Posts Tagged ‘Like Father Like Clown


Quote of the Day

“In order to keep our broadcasting license we devote Sunday night dead time to public service shows of limited appeal. In that spirit, we bring you Gabbin’ About God.” – KBBL Announcer


Quote of the Day

“Bart, we’ve been going about this all wrong. What’s the one thing rabbis prize above everything else?” – Lisa Simpson
“Those stupid hats?” – Bart Simpson
“No, Bart, knowledge. . . . We’re gonna hit him where it hurts, right in the Judaica.” – Lisa Simpson


Quote of the Day

“Let’s see, I want a nice sandwich, but the Joey Bishop, too fatty. The Jackie Mason, I don’t know, sauerkraut makes me gassy. The Bruce Willis? I don’t even like his work. What is this: Krusty the Klown?” – Rabbi Hyman Krustofsky
“That’s ham, sausage, and bacon with a smidge of mayo.” – Waitress
“What?” – Rabbi Hyman Krustofsky
“On white bread.” – Waitress


Quote of the Day

“Do you know that my son Herschel was first in his Yeshiva class? As a matter of fact, he was voted the most likely to hear God.” – Rabbi Hyman Krustofsky
“Oh, go on, Hyman, you’re exaggerating again, you’re so proud of your son.” – Other Rabbi
“A rabbi would never exaggerate! A rabbi composes, he creates thoughts, he tells stories that may never have happened, but he does not exaggerate!” – Rabbi Hyman Krustofsky


Quote of the Day

“Could you direct me to President Francois Mitterand’s table?” – Krusty the Klown
“You think you’re funny?” – Waitress
“Fifty million Frenchmen can’t be wrong!” – Krusty the Klown

Completely screwed this up yesterday. Sorry.


Quote of the Day


“Our first caller is from Shelbyville Heights.” – KBBL DJ
“Yes, hi, with all the suffering and injustice in the world, do you ever wonder if God really exists?” – Caller
“No.” – Reverend Lovejoy
“Not for a second.” – Monsignor Kenneth Daly
Not at all.” – Rabbi Hymen Krustovsky
“Great.  Good conversation there.” – KBBL DJ


Quote of the Day

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“Don’t worry, Lis.  I got a plan that can’t fail. . . . Yiddle, my man, you’re a genius.” – Bart Simpson
“I love my work.” – Yiddle


Zombie Simpsons Renewed For Forty-Four More Episodes

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♫”If this old clown was found dead in his bed tomorrow/
I’d be in heaven, still doing this show!”♫ – Krusty the Klown

This here blog has been live on the internet for six years and change.  In that time we’ve seen four renewal announcements, including last night’s.  Here are the details:

– two more full production runs of 22 episodes each

– will take the show through Season 28 and give it the first seven episodes of a Season 29(!)

– new guaranteed episode total of 625(!!)

– the next time to look for a renewal announcement will be October-ish of 2016

– the next deadline for a renewal announcement will be May-ish of 2017

Having read through a whole bunch of news reports on this, /Film easily wins the prize for best lead:

In TV years, The Simpsons is already the equivalent of the Grail Knight from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and the series isn’t giving up its post any time soon.

They also took the time to say what everyone’s thinking:

And, let’s face it, you probably only watch the new episodes when Fox breaks out a splashy couch gag by a high-profile artist (yep, welovethose) or when the show makes a big change by killing off a character or featuring a surprising gimmick or guest star. But after more than twenty years, the roster of guests with the power to surprise is pretty small.

The Simpsons is in an unusual position in that the current episodes seem more like reminders for prior seasons and merchandise than the other way around.

As for the next renewal announcement, has it covered.


Compare & Contrast: Krusty’s Struggles

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“Hi, kids.  Today’s show is gonna be the funniest, side-splittinest, cavalcade of . . . ah, the hell with it.  Roll the cartoon.” – Krusty the Klown

There are a lot of big, flashing similarities between “Like Father, Like Clown” and “Clown in the Dumps”, most prominently that both are about Krusty and his father, and, even moreso, about Krusty missing his father.  But there are also a lot of small, individual scenes and jokes that are very similar.  So let’s consider one of the former and then one of the latter.

For our overarching theme, just look at how each episode handles Bart and Lisa.  In Season 3, Bart and Lisa have a reason to meet Krusty (their saving him in “Krusty Gets Buster”), and then we follow them as they set out to help him.  We see them asking Reverend Lovejoy how to find a rabbi, we see them meet Rabbi Krustofsky, get rejected, and then their attempts to win him over.  (The Simpsons being The Simpsons, Sammy Davis Jr. succeeds where the Talmud fails.)

