Posts Tagged ‘Treehouse of Horror IV


Quote of the Day

“And next it our Fall catalog, we love this, it is a vision in raspberry cream.” – Donut Catwalk Announcer
“Oooh, pure genius.” – Dream Homer


Quote of the Day

“Mom! Dad! Mr. Burns is a vampire and he has Bart!” – Lisa Simpson
“Why, Bart is right here.” – C.M. Burns
“Hello, Mother. Hello, Father. I missed you during my uneventful absence.” – Bart Simpson

Happy birthday Nancy Cartwright!


Quote of the Day


“Paintings, lifeless images rendered in colorful goop. But at night, they take on a life of their own. They become portals to Hell so scary and horrible and gruesome that-” – Bart Simpson
“Bart, you should warn people this episode is very frightening, and maybe they’d rather listen to that old War of the Worlds broadcast on NPR.” – Marge Simpson
“Yes, mother.” – Bart Simpson
“Good. Now, you hold Maggie. I’m going to buy some earrings from the gift shop.” – Marge Simpson


Quote of the Day

“Hear ye, hear ye, the court of Infernal affairs is now in session.” – Skeleton Judge
“Very well, but first, some ground rules. Number one, we get bathroom breaks every half hour.” – Lionel Hutz
“Agreed. Number two, the jury will be chosen by me.” – The Devil
“Agreed. No, wait.” – Lionel Hutz
“Silence!” – The Devil


Quote of the Day


“It’s some sort of hideous monster. . . . Aww, isn’t that cute? He’s trying to claw my eyes out.” – Ned Flanders


Quote of the Day

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“You must drive this stake right through his heart.” – Lisa Simpson
“Take that, vile fiend!” – Homer Simpson
“Uh, Dad?  That’s his crotch.” – Lisa Simpson
“Oh, sorry.” – Homer Simpson


Reading Digest: Real Life Soul Donut Edition

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“Well, well, finishing something?” – The Devil

This week, someone not only made Simpsons donuts and posted the recipe, they made the Soul Donut!  Excellent.  In addition to that we’ve got fan art everywhere from crosstitch and felt to statues and house paint.  Plus there’s some excellent usage, more episode rundowns and reviews, and more.


Note: Still no news on contract renewal.  I continue to assume there will be a full Season 27.

Homer Simpson’s Donut Recipe – Just what it says, with easy to follow instructions and this:


Etsy: Marge Simpson Cross Stitch – Excellent and for sale.

Works in Progress – And coming soon from the same woman as the link above, Moe!

Simpson – Fan made Homer out of felt.  Excellent.

5 ‘Simpsons’ Episodes That Could Have Been The Series Finale – “Behind the Laughter” still gets my vote.

This website archives everything Bart Simpson has ever written on the blackboard – rediscovered that site that has all the chalkboard images on it, so it was making the rounds this week.

Brighton students wake up to massive Simpsons mural being painted on their home – Neat:

Renowned Brighton graffiti artist Aroe MSK was commissioned by the landlord to paint the striking artwork on the house in Hartington Road as a result of his Viaduct Road piece last month.

There’s a couple of good pictures at the link.

Weekend Gaming Goodness – Awesome:

The Simpsons trivia tournament was, as many predicted it would be, perfectly cromulent.
The questions were tough, the players were nerds. I went into that tournament all but certain we’d win; we placed fourth.

I am an early Simpsons nut and the questions were all from seasons three to ten. How could I fail? I’ll tell you how: questions like What is the name of the gun store from which Homer buys his gun?

Fourth. Shameful.

Really though, my friends and I had a blast. The host was dressed as Otto and the prize for winning was an inanimate carbon rod.

Our team name? Worker and Parasite.

PeteSnyder on Twitter – Apparently there’s now a “Bartman” sculpture in front of the FOX News headquarters:


Old Money – I love that wool shawls are in “Activewear”:

-“Grandma’s World” has to be real store somewhere.

Brush With Greatness – Ah, for when Homer’s screams were quick and meant something:

-My favorite part of the episode? Probably Homer’s reaction to seeing Burns in his house. He screams the most abrupt scream in the history of television.

