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One thing this marathon is doing is making me miss Phil Hartman. A LOT.

 

I also love the live tweeting but some former Simpsons writers and showrunners during the marathon. According to Bill Oakley, Homer's line "To alcohol, the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems!" was all Swartzwelder. The controversial but now classic "Homer's Enemy" was Oakley and Weinstein's idea but asked Swartzwelder to write it because they thought he'd give it "pizazz". I liked it when it first aired, and I still like it. Never felt bad for Frank Grimes, and I think it's his bad attitude. 

 

Jon Vitti tweeted this pic of the Simpsons writer's room circa 1992:

BvsxHMfCQAIQF-f.jpg

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Homer: Hey, kids! Want to drive through that cactus patch?

Bart: Yeah!

Lisa: Yeah!

Sideshow Bob: [underneath car] No!

Homer: Well, two against one!

I missed that episode during the marathon. It is one of my very favorites.

 

It had some of the best sight gags of the entire series including "Where's the dog?" "I tied him up out back."

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I caught the marathon's episode when Marge went to work for Lionel Hutz, and it not only made me miss Phil Hartman, it also made me miss when Marge had an actual personality.  When she asked the family if all they just see her as a "spineless potato cooking housewife" I sighed and muttered, "Well that's what you've become lately Marge." 

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I am looking forward for them to the middle 5 and get into the last 10 seasons. I remember enjoying episodes or at least parts of episodes far more often than being annoyed by them, and it will be fun for me to marathon them and probably be surprised by things I haven't seen in a long time and also don't know every line by heart.

 

** By the way, I remember being annoyed or disappointed frequently during those middle seasons. Fortunately Futurama was around during that time, so I had that going for me.

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Even though there was some great episodes during Mike Scully's era as showrunner from 97-01, (Behind the Laughter, Simpsons Bible Stories) and memorable moments("Stupid sexy Flanders!") you couldn't shake the feeling the show was now coasting and that it was past it's peak. Scully said he didn't want to "wreck the show" but it made the episodes too cautious. Previous showrunners took risks, either with big concepts(David Mirkin) or through developing character relationships(Oakley and Weinstein).

Edited by VCRTracking
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I forgot how scary the Treehouse of Horror episodes used to be. Maybe it's because I was little when I watched them for the first time but I saw the first one over the weekend and had flashbacks to being terrified of that haunted house they moved into. The one that chose to destroy itself rather than live with the Simpsons.

The Raven was really well done- something I probably didn't appreciate as a kid. Also Treehouse of Horror V where Willie dies in the same way in all three stories.

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Das Bus which was on this morning had a couple of the all time classics:

 

We'll live like kings! Damn hell ass kings!   They taste like... burning  and....

 

Bart Simpson: And every night the monkey butlers will regale us with jungle stories.

Nelson: How many monkey butlers will there be?

Bart Simpson: One at first, but he'll train others.

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I'm also recording all the Treehouse of Horror eps -- why won't they sell me that??!? along with miscellaneous eps., some just for a single joke: "Na na na na na na na na Batman!" I love the Simpsons and it's almost the only show I watch in real time anymore, and still get laughs ("oh, he's just a bottom") -- but seeing the eps like this it's pretty obvious how great and special the first years were.

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-- but seeing the eps like this it's pretty obvious how great and special the first years were.

 

15 years ago, give or take, somebody described the show as the greatest piece of social satire ever to be on television. It always bothered me when people I liked and respected never watched the show because it was "a cartoon".

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Well, my plans for minimizing how much tv the Beadboys watch every day have gone right out the window.  Fortunately we are in the mediocre seasons now, so I can occasionally change the channel to catch the news or weather.

 

I'm also recording all the Treehouse of Horror eps -- why won't they sell me that??!?

I've long wondered why they don't release a DVD set of the Treehouse of Horror episodes; I would so buy that, given that I stopped buying the seasons after season 9.  I'm recording the ones I don't have (except for IX and X, which I missed), so that will help. 

