Twin Peaks: I Have Absolutely No Idea What’s Going On


TWIN PEAKS runs neck and neck for “most important TV series of the 1990s” alongside The Simpsons. Each program defined the decade in which they were created, in their own way. Completely different, and seemingly impossible to imagine actually making it to broadcast, both shows caught people with a breath of fresh air, or a sock to the stomach.

For our recasting, we tried to stick with characters found only the first season–and frankly we didn’t catch every one. A handful of our choices are no-brainers, and one or two will probably cause some furring of brows in a vain attempt to understand our reasoning. There will be a follow-up post, however, with some of the settings, incidentals, and other interesting touches that David Lynch and Mark Frost built into the show, and how they might be remixed using The Simpsons.

Sherri as Laura Palmer

Sherri as Laura Palmer
(Sheryl Lee)
She’s full of secrets, such as
“My sister likes you.”

Fox Mulder as Dale Cooper

Fox Mulder as Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan)
The unsolved mysteries of
‘Unsolved Mysteries!’

The Simpsons outlasted Twin Peaks’ short 2 season run, but longevity isn’t the same as impact, and the fact that Showtime has brought the series back only shows how unforgettable it was. Since it went off the air, Twin Peaks’ impact on television has proved lasting and dynamic, from its popularity leading to the creation of shows like X-Files and Northern Exposure, to the many many times it has been parodied and alluded to on other programs and in other media.

Bait Shop Clerk as Pete

Bait shop geezer as
Pete Martell (Jack Nance)
If you ask me, and most people do, she’s dead, wrapped in plastic.

Lenny as Sheriff Truman

Lenny as Harry Truman (Michael Ontkean)
“…I love you Sheriff Truman.”
Lenny, like Harry, might be the most loved man in their respective towns.

Twin Peaks, like The Simpsons, proved the value of giving idiosyncratic creators freedom. Like I LOVE LUCY, and THE TWILIGHT ZONE before it, many hands work to make a television program, but these succeeded because of the vision and instinct of their auteur directors. Much of modern small screen programing is now built around this format (and again, Twin Peaks has come back, specifically thanks to that evolution).

Homer as Leo Johnson

Homer Simpson as Leo Johnson
(Eric Da Re)
Homer needs a new pair of Chili boots!

Lurleen Lumpkin as Shelly Johnson

Lurleen Lumpkin as Shelly Johnson (Madchen Amick)
Waitresses in diners are not often compared to goddesses.

The Fox Network has always been willing to take chances on strange ideas, to varying degrees of success. This is personified most by The X-Files, but also with programs like the self-destructing sitcom GET A LIFE from Chris Elliott and David Mirkin, and David E. Kelley’s magical realist office-based fairy tale ALLY McBEAL, among others. The Simpsons itself now invites guest auteurs and artists in, giving them free rein to create the show’s opening credit sequence.

Lionel Hutz as Leland Palmer

Lionel Hutz as Leland Palmer (Ray Wise)
Dumpster Fire Walk With Me.

Hank Scoripio as Ben Horne

Hank Scorpio as Benjamin Horne
(Richard Beymer)

“Sometimes the urge to do bad is nearly overpowering.”

Herman as Mike (the one armed man)

Herman as Philip Gerard AKA Mike AKA “The One-Armed Man” (Al Strobel)
As soon as BOB gets here the party will begin.

Raving Derelict as Bob

Raving Derelict as
BOB (Frank Silva)
Sometimes raving derelicts
make the most sense.

Crazy Cat lady as Log Lady

The Cat Lady as The Log Lady
(Catherine Coulson)

…can anyone who loves trees that much really be crazy?

Old Jewish Man as Waiter

The Old Jewish Man as
The Waiter (Hank Worden)

♪The old gray waiter ain’t what he used to be♪

Tall Man as The Giant

The Very Tall Man as
The Giant (Carel Struyken)
Do you find something ominous about my looming appearance?

Handsome Pete as The Man from Another Place

Handsome Pete as
The Man from Another Place
(Michael Anderson)
“.sruoh rof gnicnad eb ll’eh ,rrraD”

I like Miguel Ferrer because he voiced Death on Adventure Time. RIP

Rex Banner as Agent Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer)
He won’t hit you like Rex, but Albert probably won’t kiss you goodbye either.

