It’s time for another patented Flim Springfield hard hitting Rock Bottom investigative interview!
“Who are you, and what are you doing in my house?” …Tell us who you are, and what you do?
I’m Steven, English, 26 years old and I run “Wide and Tall Simpsons Caps” a site that specializes in self stitched together tall and wide frames. (I also have a Futurama side blog that does the same.)
“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?
Steven: Wow, a long time ago now that I think about it. The mid 90’s, somewhere from 95-96, we had access to ‘Sky’ and then it started showing on the BBC. A first episode is tough to pin down, I more remember that it was something I watched than the specific episodes but it would have been one from the ‘Classic’ era. I have a recall of watching ‘Marge in Chains’, that ‘Mad’ fold in joke I found very creepy at the time, aside from that, Bart dancing in that bright red dress!
“I’m not a bloody jukebox!” …What’s your favorite musical moment from The Simpsons (either original song, or ‘real’ tune used on the show) what makes it memorable?
Steven: The song I took my blog name from! Lisa’s folksy protest tune in ‘Last Exit to Springfield’. I’ve always loved that she sits there to support her dad who’s doing it she so can have proper braces, the bond between them is so sweet. It’s perhaps the least complex song they ever did, a few chords, repeated chorus but it’s as powerful as the rest because of the depth of feeling behind it.
“$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 legit or bootleg stuff?
Steven: It’s funny you ask, as it’s the Easter period my Simpson’s mug has just turned 13 years old! It came with an Easter egg and I’ve used it almost every single day for tea. Amazingly I’ve never owned any Simpson’s DVD’s (bar the movie, that’s floating around somewhere), it’s to my eternal shame really but there on TV so often it’s not a pressing need. I’ve owned a few of the console games, ‘Hit and Run’ and the like but the most infamous and infuriating has to be ‘Simpson’s Wrestling’, stupid Flanders….
“We should thank our lucky stars they’re still putting on a program of this caliber after so many years” …Which season of Classic Simpsons is the best? In your opinion, when did the classic era end or what was the last good episode?
Steven: Interestingly I’ve just finished putting together my ‘Perfect Season’ by ranking the episodes of each season against one another, Season Six had most episode’s in the Season but statistically Season Three had the best average result and I’m nothing but a slave to numbers so I’ll go with Season Three. Most people will agree that Eight was the last ‘Classic’ season but it had its fair share of bad episodes (and a few classics), even during Seven signs of decay kicking in can be seen. The last good episode post Eight is Season Nine’s ‘Lisa’s Sax’ which had in fact been held over from Eight, beyond that, Season Nine and Ten’s episodes are incredibly hit and miss. I’ve only watched a handful past that.
“There were script problems from day one” …Do you ever watch Simpsons with commentary on? What’s the neatest thing you’ve learned from the crew…
Steven: As mentioned no commentaries because no DVD’s, however I read an awful lot. During the period just after Sam Simon’s passing I read an interesting quote from David Silverman, he claimed that originally directors weren’t going to be credited prominently for their work as Simon didn’t think they made much of a difference but he wanted his work acknowledged, so Simon asked him to prove why it should be.
Silverman offers a balanced view of Simon. “He was a hard guy. He was a really tough guy,” Silverman tells Comic Riffs. “He gave me a dismissive hand at first.”
Silverman’s first episode was ‘Bart the General’, an episode littered with excellent direction. He got his credit. I always think this was what helped make the show so great, the fact they had to work so hard on what they did, because success wasn’t a given, it’s the main component the show lacks now. I mean where’s the drive when you when know you won’t ever be cancelled?
Thanks for letting us interview you Steven–and for not attacking our reporter! Simpsons fans, do yourself a favor and check our bythebigcoolingtower.tumblr.com for his very interesting look at background cell artwork, an overlooked aspect of classic animation.