Posts Tagged ‘Homie the Clown


Quote of the Day

“You mean I get five percent off on everything in the store just because I look like-…I mean, just because I am Krusty the Klown?” – Homer Simpson
“How could I charge full price to the man whose lust for filthy magazines kept me in business during that first shaky year. Oh, by the way, here is your new issue of Gigantic Asses.” – Apu Nahasapeemapetilon


Quote of the Day

“That’s it! You people have stood in my way long enough! I’m going to clown college!” – Homer Simpson
“I don’t think any of us expected him to say that.” – Bart Simpson


Quote of the Day

“This year, give her English Muffins . . . whatever you say, Mr. Billboard!” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

“Put five thousand bucks on the Lakers. Hire Kenny G to play for me in the elevator. My house is dirty, buy me a clean one.” – Krusty the Klown


Quote of the Day

“Pfft, clown college? You can’t eat that.” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

“Hey, it’s Krusty all right. Should I shoot him gangland style or execution style?” – Louie
“Listen to your heart.” – Fat Tony


Quote of the Day

“There’s your giraffe, little girl.” – Homer Simpson
“I’m a boy!” – Ralph Wiggum
“That’s the spirit! Never give up.” – Homer Simpson


Reading Digest: Azaria Graduates Edition

Homie the Clown17

“Now, come and get your catskins, uh, I mean sheepskins.” – Krusty the Klown

Short reading digest again this week, but we’ve got a couple of great links, including a guy who truly hates Zombie Simpsons, and an amusing YouTube video from Azaria.


Hank Azaria gives graduates advice as characters from ‘The Simpsons’ during commencement speech – Azaria is a crowd pleaser, “When in doubt, always pull out the Simpsons voices”:

I don’t know if he wrote these or had one of the writers do it, but there are some pretty good ones in here. I particularly liked Apu: “Remember please, children, that in life there is nothing that is not so disgusting that it cannot be sold on a heated roller at a nearly criminal markup.”

How the weird internet is keeping The Simpsons exciting – This is an excellent summation of the ways fans have started making their own fun since Zombie Simpsons became boring. Also, this is all true:

The Simpsons has been on the air in some form or another for nearly 30 years, and it’s been terrible for twenty. The cartoon’s golden age is perfect television, my favorite TV show of all time, but in terms sheer output the bulk of The Simpsons is bad. When FXX aired a 12-day marathon of every Simpsons episode ever, a solid week of it was unwatchable. Harry Shearer was a hero for recognizing he was old, tired, and had enough money and that the only way to put the show out of its misery was for a core cast member to quit. Unfortunately, the shameless creators really believed they could recast Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, and others like it was no big deal, so Shearer relented. Not too long ago, apropos of nothing, I woke up angry The Simpsons was still on the air.

Good lad.

A look back at each act featured in The Simpsons’ ‘Homerpalooza’ – Heh:

Now: Peter is still writing, recording and touring regularly. The only thing that has really changed is going from having Frampton Comes Alive! go from every parent’s record collection to every grandparent’s record collection.

A Walk Through the Musical City of Knoxville – Knoxville will never escape The Simpsons:

Knoxville’s famed Sunsphere, a giant gold structure installed in 1982 to herald the World’s Fair, also sits near the edge of World’s Fair Park. In the decades since, the Sunsphere has become a symbol for the whole city. You can take an elevator to an observation deck on one of the Sunsphere’s lower levels, underneath a restaurant and private businesses that occupy the space—and no, none of these businesses is a wig outlet, as The Simpsons might have you believe.

Shock as Northern Ireland man solves mystery of the world’s most coveted stamp … but who is he? – Pfft, the airplane’s upside down:

Inverted Jennies are so called because they depict a US Mail biplane, erroneously printed upside down, on a 24 cent stamp.

One hundred made it into circulation in 1918 after inspectors failed to spot the mistake in a Washington DC printing works.

They have become almost mythical among stamp collectors ever since. And this particular one – No.76 – is now under tight security, having resurfaced after an astonishing 61 years at Spink auctioneers in Manhattan.

The hitherto missing stamp, which even featured in an episode of The Simpsons, was one of a block of four owned by the daughter of an executive at Dow Jones & Company, which disappeared from an exhibition in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1955.

Bart Simpson acquitted at mock trial – I am both heartened and terrified for the youths of today:

In a mock trial held May 12 at Hartley Elementary School, Bart Simpson was accused of stealing Millhouse’s Butterfinger candy bars. After much deliberation, however, a jury of fourth- and fifth-grade students found he was “not guilty.”

The educational program coincided with Justice teacher Megan Wall’s curriculum.

“The kids asked us to show them how it (the justice system) works,” Wall said. “So it’s fun and educational.”

But did anyone wear glasses with eyeballs painted on them?

The Simpsons Season Finale Review: Orange Is the New Yellow – It continues to baffle me why sites like Den of Geek even bother to review Zombie Simpsons. Look at this:

“Orange Is the New Yellow” was an okay episode. They caught a lot of the flavor of Orange is the New Black, but they didn’t skewer it. The season closer is supposed to be spectacular. I looked forward to this episode all season, which was more than a bit below par. The Simpsons may not always close with a season’s best but they are usually among the funniest. This episode doesn’t offer a single guffaw. A few chuckles and more than one smirk but nothing that really cracks me up. The plumbob song was pretty exciting, but not a highlight.

Then they give it 3/5 stars, which I guess is a 6 on the 6-9 scale, but why even bother? What would two stars look like? Would a blank screen get 1.5?