Grandpa as Gordon Cole

Grandpa as Agent Gordon Cole
(David Lynch)

Jessica L as Audrey H

Jessica Lovejoy as
Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn)

Both expelled from boarding school, probably.

Dolph as Bobby Briggs

Dolph as Bobby Briggs
(Dana Ashbrook)
“Rebellion in a young man your age is a necessary fact of life, and, candidly, a sign of strength.”

Library boy as James Hurley

That boy who works in the library
as James Hurley

(James Marshall)
“If only someone could tame him.”

Laura Powers as Donna Hayward

Laura Powers as Donna Hayward
(Lara Flynn Boyle)
Her upbringing was painfully strict.

Samantha Stanky as Lucy Moran

Samantha Stanky as Lucy Moran
(Kimmy Robertson)

Well aware of the lackluster police force.

Squeaky Voiced Teen as Dep Andy Brennan

Squeaky Voiced Teen as
Deputy Andy (Harry Goaz)
If he had a girlfriend, she’d kill him.

Apu as Hawk

Apu as Deputy Hawk
(Michael Horse)
I am Apu Nahasapeemapetilon,
I play Tommy Hill.

Hans Moleman as Mayor Milford

Hans Moleman as Mayor Milford
(John Boylan)

Being Mayor has ruined my life,
I’m 31 years old!

Edna as Nadine Hurley

Edna Krabappel as Nadine Hurley
(Wendy Robie)

Both should probably be spending less time around schools.

Skinner as Big Ed Hurley

Principal Skinner as “Big Ed”
Hurley (Everett McGill)

“To poor decisions.”

Ruth Powers as Norma Jennings

Ruth Powers as Norma Jennings
(Peggy Lipton)

When my husband went to jail he took all my money, along with the car, my youth, my faith in mankind.

Marge as Sarah Palmer

Marge as Sarah Palmer
(Grace Zabriskie)

Cookie Kwan as Josie Packard

Cookie Kwan as Josie Packard (Joan Chen)
Unlike Josie, Cookie wears her menace like a red blazer, but they’re both dangerous.

Agnes Skinner as Catherine Martell

Agnes Skinner as Catherine Martell
(Piper Laurie)

You’re not principal of the saw mill, and you never will be.

Terri as Madeline

Terri as “Maddy” Ferguson (Sheryl Lee)
“Oooh twins! Which one’s the evil one?”

Ralph has Johnny Horne

Ralph as Johnny Horne
(Robert Bauer)
Lost Boy

Marvin Monro as Dr Jacobie

Dr. Marvin Monroe as Dr. Jacoby 
(Russ Tamblyn)

The problems of our entire society are of a sexual nature, and can be solved with
cartoon violence.

DrHibbert as Doc Hayward

Dr. Hibbert as Dr. Hayward (Warren Frost)
This comparison only works with Classic Era Hibbert.

Luann as Betty Briggs

Maude as Betty Briggs
(Charlotte Stewart)
A spiritual woman, loving to her family, and a bit out of touch.

Commandant as Major Briggs

Rommelwood Commandant as Major Briggs (Don Davis)
Surprisingly progressive considering his work.

Bell as Blackie

Belle as Blackie (Victoria Catlin)
I do love when you drop by, Agent Cooper…

Jacques as Jean Renault

Jacques as Jean Renault
(Michael Parks)
Getting by on their French accents and amorality.

Moe as Jacques Renault

Moe as Jacques Renault (Walter Olkewicz)
Who would have thought a whale could be so heavy? Ah cheese it, the Feds!

Snake as Hank

Snake as Hank Jennings (Chris Mulkey)
Paying his debt to society, as honestly as he pays off his student loans.

Moe as Jacques Renault

Original Sparkle as Ronette Pulaski 
(Phoebe Augustine)

You don’t want to know what happened to the Original Sparkle.

Disco Stu as Jerry Horne (David P. Kelly)
Stu, like Jerry, is a man with very specific tastes and aesthetics.

We hoped you like our take on Twin Peaks. If you have other ideas for who should play who, or characters we should have included, please put them in the comments below.

I’ll be back soon with a longer essay about the show, and a few more gifs to connect some of the places in Twin Peaks (both real and metaphysical) to the town of Springfield.

This entry was posted in Classic Simpsons, Cultural Impact, gifs, recasting, The Simpsons, TV and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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