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Posts tagged ‘Troy McClure’

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The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular

I will only do this once a year

Couch gag: A montage of previous couch gags

Director: David Silverman (credited as Pound Foolish)

Guest voices:
Phil Hartman as Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz
Glenn Close as Mona Simpson
Buzz Aldrin as himself
Synopsis: Troy McClure hosts the 138th episode spectacular, featuring outtakes, lost footage and a little history of the show. Plus what we all came to see: hard core nudity!

Discussion: Despite being a clip show, it doesn’t feel like one. It feels more like a trip into a Simpsons fan’s brain with a mixture of unseen footage and clips from past episodes. Troy McClure is the perfect host for this soiree, which parodies the frequent occurrence of live-action shows getting a celeb to introduce a milestone ep. Why not get Troy McClure to host a random milestone? It’s pure genius!

This is much more than a clip show. As I’ve mentioned previously, we here in Australia were never privy to The Tracy Ullman Show and missed the shorts entirely, so when they were presented in this episode, it really was “new” footage unseen here. The outtakes (including alternate endings to ‘Who Shot Mr Burns?‘ are also “new” footage, somewhat expected as it is common practice to film several endings in order to keep the truth a secret.

This ep also contains a couple of trivia questions, the answers to which are wrong. The first trivia Q asks what is flashed on the supermarket scanner as Maggie is scanned? Although Troy reveals the answer to be NRA4EVA, it is actually 847.63 (if you can manage to pause it on that exact frame). The second trivia Q asks which two popular characters died last year? Bleeding Gums Murphy and Dr Marvin Monroe, although Dr Monroe isn’t dead and in fact makes a reappearance in the future. It is also noted that neither character is popular.

Overall, I think this is a great ep because although it is mostly recycled material, it doesn’t feel like it. It offers the viewer something new to add to their already vast knowledge of the Simpsons universe.

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Whoa, talk about your pieces of crap

Saturdays of Thunder

I will not fake rabies

Couch gag: The couch is missing its cushions so the family fall through.

Director: Jim Reardon

Guest Voice: Phil Hartman as Troy McClure

Synopsis: Failing a fatherhood test set by the Fatherhood Institute, Homer tries to become more involved in Bart’s life. Bart is building a soapbox racer so Homer joins him. At the race, Bart comes last but Martin hurts himself and asks Bart to race in his stead.

Discussion: This episode has the same theme as yesterday’s episode where Homer tries to be a better parent to Lisa, only this time it’s not self-driven guilt, Homer has failed a test as seen in a magazine. Again, being a parent is a lot of effort and Homer just doesn’t have the time- why parent when you could be watching Football’s Greatest Injuries?

The ep is full of funny dialogue which redeems it from being another “failed fatherhood” episode lost in the mists of season 3. Wikipedia tells me that the main criticism for the episode was because soapbox racing wasn’t popular at the time of broadcast so few could relate to it. There are two issues I see with this. One, the soapbox racing isn’t the point. The sport could have been practically anything (as it happens, soapbox racing was chosen from an earlier comment by Bart when he was banned from watching TV and he would go build a racer instead). Secondly, Soapbox racing looks like fun. I know I wanted to build one after seeing the episode but somehow never got around to it…

Overall, I think the episode benefited from the witty dialogue and subplot of Homer’s failed fatherhood test. I particularly love Dr Nick’s appearance in I Can’t Believe They Invented It! among the other random crap. Infomercials are awesome!

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