Simpsons in Mourning: Bell, Forman, Ermey (updated, Barbara Bush)

If you don’t have a hero in your life, you at least have someone distant that you look up to. We hope that our heroes never grow old, that they stay strong, vibrant and important forever–just as they are in our minds. We want our icons to be forever iconic. We want our heroes to never fail–to never fail us. Sadly, it is an inevitable truth that all people will gray, they will lose a step, they will stumble, and the luster will chip. It is in those times that we can at least take solace in their great works left behind, and the inspiration they continue to bring. . .

Art Bell was an odd man, but he is an icon, and definitely hero to lots of people. As many kids do, Milhouse Van Houten enjoyed spooky nights alone, tuning into to warbling AM radio signals to hear Art Bell’s Coast to Coast AM talk show, an radio program like no other, specializing in all manner of mystery.

The greatest question of all is whether our experience on this planet is 'it' or whether there is something else. Things in the supernatural realm give support, strangely perhaps, to the things we take on faith.

We’re through the looking glass here, people.

When Art Bell passed away at age 72 this past weekend, he’d spent almost his entire career as a radio show host. As he’d retell the story many times over the years, one night in 1984 he just got bored with all the same interviews and fluff he’d been doing, and based on a personal itch opened the station’s call in phone lines to ask if any listeners had ever experienced anything unexplainable. The show caught on quick and for the next 20-odd years–very odd years— he hosted all manner of unique guests: “Experts” in UFOs, cryptids, time travel, parallel dimensions, ghosts, and anything else under the moon that legitimate broadcasters wouldn’t treat seriously–let alone give hours of airtime too. Bell was able to delicately thread the needle between giving his guests a platform on which to hang themselves, and endorsing the most outlandish ideas.

Most kids go through a phase where they’re obsessed with aliens, Bigfoot, the supernatural or other things that go bump in the night. Some kids will form tight friendships that last long after the obsession fades. Most kids grow up and grow out of these fascinations, while others, well… some critics cite Art Bell as a key influencer in the reason Americans have so much distrust for the government and the media today. In any case, Milhouse will probably pull out his collection of tape-recorded episodes, turn down the lights, and take a final ride with his hero.

The Quickening, The Art of Talk, The Coming Global Superstorm

Believe it or not, Art Bell’s books usually had more subdued titles than this.

modified by

If he’s crazy, what does that make you?

Miloš Forman died having won two Oscars for Best Director, for the breathtaking historical drama “Amadeus” in 1983, and for the heartbreaking adaption of Ken Kesey’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” in 1975. These films are sure to get a rewatching by noted film critic Jay Sherman, as he mourns the loss of such a huge talent.

Forman was a Czechoslovakian expatriate who was locked out of his home country in 1968 when Soviet tanks invaded, closing it off behind the iron curtain. As a perpetual outsider, Forman spent his career championing underdogs and flawed iconoclasts who rebelled for what they believed in. In addition to “Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Amadeus”, Sherman is likely to rewatch “Man On the Moon”, Forman’s overlooked but well-liked biopic about Andy Kaufman, as well as the director’s sympathetic look at the life and works of infamous pornographer Larry Flynt, “The People vs. Larry Flynt”.










Barney Gumble recreates the climactic scene from
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

That noted New York film Critic Jay Sherman would be an aficionado of such classics isn’t surprising. It’s worth noting though, that Springfield’s own award winning filmmaker Bernard Gumble also counts himself a fan of Miloš Forman. It doesn’t take a Pulitzer Prize winning critic to understand how the hard-drinking creative savant behind the autobiographical documentary “Pukahontas” would look at Forman’s oeuvre and find inspiration, and perhaps a bit of sympathy.

Finally, late today we learned of the passing of R. Lee Ermey. Ermey was a former Marine Sergeant who spent a decade in the service, including 14 months in Vietnam. Ermey later went on to a notable career in films playing the type of tough-as-nails character he’d lived his life as. His first role was in “Apocalypse Now”, where he also helped director Francis Ford Coppola get the maddeningly absurd details of life in country right. Ermey played military men nonstop, across a wide breathe of media, from the doomed asshole drill instructor in “Full Metal Jacket” to satirical versions of the same type in comedies and animated shows.

R. Lee Ermey

In 1995 he guest starred on The Simpsons as the steely but flummoxed Colonel Leslie  “Hap” Hapablap against Kelsey Grammer in “Sideshow Bob’s Last Gleaming,” and the rest of the cast. He returned to the role in 2015, in “Waiting for Duffman.”

now this is my kind of meeting

We have searched every square inch of this base and all we have found is …

Among the residents of Springfield who’ll be feeling this loss the most are the military-obsessed Herman, the delusional one-armed owner of Herman’s Military Antiques, as well as visiting out-of-town lawman Rex Banner who always appreciates a steely resolve and stiff lip.


they're so much alike!

Ms. Bush and Marge enjoying each other’s company in a quiet moment.

