THOSE CLOWNS IN CONGRESS

An image of Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and an unknown third person from The Simpsons.

The IN THE NEWS Decision Desk projects that Diamond Joe Biden will win the election and become America’s Dictator, barring any last-minute chicanery from forces loyal to the embattled President Trump. Over on Twitter, Simpsons staff members are giddy with delight, including executive producer James L. Brooks, who had some… interesting thoughts regarding that gorgeous babe we call democracy. However, they may soon rue the day Biden staggers across the finish line once they realize they could be locked out of the Emmy Awards for another presidential term.

Back in 2014, IN THE NEWS posited a theory behind the show’s conspicuous lack of Emmy wins during the Obama Administration:

Of course, there may be another reason for the show’s recent Emmy drought. Their last win in the Animated Program category was for “Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind” in 2008, the last year of the Bush Administration. Could President Obama be behind this…?

Malarkey, you say? The Simpsons‘ Emmy drought would continue until the episode “Mad About the Toy” won in 2019, which, according to Google, was when Donald Trump was president, giving credence to the theory.

The Biden campaign pitched his regime as a return to the Obama years. Undoubtedly that will involve bone-crushing austerity, but will it include Obama’s unprecedented blockade of The Simpsons‘ rightfully-deserved Emmy Awards? In Biden’s own words: “nothing would fundamentally change.”

GROEN DRAIN

An image of Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy

Disenchantment creator Matt Groening appears to have quietly launched a YouTube channel last night. Currrently its sole video is “Trumpy’s Rhapsody,” a short cartoon directed by Dwayne Carey-Hill featuring Donald Trump singing a song, with the lyrics credited to Groening and Dan Castellaneta (TV’s Homer Simpson) providing the voice.

This raises some questions:

Why now? For someone who’s arguably the most famous cartoonist of the era, it’s remarkable that Matt Groening has maintained almost zero internet presence. His personal website was supposedly “under construction” for years (the domain name appears to have lapsed) and outside of the rare promotional Q&A, he’s had no official social media account or means of communicating directly to fans. Which is fine, because it’s always disappointing when you follow someone and discover they have a weird axe to grind against Cuba or whatever, and it’s also really funny to me when people – sometimes people he works with – unknowingly tag phony accounts.

What the hell did I just watch? This Trump Jib-Jab thing with Putin jokes is, uh, not my cup of tea, to put it politely. Groening is a rich, aging baby boomer Democrat (albeit one who donated to orb queen Marianne Williamson during the primaries) who works in the entertainment industry, which partially explains why he’s succumbed to Trump derangement syndrome like the rest of his peers. But I still can’t quite wrap my head around a line like “Sorry I ruined the Republican party!” coming from the same guy who drew this.

Why do it independently? The Simpsons has been putting out godawful Trump shorts since he announced his candidacy. Why Groening chose not to use the existing Simpsons infrastructure is a real head-scratcher. Was it somehow considered too edgy???

What’s next? Was this a one time thing? Could this be the start of his own version of Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy? Who knows!

[Matt Groening on YouTube via Bob Mackey]

LISTICLE PARADISO

An image of Donald Trump surrounded by Simpsons characters who definitely voted for him.

As you may have heard, there is an election going on right now. Across social media, people are speculating which TV characters voted for President Trump. As a person with both an extensive knowledge of The Simpsons and a degree in Wonk Science, I am uniquely suited to set the record straight on which Simpsons characters definitely, absolutely voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election.
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NOSTRAD'OHMUS

An image of Ruth Bader Ginsburg's head from the Futurama movie Into The Wild Green Yonder.

As you may have heard, longtime Supreme Court justice and Funko Pop icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently passed away at the age of 87, a tragic occurrence nobody could have possibly seen coming… nobody, that is, except for the genius writing staff of cult classic animated sitcom Futurama! The Simpsons may grab headlines for predicting future events, like the election of President Trump, but its sister series is certainly no slouch in the prognostication department either.

In the December 2002 episode “A Taste of Freedom,” Justice Ginsburg’s disembodied head appeared as an Associate Justice of the Earth Supreme Court. Now, in case you’ve forgotten, the world of Futurama features a technology invented by Ron Popeil that keeps human heads alive in jars, even long after the person has died. Getting goosebumps yet? This means that the people behind the show somehow knew that Justice Ginsburg would pass away at some point between the year 2002, when the episode first aired, and 3003, which, according to The Infosphere, is when the episode takes place. And that’s exactly what happened in real life. Uncanny!

The head of the Notorious R.B.G., as Justice Ginsburg is commonly referred to in the ‘hood, later reappears in the 2009 OVA Into The Wild Green Yonder and the 2012 episode “Decision 3012.” Unfortunately, her name was misspelled as “Ginsberg” in all three appearances. Oh well! When you’re able to use your third eye to peer into the world beyond the veil and prophesize future events with such a startlingly high degree of accuracy, you’re bound to make a few slip-ups here and there.

