Round 3: Secrets of a Successful Marriage vs. Burns, Baby Burns

Third round! 1F20 vs. 4F05. (Bracket)

1F20: “Secrets of a Successful Marriage” (Season 5 / May 19, 1994)
Written by Greg Daniels
Directed by Carlos Baeza
Showrunner: David Mirkin

Homer Simpson at the Krusty Burger drive-through

“Sir, it’s a felony to tease the order box.”

Remember, I’m not trying to find the best episode of “The Simpsons.” I’m trying to find my favorite one. I may not like the same things you do. For example, I don’t like to see couples fighting on TV. Of course there can be exceptions, but most times, it just doesn’t appeal to me. So while I recognize that this is a well-written, funny, and competently animated episode, the story of Homer acting so ignorant and stupid that Marge finally throws him out just doesn’t click with me. Still, there were a few things I liked:

  • Excellent food-acting on Marge when Homer asks if she thinks he’s “slow.”
  • “If he can teach a class, he can teach a class — I mean, I can teach a class!”
  • Beautiful animation for Smithers’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof“/”Streetcar Named Desire” flashback.
  • “Webster’s Dictionary describes a wedding as, ‘The process of removing weeds from one’s garden.'”

4F05: “Burns, Baby Burns” (Season 8 / November 17, 1996)
Written by Ian Maxtone-Graham
Directed by Jim Reardon
Showrunners: Bill Oakley & Josh Weinstein

Larry Burns Springfield

“Can’t they get a pole for that sign?”

I’m sure Rodney Dangerfield was a big get for the Simpsons writers and producers, but his voice and his style of comedy doesn’t really fit all that well into the show, I thought. A couple of good jokes, but overall nothing special.

  • Loved Homer’s brain leaving his body and the ensuing, perfectly animated fall.
  • “I can’t exscape Lisa, our little walking libary.”
  • “Quiet, you, nobody likes a comedian.”

The winner: 1F20, “Secrets of a Successful Marriage.”