Thursday, December 28, 2017

22 Short Pieces About Springfield: Number Eighteen - “Homer S. – Portrait of an Assgrabber”

Season 6, Episode 9
“Homer Badman”
First Broadcast: November 27, 1994

Courtesy 20th Century Fox, via Frinkiac.

Homer scores tickets to the Candy Trade Show, and opts to take Marge as his date to enable the carriage of the maximum amount of free candy.  This necessitates the hiring of a babysitter, who due to a mix-up involving a priceless Gummi Venus De Milo becoming stuck to her behind, believes (quite properly, given the apparent evidence) that she has been groped.  Homer doesn’t really have a leg to stand on given the obscure and seemingly unprovable nature of his defence, coupled with his immediate consumption of the Gummi.

The media smells blood and has a field day, flooding the local news with half-truths about Homer’s sex life and sleeping arrangements.  In desperation after being stitched up on an investigative news programme, the family fights fire with fire by purchasing screen time on an obscure television channel, but Homer’s protestations of innocence are met with nought but a kick in the face from a man riding a Penny Farthing.

Luckily Groundskeeper Willie is able to save the day, revealing that in the manner of “every single Scottish person”, he illicitly taped Homer’s Gummi removal, giving them the proof needed to clear his name.  Homer then settles down to watch his saviour, now rechristened “Rowdy Roddy Peeper”, take a shellacking on the same investigative news programme, revealing that he has learned nothing from his ordeal.


The protestors’ catchy chant: “2, 4, 6, 8, Homer’s crime was very great!”

Courtesy 20th Century Fox, via Frinkiac.
“Simpson scandal update: Homer sleeps nude in an oxygen tent which he believes gives him sexual powers!”  “HEY!  That’s a half-truth!”

Homer's description of sexual harassment to the children, including the grey area that is the dog in the Coppertone advert - which I just looked up and oh dear God what were they thinking?

This is next level stuff - this episode has the fantastic parody of “Under The Sea” from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”:


Kent Brockman, hacky local news anchor and current affairs frontman, first appeared back in Season One's "Krusty Gets Busted".  Despite winning a fortune on the lottery in Season Three's "Dog Of Death" and his many on-screen meltdowns, tantrums and walk-outs, plus his affair with Stephanie the Weather Girl being the talk of the town, he continues to work at Channel 6.

He eventually got his standard 'side character focus' episode in Season Eighteen's "You Kent Always Say What You Want", which was also the series' 400th episode.  He was fired from Channel 6 for on-air swearing in that episode, and rebuilt his career from the ground up via the Internet, none of which matters as I am mentioning him only so I can publish my favourite Simpsons screengrab, from "Deep Space Homer":

Meme Hail Ants
Courtesy 20th Century Fox, via memes.
As for Rowdy Roddy Peeper himself, Groundskeeper Willie…  Let’s put it this way: Edna Krabappel herself tells Bart “I'm not even gonna tell you what that guy's into” in "Bart The Lover", so I will be doing no further digging.  Besides, he’s a pervert who tapes people!  Rock Bottom said so…  He shares a shame with Kent though, in having an episode focused on him that is a pretty rubbish later season affair - Season Seventeen's "My Fair Laddy".


First up: sexual assault is NOT funny.  As someone who’s suffered more than one uninvited groping from busy-handed pederasts and lecherous peers, I did have reservations about writing this one up, opting for inclusion on the argument of the incident itself being framed well enough to just about absolve Homer of any deliberate wrongdoing.

The comedy in this episode comes from the media circus and their decent upon the family, Homer’s shell-shocked crawl through the wreckage of his long held values as television – the one constant in his life – seemingly turns on him, and most pointedly, his immediate literal re-embracing of television, showing that he has not, and essentially will never, change his ingrained ways.

So we have an on-point skewering of local and national news media, journalistic bias, an explosion at a candy convention AND an improv comedian imaging the offspring of Mr. T and E.T. - and who can turn all that down?

Join us next time for steamed hams…  You thought we were having steamed clams?  Oh no, I said, “steamed hams.”  That what I call hamburgers.

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