Simpsons Did It!: “Like Father, Like Clown”


Show business cannot fill a void in one’s soul.

Yes, it’s time for another deceptively deep lesson, this time from Krusty the Clown.

It seems since Bart got Krusty out of jail, Krusty has been putting off a dinner with his biggest fan, and only through the intervention of Krusty’s loyal secretary Miss Pennycandy does Krusty finally have dinner at the Simpson house.

Let’s take a minute to point out Miss Pennycandy.  She’ll pop up here and there for a while, but then she’ll just basically vanish from the show.  But from what little we see here, we get a full-realized character with potential for…something.  I mean, she’s very much in love with Krusty.  Why?  I don’t know.  You don’t know.  Nobody knows!

Plus, she has a very appropriate name for a clown’s secretary.

A trip to the Simpson house, however, turns out traumatic for Krusty, and not the way dinner at the Simpson’s is usually traumatic for outsiders.  It seems Krusty is Jewish, and he’s been estranged from his strict, religious father for 25 years.  His father, Rabbi Hyman Krustofski, would never accept a clown for a son.  A musician or a jazz player, maybe, but that’s just a reference to an old movie that clearly inspired this episode.

Special note to comedian Jackie Mason as the voice of Rabbi Krustofski.  Mason himself was a rabbi before he became a stand-up comedian, so he brings the right amount of gravitas and fast-talking confusion to the character.

Of course, Lisa realizes that anyone who envies the Simpsons family is really in trouble, so she and Bart manage to track down the rabbi, who tells the pair he has no son.  Bart assumes they found the wrong guy once the door has been slammed in their faces, but the rabbi emerges again to say he didn’t mean it literally and then slams it again.

What follows is a series of efforts to reunite the pair.  After deception and disguises fail to work, meaning Bart’s bailiwick didn’t do diddly to the rabbi’s sense of righteousness, it falls to Lisa to do…whatever it is she does.  Since rabbis value learning, she just has to find something that even he can’t argue with.  The rabbi is a fairly sharp fellow, though, so Lisa almost kills herself finding something, a Sammy Davis Jr. quote that even Rabbi Krustofski can’t argue with.  That’s about all she could do without teaching herself ancient Hebrew.

Lisa will not teach herself ancient Hebrew.

So, Bart and Lisa fix Krusty’s relationship with his father, and all is well for everyone.

Except for Homer.  He didn’t get to see the monkey.

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