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September 3, 2015

The Simpsons: Yokel Chords

by Adam Finley, posted Mar 5th 2007 10:43AM


Marge [talking to Bart at the psychiatrist's office]: Bart, honey, this is all we can afford for now. If it doesn't work, maybe when you're older you can pay some lady to make you happy for an hour.

Bart: You know, I'm pretty sure I will.

Part of the fun of watching The Simpsons is trying to guess who the guest voice is each week. This episode had five guest voices packed into the episode, some of which were easier to guess since the actors were playing themselves, of course: Steven Sondheim, Meg Ryan, Peter Bogdanavich, Andy Dick and James Patterson.

With or without the clever cameos, I thought this was one of the strongest episodes of the season so far: plenty of great jokes, visual gags, and pop culture references. I loved Lisa and the kids going to see Un Chein Andalou, and the gigantic eye and razor blade showing up at the end of their big musical number.

Okay, I'll admit I didn't care much for the musical numbers in this episode, but at least they were used sparingly, and as I stated above, they were packed with great visual gags.

Speaking of visuals, the Goreyesque sequence in which Bart tells his friend about a cafeteria worker who makes soup of children's heads was a touch of brilliance, if I do say so myself. That sequence ended with a nice little transition back to reality as the scene dissolved from one of the bobbing heads to Milhouse woozily teetering back and forth. It was a lovely little transition, and as an animation nerd I'm obligated to notice such things. Of course, the transition of James Patterson in Marge's dream turning into her alarm clock was much funnier, but it's that combination of subtle gags and not-so-subtle gags that combine to make the best episodes.

Here's a few other things I loved in this episode:

  • The names of Cletus' kids, which included: Incest, International Harvester, Birthday and Crystal Meth
  • Bart doing Mad Libs with his psychiatrist, and coming to the realization that his father never took him on the Merry-Go-Booger because he was always passed out in the parking snot.
  • The Honeymooners ending with Cletus' visage appearing in the moon over Springfield.

Oh, yeah, and one other thing: is this the first time we've heard Superintendent Chalmer's first name? Bart refers to him as "Gary" in one scene.

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i loved the version of Suite Punta del Este by Astor Piazzolla's in this episode, i looked up the original one by astor it seems its the soundtrack of the movie 12 monkeys.
i hope i can find the simpsons version of it its simply amazing.

March 12 2007 at 7:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pan X

pls do you have english subtitles for this episode? thanx :)

March 08 2007 at 9:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pan X

pls do you have english subtitles for this episode? thanx

March 07 2007 at 4:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike Davis

"Family Guy" leaves the show in the dust?

You are so high.

March 06 2007 at 10:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's never fun to guess the celebrity voices since you usually never have to guess. They've either been massively over-advertised or are just playing themselves in a pointless cameo or are given lame material so that you ultimately don't care who they are if you don't already know. They used to have voices on for a reason or give them something funny to do, it's just sad now.

March 06 2007 at 9:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Mayor Jimmy -

In this episode, Lisa herself voices her displeasure that all "hillbillies" are assumed to be stupid and/or undereducated. More to your point, if anything, this episode showed Cletus' family in a much more positive light than any other Simpsons episode I can think of...Finally - the dumbest character on the show, in any given episode, is Homer, who has never been characterized as a redneck.

And oddly enough, "Family Guy", one of the shows you claim has surpassed "The Simpsons", took it's own digs at "rednecks" this week, and it was certainly more disparaging than anything on this particular Simpsons episode.

As for The Simpsons being anti-war...The show has ALWAYS had an anti-war slant, even in those early years you apparently cherish so much. I would suggest you stick to watching "24", while the rest of us "liberal tools" keep watching this show.

March 05 2007 at 2:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm sorry but this episode is just another in a recent long line of reasons the show should just be canceled while there's still SOME dignity left. Not much, but some. The 9/11 joke MIGHT have been funny if the show hasn't spent the whole season beating a Kentucky Derby worth of horses to death on trying to badmouth the war. Not to mention yet another round of redneck jokes. Nothing gets easy laughs like cracking on white people. Too chickens**t to make jokes about minorities? Maybe that's why Southpark and Family Guy has passed this show and left it in the dust. We get it, the writers don't like the war, are total liberal tools, don't mind taking the wussy PC route for jokes, and still haven't figured out that any episode centered on Lisa or with Homer and Marge breaking up AGAIN just isn't funny.

I've loved this show for so long it makes me ill to see how far it has fallen.

March 05 2007 at 1:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Uggg. If this was one of the stronger eps, I'm glad I havent been watching as faithfully as I used to.

March 05 2007 at 1:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Adam Finley

Darn it, now I don't know if it was "Gary" or "Jerry."

Tucker: You're right, the "9/11" was very funny.

March 05 2007 at 1:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

A couple additional notes - I really, really liked the storyline Bart's tale. While he was telling it, and whenever they referred back to it, the tune they played was the most excellent music from the equally excellent Terry Gilliam film '12 Monkeys.' Actually, after a quick round of research, it's a song from Suite Punta Del Este by an Argentinian composer. It's a wonderfully quirky little piece, and I really liked the way they used it here.

My other favorite part was a one-liner that played so well it almost made the episode singlehandedly. After Brandine lands and gets off the chopper, Cletus' line: "Brandine?! I thought you was off in Iraq stoppin' 9/11!"

Not very subtle, but it made me crack up. I'm pleased with some of the newer Simpsons episodes... This was one of the strongest I've seen in a while.

March 05 2007 at 11:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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