I would never be so bold as to declare any one Simpsons quote the funniest of the lot. With 25 seasons (and about 10 good ones) it'd be impossible to allocate inarguable superlatives to a single line, moment, character, or even episode. But even if candidates for all-time favorites are perpetually up in the air, there are a dozen or so instances from the prolific series that stick with me consistently. Quotes and gags that pop into my head multiple times a week, sometimes with only the slightest provocation, diverting brain power from the legion of more important things I might be wise to pay more attention to. A few of these examples aren’t even especially funny (at least not in comparison to some other gems from the show), but have for some reason found a comfortable home just beneath my conscious thought.
In celebration of The Simpsons' imminent arrival in our lives in two whole new ways — in its first full-series marathon on FXX, and in its pioneer journey to digital distribution (via EW) — I couldn't resist paying tribute to these moments back upon these neurological leeches from one of my favorite TV series. Please chime in with your own!
"'Give me five bees for a quarter,' you'd say."Speaker: Grampa SimpsonEpisode: "Last Exit to Springfield" (Season 4, Episode 17)Context: Strikebreaker Abe begins reminiscing on the good old days during a meeting with business mogul Monty Burns. Eventually, his rambling takes him to the above quote about the alleged mid-20th century colloquialism for American currency.Pops into my head whenever: Someone asks me to make change.
"That's my dad's shootin' car!"Speaker: Nelson MuntzEpisode: "Bart the Mother" (Season 5, Episode 22)Context: Juvenile delinquent Nelson introduces Bart to his father's prized possession.Pops into my head whenever: I see a car. Seriously. Any car.
"So I says to Mabel, I says..."Speaker: BartEpisode: "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer)" (Season 8, Episode 9)Context: None.Pops into my head whenever: There's a lull in conversation aching for placeholder smalltalk.
"Then I go and spoil it all by doing something stupid like explooode yooou."Singer: Sideshow BobEpisode: "Black Widower" (Season 3, Episode 21)Context: After an ostensibly romantic musical montage, Sideshow Bob reveals his true intentions behind marrying Marge's sister Selma Bouvier: he aims to kill her!Pops into my head whenever: I hear a Frank Sinatra song.
"Oh no! My brains!"Speaker: Hans MolemanEpisode: "Team Homer" (Season 7, Episode 12)Context: An ether-induced Mr. Burns ostensibly drills a hole into the brain of perpetually unfortunate Hans Moleman.Pops into my head whenever: Anything causes me duress or anxiety (which, if you know me, you know is no rare occurrence).
"No wires at all! Except one."Speaker: Principal SkinnerEpisode: "We're on the Road to D'ohwhere" (Season 17, Episode 11)Context: After procuring a cherished ringtone (Bart groaning in sorrow) for his "brand new cell phone," Skinner brags about the lack of wires weighing the phone down... before pulling out the one necessary, and particularly bulky, cord. Pops into my head whenever: I hear somebody discussing cell phones.
"The ironing is delicious."Speaker: BartEpisode: "Grift of the Magi" (Season 11, Episode 9)Context: Bart mocks Lisa for her stint in detention via Springfield Elementary's new academic regime (under which he is thriving), highlighting the unusual turn of events for the siblings... or trying to.Pops into my head whenever: Anything unexpected happens. This is the perfect example of a quote that isn't outrageously funny but that has proved itself a resilient go-to quote, due largely to its simplicity (and all-purpose nature).
"WHOOO'S NEEELSOOON?!"Shouter: HomerEpisode: Once again, "Bart the Mother" (Season 5, Episode 22)Context: Prompted by Marge, Homer asks Milhouse where the conspicuously absent Bart might be... but Homer doesn't bother leaving his seat at the kitchen table, he simply shouts out the window across the alley to get his answer. Upon hearing that Bart is over at Nelson's place, he has one last question for Milhouse.Pops into my head whenever: Anyone I know mentions an unfamiliar name.
