It seems a crafty teen tipster has managed to get ahold of a TOP-SECRET memo outlining the plotlines for the upcoming world-record 24th season of The Simpsons, purloined directly from the writers’ room at FOX Studios! We’ve got the full memo after the jump.
IN THE NEWS is happy to report that comedian and former Simpsons writer Dana Gould is not a murderer.
Here’s the deal: a while ago I learned from Wikipedia that Gould had used the pseudonym “Lawrence Talbot” for a Simpsons episode he’d written, Goo Goo Gai Pan, wherein the Simpsons go to China to help Aunt Selma adopt a baby. Curious about this intriguing bit of trivia, I decided to ask him about it in what I hoped was a friendly, professional e-mail:
dear mr. gould
i have a press inquiry: why did u use a pseudonym for the simpsons episode “goo goo gai pan”? or is wikipedia got it’s facts wrong.
urs in christ,
Alas, a few weeks passed and there was no response from Mr. Gould. Naturally, I assumed he was attempting to dodge the question because he was hiding something nefarious, hoping the scandal would blow over before it even started. Well, I wasn’t going to give up so easily. Undaunted, I e-mailed him again a couple times, but each time I was rebuffed with his stonewalling silence. That’s when things got personal. How dare this Hollywood Liberal refuse to answer questions from the press! How could he so callously disregard my joke Simpsons fansite as anything less than legitimate? But I didn’t let my emotions compromise my professional integrity, no sir. I knew that as a member of the vaunted Fourth Estate, my responsibility was to shake out The Truth by any means necessary. So, I decided to take the upper hand in this escalating cat-and-mouse game between reporter and subject. and play a little hardball. Utilizing a journalism strategy I learned from an imaginary book, I took the story public and spread some venomous allegations about Mr. Gould, speculating perhaps he had “murdered a teenage girl” or “shot up an entire orphanage” and was hiding behind a phony name to escape culpability for his crimes. In short, I hoped to force his hand and get him to respond. Here’s the original post about it, as I reported at the time.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post’s headline mistakenly said “atom” instead of “at them.” IN THE NEWS regrets the error.
The most critically underrated component of the enormous Simpsons media empire is the Radioactive Man spin-off comic book series occasionally put out by creator Matt Groening’s Bongo Comics, which after 18 years is finally being collected in a deluxe hardcover anthology.
First, a little backstory. The premise of Radioactive Man is simple but ingenious: each issue was purported to be a random issue from the fictional comic book series’ nearly 50-history, satirizing different comic book eras (Golden Age, Silver Age, etc.) and all the superhero conventions and gimmicks that come with it. There was initially a six-issue run in 1994, starting with #1 (mostly consistent with what we saw of it in the Simpsons episode “Three Men and a Comic Book”) and ending with a Spawn-tastic #1000, followed by an “80 page colossal” the following year. A second run debuted in 2000, this time written by the remarkable Batton Lash, with a noticeable improvement in the artwork. Each issue also featured faux ads from the Simpsons universe and letters from readers playing along with the joke (however, the letters in the second series were all fictional; i.e. #222 features a letter from a young Marge Bouvier). Everyone at Bongo is a giant comics nerd (the first issue of Simpsons Comics is a Fantastic Four reference, for example) and Radioactive Man really let them go hog-wild, sort of like how The Critic allowed Simpsons writers Al Jean and Mike Reiss do all the movie parodies they wanted.
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Writer/producer Matt Selman and former writer/murderer Dana Gould are doing a “thing” this Thursday at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles. If you pay them 10 bucks, they will regale you with anecdotes about working for The Simpsons in the post-funny era, answer questions about wizard keys, as well as – and this is the important part – give you all the backstage dirt, like “Who punched a box?” If any of you readers out there end up going to this thing, please please please tell me who punched the box. I desperately need to know.