The Simpsons Index: The Rock Bottom Interview

awe crap.

Tonight on
Rock Bottom

Last month, FLIM Springfield was pleased as punch to receive a box of surprise gifts all the way from Australia, from the good folks at The Simpsons Index! The Index is a blog and podcast working to review and catalogue on a spreadsheet, every Simpsons episode! They reviewed one of my season one favorites, BART THE GENERAL on a recent edition–all that and cool prizes too.

They were also brave enough to answer our hard hitting fan questionnaire. We learned a about their love of The Simpsons, and even some neat stuff about Australian Easter traditions. There’s a lot here from The Simpsons Index nine contributors, get ready to see if they crack under the pressure . . .

Who are you, and what are you doing in my house?” …Tell us who you are, and what you do?

-I’m Elliot Jay O’Neill, I’m the creator and host of “The Simpsons Index”.

Danny Rosewell: I’m a locksmith, and I’m a locksmith. Or a guitar teacher-slash-hero-to-thousands.

Jordan Frost: I’m Jordan, I’m late to the Simpson’s fraternity as I wasn’t allowed to watch it as a kid. I had a lot of catching up to do and I’ve mainly focused on seasons up to 12. I work for a bank and my job title tells you nothing except for that I’m a wanker. 

BT Calloway: Retail monkey and chair moistener from sector 7G. Co-writer of web series DAVE PLUS ONE (available on youtube as well) and writer/director of upcoming podcast project Pulp Fury Radio (for more info and currently zero content) if we ever get that going.

Phil Calloway: Phil, I worked with Ben & Elliot on a rom-com web series last year called “Dave Plus One”. We had such a blast working together that when Elliot asked me to occasionally drop in , drink beer and chat about the Simpsons. I was like Hell Yes! In my normal life I work as an editor in reality TV.

Dave Todd: My name is Dave, rather than tell you how I ended up like this I’ll just say ‘it’s all a rich tapestry’. I’m in computer sales at a major electrical goods store & I have used both the words embiggens & cromulent in a sales pitch.

Elliot Jay O'Neill.jpg

Self-portrait via Frinkiac by
Elliot Jay O’Neill

“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?

Clare RR: I watched the Simpsons from a young age, probably before I started school. I remember absolutely loving the episode “Bart the General” when I first saw it as a child, though I think that was less about the jokes and more about the fact that Bart had a kickass tree house and organized an awesome water balloon fight. Also there were cupcakes.

Liz: I have a vague recollection of first watching the Simpsons on the Tracy Ullman Show. I would have been about 6 years old but distinctly remember the “Rock-a-bye-baby” song Marge sings to Maggie and being freaked the hell out. 

Dave Todd: I remember watching my first episode of the Simpsons on my grandparents giant 20″ cathode tv. It was raining outside. I remember that because it was raining in the episode where Bart nearly gets murdered by the psycho babysitter.

Phil Calloway: Started watching in high school in the early 90’s (we’re a touch behind in Aus) and the first ep that I can remember is “Bart the General” Being a lover of “Revenge of the Nerds” & “The A Team” I was pumped when the kids formulate a plan to take down Nelson with a surgical strike. “I’d rather they said, Death from above”.

BT Calloway: Downstairs family room, Hudson NC USA, “Bart the General”. Every joke since then has been catalogued and filed.

Jordan Frost: I remember watching bits and pieces when it was syndicated on channel 10 here after the news. I think Neighbours was before? The one that’s always stuck with me as I think my earliest memory was the one where Bart tries to train Santa’s Little Helper to stop Homer giving him away, and you see from the dog’s point of view, Bart giving this heartfelt speech about how if only he could understand him but all the dog hears is “blah blah blah blah blah sit” as it eventually clicks. It’s stuck with me ever since. 

Elliot Jay O’Neill: I remember being in the car with Mum when I was about 4 or 5 and she said something like “A few friends at work are raving about this show called ‘The Simpsons’ so we’re all going to watch it tonight”. I think it could be my earliest memory. 

BT Calloway.jpg

Self-portrait via Frinkiac by
BT Calloway

In the ruins of the old world, society must fight against the creatures who perpetrated the blast, but while they can take human form, they have no access to our entertainment history. Thus a new language of quotes will be born to prove your humanity, quotes only those raised in the before time of TV will know, now that there is no more TV. This language will be Simpsonic. ~BT Calloway

“Gee, I never realized TV was such a dangerous influence” …Have you ever found yourself making decisions based on a Simpsons character, or lessons the show illustrated? How has The Simpsons been an influence in your life or creativity?

Elliot Jay O’Neill: Well to this day I never do what Donny Don’t does! But seriously, The Simpsons taught me what satire was before I knew how to spell. It was integral in developing my sense of humour growing up.

Jordan Frost: I think I’ve more often tried NOT to make decisions based on what I’ve seen in the Simpsons! I know I tried Skittlebrau once, and that was a bad decision. It’s been an influence because it helps you relate to people and find new friends with good senses of humour!

