Posts Tagged ‘Bart vs. Thanksgiving


Quote of the Day

“Homer, this is a terrible thing that’s happened. But we can’t blame ourselves.” – Marge Simpson
“We can and will!” – Homer Simpson
“Children need discipline! You can ask any syndicated advice columnist.” – Marge Simpson

Happy birthday, George Meyer!


Quote of the Day

“When is that boy going to apologize?” – Selma Bouvier
“He sure is stubborn.” – Patty Bouvier
“Homer was never stubborn. He always folded instantly over anything. It was as if he had no will of his own. Isn’t that true, Homer?” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson
“Yes, Dad.” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

“Bullwinkle’s antler sprung a leak.” – Homer Simpson
“Uh-oh, looks like old Bullwinkle’s kinda got a taste of his own medicine.” – Bill
“He certainly did, Bill.” – Marty
“Wait, what did that mean? Did what I say make sense?” – Bill
“Well, no, not really, Bill.” – Marty
“Boy, now I know how the Pilgrims felt.” – Bill
“What are you talking about, Bill?” – Marty


Quote of the Day


“We’d like to thank you for the occasional moments of peace and love our family’s experienced, well, not today. You saw what happened! Oh, Lord, be honest: are we the most pathetic family in the universe or what?” – Homer Simpson
“Amen.” – The Simpsons
“Worst prayer yet.” – Selma Bouvier


Quote of the Day

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“Son, your family may be watching. Is there anything you’d like to say to them?” – Kent Brockman
“Yes there is, Kent. Ha ha, I didn’t apologize!” – Bart Simpson

Sam Simon would’ve been sixty-one today. Happy birthday.


The Simpsons vs. Thanksgiving

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“I would say something comforting, but, you know, my voice.” – Jacqueline Bouvier 

“Bart vs. Thanksgiving” was originally broadcast twenty-five Thanksgivings ago (22 Nov 1990, to be exact). It’s the first episode written by George Meyer (just the 20th episode overall, and the 7th of Season 2), and it’s a great showcase of just how quickly the show began firing on all cylinders. The Thanksgiving episode has everything from blink-and-you’ll-miss-them background gags to gleefully cruel satire of sacred American institutions and self mocking meta-jokes.

Underlying everything is the show’s cardinal grace: a family that loves each other even while they don’t like each other. The story centers around Bart’s disdain for Lisa and her resentment of it, but it also covers Marge harshly scolding Bart; Patty, Selma, and Jacqueline trashing Marge; Homer’s indifference to his kids; and Grampa and Homer treating each other like furniture. In the end, they get “one more crack at togetherness” because they actually do love each other; but that only comes after the episode has spent considerable time rolling around in the rich comedy soil of family insults and contempt.

Around that is non-stop mockery of all the goofy traditions of modern American Thanksgiving. People watch the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys, and on this sacredly secular day, Homer is gambling against his favorite team and all the idiots in the stands are using flash photography. Hooray For Everything comes out at halftime to celebrate the Western Hemisphere (“the dancin-est hemisphere of all!”) to the delight of Homer-esque dimwits nationwide. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade gets doubly insulted, both for using outdated cartoon characters that kids no longer care about, and for pandering to know nothing 10-year-olds by including a Bart Simpson balloon. (Which they actually did that year.)

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Son, this is a tradition. If you start building a balloon for every flash in the pan cartoon character, you’ll turn the parade into a farce!” – Homer Simpson

The episode the starts taking whacks at the often awkward and sometimes bitter tradition of having extended family over for dinner. Patty and Selma manage to insult Marge as soon as they walk in the door by having brought their own dinners. Jacqueline Bouvier shows up barely able to talk, but what words she does say express nothing but disappointment and shame at her three daughters. Homer goes to pick up Grampa at the retirement home, where forgotten old people get “turkey puree” and feel hopelessly lonely as the manager reads off an impersonal list of names whose families bothered to fax(!) in an empty holiday greeting. The choice Meyer and the rest of the writing staff present is both clear and bleak: spend the holidays with your family and you get to be miserable while you’re being insulted and put down, or spend it alone and forgotten and you get to be miserable and lonely.


