FXX (who has been getting a lot of free advertising lately) has been running a Simpsons marathon—all 552 episodes (and counting). An absurd event which, of course, I highly approve of. I can’t say I’m a rabid Simpsons fan, although I do enjoy the series overall. I am a big fan of the absurd, though. We’re a little over halfway through the marathon and I thought I would share with you twenty nuggets of knowledge I’ve learned along the way. (Or maybe have dreamed.)
- Mr. Burns was never shot. It was all staged in order to distract from the stealing-the-sun plot. Yes, the baby was in on it.
- One out of every ten chalkboard gags contains either an obvious typo or grammar mistake.
- The alien language used in Futurama first appeared on The Simpsons. Look at the alphabet chart in Lisa’s classroom.
- Over the course of the series, Homer is seen reading a total of 93 books. There is only one visible bookshelf in the Simpson household. It’s Lisa’s and is much too small to hold that many books. At least five times, a book has ended up in the fireplace. Three times in the trash.
- While Krusty is supposed to be of Jewish ancestry, his actual last name, Krustofski, is a common Catholic surname in Poland.
- Sideshow Mel is Sideshow Bob’s third cousin. There is a genealogy chart showing this which briefly appears in Sideshow Bob’s prison cell. It is suspected that Sideshow Mel is not aware of the relation.
- Moe, the bartender, is colorblind.
- Maude Flanders had a crippling shoe fetish. This is one of seven reasons why her character was killed off.
- Maggie Simpson has fewer spoken lines than Santa’s Little Helper (the dog), yet is paid twice as much.
- Cletus (the slack-jawed yokel) was based on George W. Bush from when he was a managing general partner for the Texas Rangers baseball franchise.
- Tim Burton, a longtime associate of Danny Elfman, was to guest-direct an episode. The project was cancelled when the producers realized that was a really, really, really, really dumb idea. Tim Burton should never work with someone else’s creation.
- The Simpsons theme music is the most popular marching band tune in America and Japan not composed by John Philip Sousa. In Russia, it tops Sousa.
- Hans Moleman is based on L. Ron Hubbard.
- As of 1990, Simpsons trivia competitions are more popular than Star Trek trivia competition.
- Milhouse’s appearance and personality were based on the appearance and personality of Richard Milhouse Nixon as a child.
- Matt Groening has said that hidden behind every plot is the possibility of a nefarious CIA experiment.
- Judging from climate conditions, racial and economic demographics, and architecture, the “real” Springfield is situated in Luxembourg.
- There are no limes in Springfield.
- The term “beer goggles” was first coined on The Simpsons, although its meaning was more literal, i.e., a pair of goggles made using beer bottles.
- Marge Simpson’s hair is said to weigh nearly 50 lbs. Aside from the hair itself, one must include the added weight of conditioner, blue hair dye, and raven eggs.
There you go. If you don’t believe me, watch the shows yourself.
I dare you.
Bonus fact: The National Egg Council is everywhere. Everywhere.
Meanwhile, in the real world, I’m keeping busy as ever with books, journals, and art.
Bills gots to be paid and all, right?