Posts Tagged ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Criticize Dinner?


Quote of the Day

“Welcome to the Springfield Shopper, established in 1883. The newspaper was founded by Johnny Newspaperseed, a fourteen year old boy who roamed America, founding newspapers.” – Newspaper Tour Guide
“If he’s so smart, how come he’s dead?” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

“I hope you all enjoy your ride to and tour of the Springfield Shopper newspaper. Groundskeeper Willie and I will stay behind to remove all traces of asbestos and the word ‘evolution’ from our school.” – Principal Skinner
“Next stop: Margaritaville! . . . Oh, they’re still here.” – Groundskeeper Willie


Behind Us Forever: The Great Phatsby


“What can I say except thanks for the predictable champagne, pizza that’s hardly ‘numero uno’, and ice cream cake which reminds us why make thirty-one flavors when you can’t get vanilla right?” – Retiring Food Critic 

Every once and a while, Zombie Simpsons puts its nose to the grindstone and actually tries to make an interesting episode. The Lego episode wasn’t very good, but it was at least visually interesting and ambitious. That “Kang and Kodos are real” episode was maybe gonna be the second movie and actually had some ambition to it. “The Great Phatsby” was certainly promoted like it was going to be something out of the ordinary, a one-hour episode! They put on the full publicity press, getting written up for their [Drudge Siren]FIRST HOUR LONG EPISODE[/Drudge Siren] in publications as diverse as USA Today and Billboard.

Problem is: they didn’t deliver. This is a very normal episode of Zombie Simpsons that got ballooned to twice its runtime. Consider this, from that Billboard link:

Beanz, whose past collaborators include Britney Spears and Timbaland, created about 18 songs for this episode. Executive producer Matt Selman has said that’s more than any other guest composer he’s ever worked with. Part of that prodigious output included fun collaborations with Snoop, Common and RZA.

I watched all forty-two bloated minutes of this thing, and even if you stretch the definition of the word “song” until it tears apart you aren’t going to get anywhere near eighteen of them. By my count, there were three: one during the Burns spending montage, one to exposit how the evil rap mogul had tricked Burns, and part of one near the end that was gonna be the Burns revenge diss track. I guess if you want to count the instrumental remake of the theme song over the end credits that’d get you to four, but that’s still a lot less than eighteen. For comparison sake, in the regular twenty-two minute Shary Bobbins episode, there were five full songs, six if you count the end credits theme song.

So if there were only a few songs, what the hell was in all that screen time? The same garbage that’s in most Zombie Simpsons episodes: montages, nonsensical plots and subplots, and exposition galore. They had two separate B-plots, one for the first half of the episode (Lisa gets a rich boyfriend, then betrays him to comb a pony) and one for the second half (Marge opens a knicknack shop, which is hilarious to everyone who’s ever spent a lot of time in the Hamptons – relatable comedy!). If you’re wondering how well that worked, go back and watch those straight-to-DVD Futurama “movies” that did the same thing. It’s just as bad.

Perhaps my favorite moment, and further evidence that they put as little effort into actually writing/editing this as they do for their regular dreck, came when Homer meets a goose. First, we see the goose swallow a shrimp whole:


That is immediately followed by Homer saying, “He eats the way I do! Without swallowing.” Chewing. The word they were looking for is “chewing”. So not only is this a repeat of a joke from “Homer’s Enemy”, they got first-grade vocabulary wrong.

The rest of the episode is just as dumb. Near the middle, after Burns has lost all his money, Homer begins expositing that Burns is sad. Then Burns starts to cry and Homer, in voiceover, exposits that as well. Then Burns tears his shirt open. Helpfully, Homer exposits that too. It goes on for forty(40!) seconds. The good news is that I don’t need to screencap it because Homer explained everything:

Homer (VO): The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they’re watching their whole world fall apart and all they can do is stare blankly. Oh, no, wait, he’s crying now. That’s worse. Now he’s really sobbing heavy. Oh, now he’s gone to his knees and he ripped his shirt open. All of his buttons fell off of his shirt. Now he’s kicking his porch. Oh, he hurt his foot and he’s hopping around! He tripped over a dog. That’s way worse. Montgomery Burns had hit rock bottom.

That’s how you eat up two episodes worth of screen time. It also places a somewhat different character on this quote from Matt Selman:

For all the hype about “The Great Phatsby” being The Simpsons’ first-ever hour-long episode, and the understandable skepticism about its description as “a rap-flavored parody of The Great Gatsby,” the episode’s origins are decidedly more modest. “This was just going to be a regular episode, but the table read went so well, in a fit of passion and excitement and ambition and excess, we decided to supersize it,” is how Simpsons executive producer Matt Selman puts it, and that makes sense when looking at the final product.

Did that table read include such gems as these:

Carl: If there’s no more money, we’ll take our personalized bowling balls, fold up bicycles, and go. [Guess what happens then! Go on, guess!]

Bart: What kind of crazy flavors are these? Quince jelly and pepper? Market greens? Bone broth brittle? I don’t know what this place hates more, kids or ice cream. [All of those flavors, by the way, were on a sign behind him.]

Old Guy: Well, before long another aimless soul will open another adorable store here. And when they do, old Sam the Sign Hanger will be ready with his level and his ladder. Oh, why here comes one now. [At that, two people show up. But you knew that already.]

On the plus side, there were a few good sign gags that didn’t get read out as dialogue. At one point while Burns is in his family crypt (don’t ask), there’s one that reads “Ebenezer Burns: The Ghosts Taught Me Nothing”. Heh. The opening line also wasn’t bad:

Homer (VO): In my younger and more vulnerable years, my father gave me some advice. He said the laziest way to tell a story is through voiceover narration.

That was supposed to be self-irony. Turned out to be the regular kind.

Anyway, the ratings are in and getting a huge lead-in from football helps as always. That sorry excuse for a hip-hop Gatsby parody was seen by 14.08 million viewers. That number will probably get revised downward somewhat (there was another football game on opposite the show), but it’ll still be there biggest number in a while.


