Reading Digest: Alumni Success Edition

Lisa's Sax4

“I can assure you our preschool is of the highest quality.  Over 75% of our graduates go on to first grade.” – Miss Tillingham’s School for Snotty Girls and Mama’s Boys Administrator

It’s always nice to see people who worked on The Simpsons continue to do well, and we’ve got several of them this week.  Rich Moore (Seasons 1-5, 9), Donick Cary (Seasons 7-11), Greg Daniels (Season 5-9) and Mike Reiss (um, a lot of Seasons) all either have new projects in the works or are just getting some well deserved recognition.  There’s also a lot of great references and usage, a fantastic law school graduation gift, old Twilight Zone video, and a non-ironic award for being the biggest FOX marketing whore. 


Seattle Rep Workshops New Play Inspired By The Simpsons July 15-16 – Want to see:

Seattle Repertory Theatre will workshop and perform two public readings of Anne Washburn’s new play Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play July 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the Poncho Forum. A play with music, Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play is set in a post-apocalyptic world where episodes of "The Simpsons" gain new significance as stories from a fallen civilization.

What are you really looking at when you think you’re looking at something? – This is neat.  Some researchers hooked people up to devices that measure where their eyes are actually focusing when they watch video.  There’s a clip from There Will Be Blood, a 2008 presidential debate, and the HD Zombie Simpsons opening sequence. 

Disney Announces CG Comedy Adventure Wreck-It Ralph – Disney is making a computer animated movie about a video game character, and it’s going to be directed by Simpsons (and Futurama and The Critic) alum Rich Moore. 

Saban Brands plots Christmas special – In other Simpsons alumni news, Mike Reiss is producing an animated holiday special based on monkey cartoon characters that originally started out as clothing accessories. 

Deal Me In: Startups Pursue Variations on the Groupon Model – Donick Cary is working on a discount group shopping application that uses animation to get people’s attention.  Or something, neither the link above nor this one are super clear on just how it works. 

Film Geek: Favorite Star Wars references & spoofs, part II – There’s everything from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Futurama, including some Simpsons stuff.  I’ll admit to being slightly disappointed in the inclusion of some Zombie Simpsons while Burns having the “Imperial March” played for him gets omitted.  Oh well, it’s still a pretty good list.

The Twilight Zone: The Shelter – YouTube of The Twilight Zone episode on which the end of “Bart’s Comet” is based. 

VEGAS 2011: Ink honoured by Fox Consumer Products – Apparently the Krusty Brand Seal of Approval has its own awards show now:

The firm was awarded Agent of the Year at The Homeys – which are given annually by Fox Consumer Products to its partners for outstanding achievement.

Slow clap.  Slow clap. 

Apple/Samsung lawsuit revised: more products included – This isn’t the world’s greatest reference or anything, I just like the way it completely describes The Simpsons in the past tense:

Remember those Itchy and Scratchy cartoons that would show up in episodes of The Simpsons from time to time? They were like Tom and Jerry, but uncensored. One clip I can remember shows Itchy trying to outdo Scratchy by threatening him with a larger weapon than the one he was holding. Itchy retaliated with an even bigger one. And so, the duel continued until they had guns the size of the planet. That is exactly what this Apple vs. Samsung lawsuit is turning in to.

The man behind The Office has long history in comedy – Unlike the other Simpsons alums in this week’s post, Greg Daniels doesn’t have a shiny new project.  But here’s some deserved butt kissing for him anyway, including this fawning whoopsie:

In fact, it was The Simpsons connection that first endeared Daniels to Gervais and Stephen Merchant, the creators of the original British version of the Office.

When the British comedian discovered that Daniels had written Badman Homer, in which the Simpson patriarch becomes public enemy No. 1 after being falsely accused of sexual harassment by a feminist-leaning babysitter, they knew they had their man.

Review: Duke Nukem Forever (PC) – Heh:

Duke Nukem was one of the “raddest” video game action heroes of the late 80′s/early 90′s. It was a simple time – Unsolved Mysteries was scary, The Simpsons were funny, and the Australian Classification Board was run by SEGA.

Make your Franklin – This is a number of alternate images of a $100 bill, with Benjamin Franklin either altered to look like someone from pop culture or replaced by same.  They’re neat, if weird.  For example, the Homer one also has a Disney swastika.  Huh?

Top Five – T.V. Dads – Homer checks in at #3 here.

Top 20 TV Theme Songs of All Time – Lots of good nostalgia YouTube here, with The Simpsons grabbing the penultimate spot. 

Simpsons Video of the Week: Al Gore – Lenny, who’s got a guest post coming up next week, brings us video of Al Gore celebrating. 

The 2011 Tony Awards…In 10 Words – Here are your hosts, Tyne Daly and Hal Linden. 

Like Wearing Nothing at All, Nothing at All … – This Captain Marvel action figure bears a striking resemblance to skiing Flanders.

Natural History: Anthony Lepore and Mark Hagen – Nice reference:

Nature still does this sometimes, but as in Werner Herzog‘s Grizzly Man, there’s some element of collective dumb surprise when a modern man who frolics with wild bears gets eaten by one, as if nature hadn’t got the memo we’d already beaten it. A classroom nature film from The Simpsons sums it up best: Man Versus Nature: The Road to Victory.

Five Terrifying Treehouse of Horror Segments – Not a trace of Zombie Simpsons.  Excellent.

PlayStation Vita: It Only Does Too Much At Once – Excellent reference:

Fans of The Simpsons know the episode, "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" where Homer receives the green light to design his own car, an opportunity that proves disastrous when he throws practicality out the window in favor of bloated excess.

The point? Less is more. That, and Homer should keep his day job at the power plant.

It’s a memorable scene (Homer grinning from inside the automobile, his brother’s successful career evaporating before our eyes), one we cannot shake since experiencing PlayStation Vita, Sony’s new portable system. It’s without question one sexy piece of hardware, but the chance of Sony overextending itself is quite real.

I would drive a Homer.  I don’t know if I’d pay $82,000 for it, but I would drive it. 

A little touch of Springfield – I put this up on Twitter on Monday, but it’s too cool not to mention again.  A woman carved 71 plywood Simpsons figures for her son’s graduation from law school in 2008.  The picture is amazing. 

‘The Killing’ Gets Picked Up For Season 2 – Heh:

To paraphrase Homer Simpson, "I suppose ‘The Killing’ will be fun enough."

DRINK(s): Bartender Interview at the Beach Tavern – Moderate usage:

Homer Simpson once said, "The only guys who wear Hawaiian shirts are gay guys and big fat party animals." Mark Gill, bartender of the Beach Tavern, is the latter.

The actual quote is, “There’s only two kinds of guys who wear those shirts, gay guys and big fat party animals”, but I don’t think that would’ve worked as well in the sentence. 

The Wry Successes of Archer – But Do They Come Too Late? – This is a rather long discourse on the rise and fall of smart animation on things like Adult Swim.  I don’t agree with the main premise, that the fantastic Archer is behind the times, but I do agree with this:

The Simpsons was slipping in its old age, but still kicking (it’s never really been again what it was in the nineties).

If there’s one thing Zombie Simpsons does, it’s kick.  Mostly it’s audience, but still. 

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