Round 39: Saturdays of Thunder vs. Marge Be Not Proud

Round 39: 8F07 vs. 3F07.

8F07: “Saturdays of Thunder” (Season 3 / November 14, 1991)
Written by Ken Levine & David Isaacs
Directed by Jim Reardon
Showrunners: Al Jean & Mike Reiss

Bart Simpson welding.

“Bart! You can’t weld with such a little flame.”

A nice little Homer and Bart story. I was a bit surprised that this was already in the show’s third season, for some reason it feels like a season two episode to me. That has nothing to do with the quality, it’s just that in my head this episode feels older than the timeless “The Way We Was.”

Anyway, we get great animation on and off the race track here, including a loving tribute to “The Godfather” in the McBain clip.

(I hate to be this brief when talking about the episodes, but sometimes I just don’t have much to say. There’s nothing to complain about, and nothing earth-shattering, either.)

3F07: “Marge Be Not Proud” (Season 7 / December 17, 1995)
Written by Mike Scully
Directed by Steven Dean Moore
Showrunners: Bill Oakley & Josh Weinstein

Lisa and Bart Simpson watching television.

“Now, stay tuned for a video Christmas card from Tupac Shakur.”

Dead Homer Society have a whole chapter just on this “very special episode,” which they cite as one of the (if not the) turning point of “The Simpsons,” the one episode that turned the once great show into the banality that is Zombie Simpsons.

I don’t know what that’s all about, to me “Marge Be Not Proud” is a wonderful episode, with a story true to Bart and Marge’s characters, and featuring one great joke after another. Homer gets a lot of the big laughs here, but I also very much enjoyed 75-year-old Lawrence Tierney as the store detective. (The commentary is full of good stories about him, too.)

  • “I don’t think this is the kind of coat that opens.”
  • I will never get tired of Homer wearing his reading glasses in bed:
  • “I figured out the boy’s punishment. First, he’s grounded. No leaving the house, not even for school. And absolutely no stealing for three months.”
  • Another perfect little Lisa moment at the end, when she’s upset about not getting a present, too. Gotta love Yeardley!

The winner: 3F07, “Marge Be Not Proud.”