Thursday, November 23, 2017

22 Short Pieces About Springfield: Number Twenty-Three - “Let's all get drunk & play ping-pong!”

Season 6, Episode 12
Homer The Great”
First Broadcast: January 8, 1995

Courtesy 20th Century Fox, via Frinkiac.


Frustrated with his lot in life, Homer realises that his friends’ lifestyles are significantly better than his, leading him to stalk Lenny and Carl to a mysterious clubhouse, where he discovers they are members of the Freemaso…  I mean, Stonecutters – a secret society that runs the world from the shadows.

He eventually passes the various ass-paddling-related initiation ceremonies and joins the society himself, but after a predictable faux pas on Rib Night, he seems set to be cast out – until a mysterious birthmark reveals that he is the Chosen One, for whom the Stonecutters have waited to lead them to unspecified greatness.

Homer enjoys his status as a god among men, but grows bored of the deference in short order.  At a crossroads, he makes the oft-erroneous decision to consult Lisa, who convinces him that the Stonecutters could be a great source of charity volunteers and general do-gooders.  The rest of the group do not agree, and after narrowly escaping death, or something being done to his voice box, at the hands of the Stonecutter World Council, he is forced into exile as the Stonecutters evolve into the Ancient Mystic Society of No-Homers.


Grandpa Simpson’s membership cards: 

Courtesy 20th Century Fox, via Frinkiac.

The Egg Council Guy.

The appearance of the Stonecutter World Council, consisting of Jack Nicholson, Orville Redenbacher,  Mr. T and George H.W. Bush.


“We Do” is right up there with “Monorail”, “They’ll Never Stop The Simpsons” and “Who Needs The Kwik-E-Mart?” in the Mount Rushmore of great Simpsons original musical numbers:


Patrick Stewart is both the world’s greatest classical actor and its most famous fan of Huddersfield Town FC.   At this stage he was about seven months removed from “All Good Things…”, his televisual swansong as Captain Jean-Luc Picard.

Talking to BBC News in the year 2000, Mr Stewart opined: "I think my appearance in The Simpsons and an appearance that I did on "Sesame Street" - in praise of the letter B - were perhaps the two most distinguished bits of work that I've done in the US."  He would later go on to play a pivotal role in American Dad and various recurring roles in Family Guy, so I imagine that assessment hasn’t changed.

This would not be the last time Lisa would accidentally ruin Homer’s fun by giving him a social conscience – a similar scenario plays out in “Today I Am A Clown”, where Homer’s talk show for average joes serves as a great replacement for Krusty’s show, until he tries to use it as a platform to confront societal issues.


Aside from giving us an easy target for all the things in life we hate, there’s something fascinating about the idea of a shadowy cabal of exclusively male social elitists having parties in their man-cave whilst greasing the wheels for their members as they ride the easy train toward superior lifestyles.

But enough about the executive team of every company I’ve ever worked for!...  Aw, I just made myself sad.

The bleak, but somewhat realistic, message from all of this is that we could all be doing more to help our wider communities, rather than lining our own pockets and seeing to our own comforts – and that, as human beings, we’re not really likely to accept that notion or do anything constructive about it.

It is a testament to the quality of the show that, even when holding a mirror up to this ugliest aspect of humanity’s foibles, it manages to sugar coat it with enough comedy, variety and entertainment that the bitter pill can be swallowed once more.

Join us next time, at the blog that works hard everyday of its life - and what does it have to show for it?  This briefcase and this haircut!

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