Posts Tagged ‘The Last Temptation of Homer


Quote of the Day

“Sir, we’ll need a new dangerous emissions supervisor.” – Mr. Smithers
“Yes, well, find someone cheap. It’s been a very lean year for us.” – C.M. Burns
“Money fight!” – C.M. Burns & Mr. Smithers


Makeup Quote of the Day

“Alright, I’ll bring in a woman. But I still stand by my hiring policies. . . . Get back to work, Stewart!” – C.M. Burns


Quote of the Day

“Your appearance is comical to me.” – Martin Prince


Quote of the Day

“Throat looks a little red. I better spray it.” – Lady Doctor Hibbert
“Oy, thanks nice lady! My voice is crazy with the spraying already! I feel so much better, mister medical science type person!” – Bart Simpson

Rest in peace, Jerry Lewis.


Ad Hoc Beer Marathon

“Hey, Homer, you busy?” – Lenny
“Yes.” – Homer Simpson

I used to do these with more preparation, but it’s Saturday, I’m sick and tired of being responsible, and my fridge has a lot of beer in it. May the Lord bless and keep the VLC random play function…

The Last Temptation of Homer

– Bart’s parking line prank is one of his best. Especially since the punchline is the psychological frailty of the faculty.

– Look how bored Burns is when Charlie describes the fake emergency exit. He’s not even mad yet, and he’s always kinda mad.

– That plane crashed on his property!

– “Your appearance is comical to me.”

– “Hey, Joey Joe Joe!” Great throwaway joke.

– There’s such wonderful layers to Homer’s “Foul temptress! I’ll bet she thinks Ziggy’s gotten too preachy too!” It’s eleven words, moves the plot, and there’s like three jokes.

– God I miss Phil Hartman. He has one line in this whole episode, and it’s perfect.

– Fucking Season 5, I could write a whole post about almost every scene.

– Stewart callback!

– There’s no way to do the porter’s many sex sounds in text. You can’t even really quote it well. But it’s awesome.

– “Hey, kids, did anyone pray for giant shoes?”

– Simpsons Did It

– I love the immediate and unbridled hostility of the energy convention MC’s “No” when Homer asks if he can get out of dinner with Mindy.

– The ending of this episode is a great example of how the show handled real conflict and emotion with speed and humor. We get right up to Homer thinking he might cheat on Marge with Minday (who’s in the room), which cuts immediately to the reveal that it’s actually Marge in his room, which cuts immediately to her noticing that there’s a turkey behind the bed. On Zombie Simpsons that would take a minute and a half and Homer would explain how he’d been thinking about cheating on her.

Home Sweet Homediddly-Dum-Doodily

– Love the 1960s Batman sound when Marge wraps the sandwiches. #RIPAdamWest

– Count Homer’s test drive would be so much worse on Zombie Simpsons. They’d probably make it a montage instead of just using “gently massages your buttocks” as a punchline.

– “See you in hell, you wingless bloodsuckers!” (Also more great sound effects with the lice squeaking pathetically as they’re incinerated.)

– Stupid baby

– Now that’s a quick sign gag.

– The “turn tape over” gag is a piece of history now.

– “I don’t judge Homer and Marge. That’s for a vengeful God to do.” Maude Flanders was really an awful human being and it made her a great foil for Ned.

– This isn’t the goriest Itchy & Scratchy, but it is one of the most straight up horrifying. “Why? Why? My only son.”

– Homer in front of the judge is hilarious. He actually does love his kids, but way, way less than he’s annoyed by them. His unthinking default is that he doesn’t want to be around them.

– “I want wintergreen!”, “Unflavored for me.”. On a related topic, I’ve been watching “The Handmaid’s Tale” on Mrs. Mad Jon’s Hulu login.

– “Put your garbage in a garbage can, people. I can’t stress that enough.”

– The scene where Bart and Lisa watch the Flandereses put Maggie to bed is another example of how ruthlessly efficient the storytelling used to be. It sets up Maggie as the one Simpson who might like it next door, has several jokes, and shows us how much Bart and Lisa both hate it there and miss home. It takes like ten seconds.

– The Vulgate of Saint Jerome! That’s The Simpsons, an obscure, fourth century bible translation as a punchline.

– “Ned, have you thought about one of the other major religions? They’re all pretty much the same.”

– More great storytelling, the way Maggie instantly bails on the pond soaked Homer, Bart, and Lisa for the Flandereses, only turning aside when Marge shows up. It’s perfectly in character and fast.


In Marge We Trust

– Late 90s French nuclear weapons test were a gift from God to the Simpsons writers room

– “In that case, he should’ve made the week an hour longer. Lousy God.”