BT Calloway: “My ‘what would Ralph do?’ phase ended in nothing but a bent Wookie.

Dave Todd: The Simpsons has been one of the biggest influences in my life. That is to say TV was my other parent while my mother worked double shifts in the ICU. Every element of a family was there, albeit in caricature, but I think that the satire played into each role (that is to say the over exaggeration of a trope character trait) whether it was father, mother, brother or sister was a great magnifying glass over family interaction & I definitely used that as a touchstone a lot while I was growing up. Also, I view the Simpsons as a fairly even representation of my own life. I’ll never have more or less than exactly what I need to continue being Dave. (Also Simpsons quotes took over that part of my brain that could math, so yeah, I don’t math good).

Shayna: The Simpsons influences me DAILY, mainly through language. We all know that there’s a Simpsons quote for everything, and I swear I must say at least one a day. Growing up, my mum always used to say “I wish you could remember your school work the way you remember The Simpsons!” 

Liz: I quote the Simpsons often, I find that it fosters a sense of camaraderie amongst other Simpsons lovers or I seem like I have a quick wit and good sense of humour to people that don’t get the reference.

Shayna Frost.jpg

Self-portrait via Frinkiac by
Shayna Frost

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

BT Calloway: “Homer at Bat”, “Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in ‘The Curse of the Flying Hellfish’ “, “Bart the General”, “Lisa the Beauty Queen”, “Marge Vs. the Monorail”. This is based on the episodes we’ve reviewed is the correct answer, though I’d pocket “You Only Move Twice”.

Jordan Frost: Oh gosh. I don’t think I could pick. I mean, there’s a couple that jump out – Bart Sells His Soul, “You Only Move Twice”, “22 Short Films About Springfield”, “Marge vs The Monorail”, “Homer the Heretic”. Oh wait! That’s five! On a different day I’d probably change my mind but that’s what I have for now. I think it comes down to how quotable they are, whether you connected with the story at all, whether the humour still resonates today.

Elliot Jay O’Neill: I’m Australian so “Bart VS Australia”.

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National Pride

“The sober ying to my raging yang” …When have you been as thoughtful as Lisa? Have you ever been as selfish as Mr. Burns?

Dave Todd: selfish as mr burns is easy. I ‘stole’ candy from a child. I watched the kid leave it behind while I was at work. I said nothing knowing that I could claim it as my own. Which I did. I ate the candy, played with the little plastic toys & had a great time. The next day I looked at the empty crumpled bag & laughed to myself.
On the Lisa side of things, I saw a little old lady struggling to step down off a curb to cross the street. People were ignoring the shit out of her & it pissed me off. I helped her across the street & walked her straight to her doctor appointment. I feel like I do enough of both to make myself neutral.

Liz:  I try to be like Lisa as often as I can, fair and intelligent in all my decisions. Don’t we all have evil Mr. Burns thoughts sometimes though? Now what was I laughing about? Oh right! That crippled Irishman! BAHAHAHAHAHAHA! 

Dave Todd.JPG

Self-portrait via Frinkiac by
Dave Todd

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

Shayna:  My character is just me – a mediocre mixed race woman of no particular skill or beauty, no sex tape, no famous husband…but I have a wildly successful reality TV show. People watch me do regular every day things: buy groceries, watch TV, take my dog for a walk. And then I do that at Chez Simpsons. Truly the worst episode ever. It tanks.

Dave Todd: I’m a random corpse that shows up at their house & they have to get rid of my body because Chief Wiggum is coming over for dinner

Phil Calloway: “Cafe Later Alligator” A mysterious yet charming stranger known as Winchester Van-Heusen arrives in town. Setting up an on trend coffee shop. While his raging success is greeted with jealousy from Homer and his new ‘Thick & Black” coffee van, the rest of the town starts a love affair with coffee and Winchester is given the key to the city as Springfield is declared the “3rd most coffeelishous town south of New York”.
Mistrustful of this new interloper, Homer follows Winchester home on night to discover the dark side of coffee is Winchesters  actual plan is to kidnap all the cats in Springfield.!! (As stressed cat lovers  consume more coffee) The conflict comes to a head when the town discovers , through a series of mysterious events, that Winchester is actually an ex CEO of a cigarette company looking for the next addictive—but legal don’t forget legal—drug to peddle to the masses.
Lisa has a moral issues with exposing the rackets, because the coffee lifestyle fuels her playwriting and gives jobs to failed commercial bankers after the GFC stock market crash of  2005(?). Bart experiments with feeding coffee beans to weasels and then selling the ‘remains’ to the uber hipsters that have travelled to Springfield. Marge takes moral umbrage with all the disposable coffee cups littering the town.

Elliot Jay O’Neill: I play a snarky podcaster who runs a website and podcast called “The Itchy & Scratchy Index”. I review and rank episodes of Itchy & Scratchy much to the chagrin of Roger Myers. After the shows ratings start taking a nosedive, Bart & Lisa team up to try to convince me not to be so hard on a show that has been on for 30 years.