Quote of the Day

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“Krusty, in regards to the large wager you made on yesterday’s horse race…” – Fat Tony
“Aw, come on, how ’bout letting me go double or nothing on the big opera tonight?” – Krusty the Klown
“Who do you like?” – Fat Tony
“The tenor!” – Krusty the Klown
“Okay.  But we’re only letting the bet ride because you crack us so consistently up.” – Fat Tony


Quote of the Day

Homie the Clown15

“Now, when the wealthy dowager comes in, the party’s over, right?  Wrong!” – Krusty the Klown
“Kill . . . wealthy . . . dowager.” – Homer Simpson


Behind Us Forever: The Yellow Badge of Cowardge

Chalkboard - The Yellow Badge of Cowardage
“Gratzi, gratzi, you have brought great joy to this old Italian stereotype.” – Don Vittorio DiMaggio
“No, no, Don Vittorio, you’re not-” – Legs
“Yes, I am.  I know it, I am.” – Don Vittorio DiMaggio

If nothing else, “The Yellow Badge of Cowardge” capped off Season 25 with the same brand of forgettable and lackluster nonsense that we’ve come to expect.  (Points for consistency, if literally nothing else.)  Jokes and childishly simple plot points are explained ad nauseam while the overall story staggers around in a world of dull nonsense.  So, for example, near the middle of the episode Homer and the guy who looks and sounds like Don Vittorio DiMaggio but isn’t Don Vittorio DiMaggio drive around with barrels of gunpowder strapped to their car.  Despite the fact that we know nothing of consequence is going to happen, the show insists on driving them through a bunch of neighborhoods where everything might explode.  It goes on for the better part of a minute and they explain every place they go before they get there.  It’s Season 25 (and really all of Zombie Simpsons) in a nutshell: a bad joke that’s explained ahead of time and then run into the ground.

– At least the couch gag was short.  Didn’t have a couch, but it was short.

– Why is Lisa narrating when the first time we see her she’s asleep?

– Bart banging pots and pans . . . feels like I’ve seen that before.  Also, he explained what he was doing while he was doing it.

– “That’s a prison road crew” – Marge, telling us what we’re looking at.

– Having had a couple of jokes explained while they were happening, here’s Marge to pre-explain the fire department delivering pizza in a pointless, Family Guy aside.

– Narration Lisa is now also pre-explaining the jokes “and run with your leg tied to someone who wouldn’t talk to you all year”.

– Cletus, doing the same.

– Skinner is getting pelted with eggs.  He used to be good at his job.

– As is sometimes the case, the sign gags are at least okay.  Lewis’s out of office text message was kinda funny.  It couldn’t save that extended bit with Chalmers just yelling and mumbling, but it wasn’t terrible.

– This whole field day is an excuse for them to jump from one bad idea to another.

– Okay, Edwin Moses contemptuously saying that all hurdles are the same size was funny.

– The cheese grater abs on Milhouse are kinda gross.

– I think Chalmers reciting all the kids names is supposed to be fan service.  Getting hard to tell.

– Aaaaand, proving once again that they will overuse anything decent, they have Moses jump off a cliff (literally).

– Nelson’s here to punch Milhouse.  Supposedly he’s there because the bullies don’t want to pay off a bet to Martin (which they would do why, exactly?), but maybe he just wanted Milhouse to stop expositing while he ran.

– Speaking of exposition, Narration Lisa is now helpfully explaining his dilemma to us: “Bart faced a terrible choice, take a beating with his friend or slither off like a coward.”

– “Mom, I’m narrating!” <- actual line

– Hibbert, having explained what we just saw happen to Milhouse, now pre-explains the joke about kids having ice cream headaches.

– Time for a Bart dream sequence that re-explains the scene we saw less than two minutes ago.

– Bart is now re-re-re-explaining what happened . . . to Maggie: “You must have figured out I chickened out during the race.”  Shit like this is unforgivably lazy writing.  Could Maggie handing Bart a chicken feather kinda work?  Sure.  But it doesn’t work when she wanders into his room in the middle of the night and then, after the fact, instead of making a joke or even just showing us Bart feeling ashamed, they have him repeat what’s going on.

– Case in point of the above: Narration Lisa is explaining that when Homer was a kid, he liked fireworks because then he couldn’t hear his parents yelling.  Fine.  But instead of showing us that, and maybe even trying to make it funny while it happens, they tell us what’s going on explicitly, “It was the one night of every year that he couldn’t hear his parents argue.  He figured it was because they loved the fireworks just as much as he did.”.

– More of same: “With his mother gone, Homer needed a hero, and no one was more of a hero than the magical little man behind the controls.”  Stop. Explaining. Everything. Please?

– After Homer and the old fireworks guy who looks and talks like Don Vittorio DiMaggio spit one liners at each other, the A-plot returns to once again remind us that Bart is feeling guilty.  This will not be the last time.

– Homer and the repeat old Italian stereotype are now buying fireworks from Cletus.  It ends with an exploding Spider-Pig.

– Bart is now sharing a stage with Drederick Tatum for winning that race.  One of Tatum’s actual lines, “What’s going on?  Seriously, what’s transpiring?”  They’re actually asking themselves for more exposition.

– After some more expositions (“Bart’s a coward”, “He lied to us”), Tatum tells the tattoo guy (what, you didn’t think there’d be a tattoo guy there?) to change his tattoo of Bart.

– Another decent sign gag with “Fruit Tree Sale, Grow a Pear!”.

– Old people saying they’re all cowards is a decent enough idea, but once again they manage to stretch things too long, re-re-re-explain themselves several times, and generally screw things up.