Round 1, Battle 6 – (S.9 Ep. 16) Dumbbell Indemnity vs (S.2 Ep. 1) Bart Gets an “F” – That’s an easy one.

Round 1, Battle 7 – (S.8 Ep.14) The Twisted World of Marge Simpson vs. (S.7 Ep. 11) Scenes from a Class Struggle in Springfield – That’s close, but I gotta go with those stuck up rich snobs and their abalone sandwiches.

Round 1 – Battle 8 – (S.8 Ep.16) Brother From Another Series vs (S.8 Ep. 20) The Canine Mutiny – Yeah, gotta go with the Sideshow brothers there.

Round 1 Battle 9 – (S. 2 Ep. 22) Blood Feud vs (S. 3 Ep. 5) Homer Defined – Oof, that’s rough.

TV Pick of the Day – Heh:

Watch it for: Some dark Simpsons gags (think cops and brothels), a lesson in the dangers of the household rake.

You may remember me from such shows watched from the set of $ale….. – Heh.

Tao of Homer – Philly sports bar heh.

Hello Kitty x The Simpsons – One of the shirts in the wild on a real person.

This leaked Sony email helps explain why most Hollywood movies are garbage – Excellent usage:

Shore’s email (Subject: “Spidey thought”) reads like the pitch scene from the Poochie episode of The Simpsons (“He needs more attitude!“) It imagines an EDM blasting, Tough Mudder-running, Snapchat-obsessed douchebag Spider-Man.

Sony: The Studio That Makes FOX Look Competent.

Doctor Who and The Simpsons among the most important television articles on Wikipedia – Well, most referenced, anyway.

The Simpsons Transcend the Apocolypse in Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play – The Vegas version of the play has some seriously creepy Simpsons masks.  Bravo.

Ignore the news and watch The Simpsons – Good advice:

Thoughtful investors know their job is to restrain the reflexive response, which produces behaviour that is the very antithesis of intelligent investing.

I follow the maxim of a commentator who said: “The best thing to do at key turning points is to ignore the news completely and watch the Simpsons”.

I have found this to be good advice.

Minecraft PS4 Adds The Simpsons DLC This Week – That is all.

Cate Street deal shows danger of crony capitalism – Excellent reference:

Given all that, the idea that Maine might end up playing Springfield to Cate Street’s Lyle Lanley should come as no surprise. The only difference between the Cate Street scheme and Lyle Lanley selling Springfield a monorail in “The Simpsons” with the city’s nuclear fallout settlement money is that at least Springfield was lucky enough to have Marge Simpson as a lone voice of reason. Though she was completely ignored, she argued to use the settlement money on traditional infrastructure improvements, like repairing Main Street.
Under the dome in Augusta, there was no Marge Simpson: the New Market tax credit plan sailed through with bipartisan support.

New trending GIF tagged tv cartoon the simpsons… – Burns and his favorite word.

New trending GIF tagged tv cartoon the simpsons… – Nerd!

New trending GIF tagged the simpsons woody allen… – That’s noted taxpayer Willie Nelson, not Woody Allen.


Quote of the Day

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“I’m sorry, Mr. Blackbeard.  We’re low on chairs, and this is the last one.” – Marge Simpson
“Arghh, this chair be high, says I!” – Blackbeard


Quote of the Day


“We come now to the final and most terrifying painting of the evening.  To even gaze upon it is to go mad.” – Bart Simpson
“Ahh!  They’re dogs and they’re playing poker!” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

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“Read the back, the back!” – Marge Simpson
“Argh, ’tis some kind of treasure map.” – Blackbeard the Pirate
“You idiot, you can’t read!” – Benedict Arnold
“Aye, ’tis true.  My debauchery was my way of compensating.” – Blackbeard the Pirate

Happy 20th Anniversary to “Treehouse of Horror IV”!  Original airdate 28 October 1993.


