Treehouse of Horror XVII
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"Treehouse of Horror XVII" is the fourth episode of The Simpsons' eighteenth season, and the seventeenth Treehouse of Horror episode. In "Married to the Blob", Homer eats green extraterrestrial goo he mistakes for a marshmallow and morphs into a rampaging blob with an insatiable appetite; in "You Gotta Know When to Golem", Bart steals a Golem, a legendary monster from Jewish folklore, and brings it to life; and in "The Day the Earth Looked Stupid" a fake radio broadcast convinces the residents of Springfield that they're in the midst of an alien invasion. It was written by Peter Gaffney and double-directed by David Silverman and Matthew Faughnan. Dr. Phil McGraw and Sir Mix-a-Lot guest star as themselves, Richard Lewis and Fran Drescher guest voice as the male and female Golems, respectively, and Maurice LaMarche provides the voice of Orson Welles. In its original run, the episode received 10.43 million viewers.
The episode begins with a parody of Tales from the Crypt, with Mr. Burns as the Crypt Keeper. The scene begins in a dungeon room, where a crypt opens, and after several mice, snakes, spiders, and rabbits crawl out, so does the Cryptkeeper. He proclaims himself to be the master of "scare-amonies" to the delight of zombie Smithers. A bound Moe interrupts in protest and is killed in an iron maiden, his blood spilling onto the floor and spelling out "Treehouse of Horror XVII". Moe himself takes delight in this and proclaims "Hey, my blood is a genius! Fancy Roman numerals and everything!"
Married to the Blob
As Homer and Marge make out in the backyard, a meteorite falls nearby, burning off the top of Marge's hair in the process. Cracking open, it reveals a green goo resembling a melted marshmallow. Despite his family's objections, Homer puts it on a stick and eats it. That night, his stomach rumbling from hunger, Homer eats all the food in the house. He also eats Snowball V and attempts to eat Bart but is stopped by Marge. Homer then becomes morbidly obese, and eats a teenager in an attempt to "saver" him from the flames of a barbecue fire. Homer soon becomes a giant green blob, rampaging through the streets of Springfield, eating all the people he can find. As Homer samples bus passengers as if they were chocolates, Dr. Phil McGraw shows up with the Simpson family. He tells Homer to stop for their sakes. Homer ends his rampaging for fear of losing Marge and vows to use his insatiable appetite for more constructive purposes (he eats Dr. Phil anyway; his last words are "Food does not equal love!"). Later, Mayor Quimby dedicates a new homeless shelter. The homeless people enter the shelter, only to find themselves in Homer's gut.
You Gotta Know When to Golem
At the end of an episode of Krusty's show, Bart goes backstage to complain about an acid-spraying Krusty brand alarm clock. There he finds the Golem of Prague, a creature from Jewish mythology. Krusty tells Bart that in the seventeenth century, the Golem was sculpted out of clay by a powerful rabbi and would obey any command written on a scroll and placed in his mouth. Although the golem was created ostensibly to protect Jewish villages, he would obey any scroll placed in his mouth, evil or good. He had been passed down through many generations (one where he simply shoots intruders with a shotgun) and now works for Krusty. Bart steals the Golem by writing a command for him to come to his home at midnight. At midnight, the Golem shows up at the Simpson's house. From then on, Bart uses him to carry out his commands: swinging Principal Skinner up and down like a yo-yo until he splits in half and kicking Homer's walls (the result of a misunderstanding). Lisa thinks the Golem does not like doing the biddings of others and feeds him a scroll reading "Speak". The Golem (Richard Lewis) attempts to roar, then coughs, and reveals that he is a decent being who feels guilty about being used to commit heinous acts, and then he throws up excessive scrolls (one of which reads "Kill the Czar"). To make him feel better, the Simpsons create a female Golem (Fran Drescher) out of Play-Doh. The two are married by Rabbi Hyman Krustofski and the female Golem convinces Chief Wiggum not to press charges with the promise of pan-fried latkes, a Jewish delicacy (though she only gets to the words "pan fried" before Wiggum agrees).
The Day the Earth Looked Stupid
The population of Springfield, October 30, 1938 (during the Great Depression), are fooled by Orson Welles' infamous The War of the Worlds radio broadcast and believe the world has been invaded. A mass panic breaks out, and the citizens begin rioting. Marge voices her belief that the Martians will only destroy humans, so Sideshow Mel suggests they foil the aliens by cavorting naked in the mud like animals. They do this until the following day, when Lisa notifies the citizens that it was all a hoax, and, angry at being fooled, the citizens of Springfield vow to never fall for such a trick again. Kang and Kodos decide this is the perfect time for a real invasion, and begin destroying what's left of the town. True to their word, the town does not believe that it is a real invasion and ignores it. Orson Welles (Maurice LaMarche) comes to Springfield, admits it is not a staged act, and begs them to do something. Unfortunately, they do not, and the segment ends three years later with Kang and Kodos looking over the ruins, mulling on what went wrong and why they weren't greeted as liberators, as they rid Earth of weapons of mass disintegration during "Operation Enduring Occupation". The segment ends with the camera pulling away from the smoking ruins of what was once Springfield, as the song "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire" by the Ink Spots plays.
The Day The Earth Looked Stupid was originally supposed to end with Kang and Kodos making a direct reference to the War in Iraq as they observe the ruined remains of 1938 Springfield. While the FOX censors had no objections over the line, the producers and writers felt the reference was too obvious and had it cut to make the joke more subtle (though the leaked Internet version has the line that ended up being cut).
The song "Maybe" by The Ink Spots was also the opening theme of Fallout, and the destruction of Springfield mirrors the games theme of widespread destruction (though caused in Fallout by nuclear holocaust rather than extraterrestrials).
- ^ a b c d e f g "The Simpsons: "Treehouse of Horror XVII"". The Futon Critic. http://www.thefutoncritic.com/listings.aspx?id=20061016fox17. Retrieved 2008-06-01.
- ^ Ratings
- ^ Redeker, Bill (Oct 23, 2006). "'Simpsons' Halloween 'Horror' Could Hit GOP". ABC News. http://www.abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/story?id=2600380&page=1.
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