Well, the Maggie Simpson short lost in its bid for an Academy Award, and the world was robbed of the opportunity to see director David Silverman’s majestic beard. Here’s a photopic of Silverman, Matt Groening, and writer Michael Price looking dapper on the red carpet (apparently Silverman and Groening didn’t get the memo to wear this Maggie button):
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Yes, you heard right. After years of anticipation and speculation, 81-year old former senator Alan K. Simpson and his youthful ward Erskine Bowles have finally announced and released a long-awaited followup to their 2010 megahit, The Simpson-Bowles Plan.
The new plan, Simpson-Bowles 2: Escape from Necron 7, goes even further than the original plan in reducing the nation’s deficit. While the original had a semblance of balance between spending cuts and revenue increases, the new plan is much more heavily tilted towards extreme austerity (which mostly involves cuts from Medicare and Medicaid), thanks in large part to the deficit hawkish Simpson, who once called Social Security “a milk cow with 310 million tits.”
The plan is also supposed to somehow serve as an “outline for a new grand bargain” between Republicans and Democrats, despite the fact even Bowles thinks the idea of a grand bargain is “at best on life support.”
Critics are calling the sequel “lame,” “vague,” “unbalanced,” and “a waste of everyone’s time.”
Splitsider has another typically enlightening interview with a Simpsons writer, this time with the generally-reviled former showrunner Mike Scully. He talks about writing for the Golden Globes, his occasional acting on Parks & Recreation (I didn’t know his character had a name), and his short-lived series The Pitts (I only remember Fox’s obnoxious promos for it, which focused primarily on the girl getting a pipe stuck in her head and saying “I’ve got a freakin’ pipe stuck in my head!” or something similiar. Or maybe that was his other show, The Mullets, who knows).
The stuff about his tenure on The Simpsons is interesting – he had the choice of doing either that or Coach (I wonder what the inevitable “Craig T. Nelson gets leprosy” episode would’ve been like), met Conan right before he got sucked away by NBC, and rose from being a 1-day college dropout intimidated by the Ivy League-infested writers’ room to running it just a few years later.
He also lectures a bit about the importance of putting characters before jokes, which is a little galling coming from the guy who brought us panda rape and jockey elves. But he does give an apology, of sorts:
It’s funny going back and doing these DVD commentaries 10 years later. You get a chance to relive every bad decision you made. There are times when you wish you could fast-forward the DVD and just say, “Sorry folks, I don’t know what I was thinking on that one.”
Finally, some closure. [Splitsider]