Reading Digest: President Wolfcastle Edition

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“Welcome back to Before They Were Famous.  We all know Ranier Wolfcastle as the star of the blockbuster McBain movies, but here’s his first appearance in a commercial in his native Austria.” – Before They Were Famous Host
“Mein bratwurst has a first name, it’s F-R-I-T-Z.  Mine bratwurst has a second name it’s S-C-H-N-A-C-K-E-N-P-F-E-F-F-E-R-H-A-U-S-E-N.” – Ranier Wolfcastle

We’ve got two links about President Schwarzenegger in the movie this week.  Those were some of the best parts, but to this day it remains a mark of how timidly they made the thing that they didn’t have him named President Wolfcastle.  Did someone really think that people – who are paying to see a damn Simpsons movie – wouldn’t understand who the giant dude with the Austrian accent was?  Weird.  In addition to that we’ve got a FOX promotional video that is funny both intentionally and unintentionally, more about Bartkira, a video game video, more Simpsons college mascots, an unusual comparison of Edgar Allen Poe and the show, and someone who specifically agrees with us.


(Today is also the release of issue #3 at the spinoff site.  Lotta good articles about television this time: Community, Bates Motel, and House of Cards all get looked at, and our cover image is an exclusive peek at Game of Thrones as it appeared in 1635.)

A Day in the Life with Yeardley Smith – This is a promotional YouTube video put out by FOX:

A few fun things:

  • They had to blur out the Toyota logo on Smith’s steering wheel, you know, in case the world thought Toyota paid for this or something.
  • Is that a Windows XP screen saver in the writers room?  Nice.
  • Jean’s deadpan delivery is excellent.
  • Matt Selman, funny guy: “We try not to do cliches on the Simpsons”.  HaGood one, Matt!
  • Yeardley Smith, actually funny: “This is my office, where some days I just feel like I’m pretending.”

Akira-Meets-The-Simpsons Gets a Full Cast. It Might Surprise You. – The cast of the Simpsons-Akira thing from last week laid out in convenient graphical form.

‘The Simpsons’ voice actor Harry Shearer talks at Loyola April 8 – If you’re in New Orleans, this’ll probably be fun:

Harry Shearer, the legendary bassist in the 1984 rock and roll mockumentary “This is Spinal Tap” and the voice of more than 20 characters on the hit animated sitcom “The Simpsons,” will discuss the evolution of his career at a forum at Loyola University New Orleans Monday, April 8 at 5 p.m.


the forum will feature clips from Shearer’s iconic television and film performances, including “This is Spinal Tap,” “Saturday Night Live” and “A Mighty Wind.” The event will also include never before seen footage from “Unwigged and Unplugged,” the 25th anniversary Spinal Tap concert tour film that was produced and directed by Gabour.

Every Videogame from The Simpsons – This is a College Humor video that charts video games in the show.  (Though it doesn’t actually have “Every” one.)  It’s amusing on its own, but more so when you notice that it’s a three minute video that runs to about the two minute mark before it gets to Zombie Simpsons, of which there are more than twice as many episodes.  (And that doesn’t change the fact that they play Lee Carvallo’s Putting Challenge over the credits.)  I don’t think Zombie Simpsons has that many fewer games in it, I just think the College Humor people didn’t want to bother slogging through it.  (Thanks to @PepCulture!)

Gary Panter Draws Bart Simpson – Cool:

So I apologize for the size of this image but I thought it was so cool it deserved posting anyway: this is a drawing of Bart from “The Simpsons” by the astonishing Gary Panter; part of a subset of “Arty Art” chase cards from one of the Simpsons trading card sets. By far the best one, in my humble opinion. Thought you’d enjoy.

Little-known fact: Panter and Matt Groening are great friends;

Click through for the image and the full story.

The Simpsons Couch Gag Supercut – I will let the link explain itself:

This is the Supercut I made for University, displaying a small portion of the good old episode of The Simpsons. I did have more material to use, but I didn’t want it to be too long.

It goes through what looks like about the middle of Season 4 with couch gags, and it’s strangely mesmerizing.

The Simpsons – drawing time lapse – What it says, gets more fun to watch near the end as your eyes have to hunt for the little changes in shading and color.

LEGO The Simpsons coming in 2014? – The Simpsons-Lego thing is still just a rumor, but a Lego blog has helpfully scrounged up some images of what they might look like.

Which Simpsons character is your alma mater? – In addition to the Big Ten, there’s now similar lists for the ACC and Big XII, and a gag one about the SEC.  West Virginia and TCU are pretty good, but why on earth is Frink Duke?  Duke should be the blue haired lawyer or possibly Burns.

MMV: Do the Bartman – A short dissection of the Bartman video.  I never noticed this:

The animation directors who normally worked on the show did not want to do the video; they needed to remain focused on episodes. So it was given to a relative newcomer, a man who had only one TV episode to his directing resume at the time: Brad Bird. Bird, of course, would go on to direct the feature films The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, and Ratatouille.

Brad Bird, is there anything he can’t do?

Don Payne dies at 48; ‘Simpsons’ writer and producer – Payne was on board for the last year of the show, worked on Zombie Simpsons for a while and then wrote movies.  Condolences.

17 Times The Simpsons Copied Famous Movies – This is just a comparison, and for some reason includes one image from Zombie Simpsons, but it’s a pretty good one and comes with several neat animated .gifs.

Books to read when you are in a funk – A discussion of Poe that mentions the show without mentioning “The Raven” segment:

I am sure that when these stories were written in the 1840s, they probably were quite shocking and disturbing, but I didn’t find them as grisly as I expected them to be. This could be for a number of reasons.

