Posts Tagged ‘138th Episode Spectacular


Quote of the Day

“Get out of my office!” – Matt Groening

Happy birthday!


Makeup Quote of the Day

“But for that ending to work, you would have to ignore all the Simpson DNA evidence. And that would be downright nutty.” – Troy McClure


Quote of the Day

“Well, I didn’t win. Here’s your pizza.” – Lionel Hutz
“But we did win!” – Marge Simpson
“That’s okay, the box is empty.” – Lionel Hutz

Happy birthday Brad Bird!

Also, Phil Hartman would’ve been 70 today. Happy birthday.


Quote of the Day

“Hello, I’m Troy McClure. You may remember me from such FOX Network specials as Alien Nosejob and Five Fabulous Weeks of the Chevy Chase Show.” – Troy McClure


Quote of the Day


“As wacky as those kids were, they were no match for Captain Wacky, later renamed Homer.” – Troy McClure


Quote of the Day

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“Right about now, you’re probably saying, ‘Troy, I’ve seen every Simpsons episode, you can’t show me anything new’.  You’ve got some attitude, mister.” – Troy McClure

Happy 20th Anniversary to “The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular”!  Original airdate 3 December 1995.


Reading Digest: Krusty Sketches Edition

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This week we’ve got some fan made renderings of Krusty (and Bart) that run the gamut from quick sketch to very refined, but all of them have real style to them.  In addition to that, we’ve got more than the usual number of people who agree with us, a couple last Marcia Wallace tributes, some local theater, an open letter to Azaria, and a couple of late but worthy Halloween costumes.


The Elevens: Tonight: A Shot Of Theater Presents: The Simpsons Did It! – Attention those of you in and around Northampton, Massachusetts, this is cool:

“November 7th, 14th, 21st, and 22nd 7p-9p
Citizens and Friends of Springfield! Join us for our fourth evening of original one-act plays performed at The Elevens of Northampton!
An evening of theater, food, drinks, laughs, cheers, and NO boo-rns!
Come out and witness our tribute to the most fanatic television show ever created as you are entertained by six short plays that were all inspired by the wit and wisdom of The Simpsons!

Admission is only seven dollars.

Acme Archives To Release The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror Poster By Dave Perillo On November 13, 2013 – Please note that not a single segment he depicts is from Zombie Simpsons.  Very cool.  (And you can buy one for fifty bucks.)

Duffman Burlesque- Sky Blew- Underground Peepshow – Reader Nedbit sent in this rather awesome YouTube video from that Toronto burlesque show a few months back.  The young man on stage does a great job syncing his routine to actual Duffman quotes (my favorite being “Duffman can’t breathe!” when he gets stuck in his shirt), and the whole thing is great fun.  There’s even some tasteful nudity that stop just short of the full monty:

Well done, Sky Blew.  (And thanks, Nedbit!)

Dear Hank Azaria – This is what happens when you outstay your welcome and fall way behind the curve:

You are a white man doing an accent of a brown character.
I repeat: you are a white man doing an accent of a brown character.
That isn’t normal anymore or needed.

MediaWorks phoenix ready to rise, minus The Simpsons – Those of you in New Zealand may have to find a new place to watch reruns:

The MediaWorks receivership was announced in June, but was immediately backed with a rescue plan.

The settlement will see the removal of all Fox network programming from TV3 and TV4 including prime time cartoon show The Simpsons, with the biggest impact on TV4, which screens seven hours of Fox material daily

Edna Krabappel to retire as Marcia Wallace has died. She was married to Ned Flanders? – It sucks that Marcia Wallace died, but it has been amusing to see a common on-line reaction (after the mourning) be shock at what happened after most people stopped watching the show.  That “Nedna” publicity stunt couldn’t have failed worse, not only do people not like it, most of them didn’t even hear about it when it happened.

Can Only Death Stop The Simpsons? – I’ve wondered that myself.

Maggie Simpson | cosplay and halloween costume diy guides – This is a little late for Halloween this year, but it’s a pretty damn good do-it-yourself Maggie Simpson costume for about $50.

