Monthly Archives: June 2015

The Simpsons Canadian Connections, Revisited

Hi folks and welcome to another Simpsons Sunday. Before I get into the meat of this weeks post, I would like to wish my fellow Canadians a Happy Canada Day this coming Wednesday. As well as our friends to the south a Happy July 4th on Saturday.
This week I am going to revisit talking about the Canadian content in the show, as best I can. In fact it will be further expanded from last years post 366 days earlier on this topic.

If you have done your homework on the important people involved with the show, you know that Matt Groening has some Canadian background dew to his Father Homer, being born in Main Centre Saskatchewan. Some of the writers are also from Canada such as: Joel H. Coaen (born in Calgary Alberta) and Tim Long (born in Brandon Manitoba). Oh, let’s not forget Phill Hartman who voiced: Troy McClure, Lionel Hutz and Lyle Lanley was even born in Canada in the city of Brantford Ontario.
As for others who are from Canada, Dave Thomas voiced Rex Banner in the episode Homer VS. The Eighteenth Amendment. He was born in St Catharines Ontario and he is most famous for his character of Doug McKenzie in the Canadian comedy duo Bob and Doug McKenzie with Rick Moranis. His real brother is singer and song writer Ian Thomas who has also done well for himself and is still active in the music business.
More recently, Seth Rogan, who was born in Vancouver British Columbia guest starred in the season 21 premier episode Homer The Whopper as Lyle McCarthy, who is a celebrity fitness trainer. He co-wrote the episode with his friend and writing partner Evan Goldberg, who also wrote the movie Superbad together.

Let us not forget about The longtime host of the game show Jeopardy. The question is who is Alex Trebek? He was born in Sudbury Ontario. He guest starred in the episode Miracle On Evergreen Terrace, which was the Christmas episode in Season 9. Also, British born Toronto native Kiefer Sutherland guest starred in the season 23 episode the Falcon And The D’Ohman,as a security guard named Wayne. Homer befriends him after some difficulty and Wayne becomes a hero, after stopping a robbery and saving homers life.
As for characters, there are Canadian versions of: Flanders, Nelson and Milhouse, along with other background characters. For example: Gordy, one of the students in Barts new school in his class is from somewhere in Canada. He appears in the episode You Only Move Twice in Season 8 and is voiced by Nancy Cartwright. Grandpa Abraham Simpson may also possibly be Canadian, if you follow his backstory. I wonder if he is? Hmmm, maybe Homer is part Canadian if Abe is!
The show has even taken the characters to parts of Canada in certain episodes. For example: Bart and Milhouse have traveled to Toronto in the episode The Bart Wants What It Wants. I think it is really cool that Toronto was used because I live there and was born there. Even Take Off by Bob And Doug McKenzie is featured in the episode. Even what was formerly known as Sky Dome, now Rogers Centre is also featured. If you are a baseball fan, this is where the Toronto Blue Jays play and where most summer out door concerts have been held, since it opened in June 1989.
For more on the episode check this link out.
http://simpsons.wikia.com/wiki/The_Bart_Wants_What_It_Wants.

Okay, we have someone in the cast and crew, who is almost Canadian. Current Show Runner Al Jean, who was born in Detroit Michigan. Hay, it’s just across the river from Windsor Ontario! Right? I know, I’m stretching it but I just had to throw that in there. If I had my way he would be an honorary Canadian, if he likes.

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.
You can also follow most of the voice actors on Twitter too. Harry Shearer is probably the most active with other things outside The Simpsons that he is involved with.
Anyway, that is it for this weeks post. Talk to you again on another Weather Wednesday.

nocturnal Severe Weather Outbreaks

Hi folks and welcome to another Weather Wednesday. Well, on Monday night we had a nocturnal severe weather outbreak here in Southern Ontario and it had its pros and it’s cons.

On the plus side I love it because I like these outbreaks in general, dew to all the watches and warnings being issued throughout a large area. On the other hand this one kept me up all night, with both the weather and my Weather Radio going crazy, with countless warnings being issued and it was almost nonstop. It was so bad that I had to call off an appointed visit with a friend who drives the bus because of the outbreak.

