Posts Tagged ‘Angry Dad: The Movie


Compare & Contrast: Mocking Awards Shows

Black Widower3

“You know the rules, awards for excellence in entertainment are contraband, no Emmys, no Oscars, not even a Golden Globe.” – Prison Guard

One of the more revealing ineptitudes of “Angry Dad: The Movie” is the way it fails to copy not one, but two different Simpsons episodes that did the exact same thing it did.  (This is particularly stunning coming from a show that loves repeating jokes and unabashedly lives off of fan nostalgia.)  Of course, both of those older episodes did things much quicker, and managed to actually mock the kidding-but-serious way awards shows take themselves and their participants.  I am speaking of both the Emmys in “Black Widower” and the generic (but Emmy statue lookalike) Annual Cartoon Awards in “The Front” (which are awarded at the Springfield Civic Center the night before it’s closed for roach spraying).

In “Black Widower”, Krusty comes out to present the award for “Best Supporting Performer in a Children’s Program”.  Right there, the show is already making fun of the uselessness of the Daytime Emmys by creating a nonexistent, but not implausible, category for sidekicks.  Taking the whole enterprise one level further into satiric silliness, Krusty reads a list of the enjoyably wacky nominees:

Daytime Emmy Nominees

Clockwise from top left: Droopy Drawers, Colonel Coward, Pepito (the Biggest Cat in the Whole Wide World), and Suck Up the Vacuum

None of those four characters merit too much attention, but each gets his (its?) own little moment of personality.  We see the improbably hot companion of Droopy Drawers reassuringly pat him on the hand.  Colonel Coward freaks out from nerves just a little bit, and Pepito waves like the good natured mascot he is.  Suck Up, who looks more than a little terrifying and can’t possibly be human, is too good to attend this complete sham.  The entire thing takes only ten seconds before the main plot resumes.

Despite not containing much more content than a vacuum cleaner in Spain, none of the plodding parodies in “Angry Dad: The Movie”  move nearly as quickly.  It’s not even close:

  • “The Triplets of Belleville” takes about forty seconds.
  • “Persepolis” is also forty seconds.
  • “Toy Story” managed to be only thirty seconds (but certainly felt longer).
  • “Wallace & Gromit” was sixty-five seconds (as in more than a minute!).
  • “Angry Dad” was a comparatively tame twenty seconds. 

That’s five clips, totaling well over three minutes of screen time, in an episode that’s barely twenty minutes long.  And that doesn’t even count Halle Berry’s part.  For comparison’s sake, please note that the College Humor video of the McBain clips, which the killjoys at FOX legal have already taken down (shhh, reverse Spanish version), was only slightly longer, and it was from five separate episodes over three seasons.

In “The Front” almost the exact same thing – awards show presentation with clips and a celebrity voice – is done in a small fraction of the time.  Brooke Shields and Krusty come out so Krusty can read the terrible joke about his hair, the kind of thing that awards shows still trot out to this day.  He instantly goes off script and starts bitching while Shields gamely plays it straight.  Once he storms off the episode goes right to the parodies.  First is “Strondar: Master of Akom”, the “wedding episode”:

The Front9

Does it takes forty seconds to parody He-Man?  No, no it does not.  It requires less than five seconds and gives us Not He-Man, in his formal S&M gear, tugging nervously at his Chippendales-style bowtie choker.  That goes immediately to “Action Figure Man”, the “How to Buy Action Figure Man” episode:

The Front10

This one is really amazing, because it takes only a few words and a couple of seconds but manages to send up pretty much the entire genre of children’s cartoons, including the incessant merchandising that makes them so very lucrative and the way shameless marketing is used to get kids to basically extort their own parents.  The final “clip” is the only one they didn’t make up themselves but, once again, they didn’t need half a minute to make a quick joke about the fact that new episodes of The Ren & Stimpy Show were less than forthcoming at the time.

From the time Shields introduces the first clip until we get to “Barbershop of Horrors” takes less than thirty seconds.  The whole sequence, from Krusty and Shields walking on stage to Grampa winning the award, is only ninety seconds.  Zombie Simpsons takes three and a half minutes to complete the same thing, and that’s before you get to the respective acceptance speeches.  In “The Front”, Grampa immediately launches into his anti-cartoon tirade without a moment of hesitation.  For his candor he is pelted with fruit thrown by people in formalwear.  In “Angry Dad: The Movie”, Bart launches into a tedious monologue about how many people he needs to thank, and is then joined on stage by Homer for some wrap up exposition.

Parodying famous cartoons like “Toy Story” and “Wallace & Gromit” is a fine thing for a show like Zombie Simpsons to try to do.  But trotting out so many of them for so very long means they’re going to feel like filler, even if they had been packed with insightful humor.  “The Front” could’ve dragged its parodies out, but instead it kept them short and funny, and in doing so left itself time for its own little short, “The Adventures of Ned Flanders”.

[Edited 1 March 2010 to change “Vacom” to “Akom”, see comments for details.]