– After Bart wakes up with Milhouse in his bed, we get yet more nonsense exposition, “This is an angry sleepover, I’m only doing it because it was on the books.”.  It’s one thing to have quick aside scenes, it’s another to have them involve both of the main characters in the A-plot in a way that doesn’t fit in with what we’re seeing and then having one of them say why.

– The Homer driving montage would’ve been much funnier if they hadn’t pre-explained every joke and then have it go on for forty-five seconds.

– And speaking of weak jokes that take too long: Wiggum and Lou trying to fire their Revolutionary War muskets.

– Homer has gotten into an unexpected fight for the second week in a row.  This time it’s on a barge full of fireworks that will end up pointing directly at the crowd for a few moments of fake tension.

– Still more evidence of how hacktacular all of this is.  The fireworks are pointed at the crowd.  Bart spies the Retirement Castle bus, then looks at the keys hanging off the back of the driver’s belt.  Fine.  Overly convenient and kinda dumb, but not beyond rescue.  Then Bart says this, “Milhouse, this is my chance to make things right.”.  Ugh.

– Grampa fleeing by saying “Don’t worry, boys, I’ll be with you all the way to Berlin” was kinda funny.  As per standard Zombie Simpsons procedure, however, they have to stretch it by having him jump in a nearby boat that we’d never seen before.

– Carl just made a Twitter joke . . . then he explained it and told us what we were looking at.

– Actual line: “Quit explaining everything!”.  Make of that what you will.

– And we end the season with Grampa playing piano and an unrelated epilogue where Bart brushes his teeth and Maggie squeaks like a chicken.

Anyway, the numbers are in and . . . they did it!  Last night just 3.28 million people wished the writing staff had the courage to let the show die.  That is good for #2 on the all time least watched list (only the 7:30pm, sad-kid-mental-patient “Diggs” remains lower) and it pushes the average overnight rating for Season 25 down to 4.99 million viewers.  Back in March and April, when they were pulling in low 4 and high 3 million numbers, I didn’t think they’d stink out loud enough to get down under 5 for the season, but the last few weeks have gone a long way towards showing just how unloved this show has become.

I’m planning on doing a longer ratings post this week or next, but in the meantime, here is the current list of least watched episodes.  Note that all but #10 are from this season:

(Season-Ep/Date/Viewers in Millions/Title)

  1. 25-12 / 9-Mar-14 / 2.65 / Diggs
  2. 25-22 / 18-May-14 / 3.28 / The Yellow Badge of Cowardage
  3. 25-19 / 27-Apr-14 / 3.38 / What to Expect When Bart’s Expecting
  4. 25-18 / 13-Apr-14 / 3.59 / Days of Future Future
  5. 25-21 / 11-May-14 / 3.61 / Pay Pal
  6. 25-13 / 9-Mar-14 / 3.73 / The Man Who Grew Too Much
  7. 25-11 / 26-Jan-14 / 3.91 / Specs and the City
  8. 25-15 / 23-Mar-14 / 3.93 / The War of Art
  9. 25-16 / 30-Mar-14 / 3.94 / You Don’t Have to Live Like a Referee
  10. 23-21 / 13-May-12 / 4.00 / Ned ‘N Edna’s Blend

Those are not the numbers of a healthy show.  Then again, undead things don’t have pulses anyway.


Behind Us Forever: Brick Like Me

Chalkboard - Brick Like Me

“George Carlin on three.” – Miss Pennycandy
“Yeah?  Lawsuit?  Oh, come on!  My seven words you can’t say on TV bit was entirely different from your seven words you can’t say on TV bit.  So I’m a thief, am I?  Well, excuse me! . . . Give him ten grand.” – Krusty the Klown
“Steve Martin on four.” – Miss Pennycandy
“Ten grand.” – Krusty the Klown

Let’s get this out of the way first: this is the best they can do and they know it.  If the PR machine is to be believed, this episode took two years to make and was very expensive to animate.  They bragged about how careful the writing was and how they went the extra mile for this one.  They hyped it for weeks and made it their big May sweeps premier.  And, indeed, it is better and more memorable than most Zombie Simpsons, but that’s a low bar, and the only really memorable thing about it was the animation.

To be fair, the animation was pretty impressive and the episode looked very cool in places.  But the writing and execution would’ve been awful even if the vastly superior The Lego Movie wasn’t looming over every terrible line.  That movie was written and directed by the guys who did Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 121 Jump Street and the unjustly cancelled Clone High.  This episode was written by a guy who started writing for Zombie Simpsons in Season 13 and whose only other IMDb credits in that time are for the justly cancelled Joey.  It shows.

– And we get right into things with fake self deprecation “It’s not selling out, it’s co-branding!  Co-branding!”.

– Give them this, it does look nice.

– The sign gags are pretty lazy, though: “Brick-E-Mart”, “H&R Brick”, “First Brick of Springfield”, “Brick, Block & Beyond”.

– “Hey, these are the monkey’s legs”.  Gee, I sure like being told what I’m seeing.

– “Hmm, what do you know, I enjoyed playing with you.”  Ah, nothing brings us back to the regular reality of Zombie Simpsons faster than characters telling us exactly how they feel.

– And now Homer and Lisa are having an expository talk during a flashback.  It’s crappy writing within a weak plot device within crappy writing within a weak plot gimmick.

– Marge and Homer are sitting at home on the bed and Marge reminds us again that in this world “everything fits with everything else and nobody ever gets hurt”.  That’s about the third or fourth time they’ve explained that.