A) I think that, generally, we are less sensitized to violence these days. For example, I watched ‘An Interview with a Vampire’ for the first time the other week (I know, where have I been). It is rated as an 18, but to be honest the violence (a bit of blood trickling from a bite and the odd decapitation) is no worse than that seen on ‘Itchy and Scratchy’ on ‘The Simpsons’.

I guess people really were easier to scare back then.

We Need to Talk About Sidewalks – True:

This is a phenomenon—you might have seen it—when a pack of young scallywags walk in a perfectly straight line across the sidewalk, taking up the entire path.

This can lead to two things.

One, I or another unsuspecting victim could end up stuck behind said group, likely walking at a pace comparable to a snail dragging a giant shame rock behind him [like Homer’s when the Stonecutters got all up in his grill] and forcing me to either go off roading or draft behind the slowest peloton in history.

Sidewalk’s for regular walking, not for fancy walking.

The Simpsons Family- A Drawing – Remember that kid who had only watched Season 11 and after from last week?  Well, he can draw pretty well.

3 of the Best vs 3 of the Worst – Fictional Movie Presidents. – President Shouldabeen-Wolfcastle makes both lists!  Well done.

The Nine Best Television Butt Antics – This is a pretty solid list, with Bart’s Nixon impression included in the title image.  I don’t know if it was limit one per show, but I’d definitely have included Homer’s impression of Mr. Burns.

The Croods…In 10 Words – Look, Maggie, they have a baby too.

Luigi’s Mansion…In 10 Words – Probably just Tim Conway.

Email Roundtable #20 – “I Take Thee, Rachel”: Our Favorite TV Weddings – Homer and Marge’s is on here, though I’ve always enjoyed Selma and Sideshow Bob’s too.  Where else can you find a loaded police revolver by the cake?

5 Great Fictional Bands – The Be Sharps handily make the list.

3/26: Some favorite things – Pretty much:

3. The Simpsons. When you can say, “Moe is their leader,” and get a good chuckle back, you know that a) you have an inextricable bond, and b) you have watched season 2 too often.

Also, there’s YouTube of Leonard Nimoy singing about Bilbo Baggins, which will never get old.

Internet Win of the Day: March 26 – Heh:

Just something I thought was awesome for reals …

I think Planters should Poochie up Mister Peanut & turn him into a rapper called P. Nutz

— Michael Kupperman (@MKupperman) March 26, 2013

As someone who has devoted his entire life to making Seinfeld references, I respect anyone who plies that craft in the service of the other great comedic television masterpiece of the ’90s, The Simpsons.

Pop 5: Cinematic Presidents – I’d agree with pretty much all of this:

While technically a real person, this is pretty much a fictional character. And while I think this concept is hilarious, I don’t understand why the President wasn’t fictional film actor Ranier Wolfcastle. As all Simpsons fans know, Ranier Wolfcastle is basically Arnold Schwarzenegger. In The Simpsons Movie, Shearer is doing the exact same character, but for some reason they decide to call him Arnold Schwarzenegger. Was this to relate more to an main stream audience? Whatever the case, he’s still really funny. And even though he has little screen time, Schwarzenegger makes his moments stick. His scenes are also enhanced by the villain, Russ Cargill, head of the EPA and voiced by Albert Brooks. There’s a lot that works about the Simpsons Movie, and a lot that doesn’t work. The scenes with President Arnold definitely work.

As mentioned above, he should’ve been named Wolfcastle, and his parts were among the better ones in the movie.

Bonestorming Your Way Through Life – And finally, not only do I get to end with someone who agrees with us, I get to end with a brand new Simpsons blog that really specifically agrees with us:

The Simpsons took their shot at the long-running series in “Marge Be Not Proud” –an episode that I have more familiarity than most other episodes due to it being, in the era preceeding Netflix and rampant DVD release, one of like three episodes that I had managed to record off of TV during the show’s nightly airing. The episode is an oddity in The Simpsons’s history. Situated in the middle of seventh season, “Marge Be Not Proud” is right in the middle of the series’ tallest years –arguable, but in this writer’s estimation, we’re talking seasons 3-10, here –yet seems to, rather suddenly, get extremely moral-centered –i.e stealing is bad. Considering you have Homer Simpson wailing on former president George H. W. Bush just two episodes later, this heavy-handed inclusion can leave you with the same confusion you might have if Rayden started shooting unicorns from his fingertips instead of lightning.

Amen.  It is, as I’ve said many times, a true oddity in Season 7.

7 Responses to “Reading Digest: President Wolfcastle Edition”

  1. 1 Robert
    29 March 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Mine > Mein (though it should be ‘meine’)
    BFEFFER > PFEFFER (pepper)

  2. 3 Nan Bauer
    29 March 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Thanks for the ping back on Moe Is Their Leader and Nimoy. Very glad to have found you, btw.

  3. 4 jl
    29 March 2013 at 2:50 pm

    It bothered me that it was Ah-nuld, not Wolfcastle as president when I first watched the movie, but a friend did point out a somewhat logical explanation to why they would go that way: Wolfcastle lives in Springfield, so you couldn’t really pull off President Wolfcastle having a supercasual, HermanCainesque approach to dealing with the pollution problems of Springfield like Schwarzenegger did.

    • 5 RaikoLives
      29 March 2013 at 10:21 pm

      The idea that it was done for “character reasons” is hard for me to process, given how much of the characters have been thrown aside/ignored in the time before, during and after the movie which we collectively call “Zombie Simpsons”, which is why I have never thought of it before. Its a fair point, though. Good work.

  4. 6 the
    1 April 2013 at 9:56 am

    as for president wolfcastle, instead of colin it was gonna be milhouse that lisa had a romance with, but FOCUS GROUPS found that people “weren’t as familiar with milhouse’s crush on lisa as we thought”. same probably applies to president wolfcastle

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