WRITER WATCH

wagon train

Former union kingpin Patric Verrone, who wrote for Futurama and The Simpsons, and has a thriving historical figurines business, is running for California State Senate. If elected, he would be the second Simpsons writer to hold public office, following John Swartzwelder’s disastrous coup in Guyana.

As president of the Writers Guild of America, West, Verrone led the 2007-2008 writers strike that lead to higher wages and longer beards. Now he’s hitting up people for money by namedropping the shows he worked on:

“At ‘Futurama,’ I wrote a lot about the future,” he said. “For California, the future is still being written. In the script we write together, there’s a happy ending. Please join me in in this cause. We’re still in this together.”

Get it? He wrote Futurama, so now he’s going to write the future, with everyone, banging away on the typewriters of Democracy. Wait a minute… he wants to write a happy ending? He wants to end California?!? This mad man must be stopped at all costs.

[Variety]

UNRELATED SIMPSONS IN THE NEWS

Alan K. SimpsonYes, 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.”

[Salon]

NEWS BRIEFS

police dog

  • The Simpsons lost every Annie Award it was nominated for (including one for the infamous rag episode), but Simpsons alumni Rich Moore won Best Director and his film Wreck-It Ralph won Best Feature, so good for him!
  • My Google Alert for “Yeardley Smith sex tape” has finally beared fruit! Here is a photo of Lisa Simpson’s voice actress cavorting with a naked man in broad daylight.
  • Simpsons producer James L. Brooks is literally on the National Rifle Association’s enemies list. No word on Matt “NRA4EVER” Groening, though.
  • Speaking of Brooks, looks like he got his Twitter hacked, with little success at stopping it. He appears to be waging a hilarious battle with the Twitter-jacker over which one is the real one. Just goes to show you, even if you’re a big-time Hollywood mega-producer, you can still get your stuff hacked. Stay protected, yo. [via @vmcampos]
  • Former showrunner Bill Oakley posted the pre-distortion audio file of Ned Flanders from Homer’s chili-induced hallucination. Much respect for Harry Shearer.
  • UNRELATED SIMPSONS IN THE NEWS: 81-year old ex-senator Alan Simpson, namesake of the Simpson-Bowles commission, attempted to perform the Gangnam Style dance in a bid to turn young people into granny-starving deficit hawks. [via kushibo]
D'OH REPORT

Remember those cool-ass Simpsons stamps that I was raving about two years ago? Well it turns out the Postal Service completely misjudged the popularity of The Simpsons Franchise by about, oh, seven hundred million.

According to Bloomberg, all those beautiful, beautiful stamps are now just sitting in a stamp warehouse somewhere waiting to be disposed of, which is a real tragedy:

Bloomberg’s Dominic Chu reports that the money-losing U.S. Postal Service guessed that TV cartoon character Homer Simpson and his family were twice as popular as Elvis Presley when it came to sales of commemorative stamps. The service produced 1 billion of “The Simpsons ” stamps and sold 318 million with the remainder being disposed at a loss.

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TOON BEAT

family guyHoly crap, Lois! Remember the time when Family Guy writer Patrick Meighan got sent to the slammer for the heinous crime of occupying Los Angeles? What the deuce??? He set up a blog to share his ordeal.

I unlinked my arms voluntarily and informed the LAPD officers that I would go peacefully and cooperatively. I stood as instructed, and then I had my arms wrenched behind my back, and an officer hyperextended my wrists into my inner arms. It was super violent, it hurt really really bad, and he was doing it on purpose. When I involuntarily recoiled from the pain, the LAPD officer threw me face-first to the pavement. He had my hands behind my back, so I landed right on my face. The officer dropped with his knee on my back and ground my face into the pavement. It really, really hurt and my face started bleeding and I was very scared. I begged for mercy and I promised that I was honestly not resisting and would not resist.

With us Occupy LA protestors, however, they set bail at $5,000 and booked us into jail. Almost none of the protesters could afford to bail themselves out. I’m lucky and I could afford it, except the LAPD spent all day refusing to actually *accept* the bail they set. If you were an accused murderer or a rapist in LAPD custody that day, you could bail yourself right out and be back on the street, no problem. But if you were a nonviolent Occupy LA protestor with bail money in hand, you were held long into the following morning, with absolutely no access to a lawyer.

I guess you could say it was the opposite of “freakin’ sweet.” Giggity giggity goo, damn you vile woman, etc.

[My Occupy LA Arrest, by Patrick Meighan via AMERICAblog]

THOSE CLOWNS IN CONGRESS

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain likes to quote movies. And not just any movies, but movies based on cartoon franchises. As reported by our sister blog, AnimeJihad, Cain quoted a song from Pokémon: The Movie 2000 during a debate last August. As any political analyst could tell you, it was a brazen dog whistle for the highly-coveted otaku crowd (a move popularized by Lee Atwater’s so-called “Shounen Strategy”). Which apparently worked, because he soon shot up to frontrunner status.

Well now the Cainster is at it again. During a campaign stop in New Hampshire, Cain wheeled out his new talking point, telling his supporters “We need a leader, not a reader.”

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