But now they have either grown too powerful or have completely lost whatever grip they had left on reality, which wasn't a whole hell of a lot to begin with. They have recruited a cartoon character.
Bart Simpson's voice appeared in a phone recording advertising a Scientologist gathering in Hollywood that was clearly voiced by Nancy Cartwright. Of course, the audio found its way to the Internet. 20th Century Fox has been scrambling to pull it off every corner of YouTube ever since Perez Hilton broke the story and Fox made him remove it. You can hear it here before Fox spoils the fun for the rest of us.
(S19E20) "Applause is an addiction, like heroin or checking your e-mail." -- Sideshow Mel
Well, another season of The Simpsons has come to an end. As with the last few seasons some stuff was good, some was okay, and the rest should have gone back to the Writers' Room for further revision ("Treehouse of Horror", anyone?). Most of the weak stuff landed in the first half of the season for some reason -- maybe everyone was tired from the completion of The Simpsons Movie. The second half picked up steam, thanks to some solid episodes featuring Lisa and Bart.
Luckily, The Simpsons ended on a strong note with the Lisa-centric season finale. Once again going back to the on-going theme of how success can corrupt Lisa, we were treated to an episode featuring her turn to work with the famous Krusty the Clown. I say 'her turn' because older brother Bart had worked for Krusty in the past. And, like Bart, Lisa usurped Krusty's fame to become the star of the show.
You would think Krusty would have learned his lesson.
I went to Universal Studios in Hollywood on Saturday for the revealing of The Simpsons Ride. Celebs walked the "yellow" carpet. The mayor welcomed the crowds and led the countdown. A human cannonball was shot into the air. And a yellow sheet dropped to reveal a 32-foot Krusty the Clown face at the entrance to the attraction.
Despite the launch being for The Simpsons, there were hardly any members of the cast there on the yellow carpet. Kelsey Grammer (Sideshow Bob) was there along with creator Matt Groening and producer James L. Brooks but no other voice talents were anywhere to be found. See who I talked to and read more about the ride unveiling after the jump.
(S19E17) "Sorry, Lise. I can't be a vegetarian. I love the taste of death." -- Bart Simpson
Another Bart-centric episode, which means another decent installment of The Simpsons. It's unfortunate that these types of episodes couldn't have been dispersed more evenly throughout the season. This would have made for a less Homer-centric run of shows during the first half of the year -- something that many fans (or maybe just me) were expressing concern about.
(S19E15) "I'm not a nerd. I'm a jock who's too cool for sports." -- Bart Simpson
From the outside, the Family Simpson comprises a group of people who go from one wacky adventure to another. Yet, when you go beneath their four-fingered exteriors, each member of the family is actually fighting their own little battle. For Bart it's the fight against the establishment; for Marge it's finding order withing the disorder of her life; for Maggie it's getting through an entire day on one pacifier; and for Homer it is the philosophical dilemma of whether or not death brings forth life or life brings on death. That, or just trying to get between breakfast and lunch without starving to death...it really depends on the day.
(S19E14) "Oh boy, dinnertime! The perfect break between work and drunk." -- Homer J. Simpson
Before I get to the review as a whole for this week's installment of The Simpsons I want to talk about one of the most disturbing scenes that has ever graced this program. It involves Homer, who is breaking his one millionth diet or something. In one scene he's shown entering a room of a sleazy motel with what looks like another woman. Turns out it's just a rack of meat (I think it was lamb, I couldn't hear Homer) dripping in its own juices. He then goes about treating the meat like a lover, sucking on the juices, caressing it, and even bringing it to the shower with him. I was in total agreement with the host of Sneakers -- the fictitious television show that was a parody of the real-life show Cheaters -- when he asked the guys in the control truck to turn the hidden cameras off. Brrr!
Other than that, this was a pretty good episode.
(S19E13)"Young man, I'm going to be on you like a numerator on a denominator" -- Principal Skinner to Donny the informant
It's been a looong time since we had an episode of The Simpsons that focused on that young rapscallion Bart and his status of Prankmaster at Springfield Elementary. Frankly, I was starting to get a bit worried that we wouldn't see one at all this season and that all we would get is one episode after another focusing on Homer and his hi-jinks. Luckily, someone at FOX or the offices of The Simpsons realized this and gave us an installment that not only reignited the feud between Bart and Principal Skinner, but parodied the Martin Scorsese film The Departed. Plus, it was actually a good episode.
A lot of the work of Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson, is mentioned, but I bet none of her other gigs pay as well as Bart. I'm actually a bit of a fan of Billy West and love his work on Futurama.
While I find the list impressive, I do note some glaring omissions. Where is Mel Blanc, the man who gave the most immortal rendition of Bugs Bunny (although he didn't even originate the character)?
