The Simpsons: Season 28 Episode 9
This The Simpsons review contains spoilers.
Send in the Christmas hounds, a dapper Mr. Burns proclaims in the opening couch gag, so let’s give them their puppy uppers. The Simpsons‘ season 28 garnished a lot of attention on the richest man in Springfield’s trapdoor, and the hounds have been too long in the fang. They may no longer be those cute little Rory Calhouns, standing and walking, but they can rock a pair of antlers with the best of them: Max from How The Grinch Stole Christmas. “The Nightmare After Krustmas” is a holiday gift wrapped in family tragedy, the loss of a sense of humor from a young shiksa.
I love it that Krusty’s daughter says he doesn’t have to be “sort of funny” with her. It’s sort of funny cos it’s almost true. This reviewer has been calling Krusty the almost-funny clown since I almost giggled at one of his actual jokes once. The pies Krusty takes to the face have always reflected the ones critics and fans have thrown at the show. The clown drops his pants in this one, both for his daughter, but only in that “you play the French horn” kind of way, and for the entire holiday season. He is fully at home in the center of the episode and just may have warranted his own spinoff.
That isn’t the case yet but, for me, Natasha Lyonne, best known for her role as Nicky Nichols on Orange is the New Black but beloved for her crystallization on Steven Universe as Smokey Quartz, the fusion of Amethyst and Steven, will always be Sophie, the loving daughter who got her father to ruin his show to prove he’s a good father. And knowing it. Kelsey Grammer has had fun with a lot of characters in his career, but he’s really had a better role than Sideshow Bob. Give her some lines with the letter k. She comes off like she’s glomming material from Andrew Nice Clay, Larry the Fable Guy or Joe Piscopalian.
Krusty’s kid was raised Christian. She’s ignored the faith of her father’s people: the clowns, now sad in their clown cars. The Simpson family makes room for daddy Krustofsky, who usually cuddles up with a good bookmaker with a generous point spread for the day before Boxing Day. As usual, the Kosher ham overdoes it. He flips the Simpsons residence over for a Christmas special. The house on Evergreen Terrace has been the location of many happenings in Springfield. I wonder if Marge negotiates location coordinator credits.
Fear not, ths isn’t a “very special” episode of The Simpsons. Krusty’s relationship with his daughter is obviously complicated, but the Simpsons don’t give in to the temptation of tinselly treacle. He flails and fails and still doesn’t get the attention of his first agent, now walking Bob Hope to his first hole in heaven.
The nature of the universe is that we have to wait for every moment, as taught to us by Mazda, the top god of the Zoroastrian universe. He is not what you’d call a good drunk, but he did come up with the most inclusive religions in history. Did you know that if you say one specific Zoroastrian prayer just once in your life and you are eligible for Zoroastrian Heaven? That might be the moment you’ve been waiting for, old nonsense that’s been around since before baby Jesus grew up to be Jesus. Yes, same guy, can you believe it?
The faithful of Springfield hold a Divine intervention for Reverend Lovejoy, who seems to have lost his mojo again. The spiritual stepfather of Springfield has a crisis of faith every few seasons and always redeems himself, in the eyes of his frey-ands and neighbors at least, in the end. He does it here by saving the life of the beliked clown, pumping out the frosty water through the gimmicky five and dime flower gag in Krusty’s lapel. He starts off the episode with a negative 6 rank on the convert scale and his three wise men parallel to the Beastie Boys seems more desperate than hip, but he makes a miraculous recovery even in the eyes of The P-p-parson, and the Patriarch and the boss of them all, the Metropolitan, which is not Duff’s new drink which boasts no flavor, just alcohol.
The episode takes some wonderful shots at religion, spirituality and the commercialization of Christmas. When Lovejoy is looking for converts, he stops at the Quik E Mart for a quart of humble meat-free pie. Why on earth would Apu, or any Hindu – there are 750 million of them you know – settle for a holy trinity when their pantheon would do Pixar proud? The Bible may be the best-selling book in the world, but The Bhagavad-Gita is so colorful.
According to a book sold separately, Marge brings Maggie a plushy Gnome toy that looks like a frightening version of Flapjack and never closes its eyes. Homer promises that the invasive home intruder will nibble at Maggie’s fingers the second she gets on Santa’s “naughty” list and the kid loses herself in fantasia. This is an excellent nightmare sequence that captures childhood free association. And those fingers look like real Maggie fingers.
“I haven’t been heard from,” pronounces Sideshow Mel confidently. Though he doesn’t actually have a bone to pick with Reverend Lovejoy, it should be noted, because it is a classic bit. This episode has so many laugh lines, with gags setting up gags and pills to wash it all down
Like a juicer stuffed with KitKat bars and Fruit Loops, this season has been loaded with enough goodies for a chimney full of stockings and this episode is a worthy offering, Judeo, Christian or Pagan. “The Nightmare After Krustmas” gives us everything except a non-denominational seasonal special, but is a present anyone can open. While “The Bashing of the Christ” by Itchy and Scratchy cartoons was a few nails short of a cross, almost every line is a skewered shot of eggnog spiked with subversive holiday cheer. Even the setups. The visual gags are aplenty and the whole episode is lit with wit.
“The Nightmare After Krustmas” was written by Jeff Westbrook and directed by Jeff Westbrook. The Simpsons stars Dan Castellaneta as Homer and Abe Simpson, Julie Kavner as Marge Simpson, Nancy Cartwright as Bart Simpson, Yeardley Smith as Lisa Simpson. Hank Azaria plays Chief Wiggum and Moe. Harry Shearer is Kirk Van Houten, Kent Brockman, C. Montgomery Burns and Waylon Smithers. Wayne Gretzky as himself, Natasha Lyonne as Sophie and Jackie Mason as Rabbi Krustofsky.
But It All Went By So Fast: Peace and goodwill to all. No yogurt parking. We tow. Pagan Winter Carnival. $5 Antler rental. Graven images while you wait. Phone-Henge. Dunk the monk. Ba’al pit. Damned for Eternity Temporary Tattoos. Jack Frost’s Ice Garden. Strandbeast wind-powered kinetic sculpture. Springfield General Hospital: The perfect Christmas gift? Your organs! Krusty’s Custody Calendar.
A Very Krusty Christmas Special. Warning: Contains treasonous statements. Stockings are for Krusty and Daughter.
Possible Converts: Mr. Largo, Apu, Comic Book Guy, Willie, Cookie Kwan. First Church of Springfield: Get a grip on Salvation. God rest ye merry second grade choir tickets still available. Men’s Terlet. Cave Candy. Babies Welcome. First Church of Springfield: Joy to the World Christmas Day Service. Recycle your nativity scenes here. Little Model Trains Catalogue. Die Clown. Bob Hope.