Homer and Ned’s Hail Mary Pass
Couch gag: The Simpsons pile on top on one another, like a totem pole
Director: Steven Dean Moore
Tom Brady as himself
LeBron James as himself
Michelle Kwan as herself
Yao Ming as himself
Warren Sapp as himself
Synopsis: After a video of Homer dancing goes viral, he’s invited to choreograph victory dances for sportspeople, culminating in producing the Superbowl halftime show. Meanwhile, Ned Flanders makes biblical films.
Discussion: My bias precedes this episode: I am not a fan of either sports nor religion. Having said that, there’s not much that this ep offers anyway. We’ve seen Homer dancing in sports before, but this time he’s training others in victory dances. Still, there’s not much substance to this plot because the dances get more and more silly and completely lose the essence of Homer’s original dance.
Then there’s Ned with a video camera. Who let the Ned out? He starts making biblically-themed movies, but when they’re full of unnecessary and gratuitous violence, the townspeople (led by Marge) threaten to boycott Mr Burns (who is financing these productions) and all hell breaks loose. Or at least, the films stop being made. I suspect this is a dig at overly violent religious films (I’m looking at you, Mel Gibson) which focus on the best bits of the bible and not the overall message.
In any case, Ned’s films and Homer’s half time show come together in one huge monstrosity which leaves fans and viewers booing- and that’s not just the fictional ones in the show.
This ep is memorable for one particular reason though: the revelation of Comic Book Guy’s real name. The writers thought it would be hilarious to give him the most mundane name ever, finally deciding on Jeff Albertson. Creator Matt Groening stated that he wanted the name to be Louis Lane, forever haunted by Lois Lane. But when the lines came to be written, Matt Groening was out of the room and didn’t have his suggestion heard.