Danny Rosewell

Self-portrait via Frinkiac by
Danny Rosewell

“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? 

Elliot Jay O’Niell: “Shaving My Shoulders” is Homer’s best song parody. It goes for like 5 seconds yet it gets stuck in my head all the time. It is simply perfect.

Danny Rosewell: I don’t think I’ve even MET anybody who doesn’t know all the words to both the Monorail Song and the Dalmatians song!

Jordan Frost: For original music, I don’t think I can go past “We Put the Spring In Springfield”. It’s just such a fun song and they have so much fun with all the old school vaudeville humour. For non-original, it’s probably not a very famous one, but for sure, in BART ON THE ROAD, there’s a shot of the four boys cruising along a country road and “Radar Love” by Golden Earring is playing. The animation is pretty cool too, moving around the car, and it’s always stuck with me as the quintessential road trip song.

BT Calloway: “Oh please, wont you see myyyy veeeeeeest! / I really like the vest!


Clare RR: Honestly the one that has stuck in my memory the best is the always classic Monorail song. I mean…it’s just an incredibly catchy tune and it’s a fantastic episode. What more can I say? The mob has spoken.

Phil Calloway: It’s very hard to go past “See My Vest” by Mr. Burns, it’s just so damn catchy I found myself singing it for days after I see that episode. I also sing it every time I see someone wearing loafers.

Dave Todd: That beautiful theremin & church bell 1950’s sci-fi sound that plays in every treehouse of horror opening sequence.

Shayna: This is so hard because there are so many. But I have it narrowed down to two…or maybe three. The first is “A Chorus Line” at the end of “Treehouse of Horror V”, for obvious reasons. They’re inside out!! The second is “The Amendment Song”, because when I was younger, I didn’t understand the song’s meaning and this is a classic example of how beautifully The Simpsons works. When I was a kid, I didn’t get it at all because understanding the American Constitution just isn’t something on the radar of an Australian child. Then as I grew older, the song became really funny to me as I gained an understanding on US politics, and this is something that happens throughout the original Simpsons. And the third is “Paint a Wagon” because it’s just a brilliant parody.

Liz: This is a 3-part tie between “Dr. Zeus, Dr. Zeus”, “Lisa it’s your birthday”, and “See My Vest”. I know that’s breaking the rules but just chalk it up to one of my many enormous flaws that I don’t work on! Dr. Zeus is just brilliant because, fuck yeah, Planet of the Apes! Lisa It’s Your Birthday, is an ear-worm that you won’t be rid of for at least a week, and you won’t be mad about that in the slightest! And, See My Vest was an unexpected delight when I first heard it. Mr. Burns’ evil plan to kill puppies turned into a Disney song, sheer's a phone.jpg

“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?

Liz: Whenever we eat steak my husband always says, “Mmmm steaky”. I sometimes say that “we’re in a very sticky, nutty, chewy   situation”. I don’t know why those are both food related.

Dave Todd: at work if I tell someone they’ve got a nice dental plan they know their buttcrack is showing.

Phil Calloway: I think we trot out the old “stupid like a fox”.

BT Calloway: In the future, an EMP will wipe out all electronics and delete all data. In the ruins of the old world, society must fight against the creatures who perpetrated the blast, but while they can take human form, they have no access to our entertainment history. Thus a new language of quotes will be born to prove your humanity, quotes only those raised in the before time of TV will know, now that there is no more TV. This language will be Simpsonic. Should you, for example, request entry into one of the last human settlements you may be asked “I specifically said no geeks!” if you do not reply with “But my mom says I’m cool!” we will release the hounds.

Danny Rosewell:  I think The Simpsons is more than a series of in-jokes, now – it’s become a sort of meta-language that a certain generation speaks in as much (if not more) than standard, universal english! but yes. “… my wife is going to kill me.” (-Prof. Frink, upon the tragic death of his son), OR “Does THIS look like the face of a man who’s had *ALL* he can eat?” (-Lionel Hutz, on Homer’s tragic, unrequited hunger).

Elliot Jay O’Neill: In The Simpsons Index podcast we constantly reference the moment in “Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie” where the nerd at the Q&A points out that Itchy played Scratchy’s rib like a xylophone and he struck the same rib twice but it produced two different tones. We reference this moment when one of us is being a bit pedantic, petty or anal retentive about a minor error in an episode.

Clare RRR

Self-portrait via Frinkiac by
Clare RR

“$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?

Elliot Jay O’Neill: I don’t actually wear my Simpsons fandom on my sleeve. Having said that, I do have a shirt with Milhouse’s skull. Other than that, I’ve bought all the DVD’s and BT gave me this little golden Homer Buddha statue which is displayed in The Dank. Oh and the video games, I’ve pretty much played all of them but I do have a particular fondness for Simpsons Hit & Run and if the original 4 player arcade cabinet was on sale for a decent price I would totally jump on it.

