Skinner, He patrols the school halls
Skinner, when you spit he’s got the balls
If you mosey through the school
All kids say you’re so cool
And you even made Bart Simpson spill his milk,
Skinner you’re the master of you’re fate.
Skinner, you sure look good in chaps …
The more insight we get into Principal Skinner, the less there is to see. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we want to see less, the absence of anything abstentious is one of the things we love in Skinner, even if we can’t see it. How Skinner sees himself, however, is important. To Skinner though, not to anyone else. And even to Principal Skinner, the more he sees, the less he wants to see. He didn’t want to look in the first place and by god, he’s going to stop looking now. Once you unpeel one layer of the onion that is Principal Skinner, much like an actual onion, the layer below is very much like the layer above. It’s not like you unpeel a layer of onion and get rutabaga.
Which brings us to Krusty, why? Rutabaga, its one of those words Krusty’s made a fortune off of, and now that fortune’s on a decline. Everybody in Springfield always knew Krusty was bad, it’s not that they loved him anyway, or that they loved him in spite of it or because of it. They loved Krusty because he was on every Monday after school at the same time every day. That’s pretty ambitious for a clown. Don’t let that diploma fool you, even clowns who graduate at the top of the class in Clown College usually mop floors most of their career. Yes, with gag mops, but it still stings. It stings.
The sting in this episode, Yellow Subterfuge, is revenge. Skinner promises the kids a trip on the USS Tom Clancy, if they behave. To show he means it, he starts every kid with a clean slate. Lisa, an obvious winner, opts out because of his arbitrary authority. She goes off to save Krusty. She’s done it before and Krusty will never remember. That’s what we love about Krusty. It’s not the coke he’s been sniffing off the rug of his limo that made him so self-absorbed. He’s a klown. It’s like telling a rattlesnake not to shake during a punchline. Krusty and Skinner will never change. Or they might change and quickly change back.
It takes Homer to set things right. Right after he gets something to eat. Food is a big part of the Simpsons, it’s a big part of comedy and The Simpsons is a family comedy. It’s over dinner that Marge shows her support for Bart. Again. And Maggie dips her pacifier. Again. And Santa’s Little Helper eats stray meatballs. The Simpsons loves to layer joke on joke. Almost every line is a funny in this episode and if it isn’t it’s only because it’s setting one up. And then they throw in the visual gags and the “Things You Missed” which I’ll add tomorrow because I’m watching Bonnie and Clyde right now and you have TV comedy that is consistently unparalleled. You have to go back to the first four Marx Brothers movies to find shows with so many laughs stuffed in as these guys the past few seasons.
The Simpsons. “Yellow Subterfuge” was written by Joel H. Cohen.
Den of Geek Rating: 3.5 Out of 5 Stars