We’ve just learned that former First Lady Barbara Bush has passed. Ms. Bush guest starred along with her husband, on Season Six’s episode, “Two Bad Neighbors“.

It may seem hard to believe now but there was a time when The Simpsons was a ferociously controversial tv show (wink). Republicans attacked the series, most FOX programming, MTV, rap music, and anything else they didn’t like. This debate came to be known as The Culture Wars. In 1990, an absurd war of words grew between the two families: first Barbara lashed out at the show in an interview with People Magazine, she called The Simpsons “The dumbest thing I had ever seen.” Upset by this The Simpsons fought back, graciously, through Marge who penned this polite letter to Ms. Bush . . .

now apologize for the tax hike!

Marge’s letter to the First Lady

Surprisingly, the First Lady replied:

Dear Marge,

How kind of you to write. I’m glad you spoke your mind; I foolishly didn’t know you had one.

I am looking at a picture of you, depicted on a plastic cup, with your blue hair filled with pink birds peeking out all over. Evidently, you and your charming family — Lisa, Homer, Bart and Maggie — are camping out. It is a nice family scene. Clearly you are setting a good example for the rest of the country.
Please forgive a loose tongue.

Barbara Bush

P.S. Homer looks like a handsome fella!

That’s amazing! Can you imagine if a member of the President’s family felt the need to directly respond to their critics these days?! All would have been well, if not for Ms. Bush’s husband needlessly rekindling the feude with some fiery words at the National Religious Broadcasters convention, “We are going to keep on trying to strengthen the American family, to make American families a lot more like the Waltons and a lot less like the Simpsons.“

Here’s a video that elaborates on the whole ugly affair . . .

That kept the back and forth going until Bush lost his reelection campaign, and the couple returned to private life. Which also would have been the end of it, had the Bush’s not decided to move to the part of the country with the lowest voter turnout. Although Marge and Mrs. Bush had patched up there differences, the same couldn’t be said for Homer and George W. whose egos erupted from cold to hot war in no time. Bar seemed to genuinely like Marge, and Springfield, but there’s nothing that could smooth over the hatred between their husbands. But for her efforts, Barbra will always be Marge’s favorite member of the Bush family.

Barbara Bush passed away April 17th 2018 at the age of 92.

2018 looks like it is going to be a long year, and as we wrote above, we will lose heroes–that is as inevitable as time itself. Maybe it won’t be through death, perhaps the person you love will just grow old, or fail, make a mistake, or turn out to be not as noble and thoughtful as we hoped. The best most we can expect–and it’s a lot if you get it–is that the art they’ve created in the past will continue to speak true, and prove useful and enriching to you.

Posted in Classic Simpsons, Contemporary, Cultural Impact, Film, Movies, politics, RIP | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Merriam-Webster Embiggens Our Lives with New Word

You never know what your lasting contribution to the world will be, if that thing you create will be your legacy. The Simpsons has gifted pop culture with many indelible moments: pink donuts, the monorail episode, the show’s years long “war'” with President HW Bush, and even the recent prominence of the Steamed Hams meme. Heck, the entire series is a lesson to the importance of excellent storytelling and design that’s influenced television and pop culture for almost 30 years!

Very few shows have been credited with adding a new* word to the English language and dictionary, though. 1996’s season seven episode LISA THE ICONOCLAST, did just that. Before the opening credits even end, while the children are watching a filmstrip on the life of Jebediah Springfield, two neologisms are coined. One was cromulent, the product of David X. Cohen’s imagination.

Their destination: New Sodom.

“A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.”

The other, Embiggens, created by show writer Dan Greaney was just added the Merriam-Webster online English dictionary. Validation on the level of receiving an Oscar (or at least a Grammy) award. Flim Springfield was pleased to speak with a representative from the esteemed reference resource (this transcript has been lightly edited for clarity).

Flim Springfield: Hello and thank you for taking time to speak to us today, please introduce yourself, and tell us what your job is?

Merriam-Webster: My name is Emily Brewster, I am an Associate Editor at Merriam-Webster, my job is General Definer which means that I define non-scientific vocabulary.

FS: What draws the line between scientific and non-scientific vocabulary?

M-W: Sometimes it gets a little hazy and then we have to consult with each other and ask is this your territory or mine, but anything related to Math and Science, Astronomy, Biology, all of those things are considered science.

FS: If I could ask you to describe how the word embiggens came to the attention of Merriam-Webster?

cromulent word

Definition provided by

M-W: We are always looking for evidence that words are becoming fully established members of the language, [and embiggen] is a word we’ve been watching for some time. We are constantly looking for new words, we read a lot, and enter words into our personal corpus and database. We also make note of them in a big spreadsheet, keeping an eye on some particular words.

There are plenty of words that get coined and used in a very narrow field or by a very small group of people and those are not the words that we consider as eligible for the dictionary, because they’re really just too specialized. We’re looking for words that are full fledged words of the English language. We want to see evidence that they have widespread use, that they have frequent use, and they have a clearly established meaning and meaningful use. Embiggen has more than met those criteria.

stretch girl!

