The Simpsons Episodes

1989, TV Show

The Simpsons Episode: "Treehouse of Horror XIX"

Season 20, Episode 4
Episode Synopsis: The 19th edition of the series' Halloween "Treehouse of Horror" franchise includes twisted parodies of "Transformers" and "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown."
Original Air Date: Nov 2, 2008
Guest Cast Karl Wiedergott: Giant Flanders Robot/Desk Lamp/John Wayne Maurice Lamarche: Giant Homer Robot
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Season 20, Episode 4
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Length: 04:46:53
Aired: 11/2/2008
Also available on Amazon Instant Video
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Simpsons Episode Recap: Treehouse of Horror XIX Season 20, Episode 4

The Simpsons' aired their Halloween episode 2 days late or 363 days early. This 19th volume in the show's Treehouse of Horror anthology featured spoofs of Transformers, Mad Men, and, in the "can you believe it hadn't been done before" column, It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. This volume delivered some of the best Halloween laughs since the 12th season's Treehouse of Horror XI, featuring Homer telling Marge he just needs to get into Heaven, not "run for Jesus."

The opening avoided basically all the Halloween imagery reserved for The Simpsons' perennial specials. Instead, the writers focused on something far more timely than Halloween: this Tuesday's Presidential election. Obama supporter Homer found his vote being miscalculated by a touch screen machine which eventually kills him.

The episode's first segment, Untitled Robot Parody, actually took place during the Christmas season. After finding dud toys like the "Slunky" in the bargain bin, Bart buys Lisa a transforming robot disguised as a Malibu Stacey dream car. In what seems like a call back to Volume III's Clown Without Pity, Homer reveals that he has an ongoing relationship with the toaster. In the episode from 1992, Homer claimed the toaster has been laughing at him. It seems 16 years can truly make a difference. Now Homer finds the toaster to be a source he can trust. "The toaster's never lied to me before," he claims. After an upbeat Marge uses logic to put an end to the war between the militaristic Robot factions, the machines decide to enslave the human race and wind up putting various Springfield residents to good use as players in a living foosball game.

Spoofing Mad Men, the second segment "How to get ahead in Dead-vertisting" began with a 60's inspired credits sequence. After accidentally killing Krusty the Klown, ad executives realize Homer is the go-to guy for ensuring a celebrity's demise. With the superstar rubbed out, the ad execs are able to use the celebrity's likeness for free. In a montage set to the Talking Head's Psycho Killer, Homer took out George Clooney, Prince and every ad execs dream spokesman, Neil Armstrong. In heaven, the celebrities and historical figures are spending their eternity looking down in disgust. Krusty riles up the likes of George Washington, Shakespeare, John Wayne, and John Lennon. They spirits come to Springfield to even the score. Even Edward G. Robinson got in on the act, accusing Chief Wiggum of stealing his image. Krusty blows Homer's head off. But unfortunately, this tactic backfires when the celebrities return to heaven to find Homer standing behind the locked gates with the mild-mannered and fabulous, Abraham Lincoln...or as Homer likes to call him, Mr. Penny Face.

It only took 19 years but The Simpsons finally aimed their guns at the Halloween tradition which easily has the biggest target on its back, It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Their own spin on the story, It's the Grand Pumpkin, Milhouse, found the young Van Houten boy being the lone believer in The Grand Pumpkin. You know the story. Lisa played Sally to Milhouse's Linus. Kang and Kodos made their traditional appearance in this segment on the dance floor at a Halloween party. The best jokes in this segment played upon what I saw as the right-wing close mindedness of The Grand Pumpkin. Not only did he express shock at the eating of pumpkin seeds ("You roast the unborn?") but Nelson also lectured the pumpkin about race relations (pumpkins are all apparently racist...the Grand one just admits to it) and informed him he'd rather die than hate.

I think the writers covered their bases in this episode. With allusions to election day, Thanksgiving and Christmas, this episode seemed to be a catch all through January but it also delivered the laughs. But what did you think?

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The Simpsons' aired their Halloween episode 2 days late or 363 days early. This 19th volume in the show's Treehouse of Horror anthology featured spoofs of Transformers, Mad Men, and, in the "can you believe it hadn't been done before" column, It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. This volume delivered some of the best Halloween laughs since the 12th season's Treehouse of Horror XI, featuring Homer telling Marge he just needs to get into Heaven, not "run for Jesus."

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Premiered: December 17, 1989, on FOX
Rating: TV-PG
User Rating: (688 ratings)
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Premise: Matt Groening's subversive, animated satire about Springfield's hapless first family became a cult favorite when it premiered on Fox in 1989 after first being seen in 1987 as a short on 'The Tracey Ullman Show.' That was then; now it's TV longest running comedy. Not since 'The Flintstones' in the '60s has a cartoon series drawn such a large adult audience, and, ay caramba, given us pop-culture expressions for the ages. And in 1999, Time magazine called it the best TV show of the 20th century.

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