"Play it... cooooooooool."Speaker: Homer/GrampaEpisode: "Lady Bouvier's Lover" (Season 5, Episode 21)Context: Homer aims to teach his father how to woo Marge's mother, bestowing his lessons of "cool" through the means of a funky little ditty.Pops into my head whenever: I'm faced with giving advice (usually unsolicited) to a friend (usually unrequited)
"Why did I have the bowl, Bart? Why did I have the bowl?"Speaker: MilhouseEpisode: "The Canine Mutiny" (Season 8, Episode 20)Context: Milhouse is bemoaning Bart's troublesome dog Santa's Little Helper. He accuses Bart of lying for the pup when he allegedly ate Milhouse's goldfish, a crime that Bart attempted to cover up by trying to convince Milhouse he never had a goldfish.Pops into my head whenever: Honestly, there is no organic trigger for this. I just think about it a lot.
"Your store is being robbed, Apu!"Speaker: HomerEpisode: "A Hunka Hunka Burns in Love" (Season 13, Episode 4)Context: Homer tries to write legitimately prescient fortune cookie fortunes. This is one of them.Pops into my head whenever: I open a fortune cookie.
"No! No one's going Catholic!"Speaker: MargeEpisode: "Lisa Gets an A" (Season 10, Episode 7)Context: Bart asks a stressed out Marge if the family can convert to Catholicism for the "Communion wafers and booze."Pops into my head whenever: Anyone asks my endorsement on any plan, significant or menial.
"I hate every ape I see from chimpan-A to chimpan-zee..."Singer: Troy McClureEpisode: "A Fish Called Selma" (Season 7, Episode 19)Context: Prolific actor McClure performs the final scene of the hit musical, Stop the Planet of the Apes, I Want to Get Off!Pops into my head whenever: Anyone mentions the original Planet of the Apes, any Planet of the Apes apes follow-up feature, apes, chimpanzees, the alphabet, hatred, Broadway musicals, music in general, The Simpsons, television, or most other things. Few contributions to the English language have affected my life so prominently.
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Nigella Lawson's ex-husband has sparked outrage after paintings inspired by the former couple's infamous throttling scandal went up for sale on his art website. The British celebrity chef split from multi-millionaire art collector Charles Saatchi last year (13) after images emerged showing the businessman with his hands around his wife's neck outside a London restaurant.
The state of their marriage then became the focus of a high-profile court battle involving the couple's former assistants.
Now the scandal is rumbling on after it emerged artists are selling work inspired by the brutal incident through Saatchiart.com.
One painting, by an artist called D Udaiyan, features the former couple's faces superimposed onto the bodies of TV cartoon characters Bart Simpson and Homer Simpson, who is renowned for strangling his son in fits of anger.
The piece is up for sale for $10,000 (£6,250).
Defending the decision to allow the sales through his website, Saatchi tells Britain's Daily Mail, "Would it have been a better story if I had censored artists whose work might be personally disobliging?"
A representative for the site adds, "Saatchi Art does not believe in censorship unless the material is pornographic or incites racial hatred."
The animators of The Simpsons paid tribute to late cast regular Marcia Wallace at the close of Sunday night's (09Mar14) show in America. The actress, who voiced Bart Simpson's fourth grade teacher Edna Krabappel, died of complications from pneumonia in October (13).
The character was immediately retired from the show out of respect, but Mrs Krabappel made a return to The Simpsons at the weekend in a dream sequence.
The cartoon teacher appeared dancing with her husband Ned Flanders, but it quickly became clear he was just dreaming after falling asleep in his living room.
Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford will appear in an episode of The Simpsons in America this weekend (05Jan14). The rocker has been animated for the cult cartoon series and will appear in an episode alongside director Judd Apatow, Channing Tatum, Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen.
According to The Simpsons executive producer Matt Selman, Halford performs a parody of Judas Priest hit Breaking the Law to highlight cartoon stars Bart and Homer Simpson's pirated movie viewing operation.
Selman tells Entertainment Weekly, "Even though Homer is stealing, he's doing it for the community, he’s doing it out of the goodness of his heart."
