And now for a stateless, animated edition of…
Here’s to You!!!
So I raise my glass and say, “Here’s to you, Simpsons!”
It was twenty years ago today the pilot episode “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” first aired. Nah, I wasn’t watching. Didn’t start watching until the second season actually. But even before then, for some reason, I decided Bart was my favorite character. They were on the cover of a TV Guide, and I showed it to my dad’s friend and pointed to him saying “that one is my favorite”, and he said “You mean Bart?” and I’m like “oh, is that his name?” Something like that. To this day, I still call Bart my favorite character, though it’s really sort of a three-way tie with him and Lisa and Maggie, depending on the episode.
I like the Sideshow Bob episodes, the very old ones and the more recent ones.
There’s a segmented Christmas episode from a couple years ago, where Homer, Marge, and Bart are Joseph, Mary, and Jesus, and Bart/Jesus is crying and Marge/Mary asks Homer/Joseph to hold him for a while, and he groans and says “But I’m watching the Orange Bowl!” and the screen pans over to reveal he’s just staring at a bowl of oranges.
Interesting how the episodes “The Crepes of Wrath” and “Bart vs. Australia” portray France and Australia respectively as being indifferent about child abuse, compared to a supposedly more child-friendly USA, when in reality both of those countries have harsher laws against child abuse than we do. Of course, those episodes are so old now that when they first came out, that might not have been true yet. And apparently the Australia one is mostly just spoofing the Singapore caning thing.
And while the Simpsons themselves, at least near the beginning, seemed like an average white (yellow?) family that could have been pulled out of the 1950’s, with them living in the size house they live in, yet Marge doesn’t work and Homer works a blue-collar job, outside the family things were sometimes a bit more modern, at least acting like the 1960s occurred. The family physician Dr. Hibbert being black, for one. Plus a few other roles here and there occupied by someone other than a white male, yet done so seemlessly. Well, except they dropped that in recent episodes, and it kind of annoys me. Yeah, Hibbert, Carl, and a few other regulars are black, but there was never any kind big deal made of it, never came up in conversation. More recently, there have been scenes or jokes that seem to focus on them being black and even behaving stereotypically, such as the Hibberts going to a “black” church in one episode, or Carl complaining that the other guys assumed he was good at basketball just because he was black only to the next second make a great shot and start boasting about it in a stereotypical “ghetto” way. Yeah, let Family Guy do shit like that. The Simpsons should be above that sort of crap.
That’s another thing. Yeah, I realize Seth MacFarlane just crapped out a spinoff, occupying an hour and a half of Sunday night with three different shows of his (only Family Guy actually being funny, while Cleveland Show is so-so, and American Dad just fails hard), and seeing as that just knocked off King of the Hill (noooooo!). But, Simpsons, you’re NOT Family Guy! You’re better than Family Guy and have a different style. Don’t imitate Family Guy, because Family Guy already fills that role. Stick to your role. Don’t go all “New Coke” on us.
Eh, I could keep up this commentary forever, so I’ll just switch to some quotes…
“Oh, my God! Somebody took a bite out of the big Rice Krispie square!… Oh, yeah, and the waiter’s been brutally beaten, heh.”
“What? It’s not Magaggie’s birthday?”
“Now I know I haven’t been the best Christian, because while you’re up there blah-blah-blahing, I’m usually asleep or mentally undressing one of the female parishioners. Anyhoo, can I have $40,000?”
“Now I know I haven’t been the best Jew, but I have rented Fiddler on the Roof, and I will watch. Anyhoo, can I have $40,000?”
“Now I know I haven’t been the best… oh, forget it.”
“Without our Mayor Quimby, our town would be extinct/ We wouldn’t have our tire yard or midsize roller rink/ We wouldn’t have our gallows, or our shiny bigfoot traps/ It’s not the mayor’s fault that the stadium collapsed!… Mayor Quimby… if you were running for mayor he’d vote for you!”
“You call that a knife? THIS is a knife!”
“That’s a spoon.”
“Aha, so you’ve played knifey-spoony before!”
“You never learned cursive?”
“Well, I know hell, damn, bitch…”
“Take this object, but beware it carries a terrible curse.”
“Oooh, that’s bad.”
“But it comes with a free Frogurt!”
“The Frogurt is also cursed.”
“But it comes with your choice of toppings!”
“The toppings contain potassium benzoate.”
“Can I go now?”
“Apu, I’ve learned that life is just one crushing defeat after another until you just wish Flanders was dead.”
“Here are your messages: You have 30 minutes to move your car, you have ten minutes, your car has been impounded, your car has been crushed into a cube, you have 30 minutes to move your cube.”
“Y’ello, Mr. Burns’s office.”
“Is it about my cube?”
“Dear Mr. President, there are too many states nowadays. Please eliminate three. I am NOT a crackpot!”
“Homer, I have someone here who thinks he can help you.”
“No, he’s a scientist.”
“Batman’s a scientist.”
“It’s not Batman!”
“You have anything to drink?”
“Mountain Dew or Crab Juice.”
“Ewww, yuck!… I’ll take a Crab Juice.”
“I’m so hungry I could eat at Arby’s!”
“Ohh, Wet Cement! Is there any sweeter sign?… Well, maybe High Voltage.”
“What ever happened to good old fashioned town pride?”
“That’s been going downhill ever since the lake caught fire.”
“We’ll find Bart and Stampy. All we have to do is follow this path of destruction… D’oh! Stupid tornado!… Hahahaha! Look! It’s got Patty and Selma!”
“Brought to you by ILG, selling your body’s chemicals after you die, and by Little Sweetheart Cupcakes, a subsidiary of ILG.”
“Bart, how did you get a cell phone?”
“Same way you got me. By accident, on a golf course.”
Okay, this could go on forever, too. Yay, Simpsons! Keep on rolling! :doitnow: