ANNOYED GRUNTS, WEB-WATCH

Simpsons writer Broti Gupta, who joined the show last year, was hounded on Twitter for insufficient loyalty to Vice President Kamala Harris.

Gupta had committed the grave sin of making a joke about one of the most powerful people on planet Earth:

In recent months, Harris has made a few verbal flubs, like saying “work together” multiple times in the span of thirty seconds, or her remarks in Highland Park that “we’ve got to take this stuff seriously, as seriously as you are because you have been forced to take this seriously.” It’s fairly innocuous stuff that wouldn’t be out of place in a page-a-day George W. Bushisms calendar from the early 2000s, but that context was ignored by the KHive (described by the Los Angeles Times as “Harris’ extensive, loose-knit and fiercely loyal fan base, which celebrates and defends the vice president with equal fervor”), which egregiously mischaracterized Gupta’s light joshing as a misogynistic and racist attack on their queen, and went into battle mode.
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THOSE CLOWNS IN CONGRESS

Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer, who scored The Simpsons Movie and whose company Bleeding Fingers provides the music for the show, recently tweeted what is perhaps the most deranged, Boomer-brained take on the Supreme Court overturning Roe v Wade:

That’s right: the elimination of the constitutional right to obtain an abortion by an illegitimate, unelected and unaccountable council of elders running a train on 50 years of precedent is just a mere distraction from the January 6 Capitol riot hearings, no doubt orchestrated by none other than Vladimir Putin himself. Stop protesting your loss of bodily autonomy and turn on the TV! You can only care about one thing at a time, everything else is a distraction.

I’m sure the J6 committee is doing hard, necessary work, and recently-revealed details like former/future President Trump allegedly throwing a plate at the wall and trying to wrestle control of a car from the Secret Service are funny. That said, it’s a little hard to care because, well, nothing will actually come of it. The chairman said they’re not making any criminal referrals, leaving it up to the Justice Department. Does anyone actually think they’re going slap handcuffs on ol’ Donny Drumpf and frogmarch him into the hoosegow? I’d be happy to be proven wrong, but never underestimate his ability to wriggle out of jams. Meanwhile, the erosion of civil liberties is something that, y’know, directly affects people. That coup was a success.

SMARTLINE

An image of Comic Book Guy writing an angry screed on his computer.

The failing Democratic Party mouthpiece Jacobin has published a hit piece on The Simpsons in what could only be described as a pathetic attempt to stay relevant. Like the rest of its contemporaries in the liberal media, it’s clear that Jacobin has no idea what to talk about now that ol’ Donnie Trump is temporarily out of office, so now they’re just throwing stuff at the wall. Hating Modern Simpsons is praxis now? Sure, why not.
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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]