Archive for May, 2010


Quote of the Day

“Don’t worry Marge. America’s healthcare system is second only to Japan, Canada, Sweden, Great Britain… well, all of Europe. But you can thank your lucky stars we don’t live in Paraguay.” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

Lisa vs Malibu Stacy4

“The good lord let’s us grow old for a reason: to gain the wisdom to find fault with everything he’s made!” – Abe “Grandpa” Simpson


Phil Hartman Videos

The humane but determined boys down at No Pun Intended have put up a fantastic Phil Hartman tribute that is chock full of video, with everything from Simpsons to Saturday Night Live to Newsradio.  Many of these are famous, but some of them are quite obscure.  Sadly, Hulu does not have one of my all time favorite Hartman as Clinton skits, Real Stories of the Arkansas Highway PatrolCOPS has become such a part of the culture that we now call men’s undershirts “wifebeaters”, but back then it was all new.  Seeing Hartman as the abused husband, in a wifebeater, was really funny at the time.  As with all old SNL skits, I’m not sure how well it has aged, but the transcript reads pretty well:

State Trooper Glenn McRae: Alright, ma’am, everything seems to check out fine. Would you be interested in going back to the patrol car, and performing a sex act on the governor?

Which brings me to Hartman’s episode of The Critic, “Eyes on the Prize”.  Skip to the 6:40 mark to hear Hartman as Adolf Hitmaker, personal image consultant:

Hartman also did Jay’s agent, the raucously slimy Bernie Wasserman, it’s right at the beginning.  Watch a littler further and Hartman shows up again as Jay’s old teacher Professor Blowhard:

Heh heh, “green peaness”.  That always gets me.


Quote of the Day

“Bart, I’ve asked you not to whistle that annoying tune.” – Marge Simpson

Happy birthday Danny Elfman!


Reading Digest: Refusing to Play Along Edition

Ignore This Text

Image used under Creative Commons license from Flickr user Salim Virji.

“I think stealing cable is wrong.  So I’m choosing not to watch it in the hope that others will follow my example.  It’s the last you’ll hear from me on the matter.  Thank you for your time.” – Lisa Simpson

We’re no strangers to traffic whoring here at the Dead Homer Society.  (Will Pornography Monday return this summer?  You get two guesses, but you’re only going to need one.)  But even I have my limits, and this week there are some things I’m boycotting completely and not linking.  The first is a World Cup video Nike made to showcase their stable of athletes; Homer’s in it for a split second and I couldn’t care less.  The second is the numerous radio station “blogs” that put up a screen capture of Zombie Simpsons’ Lost related chalkboard item this week.  I put blogs in quotes because many of these sites are identical (same text, same image, same layout), they’re just for different radio stations that are, no doubt, owned by the same conglomerate.  Remember what Mad Jon said about the DJ 3000 being real?  Well those carbon copy web pages are what the DJ 3000 looks like on the internet.  Also, Entertainment Weekly put Homer on their cover, but their website is so poorly designed that I’m not even going to bother.   Hmmm, maybe I’m still grumpy from seven straight weeks of new Zombie Simpsons?  Nah.  Of course, we’ve also got some excellent usage (much in relation to series finales), some poor usage, some art, and an escape from video game damnation. 


9th drawing: Baby Bart Simpson – This is a rather hypnotic YouTube of someone drawing Bart as a baby.  There are a few others in the series.

How to draw Maggie Simpson – Maybe I’m the only one who likes watching people draw things, but I find these fascinating. 

Cubee – Ned Flanders – If I were allowed to use scissors I’d try and make this.  Awesome. 

10 Famous Wingmen – Milhouse is on here.  Other than that, quite lame. 

To Paraphrase The Simpsons – Excellent usage:

Bart – "Dad, why did you take me to a gay logging camp?"

Homer – "I don’t know!"

Click through for the picture that explains it. 

Grill with Homer Simpson – Not really, but grilling season is coming up.  Good Morning Burger, anyone?

Connecting with Games: The Simpsons Arcade Trip – Jean-Paul Sartre’s most famous work is a play about eternal torment.  Some clever screenwriter needs to update it so that instead of “Hell is other people”, it’s “Hell is unfinished video games”.  It’s good to see someone got over the hump on the original Simpsons game.  Also, Homer does kind of have his face in Marge’s crotch on that cover image.  Mmmm, vagina.  (via)

The Simpsons Quotes – I didn’t verify these, but they look pretty good. 

