Posts Tagged ‘Dog of Death


Simpsons Alumni Update: George Meyer & the Mr. Burns Toad

Mr. Burns Toad

Both images from Conservation International.

“Why here’s the fellow.  Wiry, fast, firm proud buttocks, reminds me of me.” – C.M. Burns

Deep in the jungle primeval in Colombia, a couple of new species were discovered, a frog and two toads, to be precise.  One of them, pictured above of the genus Rhinella, was dubbed, in an excellent publicity ploy, the “Mr. Burns” toad.  Unlike that “Homer Simpson gene” from a few months ago, these scientists have a Simpsons alum to back up their gimmick.  Here’s Dr. Robin Moore:

"As for the new beaked toad, it is easily one of the strangest amphibians I have ever seen. Its long pointy snout-liked nose reminds me of the nefarious villain, Mr. Burns, from The Simpsons television series."

After seeing pictures of the new species, Simpsons series long time writer/producer and amphibian enthusiast, George Meyer said of the resemblance, "The toad’s imperious profile and squinty eyes indeed look like Monty Burns." Meyer is an active member of Conservation International’s Chairman’s Council.

Here’s the toad looking imperial and godlike:

Mr. Burns Toad2

(via Columbia Reports)


Reading Digest: Powers of 10 Edition

“Just think what we can buy with that money: history books that know how the Korean War came out, math books that don’t have that base six crap in them, and a state of the art detention hall where children are held in place with magnets.” – Principal Skinner

For whatever reason there were a lot of lists of ten this week, which gives me the perfect excuse to link to the classic “Powers of 10” science video.  We’ve also got lots of excellent usage, a giant donut I assume was a movie tie in, a technical discussion that cites Comic Book Guy, and the best Mother’s Day video ever.  Enjoy.

Creatively uncommon – Excellent usage. 

Proud of Being Ignorant – Barack Obama gave a speech where he said:

With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations–none of which I know how to work

Which lead to video of Bleeding Gums Murphy’s guest appearance on The Cosby Show

It’s a good thing mothers can even love nerds – Awesome and uber-nerdy Mother’s Day YouTube video combined with slightly off but perfectly apt usage. 

Dear L. L. Bean: I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change – Bart’s definition of a paradox is ever so slightly off here, but it’s not in quotes so I’m still calling it excellent usage. 

Lisa Simpson fan… – Click through for a cool as hell Lisa collage that’s signed by Yeardley Smith. 

donuts are awsome! – I assume this is old, but I’d never seen it before.  Basically, it’s the ur-donut. 

Tera Trevino Will Bring Friendswood’s Low-Rider Culture To A Shocked America – Excellent usage:

Remember Nelson Muntz coming out of Naked Lunch with Bart Simpson et al? "I can think of at least two things wrong with that title," he says.

That’s the general sense viewers of ABC’s Wife Swap get.

The 40 Best Cartoon Characters of All Time – This is one of those lists that’s spread over a ton of pages to artificially inflate the pageviews, so I’ll just give you the summary:

#35 Flanders
#26 Krusty
#20 Bart
#12 Lisa
#1 Homer

It goes almost without saying that no other show had anywhere near that many characters on the list. 

Top 10 Simpsons Food References – This is an excellent list from top to bottom.  (via Springfield Springfield’s Twitter feed)

Top Ten TV Moms. (Now with 50% more Marion Ross!) – Marge checks in at #5, and I like the inclusion of Bob Saget. 

10 Clowns That Won’t Make You Laugh! – Though he makes me laugh, Krusty is #10.  #1 is John Wayne Gacy. 

Bit Rate and Baud Rate and THE SIMPSONS – A discussion of bits and bauds with excellent usage from Comic Book Guy’s failed attempt to see Kate Mulgrew naked.

Last Night’s Top Chef Masters Didn’t Have Me Saying "D’Oh!" – Groening and Azaria were on Top Chef Masters, this reviewer was pleased. 

Ranking Bob Dylan Songs, #23: Blowin’ In The Wind – Our old friends at No Pun Intended are breaking down Bob Dylan, and this one comes with excellent usage. 

Today, I made Matt Groening Proud! – Excellent usage and a neat t-shirt.  Bravo. 