 

I miss Phil Hartman greatly, not just for Lionel Hutz and Troy McClure, but his other roles, too (I forgot he was Bart's Big Brother!).  And I just watched the episode where Maude FLanders dies, and it made me sad to think that poor Flanders was widowed twice.

 

15 years ago, give or take, somebody described the show as the greatest piece of social satire ever to be on television. It always bothered me when people I liked and respected never watched the show because it was "a cartoon".

Not only is it great social satire, it also manages to have a lot more genuinely touching moments, and be supportive of "family values," than most of the traditional sitcoms on tv. 

 

Finally, I've made the disturbing realization that I have become Marge Simpson -- I have a trouble-causing ten-year-old, an overly bright and sensitive (almost) eight-year-old, a precocious infant, and a beer-loving, occasionally doofusy husband.

Edited by beadgirl
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I miss Phil Hartman greatly, not just for Lionel Hutz and Troy McClure, but his other roles, too (I forgot he was Bart's Big Brother!).

 

Jon Vitti said on twitter yesterday that "when we needed something to work and didn't know how to make it work, we called Phil Hartman". 

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I just finished rewatching S16 and am embarrassed by how much I loved it. I'm not quite far gone enough to argue that it's on par with S4-S9, but it has some episodes that I absolutely adore beyond what is reasonable and even a bunch of rewatch-worthy moments in the subpar ones. Midnight Rx, There's Something About Marrying, Goo Goo Gai Pan, Don't Fear the Roofer, The Father, The Son and The Holy Guest Star, and especially Home Away From Homer (have I mentioned my obsession with Flanders-centric episodes?!) are my favorites. 

I love this episode. The Catholic Heaven and Protestant Heaven bit is probably ranks up there with the greatest fantasy sequences they have ever done  such as Land of Chocolate.

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Finally, I've made the disturbing realization that I have become Marge Simpson -- I have a trouble-causing ten-year-old, an overly bright and sensitive (almost) eight-year-old, a precocious infant, and a beer-loving, occasionally doofusy husband.

 

Awesome.

 

I noticed that I'm starting to empathize with Homer rather than just laugh at his frustrations.  One of my favorite moments of the show was when he was sitting on the bed with Mindy, and she tells him that he doesn't have to do anything he doesn't want to do. He responds with, "Maybe I want to. But then I think about Marge, and the kids. Well, not the boy. [gets annoyed] He drives me nuts. Sometimes I'd just like to... [Makes a vigorous choking Bart gesture]"

 

When I saw it this time, I still laughed, but there was also a little bit of "I hear ya Homer."

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Is it weird that I've been jotting down quotes on my phone so I remember to post them? If it is I definitely haven't been doing it. I was just asking....

 

Marge: Don't worry kids, I'm sure your father is alright.

Lisa: What are you basing that on, mom?

Marge: ...who wants ginger snaps?

 

Bart's Comet is about to hit-

Homer: It's times like this I wish I were a religious man.

Reverend Lovejoy running down the street: It's all over people! We don't have a prayer!  

 

Santa's Little Helper runs along with Bush Sr.-

Homer: I guess you might say he's barking up the wrong bush.

Homer's Brain: There it is Homer. The cleverest thing you'll ever say and nobody heard it.

Homer: D'oh!

 

Marge: President Bush is driving on our lawn. He must be lost.

 

Santa's Little Helper has the cone of shame on him-

Grandpa: Hey, the lamps running away.

Bart: That's my dog, man.

Grandpa: So long, lamp.

 

Lisa: Mom, is dad gonna kill us?

Marge: We're just gonna have to wait and see.

 

Lisa: Dad, how would you like to be sold to an ivory dealer?

Homer: I'd like it fine.

Bart: Even if he killed you and made your teeth into piano keys?

Homer: Yes, of course I would. Who wouldn't like that? To be part of the music scene.

 

Homer: Marge...is Lisa at Camp Granada?

 

Mr. Burns: I don't like being outside, Smithers. For one thing there are too many fat children.

 

Mayor Quimby: Can't we have one meeting that doesn't end with us digging up a corpse?