Meanwhile, the episode checks in on Krusty as we see him wallowing in depression: watching a TV movie in a bus station, cracking up on his own show, and dialing his father over and over again.  It’s genuinely sad, but it’s still funny because the movie is Hercules vs. the Martians and Krusty’s on-air break down is his touched response to a particularly brutal and gory Itchy & Scratchy.

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“And didn’t Scratchy Jr. look happy playing with his Dad until they got run over by the thresher.”

By contrast, in the blasted wasteland of Season 26, Bart and Lisa are just sort of there for the ride.  Lisa because she was shunted off to an unrelated (and very repetitive) B-plot; and Bart because we don’t see him do anything except show up and explain to us the stuff we didn’t see him do.

In addition to this not making sense, it sucks out a lot of the fun.  Instead of getting to see Bart and Lisa as active characters who get to do things like lie to Reverend Lovejoy about liking his radio show and dress up in curls and a hat to argue Jewish philosophy, we watch Bart talk to Krusty, talk to Krusty, and then talk to Krusty again.


Great, good conversation there.

And it’s not like what we do get to see is any better.  Krusty bounces from one manic episode to the next, but they fall flat over and over again, which brings us to our individual scene of wretchedness, Krusty hosting his show and airing what I almost hesitate to call an “Itchy & Scratchy” cartoon.

Things open with Sideshow Mel helpfully expositing everything that’s happening:

“Boys and girls, you know that we’ve been dark for a couple of days because of a tragic loss in the Krustylu family.  Now, put your hands together for the man who’s falling apart before our eyes, Krusty the Klown!”

That is quintessential “tell don’t show”: not a single word of that needs to be there.  It’s filler from start to finish.  We already know what’s going on, and while there’s something to be said for a dry description of the obvious from time to time, Zombie Simpsons uses it so much that it’s impossible to tell if they’re even trying to be funny with it.

The really bad part, though, is that they’ve become so bad at showing things, they almost have to resort to this sort of thing.  After Krusty appears and tells them to roll the cartoon, we see a very short Scratchy cartoon (Itchy isn’t in it), and then this:


Krusty, looking a little miffed.

Krusty is kind of upset, but he looks completely normal, and his dialogue is just him setting up a rimshot worthy punchline:

Oh, my God, who made this monstrosity?

Which is immediately followed by a recording of him on the TV claiming credit (rimshot), then more exposition:

Kids, I’m experiencing a crisis of conscience.

It goes on from there while he explains each joke as it happens and tells us what he’s going to do.

Compare that to Krusty also barely holding it together in “Like Father, Like Clown”.  For one thing, we get a real Itchy & Scratchy cartoon, one of the bloodiest and most violent ever, “Field of Screams”.  Just like in Zombie Simpsons, it starts with Scratchy playing with Scratchy Jr..  Since Zombie Simpsons ends it right there, that’s where the similarities stop.  “Field of Screams” has Scratchy and Scratchy Jr. run over by a mechanized thresher driven by Itchy and Itchy Jr., whom we then see playing catch with Scratchy’s head.  There’s a lot of blood, Bart and Lisa (watching from home) laugh uproariously, and then we see Krusty:

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 Now that’s sad, and he didn’t even need to tell us what he’s feeling.

Take a look at those two images.  In one, we see Krusty acting perfectly normal (or what passes for it for him), in the other one, we see a broken man just barely holding it together who chokes up and starts crying as he desperately tells them to go to commercial.  The Simpsons doesn’t need to have Krusty tell the audience how he’s feeling because we can see it plainly on his face.

Both episodes have the exact same scene (Krusty bombing his show because he’s upset about his father), but the version from The Simpsons has no gratuitous exposition, a much better Itchy & Scratchy cartoon, and enormously more emotional punch, all while letting the jokes speak for themselves instead of explaining or pre-explaining them.  Furthermore, that incident is what prompts Bart and Lisa to go in search of Rabbi Krustofsky.  They can see Krusty is in pain, and they try to do something.  In Zombie Simpsons, Bart just kinda shows up from time to time.

It’d be one thing if Zombie Simpsons was just repeating things.  Twenty-six seasons is a lot of stories, after all.  But they can’t even repeat things competently, and the way they bungle characters, scenes and even jokes over and over again gives the distinct impression that they don’t care enough to try.


