Posts Tagged ‘Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo


Quote of the Day

“Ahh, folks, we’re experiencing some moderate, Godzilla related turbulence at this time, so I’m gonna go ahead and ask you to put your seatbelts back on. When we get to 35,000 feet he usually does let go. So from there on out all we have to do is worry about Mothra, and we do have reports he’s tied up with Gamera and Rodan at the present time. Thank you very much.” – Air Japan Pilot


Quote of the Day

“Welcome. I am honored to accept your waste.” – Japanese Toilet
“They’re years ahead of us!” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

“C’mon, Homer, Japan will be fun. You liked Rashomon.” – Marge Simpson
“That’s not how I remember it.” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo7

“It’s just that you and Maude live like royalty in your fancy castle while I got Marge trapped over there like a pig in a mud beehive.” – Homer Simpson
“Oh, we’re not as well off as you think. We give to eight different churches just to hedge our bets.” – Ned Flanders


Quote of the Day

Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo6

“Congratulations, I am the Emperor.”
“Yeah?  And I’m Clobbersaurus!” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo5

“Coming up next, a Canadian couple who say they are deathly afraid of scorpions.” – Wink
“Ooh, that stings, eh!” – Canadian


Reading Digest: Foreign food Edition

Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo4

“Well, I haven’t talked it over with the family, but I think we’d all like a free dinner at Americatown.” – Homer Simpson

This week we’ve got a couple of reports about the real Duff in Floreda, but we’ve also got people getting bootleg Duff in South America, a Spanish restaurant chain with an illegal Simpsons theme, and a Belgian chain with a legal one.  In addition to that, we’ve got a couple of lists, George Meyer, Mike Reiss selling shit to NBC, and a new punk album named after the show.  Enjoy.

‘Krasty Burger’ hits Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol in Spain (Includes first-hand account) – Good food, dubious legality, and lots of pictures.

Quick Launches Homer Simpson-Themed ‘Donut Burgers’ and ‘Les Cheesy Donuts’ – Novelty Menus – A Belgian fast food chain is doing Simpsons food this summer, and you can tell they’re European and not American because who the fuck wants to share:

The cheesy donuts are "small mouthfuls" of a cheddar dough that’s been stuffed with cheddar fondue. They come in servings of three or in servings of eight, which Quick intends for people to share.

Sharing is a bunch of crap. 

“We’ve Been Accused Of Starting Riots”: A Bad-Ass Conversation With Japanther – Awesome:

How do you talk about a band with a huge cult following — a band that’s equal parts performance art, politics, and punk? Their most recent LP Eat Like Lisa Act Like Bart, out now on Recess Records, is a ravenous romp through in-your-face punk politics.


NECA & 20th Century Fox Announce Limited Edition SIMPSONS Merchandise Program – Ah, nothing says quality pageviews like repurposing the press release and doing so to such an extent that the little “about” thing is the only part of the article that spills onto the second page.  Also, more crappy merchandise is coming our way, but that’s hardly news.

Cannes Lions: Mondelez senior vice president of marketing & comms Dana Anderson talks client/agency relationships and pitching – For a guy who hates advertising, this seems like a dubious honor:

"I want you to think about collaboration and the power of being one instead of two," she stated of the mentality for agencies and clients alike.

Of generosity she highlighted the work of George Myers, a writer for The Simpsons who she said shared his jokes with other writers and refused a credit on the show for 10 years, which inspired his team, in order to show its success. She also compared the world of marketing to that of comedy, comparing the comedian’s unspoken rule if showing appreciation for one another while on stage together

Of course, it’d also be nice if they could bother to spell his name right. 

What’s Going to Come After The Simpsons? – Our old friend Charles Kenny (and some commenters) ponder the future of the show.

BEWARE: 9/11 and (now) 6/22 Terrorism foretold in “The Simpsons” – Some numerically obsessed (but, one suspects, statistically ignorant) conspiracy nuts think bad things are going to happen tomorrow.  I’d only add that bad things were supposed to happen three years ago as well. 

I Don’t Know What I’m Doing. – Two screen shots of the overly sarcastic kids from “Homerpalooza”.  I never noticed before, but there’s a guy behind them wearing a Dr. Zaius t-shirt. 