Music Editor for "The Simpsons" shares the importance of music – Pretty much what it says, with a little behind the scenes info on the scoring. 

Post Final Musings – Congratulations on graduating, and I enjoyed the backstory behind the quote, but nobody ever seems to get this quote right:

(Lisa) “I’m going to become a vegetarian”

(Homer) “Does that mean you’re not going to eat any pork?”



“Yes Dad”


“Dad all those meats come from the same animal”

“Right Lisa, some wonderful, magical animal!”

For the record, the quote is:

Homer: Lisa, honey, are you saying you’re never going eat any animal again?  What about bacon?
Lisa: No.
Homer: Ham?
Lisa: No.
Homer: Pork chops?
Lisa: Dad!  Those all come from the same animal!
Homer: Yeah right, Lisa, a wonderful, magical animal.

Simpsons Charactors We Need More Of – I long ago gave up any hope of the show becoming watchable again, but this is a mildly interesting list, and I love the picture of Kang and Kodos.

Happy Birthday, The Simpsons! – Much too much Zombie Simpsons on here, but there’s some decent Simpsons love as well. 

Ten Times The Simpsons Jumped The Shark – This is an excellent list, what it’s doing on I have no idea (via JG2Land). 

That one animated TV show – And finally, someone who agrees with us:

Remember when you looked forward to watching a new episode of the Simpsons?

Click through for a sweet animated .gif. 


It Could (But Won’t) Happen to You

“In fact, every copy of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” has been checked out from the Springfield Public Library.  Of course the book does not contain any hints on how to win the lottery, it is rather a chilling tale of conformity gone mad.” – Kent Brockman

We have an entire week to pick apart this pedestrian and lifeless Zombie Simpsons outing.  There are plenty of recycled jokes, gaping plot contradictions, and labored set pieces with which to play.  (When winning the lottery is the most relatable thing that happens there is little hope for anything but fail.)  For right now though I’ll just say one thing.  When The Simpsons was still on the air it treated the lottery as what it really is: a tax on the mathematically ignorant that taunts the poor into furthering their poverty.  Zombie Simpsons treats the lottery the way the mathematically ignorant see it, as a plausibility upon which self important fantasies can be based.  There is, I suppose, a certain populist charm to that fantastic notion, but naive hope and wanton stupidity did not make this show what it was. 


Synergy Enjoys the Nostalgia Firehose

Dog of Death5

“What’s the matter boy?  Don’t you know me?  I’m your buddy!  I love you boy.” – Bart Simpson

It’s always heartwarming to see a lapdog and its owner reconciled, especially when the rekindled love comes about because they remembered the good times.  This week’s IGN review was a fawning love letter, not so much for any of this episode’s original content but just because Zombie Simpsons opened the nostalgia valve all the way.  As Dave said in our chat, the Plow King was “fan service” and, lo and behold, the mere appearance of the Plow King, however jokeless it may have been, “brought a smile”.  As always, I’ve edited out the synergy.

December 14, 2009 – With its focus on Bart’s longing for a little brother, "O Brother, Where Bart Thou?" was a fun forgettable and entertaining formulaic outing for The Simpsons Zombie Simpsons. Packed with guest voices, the episode did well by sticking to floundered with one main story instead of adding an even weaker "B" storyline to fill out the half hour. Though Bart may never get his younger brother, we at least got another low quality episode after a couple less than impressive installments.

Things began with Springfield getting hit by a snowstorm, causing the schools to shut down and giving Bart a snow day. Comically With contrived CGI, the weather prevented Bart from ever getting outside, and once stuck in the house, a power outage prevented Bart from enjoying his videogames and DVDs. Bart’s attempt to watch "Itchy and Scratchy" using the electricity he could generate from rubbing a balloon against his hair was a highlight particularly stupid but did take up a lot of his struggle to find something to do. Meanwhile, Lisa and Maggie were playing together and enjoying their sisterly bond. Bart tried to play with his sisters for some reason, but was put off by their dress-up game. Bart tried to cover for having no one to play with by insisting he was "a bad ass loner like Wolverine, who leaves whenever people beg him to stay."

