It's time once again for our new feature, the Friday Random Simpsons.
Um. Pretty self-explanatory.
1. "The Mook, the Chef, the Wife, and Her Homer" -- This is an episode from last fall, one revolving around Fat Tony's newfound son Michael. As much as I love the cartoon stylings of Joe Mantegna's don, this was a pretty lame episode from what I can remember. Eh. 2/10
2. "The Telltale Head" -- To impress the bullies, Bart saws off the head of the Jebidiah Springfield statue in the town square. This was an episode from 1990, an early indication of the show's potential. It includes an early classic from Chief Wiggum: "We have no witnesses, no suspects, no leads. If anyone has any information, please dial 'O' and ask for the police. That number again: 'O'." 6/10
3. "Sunday, Cruddy Sunday" -- The Super Bowl episode from 1999, one that never really did much for me. Maybe it's the fact that most of the guest stars were people I despise -- Troy Aikman, Dan Marino, and Jabba the Hutt lookalike John Madden -- but, regardless, much of the episode seemed poorly written and hastily stitched together. The best part is probably the opening sequence, involving a field trip to the Post Office. There's a terrific line where Krusty dismisses a special series of stamps: "Legends of comedy, my tukhas. What has Fatty Arbuckle done that I haven't done?" 5/10
4. "She Used to Be My Girl" -- In a sign that the producers really, really knew their core audience, this episode from the sixteenth season featured Kim Cattrall from Sex and the City. She played Chloe, a TV reporter who used to be a classmate of Marge's. It ends up with a starstruck Lisa and Chloe stranded in the midst of an erupting volcano, with Lisa panicking: ""Praying to Buddha ... Jesus ... Spongebob ... there's no time to be picky!" 4/10
5. "The Old Man and the Key" -- Hoping to win back a pretty new woman at the retirement home, Grandpa Simpson winds up traveling to Branson, Missouri, to get her out of the hands of a slightly younger man. The highlights are appearances by Ray Jay Johnson, Charlie Callas, and Yakoff Smirnoff. You read that right. The highlights. 3/10
6. "Don't Fear the Roofer" -- Christ, another weak one from the sixteenth season built around a guest star. This time, it's Ray Romano as a roofer who helps fix the house after a storm. Everyone thinks he's imaginary, Homer gets committed to the asylum, blah blah blah. 2/10
7. "Itchy & Scratchy & Marge" -- Finally, a good one. After Maggie bonks Homer on the head with a mallet, Marge leads a crusade against cartoon violence. With no crappy guest star in the way, this one's full of terrific quotes: "I told you! My baby beat me up! ... No, it is not the worst excuse I ever thought up." "Are cartoons too violent for children? Most people would say, 'No, of course not, what kind of stupid question is that?''' "Settle down boys and girls, or Krusty will have to bring out his old friend, Corporal Punishment again. " "Join us tomorrow, when our topic will be, 'Religion: Which is the one true faith?''" 8/10
8. "The Father, the Son, and the Holy Guest Star" -- Yet another sixteenth-season episode with a guest star. (Thrillhous, are you sure these are random?) This one featured Liam Neeson as a priest who helps introduce Bart to Catholicism. Apparently, it was never aired, because Pope John Paul II died that same week and the network thought mocking Catholics was a bad idea. Anyone seen this? N/A
9. "Radioactive Man" -- Thank God. This may be one of my favorite episodes of all time. From the campy '70s show featuring Paul Lynde as special villain "the Scoutmaster" -- BORT! POOO! NEWT! -- to the one-two punch of Ranier Wolfcastle and Milhouse van Houten, this one is pure gold. "We'll blow up our dams, destroy forests, anything! If there's a species of animal that's causing problems nosing around your camera, we'll have it wiped out!" "Our extra patients make patient extras!" "Luckily, the original Alfalfa was an orphan owned by the studio." "Lionel Hutz, your new agent, body guard, unauthorized biographer, and drug deal...uh, keeper-awayer." "I'm sorry: Crispy the Clown has been cast. But I will hire you for Angry the Crown, Silly Sailor, and Dr. Clownius." "Uh, these aren't real X-rays, are they?" "Good question! We'll check into that. OK, X-ray machine to full power, and -- action!" And, of course: "Ach! Zee goggles! Zey do nuthink!" 10/10
10. "The Curse of the Flying Hellfish" -- Nice. When I first saw "The Old Man and the Key," I was hoping it was this episode. Some classic bits of Abe Simpson: "Now, my story begins in 19-dickety-two. We had to say 'dickety' 'cause that Kaiser had stolen our word 'twenty'." "I'd like to digress from my prepared remarks to discuss how I invented the terlet." "Hey, Grampa, do you thing I could've been a Flying Hellfish?" But the best line might belong to the piece of Eurotrash who comes to claim the old paintings at the end: "Hey, fun boys! Get a room!" 8/10
Well, a whole lot of crap this week, capped off by a couple classics. Discuss.
Update: As luck would have it, I just stumbled across this Homer Simpson Fill in the Blank Contest. They have ten video clips from the show, and you have to guess the right bit of Homer dialogue for each scene.
Ten clips there, ten shows here? Hmm. Coincidence? Yeah, probably.
Anyway, I scored a perfect 1000. No pressure, hotshot.