Posts Tagged ‘Duffless


Quote of the Day

“You don’t have to start drinking right away. I was thinking we could go for a bike ride.” – Marge Simpson
“But, Marge, the bar flies are expecting me, Moe and Barney and that guy who calls me Bill.” – Homer Simpson
“But you look better! You don’t sweat while you eat anymore. And, look, you’ve saved more than a hundred dollars! I found it in your pants.” – Marge Simpson
“Yoink!” – Homer Simpson


Makeup Quote of the Day

“It’s been four-thousand days since my last drink. It was my first and last blackberry schnapps.” – Ned Flanders
“Ned, did you clip Ann Landers today?” – Maude Flanders
“Ann Landers is a boring old biddy.” – Ned Flanders
“Ned!” – Maude Flanders
“I was more animal than man!” – Ned Flanders


Makeup Quote of the Day

“Hey, Barney, I think you’ve had enough.” – Homer Simpson
“Are you crazy? We still haven’t tried Raspberry Duff, Lady Duff, Tartar Control Duff…” – Barney Gumble


Quote of the Day

“I want the most intelligent hamster you’ve got.” – Lisa Simpson
“Okay . . . This little guy writes mysteries under the name of J.D. MacGregor.” – All Creatures Great and Cheap Clerk
“How can a hamster write mysteries?” – Lisa Simpson
“Well, he gets the ending first, then he works backward.” – All Creatures Great and Cheap Clerk
“Aw, come on.” – Lisa Simpson
“Look, kid, just take him before his mother eats him, alright?” – All Creatures Great and Cheap Clerk


Quote of the Day

“I’ve grown a futuristic tomato by fertilizing it with anabolic steroids.” – Lisa Simpson
“The kind that help our Olympic athletes reach new peaks of excellence?” – Bart Simpson
“The very same!” – Bart Simpson


Quote of the Day

“Hello?” – Marge Simpson
“Uh, yeah, Mrs. Simpson, I have some bad news. Your husband was found DOA.” – Chief Wiggum
“Oh my God! He’s dead?” – Marge Simpson
“Oh, wait, I mean DWI! I always get those two mixed up.” – Chief Wiggum
“My name is Mrs. Phillips, you said my husband is DWI.” – Mrs. Phillips
“Uh . . . why don’t you talk to that officer over there. I’m going out to lunch!” – Chief Wiggum


Quote of the Day


“My name is Hans. Drinking has ruined my life. I’m thirty-one years old!” – Hans Moleman


Quote of the Day


“Your license is hereby revoked! And you are to attend traffic school and two months of alconon meetings.” – Judge
“Your honer, I’d like that last remark stricken from the record.” – Homer Simpson
“No.” – Judge


Quote of the Day


“I don’t know if I like you experimenting on your brother.” – Marge Simpson
“Please, mother, it’s purely in the interest of science.” – Lisa Simpson
“That’ll learn him to bust my tomater!” – Lisa’s Brain

Happy birthday Yeardley Smith!


Quote of the Day


“Homer, I want you to encourage Lisa with her science fair project.” – Marge Simpson
“Yeah, syrup is better than jelly.” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day


“I propose to determine the answer to the question: is my brother dumber than a hamster.” – Lisa Simpson
“Hey, Lis, look what I can do! . . . Doggone it.” – Bart Simpson


Compare & Contrast: Vintage Duff Commercials


“Only Duff fills your Q zone with pure beer goodness.  So drink up, and up, and up!” – Cartoon Doctor
“Duff Beer, proud sponsors of Amos ‘n Andy!” – Narrator 

It’s always nice when Zombie Simpsons provides a wealth of options for Compare & Contrast.  For “Waiting for Duffman”, I could’ve gone with Homer quitting drinking like he did in “Duffless”.  Of course, there he quits because Marge thinks he might have a problem and we see just how awful and ubiquitous beer advertising really is, whereas here he gets a fake microchip implanted in him and screams a lot.  I could’ve also gone with the Duff calendar contest from “Pygmoelian” against that hapless, celebrity voiced reality show facsimile they strung together this week.  I almost contrasted the time Lisa rejected being a corporate spokeshack in “Lisa the Beauty Queen” with Homer’s abrupt and nonsensical about face as Duffman.  Hell, I could’ve even gone with Homer being dropped into a store’s publicity event, which is done much better in “Homie the Clown” than it was this week.