 

George Washington's Ghost: We had quitters in the revolution too. We called them Kentuckians.

 

More to come. I have over 60 episodes to get through on my DVR.

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Homer: It's just a little slimy; it's still good, it's still good! (I usually say a version of this whenever I drop something.)

 

 

Kid's you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is never try.

 

I had a Simpsons' insulated mug with that quote (and a couple of others) on it! I always tried to have that one facing out.

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Quote

Lisa: Dad, how would you like to be sold to an ivory dealer?

Homer: I'd like it fine.

Bart: Even if he killed you and made your teeth into piano keys?

Homer: Yes, of course I would. Who wouldn't like that? To be part of the music scene.

Ah, Bart Gets An Elephant. My favorite 'D'oh!' of all time:

[Homer hits a deer statue] "D'oh!"

Lisa: "A Deer!"

Marge: "A female deer!"

Edited by AimingforYoko
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Well where to start! Honestly I've missed quite a few episodes of the past few seasons but for me the worst episode was the one in which they killed off Maude Flanders. So pointless and unnecessary and, as I later found out, so spiteful. And it wasn't even funny.

 

Is there a story behind why they killed off the character?

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Mayor Quimby: Can't this town go one day without a riot?!?

 

Mayor Quimby: Demand? Who are you to demand anything? I run this town! You're just a bunch of low income nobodies!

Aide: Uh, election in November, election in November!

Mayor Quimby: What?? Again?!? This stupid country.

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So many great songs! From "A Streetcar Named Marge": "You're a dame and I'm a fella"/"Stanley, stop, or I'll tell Stella!" "Monorail!" The Stonecutters' anthem. "I hate every ape I see/From chimpan-A to chimpanzee." And the whole score of the Shary Bobbins episode ("an original creation, like Ricky Rouse or Monald Muck").

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Homer to Marge, when Bart slips the sheet music to "In-a-Gadda-da-Vida" into the church organist's stack: "Remember when we used to make out to this hymn?"

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I am thinking Cape Feare is my most favoritest.

 

"40 whacks with a wet noodle, Bart!"

"I checked around. The girls are calling you "fatty fat fat fat" and Nelson's planning to pull down your pants. But nobody's trying to kill ya."

"No that's German for "The Bart the"

"I think he's talking to you."

"Hello-o! Hello-o! You have my pills! Hello-o? I'm cold, and there are wolves after me."

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"It's gonna be bigger than ten super bowls!"

 

Well, we've officially hit The Wall (aka, post season 9), who's still watching? I am, but barely hanging on as it is. And I've seen all 552, so we're in for some deep hurting after Seasons 13 and 14 are done.

 

ETA: I had to miss it most of Thursday and Friday but I had the marathon running in my head. I didn't leave the house for the entire weekend and only stopped to go out for food and to watch Doctor Who & Space Dandy. One of the best weekends I've ever had.

Edited by Galileo908
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I love this episode. The Catholic Heaven and Protestant Heaven bit is probably ranks up there with the greatest fantasy sequences they have ever done  such as Land of Chocolate.

Is that the one where the protestants are playing badminton? I just remembered that scene the other day and had to google it to find the episode so I could record it when the marathon hits it.

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I'm pretty much done at this point, but I've got the Treehouse of Horrors set to record (don't screw it up, DirecTV!).

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Honestly, I think it could be Grampa.  I mean he *is* old and would fit the category of being "a fan favorite but not an iconic character."

 

I know I'm going to get bashed for this, but I would love for it to be Marge because I'm sick of the direction the writers have taken with her and it would put an end to all those stupid "Homer and Marge have a fight" storylines for good.

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It's season 13 today and even though it's now past it's peak there are some episodes I love, like "The Frying Game" written by my fave John Swartzwelder.  I like the first act with the "screamapillar" and them having being forced to keep it alive because it's an endangered species, even though "It's sexually attracted to fire" Homer asks "Are you sure God doesn't want it to die?" and the government guy goes "What's god going to do? Get my wife to leave me again?" That's such a Swartzwelder exchange.