– As someone who spent far too many weekend hours in un-air conditioned churches, I really identify with Lovejoy’s constancy sermon.

– “No, no, I don’t feel like going to a trash pile today.”
“It’s your life.”

– Season 8 isn’t the first time we see A and B plots that are completely unrelated, but it does seem like where it becomes kinda standard.

– “Do you know thanks to you I’ve rediscovered a form of shame that’s gone unused for 700 years?”

– Lovejoy’s decades long irritation with Flanders is a pretty solid foundation for an episode. “I think I may be coveting my own wife.”

– “Hi, it’s me again. I got another problem. This one’s about my cat.”

– Great fourth wall joke with Marge insisting that nobody is watching them right now.

– Gotta love the librarian as Homer starts clearly dialing Japan.

– I don’t know if “You’re just lucky God isn’t here” is a George Meyer line, but it feels like one.


– “Awesome power”

– I love Season 8, but it has a bad tic of weird endings, the ape fight in this one definitely included. (See also: fan man, phony kidnapping, rocket house, The Eliminator…)

– “She taught me that there’s more to being a minister than not caring about people.”

– And then it ends on a much more entertaining, but completely a-religious sermon. It’s the little things that make this show so rewatchable. (Eat me, spellcheck, “rewatchable” is too a word.)


The Springfield Connection

– Upper lower middle class types. Heh.

– “You’re giving three card monty a bad name!”, mumbled punchlines are a great way to say something really stupid and make it even funnier than it otherwise would be. The finger thing means the taxes.

– Homer just assuming Marge is a hysterical woman saved by the police is typical of how the show made fun of sexism without getting preachy like Ziggy. At it’s most basic, sexism is stupid, and Homer is it’s perfect unthinking adherent. Look at her face here!

– Ditto the cops laughing when she says she wants to be a police officer.

– “Forget about the badge, when do we get the freakin’ guns?!”

– I think I mentioned this on the Season 6 beer marathon, but I’ve never been able to get those Magic Eye things to work.

– I watched Zootopia recently. Great movie co-directed by Simpsons alum Rich Moore. The police briefing scene there is a lot like the one here. I mean, police briefing scenes are pretty well trod ground (and this whole thing is a Hill Street Blues parody), but the way the jokes flow is very similar here.

– “This padding’s so easy on the knuckles, I could punch all day.”

– Homer and the police tape. It builds and builds and builds right up to Flanders nearly cracking as Homer wallows in his own crapulence.

– The extremely bleak politics of the show shines through when Lisa asks Marge about the police enforcing the status quo for the wealthy elite. That’s “woke”.

– Love the light flicker after Moleman gets executed.

– Poor Antoine Bugelboy

– Homer’s reflexive sexism pops up again when he tells Herman to “leave the girl out of this!”.

– The show even sneaks in a quick parody of the end of all those detective and mystery shows when Homer asks Marge how she figured it out.


Brush With Greatness

– Minor point, but Bart and Lisa holding hands about what a “great week” it’s been is pitch perfect in the way networks/channels try and get people to believe they were there for something.

– I wanna go to Mount Splashmore. Take me take me take me take me now! Now! Now! Now! Now! Now!

– Another wonderful Homer moment when his first reaction to Marge’s heartfelt tale of quitting painting and going to art class is, “Do I have to do anything?”.

– Only 35 calories . . .

– Jon Lovitz never had a Troy McClure or Lionel Hutz, but he was one of the greatest recurring guest stars. He nailed every voice.

– Case in point: “Marge, please, I don’t take praise very well!”

– “And as the wife of an employee she’ll be easily intimidated.”

– Carl with Lenny’s voice, ah, Season 2.

– Ringo on “Gear!”, remember when the show gave celebrities fun things to say?

– “Thank goodness. Another day in this suburban nightmare and I would’ve needed half a white Valium.”

– Marge’s brief painting montage is another little moment of character display. We see her painting, but we also see 1) the whole family watching, then 2) only Lisa and Maggie watching (and Lisa yawns), and finally 3) just Maggie there, asleep in the background.

– He’s no art critic, but he knows what he hates.


