Treehouse of Horror XVII

Treehouse of Horror XVII

"Treehouse of Horror XVII" is the fourth episode of The Simpsons' eighteenth season, and the seventeenth Treehouse of Horror episode. In "Married to the Blob", Homer eats a green goo he mistakes for a marshmallow and morphs into a rampaging blob with a never-ending appetite; in "You Gotta Know When to Golem", Bart steals a Golem, a legendary monster from Jewish folklore, and brings it to life; and in "The Day the Earth Looked Stupid" a fake radio broadcast convinces the residents of Springfield that they're in the midst of an alien invasion. It was written by Peter Gaffney and double-directed by David Silverman and Matthew Faughnan. Dr. Phil McGraw and Sir Mix-a-Lot guest star as themselves, Richard Lewis and Fran Drescher guest voice as the male and female Golems, respectively, and Maurice LaMarche provides the voice of Orson Welles. In its original run, the episode received 10.43 million viewers.

Plot

The episode begins with a parody of Tales from the Crypt, with Mr. Burns as the Crypt Keeper. The scene begins in a dungeon room, where a crypt opens, and after several mice, snakes, spiders, and rabbits crawl out, so does the Cryptkeeper. He proclaims himself to be the master of "scare-amonies" to the delight of zombie Smithers. A bound Moe interrupts in protest and is killed in an iron maiden, his blood spilling onto the floor and spelling out "Treehouse of Horror XVII". Moe himself takes delight in this and proclaims "Hey, my blood is a genius! Fancy roman numerals and everything!"

Married to the Blob

As Homer and Marge snuggle on the hammock, a meteorite falls nearby, burning off the top of Marge's hair in the process. Cracking open, it reveals a green goo resembling a melted marshmallow. Despite his family's objections, Homer puts it on a stick and eats it (although the goo tries many times to get away). That night, his stomach rumbling from hunger, Homer eats all the food in the house. He also eats Snowball V and attempts to eat Bart but is stopped by Marge. Now seriously fat, he walks around, and begins eating many teens. Homer soon becomes a giant massive fat green blob, rampaging through the streets of Springfield, eating all the fat people he can find. As Homer samples bus passengers as if they were chocolates, Dr. Phil McGraw shows up with the Simpson family. He tells Homer to stop for their sakes. Homer ends his rampaging for fear of losing Marge and vows to use his insatiable appetite for more constructive purposes (he eats Dr. Phil though; the doctor's last words are "Food does not equal love!"). Later, Mayor Quimby dedicates a new homeless shelter, in order to trick them by getting rid of them. The homeless people enter the shelter, only to find themselves in Homer's gut.

You Gotta Know When to Golem

At the end of an episode of Krusty's show, Bart goes backstage to complain about an acid-spraying Krusty brand alarm clock. There he finds the Golem of Prague, a creature from Jewish mythology. Krusty tells Bart that in the seventeenth century, the Golem was sculpted out of clay by a powerful rabbi, and would obey any command written on a scroll and placed in his mouth. He had been passed down through many generations (one where he simply shoots intruders with a shotgun) and now works for Krusty. Bart steals the Golem by writing a command for him to come to his home at midnight. He does this while Krusty is donning a mask in preparation for a "Desperate Houseflies" sketch. At midnight, the Golem shows up at the Simpson's house. From then on, Bart uses him to carry out his commands: swinging Principal Skinner up and down like a yo-yo until he splits in half and kicking Homer in the balls (though he at first thought Bart wrote walls). Lisa thinks the Golem does not like doing the biddings of others and feeds him a scroll reading "Speak". The Golem (Richard Lewis) attempts to roar, then coughs, and reveals that he feels guilty about being used to commit heinous acts, and then he throws up excessive scrolls (one of which reads "Kill the Czar"). To make him feel better, the Simpsons create a female Golem (Fran Drescher) out of Play-Doh. The two are married by Rabbi Hyman Krustofski and the female Golem convinces Chief Wiggum not to press charges with the promise of pan-fried latkes, a Jewish delicacy.

The Day the Earth Looked Stupid

The population of Springfield, circa 1938 (during the Great Depression), are fooled by Orson Welles' infamous The War of the Worlds radio broadcast and believe the world has been invaded. A mass panic breaks out, and the citizens begin rioting and destroy the town. Sideshow Mel suggests they foil the aliens by cavorting in the mud naked like animals. So they do this all day until the next day, Lisa notifies the citizens that it was all a hoax and, angry at being fooled, the citizens of Springfield vow to not fall for such a trick again. Kang and Kodos decide this is the perfect time for a real invasion, and begin destroying what's left of the town. True to their word, the town does not believe that it is a real invasion and ignores it, although Orson Welles (Maurice LaMarche) comes to Springfield, admits it is not a staged act, and begs them to do something. Unfortunately, they do not, and the segment ends three years later with Kang and Kodos looking over the ruins, mulling on what went wrong and why they weren't greeted as liberators as they rid Earth of weapons of mass disintegration during "Operation Enduring Occupation", a parody of the real military operation, "Operation Enduring Freedom".

Production

At one point the script for The Day the Earth Looked Stupid called for Kodos and Kang to look over the smoking ruins of Springfield and say "This sure is a lot like Iraq will be." Fox did not have any objection to the line, but it was rejected by some of the writers as too obvious and was cut from broadcast. While cut from the aired version, the line does appear in the "review" version that was sent to various newspapers and magazines.

Cultural references

Married to the Blob

You Gotta Know When to Golem

  • The Golem's appearance is an exact resemblance to the Golem in the silent movie The Golem: How He Came into the World (1920).
  • Krusty's "Desperate Houseflies" sketch is a reference to Desperate Housewives, and parodies the time Gabrielle seduced a gardener (replaced by a fly seducing a garbage man).

The Day the Earth Looked Stupid

  • The opening song is Gloomy Sunday, as performed by Billie Holliday, which came out in 1941, three years after Orson Welle's War of the Worlds 1938 radio broadcast (although the song was written in 1933).
  • Springfieldians riot after listening to Orson Welles' War of the Worlds. which caused panic in reality in 1938 when some listeners believed the radio play to be an actual news broadcast.
  • The singer and band in the radio studio play "Young and Healthy", a selection from the musical 42nd Street (1980), which takes place in 1933.
  • Orson Welles mentions he hopes his show will be a good lead-in for Amos and Andy, a situation comedy based on archetypes of African-Americans and popular in the United States from the 1920s through the 1950s.
  • Mayor Quimby appears with a pince-nez like President Roosevelt and gives a parody of FDR's "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself" speech.
  • Chief Wiggum tells Orson Welles he'll "punch him in the nose, bud" to which Welles' replies "Nose bud" seeming to take note of the phrase, a reference to Welles' film Citizen Kane (1941) in which a reporter tries to find the meaning of the word "Rosebud."
  • The song "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire" by Bennie Benjamin is heard over the end credits. This is a possible reference to the videogame series Fallout, which uses the tune as its theme song, and shares a similar 1930's sci-fi spoof style as the episode.
  • When he is running away Disco Stu says the slang 23 skidoo.

Reception

Dan Iverson of IGN gives it a 7.6. He praises the episodes ingenuity, though found the second story boring. He praised Lewis and Drescher's appearances.

References

External links

  • http://www.thesimpsons.com/treehouse/
  • http://www.war-ofthe-worlds.co.uk/treehouse_of_horror.htm

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