Devil’s Advocate – Thoughtful discussion of religion and morality on The Simpsons and on a show called God, the Devil and Bob, which I do not remember at all and which NBC apparently canned after only four episodes. 

A Challenge I Can Do – Taking stock of challenges because sometimes, like Lisa, you just want the ones you can do. 

“Melts in your Mouth…” – I’m sorry, we were talking about chocolate . . .

Surrounded by chocolate, I was in my happy zone.  Just picture the following:  colourful rows of bulk M&M candies, M&M ice-cream bars, individually-wrapped chocolate, and even candy-inspired memorabilia present in surplus volume.  Being in a chocolate shop was fun, as it reminded me of that Simpsons episode where Homer dreams of life in chocolate.

. . . that was ten minutes ago!

Evan and Gordon Talk: Fat People – Lotta good .gifs here, though one of them is from Zombie Simpsons. 

‘Simpsons’ Producer Lands ‘How Murray Saved Christmas’ Special at NBC – The kids book Reiss wrote is getting picked up as a 1-hour special by NBC.  Congratulations. 

Sideshow Bob and Krusty the Clown meet guests at The Simpsons Ride in Universal Orlando – Want to see two people in costumes on YouTube?  Here you go.

Moe’s Tavern, I just want Moe of it – Another first hand report from the new theme park section, this one with lots of pictures.

‘Simpsons’ Duff Beer starts flowing at Unviersal Orlando’s Springfield – Unsurprising:

Unofficially, Duff has existed for years, thanks to cheeky, copyright-skirting brewers around the world. But this is the first version sanctioned by The Simpsons. Reportedly brewed by Melbourne’s Florida Brewing Co. — Universal honchos won’t say for sure — it’s available in three variations: Duff, Duff Lite and Duff Dry. (Sorry, fans, you’ll have to wait for Duff Blue, Duff Extra Cold and Henry K. Duff’s Private Reserve.)

Park officials are calling it a "craft beer," which is technically true, but don’t go in expecting bold, hoppy flavors or notes of vanilla or burnt caramel. Duff is light, malty and not particularly strong; reviewers have compared it to Yuengling, Keystone Light and Budweiser.

To be fair, Duff isn’t exactly supposed to be great beer.  It’s supposed to be cheap, which it certainly won’t be at an amusement park.

¡Ay, caramba! Twentieth Century Fox applies for alcoholic Duff Beer – FOX applied for a Duff brand beer trademark in Australia.  That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to start selling Duff Beer anywhere outside the theme park, but if they were this is what they would do. 

10 Funny Photos From the Road – And, speaking of the Southern Hemisphere, check out this photo from Chile of a woman drinking Duff with Homer himself.  As she writes:

Chileans have quite an obsession with The Simpsons. The paraphernalia can be found everywhere and apparently so can Homer himself.

See, FOX, why would you be against that? 

A 10 Word Tribute to James Gandolfini – Hey, I like this kid.  I can’t believe we were gonna shoot him. 

Man of Steel…In 10 Words – We want to stay as far away from the campy 70s version as we can.  (Despite the ludicrous death toll at the end, I liked this movie.  It’s really stupid in places and takes too long, and it’ll never be a classic, but I saw it twice in the theater because . . . damn, those are the most big screen worthy effects I’ve seen in years.  It’s a shame they wasted Kevin Spacey in Superman 5 because someone is going to have a career defining role as Lex Luthor in Superman 7.) 

Airheads (movie)…In 10 Words – Mad Jon and I get drunk and watch this every so often because it is great and terribly overlooked.  (The cast is lousy with “that guy!”s: Fat Tony, Kramer, Michael McKean, Marshall Bell, Norman from The Wire, David Arquette, Judd Nelson and two Ghostbusters!)  Plus, when releasing one of the hostages he’s taken with a squirt gun, Brendan Fraser says this:

Yvonne, get your shit and go.  You’ll be home in time for the Simpsons.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf…In 10 Words – I won’t buy it until I can raise Grasshopperus.