However, on another plus it did give me a chance to work with one of the weather apps I had on my iPhone for a while now but never really fully explored. I now know not to allow it to sound the alarm on my iPhone for all warnings and watches because it will just go nuts. However, I do get to listen to NOAA Weather Radio using the app and well, I certainly enjoy that.

Speaking of weather apps, I have been playing with the iPhone’s weather app and others and I find them all to be helpfull to me in many aspects. My new app Weather Office Free is a great help to me because it gives me a look at the public forecasts for both Environment Canada and NWS, as well as the watches, warnings and hazardous weather outlook’s. I hope that there will be an alert option added to it, where you can have push notifications for alerts that you set, going to the iPhone or whatever device uses the app. Well, there is a version that you pay for but I’m not sure if it has this option. However, I will hopefully find out soon.

Well, that’s about all I have for today. I had to try and catch up on sleep because of the severe weather outbreak on Monday night and that is why this entry is a bit late today. Talk to you on Simpsons Sunday.

The Simpsons And My Favourite Radio Station

Hi all and welcome to another Simpsons Sunday. This week it is all about 97.7 HTZFM and The Simpsons. Why? Because they are my favourite radio station and they have included some Simpsons clips in their station ident’s and introductions.

A year before The Simpsons came on the Tracey Ulman Sho as shorts, a town in Ontario called St Catharines and the Niagara Region was about to be rocked by a powerhouse radio station, with the call letters CHTZ. I remember when the station was in its early days and I started listening to it in 1988. It was on a January Saturday night and before they came along, I had Q107 to fill my need for rock in Toronto. Now, 97.7 comes along and it took some time but I eventually became sick of Q107 and switched over to 97.7 completely. All though, I would listen to both, to see who was playing the next new rock band. You can guess which station it was!

As for The Simpsons, HTZ has played clips from such episodes as: boy-Scoutz ‘n The Hood, Krusty Gets Canceled and clips from Homer about Beer. Oh, the late morning show host Iron Mike Bensson would play It Was A Very Good Beer from the episode Duffless and the CD Songs In The Key Of Springfield from time to time, in his box of tricks.

If you are a Simpsons fan and you like hard rock and heavy metal, along with classic rock, I suggest that you check out 97.7 HTZFM, either on your regular radio or on line, depending on where you live. I’ve been to the radio station as a winner of prises and also, as a friend of the station and of course, listener many times. I also suggest you check out their website, Twitter and Facebook pages too. Here is the link to their website. http://www.htzfm.com. The radio station is also turning 29 years old on the 26th and I can’t wait untill the 30th anniversary comes up. Maybe The Simpsons will come to Canada? Maybe they will make a stop at The White House Of Rock? I’m just saying that it could be a possibility!

By the way, I’m not kiding about it being a white building the station is housed in and it is also haunted. Some of the ghosts have actually appeared on the air and even did things to the phones off the air. I’ve heard the former back about 10 years ago in the morning but I can’t remember exactly what was said.

Anyway, on the birthday front, happy 73rd birthday to Paul McCartney on June 18th. He guest starred in the episode Lisa The Vegetarian with his wife at the time Linda. This episode also reveals that Apu is a vegan. I like Paul’s work in The Beatles but not all of his solo and Wings material. I personally like the material up to about 1975, then that is where things kind of tail off for me. Yes, I like his harder rock stuff, compared to his softer and at times bouncy songs. For example: Silly Love Songs was one of those that would probably turn me off. All though I don’t really mind it much now because it is an important song in both his and Wings evolution. If that song didn’t exist I don’t know if there would have ever been any of his duets with either Michael Jackson or Stevie wonder in the 80s. However, I don’t think I will be downloading any of those songs or streaming them any time soon. i just like to listen to them once in a while.

Well that’s about it for this Sunday. In the mean time, 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.
Oh, I should also mention a great new band out of Hamilton Ontario who really rock, called Black Collar Union. You can follow them on Twitter @BCU_Music.