Instead, I want to take a detailed look at that one-dimensional Yogi Bear beer commercial and how poorly it fares next to the one Homer and Barney see on the brewery tour in “Duffless”.  The premises here are exactly the same: wildly sleazy commercials from a time when advertising could get away with even more than they can these days.  The differences are all in the execution.

The problems with the Zombie Simpsons version begin even before the commercial itself.  The scene preceding the commercial is that big Game of Thrones montage that takes up nearly a minute and a half.  That thing finishes with Homer taking an oath in this room:


From there, the family and the beer guy are walking in this hall:


And from there, with nary a single word of intervening or introductory dialogue, they walk over to a TV and start watching:


Normally, I accuse Zombie Simpsons of overexplaining things, be they jokes, plot points, or whatever.  (And Jebus knows they do that enough elsewhere in this one.)  But this is them actually doing the opposite.  We can infer from the stuff on the walls that they’re in some kind of Duff museum, but the beer guy doesn’t appear to be giving them a tour (he certainly isn’t saying anything) and the TV they walk up to just snaps on without any of them so much as even looking at it.  Immediately they all stare at it and we go into the commercial in full.  There’s no transition, no continuity, just one unrelated bit stuck between two others.

By contrast, at the Duff Brewery in “Duffless”, not only do we know where they are and why they’re there, but we get a quick introduction that sets up the commercial.  The tour guide, fresh off denying that a batch of Duff had been contaminated with strychnine, says:

Here’s one of our favorite Duff beer commercials from the early 1950s.

This is how you set up a bit: it’s short, the tour guide is still in character with his fake pride (“one of our favorite”), and it seamlessly drops in the historical context.  From there we get the commercial itself, which is wall to wall with jokes at the expense of both Duff and the 1950s: “q zone”, the doctor telling people to drink “up, and up and up”, and, of course, “Proud Sponsors” of Amos & Andy, last and grandest of the nakedly racist mainstream minstrel shows.


Plus, look what Wikipedia just told me:

Adapted to television, The Amos ‘n Andy Show was produced from June 1951 to April 1953 with 78 filmed episodes, sponsored by the Blatz Brewing Company.

Real life Amos ‘n’ Andy was actually sponsored by a very Duff like beer brand, that’s fantastic!  That’s the kind of density this show has: it’s twenty years later and I just got something new.

Compare that with the unintroduced, not quite Yogi Bear ad.  This is the full transcript:

Narrator: When life looks hopeless, it’s not.

Chorus: Duff beer, feeling no pain/
Made from Canadian rain

Chorus: Tastes like nickle champagne/
Not Yogi: It will tickle your brain

Animals: Duff beer, feeling no pain/
Made from Canadian rain

By Zombie Simpson standards, that song is pretty good.  It only repeats a lyric once, and it doesn’t even have a clock eating montage stuffed into it.

But it also takes much longer than the commercial in “Duffless”, and, worse, it doesn’t come at the expense of anyone but Yogi.  It’s just this little, self contained thing that, however funny it may or may not be on its own, can be dropped into a random scene because it relates to precisely nothing else in the episode.

In addition to being part of an episode that goes out of its way to mock beer and beer advertising, the “Duffless” commercial had a point: the 1950s sucked and we are well rid of them.  Justly deserved ridicule is rained down on commercials where beer gets sold with health claims, minstrel shows on television, and the people dumb enough to fall for the former while enjoying the latter.  The Yogi hunting commercial, on the other hand, is little more than cartoon violence.


Ha ha, they got shot [snare drum].

And while there’s nothing wrong with cartoon violence (I’m certainly a fan), if you want to be The Simpsons or even pretend to, you need more than just that.  Your beer commercial needs to be part and parcel of a larger whole; one that itself is making fun of huge variety of subjects.  It’s a tall order, I know, and Zombie Simpsons is never up to it, but The Simpsons always was.