Animation Alley: Treehouse of Horror IV

tohiv-01(this edition directed by David Silverman)
For our wrap-arounds in this edition, Bart steps in for Rod Serling in a Night Gallery parody, walking past a collection of famous paintings, Simpson-ized. It’s a real treat for anyone who’s taken an art history course. My favorite is probably the center, Jacques-Louis David’s “The Death of Marat,” except here, it’s Homer holding a shopping list of Duff, chips and pork. It even has David’s name on it too, and ‘Simpson’ subbing for ‘Marat’ above it.

tohiv-02bI love the deranged look of the little demon chef. Also we have Devil Flanders’ chilling alternate form, who just looks fantastic, clearing paying homage to the monstrous Chernabog from the “Night on Bald Mountain” segment of Fantasia. And excellent freeze frame moment where you see Flanders’ face from an instant before he disappears.

tohiv-03The vortex in the kitchen floor is such a great effect. The first shot has almost like a fish eye lens, and the second, I love how Marge’s nightcap is sucked up immediately, causing her hair to sway forth as well, becoming even more elongated.

tohiv-04This short and simple bit in Hell is fantastic. You have this wonderful contraption forcefeeding Homer donuts, and he of course couldn’t be happier. The ironic punishment demon laughs maniacally, thinking he knows the fun won’t last. Dissolve to an engorged Homer still willfully eating, and the demon is no longer so pleased.

tohiv-05As if you needed more reason to doubt the professionalism of Lionel Hutz, he first walks into the scene combing his hair with a fork. With her husband’s soul at stake, Marge sure pulled out the big guns.

tohiv-06I love how displeased Flanders is with the seating arrangements, as Marge pulls every object from the house to accommodate the jury of the damned. Best of all, of course, is Blackbeard stuck with an infant high chair. I love how awkward and uncomfortable he is on it (“This chair be high, says I!”)

tohiv-07Excellent drawing of the tense bit of Homer’s sentencing. It’s just a camera push-in, and the only animation is on the fire of the cage. This is all you need to convey the emotion of the scene.

tohiv-08Another amazing drawing from Homer and Marge’s wedding day. I love how Lovejoy’s there with the Bible open at the foot of the counter, as if he’s still officiating the marriage during Homer’s medically questionable state.

tohiv-09Bart’s nightmare of the school bus having a head-on collision ends with repeated flashes until we’re back in reality in the bedroom, but not until we get a few glimpses of skeleton Bart over here.

tohiv-10I absolutely love the gremlin, from the animation alone you can tell what perverse glee he takes out of wreaking such havoc. I’ve been playing through the Halloween event of the Tapped Out mobile game, and was really pleased that they included the gremlin in it. When you tap to get rid of him, he growls and does the throat cut animation. Fantastic.

tohiv-11Upon finding it, Flanders treats the gremlin with his usual warmness and good nature. Not even a claw to the eyes can deter him. I love how it reverts him to a confused animal state at first. But then, of course, we get our ending, which is one of the more genuinely disturbing moments in any Treehouse of Horror. The spinal column, Flanders’ wall eyed expression and the ghostly tone of his voice… so creepy.

tohiv-12An absolute David Silverman tour-de-force as Homer goes mad from the painting of dogs playing poker. A veritable freeze frame haven.

tohiv-13I love not only how pleased Homer is to submit his dirty rag for his family’s approval, but just how… filthy it is. That’s just from his neck! Imagine the rest of his body… on second thought, don’t imagine…

tohiv-14In one of the segment’s many references to Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula, Burns’ shadow moves on a delay from Burns himself, which is such a subtle touch at first. Then when he turns, we see the shadow throw in a quick game of cat’s cradle and yo-yo before it follows as well.

tohiv-16The scene of vampire Bart and the family finding him out has a lot of excellent extreme poses. I love Homer diving in and squashing back Bart’s nose accusingly.

tohiv-17I laugh every single time during Homer raising his arms up and down in glee (“Super fun happy slide!!”)

tohiv-18All seems lost for Lisa… but the episode’s over, so not only will we completely dissolve the tension, we’ll end on A Charlie Brown Christmas. Why? Why not? One holiday’s just as good as another, right?


Attention Pittsburgh Readers: Simpsons Trivia Tonight

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“It sure was nice of Mr. Burns to invite us for a midnight dinner at his country house in Pennsylvania.” – Homer Simpson

Classic Simpsons trivia is spreading.  First there was Toronto, then New York City, then Chicago, and now Pittsburgh:

Pittsburgh Simpsons Trivia Makes our big debut Sunday November 25th at 8pm at Hambone’s in Lawrenceville. We’ll be showing episodes and drinking and giving out prizes to the winners. This is for true fans of CLASSIC Simpsons episodes (nothing after season 9) so bring your A-GAME and come compete against some of Pittsburgh’s finest Simpsons fans. Play by yourself or form a team of up to 4 people. It’s free to play and you might win prizes and/or the respect of others!