“This place is depressing!” – Homer Simpson
“Hey, I live here!” – Abe “Grandpa” Simpson

After Bart and Lisa fight and Bart accidentally destroys Lisa’s prized centerpiece, the family (minus the two of them) finally sits down to dinner for a prayer from Homer:

“And Lord, we’re especially thankful for nuclear power, the cleanest, safest energy source there is . . . except for solar, which is just a pipe dream. Anyway, we’d like to thank you for the occasional moments of peace and love our family’s experienced. Well, not today, you saw what happened! Oh, Lord, be honest, are we the most pathetic family in the universe or what?”

Bart vs Thanksgiving15

To which everyone at the table replies, “Amen”, before Selma calls it the, “Worst prayer yet”.

From there, the show continues its contemptuous survey of the hollowness of the holiday. At the corner of Croesus and Mammon, we see Burns throw away a feast while his security guards eat TV dinners and read Les Miserables. On the wrong side of the tracks, Kent Brockman shows up to the soup kitchen to win himself another local Emmy for what one of the bums perfectly derides as, “one of those be-thankful-for-what-you-got stories”. That joke still resonates because those stories remain a seasonal staple on local news, but what makes it even better is that this episode was actually broadcast on Thanksgiving! Real stories every bit as self serving and chock full of phony empathy as Brockman’s were being broadcast all over the country that very night.

Bart vs Thanksgiving16

The harsh limits of televised sympathy.

The story then wraps up with Bart actually being thankful for his family, and even apologizing to Lisa. Crucially, he doesn’t apologize because he’s being starved or because Marge told him he “ruined Thanksgiving”, but because deep down he feels bad for hurting his sister’s feelings. It’s a moment of actual family bonding, but it never degenerates into schmaltz or cliches.

With the relentless negativity of the extended family long gone, the episode ends with the nuclear Simpson family in their pajamas, happily slurping and belching over a table of leftovers. Thanksgiving may be a gluttonous charade, and your family may infuriate and hurt you, but spending it with them can still be special.


Quote of the Day

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“And the Silverdome, now ablaze with flashbulbs as Hooray for Everything leaves the field.  Of course, a stadium’s much too big for flash pictures to work, but nobody seems to care!” – Football Announcer


Quote of the Day


“Mr. Burns, this is Base Command.  The intruder appears to be a young male, age nine to eleven.” – Guard
“Release the hounds.” – C.M. Burns


Hooray for Simpsons Day!

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“Who the hell is that?” – Bart Simpson
“Bullwinkle.” – Homer Simpson
“Who? . . . Wait a minute, who’s that?” – Bart Simpson
“Underdog, don’t you know anything?” – Homer Simpson
“Well, I know it wouldn’t hurt them to use some cartoons made in the last fifty years.” – Bart Simpson
“Son, this is a tradition.  If you start building a balloon for every flash in the pan cartoon character, you’ll turn the parade into a farce!” – Homer Simpson

Happy Simpsons Day, everybody!  As in previous years (this is the fifth since we started DHS), we’ll have a mix of fun Simpsons stuff here throughout the day.  Feel free to leave any Simpsons related links in comments (self promotion most definitely welcome) or on Twitter.  And speaking of Twitter, as part of a pre-New Year’s resolution, I’m going to try squandering more of the precious gift of life in front of the twit-box.

Since I have no gift for kissing up to celebrities or making pithy observations about trending topics, I thought I’d stick to what I know: quoting cartoon shows.  But with so many episodes to choose from, how do you keep from over-repeating some and ignoring others?  Easy, by quoting episodes on the day they were broadcast.  Some dates have multiple episodes, others have none, but when you put them all on a list, it looks like a fun way to waste some time and have a few laughs.  Behold, the December calendar:

17 – Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire-Marge Be Not Proud-Homer’s Triple Bypass

18 – Fear of Flying

19 – Xmas Story

20 – Itchy & Scratchy & Marge

21 – Miracle on Evergreen Terrace

22 – A Taste of Freedom

23 – A Tale of Two Santas



26 – I Married Marge



29 – Hurricane Neddy



You may have noticed that there are some Futurama episodes on there.  That’s because Futurama, in addition to being hilarious, is one of the two shows that sprang directly from The Simpsons and is almost as quotable.  (The Critic is the other, but it doesn’t have any episode anniversaries until January.)  So today we’ll be tweeting quotes from “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire”, “Homer’s Triple Bypass”, and, yes, “Marge Be Not Proud”.  Tomorrow we’ll do quotes from “Fear of Flying”, and then Thursday is our first Futurama episode, “Xmas Story”.  If people like it, we’ll keep going.  If not, well, it’s not like this site’s archive isn’t already littered with screwy ideas that didn’t work.

In the meantime, enjoy your Simpsons Day.


Quote of the Day

Bart vs Thanksgiving12

“Mom, you made it!  How are you?” – Marge Simpson
“I have laryngitis and it hurts to talk, so I’ll just say one thing: you never do anything right.” – Jacqueline Bouvier


Quote of the Day

Bart vs Thanksgiving11

“Ladies and gentlemen, Hooray for Everything invites you to join them in a salute to the greatest hemisphere on Earth: the Western Hemisphere!” – Radio Announcer


Silence Is Golden

Bart vs Thanksgiving10

“It’s your fault I can’t talk.” – Maggie Simpson

Perhaps the only really interesting thing to come out of “Lisa Goes Gaga” was the surprise announcement at the end of “The Longest Daycare”, a 3D short that will be shown before Ice Age 4, starting on July 13th.  (FOX has helpfully put the announcement on YouTube, should you wish to relive all ten seconds of it.)  At present, everything the internet knows about this thing comes from the brief announcement itself and from a quickie interview Al Jean gave to  Literally every other story I saw about “The Longest Daycare”, and I saw a lot of them, was originally sourced to this article.  Even the Wikipedia page is basically nothing but information from this one piece. 

So, what’s in it?  Mostly it’s just basic plot and background:

  • It will be set back at the Ayn Rand School for Tots.  (Though no word on whether or not The Longest Day will be used as rough source material the same way The Great Escape was in “A Streetcar Named Marge”.) 
  • Jean teased an appearance from Baby Gerald.
  • It’s four-and-a-half minutes long with no spoken dialogue.
  • David Silverman directed it.
  • It is indeed in 3D (though a 2D "animatic" will be shown at Comic-Con).

What’s most interesting here isn’t the 3D or any of the story information.  It’s the fact that it’s dialogue free, which means they didn’t have to involve their expensive voice actors at all. 

It’s more than a little reminiscent of the Coke/Super Bowl ad from two years ago.  In the ad, even though they had a newscaster telling us that Burns was broke, it wasn’t Kent Brockman.  The only other lines in the sixty-second commercial came from Milhouse, who is, of course, not voiced by one of the six main voice actors.  That ad is doubly resonant because the generic news anchor guy was Maurice LaMarche, whom I’m 99% sure was the guy narrating the trailer for “The Longest Daycare”. 

Without claiming any kind of predictive powers, this short is exactly what I was talking about in Chapter 12 of the book when I compared the future of the Simpsons to what’s happened to Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse.  Whether or not Homer, Marge or any of the rest of the family appears for a silent cameo, the short represents a new stage in the decoupling of the Simpsons as cartoon characters from their current home on FOX’s Sunday night lineup (and the people who do voice work there).  It’s an animated story set in the Simpsons universe and populated with Simpsons characters, but the only things it has in common with the original show are things FOX owns. 

Obviously this isn’t the first time FOX has leveraged the existing popularity of the Simpsons outside the realm of the show.  They’ve been making video games and t-shirts forever, after all.  But this is the first time they’ve done so in the form of animated entertainment, and that makes it noteworthy.  Whether or not this is the first of many theatrical shorts or a one off deal, it’s a Simpsons cartoon that has even less to do with the original show than Zombie Simpsons does (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing).  It won’t be the last.

(And please note, I make no claims to whether or not “The Longest Daycare” will be good or not on its own merits.  We haven’t even gotten a clip to view, so there’s no telling what it’ll look like, much less whether or not it’ll actually be funny.  I doubt it’ll be worth sitting through Ice Age 4, which looks terrible, but there’s no reason to hold that against the short.)