Quote of the Day

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“Poor Krusty.” – Bart Simpson
“A man who envies our family is a man who needs help.” – Lisa Simpson


Quote of the Day

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“Oy, this guy’s tough.” – Bart Simpson
“Bart, we’re gonna have to outsmart him.” – Lisa Simpson
“I don’t know, he’s pretty sharp.  He saw right through this disguise.” – Bart Simpson


Quote of the Day

Like Father, Like Clown7

“Are you kids ready to order, yet?” – Izzy’s Waitress
“Sorry, no, just get us another bowl of complimentary pickles.” – Bart Simpson
“Watch how fast I go.” – Izzy’s Waitress

Happy Birthday Doris Grau!  (She would’ve been 89 today.) 


Quote of the Day

Like Father, Like Clown8

“Now, can you give us the rabbi’s address?” – Bart Simpson
“Oh, sure thing, let me just check my non-Christian rolodex.” – Reverend Lovejoy


Bonus Bonus Quote of the Day

Bus Stop Playhouse

“Academy Award Playhouse now returns you to Hercules Versus the Martians.” – TV Announcer
“Welcome to our spaceship, mighty Hercules!” – Martian

Happy birthday to old Simpsons hand and current Hollywood kingpin Brad Bird.


Quote of the Day

Like Father, Like Clown6

“Didn’t Itchy Junior look happy playing with his father?  And didn’t Scratchy Junior look happy playing with his dad until they got run over by a thresher?” – Krusty the Klown

Happy 20th anniversary to “Like Father Like Clown”!  Original airdate 24 October 1991.


Quote of the Day

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“And I haven’t seen my father since.” – Krusty the Klown
“That is so sad.” – Lisa Simpson
“Krusty, do you think about your father a lot?” – Bart Simpson
“All the time . . . except when I’m at the track.  Then it’s all business.” – Krusty the Klown


Quote of the Day

Like Father, Like Clown4

“Boy, you don’t have to follow in my footsteps.” – Homer Simpson
“Don’t worry, I don’t even like using the bathroom after you.” – Bart Simpson
“Why you little!” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

Like Father, Like Clown3

“You’ve reached the party line.  In a moment you’ll be connected to a hot party with some of the world’s most beautiful women.  Now, let’s join the party.” – Party Line Recording
“Hello?” – Krusty the Klown
“Hello?” – Lonely Man #1
“Hello?” – Lonely Man #2
“Are there any women here?” – Apu Nahasapeemapetilon
“Hello?” – Krusty the Klown
“Are you a beautiful woman?” – Apu Nahasapeemapetilon
“Do I sound like a beautiful woman?” – Krusty the Klown
“This is not as hot a party as I had anticipated.” – Apu Nahasapeemapetilon


“Brawl in the Family” Makes Baby Jesus Cry

Delroy Lindo

Image shamelessly stolen from IMDB.

“Why don’t we let our guest do it?” – Lisa Simpson

There isn’t much to say about this commentary, mostly because guest commentator Delroy Lindo (who did a voice for this episode) basically hijacks it to play Twenty Questions. On the whole this is not a terribly bad thing, it’s mildly entertaining to listen to. But it also means that there isn’t much here for the Simpsons fan, as the commentary turns into every Al Jean interview you’ve ever read. Lindo asks about the history of the show; he asks about why there are so many people listed as producers; he asks about how they animate the guest stars. Not wanting to be rude to their guest, they let him run roughshod over them. They hardly discuss the episode at all, which might be for the best as it is very dumb.

Including Lindo, there are seven guys on this one.

0:35 – Someone, sounds like Jean, asks Lindo if he saw the episode when it came out or later because with guest stars they never know. Lindo replies, “I saw it a lot later.” I’ll take that as (mild) evidence that doing a voice on Zombie Simpsons is nothing special at all. It’s become just one more thing for actors and celebrities to check off on a list of things you can do when you’re famous.

0:45 – Lindo was asking what all the producers and co-producers at the beginning are for, but they have a microphone problem. Lindo is apparently “in a separate room”, meanwhile things keep going. Jean answers the question anyway, saying “There are seven million producers because none of us want to leave the job. It’s [inaudible] cushy.”

1:30 – Still missing Lindo, Jean recounts a bunch of jokes that were changed by the censors to things that were arguably more vulgar.

2:45 – Lindo’s back, but he didn’t hear the answer, so we’re rehashing things. It raises an obvious question though, this thing doesn’t have a pause button?