What do you do on your fiftieth revision? – The dangers of endless rewrites from our old friend Alec Nevala-Lee:

When you’ve read these scenes as many times as I have, there’s a natural tendency to get a little tired of what you’ve written, and with it comes the temptation to make changes just so you can look at something new. And that’s dangerous. I’m often reminded of what the legendary showrunner David Mirkin said of his time on The Simpsons: when you’ve rewritten a joke thirty times, you stop laughing, and it’s important to remember how funny it was when you first heard it. Otherwise, you’ll end up changing it at the last minute, and the new version is rarely as good as it was on the twenty-ninth or thirtieth read.

That’s as solid a case for half-assing things as I’ve ever heard.

Dag 134 – A giant yellow Homer t-shirt.

Top 10 Fictional Fathers (Father’s Day Special) – Homer comes in at #5, with his old nemesis Cliff Huxtable reigning supreme at #1.

Our Eternal Father – Click through for a rather appropriate Homer cartoon. 

My Dad… (part 3) – Duffman is on this list, but I prefer Zapp Brannigan’s “My dad has wave upon wave of your dad at his disposal.”

Reason #13 – My cooking skills – Animated (reversed) .gif of Homer setting the breakfast flakes on fire.

Best. Episode. Ever. (Round 33) – Here’s a film that will turn you into a vicious, soulless killer.  Enjoy.

Best. Episode. Ever. (Round 34) – Heh, forgot about this:

From the commentary, after the joke about Christo’s umbrellas killing someone:
Matt Groening: “There was some hesitation over that joke.”
George Meyer: “Maybe there should have been more.”

Who’d win in a wrestling match, Meyer or God?  Trick question, dickhead, Meyer is God.

Best. Episode. Ever. (Round 35) – How do I use the pressure cooker?  Don’t!

Best. Episode. Ever. (Round 36) – But because these are are children’s toys, the fire will spread quickly, so please stand back and try not to inhale the toxic fumes.

20 Greatest Comedies of All Time. – Blame Zombie Simpsons:

Ok we all know that the shows quality has dropped off drastically from the early years, but it really is hard to keep up that level of quality.

That is why the Simpsons is no.6 on this list, for the early episodes, the good years.  Not the years where we receive endless pointless celebrity cameos or pointless trips to foreign lands (why would you leave Springfield it’s great).


The sad part however, is the question of if the Simpsons finished 10 years ago would it be higher up the list?  And the sad answer is yes.

Damn you, Zombie Simpsons! 

My Top Ten Simpsons Episodes – And finally, I get to end with someone who agrees with us in list form:

Although the series has perhaps gone down hill in recent years the classic era of The Simpsons still has to be marveled at. This is reflected in all of my choices for my top ten episodes being from Seasons 3-8.

Lotta good quotes there.


Reading Digest: Limits of Monolingualism Edition

Inner Peace

This week we’ve got three rather excellent foreign links, which means that I have to put my faith in the always dubious efforts of Google Translate.  There’s what I think is someone trying to learn Swedish, as well as two links to homemade Brazilian video games.  (God, I love the internet.)  In addition to that, we’ve got an article about the show from 1990, an original top ten list, lots of good YouTube, a couple of people who agree with us, proof that the kids at the University of Kansas are alright, and some great pieces of Milhouse fan art. 


Milhouse: Phase 1 – This is step one of our five part Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week, it’s a fan made piece of Milhouse art, and you can see it go from humble beginnings to two different completed versions:

I did this just for shits and giggles. Nothing really to do, so why not do a sexy Linocut/Mixed Media print of one Milhouse Van Houten.

Milhouse: Phase 2 – Here comes two:

Milhouse, getting closer to show time! Maybe 45 minutes later.

Milhouse: Phase 3 – Part the third:

Sexy proof of Thrillhouse. Not too shabby!

Milhouse: Phase 4 – Completed #1:

Here is one of the prints I did. I added a rainbow oil paint stick background to the piece. Just to try something different.

Milhouse: Phase 5 – Completed #2:

“The House always wins!”

Milhouse done in red. Because he is ferocious. Boom. Sexy.


Important Bonus Material From ‘The Simpsons’ – This was making the rounds on Twitter yesterday, but it’s still pretty cool to hear Shearer’s original, unaltered nonsense recording from “El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer”.  According to this:

In particular, Ned Flanders’s usual friendly gibberish is heightened to an absurd degree and pitch-shifted. What we didn’t know is that Harry Shearer, who voices Flanders, had to record this nonsense very carefully, as though it were a real line, and not improvise one whit.