Compare & Contrast: Bart’s Remorse

Bart vs Thanksgiving9

“Oh, yikes, what is that?” – Bart Simpson
“It’s the centerpiece, Bart.” – Lisa Simpson
“Well, it’s taking up valuable real estate.” – Bart Simpson

As our friend Mike Amato has been plowing through all the old episodes, I’ve been wondering what he was going to say about “Marge Be Not Proud”.  This week, I got to find out.  He’s a lot more upbeat about the episode than I am, but what surprised me in reading his take was how little we actually disagreed.  There really are a lot of good and excellent parts in this episode, and his long list of tidbits and quotes is very solid (I’ve always liked “You have entered: power drive”).

Where we part seems mostly to be in how much weight we assign to certain problems:

If you read this blog then you’re probably familiar with Dead Homers Society, and their attesting that this is the sole blemish on seven flawless classic seasons. I can’t claim some of their gripes aren’t valid; when you boil it down, this is a “very special episode” played fairly straight, with no real twist or subversion. But what keeps it engaging and impacting is its honesty.

Certainly some things bother or don’t bother some people more than others.  For example, I can’t work up too much excitement over problems with “canon” and inter-episode continuity, but start having characters behave in ways that are anathema to their established personalities and I go ballistic.  Mike is willing to overlook the “very special episode” thing, but it really rubs me the wrong way, and it’s the main reason that this is the only episode in Season 7 I almost never watch.

“Marge Be Not Proud” was the first time the show really let itself get bogged down with conventional television tropes.  They did it in a way that’s subtler than “The Principal and the Pauper”, but both of them are weak stories being propped up by teevee convention (cheap morality for “Marge Be Not Proud” and shocking twists for “The Principal and the Pauper”).  Relying directly on old saws like that was something the show had never done before, and it produced episodes that attempt to portray real emotions, but end up undercutting themselves with hoary tricks and tired cliches.

That reliance is something Zombie Simpsons would later make almost routine, but in “Marge Be Not Proud” it was novel.  They simply didn’t used to do things like that.  Consider a similar story of Bart misbehaving and then redeeming himself, “Bart vs. Thanksgiving”.  Both episodes are built around holidays, but, more importantly, both episodes involve Bart acting out and Marge dealing with it.

When Marge yells at Bart in “Bart vs. Thanksgiving”, all the emotional weight of the episode is condensed into a single devastating line that comes like a kick to the stomach: “I hope you’re happy, Bart, you’ve ruined Thanksgiving!”.  That is Marge at a full boil (and a bravura delivery by Kavner), and for Bart it comes completely out of the blue.  He has no idea how much he hurt Lisa, which is why he doesn’t understand that his cavalier attitude about it is what pushed his mother over the top from angry to enraged. 

Bart vs Thanksgiving7

Yikes indeed.

This is (yet another) one of those scenes from The Simpsons that just flat out works from start to finish.  Everyone is in character.  The feelings, actions and relationships involved are believable and realistic.  And you don’t feel bored or cheated that the rest of the story is spent resolving the conflict set up in this moment because the emotional punch of the scene is devastating.  Just look at the aftermath:

  • Homer & Marge – Furious at Bart, but that quickly turns to fear and remorse when they find out he’s gone. 
  • Lisa – Crushed that her centerpiece, a “labor of love”, was destroyed by the brother who constantly overshadows and torments her.  It breaks her in a way that no previous incident has because she begins to suspect that Bart is irredeemable, which is both sad in and of itself and bad news for her in general. 
  • Bart – Sees the destruction of the centerpiece as an accident and is self centered enough that he genuinely doesn’t understand why everyone is so upset over it.  With Lisa, Homer and Marge all seriously angry at him, he gets defensive and bails. 

The ruining of Lisa’s centerpiece is such a titanic moment that the show needs only to lightly reference the emotions it generates with little and humorous touches afterwards.  When Bart tramples the flowers he has to remind himself that he’s mad.  When Lisa tries to read the family her poem there’s just the briefest moment of resignation on her face as she is, once again, instantly set aside as the family chases down Bart.