Quote of the Day


“I’ve given out my share of bad reviews.” – Homer Simpson
“The only bad review you gave was to a slice of pizza you found under the couch.” – Daphne Beaumont
“It lost some points cause it had a Hot Wheel on it.” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

Guess Who's Coming to Criticize Dinner9

“Welcome to Planet Springfield, the restaurant owned by me, Chuck Norris, Johnny Carson’s third wife, and the Russian mafia!” – Rainier Wolfcastle


Reading Digest: Cranky with the Media Edition

Bustling Newsroom

“Wow, a bustling metropolitan newsroom, funneling scoops from all over the globe.” – Lisa Simpson
“Hi, are you interested in a subscription to the Shopper?” – Sales Dude
“Low introductory rates.” – Sales Lady
“No, please, you gotta help old Gil.  What’s it gonna take to keep you on the phone?  Dance for you?  But you wouldn’t even see it.  Alright, I’m a dancin’!” – Gil

This week, I make only tangentially relevant complaints about several linked articles: lazy sourcing, inappropriate pageview whoring, and two instances of recycled content that sort of, somehow had something to do with the show.  Happily, we’ve got a lot more stuff as well, including more Season 2 breakdowns, a couple of great pieces of fan art, Lego Grampa, and a real life electric hammer.


Snowpiercer: “Sorry Mom, the Mob has spoken!” – How would you cast a dystopian train movie with Simpsons characters?  Start with Mr. Burns taking Ed Harris’s part and work backwards.  (Thanks to JRC & Diana for e-mailing their post in.)

Bart Vs. Thanksgiving – Our buddy Noah continues his adventures through Season 2.

Dead Putting Society – This is the episode that really turned Flanders into Flanders.  It’s not just that he’s richer, nicer, and more popular than Homer, there’s a real guy under there, one who can get pissed off but who’s still relaxed enough to not care about mowing the lawn in his wife’s Sunday dress.

Dancin’ Homer – The original story of degradation and humiliation.

Two Cars In Every Garage And Three Eyes On Every Fish – Heh:

The first time I saw this episode, I honestly thought Mary Bailey was a real governor (I was young, OK?), and I was wondering why the show was kissing this person’s butt so much.

But it’s “Not Just Another State”.

Abe Simpson – Click this.  It’s Grampa made out of Legos.

Gr8at: The Simpsons Jokes – Just some gags from the show.

29 Jokes Only “Simpsons” Fans Will Find Funny – This is a Buzzfeed link, so the headline is misleading clickbait and the actual post is mostly a rehash of stuff that’s been floating around forever.  That said, there were a couple I’d never seen before.

‘The Simpsons’ creator Matt Groening will attend Saturday screening of his father Homer’s films – The headline tells you pretty much what you need to know.  If you’re in or around Portland, tickets are $15.

My Favorite Simpsons Quotes – It’s a twofer, with YouTube.

The Top 5 Best Movie-Inspired Theme Park Rides – The Simpsons ride comes in at #3, but it’s worth the click for the aerial photo of the Harry Potter ride.  The castle the visitors see is dwarfed by the warehouse that actually has the ride.

One Image Shows Just How Talented The Simpsons’ Voice Actors Are – This old chart of who does the Simpsons voices was making the rounds this week.

TV’s best shows mostly exist because of crappy sitcom reruns – How reruns of The Simpsons and other shows pay for all those critical darlings.  I have no real objection to the article, but I must object to this:

FXX paid so much money — $750 million — for The Simpsons because it knew this, and because The Simpsons was one of the few remaining cash cows without a cable deal.

That link takes you to this:

The deal also is set to make TV history as the priciest off-network pact ever, expected to fetch at least $750 million, and the first one to include full digital rights. The enormous size of the deal — which some say could potentially reach $1 billion if the series keeps producing new seasons — stems from the staggering volume of Simpsons episodes available

Not only is the $750,000,000 number just “expected”, but it also doesn’t have a source.  It’s like numbers for how much each cast member makes per episode of Zombie Simpsons: a rumor repeated so many times that people take it as fact.  The reality is that nobody outside of News Corp really knows what’s in that deal or how much it’s worth.  I get that writers need to cite facts and stuff, but the entertainment press is really sloppy and lazy and publishing these numbers again doesn’t make them any more trustworthy.

Homer Simpson’s Electric Hammer Created In Real Life (video) – Good idea, but sadly it doesn’t appear to actually hammer nails very well.

Dudeoir Photography – Remember when Homer got Homerotic for that boudoir photo shoot?  Turns out there’s actually a term for that:

Dudeoir is Boudoir for men wrapped up in the “macho” phrase to make it more appealing to men who are insecure of their masculinity.

The Simpsons: three notes that pay composer Danny Elfman’s health insurance – Heh:

“Those are the three notes that kept me in health insurance for 25 years,” composer Danny Elfman says of the opening to The Simpsons theme music.

REVIEW: Mr. Burns a Post-Electric Play at Theater Wit – The Chicago version of the play gets a nice review.

Artist aleXsandro Palombo depicts The Simpsons as Jews in a concentration camp to mark 70th anniversay of Auschwitz liberation – This is that same Italian guy who’s been on a roll with these lately.  (Pro tip: if the word “Auschwitz” appears in the headline, maybe don’t make the related stories sexy celebrities and a bikini model so emaciated I can count her ribs.)

Mr Sparkle – Homer Simpson by Lucas Jubb – Fan made Homer, complete with sunshine, stars and those creepy eyes.

Five Questions For A Blogger. (3) – Including some Simpsons love and a .gif of Milhouse petting that nice doggy on the beach.

What I Watched: Week 2 (Jan 11- Jan 17) – This is wise:

The Simpsons is by far my favourite TV show of all time. I own the first 12 seasons and they’re definitely the most watched discs in my collection because I often grab a season and put in whatever disc. This week I was watching some of season 8 which features Homer’s best buddy Frank Grimes (or Grimey, as he liked to be called).

Monday has spoken… – Heh.

Simpsons at its finest – Heh.

Osteology everywhere: Graffiti – Explaining the lack of graffiti in Kazakhstan with “Lemon of Troy”.

That’s a Coconut Cake! Part 1 | You Can’t Have That One, That’s a Coconut Cake – Trying to recreate Agnes’ inviolable cake on a blog named after it.  Good luck.

An Open Letter to Great Indian Litterbugs – Never having been to India, I can’t comment much on the main subject here, but there is a .gif of Homer and Bart making garbage angels.


Unfortunately, Agreeing With Us Isn’t Enough

Guess Who's Coming to Criticize Dinner8

“Well, what do you think?” – Homer Simpson
“This is a joke, right?” – Springfield Shopper Editor

Thought Catalog is one of those small, independent new media outlets that’s trying to make its place in this brave new on-line publishing world.  Their about page is full of noble sentiments and phrases like “an experimental media group”, “We believe all thinking is relevant”, and “help shape culture by empowering you”.  Their shtick is to be “value neutral” editorially, which means that you can publish a piece there about whatever the hell’s on your mind provided that you can string two words together.

