Simpsons Sunday – Celebrating The Life Of A Rabbi

Hello and welcome to another Simpsons Sunday post in my blog. Last week was the premier of Season 26 and it didn’t disappoint. All though it should have been easy to figure out which character would die. Okay, if you have watched the episode you know that Rabbi Hyman Krustofsky was the character who was killed off. Before I talk about my opinions on why he has died I will give a brief overview of 2 of his key appearances as the character.

The first time was in Season 3’s episode Like Father, Like Clown, in which Krusty tells the Simpson family and Milhouse about him and why they had been estranged for 25 years. After several unsuccessful attempts by Bart and Lisa to bring Father and Son together Lisa handed Bart a quote from Yes I Can by Sammy Davis Jr. This made the rabbi consider everything that he had believed and this included his disapproval of his son wanting to be an entertainer. They reunite and sang a song that Krusty had learned from his Father. For more here is the link on Simpsons Wiki about him http://simpsons.wikia.com/wiki/Rabbi_Hyman_Krustofsky

His final appearance as an alive character waas of course, on Clown In The Dumps, when Krusty had been roasted and he was not too happy about it. He had come to his Father to find out if he thought Krusty was funny and he liked his jokes. Actually, he liked his jokes that he used from Rabbi Rudinstein, who Hyman Krustofsky was a fan of and thought was funny. I won’t give it away for those who hadn’t watched it yet but he died during a sentence, finally telling Krusty the truth about whether or not he thought Krusty was funny. He later concludes with Barts help that his Father probably liked his jokes but Bart tries to point out that he may not have liked how he delivered them. As I said above, Rabbi Hyman Krustofsky was a fan of Rabbi Rudinstein and Krusty had used his lines as his jokes. So, he concludes that his Father liked his jokes.

You can download Clown In The Dumps on iTunes, as part of Season 26. That is how I know about what had happened. I had also read the script for the episode and about it on the internet, in order to prepare me for the episode when I had a chance to download it over a wifi network. I will make my own observations on the episode in a bit.

Before I do, I would like to say something about the talk on the internet and the misinformation that had been leaked out or strongly speculated by others, inside and outside The Simpsons writing and production staff and cast. We had been warned that there would be misinformation put out in order to try and trick people into watching. This was last October, when a character death was announced. This was just after The Simpsons were picked up for their 26th season. I was going to say Who I thought was going to die in last weeks blog entry but I decided against it. This is because I have too much respect for everyone who is a part of the cast and crew and I genuinely like everyone. This is despite that I have never met any of them to this point. All though I follow as many of them on Twitter as I can and have received a mention and a favorite or two, from people who are currently and formerly a part of the cast and crew.

Now, I must be honest and tell you that I had figured it out soon after the announcement, by reading and researching all potential characters and of course, Mrs. Krabappel was a possibility in my mind, until Marcia Wallace died. Then it hit me that it could be Rabbi Hyman Krustofsky for several reasons.
1. The actor who voiced him was Jackie Mason, Who is equally infamous for allegedly giving the finger to Ed Sullivan. He has been on the scene for many many years and he is in his 80s now. It is also worth noting that Rabbi Hyman Krustofsky is said to be aged 74. Jackie Mason voiced him when he was 60 years old and of course, he won an Emmy for voicing him in the Season 3 episode Like Father, Like Clown. I have made mention of it being one of my favourites and one of the many episodes I watched on Youtube after I turned 40.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Dan Castellaneta has also voiced the good Rabbi on occasion too. See the link above for more.

2. With a secondary character you can only go so far with them. Remember that Ned Flanders’s first wife Maud was killed off, partly for her voice actor Maggie Roz well leaving the show for a time. Another reason is that the character couldn’t be further developed.
3. Age also has something to do with my prediction and, as I said earlier both the good Rabbi and his main voice actor are past the age of 70. When you compare Jackie Mason’s voice on Like father, Like Clown to Clown In The Dumps it is much different. On the latter episode his voice is much more like Krusty and is noticeably weaker with age. It makes me sad to hear it but it is also nice to know what he sounds like now. The last time I had heard him was on a 2005 episode of The Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy Radio series, as the East River Creature in Ford Prefect’s dream, while on a spaceship bound for Earth, looking for his friend Arthur Dent. If you know all 5 books by Douglas Adams in this series and the subsequent Radio series on BBC radio for, you probably know what I’m talking about.

This also pointed to jewish Heaven, with Krusty and Rabbi Hyman Krustofsky singing a song together. I figured it would be some sort of a dream sequence and a touching moment, both for the Father Son seen and for how Jackie Mason’s voice sounds, while singing it.

Speaking of Krusty, he is the one Who was rumored to be killed off. I wasn’t so sure because of everything I’ve said above. I grant that he has had a lot of health problems including a heart attack live on the air and now has a pacemaker because of it. He has also had other organ problems and has had that lifelong addiction to cigarettes, Percodan and alcohol. That may be why he has been singled out by most people, to be the one taking the big dirt nap by the end of the episode. If you really dig deep into the health of the characters there are others who have also had issues and have survived despite them. Take a look at Homer, for example. Need I say more?
Everything else about this episode is just as funny, including Lisa trying to protect Homer from getting hurt and eventually wrapping him in bubblewrap. I think it was hilarious when Otto ran Homer over, popping the bubblewrap. I must admit that I love it too and especially trying to pop it after opening a package wrapped in it.

As for the couch gag, it sounds interesting and I like the vocal affects. Obviously being blind I can’t speak to the visual aspects but it does sound kinda cool to hear Homer saying “d’oh” in a lower vocal register and sounding like a robot. It reminds me of one of those song remixes from the 1980s!

I also like the Rodney Dangerfield voice with Krusty in jewish heaven. It didn’t sound exactly like him but at least he tried. I appreciate the writers on The Simpsons trying to work in celebrities of all types, either as guest stars or as cameos. Yes, even dead celebrities are fine by me.

This episode may not be a classic right now but in a few years it will be. That is also why I put it as a potential number nine on my top 10 season premieres throughout the run of the series so far, in my entry a couple weeks ago. The episode is also one of the turning point episodes and I will be doing something on such episodes at some point down the road. I have to put together a list of all the episodes which have either character changes or something else which has moved the series forward. For more on the episode check this link out. http://tstoaddicts.com/2014/09/29/episode-recap-clown-in-the-dumps/

On another note altogether, the star of the TV show Last Man Standing, actor and comedian Tim Allen is now a licensed ham radio operator. He managed to obtain his technician license on September fourth and his call sign is KK6OTD. I got my ticket on September 18th 2009! I mention it because The Simpsons has also used Ham Radio as a plot device in several episodes and I have an entry dedicated to this which I published last April. Congratulations to Tim and I hope he enjoys the hobby and we could work each other. Hopefully we can see some names associated with The Simpsons in the future, besides former show runner David Mirkin, who’s call sign was WA3QIZ. I say was, because his license has lapsed in 1998. This call was used by Principal Skinner during Season 17 and is actually used in real life, by a DX Club in The States. Check past entries for it if you like.

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.
http://simpsonsmusic500.wordpress.com/author/simpsonsmusic500/
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
http://www.marchesvous.com
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 blindgordie@gmail.com 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.

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