I will not trade pants with others
Couch Gag: Maggie pops out from Marge’s hair
Director: Mark Kirkland
Tony Bennett as himself (singing the Capital City theme)
Tom Poston as the Capital City Goofball
Synopsis: At an employee’s invitation-only baseball game, the home team are heading for a record 27th loss. Crowd morale is low so Homer starts dancing to liven up the crowd. He’s a big hit and soon is dancing at every game. He is offered the chance to dance for the big leagues in Capital City so the Simpsons move there. Unfortunately, Homer’s act is unappreciated and the family return to Springfield.
Discussion: This is the second episode told in flashback, the first being ‘The Telltale Head’. It’s an effective narrative device because Homer is feeling a bit low and by the end of his story, told to the regular barflies at Moe’s, his confidence is boosted. There’s nothin’ like real friends.
There’s also a continuity error; in the first season episode ‘There’s No Disgrace Like Home‘, the Simpsons are met by Mr Burns and Smithers, who is holding a card. That card correctly named all the Simpsons, however in this episode the card lists Marge as “expecting”, having not been updated since Maggie was born.
I’ll be honest, I don’t love this episode. I don’t know if it’s because I’m from Australia and baseball isn’t a big deal here, or if there’s just something that doesn’t click with me. Perhaps it’s Baby Elephant Walk which grates on my nerves. In any case, there are redeeming features. Tony Bennett’s ode to Capital City is fantastic, plus we meet the Goofball for the first time (hereafter relegated to cameo appearances). Homer’s facial expressions and dancing are fun, too. I feel the episode drags a bit, never really getting to the point. Of course, I miss the baseball references as well because I have absolutely no knowledge of anything related to American baseball. Understanding references always enriches the episode, I think. I’m disappointed that Homer’s first performance was the one that got him fired; I’d like to have seen him have a good run and then something happens like a better mascot, a better dancer, someone a bit risque and more to the liking of the elite Capital City folk. Anyway, it’s not one of my favourites.