Marvel Comics breakout character Ms. Marvel uses embiggens as a catchphrase, which has increased its cultural capital in recent years.

FS: How many words did you add to the Merriam-Webster dictionary lexicon this year?

M-W: This release–we call them releases–was about 850 words.

FS: What were some notable ones that premiered alongside of it?

M-W: Blockchain and cryptocurrency. Initial Coin Offering (as well as the abbreviated form ICO). Those are words that are all the sudden very much in the public discourse. Mansplain and Manspreading got in new this year. They range from the technical to the playful, but in each case the word met our criteria for entry.

some elephants are just jerks

A dictionary perfect example of mansplaining.

FS: Can you give me some examples of where embiggen also appeared that make it notable? Any particular occurrences?

M-W: It’s an interesting word to me in that I was seeing used in all really these matter-of-fact situations. Most often encounter in in “click to embiggen” in tiny font for images on a web page, and I thought, as a lexicographer, it very interesting to see what I new to be a playfully coined word to appear in this very matter-of-fact context. And clearly the meaning of the word was very apparent, that always speaks well for a new coinage, when it’s very clear to your readers exactly what it means—nobody needs an explanation—with it’s appearing in this very dry unremarkable context. It also has been used in scientific journals without any kind of giggle or nod or anything. There was one on string theory that used it. It’s really handily met our criteria.

FS: Have you seen the episode of the show where it first occurred?

M-W: Yes I have. This is a terrible thing to confess to you, but I haven’t had a TV in a really long time and I am not a regular watcher of The Simpsons. If I had TV, I would watch The Simpsons.

FS: [friendly laughter] No need to apologize. Let me ask though, this isn’t the first time a word from a sitcom or cartoon or something like, that has entered the lexicon. Can you think of another word that is sits well alongside from those origins?

M-W: Television is an absolutely legitimate source or us when looking for new words and we often keep track of and observer what words are being looked up during particular times of the day. Often words will spike in usage that because a word has been used on a television show. So we know that people that pay attention to the vocabulary that they encounter on TV.  … Do you know about the 1884 letter to the British publication “Notes and Queries” that also used the word embiggens?

ye olde word

click to embiggen

FS: I’d completely forgot about that!

M-W: [Laughing] It’s pretty funny! I think it’s fascinating. It was also a playful coinage, and it was coined really to be ridiculous. This letter is basically talking about how awful it is to ‘verb’ words. It’s terrible, they called embiggen an ugly word! I’ve got the text, and it’s on google books.  I’ll send you a link.

FS: What words are you keeping an eye on now?

M-W: Oh, well cromulent** is definitely one word we’re still interested in. It doesn’t do the technical heavy lifting that embiggens does but it is clearly establishing itself in the language.

Jedi and padawan have both been featured as “words we’re watching”. They’re good candidates for entry, but aren’t in yet.

FS: One other question before we go. Because this word was created by persons, and their work is property of a corporation, is there anything owing to copyright of the word? Would FOX or whoever be owed royalties for its use or anything like that?

M-W: Well no, once you coin a word, unless you’ve had it registered as a trademark associated with some kind of product, you’re really just making a generous contribution to your fellow speakers [laughter]. There’s no ownership of these words, and they of course can take on lives of their own. People will coin a word with one meaning and it will get completely rearranged and turned upside down and used by the general populous and they can’t do anything about it.

It makes me thing of GIF. The man who apparently coined the word thinks it should be pronounced like the peanut butter, but the fact is that the [hard G] pronunciation is also fully accepted, and however much he may protest, you don’t own your words once you coin them.

F-S: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us today, and for adding some validation to Simpsons fans like us who treat the show like a sacred text!

Following our interview, Emily was nice enough to providing an additional pair of words whose usage originated in television…

M-W: I’ve got some terms for you: lone ranger comes from the radio and tv show; and email spam comes from Monty Python.

We reached out to some of The Simpsons staff who worked on Lisa the Iconoclast, many had already posted their reactions on social media. They credited the creative team environment, and directed praise to Dan Greaney who came up with the word that day.


Dan Greaney revels in his crapulence.

*Yes, we know that the word was first used in 1884, keep reading.
**Hang in the David X. Cohen, your day of recognition is coming!
Posted in Classic Simpsons, Contemporary, Cultural Impact, interview, press, The Simpsons, TV | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nina Matsumoto: The Rock Bottom Interview

awe crap.

Tonight on Rock Bottom

Here at Flim Springfield, we enjoy The Simpsons lots of different ways: from the classic cartoons and DVD commentary tracks, to collectible enamel pins, podcasts, and of course, live trivia shows. One of my favorite Simpsons supplements are the monthly comics published by BONGO, the comic company started by Matt Groening and friends 25 years ago.

Matt Groening got his start self-publishing his own comics, and over the years BONGO Comics has given new creators a chance to break into the industry. Breakout star Gail Simone (Secret Six, Wonder Woman, Leaving Megalopolis) wrote some of her earliest stories at BONGO, and couple years ago Coldplay frontman Chris Martin got the chance to publish his original non-Simpsons sci-fi miniseries “Mylo Xyloto” through the company.

