Posts Tagged ‘The Old Man and the Lisa

13
Oct
19

Quote of the Day

“Oh, my, I wonder which is the cereal for me? . . . Oh, excuse me, could you tell me where I might find the Burns-Os?” – C.M. Burns
“Sorry, pops, they don’t put nobodies on cereal boxes.” – Krusty the Klown
“Well, I suppose this one looks a bit like me.” – C.M. Burns

20
Apr
19

Quote of the Day

“Simpson, what are you doing here? Why aren’t you at work?” – Mr. Smithers
“I made a bad mistake and Lenny sent me home to think about what I did. But I don’t remember what it was, so I’m watching TV.” – Homer Simpson

15
Aug
18

Quote of the Day

“I’ll keep it short and sweet: family, religion, friendship, these are the three demons you must slay if you wish to succeed in business. When opportunity knocks, you don’t want to be driving to the maternity hospital or sitting in some phony baloney church . . . or synagogue.” – C.M. Burns

20
Apr
18

Quote of the Day

“And the windows are from the old liquor bottles we collected. . . . Hey! I thought I told you to stop licking my windows!” – C.M. Burns
“I know. You told me. And when I woke up this morning, I said, Barney, you’re not gonna lick that man’s windows…” – Barney Gumble

09
Aug
17

Quote of the Day

“Ketchup, catsup, ketchup, catsup . . . I’m in way over my head.” – C.M. Burns

20
Apr
17

Quote of the Day

“Excuse me, Mr. Burns, now that you’re completely ruined, how do you feel?” – Kent Brockman
“Excellent. I’m on my way back to the top! I’ve turned these cans into can-do!” – C.M. Burns
“Well, you smell terrible. Good luck to you, sir.” – Kent Brockman

Happy 20th Anniversary to “The Old Man and the Lisa”! Original airdate 20 April 1997.

14
Mar
17

Quote of the Day

“There’s gotta be more trash around here somewhere.” – Lisa Simpson
“Hey, why don’t you try the old folks home? They practically live in their own filth.” – Homer Simpson

06
Sep
16

Quote of the Day

The Old Man and the Lisa21

“Here you go, honey. That’s about all the recycling I can handle today.” – Homer Simpson
“Dad, if you just drink one more I’ll have a full bag.” – Lisa Simpson
“Oh, daddy doesn’t feel so good.” – Homer Simpson

20
Apr
16

Quote of the Day

The Old Man and the Lisa20

“They’re not going to close the plant, are they?” – Marge Simpson
“No, the bank put Lenny in charge.” – Homer Simpson

02
Jan
16

Quote of the Day

The Old Man and the Lisa19

“And I’m sure a pro wrestler such as yourself will appreciate all the closet space, Hitman.” – Real Estate Agent

24
Aug
15

Quote of the Day

The Old Man and the Lisa18

“Homer, you didn’t tell me Mr. Burns went broke and lost the nuclear power plant.” – Marge Simpson
“Now, I can’t remember every little thing that happens in my day.” – Homer Simpson
“You told me about that candy bar you found three times!” – Marge Simpson
“You found a candy bar?” – Bart Simpson
“Oh, yes, gather round, my son, and I shall tell you a tale.” – Homer Simpson

14
May
15

Please Stop With the $14 Million Number

The Old Man and the Lisa17

“If I’d spent my life listening to Dismal Doras like you, I wouldn’t be worth two-hundred-million dollars today.” – C.M. Burns
“But according to your most recent biography, you only have one-hundred-million dollars today.” – Lisa Simpson
“I’ve ha-, . . . I’ve . . . ” – C.M. Burns
“Um, actually, sir, it’s, uh, considerably less than that.” – Mr. Smithers

A nice, headline grabbing number, preferably with a dollar sign next to it, is a well known pageview booster.  So let this be my usual renewal related reminder that there is no creditable public information on what the current or past salaries of the Simpsons voice actors are/were.  Back before the 2011 renewal, the widely cited figure was $400,000 per episode.  After that it came down somewhat to $300,000 (though I saw it mentioned as low as $200,000).  Now, thanks to the feckless morons at CNN Money (a backwater in an already grossly negligent and irresponsible news outfit), the current deal is being touted at $7,000,000 per year, or $318,182 per episode:

‘Simpsons’ Mr. Burns walking away from $14 million deal

What is their source for that eye catching number?  You’ll be shocked (shocked, I tell you!) to learn it’s an anonymous source:

The actor was offered a guaranteed $14 million for two years of work, according to someone with direct knowledge of the matter.

