Reading Digest: Favorites Edition

Lisa's Rival12

“There’s another girl at school who’s smarter, younger and a better sax player than me.  Ugh, I feel so average.” – Lisa Simpson
“Well, you’ll always be number one to me.” – Marge Simpson
“Hello?  First born within earshot.” – Bart Simpson
“I meant my number one girl. . . . Oh, for crying out . . .” – Marge Simpson

This week we’ve got four links (to three sites) naming or trying to name the #1 Simpsons episode of all time.  I always like reading people’s thoughts on the show, but I remain convinced that this is an impossible task.  I don’t even think I could pick a favorite season, much less an episode.  As soon as I chose one, I’d immediately start second guessing myself about how much I love all the ones I didn’t pick.  Madness lies down that path.  In other news, we’ve got plenty more on the new Springfield theme park area, an interview about Bartkira, Aasif Mandvi crediting Apu with influencing him, Apu (and others) reading the Dodgers starting lineup, new shoes, and lots more. 


‘Bartkira’ Is the Parodic Bastard Child of the ‘Simpsons’ and ‘Akira’ – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this interview with the guy who’s coordinating the Bartkira project.  I’d be in favor of this even if he hadn’t described it as spreading like fungal spores.   

Best. Episode. Ever. (First Quarter Round-Up) – The giant episode tournament has gotten 1/4 of the way through the epic first round, and it’s time to look back with a couple of charts.  With a nice nod to us (glad to link it!), Zombie Simpsons is getting killed:

The all-red bars from season 11 forward are pretty telling. Sooner or later one of them will produce a winner (round 41 is season 17 vs. season 19, for example), but over all the story the graph tells is clear.

Best. Episode. Ever. (Round 32) – And just like that, Season 6 nukes Season 18. 

Hank Azaria Dodgers Lineup – Azaria announced the Dodgers lineup earlier this week using the voices of Moe, Apu, and Chief Wiggum, whom the park announcer calls “Wiggins” at the end.

The Simpsons // Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Collection – Click through for pictures of the officially licensed shoes.  They go on sale tomorrow. 

TV – The Top 15 episodes of The Simpsons (Part 3) – Ahh, the list concludes with no Zombie Simpsons and “Lisa’s Substitute” at #1. 

FILM REVIEW The Purge – Moderate usage:

THERE’S a scene in ‘The Simpsons’ episode ‘Dog of Death’ where the phone rings at police headquarters. Eager to get back to watching the lottery draw, Chief Wiggum answers the call and delivers the immortal words: “No … sorry, you have the wrong number, this is 912.”
‘The Purge’, the new film from James DeMonaco, imagines a dystopian America in the near future where, for one night each year, all crime is legal. Including murder. During the 12-hour window, there’s no point calling the cops, or the hospitals.

Wiggum actually says, “No, you got the wrong number.  This is 912.”, but that’s pretty close.  (Incidentally, I rather liked The Purge.)

Superhero Sunday: Radioactive Man – Some love for a fictional fictional character, including some great screen grabs of his origin story from “Three Men and a Comic Book”.

Donner on belief – On Moses and Exodus:

“For even if you succeed in demonstrating conclusively that the man Moses never existed, or that he was not such a man as we supposed, you would not thereby detract one jot from the historical reality of the ideal Moses — the Moses who has been our leader not only for forty years in the wilderness of Sinai, but for thousands of years in all the wildernesses in which we have wandered since the Exodus.”

For the believer, this seems like a rather sensible position to me.

(Actually, though, we all know that what these quotes really remind me of is “Lisa the Iconoclast,” the episode of The Simpsons where Lisa proves that beloved town founder Jebediah Springfield was actually the murderous pirate Hans Sprungfeld, but as a serious academic I can’t bring that up. It’s a perfectly cromulent association to make, though.)

No reason the Simpsons can’t be used in academia.  

Trending Videos | The Simpsons movie – The NSA scene from the movie has been making the rounds a bit the last couple of weeks. 

Revisiting: The Simpsons – Someone who stopped watching the show as Zombie Simpsons took over is going to try and watch all the episodes again.  Good luck, and I’ll offer the same advice I do to everyone else who starts this: stop around Seasons 11 or 12.  Beyond there be monsters. 