Crazy Noises: Angry Dad: The Movie

Hurricane Neddy5

“Yes, Mr. Sherman, everything stinks.” – Calmwood Mental Hospital Doctor

In our ongoing mission to bring you only the shallowest and laziest analysis of Zombie Simpsons, we’re keeping up our Crazy Noises series for Season 22.  Since a podcast is so 2004, and video would require a flag, a fern and some folding chairs from the garage, we’ve elected to use the technology that brought the word “emoticon” to the masses: the chatroom.  Star Trek image macros are strictly forbidden, unless you have a really good reason why Captain Picard is better than Captain Kirk.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (especially on “jowl”).

Among the shorter of the many long (long, long) skits during “Angry Dad: The Movie”, Zombie Simpsons had Homer stick a deck of playing cards (he happened to be carrying) down the back of his pants and shuffle them with his ass. The cards eventually emerge (unstained) fanned out from his waistline. Then they make a big show of him opening a bottle with his butt. That last concept is so inventive that I was only able to find three videos of people doing the same thing after one search on YouTube (plus a deer). But the butt-shuffling sent my mind instantly to the episode of The Critic where Marty’s in the talent show. Skip to the 4:25 mark here, and listen to Jay Sherman, in response to his son smoking a pipe with his belly button, say:

“You know, my butt can deal blackjack, but this is Marty’s night.”

The Critic was a show that never got the chance it deserved, and since it was funny as hell it makes sense that Jean and company would raid it for material, but inherently goofy things like this work much better when alluded to rather than spelled out.

Charlie Sweatpants: Ready to get this over with?

Mad Jon: Yep

Charlie Sweatpants: I am not at a complete loss for words about this episode, but the only three that come to mind are "what", "the", and "fuck".

Mad Jon: Yeah, once again it was quite the effort to watch. I turned it on right when I got home from work, and I still feel exhausted.

Charlie Sweatpants: There were so many things that were a minute or longer when they could’ve been two seconds.

  The Ricky Gervais thing might not have even been worth two seconds.

Mad Jon: I know the idea was to piggy back on the "Angry Dad" episode all those season ago, but I really felt it had to be thought of in the light of "The Front". A goal that was exponentially more difficult.

  I can’t figure out why Gervais is in everything. I really don’t find him funny.

  Also I am not British.

Charlie Sweatpants: I don’t have anything against him, I’ve seen him be pretty funny, but this was a trainwreck.

Mad Jon: It took me a few minutes of the tip scene to even figure out who he was. It really didn’t look anything like him.

Charlie Sweatpants: I swear I could almost see him turn to the camera and say "That’s it. That’s the joke."

Mad Jon: Ha ha, yeah that’s about right.

Charlie Sweatpants: Then I can yell "You suck, McBain!" and all would be well.

Mad Jon: Did you notice how long the guest voice credit roll went? I was only aware that there were like 2 or 3. Boy, was I wrong.

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, it was like six deep.

  And everyone got to do the same thing: voice themselves and pretend to make fun of themselves.

Remember when this show loathed the rest of the entertainment industry? Good times.

Mad Jon: Yes, once again it was their turn to ride the bike.

  Yes, Yes I remember, back when travel was done on Blimps and Taco Bell used meat.

Charlie Sweatpants: There were the Pixar parts, and the Wallace & Gromit part, and the Triplets of Belleville part . . . these aren’t parodies, they’re more like love letters that lack even a hint of originality.

  Dear Pixar, we love you, signed Zombie Simpsons.

Mad Jon: Also the clips went on for fucking ever.

Charlie Sweatpants: Oh, I know.

Mad Jon: The clips from "The Front" look so much better in comparison than they already are.

  "Clip not done yet"

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, they used to actually create stuff. Now it really is like those "Epic Movie" pieces of crap where they photocopy something and expect me to slap my fins together for understanding the reference.

Mad Jon: Well, the references were topical. -ish.

Charlie Sweatpants: I’m sure they were very proud of themselves for that little photo of Gervais that said not to allow him to host.

  I didn’t even watch the Golden Globes and I got that one. Savvy.

Mad Jon: Oh yeah, I probably should have picked up on that while I was struggling to figure out who he was.

  I also didn’t watch the Golden Globes.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, we kinda just did. There are few things ugly in deeper ways than when big budget entertainment pretends to satirize itself for its foibles.

  While we’re on the topic of things that went on way too long, how about that Itchy & Scratchy thing?

Or Bart’s ride around the house?

  Or the awards receiving montage.

Mad Jon: Yeah I was hoping you’d bring that up. There wasn’t one last week right? That’s good, this weeks was bad enough for both.

Charlie Sweatpants: Someone on the staff has a lot of kung fu movies with five star ratings on Netflix.

Mad Jon: I remember a few weeks ago I tried to defend a few of the new I&S. Man I look even stupider than that time I burned my eyebrow off with a flaming shot of Yukon Jack.

Charlie Sweatpants: That was pretty bad, but this is worse.

Mad Jon: Why does everything have to take soooo long?

Charlie Sweatpants: The training montage alone was longer than many classic I&S skits.