Okay, sometimes people don’t want to go on record, and that’s okay.  That factual information reaches the public is supposed to be the important part, right?  Well, here’s the kicker:

“To me, the deal he rejected would be the dream of a lifetime for the rest of the world,” the source said.

That’s not information.  That’s spin.  Moreover, it almost certainly marks this source as someone at FOX since s/he’s painting Shearer as walking away from “the dream of a lifetime for the rest of the world”, that ungrateful bastard.

Shearer himself has said in the past that the reported salary numbers are inaccurate, and I’m far more inclined to believe him than some nameless insider who feeds bullshit like that to CNN Money.  Remember, Shearer and the rest of the cast are forbidden from discussing what they’re actually paid, so FOX and their anonymous flacks have a free hand to inflate the numbers and paint the cast as greedy jackasses, and CNN Money is only too happy to help them do it.

Shoddy information coming from CNN is nothing new, of course.  The real problem is that people repeat these numbers so many times that they seem credible even when transparent horseshit like the above link is the only basis for it.  It’s happening already:

14milliondollarbullshit

And it’s not just Simpsons or entertainment related outlets that unquestioningly repeat this.  The Chicago Tribune already picked it up, and I even saw it on freaking Slashdot.

So, pretty please, with sugar on top, remember that you don’t know how much money the Simpsons voice actors make.  I don’t know how much the Simpsons voice actors make.  And the business/entertainment press for damn sure doesn’t know how much the Simpsons voice actors make.

20
Apr
15

Quote of the Day

The Old Man and the Lisa16

“You mean there are actually people who will pay good money for garbage?” – C.M. Burns
“Not good money, really, each can’ll get you a nickle.” – Lisa Simpson
“Oh, don’t poo poo a nickle, Lisa.  A nickle will buy you a steak and kidney pie, a cup of coffee, a slice of cheesecake, and a newsreel, with enough change left over to ride the trolley from Battery Park to the Polo Grounds.” – C.M. Burns
“There’s a can.” – Lisa Simpson

26
Jan
15

Behind Us Forever: The Musk Who Fell to Earth

The Old Man and the Lisa15

“Eww, this place has got old man stink!” – Hitman
“Oh.” – C.M. Burns
“Don’t listen to him, sir.  You’ve got an enchanting musk.” – Mr. Smithers

I never bothered to watch the Lady Gaga episode a second time, so this comparison may be a little looser than I think it is, but the Elon Musk episode sure felt a lot like it.  A mega famous person arrives out of nowhere in Springfield (Gaga in a giant train, Musk in a spaceship that lands in the Simpsons backyard), crazy shit happens for a little while, then the mega famous person leaves.  There isn’t anything that remotely resembles story, conflict or satire, and the jokes, for whatever little they’re worth, are mostly just exaggerated plays on that mega famous person.  Lady Gaga had a crazy bra, Elon Musk has self packing luggage, har har.

Even by Zombie Simpsons standards, this one was disorganized and scatterbrained, so buckle up.

– No couch gag.

– Homer just showed up to hold up a quarter against an eagle.

– Marge is here now too.

– The Eagle has Maggie, and now Homer is punching it.

– “Ha ha, stupid eagle, it wasn’t the mouse we were after, it was you!”

– Oh, good, the broom vs. eagle fight is continuing.

– Homer’s eyeball popped out.

– So, Homer trained the eagle for four weeks?

– And now Elon Musk is descending in a space pod.

– Homer is weeping and bowing now.  This is more schizo than usual.

– Lisa is now explaining who Musk is.

– “So, what brings you to Springfield, Mr. Musk?”  Exposition Marge is here for us.

– After Musk explains why he’s here, Homer asks him if he’s interested in visiting him at the plant.  Musk replies, “I am, and I will”.

– Lisa just read out loud what Musk wrote on a piece of paper.  This is also going slower than usual.

– I was going to try to explain what’s happening now, but Lisa did it for me, “He’s taking your Homerisms and turning them into his own great ideas.”  This will go on for a while.

– Musk and Homer drove by Lou and Wiggum.  There were gunshots.

– Burns is reading suggestions out loud.

– Burns is being happy and nice, always his best traits.

– This Imaginer(sp?) guy interlude was bizarre.