If you’re in or around the area, the address is at the link.  And, as a bonus, if you’re out doing this you won’t have to be home to watch tonight’s episode of Zombie Simpsons.  Thanks to reader Tram for sending this in, and have fun! 


Reading Digest: Halloween Hangover Edition

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“Happy Halloween everybody!” – The Simpsons

It always sucks when Halloween lands in the middle of the week.  When you’re a kid it means you can’t stay up all night gorging on candy, and when you’re a grown-up it means you can’t stay up all night gorging on candy and booze.  Regardless of when it falls, however, it’s still one of the best holidays of the year and this week we’ve got lots of links to prove it.  There are plenty of both Simpsons costumes and Simpsons watch lists, as well as excellent usage, lots of animated .gifs, and several excellent fan made items. 


Ode to Hank Scorpio – Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week is this excellent fan made twofer of a drawing and a poem dedicated the world’s nicest supervillain. 

Halloween’s Got Soul…donuts – An Oregon radio show blog puts up lots of Simpsons images and .gifs to go with some old fashioned Halloween soul music.

Tree House of Horror History Lesson – A guide to the first seven Treehouse of Horror episodes, including lots of quotes, screen grabs and animated .gifs.

Eat My Ten Favorite Shorts from the Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror – Our second Treehouse of Horror list, this one contains just one segment from Zombie Simpsons.

Scared Silly: The 5 Best Treehouse of Horror Segments. How Many Ways Can Groundskeeper Willie Die? – This one lists “Night of the Dolphin”, which is from Season 12, but it’s pretty good so I’d still call this one free of Zombie Simpsons.

The 10 Best ‘Treehouse of Horror’ Segments on ‘The Simpsons’ –’s list doesn’t have anything past Season 8.  Excellent.  (via @dailysimpsons)

The Many Faces of a Space Invader [Pic] – The Space Invaders characters redone with different colors to give them a little personality, including one labeled simply “Homer J.”. 

Reposez en paix – Halloween reminiscing includes a Simpsons calendar screen grab of Kang’s “Holy flurking schnit!”.

The art of the quote – A list of some memorable quotes from sources as august and lauded as Joseph Heller and Oscar Wilde, also includes Homer’s home wine making fiasco.

Top 5 Halloween TV episodes – The original “Treehouse of Horror” makes the list. 

SpeakeasyENT: When sitcoms get spooky – A tribute to some Halloween television episodes, including the ever excellent “Treehouse of Horror IV”.

WOO HOO! Classic Simpsons Trivia: October 31, 2012 – Trivia night in Chicago appears to have been a rousing success.  The team names are great; I’m especially partial to “Hoju”.  And there were costumes:

Chicago Halloween Trivia Costumes

Speaking of costumes:

Baby Maggie Costume

Aww.  (via @dailysimpsons)

Redbox Redux – Rethinking a ban on certain movies after realizing, among other things, that CGI and time travel have made for pretty awesome Treehouse of Horror segments.

Stupid Sexy Flanders – I put this up on Twitter the other day, but it is one of the best Simpsons Halloween costumes I’ve seen in a long while:

Sexy Flanders Halloween

The face is just perfect, and apparently Jean and Groening loved it as well.

Happy Hallowe’en! – Pictures?:

Halloween! I sported my 3rd Hallowe’en costume within a week and I went to school. The teachers had all decided to be characters from The Simpsons, so they painted themselves yellow and each had his or her designated character!

Seriously, we want pictures.

sideshowbob.jpg (JPEG Image, 500 × 643 pixels) – An awesomely styled fan made Sideshow Bob drawing.  (via @springfieldx2)

Buy The Simpsons Hangman – Download The Simpsons Hangman – For $0.99 you can get a Simpsons themed hangman game for . . . oh, it’s for Blackberry.  Nevermind. 