– “Oh, brick me!” – Just tallying the “brick” puns is exhausting.

– Okay, the increasing sized items on the Love Tester are okay.  Not hilarious or anything, but at least they only used the word “brick” once.

– So, Bart rebuilt the school and then described everything we saw in it with voiceover.

– Lovejoy’s sermon about the beginning of the world is kinda funny (goes on too long, of course, but that’s standard).

– This time it’s Flanders: “everything fits together and no one gets hurt”.  Jebus, we get it already.

– Homer just re-explained everything again before touching the toy box.  Also, Marge was just standing there, so that was a Zombie Simpsons twofer.

– Woof, this scene with Lisa and the other girls expositing about the, ugh, “Survival Games” is really going on too long.  I like how each of them explained why they were there.

– And, just because it deserves its own bullet point: “Survival Games” is incredibly lazy.

– Now Lisa is explaining why she wants to do something.

– And now, because this is Zombie Simpsons, Homer and Marge are having a conversation about Lisa right in front of Lisa’s open bedroom door.  As usual, their contempt for object permanence or even just basic social sense shines through.

– Hey, how about another one: “everything fits together and no one gets hurt”.  Thanks, Homer!

– Jebus, writing this bad wouldn’t have survived in a first draft of The Lego Movie.  First, Comic Book Guy explained to everyone what we just saw, then Marge actually says this, “One of the main questions I have about that is why?”.  That leads to more expositing from Comic Book Guy.

– Hey, another “brick” pun on the Jebediah statue.  How many of these can they do?

– I’m tired of transcribing them, but Marge and Homer just re-re-re-re-re-stated the premise and explained the plot again, in case anyone missed it.

– And now he’s doing it again at a tea party with Lisa, “I’ve created a perfect world with no PG-13 movies to take you away from me.”  We.  Fucking.  Know.

– Pop quiz: brick Homer realizes he can’t stay in his paradise.  Do we see him living life and growing tired of it, or does he stand still and explain everything in a speech while doing nothing?  You get two guesses, but you’re only going to need one.

– Then, directly after, we see him reiterate the speech he just gave to Marge.

– Comic Book Guy: “But you’ve discovered the joy of living in a world made of toys where nothing bad can ever happen.”  That phrase may account for 10% of the total words here.

– Now Comic Book Guy is explaining who he is.

– The giant Bart robot is kinda cool.  It’s not funny or anything, but it’s the first thing that’s reminded me of The Lego Movie in a good way instead of a bad one.

– Well, at least they know they’re a pale imitation of the movie.

– Nice of Homer to tell us all what he learned this week.  Knowing is half the battle.

– Having Lovejoy’s description of the universe be true at the end was an actual nice touch that didn’t take too long.  Weird.

– But the episode ran waaaay short despite repeating itself over and over again, so it’s time for a “Survival Games” sketch to get us to the finish line.

What a waste of an episode.  Neat, innovative animation like that shouldn’t be locked into the ordinary mess of a Zombie Simpsons story.

Anyway, the ratings are in and all that publicity did not do them much good.  Last night, just 4.29 million people wished The Lego Movie had already come out on home video.  That’s the highest number they’ve had in a month and it’s still good for #16 on the all time least watched list.  Hear that, crappy entertainment industry publications?  Keep writing stories about how nobody watches anymore.


Quote of the Day

Homie the Clown14

“Those are supposed to be baggy pants!  Baggy!” – Krusty the Klown
“I’ve never had a pair of pants that fit this well in my life.” – Homer Simpson


Compare & Contrast: Krusty Franchises His Name

Klown Klass

"Alright, so there can only be one Krusty in each territory, so I hope this works out. Tell me where you’re from." – Krusty the Klown
"Georgia." – Southern Hick
"Texas." – Exaggerated Texan #1
"Uh . . . Brooklyn." – Exaggerated Texan #2
"Russia." – Fur Hatted Russian
"New Hampshire." – Stuffy Yankee
"Homer!" – Homer Simpson

Krusty the Klown is a great symbol of so much that is wrong with the entertainment industry.  He long ago shed any last vestige of dignity, then stopped caring about the quality of his show or his merchandise shortly thereafter.  He doesn’t particularly like the kids he entertains, treats his staff like crap, and wastes every one of the millions of dollars he earns.

As has happened to so many celebrities and entertainers over the years, the act gets stale, the fame cools off, and then the money dries up.  Condor egg omelets and cigarettes lit with hundred dollar bills are all well and good right up until you can’t afford them anymore.   The Simpsons showed us what would happen to Krusty at this point several times during its run.  When his show got run off the air by Gabbo, he fell completely apart but managed a comeback thanks to his years of celebrity contacts.  When Bart inadvertently snitched on him for tax avoision, he got back on top with that old standby, insurance fraud.  And when his love of horse racing got him in too deep with the mob, he opened a clown college and franchised himself.

That last one is relevant because it is the exact same thing that happened this week in "Yellow Subterfuge".  Well, almost exact, "Homie the Clown" handles it vastly better, but since it was just the B-plot (and a barely extant one at that) in "Yellow Subterfuge", there are just a few scenes to actually compare.  Of those, there are two that stand out as exemplifying the systemic and repeating ways Zombie Simpsons fumbles concepts that worked so well on "The Simpsons".