– But it got weirder as Homer and Musk sit on top of the cooling towers.

– Then they hugged.

– “I don’t trust Musk.”  Exposition Smithers is trying to move the plot along.  I do like that he simply told us how he was feeling instead of us getting to see why he thinks that way, though.  It saves time for all the great stuff they’ve got here.

– Smithers just woke Burns up in the middle of the night for some reason.  Then the hounds were released indoors.

– So, everyone has self driving cars now.  That was unexpected.

– I didn’t see this musical interlude coming.

– Burns just informed us that he’s going to have Musk killed.

– Marge and Homer are in bed.  Marge reminded everyone of what’s going on, then Homer described Musk again.

– A bunch of old guys just shot at Musk and Homer.  Then Homer told us what just happened.

– Musk is apparently going back to his home planet now.

– But first he built Bart a real lightsaber.  Okay.

– And, after some zero-g tears, it’s over.  Huh.

Anyway, the numbers are in and they’re about what we expect with no football on.  Last night just 3.40 million people wondered why Elon Musk wasn’t doing something more interesting with his time.  That’s good for #4 on the all time least watched list and doesn’t auger well for the remaining ten or so episodes this season.

21
Nov
14

Reading Digest: Passing Time

The Old Man and the Lisa14

“Egad, man!  How are we supposed to pass the time?” – C.M. Burns
“Best bet is to stake yourself out a good spot at the starin’ window.” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson

It’s another short Reading Digest this week.  As always we’ve got some good stuff, including an insane Lego video, the magical touch of Harry Shearer’s Twitter account, a sexually unusual farm animal, more clothing, and several great pieces of usage, but overall volume remains pretty low.  Not sure why.  Anyway . . .

Enjoy.

Fast Food Formations: Homer Simpson Built From Junk Food – Some crazy geniuses constructed a life size Homer (waist up, anyway) out of things like marshmallows and licorice, and there’s a video of the construction.  Excellent.

The Simpsons: 10 Deleted Scenes You Must See – This is one of those annoying pageview whoring things that makes you click for each entry, but they are all deleted scenes from the DVDs, so there’s some good ones.  Sadly, no video, though (via @DailySimpsons).

▶ Itchy and Scratchy in STAR GORE – (Lego Simpsons Star Wars) – Lego Star Wars, meets Lego Itchy and Scratchy in this blood soaked YouTube video.  I laughed when Scratchy got sucked into the engine on Luke’s speeder.  Thanks to reader David for sending this in.

GIF Life Lessons: The Simpsons – Seven Deadly Sins – Pretty much what it says, and only one is from Zombie Simpsons.  Personally, I’d have gone with Homer fantasizing about his body in “Duffless”, but that’s just me.

Bartman Simpsons Pins // Bart Simpson Vintage 1.75″ Pinback Button Badge 90s 1990s Avenger of Evil Bartman Rules Comic Book Super Hero – Ye olde Simpsons merchandise.

The Simpsons El Barto / Monorail / Pin Pals Badge Set 3 Original Pop Art Pinbacks 90s TV Pins | Picture Blog About Pinback Buttons – Three more.  An “El Barto” tag on the monorail is a nice touch.

Homer V. Simpson gets honorary street sign in Madison – This may be the most Wisconsin story you’ll see all day:

Homer Simpson made his mark in Madison long before a character of the same name became a cultural icon on the small screen.
Legend has it that Homer V. Simpson, a prolific gambler, won half of Antler’s Tavern in a poker game and bought the owner out of the second half in 1943. He also bought land around the West Broadway bar, eventually donating some to the city. Simpson Street — which runs parallel to Broadway — was named in his honor.

Everything’s Coming Up Millhouse – Awesome Milhouse van in Sacramento, photographed by a woman wearing her Milhouse t-shirt.  So . . . this is what’s it like . . . when doves cry.

On My Wish List: The Simpsons x Hello Kitty – The fashionable clothing has now had some crossovers of its own.

Ireland’s gay bull Benjy saved from slaughterhouse – National – Simon continues his good deeds:

He faced execution for failure to perform. But Benjy, the gay bull of Ireland, has been saved following a worldwide appeal backed by The Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon.
Ireland’s Animal Rights Action Network said Tuesday that Simon is paying for Benjy’s transportation to an animal sanctuary in England.