Get The Work Done – Great fan made “Stupid Sexy Flanders” costume.

Krusty the Clown – Cool color fanmade sketch of Krusty smoking.

The Boy & Krusty – Another Krusty sketch from a different person.  This time he’s with Bart and looking very stressed.

Dorwing Samson Bartolo! – Excellent fan made Bart.

Today on the tray: Lard Lad Donuts – An appreciation of Lard Lad and all that he’s done for us on one of two national donut days.

Family and Social Class in “The Simpsons” – A Turkish university using “Scenes from the Class Struggle in Springfield” in class.

With a love that will echo through the ages – A Marcia Wallace remembrance that heartily agrees with us:

Since circa season 11 the show has lacked any true emotional feeling. Instead the writers have hung onto the sentimental coat tails of what has gone before. There’s no real feeling because all the characters have become just shells of what they once were – Krabappel would once have laughed at the moral, insular Flanders, but now she’s married to him. It’s sentimental, not emotional, an attempt to capture emotions where there are none. The Simpsons worked as an emotional, and comedic, show because it was so real. Modern episodes don’t seem to realise that to be emotional and get the best laughs is not just to recover the past or to pull on certain heartstrings, but to show reality and draw out those moments which we feel familiar with.


Lest We Forget – Edna Krabappel – One last Marcia Wallace tribute:

Mrs K was the sarcastic, lazy teacher we all wished we had.

Last Vegas…In 10 Words – You guys lied to me, you said it was Vegas!

Dag 277 – Another Homer t-shirt.

Brovember 6th – Bart & Milpool…Err, Milhouse – The “bromance” that is Bart and Milhouse.

Bart Simpson: 90′s badass – He was.

Yelling at your kids: Don’t do it. (Oops, you just did.) – Excellent movie usage:

Finally, one wise mom told me that she doesn’t scream at all, but rather subscribes to “Marge Simpson Philosophy of Parenting.”

Lisa Simpson: But I’m so angry.
Marge Simpson: You’re a woman. You can hold on to it forever

The movie doesn’t have a lot of quotable lines, but that’s definitely one of them.

Identifying Intervals Part 4: The Tritone – I don’t know nearly enough about music to understand this, but it’s about the theme song and certainly sounds cool.

THE BEST EPISODE THINGY THERE EVER WAS ROUND 1 BART GETS AN F vs. BART’S DOG GETS AN F – The segmented episode elimination tournament continues with a hard choice already:

“Bart Gets An F” & “Bart’s Dog Gets An F” both get an A+ in my books. But this tournament is designed to be all killer & no filler, which means only the best against the best, nothing past season 8. And so I have a difficult choice to make. One of these classics has to go. They both pack an emotional punch, although as an animal lover “Bart’s Dog Gets An F” hits a little closer to home for me.

Click through for the winner.

Duff Beer iPhone 5S Case is Homer Simpson Approved – Twenty bucks at Amazon.

Afternoon Sister – A young woman in Tokyo actually wearing one of those high fashion Bart shirts.  Looks good.

TV Legends Revealed | How ‘Simpsons’ Got ‘Revenge’ on Justin Timberlake – The word ‘revenge’ may be a tad strong there.  Basically, when a 19-year-old Timberlake did his guest voice for that hapless boy band episode he bitched about saying “Word” as a line, so they used it more.  The irony, of course, is that Timberlake has gone on to become a hell of a lot more entertaining than Zombie Simpsons.  (Thanks to commenter RaikoLives for sending this in!)

He’s…a Simpson – Forced to choose a favorite character of all time, you could do worse than Homer.

5-paragraph review of ‘The Simpsons: Four Regrettings and a Funeral’ – And finally, an enjoyably scathing review of last week’s episode that agrees with us:

Joe Namath made a guest voice appearance. He was quarterback of the New York Jets when the team won the Super Bowl in 1969, which was the historians believe was the last time “The Simpsons” were funny. This may be inaccurate.

Close enough.