The first is our discovery that Krusty is broke.  Going all the way back to Season 1, Krusty and Burns existed in a stratosphere of fame, power, and wealth far above the ordinary citizens of Springfield.  This being a television show, they crossed paths with the Simpson family an unusual amount of times, a structurally necessary absurdity that the show began making fun of in Season 4 for Burns ("Last Exit to Springfield", when Burns replies that the name Simpson doesn’t ring a bell after Smithers reminds him of all the things that have already happened) and Season 5 for Krusty ("Bart Gets Famous", when Bart points out all the times he’s helped Krusty after Krusty doesn’t know who he is).  It doesn’t make the strictest sense, but neither do people with four fingers and yellow skin, it’s just a part of the show you can have a little fun with.

And having fun with it is exactly how The Simpsons brought Krusty back into contact with the Simpson family.  Krusty needs money, so he founds a clown college to franchise his name.  Homer, being such a dolt that he cannot resist anything that’s advertised to him on a billboard, attends.  He doesn’t stand out in  clown class or anything, he just happens to look enough like Krusty (they do have the same character model, after all) that people mistake him for the original.  None of the Simpsons are present at the beginning of the episode when we see Krusty’s impressively wasteful spending habits, including buying a new house when his current one gets dirty and paying off Steve Martin and George Carlin for stealing their bits.

By contrast, in "Yellow Subterfuge" Lisa just happens to be riding her bike past Krusty’s mansion while his stuff is getting repossessed.  This is their actual opening dialogue:

Krusty: Oh, hi, little girl.  What brings you to see Uncle Krusty?
Lisa: Krusty, are you broke?
Krusty: Yeah, all it takes is some bad luck at the ponies, worse luck in the Bitcoin market, heavy investment in a high end bookmark company . . .

Give them credit for being brief, I suppose, but look at that.  Lisa doesn’t bother to answer Krusty’s question because there is no answer.  Just like when characters appear and disappear from scenes, none of the actions or words are really connected to each other, they just go in a certain order because, well, shut up, that’s why.  Krusty, who doesn’t know who she is or why she’s there, just launches into a list of his financial woes because keep shutting up.  What’s worse, they don’t even bother to use Lisa.  She briefly appears with Krusty later in the episode, but after that she just disappears without another word.

Like so many Zombie Simpson problems this wouldn’t be so aggravating if they only took these kinds of shortcuts once and a while, but they do it all the time.  In this episode alone Skinner trusts everything to Bart, of all people, in three or four different scenes.  Even though the only thing we see of Milhouse in this episode is him enjoying the submarine ride that Skinner let him have, there he is helping Bart’s moronic deception with nary a word of explanation.  Sometimes you need to cheat a little to get an episode to work, that’s one thing.  But like "carrot cat food" that’s 88% ash, it’s quite another when the episode is more cheats than not.

The second bit of this short yet interminable subplot is the regionally stereotypical new Krustys.  Both shows introduce them in a scene where a bunch of people from different places attend their first day of Krusty class.  The Simpsons has them list themselves off, roll-call style, and the guy from New Hampshire is a nasal New England dweeb, the guy from Russia has a fur hat and rolls his Rs, and the two guys from Texas are exactly alike except that one of them claims to be from Brooklyn.  Stereotypes are funny, here’s a few of them, let’s move on with the show.

But what The Simpsons used as a single scene joke, Zombie Simpsons turns into the entirety of its B-plot.  First we see the Krustys-in-training while the accountant reads off a description of what we already see them holding.  After that it’s straight ahead with the stereotypes: Jamaicans get high, the Irish are desperate and poor, Mao was a famous Chinese guy, and so forth.  If that had been one scene, sure why not?  But it’s the whole damn thing, so we get an entire scene with the Jamaican Itchy smoking Jamaican Scratchy, the accountant running down the success of funny foreign Krustys, and an ending scene with a parade of dully typical accents and costumes.  Irish Krusty, by far the strongest of the lot, got a genuine, out loud laugh from me, a rarity for Zombie Simpsons, when he said this:

Irish Krusty: Me ma, she had twelve children, but only three lived, then they closed the mill. . . . Hey, hey.

That’s a good joke, it’s got multiple punchlines that build on each other and it’s delivered really well.  But that was the first time.  After that they gave him two diminishing return call backs (in a B-plot that’s only about four scenes long) where they basically repeated it.

This is another hallmark of Zombie Simpsons: stretching anything that even remotely works until it’s just as thin as the rest of the filler.  Mad Jon once described how when he did laugh at something, he’d just start counting to ten to wait for them to run it into the ground and they almost always did.  So while even cheap stereotypes can be funny, trying to hang an entire B-plot on something that overused and one-dimensional is lazy and hacktacular.

Episodes like "Homie the Clown" could manage fanciful episodes that depart far from Evergreen Terrace, like Krusty franchising himself, because underneath all that stuff was a solid foundation, both in terms of story and in terms of gags.  They never needed to overuse shortcuts or jokes.  They had plenty of the latter and stories that rarely required the former.  Zombie Simpsons, most definitely including "Yellow Subterfuge", lacks that foundation, and the result is weak episodes with weak jokes because stories that don’t make sense need lots of kludges and leave even weak jokes to carry heavy amounts of screentime.


Reading Digest: Expanding the Krusty Brand Seal of Approval Edition

Krusty Sez Buy More

“I’ll just make some more money.  Crank out some cheesy merchandise.” – Krusty the Klown
“But you’ve already merchandised everything: Krusty’s Monopoly game, the Krusty crown control barrier.” – Accountant

If you’ve noticed an uptick in Simpsons merchandise, including Tapped Out, you’re not imagining things.  This is from today’s fourth link:

And 20th still feels there’s more coin to collect. This year, 20th has aggressively gone after a slew of new deals to make sure Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie remain popular with existing and new fans worldwide.

