Sunday Evening Cartoons: Brad Goodman vs. Rona


“Let’s look at the rainbow. What’s in there?” – Brad Goodman

I’ve never had much use for “best episode” or “favorite season” discussions. I always enjoy talking Simpsons, even when I’m drinking my chicory, but trying to definitely say this essentially flawless episode is better than that essentially flawless episode has never seemed fun to me.

That being said, I recognize that “Marge vs. the Monorail” will always top “Bart’s Inner Child” in terms of popularity. The song alone puts the monorail episode ahead. But the one and only thing I never liked about “Marge vs. the Monorail”, even as a kid, was that Lyle Lanley gets caught. I get the joke (“Where have I heard that name before?”), and it is funny, but it implies an improbable karmic justice that the show usually doesn’t indulge.

“There he is, seat 3F!”

Lanley is a con artist who happens to sell monorails instead of band uniforms or patent medicine, and he fits right in with the show’s love of the lowest of the low brow aspects of American business. The man is an obvious charlatan, full of shit from tip to toe and not the least bit shy about it. He’s great. But the only way the show can give him his comeuppance is to have his plane make an unscheduled stop in North Haverbrook. Again: it’s funny, but the need for a justice is a little teevee.

On that score, I’ve always preferred “Bart’s Inner Child” for the simple reason that Brad Goodman is a *much* better con-man than Lyle Lanley for one simple reason: he gets away. By the time the people of Springfield realize that his self help bullshit is actually bullshit, they’ve built him a statue and he’s five towns down the road telling another sold out auditorium about the Feel Bad Rainbow.

“God is angry. We’ve made a false idol of this Brad Goodman!”

Goodman was based on Tony Robbins and a bunch of other 80s/90s scam artists who specialize(d) in acknowledging that people’s lives are bad and then peddling false hope. And if you’re wondering how Brad Goodman would be doing in the age of corona, well, Tony’s Twitter feed tells you all you need to know:

As the plague descends on the entire world, he’s plugging a movie and linking to crazy winger bullshit that says coronavirus isn’t that big a deal. When the plague passes, Robbins and guys like him will be running the exact same scam because that’s what Brad Goodman would do:

We all suffered during coronavirus, but we’ve survived, and that kind of toughness can help you succeed in life and in business. In my new book, I chart the seven paths of excellence . . .

The grift must go on. That’s what high hats like Goodman and Robbins believe, that there is no problem people face that cannot be solved by them giving you money.

In less immediately trying circumstances, this is the kind of admirable crookedness upon which fortunes are founded. In this perilous moment, it is, to quote the inimitable Al Swearengen, “Sick fucking ghoulish thinking.”

“What a type you must consort with, that you not fear beating for such an insult.”

A lot of people are going to die. No getting around that. But past the millions of sudden and unnecessary deaths that will traumatize populations the world over, there are the shitheel cockdents that believe they will get away with it. And they’re probably right.

Fuck them. Let’s go to the old mill anyway. Get some cider.*

(*2m social distancing still applies.)



14 Responses to “Sunday Evening Cartoons: Brad Goodman vs. Rona”

  1. 1 Anonymous
    6 April 2020 at 1:06 pm

    I don’t know, I can’t say one is better than the other just because one con man got away and another one didn’t. And since sweet karmic justice so very rarely happens in real life, it’s nice to see Lanley get what’s coming to him. A cartoon world where the bad guys never get caught is just as unrealistic as the ones where they always do. And as long as it’s funny (“imprisoned congressman becomes born-again christian”) we can indulge them.

    Someone I know used to be into that Tony Robbins junk. I think they’d be disappointed to see this.

  2. 2 Anonymous
    6 April 2020 at 9:25 pm

    Tfw waiting 6 years for Dead Homers Society to update again and the new entries are just political rants. :(

  3. 5 I am Negan
    7 April 2020 at 4:38 am

    That show is on Netflix. I may check it out later

  4. 6 Stan
    7 April 2020 at 8:33 am

    Millons dead? Pshaw, you panic too much. Europe says they’re already halfway through, so yeah, the States must’ve hit, but hey, didn’t President Trump ever tell you the US doesn’t run this world anymore? And Europe doesn’t give a batshit about what some Americans somewhere think?

    It will be over in 30 days, 150k deaths worldwide tops. And stop missing work, this is unproductive.

    • 7 Anonymous
      7 April 2020 at 4:04 pm

      Yes, by all means, please go and get vulnerable people sick, you douchebag.

      • 8 Stan
        8 April 2020 at 8:31 pm

        Why act like yourself when you can act like society wants you to act, and if you don’t, you’re a douchebag?

        • 9 Ah Hee Hee Hee
          8 April 2020 at 10:23 pm

          Fine effort, but some dead giveaways that this isn’t the real Stan (too on-the-nose for starters). You’re gonna have to work a bit harder at it, but you’re at, like, a solid B-minus now so I believe in you!

          • 10 Stan
            9 April 2020 at 11:11 pm

            Even American Dad! sucks ass now. Millennials prefer to watch some guy with a horse head and a bunch of Doc & Marty ripoffs where the doc burps every mid-sentence nowadays.
            Yeah. I’m almost 35 now and I have a daughter. Fuck this, fuck life and fuck you.

            • 11 Ah Hee Hee Hee
              11 April 2020 at 1:04 pm

              Eh… you’re losing me. Now we’re at a C. It’s like self-parody (if you were the real Stan I mean… so just parody)

  5. 13 Bleeding Coronavirus Murphy
    8 April 2020 at 1:29 pm

    So when did Stan jump the shark?

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