“Marge Be Not Proud” doesn’t have anything even approaching that kind of deft touch with its story.  Bart’s remorse is constantly paraded before the audience, as though we’d forgotten it from a few seconds ago.  They lay it on so thick that Bart gets caught not once, but twice.  There’s basically no progress to the story in between his encounters with the security guard, it’s just one drawn out sequence of Bart feeling bad about himself.  “Bart vs. Thanksgiving” has a lot going on so it never gets bogged down rehashing what we already know.  “Marge Be Not Proud” has just the single thread: Bart and Marge feeling bad about each other, and it pounds it into the ground.

Much of the episode is one event after another that reinforces Bart’s guilt about stealing the game.  Right from the time Brodka (whose Lawrence Tierney gruffness is great) puts his hand on Bart’s shoulder, it’s an unrelenting parade of the exact same thing.  There’s Bart walking through the mall with Brodka; there’s Santa rejecting Bart; there’s Brodka leaving the unsparing message on the answering machine; there’s Bart being told he has to go back to the store; there’s Marge pointing out that he’s ruined all their past photos.  Each segment strikes the same tone: Bart feels bad.  And all that happens before he gets caught the second time, after which the guilt trip really starts to get heavy.

Marge Be Not Proud3

Are you tired of seeing this expression?  This episode isn’t. 

Interspersed with all that is a lot of very funny stuff (“Where was I?  Oh yeah, stay out of my booze!”), but it can’t conceal the fact that this episode has the emotional range and progression of a metronome.  It just keeps hitting that same point over and over and over and over and over.

The monotony of it not only leaves the episode wanting in terms of emotional depth, it also guarantees that the ending is going to be face meltingly obvious.  Since the episode has spent so much time wracking Bart with guilt, the only thing it can do at the end is have him finally, at long last, make good.  All those scenes of Bart looking nervous, embarrassed, worried, remorseful, etcetera paint it into a corner from where there is only one, hacktacular exit.

The same isn’t true of “Bart vs. Thanksgiving”.  When Bart returns to the house after having been at the homeless shelter, he stops short of walking in the door because he has no way of knowing that everyone is worried about him and that his return will be welcomed.  He still doesn’t understand why they were so mad at him and fears a repeat.  From his point of view, their anger was a grotesque and hurtful overreaction, and since he hasn’t spoken with them since, he has no idea what to expect now.

Bart vs Thanksgiving8

Even in the harsh moments, things stay funny.

In turn, that sets up his rooftop reconciliation with Lisa, which is both sweet and lined with little jokes to keep things light (“the boy nobody wanted just won the Super Bowl”, “did they cry?”/“yes”/“whoa, bulls-eye!”).  Every character acts according to what they know at the time, and all the scenes work within both the plot and emotional boundaries that were established earlier.

The ending of “Marge Be Not Proud” is much clumsier (though still a far cry from Zombie Simpsons).  Just like in Season 2, the big moment is Bart returning to the house, this time after having gotten a nice picture of himself taken.  Right here the episode opens up a rather stark plot hole.  Bart went back to the Try-N-Save and had no problem whatsoever with Brodka.  Huh?  A big chunk of the middle of the episode is the fact that Bart can’t go to the Try-N-Save.  Did that restriction get lifted?  They don’t say.

More immediately jarring is the way they stage Bart’s return.  After he walks into the house the show puts on this big confrontation between Marge and Bart over what Bart has in his jacket.  Marge and the audience are supposed to believe that it’s the video game, but Bart knows it’s his picture (with receipt, just in case you didn’t get it yet).  Since Bart knows that, what is the point of that little mini-chase?  Of Bart’s terrified looking behavior?  Bart’s been trying to make good for a third of the episode at that point, are we really supposed to think he’s stolen video game?  The entire scene is fake tension filler before we get to the hammy conclusion that we all knew was coming.

Marge Be Not Proud2

It’s Christmas, so Bart is apparently aware that the end must involve lots of ham.