The Simpsons Cartoon Studio – I can’t believe I’ve never heard of this before, but it looks terrible. 

Simon’s Final Judgment – This is mostly about Simon Cowell and isn’t worth your time, I’d just like to point out the opening:

Say whatever you like about the folks at Fox: they know how to promote – and cross-promote – their shows.

The season finale of "The Simpsons" served as a virtual commercial for Wednesday’s season finale of "American Idol."

Yes, yes it did. 

Cow and bundle, mom! – An awesome picture of a crappy bootleg Bart doll. 

BP’s slick responses – Look, I’m as pissed off at BP and company as anyone.  Their negligence has caused the biggest, most damaging, and longest lasting environmental disaster in American history.  That said, it’s no excuse for poor usage:

It is bad enough to have the top executives of the involved parties (BP, Halliburton, and Transocean) come before Federal authorities in a commission hearing and do their Bart Simpson-like “It wasn’t me” avoidance of responsibility routine.

“It wasn’t me”?  Barney got is closer on Bart Chat when he said “I didn’t do nothing.”  The real line is, of course, “I didn’t do it.” 

Dove + Simpsons, Flintstones, Jetsons & Scooby Doo – This is not in English, and Google Translate did a more incoherent job than usual, but you don’t need to read it.  It’s pictures of some shampoo ad featuring cartoon women, Marge, Jane, Wilma, and Velma. 

“Lisa, You’re Not Sprinkling Your Sparkles” – Lisa rules, we all know this.  But only in the 90s.  Now?  Not so much. 

Thoughts on Endings: Lost, Infinite Seriality, The Illusion of Change, and What It All Has to Do With Literary Fiction – My apathy towards Lost is close enough to total that I don’t care enough to give this sentence a proper ending.  But this . . .

Maybe it’s because of this quote from the immortal Poochie episode of The Simpsons: “The thing is, there’s not really anything wrong with the Itchy & Scratchy show, it’s as good as ever. But after so many years, the characters just can’t have the same impact they once had.”

. . . is excellent usage, and that I care about. 

24 8.23-24: The last day of our acquaintance24 was always way too unintentionally funny for me to get into it, but this, in regards to the series finale, is excellent usage:

Ah, well. It’s over. As Marge Simpson once said, when Homer wasn’t sure if a problem was properly resolved, “It’s an ending. That’s enough.”

Perfectly quoted and very apt. 

Top 10 TV Shows That Overstayed Their Welcome – This was on Springfield Springfield’s Twitter feed.  Yes, yes, yes:

The show grew a life of itself and just started taking from anything it could get… including itself. It started relying on just what South Park made of fun Family Guy for: pop culture references instead of jokes. Satire turned into spoof, turned into lampoon and the real base of the show, the core died with the lack of creativity that’s plastered onto some of our favorite characters week after week.

Rot in hell, Zombie Simpsons.


Quote of the Day

“Who’s Disco Stu?”- Marge Simpson
“Oh, I wanted to write ‘Disco Stud,’ but I ran out of space. Not that Disco Stu didn’t get his share of the action.” – Homer Simpson


Summer Programming Note

Krusty Gets Busted2

“In the coming weeks, you will notice some rather sweeping changes in our program.  Please do not be alarmed.  Itchy and Scratchy will still have a home here, but we will also learn about nutrition, self esteem, etiquette and all the lively arts.” – Sideshow Bob

We’re free – free! – from new Zombie Simpsons for at least four months.  Woo-hoo!  Of course, that also means we’ll need to find something new to chew on around here.  Fortunately, there’s Season 9.  Last summer we had one of our little on-line chats about most of the episodes from Season 8.  We were trying to focus on those episodes when it was clear the show was slipping.  Sadly, those problems became more and more frequent in Season 9.  In order to keep our wits rusty and dull over the summer, we’re going to spend those sunny days slowly picking apart the good and the bad of Season 9.

Like last summer, we’ll be doing two episodes per week, going up in some combination of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  Reading Digest will still have a home here on Fridays, but other than that you can expect more random stuff, including fan made items, crappy merchandise, and other Simpsons related material.  Of course, we’ll also keep our ear to the ground for any news about the renewal of Zombie Simpsons for Season 23.

Obviously, Reading Digest and a couple of Crazy Noises isn’t much in terms of regularly scheduled posts.  So I want to ask all of you other Simpsons fans out there if there’s anything else you’d like to see us do.  We’re open to ideas, and I know we have a lot of funny and creative readers, so let us know.

