Posts Tagged ‘The Frying Game

30
Dec
10

The Frying Game Makes Baby Jesus Cry

Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo1

“Before I go I want to say something. Game shows aren’t about cruelty. They’re about greed, and wonderful prizes like poorly built catamarans. But somewhere along the line you lost your way. For shame.” – Homer Simpson

This is the final sentence of the plot summary on the Wikipedia entry for “The Frying Game”:

Carmen Electra tries to explain, but Homer is too busy looking at her chest.

Nothing further need be said. There are nine people who felt the need to commiserate though, including Groening and token woman Deb Lacusta.

0:50 – The “Screamapillar” was Swartzwelder’s idea. And it was Castellaneta who did the screaming, so they had to be mindful of not wearing out his voice. Jean casually mentions that there was a lot of screaming in the movie. Yeah, we know.

2:00 – Lacusta was about to tell a story about when she knew Swartzwelder back in Chicago, but then the Screamapillar appeared and they all stop to listen to Castellaneta’s yells.

2:30 – Lacusta’s story resumes. She use to work at an advertising agency with Swartzwelder, and he almost never came out of his office, but was still kind of the star of the office.

3:30 – This leads to general reminiscing about Swartzwelder and how he got to write from home eventually.

5:00 – Still going on about Swartzwelder. It’s fun. Someone asked of he was conservative, but Jean didn’t really think so. During the Clinton Administration he would talk about how he thought Clinton would end up being hung from a tree while he was President, but Jean didn’t think he was trying to do anything other than piss off the mostly liberal writing staff.

6:00 – The episode is falling apart on screen, but everyone’s still joking around about Swartzwelder. Before he got started he would write letters to celebrities asking if he could have a thousand dollars. Nobody ever responded, but he didn’t think it hurt to try.

6:45 – Long silence.

7:00 – Laughing at the improbability of their goofy game show setup and how seriously people took the ending.

7:45 – Another long silence.

8:30 – They’re telling a story about Dana Gould and Vampira. Apparently he helped her out in her final years and even helped pay for her funeral. This leads to much laughing about the complication of vampire funerals.

9:10 – Tom Gammill, who is easy to like on these commentaries because he comes across like a true goofball, asks Lacusta how she and Castellaneta met. It was an improv class in Chicago. Castellaneta was wearing brown plaid polyester and she thought she could work with that.

10:15 – As Lacusta’s story winds down, Jean picks up the thread and says that Mike Reiss’s wife met him similarly. The first time she saw him he was on stage hosting a talent show. On screen, there was just a phony murder.

10:45 – More fun personal facts while Homer and Marge are being ham handedly framed for murder. Castellaneta doesn’t lapse into Homer’s voice when he’s mad, but Lacusta finds it amusing that “D’oh!” is part of the vernacular now.

11:20 – Castellaneta once recorded an answering machine message for a friend in Homer’s voice, but it instantly filled up with people making Simpsons jokes.

12:00 – Bored with the episode, they’re laughing about getting GPS direction in Homer’s voice.

12:10 – Jean’s recounting tales of Nancy Cartwright surprising people with the Bart voice.

12:40 – Jean remarks that once, in a different episode, they cut a joke of Lovejoy driving past the church marquee and commenting on how he never sees those messages on it.

12:55 – More tangentially related tidbits. In Hollywood you really can take a tour of places people are buried just like Otto is doing on screen right now.

13:30 – Still talking about all the tours of places people died or are buried, which leads to thrilling tales of whose in-laws were in town while this was recorded. That last part is not a typo.

14:10 – After a small silence and the realization that the commentary had completely left the orbit of the episode, Jean asks director Michael Polcino if he has anything to add. He doesn’t, though it then comes up that Polcino has never met Swartzwelder.

14:40 – Jean takes the opportunity to recount and deny the old rumor that John Swartzwelder was a made up name that the staff used whenever they had written an episode together.

15:15 – That leads to more Swartzwelder stories. I guess he has sometimes rented out the Mariners stadium in Seattle so that he and his friends can play baseball in a Major League park. There is some debate as to whether or not they play by very old rules when they do this and discussion of Swartzwelder’s love of baseball history.

15:50 – Homer and Marge were just convicted of murder during a rather long silence.

16:30 – They notice the episode long enough to mention the priest versus minister fight.

17:00 – Now they’re talking about prisoners last meals and the death penalty in general. Jean’s opposed to it.

18:20 – There’s a very brief part that’s like The Green Mile here, and I guess Michael Clark Duncan was on the FOX lot that day for something else but didn’t want to come in and play himself. My affinity for Michael Clark Duncan just increased.

18:45 – That segues into Jean talking about that Stephen King book with the dome.

19:30 – The usual nervous laughter and bad excuses are being made as the ending twists.

20:00 – That leads to discussion of other reality shows and how bad they are.

21:00 – And then it ends.




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