 

It's gotten some terrible reviews online which I can understand because the story takes some improbable turns, but the jokes and lines are hilarious. When Homer and Marge are somehow some tricked into being an old lady's servants Marge calls Homer by his name, he gasps and whispers "The missus prefers you call me Simpson!"

And when they get convicted of her murder Homer pleads "Play the race card!(shaking fist threateningly) Play it!"

Edited by VCRTracking
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Is that the one where the protestants are playing badminton? I just remembered that scene the other day and had to google it to find the episode so I could record it when the marathon hits it.

I can't remember badminton, but I do remember croquet and it is totally country club type people. Catholic heaven is a massive party with Pinatas, Italian food and then everyone in Catholic heaven breaks into an Irish Riverdance.

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I can't remember badminton, but I do remember croquet and it is totally country club type people. Catholic heaven is a massive party with Pinatas, Italian food and then everyone in Catholic heaven breaks into an Irish Riverdance.

 

I found a clip on the internet (they have the internet on computers now!) and it's what I was thinking of.

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Homer asks "Are you sure God doesn't want it to die?"

That line made me laugh; I like it when Homer displays a burst of intelligence or savvyness.  Which is the problem with most of the middle seasons -- Homer is perpetually a stupid jackass, and is inserted into absolutely every plot line.

 

Well, we've officially hit The Wall (aka, post season 9), who's still watching?

It's on mostly as background noise now.  I actually watched a couple of episodes of Law & Order last night, for a change of pace.

Edited by beadgirl
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One thing this marathon is doing is really showing how much Phil Hartman is missed. Seeing these episodes all together really highlights just what a presence he had.

I agree. I miss Phil Hartman so much.

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Treehouse of horror, Mr Burns wearing a brain & brain stem: "Look at me, I'm Davey Crockett!"

Homer: "Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos". ( I being this one out after elections)

Troy McClure: "I'm Troy McClure. You may remember me from such films as..." I use this one all of the time.

Homer to big sandwich that made him sick: "how can I stay mad at you?"

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Well, we've officially hit The Wall (aka, post season 9), who's still watching?

 

Well here's the thing. I don't own the DVDs and when I Netflixed the show, I stopped after season 9, so the stuff that FXX is showing now? Episodes I have not seen since they originally aired. So yes, I'm still watching, and my expectations are low, so I end up mostly enjoying myself. Last night I had way more fun with "Day of the Jackanapes" and "New Kids on the Blecch" than I thought I would.

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Aw I love New Kids on the Blecch! It was a perfect episode to show my kid. She really loved the beginning of the marathon and I'm hoping she'll like the ones we ended up taping. 

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Aw, once we passed season nine, I thought I was done with episodes I wanted to see. I forgot about the screamapillar! That damn thing is one of my all-time favorite throwaway gags they've ever done. Sexually attracted to fire... I can't stop laughing and I didn't even get to see it. I made this awhile back, good time to break it back out:

simpsonsscreamapillar.jpg

Edited by kariyaki
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My least favorite is "Love is a Many Strangled Thing." If you don't remember that one, Homer make Bart accidentally pee his pants while on the Jumbotron. Then he goes into therapy for always choking Bart. This leads to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar showing up for some reason dressed as Homer to choke him out. There's a part in the episode where Homer almost accidentally hangs himself.

 

It's the only episode out of 552 that made me feel bad about myself for watching.

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Are you serious? That show has been a cash cow, surely the expense wasn't that exorbitant. Was she flying in from Mars?

 

I think you meant to quote Iboatedhere. 

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I don't know titles like you guys so my memories are more about segments within shows.  Thanks to you guys I know I like "Homer the Great" cause I take it that was the one where the conservatives were at their lodge singing "We do, we do."  (Patrick Stewart voiced a character in it didn't he?).

 

Also love all the musical parodies.  "Monorail!"

 

Also agree with the poster about Lisa becoming a vegetarian.  And more to the point, remaining one.  As a vegetarian myself it really really gets old all the anti-veggie jokes on every other show on TV so thanks, Simpsons, for being above that stuff. 