This approach has its positives and its negatives, but inarguably manages to expose a wide array of viewpoints to the internet’s unflinching gaze.  So you’ve got Snow Days: The Ultimate Example Of White Privilege just a few spots down from Sluts With Daddy Issues And Stockholm Syndrome and Here’s How Porn Makes You A Rapist, all of which is interspersed with the near obligatory link bait parade of titles with numbers in them: The 8 Men Who Taught Me What I Don’t Want In A Relationship, 11 Things You Didn’t Know About Taco Bell, and 7 Artists You Should Absolutely Hear Now.

There is, of course, criticism of this method, expressed neatly in a post published there a couple weeks back, Dear Thought Catalog, I Still Love You:

Criticism of Thought Catalog and other similar websites is insightful. But I still love to read it.
Yes, you do have a moment. Just Google “Thought Catalog criticism”. The auto-detector spells it out for you before you finish typing the search term. You may find some interesting writers that argue against this forum.


Words are thrown about like: entitlement, over-privileged, hate-reading, trolling and best of all, smug.

And Google does indeed think of those as the prime critiques.  This one is from Gawker two years ago:

Me-centric angst dump Thought Catalog is like some superhuman internet time-wasting android, rotely performing ever more jaw-dropping feats of repetitive navel-gazing as we wait nervously for the moment that it will become self-aware and DESTROY US ALL.
Rest easy; self-awareness is not coming any time soon.

First of all, let’s just stop for a second and marvel at Gawker(!) criticizing anyone for time wasting, navel gazing, and a lack of self awareness.  Nick Denton’s occasionally impressive monstrosity doesn’t have half a pixel to stand on in any one of those categories.  That does not, however, mean that they are wrong about Thought Catalog and the things they publish being unaware to the point of self ruin.

Case in point would be a new Simpsons ebook by Justin Sedgwick titled “We Put The Spring in Springfield: Chronicling the Golden Era of The Simpsons“.  The ebook, an ambitiously priced five bucks at Amazon, is an earnest exploration of the best years of the show and what made it so popular and endearing.  It’s got chapters on some of the brightest and biggest guest stars, Halloween episodes, musical numbers, and all that other fun stuff.  It’s a little light on research (O’Brien, Reiss and Jean are the only writers mentioned in more than passing) and a little heavy on personal assertion for proving this or that the best thing the show ever did, but it’s a Simpsons geek unabashedly geeking, so neither of those are fatal flaws.

The problem is that whatever fun that can be had along the way is impossibly buried behind a seemingly endless stream of half formed sentences, gross misquotes, and other basic problems.  Some of the sentences, if that is the right word, are so hopelessly mangled that they read as if translated to Japanese and back again by Google.  A few random examples:

– “Last Exit” seemed as some sort of wonderful experiment in taking every single possible reference and offhand gag the writers could get their grasp on and blending it into a delicious Simpsons stew.

– But in “Stark Raving Dad”, Jackson isn’t voicing an animated version of himself or a stranger, but a fat white bald character who is so utterly convinced and convincing that he is truly Michael Jackson despite all the evidence contrary.

– Only until the family captures the doll do they realize that Krusty has been accidentally switched to the “evil” setting.

– “A Fish Called Selma” is the episode most divergent of common Simpsons storytelling but still arises to be one of the best.

In between great white whales of editorial fail like those are plenty of glaringly obvious grammatical problems: erratic capitalization, splattershot apostrophes and commas, near miss homophones, straight up incorrect words (“implore” instead of “explore”, “skimpy” instead of “skinny”) . . . and it goes on like this.  The carelessness is everywhere on display, including in numerous misquotes of the show:

– “Truckosaurus the movie, starring Marlon Brando as Truckosaurus” (Actual quote: “Coming soon, it’s Truckosaurus the Movie, starring Marlon Brando as the voice of John Truckosaurus.”)

– “Surely no man who speaks German could be evil” (Actual quote: “No one who speaks German could be an evil man.”)

– “the bee bit my bum, now my bum is big!” (Actual quote: “The bee bit my bottom, now my bottom’s big!”)

Those are perfectly understandable mistakes if you’re sitting around quoting the show with friends, but to publish them in a book for which you’re charging real dollars bespeaks a woeful sloppiness.  Nobody should have to pay to read things like this:

“When Burns finally surmises to the hands of Homer, he lets out a phrase that would sum up the inevitable mistake of all of Homer’s enemies in the future: “I’m starting to think Homer Simpson isn’t the brilliant tactician that I thought he was.””

That’s enough to make even the most embittered and alcoholic English teacher cringe, and that’s before you get to the mangled quote, which two minutes with a Simpsons DVD could’ve easily corrected: “Smithers, I’m beginning to think that Homer Simpson was not the brilliant tactician I thought he was”.  Even the most basic editorial review should catch sentences like that, but from the text it isn’t clear that anyone except the author actually read it before Thought Catalog (a publishing company complete with full time employees) slapped a price tag on it.

So, what’s underneath that thick carapace of typos, misquotes and middle school grammatical mistakes?  It’s hard to say for sure.  It’s a mildly interesting Simpsons book that would serve as a decent refresher course for a casual fan on some of the show’s highlights, but, with one exception, doesn’t touch on any topics that are likely to be new or terribly interesting to actual Simpsons geeks. 

That exception pops up at the beginning and end of the book: the way The Simpsons helps people relate to each other.  The first involves young Sedgwick as a fresh arrival in New York City making friends with shared Simpsons quotes.  The second is father-son bonding on Sunday evenings, even through the toughest of times.  They are moments of genuine affect that touch on heartfelt realities that should’ve been the core of the book.  More like them, and a broader look at why that happens between so very many people, would’ve been welcome.

Whatever those are worth, however, doesn’t begin to make up for the unreadable shambles that is the rest of the text.  In its current condition, this book isn’t worth five cents, much less five dollars.  It isn’t doomed to stay that way forever, of course, and really feels more like a first draft than a completed product anyway.  And that’s the beauty of ebooks, you can revise and edit and make updates, which is exactly what Thought Catalog and Sedgwick should do.  Put it through the wringer a couple more times (and fix all those grotesquely broken sentences) and they’d have something worth selling.