Granizo, fuerzas de Coriolis, Bart Simpson y Australia – I’m leaning very heavily on Google Translate here, but this appears to be a Spanish speaker learning Swedish, and it includes Spanish language YouTube of the device that makes the toilet swirl the correct, American way.

Bart For PresidentThe New Republic recently got a bunch of Facebook money to try and dig itself out of the vacuous, contrarian, militaristic and racist hole it dug itself over the past thirty years.  Today their shiny new website re-ran this piece on Bart  and Roseanne from July of 1990.  There isn’t a whole lot of new information or anything, but it’s a nice little piece of context for how much the show was hated.  Also, William Bennett has been a hypocritical asshole for a very long time. 

TOP FIVE SONGS I DISCOVERED THANKS TO THE SIMPSONS – Murphy McLachlan. – No doubt about it, the show exposed me to a lot of music from before I was born that I otherwise never would’ve heard, Mason Williams especially.  Lots of good YouTube here. 

Inanimate Carbon Rod #1 for NUS President – This one comes from commenter Hannah, would you vote for the Rod? 

some pig – A detailed analysis of old animation, everything from Disney to Tex Avery and Ralph Bakshi, complete with an animated .gif of Homer, Burns and their snowmen. 

My Top 10 Simpson Episodes! – There’s one episode from Season 12 here, but other than that it’s all solid.  Good list, and some well deserved love for “Homer the Heretic” at #1. 

Chapter 3-It’s The End Of The World As We Know It – A literary analysis of the apocalypse that touches on the show, Family Guy and a bunch of other pop culture stuff. 

Some cool things from my other blog – From the same author as the above, a cool, albeit unfortunately low resolution, image of Homer at Moe’s in the style of The Last Supper. 

MCB REMAKES: Bart’s Nightmare Remake (NES) – Reader Marcelo sent in this recreation he did of the “Bart’s Nightmare” title screen in an NES emulator.  Even working with more limited resources, he’s got all the important stuff.  Bravo. 

MCB REMAKES: The Simpsons – Return of the Space Mutants (NES) – Even more impressive from Marcelo is this YouTube video of an unofficial sequel to “Bart vs. the Space Mutants” he did.  I kinda want to play that. 

Letter To The Editor: “The Simpsons” much better than “Family Guy” – This is a letter to the student paper at the University of Kansas objecting to a column that said Family Guy was better last week.  I actually came across that column and didn’t link it.  This letter does what I was too lazy to do, point out all of its factual problems.  Well done, Glenn Schongar, sophomore from Lenexa. 

El Barto – Someone visited Universal Studios in Los Angeles and got their picture taken with Bart and some of his fake graffiti. 

Construction still on the horizon at Universal Studios Florida: Transformers, Simpsons, and WWOHP – Speaking of theme parks, the Simpsons Ride in Florida is under construction, here are some (not terribly interesting, actually) pictures. 

Bart´s Life – Just a quick, subtitled image of Bart and his awful kindergarten teacher. 

Online Auction Offers ‘Simpsons’ Read-Through, Homer Voicemail Message – Castellaneta is doing a little charity giveaway for L.A. Theater Works.  I could do without the tickets to a Zombie Simpsons read through, but having him do the outgoing message on my voicemail would have some appeal. 

Director David Silverman on Oscars bid by Emmys favorite ‘The Simpsons’ – People who obsess over the Academy Awards think “The Longest Daycare” has a good shot:

Our odds have the ‘Simpsons’ short in second place with the backing of two Experts, three Editors and about 20% of our Users. That support translates into odds of 10/3, putting it well behind frontrunner "Paperman." That fusing of handrawn animation and CGI is predicted to win by 11 Experts, three Editors and 80% of our Users and has odds of 17/10

Does anyone know approximately when they give this award so I can just fast forward to that and not have to watch the rest of that boring and bloated infomercial?  

What’s With The Following’s Poe Obsession? – Damn straight:

To find out how actual Poe scholars feel about this interpretation, we got in touch with renowned Penn State professor Richard Kopley, who says he’ll take The Simpsons’  “Treehouse of Horror” over The Following any day.


