[4F03] The Homer They Fall

The Homer They Fall                                Written by Jonathan Collier
                                                     Directed by Mark Kirkland
Production code: 4F03                      Original airdate in U.S.: 10-Nov-96
Capsule revision B, 15-Jun-97            Original Airdate in Canada:  9-Nov-96

"TV Guide" Synopsis {jmb}

Homer's ability to take a punch inspires ex-boxer Moe to turn him into a prizefighter. Ring announcer Michael Buffer calls the contest when Moe's former manager (voice of Paul Winfield) arranges for Homer to meet the champ.

Title sequence

Blackboard :- I am not my long-lost twin I am not my long-lost twin at cutoff. Couch :- The couch is outside in a southwestern desert; everyone is in cowboy gear as they sit on it, which then gallops away.

Did you notice...

... the pictures of Elvis and Marilyn Monroe on the World's Best Jacket? ... Janey seems to be the hall monitor? ... Moe uses gin to rub Homer's wounds? ... Tatum is eating a bowl of someting green (probably Jell-O cubes) when he stops the riot? ... the number on Tatum's prison uniform is 4F03, this production code for this episode? ... the red ribbon on Homer's trunks, which resembles the Budweiser(tm) logo? James R. Curry: ... Maggie looks excited by the futuristic gadgets, and reaches for the scales? ... Martin is among the kids looking astounded at the belt? ... Abe is present with OFF for breakfast? ... Homer grasps the idea of exhausting his opponents and then pushing them down very quickly? ... at Homer's first fight, Lenny is holding a beer but Carl isn't? ... the crowd always seem to back Homer in his fights? ... Homer's robe when he enters the ring simply reads "Opponent"? ... Lisa has no real part in this episode? Don Del Grande: ... in the couch scene, Maggie's hat covers her eyes, and Marge's hat is behind her head? ... Bart's belt doesn't attach to his shorts? ... none of the fights held at Moe's has a referee? ... Maggie doesn't have her pacifier at the breakfast table when Homer tells Marge he's fighting Tatum? ... the ring announcer doesn't particularly look like Michael Buffer? ... Tatum was allowed to keep his boxing titles despite being in prison? ... the Springfield Shopper is (still) 35 cents? ... there are Duff Beer, Buzz Cola, and Kwik-E-Mart signs at the Tatum-Simpson fight? ... Tatum, despite being the champion, is introduced first? ... Tatum's "knockout punch" would have missed Homer even if Moe wouldn't have pulled Homer out of the way? ... Moe got $100,000 - supposedly, Homer gets $40,000? (Now we know where he got the money to fix the house from the damage in 3F23) Jason Hancock: ... the "Greetings From Atlantic City" postcard in Moe's office? ... Snake and Jasper in the crowd during Homer's first fight? ... Rainier's wife, Maria, sitting by his side? ... the SNPP towers behind the parking lot fence? Brian A. Haugen: ... Barney does not burp in the episode even after drinking the varnish? William Jones: ... Moe rides a Vespa scooter when he is pacing Homer? Pamela S. Klemm: ... Maggie's cowboy hat covers her eyes? ... the "God Bless This Mess" message in the kitchen? Andrew Krupowicz: ... the patched up holes in Moe's boxing ring? ... the Szyslak posters in Moe's office, which confirm his last name? Ricardo Lafaurie: ... how the couch scene ties into the opening scenes of the episode? ... Bart complains about the Indians trying to kill the Cartwrights (no doubt, being a Cartwright himself (herself?) ... Phineas Q. Butterfat's ice cream parlor across from the novelty store? ... Kearney's dad sounds like Curly (of The Three Stooges)? ... camera angles prevent you from seeing Oakley's face? ... Dr. Hibbert's 2x4 is sterilized? ... Chalmers is at Homer's first fight? ... Dreaderick Tatum talks just like he did in 8F08? ... Fat Tony's real name is (in this episode) Anthony D'Amico (D'Amico means "of friends")? ... signs advertising Assassins (cf. 7F21), Kwik-E-Mart, Laramie cigarretes, and Duff Beer (I think) as Homer walks towards the ring? ... Abe laughs at the commercial predicting Homer's doom, but during the match he's genuinely concerned for the safety of his son? Haynes Lee: ... the crack in the wall of OFF's house? ... Maggie is not sucking her pacifier after the boxing commercial? Ondre Lombard: ... the electronic nostril groomer is unused, yet Bart spits after using it and learning what it is? ... Homer chooses to discuss with the bullies' fathers rather than their mothers? ... in Homer's clouded view of Marge in the crowd, Marge seems to be shorter than everyone else? Damian Penny: ... The Duff Blimp outside the stadium? ... Kent Brockman complying with that order, with his shirt open and gold medallion? ... The promoter not only looks like Don King, but has a similar Crown necklace? ... The Phineas Q. Butterfat shop in the mall? ... Homer is the only non-vagrant in the Springfield semi-pro boxing league? ... Duff Beer and Buzz Cola billborards in the stadium? Mark Aaron Richey: ... Homer is eating blueberry pie when Bart comes in beat up? ... Dolph's dad has an Ace of Spades tattoo? ... Kearney's dad is smoking a cigar? ... Snake and Jasper are at the first fight? Benjamin Jay Robinson: ... Springfield's association of semi-pro boxers is called "ASSBOX"? ... Homer's fight robe merely has "opponent" stitched on it? Ana R. Robles: ... Instead of hair, Dolph's father has an eyepatch obscuring half of his vision? ... Smithers isn't wearing his ID badge? Liam J. Scanlan: ... the sweat all over Homer while exercising? ... the inside joke in Marge's line "Have you lost your mind?" ... Abe carries Homer's spit bucket? Robert Yantosca: ... only one of Moe's posters makes reference to "Kid Moe", even though he tells Homer that he used to be called "Kid Gorgeous", "Kid Presentable", "Kid Gruesome", finally, "Kid Moe" ... A few of Moe's posters refer to him by his last name, Syszlak? ... Drederick Tatum seems to have been working out in jail since the last time we've seen him (in 7F13 and 9F08)? ... Drederick is now sporting a beard? ... Drederick Tatum is still in Springfield, after swearing in 7F13 that "if you see me back there, you know I f****** up bad"? ... Tatum vs. Simpson was billed as "Payback", even though the two had never previously fought before? ... The announcer said that all dignity in pro boxing is going right out the window, when actually Moe & Homer were flying through the roof?

Voice credits

[Yet again, many guesses. I'll work on those skills someday... --ed] - Starring - Dan Castellaneta (Homer, Indian #1, Barney, Abe, Men #1 and #4 at parole hearing, Krusty, Referree, Fan Man) - Julie Kavner (Marge) - Nancy Cartwright (Bart, Kearney) - Yeardley Smith (Lisa) - Hank Azaria (Comic Book Guy, Clerk, Jimbo's dad, Dolph's dad, Moe, Carl, Man #3 at parole hearing, Announcer in Homer's dream, Nick Riviera, Dr. Frink) - Harry Shearer (Mall show announcer, Indian #2, Kearney's dad, Dr. Hibbert, Lenny, Man #2 at parole hearing, TV Announcer, T-shirts vendor, Kent Brockman, Burns) - Special Guest Voice - Michael Buffer (himself) - Paul Winfield (Lucious Sweet) - Also Starring - Pamela Hayden (Milhouse, Jimbo, Janey) - Additional Vocals - Sally Stevens (singing "People Who Need People")