Meanwhile, a lost script Apatow wrote over 20 years ago, will air as an episode of The Simpsons later this year (14).
The filmmaker tells EW.com he wrote the script for TV show Get a Life and when producers passed, he learned that The Simpsons creators were interested, and they hired Apatow to work on the cartoon The Critic.
A Simpsons producer revisited the director's script recently after Apatow mentioned it in an interview.
The moviemaker recalls the episode revolves around a hypnotism show that leaves Homer Simpson believing he is 10 years old.
Bosses of hit animated comedy The Simpsons paid tribute to late star Marcia Wallace with a special dedication on the show's opening credits on Sunday (03Nov13). Wallace, who voiced schoolteacher Edna Krabappel in the longrunning cartoon, died last month (Oct13) at the age of 70, and producers of the show honoured her with a touching moment in a new episode, which aired in the U.S. on Sunday night.
In the famous segment on the show's opening credits in which Bart Simpson scrawls cheeky lines on his classroom chalkboard, viewers saw him write "We'll really miss you Mrs. K" at the start of the episode, titled Four Regrettings and a Funeral.
Before the broadcast, Fox network aired an old episode of The Simpsons featuring Wallace's character in a prominent storyline.
Anything can happen on live TV. A slip of the tongue can mean the difference between a F-bomb or a Freudian slip, but sometimes broadcast news can fail spectacularly in all sorts of ways. While some guffaws are fodder for blooper-reels, others are just bad journalism and not-so P.C friendly. While our insider knowledge of broadcast news is largely based on watching too many episodes of Newsroom —just remember these screw-ups got by an entire team of people.
Apparently CNBC Squawk Box Host Joe Kernen just could not contain his hilarious Indian joke, much to the horror or his fellow co-hosts. During the discussion about the value of rupees, Kernen adopted a fake Indian accent and mumbled something original about 7-Eleven. As Aziz Ansari would say, "I think it's so cool that some of you guys were able to travel back in time to 1995 for those Indian jokes you did."
As if that were enough, sometimes it's not just the anchors that play fast and loose with racial stereotypes. After the Asiana Airlines crash in San Francisco, Fox affiliate KTVU ran a list of fake pilot names that seemed dreamed up by Bart Simpson and not the largest Fox local station. Along with displaying the names, they were also read by the anchors on air after being fact checked by an intern. Proving what we knew all along — that interns are really running the show.
Sometimes we can blame the graphics department for many a mix-up. The tragic case of a missing teenager made viral history, after the new suspect was revealed to be hamster by WFSB in Hartford. The furry "mug shot" was also accompanied the rodent holding a film slate — at least it wasn't pictured in a crime-evading wheel.
We get it, it's hard to say pianist — we do it all the time. Our nicknames for naughty bits seem to have a knack for making it on broadcast more often than not. Reporting from the field, this one reporter slips up some friendly chitchat with a particularly busty-anchor back at the station and ends up congratulating her on her giant rack.
Ladies (and Gentleman) don't pretend to hold an object up near your mouth unless there is a microphone in it. Poor Canadian news anchor Lisa Dutton was excited to share her "mom-preneur" idea about using a vibrating toothbrush for teething newborns. The result is exactly what happens when you try to demonstrate anything vibrating on live television.
In the wake of our bid-farewell to one iconic television character, we must now brave yet another. And this one might be even tougher — The Simpsons executive producer Al Jean told the Sun News during a recent press conference that one of Springfield's longtime residents would be kicking the bucket in an upcoming episode. But Jean refused to specify who, only dropping a single hint: "The actor playing the character won an Emmy for playing that character," the producer revealed, which is actually quite a big clue indeed.
Looking at The Simpsons' list of Outstanding Voice-Over Performance Emmy Wins, we're unsurprised to find victories attached to Dan Castanella, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, and Yeardley Smith for Homer, Marge, Bart, and Lisa, respectively. But of course, The Simpsons is not going to kill off any member of the main family. So we look further at some of the supporting characters who have earned their performers the golden statue:
Rabbi Hyman KrustofskiIn 1992, guest star Jackie Mason earned an Emmy for his hilarious, emotional performance as Krusty the Klown's disapproving father. It makes sense to assume that Hyman Krustofski might be the one to go — he's old, an infrequent player, and would leave Krusty with a powerful story about losing his estranged dad. But there are other options...