Nina Matsumoto‘s story is one of the neatest we’ve heard: She’s a lifelong Simpsons fan whose 2007 manga-influenced take on the cast Simpsonzu, gained internet fame, which led to regular work with BONGO Comics, and eventually an Eisner award winning story in Treehouse of Horror issue 14! A combination of talent and knowledge of the show helped get her foot in the door and launch her career as a comics storyteller and designer.

a murderer's row of talent!

Treehouse of Horror #14 (2008)


Self-portrait by Nina Matsumoto (2018)

FLIM Springfield: Who are you, and what are you doing in my house?… Tell us who you are, and what your creative work is about? If you like, what your life like aside from your work and Simpsons fandom?

Nina Matsumoto: I have a hard time sticking to one style or theme because I love so many different kinds of art, but I draw a lot of manga-inspired artwork, and am drawn to dark themes with bright colours. I mostly just stay at home but have been doing muay thai for over eight years to offset my largely non-active life. I have a huge interest in linguistics and have done professional Japanese-English translation work on the side.

FS: It happened at the beginning of that turbulent decade known as the 80s… When did you first watch The Simpsons? What early episode/joke do you remember?

NM: I can’t remember the first episode I saw (and never had a chance to see the early Ullman era shorts since I live in Canada–not that I would’ve been old enough to remember those). I may have started from the Christmas special because that’s my earliest memory of it, but it very well may have been a rerun.

FS: Gee, I never realized TV was such a dangerous influence… How has The Simpsons been an influence in your life / creativity?

NM: It definitely shaped my sense of humour above anything else, and since I mostly draw manga, whenever I try to draw in a cartoonier “western” style, you can see my Simpsons influence. My admiration of Matt Groening has also affected my handwriting, because I would copy his handwriting when I was younger (you can still see it today in the way I write capital Ns).

from Simpsons Comics #245 (2015)

FS: You’ve talked about this online a bit before, but what was like to get that call from BONGO Comics? Was it your first pro work? (if not, what was it, tell us about it).

NM: The first call I got when “Simpsonzu” went viral was from a guy who worked in the merchandising department of Fox. He used to work as a layout artist on the show and he mentioned he might be able to find work for me. Though that didn’t lead to anything there, it was still a cool call to receive. The e-mail from Bongo kickstarted my career, as I’d never been published before up to that point, and I had practically given up hopes on ever becoming a professional artist.

from The Wonderful World of Lisa Simpson #1 (2015)

I’m grateful for then-art director (now editor) Nathan Kane for giving me a chance and trusting me with my first story (“Too Crazy Juvenile Prankster: Bartomu!”). It was the perfect job for me since it was a manga parody of the Simpsons. When he saw I could draw in the house style, he gave me more work on “regular” Bongo stories.

What’s funny is I grew up being constantly told by classmates that I should work for the show, which I’d brush off because I didn’t want to be an animator, but the possibility of working for the comics never once crossed my mind.

FS: $18 bucks for this? What a rip-off!… Do you or have you ever owned any Simpsons tchotchkes: Shirts, trading cards, DVDs, action figures, ‘hand-drawn animation cells guaranteed to increase in value’, etc… what’s your favorite stuff?

NM: I don’t collect a whole lot of merchandise, but I have a full set of Simpsons POGs. I still have around twenty VHS tapes filled with Simpsons episodes I taped off TV. Something like twenty years ago, I sent fan letters to a bunch of the voice cast, and in return I got a picture of the Simpsons signed by Dan Castellanetta and made out to me.

from The Mighty Moe Szyslak #1 (2017)

FS: What’s the neatest thing about the show/characters that you’ve learned from working on BONGO Comics?

Mostly just the little subtle things required to keep everyone on-model. But this knowledge is a blessing and a curse because now whenever I see Simpsons fan art, I notice the off-model parts, especially on tattoos.

FS: I saw you post on twitter a couple tattoos inspired by your Simpsons artwork, have you ever been asked to design a tattoo?

NM: I used to do tattoo commissions, but stopped when I realized the best way to get a good tattoo is find a tattoo artist you like, give them vague ideas of what you want, and let them come up with the design.

FS: Do you have a dream collaboration you’re hoping to do someday? An writer or another artist you want to do a project with that you haven’t yet, or a story you’re dying to tell?

from Simpsons Comics #131 (2007)

NM: I’ve done a few Simpsons manga parodies for Bongo now, and one of them was based on Death Note (“Murder He Wrote,” the one that won an Eisner in 2009). It was for their annual Treehouse of Horror issue, and I’d love to do another horror manga for it, this time based on the works of Junji Ito. Maybe based on “Uzumaki” or “The Enigma of Amigara Fault,” or just a general pastiche of his works. It would be a blast to mimic his beautiful but grotesque art style.