Movie (and other) references

+ Mike Tyson, Don King, Fan Man [see comments] + Various Boxing References {hl} - Mohammed Ali's post boxing career physical illness caused by too many blows to the head. - Organized crime allegations, Fat Tony in audience. - Ringside doctors are under-qualified quacks, Dr. Nick Riviera. + "The bigger they are, the harder they fall" -- common phrase {rl} - title + The Sharper Image {bjr} - Miscellaneous, Etc. based on this personal gadget store - similar expensive, unusual merchandise (I think The Sharper Image might actually have sold an electric nose hair trimmer at one time) - store decor, with horizontal wood slats, the same + "Doctor Who" {mk} - displays in the technology store are shaped similar to the TARDIS's main console "Speed" {dp} - close-up on Bart's turn signal similar to a shot in the movie + "The Great White Hype" {bah} - satire about the whole boxing scene pretty identical in style in both the movie and this episode. + "Flower Duet", from opera Lakme by Leo Delibes {dga} - music during the B&W scene where Homer becomes Springfield champ Boxcar Willie {dp} - a boxer in the Springfield Semi-Pro Association is named "Boxcar Ira" + "Raging Bull", movie - black and white boxing scenes in the middle of the episode {psk} - during the black and whtie montage, Homer is seen wearing sunglasses and a hawaiian shirt, very similar to that of Deniro's LaMotta {st} - various slow-motion shots during the final bout {bt} + "Rocky" / "Prize Fighter" {dn} - Homer running along side Moe on a bicycle + "Rocky" - a lot of the training sequences - the ending part where Marge asks Moe not to let Homer fight (I think) {rl} - Burgess Meredith says to Sylvester Stallone: "You will always be a loser" {hl} "Mike Tyson's Punchout", Nintento video game {bah} - Homer's opponents look like boxers from the video game popular in the late 80s. At the end of the episode like at the end of the game, the opponent is Mike Tyson (aka Drederick Tatum in "The Homer They Fall".) and he's unbeatable. ~ "The Godfather" {rl} - probably not, but the scene after Lucius Sweet talks to Moe reminds me of the end of the movie + Heidi Fliess Scandal [see comments] - Rainier Wolfecastle caught in "Hollywood Prostitution Scandal" - Charlie Sheen in boxing audience + "Why Can't We Be Friends?", '70s song by War {jh} - Homer chose this song as his theme + "Time 4 Sum Aksion", by Redman {mf} - Tatum chose this song, just like Tyson did for his first fight after jail + "People Who Need People", Barbra Streisand song from '60s "Funny Girl" {mar} - song over the closing credits

Previous episode references

- Fat Tony Appearances {ljs} - [8F03] Head of the Legitimate Businessman's Social Club - [2F12] Tries to kill Krusty for his debts - [3F15] Is at the DMV when Troy McClure shows up - [3F20] Sells fake documents to Apu - [4F03] Is in the audience of the Tyson-Simpson match - "Generic Sarcastic Middle-Aged Worker" {hl} Appearances - [7F12] Homer's limo driver {le} - [8F03] Delivery man taking cigarettes out of Bart's room {dw} - [8F06], [9F14] Owns a pet shop {fs} - [9F09] Car Mechanic - [9F19] Cameraman at the Gabbo Show {le} - [2F09] Worker for Stern Lecture Plumbing - [2F07] Innkeeper at the Aphrodite Inn {dh} - [3F02] Sprays for potato bugs at the Van Houten's {ol} - [4F03] Clerk at Miscellaneous, Etc. - "Homerpalooza" [3F21] Similarities - Homer stands a hit on the head (in the belly) which would bring down anybody else - This reveals a physical disability which allows him to endure being hit several times - So he embarks on one of his stupid ideas, which bring him fame - During that period, he is commonly referred to as a freak {jh} - But he is suddenly put to danger and has to choose between his health and his glory - Until he steps down (Moe carries him up) under a booing crowd - [7G05] Bart is beaten up, turns to Homer for help - [7G05], [1F07] Bart gets the snot beaten out of him {dga} - [7G06] Homer is involved with boxing, in some way {ol} - [7F05] Marge and the kids are placed in terrible seats at a sports event where Homer is featured {bah} - [7F06] A mascot appears during a key sporting event {ljs} - [7F13] Burns watches a boxing match {rl} - [7F13], [8F08] Dreaderick Tatum appears - [7F21] Assassins shoes appear {rl} - [8F05] Homer is boxing / training {rl} - [8F06] Phineas Q. Butterfat ice cream parlor {eh} - [8F08] Moe becomes wealthy thanks to Homer {bah} - [8F14] Bart mistakingly uses a blackhead gun (cf. nostril groomer) - [8F23] Boxer "Smokin" Joe Frazier makes an appearance {dga} - [9F14], [2F17] Curing world hunger is highlighted {ljs} - [9F15] Marge's hair (cf. Krusty) is cut off by a propeller {jh} - [9F22] A parole hearing is held {jh} - [1F08] Boxer Gerry Cooney makes an appearance {dga} - [2F03] Moe appears as a ghost (cf. Angel) to Homer - [2F05] A family member picks up a stray tooth {dga} - [2F10] Homer's head exploding {dn} - [2F16], [2F20] Moe's last name, Szyslak, is given {jh} - [2F19] Jimbo's family is seen - [2F21] Homer is exhausted after minimal exertion - [2F32] Kent: "This just in..." {ljs} - [3F06] CARE packages appear {ljs} - [3F13] Lisa (cf. Bart) wiping her (his) tongue in disgust - [3F14] "Let's get ready to..." - [4F02], [SC#20] Bart's "Long Lost Twin" {dn} [{dga} notes: It's the first-ever reference to an eighth season episode!]

Freeze frame fun

Bonanza banner:

         The Mall Show

Bonanza map:

       N E                                   M A P
        @                                To Illustrate
       W S                               The Ponderosa
               VIRGINIA CITY                   of
        Reno   /----o-----\                  Nevada
     ----o----/     |      Carson City
          \         |       \---o-----\
            \       +---------/        \--------\
              \--------------+                   \
                THE PONDEROSA  [covers part of the map]

                  Lake Tamoe

Stores at the Springfield Mall: {ddg}

   - Simply Shoes (and Athletic Equipment and Activewear)
   - Miscellaneous, Etc.
   - Phineas Q. Butterfat's 5600 Flavors Ice Cream Parlor
   - One Size Fits All Lingerie

Items at Miscellaneous, Etc.:

   - Electric nostril groomer
   - Lava lamp
   - Plate-looking objects, perhaps plate-shaped clocks
   - Black reading lamp
   - Portable radio
   - Portable clock
   - Calculators

   - Night vision goggles
   - Bathroom scale from Soviet scub
   - Suede briefcase case
   - Regular bioculars
   - Clipboard
   - Lined paper
   - Portable cassette recorder
   - Photo camera
   - Miniature bioculars
   - Table clock

   - World's best jacket
   - Another table clock
   - Coffee maker

   - All sorts of tiny gizmos, which look like ribbons
   - Portable radios
   - Personal organizer
   - Huge calculator
   - Sewing machine?
   - Old-fashioned tape recorder
   - Ejectable seat?
   - Portable TV

Items on the Ultimate Belt (from wearer's left to right):

   - Box of matches, with retractable squirrel snare on the side
   - Panic "HELP" button, shouts "Help" over and over
   - Central piece with radon/lie detector, holds a compass inside, and
     has two buttons with "LEFT/RIGHT" light indicators for turn signals
   - "Emergency Use Only" button, releases a "Call police" sign with
   - Whistle attached to a retractable cord
   - Box holding a little saw (probably something else as well)
   - Sphygmomanometer
   - Turn signals, shaped like an arrow

"Call police" sign:

         C A L L
       P O L I C E


Lucius' signed photo: {bjr}

  To Kid Moe
Keep on sluggin
|____| Lucius

Boxing poster in Moe's office: {hl}

  |    TONIGHT    |
  |               |
  |    SZYSLAK    |
  |      VS.      |
  |    OAKLEY     |
  |               |
  |-------------- |
  | Also:         |
  |   Kirkland    |
  |      vs.      |
  |   Silverman   |

   [Oakley, Kirland and Silverman are Simpsons

Banner at Moe's:

       B O X I N G    T O N I G H T
     "Cruelest of sports" -- Newsday

On-screens during Homer's ascension towards glory:

         BOXCAR FRED
         November  3




         MEGA TYCOON

Original chart: {ak}

          SEMI-PRO  BOXERS

      1. Switchyard Sullivan
      2.    Boxcar Fritz
      3.       Snuffy
      4.   Manny the Mooch
      5.    Soupcan Sam
      6.    Boxcar Ira
      7.    H. Simpson
      8.   One Eyed Tack (?)