That evening, despite claiming no dream pointless, time killing storyFAIL could convince him he needed a little brother, a dream convinced Bart he needed a little brother. The dream wasted a lot of fun time, starting with cameos from the Marx Brothers and the Blues Brothers. We also got a glimpse of Sideshow Bob and his brother Cecil flying kites together. The series, of late, seems to be referencing older episodes more often. [Ed. Note: No shit.]  Whether a conscious decision because of the anniversary season, or just a coincidence, it works as a short cut to reminiscent laughs serves to highlight how creatively bankrupt this show has become. This episode also had Barney as The Plow King. No real joke was involved, but it brought a smile to this long-time fan’s face served to reinforce the fact that this show’s only remaining appeal is through nostalgia.

Other notables in Bart’s brother dream were the Manning brothers Peyton and Eli, plus their older brother Cooper. If you don’t know, Cooper was also on track for a professional football career until he was sidelined by injury, so his bragging about high school achievements to his Super Bowl winning brothers was funny and bittersweet factually correct. The Smothers Brothers cameo (and closing credit dialogue—"naked bacon") was also a lot of fun, more pointless nostalgia for anyone old enough to know whom the Smothers Brothers are. Now wanting a younger brother, Bart set out to make it happen in horrifyingly characterless and boring ways.

This was a fine what passed for a storyline, and offered up a number of great bits ways to make it to the credits. Bart’s failed attempts to trick his parents into fornicating were enjoyable outright dull, including Marge and Homer attempting a position from the Kama Sutra: "You’re ankle goes there." "Hand me your neck." The South Park reference was cute about nine years too late, but still lacked any real joke. Bart imagining his future with a third sister was also fun cribbed from a less moribund franchise, with Kim Cattrall offering up another guest voice for the episode.

Bart’s one day with a little brother (an orphan voiced by Jordan Nagai, Russell from Up) was also enjoyable labored beyond all hope of entertainment. It offered up my favorite line of the episode ("He’s just like Annie, except he’s a dude and he hates tomorrow.") plus it taught us a great lesson about poking dead animals with a stick: "Don’t go straight for the eyes. Build up to it." Best of all, like the better Simpsons most brainless schlocky Zombie Simpsons episodes, it ended with a sweet moment crammed down our eyeballs reminding us that even with all his shortcomings, Bart will always have his dad… to watch torture porn R-rated movies with.


Saturday Morning Cartoons

Of all the many things that limit commercially supported television programs, the need to cram the story into a defined schedule, complete with rigidly timed advertising breaks, may be the most restrictive.  It’s not easy to tell a story in a such a specific amount of time, much less with the need for a small cliffhanger every six to eight minutes.  Naturally The Simpsons always handled this with aplomb and one of the cleverest instances of it comes from Season 3’s “Dog of Death”. 

Just after the family’s lottery hopes are dashed, and they are put through the cruel wringer of witnessing a man already fabulously wealthier than them winning it right in front of their eyes, Grandpa announces “Hey, the dog’s dead.”  There’s a startled gasp from the family, a few notes of sad horn music, and a shot of a lifeless Santa’s Little Helper.  Cut to commercial.

The show returns to a shot of the dog clearly breathing.  Bart and Homer object to Grandpa’s pre-act break diagnosis.  Then Lisa finishes it off, rather angrily, with “It’s not fair to toy with people’s emotions like that.”  That line is perfect; it’s quick, subtle, and it makes fun of the format, the writers and their contempt for the audience.  It doesn’t slow the program down at all, as soon as it’s uttered Grandpa begins insisting (shades of reverse Monty Python) that contrary to all evidence the dog is indeed dead. 

That brief exchange, which lasts less than ten seconds, is a masterpiece of television comedy. 


Quote of the Day

Dog of Death4

“Now here’s a film that will turn you into a vicious, soulless killer.  Enjoy.” – C.M. Burns

Season 21 starts tonight, find your happy place and remember: there are still good and decent things in the world, just not on FOX Sundays at 8.