Mad Jon: probably twofold as long.

Also, how many more episodes this season do you think will have a Banksy reference?

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, they like him. He did more for them publicity wise than anyone else recently. And that’s despite episodes like this one where they cram in guest stars cheek by jowl.

Mad Jon: Soon enough they will run out of A-listers to throw 3 or 4 in each week.

Charlie Sweatpants: There are always new celebrities.

Mad Jon: Yeah, but this seems like a locust swarm to me as of late.

Charlie Sweatpants: There does seem to have been an inordinate number of episodes with two or more guest voices this season.

Mad Jon: Like most Zombie recurrences, it kills a bit of time and can be crammed in pretty much anywhere.

Charlie Sweatpants: Very true. This one displayed an unusual level of apathy towards storytelling, even by their standards. The Pixar guys don’t get defeated, the chair guy vanishes halfway through the episode, Lisa’s at the table read with Bart for some reason. They really can’t be bothered.

It’s impressive in a way, like when a three year old tells a story and begins every sentence with "And".

Mad Jon: Yes sir. The difference being that I would applaud a three year old for being excited to tell me a story.

I really did forget about the Aero chair guy until you just mentioned him.

Charlie Sweatpants: That’s exactly my point. He vanishes like a puff of smoke halfway through.

Mad Jon: It’s a good point.

Charlie Sweatpants: Anything else here? Normally I ask if there’s anything good, but I can’t think of a single decent thing that I saw that wasn’t immediately ruined by going on ten times longer than it should. Homer’s Taco Day line at the power plant comes to mind.

Mad Jon: Yeah, it turns out he still has a job after all.

  I really can’t think of anything else good, or really bad that we haven’t mentioned.

The only time I smiled was when Lisa mentioned that she saw all the Pixar movies and slipped in "except for Cars".

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, that was at least decent.

  And true. Cars sucked.

Mad Jon: Notice how the decent things in the last few years are always two seconds long.

  But that’s all I got. Like I said, I had to struggle even more than usual to pay attention.

Charlie Sweatpants: This was less of an episode and more a series of YouTube ready videos that someone, someday will figure out how to – excuse me I have to use a bad word here – "monetize" on Hulu.

Mad Jon: Think about the future.


Knowing Your Audience

Chalkboard - Angry Dad The Movie

“Thank god we’re back in Hollywood, where people treat each other right.” – Movie Guy

No sooner do I make fun of Zombie Simpsons for its relentless Hollywood navel gazing than they spend an entire episode navel gazing in Hollywood.  Starting with that interminable Itchy & Scratchy thing and running through awards ceremony cliches and a stunning number of glacially slow short films, this thing was one long exercise in entertainment industry self congratulations.  (I’m sure these sorts of things will get people at L.A. area cocktail parties to praise them, but for the rest of us it’s a little less fun.)  In between all that we were treated to some truly bizarre set pieces that had nothing to do with anything.  Was Lisa hallucinating when the Pixar lamp attacked her?  Was that the theme music for Jurassic Park and, if so, why?  What ever happened to the chair guy? 

This episode was like watching one of Michael Bay’s more impatient films.  Characters and storylines appear and disappear at random, most scenes have nothing to do with the ones before or after them, and all the pyrotechnics can’t conceal how poorly constructed the whole thing is.  You’ve got twenty minutes to fill, you shouldn’t be worried that people are going to click to a different browser tab every ninety seconds.  These are not YouTube videos or, at least, they’re not supposed to be. 

Anyway, the numbers are in and while they’re up from last week they’re still bad.  Last night’s unintentional warning about the dangers of attention deficit disorder was left on by 6.35 million people while they clicked around Twitter and Facebook.  That’s the second lowest number all season, though it’s going to need to get worse if Season 22 is going to take Season 20’s crown for least watched.


All Glory Is Fleeting

George C. Scott

Image used under Creative Commons License from Flickr user cliff1066™.

“Arggh, my groin!” – George C. Scott

There’s new Zombie Simpsons in about an hour.  It’s gonna be bad:

Bart’s cartoon about an angry dad is turned into Angry Dad: The Movie and quickly becomes a critics’ favorite. When Russell Brand (guest-voicing as himself) presents the Golden Globe to Bart’s film, Homer usurps the podium and gives his own acceptance speech. The film’s winning streak continues with Homer taking credit at each ceremony, so when Angry Dad receives an Oscar nomination, Bart keeps it a secret.

With the help of DJ Kwanzaa (guest voice Smoove), Homer and Marge arrive at the ceremony just as Halle Berry (guest-voicing as herself) presents the award. Bart’s fellow nominee, Nick Park (guest-voicing as himself), helps him realize that creating a film is a team effort, and Bart gives credit where credit is due.

The Oscars are essentially a three-and-a-half-hour self promotion scheme.  The whole point is to remind people that they believe in the essential decency of movie stars and the magic of talking pictures.  The Simpsons made fun of that.  Zombie Simpsons is helping with the marketing.

Courtesy of Dave:



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