Reading Digest: The Perils of Syndication Edition

Homer Goes to College7

“Wow!  They’ll never let us show that again, not in a million years!” – Krusty the Klown

Assuming that pure joy expands in a circle at the speed of light, the echo of my unbounded glee at learning that reruns of The Simpsons would be on five days a week should be somewhere between Altair and Sigma Draconis by now.  In those dark days before DVDs, DVD rips, and bottomless hard drive platters, watching old episodes wasn’t easy to do, and the news that it would be on every weeknight (and sometimes on Saturday) was literally life changing.  All those episodes that I had only seen once or twice were suddenly going to be broadcast again and again, and that meant that I could watch them again and again.  These days I never watch the syndication runs, both because they’re hopelessly polluted with Zombie Simpsons and because having episodes on my computer is vastly more convenient.  But I recognize that I’m in the minority on how I watch, and this week we have two links to demonstrate that.  One to a television station that’s broadcasting good episodes in May, and another to someone who’s still shackled to the whims of the program directors.  We’ve also got pictures of that beaded Springfield, an awesome love song, plenty of excellent usage, and a Hans Moleman video. 


Perfectly Cromulent Analysis: Mr. Plow – Smooth Charlie’s Click of the Week is a post on “Mr. Plow” by our old friend Andreas.  He extensively and rightly praises that excellent “Do you come with the car?” joke that still rings true nearly twenty years later.  Well worth reading in full. 

The Unofficial Smithers Love Song – Fan made song and video that contains 100% of your daily recommended amount of fuck yeah (via @springfieldx2). 

Electronic Arts Cancels ‘Dead Space 2’ Wii, ‘The Simpsons Game 2’ – A Simpsons related game I didn’t know was being developed has been cancelled. 

10 Best Female Voice Actors | Actors & Directors | Screen Junkies – Nancy Cartwright snags #1 here, but no one else from the show makes the cut.

The Simpsons Makes a Skit About Precious – Thanks go to Maggie C for sending in a link to this Tumblr site that noted Zombie Simpsons’ pathetic “Precious” dream sequence in “Love Is a Many Strangled Thing”.  My favorite comment got right to the point:

holy shit fuck you, simpsons

Simpsons town revealed in Forest Hills artist’s home – Pictures from the revealing of Forty Square Feet of Awesome.  The Disco Stu door prize is pretty cool.

Financial Lessons from the Final Four, Yoga, Homer Simpson, and Other Odd Sources – Prosaic advise courtesy of a copy and paste job at Time magazine.  They get the quotes right so it’s excellent usage even if it is banal to the point that Henry Luce’s corpse would blush if it still could. 

Everything I Know About Money, I Learned from Homer Simpson – And linked from the above is this, which doesn’t quote anything, but does mange to allude only to plotlines from Season 10 and earlier.

Grizzly Links: Stephen Colbert, David Lynch, The Simpsons, & a Midget in a Gorilla Costume – There’s some good stuff here, I’m especially fond of the Jaws painting (though shouldn’t one of them be on drums?).  Among the links is a montage of Hans Moleman clips, the first part is mostly from good seasons with a sprinkling of Zombie Simpsons, volume two reverses the ratio:

FOX legal will be calling in three, two, one . . .

Homer simpson Minecraft Skin – Exactly what it says.  Nicely done.

Searching for gluten-free food at Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville – Discussing watching baseball when your usual pleasures are denied you brings us this:

In a long-ago episode of “The Simpsons,” an on-the-wagon Homer sits silently sober at the ballpark while everyone around him enjoys cups of beer. After a few seconds of dead silence with his eyes wide open, Homer remarks: “I never realized how boring this game is.”

Excellent usage.

Mr Burns takes a nap – While I’m not a fan of crappy collector stuff, I am a fan of it being used creatively. 

Todays winners and Losers – From the “Losers” category:

The feeling when you get home and you flick to channel 4 and the simpsons end credits are on… gutted.

I used to hate that feeling. 

Future Finds: Computers (#74) – Speaking of creatively repurposing Simpsons stuff, this guy doesn’t sound like on of the five richest kings of Europe to me. 

Classic Simpsons In May – A UHF station in San Francisco will be running “rare” and “haven’t seen in years” episodes during the month of May, and by that they mean things from Seasons 1-10.  Fucking Zombie Simpsons has ruined syndicated Simpsons. 

Things That Will Always Guarantee Laughs – This is a list, and while I don’t agree with everything on it, this is true:

The Simpsons (seasons 3 to 8)

Oh Seasons 1 & 2, I will love you so much it will make up for the rest of the world’s indifference. 

