December 7, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Simpsons Did It!: “The Homer They Fall”

In which Homer gets a chance at the title.

Over the course of the series this far, Homer has been a mascot, a clown, an astronaut, and recently a happy employee for a supervillain.

So, why not a boxer?

As it is, Homer isn’t much of a boxer.  But how he got there is something else.  While on a trip to the mall, the Simpsons visit a store selling high tech gadgets where the Comic Book Guy is trying to get a return on a belt he won at a convention that is too small for him.  Despite usually being the source of sarcastic put-downs, here he is the victim, and he can’t get a refund so he ends up selling the belt to Bart for four dollars.

Bart’s new belt has a lot of nifty features, like a radon detector and turn signals.  Naturally, that means Jimbo, Dolph, and Kearney decide to take the belt for themselves.  Bart almost escaped thanks to a turn signal trick, but the help alarm just called the bullies back.  Homer seeing his son beaten badly goes to talk to the boys’ fathers, older versions of their sons, and after beating on Homer for a bit in Moe’s, Homer is still standing and coherent.  Moe scares the guys off with a shotgun and an order of a two drink minimum and he gets to talking to Homer.

Yes, Moe used to be a prizefighter.  That was probably after his stint with the Little Rascals.    Moe was actually terrible at it due to 40 consecutive knock-outs, despite the fact Moe’s manager was Lucius Sweet, who’s just as rich and famous as Don King and looks exactly like him.  We’ve seen prizefighter Drederick Tatum in past episodes, the Mike Tyson-ish heavyweight champ, and even Sweet behind Tatum a few times, but now we have a name for him.  How nice.

Anyway, Homer can’t box very well.  What can he do?  Take a hit.  A lot of hits.  Due to a unique condition, Homer’s brain has extra fluid padding it, so he can take a lot of hits to the head.  Moe realizes the best strategy for Homer is to have Homer take a ton of hits until his opponent gets too tired, and then Homer can just push the guy over and win the fight.  Marge isn’t crazy about this, but Homer does meet all the state requirements to be a boxer, what with the state having once been founded by circus freaks.

And Moe’s plan works out fantastically.  Homer is beating all manner of homeless fighters, tramps with the energy of hobos, and then into Moe’s office (the unused lady’s bathroom) walks Lucius Sweet, voiced fantastically by guest star Paul Winfield.  Sweet needs a man who can take hits when Tatum gets out of prison for pushing his own mother down a flight of stairs, and Homer works out just fine.  Sweet just needs Homer to last three rounds.  Moe talks Homer into it without too much trouble, though Marge is a different story.

And when the fight, being billed as “Payback” for some reason, comes along, Homer enters the ring and gets walloped good.  Tatum hits too hard, and he won’t get tired.  Marge’s calls to hit Tatum back get through to Homer when he realizes the fuzzy blue cactus is right, so Homer swings his best punch…and misses badly.  Moe can’t bear to watch…so he swipes the Fan Man’s gear, swoops in, and pulls Homer out in the middle of the first round.  Homer means more to Moe than all the promises of respect from a man like Lucius, who clearly does not hold Tatum in the same high regard.  As for guest voice Michael Buffer, Moe’s stunt robbed boxing of whatever dignity the sport had left.

And Moe?  He’s going to use the Fan Man’s gear to think and fly around doing good deeds.  Maybe Moe has a heart after all…