Quote of the Day

How Boring

“The windup and the two-two pitch, oh, no, sir, wait a minute!  The batter is calling for time.  Looks like he’s going and getting himself a new bat.  And now there’s a beach ball on the field.  And the ballboys are discussing which one of them’s gonna go get it.” – Baseball Announcer
“I never realized how boring this game is.” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day


“Behold gravity, in all its glory!” – Milhouse van Houten
“Pretty lame, Milhouse.” – Mrs. Krabappel


Friday Evening Cartoons


“My name is Homer, and I’m just here because the court made me come.” – Homer Simpson
“Homer, with our help you’ll never touch a beer again.” – Reverend Lovejoy
“Ahh!” – Homer Simpson

I had a rather exhausting and awful week; but it is at an end now, which means I can sit on my ass and watch TV like a civilized person.  In doing so, I noticed something I don’t think I’ve ever noticed before.  At his first AA meeting, Homer bails out the window.  At his next meeting, there’s this:


That shot is only on screen very briefly before they cut to closeups of Lovejoy reassuring Homer and then Homer confessing that he ate the dirt under the bleachers.  But you can see that Homer’s escape window has now been boarded up.  Not repaired, just boarded up.  Twenty years and Jebus knows how many viewings, and I’m still catching things.  Gotta love The Simpsons


Quote of the Day


“What does the future hold for Duff?  Let’s just say we’ve got a few ideas up our sleeve.” – Brewery Tour Guide
“Like what?” – Homer Simpson
“Um, I’d rather not get into it right now.” – Brewery Tour Guide
“Why not?” – Homer Simpson
“Alright, we don’t have any ideas for the future.  We got nothing.  Happy?” – Brewery Tour Guide
“No.” – Homer Simpson


Bonus Quote of the Day


“Well, beer, we’ve had some great times . . .
When I was seventeen, I drank some very good beer.
I drank some very good beer I purchased with a fake ID,
My name was Brian McGee
I stayed up listening to Queen
When I was seventeen.” – Homer Simpson

Happy 20th anniversary to “Duffless”!  Original airdate: 18 February 1993.


Quote of the Day


“Hi, I’m actor Troy McClure!  You might remember me from such driver’s ed films as Alice’s Adventures Through the Windshield Glass and the Decapitation of Larry Leadfoot.” – Troy McClure


Quote of the Day


“Do you ever hide beer around the house?” – Marge Simpson
“Do I ever!” – Homer Simpson


Crazy Noises: Beware My Cheating Bart


“Bart, could you go get the cupcakes?” – Marge Simpson
“Cupcakes?  Cupcakes.  Yes.  Sweet cakes for all.” – Bart Simpson

As part of our tireless efforts to demonstrate the many ways Zombie Simpsons fails to entertain, Season 23 will be subjected to the kind of rigorous examination that can only be produced by people typing short messages at one another.  More dedicated or modern individuals might use Twitter for this, but that’s got graphics and short links and little windows that pop up when you put your cursor over things.  The only kind of on-line communications we like are the kind that could once be done at 2400 baud.  So disable your call waiting, plug in your modem, and join us for another year of Crazy Noises.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (especially on “water weenie”).

In one of the more telling segments of “Beware My Cheating Bart”, all manner of thinly mammary-related foodstuffs are paraded before the audience.  First there’s a suspiciously round mound of mashed potatoes, then Grampa calling Bart a “boob” and talking about chicken “breasts”, and finally Marge bringing over a plate of round cookies with little chocolate nipples in the middle.  The premise of all of this can roughly be translated as, “hurr, boobz funny”.

Now, plenty of people (myself very much included) have a healthy inner 9-year-old that will usually find something like that at least mildly amusing.  There aren’t many parts of the human body that aren’t at least kinda goofy, and there’s certainly no harm in the occasional cheap laugh.  What’s so amazing about Zombie Simpsons is that they managed to screw up even this most basic form of comedy. 

