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, than by discussing some of these concepts Monday morning?
So let’s get started this week by talking about some famous historical figures appearing in the 4th edition of the annual Treehouse of Horror specialsBe.
In the eighty sixth episode of The Simpsons, Treehouse of Horror IV (Season 05, Episode 05), the first segment revolves around Homer’s love for donuts. While dreaming of donuts, Homer misses out and wakes up to find Lenny and Carl have finished all the donuts. He then offers to sell his soul for a donut.
Homer: “Oh, I’d sell my Soul for a donut.”
(Flanders appears as the devil.)
Devil Flanders: “Well, that can be arranged.”
Homer: “Flanders?! You’re the devil?!”
Devil Flanders chuckling: “It’s always the one you least expect.”
Homer sells his soul to the Devil and is told that once he finishes the donut, his soul belongs to the Devil. Homer thinks he can outsmart the devil by not eating the last piece of the donut. However, hungry at night, Homer accidentally eats the last piece of the donut.
The Devil appears to take Homer to Hell, but Marge and Lisa ask for a trial. The Devil agrees to a trial the next day, but Homer has to spend the day in Hell. He is taken to ‘Hell Labs – Ironic Punishment Division’ He is challenged to eat all the donuts he wants. To the surprise of the Devil’s henchmen, he eats all the donuts.
The next day the trial is about to begin. Marge has secured Lionel Hutz to take on the case. Setting up the trial rules, the Devil agrees to Lionel’s request for bathroom breaks every half an hour, and Lionel agrees that the Devil can choose the jury.
Devil Flanders: “I give you the Jury of the Damned. Benedict Arnold. Lizzie Borden. Richard Nixon.”
Nixon: “But I’m not dead yet! In fact, I just wrote an article for Redbook.”
Devil Flanders: “Listen, I did a favor for you!”
Nixon in a subdued tone: “Yes master.”
Devil Flanders: “John Wilkes Booth. Blackbeard the Pirate. John Dillinger. And the starting line of the 1976 Philadelphia Flyers.”
While Lionel proves useless and escapes through a bathroom window during a bathroom break, Marge comes to the rescue and produces a postcard Homer sent Marge in which he promises his soul to her.
The jurors convene and ultimately decide Homer’s soul belongs to Marge and not the Devil.
The other two segments involved a gremlin attacking Bart’s school bus and the Simpsons visiting Mr. Burns who is Dracula.
But have you ever wondered who the Jury of the Damned jurors are?
Benedict Arnold was an American military officer who served during the Revolutionary War. He fought with distinction for the American Continental Army, rising to the rank of major general. General George Washington had given him his fullest trust and placed him in command of West Point, New York. Benedict planned to surrender the fort to British forces, but the plot was discovered in September 1780 and he fled to the British side.
Benedict Arnold (14 January 1741 – 14 June 1801)
Lizzie Borden was suspected of axe murdering her father Andrew Borden and step-mother Abby Borden on August 4, 1892. Wide-spread media attention followed the trial. The final outcome of the trial was her acquittal.
Lizzie Borden (July 19, 1860 – June 1, 1927)
Richard Nixon, alive at the time of the episode, was the 37th President of the United States. During his second term, facing almost certain impeachment and removal from office surrounding the ‘Watergate Scandal’, he became the first American President to resign on August 9, 1974.
Richard Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994)
John Wilkes Booth
John Wilkes Booth was a noted American stage actor and confederate sympathizer. He denounced 16th US President Abraham Lincoln and lamented the recent abolition of slavery in the United States. This ultimately led him to assassinate President Lincoln at the theater.
John Wilkes Booth (May 10, 1838 – April 26, 1865)
Blackbeard the Pirate
Blackbeard, born Edward Teach, was an actual pirate who roamed the West Indies and we actually discussed over a year ago in Musings 14. Edward was a shrewd and calculating leader who spurned the use of violence, relying instead on his fearsome image to elicit the response that he desired from those whom he robbed.
Blackbeard (c. 1680 – 22 November 1718)
John Dillinger was an American gangster of the Great Depression. He led a group known as the ‘Dillinger Gang’, which was accused of robbing 24 banks and 4 police stations. Dillinger was imprisoned several times but escaped twice.
John Dillinger (June 22, 1903 – July 22, 1934)
Starting line of the 1976 Philadelphia Flyers
The 1975–76 Philadelphia Flyers season was their ninth season in the National Hockey League (NHL). The Flyers reached the Stanley Cup Finals for the third consecutive year, but they lost to the Montreal Canadiens in a four-game sweep in the best of seven Stanley Cup Finals. Known as the ‘Broad Street Bullies’ for their tough physical play and the fact their arena is located on Broad Street. The starting line was composed of all-star forwards ‘LCB’ line featuring right winger Reggie Leach, center Bobby Clarke, and left winger Bill Barber; along with all-star defensemen Andre Dupont and Jim Watson; and all-star goalie Wayne Stephenson. The ‘LCB’ line set a then NHL record for goals by a single line with 141 (Leach 61, Clarke 30, and Barber 50).
Now that we’ve learned more about some notable historical figures, be sure to come back next week when we continue our Monday morning musings with the next episode of The Simpsons.
Did you remember the episode? What’s your favourite THOH episode of The Simpsons? What about your favourite THOH segment? Did you remember the jury of the damned? Did you remember the trial? Did you know the history of the jurors? Sound off in the comments below. You know we love hearing from you.