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December 21, 2014

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The Simpsons: The Mook, the Chef, the Wife and Her Homer (season premiere)

by Adam Finley, posted Sep 10th 2006 8:05PM

simpsons(S18E01) When Bart refuses to let Lisa sit with him on the bus, she tries to complain to Otto, but he'd rather rock out to his Grand Funk Railroad tape than bother with her. She tries to get his attention but manages to break his tape in the process, leaving him with no musical options except the kids' rendition of "Old MacDonald Had a Fart" and whatever crap his bus radio is spewing out. At that moment, he sees Metallica's tour bus stranded on the side of the road, but they opt to get a lift from Moleman, who once slept with Lars' grandmother. Oh yeah, and Bart steals the bus.

Enraged, Otto encounters Bart outside the school and spanks him. The corporal punishment is witnessed by Skinner, who instructs Otto to turn in his beaded seat cushion and gun. Until Otto is reinstated, the kids will have to rely on car pooling to get to school. On the first day, Marge takes Bart, Lisa and their friends, including Fat Tony's son, Michael. Since he's the son of a mob boss, everyone is afraid of Michael and wants nothing to do with him, but Lisa sees he's not the hardboiled criminal his father is and befriends him. Michael reveals he wants to be a chef, which upsets his father who wants him to take over the family business.

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Which celebs will be shoehorned into Simpsons episodes this year?

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 25th 2006 2:06PM
Fat TonyYou know, I used to love hearing the yearly announcement about which major celebrities will lend their voices to the upcoming season of The Simpsons. I think I liked it because I knew the writers would make good use of those voices, either making them a new character or somehow integrating a cartoon version of the celebrity into the plot (for instance: "Hi, I'm Billy Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins." "I'm Homer Simpson, smiling politely."). But it seems like lately the list just shows how "with it" the producers of the long-running series still are, and the voices seem to be somehow forced into the episodes, either in pop culture asides or something the family watches on TV.

This year's list is no exception. Fox announced that the following celebrities will lend their voices for the show's 18th season: The White Stripes, Dr. Phil, Natalie Portman, Kiefer Sutherland, Tom Wolfe, Gore Vidal, Michael Chabon and Jonathan Franzen. Also, Joe Pantoliano and Michael Imperioli will appear as Fat Tony's henchmen (Fat Tony, of course, has been voiced by Joe Mantegna since the beginning of the series). That last bit particularly screams "shoehorning", because Fat Tony's henchmen have been voiced by cast regulars for the last 17 years; why give them celebrity voices now?

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The Five: Great Simpsons guest stars

by Adam Finley, posted Jun 20th 2006 7:57AM

simpsonsThe Simpsons has been using guest stars since the very first season. Some have returned on several occasions, sometimes as different characters (Albert Brooks), sometimes as the same character (Kelsey Grammer), and sometimes as both (Jon Lovitz). By my calculations there have been exactly twelve thousand guest stars on the show so far, so obviously a list of just five is going to be lacking just a tad. Nevertheless, these are five guest stars who stick out in my mind. Got some more? That's what the comments are for. Here we go:

Albert Brooks: Brooks first appeared in season one as Jacques, the man with the fake French accent who tries to woo Marge away from Homer with his knowledge of bowling and women. He later appeared as Hank Scorpio, a rather paradoxical character who is both very friendly and yet extremely evil. I think my favorite Brooks episode, however, was the episode "The Heartbroke Kid" when he played Tab Spangler, a ticking time bomb of a coach who tries to coerce Bart back to health after Bart gains weight and suffers a heart attack. "Every sign is wrong!" He'll also be appearing in the Simpsons movie, which is very cool.

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