Magazine in Moe's office:

         B O X I N G

        [pix of Tatum]

       $3.50   SUCH
       [UPC]   RAGE?

Springfield Shopper:

      Early News             35c

      C H A M P  T O   W H A L E
        O N   L O C A L   M A N

        [Tatum]      [Homer]
        [angry]     [smiling]
       The Champ  Homer Simpson

TV Ad:

      Tatum vs. Simpson:

        P A Y B A C K
        [in blood red]

Coliseum bannners and signs: {ak}

            Tatum vs. Simpson
              P A Y B A C K

       Tasteful attire prohibited

           REPORT TO ROOM 31

Numerous ads in the Springfield Coliseum: {jh}

   First two shots:
   - Buzz Cola
   - Duff Beer  [can]
   - Buzz Cola
   - Kwik-E-Mart
   - Buzz Cola

   Third shot:
   - Krusty Burger
   - Kwik-E-Mart
   - Assasin  [notice the lack of final "s"]
   - Buzz Cola
   - Laramie Cigarettes, Hi-Tars
   - Duff Beer  [bottle]

   On ring floor:
   - Duff Deer

Coliseum pillar:

      R O W
       Z Z

People jeering after Moe runs out: {rl}

   Krusty, Prof. Frink, Patty & Selma, Burns & Smithers, Lucius Sweet,
   Kent Brockman

Still shots at the end {rl}

  - Moe saves an Indian woman and her baby in a flood
  - Moe rescues a jungle explorer from tar
  - Moe uses a fire extinguisher to put out a forest fire
  - Moe dispenses care to... you know, one of them loser countries

Overseas Production: Akom  {ddg}

Animation, continuity, and other goofs

= The crowd at the "Bonanza" celebration suddenly shrinks. {mar} c When the crowd boos the Indian guys from Bonanza, the CC shows Homer saying "Lousy Native Americans!" but you don't hear it. (Obviously the producers cowered just before air time.) + In "Bart the General" [7G05] Homer tells Bart after getting beat up by school bully not do break the sacred "code of the schoolyard" by squealing. c The final bell ring of act I is not captioned. + Moe has had woman in his bar on several occasions: - [7G10] Moe holds LADIES NIGHT. Blatant enough. - [7F10] Marge confronts Homer after losing their million dollar lawsuit - [8F04] Lisa is having a chocolate milk with her father - [8F08] There were several woman in Moe's when his Flaming Moe's were hot: Maude, Edna Krabappel and his waitress are a few examples. - [9F06] Ruth Powers uses her free beer coupon - [9F19] Bette Midler is at Moe's after Krusty's comeback special {ol} - [3F02] There were many woman at Uncle Moe's Family Feedbag - [4F03] Interestingly enough, there are woman at the fight! {rl} * The male restroom has stalls, so why would the female restroom only have one seat? {mar} + Moe already has a backroom that he uses as an office. {mar} * A restroom like that would have a lockable doorknob, not have a push-open door. {mar} + During the first breakfast scene, Lisa appears to have bacon on her plate. + Homer's age is usually 36, except in 2F07. {rl} + Homer has exercised many times after grade school: - [7F12] Refers Marge to Coach Flanagan {ns} - [7F18] Lifts weights and jumps rope {rl} - [8F12] Climbs Mt. Springfield with Lisa - [8F13] Plays baseball {rl} - [8F24] Does push-ups while the kids are away {js} - [9F14] Uses Lisa's bike to go to work {rl} - [9F18] Gets some exercice in preparation for Whacking Day {ns} - [3F05] Does push-ups in calisthenics + In 9F17, head punishment actually affected Homer's brain. Why wouldn't it now? {ljs} + Homer can punch more than once without becoming extraordinarily tired (cf. fight with Tom in 9F12). {ol} * How could Dreaderick Tatum be heavyweight champ if he just got out of prison? (It must be one of the less-prestigious title belts) {dga} + Homer should know who Drederick Tatum is; he's seen him in the 1984 Olympics (9F08) and when he had his Cable TV hookup (7F13 - even though Homer didn't see the fight, he saw the previews). {ddg} + If Homer recognized Lucius Sweet, he should be able to recognize Dreaderick Tatum. {dga} = When Moe hands Homer his lucky gloves, they do not have barbed wire on them. {mar} c When Tatum stops the riot, captioning indicates someone saying "We didn't know you were here". + Fat Tony's real name was given in [8F03] as William Williams. Here, it is Anthony D'Amico. {dga} = Krusty's hair seems unusually long in this episode. {rl} = Homer appears to be falling after he threw a punch at Tatum, but in later scenes he is standing and is at a good distance from Tatum. {rl} * How could Homer lose a tooth when he's wearing a mouth gaurd? {ljs} c Captioning for "People Who Need People" is different from the actually sung lyrics. {rl} - The (c) symbol in the closing credits is missing again, just like in 3F23. {jh}


