442. Homer the Whopper

Homer the Whopper(originally aired September 27, 2009)
Just like Ricky Gervais before them, this episode was written by two guest writers: Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the comedy duo behind Superbad and Pineapple Express. And just like last time, I’m sure there’s about 3% left here from their draft after getting ripped to shreds after many rounds in the writer’s room. Why get comedy writers to write scripts for you if you’re going to water them down to be as innocuous and indistinguishable as the rest of the slop? Bart and Milhouse find out Comic Book Guy has a secret hobby: penning his own superhero comics, and they encourage him to self-publish them. They are, of course, instantly successful, and he manages to print them in large quantities and sell them to comic shops all over the globe… and in space. Bereft of ideas, Hollywood options Everyman is a movie, and CBG demands he be able to choose the actor who plays the lead. Guess who gets the part? Whoever could it be? Homer the movie star! Ugh.

This episode is about the production and release of an entire film, and it still feels like nothing is happening, and the little that is is ridiculous. CBG wanted a schlubby average Joe to play Everyman, but now the studio feels Homer needs to get into perfect physical shape. I guess they gloss over this by showing how CBG has gone Hollywood, but then later we see him protesting the disaster of a production. Whatever. Homer’s trainer is voiced by Rogen, and is another in a long line of disposable guest roles. What happens is that Homer gets ridiculously buff, then weeks into production is randomly tempted by a craft services cart, and then gets overweight again. None of the hundreds of people working on this major blockbuster film noticed or said anything as Homer ballooned into his normal obese frame, and worse than that, pushed the movie into release where his weight flagrantly fluctuates literally from shot to shot. I’ll say again for the thousandth time, I can’t take any of this shit seriously if the episode itself doesn’t. Having been gracious enough to give this series another shot, I remember watching this one, and just feeling nothing. The magic from this show I once loved was now completely gone. I have no idea why it took me so frigging long though.

Tidbits and Quotes
– Comic Book Guy was once shrewd and quick-witted, able to undermine all of his customers and their bullshit. Now he falls for Bart tricking him about not knowing Spider-Man was a comic before it was a movie.
– I couldn’t stop thinking of how shitty an idea Everyman the superhero was. I mean, I guess it works as CBG’s creation, although I think he would make fun of something like this. But then, how is it going to work as a movie if a studio would have to acquire the rights to all these other superheroes for him to absorb their powers from their comic books? It just doesn’t seem like it would work, but then again, I’m sure no one in the writer’s room even bothered to bring this up. Nor does it really matter, really. I’m more offended just that it’s a dumb idea.
– Outside Ginormous Pictures is a poster for Star Wars Episode VII: The Apology. Again, it’s the Star Wars-Cosmic Wars dilemma again, the poster even has that goddamn George Lucas expy on it we saw in that other episode… whatever his name was… ugh.
– Homer as Everyman looks nothing like CBG’s comic. They changed everything; you’d think this would be easy satire of Hollywood usurping a creative property and fucking up everything about it, but it’s barely even scratched upon.
– I did laugh at the shot outside the Kwik-E-Mart as Homer’s vomit plasters the inside windows, played in complete silence.
– There’s great, great irony on the Everyman test screening marquee (“Tell Us How To Do Our Job”) considering what happened with The Simpsons Movie, but I don’t think that was the intention of the writers…

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18 responses to “442. Homer the Whopper

  1. Not quite the same thing as a guy touching a comic to get powers, but we DO already have heroes who can do what Everyman can, more or less. Rogue on the X-Men can steal your powers — permanently if she does it to long — by just TOUCHING you. Also, Spawn can essentially do EVERYTHING, EVER, AT ANY TIME TIME, WHENEVER HE WANTS… he just has that demon counter thing where if he does too much he goes back to Hell. I’m sure there’s a trillion examples. I’m tired. This episode sucks.

  2. I preferred this story when it was called “Radioactive Man”.

    Mickey Rooney >>> Seth Rogen

    • Yes and the bad editing scene was done way better in that episode too.

    • Jiminy Jillikers!