BT Calloway: My Bort name tag, Duff beer cozy, Simpsons socks, and fond memories of a Simpsons colouring book from my youth. Bart’s Nightmare took up a good portion of my early years too, that game was great.

Clare RR: You know funnily enough I’ve never really been much of a collector of Simpsons merch. I think I’ve always found seeing the Simpsons family in 3D to be unsettling, so it put me off most of the figurines and dolls. Despite that I’d always buy Simpsons show bags from the Easter Show but I have to say I don’t have any strong memories of what was in them. Cheap plastic crap I assume. I have most of the early seasons on DVD though and I recently received an incredibly comfy oversized Simpsons t-shirt as a birthday present last year.

EDITORIAL BY JRCWhat the heck is a Show Bag?:

Pill Calloway: In high school I did rock a much loved “Bartman” T-shirt, I also had another Bart T, that didn’t even have a simpson quote on it, but did have bart saying “Yo my name is bart and I’m here to say that I’m fresh and chilling the homeboy way’—I never understood where that came from or if it was a ripoff or not.

Dave Todd: I’ve had a posable rubber Bart & homer doll. I’ve got most of the Simpsons albums. I have ‘the book of Bart’ on my bookshelf currently.

Shayna: I had HEAPS of Simpsons stuff as a kid, toys, colouring books (my favourite page was Bart lying naked on a towel and I drew poop coming out of his butt. Classic me), the usual. I do own all DVDs up to Season 12, but my most favourite piece of Simpsons merch is the “Bort” Kwik-E-Mart pin that I bought (along with Elliot, Jordan, and BT) in Universal Orlando! But the BIGGEST Simpsons rip-off that I ever paid for (well, it was free and I had none of my own money at the age of 7) was a Simpsons stage show I saw at a shopping centre. It was EXACTLY like when the Simpsons see the Bonanza stage show, and the whole audience was like…bonanza.jpg

“That was the best episode of Impy & Chimpy I’ve ever seen” …Which season of Classic Simpsons is the best? In your opinion, when did the classic era end—what was the last good episode?

Dave Todd: classic era is season 2 thru 9. Best season – Aaaarrrrgghh I hate this. Just take seasons 5,6 & 7, jumble them up on a table, pass me a Monkey’s Paw with one wish left. I’ll spin it like a bottle & whichever season it’s outstretched grizzled finger is closest to will be my answer.

BT Calloway: The Classic Era ends after season 10 because Homer to the Max damn well deserves to be called a classic, as for the last good episode we’re trying to answer that, but at the moment it’s either “500 Keys” from S22 or “The Book Job” S23.

Jordan Frost: This is such a struggle, but I think I need to say Season 8 has just some absolute killer episodes. Scorpio, Grimey, Larry Burns, Johnny Cash as a coyote, X-Files, The Omni-net, Poochie… It has it’s missteps of course but when it lands, boy does it just absolutely knock it out of the park.
The last good episode is a hard one! There are still some decent episodes in season 12 and while they lack the punch of earlier seasons, I’m going to go with Trilogy of Error just because I love Linguo so much.

Elliot Jay O’Neill: Tricky question. I tend to agree with the sentiment that “The Principal & The Pauper” is the bookend of the “Classic” years but there are still episodes that I would consider “Classic” all the way up to season 12, even though seasons 9-12 aren’t as consistently brilliant as the earlier seasons.
As for when the last ‘good’ episode aired… They are still airing good episodes. The most recent episode that we gave a good ranking was season 28’s “There Will Be Buds” which got 3 x Bronze and 1 x Silver from our panel.
There is absolutely no doubt that these good “HD Era” episodes are few and far between in a sea of bad, awful and at times, offensive episodes but hey, that’s part of why we are making The Simpsons Index; To give a guide to those people that only want to watch the good episodes… or only the bad episodes, what do I care?

Jordan Frost.jpg

Self-portrait via Frinkiac by
Jordan Frost

“…we saw “Bart The General”, and it was like watching a completely different show to what came later – but in a wonderful, touching way! the characters were complex, sweet, and well rounded, the camera angles were trying different things, the show was clearly experimenting and finding it’s feet…” ~Danny Rosewell

“We should thank our lucky stars they’re still putting on a program of this caliber after so many years” …What was the last Classic Simpsons episode you watched?

Elliot Jay O’Neill: After we finished recording the podcast featuring “Lisa’s Date eith Destiny”, I continued watching that season 8 disc and the last episode I watched from that was “Mountain of Madness”, I cannot wait to review it for the Index.

Danny Rosewell: being a Simpsons critic and reviewer, we’re watching classic (and new) era Simpsons pretty regularly now, but recently we saw “Bart The General”, and it was like watching a completely different show to what came later – but in a wonderful, touching way! the characters were complex, sweet, and well rounded, the camera angles were trying different things, the show was clearly experimenting and finding it’s feet, and yet there was a depth and intelligence to it that felt really engaging and rewarding to watch! Truly, an elegant weapon from a more civilized age.