Quote of the Day

Dog of Death3

“Hey Homer, what’d you do, get a haircut or something?” – Lenny

“Look closer, Lenny.” – Gold Homer

“Oh, I know what it is.  You’re the biggest man in the world now, and you’re covered in gold.” – Lenny

“Fourteen karat gold!” – Gold Homer


Friday Link Dump – Canine Surgery Edition

Dog of Death1

“I love animals; I’ve spent my life saving them and they can’t thank me.  Well, the parrots can, but anyway let’s see what’s wrong with this little fella.” – Springfield Veterinarian

Our first item this week is a dog that needed emergency surgery because of Simpsons merchandise.  Given the sheer amount and amazing variety of stuff that’s been produced over the years (and the years still to come), anthropologists working a thousand years from now may conclude that this “The Simpsons” was a religious cult based around icon worship.  Also, we’ve got some more about the stamps (which came out this week), a meandering essay about religion and Flanders, and Simpsons usage ranging from top notch to incredibly awful.  

Doh! Dixie The Dog Swallows Simpson Toy – A dog in Scotland ate a chocolate egg with a small, plastic Homer figure hidden in it.  Surgery was required.  At the link there’s a nice X-ray image of the Homer-egg while it was still inside the dog, and there’s a picture of the dog with the thing removed here.  

 Cowabunga, dude! ‘Simpsons’ stamps get special cancellation – For the next thirty days the post office in Springfield, OH will be doing a Bart Simpson cancellation of your Simpsons stamp, all you have to do is write in with a self-addressed Simpsons-stamped envelope.  

Woo hoo! “The Simpsons” Come to Simpsonville with Special Postmarks – Ditto Simpsonville, SC.  

Clash of the toons – A brief history of the always tedious battle between Family Guy and Zombie Simpsons, with a dash of South Park thrown in for good measure.  

Deerhunter frontman talks new EP, future plans – A marathon session of season 17?  Jebus, that’s a depressing thought.  

The Simpsons – A Hive of Venomous Patriarchy – Our friend the Communist Critic is at it again.  

Simpsons Pop-Culture Reference Smackdown!The New York Times‘ Arts Beat blog provides further proof that referencing pop-culture is pretty much the only thing Zombie Simpsons does.  

‘Draft widow’ gives in to CFL obsession – It’s that time of year again, time for CFL draft mania!  The quote is a tiny bit off, but this still qualifies as excellent usage.  

‘Dollhouse’ exclusive: Alpha breaks his silence! – I am not a ‘Dollhouse’ watcher, but anytime I see an actor refer to himself as having “a Ned Flanders kind of body”, it gets linked.  

What mom really wants – A Canadian survey shows that:

The Cosby Show’s Claire Huxtable rated as respondents’ favourite mom (23%), with Jill Taylor from Home Improvement coming a close second (19%) and Marge Simpson ranked third at 14%. Least favourite? Bree Van De Kamp from Desperate Housewives.

I guess June Cleaver and Morticia Adams weren’t options.  

God is back: How Ned Flanders won the evangelical crusade – Want to read a 3,000 word diatribe on how religion (mostly Jebus) is thriving in today’s society?  No?  How about if I told you it had lots of Ned Flanders in it?  Still no?  Well, I tried.  

Even X-Men Know: Today’s Free Comic Book Day – It’s misquoted but it’s still decent usage.    

Nothing’s impossible – Now this is excellent usage, pertinent and perfectly quoted.  Also, the video of the old-people mask being made is pretty cool.  I still think most old-people makeup in movies and on television looks fake, but it’s not for a lack of effort.  

8 Simpson Chalkboard Gags That Should’ve Landed Bart in Prison (Not Detention) – The actual legal penalties for various evil deeds for which Bart has been punished over the years.  (via)

Lindsay Lohan Is Self-destructive, Say Friends. Duh! – I realize this is a Simpsons site, and that we’re sticklers for good usage in a way that most people would probably find silly, but this isn’t just bad usage, this is straight up pop-culture ignorance on an amazing scale:

As Homer Simpson would say, “Duh!”

Yeah, that’s Homer’s famous catchphrase alright, “Duh!”.  And it’s not like Robert Paul Reyes of News Blaze is some elderly librarian trying to be hip in the church bulletin or the like, he’s writing a gossip column, pop-culture is his stock in trade.  Epic fail.  (Also, fuck you for making me click on a Lindsay Lohan story.)  

Top 10 ‘Simpsons’ Prank Calls – Why is this at the Chicago Tribune‘s website?  Who cares?  It’s funny and there’s nary a one from Zombie Simpsons.  The list bears a striking resemblance to this page at SNPP, including a couple of minor quoting errors, so methinks Mike Holtzclaw didn’t exactly look these up himself.  Shame on him for not linking, but hooray for prank call lists.  

