Reading Digest: Sam Simon Rocks His Cancer Edition

One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish9

“Now, a little death anxiety is normal.  You can expect to go through five stages.  The first is denial.” – Dr. Hibbert
“No way, because I’m not dying!” – Homer Simpson
“Second is anger.” – Dr. Hibbert
“Why you little!” – Homer Simpson
“After that comes fear.” – Dr. Hibbert
“What’s after fear?  What’s after fear?” – Homer Simpson
“Bargaining.” – Dr. Hibbert
“Doc, you gotta get me out of this.  I’ll make it worth your while.” – Homer Simpson
“Finally, acceptance.” – Dr. Hibbert
“Well, we all gotta go some time.” – Homer Simpson
“Mr. Simpson, your progress astounds me.” – Dr. Hibbert

The big, endlessly repeated Simpsons story this week was a piece of non-news: that there still isn’t a movie sequel in the works.  Groening and Silverman made an appearance and basically said that there are no plans right now for a second movie.  Since the pop-culture internet is often an inch deep/mile wide kind of affair, that became countless misleading headlines like this “The Simpsons Movie ‘ Sequel Should Be Here In ’10, 15 Years’”.  That’s not what they said at all, but run through copy & paste long enough, that’s what it becomes.  They said they weren’t working on a new one, which is unchanged from last year, and the year before that.  Carry on.

There was another piece of Simpsons news this week, though it didn’t get picked up in near as many places: Sam Simon has cancer, the really bad kind.  He announced it publicly on a radio show hosted by one of Howard Stern’s acolytes, and . . . well, you can listen for yourself.  Suffice to say, if cancer is what ends up getting me, I hope I handle it half as well as he is.  All the best to him. 

On more usual topics, we’ve got a beer review, the intentionally broken downside of “freemium” games, a great Homer cosplay, a Simpsons joke I’d never caught before, some Simpsons related roommate love, and a kid who wants to try out The Simpsons and needs some advice. 


(Oh, and today is Issue #2 of the Ann Arbor Review of Books.  Get ’em while the pixels are still wet.)

Sam Simon announces he has colon-cancer on HOWARD 101 – The cancer part starts at the 6:30 mark:

I started to transcribe some of what he said, but it really doesn’t come across in print.  The radio guy is kinda flustered and screws up a few times, but Simon is laughing, bullshitting, and as at ease as it is possible for someone in his situation.  Sam Simon fucking owns. 

Matt Groening: ‘Simpsons’ Movie Follow-Up is Far, Far Away – No new movie is in the works.  We can all breathe easy, but if they wanted to make some more theatrical shorts, I’d be okay with that. 

Top 10 Simpsons Episodes – A great opening to a great list:

My forehead is creased beyond measure. Sweat pours of out my…uhh, pores. I grunt in frustration and viciously bite the end of my already well-chewed pen. I am trying to achieve the unachievable: narrow down my favourite Simpsons episodes.

It is very difficult, but this is a good one.  There’s is nothing from after Season 9 and it comes with quotes.  Bravo. 

Help Needed On Which Simpsons TV Series To Buy!!! – A young man asks a question:

I’ve been reading some Simpsons comics lately, and I was thinking that maybe I’d get a Simpsons DVD with some of my leftover birthday money (£40). I never knew there were over 30 series tho :eek:

Now, maybe the obvious thing to do would be to start with 1 and work my way through the series :roll: , but from a few reviews I’ve read, the first 5 or so series aren’t all that :neutral: . I thought that maybe I’d start with Series 11 or 12?!

Which series do you advise I purchase? Which series was best in your opinion?

Fortunately several commenters over there already pointed him in the right direction (far, far away from “Series 11 or 12”).  Amazon UK would appear to have Season 2, Season 3, and Season 4 for £12 each, and that’d be my recommendation. 

Meme Monday: Milhouse is Not a Meme – Is Milhouse a meme?  Click through for the mildly amusing answer. 

Krusty the Clown and the Star of David – I never noticed that before either.  Well done, animators. 

Steve Carell’s Disappearing Act – A review of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone:

The movie is structured as though it’s an expanded Krusty the Clown episode of The Simpsons. At the start, Wonderstone stands near the top of his magician world. Thanks to hubris and bad investments, he loses everything, and then he has to claw back. This being a mainstream Hollywood comedy, there’s also a redemptive arc even more rote than the soundtrack cues, which include Us3’s "Cantaloop" and C+C Music Factory’s "Everybody Dance Now" with no apparent irony.

What is it with big studio comedies screwing up their third acts?

Homer fought bums. – I’m not a big fan of that episode, but this is damn true:

I love the moral at the end. It totally makes you forget how the episode was entirely about Homer fighting homeless people while Moe made bets on the side and attempted to get rich off the physical harm of a friend. As long as there is a moral at the end, you can do anything. Had it been real life? Moe would have let Homer get beaten to death and went on living his life rich as fuck.

