Inside joke needs explaining

On the Simpsons episode, where Troy McClure weds Marge’s sister, Selma, there was this conversation… (got the script from here)

And throughout the episode, they keep making references to the “fish incident”, but they never explain what the “fish incident” was. I looked throughout the whole script, nothing.

So does anyone know what the hell this “fish incident” everyone was talking about?

I always thought they were making fun of the the famous person and a gerbil urban legend. Just using fish instead.
I mean, if they used a gerbil they wouldn’t have been able to use one of my favorite jokes of all time.

Ahhh, The Simpsons, good for what ails ya.


This is what I call “humor of implication.” The joke implies something weird or funny, but never states exactly what, leaving it all up to the imagination. Crockett Johnson was the master of this type of joke.

It’s also a joke about the rumors and legends that surround celebrities and their sex lives. The “gerbil stuffing” urban legend is one, but myany H’wood celebs have been and are rumored to have unusual sexual tastes. The punchline of this joke is that is conjures up an outlandish situation. I’m still trying to figure out what Troy does with those fishies…

Chuck! Anyone who still recalls Crockett Johnson rates high on my approval list.


From my wasted youth, I remember Frank Zappa’s “Fillmore East, June 1971” album had a song titled “The Mud Shark”. The lyrics were about a groupie and a mud shark, supposedly based on an incident that happened to the group Vanilla Fudge.

Wasn’t it supposedly Led Zeppelin, and the location was Seattle? It’s been a long time since I read Hammer of the Gods.
People who “need” all jokes to have an explaination or a tidy punch-line probably shouldn’t be watching The Simpsons; McClure’s “fish incident” is never explained, Dr. Marvin Monroe’s death wasn’t in anyepisode, and Springfield isn’t in any “real” state. In each of these cases the humor lies in the lack of an explaination. Don’t “get” it? Then watch the Beverly Hillbilliesinstead.

You are both right. Zappa attributes the story to Vanilla Fudge, the author of Hammer of the Gods gives the honor to John Bonham. There’s no particular reason why they can’t both be right; the hotel the incident supposedly took place in was built over the water so that guests could fish out the windows, and it was popular among rock stars at the time.

I cannot remember what the hotel was called or where in California it was.

Dex, I think it’s


Wait’ll I get home…obviously I need a copy of every ONE of my books both at home and office, grumble grumble.


Or check out the Crockett Johnson Homepage at

Bill Watterson did the same thing in “Calvin and Hobbes.” “The noodle incident” was referenced many times, but purposefully not explained.

Didn’t one of the early works of Surrealist literature involve a man having sex with a shark? As beautiful as the chance meeting of a sewing machine and an umbrella on an operating table…

Mike – Thanks.

CK – And your alias is great one, too.

Good Lord. My parents still holler “Kush-la-mah-ROO-chee!” as an expression of astonishment - because that’s the way I read it and said it when I was of tender age.

This thread is about as informing as the opening post…

“Oh Howie! You’re so professional!”.

What a great ablum! Right up there with Just Another Band From LA

Plunging like stones from a slingshot on Mars.

Well, whc03grady, I’m apologize for wasting a dedicated Simpsons fan’s time like yourself on such a lame gag that I never got in the first place.

And may I ask, when is Hillbillies on?

The beauty of the Simpsons is its mastery of subtle humor, most of which can only be appreciated by “children-at-heart-adults.” I still laugh every time I see the episodes of Homer “jumping on the bandwagon” as opposed to giving into mass hysteria ( or whatever Lisa said exactly) and “rather having Bart die than violate the code of the playground.” Even the never punning on Bart’s teacher’s name always causes a grin on my face; Mrs. Crabapple has never been an issue as she is refered to as (phonetically) Kruh-bah’-pull. The Simpsons are the the kids in all of us. And on yet another point, the Simpsons have the most reoccuring ( more than once) named cast in the history of television. Even more than the longest running soap opera. Here’s a game for ya that beats the Kevin Bacon game. Name the characters who have appeared more than once on a Simpsons episode. It starts easy but can get quite challenging.

One must learn by doing things; for though you think you know it you have no certainty until you try.