This is the problem with having such a formulaic, one note plot: it leaves you with no option for resolving it other than cheese drenched schmaltz, a sentiment the show had rigorously avoided to that point.  And since it’s something Bart’s been trying to do for most of the episode, by the time it finally happens it’s more of a relief than a resolution.

There’s real emotional pain in both of these episodes, but “Bart vs. Thanksgiving” uses it mostly in the background to drive a typical Simpsons story.  Even better, the emotional state of the characters changes as they go through the plot.  Bart realizes that the family he was so mad at is actually the best thing he’s got; Lisa feels sad that Bart is gone even after what happened.  Finally, they have their private moment on the roof where Bart at last becomes aware of what he originally did.

“Marge Be Not Proud” puts its lone emotion front and center where it weighs everything else down and makes the story painfully simplistic.  It’s a single note compared to a symphony, and while there’s a lot of decent stuff in between, the episode has the same kind of weak structure that characterizes so many bad episodes that have come since.  If you can abide that one note droning in the background, then more power to you for Troy McClure’s shoplifting video, “SimReich”, and the way Lisa drops the can of fake snow.  I can’t.  Too many bad episodes, “The Principal and the Pauper” included, start rattling around inside my head.

(Oh, and do read Mike’s whole post, it’s got lots more of the good stuff than this does.) 


Quote of the Day

Bart vs Thanksgiving6

“Now, before we sit down to our delicious turkey puree, I have some happy news.  The following people have relatives who wish they could be here today: Antonovsky, Conroy, Falcone, Martin, Thorson, and Walsh . . . oh, and Mrs. Spencer, you too.” – Springfield Retirement Castle Guy
“Oh, I knew they wouldn’t forget me.” – Mrs. Spencer


Quote of the Day

Bart vs Thanksgiving5

“Listen guys, I was thinking, um, unless you feel weird about taking money from a kid, I thought maybe . . .” – Bart Simpson
“I wouldn’t feel weird, would you?” – Bum #1
“No, I’m comfortable with it.” – Bum #2

Happy Birthday Greg Berg!

(At least, I think it’s his birthday.  It’s been removed from his Wikipedia page, but on the old revision it says December 14th.) 


Quote of the Day

Bart vs Thanksgiving4

“Ohh, what a hit!” – Gil #1
“Oh yeah, he’s out cold, Gil.” – Gil #2
“Oh, yes sir, looks like they’ll be feeding him Thanksgiving dinner through a tube.” – Gil #1
“Hope they can fit a turkey in there.” – Gil #2
“Get on with it, Gil.” – Gil #1


Quote of the Day

Bart vs Thanksgiving3

“And lord, we’re especially thankful for nuclear power, the cleanest, safest energy source there is . . . except for solar, which is just a pipe dream.” – Homer Simpson

Happy 20th anniversary to “Bart vs. Thanksgiving”!  Original airdate: 22 November 1990. 


Collectable Cookies


“I don’t know why I did it.  I don’t know why I enjoyed it.  And I don’t know why I’ll do it again.” – Bart Simpson

Shitty, unimaginative marketers have long taken advantage of the idea of “collecting”.  The basic premise is simple enough: you create a group of things, and all but dare people to spend money getting them all.  The more they get, the better for you.  It’s simple, easy and profitable; and on some level it even makes sense, e.g. all the players on a Major League roster, or all the main characters from a Star Trek series. 

Not surprisingly, the marketing jackasses behind Simpsons merchandise are big fans of this idea.  For example, should you find yourself at Comic-Con this weekend, you can get an “exclusive” Lard Lad figurine, amongst other FOX intellectual properties.  I see press releases and news posts all the time touting Set X of Characters Y from Company Z.  However, profiting from people’s desire for completeness, exploiting that urge to have the entire set, can cross over from simple exploitation into an unthinking reflex.  If you give a lab rat a treat every time he presses a lever, he’s going to press that fucking lever until his arm falls off. 

It is in that context that one must appreciate this most recent example of Simpsons merchandise.  These are Simpsons cookies.  From the looks of things they appear to be some variety of short bread, no big deal there.  But take a look at the packaging and you’ll see the addict’s word “collect”.  Mini-MagnetIndeed, every package comes with one of thirty(!) “MEGA MAGNETS” “to collect”.  As you can see from the photo at right, at about two inches long there is nothing at all “mega” about them.  In fact, the word “mega” has been so ill applied here that one has to wonder whether or not they are even magnets. 