A Weather Wednesday

Hi all and welcome to another post on this Weather Wednesday. Well, last Wednesday was truely a “Weather Wednesday” here in Southern Ontario. We had a bit of a severe weather outbreak and a whole load of watches and warnings issued throughout the day.

It started normal enough: get up, shave and shower, tweet last weeks post, go to Tim Hortons for breakfast and to download some Simpsons episodes onto my iPod. Then about 2 hours after I got back home, the watches started to be issued.

The first watch was a tornado watch for most parts of Southern Ontario and that set the tone for what I would hear and read on Weatheradio Canada and in my email inbox respectively.

From about 10:00 A.M. to about 12:30 P.M. the first wave of watches and warnings came, after the initial tornado watch. Then around 4 PM the second wave of watches and warnings came and it didn’t disappoint me at all. There was even a tornado warning for area’s close to Toronto, which pronpted a “CONDITION RED” for CANWARN in Southern Ontario. There was also a severe thunderstorm warning for the city of Toronto and the storm itself was entertaining to listen to, while indoors. All though from what a friend told me, there may have been clear wholes in it, while he was driving home from work.

As for any tornados that may have been spawned from this outbreak, one was suspected to have touched down just north of Toronto, in the town of Keswick but none have been confirmed as yet. Anyway, it all ended around 9 or 10:00 P.M. or so, after I fell asleep.

I love these severe weather outbreaks because they are just so much fun to watch from inside. If I’m actually out in it at the time when it hits, that’s a completely different story altogether. Well, until next Weather Wednesday and the next severe weather outbreak, be safe.

Krusty The Cloun, Kids

Hi all and welcome to another Simpsons Sunday. This week I’m going to talk about a character that i dearly love and just love doing his voice. Krusty The Clown is one of my favourite characters for that reason alone.

In last weeks post I mentioned how I do the voice for people who are Simpsons fans and they say “hi Krusty.” I just love doing the raspy voice and the clean voiced laugh because it is so fun to do.

The character could and probably is a commentary on how big stars and in particular some commics are off the set and in real life. He is very unpleasant to his employees both on and off the set and doesn’t acknowledge Bart Simpson, unless he is prompted. In the episode Like Father, Like Clown he show’s this when he is told that on his itinerary that evening he has to go to Bart’s house for dinner. He says he doesn’t remember until the flash back to when he was released from jail, because of Bart, which made him say “oh yeah” then he ordered his assistant to “cancel it.”
Of course, he did eventually go, when he received a letter from Bart saying that he is returning his Krusty badge. This is also when we and the Simpson family learn about Krusty’s Father too.

Of course, Krusty has also endangered his fans by signing off on products in his name such as: cereal, soft drinks and even toys. Even his calculater didn’t have a 7 or an 8, according to Bart and he even got sick from eating one of Krusty’s foods that he signed off on, to make more money.

He may be a generally a grouchy clown with a gambling problem and other health problems to boot, but as a character he is great for the show. He gives Bart someone he can look up to and it provides a diversion for him, from his otherwise mischievous ways. Even when Krusty cries it is funny to hear but I like hearing him laugh and saying his catch fraise “hay hay kids” the best. On the birthday front, happy birthday to Simpsons writer Greg Daniels who turned 52 on Saturday June 13th. He was a part of the writing staff for Seasons 5 and 6. He wrote three of my favourite episodes: Homer And Apu, Secrets Of A Successful Marriage and the Season 7 episode Bart Cells His Soul. He went on to work with Mike Judge on King Of The Hill and later, on The Office and Parks And Recreation.
Also, happy 84th birthday to Jackie Mason, who celebrated on June 9. Of course, he won an Emmy award for voicing Krusty The Clown’s Father Himan Krustovsky,on the episode Like Father Like Clown in 1992. He last voiced the character, when he was killed off in the Season 26 premier episode Clown In The Dumps. The voice may have been more gravelly but the character was still funny, even to his last word, ‘aeh.” Also in the episode, both Hyman and Krusty sang a parity of the classic Irving Berlin song cheek to cheek, all though I’m not sure what it was entitled for this episode. However, it comes after Krusty was in jewish Heaven and he told his son to “help people.”

