Flim Springfield film crickets Diana & JRC blog were invited back to Phoenix Tonight last month! The live talk show hosted by [previous Trivia special guest] Russ Kazmierczak! We were test subjects on his show’s first episode, and returned in October, to celebrate Halloween and, as all good fill-in guests should, kill time!
We quizzed Russ on talk show related Simpsons content. He was a good sport, and as you can see, did pretty well. Then we challenged the audience with a round of Treehouse of Horror-based trivia. Toys were given away, pogs were referenced, and often I leaned too far away from the mic to be heard clearly. It went great!
Maybe next time we’ll get Russ to do one of these…?
The Okilly Dokilly interview…
Okilly Dokilly took the internet by storm last year. Now, after some incredible live shows, and taking time to record a proper full album, they’ll be having a release party on 11/11 at Phoenix, Arizona’s Crescent Ballroom! Here to talk about the band, and their new LP, is Head Ned…
FLIM Springfield: How has the rollercoaster been, since the band broke big last year?
Head Ned: It put us in quite a tizzy. We played a bunch of shows and connected with some really awesome neighborinos. It’s been non-stop since then.
FS: Assume a potential fan already knows about The Simpsons, hardcore music, and basically what OKILLY DOKILLY is about. What else could you tell this person to convince them to give Okilly Dokilly a listen or come see you play live?
HN: If they don’t, I’ll run them down with my car. If they survive, I’d say the record holds more than they might assume. Panic Room is half brutal death march, half country-folk jamboree. Stead Ned even goes full Shred Ned on two tracks. For going to the shows, we made made a special speed Nedal suit you can’t miss. It’s easier to thrash when it feels like you’re wearing nothing at all.
FS: Head Ned, you’re the vocalist for the band, but what’s your behind-the-scenes role in Okilly Dokilly? Is Okilly Dokilly markedly different from other bands you might’ve been involved with?
HN: The band is definitely different from other bands. In any other band, you’d have to be a mad man to wear a sweater on stage. I do a number of things in the band. From songwriting to co-managing to producing, there’s little that happens in the band that I don’t have a hand in.
HN: That said, the other Neds are pretty indispensable:
Red Ned: our graphic designer and sole owner of the band’s only mustache comb.
Thread Ned: trained in first aid, which came in handy when Stead Ned cut his thumb open while smashing the painting in the music video.
Stead Ned AKA Shred Ned: has the most Simpsons trivia knowledge, and is the only one who shows up to practice on time.
Bled Ned: handiest and also dandiest Ned. Cracks as many sticks as he does smiles.
FS: How has the live show been developing/jelling, are you ready for that killer tour in March?
HN: We’re more than ready. We live for providing Flanders in the flesh and we’re stoked to tour. It will be as exciting as a baked potato.
FS: Being a band with a very prominent ‘mission statement’/theme sets it apart from a more conventional groups: you have to please fans of hardcore music who may not care about The Simpsons (hard to believe), and fans of the show who’re terrified of metal. Do you have to think about balancing … let me clumsily say ‘paying homage to the gimmick’ with making legitimately powerful music?
HN: In the beginning, we thought the band would only appeal to fans of both and we thought that demographic would be microscopic. We use our own internal compass when it comes to choosing who to please. If it gives us a laugh, we’ll do it. If no one else gets it, we still got a laugh out of it and that’s all we ever really wanted.
FS: How do you handle haters? Turn the cheek like Ned would, or more like …let’s say (wine making grouch) Maynard James Keenan?
HN: Haters are necessary to Okilly Dokilly. What would a group of Flanders be without an ever-criticizing group of Homers? Every Homer is okilly dokilly with us.
FS: I’ve read that the idea for OKILLY DOKILLY more or less started with a joke among friends. Obviously, at FLIM Springfield, we’re pro-running with a good joke, with that in mind, have you been surprised how referencing The Simpsons makes it easier (or harder) to find fans and—in a live setting—create a connection with the audience?
HN: It’s definitely made it easier to find fans, which is a fully diddly 180 from what we expected. It’s been pretty easy, and very fun connecting with the audience at shows.