Hershey kiss nipples and noting that chickens also have a part on them called “breasts” are silly and juvenile, but the scene where they do this is anything but.  It gets introduced with a shocked looking Bart accompanied by the string music of suspense, and that’s before Marge and Grampa proceed to inadvertently traumatize him.  Bart spends the whole scene genuinely freaking out, which makes me, the audience member who likes to indulge his inner 9-year-old, unsure how to react.  I can’t giggle playfully because Bart is losing it, but there’s no deeper humor or satire either. 

When Bart goes for the cupcakes in “Duffless”, he’s also traumatized, but there it’s a call back to earlier in the episode as well as a wonderfully salacious Kubrick parody.  Bart’s freak out is part of the gag instead of a distraction from it, so there’s no mismatch between what’s going on and what’s supposed to be funny. 

It’s also worth pointing out that, in the previous scene, Zombie Simpsons resorted to the ye olde tyme movie/television shortcut of we’ll-show-the-girl-from-the-back-because-we-can’t-show-her-from-the-front whereas The Simpsons had a mentally conditioned 10-year-old reach for actual sugar tits on network television.  One of those displays a great deal more creativity than the other.

Duffless3 I still can’t believe they got away with this.  The Standards & Practices people are not the sharpest knives in the network drawer. 

Charlie Sweatpants: Ready to begin?

Mad Jon: Oh sure

Dave: Indeed

Charlie Sweatpants: Shall we quickly dispense with the couch gag? I thought it was cute, but it went on too damn long.

Mad Jon: And weirdly depressing, even with the happy ending. Nothing like watching a cartoon couch kiss it’s child goodbye before committing garbage-cide to get me in the mood for a comedy

Dave: Having had the pleasure of ignoring much of this season, I did think the gag was, as you say, cute.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, the idea of Homer actually having sex with a piece of furniture is a little odd. I confess myself slightly impressed that they got that on television, but about halfway through I was pretty much ready for it to be over.

Mad Jon: It did drag on.

  But that’s pretty standard nowadays.

Charlie Sweatpants: Indeed it is. Witness the "flame war" between Shauna and Comic Book Guy.

That could’ve been kinda funny, instead they dragged it out way too long, and had them dancing around each other instead of just standing there ignoring each other before one of them declares victory or something.

Mad Jon: I suppose that’s how it ended. I couldn’t tell what CBG was rattling on about.

Or why he let them in and acted un-CBG before calling Jimbo.

Charlie Sweatpants: Or why Bart would think to go there in the first place.

Were they planning on hanging out there all night or something?

Mad Jon: Perhaps.

  Why Bart thought that CBG would allow that at all is also confusing.

Charlie Sweatpants: I dunno, though since the entire Bart falls in love with a teenage girl thing was beyond nuts, I guess I shouldn’t nitpick.

Mad Jon: This is a romance that started with Bart commenting on how he wasn’t ready, then led to a makeout montage.

Dave: It happened already. With another one of Jimbo’s girls. Better the first time.

Mad Jon: This one was slightly more graphic.

Charlie Sweatpants: And made less sense.

Mad Jon: I dunno how I feel about Bart seeing boobs.

Dave: In what sense?

Charlie Sweatpants: The thing is, they didn’t even need the romance angle. Bart and her could’ve just become friends, like he’s the kid brother who tells her Jimbo’s no good for her or something. The whole romance/make out/visual second base thing just makes it weird and less believable without being in any way funny.

Mad Jon: Yeah, probably

Charlie Sweatpants: Jon, was there more to your boob thought, or was that it?

Mad Jon: Not really, it just felt a bit greasy.

Charlie Sweatpants: The whole thing was greasy. Real greasy.

Mad Jon: What really agravazes me, was the mall shoplifting scene.

Not only was that idea a whole plot in the worst episode ever, he has no fear of shoplifting, defying the guard, and then blowing up the mall jail somehow. All with absolutely no consequences.

Other than then getting to see boobs.

Charlie Sweatpants: All true, but Bart’s behavior throughout this episode see-sawed back and forth between little kid and capable adult.