Quote of the Day


“Excellent, Zutroy. Work hard, and each day you’ll get a shiny penny.” – C.M. Burns


Quote of the Day


“Moe, I need your advice.” – Homer Simpson
“Yeah.” – Moe
“See I got this friend named . . . Joey Joe Joe . . . Junior . . . Shabadoo.” – Homer Simpson
“That’s the worst name I ever heard.” – Moe
“Oh, oh-oh!” – Joey Joe Joe
“Hey, Joey Joe Joe!” – Barney Gumble


Quote of the Day

The Last Temptation of Homer14

“Your son has a temporary condition called Lazy Eye where one eye is weaker than the other.  You’ll have to wear these for two weeks. . . . Menachem Begin wore a pair just like them!” – Hibbert Moneymaking Organization Optometrist


Behind Us Forever: Lisa With an S

The Last Temptation of Homer13

“Dad, why are you singing?” – Lisa Simpson
“Tell a lie!  Tell a lie!” – Homer’s Brain
“Because I have a small roll in a Broadway musical.  It’s not much, but it’s a start.” – Homer Simpson
“Bravo.” – Homer’s Brain 

I gave up on this episode halfway through (read more and you’ll see why).  The basic idea is that Lisa wants to go to band camp, but Homer loses money in a poker game to Moe’s elderly, ex-Broadway star girlfriend.  (I am not making that up.)  Said ex-Broadway star comes over to the house and then takes Lisa on tour, wacky hijinks ensue, etcetera etcetera, and then at some point the credits roll.

The couch gag is a kind of Star Trek doodle that probably never should’ve left the upper right corner of some bored person’s script.

We open with a West Side Story “Tonight, Tonight” song opening for poker night.  Most of the lyrics are the word “tonight”.

Lisa: “to save time, I’ll start describing the favor.” There’s an extra layer of laziness and audience contempt when they pre-exposit the exposition.

Lenny just fell out a window.

Poker montage!

Now they’re doing an Inside Out thing in Homer’s head.  Helpfully, it restates what’s going on (again).

And Homer loses at poker.  Barney is now driving a dart board like a steering wheel.  Feh.

Late at night, Bart pokes his head into Lisa’s room to re-exposit the plot.  Thanks, Bart!  I was confused as to whether or not Homer losing at poker would impact Lisa going to band camp.

The old Broadway lady is at dinner with the family now.  They’re recounting stories.  Tell, don’t show!

Here’s a typically boring and haplessly constructed series of events:

  1. Homer tries to flatter the old lady by saying “tell me you’re writing a book”.  Then . . .
  2. Bart starts choking himself with his necktie, which causes the camera to pan away from her and over to him.  Then . . .
  3. Homer grabs Bart and says, “sit down, boy, we’re trying to show this dame that we’re deserving of her pity”.  That neatly restates the thing we’d just had explained to us twice.  He continues:
  4. Homer: “Where’s that crutch I gave you?”
    Bart: “There’s nothing wrong with my leg.”
    Homer: “There will be!”
  5. Bart then bashes Homer’s leg with a crutch, so . . .
  6. Homer screams in pain, then . . .
  7. He pretends to hobble around on the crutch when the old lady, who’s been sitting there the whole time, is put back into frame.  Homer then restates the plot once again.  Pre-explained jokes, repeated exposition, no sense of object (or character) permanence; Lordy, this show is bad.

Lisa is now playing saxophone for the old lady, then pulls out “Laney’s” albums and reads the covers to us while she shows them.  This form of storytelling, reading out loud while showing us the accompanying picture, is usually reserved for librarians reading to kindergartners.  It is also sadly typical of Zombie Simpsons.

Marge is arguing with the old lady, then Grampa chimed in before saying, “I’ve been here, I’ve just been quiet”.  Things like this are why I’m convinced the writing staff knows how shitty these scripts are and is long (LONG) past the point of caring.

You know what?  Fuck it.  Let’s skip forward three minutes and see what’s happening . . . the screen is panning over a bunch of empty theater seats and balconies before Milhouse appears from nowhere to tell us he got a ticket and then Lisa describes what we just saw.

Let’s skip ahead another three minutes . . . the old lady is singing (Lisa’s part of the band).  Moe, in the audience, then tells us what we just saw, “Cheering for someone getting a word right.  That is a low bar.”  Indeed.  Three more minutes, please . . .

Moe and the old lady finish the episode in a “visiting New York City” montage.  But there’s one of those post-credit sketches where Homer is arguing with an Amish guy who’s related to Flanders.  I watched 51% of this carcass, that should be enough.

So, the ratings for the last two episodes are in and very little has changed.  The one from two weeks ago, “Friend With Benefit”, did not have the benefit of an NFL lead-in and was endured by only 3.5 million viewers.  (Fun fact: the headline of that article includes the words “family”, “guy”, “series”, and “low”.)  This one did have an NFL lead-in and managed 5.64 million viewers, almost exactly a million less than the previous episode that had football protecting it from apathy.  Overall, ratings: still atrocious.