Along those lines, if anyone has a guest post or rant they’d like to see on the front page, e-mail us.  This can be a joke or an episode you particularly hated or loved, real life moments that reminded you of the show, really anything Simpsons related is fine.  Feel free to include images, if you want to use video, it’s best if it’s YouTube since that’s easier for us to embed.  We make no promises about publication, but all serious submissions will be generously reviewed with an eye towards filling a few holes in our programming lineup:

DHS Schedule

Thanks for reading, and hopefully we’ll be seeing a lot of you over the summer.


Crazy Noises: Judge Me Tender

Bart the Murderer7

“Your Honor, the prosecution moves that Principal Skinner’s testimony be stricken from the record.” – Prosecutor
“Denied!” – Judge Snyder

In our continuing mission to bring you only the finest in low class, low brow, and low tech internet Simpsons commentary we’re bringing back our “Crazy Noises” series and applying it to Season 21.  Because doing a podcast smacks of effort we’re still using this “chatroom” thing that all the middle schoolers and undercover cops seem to think is so cool.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (especially on  “DeGeneres”).

One of the few good jokes from Season 10’s relentlessly dull Super Bowl episode “Sunday, Cruddy Sunday”, was when they described the two teams and then the President.  In the first instance, they had Moe put a mug in front of his mouth when naming the Atlanta Falcons.  When he spoke, his voice was also recorded slightly differently.  They couldn’t properly animate his lines because they had no way of knowing who would be playing, so they made a joke out of it, using the obvious ploy to cover up his mouth.  They went on, using the same gag to joke about Bill Clinton’s impeachment, implying that he might not be the President much longer.  One of the few high points in an otherwise very bad episode.

At the end of this week’s American Idol promo, they had someone do a Jay Leno impersonation about the BP oil spill.  Only the voice didn’t match up at all, in fact, there was even a jarring change in the voice.  When it’s a wide shot, the dialog is “Have you seen this, the President says Iran has gotten a hold of the most dangerous weapon known to man.”  It then zooms in so the image on Moe’s television is the full shot, and a very different voice says, “The BP oil rig!  That’s right ladies and gentlemen, but I know how to make that leak disappear: put it on NBC!”  During the second shot the voice doesn’t begin to match the animation or the tone from the previous line.  It’s childishly clumsy.

When you’re screwing up things even Season 10 knew how to do, that’s not a good sign.

Charlie Sweatpants: Enough about BP, is it time to move onto the second biggest disaster in America this week?

Mad Jon: Sounds like a plan

Initial thoughts?

Charlie Sweatpants: I can’t decide if I want this episode to get more press, or if I want it stricken from the record.

Mad Jon: Can’t it have one because of the other?

Charlie Sweatpants: I was a little less upset by the Kesha thing a few weeks ago than you guys were, but this was too much.

Dave: It was pretty whorish.

Mad Jon: That was Simon Cowell’s second guest appearance.

Charlie Sweatpants: I saw that, good that they only work with the most non-flash in the pan people, isn’t it?

Mad Jon: Very classy.

Dave: We should expect nothing less.

Charlie Sweatpants: But he wasn’t even the worst part, the other judges were.

Mad Jon: I didn’t even know Ellen was a judge on American Idol.

Charlie Sweatpants: You learned it, you can’t unlearn it.

Dave: That tacitly implies that you’ve watched American Idol before, Jon.

Mad Jon: You can’t watch FOX without seeing commercials for it. Also I think I guess I thought I would have heard that Ellen replaced whoever was there before her. That seems like it would be a big pop culture deal.

Charlie Sweatpants: Okay, let’s not get into a pissing contest over who is purer when it comes to ignoring American Idol.

Mad Jon: Sorry Dave.

Dave: Oh fine. I forgive you, Jon.

Charlie Sweatpants: The point here is that they have about six judges all of whom were basically given their own "talking into the camera" moment for ten or fifteen seconds.

It went beyond lazy, and honestly, could you even tell if the actual Zombie Simpsons writers wrote it?

Mad Jon: No, I assumed they did because I considered poking out my own eyes, but I don’t really have any proof.

Dave: It may as well have been an effort from Fox’s marketing dept.

Charlie Sweatpants: You mean, this show isn’t part of FOX’s marketing department?

Dave: I guess you’re right, I was giving it too much credit.

Charlie Sweatpants: But let’s not get distracted. While the American Idol part was perhaps the most bought and sold thing this show has ever done, and I’m including commercials for Butterfinger, Coke, Toyota, and every other fucking thing, the rest of the episode also sucked.

Case in point: the monkey diaper thing.

Mad Jon: Pretty bad.

Charlie Sweatpants: Not a completely horrid idea, but then it went on for twenty seconds and ended with a man eating a diaper for no reason.

Mad Jon: Drederick Tatum none the less

Charlie Sweatpants: The Flanders evolution "joke" was in a similar vein.

Mad Jon: Yeah, I hated that less, but It wasn’t funny. Even though Flanders and Lisa were actually themselves – still not funny.

Charlie Sweatpants: But that was just a taste of Lisa’s moments of showing up for no reason in this episode.

Dave: Like Ralph showing up to swear?

Mad Jon: Oh sure. But the other show up was to help support Santa’s Little Helper in the B.5 plot.

Charlie Sweatpants: Talk about desperate time ploys, I guess even they thought DeGeneres’ dance went on too long.

Mad Jon: I had the feeling they just plum forgot to finish what they started.

Charlie Sweatpants: There was a lot of that going on.

Mad Jon: But perhaps the plot writing computer just went haywire and no one bothered to stop it.

Charlie Sweatpants: Probably wouldn’t be the first time.

Mad Jon: Or the last.

Charlie Sweatpants: Sadly, no.

But those weren’t the only ones, we had another pointless montage, Moe’s painfully slow walk across the entire aisle as dumber and dumber things get put into seats, and that scene where Homer kept sneaking up on Marge for no reason.

That Moe sitting down thing was really bad, there was more humor in the bus scenes from Forrest Gump.

Mad Jon: Ugh. And I think the XFL joke may have been, I don’t know, a few YEARS to late?

Charlie Sweatpants: Fuck, I’d blocked out that sports bar.

Dave: Me too.

Charlie Sweatpants: Take that Buffalo Wild Wings/XFL/Swanson’s.

Mad Jon: I spent many of my formative years watching Homer sitting on the couch and drinking beer. Perhaps he forgot how to do that, which would explain the need for the Marge wanting space bit.

Charlie Sweatpants: I thought of that too.

Mad Jon: I’m not surprised you did.

Charlie Sweatpants: Why was Homer suddenly interested in harassing Marge like it was his job?

And what’s with the labels on the eggs?

Mad Jon: The label maker from season three must have had it’s contract option picked up.

Charlie Sweatpants: Excessive labeling (Radio Bart), and individual labeling (Summer of 4 Ft 2) have both been done before and done better.

Mad Jon: Speaking of throwbacks

Charlie Sweatpants: I see we were on the same page there.

Mad Jon: Did anyone notice the music right before the normal end credit music?

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, was it the German polka for a reason?

Did I miss something?

Mad Jon: It was the music from the beer garden when Burn’s sold the plant to the Germans.

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, but why?

Dave: Empty fanservice!

Like the aye-carumba

Dr. Nick


Charlie Sweatpants: Speaking of out of character, Dr. Nick.

I really thought he was going to say "Spaghetti-Os" at the end.

Mad Jon: Is that supposed to be a subliminal deal to try and make me like Zombie Simpsons? You know, remind me of good times? Or have I succumbed to my rage and hatred so much that I am looking for any reason to pin a conspiracy on the Zombie writers…

Charlie Sweatpants: Conspiracy isn’t the right word. Conspiracies are secret. They’re pretty open about the fact that they’ve been mooching off built up good will for more than a decade.

Mad Jon: This seems a bit more blatant than usual…

Charlie Sweatpants: Enh, it’s no worse than that time the Plow King showed up.

Dave: It was their last opportunity for a few months. Go big or go broke

Charlie Sweatpants:  But in this case they went big and broke.

Mad Jon: Indeed.

It seems Moe has gotten a lot of play as of late.

Talk about the bottom of the barrel.

Charlie Sweatpants: He’s easy to write for.

Mad Jon: He didn’t even cry this time.

Charlie Sweatpants: No, but he did get all gushy over that song.

That was pretty bad.

Mad Jon: Oh yea, when Simon Cowell sabotaged his judging career in less then 12 seconds.