Quote of the Day

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“I’d sell my soul for a Formula One racing car.” – Bart Simpson
“That can be arranged.” – Satan
“Changed my mind, sorry. . . . Cool.” – Bart Simpson
“Bart, stop pestering Satan!” – Marge Simpson

Happy birthday Nancy Cartwright!


Reading Digest: Groening Appreciation Edition

Groening and His Work

“The Simpsons began as the brain child of cartoonist Matt Groening, the already famous creator of such comics as Damnation, Johnny Reb, and True Murder Stories.” – Troy McClure

This week we’ve got three links to articles about Groening, two of which are tied for Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week.  First there’s an old magazine article that’s a really nice time capsule of Groening perched on the cusp of worldwide fame, and then there’s a bunch of other cartoonists celebrating the rich bastard he became.  In addition to that we’ve got some cool fan made art, some evidence that rock may indeed have achieved perfection in 1974, an inventive and specific Bart costume, and English as a second language students learning from the show.

COMMENTING NOTE: For whatever reason, WordPress has been getting bombarded with spam comments of late.  It’s been ticking up for a couple of months, but just this week the number of comments in the spam queue went from around ten each morning to several hundred.  I usually sort through them in case something legitimate got flagged, which I know has happened to a few of you, but now there’s just too many for me to do that.  If you’re having trouble getting a comment posted, please e-mail me. 


1989 Matt Groening Profile in Mother Jones – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week (A) is this old article about Groening from right before the show premiered.  There’s a ton of great stuff in there, but I particularly like this description of the opening:

In the title sequence of The Simpsons, the camera descends into an animated American Anytown, meeting the family members at the close of their working day, sort of like The Flintstones.  This is not, however, the end of a Yabba-Dabba-Doo day.  Homer finishes his shift in a nuclear plant by accidentally carrying out of a bit of glowing nuclear waste; Marge the mom waits in a checkout line while the clerk unintentionally passes baby Maggie over the electronic product-code reader; sister Lisa stops band practice cold with her free-bop sax playing; and son Bart has been kept after school, forced to write various messages on the blackboard.  I WILL NOT WASTE CHALK, he writes at the beginning of one episode, and in another, I WILL NOT INSTIGATE REVOLUTION.  Finally the family converges at home, gathering before the TV set to watch, yes, The Simpsons.

It’s neat to read someone describe that extremely familiar sequence to an audience who had never seen it.  We’ve gotten inured to it over the years, but it really was unlike any other opening at the time, so much so that it takes an entire paragraph to explain.

PICKS OF THE WEEK: To celebrate ‘Life in Hell,’ cartoonists collaborate on a gift for Groening – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week (1) is this collection of cartoons by other cartoonists celebrating Life in Hell after Groening retired it.  Some of them are damn funny.

INK2012 Day 2: When Groening met Barry – And we’ve got a nice little writeup of Groening and his old cartoonist friend Lynda Barry at a conference together.

Reverend Lovejoy on Religion – Lovejoy has some good ones, including this.

What is the best Treehouse of Horror short? – The verdict here is “The Shinning”, but there are a lot of contenders.

Day 110: Global Handwashing Day – The woman who had that sweet Surly costume a while back today has dressed up like Bart Simpson, as he appears after Laura spits in his hand.  Awesome.

Top 100 Favorite Shows of All Time – 20-11 – The show comes in at #16 on this list, but you get the feeling that it’d be higher if not for Zombie Simpsons:

I’ll start by saying I don’t often watch The Simpsons anymore, and haven’t done so for years.

So How Much Would You Pay For This? – Does the middle of this very expensive painting look like Bart Simpson?  Enh, kinda.

Starbucks gives away Simpsons’ ‘Treehouse’ – Cool:

Starbucks, which has been offering free downloads of music, ebooks and apps at its coffee shops, has started giving away the original episode of "The Simpson’s’ "Treehouse of Horror," that originally aired in 1990 on Fox.

Episode will be available as a free iTunes download as Starbucks’ in-store "Pick of the Week" through through Oct. 23, according to a store manager in New York City. The cards started appearing in Starbucks stores today across the U.S. and Canada.