Quote of the Day

The Last Temptation of Homer12

“I’m attracted to another woman!  What am I going to do?” – Homer Simpson
“Your infatuation is based on a physical attraction.  Talk to the woman, and you’ll realize you have nothing in common.” – Barney Gumble
“Barney, that is so insightful.  How’d you come up with that?” – Homer Simpson
“It was on one of these bar napkins.” – Barney Gumble


Quote of the Day

The Last Temptation of Homer11

“Agent Wesson, Department of Labor.  This man’s an illegal alien.” – Agent Wesson
“That’s preposterous!  Zutroy here is as American as apple pie.” – C.M. Burns


Quote of the Day

The Last Temptation of Homer10

“What the hell was that?  Oh, I probably shouldn’t have eaten that packet of powdered gravy I found in the parking lot.” – Homer Simpson


Reading Digest: Letterman Retires Edition


So David Letterman announced that sometime next year he’s going to hang up his mic and ride off into the talk show sunset.  Two years ago, he did a short guest voice for a couch gag on Zombie Simpsons.  That video was freaking everywhere this week, so it’s another shorter than usual Reading Digest.  (It’s worth pointing out, of course, that the family seeing Letterman on the couch was a repeat of the one above from Season 5, but I digress.  Bonus Critic points here.)  Beyond that we’ve got some cool fan art of the amateur and professional varieties, some news about the new FXX syndication deal, some excellent usage, an old Chinese bootleg t-shirt, and a bunch of fake beer.


Joshua Budich Has The Munchies For Gallery 1988′s Exhibit: “The Subtle Art Of Pop Culture” – Cool drawings of stuff from movie and TV.  There are twelve of them, three are from the show.  Nobody else got more than one.  Just saying.

Tuesday Top 5 – Simpsons Songs – Excellent list, lots of YouTube, and no Zombie Simpsons.

Do You Know These Cartoon Cats? – Snowball II and Scratchy are on here, plus several I know and several more I do not know.

‘The Simpsons’ Paid Tribute To David Letterman By Taking Their Couch Gag Inside The Ed Sullivan Theater – One of those really long filler couch gags from Season 23 was making the rounds this week because David Letterman did a guest voice on it.  I would simply like to point to this couch gag’s entry in Wikipedia:

Similar to the couch gag from the season five’s “The Last Temptation of Homer,” the Simpsons find themselves on the set of The Late Show With David Letterman.

Simpsonize Yourself – Fan made self portrait, including tattoos and a Donnas t-shirt.  Bravo.

I GUESS EVERYBODY REALLY IS PLAYING MAH JONGG! – Cool bootleg t-shirt from the dawn of the show with the family playing mahjong and yelling at each other in what I assume is Chinese.

Your Guide To The 20 Best Fake Beer Brands From Movies And Television – Duff comes in shockingly low at #6.

Bartolo Colon Jiggling His Belly Fat is Frontrunner for MLB GIF of the Year – It’s like a lava lamp.

Mimi Pond sketches an alter ego’s youthful days in ‘Over Easy’ – Pond, who wrote “Simpsons Roasting On an Open Fire”, gas a new book out.

14 Simpsons Look Alike People – Some of those are pretty good.

Nish Kumar plays life like it is as a comedian and confidence trickster – British comedian knows what’s up:

His guiding model in this, he says, is The Simpsons. ”The Simpsons is my favourite-ever show,” he says. ”It never speaks down to the audience; It always assumes the audience is going to catch up but it never [does] in a way that would make you feel stupid if you didn’t. I watch some of those episodes now and wonder: what was I watching when I was 10? But that’s the trick.”

The Simpsons’ Take on Standardized Testing – Heh.  Also, don’t forget “Separate Vocations” from Season 3: “It’s called the Career Aptitude Normalizing Test, or CANT.”

Affliate Post Godzilla, Deadpool, and Jon Snow in detention. – Bart/Jon’s got a lot of writing to do.

Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play Will Make Midwest Premiere at Theater Wit – The play is coming to Chicago early next year, so maybe I’ll finally get to see it.

‘The Tech Sector’: Growing, and growing vaguer – Excellent usage:

Anyone remember when Homer Simpson created “Compu-Global-Hyper-Mega-Net”?  Marge asks him what, exactly, his company does, and he responds, “Eh, this industry moves so fast it’s really hard to tell.”

Of Bikes and Men – Excellent mental reference:

Peter is going to be fine, it turns out, but he is in the hospital for tests and needs his insurance information sent over. Since I am also his neighbor and the keeper of the spare keys, I am the perfect person to solve this problem. Except I am not at home; I am across town. A logistical monkey wrench, but not insurmountable. It’s an hour round trip, tops.

In my head I am hearing my favorite Simpsons clip, from Treehouse of Horror III, where Homer is sold cursed frogurt. Peter was in an accident (ooh, that’s bad); he is going to be fine (that’s good!); but he needs you to get dressed and head across town (that’s bad); though it should only delay your plans by an hour (that’s good!).