Universal Studios Orlando added a Springfield-themed area this summer around its existing “Simpsons” ride, with stores and eateries, while 20th also brokered a deal with Lego for “Simpsons” playsets, reunited Bart with Nestle’s Butterfinger in a new marketing campaign and brokered the show’s first shoe deal, with Converse, involving a series of Chuck Taylor All-Stars.

That’s after entering the world of high fashion for the first time last year, through a deal with designer Jeremy Scott and a collection at New York Fashion Week and the Joyrich street brand in Japan.

They thought that 750 million ($750,000,000) a year was embarrassingly small, and have decided to really get serious.  This week we’ve got links to a couple of their new money making adventures, with untold more on the way.  In addition to that, we’ve got brain scans, two links to explanations of things unrelated to The Simpsons with Simpsons .gifs, some fan art, quite a bit of usage, and even some usage instruction.


16 Of My Favourite Simpsons Quotes And How To Use Them – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week has quotes, YouTube, and usage suggestions, and it goes almost without saying that there’s no Zombie Simpsons.

Crazy Little Thing I Love – Simpsons Quotes Used In Life – Some excellent real life usage in sign form.

‘The Scarlet Letter’ explained in ‘Simpsons’ GIFs – Just what it says, and with the added bonus that none of them are from Zombie Simpsons.

‘The Simpsons’ Merchandise 20th Century Fox TV’s Biggest Moneymaker – This is from Variety, so take it with a grain of salt, but that FOX is openly acknowledging this does not surprise me:

The Fox division hopes to fan interest in “Simpsons” merchandise as ratings for the show decline, and it sees opportunities like a themed area in theme parks as one way to do that.

“Fans will literally be able to live and breathe Springfield as they visit the statue of Jebediah, enjoy a Krusty Burger, and have a seat at Moe’s Tavern,” Godsick says of Orlando.

I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but when FOX thinks about the future of Zombie Simpsons their primary concern is how it affects the merchandising.  That they still have a television show on the air is almost and afterthought at this point.

Universal puts guests on couch with Simpsons – Speaking of that theme park:

In an open-air booth in the park’s Springfield section, across from the Simpsons Ride, rests an orange couch in front of green-screen backdrop. Guests can pose several ways and be inserted into six wacky situations, including a Vegas scene, a shark attack (with skiing Simpsons) and a couple of burglars carrying them — and the couch — away. A print costs $19.95.

We could finally get rid of those termites for the cost of that photo.

The Big Bang Theory Gets the Highest Ad Rates Outside of the NFL – Thanks to its continuing relative demographic strength, advertising on Zombie Simpsons will cost you a quarter of a million bucks for thirty seconds.  Nothing to sneeze at.

The Simpsons join the world of football – And in yet more ways to squeeze dollars out of the Simpsons:

Russian side Zenit St Petersburg have taken to their official website to announce their new partnership with the company that produces The Simpsons, Twentieth Century Fox.
The new partnership will mark the 25th anniversary of the TV series ‘The Simpsons’ as well as the World Cup which will take place in Brazil next year. A special show will be dedicated to the World Cup and this will take place in March 2014 on Fox. A special collection of gifts will be brought out featuring the main characters endorsing the clubs affiliated with Twentieth Century Fox and the World Cup in Brazil.
The cooperation between The Simpsons and football clubs will include such sides as Barcelona, Zenit, Corinthians and Boca Juniors.
The president of Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products Jeffrey Godsik revealed how excited he was with the opportunity for The Simpsons to be involved with the World Cup, and do their part to endorse the tournament.
“For us, it will be an excellent opportunity to present a special line of football souvenirs, individual issues series and other things that will certainly be appreciated by fans of “The Simpsons.”

Give us your money, collectors, we know you can’t stop.

Guillermo del Toro Intro – All References” on YouTube – There are a lot of them.  I wouldn’t have caught that Hitchcock outline on the wall if I’d watched it twenty times:

Small Actors: Alex Rocco – A look at one of Roger Meyers’ Jr.’s early roles as a not-all-that-far-removed-from-reality Boston criminal.

Peyton Manning Bowl: Brutally Honest Preview of Colts vs Broncos – Moderate usage:

Wow this Indianapolis Colts versus Denver Broncos game on Sunday night is completely under-the-radar. It’s a shame they can’t generate more buzz for such a “sleeper” and overlooked contest.

Obviously, you know I’m joking. If not…to quote the obese Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons, “since you are unfamiliar with the concept of sarcasm, I will now close the register at this point.”

Comic Book Guy actually says, “Seeing as we are unfamiliar with sarcasm, I shall close the register at this point”.

Fake TV Guide Listings: The American League Championship Series on Fox – Heh:

The secret to the continued success of the way-past-its-prime animated series “The Simpsons”  is revealed: Fox puts on baseball playoffs for 3 hours, 30 minutes every night for a month. By comparison, “The Simpsons” looks positively fresh and vital.

Moran Cerf: our brain is the puppeteer, we are simply agents – Neat:

So patients tend to be those in the operating theatre wanting to remove tumours or a part of the brain responsible for epileptic seizures. Cerf and his team use the fact that their are electrodes in the brain as an opportunity to study cognition in the awake subject to better understand how the brain operates.

“We can see singular thoughts. You can hear sound of one brain cell,” he said. He showcased the electrical activity of a nerve cell associated with the memory of The Simpsons. This was picked up by showing a subject a series of clips and seeing when the neuron fired. They then asked the subject to recall what she had seen.