Or they could pull it from Amazon.  It’s their call, but leaving the book up for sale in its current condition is an all around shitty thing to do and would reflect even worse on author and imprint than the decision to go ahead with an obviously unfinished tract in the first place.  Sedgwick is a first time author, Thought Catalog is but four years old, both could have promising futures.  But they won’t if they keep trying to sell incomplete work like this.  After all, it’s okay to put yourself at the center of a story; it’s not okay do a half assed job of it.


Quote of the Day

Guess Who's Coming to Criticize Dinner7

“This is where we store Ann Landers and Dear Abby for their twenty-three hours of daily sleep.” – Tour Guide
“My advice is to free us or let us die.” – Ann Landers


Reading Digest: In 50 Words Edition

Guess Who's Coming to Criticize Dinner6

“Oh, it’s so hard to get to five hundred words.” – Homer Simpson

Our old friend Galileo of “In 10 Words” has five links this week, all of them perfectly quoted.  Plus I saw on Twitter that he went to Rifftrax Live for Manos last night (which was excellent and will be happening again in October).  This intro is fifty words long . . . now.


Lisa & Maggie Simpson Get Inked – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this interview with a woman who has one of the hands down damndest Simpsons tattoos I’ve ever seen.  It goes all the way from her neck down to her ass!  It is astonishing, and it isn’t even done yet. 

Day 47: International Left Handers Day – The woman from that kickass Surly costume last week is back with an excellent Ned Flanders.  I’m especially fond of the hair and the moustache.  Bravo. 

A look at some of Spinal Tap’s more colorful song lyrics and album covers – A common experience, I’m sure:

I’m pretty sure the first time I heard of Spinal Tap was thanks to an episode of The Simpsons in 1992 called “The Otto Show.” Harry Shearer (who plays Derek Smalls in the movie This Is Spinal Tap) also does several of the voices on The Simpsons, so it was a natural crossover for the group to perform a rock concert in Springfield. Their rock concert quickly goes awry and ends up turning into a full-blown riot with Milhouse and Bart among the rebel-rousers.

After seeing how cool the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle must be, Bart decides he wants to be a rock guitarist and for some reason Homer and Marge buy him an electric guitar so he can pursue his new passion. Needless to say, he doesn’t stick with it and the episode ends up being more about Otto than anything, but once I’d seen the film several years later in high school, I appreciated this cameo all the more.

I had to have someone many years my senior explain to me that they were not, in fact, a band invented for the show. 

Marge vs. the Monorail is a perfect parody – I certainly agree that this episode is as good as anything that has ever been, but I do get a little tired of reading things like this:

With 23 years/seasons (and going), it’s rather easy to dismiss The Simpsons as being past its prime. In some ways it’s true, but I get tired of people criticizing a show that was so spot-on for so many years. Even if the last few seasons have been weaker, that doesn’t stop me from remembering the damn near amazing episodes that have shaped my own humor and writing. Take, for instance, the little bit of perfection known as “Marge vs. the Monorail.”

We get called humorless killjoys enough around here that I understand the impulse for a little preemptive ass covering, but c’mon.  Zombie Simpsons sucks and has for far longer than The Simpsons was on the air.  That said, there is some good YouTube there.  (via)

The Simpsons on Meth – A rather twisted, but well drawn, piece of fan fiction. 

Goverdose on the Behance Network – That cool Homer poster with the cracking paint I linked last week turns out to be a piece called “Homer’s Thoughts” by Michal Sycz.  

Lunching with The Fangirl (and boy) Elite – A pop culture discussion leads to two perennial Simpsons topics, things you learned about from the show and how they’ve done it all:

Chrissy: There are things that I didn’t know were real things that I knew from The Simpsons first.
Me: Like that South Park episode!
Chrissy: Exactly!
Glenn: Wait, what?
Chrissy: Butters, but he’s Professor Chaos at that point right?
Me: Oh God, yeah! Anyway, he keeps coming up with evil schemes and then it keeps getting pointed out to him that Mr. Burns already did that.
Chrissy: Or Bart.
Me: Right, and then I think Stan is all, “Dude, you can’t stress out about that. The Simpsons has done EVERYTHING!”

For the record, I would like to point out that “The Simpsons Already Did It” episode of South Park was first broadcast in June of 2002, more than ten years ago. 

I could watch this .GIF forever – Did you have to be so graphic?

Marge Simpson, Pretty In Pink and Gorgeous Jewelry – Cool, if very abstract, Marge painting. 

Fried Fridays: After the Last – Never heard this before:

What I mean is that the opening of the video is almost a copy of the dance that Cab Calloway did at the beginning of a Betty Boop cartoon. (Interesting side note that dance was used as an early iteration of rotoscoping.) The rest of it is also inspired by the same Betty Boop commercial. This cartoon being made by a couple of animators from the Simpsons.

The video is at the link, and is indeed very well animated.

Famous Cartoons Dressed as Famous Fictional Characters – There are some old ones and some ones I haven’t seen on here.  Homer as Dr. Frank-N-Furter in a donut is a great idea. 

Homer Simpson – A cake with a distressed looking Homer on it. 

Lisa Simpson School Portrait by ~vikung-fu on deviantART – Cool computer animated Lisa picture, complete with crappy 1990s school portrait lasers.  Excellent. 

Outrage Sunday 65 On First Looking into Beechboro’s Homer – A poem to what I think is a Homer slipper sitting on a chair in Australia. 

When I’m too old I want to be… – “…Just like Hans Moleman”.  Good (Zombie Simpsons free) YouTube at the link. 

The Campaign…In 10 Words – We begin our “In 10 Words” section with a movie I’m glad I didn’t see last week. 

Untappd…In 10 Words – Like beer itself, this is made for the discerning drinker and yet will likely be overwhelmingly used by unrepentant drunks like myself. 

Stars Earn Stripes…In 10 Words – They don’t call me General Wesley Clark because I’m some dumbass Army guy. 

Collection Intervention…In 10 Words – I generally like these posts, but they do occasionally inform me about things I wish I didn’t know about. 

The Expendables 2…In 10 Words – “Wow, a thousand shows!  In that time, we’ve seen Sylvester Stallone rise and fall, rise and fall, fall further and then somehow rise again!  Who could survive Rhinestone?  He’s not human, I tell you!” – Jay Sherman (1994!)

Simpsons Angry Nerd T-shirt (Medium, Red) – Wendell looks a little more queasy than angry, but I chuckled.  And where’s Lisa? 