That would’ve been a much better ending.

Kristen Stewart’s Twilight character, Bella Swan, beats Marge Simpson as she is named favourite movie mum! – Someone did a survey about movie mothers.  Marge did win funniest and come in second on “Most Embarrassing”.

Isotopes Slammin’ Amber – A review of the beer on sale at the Isotope’s park in Albuquerque. 

Cosplays da Semana #5 – Scroll about halfway down for a great Homer costume.  Scroll further down for a fantastic “Sims” costume. 

Roomie – Heh:

4) Shared values, beliefs and endless conversation: Bri and I literally never run out of things to talk or laugh about – a sign of the truest true friendship. We go from talking about our day, to clothes, to ingrained sexism and feminist theory, to travel plans to guys to referencing Simpsons. There is a lot of Simpsons references that go on in our house.

A short and stylish Simpsons webcomic set in a post-apocalyptic Springfield – The comic that got started as a part of that Tumblr about drawing the Simpsons continues.  My only question: if you’re going to have a post-apocalyptic Simpsons comic, where’s the guy who drives a school bus by day?

Exclusive: Images From SXSW Doc On Branson, Missouri ‘We Always Lie To Strangers’ Plus Trailer – You can’t make a documentary about Branson without someone bringing up The Simpsons:

For a certain generation, their only knowledge of Branson, Missouri may be from a quip by Bart Simpson who once said that Homer described it as "Las Vegas if it was run by Ned Flanders." Indeed, known for its own brand of colorful nightlife and entertainment, the city is far from a punchline, and has become one of the top tourist destinations in America. And starting this weekend at the SXSW Film Festival, you can take a closer look at Branson and what it means to live and perform there.

Boy Racks Up £980 Virtual Donut Bill In The Simpsons: Tapped Out – That there is no automatic cutoff well before you get to a thousand dollars speaks volumes about what a rip-off most of these systems are:

Just like how oil and water do not mix, so too, do 8-year-old boys and an iPad (or tablet). Sort of, anyways, especially when you hear of Theo Rowland-Fry who hails from Bristol, UK, and actually racked up £980 worth of online transactions to purchase virtual donuts while playing The Simpsons: Tapped Out on his father’s iPad. It could easily have happened on an Android-powered tablet, too, so do take note!

It is nice to hear that Apple did refund their money – every single shilling of it, after taking into consideration their unique position in this case. It is also comforting to know that Apple has a heart, considering such incidents on a case-by-case basis.

Don’t you think you’ve spent enough?  No.  Okay, we’re required by law to ask every seventy-five hours.  Get the kid another free milk. 

Once Upon and Engagement… – Mulling over wedding themes comes this storybook tale:

I think one of the first “he’s my soul mate” moments was when we realize that our Simpsons collection matched up perfectly. I had seasons 1, 3, 9, and 10 and he had 2, 4, 5, and 7. When we realized we had no overlapping seasons for our favorite TV show, we bought seasons 6 and 8 together. It was a perfect nerd romance story.

Who says that romance is dead after being acquired in a hostile takeover by Hallmark and Disney, homogenized, and sold off piece by piece?  That’s beautiful. 

The Things That Make Me Go Hmmmm…. – Kids can be so cruel:

In 1991, I was in Grade Six at Stuart Park Primary School in Darwin.  The Simpsons craze had just hit and for my birthday, I got a Bart Simpson figurine that gave me hours of joy, regardless of the fact that I couldn’t move his arms or legs or turn his head.  In a kerfuffle with Ames and Josh one day, the siblings took Bart Simpson hostage, gave him a haircut (by chopping off his rubber spikes) and amputated all his fingers.

Those bastards!

Television – The show as viewed from Spain, including a picture of “La Taberna De Moe II”.  Viva life! 

Remembering A Chicken & A Baby Differently – It took me a very long time to get this joke:

From “Thirty Minutes over Toyko, the season finale of The Simpsons 10th season,

Marge: “You liked Rashomon.”
Homer: “That’s not how I remember it.”


I love the first one because it’s a joke utterly in-keeping with Homer’s character. He says nonsensical and utterly random things, so his saying “That’s not how I remember it” doesn’t have to mean anything more than Homer being Homer. Its meta reference and next level of joke are ramped up by understanding that Rashomon is a story about differing perceptions and accounts of the same events.  In the film version, all three characters remember the same day and same events differently. Homer, thus stating he doesn’t remember the movie the same way Marge does is an homage to the Rashomon Effect itself.  I believe it was (but can’t quite remember, as I’ve read at least three books about The Simpsons) Planet Simpson that cited this sort of joke as being the cornerstone of the Simpson universe. They’re jokes that work as one-offs but to the person examining them at a meta level they work amazing wonders.

They do.

Five of the best posts from our new favourite Twitter account, Simpsons Quote of the Day – This is about a relatively new Simpsons quote Twitter account, but it’s pretty good.

