The Simpsons; 28 Mar '10 (open spoilers)

Tonight’s the episode where Ned takes the family on a trip to Jerusalem! Sacha Baron-Cohen guest stars.

Liked the first act (up through “The man hates pants.”); thought the rest was “meh.”

Not much too it. It was boring and barely held my attention. Sad part is except for “The Big Bang Theory,” this is still the best comedy on at the moment.

I liked it. I was on a tour in Israel 2 years ago and my guide looked exactly like the one in the show.

Did he sound like Hugh Grant?

I’ve been intensely curious about this episode. Can anyone give me a run-down?

I don’t normally post in these, but my reaction to the episode was extreme: for the first time in my 20+ years of The Simpsons watching, I fast-forwarded through parts.

Really hated it. Triple-hated the Tour Guide character. Not one smile, and a lot of uncomfortableness, or boredom, or both.

Two back-to-back episodes like this and I’ll remove The Simpsons from my Tivo Season Pass.

I get that comedy is personal, and there are probably three people that loved it to my hating it. But I’m an original, all-along Simpsons fan, “better than 95% of what else is out there” and all that, yet this episode really, really made me re-evaluate my hopes for the future of the series.

As usual, Wikipedia has an article about this. But, Ned Flanders and Rev Lovejoy led a church group to Israel to tour the holy sites. Sacha Baron Cohen voiced the tour guide. Flanders invited Homer to come along because he thought that Homer might learn something. Predictably, Homer is more interested in the hotel buffet than the sites and is disrespectful when visiting them. After a camel ride in the desert and a hallucination, he thinks he’s a new messiah and goes to the Dome of the Rock to convince Jews, Christians and Muslims that they should seek a single religion. Ned is happy to hear that Homer has learned from what Ned has been saying to him all these years.

Have you tried Archer? It’s really funny

That’s my first impression, too. I liked the beginning (“I sense a ‘but’ coming”) and the ending with the multiple messiahs, but after a couple of funny Israeli sign gags, most of the middle didn’t do anything. I don’t care if Flanders is disappointed he can’t save Homer. Homer’s been annoying and ignoring him for 20 years already, so if anything, I was pulling for Homer to be a bigger ugly American. Adding to that, I’m not a Baron Cohen fan and I found his character more annoying than funny. And much to my amazement I had trouble understanding his accent in some places. The line about Spanish food that they played over the credits was very funny. They should have used it during the episode instead of the version they went with. Or for that matter he could have kept complaining over the credits.

i hated the tour guide up until the last bit at the end. then he was hilarious. can’t explain it. i guess this is the simpsons trying to be topical and masking it as another “simpsons visit (insert exotic locale)” episode?

the only line that i liked up until the rant at the end was “no groin - no krav maga” but other than that, i was pretty meh on the episode.

I don’t recall writing this post, so apparently, you read my mind and stole my thoughts, to the letter.

Nzinga, I’m usually sitting off by myself in most threads, so I’m glad for the company. And scared.

And honestly: I didn’t know Sacha Baron Cohen voiced the tour guide, but now that I know: <bam> I’m knocking the hate up to 4x (not a fan of his work, though I admit he’s talented).

It wasn’t a hilarious episode, but it was beautiful! The backgrounds in Isreal were astonishingly detailed.

Lousy episode. Loved the bit about Porky Pig and got a smile out of “The man hates pants!” Weak story, though, and I couldn’t stand Sasha Baron Cohen’s character. He was almost physically painful to listen to. I was wondering who it was, figuring it must be some big star for them to let him run away with half the show like that.

Having seen several of the early “Veggie Tales” videos, I laughed out loud when they made an appearance. Otherwise, I don’t think anything else got a chuckle out of me, maybe not even a smile.

Just watched it again, and there are a couple of decent jokes that I missed (and I also laughed at the Porky Pig thing in spite of myself), but yeah, it crashes to a halt when the tour guide shows up. Too annoying, and he did a lot of exposition jokes, which usually aren’t that good. After six listens I realized he was describing Jesus as “or as we call him, the man in the underpants.” Kind of funny. So this one had a really strong beginning, an okay ending, and not much in between. Definitely not as good as the last few episodes.


I find most of the “THE SIMPSONS GO TO…” episodes pretty meh, though, so I was probably biased. Got some chuckles out of the slip-and-slide bit (“Ooooh, it floats!”), but yeah, as soon as the plane landed that was pretty much it.
I couldn’t even understand half of what Cohen was saying, and didn’t care enough to back up. (Let alone six times, Marley23!)
Both the “Homer disrespects cultural landmarks” and “Homer gets lost in the desert and has a vision” stuff has been done before, and better.

Didn’t hate it, but… meh.

The episode really pulled its punches, gag-wise. You could see them carefully avoiding anything that might offend Christians, Jews or Muslims. And I hated Cohen’s character. Flat, unpleasant voice and one-note gag that went on way too long.

Since it sounded like motormouthed improvisation, I was wondering if it was Albert Brooks using a particularly abrasive voice–especially since the outtake over the closing credits included what sounded like a reference to Brooks’s “It’s not exactly breakfast, it’s not exactly lunch” riff as Jacques.