Jordan Frost: Only recently we watched Lisa the Beauty Queen while I was STAGGERINGLY intoxicated and apparently I could not shut up about how beautiful I thought this represented the Homer/Lisa father-daughter relationship. How can you not with quotes like “Well if I could gouge out somebody else’s eye’s out and shove them into my sockets I would; but to me, she’s beautiful!”

BT Calloway: We’re recording the podcast tonight so… that one.

Clare RR: The last Classic Simpsons episode I watched would have been be season 4 episode 4 “Lisa the Beauty Queen”, recently reviewed on The Simpsons Index episode 36. It’s classy to shamelessly promote my mate’s podcast in this interview, right? In all seriousness though since I’ve started looking at The Simpsons with a critical eye I’ve been avoiding rewatching my old favourites too much. I think my reviewing is better when I haven’t seen it a dozen times in the last month.

Dave Todd: honestly I can’t remember. I watch eps from seasons 2-9 every day after work. They all kind of blur together along with my sense of what day, month & year it is. I’m sure if I think hard enough I’ll remember how old I am.

“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…

Dave Todd: yes. Only when I’m alone because others tend not to like it. The most interesting things are when the writers notice weird stuff that I noticed ages ago & was like ‘I wonder if anyone else noticed that’.

Elliot Jay O’Neill: I do quite a lot. I learnt that the staff are shockingly cavalier about the poor quality of the later seasons.

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“Let’s just say it moved me—to a bigger house!” …Hypothetical Question: Lets say I don’t watch post-season 10 episodes. Tell me about your favorite newer Simpsons episode, and persuade me to give it a try.

Elliot Jay O’Neill: Haha I say go to my website to see which episodes we recommend 😛 But seriously I’d say at least watch seasons 11 & 12 because they are on par with 9 & 10. Also season 22 is worth checking out as I reckon it’s the last season with more good than bad episodes.

BT Calloway: *gasp* you mean you know not of the tomacco? Or Stupid Sexy Flanders? “Weekend at Burnsies” might be my fave post S10, highly quotable, loads of fun and- WE HAVE A KITCHEN!?

Dave Todd: I don’t think I have one.

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

Shayna: Easy – CLIP SHOW. Followed by an apology for seasons 13 onwards.

Dave Todd: one answer, and no ones going to like it. Clip-show.

BT Calloway: The threat of a potential meltdown at the power plant forces everyone to stay indoors, reactions from the town are televised and naturally watched by the Simpsons as the crisis unfolds. The Simpsons spend almost the entire episode on the couch, as it should be.

Liz: I’m not going to pretend that I wrote this, but as soon as I read it, I couldn’t help but agree, and I’m sure you will too –  the best ending for the simpsons that any of us will ever dream of was written by a guy called /U/LittleMonkey69, in 2004:

The show begins with the family watching Itchy and Scratchy. They announce that the show is coming to an end and the entire family gasps in horror. They then announce that the last episode will be aired in a years time, and until then, a contest will be running; this contest will offer the winner the chance to write what will happen in the finale. The entire Simpson family applies. Krusty is in charge of choosing the winner. He falls in love with one of the Simpson’s idea and puts it in winners box. He makes a mistake though, he puts all five of their ideas in the box by accident. He goes on his show to announce the winner and pulls out five cards out of the box. Stumped, he reads all five names out, “Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie.” Flash forward a year later and Bart is in class describing his take on the Itchy and Scratchy finale to Milhouse, while showing us Itchy and Scratchy with Bart’s voice-over. He finishes and the class is silent, Edna Krabappel is staring at him and says, “After-school detention.” The scene then cuts to the power plant and Homer is describing his finale to Lenny and Carl. He finishes, a bell rings and he gets in a radiation suit. The scene cuts to a supermarket and Marge is describing her take to Helen Lovejoy, she finishes and strolls Maggie in the trolley to another aisle. Here, Maggie sees the unibrow baby and starts describing her take via waving and motioning. She finishes and the scene cuts to Lisa, she begins describing her take to Sherri and Terri. She finishes and picks up her saxophone to go to music practice. She walks in the music room sits down and then sees the time. She realizes the show is going to be on in ten minutes. She plays the Itchy and Scratchy melody on her sax and bolts out. It cuts to Bart, he’s writing on the black board: “I will not talk in class ever again” he hears a bell, realizes the time and runs out. Cut to Homer holding some plutonium at a conveyor belt when a bell rings at the plant and he too realizes the time and runs off, dropping some plutonium. Cut to the supermarket and we see Marge and Maggie checking out and running through the exit doors. Cut to a birds eye view of their home and we see everyone rushing to take a seat in the couch. They look at each other, they smile, the Itchy and Scratchy music plays, and it cuts to credits.