Ryan Sadri on music and life as a saxophonist – Isn’t it everybody’s?:

I’ve found that more than any other instrument, the sax helps me get closest to expressing what I feel within. It’s an amazing high. And yes, my favourite sax piece is The Simpsons theme song played by Lisa Simpson.

‘The Simpsons’ Will Debut On FXX With A 12-Day, 522-Episode Marathon – Just what it says.  They’re filling August dead time with eleven days of the show, including day after day of unwatchable Zombie Simpsons crap.  If nothing else, it will serve as a visceral reminder of the decline of the show.  Also, the ratings ought to be interesting . . .

FXX Adds The Simpsons to Syndication and All is Right in the World – See?:

So far, this is panning out to be the longest marathon of a TV show ever. I have no problems with it, now I just have to put in some vacation time and do some serious food shopping.

Scratch that, I definitely won’t be watching the entire marathon, the show was only good until maybe the 9th season.

Best of The Simpsons Part… – Heh.

Silver for The Simpsons – A nice little 25th anniversary treatment that agrees with us both in writing and by only posting screen grabs from single digit seasons.


Quote of the Day

The Last Temptation of Homer9

“You will find happiness with a new love.” – Homer’s Brain
“Oh, even the Chinese are against me.  What’s the point?  I can’t fight fate.” – Homer Simpson
“Hey, we’re out of these New Love cookies.” – Madam Chao’s Waiter #1
“Well, open up the Stick With Your Wife barrel.” – Madam Chao’s Waiter #2

Happy 20th Anniversary to “The Last Temptation of Homer”!  Original airdate 9 December 1993.


Reading Digest: Thanks Chicago Edition


Image shamelessly yoinked from Wikipedia

“Wow, Capital City, the Windy Apple!” – Mindy Simmons 

Before we get to this week’s links, I’d like to say thank you to everyone at classic Simpsons trivia in Chicago on Monday at Pizzeria Serio.  There was Neil Arsenty and his two man cadre of fanatics, who ran the show and graded our poorly scrawled answers while the rest of us laughed at “Bart’s Friend Falls in Love” and “The PTA Disbands”.  There was the nice bartender dude who gave us the list of cheap bottle beer they were trying to get rid of.  There was the cool but semi-bewildered manager guy who couldn’t quite believe that there were more than enough Simpsons fans to pack his place on an off night and wolf down pizza and drinks like it was the weekend.  There were the fine members of the upstairs staff who gave me a free shot of whisky and toasted it with me.  And, of course, there were all the other Simpsons fans, that shushed conversation when the episodes were on, answered some very tricky questions, and laughed and laughed and laughed.

Best of all, “L’il Bandits”, the team that came in dead last (32nd out of 32), answered every question and stayed for the whole thing.  A team had to be 90% correct or better to place in the top five, so competition was fierce, but whether people had the answers or not, everyone had a good time: watching episodes (“Homer at the Bat” started the evening), quoting lines, and laughing at answers, questions and quotes.  So, thanks again to all involved, participants, organizers and hosts; let’s do it again sometime.

In terms of actual Simpsons news, we’ve got quite a few links to video games old a new this week, including some great suggestions for making Tapped Out less crappy and exploitative than it is.   There’s still no word on what the FXX cable syndication deal will actually mean for us lowly fans, but someone got’s a great suggestion, plus there’s some usage, a couple of great fan made items, an interesting tidbit about Bono, and all the Krusty Brand Seal of Approval merchandise you can shake an upscale clothing store at.


“Distroy” by PEZ Λrtwork – Smooth Charlie’s link of the week is this collection of awesomely elaborate drawings of famous cartoon characters, including Homer and a very creepy Bart.  Excellent.

So It’s Come To This: The Case for the Simpsons Clip Database – Harrumph:

So here’s my pitch to FX and FXX: Work with 20th Century Fox to create the Simpsons Clip Database. Launch it in Summer 2014. At the end of every clip created through the database, append a brief reminder that all episodes of The Simpsons will be available streaming on FXNow, and on the FXX linear channel starting in August. Rather than having to promote the launch yourself, let the show itself do the work for you, and weaponize the series’ cultural capital to let the show’s fans spread the word of the show’s new home.

The meager collection of legal clips on Hulu and YouTube is an insult to the show.  Three cheers for the Simpsons Clip Database!

A Hierarchy of Quoting ‘Simpsons’ Characters – This was making the rounds this week, it’s a list of what I guess are supposed to be the coolest or dorkiest Simpsons characters you can quote.  So quoting Ralph is lame but quoting Sideshow Bob is cool.  Meh.

‘The Simpsons’ Sam Simon to Receive WGA Award – Last night he got a lifetime achievement award. 

