when you combine that with shit like magic eagles, Homer running through the streets crying and chopping things, and Milhouse’s song, well it does not for an entertaining half hour of television make.

  Also, what Jon just said.

Mad Jon: It is a recurring theme in the last few seasons.

Charlie Sweatpants: Oh yeah, and in their lust for nostalgia they brought back Lunchlady Doris in a completely meaningless scene that could’ve been done by anyone. They weren’t even in the fucking school!

They would never pull shit like that with Hutz or McClure, and the double standard of that always pisses me off.

Mad Jon: She gets two paychecks this way. Sometimes I wonder if there are some guys out there who have a blog that rags on our blog for complaining about the same things each week….

Charlie Sweatpants: Okay, I’ve only got two things left. First, I don’t think they replaced Azaria, but whoa did Captain McAllister sound off.

Mad Jon: I didn’t really notice, but he was coming out of a bee store or something, and not a boat or a seafood restaurant, so I wasn’t listening.

Charlie Sweatpants: Probably for the best. The second thing was just funny, though not intentionally. Did you notice Chalmers in the school, just standing there as Milhouse and Taffy walked by? He didn’t say anything this time, but I think they’re incapable of having a school scene without him.

Mad Jon: Maybe it’s in his contract or something.

  Chalmers finally has tenure

Dave: Whatever the reason, I liked him more as an infrequent character.

Charlie Sweatpants: Didn’t everyone?

Dave: Sure. As a regular, he’s tedious.

Charlie Sweatpants: Yes, he is.

Mad Jon: Well, this has been a point of emphasis for us this season.

Charlie Sweatpants: Jebus, don’t say that. We sound like referees.

Dave: Aren’t we?

Charlie Sweatpants: No.

Mad Jon: Hmmm, I meant it in a partisan commentator type style, but I guess I see your point.

Charlie Sweatpants: Like I said, Chalmers and Captain McAllister were the last things I had. Anything else here?

Dave: Nada from me. Jon?

Mad Jon: I have nothing else even remotely constructive to add.

But thanks for asking.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well aren’t you the happiest man in town.

Mad Jon: I will be as soon as we are done thinking about this episode.


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