“The Great Louse Detective” Makes Baby Jesus Cry

Black Widower6

“This is one more Emmy than you’ll ever win you bantering jack-in-the-box!” – Sideshow Bob
“Just don’t drop that thing in the shower, Bob.” – Krusty the Klown
No talent shill!” – Sideshow Bob
Second banana!” – Krusty the Klown
Panderer!” – Sideshow Bob
Bore!” – Krusty the Klown

This was a very above-average commentary by the standards of Season 14. In this case it actually helped that they had a lot more guys than usual because there’s only a few times when no one’s talking at all. It also helps that this is a Sideshow Bob episode, which gives them plenty of excuses to bring up old episodes and other (mostly) unrelated stories. To be sure, there are still lots of tangents and the occasional moment where you can tell they aren’t real proud of what’s going on, but for the most part they did seem to enjoy both the episode and commenting on it.

The episode itself is still terrible, of course. It doesn’t make sense, involves a lot of bad slapstick and action, and tries to make up for that with unrelenting hyperactivity. This includes Sideshow Bob getting repeatedly electrocuted, a blatant piece of musical filler at the end, and lots of fake tension and suspense. The main plot concludes with a stilt chase because, you know, stilts.

Eleven (eventually twelve) guys on this one, including Castellaneta and Groening, the latter of whom might have said ten words the entire time.

0:35 – The whole idea here was for Sideshow Bob to not be the criminal. But it’s getting harder for them to come up with things for him that aren’t just “straight out murder”. There haven’t been a lot of Bob episodes since this one.

2:00 – David Silverman talks about how the original design of Bob was non-descript because he was just Krusty’s silent, background sidekick. Brad Bird spiced it up after hearing Kelsey Grammer’s voice for “Krusty Gets Busted”.

3:30 – Silence broken by uncomfortable laughter as Homer is in a steam room with a naked Rainier Wolfcastle.

4:30 – Here’s a perfect moment of Zombie Simpsons commentary. Jean invites Steven Dean Moore to talk about how he did the animation for the door of the sauna. While he’s doing that we see Homer’s badly desiccated body collapse out of the room. That part doesn’t get mentioned.

5:15 – Long silence here broken by a discussion of whether or not this is a real Sideshow Bob episode and how FOX often has slightly misleading ads for what the episode is about. The time they billed the episode as “The Simpsons are going Canada!” but only had about two minutes of Canada in it is mentioned as another example.

6:00 – Long tangential discussion about “Silence of the Lambs” and whether or not real criminals are used to catch other criminals like they’re doing here. This gets to other movies and prison snitches quickly.

6:40 – Long silence broken by Jean asking why Sideshow Bob’s skin is a lighter color. Nobody seems sure other than, “that’s probably how Brad did it”.

7:00 – Generic praise for Grammer as a guest voice.

7:30 – That leads to an interesting note from Silverman, that for “Black Widower” he added more mouth shapes for Bob because of Grammer’s nuanced pronunciation.

8:00 – And we’re off on a tangent about other guest voices and celebrities they’ve made fun of. The widow of Mr. Rogers apparently once ran into Jean and knew they’d made fun of her husband.

8:50 – They were still talking about Mrs. Rogers when someone broke in to talk about the episode (pointing out that they’re referencing “Krusty Gets Busted”) and it took them a second to stop interrupting each other. It was actually surprising that someone wanted to talk about what’s going on. Ha.

9:30 – Laughing about the first open appearance of Frank Grimes Jr., the real villain here.

10:10 – Jean: “The Simpsons are awfully friendly with a man who chased Bart around with a machete.” Meanwhile, Bart is needlessly electrocuting Bob.

10:30 – Guys keep laughing every time a character comes up and whacks a Homer dummy Bob set up. A lot of the time on things like this the laughter sounds nervous or forced, but they really seem to think this is hilarious. Can’t say I agree, but these are always better to listen to when they’re having fun.

11:15 – Boredom sets in again quickly though as someone wonders why Moe’s sometimes has a pool table and sometimes doesn’t.

12:30 – Not much is happening so they’re talking about the song at the end of this episode. These days they have a harder time getting song parodies cleared.

13:00 – I guess they got nominated for an Emmy with that song. Someone remembers peeing in the men’s room with Alf Clausen after they lost. It’s actually funny.

13:30 – Now it’s time for more Emmy tales. Apparently that year if you went to the bathroom they wouldn’t let you back into the auditorium.

14:40 – Tim Long just showed up, so that puts us to twelve guys.

15:15 – Homer’s on a parade float now, and they’re mentioning the usual difficulty of animating crowds.

15:50 – Now they’re talking about a crowd scene in the movie. Homer’s running people over on his parade float, but that doesn’t come up.

16:30 – Laughing about “The Museum of Swordfish”.

17:00 – Long silence as Bob, Duffman and the Duff Blimp save Homer.

17:40 – Interesting tidbit here as everyone’s ignoring the stupid chase scene that’s happening. They had a lot of trouble with pullouts (i.e. zooming back from a shot) when they switched to digital color because it made the thickness of the lines go screwy so it didn’t look like it was the same drawing. They prefer to do cuts.

18:15 – Silence broken when everyone laughs at Homer’s inability to remember Frank Grimes.

18:30 – They do a flashback to “Homer’s Enemy”, and talk a little about how you can see the difference between the animation from Season 8 to Season 14.

19:00 – Mostly silence here, with the brief mention of “Homer’s Enemy”.

19:30 – Now we’re back to more typical desultory laughter.

20:00 – Sideshow Bob’s trying to stab Bart now. Jean’s laughing because no matter how many of these they’ve done it never is the last one.

20:30 – And now they’re discussing the next Bob episode. Meanwhile, Bob is singing and no one’s paying attention.

21:30 – They’ve spent the last minute telling unrelated stories.

22:00 – The original ending was going to be Bob getting hit by rakes as he leaves the Simpsons’ yard. They decided against it.

22:20 – And we end on them joking about being in a sauna like at the beginning of the episode.

7 Responses to ““The Great Louse Detective” Makes Baby Jesus Cry”

  1. 1 Thrillho
    25 January 2012 at 1:17 am

    “Laughing about ‘The Museum of Swordfish’.’

    I actually remember that being one of the funnier bits in this episode, but I don’t recall a whole lot about this one. The same could be said for a lot of Season 14 episodes.

  2. 25 January 2012 at 1:39 am

    “Frank Grimes wasn’t married! How could he have a son?”
    “He happened to like hookers, okay?”
    Thanks for ruining that great character for me, guys. Really appreciate it.

  3. 6 Patrick
    27 January 2012 at 5:32 pm

    They had a lot of trouble with pullouts (i.e. zooming back from a shot) when they switched to digital color because it made the thickness of the lines go screwy so it didn’t look like it was the same drawing. <— How comes Family Guy and American Dad can do zooms with ease but The Simspons can't?

  4. 7 ST
    25 September 2012 at 10:36 am

    Funny how the commentators neglect to mention how suspiciously similar the final scene is to a certain gag in the Family Guy episode Running Mates.

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