[3F20] Much Apu About Nothing

Much Apu About Nothing                        Written by David S. Cohen
					      Directed by Susie Dietter
Production Code: 3F20                Original Airdate in N.A.: 5-May-96
					  Capsule revision C, 10-Jun-96

"TV Guide" Synopsis {sp}

Marge and Homer staunchly support a proposal to deport all illegal immigrants from Springfield, until they learn it would affect Apu, who buys fraudulent identification documents from Fat Tony (voice of Joe Mantegna).

Opening Sequence


     Homer is a carpet and the other Simpsons' heads are mounted on
     a wall; a hunter carrying a gun comes in and sits on the couch.
     He sets his gun next to the couch and lights his cigar.

	 (Recycled from 3F09.)

Did you notice...

... Selma apparently married Lionel Hutz while we weren't looking? ... the mailman (excuse me, fe-mailman) looks like Lunch Lady Doris? ... Lisa fails to note that Native Americans are immigrants too? (see below) ... Dr. Nick Riviera cheats by having everything written on his arm? Ricardo A. Lafaurie Jr.: ... Kent Brockman is reporting from the sky instead of Arnie Pye? ... Moe says "immigants" from the start? ... Mayor Quimby says "Yay" along with the crowd? ... Maggie is being shown less and less with her pacifier? ... Mrs. Glick is shown carrying a "Homer says Get Out" sign? ... Dr. Nick Riviera is an illegal immigrant? Haynes Lee: ... Mayor Quimby putting white-out on the documents? Benjamin J. Robinson: ... Ned's still driving that Geo? ... the fancy house George Bush bought is still across the street? (Admit it, you thought it was going to disappear after "Two Bad Neighbors (3F09).") ... the "Great White Hunter" and "Nuke" video games in the Kwik-E- Mart? ... Apu mispronounces the New York (NY) Mets as, "nye mets?" ... once again, we see a 48-state map? Does anyone in Springfield recognize Alaska and Hawaii? ... Dr. Nick cheats on is citizenship exam, by having the answers written on his arm? ... Maggie did not suck even once on her pacifier this whole episode? Jason Hancock: ... Ned's Geo has driver and passenger-side air bags? ... the two bottles of white-out on Mayor Quimby's desk? ... the "BEAR PATROL" message on the front of the van is printed backwards the way ambulances do it? ... Barney seems to like Rod Stewart (judging by the sign)? ... Apu wears a New York Mets jersey? ... the dots on the first shot of the map represent state capitals? ... Homer points to Chicago on the map? ... the immigration service's calendar is for May 1996? Dale Abersold: ... the cheesy 60's era sitcom music that played while the bear walked through the streets? ... the First Act had a lot of slapstick? ... that odd substance OFF was eating for dinner? ... Lisa's devious plot to get herself some candy? ... once again, Bart was limited to a tiny role? ... Prof. Frink's predictions about the future of computers were precisely wrong? ... Selma had at least one marriage that we haven't heard about? Veronica Marquez: ... we don't see from what country Abe is originally from? ... Moe is an immigrant? Kevin Horsch: ... the initials to Apu's alma mater, Springfield Heights Institute of Technology? [Think about it --ed] Don Del Grande: ... Homer makes $95.96 a day, not the $40 mentioned in 1F17? ... the "Evergreen Terrace" street sign now says "Evergreen" directly above "Ter"? ... Ned's car's airbag covers the entire front seat? ... Ned is just about as fat as Homer? ... Selma pronounces Sideshow Bob's last name with a "soft G"? ... there are three open boxes of baking soda in the refrigerator? ... Homer doesn't wear socks? ... the Springfield Shopper now costs 35 cents? ... Homer's statement is from "Springfield Power Company", not SNPP? ... Maggie eats with her hands? Rick Senger: ... the Simpsons' refrigerator has no food and three boxes of baking soda in it? ... Barney enjoys the sensation of the animal tranquilizer and actually drinks the drug straight from the dart? ... as the bear is loaded onto the U.S. Forest Service truck, Barney is loaded onto a Moe's bar truck? ... Mayor Quimby swipes Moe's pic-a-nic basket? ... when he first moved to America, Grampa lived in the head of the Statue of Liberty until he filled the head up with garbage? ... Moe and Homer mispronounce a bunch of words and use bad grammar as they disparage the ability of immigrants to speak English? Mark Richey: ... Leon Kompowski in the town hall crowd? ... the Great White Hunter video game at the Kwik-E-Mart ties in with the couch gag? ... the bras in Selma's room? ... the picture of Patty & Selma at Easter Island? ... the stovepipe hat chart? ... the May calendar in the immigration office? ... Burns casting a ballot? ... Helen Lovejoy blowing out a candle? ... Hans Moleman flushing a toilet? Tom Baker: ... Apu *actually* sold Homer a "Yes on 24" button to get three dollars? [Haynes Lee predicted that the Bumblebee guy would be revealed as an illegal immigrant!... see 3F15. --ed]



   - Dan Castellaneta (Homer, Barney, Quimby, Willie, Abe, Abe's dad
   - Julie Kavner (Marge, Selma)
   - Nancy Cartwright (Bart, Nelson, Kearney)
   - Yeardley Smith (Lisa)
   - Hank Azaria (Wiggum, Moe, Quimby's assistant, Apu, Apu's father,
     Prof. Frink, cat)
   - Harry Shearer (Ned, Kent Brockman, Lenny, Skinner, Lou, Eddie,

