Simpsons 11/2: "Treehouse of Horror XIX"

KABF16 Written by Matt Warburton

Probably one of the weaker Treehouses of recent memory, though it had its moments. The opening was one of the best bits of political humor the show’s done in a while. “Untitled Robot Parody” was probably the weakest of the three segments- it was basically one joke (how many things can transform?) and didn’t really do much. “How To Get Ahead in Dead-vertising” was a little bit better, but the premise made absolutely no sense- although the bit with Krusty and the daycare was no doubt inspired by the real case where Disney forced a Florida daycare to remove unauthorized depicitions of their characters, a celebrity would not be free to use if they were dead- in most cases, you would have to go through their estate, a corporation that owned their likeness, or a rights clearinghouse such as CMG Worldwide. But I did enjoy the ad with John Wayne with various clips strung together (including one apparently recorded after his death) and Edward G. Robinson killing Chief Wiggum.

It’s surprising it took the show 20 years to do a Peanuts parody, and “It’s The Grand Pumpkin, Milhouse” was the best of the three segments, giving a typical Simpsons twist to the strangeness of the Great Pumpkin (which was originally intended as a satire of the Santa Claus myth). James L. Brooks’s credit pretty much sums up the moral of this segment.

“Finally, a Boxing Day that lives up to its name!”

“All pumpkins are racist- the difference is, I admit it!”

Yeah, not that great, but the “Grand Pumpkin” part had its moments.

Seems to be a running problem with the ToH episodes, the segments really have little or nothing to do with Halloween. That’s what made the old ones so great, IMHO.

Goddamn you! Unboxed spoilers! Not everyone is Eastern Standard Time.

Oh, by the way, they said that Lincoln was gay.

Was that Edward G. Robinson? I thought it was supposed to be James Cagney…

Loved the “Celebrity Heaven” and “Regular Heaven” gag, and the rapid-fire montage of John Wayne clips, including the one where he played Genghis Khan.

Yeah, see, Chief Wiggum talks like Edward G. Robinson, see?

“You roast the unborn?!”


I could’ve watched half an hour of the Grand Pumpkin story. That was the best Halloween segment in a while, and they really nailed the artwork and the little details. Other than that, this was okay. They got the feel of Transformers’ dialogue pretty well, although that probably isn’t a big challenge. Maybe more could’ve been done with the Deadvertising one. But mostly I think I would’ve preferred a longer Grand Pumpkin story.

Hank Azaria’s “scary” name in the credits was “Hockey Mom Azaria.”


I missed that. What was it?

Not quite. They ended Vampire Bart in the Treehouse of Horror IV with a parody of the end of A Charlie Brown Christmas with Milhouse playing the piano, Santa’s Little Helper dancing and the Simpsons “oo-oo-oo-ing.” Funnier than last night, cause it was totally unexpected and dead on.

I enjoyed it, but LOVED the pumpkin bit, and couldn’t help but chuckle each time they had Lincoln being all… uh… “Log Cabin”. Cracked me up.

I could really really do without the sledgehammer of politics, but I know that really can’t be avoided these days. To many folks would complain, I guess.

James L. “Ha-Ha, The Truth Is Unknowable” Brooks

I realized after I posted that Lisa was actually supposed to be Sally, not Lucy, which explains her staying in the pumpkin patch with Milhouse. It’s too bad they didn’t put Lucy in there. The one thing that sketch lacked was somebody being called a blockhead.

It seems as though Treehouse of Horror has devolved into an excuse for Fox to run a whole bunch of commercials in between about five minutes of filler. I was pretty disappointed by the whole thing, and really annoyed that there seemed to be more commercials than Simpsons.

The Great Pumpkin (a la Robot Chicken)

I was looking for the line “I got a rock.” I had just watched the Peanuts special and they certainly did get the look right. There is the opening sequence where Linus takes a bite of an apple and then throws it away. That struck me as a little bit of a wasteful message to send to the kids. I see the Simpsons put there own twist on that.

I liked how Homer and Flanders were like dingleberrys sticking out the buttholes of the Transformers.

In that vein, I noticed that one of the Krustified illustrations appeared to resemble Cinderella and Prince Charming from the Disney flick.

Al Jean’s name was “Washington Mutual Jean.” Scarier.

Continuing the trend in recent years, the Halloween episode was one good segment and two very “meh” ones. Great Pumpkin, “The Ned Zone,” the one with all the Homer clones, etc.

Still, one third of a good Simpsons episode is an ok deal.

I liked the homage to the Mad Men title sequence at the beginning of How To Get Ahead in Dead-vertising. And I also liked It’s the Grand Pumpkin, Milhouse, including when Marge apologized for parodying a beloved cultural icon.