Elliot Jay O’Neill: I really love the idea that I think Al Jean had where the last shot is The Simpson family driving to the Springfield Elementary Christmas Play to bring the series full circle.
But if it were up to me I would say if they could just do a simple episode with a rift in The Simpsons family that caused them all to be mad at each other. Some set of events where they are embarrassed as a family and all 5 of them had an equal part in causing the problem. Then they each go to seek solace from some of the supporting cast eg Bart from Milhouse, Homer from Moe, Marge from Patty & Selma, Lisa from Principal Skinner, Maggie from… I dunno Santa’s Little Helper? Anyway the idea being that it gives them an opportunity for each character to learn about how individually, their strengths and weaknesses are balanced out in this family unit that manages to function (Albeit just barely). I know it’s sweet, saccharin, schmaltzy stuff but to me it would be a way for The Simpsons to pay tribute to where the show started in the first seasons with stories about a family that were really flawed but also, really loved each other.


Thanks to everyone at The Simpsons Index for being so generous with their time in answering our fan questionnaire. New episodes of their podcast come out every week, why not try give it a try? Look up your favorite Simpsons ep’, and listen on the way to work. If they haven’t talked about your favorite story yet, nominate it during one of their calls on Facebook/Twitter, and maybe you’ll win a surprise box too!

I like The Simpsons fan community because of its creativity, diversity, and we’re supportive of each other’s efforts. Even if fans disagree on finer points of the series, we generally get along well, and like discussing new opinions and ideas about it. Discovering how other fans see the show can be mindblowing, like eating Guatemalan Insanity Peppers. It’s also not surprising that Simpsons fans are generally really imaginitive and doing other creative stuff–making those connections is inspiring. Hopefully, these Q&A sessions will turn into a semi-regular feature of our blog.  ~JRC

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March Trivia Recap: Hooray for Everything!

March 2017 Trivia came just 3 short weeks after the February show because JRC wanted to go see his favorite local wrestling federation’s regular monthly event …

I don't really, I just like the theater

yes yes, we all know the joke

The weather on The Coronado patio was perfect, and the crowd had some new contestants, plus a couple folks we haven’t seen in awhile. It was a great show!

For the mid-competition solo contest we played pictionary.

Not a cool cat.


Luckily no one’s marriage came undone, and everyone who played got a special button!

Making Gudger Proud!

This cat knows what it is!

Here’s all the winning teams…

All I've done so far is enter my name!

Best Team Name:
The Thrillho Experience!

big okilly dokilly to our 3rd place team!

3rd Place w/ 56 points: Test Toasters!

hey you over there in the bushes

2nd Place w/ 70 points:
The Moe Syzslak Experience Featuring Homer

I love Grimby

1st Prize, w/ 87 points out of 100:
The Mayor Quimby for Mayor Committee

How about some questions from the quiz, to test yourself against?
(highlight between the parenthesis to see the answer)

When Mr. Burns is infatuated with Marge, he kidnaps this musician in an attempt to impress her. (Tom Jones)
When Bart has won the $10,000 (or an elephant) on KBBL’s contest, what is Marge’s exciting idea for spending the money? (Double-ply windows)
Nelson can think of at least two things wrong with the title of this arthouse movie. (Naked Lunch)
What is the name of this dog…

that's a tough one for ya!


Thanks to everyone who came out! We’ll be back on Saturday April 29 at 8pm with another round of Classic Simpsons trivia, great food, and fun! If you like what we’re doing, please invite your friends, and support The Coronado too, who’ve been great to us!


who do you love?


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The Simpsons Index: Bart the General

Longtime Simpsons fans put a lot of energy into cataloguing a definitive ranking of best-to-worst episodes and finding the point at which the show drove off a cliff (ala Marge on the Lam, which itself is a great episode). Some superfans create blogs and podcasts dedicated to their study. Check our links page to see a roll call of some that’ve caught our attention.

The Simpsons Index is one such site, based in Australia. On each episode of The Simpsons Index podcast, host Elliot Jay O’Neill and his guests study three episodes: one from the current HD era, another from the Teens, as well as one from the agreed upon classic years. The resulting votes are worked onto a master list on their website.

A couple months back they put out the call to their followers for review suggestions on twitter (@SimpsonsIndex). As is the case whenever I get a chance to do so, I encourage people to take a close look at season one’s “Bart the General” which I’ve long contended is the Rosetta Stone for understanding how The Simpsons would meld their influences and deploy minor characters to become the well-oiled comedy and satire machine it was for so long. Well, The Index took up my challenge, and they gave it high marks…

(Review of Bart the General starts at about the 1:20:00 mark)

Not only did FLIM Springfield get a shoutout on the show, but The Index also mailed us a gift box of surprises, halfway around the globe, to say thanks!

the box! the box!

Our very own “What’s in the box” surprise!

Which was full of keen goodies…

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Genuinely cool stuff (Simpsons figures are our own) touching on a whole bunch of other cool pop culture icons and fads.