Also Starring

   - Pamela Hayden (Abe's mother)
   - Tress MacNeille (Manjula)
   - Maggie Roswell (Maude, Helen, Apu's mother)
   - Russi Taylor (Uter)

Special Guest Voice

   - Joe Mantegna (Fat Tony)

Movie, Music, and other References

+ Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" - episode title "Psycho" {mar} - Ned's screaming is straight out of this film "Tarzan" {jh} - Homer swinging from the wire is similar + Country Bear Jamboree {bjr} - the phrase, "Country Bear Jambaroo," is similar to this Animatronic Disney attraction "We're here, we're queer" at St. Patrick's Day parade {bjr} {ddg} - Homer lifted this chant from one of the more aggressive gay- rights factions + Yogi Bear - Moe's remark about "smarter than the average bear" and the bear stealing "pic-a-nic" baskets California's Proposition 187 - fervor over Prop. 24 similar + B-2 Stealth Bomber {bjr} - the Bear Patrol plane is one of these hi-tech, hi-cost bombers, with a coat of white paint + The "Milk Miracle" in India six months back {bg} - Apu offering Ganesha Yoo-Hoo is a reference to this (see below) + Satyajit Ray's film series "The Apu Trilogy" {et} - Apu's father seems to be the image of the actor who played Apu's father in the S. Ray films + Army Recruitment Poster {bjr} - "I Want You ... Out!" spoofs the famous "Uncle Sam" join-the-army advertisement + "Casablanca" {mar} - the "Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow" line is out of this film ~ "Herman's Head" {ddg} - Louise's father was working on "Turkey Jerky" (OK, it's a stretch...) + "Cat Fancy" magazine {jh} - "Cat Fancier" is a parody + National Geographic {jh} - map used by Homer is from there (see below) + "The New Colossus", poem by Emma Lazarus {vm}, {mar} - Wiggum's line is a paraphrase of this poem, about the Statue of Liberty: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free"

Freeze Frame Fun

Watching the bear being taken away {ddg}

      Reverend and Mrs. Lovejoy
      the Flanders family
      Mr. and Mrs. van Houten
      the Android's Dungeon owner
      Lionel Hutz
      Ruth Powers
      Mrs. Glick
      Dr. Hibbert
      Dr. Nick Riviera

People in mob (front to back, as Homer leads the charge) {jh}

      Lionel Hutz
      Ned Flanders
      the comic book guy
      Ruth Powers
      Principal Skinner
      Lou the cop
      Mrs. Glick
      Dr. Nick Riviera
      Rev. and Helen Lovejoy

      Jose Lafaurie {jl} also notes that Leon Kompowski (the fat bald
      guy who thought he was Michael Jackson in 7F24) is in there

      Don Del Grande {ddg} also notes that Herman and Hollis Hurlbut
      were present, and when Quimby announces Prop. 24, Miss Hoover,
      Mr. Largo, and Ms. Albright are present.

Homer's paycheck {ddg}

	Gross Pay (40 hours)    479.80 ($11.995/hour)
	Federal Withholding      56.25
	FICA                     36.34
	State Withholding        10.45
	Municipal Tax             9.37
	Bear Patrol Tax           5.00
	Net Pay                 362.19

Prop. 24 signs

     Yes on 24
     United States for United Statesianas
     Homer says "Get Out"
     The only good Foreigner is Rod Stewart
     Buy American
     Get Eurass Back to Eurasia

Cities we see on the map (by state) {jh}

   - Illinois
       Alton, Chicago, Decatur, *Peoria, Rockford, *Rock Island
   - Indiana
       Fort Wayne, Gary, Indianapolis, *Kokomo, *Terre Haute
   - Iowa
       Ames, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Des Moines, Dubuque, Fort Dodge,
       Mason City, Sioux City, Waterloo
   - Kansas
       Kansas City, Norton, Topeka
   - Michigan
       *Escanaba, Lansing
   - Minnesota 
       Mankato, Minneapolis, Rochester, St. Cloud, St. Paul
   - Missouri
       St. Joseph
   - Nebraska
       *Ainsworth, Grand Island, Lincoln, Norfolk, North Platte, Omaha
   - South Dakota
       Pierre, Sioux Falls
   - Wisconsin
       Eau Claire, Green Bay, Madison, Milwaukee, Wausau

(* indicates place whose name we can't see all of, either due to the 
camera angle or due to Homer's hand in the last shot.)

Boxes in the Kwik-E-Mart stockroom {jh}

    Duff Beer (stack of 7 cases to left of door)
    Krusty Bar (three boxes, top shelf)
    Turkey Jerkey (two boxes, middle shelf)
    Tubbb! (one large box, bottom shelf)

Taking the citizenship test {ddg}

      Pedro the Bumblebee Man
      Dr. Nick Riviera
      the "sugar thief" from 1F17
      Moe (in disguise)

At the picnic table (looking down from Homer's POV) {jh}

     Lisa                                   Marge
     Apu                                    Grampa
     Bart                                   Barney
     Ned and Maude Flanders                 Prof. Frink
     Rev. and Helen Lovejoy                 Dr. Nick Riviera


Technical Credits (if you care) {vm}

    Overseas Animation: Rough Draft Studios (Chang, Myung Nam) {ddg}
    Assistant Director: Chuck Sheetz
    Animation Timers: Pat Shinagawa, Brian Sheesley
    Storyboard: Martin Archer, Christian Roman, Ted Mathot, Susie
      Dietter, Chris Moeller
    Character Design Supervisor: Dale Hendrickson
    Character Design: Scott Alberts, Joseph Wack, Mark Howard, Matt
      Groening, Sam Simon
    Background Design Supervisor: Lance Wilder
    Background Design: John Krause, Maria Marrioti-Wilder, Edgar