    • I did too, but both Radioactive Man and this episode had crummy, lifeless digital animation. The only saving grace was that Radioactive Man had that flashback of the campy 1970s Radioactive Man where Radioactive Man and Fallout Boy fight The Scoutmaster (who looks and acts like Paul Lynde) and the ending where it turns out Hollywood is a beautiful place filled with flowers and rainbows while “Lean on Me” plays.

  3. – I couldn’t stop thinking of how shitty an idea Everyman the superhero was. I mean, I guess it works as CBG’s creation, although I think he would make fun of something like this. But then, how is it going to work as a movie if a studio would have to acquire the rights to all these other superheroes for him to absorb their powers from their comic books? It just doesn’t seem like it would work, but then again, I’m sure no one in the writer’s room even bothered to bring this up. Nor does it really matter, really. I’m more offended just that it’s a dumb idea.

    Just the fact it’s called everyman… YAWN! also Family Guy made fun of a writer calling their character John Everyman back in 2001…

    • Also, CBG hates the everyman and considers himself superior in nearly every way. This is not the sort of fantasy someone like him would have.

  4. This episode sounds wretched but I actually like CBG’s idea for a comic. You could use made-up comics if you had to. It’s fun in a campy way, like “Dial H for Hero.”

  5. “None of the hundreds of people working on this major blockbuster film noticed or said anything as Homer ballooned into his normal obese frame, and worse than that, pushed the movie into release where his weight flagrantly fluctuates literally from shot to shot.”

    I thought that bit was pretty good, though much like a lot of modern episodes, they stretched the gag longer than it needed to.

  6. I hate this episode almost as much as I hate Seth Rogen. I think the guy is unfunny, his movies are nothing more than about guys trying to get laid and making countless sex jokes, and he is just overall a douchebag who is full of himself. The episode itself is just a rip-off of “Radioactive Man,” but it is done in such a boring way.

    Anyway, I was surprised to see this review up and it is kind of nice. Not sure what made you change your mind so quickly, but it was nice.

  7. Sorry to go against the flow here, but I actually enjoyed this episode. It’s nothing spectacular, but I found the jokes funny. ZS is lucky to even pull that off, especially considering season 20.

  8. i just can say in “Radioactive Man”, the editing scene is one of my favourite ever, while watching the editing scene in this episode i felt like embarrassed for the writers, i felt sorry for them, because i knew it should have been funny but it looked so dull, pathetic and rough, like they really didnt know how to do it but they tried their best

  9. I checked out this episode out of curiosity. I can believe it’s something Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg would write. The fact that Marge and Lisa get maybe about half a dozen lines between them suggests that…

    I hate the way people call CBG “Comic Book Guy” like it’s his real name. It’s just really really lazy.

    • It makes sense if you figure no one bothered to ask his name and he’s only ever said it to Flanders. Where it would be lazy is if his wife refers to him as Comic Book Guy. Surely she should know his real name.

      • Eh. More realistically, they’d call him Comic Store Guy, I think. It’s well-established that many of our characters like comics (Bart, Milhouse, Martin) so CBG isn’t the only comics guy. He is the only one with a store, though

  10. There are a couple of things I like in this episode, like Cbg reading to his adopted cambodian orphan by saying “nanny produce the child and the story book” and the bin of previous studio heads.

    Everyman also amused me with the “power absorbtion power, absorb!” line, and just for how bad an idea it actually was, as well as “everyman 2, rise of the revenge!”, though then again I freely admit I really! don’t like the modern trend of big flat super hero films so anything which even vaguely attempps to micky take I will probably view in a favouriable light, albeit the Simpsons have parodied super heroes in general far better in the past.

    I really! didn’t care for Homer’s trainer though, why is suddenly saying one thing then reversing on it supposed to be funny? his enthusiastic “goodbye” and then whispered to homer “bad bye” just made him look obnoxious, and the line about “I’ll train you, and leave you and train you again, that’s how I make my money” was so out of left field making him seem like a creepy drug pusher for some reason.

    All in all there are worse episodes of zombie simpsons, but then again there are always! worse episodes of Zombie simpsons :D.

  11. I would be interested in reading the original draft to this episode before the Zombie writers destroyed its humor and soul.

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