Round 50: AABF05 vs. EABF17.
AABF05: “Mayored to the Mob” (Season 10 / December 20, 1998)
Written by Ron Hauge
Directed by Swinton O. Scott III
Showrunner: Mike Scully
I’m getting pretty good at stitching together these panning shots. Useless talent #66.
A rather mixed episode. More of it good than bad, but there’s definitely some bad stuff. I didn’t like Homer’s actions and attitudes as Quimby’s bodyguard, but I gotta say I loved seeing him in that black tux. Joe Mantegna’s always a welcome voice, and animation-pro Mark Hamill did a good job playing himself and the bodyguard instructor.
- “Roger Corman’s Titanic.” Brilliant. Perfect match of animation and sound effects.
- Never thought Frank Nelson was very funny, never thought Yes Guy was very funny.
- Good musical number near the end.
EABF17: “Moe Baby Blues” (Season 14 / May 18, 2003)
Written by J. Stewart Burns
Directed by Lauren MacMullan
Showrunner: Al Jean
After a real stinker of a first act I was ready to kick this one out of the tournament without regret. But then a funny thing happened. And then another. Funny things kept happening.
The ugly stuff first. I talked about the concept of the rubber-band reality before, and how that band had pretty much snapped sometime in the early double digit seasons. We get some of that here, most strikingly with the Venus flytrap luring in Homer with a hot dog.
Then there’s some gross-out humor I don’t really care for. Krusty jumping into a pile of manure, Moe dislocating his shoulder.
But the more the episode went on, the better it got. Whereas the episode above produced a few chuckles here and there, this one had me actually laughing, at things like Homer being in Burns’ carpool, or Moe acting out The Godfather with Maggie’s toys.
I was very impressed with the staging and animation of the fourth act. Some very cool color choices and angles. And I liked the little photo montage at the end, too.
The winner: EABF17, “Moe Baby Blues,” marking the first true win for an Al Jean episode.