Who is the next famous person to make a pit stop in Springfield? Why, it’s NASCAR superstar Jeff Gordon, who plays himself in the Oct. 21 episode of Fox’s The Simpsons, titled “Adventures in Baby-Getting.” In this first-look photo, you can see Gordon standing with Moe and a microphone-wielding Kent Brockman in Moe’s Tavern, while Barney pays close attention. So, what crazy set of circumstances brings the race car driver to town? Explains Simpsons exec producer Al Jean: “Jeff Gordon makes a brief celebrity cameo to make fun of our penchant for brief celebrity cameos.” READ FULL STORY
Tag: The Simpsons (31-40 of 124)
The Simpsons‘s “Treehouse of Horror” episodes stopped actually trying to be scary long ago. These days, the show’s annual Halloween installment is more of a vehicle for all-purpose movie parodies and icky visuals. (Though nothing can compare to the truly disgusting coda of “Nightmare Cafeteria” from “Treehouse of Horror V”; here’s a sped-up version.) That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Late-period Simpsons has a tendency to go broad and ridiculous, and that tone goes down a lot easier when presented in Treehouse’s anthology setting. Plus, hey — as long as you’re laughing, it doesn’t really matter if you’re not also creeped out.
This year’s special presented four quasi-spooky stories, each of which had its moments. But which was the funniest/most memorable/best of all? Here are the candidates:
On Sunday night, The Simpsons will kick off its 24th season of animated hilarity, and it’s entirely possible you don’t care. The accepted knowledge on the show is that the first eight seasons or so are some of the best half-hours in the history of television comedy, but that it long ago ran out of gas.
And while the show hasn’t reached the incredible plateaus of classic episodes like “Marge Vs. The Monorail” and “Homer’s Enemy,” it maintains an incredible balance between animation-enabled wackiness and actual storytelling. South Park may have eclipsed it as the definitive satirical voice in television comedy, but it retains a certain amount of social bite.
What I’m saying is that The Simpsons used to be better than 98 percent of everything else on television. Now it’s only better than 90 percent — and still stands head and shoulders above most any other animated program on network TV.
In fact, last season featured an episode that absolutely belongs in the Simpsons pantheon. “Politically Inept, With Homer Simpson” featured Homer’s ascendance as a Glenn Beck-style TV zealot — complete with crying jags. It embodied everything that is great about the show past and present.
It’s remarkably compact
The episode managed to skewer the TSA, the absurd politics of wedding invitations, the frustrating nature of air travel, and the silliness of YouTube buzz — and that’s all in the first three minutes. READ FULL STORY
On Sunday, Sept. 30, tune in for a feud as old as time itself: Fox vs. ABC. That’s right, Popwatchers, it’s the start of another fall TV season, and with it comes the heartrending decision that cuts to our core: which shows to watch live?
As if having to choose between The X-Factor and The Voice wasn’t terrible enough, on Sundays from 8-10pm you’ll have to pick either Fox’s animated comedy block or ABC’s dramatic pairing of Once Upon a Time and Revenge. The Fox lineup boasts some entrenched heavyweights – The Simpsons, Family Guy, and American Dad – and an acclaimed young buck, Bob’s Burgers. ABC, in the other corner, features two welterweight dramas whose first seasons were among the network’s most popular in years.
Don’t forget your aprons, PopWatchers, because this battle royale is about to get messy.
Fox or ABC? Comedy or Drama? Animation or Live-Action? Cast your vote and make your voice heard.
Great teachers are all alike, in a sense — they’re mentors, role models, lifelong inspirations. Terrible teachers, on the other hand, are all awful in different ways. Some are drunken burnouts, while others are obnoxious frauds or sexually amorphous jerks who invite their personal BDSM slaves to perform lewd acts in front of their fourth graders. (Okay, that last one is probably limited to South Park).
Still, TV shows and movies are filled with characters who exemplify both poles. And in honor of back-to-school season, PopWatch wants to know who you think deserves to be at the head of the class — as well as who needs to have their teaching certification revoked, pronto.
The rules: These polls focus on teachers, so school administrators (sorry, Principal Belding), librarians (ditto, Rupert Giles), coaches (adios, Sue Sylvester), headmistresses (good riddance, Matilda‘s Trunchbull) and guidance counselors (you too, Mr. Russo from Freaks and Geeks) weren’t eligible for inclusion. Otherwise, though, it’s anyone’s game. Will you exalt Mr. Feeny and denounce Professor Umbridge, or celebrate Dead Poets Society English teacher Mr. Keating while pooh-poohing Ms. Halsey of Bad Teacher? The choice is yours and yours alone — but here are your options. Don’t worry; we made sure to show our work.
The Simpsons have never been afraid to bite the hand that feeds them — or the right-pointing hand of their brother network. As part of its 25th anniversary celebration on Sunday, Fox re-aired the long-running comedy’s pilot episode. The program’s credits included a cheeky card that read, “Congratulations FOX on 25 years… We still love you.*” The asterisk pointed to a caveat: “This doesn’t include Fox News.”
In that night’s new episode, Lisa Simpson also mused about why she loves Fox: “I like how the network is a daring liberal antidote to the right-wing network it gave birth to.”
All in good fun, right? Well, not according to Bill O’Reilly, who featured the show’s gentle gibes in his own program’s “Reality Check” segment last night. “How predictable,” he sniffed after airing the clip and calling the jokes “a cheap shot.” See O’Reilly’s segment, courtesy of Mediaite, below. READ FULL STORY
Downton Abbey faithful knew Lord Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, married the American Cora Levinson for her family’s money — and now we know just how much he got out of the deal. According to Forbes’ Fictional 15 — an annual list of the richest fictional characters — the Earl is worth an estimated $1.1 billion in today’s dollars. No wonder Lady Mary was so upset that she couldn’t inherit.
Robert is a newcomer to Forbes’ club, but he might not be there for long. In season three, the Crawley family encounters a bit of financial hardship and must appeal to Cora’s mother — played by Shirley MacLaine — for help.
Also joining the Earl is Game of Thrones villain Lord Tywin Lannister, who commands a fortune of $2.1 billion, and Lisbeth Salander, whose hacking skills earned her $2.4 billion.
Today is Earth Day, so you may be out planting a tree or cleaning up a park this afternoon, or just admiring the flowers. But after you get back in from your gardening or recycling, there’s plenty of pop-culture and entertainment activities in store for the week ahead, from a Dancing With the Stars special to a Queen-themed Idol; the President hitting up late night to a fun rom-com opening in theaters to start your weekend.
Have a great week!
FOX’s 25th Anniversary Special – FOX, 8 p.m.
There’s still time to catch some green programming today — well, blue, if you count Marge’s hair — on the FOX’s 25th Anniversary Special. The show traces a quarter-century of programming on the network and features interviews with some favorite FOX casts, including That ’70s Show, Married with Children, Beverly Hills, 90210, and Ally McBeal. READ FULL STORY
Though it actually launched on Oct. 9, 1986, Fox is celebrating its 25th anniversary this weekend with a primetime extravaganza featuring such stars of yesteryear as Calista Flockhart, Gabrielle Carteris, Ian Ziering, and David Faustino. Before tomorrow night’s broadcast, we thought it appropriate to take a look back at how the network has changed the pop culture landscape in the last quarter century. READ FULL STORY
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