Dale G. Abersold: There's not much you can do with the basic plot, but this one was amusing enough. Paul Winfield was great as Lucius Sweet, and it was amusing to see the Comic Book Guy meet his sarcastic match. The episode was filled throughout with great gags in the cynical Simpson tradition, but was unfortunately marred by the tacked-on sappy ending. What was an "A" degraded to... (B+) Brad Barth: When "The Simpsons" tackles sports, the result is often a knockout. This was just short of one, but still funny as the corrupt sport of boxing was a target with a glass jaw. Like the stamina of Homer's early sparring opponents, the humor at times wears thin. But Bart's belt gag, the neat "Raging Bull" spoof, an amusing pre-fight sequence, and the punishment Homer takes won me over. Best was the emphasis on Moe, who was as funny and 3-dimensional as he's ever been. His youthful days keep getting more interesting now that we can add boxing career to his resume right after his stint as a Little Rascal. And his hijacking of the Fan-Man suit was a great conclusion. I judge, unanimously, in its favor. (B+) Chris Courtois: To paraphrase Lisa, "The Homer They Fall" was a rather lifeless outing. While it didn't suck and there were a few good gags scattered throughout (the surgical 2x4 was funny, as was "This just in - Go to hell!" and Moe's cigar dispenser), the episode seemed a bit flat. The Homer as pugilist storyline was a bit too slim to sustain the entire episode, and this episode took on the more recent subplot-sets-up-main-plot-and-is-never-heard-from- again structure. On the satirical front, the episode did manage a few good jabs at the world of boxing, but it never reached the biting level of "Lisa the Greek" or even the level of the boxing scenes from "Homer vs. Lisa and the Eighth Commandment". (C-) James R Curry : Certainly a far better episode than many in the last season, many great gags, and it didn't seem rushed, like a few of last year's did. I was ROFL at Homer's "Happy Anniversary, Baby!". I do find myself questioning Moe's background as a boxer, but never mind.. It was a funny episode, and that's what The Simpsons is all about. (B+) Jason Hancock: Despite another far-fetched premise and a few notable goofs, I thought this was a decent episode. The satire of the corrupted sport of boxing was dead-on, and it was nice to see the Comic Book Guy get a taste of his own medicine for once! (B+) Brian Haugen: After the first viewing of this episode I truly thought it deserved at most a "D". But after the 2nd viewing I truly appreciated more the finesse of it all and some of the angles and realisation bits were really quite impressive. Moe, Lucious and Tatum weren't too stereotyped which is a good thing. The lack of originality doesn't make this one a "B" in my book. (C+) Patrick Hayden: I just could not find much to laugh at in this episode. For the first 2 acts, I did not let out more than a brief giggle. It's not that the story was all that bad. I think it actually flowed rather well. It's just that the Simpsons is supposed to be comedy, and there was none in this pathetic excercise. In the third act, it picked up a bit, with three notable lines: "this just in: Go to hell!", "I would assume she would have died from grief" and "that cactus is right" But other than that, I just stared at the screen, wanting to cry out in rage. "The Great White Hype" was better than this. And the ending was the most predictable I've ever seen. My God! It just was awful through and through. Why can't there be any consistant quality in the show anymore? Are the writers this bad? (D) William Jones: Although I didn't much care for the last episode, I like that the writers are going in the direction of bizarre, implausible plots. This show has been on the air a LONG time, and this is a way to keep from getting in a typical sitcom plot rut. I know that most people disagree with me, but I like these wacky situations (Homer hallucinates an entire episode after eating hot chili? Hell yes!) (B+) Matthew Kurth: There's very little to say about this episode at all, aside from the fact that it's riddled with continuity errors. Janey's voice is wrong. Homer's age is 35, not 38. Homer's dealing with Bart's getting beaten up is COMPLETELY inconsistent with "Bart The General". And Moe has SO had a woman in his establishment since 1979. Furthermore, I don't believe that's even the real Drederick Tatum. This episode is quite frankly the biggest piece of sh*t I've ever seen dubbed as a Simpsons episode. Even "Lisa The Vegetarian" had the pro-meat movie, even "The PTA Disbands" was at least engaging. No comedy, no pathos, no continuity, nothing. The first time I've ever chose to ignore the show and do something else instead. (D-) Ricardo Lafaurie: This episode seemed more to be in the style of the Fifth Season than anything else. There were lots of good jokes about Tyson and Don King, and others besides it... but I missed most of the boxing movie refs, not having seen many. Overall, it seemed to be yet another "glimpse of fame for a Simpson family member" episode. The still shots of nice Moe left me with a mixed feeling. (C+) Ondre Lombard: Yet another far-fetched idea hatched from writers who probably never watched any classic episodes of The Simpsons. This episode is laced with embarrassing continuity errors, uneven dialogue, and mostly flat jokes. Unlike most classic episodes, this one's build-up was hardly funny, and what it builds up to isn't even that great. It's also nice to know (not) that the writers are so lazy that they have to borrow from not-so-older scripts. This one looks exactly like Homerpalooza except he's boxing instead of taking in cannonballs, and even that episode was done far better than this one. (D+) Robert Merritt: Goodness this episode was horrorable. This was the first episode since the George Bush show that I actually thought about turning off before it ended. However the George Bush show atlest ended on an up note wither Ford. 4F03 died and didn't come back. I should have turned it off. Its a real shame considering how good "You Only Move Twice" was. I will say this in its defense. I have never followed Boxing and pretty much dislike the concept of the sport. So maybe I just didn't get the jokes. The Star Trek joke saved it from the dreaded E rating. (D-) Keith Palmer: This episode landed several good blows when satirising boxing and just being strange, even though it depended heavily on a strange premise and focused on Moe. I definitely wasn't moved, but I was entertained. (A-) Damian Penny: An average episode, with enough jabs at the pro boxing world (admittedly, an easy target) to make it worthwhile. But what is with all these large-scale, earth-shattering plots lately (Homer getting caught up with a James Bond villain, and now in a championship title fight)? (B) Jeff Reis: Well, after being pretty damn harsh on last week's show and the newer eps in general, I was happy to see tonight's show. Sure, the plot was another really far-fetched one, but it was funny enough to overlook it, unlike last week. The whole "Bonanza" scene was hilarious. In fact the whole episode was peppered with genuine laughs, and more importantly had almost none of the stilted, forced jokes and situations which have marred several episodes over the past two seasons. The Don King character was not nearly overblown or funny enough, however, and there were some slow spots. It may not have been laugh-a-second, but laugh-a-minute is an impressive enough figure for me to give it a B+. It had a nice, old-school Simpsons kinda feel for the most part. (B+) Matt Rose: My favorite one this year so far. I laughed the most of any episode so far this season. There haven't been too many episodes about Moe, so it was somewhat refreshing. Another good plot this week. My complaint the last couple episodes was that there weren't a lot of jokes and this episode stepped it up a bit. I liked the ending with the whole Peter McNeely type of deal where the manager comes to the rescue. I wasn't sure how they'd end it since they really couldn't make Homer win or lose, and they didn't have Homer wuss out like "Homerpalooza". Good episode. (B+) Vishal Sharma: This was the second episode I've watched of season eight's The Simpsons, and I'm rapidly wondering why I bother to tune in. Sure, there were some nice gags (appearance of Don King made me sport a very big smile) but where was the LOL-type humour? It could have been a very good episode (Homer becoming a boxer!) but it fell flat due to its lack of unique humour. (D) Robert Yantosca: The writers seem to be doing a lot of real-world parodies these days. Last season they spoofed Michael Jackson's sham marriage, and now they're going after the Tyson-McNeely fight. Overall a very good show, with a lot of great refs. I thought that the belt scene was great, as were the refs to Raging Bull. Also great was the whole thing with Tatum and his manager parodying Tyson getting out of jail and coming back to the ring. But I thought that the fight scene w/ Tatum was unnecessarily drawn out, and that there could have been maybe an apropos I&S cartoon thrown in just for kicks. (B+) Yours truly: There is not much for me to add that hasn't been already said. There were many great gags included in this episode, particularly the brilliant b/w ascension to the top, which makes it an enjoyable episode for any casual viewer. Unfortunately, some flat dumb jokes (Barney drinking varnish), an enormous amount of continuity errors and that feeling of "deja vu" with Homerpalooza come as a burden for the hard-core Simpsons fan. Maybe if I had felt somewhat torn apart by Moe's dilemma... (C+) AVERAGE GRADE: C+ (2.18) NIELSON RATING: 10.0 (ranked 30th out of 113) {ol}

Comments and other observations

A Bonanza of TV Fun

Benjamin Jay Robinson: "Bonanza" was one of the country's most popular
   television shows during the sixties.  It followed the exploits of the
   Cartwright family, who had a ranch that seemed only marginally
   smaller than Texas itself.  The mall show mimicked the way the
   television show opened.  A map showed the Cartwright land holdings.
   Suddenly, a small flame burst through the center of the map and
   burned toward the edges of the screen.  In the hole the fire left
   behind, the viewer could see Bart Simpson writing a clever phrase on
   the chalk -- oops, I mean, the viewer would see the Cartwrights
   riding along on horseback.  If you want to see this for yourself, you
   might still be able to -- "Bonanza" is in syndication in several
   markets nationwide.

Mark Aaron Richey:  One of the most popular western series of all time
   (and one of the first in color), this told the saga of the all-male
   Cartwright clan, who lived on the Ponderosa Ranch out west somewhere
   in the late 1800's.  As the Indians said, pretty much the entire cast
   (including Michael Landon) has died.

The Life of Dreaderick Tatum

Dave Hall puts together a small biography of Tatum:

    Dreaderick Tatum, the heavyweight champion, grew up in Springfield.
    He learned how to fight in the notorious projects of Capital City,
    and honed his skills while serving time for aggravated assault and
    manslaughter in Springfield Prison. [7F13]

    (In interviews, Tatum has stated to have fathered several children
    with different mothers. [7F13])

    Having served his time, Tatum went on to the 1984 Olympics where he
    won a medal by punching out a Swede three times smaller than his
    size. [9F08]

    In the fight promoted as `The Bout to Knock the Other Guy Out',
    Tatum challenged and won the heavyweight title from Watson. [7F13]
    (He earlier dedicated the fight to the memory of Watson's decease

    As the new heavyweight champion, Tatum went on to better things,
    like moving out of Springfield. As he once told Kent Brockman in a
    candid interview: ``that town is a dump. If you ever see me back
    there, you'll know I really *bleep* up bad.'' [8F08.]

    Of Tatum's guest appearances, we only know that he was the Token
    black panellist on the Miss American Girl Pageant. [8F18]

Summing Up Mike Tyson in 89 Seconds

Jason Hancock: The similarities between Drederick Tatum and Mike Tyson
   were dead-on.  For those who don't remember, Tyson was convicted of
   raping a Miss Black America contestant in Indiana back in 1992; he
   would serve three years in prison.  In his first fight since being
   released, Tyson disposed of a white tomato can named Peter McNeeley
   -- who may be better known for his post-fight endorsements with AOL
   and Pizza Hut than the fight itself -- in 89 seconds.