Charlie Sweatpants: I mean, when the bar is set at "sexually harass your waitress to get guilted into doing right by your friend", everything’s going to fall short. But still, he’s been awful for years and this was right along those lines.

I will admit to being mildly amused by all the fake reality show titles, but that was pretty low hanging fruit.

Mad Jon: It was very Family Guy.

Not to bring them into this.

Charlie Sweatpants: Fast Animals, Slow Children, and all that.

You’re right, though.

Mad Jon: It would have been edgy 8 or 9 years ago, a series of reality show titles that at the time would have been outrageous, but are now probably on either FX or HGTV…

But now….

Charlie Sweatpants: Another good point.

Mad Jon: Still, if you have to not hate at least one part of the episode, that would probably be the joke not to hate.

Charlie Sweatpants: Speaking of whiffing on topicality, there was that Jay Leno thing at the end.

Mad Jon: I didn’t understand that at all.

Dave: It was completely tacked on.

Charlie Sweatpants: What Dave said.

Mad Jon: Was it because of all the recent late night mix ups or something?

I don’t really watch those types of shows either.

Charlie Sweatpants: They mentioned the BP spill, but the voice changed completely and they didn’t even bother to try syncing up the animation and the speech.

Mad Jon: If I’m awake at eleven I am either seriously drinking or playing Xbox.

Charlie Sweatpants: Or both.

Mad Jon: Usually both.

Charlie Sweatpants: Okay, anything else?

I’m quite ready to be done with this piece of shit season.

Mad Jon: No, but I’m probably just looking for an excuse to stop talking about new Zombie Simpsons for a few months

Charlie Sweatpants: Amen to that.


Quote of the Day

Bart the Murderer6

“Princess Opal?” – Chief Wiggum
“I see nothing here.  But I’m afraid it’s splitsville for Delta Burke and Major Dad.” – Princess Opal
“But they seem so happy.” – Chief Wiggum

Happy birthday Jo Ann Harris! 


Zombie Simpsons Is Off the Air, How About Some Futurama News?

I remain at least slightly nervous about the return of Futurama, but this interview with David X. Cohen (who was David S. Cohen during his time on The Simpsons) is pretty reassuring.  Everybody’s back and Fry and Leela will not be getting married and moving to the suburbs.  The concepts are a clever as ever, and Cohen discusses a number of them.  This may be my favorite:

the Professor invents a time machine that only goes forward in time. Once they start going, there is no hope of return. And the initial goal is to just go a minute forward into the future and test it out, but the Professor trips and they’re immediately 1,000 years in the future with nowhere to go but forward. So they spend the episode going further and further through all future history trying to find the technology for a backward time machine.

There’s a lot more there for anyone else who’s looking forward to the return to the 31st century. 


Quote of the Day

“Everyone turn around and look at this!” – Helen Lovejoy

“What is it? A Unitarian?” – Grampa Simpson


Synergy Can’t Go Along With This

Who Shot Mr. Burns Part 2c

“He crossed that line between everyday villainy, and cartoonish super-villainy.” – Waylon Smithers

Up until this week, IGN had been doing a bang up job of sucking up to its paymaster.  But the reeking desperation and overwhelming obviousness of making the season finale an American Idol commercial was too much, even for them.  FOX let IGN down, man, now they don’t believe in nothin’ no more.  IGN’s going to law school!

As always, I’ve edited out the synergy. 

As a conclusion to one of the best worst seasons of The Simpsons Zombie Simpsons in the last few years, the series delivered another clunker. There was little to get excited about in "Judge Me Tender," an episode whose main storyline product placement focused on Moe and fellow Fox series American Idol. Had this been a half-hour stuck in the middle of the season, I it might not have been so disappointed passed relatively unnoticed, but choosing to end the year with it, especially after last week’s great Sideshow Bob episode, one can’t help but feel robbed that this embarrassment will be long remembered.

Besides, Lost was on.  [Ed note: No it wasn’t.  Lost didn’t start until 9:00pm]  The Simpsons didn’t hide the fact they were airing opposite an event night on ABC, specifically going up against the Lost retrospective. Bart’s chalkboard tried to spoil the whole thing for you: "End of Lost: It was all the dog’s dream. Watch us." But the episode they were trying to win you over with was less than compelling. If there were any bright spots, there weren’t, but if there were, it was would have been the first act. The Springfield Pet Fair offered up a number of great visual mildly clever gags and one-off bits. Drederick Tatum shopping for monkey diapers that wouldn’t upset his tiger’s stomach if the tiger ate the monkey was hilarious not one of them, instead dragging on much too long. "It’s a great time to be a tiger." Moe trying to find a seat at the Ugly Dog Contest was also a highlight took too long and wasn’t that funny to begin with.