The interesting thing about the brain readings was that the electrical activity of the neurone spiked well before the person was able to vocalise that they were thinking of The Simpsons. “We see her memory in action before she knows about it.”

A Walking Tour of Mr. Fauth’s Classroom, Part Two – My teachers never had cool shit like this:

one year a fast food restaurant had Halloween Simpsons toys, based on episodes of their annual Treehouse of Horror episodes (back when they were good.) Students brought them in and gave them to me.

I like Frankenstein Burns with the ice cream scoop.

The 2013 Government Shutdown…In 10 Words – We were defenseless without the Bear Patrol!

The Goldbergs…In 10 Words – Patton!  What are you staring at?

Canadian Thanksgiving…In 10 Words – How long are we going to have to sit here and listen to you badmouth us to the nice people upstairs?

Captain Phillips…In 10 Words – Pirates?  That’s hardly the image we want for Long John Silver’s!

five mistakes – Don’t forget, that prediction was made in 1997:

In an episode of The Simpsons, Bart tells a chilling story by a campfire. He points a flashlight at his face and says, “And that is how much college will cost for Maggie.” Homer then screams in horror.
I suspect Canadian parents can relate. According to BMO, 83% of Canadian parents expect to pay for their child’s post-secondary education; but the cost continues to rise. A four-year university degree is expected to cost as much as $60,000 and that sum could rise to more than $140,000 for a child born this year, BMO says.

Apt and perfectly quoted, excellent usage.

‘The Simpsons’ should start getting older – Yet another of the “age the characters to restore the show” articles.

Brit Music: Two old Beatles stories… – Life imitates The Simpsons once again:

If you remember the old episodes of the Simpsons, you might remember an episode where Ringo Starr guest-starred. Marge sent Ringo a painting she had made of him, asking for an honest opinion, and 30 years later, he finally got around to responding to her message.


In 1963, Barbara Bezant and Lyn Phillips made an audiotape saying things like “This dream is just to come round the back and see you, but I don’t suppose that’ll ever happen. But we can always live in hope, can’t we?”  They sent it to the Finsbury Park Astoria, where the Beatles were staying during a gig at London’s Lewisham Odeon. The Beatles didn’t get it.

Found fifty years later, Paul McCartney responded.

Neymar Provides Real-Life ‘Man Getting Hit by Football’ Moment vs. Zambia – Ouch, with animated .gifs.

Homer Simpson’s Food Addiction, As Shown By GIFs – Pretty much what it says.

Best. Episode. Ever. (Round 68) – “Summer of 4 Ft. 2” vs. “Itchy and Scratchy: The Move”?  Yikes.

Best. Episode. Ever. (Round 69) – Another impossible choice, this time between Season 3 and Season 7.

Simpson Effect – Fan made sketch of Mass Effect Simpsonized.  Here’s hoping he finishes it.

Dag 251 MMW – A Simpson/Despicable Me mashup t-shirt.

Two Cars In Every Garage And Three Eyes On Every Fish – I’ve often wondered this as well:

I wonder what Blinky would have tasted like. If the Power Plant were responsible for this mutation than I would assume toxic. I guess Burns will be the only one who knows.

I always did think it was a bit of dirty pool on Marge’s part to serve him the head, but Burns is in no position to complain about underhanded tricks.

I Simpson – Some shaky cam YouTube of “The Mansion Family” in Italian.

Happy Thanksgiving Canada! – Click through for an old-style Simpsons Thanksgiving table drawing, complete with sleeping Grampa and Barney.

5 TV Characters Who Deserve Spin Offs – Sideshow Bob makes the list here.

Treehouse of Horror #15 CGC 9.8 SS Signed and Sketch by Matt Groening – Picture of exactly what it says.

Favorite Treehouse of Horror story? – And finally, I get to end the way I prefer, with someone who agrees with us.  After citing a bunch of classics, things end on a dour note:

My least favorite is easily The Diving Bell and the Butterball. Congrats, you made an 8 minute long fart joke with a random Spider-man parody. What the hell were they thinking with that?

They weren’t.


Quote of the Day

Homie the Clown13

“I’m telling you Marge, this’ll work.  They’ll think I’m Krusty and give us free stuff.  I’ve been getting free stuff all day!  Look at this swell bucket of house paint, look at it!” – Homer Simpson
“I’m not saying it won’t work, I’m just saying it’s dishonest.” – Marge Simpson
“Well if we agree, then why are we arguing?” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

Homie the Clown12

“Ah, there’s nothing better than a cigarette . . . unless it’s a cigarette lit with a hundred dollar bill!” – Krusty the Klown

[Note: Sorry for the late QotD.]


Quote of the Day

Homie the Clown11

“These Krusty-brand balloons are three bucks each.  But get a cheap one, and what happens?  Goes off!  Takes out the eyeballs of every kid in the room!  What’s that gonna cost you?  Hey, Bill, what did that cost us?” – Krusty the Klown


Quote of the Day

Homie the Clown10

“Let me get this straight, you took all the money you made franchising your name and bet it against the Harlem Globetrotters?” – Accountant
“Oh, I thought the Generals were due!  He’s spinning the ball on his finger!  Just take it!  Take the ball!  That game was fixed.  They were using a freaking ladder for God’s sakes.” – Krusty the Klown


Compare & Contrast: Mob Boss Endings

Homie the Clown9

“I am-a confused.” – Don Vittorio DiMaggio

Given its manic-depressive pacing and weird four-segment structure, it’s not always easy to tell when Zombie Simpsons is moving from one act to another.  It has a tendency to meander and stutter step its way through what can only generously be called a story, tossing off things that may or may not be jokes along the way.  For example, take what was supposed to be the second act of “The Falcon and the D’Ohman”.