That’s certainly nice of them.  I wonder how much FOX charged?  (via)

Breaking Amish…In 10 Words – They’re still not fighting back!

Obama and Romney’s Second Debate…In 10 Words – No, dear, the card question’ll be fine.

THE WORLD’S BEST JACKET – It’s debatable, but it’s hard to beat Elvis and Marilyn.

The Simpsons: Tapped Out- Unlocking Witch Marge – Apparently there’s an expansion pack for that iOS game, and this is how you get some of it.

Everyone knows rock attained perfection in 1974. It’s a scientific fact. – In support of Homer’s point, a list, rather long, of all the great rock albums that came out in 1974. 

Previewing the 2012-13 Denver Nuggets – Extended excellent usage:

One of my favorite lines from episodes of The Simpsons is when Montgomery Burns opens up a Casino in Springfield – Homer Simpson gets a job there and Marge Simpson soon becomes attached to the gambling lifestyle. At the end of the episode, Homer and Marge have a heart-to-heart about Marge’s issue.

Homer, "You have a gambling problem."

Marge, "That’s true. Will you forgive me?"

Homer, "Sure. Remember when I got caught stealing all those watches from Sears? Well, that’s nothing because you have a gambling problem. And remember when I let that escaped lunatic in the house because he was dressed like Santa Claus? Well, you have a gambling problem."

It’s a long quote, and while Homer does have an “Oh” in front of “Sure”, that’s a long quote that’s done right.  Excellent. 

My best pick-up line – Heh.

Deja Vu? – More heh, this time with jagged metal cereal.

Dying for a BBQ? – Fugu for real:

Despite the reputation, a small number of poisoning cases are recorded every year (Up to 40 cases, and very few of these are from restaurants, but rather fishermen eating their own catch) and the fatality rate is actually very low, at about 7%.  And despite the famous Simpsons episode in which Homer is told he will die from fugu poisoning, the effects would take hold and kill you quickly without the intervention of a respirator.  So, the Simpsons lied to me about fugu and Annual Gift Man, and I have yet to see Homer’s face on the box of a household cleaning product for Mr. Sparkle.  Is there no end to the lies TV will tell you?

I know it doesn’t seem possible, but I guess TV can betray you.

Day 12: A song that you want played at your wedding(or was played) – A cut off of Simpsons Sing the Blues, with YouTube.

And Now for Something Completely Different – A Simpson chess set that, sadly, got stolen.

1- I LEARNED FROM ‘THE SIMPSONS’ SERIES… – There are four of these, and they’re being reblogged by a Brazilian English language school.  Cool.

Just ‘Cause 5 – Animated .gif of Bart riding the pig from “They Saved Lisa’s Brain”.

Athletic Misadventures – Moderate usage:

There is an episode of The Simpsons where Lisa enrolls at a military school.  After a few weeks of pushups, obstacles courses, and formation drills, she finds herself intimidated by the physicality required of the students.  Lisa bemoans her situation to Bart who questions “I thought you wanted a challenge?”  Lisa responds with “Duh, a challenge I could DO.”

That is precisely how I felt yesterday attempting to complete the Flagstaff Extreme course.

Bart actually says, “I thought you came here looking for a challenge”, but the Lisa half is dead on.

Transformations 18 – Fan made crossover drawings, including one of Lisa.

Journey Through the Past: The 1990s – And finally, our old friend Philip J. Reed has written an appreciation of some 1990s cultural artifacts, including this excellent take on “22 Short Films About Springfield”:

Coming at a time when The Simpsons could genuinely do no wrong, “22 Short Films About Springfield” reads like a time-capsule today. It’s a relic — and a loving, fascinating, and clever one — of a time when Springfield was more than just a sea of caricatures and types; it was a place, fully functional in and of itself. One operating under its own logic and impossible to mistake for the real world, but real in its own way all the same.

It was nice when Springfield was a place that was real enough to be funny instead of the bottomless prop closet they have now.