Previous Episode References

- [7G09] A Simpson has a run-in with a bear - [7F24], [9F21] Leon Kompowski appears {jl} - [8F03], [2F12] Fat Tony appears - [8F08], [1F06], [2F21] Moe's nationality is referenced {vm} - [8F20], [3F15] Selma's previous marriages - [9F01] Apu's god Ganeesha is seen {ddg} - [1F10] Apu stays with OFF {jh} - [1F14] Ned drives a Geo {jh} - [1F17] The sugar thief is seen {ddg} - [1F18] Yoo-Hoo is referenced {vm} - [2F02] Elections are held in Springfield {jh} - [2F06] Groundskeeper Willie exposed as immigrant {hl} - [2F06] Flags with less than 50 stars are seen {vm} - [2F11] Kent Brockman: "Democracy doesn't work" (cf. Homer) {jh} - [2F31] Entertainment Weekly seen {jh} - [3F03] Lisa's animals activism {hl} - [3F05], [3F09] Tubbb! reappears {jh} - [3F09] The mansion in front of the Simpson home is seen - [3F13] Apu is a semi-legal immigrant {vm}

Animation, Continuity, and other Goofs

= In the first scene of the episode, the bear was standing at an intersection, that promply disappeared. Also, the house on the corner looked like the old Simpson place. Of course, it could be track housing. {mar} = When Homer is watching TV, you can see directly through one of the house's front windows through a doorway, but one of the walls of the TV room should have its own front window (so you shouldn't be able to see the front of the house from the TV room through a doorway) {ddg} = There was no writing on the mailbox until Homer said "Impson family." {mar} * When Homer rolled away from the house after Bart grabbed his pants and he fell, his pants should not have landed directly on top of him. {ddg} * I'm not sure how Principal Skinner could have phoned ahead for a spur-of-the-moment mob. [I think that was the joke --ed] {vm} = During the first dining room table scene, the close-ups had everyone eating pie, while the long shots still had them eating dinner. {mar} = When Homer opens the envelope with his pay statement, the envelope instantly disappears, leaving just the statement. {ddg} = Why would Kearney need a fake ID when he's apparently not a minor? (See 3F13.) {jl} * There is an Indian Institute of Technology in 5 Indian cities, but Calcutta is not one of them. {hl} = While we see the full scoop on how Apu came to enter the United States, no mention is made of Sanjay and his children. What about them? {vm} * What, nobody involved with the show has a passport? Apu's did not have an expiration date, and all of the words were in English whereas a real passport has them in French as well. {ddg} * Apu's birthday in his fake passport is January 9, 1962, which can't be true considering it's been at least 16 years (nine for studies plus seven since his student visa expired) since he started graduate school. {ddg} - Apu's head is drawn much larger than usual when he says "Store credit only". + Selma's former marriage surname order was Terwilliger, then McClure in 3F15; now, Hutz is between them. {vm} + Homer was registered to vote in 2F02, and you can't become "unregistered", yet he claims he's not registered now. {ddg} = On the first shot of the map, Michigan is colored orange, but it is colored blue in the closeup. {jh} = Apu falls asleep in his open book with pages facing upward; when he wakes up the book is closed; in another shot, the book is open again with pages facing downward. {am} = During the long shot, Apu's book is not only back open, but there's a pen and paper on the table. {mar} = During the party scene, Dr. Riviera was first not at the picnic table, then there with no coat, then with a white coat, then with a brown coat, then gone. {mar} + Apu has been summoned to jury duty before (see 1F19). {jh}

Comments and other observations

Other References

Here are some references that don't fit anywhere else:

    Yoo-Hoo for Ganeesha: Haynes Lee: "There was a religious Hindu
    craze in India last year when the religious elephant statues drunk

    Abe sees the Statue: Haynes Lee: "Chrysler chief Lee Iaoccoca
    immigrated from Italy and his first sight of America was the Statue
    of Liberty."

24 = 187

The Prop. 24 controversy mirrors this real-life California proposition.
    Benjamin J. Robinson remarks, "Proposition 187 was one of the most
    divisive issues on the 1994 California ballot.  Essentially, it
    sought to deny government services -- such as education, and
    medical aid -- to people who had entered this country illegally.
    Backers of the new law said that it would stop the drain of public
    money by people who weren't even supposed to be in the country in
    the first place.  Opponents argued that this proposition unfairly
    punished people who were quietly trying to make a better life in
    America, and would not be of much benefit to the public treasury,
    either.  Since most immigrants -- legal and otherwise -- in
    California were of Hispanic or Latino descent, some Prop. 187
    opponents saw the law as racially motivated."  Jose Lafaurie notes  
    as well, "If your name sounded Spanish or you looked Spanish, the
    police could rightfully pull you over and ask for your green card
    under this law."  Proposition 187 passed at the polls and should
    have taken effect January 1st of 1995, but was recently overturned
    by the courts.

Benjamin Robinson adds, "No one ever spelled out what Proposition 24
    would do, but it appears that it gave the police the power to
    deport anyone who was not either a citizen or a legal immigrant.
    Ironically, they are already allowed to do this under federal
    immigration law.  (Well, actually, I think Springfield's finest
    would have to tip off INS rather than deporting people themselves.)
    Therefore, Prop. 24 is actually redundant."