FS: You’re a very busy artist, what’s some of the next stuff you have coming out that you can tell us about? Any new Simpsons comics coming up in 2018?

NM: February 27th is the release date for “Sparks!”, a Scholastic children’s graphic novel I drew. It was written by my friend and frequent collaborator Ian Boothby, who’s arguably the most prolific Bongo Comics writer (he also did “Murder He Wrote”). Though we live in the same city, we met through Bongo Comics, and I’m happy we were able to work on such a major non-Bongo project together.

Coming February 2018 from Scholastic!

FS: Thanks to Nina for taking time out of her busy schedule to talk to us—seriously, creating comics is time-consuming hard work. You can learn more about Nina Matsumoto, and see/buy her work at:

  • (Probably the coolest Simpsons-referencing website name ever.)
  • Nina’s page of custom video game merch at FanGamer! (That GALF shirt is rad, and I’d love to see a Lee Carvallo’s Putting Challenge version.)
  • Nina’s twitter where she often shares lots of laughs, original comics, her love of gaming, peaks at artwork in progress, and publishing announcements.


Posted in comic books, Contemporary, Cultural Impact, fan art, simpsons in the news,, interview, The Simpsons | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

So Long, Stinktown! January 2018 at Flim Springfield

We at Flim Springfield have been offline for a while, and as 2018 FINALLY begins there’s time at last to explain why. A few months back, Ms. Flim Springfield got her dream job, working as a mechanic in the cutting edge electric vehicle industry, which involved moving to California!


Hollywoo, Tinseltown, La-La-Land. The City of Illusions.

Here’ a hint about the company she works for.


The joke is that American cars are low quality but these cars are actually amazing

During this period JRC was still living in Phoenix, working hard to wrap up a handful of non-Simpsons projects. There just wasn’t much time or energy available to work on the blog. But that doesn’t mean we weren’t working on other Simpsons stuff.

Diana made friends with regular attendees of the fantastic Stonecutters Trivia at Meltdown Comics, and together they decided to start their own weekend Simpsons Trivia contest show across town at Springbok Sports Bar under the official Woo-Hoo banner of worldwide Trivia nights! Because LA is so huge, having a second similar trivia show is a thing you can do, whereas in a like Phoenix (with its smaller nightlife/live event community) it would be considered copying in poor taste. By the time JRC arrived in town, the crew already been running the show for two months and the stage was ready…


Our Springbok show is different in that it takes place on Saturday afternoon, and has a different setup system for the questions, 4 categories of 10 questions each, instead of our 35 questions and 8 categories. There’s also a projection screen so we can have the questions/answers on screen and other stuff. We’re still working the bugs out of the system, but it was a fun way to make my debut in LA. We’ve got a Facebook community page to meet teammates and trade memes, and our next show is Saturday January 13th at 3pm, we hope you’ll come give us a try.

when 2 best friends work together, not even god himself can stop them!

fully licensed and bonded trivia

We’re living in a suburb where there happens to be a lot of animation production. Cartoon Network, Warner Brothers, and Nickelodeon are all nearby. One morning for breakfast we went to Moore’s Delicatessen, which in addition to having great coffee and sandwiches is also a regular lunch stop for folks working in the industry, their back room is covered with sketches by the people who create your favorite cartoons!


Aside from these adventures, I’ve pretty much spent my time trying to get adjusted to life here and integrate myself into the town. I got my library card, driver’s license, found a new local comics shop, visited some of the neat local shops, and the nearby museum complex . . .


To cap things off and kickoff the new year, Diana and I got to meet in person one of our Simpsons Community peers from down under, Elliot Jay O’Neill from Australia’s The Simpsons Index spreadsheet and podcast!

no. no they didn't

Did someone say long lost triplets?

Another 'shoot-em-up push them through the plate-glass-window' splatterfest from the Hollywood cookie cutter.

A tourist trap concocted by the Ape Island Jaycees

Los Angeles seems to have a lot to offer, and I’m looking forward to exploring it for a long time. Who knows what adventures we’ll have!

Posted in Classic Simpsons, coming soon, Contemporary, live show, podcasts, The Simpsons, trivia | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

“Stole, made up, what’s the difference?” Bojack Horseman and The Simpsons, Part 2

Let’s get this out of the way before I start: I love Bojack Horseman, and I’m not accusing the show of being a Simpsons ripoff. You don’t need to point out that some of these jokes are older than The Simpsons, and might possibly be inspired by something other than the Simpsons. I know. I’m just having fun looking at the similarities between two of my favorite shows. Bojack Horseman creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg is clearly a fan of the Simpsons, though, so I’d wager that some of this isn’t a coincidence.

Season 4 of Bojack Horseman was amazing! Rather than devouring it in one night like we did with season 3, J and I watched two episodes a night until we had seen all 12. And, because I see Simpsons references everywhere, I couldn’t help but catalog the scenes that may have been inspired by the Simpsons.