Quote of the Day

Bond & Blofeld

“Well, at least tell me the details of your plot for world domination!” – Not James Bond
“Oh, ho, ho, I’m not going to fall for that one again.” – Not Blofeld


Compare & Contrast: Cliffhangers & Cultural Relevance

“This past summer, all of America was trying to solve the mystery of who shot Mr. Burns, then they found out it was the baby.” – Troy McClure

Twas the summer of 1980, and America was atwitter over a television cliffhanger about who had shot a character named J.R. on a primetime soap opera called Dallas.  T-shirts were produced, bets were placed, and, if the Wikipedia article titled simply “Who shot J.R.?” is to be believed, that year’s presidential contest even got into the act with jokes and buttons.  When the shooter was revealed that autumn, it became one of the highest rated events in television history.  Dallas was already a hit, but after the shooting stunt it would reach new heights, becoming the #1 show in America for three of the next four seasons.

I Married Marge6

Fifteen years later, The Simpsons ran a parody cliffhanger, replacing J.R. with their own Charles Montgomery Burns.  The summer of 1995 saw the country flooded with advertising sporting the image of Mr. Burns and his potential assailants, though the ads themselves had basically nothing to do with who had shot him.  (The late 1990s advertising boom for collect calling services remains puzzling to me.  I’ve never been able to figure out who was making so many collect calls that national ad campaigns were worth the expense.)  The parody, though just an echo of the original, was big enough to merit its own exhaustively footnoted Wikipedia page

Sixteen years later, Zombie Simpsons has brought us a different kind of cliffhanger, one that doesn’t manage to parody anything and is altogether more boring, more hapless, and less interesting.  Instead of cooking up a satire or turning the whole endeavor into a joke, they plopped down an improbable romance and a half assed web page (which I will not link).  Their marketing tie in isn’t a series of nationwide commercials, it’s a handful of downloadable images that a few people will put on their Facebook pages for a day or two.  How the mighty have fallen.

Worse, Zombie Simpsons has bumbled into the desperate trap of so many flailing comedies: manufactured romance.  Teasing audiences with unresolved sexual tension, even the comedic kind, has been a survival instinct of television shows since the days of vacuum tubes and Newton Minnow.  Vicarious frisson and suggestive endings are trotted out in the hope that they’ll create the kind of curiosity that can withstand an entire summer’s worth of commercial interruptions.  So what Zombie Simpsons has done is take two worn concepts and attempted to rub them together, hoping for a little spark of attention, or at least a fleeting second of pop culture relevance.  But the cliffhanger and the contrived love story they’ve produced are too threadbare to do anything but disintegrate against one another. 

The problem isn’t that Zombie Simpsons is engaging in a publicity stunt.  The shootings of J.R. and Mr. Burns were just as shameless.  The problem is that Zombie Simpsons is engaging in a publicity stunt that’s doomed to fail and be instantly forgotten.  The people who cooked up “Who shot J.R.” succeeded beyond their wildest dreams, and the parody of it on The Simpsons is probably remembered by even more people than the original here in 2011.  Both were noticed, and commented on, and talked about by people far outside the scope of the usual audience.  In these nosier times, this far more timid and cliched stunt doesn’t stand a chance.  There will never be an – ugh – “Nedna” Wikipedia article, at least not one that isn’t swiftly nominated for deletion for falling pathetically short of even the most generous definition of notability. 


Source Material

“They haven’t changed a bit, have they?” – Troy McClure

Apologies for the relative lack of posts the last few days.  I had a couple of ideas go south on me, and Google Alerts has been bone dry of interesting ephemera of late.  Today is the 24th anniversary of the premier of the shorts, and all the internet coughed up (that I saw, anyway) was a few “On this day” type things.  In honor of this momentous occasion, however, here’s part of the very first one (easily recognizable from its inclusion in “The 138th Episode Spectacular”) as it appeared on The Tracey Ullman Show:

That’s a 29-year-old Dan Castellaneta as the asshole ambulance victim.  There are many more at YouTube, or you can download all of them over at Simpson Crazy

Update: Damn, embedding disabled.  At least it’s only one click away. 


Quote of the Day

Life In Hell

Image taken from Wikimedia Commons.