Don Del Grande asks rhetorically, "If Proposition 24 deports people
    `from Springfield', why not just have the illegal immigrants go to
    Shelbyville?"  They hate the town enough to dump their problems
    there.  See 2F20 and 2F22.

Chris Courtois adds, "The main concept was to discourage illegal
    immigration by prohibiting illegal aliens from receiving any public
    moneys, including welfare, medical care, or public schooling.
    Notably absent from the proposition were any sanctions against the
    employers that hire illegal aliens. (Rush was spouting that all
    these aliens are not getting jobs as busboys, maids, and migrant
    farm workers, but are risking everything so they can go on welfare,
    a belief satirized with Apu's "Which way to the welfare office"
    line). The proposition also coincided with governor Pete Wilson's
    bid for reelection. Prior to the campaign, polls indicated only 2%
    of Californians were strongly concerned about illegal immigration.
    Wilson attached himself to the proposition and began hyping it,
    essentially turning an issue with which no one was concerned into
    the centerpiece of his campaign, while conveniently ignoring real
    issues like California remaining in a recession while the rest of
    the country was recovering. (Similar to Quimby diverting attention
    from the bear tax complaints to illegal immigrants).  A third
    parallel was as election day approached, proposition 187 became
    "politically incorrect" and only the most vehement dittoheads would
    publically admit to supporting it; however, come election day, the
    proposition passed with a huge majority (Just like crowds of
    Springfieldians chanting their opposition but 95% of them voting
    "yes".) One last parallel to the California election was pondering
    a proposition which contained laws already on the books. In the same
    election, California voters were asked to vote on the "3 strikes
    law", which had already been approved and enacted by the legis-
    lature several months back."

Product Placement Corner -- brought to you by Nike

Benjamin Robinson notes, "That bottle of Yoo Hoo Apu offered to Ganesha
    sure was realistically drawn, wasn't it?  (Yoo Hoo is some sort of
    chocolate-flavored soda concoction.)  Perhaps it is the favorite
    drink of the animation staff."

I'll be X's, you be O's

Benjamin Robinson says, "Contrary to what Apu thinks, the problem of
    computerized tic-tac-toe has been pretty well solved.  Indeed, one
    of my assignments in my sophomore year was to write a tic-tac-toe
    program.  The instructors took off points if they could beat your

    "Also, Apu's punch cards should have had sequence numbers on them.
    These numbers told you which card went first, which went second,
    and so on.  People in the punch card days weren't so accident-free
    that they never dropped decks of cards.  Therefore, several columns
    on the end of the card were reserved for a sequence number.  If the
    cards got out of order, you could put them in a card sorter, which
    would re-order them for you.  Or maybe it would just mangle them
    completely -- it was all in the hands of fate.

    "If you ever wrote code in FORTRAN-77 you may have wondered why
    your statements couldn't go past column 72.  It's because columns
    73 through 80 were reserved for the sequence number.  The
    restriction was kept even as FORTRAN gradually moved from cards to
    video terminals.  [Perhaps this is why my crappy NeXT computer  
    limits all my lines to 72 columns.  --ed]  Fortran-90 now gives you
    the option of coding past column 72."

Where you're coming from

Benjamin Robinson says, "Evidently, Lisa might not know (or might
    dispute) the Land Bridge theory.  This theory holds that the native
    Americans walked over -- immigrated, if you will -- an isthmus of
    land that used to exist between Russia and Alaska.  The land was
    covered over when the oceans rose.  Furthermore, according to a
    growing body of evidence, humans originated in Africa, and then
    emigrated to every other point on the globe.  So not only is
    America a nation of immigrants, but so is Canada, Mexico, France,
    China, India, Japan...."

All about India where their clothes are different from ours

Jason Hancock notes, "The size of the student body at the Calcutta
    Institute of Technology is a reference to India's large population
    (about 937 million, according to the 1996 World Almanac, which
    places it only behind China).  On top of that, Calcutta is one of
    the world's largest and most overcrowded cities with some 11
    million people (even though it's only India's second largest city,
    behind Bombay)."

Balaji Gadhiraju says of the Yoo-Hoo drinking Ganesha, "Six months back
    the whole of India went crazy about a statue of Ganesha drinking
    milk when it was offered to him with spoons.  Later some people
    came up with theories why it happened.  One theory is as most of
    the statues are made of marble and because of surface properties
    of marble the milk when offered forms a very thin and invisible 
    (for the naked eye) layer and drips down. This really became a very
    big issue six months back in India."

He continues, "Though there are some snake charmers, mainly in villages
    and small towns, people generally dont play with them. It is not
    that you can see people playing with snakes everywhere."

    About Apu's betrothed: "This custom was practiced upto 100 years
    back and that too in only certain regions of india. Nowadays it is
    so rare that practically it is not existing. Also it is Illegal."

I'll be in the cold ground before I recognize New Mexicah

Jason Hancock says, "New Mexico became a state on January 6, 1912,
    while Arizona was admitted on February 14, 1912 (according to the
    World Almanac).  I don't think there actually was a 47-star flag
    like Homer showed Apu, as the flag went from 46 to 48 stars, but I
    do know there was a 49-star flag between the times Alaska and
    Hawaii became states."


