Archive for the 'Simpsons Did It' Category


A Gorilla in Australia

All-star commenter D.N. sent this in and swears it’s real:

Phonebook, Gorilla A

D.N. writes:

I came across this gem in early 2007…I had a residential phone book on hand and, just for a laugh, I had a look to see if there was an A GORILLA in Perth, not expecting the answer to be in the affirmative at all. Needless to say, I was incredibly amused with what I found, and shared said amusement with my Simpsons-loving sibling and friends. I remember checking the listing against the previous year’s phone book, and I’ve checked (almost every) phone books since, and it looks like A GORILLA (okay, GORILLA A) was only listed that one time. Was it the name of a real person, or the alias of a mischievous Simpsons fan who pulled the wool over the eyes of the people who compile the Australian phone directories? Either way, it was funny. And no, I didn’t check to see if there was an Edgar Neubauer.

Thanks, D.N.!


As It Was, As It Is

“I see an Eastern university in the year 2010, the world has become a very different place . . .” – Renaissance Faire Fortune Teller

Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way first: I love this episode.  I’ve seen it more times than I can count and I never fail to laugh my ass off.  It was first broadcast in 1995 and it foretold the world in 2010, which is now here.  So let’s take a look at how things actually turned out.  I don’t think the writers were trying to predict 2010; I just think it’s kinda fun to compare.


– Here in the future we still have no holographic trees.

2010a– I’m sure there are soy snacks in vending machines (albeit probably not labeled with the words “gag suppressant”) and those machines definitely take cards.  







– Sadly, we have no robot librarians2010b.








2010c– Going down his IMDB page, it would appear that Jim Carrey has only starred in about twenty movies (been in a lot more, but actually starred in only about twenty). Though they only ended up making two Ace Ventura movies, not six.



-  To my knowledge, no universities have dormitories named after Dr. & Mrs. Dre.

2010q – The Rolling Stones may indeed be touring in 2010 but it seems unlikely they’ll title all it the “Steel Wheelchair” tour (though that would be awesome).





2010d– Also, on the floor of Lisa’s dorm room is a tablet that looks kinda like a Kindle.




– Sadly, planes still do not have lots of wings.

– Doubly sad, Big Ben is still analog.

2010e – Not a lot of wristwatch type communicators, but lots of devices that do similar things.









2010f – In addition to no robot librarians, no robot English country servants.






2010g – Picture phones exist, but aren’t what you’d call common yet for the exact reason that Marge displays.  Because really, who wants to be seen?






2010h– Still not a lot of robots in nuclear power plants.







2010i – Houses in America have indeed gotten much bigger and fancier, and satellite dishes (albeit smaller ones) are common.






2010j – Look at this car and tell me it doesn’t look like one of the new model VW Beetles.

– The Simpsons still have only one phone line, though if teenaged Maggie wanted to talk with her friends she probably wouldn’t be using the house phone anyway.

– It’s also worth pointing out that the date of Lisa’s wedding is August 1st, 2010 which they correctly note is a Sunday.

2010k – We still can’t reanimate frozen corpses.







2010l – On-line video classrooms are a reality, but mostly not at the elementary school level. Although companies like Pepsi do indeed have their logo feces jammed into a lot of schools.

– I don’t think many schools have sliding Star Trek doors though.




2010m – Cars still don’t make that Jetsons noise, but screens that can play video are common enough (albeit generally not used for communication).




2010n – Moe’s has 1500 channel cable coming through a giant pipe into a tiny television.  Here in the real future the cables haven’t gotten bigger but the televisions have. 

– There hasn’t been a World War III for us to be saved in yet, though the British were nice enough to share the embarrassing stupidity of going to war in Iraq, so, partial credit.


2010o – People don’t play virtual darts or virtual pool in bars, though video games are very common.

– While FOX has not turned into a hardcore sex channel the amount of skin and raunch you can get away with is indeed much greater than it was in 1995.

– Do they still have pornographic magazine warehouses? Probably not.

2010p – I don’t think there are Frink-heads swimming around the rivers, but you’d be hard pressed to say that water quality isn’t worse than it used to be.






It’s weird as fuck to be living in the future, but even after all these years that’s still a great episode.


An Illustrated Example of Good and Bad Vortex Humor

In Season 5’s “Bart Gets an Elephant”, Stampy escapes and Homer and the family try to find the pachyderm by following the trail of destruction.  Unfortunately, a tornado has come through since Stampy did.  Homer then points up and says, “Look, it got Patty and Selma!”  We’re then shown Patty and Selma in rocking chairs (a la The Wizard of Oz) and they make a joke:

Bart Gets an Elephant2

"I feel it all the way up my skirt." - Patti, "Ditto." - Selma

Now, compare that with Season 8’s “Hurricane Neddy”, which we discussed at length back in June.  Homer ventures out of the basement during the eye of the storm; then, for no real reason, he’s caught up in a tornado-like wind, which causes the following:

Move along, nothing funny to see here.

Move along, nothing funny to see here.

Homer is grabbed by Lisa, Lisa is grabbed by Bart, and Bart is grabbed by Marge who then pulls them all back into the basement.  This isn’t even a subjective example, where I don’t think a joke is funny but someone else does.  There simply is no joke.  The musical score is set to “exciting action” and nothing at all funny happens.  As soon as they’re back inside Marge begins praying for their safety (which is itself not nearly as funny as when she does the same thing in “Homer Defined”).  There’s no punchline and nothing to be quoted, just a few seconds of cartoonish “danger”.

Both segments are short and both involve characters getting sucked up into the sky, but only one is funny.  The other doesn’t even try.  Sadly, it’s sequences like the one from “Hurricane Neddy” (family-in-danger!!!!!) that have become a staple of Zombie Simpsons.


Getting Out of Hand

“I’m in television now.  It’s my job to be repetitive.  My job.  My job.  Repetitiveness is my job.” – Bart Simpson
Simpsons Channel has a post up with the promo image for April 19th’s Zombie Simpsons, titled “The Good, the Sad and the Drugly”.  Here’s the plot description:

To win the heart of Jenny (guest voice Anne Hathaway) a sweet 5th grade girl, Bart becomes a good samaritan and gives up his prank-pulling days

Given the presence of the perfectly cromulent word “drugly” in the title I’m gonna guess that this girl might have a lesson or two to teach Bart about growing up.  It’s always creepy and rage inducing when Zombie Simpsons goes on one of its weird “we’re moralizing/but no we’re really mocking moralizing/um yeah, we’re actually moralizing” skids.  That was about half the run-time of this season’s feculent “Mypods and Boomsticks” episode and it always sucks.
Well, at least we found out who Anne Hathaway is voicing on the Simpsons.  Apparently it’s going to be Bart’s love interest, not Krusty’s.  The earlier leaked plot was to have her testify in court when . . . ugh . . . Krusty was falsely accused of a crime.  Now it seems she’s voicing a goody-two-shoes that . . . ugh . . . Bart straightens up and flies right in order to impress.  I wouldn’t rule out the Krusty-accused plot also being included; there’s no real limit to the amount of stupidity Zombie Simpsons can jam into a single meandering story.  Of course, if that little gem of a Krusty plot isn’t in there on April 19th, we could always see it later.
On the plus side, the endless repetition of earlier plots may finally be having an effect.  There are some grumbly comments on that Simpsons Channel post from people who otherwise still think it’s good.


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