Springfield Elementary Is Totally Cézanne’s “Chateau Noir” – The Springfield Elementary picture doesn’t seem to want to load, but there is definitely a resemblance. – 6/5/2003 – Tim Long, Matt Selman & Al Jean – As a rule I don’t generally link to things I haven’t at least skimmed through, but there is no way I’m listening to the overrated Adam Carolla and the execrable Dr. Drew for ninety minutes on the off chance that Jean said something interesting nine years ago.  If anyone else wants to, be my guest.  (via)

An Experiment . . . – A broken television could easily lead to madness:

Luckily, I still had some beer.


In Case You Missed It: Drunk bears, Shark Week and Marketing is dead – There’s Jasper YouTube all the way at the bottom. 

I’m not really angry, just … disappointed. – Agreed:

The sheer volume of ads in any new television series premier, or the amount of ads in the last half hour of a premier movie, or just in general the gigantic pile of ads they shove into any free slot of airtime. Especially when they squish down the credits and play half screen ads. How rude. As someone who has thoroughly enjoyed seeing her name in credits on any home movie project or film course short, I tell you it is disrespectful to people’s egos. I will never forgive the first time they played ads over a particularly entertaining credit role of the Simpsons episode where Homer is coach of Bart’s football team. As far as I was concerned Homer’s voice over cutting members of the credit list was still a hilarious part of the episode and shouldn’t have been sullied with some promo for a crap Channel 10 reality show, or whatever shite they were trying to plug at the time. As Grandpa Simpson would say ‘Forrrrshhaaaamee.’

Back when syndication runs were still the only way to see the old episodes, it was always aggravating when the local news blowhard would come on during the credits to tell me that a popular soft drink had been found to be poisonous when I’d rather be listening to the softball song.  Thanks Jebus for DVDs and DVD rips. 

The Simpsons Movie (8/11/12) – A rather positive review of the movie, but one that does include this:

I have been a fan of the show since the beginning and, for me, comedic television doesn’t get much better than the 4th and 5th seasons of The Simpsons.

Bart, You are Addicted to the Internet! – Animated .gif of Bart becoming isolated and weird. 

The Simpsons Writers Pick Their Ten Favorite Obscure Characters – Lotta Zombie Simpsons on here.  Meh.  (via @dailysimpsons)

The Downfall of The Simpsons – Agreed:

I think the biggest problem now is creativity. With a show going on for more than two decades, it will obviously be hard to come up with new attractive stories and intelligent jokes and as a result, the creators seem to have lost that edge that they had in the 1990′s and early 2000′s. Senseless plots are created in which the eyes of Springfieldians pop out and Bart notices a scar years after he gets it, leading to a senseless flashback. These stories do not fit the purpose of the Simpsons nor do they have the depth that would bring good tasteful jokes.

(via @dailysimpsons)

The Principal and the Pauper: The Fall of The Simpsons – And finally, I get to end with someone who agrees with us:

But, like most die hard Simpsons fans, I don’t watch the new episodes.  Sadly, The Simpsons isn’t on air anymore, but just a shallow imitation with the same title.  I occasionally watch a new episode, usually for tradition (like the Tree House of Horror episodes) or sometimes out of boredom.  The show can surprise (I really liked an award show parody that came out a few years ago), but nothing has come to even approach the greatness of the Golden Age.

No.  No it has not. 


Crazy Noises: Guess Who’s Coming to Criticize Dinner?

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“Lard, ho!  Tis a good sign, Homer’s unfastened the top button on his pants.” – Captain McAllister
“Uh, no, he’s been walking around like that since Thanksgiving.” – Akira
“I’m surprised he just doesn’t give it up and go for sweatpants.” – Captain McAllister
“He says the crotch wears out too fast.” – Akira
“Yargh, that’s gonna replace the whale in my nightmares.” – Captain McAllister

For the fourth summer in a row, we here at the Dead Homer Society will be spending some time discussing twelve year old Simpsons episodes.  This year we’re doing Season 11.  Why Season 11?  Because we’ve done Seasons 8, 9 and 10 already, and it’s time to take an unflinching look at the end of the show.  Since Skype and podcasts didn’t exist in 1999, and we want to discuss these episodes the way the internet intended, we’re sticking with the UTF-8 world of chat rooms and instant messaging.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (especially on “comeuppance”).

Today’s episode is 1103, “Guess Who’s Coming to Criticize Dinner?”.  Tomorrow ill be 1104, “Treehouse of Horror X”. 

Mad Jon: Shall we start with "Guess Who’s Coming to Criticize Dinner"?

Charlie Sweatpants: Yes.

Any initial thoughts?

Mad Jon: I used to have a place in my heart for this episode, but I haven’t watched it recently.

  And now that I’ve watched it recently, I think I have a place in my heart for certain scenes.

Charlie Sweatpants: I can see that. Dave?

Dave: It was honestly hard for me to watch.

Charlie Sweatpants: That bad, huh?

Dave: I haven’t watched the episode in years and it was more annoying and abrasive than I remember.

Mad Jon: There are a lot more minus signs on my paper than I thought there would be… That’s for sure.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well then, I may be in the odd position of being the far more positive one of us on this one.

It’s got problems, no doubts there. There’s lots of Jerkass Homer, plenty of unnecessary scenes, jokes that go too long, the plot could’ve been tighter, etcetera.

Mad Jon: Pretty much.

  But other than that, there are some good lines and whatnot.

Charlie Sweatpants: But all of the problems are pretty run of the mill at this point, and I think on the whole they’re less pronounced here than in pretty much anything else this season or in Season 10.

Mad Jon: Which is why there was always a place in my heart, there are some excellent daily use lines here.

  I just never realized how Jerky Homer really was in this one.

  Because he is really Jerky.

Charlie Sweatpants: He is.

Dave: Totally jerky.

Charlie Sweatpants: But on the other side of the ledger, is a story that does (mostly) makes sense, a good guest voice, and quite a few quotable lines. There’s way more to admire here than in most episodes from around this time.

Mad Jon: I agree.

The story is pretty decent. And the editor reminds me of Ray the Sanitation commissioner.

  Lots of lines, and several jokes that don’t get beat into the ground.

  All positives.

Dave: You guys are going to have to help me out.

  I remember it being rather humorless.

  What worked for you?

Mad Jon: Ok, Take the Uter references.