Jason Hancock says, "Homer's map was published by the National
    Geographic Society, judging by its design.  Although it looks like
    the animators must have used a black-and-white Xeroxed copy (as NGS
    maps are usually in full color), the details are there, including
    rivers, airports, and highways.  BTW, the elevations (509 in Iowa,
    595 in Wisconsin, and 376 in Illinois) given on the map are in
    meters, not feet, and represent each state's highest point."

Where is Springfield? (a.k.a. who is Chuckie Finster's mom?)

Jason Hancock says, "The continuing saga of `Where is Springfield?'
    shows that in this episode, Lisa seems to be pointing to an Eastern
    state which we can't see thanks to Bart's head.  (Will we EVER find
    out where Springfield is, or will this thread go on forever?)  It
    would have to be between the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachians,
    as we see the Atlantic coastal states in one shot.  But now, thanks
    to Lisa mentioning that Springfield is nowhere near Chicago, we
    know it is NOT in Illinois as some people on a.t.s have said.  So,
    at least in this episode, Springfield seems to be somewhere in the

Don Del Grande notes additionally, "We now know Springfield (or at
    least `this Springfield') is not in the Great Lakes region or in
    the western half of the country, although the USA map is missing
    `Five Corners'."

Moe Knows Zilch

Veronica Marquez ponders, "Maybe the writers want to keep us guessing
    about just where Moe is from?  In `Flaming Moe's', Moe seemed to
    be of British origin, since the waitress refered to him as `Morris'
    but, in `Bart's Inner Child', Moe's inner child chides him for
    not talking with an Italian accent.  So much for that.  But wait,
    in `The Springfield Connection', Moe is revealed to have some sort
    of Arabic origin since his real name is Mohamar.  Just where is
    Moe from?"

Uter is not alone

Don Del Grande says, "I don't know what happened during, say, Desert
    Storm, but what happened to Uter in school definitely happened to
    a number of Middle Eastern (not necessarily Iranian, either) kids
    where I went to high school during the 1979-81 Iranian hostage

Homer's Tax Refund

From Don Del Grande:

	"Homer makes about $25,000/year
	Standard deduction $6550
	Five exemptions $12,500
	Taxable income: about $6000
	Federal tax owed: $904
	Federal tax withheld: $2925
	HOMER'S REFUND: about $2000"

    Now that's something we need to know later in life.  :-)

Entertainment Weekly (a phrase that might or might not fit OFS :-)

From Mark Richey, "Entertainment Weekly is a popular magazine dealing
    with, of all things, entertainment.  It's TV critic, Ken Tucker, is
    an unabashed fan of OFF.  An article last September, about the
    discussions about Who Shot Mr. Burns on a.t.s., first brought me to
    this newsgroup.
    "Tom Cruise is a hugely popular movie star.  Nicole Kidman is his
    mildly popular movie star wife.  It's highly probable that if they
    haven't been on EW's cover together before, they will be before

Cotton Mather

Homer's 9th grade history notes start with his name.  Cotton Mather was
    the son of minister Increase Mather (they got weird names, don't
    they?), who was a Harvard graduate and a peacher in the 1680's and
    1690's.  He very much advocated against spectre evidence in
    witchcraft trials, and for smallpox inoculations.  He published
    more than 400 works.


Dale Abersold - Based on who the writer and director are, I was not expecting very much from this episode (they have produced some of my least favorite eps). Much to my surprise, they put together this wonderful piece of political satire. Homer's pro-immigrant speech at the end was a classic. Grade: A-. Chris Courtois - "Much Apu About Nothing" was a welcome return to the satirical tone of the early seasons which made me a fan of the show. While not quite up to those lofty levels (it was a little too preachy and obvious in some spots, and OFF took a back seat to the "message"), it was certainly one of the strongest efforts of this season. As a Californian who went through the whole Proposition 187 scenario (the obvious model for Proposition 24) I found the jabs insightful, and downright hilarious. Even the anti- bear hysteria was on target!! And finally a "message" episode where Lisa got to behave as a real character instead of a platitude- spouting PC thug. The new writers are learning. Only the obviousness of some of the moralizing weakened this episode. A-. Don Del Grande - Better than usual, once the bear stuff was out of the way (although seeing Ned in a raging panic was a refreshing change) Jason Hancock - Like last week, another mixed bag here. The "Where is Springfield?" map gag was pretty funny when I realized it was a slam at one of the two a.t.s threads that will never die. But aside from that (and the bear scene, which had _nothing_ to do with the plot), the laughs were few and far between. Lots of good FFF/DYN material here as well, but other than that, average. Grade: C+. Haynes Lee - A different type of episode with more substance but less of the references. However the linking material was weak. Jumping from bears to immigrants was a bit much of a non sequitur. GRADE: B Adam Lipkin - Well, It was an odd way to get the main plot of the show, but once they did, man oh man was it a good one. Everything from thinly veiled profanity to a dig at us here on a.t.s. Oh, and lots of great lines and laughs. Grade A all the way. Veronica Marquez - This episode should have been hilarious to me for all sorts of reason, but it just didn't gel. My grade is a D. Mark Richey - A ridiculous plot makes for a subpar episode. While I guess that it was supposed to be funny that banning illegal immigrants is a moot point, it simply wasn't funny. Like [3F19] (...Flying Hellfish), this was an episode sorely in need of a subplot. Grade: C Benjamin J. Robinson - A refreshing surprise -- a message episode that doesn't get bogged down with the message. "Much Apu About Nothing" makes its point, largely manages to avoid preachiness, and is consistently funny to boot. The stories of Grampa's and Apu's past are the highlights, as is the answer (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) to the question of Springfield's location. (B+) Robert Gretta - [Responding to above] I wish that I saw the same episode that you did. The one they televised here was horrible. D-. [...] I think someone stole all the Simpson characters that I've known and loved and replaced them with humorless liberal zombies (I'm NOT a republican). Even the animation of this episode was terrible. This was by far the worst Simpsons show I had ever seen. In fact, if "She's the Sheriff" were on I would have turned the channel. Matt Rose - Professor Frink in the 70's had me ROTF. I thought this episode was a bit void of jokes, but I liked the story idea. I also liked the bear thing at the beginning. (Was that Gentle Ben?) I also was glad to see Lisa acting more like herself again. Overall, this one wasn't as good as 3F18, but it was better than last weeks. Still, it was good enough to keep the recent string of good episodes going. 3 stars (out of 5), or if you want a letter grade, B+. Glen Ryan - Grade: C-. I dunno, I just like the old days, and there just wasn't much to the episode...I might be flamed for this, but IMO if they can't consistently put out better material than this, OFF should be allowed to pass on before it turns to utter boring sitcom-style drek... Rick Senger - While this one had it's heart in the right place, it was too preachy at the expense of humor. It displayed both sides of a highly controversial issue with some of the usual Simpsons wit and style, but it needed more jokes and less moralizing. Due to the low volume of audible laughs in the group I saw it with, I would have to mark this as one of the lesser episodes this season in terms of entertainment value, although the political message was well-presented IMO. C+. Yours Truly - Much of the sentiment was direct and maudlin (even when it wasn't), and the question of where is Springfield was dodged more directly than usual, but the topic (anti-immigration fever) was long needed. I'm a resident of California and went through all the Prop. 187 crap, so I can relate. As far as the bear goes, it was useless (like the trampoline in 1F05). I'm giving it a B+.


