Hello and welcome to another Simpsons Sunday post. For those of you who read my blog entry for yesterday, I was talking about the new iOS 8 and how it affects me and the use of both my iPhone and my iPod touch. One thing I forgot to mention was that I am glad that all the same voices are still intact when I use voice over. Although, I was hoping for more of them but they are there for use with Siri. I jokingly refer to the female voices as my girlfriends. Yes, I’m a little strange but is that partly why you read my blog? 🙂
Anyway, I have decided since the premier of Season 26 is 1 week away, to make my own top 10 list of the best season openers in the history of the series. I will try not to limit the list to the first 10 years of the show because there are so many interesting: plots, New characters and turning points that occur during the series’s continuing run that you just can’t overlook them. However, I will not include any of the Treehouse Of Horrors or Who Shot Mr. Burns Pt 2 in this list because:
1. The Treehouse Of Horrors are anual Halloween specials:
2. The Who Shot Mr. Burns Pt 1 and 2 stands on their own, as the only 2 part episode in the history of the series, so far. They also of course, end and start Season 6 and Season 7, respectively. Although it is tempting because John Walsh host of America’s Most Wanted, did A profile of the plot of Who Shot Mr. Burns PT 1 as if it was a real crime profile on America’s most wanted.
One more thing before I get into the list, I would have loved to have put Season 8’s You Only Move Twice on the list. It is one of the most loved episodes in the first 10 seasons because of the one time character Hank Scorpio, voiced by Albert Brooks. He has to be one of the coolest bosses anyone could work for. On the other hand, he is also a super villain. As a Canadian, I love that one of Bart’s class mates at his new school is from Canada and his name is Gordy. Cool huh? Unfortunately, it isn’t a season opener.
So without further ado, here is my top 10 season premieres of The Simppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppsons and I do bend my own rule in this list. Keep a lookout for it.
10. The Mook, The Chef, The Wife And Her Homer makes the No. 10 slot because we meet Fat Toney’s son Michael and it also features Metallica as guest stars in this episode.
9. I’m going to put Clown In The Dumps on this list because it has one of the most anticipated happenings in the plot in that a character will die. It hasn’t aired yet but the talk on the internet and other media makes this yet to be aired episode already a top ten potential favourite. As for which character will die, I will not speak about it until next week. However I will say that I think it may not be as obvious as what has come out on the internet and social media. I will leave that until next week.
8. The Falcon And The D’ohman is another good episode opening Season 23. This is mainly because it gives the fans the answer as to whether Ned Flanders and Edna Krabappel have remained a couple after Season 22’s finale The Ned-liest Catch, when they meat and become a couple. Of course, they remain this way until Marcia Wallace’s death on October 25th 2013 and Edna Krabappel is retired in her memory.
Okay, you can say that the two episodes are in the same vain as Who Shot Mr. Burns in that they end and begin Season 22 and 23 respectively. However, the difference here is that the fans decided whether Ned and Edna should stay together. Who Shot Mr. Burns was probably decided before the end of Season 6 and there was a contest to find out who would guess who shot him. Anyway, Season 23’s premier makes it on the list and that’s final.
7. Lard Of The Dance is another standout episode which opens Season 10. We meet Allex Whitney, who is voiced by Lisa Kudrow from the TV show Friends, at the time. I think it’s a hoot that Alex tried to get Principal Skinner to organize a school dance in an elementary school and she realizes that everybody isn’t dancing with each other. The fact that she acts and talks like someone twice her age is also hilarious.
Meanwhile, Homer and Bart go into the Business of selling greece, thanks to Apu. Obviously it doesn’t last. Both stories together make it one of the best season openers in the first 10 seasons of the series.
6. The City Of New York VS. Homer Simpson is another episode which I like because it is one of the many, in which the family travel outside of Springfield. We also get to see how Homer reacts to such food as Khlav Kalash, drinking cans of crab juice to wash the taste out of his mouth and having to find a restroom,while waiting for the parking enforcement officer to show up. As well as trying to leave despite the boot on his car. Of course, he first tries to bight it off earlier in the episode before being informed to call the phone number on it. Let’s face it, he would eat anything no matter how nutritious or dangerous it is for him to eat.