The Simpsons Index podcast and website are great resources for people looking to explore The Simpsons in a deeper and different way. Each episode is of the show is over an hour, so if you’ve a long commute, or are working around the house alone, it is a great companion. If you haven’t really given the cartoon a try, or stopped watching ages ago and want to hear how it has evolved, you will get a lot of good feedback from Elliot and his contributing community of co-hosts.

In addition to all the above, The Simpsons Index crew were also nice enough to spend time filling out our fan questionnaire, and there’s a solid crew of contributors who provided a lot to read. After formatting and editing, we’ll be adding it later this week, as separate  blog post.


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Soul Mates:February Trivia Recap

Hello everyone! Usually JRC writes these, but he was unfortunately ill with the Osaka Flu for February’s trivia, so I, Diana hosted and will recap. I shouldn’t have bought him that Juice Loosener!

We had a full house on the Coronado patio for the Soul Mates edition, and the weather wasn’t as blisteringly cold as January’s, so that was nice. I was joined by Alex as co-host, thankfully, because I don’t think I’m charismatic enough to carry the weight of hosting Simpsons Trivia by myself.


Alex is the king of all he surveys

Sample questions (Highlight to see the answers):

  • In “A Fish Called Selma,” Troy McClure is seen driving this very distinctive car. (DeLorean)
  • Apu says that, before he joined the Pin Pals, this other bowling team begged him to join. Also: what other members were on that team? (The Stereo Types. Luigi, Cletus, Willie, Sea Captain.)
  • From the episode “The Principal and the Pauper,” what artistic activity do Principal Skinner and his mom do every Friday night? (Silhouette night)
  • When Mulder and Scully knock on the Simpsons’ door to ask about Homer’s alien sighting, Marge thinks they are there for her and confesses to this accidental theft. (Taking a pen from the post office)
  • Who is this supposed to be?(Lisa)



Our first-place winners for the night, with 79 out of 100 points, were Dead White Male Bashing PC Thugs. They chose THE BOX and got some candy hearts, sadly without rude slogans painted on.20170225_213442

Coming in a close second were The Mayor Quimby For Mayor Mayoral Committee with 77 points. They chose the $25 Coronado gift card.20170225_213459

And our third place winners, choosing the $15 Coronado gift card and ribbon candy (BOYS LOVE RIBBON CANDY!) were Ow! My Freakin’ Ears! with 64 points.20170225_213509

The clear winner of the Best Team Name contest were Put Your Sperm in Our Hands.

We hope to see you next month on March 18, for the Hooray For Everything edition!


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Ringers: January 2017 Trivia

We didn’t do a trivia show in December. As usual, there was just so much to do at the end of the year … and to be honest, we were all more than a little emotionally drained from the results of the Mary Bailey v Mr. Burns election.

Anyway, January was special, because it’s also trivia co-host, and FLIM Springfield co-founder Diana’s birthday! This year, more than anything else she wanted to be a contestant at our show, and it was my job to make it happen. So I did what any loving husband would do, I reached out to some violent mobsters … no actually, FLIM Springfield Classic Trivia at The Coronado is supported by a bunch of super cool and helpful people. I was able to call on our trio of excellent co-co-hosts, Alex, Miguel, and The Klute to craft questions in secret, and Alex and Miguel did all the MCing themselves.

Miguel did notice at one point everyone seemed a little more quiet than usual, but we think everyone was just hunkered down sweating over their brain busting trivia questions. By the time of the mid-show solo contest, everyone had loosened up.

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Sample questions (highlight between the parenthesis to see the answer):

  • The Hungry Hun is know for what food? (Sauerbraten)
  • When Krusty is busy delivering pizza to Mr. Burns estate, he puts a rerun on, which includes news about this 1980’s event? (Invasion of the Falkland Islands)
  • Gil attempts to unload this brand of computer to Springfield Elementary? Bonus, what does he try adding onto the sale? (Coleco / rust-proofing)
  • These are the aliens that FBI agents Mulder & Scully bring for Homer to identify in a lineup? (Chewbacca, Marvin Martain, Alf, Gort, and Kang or Kodos)
  • The Leader of the Movementarians promises to take his followers to this alien world? (Blisstonia)

First Place winners, with 83 points out of 100 were
Wrinkly Gibberish!

Second Place was The Well Wishers with 79 points!

Followed by Kodos 2020 with a total of 69.

Best Team Name went to
The Frinkahedrons
(we think, sorry, it was too chaotic to take good notes this time)

and Chunky Lovers got the Academic Alert
for their 16 point score.

It was really fun to be on the other side of the questions this month, and I think Diana and I learned from the experience too. We’ll be back very soon, on Saturday February 25th to apply that knowledge…


What’s the matter, ain’t you ever seen a naked chick
ridin’ a clam before?

for the
Soulmates Edition of Classic Simpsons Trivia
hosted by Flim Springfield at The Coronado!

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Fall Foilage: Last Trivia Show of 2016!

If it's clear and yella, you've got juice there fella!

If it’s tangy and brown,
you’re in cider town!

