“Day of the Jackanapes” Makes Baby Jesus Cry

“So what’s your big idea, how do we end this?” – Roger Myers Jr.
“Hmmm, let’s see . . . um . . . oh, couldn’t Itchy share his pie with Scratchy?  Then they would both have pie.” – Marge Simpson
“It’s different, I’ll give you that.” – Roger Myers Jr.

This is the Sideshow Bob episode from Season 12 and by the rock bottom standards of Season 12 it’s not 100% terrible, more like 95% terrible.  So while it has a couple of good lines (I like Bob asking to live in the storage unit) it’s still got a nonsensical plot that takes forever to get going; it stretches individual scenes past the breaking point in order to fill time, extensively uses the horns of suspense, and has no ending.  Once again the commentators will laugh at a lot of these things.

Only six guys this time, I think that’s a record.

1:25:  Talking about the fact that they’ve done so many Sideshow Bob episodes over the years that it’s getting hard to come up with ideas.  No shit.

2:15:  Congratulating themselves because they recorded this right after the show got picked up for Seasons 21 & 22.  Ugh.

3:45:  Long silence broken by lone laugh at a poodle.

4:20:  To general laughter: “I love how executives are always trying to explain to you why Seinfeld worked.”  What a common frame of reference, I’m sure all of the audience will get it, like when your lazy butler washes your sock garters and they’re still covered with schmutz.

5:05:  Exciting back and forth here about whether or not the pony-tailed executive was based off of anyone.  “No, not really.”

5:20:  Laughing about how they had to stretch out some of these scenes to the last second.  Guys, much as I appreciate the candor, I figured that one out all by myself a long time ago.
5:40:  This is actually about the fifth time there’s been a twenty second or so silence.  They’re just long enough so that you know there isn’t much going on, but just short enough not to merit me typing “long silence”.

5:45:  Weak, awkward, and forced laughter at Marge saying that shows should go off the air before they get stale and repetitive.  Ever had a senile relative spill a family secret (e.g. cousin Eddy isn’t really Uncle Walt’s son, your aunt was having an affair with the UPS man)?  The truth hurts and all you can do is pretend to laugh.

6:00:  Another medium silence.  Uncle Walt doesn’t look too happy.

6:05:  Explaining the origin of “Krustylu”, followed by more silence, followed by more weak laughter.  Mostly silence.

7:00:  Mildly interesting note: the plot about Sideshow Bob’s shows being lost is loosely based on the fact that a lot of the old Johnny Carson Tonight Shows weren’t recorded for budget reasons.

8:00:  Long, pointless story about the fact that they don’t remember how Sideshow Bob was originally designed.

8:40:  Laughing that they’re in a Gil heavy phase and have been since.  Not a good thing.

9:20:  Medium silence.  Short pity laugh.  Another medium silence.

10:20:  Long silence.

11:35:  Apparently the line, “Krusty, that’s the one man I would never kill!” always got a big laugh when they were making the episode.  Personally, I like my exposition chewy and just a tad under cooked.

12:15:  Laughing at the “cheat” of having the target spin and turn into a spiral.

12:50:  Medium silence.

12:55:  Yeardly Smith just showed up in the comment room putting us up to seven people and breaking the record of having only six.  Oh well.

13:55: Discussion of the original “Manchurian Candidate” and general laughter at what little is going on in the episode.

15:30:  Long, long silence.

17:25:  More Johnny Carson discussion.

18:15:  Laughter, “ah, that’s a great joke.”  Scintillating.

18:30:  Plugging Yeardly Smith’s book.

19:30:  Book discussion finally ends.  Can’t say we missed much on the actual episode.

20:00:  Medium silence.

20:20:  Pointing out that it makes no sense for Bart to – oh so gradually – approach Krusty, someone notes that, “Security is very lax.”  Amongst other things.

21:20:  “Now this ending was kind of a last minute.”  Aren’t they all?  “I think we did leave it a little hanging.”  Ya think?

2 Responses to ““Day of the Jackanapes” Makes Baby Jesus Cry”

  1. 1 Cassidy
    3 September 2009 at 8:31 pm

    Ug. This is the episode that finally severed my already weak allegiance to Zombie Simpsons. I was hoping – hoping so much – that at the very least a Sideshow Bob episode would come through. I actually made a point to watch this one when it was first broadcast and I couldn’t even make it through the first act. Or maybe I did – I think I turned it off during the storage locker scene. In any event, this was the point where I completely gave up on the series.

  2. 3 September 2009 at 11:59 pm

    I think that “Brother from Another Series” (is that the title? the episode with David Hyde-Pierce as Cecil) should have been the final Sideshow Bob episode. But for some reason it’s a given that every season Bob will make a return appearance – but after a half-dozen episodes the writers were clearly running out of fresh ideas for the character.

    I wonder what goes on when the writers and producers pitch story ideas for every season. Do they have a checklist or something for episode plots which they peddle every year? One Sideshow Bob episode, one Halloween episode, one episode in which Bart falls in love with a girl (voiced by an overaged female celebrity), one episode made up of three imaginary stories, and a shitload of episodes involving Homer getting a wacky new job, maiming himself repeatedly and meeting various celebrities?? I haven’t watched the show consistently for some time now – do they still have an episode every season focusing on Apu and his wife and kids?

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