Thousands of Simpsons fans in Bolivia staged a massive protest after the channel Unitel changed the show’s timeslot.
…wait, what? *makes wacky Jon Stewart befuddlement face* That can’t be right. We’re talking about the show that’s been on for like 30 years and hasn’t been funny since the Clinton Administration, right? Let me read the article again just to make sure…
Hrm, yeah, everything checks out. Huh. That’s weird. Looks like they succeeded, too. Good for them.
[Latin Times via New York Post]
It’s a Christmas miracle! Dearly departed Springfield schoolmarm Edna Krabappel has returned, and she’s writing scientific studies with her colleagues Margaret “Maggie” Simpson and Kim Jong Fun.
The trio’s latest study, about a “new methodology for forward-error correction,” has been accepted for publication into two real-world scientific journals.
Unfortunately, it’s all a cruel hoax, as Vox explains:
Of course, none of these fictional characters actually wrote the paper, titled “Fuzzy, Homogeneous Configurations.” Rather, it’s a nonsensical text, submitted by engineer Alex Smolyanitsky in an effort to expose a pair of scientific journals — the Journal of Computational Intelligence and Electronic Systems and the comic sans-loving Aperito Journal of NanoScience Technology.
Yes, Smolyanitsky’s intentions were good, but did he really have to drag a beloved dead woman into his twisted scheme and give us false hope that she might still be out there, somewhere???
While this incident certainly doesn’t bode well for Krabappel’s future in academia, we can only hope she continues to send more cryptic messages from the great unknown.
[Vox via The Washington Post]
Social media users in Egypt are convinced the situation in Syria is actually a vast U.S. conspiracy to destabilize the region. The smoking gun? The Party Posse episode of The Simpsons.
Business Insider explains:
In the episode, entitled “New Kids on the Blecch,” Bart, Milhouse, Nelson and Ralph, are tapped for a boy band, The Party Posse, whose first single, “Drop Da Bomb,” turns out to be a subliminal recruitment video for the U.S. Navy. In the song’s music video, the boys pilot war planes, parachuting into an unnamed Arab nation to teach the local women to wear bikinis and play tether ball.
And if you look closely, a jeep in the video clearly displays the flag now used by the Syrian opposition.
On what appears to be the Egyptian equivalent of the CNN show that just regurgitates whatever people are saying on Facebook (that is, all of them), an anchor played a clip of the episode, and repeatedly stressed that the episode came out in 2001, way before the Syrian opposition started using their flag. (Sidenote: Does this opposition group have a name? That might be something that would be good to know.)
What does this mean??? There are only three possibilities:
- Syrian rebels are big-time Simpsons nuts and borrowed their flag from the episode, as a strange, obscure homage of some sort. Maybe it’s to them what the Bort joke is to us in the west.
- It’s a coincidence, because all flags basically look the same. Stars, bars, sometimes a crescent moon or an eagle.
- The so-called “war” in Syria is a bunch of smoke and mirrors, with the U.S., Israel and Gulf Arab countries pulling the strings. It’s nothing more than a false flag simulation produced by Lockheed and Oracle and Rockwell Collins, with propaganda about chemical attacks being disseminated by their lackeys in the media.
Clearly, #3 is the most likely explanation. As I recently discovered, the Simpsons writing staff is actually a front for the CIA, who often use the show to spread disinformation and plant grotesque “pre-clues” to 9/11. I guess they just decided to reuse some art assets for their fake rebel group instead of designing a new flag? Damned budget cuts are completely dismantling conspiracies right and left.
After Simpsons voice actress Doris Grau passed away in 1995, her character Lunchlady Doris remained in the show. Or so we thought! It turns out that at some point in the series Doris was silently replaced with a pod person named “Lunchlady Dora,” who just happens to look and sound exactly like her.
Out of respect for the late Phil Hartman, his characters Lionel Hutz and Troy McClure were completely retired from the show (well, eventually… they still made occasional background appearances until 2003). This wasn’t the case for Lunchlady Doris, who lurked silently in the background for years.