‘The Simpsons’ voice actor Harry Shearer makes a home at Loyola – Some college kids in New Orleans are very lucky over and above going to college in New Orleans:

Harry Shearer, voice of more than 20 characters on the “The Simpsons” and bass player for the satirical rock group Spinal Tap, recently signed on as an artist-in-residence at the College of Music and Fine Arts of Loyola University New Orleans.


In his new role, Shearer will serve as a source of professional advice and guidance in filmmaking for Loyola students and will offer workshops on writing, acting and directing. Many students will gain hands-on experience as interns and assistants for Shearer, who will use Loyola’s state-of-the-art recording and filming studios for many of his own productions. Shearer and students are currently working on a new web series, which parodies a popular reality television show.

‘Internship,’ ‘Daily Show’s’ Aasif Mandvi: How I Snake-Charmed My Way to the Top (Guest Column) – Gotta love Mandvi:

One of the first auditions I got as a young actor in New York was for a commercial. I was up for the role of a snake charmer, and they wanted an Indian accent. Even though I was born in India, I had grown up in the U.K. and the U.S., and the only Indian accent I had reference to was my parents’. The last thing you want to sound like as an immigrant kid is your father, but my Indian need to make money trumped my Indian need to sound British, so I decided I would learn. Not my father’s accent, though. Instead, I would learn the accent of the stars. I watched Peter Sellers in The Party over and over again until “Birdie Num Num” was coming out of my ears. I watched the brilliance of The Simpsons’ Apu and learned from him how to play the quintessential Indian immigrant. By the time my audition came around a few days later, I was ready. I was bobbing my head from side to side and saying “deary, deary me” as loud as I could. The producers of the commercial were laughing. I saw the brown cash cow before me, and I had come with milk bucket in hand.


Mourinho slashes Chelsea squad – New transfers coming!! – Nice reference:

It’s the time of year that Homer Simpson loves more than any other – the cut. Chelsea have announced the release of 8 players – and there aren’t too many surprises.

The Purge…In 10 Words – I guess killing will be fun enough.

E3 2013…In 10 Words – What is this place?  The refuge of the damned. 

Dairy Queen…In 10 Words – Mmm, crumbled up cookie things. 

Fox Announces TV Panel Line Up for SDCC – For any of you heading to San Diego, here you go:

We’re dooooooooomed! An epic panel for the ages will celebrate Futurama’s latest and greatest final season. On hand will be most or all of Futurama’s legendary voice cast, comprised of Billy West, John DiMaggio, Katey Sagal, Maurice LaMarche, Tress MacNeille, David Herman, Phil LaMarr, and Lauren Tom, performing never-before-heard scenes from the upcoming “Last Episode Ever”. Plus: Executive Producer David X. Cohen, Creator Matt Groening, and a cartooning showdown to the death! (Note: actual death not guaranteed.)

Celebrate The Simpsons’ 25th year on the air with Creator Matt Groening, Executive Producer Al Jean, Supervising Director Mike Anderson, Consulting Producer David Silverman, never-before seen footage from guest director Guillermo del Toro and musical guests “We Put The Spring In Springfield”!

I’ll bet the Futurama panel is way more fun than the Zombie Simpsons one. 

Quarter Life Crisis – Thoughts from the young:

I was a starving student busting my way through essays and last minute projects followed by a few mental breakdowns here and there. I lived in my mom’s basement while working two jobs. (Props to me) and on the occasional Friday night, I would splurge on some beer and drink away my worries that I was keeping at bay. Until I saw an episode of the Simpson’s.

Which is followed by a picture of Homer reassuring Bart that when he gets a job he’ll miss every summer, which is followed by the rather awesome conclusion:

My life was over. I saw the look on Bart’s face and I made a secret pact to myself that that sad little yellow boy would not be me. I am a true believer in breaking out of your comfort zone… unless you want to be comfortable because I totally respect that. I was one of them.

But let’s be frank here, as long as you’re happy- do it. In this day and age, I would be truly disappointed in mankind if it is still frowned upon to lead an adventurous lifestyle.

