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Posts tagged ‘Homer’s brother’

Hey Homer, can I borrow your underwear?

Brother, Can You Spare Me Two Dimes?

I will not fake seizures.

Couch gag: The family cartwheel to the couch.

Director: Rich Moore

Guest voice:
Danny DeVito as Herb
Joe Frazier as himself

Synopsis: To compensate Homer for his lazy sperm caused by exposure to radiation, Mr Burns gives Homer $2000 and a fancy award. Homer’s brother, now destitute, asks for the money to build a baby translator to make him rich again.

Discussion: This episode is a sequel to season two’s Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? That episode ended sadly as Homer completely destroyed Herb’s fortune and livelihood, so it’s only fair that Homer make amends… in classic Simpsons fashion.

Giving Homer money is usually not a good idea, he’ll waste it all within minutes if he can. Good thing Herb has a brilliant idea that every mother in the country is going to want. With Maggie’s help, Herb develops a baby translator with the borrowed $2000 and showcases it at a baby convention. Instant riches, everyone’s happy, it’s a warm and fuzzy episode.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s the ep that had to happen. Homer just had to make amends for his half-brother and this is a great way to do it. It’s not overly warm and fuzzy, there are plenty of funny moments such as Homer’s trip in the Spinemelter 2000, Maggie’s musings as Herb tries to learn what she’s saying, and Mr Burns’ over-the-top award just so Homer won’t sue over his sterility (the comparison of Homer’s lazy sperm with Smithers’ healthy sperm is also pretty funny, but you may want to have The Talk with younger kids before they see it).

Overall, it’s a fitting end to season 3. Always leave on a high note.

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No pantamumime either

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

I will not sell land in Florida

Couch gag: Maggie pops out from Marge’s hair

Director: Wesley Archer (credited as W.M. “Bud” Archer)

First appearance of:
Mona Simpson (in flashback only)
Herb Powell

Guest Voice: Danny Devito as Herb Powell

Synopsis: When Grampa has a mild heart attack, he takes the opportunity to tell Homer he has a half brother out there somewhere. Homer tracks down Herb Powell, who has made his fortune in car manufacturing. Herb wants to give Homer a car, but Homer doesn’t find anything he likes, so Herb tells Homer he’s welcome to design his own car for all the Homers in America. The resulting car is a spectacular failure, causing Herb to lose everything to bankruptcy.

Discussion: Completely by coincidence, last night I watched Twins, also starring Danny Devito around the theme of finding a long-lost brother. That’s about where the similarity ends- Homer J. Simpson is no Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Again with the themes of family and Homer being a loser, we see just what’s important in the Simpson world. Grampa… well OK, Grampa isn’t the finest example, wishing he’d kept the millionaire son instead of Homer, but Herb is happy to accommodate his new brother and his family (until they send him bankrupt, of course). We also see a glimpse of Abe Simpson’s past as he relates the story of a one night stand with a carnival worker, resulting in the birth of Herb. We also meet Grandma Simpson, told in flashback during Homer’s birth. (For Simpsons Log Quiz fans, Mona Simpson is her name… and how much does she look like Mary Bailey??)

Wikipedia tells me that this episode is based around car failures, none of which I have any clue about, since I am not a car person. I drive one, that’s it. According to the article, Nancy Cartwright, who voices Bart, was impressed with Danny Devito’s performance and speculates that the character was written with him in mind: even though Danny is an accomplished actor and probably has the same amenities as Herb (e.g. swimming pool, screening room etc), family is what’s most important. Warning: Deep Thought! We’re born with nothing, we die with nothing… except family. We came into this world from a family, no matter how screwed up they were, and when we die, our family mourn for us. Maybe we create a new family along the way… This episode sums it up nicely.

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