There wasn’t a December 2016 Trivia show at The Coronado, and to make matters worse, I never got around to recapping the November edition, and for that I am very very sorry.

Here’s a quick rundown of the last winners in 2106:

first prize, first prize, first prize

1st place with 91 points went to
The Mayor Quimby for Mayor Committee
They chose the $25 gift certificate

instead of…


Which went to 2nd place team
Never Stop in the Middle of a Hoedown
with 86.5 points.

if only this 3rd prize were as sweet as you

and Cesspool on the Potomac
were nipping at Hodown‘s tail
with 86 points and 3rd place!

They got a $15 gift certificate, and were happy to have it!

all the best teams are affiliated with Satan

Best team name went to
due in part to their awesome grindcore font.

and Dental Plant got the Academic Alter for earning 50 points.

Our special Guest for the evening were Rick Larsen and Jeff Cadello of the podcast Wednesday Morning Surf Report. We were lucky enough to be on their show in November the year prior, and thought it was time to return the favor!

except these two are funny.

Phoenix’s answer to
Bill & Marty

They were on the lookout for a new tagline for their show, and took suggestions from the audience! And…I’ll be honest, I forgot to write down the winning suggestion, but that person got a OKILLY DOKILLY prize pack, with the band’s new CD, and other goodies…



Finally, contestant and sometimes co-host The Klute discovered he has a near doppelganger in Rick Larsen, from Wednesday Morning Surf Report.

Interesting how the left--or sinister twin--is invariably the evil one

I’ms seeing double
4 Krustys trivia contestants!

All in all, it was a grand evening! A great way to ring out 2016. I’ll be back soon, to recap January 2017’s “Ringers Edition” and announce our next live trivia show!

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A Flimsy Hodge-Podge of Fan Art, Factoids & “News”

An accumulation of Simpsons fan art, graffiti, articles, and things that just don’t fit anywhere else…

driven mad after being denied those Breakfast Balls

“Falling Down” starring Frank Grimes
by Mark Chilcott

Mark Chilcott is a prolific illustrator based in Wales UK and posts his amazing pop culture-themed illustrations on Instagram here: In addition to his Simpsons tribute to the 1993 film “Falling Down,” starring Frank Grimes in the Michael Douglas role, Mark has also done awesome art based on Batman the Animated Series, a collection of fictional law enforcement officers, and some really beautiful foxes. Check out his work, you won’t be disappointed.

FLIM Springfield will probably never get around to doing a complete recasting of Falling Down, and we’re glad Mark thought up this perfect fit for the title role.

Closer to home, Phoenix has been hit by a mysterious graffiti artist:


photo by Diana.


Homer inspired street mural by Lived 1904.
photo by Jose Gonzales.

And in more traditional art, this piece hanging at LUX Coffee

I'm an Art

by Randy Slack

Randy Slack is a standout of the Phoenix art community, with a long resume of exhibits to his credit, whose work is collected far and wide. I recently saw this piece for the first time, which I think is a few years old, at a hip coffee shop on Central Ave.

Starting the New Year off right, Sally Forth, by cartoonists Greg Howard, Francesco Marciuliano, and Jim Keefe, put Milhouse’s signature catch phrase into Sally’s husband Ted’s mouth.

new year, old jokes

Sally Forth
January 1st 2017

FLIM Springfield also weeps for a generation not fluent in Simpsons, Ted, we understand. There’s nothing cooler and more relevant in the newspapers today than 18 year old cartoon references (Really, I mean that, sorry if it sounded sarcastic).

Online, Jalopnik’s Jason Torchinsky has done amazing detective work tracking down the overlooked origin of the Simpson family’s pink car.

Recently dubbed with the name brand “Junkerolla” on the cartoon, Homer’s vehicle seems to be based on a Chinese knockoff of the 1986 Dodge 600. The article is well worth a read, illustrating how real world objects are streamlined for cartoons, and where references are employed. In 2014 Jason also did a list of every real car from The Simpsons, it is also wonderfully thorough. He also wrote to let us know his fav’ Simpsons’ vehicle is Patty and Selma’s VW Thing…

no really, that's its name.

the Thing, military surplus.

Finally–I’ve had this in my file for ages–fellow Simpson fan Steve Kochersperger, of the Woo-Hoo: Classic Simpsons Trivia CHICAGO Facebook group, spotted this…


And I couldn’t agree with his deduction more. The Vintage News has a great collection of pictures from the ship in its heyday…


30 years is a long time to sit abandoned–if only they’d kept it going a little longer…

do you want fries with that?

Give me 700 Krusty Burgers!

If you spot some Simpsons in the wild, send us a picture, maybe we’ll include it in our next roundup. Thanks for reading, everyone!

Update, Monday January 16th…

He's also got a prescription plan for Frigid Falls, Mount Seldom, Lake Flaccid...

(read the “quote” under the photo credit)

Someone at The Daily Intelligencer is a fan. Spotted by Jose Gonzales.

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