  1. Season 4, episode 1: “See Mr. Peanut Butter Run”
    In this episode, Mr. Peanut Butter’s unscrupulous and ambitious ex-wife/campaign manager runs an amendment to the California constitution that lets a challenger win the governorship by beating the sitting governor at a ski race. The way she gets this to happen is illustrated this way, shown side by side with The Simpsons’ version from Season 7’s The Day the Violence Died:

    Yes, yes, I know that this is based on a Schoolhouse Rock parody! This information is not news! Maybe other shows do Schoolhouse Rock parodies? We don’t know, frankly we don’t want to know, it’s a market we can do without*. Anyway, what are the odds that two shows I watch would parody the same segment? Maybe it was just a campy 70’s throwback to appeal to Generation Xers.

  2. Season 4, episode 5: “Thoughts and Prayers”
    In this episode, Diane develops a love of handguns after Courtney Portnoy, a starlet she interviews, uses one to stop a predatory and racist harasser from “badgering” them.badgering
    Sound familiar?

    It’s a similar setup to The Simpsons, Season 9’s The Cartridge Family, but what comes next really hits the reference home. As you recall, in The Cartridge Family, when Homer enters the Kwik-E-Mart with his gun, Apu thinks he is being robbed. Homer imagines the life of wealth and success he would lead if he robbed the Kwik-E-Mart, but when he comes out of his fantasy, he is disappointed to realize that he has bought a hot dog and left without harming anyone.
    hotdog copy
    In Thoughts and Prayers, Diane gets home and is shocked to realize that she has been holding a gun for a long time without meaning to, and that she probably robbed a convenience store by accident.

    Well, she is married to a handsome movie star who lives in a mansion, so maybe Homer’s fantasy was accurate!

  3. Season 4, episode 8: “The Judge”
    This one is really straightforward. Bojack agreed to be a guest judge on a booty-themed court show. On his way to the taping, he gets into character by shouting at another driver from his yellow Tesla Model S convertible (Oscar Nominee gifts must be pretty special, because Tesla doesn’t make a convertible, anyway, never mind):
    Bojack is clearly an aggressive driver. Is it possible that he was forced to watch the same driving school video that Marge did in Season 10’s Screaming Yellow Honkers?kissmyass

Were those all the crossover Simpson jokes from season four of Bojack Horseman? Probably not, but those are the ones I caught. Thank you Simpsons for helping inspire eclectic cross-referential humor, and thank you Raphael Bob-Waksberg for taking it to the next level and creating a show that earns its laugh out loud jokes by bringing along soul scorching emotional depth.


*Actually, we do know, there have been plenty of Schoolhouse Rock parodies.
Posted in Contemporary, Cultural Impact, TV | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Simpsons Peaks: The Rock Bottom Interview

from SIMPSONS PEAKS by Joel Day

This is the third in Flim Springfield’s series covering the return of Twin Peaks, and its connections to The Simpsons, and Simpsons fandom.

awe crap.

Tonight on Rock Bottom

Tonight we’re speaking to Tricia Bogumill: Simpsons fan, Twin Peaks fan, and founder of Simpsons Peaks on Facebook, the biggest and best Simpsons + Twin Peaks mashup group on the internet. She’s one of the most enthusiastic people we know, about both shows. Tricia can nail a trivia question like a living, breathing wiki site. She can also look at the shows she loves critically, but not let that take away the fun of just being a fan.

that's not LATIN!

“I won’t tell you what I searched to get it”

Flim Springfield: “Who are you, and what are you doing in my house?” …Tell us who you are, and what your Simpsons Project is about?

Tricia Bogumill: Oh hi there! I’m Tricia Bogumill. You may remember me from such joint Simpsons efforts as Simpsons Peaks on Facebook (a mashup page of The Simpsons and Twin Peaks that weirdly works and amazingly has thousands of members) and totally owning your trivia nights*. I also love music, mostly old pop punk and newer folk punk and of course The Smiths. I like to play pool and enjoy shooting breeze, I also have cats who are cooler than yours.


by Tricia Bogumill

FS:  “It happened at the beginning of that turbulent decade known as the 80s” …When did you first watch The Simpsons? What early episode/joke do you remember?

TB: Ok so I was raised by some cool people. These cool people went and saw a film called War of The Roses, produced by James L Brooks in December of 1989:

It was released a week before the premier of a side animation project Brooks had procured for his show The Tracey Ullman show so a short cartoon about a family at Christmas was shown before the film. These cool people went on to watch that show every week. In December 1989 I would have been 3, it wasn’t until (according to wikipedia) 2 years later in January of 1992 that I remember seeing Radio Bart. I just remembered being so worried cause he was crying in his big sweater. And the convoy song. But the clearest joke I remember I will always count as a Simpsons joke even though it’s from the movie Broadcast News, but it’s words written by James L. Brooks, said by Albert Brooks (Hank Scorpio himself) *while very drunk* I can sing while I read. I am singing. And reading. Both.” Or his supreme court justice line “there’s only 9″.