So it’s safe to say that The Following gets Poe wrong. In terms of film and TV, have you ever seen Poe done right?
I think in the popular culture where we have done better with Poe is in the comedic vein. I don’t know if you’ve seen the Simpsons episode with “The Raven”? My students always go up to me and ask if I’ve seen it; they’d give me VHS tapes of it in the old days. To them, it’s, “This is Poe; isn’t this great?” And it is great.

Indeed. (via Small Screen Silver Surfer)

Homer Simpson : The Last Renaissance Man – In praise of Homer Simpson:

Someday in the distant future, anthropologists will stumble across old box sets of DVDs, and after raiding the local museum for a player, wonder aloud why Christopher Columbus got a national holiday after enslaving and murdering Native Americans, while Homer Simpson was shunned despite winning a Pulitzer, going to space, and saving Springfield from a nuclear meltdown… twice.

Decemberisty-Ramblings and A Dose of Simpsons Pop Culture – Agreeing with us while discussing the band:

Bands and the like don’t always come out of that valley. The Simpsons –which housed a recent Decemberist guest appearance– has basically struggled with the same predicament. The major difference being that after you move beyond the middle of the show’s existence (usually somewhere between seasons 11-14, depending on who you ask), it is a cliff. Rather to the point we’re at (midway through season 24), the valley hasn’t turned upward yet. And along with about 99.8% of Simpsons fans, I can’t say I’m holding my breath.

This also contains a nice link to us, thanks for that!

Why clowns are scary – Why can clowns be so creepy and scary?  A partial list:

Possibly The Best Simpsons Episode Evahhhhhh!!!! – This is just YouTube of Homer tearfully eating Pinchy the Lobster, but that is a funny scene.

WHO’S NELSON? – The joys of parenting:

Anyway, usually within half an hour of putting him to bed the hubby and i will be relaxing downstairs when the little monkey will call me from the bed hes been told to stay in….


*the tv gets paused, hubby opens the door*


and it goes on…

This always reminds me of the scene from the simpsons where Homer talks/calls to Milhouse from his kitchen window (see video below) and recently I have started adding in ‘whoooooos neeeelllllsssooooonnnn?’ to our version which always gets a giggle from the little man despite not understanding why I’m saying it


Movie 43…In 10 Words – The romantic subplot felt tacked on.

The Words With Friends Board Game…In 10 Words – I’d rather play Good Samaritan. 

Pepto Bismol…In 10 Words – You know that feeling you get when a thousand knives of fire are stabbing you in the heart? 

The Simpsons Tapped out gets valentines update – Read all about it, if that’s your thing.

Maxwell’s Return Reflects Well On Both Him And Morrell – And finally, I get to end with a soccer discussion that agrees with us:

Generally, going back to the scene of your greatest successes is fraught with danger. Expectations are too high, players are often older and a little over the hill when they rerurn, and it just doesn’t turn out right. Turning up expecting a repeat of great things can simply set you up for a fall. Have you seen “Godfather 3″, or “The Simpsons” in the past ten years? Then you know what I mean.

Sadly, I do. 


Quote of the Day

Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo3

“Wow, this plankton’s only thirty-three cents!” – Homer Simpson
“Um, according to the Mexican Council of Food, this expired two years ago.” – Lisa Simpson
“Sure, by their standards, but we live in America.” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

Takei Beefcake

My frame grab from Star Trek 104, “The Naked Time” (1966).

“Now, our game shows are a little different from yours.  Your shows reward knowledge; we punish ignorance.” – Wink

Happy 75th Birthday George Takei! 


Crazy Noises: Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo

Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo2

“Don’t ask me, I don’t know anything.  I’m product of American education system.  I also build poor quality cars and inferior style electronics.” – Americatown Waiter

For the third summer in a row, we at the Dead Homer Society are looking to satisfy your off-season longing for substandard commentary on substandard Simpsons.  This summer we’ll be looking at Season 10.  Why Season 10?  Because we’ve already done Seasons 8 and 9 and we can’t put it off any longer.  Prior to Season 10, we watched as the show started falling over, this is when it fell over.  And while the dust wouldn’t settle completely for another season or so, there is no bigger gap in quality than the one between Season 9 and Season 10.  Since we prefer things to remain just as they were in 1995, we’re sticking with this chatroom thing instead of some newer means of communication that we all know just isn’t as good.  This text has been edited for clarity and spelling (especially on “Garabedian”).