Just because I don’t want to work at a desk 9-5 does not make me immature.

It most certainly does not. 

The “Very Best Lobsters In The World” Are Back In NYC: Gothamist – Check out the picture caption for some excellent usage.

10 Catchiest Wordless TV Theme Songs – The Simpsons theme obviously makes the list:

I started watching The Simpsons almost as soon as it aired, even though I was barely a toddler. My mom didn’t approve of Bart’s attitude, but that didn’t mean we weren’t allowed to watch it. It just meant that my brothers and I had to go upstairs to do it.

Heh.  Also, lotta good YouTube here. 

The Simpsons (Proposed story lines) – Just what it says:

Being dissatisfied with the quality of many Simpsons episodes in the past decade I decided to take it upon myself to come up with some basic story lines of my own that I feel do the series justice and enhance the quality which has been lacking from the series for so long.

There are some good plot ideas in there (I especially like the one about Krusty retooling his show for teens).  But let’s face it, Zombie Simpsons wouldn’t know what to do with a good idea if you gave it to them with instructions and a map. 

Glam Metal On the Simpsons: When You Just Can’t Tell the Difference ??o_0?? – YouTube and commentary on the New Year’s Eve countdown in “Treehouse of Horror X”:

Ratt, Whitesnake, Quiet Riot (three groups that I like but even I would have to consider just good at best) and Poison (a group I can’t stand because of how corny they were, I consider them the bane of glam metal and give Dokken more respect than them) all get a nice shout out in this video that proves Simpsons writers know just about everything that would interest people, even the minorities like me.

We’re Cyanide, a loving tribute to Poison! 

Episode 35 – Mogwais with Wicked Indigestion – The new theme park area gets the podcast treatment.  The Simpsons part starts around the 9:00 minute mark, and I learned that there will now be a Sideshow Bob person in costume wandering around the park.  What other program could inspire a giant company to allow a person dressed as a homicidal maniac to pose with tourists in an amusement park? 

Universal celebrates Donut Day with new Lard Lad donuts – Okay, now I kinda want to go there:

In honor of National Donut Day, Universal gave out 100 Lard Lad donuts to surprised guests at the park.

The hefty pink-iced, glazed donuts are one of the signature Springfield treats that can be found at the near Fast Food Boulevard, a food court loaded with Springfield-inspired eateries, including Moe’s Tavern and Krusty Burger.

Click through for a picture of the lucky donut people and their giant donuts. 

An afternoon in Springfield. – Another report from Floreda gives me pause, though:

You can’t really sit anywhere as they have reserved signs on all of the seating. However once you wait in line to go into the food ordering area,which looks like mini versions of each of the Eateries, they pair you up with a sweater who then gets you a table. I got a booth inside Moe’s. I sat in front of my burger and beer and dug in! So the burger is just another Universal Studios burger, kinda dry and fairly tasteless the real only redeeming factor was the nacho cheese sauce and the special sauce they put on it. Fries…Arby’s light. So what does real Duff beer taste like? Man am I the worst person to review it…uhm, beer. Not bad but to me it tastes like every other beer out there. The sucky part is that because it comes in a glass bottle they open it up for you, pour it in a plastic cup, and throw the cool bottle away!

Those bastards. 

Best Episode Ever # 1: ‘The Simpsons’ – This guy picks “El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer” as #1 ever.  That’s a novel choice.  You see that one on “best of” lists from time to time, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it at the top. 

Something Wicked This Way Comes – Cool:

Some say California when it comes to craft brewing, others Colorado or Oregon; Three Floyds says Indiana.

The Brothers Floyd made a pact with the devil and brew Liquid Metal. They knock heads with bands like EyeHateGod to create beers like In The Name Of Suffering, a New Orleans-style black IPA full of voodoo. The brewpub is littered with Simpsons, horror and Slayer memorabilia, not to mention the best food around.

Youtube’s Copyright Policies Increase My Level of Sadness – This is what happens when lawyers and accountants are allowed to run amok with no adult supervision:

One day at lunch a friend and I were conversing about the 2010 “Tron” movie, so I promised I would send her the famous “Has anybody seen the movie Tron?” joke from the 1995 Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episode. Luck has it, the video I once saw was taken down at some point, and it probably hasn’t resurfaced because The Simpsons belongs to Fox.