Hypnotoad evolved from the frog Bart Simpson introduced to Australia – This is from a subreddit called “Fan Theories”, so set your internal geek-o-stat to 11, but the first entries are a discussion over whether Futurama is a show within The Simpsons, vice versa, or both.  For sheer fan panache, that is impressive. 

In the naughty corner: online gags flow over cricket’s ‘homework’ debacle – This is about Australia’s cricket team, so forgive me if I’m misunderstanding this, but it would appear that there’s a bit of a spat between the coach and some players, and that someone used the Bart chalkboard generator site to make fun of the coach, which then got picked up on Twitter.  I love living in the future. 

The Papal Conclave…In 10 Words – Now let’s all get drunk and play ping-pong!

Pope Francis I…In 10 Words –Buenos noches, mein fuhrer.

Things I Really Hate To Admit – Ha:

6. I didn’t know only women have ovaries until I was 15. It didn’t help that on an episode of the Simpsons, Bart once faked a stomach ache to get out of a test, yelling “Ohh! My ovaries!”…I thought they were stomach muscles.

“Black Eyed, Please” | The Simpsons – I don’t usually read reviews of Zombie Simpsons episodes, but I’m glad I didn’t watch last week’s:

When Principal Skinner tells Homer and Marge that he can’t get rid of Ms. Cantwell due to union rules, Homer growls, “I hate unions. There’s a guy at the plant, caused three meltdowns, and he still keeps his job.” That should have been the end of the scene, but Marge answers, “Homer, that’s you.” And Homer says, “Oh, yeah. I say ‘union,’ you say ‘power!’” That’s still not the end of the gag, but you’ve suffered enough.

Dag 034 – A great Barney shirt.

Dag 033 – A “Springfield Choppers” t-shirt. 

Death of The Simpsons – Yes:

Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie and all the other memorable characters are always going to remembered and thought of as a legendary piece of American TV history. All great things have to come to an end and it has been due time for The Simpsons to be put in the TV Hall of Fame and off of normal broadcast television.

Let’s remember The Simpsons’ greatness of the past but not diminish it anymore than it already has been with a bad product no one is watching. It’s time for the The Simpsons’ tombstone to be chiseled.

Fox Can’t Handle Nice Things – And finally, I get to end the way I like, with someone who agrees with us, in this case, very succinctly:

They cancelled Firefly before its time and let The Simpsons go on long after it jumped the shark. In other words, they all have whacked-out poo brain

Indeed they do.

9 Responses to “Reading Digest: Sam Simon Rocks His Cancer Edition”

  1. 1 Monty Python Forever
    15 March 2013 at 12:03 pm

    I hope Sam Simon does not die, and that guy from the message board did not kill himself. I should have asked the psychiatrist I know about what to say to the suicidal guy, but que sera sera. Sam Simon was the head of the show in its best years, seasons two through seven, and he shall be missed. I know one of the surviving members of Monty Python died recently, as did Douglas Adams and George Carlin; Terry Pratchett has Alzheimer’s; soon, all we will have will be The New Normal, Modern Family and Jon Stewart, which are to comedy as a cold beer on a hot Christmas morning is to a tramp steamer.

    • 15 March 2013 at 8:47 pm

      Monty, you can type the word suicide in the tumblr search engine and helpful links and advice will come up, same for yahoo answers to a degree and google. Time keeps moving forwards, people age, death comes which is both natural and unnatural. Also: Well said, I agree.

    • 3 Cal
      15 March 2013 at 10:36 pm

      The only Monty Python member who has died is Graham Chapman and that was back in 1989. You had me in shock for a moment when you wrote another one had died.

      Plus, Sam Simon left the show after four seasons, which includes season 1. I have a lot of respect for him and hope he lives a long life regardless.

    • 17 March 2013 at 9:06 am

      Definitely not The New Normal. Nobody’s watching that.

  2. 15 March 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Thanks for the mention! Someone pointed out to me I forgot the Stonecutters episode and I literally had a moment of D’oh! Very sad news re: Sam Simon.

  3. 15 March 2013 at 6:16 pm

    A few things:

    1) I wrote an entry on Towel Day on Monday that included the “You’ll have to speak up, I’m wearing a towel!” quote and it’s not here.

    2) I love that the little kid’s bill for Tapped Out was over $900 so we can actually say “Nine hundred dollary-doos?!”

  4. 15 March 2013 at 8:48 pm

    Nice list, I hope Simon makes it and is ok, I also nearly fainted when I saw the busty brunette in the video clip.

  5. 8 abra cadaver
    16 March 2013 at 2:11 am

    Mmmm… Jennifer Tilly, the hottest 55-year-old woman in the world.

    That sucks about genius Sam Simon. I wish him the best.

  6. 9 E.Leventine
    17 March 2013 at 5:38 am

    heyo, thanks for the pingback re: Milhouse Meme. Quality blog you got here, I support your Simpsons Euthanasia endeavors

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