Today’s episode is 1023, “30 Minutes Over Tokyo”, otherwise known as “The Simpsons are going to Japan!”.  It’s the last episode in Season 10 and brings this summer’s Crazy Noises series to a close. 

Mad Jon: You want to get on this thing?

Charlie Sweatpants: Yes, let us finish Season 10.

I may be feeling a bit more grandiose than usual because this is the last episode and Zombie Simpsons is starting again on Sunday, but this one seems like a good representation of the entire season. Nothing makes sense, but there are enough good lines that it isn’t terrible.

Season 10 seems to generally not make sense, and whether or not there are good, quotable lines is usually the difference between whether or not it’s a watchable episode.

Mad Jon: Oh sure. That has been a clear marker this summer.

I enjoy repeatable bits. And frankly I am ok with this episode as well.

Charlie Sweatpants: Exactly. This episode has a lame story, jumps around for no reason, features pointless suspense . . . and yet I don’t hate it because there are a lot of damn funny scenes.

Mad Jon: There are parts that, as you have aptly described, just don’t make sense, but there are funny things in this version of "The Simpsons are going to ____". Which I believe was in the dialogue.

Charlie Sweatpants: All destination episodes (The Simpsons are going to _____) exist on a scale from "Bart vs. Australia" to "Simpson Safari". This one is closer to the latter than the former, but not by much.

Mad Jon: Middle of the road-ish. Agreed.

  We are about 1 year away from them going to Delaware anyway…

Charlie Sweatpants: I get that nasty "mention all the landmarks" feel when Lisa counts off places from the hotel room, and this one definitely suffers when it cuts from one stereotypical thing to another (e.g. sumo wrestling -> Japan jail -> square watermelon), but there’s enough local humor to salvage it.

I’m not sure how much of that is George Takei nailing every line and how much of it is the fact that the writing hadn’t gone completely to seed yet, but there it is.

Mad Jon: Takei was a very bright lamp here.

The material for the end was pretty decent too, so I guess it’s a bit of both. I most certainly liked this one better at the end than I did at the beginning.

Charlie Sweatpants: Me too. The beginning isn’t without its charms, but this whole thing is an excuse for Japan jokes, and those don’t get going until they get to the toilet.

Mad Jon: I like the toilet.

Charlie Sweatpants: Man, do I love the toilet.

Mad Jon: I am also a fan of Chuck Garabedian.

  I was especially happy that he was a one off character.

And that although some of the bits during his part wore on, he as a character didn’t

Charlie Sweatpants: Garabedian’s good, but his seminar fails because those Zombie habits of cramming in every possible character are already happening. Burns is at this thing why?

Mad Jon: I agree with that. Burns and the unending Monopoly guy were not so good. Although I guess they didn’t get filthy rich writing a bunch of checks.

Charlie Sweatpants: I kinda like Mr. Moneybags. There was just no fucking reason for Burns to be there.

Mad Jon: Fair enough, I feel that part could have done better with Monopoly guy just nodding or something, instead of talking a bunch and getting in the car.

  But that’s just me.

Charlie Sweatpants: I kinda liked that, "Pure Baltic Avenue" is funny. I could’ve done without the penny under Homer’s skin though.

Mad Jon: Ugh

Charlie Sweatpants: But that’s a matter of taste, the point is that they were reaching for wackiness in the kind of seminar in which they didn’t used to need it.

That didn’t happen with Brad Goodman or Lyle Lanley, or even the Trapezoid guy. It’s a huckster seminar, you shouldn’t need crap like that.

Mad Jon: Agreed.

Charlie Sweatpants: My favorite Garabedian moment is when he goes through their garbage. That wouldn’t have worked for the earlier flimflam men, but at this point "You fat cats didn’t finish your plankton!" is the kind of quick gag that keeps this episode from becoming tedious.

Of course, for it to work they had to go to the 33 cent store, which is maybe the best individual scene in the entire episode.