CultureLab: Mental imagery gives language meaning – Science says remembering The Simpsons is good for you (or something):

WHAT do you think of when you read the phrase "flying pig"? Chances are that a striking image will have fleetingly passed through your mind. Perhaps it’s a winged "Pigasus", as imagined by John Steinbeck. Or, if you are a fan of The Simpsons, it might be Homer’s precious roast pig launching past Mr Burns’s office.

In Louder Than Words, Benjamin Bergen, a cognitive scientist at the University of California, San Diego, builds a strong case that such "embodied simulations" lie at the centre of the brain’s processing of language.

Email Roundtable #4 – Candy Corn Edition – A chatroom discussion of various Halloween television shows that includes this:

Katie: Getting back to The Simpsons, I actually found some of their “Treehouse of Horrors” disturbing as a young child. Especially the bits with the aliens.

Also, I can’t think of Poe’s “The Raven” without picturing Bart as the Raven. “Nevermore, sqwak!”

Kerri: Yeah. I can see that Katie. They certainly were disturbing enough…

Jane: The scariest Simpsons for me was the episode where they realized that children tasted delicious and started making them into cafeteria meals. I remember they made the German kid into sausages.

Kerri: Uter! He would taste of chocolate!

Mmm, chocolate Uterbraten.

All Time Favourite TV Series – Sounds about right:

The Simpsons just had to be on here, everyone has heard of it and it is for the whole family. I don’t even have to give a description. Just watch it.

REAL Acid!? – Animated .gif of Radioactive Man being swept away.

Mockingbird Lane…In 10 Words – He was also a notary.

Hurricane Sandy…In 10 Words – See next link.

Hurricanes Were Kinda Sexist Until 1979 – A brief history of hurricane naming that includes some Brockman YouTube from “Hurricane Neddy”.

Microsoft and Apple: Always Pirate, Never Share the Loot – Excellent usage:

As stated by Simpsons character, Roger Meyers, Jr., creator of Itchy & Scratchy while discussing cartoons: “Animation is built on plagiarism. If it weren’t for someone plagiarizing the Honeymooners we wouldn’t have the Flintstones. If someone hadn’t ripped off Sergeant Bilko, there’d be no Top Cat. Huckleberry Hound, Chief Wiggum, Yogi Bear? Hah! Andy Griffith, Edward G. Robinson, Art Carney. Your honor, you take away our right to steal ideas, where are they gonna come from?”

What the Simpsons and South Park both need! – Advocating for both shows to push their kids forward in time a little.  At least as far as Simpsons is concerned, I’m afraid it’s much too late.

¡¡¡ Viva Jumanji !!! – Homer’s Jumanji quote on YouTube in Spanish.

A toast to the weekend – Heh.

Simpsons – Ralph Wiggum Gifs – Just what it says it is.

The NFL’s Scheduling Problems, the Packers’ Offensive Problems, the Bears’ Jay Cutler Problem and the Rest of Week 8 in Review – The Steelers’ uniforms last week did have more than a hint of Bumble Bee Man in them.

The Simpsons: A Complete Guide To Our Favorite Family – And finally, I get to end the way I prefer, with someone who agrees with us.  In this case it’s a look back at an early Simpsons guide, and it includes this:

Nowadays, the arrival of yet another new episode of The Simpsons is proving more and more that this once brilliant animation’s time in the sun is long gone. To quote the Thick of It character Steve Fleming, ‘It’s just not buttering any parsnips anymore!’. The sooner the series bows out, the better, as with each new season is going to make it difficult for this end to appear at all graceful.

I think ‘graceful’ bowed out a while ago.


Quote of the Day

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“Marge, look at all this great stuff I found at the marina.  It was just sitting in some guy’s boat.” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

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“Milhouse, wake up!  Quick, look out the window!” – Bart Simpson
“No way, Bart.  If I lean over, I leave myself open to wedgies, wet willies, or even the dreaded rear admiral.” – Milhouse van Houten


Quote of the Day

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“Homer, we gotta do something.  Today he’s drinking people’s blood, tomorrow he could be smoking.” – Marge Simpson


Quote of the Day

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“Alright, stay calm, remember your training.  ‘Dear Homer I.O.U. one emergency donut signed Homer’.  Bastard!  He’s always one step ahead!” – Homer Simpson


Zombi Simpsons en Espanol

“Hey, wait, if I don’t finish this last bite, you don’t get my soul, do you?” – Homer Simpson

Reader Mauro sends in this fantastic graphic of the rise and fall of The Simpsons:


I don’t know Spanish, but with design that good, I don’t need to.  I’m especially fond of the final image.  All credit goes to Eduardo Salles for making this, and Mauro for sending it in.