The contest turned out to be the catalyst hackneyed set up for the remainder of the episode. Krusty’s unfunny commentary was outdone by no worse than Moe’s heckling, and but the “plot” demanded otherwise, and so Moe quickly became an in-demand local judge. This all worked up to this point, took quite some time and led to and I enjoyed the montage of different contests that Moe was asked to judge. But the moment Once Moe was approached by a Hollywood agent and offered a stint as guest judge on American Idol, the episode lost me went from run of the mill Zombie Simpsons crappiness to turbo-charged, unfunny network shill. The Simpsons are used to be great at taking swipes at Hollywood and parent company Fox, but the majority of bits fell very flat in "Judge Me Tender." The series has made (better) tepid jokes about AI in seasons past and very little new was offered here, except for the actual voices of Simon, Ellen, Kara, Randy and Ryan. But even these voice performances were wooden and unfunny and served to highlight just how bankrupt this show has become. Even Ellen disappointed, and she’s done the cartoon voice thing quiet well in the past, though that was with actual writing. Guess she’s better at playing a fish than herself.

The episode was padded out with Homer being forced to spend more time at home because of Moe’s Tavern being temporarily closed. Marge becoming annoyed by Homer’s presence was wholly expected and not given many any fun twists. Homer screwed up the kitchen? Oh, my! Homer took apart the washer unsuccessfully? Who knew?! It was predictable and weak. Even the The ending to the American Idol storyline was a bit transparently telegraphed. Rupert Murdoch, founder of Fox, has been the butt of countless jokes on The Simpsons, but nothing great came of his guest appearance on this episode. It was just too safe. In fact, the whole thing kind felt like was a network ordered crossover to help promote the ailing AI. Whatever the case, Even for the hollowed out husk that is Zombie Simpsons, this was a terrible way to end an otherwise fantastic another terrible season.


Quote of the Day

“Okay, we’re young, rich, and full of sugar. What do we do?” – Bart Simpson
“Let’s go crazy Broadway-style!” – Milhouse Van Houten


Desperate Ratings Ploy Fails Miserably

Chalkboard - Judge Me Tender

“Well, your honor, we’ve got plenty of hearsay and conjecture.  Those are kinds of evidence.” – Lionel Hutz

I’ve still never seen the 24 episode of Zombie Simpsons, but it couldn’t have been any more whorish than last night’s extended American Idol promo.  Why anyone would want to watch Simon Cowell pretend to make fun of himself for ten minutes is beyond me, but that was nothing compared to the scene with the rest of the Idol judges.  It would be difficult to imagine a more formulaic, by-the-numbers, and downright lifeless segment.  They had the cast of another television show on, and had them act like themselves.  That would be bad enough by itself but, on top of that, they didn’t do anything but serial monologues, one after another.  They’ve got plenty of celebrity cameos and recycled ideas.  Those are kinds of entertainment, right?

Anyway, the numbers are in and, oh yeah, they’re bad.  Last night’s crossover reminded a mere 5.74 million people that American Idol isn’t the only show that’s worn out its welcome.  That’s the lowest number for a season finale ever, the eighth lowest of all time, and another humiliation for the perpetually humiliated Zombie Simpsons.  If you can’t even get a ratings bump by whoring yourself completely for network cross promotion, how can you get one? 

All told, Season 21 averaged a mere 7.13 million viewers per episode.  That does represent an infinitesimal improvement over Season 20’s 7.12 million viewer average.  But that tiny victory was completely due to the 20th anniversary number from the night of Spurlock’s special.  Without that, the average for Season 21 drops to a pitiful 6.79 million.  Of the ten least watched episodes ever, seven of them came this year, and more than half of Season 21 is in the bottom twenty all time. 

Of course, the show is probably still profitable, even without the merchandising money.  (With the merchandising money it is exceedingly profitable.)  But that doesn’t change the fact that fewer and fewer people every year bother with Zombie Simpsons.  Whether or not FOX thinks it’s damaging the brand by continuing a show few people watch, and even fewer actually like, is up to them.  But the downward trend is irrefutable, and with no big anniversary to help them, Season 22 is certain to become the least watched season ever.  Unless, of course, there’s a Season 23. 


