Since I have not seen the last two years worth of Halloween episodes, I may have missed something better. Still, it’s hard to imagine anything outdoing, “Time and Punishment.”
Based on Ray Bradbury’s science fiction short story, “A Sound of Thunder,” the number of call-backs, literary references (re-Neducation / 1984 or just the title itself) and various sight gags is simply phenomenonal. There is even a nod (not the only time) to the Simpsons’ forbearer, The Flintstones, when the house begins morphing repeatedly and one of the images is of the Bedrock domicile. I could quite easily watch a loop of that one single short repeated endlessly for a solid week and still keep laughing.
The Simpsons have spoofed Kubrick more than any other director, adn this was the ultimate one. I love every moment of it, from the opening drive in(“Dad, we left Grandpa at the gas station”) to the closing(“Urge to kill…rising”).
Homer: No beer and no television make Homer go something something.
Homer: Don’t mind if I do!!!
Also the leaning in through the (wrong) axe-hewn door saying, “Heeeere’s Johnnny!” and finally rehasing his intros until he ends up doing the Sixty Minutes lead-in. Still, Groundkeeper Willy cutting Bart off in mid-word as he begins to say “The Shiiinn …”
“Shhh! We don’t want any lawsuits!”
is the equivalent of talking into the camera, which is another massive cinematographic no-no and just plain effing hilarious.
The really cool thing is the store Homer walks into after he winds up in “our” world. Evidently, even though you can’t see the name of the store in the episode, they’ve had their business shoot up because of it!
Hmmm so many it’s hard to pick only one. The episode which “Time and Punishment” is in was teh strongest of the Specials especially with the reoccuring Willie motif
“Ach I’m really bad at this…”
FLY vs Fly gets honourable mentions for the creative way Homer uses the Teleporter.
“$2.50 eh? And you say it only transports matter eh?”
Especially I especially like when he puts one in the bathroom and goes to take a leak in the other downstairs. He is interupted and goes into his Kablamo speech punctuating it with his fist accidentally hitting Lisa through the other teleporter. You almost forget where it was situated.
While I have to agree Time and Punishment is one of the best, I would add the first time Kang and Kodos appear in a takeoff of To Serve Man is right up there too. “If you wanted to make Sarvok the Preparer cry, mission accomplished.”