Benjamin Jay Robinson: Tyson is one of the modern era's most feared
   prizefighters.  He was incredibly efficient at dispatching opponents;
   one fight lasted about thirty seconds.  (This is what Sweet was
   referring to when he mentioned fans tiring of bouts that ended before
   they got drunk.)  Like Tatum, Tyson has gotten into scrapes with the
   law.  Several years ago, he was convicted of raping a young woman
   named Desiree Washington.  Tyson was recently released, and looked
   little the worse for the wear.  That is, until his fight with Evander
   Holyfield, which Tyson lost in the eleventh round. Interestingly,
   that fight took place the day before "The Homer they Fall" aired.

The Don King in All of Us

Benjamin Jay Robinson: As Homer considerately pointed out for us, Lucius
   Sweet is a lot like real-live boxing promoter/manager Don King --
   right down to the electrifried hairstyle.  King has a reputation for
   being almost as ruthless as the boxers he promotes.  He'd probably
   set his mother up to fight if he could make some money from it.
   Fortunately for her, he doesn't have to; King manages the hugely
   successful Mike Tyson.

Brad Barth: Considering the resemblence, it may have been Lucius Sweet
   that appeared at Krusty's funeral back in "Bart the Fink," rather
   than Don King?

Fans of the Fan Man

Jason Hancock: The "Fan Man," who's real name is James Miller, made a
   name for himself in November 1993 when he parachuted into the Riddick
   Bowe-Evander Holyfield fight at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.  He was
   fined, served a brief prison sentence, and banned from said venue as
   a result of this, but that did not prevent him from landing atop
   London's Buckingham Palace in February 1994 with similar

The Voices Behind those Faces

Paul Winfield

Dale G. Abersold: You might remember respected black actor Paul Winfield
   from such films as "Sounder" (for which he received an Oscar
   Nomination), or such TV Series as "The Charmings" (in which he played
   the mirror).  Well, you probably don't remember "The Charmings."  He
   is in the forthcoming "Mars Attacks!" as well as numerous "B" movies
   and made-for-TV productions.  IMHO, he was terrific as the flamboyant
   Don-King-inspired Lucius Sweet.

Michael Ferguson:  Paul Winfield also played as Don King in the HBO
   movie "Tyson", which I thought was the best thing about him being Don
   King's voice in this episode; the writers did their research.

Michael Buffer

Dale G. Abersold: Michael Buffer is a boxing ring announcer with the
   well-known catchphrase, "Let's Get Ready to RRRRRUMMMMBLLLLLLE!" This
   phrase was partially referenced in last season's "Homer the Smithers"

The Moderately Average Yellow Hype

Don Del Grande: Presumably, this was not a title fight, since Homer
   would have to be in an organization's Top 10 challengers for them to
   give Homer a title shot (then again, considering the politics in
   boxing, that's not out of the question).

Benjamin Jay Robinson: Wouldn't it have made more sense for Homer to go
   into pro wrestling? Homer's a big fan, and this ability to take
   punishment would serve him well in the wrestling arena.  I've also
   seen some wrestlers who look as, ahem, portly as Homer.  Plus, the
   world of wrestling is a natural for comedy.  Oh, well, mine is not to
   reason why...

We must call the nine hundred and eleven!

Mark Aaron Richey: The "Call Police" sign is a take-off on the back of
   car sunshields that swept the country a few years back.  The theory
   was, if you had car trouble, you could pull over on the side of the
   road, slap that baby up in your windshield, and sooner or later,
   someone would call the police for you.  When you didn't need help,
   you would put the other side up. Of course, almost everybody put the
   wrong side out when they parked, or at least they did in the Dallas
   suburb where I grew up.

I Was Unaware! I Was Un-A-Ware!

Mark Aaron Richey: About three years ago, police uncovered an extensive
   prostitution ring serving many top actors and studio executives, run
   by Heidi Fleiss.  Even though there was supposedly much sweating
   about who exactly was in Fleiss's little black book, only one name
   ended up coming out (see below).  BTW, Fleiss's father delivered
   Madonna's baby.

Charlie Sheen

Mark Aaron Richey: A semi-famous actor who usually ends up starring in
   semi-major movies (like this summer's quickly forgotten alien
   invasion thriller "The Arrival", which departed just in time for
   "Independence Day").  He actually landed in the starring roles of
   some major films in the late 80's (like "Platoon" and "Wall Street"),
   but not anymore.  His name was the only one to emerge from the Heidi
   Fleiss scandal (see above).  Lucky him.

Native Americans Like You and Me

Ricardo Lafaurie: Noticed how African-Americans have seldom played
   anyone other than themselves on "The Simpsons"?  (Sounds quite
   collegiate.)  Here are the occassions in which they did:

   7G06,2F32: Ron Taylor as Bleeding Gums Murphy
   7F04,2F03: James Earl Jones as Maggie, Serak the preparer, the moving
              man, and the faceless narrator (that could have been
   7F24: Michael Jackson, a black man, plays Leon Kompowski, a
              white man who thinks he's a black man... 
   9F09,1F10: Michael Carrington, a black writer, voices
   4F03: Paul Winfield as Lucius Sweet

We make time to acknowledge the hard work of everyone who makes "The Simpsons" possible...

Dave Hall: I have noticed some staff changes in the credits for 4F03...

   - Al Jean & Mike Reiss names are not listed at all in any of the
   - Is "Animation Producers" a new title credit? (Bill Schultz and
     Michael Wolf are listed as such.)
   - Executive Story Editor: Donick Cary
     (I think the only time they ever list this title is when they
     bring-in "new people take over the "Story Editors" positions.)
   - Story Editors: Dan Greaney, Ron Hauge and Ned Goldreyer
     (formerly Richard Appel and Jennifer Crittenden)
   - The screen listing the assistants to the producers does not have an
     entry for David Mirkin.

People Who Need Lyrics

   Here are the lyrics for "People Who Need People"; captioning is
   provided between brackets if different.

         People who need people
         Are he luckiest people in the world.
         We're one person,                     [We're children,]
         One very special person,              [Needing other children,]
         We're the luckiest people in the world.   [-]
                                    [And yet letting our grown-up people]
                                    [Hide all the need inside,]
                                    [Acting more like...]

Simpsons on Sky with outtakes

James R. Curry: The openening title sequence is completely missing from
   the SKY version of this episode.  The line "Okey-doke.  Future's down
   the crapper.  Gotcha." is cut down to "Okey-doke." in the SKY

Those Immortal Threads

Where is Springfield?

  A state founded by circus freaks.  {hl}

Loose Ends

Bob Wells: In the series of clips of Homer knocking out the palookas,
   when he knocks one guy out of the ring it is a dead ringer for the
   famous photo of Louis Firpo knocking Jack Dempsey out of the ring in

Haynes Lee: One of Homer's nicknames "Brick Hithouse" which bring up
   imagery of an outhouse .

Don Del Grande: Homer is getting older despite his kids staying the same
   ages, yet if Homer is 38, he would have been 16 when he graduated
   high school in 1974.