FS: Apart from Flanders and The Simpsons, what are influences on Okilly Dokilly: Musically, or otherwise?
HN: Our collective childhood of watching cartoons like Ren & Stimpy, Beavis & Butthead, KaBlam! and many others were big influences. Bled Ned and I befriended each other over Futurama quotes and spent lots of post-practice time watching Metalocalypse. Musically, we come from all over the spectrum. I think the one record we all collectively enjoy is Neil Cicierega’s mashup record that includes parts of ‘All Star’ by Smash Mouth in every song.
FS: Your new LP is about to come out, what can you tell us about it—I understand it was done at AUDIO CONFUSION (where bands like AJJ, Playboy Manbaby, Dogbreth and other great SW bands have also done their albums)?
HN: It’s super brutalino and made up of 75% Flanders Quotes, 10% other character quotes and 15% original lyrics (most of which are left-handed puns).
FS: What’s it like working with Jalipaz?
HN: The absolute best. We brought the idea of Okilly Dokilly to him early on and he said it would be huge. We didn’t believe him.
FS: Did it come together quickly, or were there surprises (good or bad) that came up along the way?
HN: The songwriting was quick, but we took a little extra time recording. Press Destruct Button was the most challenging song to record, which was weird, since that song was on our original demos.
FS: Any secrets, guest stars, or a particular track you’re proud of that you can tell us about (will there be a recipe for lentil soup hidden on a track for instance)?
HN: Donut Hell has an obscure and experimental section that we really liked. If you play it backwards, you might get a lentil soup recipe. The soup will be very bad though. Stead and Red Ned put some awesome guitar and synth solos in the album that give is some extra diddly. No guest starts, but plenty of secrets we’ve sworn never to reveal.
FS: What will it look like? Is it download exclusive? Or what will the packaging look like?
HN: We’ll have physical CDs in black digipacks with a few references to Flanders descent into madness on them.
FS: What will OKILLY DOKILLY be doing between now and the tour?
HN: Playing a few shows and saving up every dollarino for a van.
FS: Here’s a totally Simpsons-nerdy question for you: Is there a Simpsons joke or line that works as shorthand among your friends/family?
HN: It’s always acceptable to shout ‘Monorail!’ as soon as a song ends at practice.
Thanks to Head Ned for letting us take up his time away from the Leftorium. I was also able to spend a few minutes talking to Red Ned, here’s what he had to say:
FS: How’d you get involved with Okilly Dokilly, and do you have any specific/formative Simpsons influences?
RED NED: Head Ned asked me to join – I don’t really listen to much metal, but I offered my synth sensibilities. I was obsessed with the Simpsons growing up and read the episode guides religiously, so the project had a soft spot in my heart. One of my most prized possessions is a Simpsons portrait autographed … by Groening from 1990.
I love fiddling with pop culture and compounding on culture in general, so this project is a playground for me. I also really enjoy subversion, so I think this project has a healthy dose of subversion in terms of genre-bending and the expectations of metal. It’s really fun to muck with the personalities or expected roles/behaviors of music genres. It upsets some and thrills others, which I think is a great signifier of something being worthwhile.
FS: When tweaking pop culture as you do, have you thought about how ‘universal’ Simpsons is by this point in 2016?
RN: I think the Simpsons are universal in terms of awareness, but not necessarily knowledge of the lines and jokes, so it’s important to me that the project has multiple levels of involvement. It should be enjoyable on a more surface level, if you know who Ned is and appreciate the absurdity, but don’t necessarily have the encyclopedia of quotes and references in your brain. But then that’s there too, for people who would like to dive deeper and appreciate the connections. It’s gotta be enjoyable from each level, I think.
Thanks to Red as well. Now everybody, go to the official
website, get some merch, and check out their March tour dates to see when they’re coming to your town!
Our old pals Okilly Dokilly have an album, “Howdilly Doodilly,” coming out on November 11, 2016! In anticipation of that, they have just released their first video, “White Wine Spritzer!” Give ‘er a listen.
You might also be interested to learn that in March they are going on tour with Mac Sabbath, a McDonalds-themed metal band, and Metalachi, a mariachi metal band. This whole tour sounds right up my alley, as I love gimmick bands of any kind.
