Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Ike Gets Busy

When I was in college, my friend Jason and I would dream (futilely, we thought) of the day when every episode of The Simpsons would be available on "video." If you had told me back then that the first seven seasons would be on the shelves and I'd only have the first two, I would have had Jason punch you in the face.

Proving that I've matured ever so slightly (I'm 31, but I consume pop culture at a 19-year-old level), my need to hoard the DVDs isn't quite as strong as I imagined it would be (partly because Jason and I watched many of these episodes upwards of 500 times in syndication, and I remember them more clearly than almost every moment in every class at...wherever it was I went to school).

My abstinence is going to be sorely tested, though, now that season seven is out, because it contains the episode titled "Sideshow Bob's Last Gleaming," which includes my all-time favorite Simpsons moment (that's saying something, I know, but I've thought about this and my decision is final). After Krusty the Clown is kicked off the air, he puts together a bare-bones broadcast "live from the civil defense shack in the remote Alkali Flats of the Springfield Badlands." (That phrase is funny enough.) In an attempt to cobble together a roster of guests, he picks up a gas can ("Professor Gas Can"), and a framed picture of "former President Ike Eisenhower!" He lifts the portrait up to the camera, where it occupies the whole frame, shakes it back and forth, and in a growling, soulful voice meant to represent Ike says, "Let's get bi-zay."

(You don't need to tell me that my recounting of it isn't funny; I know that. I'm hoping you've seen it and I'm just jogging your memory.) Krusty's probably my 20th favorite character on the show, but I've never laughed harder at a gag.


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