Quote of the Day

In Marge We Trust5

“This is the best part of the week!” – Homer Simpson
“It’s the longest possible time before more church!” – Lisa Simpson

And this is the best part of the year, it’s the longest possible time before more Zombie Simpsons!


Sunday Preview: “Judge Me Tender”

Synergy, synergy, synergy! At long last, we’re at the end of Season 21 with “Judge Me Tender,” which for all intents and purposes seems to be a tacky commercial celebrating the Fox Network.  My memory’s a bit hazy – I seem to recall Zombie Simpsons spoofing – by which I mean not ridiculing and using wholesale – an “American Idol”-like concept before, but I can’t be bothered to look it up.  Anyway, the show’s saved its big guns for the finale with guest stars aplenty, including Rupert Murdoch.  Here’s Simpsons Channel with the description:

Moe discovers a talent for judging contests and is invited to appear on alongside Randy Jackson, Ellen DeGeneres, Kara DioGuardi, and Simon Cowell. Ryan Seacrest will also be on hand as the host.

Yeah, whatever. I’d like to remind our readers that this is apparently the same show whose previous crossover antics with “The Critic” in Season 6’s “A Star Is Burns” so reviled creator Matt Groening that he demanded his name be pulled from the opening credits. Fifteen seasons later, to hell with principals and integrity, there’s money to be made!  Folks, if ever there was any doubt, it’s clear now that the apple has been flung far from the tree, squished, and thrown into the compost heap.


Quote of the Day

“I might remind you both I did design that racer. The driver is essentially ballast.” – Martin Prince


Quote of the Day

“That’s for employing me for eight years, haha!” – Homer Simpson


Reading Digest: Alien Olympics Edition

 Wenlock and Mandeville

Image taken from

“I am so fuckin’ embarrassed.” – Marge Simpson

As of this writing, the above is the seventh result on Google Images for “wenlock mandeville”, the names of the two suspiciously Rigelian mascots recently unveiled for the London Olympics in 2012.  Kang and Kodos appear again at #9.  The actual mascots appear nowhere.  That will change, but it’s still a pretty devastating roll out for your shiny new public relations vehicle.  I only included two links to this topic, though there were many more if I wanted them.  Oh well, the run up to every Olympics is always filled with horror stories about stadium construction, cost overruns and, in this case, alien mascots, but once the games start no one remembers them.  In addition to Olympic mascot follies, we’ve got some excellent usage, a disappointing guest star list, Top Chef pictures, excellent usage, a pathetic conspiracy theory, another victory for Malibu Stacy in her war against Barbie, and a spectacular road trip idea. 


Springfield – Detail, with photos, of the Simpsons themed foods on Top Chef

Springfield, USA – An all Springfield road trip?  Going from one Springfield to another across the US?  That is a fantastic idea.  No, it’s better than that, it’s a fan-fugu-tastic idea.  Sadly it’s still theoretical at this point, but if I ever have any money and free time, that would be a kick ass way to spend a month or so on the road.  Click through for tidbits on many of America’s Springfields.

Ten Fictional TV Businesses that I Wish Were Real – Moe’s is on here, though I’m disappointed in the lack of Leftorium. 

In the unlikely event of/that…

… I don’t laugh the next time I watch any episode in the sixth season of the “Simpsons”, I will go longer than a week without watching a single episode. That would be a record. The sixth season produced so many upper echelon episodes that some (“Lisa’s Rival”) even spawned T-shirts.

Hmmm, have I gone more than a week without watching the show since it started on syndication?  Probably not.

Matt Groening Draws Joanna Newsom And Sonic Youth As Simpsons Characters – Remember that music festival “curated” (I’m still not sure what that means) by Groening?  Well, he drew the performers, and you can click to see the one of Joanna Newsom.  Also, there’s this piece of awesomeness:

The image of Sonic Youth below was on The Simpsons back when people our age actually watched The Simpsons, like a million years ago.

On Second Thoughts… – Looks like I wasn’t the only one to see the new London Olympic mascots and immediately think Kang and Kodos.  And this is after the logo was compared to Lisa giving head, what’s next London?  (Also, there are two quotes there, the first is kosher, the second not so much.) 

Are Wenlock and Mandeville Olympic-Size Simpsons Copies? – Here’s another one, with side-by-side art.