 

In the same vain I like the way they handle religion on the show.  Most shows avoid the topic like the plague.  But here it isn't reduced to a fundamentalists vs atheists thing but shows the there are tons more points of view then just those two.  I liked Lisa becoming a Buddhist.  I like that Ned tries to live up to his faith.  And as for the funny, I liked Organ Lady's rendition of In-A-Gada-Da-Vida (thanks, Bart).  And shout-out for reminder of the Catholic/Protestant heavens above.

 

I love baseball so I'm a pushover for anything regards my beloved Springfield Isotopes.  And when Lisa became the manager of Bart's Little League team and was reading Moneyball and all the sabermetrics manuals.

 

I agree above with people who are all in on the Sideshow Bob episodes.  Masterpieces.

 

I like the Mr Burns-centric episodes a lot.  The ultimate evil businessman manifested best in a cartoon show.  Great stuff.  I tend to like episodes that features secondary or tertiary characters I like alot like Mr Burns.  Anything with Sideshow Bob, Otto the Bus Driver, Big Tony and Lenny and Carl especially.

 

Weirdly one of my favorite segments wasn't humorous but really touching.  Up until this episode Barney was just the town drunk who burped and farted and fell face down and was made fun of.  But in this one I believe Lisa enters some independent film contest maybe and a surprise entry that wins (I think, again don't know the episodes like you guys) comes from Barny.  Suddenly he's as fleshed out as any real life character.  A sensitive soul who, you realize, probably became a drunk because he couldn't handle a world as cruel as ours.  It made me view people differently ever since.  Where can a show. let alone a cartoon show, have that kind of effect.

 

They did something similar over time with Nelson who goes from one dimensional bully to a kid living a hard scrabble life and hiding his fears and sadness through being a bully.  Slowly be becomes more human and more sympathetic.  Brilliant.

 

Gee sounds like my favorites aren't as funny as some.  But not true.  I guess I just ended up mentioning those episodes that tend to challenge the viewer's stereotypes of everything from religion to drunks and bullies.  But doing this with humor makes that challenge easier to get through to people with I believe.  So shout-out to all of that coupled with the laughs.  These writers are both brilliant and funny.  Kudos to them and their work over the years and to the regulars who voice 99% of the characters.

Edited by green
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Agree getting rid of Maude was bad.  Also any segments that just go way too far into the uncomfortable zone.  Like Moe secretly liking Marge is okay but at times he seems closer to a real life stalker or pervert.  Yuck.  Also don't like all the old age jokes centered on Abe or that character period.  Just cruel and really bad stereotype.

 

I understand making a point about violence in kids' cartoon shows so kudos for that.  But the zillion and one Itchy and Scratchy segments are about a zillion too many for me.

 

Also I'd like to nominate the stupid rich Texas businessman with the 10-gallon hat and pistols as the most boring and out of place character ever created on the show.  He makes Bumblebee Man seem to make actual sense by comparison.

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I used to think The Principle and the Pauper, where we find out Skinner is really Armin Tamzarian, was the worst episode of the first 10 years, even though it had its moments.  It seemed absurd to think this could all be revealed and everyone just ignored it

 

Then along came the show Mad Men.  They basically took the same concept of that episode and created one of the best TV dramas in history.  I have often wondered if their is any connection between the two.  I have never seen it mentioned anywhere in the media.  Despite the fact you can argue The Simpsons is the best (or second best behind Seinfeld) show of the 1990s and Mad Men is perhaps the best of the next decade, no on I have ever seen brings up the fact that Mad Men takes one of the least loved Simpsons episodes and makes a totally believable and viable story out of the idea.  ANd they also basically just ignore who the real Don Draper is.   

 

I realize that this story idea probably did not originate with the Simpsons, its probably an archetype of war stories that I just was not aware of and just saw for the first time as a variation on the Simpsons.  I still find it amusing about the connection between The Simpsons and Mad Men though

 

I actually watched this episode last night. It's surprisingly funny - probably in the top half of season nine. But the plot itself is so bizarre that it's hard to appreciate.

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