This was also of course, after he may have accidentally gave at Sullivan the finger, when he appeared on the ed Sullivan Show in the 60s. In 2004 he also voiced the East River Creature on the BBC Radio 4 adaptation of The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy. I wonder if any of the actors will possibly guest star in future Simpsons episodes! There are many who could either play visiting children or adult characters to Springfield! Just listen to all the episodes of the radio series and you will hear what I mean. Could you imagine A character voiced by Jonathan Pryce challenging Mr. Burns? I think his many years of playing a villain would be a lot of fun, if he guest starred on The Simpsons and challenged the equally villainous Charles Montgomery Burns. There are many other voices in the series that could play potential guest starring rolls but I’ll leave that up to you to listen for the similarities to some of the actors who voice characters on The Simpsons. It’s a shame that we lost Richard Griffiths… He would’ve been a great replacement for Harry Shearer to voice Mr. Burns. Don’t you think? After all, he did voiced Slartibardfast in the radio adaptation of Life, The Universe And Everything. This character to, is also elderly and still has a lot of ginger in him, like Mr. Burns has. However, he isn’t evil like him. Anyway, I digress.

Well, that is about it for this week. In the mean time, 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.
Additionally, for more news on The Simpsons, you can go to http://news.simpsonswiki.com/
It is new so, give it time to grow.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.

Even Weatheradio Canada Has It’s Issues

Hi all and welcome to another Weather Wednesday. Sorry I didn’t have anything for last week, on account of my birthday on Tuesday June 2nd. I also couldn’t think of anything to write about, until now.

Since the last Weather Wednesday on May 27th Toronto Weatheradio Canada station XMJ225 had some reception issues. I only noticed it because I have not only a WX radio or a few, but also I have a Sony diskman. This actually has not only the conventional a.m. and FM radio but also has VHF TV channels and the 7 Weather Radio frequencies in chronological order. Basically what I mean is that the first three frequencies: channel 1 162.550, channel 2 162.400 and Channel 3 162.475 MHz are the first 3 frequencies in order of their being used for NOAA Weather Radio and later Weatheradio Canada. The main thing I listened for was the reception, which stinks on that type of receiver. When I heard nothing but static I knew something was wrong.

I listened for a couple of days before sending out emails and it took a few days but some maintenance was done on the transmitter from June 1 to June 4.

On June 4 is when it all came to ahead. Toronto XMJ225 had finally went off the air completely at around 7:30 A.M. and I found out what I had suspected for a while, that it was a problem with the antenna. Repairs were made and it is now back to full strength and I can hear it again, even on my crappy Discman. 🙂

Now, I just need to test it out by going out of town with any of my receivers and listening to how loud it is, compared to other WXR’s around me and as I go through another city or town. I’m looking forward to possibly doing that this summer and making my observations known, if I feel the need to do so.

Well, that is about it for this weeks post. Talk to you again.

The Simpsons In My Life

Hi allll and welcome to another Simpsons Sunday post. This week it is 2 years since The Simpsons have taken over my life and personality. Of course, they are welcomed in with open arms and always invited.

To review for those of you who have just recently met me, through Twitter, Facebook or other means, I have always liked The Simpsons but never really had a way to sink my teeth into the show, until Wikipedia came along and my iPhone came into my life. I soon discovered that most of my favourite bands had some connection with the show, either as a guest star or even working with members of the cast and crew outside the show. A prime example of the latter is the late Jonathan Winters worked with the voice of Bart Simpson Nancy Cartwright when she was younger. Also, Daws Butler actually trained her in voice acting. He voiced many many rolls himself in cartoons such as the Jetsons and the Flintstones. He also worked many years with Stan Freeburg on some of his comedy albums. Remember the dragnet parities? Stan Freeburg voiced Joe Friday and his partner was voiced by Dawes Butler. Remember the Christmas dragnet, the Dragon Net Dragnet and the Little Red Ridinghood Dragnet singles?