Mad Jon: Ha, yeah that’s funny.

Charlie Sweatpants: Everything from having Skittle-brau and Cool Ranch Soda (which would sell in real life, by the way) to the "Mexican Council of Food" is great.

Though the pre-Japan parts aren’t without their problems. The cyber-cafe is dumb pretty much from start to finish, as is the scene at the airport. Homer stealing from Ned is pretty weak too.

Mad Jon: I hate the Cyber-cafe and the Homer and Ned scene makes me feel anxious.

Charlie Sweatpants: I could see anxious, but the bigger problem for me is the sheer stupid of it. It’s kind of a funny idea, but it feels like taking the concept of Homer stealing/"borrowing" from Ned to an extreme that makes it less funny than when he was just collecting power sanders and TV trays.

Though I suppose that’s another thing you could chalk up to just generally being Season 10. They’re both repeating and stretching a lot of concepts this season.

Mad Jon: That sounds about right.

I dunno. Again, even with the poorer parts, I like this episode more than I hate it. Much of that has to do with Chuck and the Japanese game show host, but for Season 10 I don’t think I need to look much further than those.

Charlie Sweatpants: Oh, I agree. But even the game show has almost as many problems as it does jokes. There’s a volcano full of needless suspense at the end, and Homer gets hit by lighting enough times to make me think I’m watching Itchy & Scratchy. It’s mostly made up for by lines like "He seems okay, but he is being burned internally." But only mostly.

Mad Jon: Can’t really argue with you on that.

Charlie Sweatpants: The entire time they’re in Japan they’re jumping from one unrelated set piece to another ("Simpson Safari"), but what makes it okay is that the jokes when they get there are good ("Bart vs. Australia"). Americatown is funny, the battling seizure robots are funny, even some of the jokes at the completely dumb seafood factory are good.

The problem is the hyperactive way they leap from one to another. Emperor Clobbersaurus and a dumpster full of "Sumo Thongs" make me laugh, that Homer is sitting ringside and just climbs up to grapple only to be congratulated by the emperor doesn’t.

  This entire episode is those kinds of ups and downs.

Mad Jon: Again, I have no arguments with your description.

I think I would still put this one somewhere in the upper half of Season 10 episodes.

  It scares me to think of how much I would beg to watch this one instead of all but one of season 11

Charlie Sweatpants: I might go all the way to three or four in Season 11, but it’s been awhile since I took a close look.

Mad Jon: I am almost certain I wrote something exactly to that effect about a year ago.

  Again, ugh.

Charlie Sweatpants: That’s a 2012 problem, so don’t worry about it right now.

Mad Jon: You always know what to say to cheer me up.

Charlie Sweatpants: In the meantime, I think we’re in basic agreement on this one. Any final Season 10 thoughts?

Mad Jon: I can honestly say that there were more good lines in this season than I remembered there being before we started watching them this summer. So that’s a plus. On the downside the plots were almost all as terrible as I thought they would be, minus a few.

Charlie Sweatpants: I can’t really disagree with any part of that.

Mad Jon: I can also honestly say that the Season 10 discs that have enjoyed their time out of the closet probably are about to go right back in.

  Well I guess there isn’t any probably about that…

Charlie Sweatpants: Yeah, there just isn’t much that’s attention grabbing here. Like Mackey said the other day, there was probably a better Futurama on when most of these were broadcast.

Mad Jon: That was an excellent and valid point.

Charlie Sweatpants: Well, I guess that about wraps it up for Season 10. Does Season 23 count as Godzilla related turbulence, or is it just seizure robots?

Mad Jon: If we survive we can figure that out in the spring.


The Frying Game Makes Baby Jesus Cry

Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo1

“Before I go I want to say something. Game shows aren’t about cruelty. They’re about greed, and wonderful prizes like poorly built catamarans. But somewhere along the line you lost your way. For shame.” – Homer Simpson

This is the final sentence of the plot summary on the Wikipedia entry for “The Frying Game”:

Carmen Electra tries to explain, but Homer is too busy looking at her chest.

Nothing further need be said. There are nine people who felt the need to commiserate though, including Groening and token woman Deb Lacusta.