Every Sideshow Bob Episode Of ‘The Simpsons,’ Ranked – Unsurprisingly, the Zombie Simpsons episodes are all at the bottom.  Of course, they’ve crammed him in as a cameo a couple of times now as well, but I don’t think those are on here.

B+ Blogging – Excellent reference:

Due to recent injury to my left pinky finger, typing correctly is currently tricky. If using proper home row typing form, which I insist upon doing to eschew greenhorn-ish hunting/pecking, multiple keys become impossible to type, including one biggie directly preceding “b.” I’ll try to blog without using these letters, much like how Lenny, the Simpsons’ self-described “good work guy,” once begged for continued employment without use of the letter “e.”

Think before you speak (but not too much) – Another excellent reference:

The whole thing reminds me of that episode of The Simpsons where Marge thinks a woman named Becky is trying to steal her family away from her. While driving to the store, Marge laments over the fact that she didn’t use her brilliant comeback of “Shut up, Becky!” when she got the chance. Of course, by the time she gets around to use it, it makes absolutely no sense but in typical Simpsons fashion, it’s still pretty hilarious.

Tee 469 – The Sgt. Pepper’s cast image.

How to Germans Adapt to Watching American Television? – Germans might not like Uter, so in Germany they made him Swiss.  I learned something today.

Brush with Greatness: Harry Shearer and Me! – Nothing will improve your standing with your kids like getting a tweet from the voice of Otto and Burns.

“I am not steak. You can’t just order me.”* – A discussion of Mike Nichols movies ends with something that never hurts:

So what to recommend? How about “Lady Bouvier’s Lover” from season five of The Simpsons? Mrs. Bouvier!!

Hello, Grampa, my old friend . . .

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons snow winter… – Homer getting doused in snow in “Mountain of Madness”.

10 Categoric Reasons Why The Simpsons Is Better Than Family Guy – Reader Arvin sends in a pretty good list.  “Quotability” alone is probably enough to win this.

This Day in Music History — November 21 – Know your history, kids:

1991 : An animated Aerosmith perform Walk This Way on the “Flaming Moe” episode of The Simpsons. The band is one of the first musical guests on the show.

And Mrs. Krabappel stole Joey’s drumsticks.

01
Aug
14

Quote of the Day

The Old Man and the Lisa13

“Which do you think is more important: hard work or sticktoitiveness?” – Principal Skinner
“Are there any real questions?” – C.M. Burns

12
Mar
14

Compare & Contrast: Involuntary Commitment

Come With Us

"Sir!  I’m so sorry my grocer committed you.  We’ll never shop there again." – Mr. Smithers

Like the practice of medicine in general, the treatment of mental illness has a longstanding history of cruelty, incompetence and abuse.  People have undergone everything from lifetime confinement and mind changing drug regimes to electric shocks and lobotomies because of pseudo-scientific theories that often had (and have) more to do with the ignorance and prevailing prejudices of the people administering the "treatments" than they do with making the patients better.  On top of that is the frightful prospect of a mentally healthy person becoming trapped in that system and subject to its tender mercies, a fear that has driven fiction of all kinds for more than a century.

Serious drama, horror schlock, dark comedy and more have long used that and related ideas to provoke and entertain.  Some, obviously, work better than others, and there’s no way to guarantee success; but you can guarantee failure by using that powerful, well explored, and deeply rooted concept as a quick and haphazard plot twist to clean up a half-formed story and the flimsy character at its core.  In a nutshell, that’s what happened to "Diggs", a Zombie Simpsons episode so ill conceived that they couldn’t even bring themselves to put a pun in the title.

You want to do an episode about a lonely boy who’s a one kid falconry club at Springfield Elementary?  Fine.  Weirder shit than that has happened at Springfield Elementary.  You further want to reveal that said lonely boy is actually seriously mentally ill?  Okay, that’s a bit heavy for a shamelessly stupid show like Zombie Simpsons, but isn’t necessarily a problem.  Oh, you want to have the kid be involuntarily committed, have Bart find out, have Bart’s parents react with horror that he even knows such places exist, have Lisa(!) go along with it unquestioningly, then have the kid leave for a day to wrap up the plot before biking happily back to a life at the mental institute he clearly doesn’t want to be in?  Those are gonna cause problems.

To see just a few of them, take a quick look at the dinner scene where Bart has printed out (yeah, I know, ignore it) the name of the mental hospital where Diggs is being taken.  Bart can read.  He can certainly understand the words "Psychiatric Hospital" on the page he printed.  He hands it to Marge and this is what happens:

Marge: If this is what I think it is, it’s not a place we should ever ever take a little boy.
Bart: Then why is Diggs there?
Homer:
Because it’s his home forever.

