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Posts tagged ‘celebrity’

Let’s see what’s on tummy vision

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Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder

I won’t use no double negatives

Couch gag: A cement mixer pours cement in the shape of the family but Homer breaks in half. 

Director: Mike B. Anderson

Guest voices:
Ron Howard as himself
Penn & Teller as themselves
Pat O’Brien as himself
Nancy Dell as herself

Synopsis: After winning a perfect game of ten pin bowling, Homer’s fleeting status as celebrity wanes and he decides to spend more time with his family. 

Discussion; We already know Homer is pretty good at bowling, so it’s not really a surprise that he can bowl a perfect 300. In this episode, which spoofs the fleeting status of celebrity, he decides that family is the most important thing in life. 

I’m not convinced the two concepts marry well. You’ve got Homer becoming a minor celebrity for five minutes which rapidly becomes a plot focused on Maggie, the forgotten Simpson. Taken as two separate plots, they each work well, but trying to marry them as nothing-else-matters-except-family, it’s not quite there. 

Maggie, being a (mostly) mute baby, doesn’t carry whole episodes and it is difficult to make those ideas work so you do need something else to plug the gaps. Here we only have one brief reference to Maggie before she becomes the plot: Homer is bowling instead of having the promised tea party with Maggie, leaving her to apologise to the guest teddy bears. How rude! 

The scenes of Homer’s fading celebrity are the highlights of the ep. In particular, the scene where Homer is centre square on Springfield Squares, which also begs the question of how real are Itchy and Scratchy? It’s the warping of two worlds which make this show great. Anyhoo, I digress. The suicide scene is tough to watch (this was produced before 11 September, 2001) but lightens considerably when Otto and Homer find underground societies. 

Overall, this is a better than average episode. Maggie is smart and witty in her own way (complete with baby’s first facepalm) and Homer is still unbelievably stupid. The themes of family work, but only just. Fading celebrity, and the ease of which one can become a celebrity, is much easier to swallow. 

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His best friend is a talking pie

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When You Dish Upon a Star

Butt.com is not my email address

Couch gag: There’s a washing line in the living room and Marge hangs up the family to dry.

Director: Pete Michels

Guest voices:
Kim Basinger as herself
Alec Baldwin as himself
Ron Howard as himself
Brian Grazer as himself

Synopsis: While having fun at Springfield Lakes, Homer lands on the summer house of Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin, who plead with him to keep their secret. But Homer can’t resist telling his closest drinking buddies. 

Discussion: Who doesn’t love it when celebrities poke fun at themselves? Just by appearing as oneself on The Simpsons, you know there’s already going to be a degree of self-poking just because that’s what the show is. In this episode, produced back when Kim and Alec were still married, it’s Ron Howard who steals the show. 

Despite making fun of her Oscar and berating Alec for not having one, Kim still comes off as being a bit stuck up. Her voice work doesn’t seem as relaxed as the male co-stars although Alec’s voice work also takes a while to settle into his character. But, it’s Ron Howard who wanders in, completely relaxed, and takes Homer’s jibes about being Potsie and Horshack. All you youngsters out there, you may need to ask your parents about this one. 

It’s a great episode. It does feel a bit awkward at the beginning when Homer first falls into the house of Kim and Alec, but then again this adds to the awkwardness of invading the privacy of someone. Another highlight is Homer’s Museum of Hollywood Jerks, in which he sells tickets to see the collection of crap left behind in his car from the celebs and is caught mocking Kim and her bikini by the stars themselves. Last but not least, the end scene in which Ron Howard is selling movie ideas to his business partner Brian Grazer, and tells of Homer’s idea about the killer robot being sent back in time- priceless! 

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