The urge to conjure something collectable has become borderline pathological for the people behind Simpsons merchandise.  How else can one explain using the cudgel of collectability to sell a few extra packages of a perishable foodstuff?  In different circumstances, this kind of monomaniacal focus would be grounds for psychiatric medical treatment; here, however, we’ll have to content ourselves with a hearty round of pointing and laughing from the internet peanut gallery. 

Ease down, fellas, for your own sake.  I’m sure you have plenty of other tricks up your sleeve when it comes to conning people into thinking a drawing on the package makes something valuable, why not use another one for a change? 


Simpsons Script Goes Under the Hammer in Britain

“Hey, you’ve got to be eighteen to sell your blood, let’s see some I.D.” – Nurse
“Here you go doll face.” – Bart Simpson
“Okay Homer, just relax.” – Nurse
“Oww!” – Bart Simpson

This is cool.  Not only is this a production script for Season 2’s excellent “Bart vs. Thanksgiving”, but it’s signed by Maggie Roswell.  Here’s the story (via CDInsight):

The 28 year-old has had the script in his possession for almost 20 years after it was given to him by one of the voice actresses.

Adam used to help his parents at their Aberfoyle B&B in Creag-Ard House and in the summer of 1990 a group of American ladies visited.

His father Andrew said: “The ladies were very taken with him but when he wasn’t helping out, all he did was watch ‘The Simpsons’.

“When they found this out, one of them said she was a friend of one of the people who did the voices.

“And a few weeks later, a script from the show arrived at our home for Adam.”

That last part doesn’t quite make sense because, as you can see below, Roswell listed the voices she does an included “Sharry Bobbins”, who didn’t exist in 1990.  (And wouldn’t be first aired until 1997.)  Also the note asks if he remembers this one, but it wasn’t broadcast in the States until November of 1990, I’ve no idea when it would’ve made it to Britain.  So I think the script may have shown up a little bit later than just a few weeks after the visit, but I don’t think that minor mix up matters in the least. 

I emailed the auction house and they were kind enough to reply with the image of the script.  It sold to an Midlands collector for £340 (plus the 20.13% “buyer’s premium” made the final price £408).  

Auctioned Simpsons Script

Image courtesy Dominic Winter Book Auctions, all rights reserved.

Ironically enough none of the characters listed there are actually in this episode.  SNPP has Roswell credited as both the blood donor nurse and “Mrs. Spencer” (who feels slightly less unloved when her family faxes her on Thanksgiving).  Still, that’s very cool. 

Updated: I really should read everything before I push “Publish”.  According to the auction house listing, in addition to the script itself there’s also :

an accompanying letter and airmail envelope (August 1998), plus a colour publicity photo for The Simpsons and a photograph of the young Adam with the sender of the letter and script, Liz Beerman

So they got the script in 1998, which makes sense.  So much for my detective work. 


Quote of the Day

Cowboys Thanksgiving

Image used under Creative Commons license from Flickr user brandonink2001.

“See Maggie, those silver and blue guys are the Dallas Cowboys.  They’re Daddy’s favorite team, and he wants ’em to lose by less than five and a half points.  Understand?” – Homer Simpson

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!  Incidentally, the Cowboys are 12 point favorites over the Raiders this afternoon. 


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Even though it’s obvious to anyone with a functional frontal lobe and a shred of morality, we feel the need to include this disclaimer. This website (which openly advocates for the cancellation of a beloved television series) is in no way, shape or form affiliated with the FOX Network, the News Corporation, subsidiaries thereof, or any of Rupert Murdoch’s wives or children. “The Simpsons” is (unfortunately) the intellectual property of FOX. We and our crack team of one (1) lawyer believe that everything on this site falls under the definition of Fair Use and is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. No revenue is generated from this endeavor; we’re here because we love “The Simpsons”. And besides, you can’t like, own a potato, man, it’s one of Mother Earth’s creatures.

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