Converse x XLarge ‘The Simpsons’ Pro Leather Canvas Hi – More sneakers with Bart on the side.

UK’s first The Simpsons ice cream on way for 2014 – They are running out of things to license.  Clown college, ho!

Twentieth Century Fox signs fashion labels for The Simpsons – And from the same site as the above link:

“It’s clear that The Simpsons is more relevant than ever and the 25th anniversary next year is set to be an even more exciting year in the history of the brand.”
Additionally, new collections will be introduced for existing global partners such as Bershka, Pull and Bear, H&M, C&A, Zara Kids and Original Marines.
The Simpsons collections have launched in the UK this year across high street fashion outlets including, Topshop, Topman, Pull and Bear, Bershka, H&M, C&A, New Look, river Island and Urban Outfitters.

Merchandising, merchandising, where the real money from the teevee show is made.

How to make friends: Wear a Simpsons Shirt – And here’s why they’re doing it:

Yo looking for friends? Just hop on over to the mall, grab yourself this Simpsons sweatshirt at Forever 21 and walk outside your apartment. Seriously never have I seen people more excited or interested in talking to me than when I wear this. It’s like a love connection, but weirdly I’m into it. Although, if you don’t like compliments and avoid people at all costs, DO NOT wear this. You will probably go rogue bitch on everyone and no one wants that. So be warned: wear Simpson apparel with caution.

Marge Simpson AleXsandro Palombo Iconic Dresses – Someone drew Marge wearing a bunch of dresses.  That is all.

Marge Simpson Felt finger puppet – Cool fan made Marge puppet to go with a previously made Homer one.

Eight of our favourite Mayor Quimby moments in The Simpsons – Plenty of good YouTube here.

Homer Simpson beer moments. – More good YouTube here.

Copyright? – A hair salon in Seoul using a little unauthorized marketing.

As New Jersey Prepares To Launch Internet Gambling, Congress Has Plan To Tax The Industry – Excellent usage starts an article about on-line gambling:

Gambling is the finest thing a person can do; IF he is good at it.”

Krusty the Klown’s lawyer, lamenting his client’s decision to bet on the Washington Generals against the Harlem Globetrotters because, as Krusty put it, they were “due.”

Bart Simpson and the cone of ignorance – The 3D map is just devastating.

scribble #41 – Heh, clever.

5 Shocking Revelations About U2’s ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ Broadway Musical – I’d kinda like to see this:

5. Bono does a killer impersonation of Mr. Burns on The Simpsons.
During one meeting, Bono turns to Berger and says, “How long have you been with us, Smithers?”

The link between Bart Simpson and the Irish Language. – The etymology of the word “brat”.

Gamecube Review: The Simpsons Hit & Run – A video game review:

Overall, it’s not great, but it’s better than most other Simpsons games out there, and that in itself is an accomplishment because most Simpsons games are terrible.

Indeed they are.

Top 10 Most Requested Features for Tapped Out – Speaking of which, I wholeheartedly endorse #3 and #1 here, but let’s be clear about one thing:

#4 – Voices for the Regular Cast

Due to some legalese, only characters voiced by the main cast are permitted to have voices in the game. At the very least a deal to add-in characters voiced by Tress MacNeille and Pamela Hayden would be welcomed, as each of those two women voice a dozen different characters in the show.

Their absence, and that of many other voices, has nothing to do with legalese and everything to do with FOX and EA being a bunch of cheap bastards.

Dag 289 – T-shirt of Homer asleep on the couch.

Whatever you say, Mr. Billboard! – Heh.

The Best Episode Thingy There Ever Was Round 1 Homer’s Odyssey vs. Homer’s Night Out – Amen to this:

I like how Princess Kashmir, aka April Flowers, is portrayed in this scene. Despite her wings and halo, she is neither an angel nor a sinner. She neither loves nor hates what she does for a living. She’s just a woman doing her job. A lot of shows back then, and even today, would have gone down the road of having her be some poor lost soul who needs to be saved from an industry she hates.

Fish koozies and Bart’s Comet: Pre-class overheads (November 4 – 8) – A science teacher employs “Bart’s Comet” in class:

In the Thursday class, we used one of my favourite Simpsons clips, taken from the “Bart’s Comet” episode. This clip connects to energy and somewhat bridges to the topic of electricity via the bike light generator Bart uses. In the clip, Principal Skinner has a fun quote: “Ah, there’s nothing more exciting than science. You get all the fun of sitting still, being quiet, writing down numbers, paying attention… Science has it all.”

S1E7 “The Call of the Simpsons” – I always like this joke:

The Bigfoot message on television interrupting the presidential address is pretty silly, and easily missed if you aren’t listening.

Brockman’s clipped and hurried delivery makes it.