When we come back from the first commercial break, Jack Bauer is having dinner with the Simpsons at their dining room table.  This leads to the extended training flashback, which leads to the Taiwanese CGI retelling of what we already saw in the first segment, which leads to another flashback of Bauer beating people up (in this case, his old boss).  That leads to Homer’s flash-forward and Homer inviting Bauer to come and stay with them.  Huh?  He started the segment at the Simpsons home, and it ends with him being invited back, which means when we come back from the second commercial break the first shot is of Bauer back in the same location he was at after the first break.

Nor is the third segment any more coherent.  It ends with Homer being kidnapped by a Ukrainian mob boss we had not seen until one minute prior.  The fourth segment/third act is basically an extended action sequence (though they did work in two more flashbacks) to tie up a conflict that had been introduced less than a minute before the second act ended.  Again: huh?

Overweight Plot Device

Hello.  We’re two thirds through this, who the hell are you?

This isn’t Zombie Simpsons rejecting conventional storytelling wholesale to do something completely different.  It isn’t even subverting or playing around with the standard three act formula.  They have a regular old three act story, they just execute it really poorly.  The result is a hot mess of flashbacks and a supposedly main conflict that gets introduced about six seconds before the third act begins.

As it happens, a vengeful mob boss had kidnapped Homer once before.  Like “The Falcon and the D’Ohman”, Homer gets tossed in the back of a car so the episode can get resolved.  Unlike “The Falcon and the D’Ohman”, the kidnapping was set up right from the first scene of the episode and was integral to its conclusion.

In Season 6’s “Homie the Clown”, the story begins with Krusty having money problems.  Not only that, but Fat Tony and his crew appear just over a minute into the episode precisely because Krusty is deeply in hock to them.  Krusty’s debt – introduced right there in Act 1 – drives the entire thing.  It’s what forces him to open the clown college, which is what allows Homer to become a clown, which is why the mob mistakes Homer for Krusty at the end of Act 2.

So when “Homie the Clown” gets to its final segment there’s no mystery as to who the bad guys are.  Even better, they’ve managed to weave in a classic mistaken identity plot, so Homer has a legitimate reason to be there for the final confrontation between Krusty and the mobsters.  Everything ties together and nothing gets unexpectedly thrown at the audience.

Homie the Clown8

He’s so nice he even introduces himself.

The same careful construction (Season 6) and lack thereof (Season 23) can be seen in the final scenes as well.  In “Homie the Clown”, we meet the kindly “old Italian stereotype” who is Fat Tony’s boss, and he demands that Homer execute Krusty’s stunt of riding a little bicycle through a loop.  While we haven’t seen the mob boss before, we had already seen the mobsters, so it’s not surprising.  Better, the bicycle-loop trick was established at the beginning of the episode AND we had already seen Homer fail at it repeatedly in the second act.  So when Homer has to do the trick, the brief moments of suspense have been lead into by the entire story up to that point.

That confrontation takes place in the mob hangout we’d seen in previous episodes, but the one in “The Falcon and the D’Ohman” happens at an ice rink.  Why?  Who knows?  No reason is given.  Furthermore, Homer is frozen into the ice and very disposable mob henchmen are skating around him.  No reason is given for any of this either.  The mob boss, whom we barely know, has no connection whatsoever to ice skating, it’s just a random place that allows Jack Bauer to kill an absolute shitload of dudes.

Bond Villains Have Less Disposable Henchmen Than This

As someone who was raised on violent television I’m not prone to complaining about on-screen body counts unless they’re too low.  But I’m pretty sure Bauer kills more people on-screen in this one scene than happened in all of Seasons 1-9, maybe even including the Halloween episodes.

In the midst of all this, a bunch of costumed mascot people show up.  This makes no sense and, once again, there’s nothing in the episode to explain it.  They just thought it would be funny to set one of the mascots on fire.  It finally, mercifully ends when Homer disarms the mob boss by tickling him . . . at which point Bauer straight up murders the unarmed man.  This is many things, but you’d be hard pressed to call it funny.

Next Week on Bauer Texas Ranger . .

Nothing says comedy like smoldering corpses.

To top things off, since that scene had nothing to do with the rest of the story all that violence couldn’t even resolve the plot.  Remember that the original reason Bauer was living with the Simpsons and calling Homer his friend was because he got fired and had nowhere else to go.  This didn’t address that at all.  It doesn’t end until Marge tells Bauer, literally as an afterthought as he’s walking out the door, that as a sadistic government employee he can work at the DMV.  She knew this about him from the time he sat down to dinner with them right after the first commercial break, but didn’t say anything until after Zombie Simpsons had slaked its considerable thirst for blood.

Where The Simpsons built meticulously to and ending of silly absurdity (clown trick or die!) for comedy’s sake, Zombie Simpsons flopped down a dull action sequence that was only tenuously connected to the rest of the episode.  Don Vittorio DiMaggio was a self described stereotypical mob boss who was willing to kill Krusty and Homer over $48, but was too much of a comedy fan to pull the trigger.  “Victor” was a guy we hardly met whose name we only learned in a flashback right before Bauer killed his wife, and who ended up being stabbed in the throat.  (Though even that wasn’t the end, the episode had one more pointless flashback in it.)  One of these guys had a funny part in a funny story, the other was a lifeless prop in something else.


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