3:20 – To Lindo’s credit, he doesn’t let them skate without answering the question. Unfortunately, we’re now four minutes in and have discussed precisely one topic on account of technical difficulties.

4:15 – Still discussing all the producer credits.

5:15 – The producer thing finally petered out thirty seconds ago, and now it’s just silence. Also, the episode is degenerating as Maggie calls the police.

5:35 – Wow, taking things all the way back to the beginning, Lindo replies to the original question about when he watched it by saying that it was when it was being rerun after his nieces and nephews told him he was on it.

6:15 – Jean replies to Lindo’s story by talking about how other guest stars, or even just people they mention, will get calls from their kids when something airs. This is basically Jean’s stock answer to guest voice questions whenever he has to give an interview.

7:45 – Lindo asks a long question about whether or not they look for guest voices to fit the character models. The response is that they design the characters after they hear the voices.

8:20 – Mildly interesting note as Jean, in response to the question, says that when they’re considering voices, he’ll shut his eyes and just listen to the voice.

9:30 – Still joking about characters not sounding like they look.

10:05 – Delroy Lindo Question Time continues, though it is better than discussing this episode anyway. He asks if any of them saw the success coming. David Silverman (who’s been on the show the longest) gives the standard response: that they never expected this to happen.

10:50 – We’re still doing the standard background responses. Now they’re talking about James L. Brooks.

11:45 – Lindo’s next question is about whether or not working on the show has opened a lot of doors for them to work on other projects. On screen a bunch of cougars and wolves are trying to eat Homer and Lindo. No one notices.

12:30 – After some of the older guys recount other things this has let them do, our old friend Matt Warburton chimes in to let everyone know that this is the only job he’s ever had. He got it out of college and has never left, and this episode was the first one he ever worked on.

13:00 – Lindo asks if it’s true that this one was nominated for some environmental award. This gives the rest of them a chance to pat themselves on the back of getting a lot of award nominations over the years.

14:00 – Lindo’s next question is about where this episode lands in the “canon” of the show and how things have changed over the years. This leads to a small discussion of ratings and the fact that even though they’re down, everyone’s down and they’re still #6 in terms of advertising rates. I have no trouble believing that, but it doesn’t change the fact that the ratings are embarrassingly low.

15:00 – After some back and forth about how far they’ve come in twenty years, Jean launches into a general history of the show. If you are interested enough in the show to be reading this, it is very unlikely any of this is new information.

15:30 – Lindo clearly displays that he is not that interested in the show, asking “You guys came along before South Park, right?” That question is pretty indicative of how this whole conversation is going. Lindo comes off as one of those capital “A” Actors, who takes his craft and the creativity that goes with it very seriously but doesn’t care about the generalized pop culture that is the show’s bread and butter. Jean continues on about the history of the show.

16:00 – Now Lindo and Jean are talking about how much their kids like the show even though they’re much younger than the show itself.

17:00 – Lindo sounds like he’s getting ready to bail, and Jean actually talks about what’s going on in the episode for the first time in the entire commentary. He’s pleased with them for sewing up the loose end from the Vegas episode when Homer and Ned left their wives.

18:05 – For a second there I thought the commentary might have ended with that, but it’s picked back up again. I’m not sure if Lindo is still here. This was the first episode that Joel Cohen wrote, and it was the first episode Jean did as the solo show runner. The table read went great, too bad the finished product is meandering crap.

18:45 – They seem to be under the impression that the Vegas wives were really beloved characters and that bringing them back was a no brainer. It’s not entirely clear why.

19:20 – Jean jokingly defends the show’s anti-Irish bias by noting that he and many of the rest of them are Irish. I miss Lindo.

19:50 – Complements for the director.

20:40 – For the second time in about two minutes, they get confused between this one and the Vegas one.

21:00 – Now they’re laughing about all the questions Lindo asked them, joking that he’s really a FOX lawyer and now they’re all going to get fired for not justifying their jobs.

21:25 – A few jokes about the laziness of bringing back the wives.

21:50 – The clusterfuck continues. Lindo’s back, but they thought he left. He got dropped by technical difficulties again (they must have him on a video conference or something), he just thought they were done. They end by thanking him for being on and offering to send him some more episodes.


Quote of the Day

Like Father, Like Clown2

“Reverend Lovejoy, we need you to help us find a rabbi.” – Bart Simpson
“Well, uh, before you make any rash decisions let me just remind you that the church is changing to meet the needs of today’s young christians.” – Reverend Lovejoy


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