Last week's Simpsons episode featured a Fox News helicopter adorned with the slogan "Not racist, but #1 with racists." Everybody liked this joke so dang much, especially smug schmucks who proudly buy coffee mugs that say "FAUX NEWS" on them, so The Simpsons just had to do it again this week. If you haven't seen the show after they went high-def, they now have a "cloud gag" where something WACKY flies by show's title, destroying Matt Groening's original intention of it being a transition from the real world to the Simpsons' world. This time, another Fox News helicopter flew by, with the slogan "Unsuitable for Viewers Under 75."
But if you're too cool to watch TV shows on TV at their correct bat-time, and opted instead to watch it Monday morning on Hulu (which is directly helping keep the show on the air, so knock it off), you didn't get to see this ever-so-precious sight gag; instead you got Homer as King Kong (one of those depressing "hey guys, remember this thing from back when we were funny?" callback gags for the "old school" fans).
Blogs like Mediaite and Think Progress were immediately suspicious: did Fox News, which according to the liberal hivemind is responsible for Everything Bad In The World, exert their vast influence within News Corporation to force their corporate cousins The Simpsons and Hulu censor a mildly critical jape at their expense??? Is Fox News leading an assault on comedy??? Is Bill O'Reilly going to tear out Doonesbury from everybody's newspaper???
No, says The New York Times' ArtsBeat blog, which actually bothers to ask the show's producers about these things:
The "Simpsons" producers could not let that remark stand, so they rushed their second Fox News joke into Sunday's episode -- so late in the production process that the gag could only be inserted into the version shown in North America, but not into versions shown in foreign markets or on the Internet.
I remember feeling super-special when I watched "Trilogy of Error" for the first time and noticed that the closed captioning was occasionally different from the spoken dialogue, because they had changed jokes at the last minute, after the episode had already been sent to closed-captioning factory (or whatever, I don't know it works). I was getting bonus jokes! This silly non-conspiracy is just the same thing, just on a larger scale. So while it's tempting to believe Fox News, the Koch brothers, and Satan are all cruising around in a Halliburton blimp, snatching up people in their tractor beams and throwing them down the memory hole because they criticized Sarah Palin's choice of eyewear on their Tumblr, it's important to remember The Simpsons hasn't been controversial in about a decade. [ArtsBeat]
Do you take us for a bunch of chumps? Do you really expect us to believe Lisa is capable of coming up with celebrity anagrams, when it's been canonically proven she cannot? Howsabout paying attention to the show once in a while? Jeez...[Bongo Blog]
In addition to selling dangerous "super Squishees" made entirely of syrup that makes kids go crazy (Broadway-style) and black out, the Kwik-E-Mart has apparently also been selling Four Loko, the controversial alcoholic energy drink popular amongst young people, according to this important news report:
Unlucky message boarder "JowTSJY" was forced to attend a table reading for an upcoming episode wherein Marge becomes a foodie, and he shared his horrifying ordeal with the good people at Simpsons Collector Sector with photographic evidence.
Some interesting observations:
Five of the six main voice actors were in attendance: Dan Castellaneta, Yeardley Smith, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner, and Hank Azaria. Tress MacNeille and Pamela Hayden were also providing their voice acting skills, while Harry Shearer was represented by a speaker phone in the middle of the table. I was informed that Harry Shearer rarely attended the table reads, instead "phoning it in" from home. In fact, I was also informed that Shearer rarely came in to record his lines in the studio. He does that from home over the phone, too!
To be fair, he's in a different recording studio using ISDN, but it's still funny to imagine Harry Shearer as Charlie from Charlie's Angels.
At 10AM the table read began as a man (whose name I didn't catch) announced that The Simpsons had been renewed for its 23rd season. During the table read, this man narrated the non-dialogue portions of the script
Presumably, this man is showrunner Al Jean, who mysteriously doesn't appear in any of the photos. That guy is craftier than Arthur C. Korn.
On our way back across the Fox lot, we saw Nancy Cartwright driving away in her Lexus. Her license plate read "4EVER10," a reference to the fact Bart never ages. Someone mentioned that her old license plate used to read "I DO BART." If that's true, I can understand why she changed it!
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV): Mayor Quimby
Nobody really likes either politician, but they can manage to hold on to their jobs as long as they're up against really polarizing candidates, like homicidal maniac Sideshow Bob or Tea Party weirdo Sharron Angle.
Gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino (R-NY): Fat Tony
The tough-guy candidate threatened to "take out" a reporter, and wielded a baseball bat like a crazy man during his bizarre concession speech. Now, for legal reasons, I'm not saying Paldino is part of the mob, but he seems to be channeling Springfield mafioso Fat Tony.
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