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 a couple of popular ’90’s television shows.
In the ninety sixth episode of The Simpsons, Deep Space Homer (Season 05, Episode 15), Homer is excited as every other employee at the Plant has received the Employee of the Week award and company handbook states everyone must receive it before anyone can receive it twice. He figures he is a shoe in to get it this week. But alas, he is out performed by the ‘inanimate carbon rod’.
Later at home, Homer is watching TV and panics when the channel gets stuck on a space launch and the batteries fall out of the remote. Fortunately Bart comes to the rescue and plugs the plug on the launch.
The brain trust at NASA is gravely disappointed with low ratings. They need to do something to get higher ratings. So they turn to TV to see what’s popular.
Tim Taylor (finally gets his rider mower to start): “Yes! I did it! I finally turbo-charged my riding mower! Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho!” (puts it in gear, it goes into reverse, knocks over the fence, and runs over next-door neighbor Wilson) “Oh, no! I’ve killed Wilson! Looks like it’s back to jail for me! Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho!”
Peggy Bundy (whines): “Al… let’s have sex!”
Al Bundy: “Ehh, no Peg.”
(Audience laughs and claps)
(Al flushes a toilet, and everyone hollers and cheers)
After watching a couple TV shows, they decide they need a blue collar slob to go to space and bring Homer and Barney in for training.
While Barney is the better a trainee, an alcohol related accident lands Homer the job. He’s off to space with Buzz Aldrin and Race Banyon.
When their mission is in danger, Homer saves the day with the help on an ‘inanimate carbon rod’. But alas poor Homer, all the credit goes to the ‘inanimate carbon rod’.
But have you ever wondered what two shows the NASA brass were watching when they decided to select blue-collar slobs?
Home Improvement is an American sitcom created by Matt Williams, Carmen Finestra, and David McFadzean for ABC. It broadcast from September 17, 1991, to May 25, 1999; running for 8 seasons and 204 episodes.
The sitcom follows the suburban Detroit lives of Tim Taylor, a man’s man who loves sports, cars, power tools and is the star of a local home renovations show “Tool Time”; his wife Jill; their three boys Brad, Randy, and Mark. The show also includes their neighbour Wilson (who’s face we never see), and Tim’s co-workers Al and Heidi. Most storylines involve Tim balancing home and work and making a mess of things he’s trying to fix.
Here is a table of the cast from Wikipedia:
Pamela Anderson was a recurring character as Tim’s tool girl before Debbie Dunning, appearing in 23 episodes.
It was a ratings beast going as high as the number 2 show on television it’s 3rd season and never dropping outside the top 10 in any of it’s 8 seasons. It was also an awards darling winning numerous awards and nominations, including 7 Primetime Emmy Award nominations (no wins), winning 1 Golden Globe Award (from 9 nominations), and winning 12 People’s Choice Awards.
Married… With Children
Married… With Children is an American sitcom created by Michael G. Moye and Ron Leavitt for Fox. It broadcast from April 5, 1987, to June 9, 1997; running for 11 seasons and 259 episodes.
The sitcom follows the suburban Chicago lives of Al Bundy, a hard-luck women’s shoe salesman; his lazy wife Peggy; their beautiful, dumb and popular daughter, Kelly; and their smart, horny and unpopular son, Bud. The show also includes their neighbours Steve Rhoades and his wife Marcy, who later gets remarried to Jefferson D’Arcy. Most storylines involve Al’s schemes being foiled by his own cartoonish dim wit and bad luck.
Here is a table of the cast from Wikipedia:
Due to it’s network and airing time, as well as it’s sometimes controversial material, it never peaked higher than 29 in the Nielsen ratings (it reached 29 in season 6 and 37 in season 7, but was otherwise in the 45 to 65 range).
Now that we’ve learned more about a couple classic TV shows, 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 Homer-centric episode of The Simpsons? What about your favourite episode where Homer get’s another job? What about your favourite The Simpsons TV reference? Were you familiar with either shows? Did you watch either show? If you watched both, which did you prefer? Sound off in the comments below. You know we love hearing from you.
Fox at the time had a reputation for producing salacious, low-brow entertainment. *Married with Children* was an example of that. It relied a great deal on cheap-shots about sex and sexual relations. No one was a positive role model in any way.
Other salacious shows included *Cops* and *America’s Most Wanted*.
*The Simpsons* was included in that, becoming part of America’s political culture wars. GHW Bush said: “We’re going to keep trying to strengthen the American family. To make them more like the Waltons and less like the Simpsons.” —1992 Republican National Convention.
There are many references to Fox’s reputation in the Simpsons and GHW Bush even appeared on the show and spanked Bart.
The Simpsons and the other shows you mentioned were light-years apart. The Simpsons always had wit, where Married with Children had none. Cops pandered to our worst instincts. America’s Most Wanted was a little less cheap, and may have been an okay show, but I don’t think I’m familiar enough with it to judge. The Simpsons may have been a bit “naughty” at times, with costive sometimes clutching their pearls at the idea of a little boy saying “Eat my shorts,” but it was witty, often actually heartwarming, and often even kinda sophisticated. Or at least that’s the way I saw it!
Married… With Children is still a classic!
It is the anti Cosby Show
It helped put the Fox Channel in the Nelson Ratings
Ed O’Neill is a comic genius (just watch Married with Children and
Next to the Simpsons, it was one of the longest running TV Shows for FOX!
This is the episode that gave TSTO our Astronaut Homer Simpson and Barney (and more content
An episode I really love but I did not know these shows. I might be born too late to have been able to watch them haha
News reporter: Don’t you think there is an inherent danger in sending unqualified, under trained civilians into space?
Homer: The only danger is if they send us to that terrible Planet of the Apes. Wait a minute… Statue of Liberty… that was our planet. You maniacs, you blew it up. Damn you! Damn you all to hell!
Dr. Zeius Dr. Zeius, OOOOHHHHHHHH Dr. Zeius!