Oh, lookee what we have here! Another odd anthology…
Homer gets a notice in the mail for a long overdue library book, a book of stories he had planned to read to Bart every night shortly after Bart was born. As it is, things kept coming up, so Homer decides rather than return the book he’ll just read from it right now.
This sure does sound a lot like “Simpsons Bible Stories” without the dream sequences and the oddly horrifying ending.
First up, because ancient Greek epic poetry is always included in a kid’s storybook, is Homer’s Odyssey. No, the other Homer. The blind poet guy. Anyway, the Simpson version of Homer’s Odyssey has Homer starring as Odysseus, and we see him winning the Trojan War with his giant wooden horse as a gift to the King of Troy (obviously Flanders). Well, we may think of Trojans when we think of people getting wood, but it goes as well as can be expected for Troy. Odysseus, however, refuses to sacrifice a sheep to the gods, so the gods (Mayor Quimby as Zeus, the Sea Captain as Poseidon, Barney as Dionysus) punish Odysseus with ten years of wandering. Yeah, the sirens are horrifying, and Odysseus completely ignores Circe telling him that the pigs he is eating are his transformed friends, but he eventually gets home to his wife Penelope/Marge.
I’m kinda partial to the River Styx joke.
Next was Lisa as Joan of Arc, where God as a sunbeam tells young Joan to lead the French to victory over the English in the Hundred Years War. Sure, she can pick out the real king (Milhouse) in a crowd, but she can’t stop Groundskeeper Willy, fighting for the English, from stuffing her in a sack and thus leading to the famous fate Marge won’t let her kids hear about.
I’m kinda partial to finding out Groundskeeper Willy was also chosen by God the sunbeam to lead the English to victory over the French.
Finally, coming from the weirdest kids book compilation I have ever heard of, was Bart as William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Young Hamlet is told by the ghost of his dad to avenge the old king’s murder at the hands of dastardly usurper Moe. Not much in the way of actual Shakespearean lines here, but they do poke fun at soliloquies and when Laertes (Ralph Wiggum) is given a “practice stab” with the poisoned blade, he stabs himself instead of Hambart. Everyone still dies in the end, though Marge doesn’t stop to prevent the kids from hearing about the deaths this time.
I’m kinda partial to the final joke of the episode where Homer tells us Hamlet inspired Ghostbusters.
I must have been just kinda partial to this episode.