We actually had the privilege of meeting Head Ned, founder of Okilly Dokilly, when we presented a Simpsons trivia event at Phoenix Comicon in 2015. This was before he had the idea to start Okilly Dokilly, but he showed up to our event dressed like Ned.
Check out the tour schedule, and if they’re coming to your town, don’t miss it! If you’re lucky, this could be you:
We’re recasting our second Jimmy Stewart movie, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, just in time for the 2016 Federal election!
Stewart made a lot of films, across a handful of well-trod genres. Mr. Smith though is his most civic-minded, outdoing his characters in Anatomy of a Murder, and Call Northside 777. It was very early in his career, and probably the first solid presentation of the babyface archetype he’d play most popularly over and over for the next 40+ years. While it was approvingly received by the public, press, and nominated for 11 Academy Awards, what’s forgotten today is that is was also hugely controversial among elected officials, Senator Alben W. Barkley of KY condemned it,
“Grotesque distortion [of the way the Senate is run]. As grotesque as anything I have ever seen! …It was so grotesque it was funny. It showed the Senate made up of crooks, led by crooks, listening to a crook… It was so vicious an idea it was a source of disgust and hilarity to every member of Congress who saw it.”
There were calls to ban the movie, Capra was denounced as anti-American, legislation against it was considered. Reaction like that could have killed Stewart’s career. Had it come a decade later, he might’ve wound up on the Blacklist. Looking back and discovering this controversy in 2016 is humorously shocking. Today the news and pop culture media churn politics for entertainment to a degree that might’ve caused a coronary in the elected officials of 1939.
The Simpsons have never shied away from political criticism. You could call it one of the four legs the show stood on, along with typical sitcom family dynamics, lampooning suburban culture, and media satire. Early landmark episodes include season two’s TWO CARS IN EVERY GARAGE AND THREE EYES ON EVERY FISH, MR. LISA GOES TO WASHINGTON in season 3, and of course, the perennial election year favorite from 1996’s TREEHOUSE OF HORROR VII’s CITIZEN KANG segment.
Lisa’s scorching tirade calling out Bob Arnold’s corruption at the end of “Mr. Lisa…” is an intentional homage to the filibuster Stewart’s Senator Smith gives at the end of “Mr. Smith…”. We could have possibly made her the lead in our recasting, but really she’s never been the naive idealist that Flanders is. Digging deeper into Ned’s characterization, you could attribute the hot temper Smith shows tearing into the DC press corp for embarrassing him, to Ned’s hyperactive childhood (uncovered in HURRICANE NEDDY). Casting Ned as Jefferson perfectly sets up Lovejoy as his Paine (Senator Joseph), a man who might’ve once been a caring dedicated community servant, now lost and numb after years of being ground down by the system. This face-off even provides conniving Jessica Lovejoy as the conspiratorial daughter called in to distract Ned from his duties—much more benignly in our edit.
Similarly well recast is Edna Krabappel, standing in as Jean Arthur’s acerbic Saunders. Edna knows the system but can be wooed into caring about her job and colleagues once in a while, for instance the way she found partial credit for Bart on his history test, allowing him to pass with a D grade. Of course, we can’t ever imagine Edna paired romantically with Ned, despite having a deeply buried heart of gold. When making these choices sometimes you have to overlook bizarre pairings that’d never make sense or show up on The Simpsons itself.
What’s also bizarre is that, despite the 11 Oscar nominations “Mr. Smith…” got, Jean Arthur, who had top billing above Jimmy Stewart even, wasn’t given a nod for her scene-stealing performance. “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” may have a male title character, but as captured with Capra’s aware lens, you can see the dynamic lead is really Clarissa Saunders, who grows from a cynical bureaucrat into a cagey combatant in the halls of government, using her knowledge and experience to guide Jefferson Smith through the arcane machinations of public office. Stewart as Jefferson Smith cuts an attractive, sympathetic figure, but he doesn’t really change as the noose tightens around him.