Quotes and Scene Summary {ol}

At the Springfield Mall, a crowd (including the family), is gathered to watch "Memories of Bonanza, The Mall Show", presented by Nostalgia Licensing Corporation. The theme music to "Bonanza" begins as a fire spreads, and burns a hole through the stage curtain which looks like a map (reminiscent of the "Bonanza" theme song). A man walks on stage and extinguishes the fire as two shirtless native Indians walk through the hole in the curtain on stage. The audience applauds. Indian #1: Thank you. I just wish Ben and Hoss and Little Joe and Hop Sing and Sheriff Roy and all your favorites could be alive today to see this wonderful turnout. Indian #2: You know, on the series, we were always trying to kill the Cartwrights. [audience boos] But it looks like Father Time took care of that for us, right? [pause] Am I right, folks? [the audience doesn't respond, so the two Indians motion for the theme song to play again, which they dance to] Bart: Oh, this sucks. Marge: Weren't there three Indians last year? -- "The Homer They Fall" The family tours the mall, when they happen upon the store "Miscellaneous Etc." Homer: Look, Marge! They opened a new high-tech gadget store! You love high-tech gadgets. Marge: No, I don't. Homer: Like bull you don't. Come on. [leadingly grabs Marge's arm] Marge: Homer, please! You're hurting my arm. Homer: [obliviously] No I'm not. -- "The Homer They Fall" Bart: Hey, Lis! Check out this space-age toothbrush. [uses it] Lisa: That's an electric nostril groomer. Bart: [spits and coughs] -- "The Homer They Fall" Marge: Night vision goggles? A bathroom scale from a soviet sub? A suede briefcase case? [growls] Anyone who needs this kind of status symbol must have some terrible emotional problems. Homer: [gasping] Marge, look! "The world's best jacket." If I had this, it would show everybody! [angrily] Show everybody! -- The insecurity jacket, "The Homer They Fall" The Comic Book Guy is busy arguing with a salesman about an unsatisfactory purchase. CBG: Yes, finally! I would like to return your quote, unquote Ultimate Belt. Salesman: I see. Do you have a receipt, quote, unquote, sir? CBG: No, I do not have a receipt. I won it as a door prize at the Star Trek Convention, although I find their choice of prize highly illogical, as the average Trekker has no use for a medium-sized belt. Salesman: Whoa! Whoa! A fat, sarcastic Star Trek fan. You must be a devil with the ladies. [sarcastic wink] CBG: Hey, I... [sighs] That... Oh... Salesman: Gee, I hate to let you down, Casanova, but, uh, no receipt, no return. [walks away] Bart: I'll give you four bucks for it. CBG: [sighs, then sells him the belt] Very well. I must hurry back to my comic book store, where I dispense the insults rather than absorb them. -- A taste of his own medicine, "The Homer They Fall" Bart is at school showing off his gadget-surrounded belt to his friends in the hall. Wow! I bet if God wore pants, he'd have a belt like that! -- Milhouse admires Bart's belt, "The Homer They Fall" Bart enumerates all the features of his "Tactical Pants-Retaining System": compass, matches, whistle, saw, panic button, squirrel snare, radon/lie detector, sphygmomanometer and cute turn signals. He turns around to show left and right arrows on the backside of the belt, which wows his peers, but they flee when Jimbo, Dolph and Kearney walk up to Bart. Jimbo: Hey Simpson, wanna trade belts? Bart: Well, not really, 'cause yours is just a piece of extension cord. [close-in of a cord wrapped around Jimbo's pants] Kearney: Hey, dude, he's ragging on your cord. Jimbo: Get him! -- Never joke about the cord, "The Homer They Fall" The bullies jump at Bart, who breaks away and starts running down the hall. Water-drinking Janey exclaims "No running!" Jimbo, Kearney and Dolph continue to chase Bart. "Time for a little evasive action," panics Bart as he pushes the button that "indicates" that he's turning left. He runs a little towards the left hall, then runs right. He throws off his hunters for a while, then presses the "Help" button on his belt, which starts a voice that incessantly cries "Help, help, help..." Bart's immediately spotted. Bart: I was hoping it wouldn't come to this, but... you guys asked for it. [pushes the "Emergency Use Only" button] [a small parachute emerges, carrying a "Call police" sign] Can't you read?! Call the police! [the bullies beat him] -- "The Homer They Fall" Bart returns home with bruises, a black eye and his shirt torn up. He passes pie-eating Homer. Bart: [all bruised up] Hey, dad. Homer: Looking good, son. [stops Bart] Hey! What happened to your belt? -- The caringest father in the world, "The Homer They Fall" Bart explains. Homer: Son, there's only one thing punks like that understand: squealing. You've got to squeal to every teacher and every grown-up you can find. Coming to me was a good start. Bart: But then they'll just beat me up even worse! Homer: Yes, they are a clever bunch. I know. I'll squeal for ya... to their parents! [later that day...] Jimbo's dad: [punches him in the face] That's for telling me how to raise my lousy kid! Dolph's dad: [punches him in the gut] This is for the crummy life I've had to live! -- Oh, this is a good idea, "The Homer They Fall" Homer seems impervious to the punches, and continues his attempt to reason with the angry fathers, who continue to beat on him. "Hey! Something's wrong with this guy! He's not falling down!" whines Kearney's dad. Moe points a gun to them. Fun's over, fellas! If you're gonna beat up my friend in my bar, there's a two-drink minimum. -- Moe's most sacred rule, "The Homer They Fall" The men slowly back away out of Moe's. Moe tends to Homer's injury. Moe: Geez, Homer. I never seen a guy stand up to that kind of punishment. I mean, you took a three-man pounding and didn't even fall down. Homer: Big deal. I didn't even get my kid's belt back. The only thing a loser like me is good for is taking beatings. Moe: There you go! That's the spirit! Homer, I've seen prizefighters couldn't take a punch half as good as you. You know, boxing might be right up your alley. Homer: Really? Moe: Oh please! It's the good life, Homer. Some of these boxers, they eat steak and lobster and salad bar all in a single meal. Homer: [gasps] Dressing...? Moe: Their choice. -- "The Homer They Fall" Moe puts Homer to the test: Moe: Are you man enough to test every one of your limits? Homer: Yes. Moe: And are you man enough to throw a punch should the opportunity arise? Homer: Yes! Moe: And are you man enough to give me a sixty percent cut? Homer: YES! Moe: I'll take it. Homer: Woo-hoo! [a boxing bell rings] -- Let the games begin, "The Homer They Fall" [End of Act One. Time: 5:14] As a manager, Moe wants Homer to have complete faith in him, and thus leads him to... Wow, I've never been in here before. -- Homer steps into the ladies' room, "The Homer They Fall" Since there haven't been any ladies in Moe's since 1979, Moe turned the ladies' room into an office replete with boxing gloves, a desk and posters/pictures of Moe as a boxer. Homer: You used to be a boxer just like me? Moe: Yup. They called me Kid Gorgeous. Later on, it was Kid Presentable. Then Kid Gruesome. And finally, Kid Moe. Homer: [raising dirty pail] Hey, what's this? Moe: Ah, that, that's my old spit bucket. Yeah, I've been meaning to empty that out. -- "The Homer They Fall" Homer finds a picture of Moe standing beside a big black man in glasses with odd, unbrushed hair standing up. Homer: [gasps] You know Lucius Sweet?! He's one of the biggest names in boxing! He's exactly as rich and as famous as Don King, and he looks just like him, too! Moe: Yeah, he was my manager. Back when I was Gorgeous, everybody wanted a piece of me. But somehow, I just never made it to the big time. Homer: Why not? Moe: 'Cause I got knocked out forty times in a row. That, plus politics. You know, it's all politics. Homer: [glaring] Lousy democrats. -- "The Homer They Fall" At home, at the breakfast table, the family discusses Homer's latest hobby. Homer, of all the crazy ideas you've had, this one ranks somewhere in the middle. -- Marge comments on Homer's new boxing carreer, "The Homer They Fall" Marge: Before you even consider this, I insist you consult a doctor. Homer: No problemo. [pecks Marge on the cheek and walks off] Marge: A competant doctor! Homer: [off-screen] D'oh! -- She knows the trick, "The Homer They Fall" Dr. Hibbert examines inside of Homer's left ear in the physicals room. Hibbert: Well, sir, you more than meet every one of this state's requirements to box, wrestle or be shot out of a cannon. Marge: [growls] That's what we get for living in a state founded by circus freaks. -- At least he doesn't wrestle bears, "The Homer They Fall" Hibbert displays an x-ray of Homer's head. Hibbert: You have an absolutely unique genetic condition known as "Homer Simpson syndrome". Homer: [moaning] Oh, why me? -- "The Homer They Fall" Hibbert calms his fears: his brain is cushioned by a layer of fluid 1/8th of an inch thicker than normal, acting like a football helmet. Hibbert: Why, I could wallop you all day with this surgical two-by-four without ever knocking you down. [brandishes stick, then checks his watch] But... I have other appointments. -- To wallop people with Homer Simpson syndrome perhaps?, "The Homer They Fall" Decked in boxing-trunks, Homer practices with Moe in an abandoned ring. Moe: All right, Homer. Let's see the left. [a fly stops on Moe's right cushion] [Homer punches it, yet it flies away intact] Moe: O-kay... Let's see the right. -- Don't hold your breath, "The Homer They Fall" Homer is exhausted on the ring boundry, panting. "Just a second..." "When you're ready." "All right, I'm ready..." Homer begins to get up, but falls back again. "Wait a minute..." Homer continues to pant. "All right. ... Wait a minute, just a sec..." Moe: Okay, punching isn't your thing. But that's okay. You're not that kind of fighter. What you're gonna do is stand there while your opponent gets exhausted from over-punching. Homer: Then I can just push him over. Moe: That's right, and if the ref's not looking, you can kick him a couple of times. -- Homer's always been master at dirty fighting, "The Homer They Fall" Moe rides a moped as Homer jogs in the street. Moe: Who's gonna knock you down? Homer: No one! Moe: When do you gonna fight back? Homer: Never! Moe: What are you gonna do? Homer: Nothin'! Moe: That's my boy! -- "The Homer They Fall" The fight is on at Moe's bar, and the crowd is waiting to see it. Barney: Man, you'd never get me into a ring. Boxing causes brain damage. [drinks varnish] -- "The Homer They Fall" Meanwhile, Moe is psyching up Homer in his Ladies' Room office. Moe: Okay, you're fighting a guy named Boxcar Bob. Homer: Brawled his way up from the boxcars, did he? Moe: Uh, no, not yet, he still lives at the trainyard. But he's a hungry young fighter. In fact, he's actually fighting for a sandwich. -- The glory of boxing, "The Homer They Fall" Moe blows dust off of his boxing gloves and gives them to Homer. Moe: Homer, I want you to have my lucky mits. I hope you do better with them than I did. Homer: [donning them] Gee, thanks, Moe. What's this? Moe: Ah, that's the barbed wire. We, uh, we called that the stinger. They, they don't let you use that no more. -- But they did then?, "The Homer They Fall" Now, no matter how much he hits you, you don't do nothing, okay? You don't wanna get drawn into a boxing match, here. -- Moe's idea of managing a boxer, "The Homer They Fall" Boxcar Bob discards his coat and travelling stick. Homer takes twenty one quick blows nonchalantly as the crowd cheers on. Lenny: Man, that tramp's got the energy of a hobo. Carl: Yeah, he never stops punching -- except to check out his bindle. [Bob indeed checks it after every couple of punches] -- "The Homer They Fall" As time passes, Bob becomes exhausted and can't hit anymore. Moe warns Homer that this is the right time; he gently nudges his opponent, who tips over, dead tired. The crowd cheers and Moe shares pride with Homer. November 3rd: Homer takes more blows by Boxcar Fred. Homer is 7th place in the semi-pro boxers chart. Moe counts up more cash, which Homer uses on premium wax. Boxcar Ira is now taken out by Homer. Homer has three more boxcar opponents taken out -- and three more washes -- until he is moved up to first place. Moe