“Yes, the Simpsons have come a long way since an old drunk made humans out of his rabbit characters to pay off his gambling debts.” – Troy McClure

Happy birthday Matt Groening! 


Collect the Whole Set!

“Maybe the drawings were a little crude, but all the characters were there: Itchy & Scratchy, Grampa Simpson, and Krusty the Klown.” – Troy McClure

Deviated Septum Krusty Look at this picture of a Krusty stuffed animal (it’s the same one I put on our half assed Twitter feed yesterday).  That has to be among the worst deviated septums in the history of stuffed animals.  His nose is above his eyes!  And let’s be clear, the people in charge of merchandising for FOX can’t blame this on shoddy manufacturing at whatever third world factory slapped this thing together for them.  The mouth and the eye pieces are just way out of proportion to the size of the head.  This is a design problem, an extremely lazy one that someone in a nice office didn’t care enough to fix.


Original Krusty That it bears more than a passing resemblance to the intentionally crude Krusty from the “138th Episode Spectacular” is surely coincidental, though no less damning for being so.  I doubt that the people who make this type of stuff even watch the show, much less that they’d either a) be clever enough or b) care enough to have made the connection.  But it can’t be denied.  What was once an exaggerated joke about the show’s cheap beginning has become a sad, polyester reality in its twilight.

Merchandise of this exceeding quality (Krusty: Now with Forehead Nose!) accounts for the vast majority of Simpsons related revenue and profit, and is the main reason Zombie Simpsons continues to exist.


Quote of the Day

138th Episode Spectacular3

“Can it be that the champion of child literacy can’t even read himself?” – Judge Snyder
“Is it a crime to be illiterate?” – Krusty the Klown
“Alright, alright, see this, Krusty?  This is a B, and this is Exhibit B: betting slips!  Obtained by this court, indicating you have lost substantial sums of money on sports gambling!” – Prosecutor
“Is it a crime to bet on sporting events?” – Krusty the Klown
“Yes, it is!” – Prosecutor
“Oh.” – Krusty the Klown

Happy birthday Sam Simon!


Quote of the Day

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“And what better place to premier their creation than on The Tracey Ullman Show?  The nation’s showcase for psychiatrist jokes and musical comedy numbers.” – Troy McClure

Happy birthday James L. Brooks!


Quote of the Day

138th Episode Spectacular1

“Get outta my office!” – Matt Groening

Happy Birthday Matt Groening!  Tequila shots for everybody!


Thou Shalt Not Doubt the Comprehensiveness of SNPP

Earlier today, when I was writing the post about the Al Jean quote, I watched the “hard core nudity” credits from “The 138th Episode Spectacular”.  I was trying to get a quick overview of nudity in the show and while I was aware that most of it would be nudity of the “male’s ass” variety (the go to nudity for comedy), I knew that wasn’t all of it.  One of the few that isn’t is this screen shot, ostensibly from Season 6’s “Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy”:

Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy4

But when I considered it for a moment I thought it looked a bit more nude than I expected.  So I went to the actual part from “Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy” and, lo and behold, here’s what I saw:

Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy2

First and foremost, way-to-go to Simpsons (from the before time, the long long ago) for sneaking that one past the censors.  Secondly, I suck for never noticing that before.  Thirdly, SNPP does not suck:

Benjamin Robinson writes, "If you look carefully, you’ll notice that another outtake slipped into the nudie montage at the end. The scene where Bart interrupts Homer and Marge’s is from `Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy (2F07),’ right? Wrong! I checked my tape of the original airing, and — yowsa! — we got to see a lot more of her this time. In fact, the scene that did air looks comparatively crude, as if the censors balked at the last minute and ordered a re- do. Well, I guess this makes up for dropping the `doggy leapfrog’ scene from `Two Dozen & One Greyhounds (2F18).’"

I remain in awe of SNPP. Also, Benjamin Robinson noticed this and had to check it on tape, I was able to verify it in less than 10 seconds on my laptop. Living in the future rules. 

Edited to fix the fact that the quote was in tiny font.


Quote of the Day

“Who knows what adventures they’ll have between now and the time the show becomes unprofitable.” – Troy McClure


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