Bonus points for having a blog called “The Invisible Typewriter” with Homer and Wiggum at the top. 

2013-06-12 | Aaron Uploads One Picture Every Day – Homemade Flanders finger razors. 

haha – Heh. 

Best Episode of the Season: The Simpsons Season 24 – And finally, I get to end with someone who agrees with us, even if he’s a lot easier on Season 24 than I am:

Watching modern-day Simpsons renders quite the existential toll: it does not look like it will ever die, even though it seems like it has already lived its entire life.

Amen.  There’s a reason we call it Zombie Simpsons.

[Late Addition from our old friend Conor:

Stephen Wildish, Friday Project – B_rt And something for the… – Excellent fan made Bort art.]

12 Responses to “Reading Digest: Favorites Edition”

  1. 1 Monty Python Forever
    14 June 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Note to Jon Stewart: Ha ha, Aasif Mandbi is 100 times better than you, is returning the show to the quality of the Kilbourne years, and no one will miss you if you just stay in Mesopotamia! John Stewart in 10 words: [None} will cry when this dog is put to sleep!

    • 2 Frank
      14 June 2013 at 2:36 pm

      No way! Jon Stewart single-handedly got me to look at the media with a more critical eye. I love that man.

    • 3 ThisCannotBeTheFuture
      14 June 2013 at 3:45 pm

      Do you mean ” [John Oliver] ….is returning the show to the quality of the Kilbourne years…” ? Aasif is still just a field correspondent.

      I do kind of miss the bizarreness of the Kilbourne years. Remember how he would have to dance on Thursdays?? lol

  2. 14 June 2013 at 1:02 pm

    “bass player for the satirical rock group Spinal Tap”

    Wait, really? Looks like I got a movie to watch.

  3. 6 Stan
    14 June 2013 at 10:39 pm

    I can easily name my favorite episode of the show: El Vraje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (or whatever that name is).

    No shitting on the fan intended, of course.

    • 7 RaikoLives
      14 June 2013 at 11:58 pm

      I have a top 3 – Radio Bart, Krusty’s Klown Kollege and Bart Gets Hit By A Car (I may have the episode titles wrong but I’m fairly sure they’re right…) – but I don’t think I could name 1 of those above the others.

      • 8 Stan
        15 June 2013 at 11:43 am

        See, the thing between these and my pick is measured mostly by how hard I laughed the first time I saw any of the aforementioned, and while watching Viaje I was cramped from start to finish. From the secret bbq thing to Homer consuming the chili to his psychedelic indigestion sequence right to Homer vs Marge marriage conflict, and the coyote guide. The only other episode that would come close to these expectations for me is probably 22 Short Stories About Springfiend (cuz FUCK was this one funny too), but were I ever told to pick one not solely based on its comedic properties, I could go as far as probably even liking Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind.

        • 9 ThisCannotBeTheFuture
          15 June 2013 at 12:57 pm

          I love “Viaje” too. And I’ll give you this much–it feels like the perhaps the most spiritual or existential episode of the Simpsons.

          Hell, Homer’s chili vision with the “space coyote” could’ve been directed by David Lynch. :)

    • 10 ThisCannotBeTheFuture
      15 June 2013 at 1:05 pm

      “Homer Goes to College” was probably my favorite growing up and is still hilarious, along with “Mr. Plow”, “Flaming Moe’s”, “When Flanders Failed”, “Dead Putting Society”, “Boy Scoutz in the Hood”, and “Deep Space Homer.”

      You now, I’m gonna say that “A Milhouse Divided” would be a top contender. It’s such a compelling story and there are so many sharp lines in ii; it probably has Marge’s funniest line ever in my opinion:

      “I should’ve never served those North Korean fortune cookies. ‘You are a coward!’ No one wants to hear that after a nice meal.”

  4. 11 Jeff
    15 June 2013 at 1:03 pm

    I just started reading The Radioactive Man Repository recently. It’s really good.

  5. 16 June 2013 at 7:37 pm

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