Marge’s reaction is bizarre in a couple of ways.  First, she’s just accepting that some kid is being permanently taken to a mental hospital?  That’s very un-Marge.  Moreover, what’s with the weirdly callous and fearful attitude?  Even if we spot them her acquiescence in this, the Marge we know and love would reassure Bart, tell him that the hospital is going to help Diggs, maybe even often to see about visitation.  Instead, she not only views it as a hopeless place too horrible to even speak of, but makes Bart feel even worse about his friend going there.

And all that’s before we get to the glaring elephant in the room: how come nobody has asked about this kid’s parents?  He’s supposed to be an elementary school student for fuck’s sake!  And not only does he not have any parents, none of the adults we do see care about it either.  Are they on vacation?  Did he run away?  Did Voldemort kill them in the Simpsons universe too?

It’d be one thing to overlook all that in a regularly nonsensical Zombie Simpsons episode that’s flopping all over the place anyway, but they play this seriously . . . over . . . and over . . . and over again, complete with sad piano music each and every time.  Diggs and his bleak future are clearly the biggest element of the story now, but the episode spends most of its remaining time on a bunch of falcons we hadn’t seen before, then ends with Diggs riding off to his fate.  How is the audience supposed to react to this?  It’s like watching someone do bad stand up right next to someone who’s getting beaten and handcuffed.

Come Back, Diggs, Come Back

Are you sad?  Well don’t be, because here comes Milhouse!

Even topics as dour as getting hauled off for no cause can be funny, of course.  For starters, it helps to not have it be about a little kid.  (Unless it’s a Halloween episode and Bart saw a gremlin on the side of the bus, and even that made more sense than “Diggs”.)  More importantly, it has to fit in with the universe you’ve created and the story you’re telling, which brings us to "Stark Raving Dad" and "The Old Man and the Lisa".  In one, Homer gets committed to the New Bedlam Rest Home for the Emotionally Interesting by his boss for wearing a pink shirt to work and flunking an obviously idiotic take home personality test.  In the other, Burns gets committed to the old folks home because two grocery clerks decided he wasn’t capable of being in society.

Forget about what happened to Homer and Burns once they got where they were going ("Diggs" didn’t show us where its title character was going), and just compare the who and the why.  Homer gets sent up by his boss, which is a pretty terrifying prospect for anyone who’s not in management.  Burns gets sent up by a couple of dudes at the store, which is pretty terrifying for anyone.  Both are egregious abuses of authority, but they’re also absurd.  Real life grocery store employees cannot sign commitment papers, which is what makes doing it on The Simpsons so enjoyable. 

Similarly, both Homer’s and Burns’ transgressions were ludicrously minor.  Homer wore a pink shirt and checked some boxes wrong (or, rather, let Bart check them wrong); Burns couldn’t make up his mind about a condiment.  Neither can get you committed, much less by people other than doctors and judges.

Both cases take that dark concept and make it funny by changing and exaggerating it beyond reality while leaving it recognizable.  In other words, by satirizing it.  Zombie Simpsons, by contrast, took a very sad real world situation and . . . left it very sad.  I’m not sure what that’s called, but "boring" and "not funny" would be a good start.

As I said on Monday, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they dumped "Diggs" at 7:30 instead of the usual 8pm.  Zombie Simpsons episodes are typically some combination of dumb, nonsensical, boring and just plain bad; but "Diggs" managed to stand out for not only being all those things, but also stapling them to a story that would’ve been hideously depressing if it weren’t so mind numbingly stupid. 

25
Feb
14

Quote of the Day

The Old Man and the Lisa12

“Sorry, we’re not allowed to read newspapers.  They angry up the blood!” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson

02
Aug
13

Quote of the Day

The Old Man and the Lisa10

“Where are you taking me?  What’s happening?” – C.M. Burns
“Relax, you’ve gone off your nut, so we’re stuffing you into an old folks home.  Those store guys signed the commitment papers.” – Chief Wiggum

02
Jan
13

Quote of the Day

The Old Man and the Lisa9

“Oh recycling is useless, Lis.  Once the Sun burns out, this planet is doomed!  You’re just making sure we spend our last days using inferior products.” – Bart Simpson




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