Quotes and Scene Summary

A bear wanders through Evergreen Terrace, and Ned nearly hits him with his Geo. Panicked, Ned crashes the car and struggles to enter the house. Eventually he crashes through glass near the front door. A helicopter observes the bear. This is Kent Brockman with a special report from the Channel 6 News Copter. A large, bear-like animal, most likely a bear, has wandered down from the hill in search of food or perhaps employment. -- Perhaps on `Gentle Ben', "Much Apu About Nothing" This reporter urges families to stay indoors. Homer laughs and pities the poor `Impson Family' (whose mailbox is being chewed by the bear) while the rest of the "Impson" family look out the window worriedly. Homer: Let's all calm down. Everyone's going to be just fine, as long as I have enough beer. [opens the refrigerator only to find boxes of baking soda] [screams] All right, that does it. If I'm going to be trapped in the house, I gotta go out and get some beer. -- Bear problems in Springfield, "Much Apu About Nothing" Homer's hare brained scheme ends up in a pantless face to face confrontation with the bear. And none too soon, for the police soon arrive on the scene and tranquilize the bear. And Barney. Book 'em Lou. One count of being a bear. And one count of being an accessory to being a bear. -- Chief Wiggum arrests a bear and Barney, "Much Apu About Nothing" While the bear is carried away by the U.S. Forest Service, Barney is being carried away by Moe. Maude: Oh, Marge... it was horrible! We were trapped in the house all afternoon... and, well... we had to drink _toilet_ water! [sobs] Marge: Well, things were bad everywhere. Homer: I'm sick of these constant bear attacks. It's like a frickin' country bear jambaroo around here! -- Or jamboree even, "Much Apu About Nothing" Ned reminds Homer that this is the only bear this town has seen, but Homer gets the whole town with him with a catchy chant... Homer: We're here, we're queer, we don't want anymore bears. Crowd: We're here, we're queer, we don't want anymore bears. Lenny: Hey, that's a pretty catchy chant. Where did you hear it? Homer: Oh, I heard it at the mustache parade they have every year. -- "Much Apu About Nothing" The crowd busts through City Hall and bangs on the mayor's door. Assistant: Sir, there's an unruly mob here to see you. Quimby: Does it have an appointment? Assistant: [consults clipboard] Yes, it does. Skinner: I phoned ahead! -- Never can be too prepared, "Much Apu About Nothing" Homer: Mr. Mayor, I hate to break it to you, but this town is infested by bears. Moe: Yeah, and these ones are smarter than the average bear. They swiped my pic-a-nic basket. Helen: [frantic] Think of the children! Quimby: All right, I promise to take swift and decisive action against these hibernating hucksters. [crowd cheers and leaves] [Quimby pulls out a picnic basket] Heh heh heh... [eats a sandwich] -- Diamond Joe Yogi?, "Much Apu About Nothing" Later, a full-force Bear Patrol is on watch. Homer watches proudly. Homer: Not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol must be working like a charm. Lisa: That's spacious reasoning, Dad. Homer: Thank you, dear. Lisa: By your logic I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away. Homer: Oh, how does it work? Lisa: It doesn't work. Homer: Uh-huh. Lisa: It's just a stupid rock. Homer: Uh-huh. Lisa: But I don't see any tigers around, do you? [Homer thinks of this, then pulls out some money] Homer: Lisa, I want to buy your rock. [Lisa refuses at first, then takes the exchange] -- Maybe he wants it as a pet, "Much Apu About Nothing" The mail arrives. Homer: Woo-hoo! A perfect day. Zero bears and one big fat hairy paycheck. [opens it up] Hey! How come my pay is so low? ... Bear patrol tax! This is an outrage! It's the biggest tax increase in history! Lisa: Actually, Dad, it's the smallest tax increase in history. Homer: Let the bears pay the bear tax. I pay the Homer tax. Lisa: That's home-_owner_ tax. Homer: Well, anyway, I'm still outraged. -- And with good cause, "Much Apu About Nothing" The mob is back, yelling "Down with taxes! Down with taxes!" Quimby: Are those morons getting dumber or just louder? Assistant: [checks his clipboard] Dumber, sir. -- Dumb and dumber, "Much Apu About Nothing" "They want the bear patrol but they won't pay taxes for it." Quimby thinks of a novel solution. He announces that taxes are high because of illegal immigrants and that they should be disposed of. Immigants! I knew it was them! Even when it was the bears, I knew it was them. -- Moe Szyslak, "Much Apu About Nothing" In one week, the town will vote on a special referendum on Proposition 24, the proposition to get rid of immigrants. Everyone cheers, including Quimby. In class, a mob surrounds Uter as Nelson pulls his suspenders. Nelson: Hey, German boy. Go back to Germania! [everyone laughs] Uter: I do not deserve this. I have come here legally as an exchange student! Skinner: Young man, the only thing we exchanged for you is our national