Marge Simpson in: Screaming Yellow Honkers
Grammar is not a waste of time
Couch gag: The family sit on the couch which turns into a rollercoaster seat.
Director: Mark Kirkland
Synopsis: Marge is forced to attend classes for her road rage, but winds up needing that anger to save the family from rhinos.
Discussion: Yep, you read right: Marge needs to channel her road rage to save her family from rhinos.
The episode starts well. We all remember and love the Canyonero from ‘The Last Temptation of Krust‘ when Krusty sold out and started endorsing the SUV in order to gain some quick dosh. This time, Homer buys a Canyonero, not realising he’s bought the F-series which is intended for a female market. Marge uses the car to do her shopping, decides she likes it and uses it all the time, leading to some road rage and an anger management class.
The highlights of the ep are: Marge calming herself down in the carpark when Agnes and Kearney refuse to move, the Canyonero song, road rage class and the ability to fit 32 grocery bags in the back. Lowlights include: the entire third act. Rhinos? Really??
The short film shown at road rage class is a perfect vehicle (‘scuse the pun) for Troy McClure, however this was produced after Phil Hartman’s death. His absence is noticeable. You can really imagine Troy saying, “Hi, I’m Troy McClure. You may remember me from such road safety films such as ‘The horn is for honking’ and ‘Red lights mean stop’…” Instead we have a forgettable character of um, what’s her name? Constable woman talking about stuff. Add Curtis E. Bear, the courtesy bear, who is actually one of the better one-time characters in the season, and you’ve got yourself some average laughs.
The Last Temptation of Krust
Pain is not the cleanser
Couch gag: The family’s bottoms are on fire and the couch holds water, putting out the fires when the family sits in it.
Director: Mike B. Anderson
Jay Leno as himself
Janeane Garofalo as herself
Bobcat Goldthwaite as himself
Bruce Baum as himself
Hank Williams Jr as himself
Steven Wright as himself
Synopsis: At a comedy festival, Krusty fails to impress with his dated and offensive material. Realising he’s paid more attention to merchandising his name instead of working on new material, Krusty embarks on a new comedic journey.
Discussion: The standout section of this episode is the Canyonero. Everything else is filler for this spoof of SUVs and the multitude of problems they come with, plus it’s a rich satire of celebrities and marketing.
Krusty is old news. His material is offensive and can’t compete with the keen wit of observational humour. Enter a bunch of famous comedians and the popularity of late 90s comedy festivals to help seal Krusty’s path to popularity once again.
This episode’s climax is the brilliantly done Canyonero commercial at the end, featuring Krusty. The ep itself is a bit wishy-washy. There’s no real point to it and the Canyonero bit at the end doesn’t quite fit. Krusty gives it away in exactly one line: he’s spent more time merchandising than working on good material. Miss that line and the whole episode is just weird and nonsensical. Unfortunately, it’s an easy line to miss.
I feel there’s so much more that could have been done to this ep to make it better. Keep the first act where Krusty’s act stinks. Make the connection between advertising and why Krusty’s act stinks clearer. Hark back to Krusty having financial problems as the reason he does all this merchandising- why is he burning money? The audience already knows Krusty has financial problems yet here he is on stage burning a dollar. It’s something we’ve seen Mr Burns do, why would Krusty do it?