Hey hey friends! Wookiee here and up to my usual antics with another episode recap for my favorite Addicts. This episode recap will cover Season 27, Episode 21: “Simprovised”. One of the features we like to have on this site is recaps of new Simpsons episodes for all our friends who can’t watch them immediately or like our silly reviews of them. I love when there are new episodes of the Best. Show. Ever. on TV. It’s my privilege to not only watch new episodes, which I would do with or without this awesome site, but then break them down for all of you. I apologize for the delay with all of these but consider it some fun for the break where there are no new episodes. Without further ado… here’s my thoughts. If you’re not used to the style, it’s basically stream of consciousness style while I watch the episode live. Paragraph breaks usually indicate new scenes. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did writing about it. To start this off for accidental clickers who just prefer the synopsis, here’s what my DVR describes this one as: “Homer embarrasses himself while trying to read a speech at work, then turns to improv comedy to regain his confidence for public speaking; Marge decides to rebuild Bart’s treehouse.” Now on with the recap.
There is no intro, just ‘The Simpsons’ floating through the clouds with the number you could have called for Homer Live. The episode starts with Police Chief Wiggum at the Police Station talking to his wife on the phone. Even though he says otherwise, Wiggum forgot to buy a birthday present for Ralphie. He goes to the evidence locker (love that he calls it a toy store to his wife) to look for one. Lots of weapons there including way too many bazookas, knives, a nuclear warhead, and a giant geen gemstone which makes me think of the World’s Largest Cubic Zirconia or a set piece for Wicked. I agree with Clancy that a crossbow is no present for his kid. He ends up taking a few thousand from the unclaimed since 1998 ransom money to buy Ralph something nice. On his way out with obvious bundles of cash in his crotchal region, Wiggum runs into Lou. “You heard me whistling there, right? That indicates innocence.” “Proclaiming your innocence indicates guilt.” I have no idea what Wiggum’s scatting meant.
We head to Ralph Wiggum’s birthday party. Bart is telling Lisa that the important thing to do at a Ralph party is to get to the cake first but they’re too late. Ralph has already left a face imprint that made me laugh way too hard for such a simple joke. Bart then sees “the best damn treehouse I’ve ever seen” complete with a big red bow on top. As Bart rubs his eyes, it gets even better with a Wi-Fi hotspot, balcony, and zip line. Rubbing his eyes the other way just made it better with a spiral staircase and lookout tower. Inside, there’s a nerf gattling gun, water balloon launcher, water slide, bean bag chairs and the Complete Collection of Treehouse of Horrors. The treehouse is so great it made the September issue of Treehouse Beautiful. From the lookout tower, Bart sees Duffman drinking wine, Krusty putting sunscreen on Mr. Teeny, Sideshow Mel hanging his bones to dry on a clothesline, and his own crappy treehouse. Nelson haw haws that Bart now has classy envy and Nelson’s mom shows up to tell her son to stop haw hawing. He’d do it too if she had a dollar to pay him. Guess her job isn’t paying so well these days.
Homer is getting ready to tell the same speech he does every year at his work but now he can’t start with the same joke he always does about Lenny’s mom because they put her on life support. Without his lynch pin, Homer might be hosed but Marge reassures him beacuse everyone is afraid of public speaking. Just in case though, she defrosts a failure ham (fortified with Zoloft). Homer is prepared to do the speech and tell hecklers to “get a half-life.” Marge is sure the nuclear plant workers will find that funny even if she doesn’t. Homer tries to calm himself by leaving his body but even his spirit is nervous and leaves it’s non-corporeal form leaving just a confused line drawing of Homer.
Marge heads into the back yard and finds Bart dismantling his treehouse. Bart wishes he had a cool one like Ralph instead of a sucky one that Homer apparently built in a sapling many years ago. Marge offers to spruce up the treehouse and Bart lets her even though she’s an inside grown up.
At the plant, Burns is on-stage and used Homer’s line for hecklers. Now he has no plans for his speech and he’s the speech to end the day on a perfect note. Homer’s walk to the stage is made even more awkward by the footstep amplifier. A confidence angel appears but is spooked by all the people. Homer bombs badly and even though Lenny and Carl feel badly for him, they lead the crowd in booing Homer. Poor Homie. He crawls up in a ball as a failure and Burns releases the hounds on him… the therapy hounds. I love sheepdogs in cute orange vests! Once Homer feels a little better, the real hounds get released. You didn’t think Burns had gone soft, did ya?
Call now for Homer Live – No Flanderses. Lisa finds a despondent Homer drinking from a can of corn (We’ll See You on the Other Side… lol) in the Simpson kitchen. As Homer moves on to creamed spinach, Lisa tries to cheer him up with the knowledge that Barabara Streisand once forgot the words to a song and didn’t perform again for three decades. “Yeah but she still had James Brolin to cuddle.” Marge shows up with treehouse supplies to ask how Homer did and then the sink, clock, garbage disposal, and tea kettle all taunt him. Homer is losing it but Marge says they should go to the comedy club to cheer Homer up. “Downtown, with all those desperate Addicts?” “No, the city cleaned them up and made them comics.” I know this has nothing to do with our site but I couldn’t help but think of all of us here.
Marge and Homer head to the 22nd City Comedy Club to chuckle Homer’s blues away. Occupancy… 150 guest and zero hecklers. “Because of complaints we no longer make fun of: religion, politics, weight problems, the state bird, Pearl Bailey, and hillbilly culture.” Also, Krusty “is no longer permitted on the premises. He is wanted for: stealing material, ruining stolen material, fouling bathrooms, groping waitstaff (men and women), drunkenness, nudity, pickpocketing, suspicious fires, and corncobbing (don’t ask).” Homer resents the two drink minimum because he doesn’t like feeling as if someone is making him drink.
Marge and Homer watch an improv group do a sketch. Location provided by Frink… 4o point 7 degrees north latitude, 74 degrees west latitude… New York City. Relationship provided by Mayor Quimby… loveless marriage. Object provided by Homer who is whispering and nervous… fear of public speaking. The improvers can’t hear him and it doesn’t help that they put the spotlight on Homer to help him talk louder. He hilariously runs from the light and ends up on stage. Uh oh. He finally speaks loud enough while hiding behind the stage curtains. Even if it isn’t really an object, the improv group goes ahead with the premise. “They’ve pulled back the bow now let the arrow take flight.” Homer is amazed how “it all magically fits.” Homer hears the laughter and is interested in learning improv.
Homer shows up for the $500 for eight classes improv class later. He feels his “mind exploding with premises.” Location: Golgen Gate Bridge, Planet: Venus, Popular Lunchmeat: Salami, Relationship: Man and bowling ball, Occupation: Light Show Designer, TV Star: Alf, Philosophy: Objectivism, Landlocked Country: Bolivia, Bronte Sister: the shy one. The way to turn it all into comedy is to activate the Kiss Cam of his imagination. The teacher helps him by suggesting using his imagination and not being himself. Homer is good enough to take Lenny’s mind off his sick grandmother. Oh no, the hospital left a message. Homer even cracks the one premise the performance group could never crack… Queen of Norway buying a car.
Marge is busy fixing up Bart’s treehouse. A guy from the city shows up to make Marge aware that she lives in “a historic treehouse preservation district” and we see other treehouses of the neighborhood. The Sydney Opera House, a Cathedral, and the house from UP! are among them. Marge doesn’t even have a permit.
Homer has started his own improv group and is ready to perform at Moe’s. “Improv Tonight. Tomorrow: We Spray for Roaches but Still Open.” Lisa is proud of her dad as evidence by her dialogue and crew T-shirt. Homer sums up his change from fear of public speaking to improv nicely. “Improv is exciting but safe. Like flying a helicopter on the ground.” Grant Hood, the improv critic from the Springfield Shopper, has even shown up for the performance. Also, the local newspaper has an improv reporter and a lady who writes improv think pieces. Lenny, Homer, Skinner, and Carl take the stage for their performance as Premises, Premises (CBG points out there are 5,012 other groups with that name). Homer does great with a sketch about Jackson Square in New Orleans and someone with confidence.
Bart is showing off his new treehouse with automatic blinds to Milhouse. He’s going to have a treehouse warming complete with Nelson sharing his mom’s bra. Marge ovehears Bart saying there’s no need to thank her for doing her job and Marge tosses the cookies she was bringing the boys in anger. Homer shows up and is excited for proof that the Keebler elves are real, you know, because of the cookies at the base of a tree.
At dinner, Marge is pissed. When Bart rudely passes his mom the gravy boat and calls her a crab, Marge explodes, “No crab, no thank yous, no appreciation… nothing!” Homer wonders who it was directed at and an angry Marge reading “Mad Mom Magazine: 12 Recipes They Don’t Deserve” informs the family it is Bart. At the table, Lisa gets a text inviting Homer’s improv group to the Springfield Fringe Festival, “a three day series of performances by alternative comedy and music acts including, but not limited to, improv, stand-up, light circus work, and ironic burlesque.” Good guess Homer. They’re gonna be on the main stage on closing night.
That night in bed, Marge is still grumpy while folding laundry. Homer tries to say kids are just natutally ungrateful and the Fringe Festival can cheer her up but no dice. Marge just wants some validation even if Homer has a good thing going on but also not to undermine her husband. Begin the weird thinking of Homer and Marge about the issue and them realizing they can hear each other’s thoughts. Aaaah!!!! Not really but they have been married a long time and probably know each other well. Aaaah!!!
Call soon for Homer Live – a worried Milhouse is standing by. Marge has slept on the issue and is madder than ever. She woke up with “morning would be mad.” She sends Homer to Bart’s room as a near-sighted Frankenstein to hilarious effect. “Bride. Bride.” “I do not look like the Bride of Frankenstein.” “Don’t deny premise.” Bart shows up with breakfast for her just the way she likes it… well the hashbrowns may have been burnt. Bart just wants her to feel appreciated for all the wonderul things she does and comliments her. “You’re as hot as the day I met you.” Before you get all weirded out, just know that Bart is reading an apology speech written by his dad. The point is it works to soothe Marge’s anger and he did bring breakfast.
Now bring on the Fringe Festival held in town square. Massage, CBG and Kumiko who thought they were going to a Renaissance fair, Blue Bronco Energy Drinks, Water, Luigi’s Medical Marijuana, hats you’ll NEVER wear again, and stilt rentals. Homer is worried about being around a bunch of talent like Reverend Lovejoy’s talking bible bit about dinosaurs not getting on Noah’s ark because they didn’t exist. Lisa informs that the “festival encourages experimentation, even failure.” As a bonus, she’s off to get a balloon just in case he’s not funny. Moe comes across Homer nervously vomiting in an alley in the official throw-up bucket sponsored by Buzz Cola Vanilla and offers to cheat and feed him easy premises for the performance like the confidant Cajun. Homer fears he won’t be funny and “the cemetaries are full of people who didn’t cheat at improv.”
The improv group is ready and Homer is prepared to cheat by having Moe plant suggestions. Lisa finds out and is aghast. She knows the troupe needs Homer even if Moe claims that “everything that’s supposedly spontaneous has already been planned” like reality shows, lip synch singing, and even awards shows. That’s why losers like Dave Franco don’t show up. You know they don’t have scheduling conflicts. Homer decides to refuse to use performance enhancing sugs and takes the stage. The audience is ripe with suggestions. Dr. Nick = Cadaver Salesman. Squeaky Voiced Teen = Drive-thru Cashier. Cletus = Frog Gigger. Luigi = Finger Kisser. Grampa just exclaims “Nurse” because he’s having a medical emergency. Moe offers “Back Alley Cajun” and Lisa offers “a father I can look up to” but Homer picks SVT’s premise and makes the audience laugh as the camera pans out.
That’s the end until we get the short Homer Live segments. I hate to say it but I was mildly disappointed with this. I love hearing Dan Castelleneta joke about current stuff but I guess I just expected more. It could also be that I had to work and couldn’t call in. If you missed it… I figured I could share them. First up, the pre-recorded version of Homer Live they had as a back up just in case the whole thing didn’t work.
Then the East Coast version of Homer Live:
And then the one from the Best Coast, errr, I mean the West Coast:
Here are also two Homer Live Apologies, one from Latin America:
And one from the UK:
And that’s about it. I didn’t hate this episode but I found it sort of meh. There was some funny stuff but it all seemed like something created just to facilitate the gimmick of Homer Live. What were your thoughts? Did you like seeing a live version of Homer? Do you live downtown? Sound off with your opinion and keep on being the classy peeps you are. We can all take a lesson from Homer and remember to live our existences Live. It’s much better than re-runs. In summation, at least Homer stuck to the promise he made to Entertainment Weekly.
TTFN… Wookiee out!