does business in his office and grabs a cigar from the "For your courtesy" dispenser. He ends up getting a light by a black man in a tuxedo decorated with glittering, gaudy jewelry, donning bizzare, sticking-up hair. "Hello, Moe! Delightful to see you again!" Moe: Lucius! Hey! What's a glitteradi like you doing in my dump? I thought you were managing the champ. Lucius: Yes, managing Drederick has been my highest priority, even though he is temporarily incarcerated for pushing his mother down the stairs. But with his inpending release, I've been strategizing for his glorious return to the shores of Fistiana. Moe: Uh, what? Lucius: His comeback fight. You know, boxing? -- "The Homer They Fall" Moe pities the man who will donate his body for Tatum's cause, but drops his cigar when Lucious mentions Homer. Lucious only needs an opponent that will last three rounds -- fans wanting to get drunk before the fight is over -- but Moe doubts Homer could stand that long. Nevertheless, the taste of glory and success is tempting... That night, Homer and Moe are sat in lawnchairs atop the roof of Moe's Tavern with two beers in hand. Moe: I gotta be honest with you, Homer. I didn't bring you up here to show you my new tar paper. Homer: You didn't? Moe: No. Homer, how would you like to be heavyweight champion of the world? Homer: Oh, sure. -- Casual talk, "The Homer They Fall" Moe: All you gotta do is fight Drederick Tatum. It's this Saturday. Here's your parking pass. Homer: [reading the pass] Ooh, "general." -- All the privileges, "The Homer They Fall" Homer doesn't have a clue about who Tatum is, but trusts Moe on that point. Not too far away, inside the Springfield Penitentiary, chaos and anarchy is abound. "Hey, come on guys, shut up," demands a large, goteed black man eating brussels sprouts in his jail cell. It's Drederick. In a heartbeat, the chaos ends, and guards step back as prisoners return to their cells in silence. [End of Act Two. Time: 12:21] Tatum's at a desk, with Lucius Sweet beside him. Both are in front of a mob of interviewers. Man #1: Champ, do you feel remorse for your crime? Tatum: Oh, yes. Believe me, my god, if I could turn back the clock on my mother's stair-pushing, I would certainly... reconsider it. Man #2: Drederick, ah, what do you think of Homer Simpson? Tatum: I think he's a good man. I like him. I got nothing against him, but I'm definately gonna make orphans of his children. Man #3: Uh, you know, they do have a mother, Champ. Tatum: Yes, but I would imagine that she would die of grief. [interviewers continue to battle to get their questions in] Lucius: Thank you, thank you. But the champ has no time for further queries. This parole hearing is over. [audience/hearers groan] Man #4: I wanted to know what it was like in prison... -- The law meets the National Enquirer, "The Homer They Fall" Back at the family's breakfast table, Homer has some coffee while Marge finds out about the fight reading the newspaper. Marge: Homer, why are they saying you're going to fight Drederick Tatum? Homer: [gulps] Uh, well, uh, I was gonna surprise you, but... happy anniversary, baby! -- "The Homer They Fall" Marge is upset, but Homer argues his point. Homer: I'll make a fortune for one night's work! We can have all the things we always dreamed of: a snooty butler, carpeted carports, those blue cupcakes they sell sometimes... Marge: But you'll get killed! Homer: Marge! Will you let me finish? Plug-In room deodorizers, front and rear spoilers for the car. -- And just enough for the coffin, "The Homer They Fall" Lisa: Mom's right, Dad. The odds against you winning are a thousand to one. Homer: Whoa, I don't think it's that unlikely. Lisa: Those are the odds they're giving in Vegas. Homer: All right, I think we've heard just about enough from Mr. Newspaper today. [tosses the newspaper outside] -- "The Homer They Fall" Later that day, Bart and Grampa are watching an ad for Homer's match. [on TV, a monstrously strong Drederick Tatum exits a jail cell threateningly] Announcer: Society put away Drederick Tatum for his brutal crime. But he's paid his debt, and now, he's going to get revenge... on Homer Simpson. [a shot of Homer, staring blankly, and getting powerfully punched in the face by Tatum's boxing glove; Homer's head explodes and morphs into the words "Tatum vs. Simpson: PAYBACK"] Abe & Bart: Yay! Bart: Woo hoo! Abe: [to Maggie] That's your daddy. -- Correction: former daddy, "The Homer They Fall" The fight is now on at the Springfield Coliseum. Lined up fans, according to coliseum requirements, are dressed tackily. Meanwhile, a t-shirt peddler is about wearing one, and holding up a t-shirt with a picture of a boxing glove headed for Homer's face. "T-shirts! Get your t-shir-r-rts. Tell 'em where you've been by wearing a t-shirt!" Meanwhile, in the locker room, Bart is helping Homer prepare. You'll be okay, Dad. Just make sure he hits you an even number of times, so you don't end up with amnesia. -- Bart tips his father, "The Homer They Fall" Elsewhere, in the locker hall, Moe paces nervously in front of an ashtray with several cigarette butts in them and scattered around the tray on the floor. Moe butts out another cigarette then lights up another. Just then, Marge goes to see him. Marge: Moe, I'm so glad I found you. Please, promise me you won't let Homer get hurt. Moe: Hey, hey, hey, I'm not the villain here, okay? If Homer gets killed in the ring tonight, it'll be because of your negative attitude -- there, I said it. -- And let's not forget all those feminine undergarments..., "The Homer They Fall" Marge doesn't fold in, and asks Moe to throw in his towel and stop the fight the instant Homer is in danger; annoyed, Moe promises. However, after Marge has left, he reconsiders and throws his towel in the trash can. Lights are everywhere in the arena, with the crowds full. Ring announcer Michael Buffer introduces the fight. Buffer: Celebrities at ringside tonight: Star of the McBain action films, and feature player in the Hollywood prostitution scandal: Rainer-r-r Wolfcastle! [applause] TV anchorman and Springfield institution, Mr. Kent Brockman! [Kent waves, and the audience boos and throws litter at him] Kent: [sarcastic laugh] This just in, go to hell! Buffer: From the world of organized crime, say hello to Anthony "Fat Tony" D'Amico! [applause] -- Typical ringside, "The Homer They Fall" The ruiner of events worldwide -- title fights, the Super Bowl, and the Nixon funeral; ladies and gentlemen, the Fan Man! -- Book him for your own funerals right now, "The Homer They Fall" The Fan Man, dressed in a red jumpsuit and helmet, parachutes into the audience with a propeller on his back, which shaves off Krusty's rightside of hair. "Oh cripes! Now I gotta comb this side over." he complains. Behind the doors of the walkway, Moe has a last chat with Homer. Moe: All right, Homer, I'm not gonna lie to you. There's a good chance you can beat Tatum. But you gotta visualize how you're gonna win, okay? Homer: Gotcha. [dreams on about his victory] Announcer: A congenital heart defect has apparently felled Tatum moments before he could step into the ring. -- You wish, Homer, "The Homer They Fall" Buffer introduces, "back into decent society", the heavyweight Champion of the world, Drederick Tatum. The audience cheers as Drederick Tatum, not fooling around, walks down the walkway with his assistants as hip-hop rap music plays behind him. Tatum enters the boxing ring, prepares a little and shows off his "Mr. Armageddon" robe. To challenge the irresistable force of Tatum, we have the immoveable object; he's been called the Brickhead House and is also known as the Southern Dandy, Homer-r-r Simpson! -- Who's gonna bleep me now?, "The Homer They Fall" Homer walks down the opposite runway with "Why Can't We Be Friends?" as his theme song, with Abe and Moe on his side. Homer has to be pushed into the ring by Moe and Abe. Lucius walks up to Moe. Lucius: Your boy looks a little soft, Moe. You do remember our arrangement? Moe: Yeah, don't worry, you'll get your three rounds. Lucius: Stupendous. Because if he goes down before that bell rings, your future's going with him. Moe: Okey-doke. Future's down the crapper. Gotcha. -- What difference will it make?, "The Homer They Fall" Due to popular demand, we will forgo our national anthem. -- Micheal Buffer starts the fight, "The Homer They Fall" The bell goes off and Tatum and Homer face each other. Homer: Okay, Homer, nothing to be worried about. Just... [gets punched] OOF! [way back in Row ZZ, Bart and Lisa watch] Bart: Wow! I've never seen Dad hit somebody like that before! Lisa: What are you talking about? Bart: Isn't Dad the one in the black trunks? Lisa: No! Bart: Uh-oh. Marge: [from behind the pillar with Maggie] What? What? What am I missing? What? -- "The Homer They Fall" "And there's Tatum, showboating for the crowd!" says Michael Buffer as Tatum pounds Homer silly. Only six seconds have passed. Moe tries to motivate his champ. Showing disdain towards Homer, Tatum takes a break to talk cooking with Charlie Sheen. The referee directs Tatum back to the fight, and he picks up where he left off beating on Homer. A tall mass of curly blue hair moves through the audience. Homer's vision is clouded now. Marge: [through Homer's fuzzy vision] Homer! Homer, he's not going to get tired. You've got to hit him back. Hit him back! Homer: That cactus is right. -- "The Homer They Fall" Homer realizes his only chance is to knock Tatum out. He winds up, takes his best shot ever... and misses. Tatum returns Homer's failed punch and hits him directly in the head. Homer's now on his last leg. Moe: Hang in there, Homer! Only four hundred and forty more seconds. [to Abe] He's getting his second win. Abe: No! He's getting killed! -- Bah, either way is good, "The Homer They Fall" Moe can't bear to watch, and runs away through the cheering crowd. Krusty, Frink, Patty, Selma, Mr. Burns, Smithers, Lucius and Kent are at the apex of excitement, helping the audience cheer on. Marge: Somebody stop the fight! Where's the doctor?! [guess who's the fight doctor?] Dr. Riviera: Kill him! Kill him! -- Where's that competent doctor when you need him?, "The Homer They Fall" Tatum steps back and builds up what will be the final punch. Homer's family watch, nervously, as Tatum swings his fist slowly towards Homer. At the very last minute, Homer is picked up and rescued by Moe, donning the Fanman's propeller. Oh my god! Simpson's manager has flown into the ring and is airlifting him out! Ladies and gentlemen, whatever dignity remained in boxing is literally flying out the window. -- "The Homer They Fall" Homer: [slurred] Are you an angel? Moe: Yes, Homer. I'm an angel. All us angels wear farah slacks. Homer: But you stopped the fight. Won't everyone be mad at you? Moe: Eh, let 'em be mad. The only thing that matters to me is you're safe. [bumps Homer's head up a steel beam] Homer: D'oh! Moe: Sorry. -- Angelic goofs, "The Homer They Fall" Moe flies Homer out the ceiling window of the coliseum and lands him outside to safety in front of a huge crowd. Tatum: Homer, your manager obviously loves you very much. Lucius, would you do that for me? Lucius: Absolutely, I would. [chuckles] Now get in the van. -- "The Homer They Fall" Tatum walks away. Lucius: You couldn't even give me one lousy round, Moe. You will always be a loser. Now take your check for a hundred thousand dollars and get out of my sight. Moe: I don't need your stinking money! [carefully folds the check and puts it in his pocket] -- "The Homer They Fall" The family gathers around Homer. Marge: Oh, Homie! Are you okay? Homer: [in pain and sorrow] I can't remember where we parked. Marge: That's all right. We'll just wait till everyone else leaves. Bart: I got your tooth, Dad. [tries to fit it in his mouth] Homer: Uh, not mine. [tosses tooth aside] -- "The Homer They Fall" Moe pulls the cord that starts his propeller and flies away, going "nowheres in particular", in need for time to think. An angry Fanman chases him down on the ground, yelling at him for his equipment. [End of Act Three. Time: 22:19] Credits roll over scenes of Moe saving an Indian woman and her baby from a flood, pulling an explorer stuck in a tar pit, putting out forest fires and giving CARE packages to third-world countries. "People Who Need People" keeps playing up to the Gracie Films logo.