Her silence was broken in a 2009 episode, when Tress MacNeille took over the role with a pretty dead-on impression. Some viewers felt recasting the character was disrespectful to Grau. However, it turns out it was actually a “new” character, “Lunchlady Dora,” a loophole that made the move perfectly ethical. Although MacNeille was credited as Lunchlady Dora in that episode’s press release, this little change was not mentioned in the actual show until 2013, when Groundskeeper Willie casually mentioned making sweet love to Lunchlady Dora (my fanfic came true!), and a second time in last night’s episode, where Dora is mentioned in the school newspaper. AV Club writer Sean O’Neal tweeted about it, assuming it was a typo, which lead Michael Price to set the record straight and confirm it’s a “different” character:
Well, now that there’s precedent for döppelganger replacement, we can all look forward to the never-ending adventures of Mr. Kurns, Jed Flanders and Principal Skynnyr once Harry Shearer decides to quit.
[Twitter via No Homers Club]
According to the French Simpsons site The Simpsons Park, the French networks W9 and Canal + have been blurring Duff Beer in Simpsons reruns. Why? Because a German brewer somehow won a trademark dispute with Fox and now they can legally sell Duff Beer, complete with a logo completely ripped off from the show. Although Fox had two Duff Beer trademarks filed in the European Union, a Belgian court annulled them “because they weren’t registered for an actual beverage” (the German brewer, Duff Beer UG, has applied for their own trademark, which takes a lot of chutzpah). And now that Duff Beer is available in France, French TV has to blur Duff Beer because advertising alcohol is apparently illegal there, and showing this fictional beer that’s been around for over two decades could be seen as an advertisement for this insane rip-off beer that brazenly stole its name and logo and has nothing to do with The Simpsons. Europe is weird.
I don’t want to oversell this, but I’ve seen a lot of weird Simpsons videos, and this Armenian parody is one of my favorites. It starts out with four lads morphing into the Simpsons singing “Yesterday” in Armenian atop Stonehenge and gets stranger from there.
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Here, without commentary, is a list of actual subplots from recent episodes of The Simpsons, as summarized by Wikipedia:
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Today in life imitating The Simpsons news: some fishermen caught a fish with three eyes near a nuclear power plant in Argentina. Literally, like, for reals, they found a radioactive mutant freak fish with three goddamn eyes, and it happened In Real Life. This should probably be cause for alarm, but since the same scenario happened in a beloved cartoon from over two decades ago, it can be safely relegated to the “lighter news” section of the news, chuckled at, and then instantly forgotten. 2011: not a good year for nuclear power.
[Infobae via Geekologie via Gizmodo]
Matt Groening came up with the idea for The Simpsons, but that doesn’t mean all his ideas are winners. Like, for instance, Marge Simpson being an anthropomorphic rabbit disguised as a human.
*record scratch* Say wha–?!? Here’s Daria Paris, who was the assistant to former executive producer Sam Simon, as quoted in John Ortved’s The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History:
There were times in the room when Matt would come up with the stupidest ideas. And he had this one: we were going to do an episode where Marge finally lets her hair down, and Matt’s idea was that once she let it down the audience finds out she has rabbit ears, which was ridiculous. And Sam said no.
And here’s what Groening had to say about it on the audio commentary for Selma’s Choice, when writer David M. Stern brings it up and puts him on the spot:
That was the original – back in the – my plan, back in the very beginning, that she was actually a Life in Hell rabbit from my comic strip… but then it just seemed like a… I just said “oh, forget it, there’s no ears under there.”
“Ridiculous” is putting it lightly. Here’s how I’d like to imagine that transpired: the writers and producers are seated around a giant table in a Dr. Strangelove-like Situation Room. Matt Groening causally brings up his idea that Marge Simpson – loving wife, devoted mother, future Playboy centerfold – is a rabbit in disguise, a secret that would be revealed in the final episode. A long, awkward silence ensues, as the writers sit in stunned disbelief at the utter insanity their boss just uttered. Suddenly, Sam Simon starts yelling at Groening about what a stupid idea that is. After a big back-and-forth about the plausibility of the whole concept, Simon finally puts his foot down, and Groening shame-facedly retreats to his office, to console himself with money. And thus we were all spared from the horror of Marge’s closet rabbitness being An Actual Thing.
…OR WERE WE?!?!
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