Reading Digest: Premier and Renewal Edition

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There were two events that generated quite a bit of Simpsons related internet activity this week.  The first, obviously, was the unfortunate refusal of Zombie Simpsons to die.  The second was the premier of Simpsons alum Conan O’Brien’s new show on TBS.  Both generated multiple links below.  There’s also some excellent usage, some fan made stuff, even more Treehouse of Horror lists, and an ex-teacher who uses the show (among other things) to get kids to learn math, er, “maths”, as he is British.

Before the links though, I’d like to introduce something new.  (I was going to do this last week, but I got distracted by that conspiracy numbskullery.)  In the comments to Reading Digest from two weeks ago, Andreas posted a link to his excellent Treehouse of Horror post:

Not to self-promote, but I did a ToH piece partially talking about the ridiculously low depths to which Zombie ToH episodes have stooped:

Hope the reading value outweighs the linking-to-myself sleaziness. Thanks for these links, and happy Halloween!

In general, posting links to your own stuff in blog comments is frowned upon, and probably for good reason.  But there’s no reason that custom should apply to Reading Digest.  After all, these posts are nothing but collections of Simpsons links, and I see no harm in people using it to promote Simpsons related things they’ve done themselves or just seen elsewhere.  Obviously, we still accept links via e-mail, of which we had quite a few this week, but if you’ve written, drawn, painted, crocheted or otherwise created something Simpsons related and it has a URL, go for it.


Moe-Saic – Smooth Charlie’s Click of the Week is this sweet fan made Moe image.

Not Just the Ticket — #77, Curve, November 24, 1993 – A concert story from 1993, complete with a Matt Groening encounter.

The Simpsons Squeaking Pork Chop Thing. – A heartwarming tale of one man’s quest to find a squeaking pork chop, and the awesome ending when he finally does.  I like the cartoon dog that represents, but is legally distinct, from Lassie.  Thanks to reader Galileo for the link!

Simpsons & Canada – What must be a circa Season 13 news report from Canada about Canadian references on the show:

(Via Bob’s Place… Exploring Winnipeg and Beyond.)

22 years of Coco: Conan’s Best Moments – Looking at the career of Conan O’Brien from the perspective of someone who isn’t old enough to remember all of it.

Huge Screen v.2 Review – This entertaining review of a terrible video game system comes courtesy of reader James:

The “Simpsons” part, if you can call it that, starts at about the 2:00 minute mark.  But you’ll understand it a lot better if you watch it from the beginning.  It is terrible.

Familiar Faces #42: Top 13 Treehouse of Horror – Before we get to the regular Treehouse of Horror lists, here’s a video one.  There’s some Zombie Simpsons (as usual, largely at the bottom of the list), but it’s mostly good and I ended up watching pretty much the entire thing.  If you’re not in for the whole thing (it is almost fifteen minutes long), skip to the end.  Marge’s “We’re just gonna have to wait and see” really should be the tag line for all horror movies where characters seem to be begging to get brutally murdered.  Thanks to reader Sean for the link!

Simpsons Classics: Treehouse of Horror – Another best segments list from Treehouse of Horror.  The only Zombie Simpsons on the list isn’t all that Zombie-ish:

9. “Night of the Dolphin” (ToH XI, 2000)

The last genuinely intriguing Treehouse of Horror short came an even decade ago, with Snarky talking man and plenty of imagery from The Birds (I’m such a sucker for Hitchcock that I don’t mind that the odes to The Birds in “A Streetcar Named Marge” were better). It also included another bumbling effort from Chief Wiggum (“Bottlenose bruises, blowhole burns, flipper prints—this looks like the work of rowdy teens. Lou, cancel the prom”)* and the physical comedy of dolphins beating up Springfieldianites. In the end, you’ve got to hand it to those dolphins. They just wanted it more.

