Simpsons Did It!: “Brother From The Same Planet”

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The writers and producers of The Simpsons had come under the impression that Tom Cruise wanted to do the show, so they wrote this episode with him in mind.

Cruise wasn’t interested after all, so they gave the part to Phil Hartman.  I think they’re better off for it.

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Simpsons Did It!: “Selma’s Choice”

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This episode of The Simpsons is named after a movie where a woman is forced by Nazis to choose which of her two children will be immediately killed.

Nothing that happens in this episode is anywhere near as depressingly awful as that.

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Simpsons Did It!: “Lisa’s First Word”

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What’s the best way to treat a major guest star like Elizabeth Taylor?

Give her a single word at the end of an episode that came out of a baby’s mouth.

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Simpsons Did It!: “Itchy And Scratchy: The Movie”

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This episode did a few things.  It may have helped to inspire the creation of Futurama, it suggested Bart could be great if he were consistently disciplined, and that Homer does have an area in which he is very knowledgable.

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Simpsons Did It!: “Lisa The Beauty Queen”

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Most episodes of The Simpsons that showcase the relationship between Lisa and Homer show how clueless Homer is about his sensitive middle child and he needs to learn  a lesson.

This episode is a nice change of pace because Homer actually is the one who gets it right this time.

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Simpsons Did It!: “A Streetcar Named Marge”

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Today’s episode was actually blocked from the Fox affiliate in the city of New Orleans when it first ran.  Apparently, some critic got ahold of the lyrics for one of the made-up songs in the fake musical Marge appears in.  Said lyrics describe New Orleans as being full of pirates, thieves, whores, and the like.  That angered people.  What they didn’t see was the song was a joke and the lyrics were way over the top and that no one involved with the show actually was saying that stuff about New Orleans was true.  The people there found that out when the episode was back as a rerun.

Meanwhile, the estate of Tennessee Williams blocked using A Streetcar Named Desire from being used, but American copyright law allows for the use of a handful of lines so long as it doesn’t go beyond that.  That was why Marge is in a musical in the first place.

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Simpsons Did It!: “Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?”

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For Homer Simpson, sterility may have been a gift that kept on giving.

Homer didn’t know he was sterile near as I can make out, but it sure had plenty of fringe benefits.

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Simpsons Did It!: “Homer Alone”

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That title is so The Simpsons.  Give us a main plot about Marge needing a break but name the episode after Homer.

Oh, and the only reason this goes live on a Saturday was due to A) I write these well in advance and 2) we had special content on April Fool’s Day, so there’s that.

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Simpsons Did It!: “Radio Bart”

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When I first saw this particular episode, I thought the writers were riffing on Jessica McClure, who as a baby fell down a well and became a media sensation until her rescue.

Then years later I learned the real inspiration was a dark Billy Wilder comedy starring Kirk Douglas called Ace in the Hole.  That’s actually a pretty good movie, and a lesser-known film from Wilder.  But that’s not important right now.

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Simpsons Did It!: “Blood Feud”

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Man, I’m getting tired of season two.  How much more…

This is the last one for season two?  Never mind.

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