January 31, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Simpsons Did It!: “The Ziff Who Came To Dinner”

In which Artie Ziff sends Homer to jail for crimes Homer did not commit.

There’s a moment in this episode where Homer takes Artie Ziff to Moe’s and all the characters Jon Lovitz voiced in the past are all sitting at the bar already.  They all say hello.

That was kinda cool for a so-so episode, but that is the sort of mediocrity I have come to expect from an episode co-written by Dan Castellaneta.

But there was someone really cool this episode:  the couch gag.

See?  Cool.

But, back to the show.  Homer has Bart, Lisa, and the Flanders kids out for an outing to the local multiplex.  Why Rod and Tod?  Ned was taking the old folks out for the most traumatic ice cream excursion in the history of old folks going places.  Almost all the movies are sold out, but then Lenny and Carl happen by to recommend a pleasant little jaunt called The Redeadening.  Lenny’s in it.  Good enough for Homer.

Apparently, a horror movie about the killer doll Baby Buttoneyes is actually too scary for kids.  With a title like The Redeadening, how could any reasonable parent tell?

Bart and Lisa’s nightmares aren’t helped by strange noises coming from the attic that night.  Is it a ghost?  Er, no.  It’s Artie Ziff, who apparently used to be an Internet billionaire and now isn’t.  He’s looking for a place to stay while he gets back on his feet and Marge is the only person he ever felt any sort of love for.

As Marge is quick to point out, they went on ONE DATE and it wasn’t even a good one for her.

But the Simpsons opt to let him stay.  Maybe they should watch the news more often.  Artie’s actually wanted by the SEC for all kinds of fraud.  They catch up to Artie at a poker game in the back of Moe’s.  It’s Moe, Lenny, Carl, Homer, Barney, and Artie, and Artie just lost control of his company to Homer on a bad hand when the SEC bursts in to arrest him.  But Artie then points out Homer owns the company, so the SEC arrests Homer instead.

As such, Homer goes to jail after getting grilled by a Congressional panel that includes Krusty.  Someone remembered!

Only Artie can get Homer out, but he never thinks of anyone but himself.

That’s scary.

You know what can convince a man to do the right thing?  The love of a good woman.  Barring that, Artie manages to seduce Selma for the simple fact that he sent Homer to jail.  Artie vows to set the record straight, and Homer can leave the prison while applying his time to a future crime.  He chooses kicking the head guard in the crotch.

As for Artie, he decided to put out all the various other prisoners’ cigarettes with a squirt bottle as a means to promote healthier lungs.

So, yeah, we probably won’t see him again.


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