Barbie is a working girl and farts out dust – This is excellent usage of the highest caliber, working some of the magic of “Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy” into a report about new Barbies.  Bravo.

The 11 biggest nerd heroes to have appeared on ‘The Simpsons’ – Ugh, lotta Zombie Simpsons on here.  No James Earl Jones, no Buzz Aldrin, no Patrick Stewart, neither of the X-Files twins . . . and no George Takei!  How dare you! 

Bart Simpson’s Chalkboard by Work Club – Someone wrote all of Bart’s chalkboard sayings on a real chalkboard.  There’s YouTube at that link, as well as a clickthrough to a neat zoomable image of the completed work.  (Also, fuck you spellcheck, “zoomable”, “clickthrough” and “spellcheck” are too words.) 

Wut? – This is a side by side image of a background painting from the Springfield Monorail (pre-catastrophe) and the World Trade Center back in 2001.  They do bear a resemblance, but I’m more inclined to think it has something to do with The Towering Inferno, one of the bloated masterpieces of the 70s-disaster genre.  Image here, (yes, that is O.J. Simpson).  Oh, and for the record:

I wonder how many hits the tags ‘Simpsons’ and ‘conspiracy’ will get my blog?

I found it from the Simpsons tag, but we don’t generate all that many hits. 

Take Me Out to [the new and improved] Ballgame – This is a list of suggestions for making Major League Baseball less boring, and it begins with “Duffless”, as it should.  Personally, I’ve gone to far fewer games since they jacked up the price of beer a few years ago, because Homer was right, that is not a game to be enjoyed sober. 

The Top Ten James Bond Parodies of All Freaking Time – I’d have put Scorpio higher, but this is a pretty good list.  Though, where’s the Peter Sellers Casino Royale?  Also, Archer is great. 

FP Tech Desk: Computers now detect sarcasm (…great) – I think boing boing had the right take on this:

An Israeli research team has designed a computer algorithm that recognize sarcasm with about 77 percent accuracy. How many computers have to understand all the jokes made at their expense before we get Skynet?

We really are just asking for the robot apocalypse at this point.  That said, the link above made the Simpsons connection and it comes with Spanish (I think) language YouTube:

Comic Book Guy sounds muy macho. 

World Of Springfield: Mr Plow Homer – I am generally against crappy Simpsons merchandise, but I’ve got to admit it’s pretty clever to include a “Stockdale for Veep” shirt with the Mr. Plow doll.  Also, excellently quoted.

Are We There Yet? – To my knowledge I’ve never had a cyst, so I’m probably not qualified to speak here.  But I do know that The Simpsons can only help any situation, so, best of luck. 

The Simpsons – The original Family Guy – This guy held out longer than I did:

Up until about season 15 my claim to fame was that I had seen every ‘The Simpsons’ episode about 4 or 5 times.

Let’s Make a Deal – This isn’t the usual vitriol I like when talking about the decline of the show, but it counts:

While I’ve enjoyed The Simpsons for many years, and still tune in every now and then, it just doesn’t have the same zip it used to.

I say kill it with fire, but to each his own.  Wait, there’s one more!

Simpsons – Now this is more like it:

I don’t know when I smartened up, but we both enjoy a good laugh at the classic Simpsons and not the simpleton clone all comedy shows have now become.

I don’t know about all comedy shows, but “simpleton clone” is a great way to describe Zombie Simpsons. 


So Much For That Theory

“Why are you guys jumping to such ridiculous conclusions?  Haven’t you ever heard of Occam’s razor?  The simplest explanation is probably the correct one.” – Lisa Simpson

Last week, I speculated that FOX might have a dual purpose in trying out their new animated show “Bob’s Burgers” in the fall, before they had to make a decision on whether or not to bring back Zombie Simpsons for 2011-2012.  Not so much:

Expect a new animated comedy titled “Bob’s Burgers” during the midseason (which won’t be a success, I can tell you that now).

“Bob’s Burgers” won’t be showing up until mid-season, so there will be no window between its premier and the production of the Season 22 finale.  My conspiracy theory about the saucer people and the RAND corporation was wrong.  Can’t say I’m that surprised. 

What does this mean for a Season 23?  Maybe a lot, probably nothing.  FOX is still going to have more shows than it can fit in a two hour bloc on Sunday, but who knows what that means?  Whether or not they’ve decided to finally put Zombie Simpsons out of its misery remains an open question.  Here’s hoping. 


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