How about the certain % of recycled paper? Numerous threatening references to the UN?

Dave: Maybe I was just having an off/grouchy moment watching it.

I am happy to indulge your enjoyment, however.

Charlie Sweatpants: Don’t be so hard on yourself, one of the things we like about you is that "grouchy" is many of your "on" moments.

Dave: Aw shucks, thanks.

Charlie Sweatpants: But I agree with Jon here. The plus side of the ledger is shockingly long, especially so for Season 11.

Combine that with the fact that the problems here are a lot worse in most of Season 11, this one shines, relatively speaking.

Except for a few scenes that go off the rails, this one would fit nicely into the middle of Season 9.

Dave: Fair enough.

Charlie Sweatpants: I could’ve done without Gil, and without that weird scene where everyone is fat, and the view from the rotating restaurant is something they did way way better back in "Principal Charming".

But there’s just a lot of good quotes here, even before we get to the sweatpants/crotch hole/whale nightmare exchange, which is just fantastic. (And I’m only partially saying that because I can say, as an avid sweatpants wearer, that the crotch is always the first thing to go.)

"Gonna replace the whale in my nightmare" is one of those lines that you can use any time, even in front of people who don’t get the reference.

Dave: I’d replace wearer with enthusiast, but fair enough.

Charlie Sweatpants: I can’t get around the fact that this episode’s flaws, which are obvious and which I in no way shape or form deny, are relatively pedestrian, whereas its strengths are pretty original, especially given the whole "being in Season 11" thing.

Mad Jon: I can see that.

  The misses are indeed obvious, I cite the bath scene that went on for 45 minutes.

  But it could have been worse. And is definitely tempered by some of the better lines.

Or the stop the presses scene, which was immediately tempered by the editors reaction.

Charlie Sweatpants: That Ann Landers and Dear Abby are kept alive against their will to continue pumping out crappy advice columns is funny, and since Jerkass Homer is far more Jerkass for most of this season than he is here, on the whole I think we the audience come out ahead.

There’s also a lot of good sign humor. "Moleman’s Gruel" is great.

I’ll take that over the odd appearance of elephants as Homer is chased into the sunset.

Mad Jon: I didn’t pay as much attention to the signs as I normally do.

The chase scene bothers me.

  Why are the critics still mad? Didn’t they want Homer to be more critical?

  It was forced, it didn’t need to be.

Charlie Sweatpants: And he didn’t get his comeuppance.

Dave: A chilling sign of things to come.

Mad Jon: No indeed he didn’t, but I guess he got some exercise.

Charlie Sweatpants: This is a messy plot, but the ending is no worse than, say, the spontaneous party at the end of "Burns, Baby, Burns".

Mad Jon: That was the ending that came to mind when this one wrapped up.

Charlie Sweatpants: And, though I’m repeating myself, there’s just a lot of good lines here. The editor talking about "chick crap" in the lifestyle section is exactly what newspapers put in the lifestyle sections. The New York Times is notorious for this.

Mad Jon: This is generally a watchable episode. And until we started really parsing the problems of the last few seasons out, I could never put my finger on what was different.

  That says something.

Charlie Sweatpants: It does.

Mad Jon: It would take a very well trained eye, as well as a cynical heart to hate this episode.

Charlie Sweatpants: You’re just taunting Dave, now.

Mad Jon: And a lazy man, such as my self, to nod as it passes by.

Dave: He sure is. But I’ll let it slide.

Mad Jon: Join the winning team man.


Reading Digest: Esteemed Publication Usage Edition

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“Over the years, The Shopper merged with the Springfield Times, Post, Globe, Herald, Jewish News, and Hot Sex Weekly to become Springfield’s number one newspaper.” – Tour Guide

There was quite a bit of newspaper usage this week, most of it rather good and from shockingly respectable publications.  (There was even one from the Financial Times called “European politicians and Homer Simpson”, but it’s paywalled and I don’t give enough of a shit to register.)  More importantly, today is your last chance to tweet your favorite Simpsons quote to Daily Simpsons.  I haven’t submitted one, but I’m going to predict that the alcohol quote will be #1, followed closely by “That’s unpossible” at #2.  As someone who sees a lot of things quoted on-line, those are the serious heavy hitters.  If you’re on Twitter, give them a shout.  Other than that, sit back and get ready for the usual smorgasbord of strange links, including two translated YouTube videos, several Christmas links, and one of the best subtle Zombie Simpsons insults I’ve ever read.


Author of Emblematic Cumbia Song “La Pollera Colorá” Dies (VIDEO) – Smooth Charlie’s click of the week involves a classic Colombian song, Spanish language “Flaming Moe’s”, and YouTube of both! 

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS – You lucky British bastards can now order Duff in cans or bottles:

Now, courtesy of the Duff Beer Distribution Ltd., you can also consume large quantities of this once-fictional beer! Brewed by the highly acclaimed Eschweger Klosterbrauerei brewery to the German purity laws of 1864, Duff Beer is a premium German pilsner with a light refreshing taste.

At £40 for 24 bottles, it ain’t cheap.  But you don’t buy something like that because it’s going to become your go to beer, you buy something like that because awesome. 

THE SIMPSONS CHRISTMAS: The Commercialization of Christmas is, at Best, a Mixed Blessing – Someone who hasn’t watched a lot of Simpsons bought a Christmas themed DVD out of the bargain bin.  It contained “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire”, “Grift of the Magi”, “Miracle on Evergreen Terrace”, “She of Little Faith”, and . . . “Mr. Plow”?  This is why those non-Season DVDs are always suspect, the episode selection is less than ideal and there’s always crap from later seasons.  Anyway, the good stuff did shine through:

“Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” – The best episode of the bunch,

Frozen Planet, episode seven, BBC One, review – This is a review of a BBC nature special in The Telegraph:

When it comes to Frozen Planet, they’ll be almost sadistically spoiled for choice. (Personally, amid the more spectacular thrills, I loved the scene where a seal pursued a penguin on land – possibly the slowest screen chase since Grandpa Simpson tried to catch that tortoise.)

Heh.  Though I imagine the penguin was a bit more stressed than the tortoise was. 

Accepting Reyes’ Departure – This is excellent baseball usage, but you have to click through to really get it.  Don’t worry, the important parts are in nice, big block quotes.

Fill my Mailbox – This blog collects postcards, and they recently had Krusty Brand Seal of Approval one featuring Barney.  Apparently, “He’s also a guy who happens to love beer.”  Shocking.