For whatever it’s worth, in my experience SNPP does a better job than anyone else at strict quote accuracy, but even they’ve got a few little misses.  Sometimes these are debatable because more than one word fits, but in this case quote #10 on the Tribune link is clearly wrong.  Both it and the SNPP page have part of Moe’s response as, “I’m gonna kill you!” when he actually says “I’ll kill you!”  It’s not, obviously, a big deal, but it does show that Holtzclaw copied these and didn’t link instead of looking them up himself.  


Friday Link Dump – Not About Stamps Edition

“Well, he’s got all the money in the world but there’s one thing he can’t buy.” – Homer Simpson
“What’s that?” – Marge Simpson
“. . . A dinosaur!” – Homer Simpson


By avoiding anything and everything that had to do with the Simpsons stamps this week I got a pretty motley group, from triceratops to transvestism. 

New Fossil Discovery in Montana’s Homer Site – More news from our favorite Triceratops dig, apparently juveniles lived in groups.  No word on whether or not the mother was a put upon housewife. 

Kids, writing should never be a punishment – A guy in Minnesota thinks that making students write lines or punitive essays is a bad practice.  Here’s the Simpsons part:

Checking online, apparently writing still serves as a punishment in some schools, though it isn’t as widespread as it once was and it was never as widespread as the entertainment field makes it out to be. (Think Bart Simpson at the introduction to “The Simpsons.”)

The practice was going out of style, but I spent some time in the late eighties and early nineties writing things over and over again (on a chalkboard and on paper).  I thought it was pretty common. 

The Hours: 24, Season 7: The weaponized megavirus will be ready at the end of the episode. – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: 24 is unwatchably bad.  Here’s the passage that got it linked today:

Some mercs in an armored Humvee drive by, so Knowles tries to create a distraction, Bart Simpson style, which means he pretty much just runs out and yells “Look at me, everybody, I’m Chairman of the Board!” They throw his dumb ass in the back of the Humvee.

I don’t know about you, but I’m sure on the edge of my seat.

What belongs in the Oregon encyclopedia? – If you’re in Corvallis (home of Oregon State University) you can attend a lecture on the 27th about assembling the Oregon Encyclopedia titled, “What Beavers, Ducks, Bart Simpson and Leroy Vinnegar Have in Common, or How to Make a State Encyclopedia of Oregon.”  Groening is from Oregon, hence Bart makes the cut. 

Teacher becomes blue-haired lunch lady to settle a good-natured bet – At last, an excuse to wear makeup. 

Chatting Up Chicks The Vassar Way – This is stupid, but it makes the links for having both an explicit Simpsons reference at the get go and a slightly subtler one in the middle.

Friday’s TV: Medium – This kind of crap cannot go unchallenged:

Despite its age, The Simpsons survives. The writing isn’t as sharp as it once was (the best years were somewhere in the middle, where it played a little closer to the darkness) but this is still a robust, engaging comedy with a lot to say about American life.

Were it a weaker program it might have resorted to aping its nemesis, Family Guy, with the non sequiturs and pop-culture references that have made that show a must-watch comedy. But The Simpsons is better than that and deserves some respect for staying true to itself.

I want you to hang up, call me back and say the exact opposite of everything you just said.

Steve and Mia: She’s longing for a romantic man – Steve the advice columnist accurately quotes Lisa and does so in context.  Excellent usage. 

The Price of Admission – This is about Cornell admitting more rich dolts instead of poorer brainiacs and it also contains a well formulated Simpsons analogy.

Green Energy Act a Trojan horse for building more nuclear reactors – A bunch of Greenpeace protesters in Canada donned Mr. Burns masks.  This image is a little small, but you can see a bunch of yellow heads pretty clearly.


"The man you trusted isn't Wavy Gravy at all.  And all this time I've been smoking harmless tobacco." - C.M. Burns

"The man you trusted isn't Wavy Gravy at all. And all this time I've been smoking harmless tobacco." - C.M. Burns


The Simpsons Softball Team: 2009 Edition – What players would Mr. Burns use as ringers today?  After all, Cap Anson and Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown are still dead.


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