Smith disappears for long stretches of the movie, leaving screen time for Clarissa’s concrete foundation of cynicism to crumble, as she commiserates and monologues while embracing Smith’s idea of goodness in government with newshound “Diz” Moore, the big, thirsty teddy bear we could only cast as Barney Gumble. In this way, Stewart’s Jeff Smith is a sort-of Manic-Pixie-Dream-Senator: He appears from nowhere, upsets the status quo, attracts followers like a pied piper, and in the end restores the lead’s passion for life while sacrificing himself.
Jefferson Smith is too honest, he’s not a leader and admits it several times, but he’s still more than a pawn … more like a white knight in the dirty chess game of Senate sausage making. Saunders is his White King than, directing the action against her dark, monied, equal across the board: Jim Taylor. Taylor is the greedy political boss who approves Smith for the open Senate seat, believing the scoutmaster’s naiveté will make him an easy puppet; then sets up him for a fall when the little guy altruistically sabotages a long-planned land grab. Early in casting, we thought the Rich Texan was going to play the Taylor role, both are wealthy and greedy, but the Texan is no more than a loud hick with a fat wallet. Sideshow Bob was also a candidate because of his instinctively devious mind. Finally though it struck me how Jim Taylor uses, more than any other weapon, his silver tongue to control and con people. He twice convinces Joe Paine to throw Smith under the bus, and manipulates the mass media to stamp out any voice opposing his malicious intentions. Controlling public opinion through lies, along with his symbolically corpulent body, make Birch Barlow the perfect stand-in.
The Simpsons has never disguised its contempt for politicians. HOMER’S ODYSSEY admits how easily our heroes and watchdogs can be bought off. Mary Bailey, for all her implied virtuousness, is just an idealized Mary Sue political candidate to measure Mr. Burns against; she disappears without mention for the rest of the show’s classic era. Justice catches up with Bob Arnold so swift as to be an absolute parody of congressional inaction, the lesson in “Mr. Lisa…” isn’t “the system works” but that honesty government demands constant watch from everyone at all times or, as Marge says in HOMER BADMAN, “…as long as everybody is videotaping everyone else justice will be done.” “Citizen Kang,” the shows most damning indictment of the failure of our electoral process and U.S. politics, condemns us for buying into an obviously rigged system. TRASH OF THE TITANS illustrates just how unplugged many voters are from reality, willing to buy into any sleazy lunatic who appeals to their laziest desires.
The Simpsons reinforces Joseph de Maistre’s belief that “In a democracy, people get the leaders they deserve.” The show assures us that the residents of Springfield will survive on luck, but it never tells us that everything’s going to be alright. At best, things’ll get worse, but only so slowly that no one’ll notice.
October is almost gone, and it’s time to plan for cider mills, Fall Foilage, Thanksgiving, and let’s not forget November 19th’s Simpsons Trivia at The Coronado! But before we turn the calendar, let’s look back at how wonderful October 8th was on the patio…
Diana was worn out from a long week of stealing pens from the power plant, so it was up to the Stonecutters–JRC, Miguel, and Alex–to host the games! We managed to get through the contest relatively error free!
Here are some pictures…
For our halftime solo competition, we had a coloring/craft project, whoever could customize their basic Simpsons mask the best got their choice of a Simpsons Halloween figurine! There were two categories: Traditional and Most Creative.
Winners for the night*:
First place with 94 points out of 100
The Mayor Quimby for Mayor Mayoral Committee
Second place had 68.5 points
Who We Gunna Beat? The Wildcats
and Team Discovery Channel
came in Third with a score of 64.5
In a rare case of double win, Who We Gunna Beat? The Wildcats
were also awarded Best Team Name of the night!
Here are some sample questions from the quiz to test yourself:
(highlight between the parentheses to reveal the answers)
Thanks to all the folks who came, and The Coronado for hosting the show every month! With Fall in the air, I hear they’re adding new items to the menu! The November show will be . . .
Saturday November 19th, from 8-10pm!
Here’s a link to the event’s Facebook page.
The show is free! The drinks are wet! And the food is AH-MAZING.
So grab your friends and meet us on the patio!