An aposiopesis of the furious kind – I learned a new word today:

Aposiopesis […] is a fancy rhetorical term for a familiar act: an abrupt breaking off of a thought, mid-sentence, often because of overwhelming emotion. Aposiopeses is the plural form, aposiopetic the adjectival.

The example he cites is when Homer says “Why you little. . .”, and there’s YouTube.  It’s YouTube badly infected with Zombie Simpsons, but that’s hardly the fault of “aposiopesis”. 

Josh Duhamel Turned Lisa Simpson On, and Other Highlights From the New Years Eve Press Day – That reprehensible looking New Year’s Eve movie is opening today, which means the media tour is in full swing.  I did not know that Yeardley Smith was in the cast, but apparently she is.  This, by the way, is A-grade charming movie star patter:

Josh Duhamel’s scenes with Yeardly Smith, best known as the voice of Lisa Simpson, proved more discomfiting than he anticipated:

“I kept thinking, ‘This is Lisa Simpson,’” Duhamel recounted. “She was playing the pastor’s wife, and there was a few takes where she was playing it really kinda frisky … I was telling her this story about this girl that I’d met the year before, and she played it like she was getting all hot and bothered, and I kept thinking, ‘I’m making Lisa Simpson all hot and bothered with this story.’ There was something really wrong about that.”

The 10 Worst Stephen King Adaptations Ever – Hey, speaking of bad movies with Yeardley Smith, the #1 movie on this list is Maximum Overdrive.  There’s lots of YouTube here, including a spectacularly crappy trailer that features King bragging about directing this and lots of a very young Smith screaming in that unmistakable voice of hers. 

Statistics hide real pain – The Sydney Morning Herald parses this week’s US unemployment rate figures and says:

After picking apart the unemployment numbers I soon started thinking of that old saying, ”lies, damned lies and statistics”. Then my mind switched to that great philosopher, Homer Simpson, reminding me that, ”people can come up with statistics to prove anything. Fourteen per cent of people know that.”

Close, but Forfty!

Romney’s Vice – Okay, this is in the comments rather than in an article or a post, but it is well quoted:

Asked to identify “something bad that [Mitt Romney] likes to eat or drink,” Ann Romney tells Parade, “Chocolate milk. … Over the Moon Chocolate Milk, which is the low-fat kind.”

To which the second commenter replies:

Ned Flanders: "Who’s up for a big bowl of nonfat ice milk?"

Todd Flanders: "I want wintergreen!"

Maude Flanders: "Unflavored for me."


American Horror Story – Courtesy of endless sequels and “Marge on the Lam”, here’s your cheap laugh of the week.

Nananananananana blogging! – YouTube of Homer singing the old Batman theme from “The Joy of Sect”, but in German. 

Anime Dunk Hi-Tops. – They’re not all anime, and the Simpsons one near the bottom is surprisingly cool looking. 

NHL’s Conference Realignment…In 10 Words – That does kind of look like the nuclear plant board. 

Tatum: Hog wild in Texas – Close:

the pig was once famously characterized by renowned philosopher Homer Simpson as “some wonderful, magical animal.”

He just calls it “a wonderful, magical animal”, but that’s close enough for moderate usage.

Dec. 2 Open Line – Swing and a miss:

Homer Simpson found a pristine issue of Action Comics number one at a garage sale and tossed it aside and said, “I’ve already read it.” Then he found an old postage stamp, tossed it aside and said, “Dumb stamp, plane is upside down.”

Poor usage.

The Simpsons – A Simpsons virgin finally caves and watches a few episodes:

My final analysis: Story structure counts for a lot, and “The Simpsons” is wonderfully well-written.

Well, it used to be. 

LYIT shows Maths can be fun – Who says television is bad?:

Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) hosted a very successful interactive “Maths of the Simpsons” show to mark Maths Week Ireland recently for primary school children from all over Donegal. This is the second year LYIT has hosted the event. This year the Institute invited Matt Parker, maths enthusiast and teacher, to present his highly entertaining interactive event called “Maths of the Simpsons” which was very well received by the young students.

Sadly there isn’t much there in the way of details. 

Appointment Viewing: December 5-December 11 – Lenny on this Sunday’s episode of Zombie Simpsons:

Flash-forward to 2041: Bart and Lisa are heading home for the holidays with their own kids in tow. And when they turn to Marge and Homer for parenting advice, they come to realize that the apple doesn’t fall far from the Christmas tree. This is why Fox can’t cancel Allen Gregory. I need it to clear the palette after shit like this.

I recommend booze. 

Harry Morgan obituary: ‘MASH’ star dies at 96 – This is the Los Angeles Times obituary, and it does have the good sense to mention his guest appearance in “Mother Simpson”.

NJ Civil War Statue Beheaded – Someone beheaded a statue in New Jersey, the expected Simpsons reference is made. 

Travel Volunteer Blog – Everything you wanted to know about actual fugu, with lots of pictures. 

YouTube Hall of Fame: TV’s Best Holiday Episodes – “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” is here, but what’s really important is this YouTube video of the entire episode, but kind of sepia toned and at 2x speed:

I don’t quite know what to say. 

And the award for the best on-screen couple goes to… – It’s a list of television couples, including good old Marge and Homer. 

Greg Daniels trying prime-time animation for NBC with the help of Mindy Kaling – This is a very well done backhand Zombie Simpsons insult:

The past few years have seen many prime-time animated series attempting to replicate The Simpsons—chief among them the latter-day Simpsons


The Day Comedy Died: The Simpsons – A comprehensive review of how the show went down.  I don’t agree with all the particulars, but overall it’s pretty good:

The Simpsons is without a doubt one of televisions greatest shows.  The peak of this show was within their first seven seasons.  By the time the show left earth and consistently left the nuclear power plant, it left the reason the initial fans scheduled their week around it.  From beyond that point, like any long running program, the characters are used, tired and in some cases obsolete.  The writing went from new and fresh to old and stagnant.  The ratings have proved this, more so now than ever.



Quote of the Day

Guess Who's Coming to Criticize Dinner3

“Who are you and why are you ruining my retirement party?” – Mimi the Food Critic
“I’ll have you know I wandered off from the tour.” – Homer Simpson

Happy Birthday Al Jean! 