I know I’ve said this before, but that segment is pretty decent.  The rest of the list is Zombie free.

The 10 best moments from The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror – The next two come via No Pun Intended (the same site as the above list).  This one’s from io9 and contains some actual Zombie Simpsons in addition to “Night of the Dolphin”.

11 Best Simpsons Treehouse of Horror Stories, In Order – This one also has “Night of the Dolphin” and the obligatory token Zombie Simpsons at #11.

Which is more real? – An odd little thought experiment:

Here are the rules: You have two choices. Select the one you feel is “more real.” You MUST choose one and be prepared to defend your answer.

Here are the two Simpsons ones:

  • Avatar vs. The Simpsons
  • The Simpsons vs. South Park

For both I’d have to say The Simpsons is more “realistic”, but Zombie Simpsons isn’t.

Renault to launch The Simpsons branded car – Near as I can tell, “branded” in this case means including that GPS system with Homer’s voice.  You know, the GPS system that keeps getting people lost.

Locutio Awarded for Homer Simpson GPS Voice – Apparently FOX has created an award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence for companies that make above average Simpsons crap.  Seriously:

Each year, Krusty awards are given to a very select few of the hundreds of licensees of The Simpsons for outstanding achievement in areas such as creativity, innovation and partnerships.

Now that’s quality control!

11 Websites Featured On The Simpsons — And What You Get When You Visit Them – This is a list of URLs that have been on the show and what you get when you actually steer your browser there.  It’s almost exclusively from Zombie Simpsons for the obvious reason that there wasn’t much internet while the show was still itself, but it’s interesting nonetheless.  Again, thanks to reader Galileo for sending this in!

The freedom of speech – lessons from DH Lawrence to al-Qaeda – A censorship discussion that begins with excellent usage.

Stand-up comic using The Simpsons to get kids excited about maths – More ways to educate through cartoons.

Springfield plant tower falls the wrong way – but it’s not Homer’s fault – This is tenuously connected to the show, but when a power plant smokestack collapses in a place called Springfield, it’s probably inevitable.  It is a hell of a picture, though.

Homer Simpson’s Guide to Life – Ten Homer quotes and some ironic meanings for them.  I didn’t check the quotes, but they look close enough on a quick glance.

I usually remain humble on things. But your Level of Conan O’Brien appreciation is not on MY Level. – A fan of Conan O’Brien from his Simpsons days went to the first tapings of both his ill fated Tonight Show stint and his new one.  That’s dedication.

The Simpsons Series 2 Minis Now Available from KidRobot – I’ll Take One Zombie Homer Please – Actual Zombie Simpsons figurines.  (Of the kids, at least.)

Bart Simpson Board Android App Review – This is apparently the Android version of that Bart Simpson chalkboard generator I usually (whoops, forgot this week) use for the ratings posts.

Fox Renews The Simpsons for a 23rd Season – And now, for the renewal news portion of this post.  Even nominal fans are apathetic:

I’ll admit, I haven’t been the most faithful watcher these past few seasons, but I was once a die-hard Simpsons fan and really can’t picture Sunday on Fox without it.

Obviously, I don’t agree that renewal is a good thing.  But this is fairly representative of a lot of the reaction I saw on-line after it was announced: “Wow, that’s amazing! Now I will continue to rarely if ever watch the new ones.”

The Simpsons Renewed For One Billionth Season – Gabe at VideoGum agrees with us:

FOX has renewed The Simpsons for a 23rd season, during which they will broadcast their 500th episode. That is so many episodes! That is literally too many episodes. Go to bed, The Simpsons.

The Simpsons…Someone Needs to Cut Them Off – And finally, another Gabriel with a truly epic rant:

I was just old enough to watch this show when it first aired in 1989.  And like most folks in my generation, I believe in the Golden Age of the show that really petered off somewhere between seasons seven and nine.  The Simpsons, you break my heart.  I look at you, and all I see is someone’s parents vainly attempting to convince their kids that they’re still cool and hip.  Quit it already.  No one wants to see that level of embarassment.

Preach on!

[Edited to at least partially fix strange YouTube issues.  Not sure what’s going on there.]