We also see: Marge, Bart and Lisa take in the sights of New York City and a musical. They also take a ride on the subway and Bart pulls one of his crazy antics again, by claming to have no taste buds for fellow passengers. He would do anything to draw attention to himself and that’s the way we likes it.
I think the two contrasting stories make this episode one of the best season openers and Frank Sinatra’s signature song New York New York at the end of the episode makes a lot of sense and is a nice touch. I don’t know if he was a fan of The Simpsons but I think it is cool that he or someone in his Entourage allowed the song to be heard at the end of the episode.
5. Homers Barbershop Quartet is another good season opener. It flashes back to 1985 when rock music was becoming stale and there needed to be something new to shake things up. This is when Homer formed The Be Sharps with: Principal Skinner, Apu and originally Cheif Wiggum. Their manager Nigel ask the band to replace chief Wiggum because he was “too village people. “Of course, they found Barney singing in an Irish tenner voice and he was the new member. They won a Grammy for the song Baby On Board and then things fell apart.
I like that the writers referenced The Beatles in this episode and that George Harrison guest starred as himself. He wasn’t my favourite Beatle but he did influence me to try and play slide guitar when I was learning to play back in the late 1980s.
Another thing I like about this episode is that when auditions were held to replace chief Wiggum, grandpa Simpson and Groundskeeper Willie were two of the three auditions that made me laugh the most. Grandpa did a parody of old McDonald had a farm and groundskeeper Willie did his own rendition of the 1960s hit by Petula Clark Downtown. Jasper’s rendition of A Summer Place was funny but not as much as the other two failed auditions. Oh, I shouldn’t forget Chief Wiggum’s failed attempt by singing If I Could Walk With The Animals in disguise. Ha ha, nice try chief. Over all, this episode is one of the ones that should have been put on an iTunes collection or something because Season 5 isn’t on iTunes yet, at least in Canada that I know of right now.
4. Camp Krusty is great because we get to see Bart and Lisa looking forward to going away to summer camp. Well, they go and it is a living hell for everyone because of the absence of Krusty The Clown and the bullies of Springfield Elementary School: Jimbo, Dolph and Kearney — serving as camp counselors. Eventually, Bart sparks a riot after the kids are told by Mr. Black, the evil Director of the camp that Krusty is paying them a visit but it is actually Barney, disguised as him.
Eventually, Krusty gets wind of this and shows up to appease Bart and the other kids and he promises to give them the time of their life, in Tijuana.
Once again, it is not on iTunes yet and it should be, either on a collection or as a part of Season 4. This is most certainly one of the greatest episodes in the golden period of The Simpsons.
3. Stark Raving Dad is number 3 on this list because it combines warmth with absurdity. First of all: Homer is put into a mental institution and he is bunked with someone who sounds like and says he is Michael Jackson. He eventually convinces his new friend to come to the Simpsons home and Bart tells his friends that Michael Jackson is here. Word spreads throughout the town and when everybody sees a large white man instead of Michael the crowd disperses. Meanwhile. Lisa’s birthday is forgotten and Michael convinces BART to write her a song. Eventually it comes together and Bart plays the song for Lisa with Michael the next morning at 6:00 AM. She says “that is the best present ever” and hugs Bart. Then Leon Kompowsky starts talking in his normal voice and admits that he is a brick layer from Paterson NJ. He was an angry young man until he started talking like Michael Jackson and everyone is grateful for him helping both Homer and Bart. He leaves and the episode ends with Lisa’s birthday song playing.
I am not the biggest fan of Michael Jackson but I do like some of his songs that rock a bit. I do like the song that Bart wrote for Lisa at the end of the episode and it does choke me up a bit every time I hear it. That is partly why it is where I put it in the top ten.
okay, you may have noticed that the: Season 5, 4 and 3 premiers are in the top: 5, 4 and 3 positions respectively. I may be thought of as lazy for including them in this order but take a look at numbers 2 and one and you will see why Seasons 5 through 1 are at their respective positions.