Friday Link Dump – Not About Season 12 Edition

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“Listen, we’ve been meaning to have a talk with you about your reviews.  Everything’s a rave!  ‘Nine thumbs up’, what the hell is that?” – Garth Tralawney, TV Critic

There have been more half assed reviews of Season 12 in the inbox in the last two weeks than I care to think about.  Most of them are glowing in a “look at all the features!/this show is a timeless classic” kind of way.  Today’s link dump is the stuff that wasn’t those, this includes a neat eBay item, bad web design (as if we should talk), lots of excellent usage and some non-pornographic search terms.

Nostalgic Timepieces. Not quite vintage, but The Simpsons are a part of my childhood. – Simpsons watches, from the campy to the almost classy.

eBay Gem: A Pre-Simpsons Matt Groening and His ‘Smurf House’ – A signed 1st edition of Groening’s Life in Hell book can be yours for some cash.  The awesome story is free.  A sample:

Matt invited me inside. He said he was working on the strip and asked if I would like to see it. Matt was a bachelor then. His house looked bachelorish. Sketches everywhere. A cat, maybe two, maybe his, maybe not.

Top 7 rarely seen Simpsons characters – Pretty much what it says it is.  I always liked Sideshow Raheem.

Lions claim Cletis Gordon – You probably already know why this is linked, but just in case:

(And, yeah, we probably are fascinated with Cletis Gordon because he shares a first name with one of our favorite characters on The Simpsons.)

Details on the Next Simpsons Halloween Special and More – News about the upcoming season of Zombie Simpsons.  Feh.

Bart Simpson’s voice coming to Fairmont play – Nancy Cartwright is going to play a character in a radio theater production at her old high school in central Ohio.

Why I love labels: Exhibit A – Describing an artwork I’ve never heard of, we get this:

Full confession though: I love Jonathan Horowitz’s work, particularly mon-sun (1999). However, no amount of riffing on minimalism or corporate artworld purchasing structures can salvage the following work from forever being associated in my mind with the Simpson’s episode where a Yoko Ono-esque character requests “A single plum, floating in perfume, served in a man’s hat.”

Excellent usage.

Words of Wisdom – Grandpa Simpson – It’s just a Grandpa quote, but it’s quoted correctly and that always gets linked.

The Simp-Sims – Someone once created a Sims/Simpsons hybrid?  Why not?  (Also: nice WordPress theme.)

This border battle is all about turf – The Register-Guard is a daily newspaper in Eugene, Oregon.  In preparation for last night’s game between the University of Oregon and Boise State columnist Bob Welch wrote a comprehensive comparison of Oregon and Idaho and then scored it football style.  Here’s the Simpsons part:

Creators of fictional heroes: Idaho-born Edgar Burroughs was the man behind the Tarzan king-of-the-jungle book series. But is the “ape man“ the equal of heroic Homer Simpson, created by Oregonian Matt Groening? Field goal, Ducks. (UO 41-28.)

His final predicted score was 48-35 in favor of Oregon.  The actual game ended with Boise State on top 19-8.  I probably should’ve posted this yesterday, oh well.

Jealousy or envy? – From Ruby Taylor-Newton of the Fiji Times comes an article about the difference between being jealous and being envious and it contains this little piece of excellent usage:

Some examples: In a 1991 The Simpsons episode When Flanders Failed, Lisa asks Homer if he’s ever heard of schadenfreude after he expresses delight that Ned Flanders’ business is failing. Defining it for him, she says, “It’s a German term for “shameful joy”, taking pleasure in the suffering of others.

Perfectly quoted and relevant to the discussion, excellent usage.

Fugly Friday : Bannock County Bluegrass Festival – Making fun of the hilariously poor, even by 1996 standards, design of this web site Open Source Blog drops this nugget:

In fact, the only single point upon which those three colors should converge is in a low-rent stripper’s eye makeup. As Marge Simpson’s mother once said, “Ladies pinch. Whores use rouge.”

Excellent usage.

A Tribute to Mayor Quimby…I mean Ted Kennedy – It’s just a bunch of Quimby quotes, some of which are off.  Still, a fitting tribute.

Fowl-Freak Out: A Vegetarian’s Tale – A tale of one vegetarian’s conversion with a small assist from Lisa Simpson.

D’oh! Eat My Shorts. Ay Caramba. – A first hand account of the official Simpsons stamps release function at FOX.

Top 10 Television Title Sequences – These don’t seem to be in any particular order, some of them I’ve seen and some of them I haven’t, but Simpsons is on there.

Boob Cruising In The Mall – Finally, we’re apparently not the only ones who get weird search terms.  He got two about Bart:

bart simpson is an asshole

bart simpson allegedly murdered

I can kinda see “bart simpson is an asshole”.  Somebody doesn’t like the show and is looking for other people who don’t like the show.  But “allegedly murdered”?  Got me.


Partial Interview with George Meyer

Guess Who's Coming to Criticize Dinner1

Wow, my first published article, hoo!  Although someone else’s name is on it.” – Lisa Simpson
“Heh heh, welcome to the humiliating world of professional writing.” – Homer Simpson

Earlier this month a book called And Here’s the Kicker: Conversations with 21 Top Humor Writers on their Craft and the Industry came out.  It appears to be exactly what it sounds like.  Mike Sacks, the author, was interviewd and let this precious gem drop:

TV writers are given a lot of territory. Aren’t screenplays every comedy writer’s dream?
When you look at The Simpsons, Freaks and Geeks or Arrested Development, you can see some of the sharpest humour writing of the past 25 years. The Simpsons Movie didn’t come close to the TV show in terms of being funny and sharp.
TV writers are given a lot of territory. Aren’t screenplays every comedy writer’s dream?

When you look at The Simpsons, Freaks and Geeks or Arrested Development, you can see some of the sharpest humour writing of the past 25 years. The Simpsons Movie didn’t come close to the TV show in terms of being funny and sharp.

A-fucking-men.  Reading that led me to the book’s website.  There I found an extract from the interview with Simpsons alum George Meyer.  It is, obviously, worth reading in full, though I can’t resist posting this:

You can see that sensibility in many episodes of The Simpsons. As opposed to most shows, The Simpsons is never afraid to mock religion and the religious.

I think what we’re really satirizing is moral certainty—the myopia of the pious. The religious ferociously defend their own beliefs, but if a Sioux wants to keep a Target store off his sacred land they’ll laugh in his face.

I always enjoy it when I see or hear a religious type cite The Simpsons as a show that portrays religion positively.  They usually have no idea how badly they’re humiliating themselves.  It’s beautiful.


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