Friday, July 27, 2007

Top 6 Friday: Simpson's Movie References

Whatever the verdict on ‘The Simpsons Movie’, the series' consistently smart tributes, spoofs of and ridiculing of an endless number of movies has become a calling card for the show and one of the many sources of humour utilised.

6. In the episode ‘Bart the Murderer’, Bart begins working for the ‘Legitimate Businessmen’s Social Club’, the crime syndicate run by Fat Tony and his crew, Legs, Louie and Joey. The basis for the episode is of course ‘Goodfellas’ and on the whole is ‘supoib’. Quote: (Chief Wiggum): ‘Fat Tony is a cancer on this fair city, and I am the ...uh...what cures cancer?’

5. More Martin Scorsese pops up in the excellent ‘Cape Fear’ episode which essentially condenses the Robert DeNiro thriller into a half hour spoof as Bart and his family are pursued to ‘Terror Lake’ by arch-villain Side Show Bob. Some of the best slapstick I seen in the series is Sideshow Bob being ramped in the face by an unfortunately arranged set of rakes. Quote: (Bart) ‘But who’d want to hurt me? I’m this century’s Dennis the Menace!’

4. In the episode ‘Lady Bouvier’s Lover’, Grandpa Simpson interrupts the nuptials of Jacqueline Bouvier (Marge’s Mom) in a scene directly taken from ‘The Graduate’, where Dustin Hoffman races to the church to stop the wedding of his mistress' daughter whom he has fallen in love with, and so too the Simpsons episode finishes on the same bittersweet note, a bus journey arriving at reality all too quickly.

3. A Halloween episode must of course be mentioned and no horror movie of any repute has not been riled for the annual ‘Treehouse of Terror’. My personal favourite is the spoof of ‘The Shining’, the aborted car journeys in the opening minutes of the segment are hilarious enough before the outstanding resolution to Homer’s rampage courtesy of a mini-TV.

2. There are countless episodes spoofing Hitchcock, Homers outline being used to spoof the Alfred Hitchcock Hour at the beginning of a Tree House episode, the spoof of the ‘Psycho’ shower scene as Homer lies on the garage floor with red paint pouring down a drain, Homer stepping through a nursery full of soother sucking babies, spoofing the end of ‘The Birds’ as Hitchcock himself makes a cameo walking a dog outside and the outstanding episode where Bart becomes convinced Flanders has murdered his wife, as he is confined to his room with a broken arm as Jimmy Stewart was in Rear Window.

1. An oft-spoofed scene, the famous ending to ‘Planet of the Apes’, has never been done better than Homer’s realisation of the true meaning of the ending at a press conference in ‘Deep Space Homer’. Charlton Heston has got nothing on his earnest dismay.


Simon said...

"Get your paws off me you dirty ape." "he can talk" "he can talk "he can talk", "I can sing"
"Oh help me Dr Suess"
"Dr Suess Dr Suess Dr Suess oh Dr Suess"
"can you play the piano anymore"
"Of course you can"
"Well I couldn't before"

Eamonn said...

Nice list. I'd probably have Cape Fear at number 1. Possibly the finest 23 minutes ever committed to television.

I'd also have the first of my honourable mentions in my top 6 but there are so many fine examples to choose from.

Honourable mentions:
- Indiana Jones in "Bart's friend falls in love" (Absolutely brilliant)
- 2001 A Space Odyssey (on several occassions)
- James Bond in the "You only move twice" (the episode with Hank Scorpio)
- Alien in "Sweet Seymour Skinner's Badassss Song" (Willie and Santa's Little Helper in the vent)
- Citizen Kane in the episode "Rosebud"
- Spiderman in "Simple Simpson" (Pie man)