2. Bart Gets An F is at number 2 because it shows that: while Bart may be the mischievous school hating bratty boy, he does occasionally make an honest effort to try and pass his tests in school.
We also see that Mrs. Krabappel does show that she has a heart and comforts Bart when he breaks down and cries after failing his exam, initially. However, she does barely pass him thanks to an obscure reference he makes while crying.
Another important thing to note about this episode is that we are introduced to mayor Joe Quimby, when he declares the day Barts blizzard a snow day. Of course we see more of him as the series has progressed.
1. Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire is the series premier and of course, the premier of Season 1. Plus, it is a Christmas special and there are a few of those in the history of The Simpsons.
We learn that the characters have changed somewhat from The Tracy Ullman shorts. Bart isn’t just the bratty brother, terrorizing Lisa and Lisa isn’t the female Bart like she was during this period.
Bart does show some compassion for Homer, when he finds out that his job as a mall Santa only gives him a pay of $13, when he says in a sad tone of voice “ohh! – Come on, Dad. Let’s go home.” When either Aunt Patty is trashing Homer Lisa gives one of her more intellectual speeches which confuses Patty.
We also are introduced to: Barney, Mr. Burns, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Milhouse, Patty and Selma and Moe the bartender.
It is at the top for the fact that all the new characters and changes we see evolve in the show over time are so up front in this episode. All though Homer’s voice stil sounds like Walter Matthau and the mechanics of the voice we now know as Homer still had yet to be worked out. However, that voice in it and the first 13 episodes worked at the time. If the Walter Matthow sound was stil there past Season 2 it probably wouldn’t have worked and the writers would have a harder time developing Homer’s character, without the change in voice that Dan Castellaneta made and knew needed to be made, in order to convay more emotions.
I must confess that I haven’t necessarily watched all 10 episodes listed here and of course, Clown In The Dumps hasn’t aired yet. I based where I put them on whether they were not just funny to me but also a turning point in the series. That is why I put The Falcon And The D’ohman at no. 8 and Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire at No. 1. You can also say that Bart Get’s An F is another turning point early in the series, as a season premier as well. It shows us that Bart can at times make an honest effort to do good in school and Mrs. Krabappel isn’t always uncaring about her job and her students. She actually did something nice for Bart and obviously, he appreciated it by kissing her and after realizing what he had done he spit it out.
I’m sure if Lisa The Vegetarian was a season opener it would have made the list because of it being a turning point in the series. Hmmm, maybe I will do something more on episodes which are turning points some time.
Speaking of Season 7, Who Shot Mr. Burns Pt 2 was first aired 19 years ago last Wednesday. I have that episode on my iPhone and iPod Touch but not the first part. It is available on a collection with 20 episodes featuring 1 from the first 20 seasons of The Simpsons on iTunes, called The Simpson’s 20th Anniversary Collection. There are a number of others on iTunes but this has most of my new and old favourites and some of them are listed here.
As usual to end each Simpsons Sunday post, I recommend checking out Chris Ladesma’s blog. He is the Music Editor for The Simpsons and has been since day 1.
I also recommend checking out Yeardley Smith’s blog at http://gobbingoff.tumblr.com
I should also mention Marchez Vous, which is her women’s shoe designer company, which she started earlier in the decade. You can check out their website at
For some strange reason everyone I know hasn’t heard of them yet. Hopefully I can change that.
You can also comment here or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will reply as soon as I can to all messages I receive. I would much prefer getting an email so I can reply directly to you, but that’s just me.
One final thing to mention is that you can follow Simpsons Executive Producer Al Jean on Twitter and his Twitter handle is @AlJean.
He has ran the show since Season 13 and has ran it during Seasons 3 and 4.
Anyway, that is it for this weeks post. Talk to you again on Weather Wednesday.