dohBack in 2002, a more innocent time when we were told Saddam Hussein could attack us again at any moment, Futurama was on death watch. Since its premiere, Fox had shuffled its timeslot multiple times, and it eventually wound up in the 7 o’clock hour, the almost-but-not-quite-primetime hour where TV shows go to die (bad news for American Dad) and football pre-emptions occur every other week. Together with a lack of advertising and the fact that it was a niche show to begin with, Futurama could only manage to wring out a pitiful 6.4 million viewers when the show was mercifully put out to pasture by Fox.

In 2010, The Simpsons, which has held the same timeslot for sixteen straight seasons and has always had the full support of the network, received 5.74 million viewers for its season finale, which featured guest appearances by four American Idol judges and host Ryan Seacrest. [No Homers Club/Media Life Magazine]


pissA top-secret informant has come forward with the plots of several upcoming episodes that will air in the upcoming 22nd season:

The Maude Squad
Maude Flanders returns to Springfield through an emergency exit door in Heaven

My Son Is Also Named A-Bort-ion
An old flame leads Marge to make a shocking revelation. Meanwhile Homer is tricked into becoming a pissboy. Jon Lovitz reprises his role as Jay Sherman.

Now You See It, Now You Donut
A diet hypnotist makes Homer blind to fatty foods. Guest starring Mel Brooks and Rep. Joe Wilson.

Kenya Feel It?
At Grampa’s urging the Simpsons travel to Hawaii to find President’s birth certificate.

Love Hack
Lisa starts a successful web 2.0 startup only have her code stolen by Mark Zuckerberg. Homer constructs a tin roof. Guest starring Justin Long and Jon Hodgman, with Heidi Montag and Kim Kardashian as “shack sluts”

Feel free to send us your hot Simpsons tips by e-mail (simpsons@rubbercat.net) or by Twitter (@rubbercatsimp). We take great pains to ensure the anonymity of our sources. [Twitter.com/virgiltexas]


lisa in iceIn a stunning rebuke to global warming, the Dachstein Ice Palace in Austria is set to unveil its new copyright-infringing ice sculpture of TV’s the Simpsons today, or at least that’s all I could extrapolate from this article:

Die Eiskünstler Hans Böhmer (Mitarbeiter der Dachsteingletscher-Bahn), Christian Schmid und Sebastian Zörweg haben in den letzten Wochen mehr als 4 Tonnen Kunsteis und 9 Tonnen Gletschereis verarbeitet, um die Simpsons in Lebensgröße so realistisch wie möglich zu schnitzen. Ab Samstag, den 12. Juni können alle Gäste auf der wohl berühmtesten Couch der Fernsehgeschichte gemeinsam mit der Familie Simpson Platz nehmen. Neu ist auch der Fotopoint im Dachstein Eispalast. Besteigen Sie den Eis- Thron und fühlen Sie sich für ein paar Augenblicke wie ein König in dieser frostig – faszinierenden Eiswelt. Dazu Dachstein-Geschäftsführer Ernst Trummer: “Der Eispalast ist seit dem 1. Tag eine Erfolgsgeschichte. Um weiterhin für unsere vielen Besucher attraktiv zu bleiben, haben wir heuer alle Figuren neugeschnitzt und die Eis-Säle neu gestaltet”.

You should watch the video, particularly the moment at 1:54. [SimpsonsNews.de]


Of the many little things I detest about the new HD opening sequence – the egregious fanservice, the flow-killing Ralph moment, the inexplicable downgrading of Mr. Burns to “background character seen during whip-pan” – my biggest gripe is with the scene where Maggie is scanned. In the original, Marge becomes extremely concerned when she realizes Maggie is gone, she swivels around with her hair accentuating her movement, then she lets out a big sigh of relief when Maggie pops out of the bag. It’s a nice little moment of character animation, which you can see here in this crude gif I put together (framegrabs shamelessly taken from No Homers Club poster Wooster):

old intro

In the new one, Marge doesn’t really react at all – her head jerks around, her slight frown changes to a slight smile, and then she blinks while Maggie exchanges a shaking of fists with The One-Eyebrowed Baby (ughhh):

new intro

Aye carumba, Marge really did become a robot!

Anyway, the reason I’m posting about this now is because I only recently discovered this rather candid journal entry by Dane Romley, one of the animators who worked on it. Turns out he hates the Marge thing too!

This whole scene was mine. I didn’t like what they did where they cut pieces of body parts and moved them in the computer ie. Maggie’s head etc. It looks like it was done in flash. About the Marge turn, I had originally done a version where she did a nice head turn but, again, they didn’t want it. “Just have a simple head turn because we want the joke to be Maggie and the unibrow baby,” they told me. I didn’t know they were going to stiffen it up that much, I’m just defending myself because that seems to be the first thing people mention is Marge. They kept my Maggie scan and popping out of the bag though and in my defense they added the fist shaking later, I didn’t do those 2 drawing cycle *eck*

At the end, he advises everybody not to blame the arists for the bad animation, they were only following orders, etc. It is a good read, you should read it! [deviantART]