The Origin Story – Reminisces, and a picture, of a 1990 Bart Simpson skateboard. 

Forbes Fictional 15: list – This list gets stupider every year.  How do you assign a worth to the dragon from The Hobbit?  And what the hell is Jeffery Lebowski doing on there?  He’s so poor he had to steal a million dollars from little urban achievers.  Oh, and Mr. Burns checks in at #12.

First Look: Doughnut Vault – There’s a new donut shop in downtown Chicago that sounds fantastic (albeit pricey).  This is poor usage, however:

Homer Simpson may have said it best when he called the doughnut sacrilicious.

The waffle that Bart tossed on the ceiling was sacrilicious.  The donut is just, “Mmmm” or “transcendent” (as translated by Lisa).

Release the Hounds – Silvio Berlusconi as Mr. Burns.  Heh. 

#1 of the 365 Things That Make Me Happy: The Simpsons – Ahem:

I absolutely adore The Simpsons and have ever since the shorts were used as bumpers on another favorite television show of mine; “The Tracy Ullman Show”. I know a lot of critics and fans say that the show isn’t as good as it used to be, and to some degree they are right. However, I feel that The Simpsons have given me so many great years of programming, that if they want to coast on a few episodes, I don’t mind a bit.

I used to say almost exactly that, then they kept on coasting for more than a decade.  But The Simpsons does always make me happy. 

Critics use The Simpsons to lampoon Mexico’s Slim – Somebody took out a newspaper ad in Mexico making fun of the world’s richest man, Carlos Slim, with “The Slimsons”.  Sadly, I was unable to find an image of the ad on-line. 

Weird science on the equator line – Wikipedia is skeptical of Lisa’s explanation of the Coriolis effect, but this is a first hand account of the strange things you can do at the equator, and it includes clockwise and counterclockwise draining.     

“The Simpsons” and Their Films – The image and the link from whence it came are something we’ve mentioned before around here.  But I want to wholeheartedly agree with this:

The more films I watch the more I notice that sometimes I’m approaching them backwards: I’ve often seen the parody before I’ve seen the picture itself. When I first saw Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life (1946), for example, I found it was quickly coloured yellow, as Homer Simpson’s take on George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) came to mind.

In fact, The Simpsons becomes consistently richer the more films I see. References to America’s cinematic heritage appear not only in episode-long treatments of certain pictures but also in the more fleeting echoes of a particular shot or character trait.

I’ve lost track of the number of movies I’ve watched specifically because they were mentioned on the show.  Last year that number included The Devil and Daniel Webster (thanks Andreas!), which was fantastic. 

Up and atom, veggie burger! – And finally, among an excellent looking recipe and much excellent usage is this:

It was only the Simpsons’ 7th season, so it still had writers who rolled out classic lines

Indeed.  (There’s also YouTube of “My eyes, the goggles do nothing!”.) 

7 Responses to “Reading Digest: The Perils of Syndication Edition”

  1. 8 April 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Hey, thanks for including our little burp in the blogosphere. My tiny plastic co-writers and I are glad we found your site and are lookin’ forward to checking in again.
    “Up and at them.”

  2. 8 April 2011 at 4:22 pm

    I would also like to express our appreciation over at Grizzy Bomb.

  3. 3 Bryan
    8 April 2011 at 6:34 pm

    I thought there already was a “The Simpsons Game” on the arcade, back when arcades still existed in America.

    • 4 Joe C.
      8 April 2011 at 11:11 pm

      Yeah, the Simpsons Arcade Game was in a lot of arcades when I was a kid in the 90s. The Electronics Arts game that was canceled was supposed to be a sequel to “The Simpsons Game,” which I believe was released a little before the movie and available on PS2, PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii.

  4. 10 April 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Thanks for including The Panic in the list! :)

  5. 6 Andreas
    12 April 2011 at 9:59 am

    Echoing the previous commenters, thanks for linking (twice!) to Pussy Goes Grrr. With any luck, I’ll have more of the same on a regular basis. And yeah, I think we’ve all first heard of at least ONE movie from The Simpsons – and, possibly, watched it just to get the reference. It’s such a positive force of cinematic (and cultural) education!

    On a related note, I recently watched both Elia Kazan’s A Streetcar Named Desire and “Secrets of a Successful Marriage” – and the Tennessee Williams parody scene with Smithers copies a shot EXACTLY from Streetcar, with Burns in place of Brando. I was amazed, but not surprised; those animators knew and cared about what they were doing.

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