Another example of famous people who would work with the future cast of The Simpsons is Harry Shearer, who worked with Jack Benny when he was 7. He and many others said that contrary to his on air personality Jack was quite a gentle man. Another man who helped Harry at that time was Mel Blanc. Okay, if you have watched The Flintstones and all the bugs Bunny cartoons you know by now that he was the voice for many of the characters including: Barney rubble, Bugs Bunny himself, porky pig, Yosemite Sam, Tweety Bird and Sylvester the cat, among many other voices.

Last year I mentioned that I was looking for interviews with people from that era on Youtube and just happened to find an episode of Inside The Actors Studio with The Simpsons cast as the feature for that episode. I first heard Julie Kavner, Dan Castellaneta, Hank Azaria and even the name and voice of current Show Runner Al Jean. I’d heard Nancy Cartwright and Harry Shearer before on radio and TV being interviewed and even going into their Simpsons voices for a quick laugh. To this day, I still find it hard to fathom that the voice of homer Simpson, sounds completely different in his natural speaking voice. I’ve also heard Dan go right into Krusty The Clown too and well, I can do that voice too and have. Some Simpsons fans that I know would react to me doing the voice of Krusty by saying “hi Krusty.” Well, I look nothing like either Homer or krusty but at least I have the voice.

Another thing that helped me along was Youtube and I would feed off it for watching episodes for a while. Then iTunes came into my life, when I discovered that I could actually use iTunes gift cards to purchase things from the app store or the iTunes store. Of course, I jumped at the chance to purchase as many Simpsons episodes as I could to this day, among other bands and apps I use every day. for various needs.

Lest I forget Twitter and following my favourite famous people and the Simpsons voice actors were first on my list. I follow almost all of them and have communicated with 1 of them and I also follow Al Jean. He has been a great help for this blog, both directly and indirectly. The best example of the former is when I wasn’t sure who voiced Albert in the episode Walking Big And Tall, he told me it was Kevin Michael Richardson. I heard his voice elsewhere on The Simpsons and also on Family Guy, during the Simpson’s Family Guy crossover episode Simpson’s Guy. He actually voiced Jerome in the episode. His lines were”here’s your beer Peter” Peter says “thanks Jerome, how much do I owe you?” . Herone says “nah you already paid me, in laughs…. ha ha ha.”

Another thing I like to do is wish my famous friends on Twitter a happy birthday and when Al turned another year older I did that. He replied “thank you for remembering.” I don’t remember if I replied back but I’d have to take a look through my tweets. I have also wished James L. Brooks, Harry Shearer, Nancy Cartwright, Hank Azaria and Yeardley Smith happy birthdays too but haven’t received a direct reply from them. All though, Harry and Yeardley generally thanked all of us when we wished them happy 70th and 50th birthdays respectively.

One more thing about Al Jean that I should mention is that he told me that he loves my blog. That is really cool and I do believe that he really is a nice guy and not just because it is his job to be that way. He has been helpful to the fans and has been nothing but good to us. I am so glad that I am his 35th follower on Twitter.

As for my continued love for The Simpsons, it shall continue and since I turned another year older last Tuesday I have downloaded one other episode from Season 25: The Kid Is Alright. I also recently downloaded Season 20’s Eeny Teeny Maya Moe, which is the episode in which Moe meets a woman on line, who turns out to be 3 feat tall. I was inspired to download it because of a fan fiction story I read. That’s another thing I have discovered in the past few months. I have found some good Simpsons fan fiction stories and my favourites are: Bart Explodes, For The Love Of A Special Someone and A New Family. The latter 2 are tied together in that Wralph has a girl friend and Ruth and Laura Powers play a bigger part in the lives of: Bart, Lisa and Maggie Simpson. Even Allison Taylor, who was Lisa’s rival place a bigger part two in both stories, as well as Alex Whitney from the episode Lard Of The Dance. If you are interested, just use our friend Mr. or Mrs. Google and all the stories are there for all to read. I am working on my own but I need to do a lot of work on the plot and I have idea’s rolling around all the time. One of these days I will get around to it.

Well that is about it for this week. In the mean time, 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.
Additionally, for more news on The Simpsons, you can go to http://news.simpsonswiki.com/
It is new so, give it time to grow.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.