December 7, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Simpsons Did It!: “A Tale Of Two Springfields”

In which Springfield splits in two and Homer becomes the mayor of his half.

The Who did a guest appearance in this John Swartzwelder-written episode, but Pete Townshend was a bit confused about what was what.  He thought they were just going to use his name and likeness, so while the other members of the band voiced themselves, Pete was voiced by his brother Paul.

This has been another Useless Fact.

I actually remember watching this episode the first time and wondering why I wasn’t laughing like I usually did.  In retrospect, I think I was too hard on this episode, but this is about the time I thought the show had declined from what it had once been.  In retrospect, The Simpsons may have been at its best in seasons three through five, but I liked this one much more this time around.

Point is, I’m not quitting yet…JIMMY!

So, what happened here?  It all started with a badger.

Yes, a badger had taken up residence in Santa’s Little Helper’s doghouse.  Bart and Lisa failed to get it out, and when Homer went in and got mauled, ripping open his torso but not his shirt in a way only a tailor could explain, Homer figures he has to call Animal Control.  Problem is, Homer can’t get through due to some sort of  area code problem.

See, Springfield got so big, the phone company divided the town into two new area codes.  Homer’s half of town got the new one.  And this is causing some confusion, like when Homer thinks the local radio station is going to call him with a prize for free tickets to see The Who and learns too late that the station is in the other area code, so they aren’t calling the Simpson house.

By the by, Mr. Burns won the tickets.

At a town meeting, Homer, wearing a dynamite vest, points out that it’s the rich side of town that got to keep the old area code.  As such, he and his side split off to form New Springfield as an act of rebellion.  Since Homer’s side seems to be made up of the working class and the crude, plus Ned Flanders, Homer is soon elected mayor.  And that’s when the war between towns breaks out.  Homer cuts off the electricity, and they cut off the beer.  Homer cuts off the river, and they find gold where the water used to be.  Homer is mocked on the news by Kent Brockman, pointing out the lowbrow nature of speech in New Springfield means a heavy reliance on phrases like “Oh yeah?” and “Come here a minute!”  Homer’s best idea is to build a wall out of whatever he can get his hands on, which includes that bizarre angel skeleton.  But cut off means there is no way to get supplies, and soon Homer’s constituents, including that badger, are climbing the wall to move to Old Springfield.

That would be when Homer convinces The Who to play on his side.  They just would not accept the possibility of a Keith Partridge haircut requirement.

But loud music from The Who means both towns are brought together, and the wisdom of The Who points out that speed dial can fix the area code problem.  So, yeah, the towns reunite to music, and the chloroform Homer swiped can be used to stop Marge’s nagging.

That’s dark.

Oh, and the badger is coming back with reinforcements.

That’s even darker.

Got a problem with that?  Come here a minute…