Halloween Art – The Homer Devil jack-o-lantern is great.

WedNESday: The Simpsons’ Video Games – A detailed look back at the earliest of the Simpsons games.


Quote of the Day

Independent Study

“Hey, he’s learning on his own.” – Jimbo Jones
“Get him!” – Kearney


Quote of the Day

The Last Temptation of Homer8

“Homer, what’s with you?  You’re talking during a coffee break.” – Lenny
“Yeah, usually you just take the box of donuts into the bathroom.” – Carl


Quote of the Day

Drinking Fountain

“If they hire a woman we won’t be able to spit on the floor.” – Lenny
“And we can’t take off our pants when it gets real hot.” – Carl
“And we won’t be able to pee in the drinking fountain. . . . I mean, not, you know, if we wanted to, not that I ever did.” – Homer Simpson


Reading Digest: Mindy and Marge Edition

The Last Temptation of Homer7

“My job is to show you how miserable life would be if you married Mindy instead of Marge.” – Colonel Klink

I’m not sure if the tag feature on WordPress was on the fritz again or what, but there weren’t many Simpsons links this week.  There were a hell of a lot of links to a promotional stunt Mindy Kaling did where she dressed up as Marge and got herself photographed on the Simpsons couch to flog her new sitcom.  There really isn’t much to the story beyond that so there’s only one link to it below, but that one picture was linked in a hell of a lot of other places.  On top of that we’ve got several excellent reader submissions, our old pal Philip applying the Compare & Contrast template to another show, a Pareidolia tree, and a real life Homer Simpson who was executed for murder.  No shit.


Check Out Mindy Kaling As Marge Simpson! – This was enough of an on-line hit this week that I lost count of the number of times I saw it linked.  It’s a decent enough picture, but that wig is way too short.

Compare & Contrast: Funny Restaurants – Our old friend Philip J. Reed takes a look at two different episodes of The IT Crowd with a little bit of Simpsons sprinkled in for good measure. 

A Manic Remembrance of The Ren & Stimpy Show – Want to see what Mike Reiss has to say about Ren & Stimpy?  Of course you do.  Unfortunately, there is some misquoting in here:

Reiss was, by the way, not only the guy who wrote the episode with the first Ren & Stimpy/John K. barb in it (you remember: Grandpa wins an award for best screenplay in animation, and they show a clip of the Ren & Stimpy season premiere, but it says, “Episode not yet released”). He’s also immortalized as one of the animators in the crowd after Grandpa makes his acerbic speech chastising everyone for being involved in cartoons in the first place.

Reiss: “The hell with cartoons! I’m going to go write that show about the sassy robot!”

The clip actually says “Clip Not Done Yet”, and the Reiss stand in actually says, “The hell with cartoons!  I’m gonna do what I’ve always dreamed of, I’m gonna write that sitcom about the sassy robot.”  Still an interesting read.  Thanks to reader Chase for sending this in.

Siskel and Ebert: Film Criticism’s Most Underrated Comedy Duo – Some history of the bald guy and the fat guy, with plenty of references to The Critic, The Simpsons, and Jean and Reiss.  Thanks to reader Nick for sending this in! 

The case of Homer Simpson Former Cleveland Police Chief executed for murder 83 years ago still fascinates public – A True Murder Story.  (No, seriously.) 

Biff Bam Pop’s Favourite TV Teachers – Krabappel is on here; sadly the example is from Zombie Simpsons.

Mitt: Palestinians Are the 47 Percent – Heh:

Mother Jones has released the second installment of its hit reality show where Mitt Romney stops being polite and starts getting real. Here, Romney explains that his plan to handle the Palestinian problem is basically Homer Simpson’s scheme to pass a test he hasn’t prepared for. (“I’ve been working on a plan. During the exam, I’ll hide under some coats and hope that somehow everything will work out.”)

Excellent usage.

Yeardley Smith talks about being Lisa Simpson – An interview:

How did you get started in voice acting?
I did a new play at a grubby little theater in Los Angeles, a few months after I arrived in 1986. I think 17 people saw that play, but one of them ended up casting "The Simpsons" shorts on Fox’s ”The Tracey Ullman Show” a year later. She remembered me and said right away, "I know who should play ‘Lisa Simpson’!"

I didn’t know that.

Homer Simpson tree – This is a very brief YouTube video, but that tree does look like Homer:

If you click through, the only comment fro the guy who uploaded it is, “Don’t judge me”.  Ha.

The Lib Dem disaster movie – I’ll leave those of you with more familiarity with British politics than me to ponder whether or not this is accurate, but it is a good reference:

Cable never comes across as the most assured television performer, looking disconcertingly like the Simpsons character Mr. Burns in that moment immediately after his prototype mutant monkeys have plunged to their deaths from his office window. Interestingly, the Mr. Burns character was in fact based on Ed Miliband’s new guru Michael Sandel, who taught a number of the Simpsons writers at Harvard. But I digress.