0:50 – The “Screamapillar” was Swartzwelder’s idea. And it was Castellaneta who did the screaming, so they had to be mindful of not wearing out his voice. Jean casually mentions that there was a lot of screaming in the movie. Yeah, we know.

2:00 – Lacusta was about to tell a story about when she knew Swartzwelder back in Chicago, but then the Screamapillar appeared and they all stop to listen to Castellaneta’s yells.

2:30 – Lacusta’s story resumes. She use to work at an advertising agency with Swartzwelder, and he almost never came out of his office, but was still kind of the star of the office.

3:30 – This leads to general reminiscing about Swartzwelder and how he got to write from home eventually.

5:00 – Still going on about Swartzwelder. It’s fun. Someone asked of he was conservative, but Jean didn’t really think so. During the Clinton Administration he would talk about how he thought Clinton would end up being hung from a tree while he was President, but Jean didn’t think he was trying to do anything other than piss off the mostly liberal writing staff.

6:00 – The episode is falling apart on screen, but everyone’s still joking around about Swartzwelder. Before he got started he would write letters to celebrities asking if he could have a thousand dollars. Nobody ever responded, but he didn’t think it hurt to try.

6:45 – Long silence.

7:00 – Laughing at the improbability of their goofy game show setup and how seriously people took the ending.

7:45 – Another long silence.

8:30 – They’re telling a story about Dana Gould and Vampira. Apparently he helped her out in her final years and even helped pay for her funeral. This leads to much laughing about the complication of vampire funerals.

9:10 – Tom Gammill, who is easy to like on these commentaries because he comes across like a true goofball, asks Lacusta how she and Castellaneta met. It was an improv class in Chicago. Castellaneta was wearing brown plaid polyester and she thought she could work with that.

10:15 – As Lacusta’s story winds down, Jean picks up the thread and says that Mike Reiss’s wife met him similarly. The first time she saw him he was on stage hosting a talent show. On screen, there was just a phony murder.

10:45 – More fun personal facts while Homer and Marge are being ham handedly framed for murder. Castellaneta doesn’t lapse into Homer’s voice when he’s mad, but Lacusta finds it amusing that “D’oh!” is part of the vernacular now.

11:20 – Castellaneta once recorded an answering machine message for a friend in Homer’s voice, but it instantly filled up with people making Simpsons jokes.

12:00 – Bored with the episode, they’re laughing about getting GPS direction in Homer’s voice.

12:10 – Jean’s recounting tales of Nancy Cartwright surprising people with the Bart voice.

12:40 – Jean remarks that once, in a different episode, they cut a joke of Lovejoy driving past the church marquee and commenting on how he never sees those messages on it.

12:55 – More tangentially related tidbits. In Hollywood you really can take a tour of places people are buried just like Otto is doing on screen right now.

13:30 – Still talking about all the tours of places people died or are buried, which leads to thrilling tales of whose in-laws were in town while this was recorded. That last part is not a typo.

14:10 – After a small silence and the realization that the commentary had completely left the orbit of the episode, Jean asks director Michael Polcino if he has anything to add. He doesn’t, though it then comes up that Polcino has never met Swartzwelder.

14:40 – Jean takes the opportunity to recount and deny the old rumor that John Swartzwelder was a made up name that the staff used whenever they had written an episode together.

15:15 – That leads to more Swartzwelder stories. I guess he has sometimes rented out the Mariners stadium in Seattle so that he and his friends can play baseball in a Major League park. There is some debate as to whether or not they play by very old rules when they do this and discussion of Swartzwelder’s love of baseball history.

15:50 – Homer and Marge were just convicted of murder during a rather long silence.

16:30 – They notice the episode long enough to mention the priest versus minister fight.

17:00 – Now they’re talking about prisoners last meals and the death penalty in general. Jean’s opposed to it.

18:20 – There’s a very brief part that’s like The Green Mile here, and I guess Michael Clark Duncan was on the FOX lot that day for something else but didn’t want to come in and play himself. My affinity for Michael Clark Duncan just increased.

18:45 – That segues into Jean talking about that Stephen King book with the dome.

19:30 – The usual nervous laughter and bad excuses are being made as the ending twists.

20:00 – That leads to discussion of other reality shows and how bad they are.

21:00 – And then it ends.


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