Compare & Contrast: Vampire Segments

Treehouse of Horror IV9

“This cape is giving me a rash.” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson

In Season 5’s Halloween special, the final segment is a vampire story.  In Season 22’s Halloween special, the final segment is also a vampire story.  Let’s take a look at them, shall we?

The difference is apparent immediately.  The Simpsons starts things off with the family quietly watching television, complete with the dogs playing poker painting in the background as a transition from the lead-in.  The news report situates things firmly in the Springfield we’ve all come to know and love: the police are incompetent, Brockman is an idiot, Burns is evil.  Everything necessary to set up the story has been established in one quick and joke filled scene.  Zombie Simpsons begins with thirty seconds of dialogue free nothing that would be utterly irrelevant to anyone who hasn’t seen Twilight.

That’s followed by a glacial setup full of painfully poor dialogue (“I should be scared, but I’m not.”) and repetitive jokes that, again, would be unfamiliar to anyone who hasn’t seen the source material.  It’s not until two-and-a-half-minutes into a six-and-a-half-minute segment that one of the main characters is introduced, a warmed over vampire complete with cliched costume and accent.  By contrast, two and a half minutes into “Bart Simpson’s Dracula”, the family has met Burns, dined with him, and the kids are off exploring his castle after Lisa, completely in character, figures out what’s really going on.  It’s packed with jokes, some referencing Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Burns’ shadow is great) and others not (“Lisa, vampires are make believe, just like elves, gremlins and Eskimos”). 

It should also be noted that the fact that Season 5 is working with much stronger source material is no excuse for Season 22’s abject humor failure.  If you want to make fun of Twilight, make fun of Twilight.  There is no shortage of things that can be mocked: vampires that don’t drink blood, sparkle in the sun, and enjoy baseball.  There are even fantastically sexy supernatural superhunks who inexplicably fall in love with a heroine that, to make her easily relatable for every member of the target demographic, has been deliberately excised of all personality.  This sort of thing is a satirist’s wet dream and they don’t use any of it.  Instead, they sketch up the world’s least imaginative vampire . . . and name him “Dracula”.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the culmination of hundreds of hours of work by the staff of Zombie Simpsons, as well as the first Google Image result for “Dracula Costume”:

World's Least Inventive Vampires

One of these is the work of cheap knockoff artists, the other is a costume.

Then we get to the respective endings.  The Simpsons takes the story back to the scene of the crime for its finale.  We know where Burns’ hideout is, and the family is going back there to reclaim their son.  Along the way the show never takes things seriously, tossing off jokes (a callback to the Super Fun Happy Slide, Homer stabbing Burns in the crotch) and absurdist observations (Marge wishing they could’ve gotten a sitter, Burns firing Homer and Homer being dumb enough to think it matters). 

Zombie Simpsons, on the other hand, takes us to a place we’ve never seen and that has no relevance to anything, all so they can waste some time on background vampires.  (That Springfield has a vampire district would come as a surprise to the Lisa of the opening who didn’t know they existed, but those scenes happened whole minutes apart, and that’s an ocean of time for Zombie Simpsons.)  Even once it finally has all four characters in the bell tower, it can’t wrap things up neatly.  Several bodily threats are played for suspense, and yet more expository dialogue fills out the rest of the time. 

The whole thing ends with Homer actually turning into a vampire before falling off the bell tower for no reason.  Lisa is, I guess, just sort of stuck up there with the other two vampires.  Despite the fact that they opened the episode with Frink using a TiVo remote, no further meta gags are brought it to tie things up or send the audience off with a smile.  It’s just over, a random series of events ending as suddenly and pointlessly as it began. 

Of course, that’s not how The Simpsons ended it’s vampire segment.  After Burns is killed, we return to the family breakfast table for a joke filled wrap up that takes advantage of the audience not knowing that the segment is already over.  Even then it’s not played for serious suspense, Grampa is still inept, Marge is still underestimated, and the whole thing turns out to be a “holiday wishes” type message.  But no seconds of screen time are wasted, as it immediately transitions into a brief but evocative “Peanuts” joke, complete with Santa’s Little Helper as Snoopy and Milhouse on Schroeder’s tiny piano. 


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