Never heard that about Burns, though.

Matt Groening Invented The iPod Design [Proof] – Heh.

A Town Called Mercy…In 10 Words – At least he’s not horse whispering.

International Talk Like a Pirate Day…In 10 Words – Heh.

Gangnam Style…In 10 Words – It must be confusing if the Simpsons quote has to be put outside the image for once.

Day 71: Get a Clue – And finally, someone who agrees with us while getting rid of some of their clutter:

We also have a Simpsons version of Clue. I like the Simpsons (well, I used to; I haven’t been able to watch it the last few years because it became quite unfunny) and I like Clue. But I think I’ll prefer teaching my kids to play it on the classic board.

So I am letting go of this Simpsons version.

It has indeed become quite unfunny.


Compare & Contrast: Homer’s Imaginary Friends

The Last Temptation of Homer6

“Colonel Klink!  Why have you forsaken me?” – Homer Simpson

The hallucinatory Stradivarius Cain in “The Spy Who Learned Me” isn’t quite as bad an idea as a tiny green space alien that only Homer can see, but it’s not far off.  Even if we set aside some of the more glaring incongruities about Homer’s imaginary friend (what’s with the other imaginary characters interacting with him? were there any reasons besides killing time and cross promotional masturbation for him to pop out of FOX’s stupid football robot?), we’re still left with a number of problems that illustrate not only how bad an idea this was, but how poorly they executed it as well.

First, consider why Cain is in the episode.  He appears when Homer is sitting in Moe’s watching television, bluntly declares that he’s the result of the concussion Homer has suffered, and that he’s there to help Homer get back into Marge’s good graces.  Right here at the start, strange things are happening even if we set aside the oddity that apparently some part of Homer’s brain knows how to be suave, confident and charming. 

By the time he appears, Homer’s concussion is pretty far in the past.  Thanks to Zombie Simpsons’ relentless insistence on terrible pacing, the concussion happens just before the five minute mark but Cain doesn’t show up for six more minutes after that, past the halfway point.  On its own this wouldn’t be too terrible, except that at the end, after Homer gets clonked on the head with that guy’s gun, the other characters and Cain show up instantly as Homer pounds on his own skull with a rock.

Summoning Rock

I didn’t know that rock could do that.  

Even more than the usual problems that arise from plot holes and weird leaps of logic, this kind of inconsistency is extremely shitty storytelling.  Cain showed up at Moe’s long after the initial injury with only his say so linking his presence to Homer’s getting hit in the head (and even that was done in passing).  Then when the unnamed guy bashes Homer with the gun, there’s no indication whatsoever that the blow made Cain disappear, so having Homer start hitting himself to get Cain back is doubly strange.  I know I usually complain that Zombie Simpsons over-explains things, but in this case they did the opposite.

Compare that undercooked justification to the simple efficiency of Homer’s guardian angel in “The Last Temptation of Homer”.  Homer’s in a panic because his home life is a mess, he thinks teevee is telling him to cheat on his wife, and the marriage counselor to whom he just confessed his secret desires ended up being Ned Flanders.  When Flanders tries to get Marge on the line, Homer freaks, hits his head on the side of the phone booth, and poof, Sir Isaac Newton.

Guardian Entrance

See, Zombie Simpsons?  This isn’t that hard.

There’s no doubt in the audience’s mind as to who this semi-transparent guy is or why he’s there.  He doesn’t need to say, “Homer, I’m here because you hit your head on the side of the phone booth” because we just saw that happen.  In turn, that means he can introduce himself quickly and the episode can move immediately to his transformation into Colonel Klink (with Werner Klemperer doing the voice) and his unintentionally disastrous attempts to show Homer what his life would be like if he’d married Mindy instead of Marge (“Madam President, your approval rating is soaring”).

On top of that, The Simpsons had the good sense to keep the character only Homer can see well in the background.  Klink doesn’t alter the plot, he’s there in support of things that are happening in the real world.  He’s the opposite of those weird digressions Zombie Simpsons likes to take because his presence and his actions as Homer’s supernatural protector make sense for who he is and reinforce what’s already going on in the story.  Cain, on the other hand, is basically Ozmodiar.  Only Homer can see him, and pretty much all of Homer’s actions are based on Cain’s advice. 

In total, we have Zombie Simpsons taking a weak idea and botching it, where The Simpsons took a similar idea and used it well while not asking it to do too much.  The kind of show that has even Homer’s guardian angle become frustrated with him knew enough not to make his imaginary friend the center of the plot. 


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