By Diana Welsch

FS:  “Gee, I never realized TV was such a dangerous influence” …How has The Simpsons been an influence in your life or creativity?

TB: Aside from referencing the show all the time? These weird yellow people have been in my life for 28 years, so let’s just break it down.
-Lisa= If you aren’t offended, you aren’t paying attention. But accept that people are flawed.
-Bart= Be your biggest fan.
-Marge= Know what you deserve (she taught me that by the show not always showing her knowing that)
-Homer= Be tolerant and accepting.
-Patty and Selma= Bitter is better.
We didn’t live in an era where we gather around a campfire and Aesop told us fables about animals to disguise life lessons. We sat around a TV and watched The Simpsons.

Milhouse Goes to College

Mashup Band Merch

FS:  “$18 bucks for this? What a rip-off!” …Do you or have you ever owned any Simpsons tchotchkes? Shirts, trading cards, DVDs, action figures, ‘hand-drawn animation cels guaranteed to increase in value’, etc… what’s your favorite legit or bootleg stuff?

TB: I’m not animation cel level but yeah growing up we had Simpsons everything. I just got a Marge smudgeface dress last week, to hopefully stop me from kissing coworkers who I share bed Turkey with. But bootleg I live for are Simpsons + band logo mashups. There’s one of the Descendents Album “Everything Sucks” except it’s homer in the square glasses and the book says Everything Duffs.

Bloody Guts Palmer

by Tricia Bogumill

FS: “Here’s a phone, call somebody who cares” …Is there a Simpsons joke or line that works as shorthand or ‘code’ among your friends/family?

TB: I dated my last boyfriend because he sent me Homer’s love letter as a text. Zero context, just out of nowhere, I was like ok. Then Diana helped me reel him in by saying I hate yo-yos. True story, Flim Springfield readers. These people and the Simpsons will get you laid.

True story, Flim Springfield readers. These people and the Simpsons will get you laid.

But really there’s just so many with friends: “Duffman says a lot of things”, “he called me sir, without adding you’re causing a scene”, “best wishes. See you in the car”, too many.
Man I didn’t read that question right at all, don’t care. I guess the real answer is doesn’t everyone say “so I says to Mabel” when they want to steer away from an awkward convo?

localized entirely in your kitchen?!

By David Keonig

FS: “We should thank our lucky stars they’re still putting on a program of this caliber after so many years” … Do you have a favorite season or episode, what makes it especially memorable for you?

TB: I feel a strong connection with Lisa and that is because I feel like my dating history is condensed to “Lisa’s date with Density” and “I love Lisa” I’m perpetually in a cycle of either dudes playing joy to the world or me saying 6 simple words.

FS: “There were script problems from day one” …Do you ever watch Simpsons with commentary on, or read interviews/news about the show? What’s the neatest thing you’ve learned from the crew?

TB: How much they hated Tracey Ullman.

worse than leland palmer

Flavor Country
by Craig Evans

FS: “Cartoons have the power to make us laugh and to make us cry” … Hypothetical Situation: Society is ending! You have to preserve the culture by rocketing 5 episodes of The Simpsons into space, what would they be? How would you make your decisions? Do the episodes have anything in common?

TB: To preserve culture?! Is this some psychological assessment in disguise. Jeez. Well so

I guess you’re asking what defines culture, or at least what parts I want preserved. Ok so the five are:

Laura is The One

by Aaron Dunbar

Homer at the Bat
Homer vs. The 18th amendment
Bart Vs. Australia 
Treehouse of Horror 1
The Lemon of Troy

Know I originally had “The Way we Was” in the last slot, but I selflessly switched it because I’m invested in this post apocalyptic future, and I’m a realist who knows when her emotions have no place. Oh man see I just quoted three men and a comic and that’s a good one too. But yeah so let’s see, future society, culture: Baseball, billionaires, cheating, little guys, scenarios, prohibition, adults, alcohol, clever, diplomacy, family, physics, James Earle Jones reading The Raven over Homer and Bart living it is such a beautiful however many minutes, it’s just needed and maybe it becomes historical that the Simpsons not trusting K&K was why there was no other records of earth, and Lemon of Troy will help teach what every civil war ever has. I obviously am just on a mission of diplomacy.

FS: “Worst Episode Ever” …You get to be the guest star on the first episode of the next season! What’s your character, what’s the story?

TB: I don’t know what my character would be, but someone who is in some position to explain away the recent retconning of Kamp Krusty. I swear that made me more upset than SADGASM. Maybe I could be a lawyer trying to avoid a lawsuit but explaining that some product or something my company did caused a year long fugue state and I read a long list of symptoms that say “hallucinations: up to and including any ideas of new found memories of little people posing as campers who you thought were dead replacing the very real memory of your fun trip to Mexico”.

A funny, of Season 3

Clip Show by Nick Rogers

FS: “Well, that’s the end of me” …You’re going to write the last Simpsons episode. What happens, how does it end?