dignity. [everyone laughs] -- And a trouble student, "Much Apu About Nothing" Willie: [threatens children] You want to pick on immigrants? Then pick on Willie! Skinner: Willie, please. The students want to pick on someone their own size. -- Ach, "Much Apu About Nothing" At home, Lisa attempts to talk things out with Homer. Lisa: I don't see how you can support Proposition 24, Dad. Homer: Open your eyes, Lisa! Our schools are so jam-packed with immigrants, people like Bart have lost the will to learn! Bart: There's no denying it, Sis. -- More spacious reasoning, "Much Apu About Nothing" Lisa reminds the family that the Simpson family immigrated here, and Abe gives in. Abe: [narrating] The story of the Simpson family began in the Old Country. I forget which one exactly. My dad would drone on and on about America. He thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread, sliced bread having been invented the previous winter. Abe's dad: [holds up an America pamphlet] See that, son? That's where we're going to live. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday. Abe: Later that day, we set sail for America. Abe's dad: [points at the Statue of Liberty] See that, son? That's our new home. [later, the family has moved in... to the Statue] Young Abe: [playing on Statue's arm] Yay! I love America! Abe's mom: Abe! Supper's on! [back to reality] Abe: We had to move out once we filled the entire head with garbage. -- The story of the Simpson family, "Much Apu About Nothing" At the Kwik-E-Mart, Homer tells Apu that it'll be great once all the immigrants are shipped out of Springfield. Apu: Sir, it may surprise you to know that _I_ am an immigrant. Homer: You? Pfft, get out. -- Well, duh, "Much Apu About Nothing" Apu is an illegal immigrant. He will have to leave if Prop. 24 passes. I wish I could have stayed one more year or two. There was so much I wanted to see and to do and to have done to me. -- Apu Nahassapeemapetilan, "Much Apu About Nothing" Homer almost changes his mind. Almost. [End of Act One. Time: 8'22"] At Moe's Tavern, Moe and the barflies put up signs. Moe: You know what really aggravazes me? It's them immigants. They wants all the benefits of living in Springfield, but they ain't even bother to learn themselves the language. Homer: Hey, those are exactly my sentimonies. Barney: [babbles] Moe: Yeah, you said it Barn. -- Said what?, "Much Apu About Nothing" Marge and family (sans Homer) wade through a crowd of picketers to the Kwik-E-Mart, where Apu offers Ganesha Yoo-Hoo to make the protestors go away. Apu tells Marge the story of how he graduated at the top of his 7,000,000 class at Calcutta Technical Institute to come study in America. His family and his child bride bid him fare well. At the Springfield Heights Institute of Technology, Apu learns from Professor John Frink. [in the late '70s] [Frink stands in front of a huge mainframe] Frink: Well, sure, the Frinkiac-7 looks impressive [to student] Don't touch it! [back to class] But I predict that within 100 years computers will be twice as powerful, 10,000 times larger, and so expensive that only the five richest kings in Europe will own them. Apu: Could it be used for dating? Frink: Well, technically, yes, but the computer matches would be so perfect as to eliminate the thrill of romantic conquest. Ha-ho- ha-hey-hoo. -- Nostradamus he ain't, "Much Apu About Nothing" After nine years, Apu completed his thesis, a series of punch cards comprising the world's first tic-tac-toe program. To pay off his loans, he worked in the Kwik-E-Mart and decided to stay once his visa had expired. What you're saying is so understandable. And really, your only crime was violating U.S. law. -- Marge to Apu, "Much Apu About Nothing" Marge: You know what? I'm going to vote No on 24. Lisa: Mom, you're the greatest! ... Can I have this licorice? [grins] -- Not the best suckup in town, "Much Apu About Nothing" Late at night, Kearney purchases cigars, beer, and other items with a fake ID. Instead of prosecuting, Apu lets Kearney go, but first he has to say where he got the fake ID. From Fat Tony, he did. Apu pays lots of money for fake IDs, birth certificates, etc. Tony strongly urges Apu to act American. The Kwik-E-Mart is decked with Yankee attire. Homer talks to Apu but notices that he talks American now. What do you say we take a relaxed attitude towards work and watch the baseball game? The nye [New York] Mets are my favorite squadron. -- Apu acts American, "Much Apu About Nothing" But when Homer inquires about Apu's statue of Ganesha, Apu cracks and breaks down when he realizes he failed his parents. This passport is a cheap forgery! A cheap $2,000 forgery! -- Apu Nahassapeemapetilan, "Much Apu About Nothing" You must love this country more than I love a cold beer on a hot Christmas morning. -- Homer to Apu, "Much Apu About Nothing" Homer: Darn it, Apu, I'm not gonna let them kick you out! [pulls a "Yes on 24" button off his shirt] I never should have bought this button. Can I have my three dollars back? Apu: Store credit only. -- Business-minded even in grief, "Much Apu About Nothing" [End of Act Two. Time: 14'41"] Homer brings Apu to the Simpson house. Lisa: All right! Now you have all the Simpsons behind you. Apu: That's nice, although three of you are below voting age. Homer: And I'm not registered. -- Proposition 24 furor, "Much Apu About Nothing" The family try to think of a way that Apu can stay in the country Bart asks "Why not marry some American broad, then dump her once you get your citizenship?" The broad for the job is Selma. Homer: [on phone] Hello, Selma? Selma my dear, how are you? ... Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh. Listen, shut up for a second. How would you like to marry Apu so he doesn't get deported? Selma: I'd rather eat poison. My name's already Selma Bouvier Terwilliger Hutz McClure. God knows it's long enough without Nahassapeema-whatever. From now on, I'm only marrying for love. ... Mmm, possibly once more for money. -- Like the black widow, but not deadly, "Much Apu About Nothing" The family ponders on this problem at the dinner table. Apu: Oh, it's hopeless. Oh, poor Apu. Abe: Hey! The government can't control the sky. What if you lived in a balloon? Lisa: That's it! Bart: Hear that? Hear that, mom? She's as dumb as me. Lisa: No, not what he said. What he is. Grandfather, as in grandfather clause. Apu, how long ago did you visa expire? Apu: Seven years, but I don't-- Lisa: There's an amnesty that was declared for people who've lived here as long as you. You can take the citizenship test! Marge: But the vote on Proposition 24 is on Tuesday. You'll have to pass the exam before then. Apu: Oh, that is not nearly enough time to learn over 200 years of American history. Homer: Oh, it can't be that many. Come on, Apu. I'll be your tutor. [everyone looks worried] -- And that means party down, "Much Apu About Nothing" Homer teaches Apu facts about American history, like that the 13 stripes on the American flag are for good luck, and the electrical college, while Chief Wiggum and boys prepare to deport the immigrants. The day before the exam, Homer asks Apu to study his 9th-grade history notes. Apu tries to study, but falls asleep after reading two words. In the morning, Apu wakes up. Apu: Ohh, I fell asleep! I have forgotten everything that Mr. Homer taught me! Lisa: Perfect. Let's roll. -- Apu takes the citizenship test, "Much Apu About Nothing" Through another sea of protestors, Apu takes the written exam, then the oral exam. Proctor: All right, here's your last question. What was the cause of the Civil War? Apu: Actually, there were numerous causes. Aside from the obvious schism between the abolitionists and the anti-abolitionists, there were economic factors, both domestic and inter-- Proctor: Wait, wait... just say slavery. Apu: Slavery it is, sir. -- "Much Apu About Nothing" Apu is now a citizen, and Homer throws a "Welcome to America" party. Apu: Today, I am no longer an Indian living in America. I am an Indian-American. Lisa: You know, in a way, all Americans are immigrants. Except, of course Native Americans. Homer: Yeah, Native Americans like us. Lisa: No, I mean American Indians. Apu: Like me. -- Blame Columbus, "Much Apu About Nothing" If I could just say a few words... I'd be a better public speaker. -- Homer J. Simpson, "Much Apu About Nothing" Homer makes a rousing speech against Proposition 24, and makes another chant. Unfortunately, this just isn't enough, as the proposition passes with a record 95% vote in favor. When are people going to learn? ... Democracy doesn't work! -- Homer J. Simpson, free-thinking anarchist, "Much Apu About Nothing" At the Kwik-E-Mart, Apu opens a letter containing a jury duty summons He sobs as he celebrates his first day as a true American citizen... by throwing the paper away. Marge is happy that things worked out for everyone. Well, almost everyone... Ach... ingrates. -- Groundskeeper Willie is deported, "Much Apu About Nothing" [End of Act Three. Time: 21'23"]


{dga} - Dale Abersold {fb} - Frederic Briere {bg} - Balaji Gadhiraju {ddg} - Don Del Grande {jh} - Jason Hancock {hl} - Haynes Lee {jl} - Jose Lafaurie {vm} - Veronica Marquez {am} - Adam Monteiro {jm} - John Murray {sp} - Serge Polishchuk {mar} - Mark Richey {bjr} - Benjamin J. Robinson {et} - Edward Tverdek

Legal crud

The above compilation of observations, quote summaries, statistics, and other miscellaneous information copyright 1996 Chips-Fey Productions. Not to be used in a public forum without explicit permission from the author (Ricardo A. Lafaurie Jr.) or his brother Jose Lafaurie. Any quoted material above remains property of the original authors; mainly, quoted material and episode summaries remain property of The Simpsons, and copyright to Twentieth Century Fox. The compilation is what I did. So don't sue. Huge thanks and applause applause to Dave Hall for sending me the notes from alt.tv.simpsons while I was away on my damn six-day weekend. Have you had your candy necklace today?