Hi folks and welcome to another Simpsons Sunday. It’s past the halfway point in November and almost at the point of old man winter returning for another year. I wish that Homer and Barney would team up with each other again, so the weather would become suddenly a few degrees warmer, feeling like spring in January.
This week I’m going to talk about a couple of nice guys on The Simpsons. By which I don’t mean any of the staff… All though I believe most if not all of the writers, production staff and voice actors are nice human beings. I haven’t met any of them yet but it’s just a feeling I have, from hearing them during interviews and as I follow most of them on Twitter. I’m talking about the characters who have been a part of the series over the years. In this weeks post I’m going to focus on two such one time characters who were voiced by Albert Brooks, during the first 8 seasons: Brad Goodman and Hank Scorpio.
In the Season 5 episode Bart’s inner Child, Brad Goodman shows up as a self-help guru on TV, recommended to Marge by her sisters Patty and Selma, after she has been nagging constantly. Brad helps Troy McClure with his alcohol problem and then, he comes to Springfield with his self-help seminar. He finds out that Bart just does what he feels like and mistakingly convinces the citizens of Springfield to adopt Bart’s “do as you feel “attitude. Then one day, they do and as usual, all hell breaks loose.
At the Do As You Feel festival James Brown shows up to find that the bandstand was not double bolted and the workers who were supposed to do that simply didn’t feel like it. Then, well, you can see where this is going right? This complete fire of idiocy is lit, unintentionally by Mr. Goodman and eventually all the blame for the violence and chaos all falls on one Bart Simpson for his inspiring Mr. Goodman to convince them to adopt his free-spirited attitude.
I liked Brad Goodman simply for not getting mad at Bart for his Random comments and sarcasm, while his mother told him to be quiet, after Brad said “you’re not a human being, you’re a human doing. Then what comes next?” Bart replied “a human going” and everyone laughed at his comment. Even Brad didn’t mind Bart and even had him and his parents come up on stage with him. He said that they had raised an emotionally healthy son, despite what he saw as their own foibles. Namely, Marge’s hairstyle and Homer’s eating disorder, as he saw it. I think it would have been cool if the character had been further developed and we would have learned more about him, like we eventually did with Troy McClure, when he married Selma Bouvier.
In the Season 8 episode You Only Move Twice, Homer is offered a better paying job at the Globex Corporation, along with free healthcare in Cypress Creek and of course, he takes it. After the Simpsons family move they meet Homer’s new boss… A very nice man named Hank Scorpio. Homer is very happy with his job, motivating his fellow coworkers to do more and does a great job. Meanwhile, The rest of his family don’t like Cypress Creek for various reasons. Lisa discovers that she is allergic to all the plants around her, after she takes a nature walk. Bart is put into a remedial class, After he finds out he can’t grasp cursive writing. Marge discovers that the house they live in, does all the work around the house for her and with nothing to do, she starts drinking wine, in the morning. All this time, Homer is doing great at his job and with his new boss being so helpful as to help Homer find hammocks for his fellow workers so they can relax. Unbeknownst to Homer, Hank Scorpio is a super villain with a doomsday device, looking to take control of the East Coast. To make this clear, he blows up the ninth Street bridge.
Eventually, the family tells Homer of their woes and convince him that they should move back to Springfield. Homer is reluctant because of his new job and his great relationship with his boss. However, he talks with Hank and Hank tells him that he should do what is best for his family. Homer decided to do just that and well, they move back to Springfield.
Despite the fact we find out that Hank Scorpio is a super villain, I like the man because much like Homer’s half-brother Herb Powell, he doesn’t seem to like formality and asks homer to call him Hank, as opposed to Mr. Scorpio. The other cool thing is that he is very helpful to Homer in anyway he can be, unlike Mr. Burns, who is a tyrant and a miser at best and at worst. For example: when Homer asks for sugar for his coffee, Hank gives it to him but not in packages and he apologizes for that.
I believe that if both Brad Goodman and Hank Scorpio were further developed we would see that they are not just nice guys but individuals who are just as flawed as the rest of Springfield and the surrounding towns in the Simpsons universe. In the case of Hank Scorpio, we find out that he is not just a nice guy but a super villain. As for Brad Goodman, well, he’s just a motivational speaker trying to do some good in the world. But is there more to him than that? I left out some aspects of both episodes, in order to focus on the two characters and their nice guy personas so, no comments on Homer owning the Denver Broncos or wanting to own the Dallas Cowboys here. Also, no trampolines or Bart sitting on an ice cream sandwich. By the way, I like ice cream sandwiches as long as they don’t melt and fall apart.
On the birthday front, Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett turned another year older last Wednesday. The entire current lineup of Metallica guest starred in the premiere of season 18: The Mook, The Chef, The Wife And Her Homer. It really was not surprising that the band did this because they are funny and sarcastic and they don’t mind poking fun at themselves once in a while. By the way, isn’t it almost time for a new Metallica album? It’s been almost 8 years since their last studio album Death Magnetic and almost two years since their last single Lords Of Summer. I can’t wait to hear what they do this time, after all the changes in musical direction they have gone through and will continue to go through, as they continue to evolve.
Well that’s about it for this Simpsons Sunday post. 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.
Also, check out Yeardley Smith’s blog at http://gobbingoff.tumblr.com
Don’t forget about Marchez Vous, which is her women’s shoe designer company, which she started earlier in the decade. You can check out their website at
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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.