TB: It’s the intro right up to the couch gag then switches to live film with Matt coming into the drawing room and saying “What are you all still doing here? Show’s over” or maybe like Dan or Hank practicing their most popular voices in the mirror and get the call but we just see their reaction and they both end with “Thank You”. I need that drastic cut to the reality of The Simpsons being an idea in brilliant people’s heads, so that way I can know it’s never really over.

A sample of some of the best of Simpsons Peaks


The Film is the Talking
Quote by David Lynch, mashup by JRC

Posted in Classic, Classic Simpsons, Cultural Impact, fan art, fan art, simpsons in the news,, interview, The Simpsons, TV | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Simpsons in Mourning: Gregory, Lewis, and Campbell

These are turbulent times, in the real world, just as in Springfield, we look to our heroes for inspiration and strength even as they pass on. This week The Simpsons and their neighbors are mourning the loss of two comedy legends, Dick Gregory and Jerry Lewis, as well as country western singer Glen Campbell.

where were you when I sang at FarmAide!?

send in … the clowns

Krusty the Clown was crushed to hear about the death of Jerry Lewis, his peer, friend, and rival. There’s no one else in Springfield whose life and career so closely parallels the highs and lows of Lewis. The two met as young clowns, perfecting their acts at Catskills Mountain resorts in NY.  When Lewis had a falling out with Dean Martin, Krusty took his spot in the Rat Pack for a spell. Over the years both built empires based on their similar public brands.

Starting in 1966 Lewis helped created the annual Labor Day Telethon to fight Muscular Dystrophy which he hosted for 44 years straight. The charity raised billions of dollars dedicated to finding a way to cure the disease—much more than Krusty’s similar Motion Sickness charity fundraiser. It was one of the many ways Krusty challenged his friend for prominence and public adoration.

Like Krusty, Lewis battled drug addiction and ill health for years, and was irritable and angry towards friends and coworkers. During rehab stays, Jerry and Herschel would talk over the phone for hours, lending a sympathetic ear or arguing viciously about who was the better comic. The mutual competition kept them going.

Krusty will likely cue up a screening of The Bellboy, or the Nutty Professor and chain-smoke his way through them for a chuckle. Maybe he’ll have his secretary Ms. Pennycandy invite Bart and Homer over (along with Professor Frink for some reason) to laugh along with. If Herschel Krustofsky is in a darker mood he might watch Martin Scorsese’s vicious “The King of Comedy” instead, or even his rare bootleg copy of “The Day The Clown Cried”.  RIP Jerry Lewis, yet another challenger to the Krusty the Clown crown, who he has outlasted.

I wouldn't

“If they took all the drugs, nicotine, alcohol and caffeine off the market for six days, they’d have to bring out the tanks to control you.” ~Dick Gregory

Krusty won’t be the only person in town feeling the loss of African American standup comedian Dick Gregory. Gregory got his start performing in the army, then in the early 1960s he became a standout on the Playboy Club circuit, and legendary venues like San Francisco’s Hungry i. It is said that once, at Moe’s Brew Ha Ha! he eviscerated a lesser comic for their hacky joke about the differences in driving styles of white and black persons. Gregory’s talent was a tool that enabled him to step across segregation barriers, and he used that ability to push for equality.

In 1964 he write the story of his early life, “N*gger” which has solid over a million copies, including a couple well-read editions owned by Sideshow Raheem and Lisa Simpson, respectively. It was his first of many books, chronicling the life of a black man in America from a street and stage level perspective. Gregory’s work lives on through a series of stand-up comedy albums. Tonight Raheem, Bleeding Gums Murphy, Krusty, Comic Book Guy will gather together to listen attentively and laugh uproariously at “Dick Gregory Live at the Village Gate” and other albums.

Nashville Knight

RIP Rhinestone Cowboy

Glen Campbell began his career as a session musician and songwriter in Los Angeles in the 1960s. He performed and wrote for all the stars of the era, Elvis, Nat King Cole, the Beach Boys, both Nancy and Frank Sinatra, and Merle Haggard, among many more. Lurleen Lumpkin first heard him perform on reruns of The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.

Captivated by his stage presence and glitzy pop take on country music, she picked up guitar and taught herself to play his hits, and eventually create her own tunes. The jukebox at the Beer-n-Brawl is still stocked with his catalogue.

Peppy anthems like “Southern Nights” and “Rhinestone Cowboy” brought urban audiences back to country music and kept Campbell popular through the 1970s. While disco ruled most towns, square dancing became trend in Springfield, with Waylon Smithers and his friends becoming lifelong fans thanks to Campbell’s music.

In 2010 Glen Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimers. Rather than giving in to the disease, Campbell spent his time recording a final album and performing as much as he could. Tonight “Ya Hoo” will host a tribute to Glen Campbell, with country stars covering his tunes. Lurleen Lumpkin–inspired by Campbell’s own battles with substance abuse has cleaned up her act for good–and will perform I’ll Never Pass This Way Again to close the show.

Posted in Classic Simpsons, Contemporary, Cultural Impact, RIP, The Simpsons | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment