Morning Musically-Minded, Medically-Minded, Masticators!
(Today’s post is sponsored by the letter “M”)
Over the past 600+ episodes, The Simpsons has taken us on an amazing journey involving music, science, and food to name a few concepts.
And what better way to start your week, then by discussing some of these concepts Monday morning?
So let’s get started this week by talking about two classic television dogs, Old Yeller and Lassie.
In the fifty fourth episode of The Simpsons, Dog of Death (Season 03, Episode 19), Santa’s Little Helper suffers from a twisted stomach. In order to pay for his much needed operation, the Simpsons cut corners wherever possible in order to pay for a life saving operation.
However, when the family’s morale suffers from the financial cuts the are making (including missing out on the winning lottery numbers), Homer discusses Santa’s Little Helper possibly not making it with the kids.
Homer: “I want to tell you about the most wonderful place in the world: Doggie Heaven. In Doggie Heaven, there are mountains of bones, and you can’t turn around without sniffing another dog’s butt! And all the best dogs are there, Old Yeller, and about eight Lassies.”
Bart: “Is there a Doggie Hell?”
Homer: “Well… of course, there couldn’t be a heaven if there weren’t a hell.”
Bart: “Who’s in there?”
Homer: “Oh, uh… Hitler’s dog… and that dog Nixon had, what’s his name, um, Chester…”
Homer: “Yeah! One of the Lassies is in there, too. The mean one! The one who mauled Timmy!”
Feeling resentment from the family, Santa’s Little Helper runs away, and quickly becomes one of Mr. Burns’ attack hounds. But the Simpsons family desperately tries to find their beloved pet.
But have you ever wondered who Old Yeller and Lassie are?
Old Yeller is a fictional male Yellow Cur dog, featured in a 1956 children’s novel written by Fred Gipson and illustrated by Carl Burger. It was later adapted the following year into a movie by Disney.
The novel was highly acclaimed, winning the 1957 Newbery Honor, the 1959 William Allen White Children’s Book Award, the 1959 Young Reader’s Choice Award, and the 1959 Sequoyah Book Award, Children’s category (inaugural winner).
In 2019, the Disney film was selected for preservation into the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
Lassie is a fictional female Rough Collie dog, featured in a 1938 short story by Eric Knight that was later expanded to a 1940 full-length novel called Lassie Come-Home.
Lassie appeared in a series of films which includes Lassie Come Home (1943), Son of Lassie (1945), Courage of Lassie (1946), Hills of Home (1948), The Sun Comes Up (1949), Challenge to Lassie (1949), The Painted Hills (1951), Lassie’s Great Adventure (1963), The Magic of Lassie (1978), Lassie (1994), Lassie (2005), and most recently Lassie Comes Home (2020). Lassie also appeared in the long airing American TV series Lassie (1954-1973).
Lassie is one of only three animals to be awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Now that we’ve learned more about Old Yeller and Lassie, be sure to come back next week when we continue our Monday morning musings with the next episode of The Simpsons.
Have you ever heard of Old Yeller? What about Lassie? Who do you prefer, Old Yeller or Lassie? Do you have a dog? What kind? What’s your favourite Simpsons dog reference? Sound off in the comments below. You know we love hearing from you.