Season 21, Episode 21: Moe Letter Blues
In a parody of the movie A Letter to Three Wives, Homer, Reverend Lovejoy, and Apu take their kids out on a trip so their wives can have a break on Mother’s Day. But just as they’re about to leave, they get a letter from Moe the bartender saying that he’s about to leave town with one of their wives. Throughout the day, each of them tries to think of what could have driven their wives to consider leaving them for Moe.
Happy December, everybody! Oh, do we ever have a lot to look forward to on TCM this month.
Since we’re now officially in the holiday season, it goes without saying that there are lots of Christmas movies on the schedule this month. But the real highlight of the month is the fact that Myrna Loy is the Star of the Month! If you’re a big Myrna Loy fan, you’re going to want to clear out your DVR as much as possible because every Friday will be (almost) 24 hours of nothing but Myrna. Since Myrna Loy is one of my favorite actresses, I’m pretty delighted by this.
On Tuesday nights this month, TCM will be doing a spotlight on movies that deal with aging. Coming up on December 5th is a day-long celebration of the 90th anniversary of Vitaphone. I absolutely loved attending the presentation on Vitaphone at this year’s TCMFF, so it’s great that TCM is doing this. I’m also very excited to see Amy Heckerling is December’s guest programmer because she has made some excellent choices.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the schedule.
Season 4, Episode 17: Last Exit to Springfield
When Mr. Burns decides to axe the dental insurance employees at the power plant receive, it couldn’t have happened at a worse time. Lisa needs braces, but since they no longer have insurance to pay for them, Lisa isn’t able to get the top-of-the-line braces she was hoping for. It doesn’t help matters that Lisa’s dentist tends to come off as a tad sinister.
Finding someone to provide a voice for the dentist proved to be a bit of a challenge. First, producers had offered the part to Clint Eastwood, who turned it down. Anthony Perkins later accepted the part. Unfortunately, Perkins died before he was able to record his lines. In the end, the dentist’s voice was provided by Hank Azaria instead.
Season 4, Episode 22: Krusty Gets Kancelled
In this episode, the residents of Springfield suddenly start seeing advertisements for something called Gabbo. Nobody knows exactly what it is, but people are constantly seeing commercials, headlines, and other advertisements letting them know it’s coming soon. While out driving, Mr. Burns and Smithers pass a “GABBO is Coming” billboard, which Mr. Burns misreads.
I’m sure Mr. Burns was very disappointed to find out Gabbo was actually just a ventriloquist dummy.
Season 4, Episode 2: A Streetcar Named Marge
When Marge auditions for a community theater production of a musical version of A Streetcar Named Desire, she lands the coveted part of Blanche DuBois and their mild-mannered neighbor Ned Flanders is cast as Stanley. Obviously, this episode is pretty heavy on Streetcar Named Desire references and they certainly couldn’t resist working in an homage to the movie’s famous scene where Marlon Brando as Stanley yells, “Hey, Stella!” While Marge is next door rehearsing with Ned, Homer has an incident that fills him with the same anguish Stanley feels in that scene: he’s unable to open his can of pudding. Facing a pudding-less night, he goes out to the backyard and starts yelling for Marge in that Brando-esque manner.
Season 2, Episode 4: Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish + Season 6, Episode 5: Sideshow Bob Roberts
It’s no secret that Citizen Kane is one of the most celebrated American films of all time and it’s certainly been a favorite movie among writers for The Simpsons. Over the course of the series, there have been tons of Citizen Kane homages and parodies, but one scene they’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of is the scene where Charles Foster Kane is delivering a speech as part of his campaign for Governor. They first referenced this scene in the season 2 episode “A Car In Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish,” in which Mr. Burns (who has frequently been compared to Charles Foster Kane in the series) runs for Governor.
This scene was referenced again a few seasons later in the episode “Sideshow Bob Roberts,” in which Sideshow Bob runs for Mayor of Springfield after getting out of jail.
Happy November, everyone! Hope everyone had a great October and a very happy Halloween. Coming up in November, we have Natalie Wood as TCM’s star of the month to look forward to, as well as an excellent spotlight on documentary filmmaking. So let’s get to it and take a look at some of TCM’s scheduling highlights for November.