Edna KrabappleThroughout her tenure on The Simpsons, Bart's melancholy schoolteacher has been a grossly underappreciated character. In 1992, Marcia Wallace earned an Emmy for her performance as the increasingly apathetic and desperate Edna. She's a probable candidate for the offing, but we'd miss her snide "Ha!"s.
Apu NahasapeemapetilonHank Azaria won an Emmy in 1998 for his performance as Apu. Lately, the role has taken a great deal of fire for the cultural insensitivies associated with his characteristics. Could The Simpsons be taking heed of the public's distaste for the racial stereotypes inhabited by Apu and getting rid of the character altogether?
Sideshow BobIn 2006, recurring guest star Kelsey Grammer finally earned an Emmy nod and win for his unstoppable Simpsons villain Sideshow Bob. Of course, Mr. Terwilliger only appears on occasion, so his absence would probably leave a smaller hole in the series... but damn would we miss this lovable maniac.
Princess PenelopeAnne Hathaway won an Emmy for playing this character in 2010. We'll be honest, we had stopped watching new Simpsons eps long before that, so we're not too sure what she brought to the table. We'd be surprised if this one-off character is the one that Jean was referring to, though.
Of course, Castanella and Azaria have also won Emmys for playing "various characters," so that opens the door quite a bit (everyone from Abe Simpson to Comic Book Guy falls into that category). Who do you think is the most likely to go?
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Beloved characters played by Fred Savage, Michael J. Fox and Claire Danes have topped a new list of the greatest TV kids. Savage's Kevin Arnold from The Wonder Years has beaten out Fox's Alex Keaton character from hit show Family Ties for the number one spot, while Homeland star Danes' Angela Chase from My So-Called Life comes in third in the new TV Guide countdown.
The Simpson's Bart Simpson tops the animated kids at four and Sarah Michelle Gellar's Buffy Summers rounds out the top five, while Diff'rent Strokes' Arnold Jackson (Gary Coleman), Roseanne's Darlene Conner (Sara Gilbert) and South Park's Eric Cartman make the top 10.
The Simpsons creator Matt Groening is mourning the death of his mother, who inspired him to create his cartoon family matriarch Marge Simpson. Margaret Groening passed away in her sleep on 22 April (13) in her hometown of Portland, Oregon. She was 94.
Her animator son famously based his blue-haired character on his mum.
Groening's cartoonist dad Homer - the inspiration for Bart Simpson's father - died in 1996.
Through all of their follies, fights, and failures, The Simpsons are an impeccably close-knit family. Yes, they're wont to choking one another and accidentally marrying other women in Vegas, but moreover, they're imbued with compassion. And that's because they were born from a real world family that is, itself, obviously embedded in love: Simpsons creator Matt Groening's. It has long been known that the animator based his iconic characters on his own clan, but we're reminded of just how special the connection is in the obituary for Groening's mother, Margaret Ruth Wiggum Groening. Seeing some similarities already?
Sadly, Groening's mother passed away in April, dying at the age of 94. Her newly released obituary gives readers a heartfelt glimpse into just how much affection son Matt had for his mother, father, siblings, and Northwestern hometown.
Giving her first name to Simpsons matriarch Marge, and her maiden surname to the merry Wiggum family (Police Chief Clancy Wiggum, his soft-spoken wife Sara, and fan favorite imp Ralph), Margaret Groening clearly contributed a good deal to Springfield. Alongside her, we have husband Homer and daughters Lisa and Maggie, making up the first names of the Simpson household. Left over is Matt's brother Mark, whose name kind of sounds like Bart... so we'll count it.
Although the passing of Margaret is a tragedy for the Groenings, it is a testament to the love of this Oregon family that their names have been preserved, forever, through son and brother Matt's world-changing art.
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