{ak} Andrew Krupowicz {bah} Brian A. Haugen {bjr} Benjamin Jay Robinson {bt} Brian Trosko {ddg} Don Del Grande {dga} Dale G. Abersold {dh} David Harvey {dn} David Ney {dp} Damian Penny {dw} Douglas Winslow {eh} Eric Hartman {fs} Frank Schnyder {hl} Haynes Lee {jh} Jason Hancock {jmb} Jennifer M. Blaske {le} Luke Enlow {ljs} Liam J. Scanlan {mar} Mark Aaron Richey {mf} Michael Ferguson {mk} Matthew Kurth {mss} Marge Starbrod-Simpson {ns} Nathaniel Schaffer {ol} Ondre Lombard {psk} Pamela S. Klemm {rl} Ricardo Lafaurie

Legal Mumbo Jumbo

This episode capsule is Copyright 1996 Frederic Briere. It is not to be redistributed in a public forum without consent from its author or current maintainer (capsules@snpp.com). All quoted material, episode summaries and Burger King dolls remain property of The Simpsons, Copyright of Twentieth Century Fox. The transcript itself is Copyright 1996 Ondre Lombard. Do not use if seal is broken. This work is dedicated to Raymond Chen, James A. Cherry, Ricardo Lafaurie, and all of those who made episode capsules what they are today.