*Unfortunately, I lost the October show answer sheets, so I’m basing my winners information on hastily scrawled notes and a foggy memory. If I’ve miscredited your team, just let me know in the comments. Thanks! ~JRC
We are in the home stretch here, people! For the last 10 days of the month, we’ll be posting some of our secret costume reserve: our personal favorites!
If you aren’t moved by Mr. Bergstrom’s whirlwind stint as Lisa’s substitute teacher/role model/crush, then (unlike Superintendent Chalmers when offered a brick of Jell-O with a grape in it) you must be made of stone. I challenge you to find a second grader who does nearly as good a job finding the (mostly) obscure flaws in Mr. Bergstrom’s 1830 Texas cowboy outfit. I especially challenge you to find a second grader who is tuned in to race enough to be able to tell on sight if a person is of Jewish descent. Yes, there were a few Jewish cowboys, and you can be one too!
And remember, Halloween, or any costume you make should bring you joy, don’t sweat the small details. If you can’t be–or just don’t want to be–100% accurate, who cares! It’s about the fun you have making and wearing it!
In “Marge in Chains,” Marge is in prison and no one else in the family knows how to do laundry, so Homer shows up to visitation day wearing what Marge notes is an old Halloween costume. The lesson is, don’t be ashamed to recycle hit costumes from year’s past! It’s what Poochie would’ve wanted–even if Mr. Burns doesn’t know what you’re talking about!
Sharp-eyed fans might catch the reference to “Whacking Day,” the previous episode, where Homer is shown wearing an identical outfit in a fantasy.
Evil Homer is definitely one of the most-quoted Simpsons jokes from my high school years, so it holds a special place in my heart.
This is a costume that obviously took a lot of work. You can tell Maude appreciates it though, and even if your audience is only one, that makes it worth while…
As much as I’m not religious at all, I really love Ned and how he can be so nice in the face of almost anything (except the service at the post office, and his parents. Lousy beatniks!) This is Ned at his most Flanders, romancing his wife on Valentine’s Day with a hilariously sanitized version of Rod Stewart’s Da Ya Think I’m Sexy. I’m surprised Ned even knows about this song.
Play this clip while watching the GIF for maximum lolz:
Even at his lowest, Milhouse manages to look cute in his Shirley Temple inspired costume…
Too bad he didn’t win Mr. Burns approval. Costume contests can be very cutthroat, the important thing it to enjoy the experience itself.
I’m seein’ double! Twelve Krusties!
Scary clown costumes seem to be kind of “in” right now (seriously, America?), and there are many ways you can go with this! My favorite has to be Barney as Krusty; he’s scary, but not “boogedy boogedy” scary.
A lot of people live very quiet reserved lives even though they’re just aching to let their inner self out! Halloween is one of those rare days on the calendar when we’re all allowed let our freak flag fly! So why not take advantage, you might even find a kindred spirit…
Smithers is modeling a customized bear suit, not only for himself, but in an attempt to bring his boss a little joy. So sweet. Kind of reminds me of something… excuse me, I’ve got something in my eye *sniff*
A simple way to transform your look, is with an elegant wig! So many styles to chose from. Of course the good ones can be a bit pricey, but they’re worth it.
So, if you’re looking for that one thing, to make yourself feel like a completely different person, a wig is just what you need.
The family that cosplays together, slays together! Family and group themed costumes are just a small niche for Halloween, parades, or other events. It isn’t often you can convince your brother, sisters–not to mention mom and dad–but if you’ve got peers, why not go for broke and put together a team themed costume?
All you’ve got to do is pick the right group. You could all go as a bowling team, scouts, firefighters are always popular, but what about steel workers or rock musicians?
Day 30: Almost there!
It’s perfect when you have that one friend or partner that you’re in perfect sync with. Only then can you have the costume that gets you more gongs than the break dancing robot that caught on fire. (Side note: Flim Cricket JRC had to show Diana Youtube videos of the Gong Show because she had no idea what it was).
DAY 31! This is it Simpsons fans!
If you haven’t figured out your costume by now, well, reading our blog isn’t going to help at this point…
That’s it, I’m out of here.