He’s terrified of getting back to his house because the bullies are in it, then he’s in the treehouse and they’re down in the yard. He’s nervous around Jimbo, then he’s suddenly telling Shauna what to do. If this episode was the only thing you knew about him, you’d think he was bipolar.

The mall security guard was annoying because, well, everything here was annoying. They created an unnecessary situation, then literally blew it up when they couldn’t think of another way out of it. Quite frankly, I think the whole thing was to get the Segway in there, but that’s just a guess.

Mad Jon: I can see the Segway angle.

Charlie Sweatpants: And while we’re on the subject of jokes and one scene characters that sucked and went on too long: the lifeguard.

Mad Jon: Yeah, that happened didn’t it?

Dave: I’m shocked they bothered to write a series of jokes about that at all, seeing as the first wasn’t particularly funny.

Mad Jon: Low hanging fruit I guess. As rotten as it may have been.

Charlie Sweatpants: I don’t know where they were, I don’t know who he was supposed to be, I don’t know how Bart escaped after they had him tied up with water weenies, the whole thing stunk out loud.

Mad Jon: Yeah, why Dolph and Kearney let him go made no sense. But meh.

Charlie Sweatpants: Why Marge had them hang up the laundry also made no sense. I’m not honestly sure there isn’t a single scene in this episode that did make sense.

  For example, even at the very beginning, I can think of no earthly reason Bart would actually go see the little elves movie. Not a single one.

That goes for the Marge and Homer plot too. The whole Lost thing was lame, and Marge not knowing what Homer was doing defied even this show’s standards of stupid.

Mad Jon: So what? Marge and Homer’s marriage was threatened by a TV show that was cancelled years ago?

Charlie Sweatpants: It was more Marge was mad at Homer for lying to her, though since she has to have an IQ of about seventy to not have known he was lying, it didn’t have much kick to it.

Mad Jon: What do you think he did with the treadmill after he got caught and it disappeared?

Charlie Sweatpants: Um, treadmill gnomes? I don’t know.

Mad Jon: Did you guys realize that the first horn music showed up when he got the fortune from the cookie?

Charlie Sweatpants: I didn’t, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

There was plenty of that kind of fake suspense throughout. Like, what was with Lenny, Carl and Moe at their house near the end?

Mad Jon: At the discussion group that ended in an armed standoff?

Charlie Sweatpants: I get that none of them even remotely resemble real people anymore, but they treated that like it was normal. It was just weird.

  Did we lose Dave?

Dave: No I’m here

Charlie Sweatpants: Oh, good.

Dave: Just not contributing as much as I ought to be

Charlie Sweatpants: Enh.

Mad Jon: I wouldn’t feel bad about that if I were you.

Charlie Sweatpants: Nor I.

Dave: Ha. Thanks.

Charlie Sweatpants: Honestly, I don’t think there’s much left to talk about. I mean, the A-plot was weird and only really had one element, Bart and Shauna getting into trouble. The B-plot was rankly stupid and only had one element, Homer freaking out about their terrible Lost takeoff.

There just isn’t much more here. Even by their standards, this one is hollow and simplistic. It’s not even manic enough for there to be some really insane things happening.

Mad Jon: Ralph did crash a cop car into a tree under the supervision of the Chief of Police.

But again, that didn’t really shock me.

  By the way, was the make out in disguise montage something I should have recognized?

  You know, the one that had Bart driving a nice car around?

Charlie Sweatpants: There was one bit that I think was supposed to be Rain Man, but other than that I’m not sure.

Mad Jon: Oh well.

Charlie Sweatpants: Wow, I just realized that this episode so numbed my brain I didn’t even notice Bart or Ralph driving cars.

Mad Jon: One led to the other, but it doesn’t really matter.

Dave: If I saw that, I’ve since suppressed it.

Charlie Sweatpants: Best to keep it that way.

  Anything else?

Mad Jon: I got nothing. That was an unhappy 22 minutes for me.

Dave: It happened, and now it’s done. We get to move on again. For a little while.

Charlie Sweatpants: How Zen.


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