Simpsons 12/13: "Oh Brother, Where Bart Thou?"

A rather unusual episode, though it had its moments. I think one of the big problems was that I really couldn’t get into the story- Bart doesn’t really seem like the type who would want a brother to me. Some of the bits were rather unnecessary and unfunny: the Sex and the City parody was useless, and the South Park bit was saved only by “Oh, my god, I killed Kenny!” “Ralph.” “No, I killed Kenny yesterday. What’d I do now?” The bit with the Smothers Brothers fell a little flat for me, too- I know that’s how their routines usually went, but it didn’t really seem to fit. (Though I did like the bit during the closing credits with Homer joining in.) There were some amusing gags here and there- like Chalmers reading the school closings and Skinner depressing him as usual, and Nelson getting emotional after eating too many birth-control-Tic-Tacs- but the overall story didn’t really do anything for me.

The ending was so abrupt

I liked it. This season they are finally stopping so much of the random crap that plagued the show a couple seasons ago where it was just one pointless adventure after another.

Don’t get me wrong, nothing will come of this and I expect the events of this episode to be totally forgotten, but it at least seemed like characters are being progressed. An attempt was made, a few funny gags were seen, that’s all I expect from the show now and I’m happy

This was the best episode in awhile. The jokes were sharp, the story serviceable, and the guest voices were a hoot. I liked it a lot.

It was OK. Bart wanting a brother is explained by the fact he wants what Lisa has, just because he doesn’t have it.

The “I killed Kenny” gag is about a decade to late, if not a lot later than that.

The Smothers Brothers was funny, providing you’re old enough to get the reference, which I imagine is stretching it for most Simpsons viewers. The problem was it was funny but went on to long. Perhaps the show ran short and needed padding?

The resolution was weak. One issue with the Simpsons, in the last few seasns is they can get strong starts, but don’t seem to know how to wrap up the story. If it’s a matter of time, simply cut the “B-plots” out.

It’s highly unlikely Bart would simply realise the error of his way in taking a kid to a scary movie. In the past when Bart does realise things it’s due to someone pointing them out to him.

Seconded. I like this style of episode, lots of jokes and bizarre situations.

Bart rubbing a balloon in his hair to see a fraction of a second of Itchy and Scratchy cracked me up. “I can’t believe this is how the pilgrims lived!” Other great jokes: the garage exploding in the background; Nelson on BC pills.

I love the Smothers Brothers, but I agree that their segment fell flat, partly because their voices don’t sound the same as they did 40 years ago on the actual show.

How many people younger than 40 even know who the Smothers Brothers are?

I agree that Bart doesn’t seem like the Big Brother type, but I can imagine him feeling a yen for it at some point in his life, so for me, that worked. And they’ve never explored that aspect of his character. I really liked Charlie and I was sorry to see him go. I haven’t seen Up, so I hadn’t heard of Jordan Nagai before, but I thought he was a dead ringer for Charlie Brown. Given the character’s name and Bart’s earlier “Good grief” I think that was intentional.

Some great gags here, too. Homer with the pipe, although it brought back memories of the Kwik-E-Mart blowing up many years ago. The Marx Brothers showing up in the dream sequence brought a huge smile to my face, since the Simpsons has never done a direct reference to them. The Manning Brothers did okay, although super-brief cameos are tough to bring off. The South Park thing didn’t work for me, but since I’ve had to sit through my share of Sex and the City lately and I liked Kim Cattral’s Simpsons guest spot, the SATC gag did work for me - at least as something Bart was scared of.

There were a bunch of great runs here, in fact. I did like the Smothers Brothers with Homer during the credits, and the dream part worked okay. I was very amused by Chalmers and Skinner on the radio. That’s probably the end of the snow day/closing gags forever. I’m not sure the individual jokes top “Springfield Elementary… My Dear Watson Detective School,” but cumulatively it was very funny.

I also enjoyed the episode. I liked the South Park bit. Nelson, dressed as Cartman, said exactly what Cartman would say: “Maybe you could trick your parents into making you a brother, like my mom nearly tricked Charles Barkley.”

And when Bart, Lisa, and Charlie were trapped in the snow bank:

Lisa: Oh, no, Bart. You took too long to make an obvious decision.

Bart: Don’t worry, Lis’. Me and Charlie have one thing you’ll never have. (To Charlie) Point and shoot, bro. Point and shoot.

I thought it was a very good episode, chock full of memorable gags, most of which I can’t remember at the moment, but that says more about me.

People over 40 like jokes too.

I wondered how many people outside of California know who Huell Howser is (he’s the folksy host of several public TV shows in which he travels throughout the state to various points of interest, some more interesting than others, and finds them all “amazing”).

This is the second time the Simpsons have done a takeoff on him, but the first time it was a parody character called Howell Hueser. I know nothing about him. For that matter I know the Smothers Brothers mostly from comedy documentaries and places like the Simpsons, but you don’t have to know much about them for their role in this episode to work, or least be comprehensible.

I’m 28 and I know who they are! I just showed a Cabbage clip on Youtube to my girlfriend a few weeks ago because she didn’t know who they are. So at least two.

I’m 24 and I know who the Smothers Brothers are. I didn’t know who Huell Howser was, but I did get the spoof of Unwrapped with Marc Summers he was hosting.

I’m under 40 and I remember them from some revival of their show that was on in the 80’s (and also Nick At Nite airing their sitcom back when Nick At Nite actually aired b&w shows). How a kid Bart’s age knows them remains a valid question, though.

I am 23 and I knew the name “Smothers Brothers”, and actually expected them in the dream sequence…but that’s the extent I knew about them.

Who were the guys in the dream that were eating the candy thing? That was the only one I really didn’t catch.

The Smith Brothers of cough drop fame.

I nearly wore out a record of the Smothers Brothers live at the Purple Onion as a kid.

i’m 23 and i have no idea who the smothers brothers are. i DO know who huell howser is as an east coaster thanks to dana gould. surprising that gould hadn’t brought the bit to the simpsons earlier. probably thought it’d be too obscure.