Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Simpsons, Halloween, and Oz

Besides Oz, I'm also a big fan of The Simpsons. I've been watching them sine they were shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show. And the best time of the year for The Simpsons is Halloween, when they break format and show three highly improbable (even for the Simpsons!) stories for the season. So imagine my surprise when this year, they actually had a proper Halloween episode, about dealing with the holiday and Lisa getting scared and Bart going out trick or treating and the like. Entitled "Halloween of Horror", it opens with the family setting up their house's Halloween display. Just as they're about to start, neighbor Ned Flanders ("Stupid Flanders!") strolls on over and asks about the Simpsons' usual Halloween tradition:

FLANDERS: Halloween at the Simpsons, what a classic tradition. Are you heading up to the treehouse to tell three horrifying tales?
HOMER: Eh, we’re doing it next week. It’s going to be Psycho with Skinner and his mom, Muppet Wizard of Oz—I’m Scarecrow Fozzie—and then, uh, one where furniture gets smart and takes over the world, or something.
FLANDERS: Mmm! Sounds chilling.
HOMER: Eh, people love it.
They didn't quite get this year's Treehouse of Horror episode quite right, but that middle one sounds intriguing, right? Of course, in the actual production of The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, we all know that Kermit was the Scarecrow, and Fozzie was the Lion.

But wait, there's more! Later on, in the same episode, on Halloween itself, the kids are coming into the school in costume, when this character shows up.

See who's standing right in front of Principal Skinner? That's the only one he makes a specific reference to, saying, "There's no place like home." But wait, there's even more! Besides the show, Bongo Comics puts out an annual Treehouse of Horror comic book. This year, one of the stories is a take-off on the classic silent sci-fi movie Metropolis, with Marge being replicated as an android. When she is overpowered and melted, here is her reaction:
So over all, it's been a very Ozzy Halloween for The Simpsons.

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