There’s a moment here when Homer, helping Apu bust Apu’s eight kids out of the Springfield Zoo, sees a mama gorilla trying to foist her own kid off on Homer for a rescue as well. Homer declares that the whole thing was getting pretty weird. If Homer notices something is weird, it must be weird.
Oh yeah, in this episode, Apu and Manjula have octuplets and briefly consign them to the Springfield Zoo.
So, a couple months back–more since this went live since I wrote this write-up in early September–I found some fellow on YouTube who had compiled a list of the ten worst Simpsons ever. The guy in question (and, judging from his accent, I think he was English but I suck at accents) had this particular episode listed as one of the worst. That took me a bit by surprise. Now, by this point, The Simpsons is probably past its heyday, but I don’t think this is a particularly bad episode. Heck, I like it a bit. The YouTube guy’s problem was that Apu and Manjula, particularly Apu, seem to be particularly unhappy after the birth of eight babies all at once. Apu at one point says he had a lovely dream where he died. YouTube guy thought that was a bit too much.
Well, for me, I don’t think the jokes here are mean so much as they’re lazy. A new father overwhelmed by the sudden birth of more than one baby? And the new parents aren’t getting any sleep? And that makes them cranky? Yeah, that happens. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if it happened in real life too. A friend of mine from college had quadruplets. Maybe I’ll ask her next time I see her. Or not. How does one work that into conversation?
Point is, I didn’t think the humor here was any more mean than most episodes of this show.
Oh, for the record, the guy said the worst episode ever, one so bad he raked it over the coals in a second video where he listed his picks for the ten best episodes, was one that featured a prime guest spot to Lady Gaga. I haven’t seen that one, but it seemed to me listening to this fellow that his problem was less the episode’s overall quality as he really doesn’t like Lady Gaga. Is that any worse than Mel Gibson getting a whole episode? I mean, I don’t think Lady Gaga ever got pulled over and ranted about some ethnic group starting all the wars.
But back to this episode…um…yeah. Did I need to cover anything? Apu and Manjula (guest voiced again by the late, great Jan Hooks) have eight babies after some attempts to get pregnant don’t seem to be working. It didn’t help that Manjula was taking fertility drugs, or that Apu was slipping her some, or that Homer, Marge, and Bart were also slipping her some. Homer’s were strawberry flavored.
But when a couple the next town over have nine kids all at once, corporate sponsorship dries up and the Nahaspeetawhatevers are exhausted and broke. The director of the Springfield Zoo, Larry Kidkill, comes over to make a pitch of putting the babies on exhibit. He has Butch Patrick (child star Butch Patrick as himself) there to sell the idea and act as a notary. And Kidkill (adult director Garry Marshall) sure seems nice about it.
But it all goes wrong and Homer and Apu sneak the kids out in the middle of the night after Chief Wiggum actually encourages Apu and Manjula to take the law into their own hands. Everybody else does!
It all more or less works out if being mauled by a mongoose while being bitten by cobras works out as far as Homer is concerned.
Say, Garry’s sister Penny was the Babysitter Bandit. Wouldn’t it be wild if she were Kidkill’s sister?
No, no it wouldn’t.