(S19E08) Welcome to the Frasier reunion. Yes, not only did we have Kelsey Grammer reprising his role as Sideshow Bob Terwilliger in this episode of The Simpsons but we also had David Hyde Pierce return as Cecil Terwilliger and John Mahoney come in as the boys' father. While Pierce and Mahoney did have their moments it was all Grammer this episode as a Sideshow Bob coming apart at the seams.
And, that's appropriate, as it was the tenth time that Bob has appeared on the animated comedy. I fear there is a bit of a discrepancy, though, since Bob didn't attempt to murder Bart in each of those appearances. For instance, in the first season episode "Krusty Gets Busted" Bob attempted to frame Krusty rather than kill Bart (he barely even knew who the boy was). In "Brother From Another Series" it was Cecil, not Bob, who attempted to kill the young Simpson lad. So, technically, you could say that Sideshow Bob directly attempted to kill Bart in five episodes (including tonight's). This, I am sure, will bring debate to the board.
(S19E06) After a month of Homer and Marge-centric episodes (I don't count 'Treehouse of Horror' stories because they take place outside of The Simpsons continuity. Don't laugh!) we finally get one focusing on the Simpson kids and their friends. In this case the spotlight is on one Milhouse Van Houten. This is not the first time Milhouse has been featured in an episode. In fact, he's probably the only other kid on The Simpsons that has had more than one show focus on him. Remember the 'Radioactive Man' episode waaayyyy back in the seventh season?
This is most likely due to his friendship with Bart. Because they have been so closely linked since the very first episodes of the series Milhouse has been given a richer backstory than, say, Martin.We know about his unrequited love for Lisa, his affair with Samantha Stanky, and the break-up (and subsequent get-together) of his parents.Actually, the pending nuptials of Kirk and Luann were part of the plot for this week's episode.
I'm a huge Simpsons fan, and have been ever since they first appeared on the Tracey Ullman Show. Still, even a fanatic like myself can get sick of all the news and merchandising leading up to the Friday premiere of the Simpsons Movie. In my daily perusal of the Web I come across no less than seventy-five million bits of information pertaining to the new movie or the TV series itself, and most of it isn't really worth mentioning.
However, I did find this via Cartoon Brew, and thought it was pretty cool. A new set of Simpsons Qee figures from Toy2r will be launched next year, but you can see some hand-painted versions from the likes of Matt Sharp, Attaboy, Loungecat, Triclops, Sasha Huber and Matt Groening himself next month. The figures are currently on a world tour and will be on display in Los Angeles August 1 at Meltdown Comics. I probably should have clarified that you need to be in Los Angeles to see them.
Qee figures are little toy figures that come in pieces you can assemble. Apparently they're popular among collectors and folks like me who just learned what the hell they were about five seconds ago.
Homer: Why would I go to Utah? I love booze, caffeine and monogamy.
This episode really felt like two episodes in one, with both Lisa's story about her made up Native American heritage and Bart becoming involved with an older girl (played by Natalie Portman). Overall, my first reaction --having only seen the episode once-- is that it felt like the quintessential Simpsons episode with plenty of smart dialogue and enough hidden gags I know I probably won't catch until the second or third round in syndication. Of course, that could just be because I'm really slow.
While you were busy participating in Grammy's 2.0 last night, helping a nice young woman win a live gig with Justin Timberlake and a new Chevy,
Bart Simpson, the eternal 10-year-old somehow got his hands on a driver's license.
(If you are reading this blog with young children, please be advised that the clip you are about to view might be highly entertaining but not suitable for everyone. Including Simpson's purists.)
As Joel told you earlier, The Simpsons reaches 400 episodes this May. But who should be in the 400th ep, Keifer Sutherland or The FCC?
There are two episodes in the running: one is a spoof of 24 that will feature the voice of Sutherland, and the other will be a satire about the FCC (Kent Brockman gets in trouble for saying something on television). I vote for the FCC ep. A good satire of that organization would be a nice way to celebrate the milestone. Hopefully, like recent episodes of Studio 60, the episode gets in some really good jabs at the FCC.
Other Simpsons news: guest voices for the rest of this season will include Stephen Colbert, Andy Dick, Meg Ryan, and Natalie Portman. The big screen movie opens on July 27 and will be rated PG-13.
So what episode would you vote for? It doesn't say that this episode is the season-ender, even though it's in May. Maybe they can run the FCC ep as the 400th and the 24 episode as the season-ender, maybe have a nuclear bomb go off in Springfield and leave a cliffhanger for next season.
Miller's MacHomer is a one-man, staged version of Macbeth employing over 50 character voices from The Simpsons. Homer and Marge are recast as MacHomer and Lady MacHomer. Mr. Burns is King Duncan. Krusty is the Porter, and Bart is transformed into Fleance, Banquo's son and the prophesized threat to Macbeth's throne.
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