Round 30: Marge in Chains vs. Bart After Dark

Round 30: 9F20 vs. 4F06.

9F20: “Marge in Chains” (Season 4 / May 6, 1993)
Written by Bill Oakley & Josh Weinstein
Directed by Jim Reardon
Showrunners: Al Jean & Mike Reiss

Lionel Hutz imagining a world without lawyers.

“If there’s one thing America needs, it’s more lawyers.
Can you imagine a world without lawyers?”

I had kinda forgotten about this episode. Certain parts of it (definitely the scene above) are all-time favorites, but I couldn’t have placed them in this specific episode. Looking at the bracket and the show this one is up against I fear “Marge in Chains” won’t make it to the next round (haven’t decided yet, though), which is a shame. In par with the rest of the season this one is incredibly funny and features another great Phil Hartman performance.

Commentary trivia:
– Al Jean ordered Bill & Josh to read Camus’ “The Plague” in preparation for this episode.
– Conan O’Brien was (probably still is) obsessed with big sandwiches.
– (Possible) TV firsts in this episode: JFK joke, MAD fold-in joke, somebody saying “Eep!”
– Matt Groening: not a huge fan of Homer wearing Marge’s wedding dress.
– Al really hates Jimmy Carter.

  • Love the Psycho reference. Shot-for-shot, perfect music.
  • Favorite Lionel Hutz moment in this tournament so far:
    – “What color tie am I wearing?”
    – “You are wearing a red-and-white striped club tie in a half Windsor knot.”
    – “Oh, I am, am I? Is that what you think? Well if that is what you think…”

4F06: “Bart After Dark” (Season 8 / November 24, 1996)
Written by Richard Appel
Directed by Dominic Polcino
Showrunners: Bill Oakley & Josh Weinstein

Homer Simpson wearing a brown paper bag as pants.

“I have misplaced my pants.”

Okay, sorry 9F20, you’re great, but this one’s a comedy masterpiece.

  • Cat in the furnace.
  • Tress MacNeille is always great, but this may just be her crowning achievement.
  • Bill & Josh aren’t the only things “Bart After Dark” has in common with “Marge in Chains.” We also get, in both of these episodes: Marge leaving the house for an extended amount of time and said house instantly filling up with garbage, Mayor Quimby vacationing on a tropical island, a Hitchcock reference (here it’s “North by Northwest”), somebody saying “Eep!” and, finally, David Crosby.

The winner: 4F06: “Bart After Dark.”