The Simpsons Episodes

1989, TV Show

The Simpsons Episode: "Thursdays with Abie"

Season 21, Episode 9
Episode Synopsis: Grampa becomes famous when a human-interest columnist publishes his anecdote about serving on a battleship in World War II that was struck by a torpedo. Guest Mitch Albom provides his own voice.
Original Air Date: Jan 3, 2010
Guest Cast Mitch Albom: Himself
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Season 21, Episode 9
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Length: 21:43
Aired: 1/3/2010
Also available on Amazon Instant Video
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The Simpsons Episode Recap: "Thursdays with Abie" Season 21, Episode 9

The Simpsons go to "Wet 'n Wacky World — (formerly the JFK Naval Museum)." While there, Grampa tells some of his boring, nonsensical rambling old man stories. While the other Simpsons are watching the performing octopus, Slimu, someone has taken an interest in Grampa's stories that he's telling to nobody in particular while sitting alone on a bench. This man introduces himself as Marshall Goldman — a human interest columnist for the Springfield Shopper and he would like to turn Grampa's stories into a regular column.

The secondary storyline revolves around a lesson in responsibility that's going on in Bart's class at school. Ms. Krabappel draws a different student every Friday to take home "Larry the Lamb," a stuffed toy, in order to take care of him and return him unharmed on Monday. On this particular Friday, Bart's name is drawn.

Meanwhile, Homer has become jealous of Grampa's newfound fame as the subject of Marshall Goldman's columns. Homer goes to visit Grampa at the retirement home and Grampa and Homer get into an argument because Grampa says Homer only wants to visit him because he's a "celebrity" now.

Bart, of course, is not taking very good care of Larry so Lisa takes him away to care for him properly. Later, Lisa accidentally loses Larry down the storm drain and Bart is furious (despite his previous mistreatment of the doll). Bart goes down to the sewer to save Larry.

Homer finds a new father figure in Mr. Burns. Mr. Burns is so touched by Homer's attention to his rambling stories that when he is done, Mr. Burns orders the release of "a hound." (Instead of his customary order to release the hounds.) Homer turns the story into a column of his own and takes it to the Springfield Shopper and submits it. The secretary says "I'll show it to our editor," whereupon she then goes out of Homer's sight and shreds the column immediately. While she does this, Homer finds Marshall Goldman's office and inadvertently uncovers Marshall's plan to kill Grampa in order to make a Pulitzer-worthy finale to his collection of Grampa story-based columns.

Bart, still down in the sewer, has found Larry and is now trying to escape the sewer rats, and then the sewer cats. He has to use Larry as a way to slide down an overhead pipe out of the sewer, which of course saws Larry in half. (Although we see him back together again in the final scene.)

Marshall puts Grampa on a train to take him to Hollywood, but really Marshall wants to carry out his plan to kill Grampa. Homer catches up to the train — The Tinseltown Express — a nostalgic Hollywood golden age-era train. Homer punches Marshall out and saves Grampa.

Later, back at the Simpson house, Homer asks Grampa to re-tell the fascinating tale of recent events, but Grampa tells Homer, "I think you're ready for your first ramble, son." Homer is visibly touched and excited and sure enough, begins his Grampa-esque ramble about something involving Godzilla and the Rolling Stones.

Funny Stuff:

  • The sign at the border to Shelbyville says "Shelbyville — Land of No Lakes."
  • Lisa, in a heated argument with Bart, talking about how peaceful of a person she is, screaming "I'M A FREAKIN' BUDDHIST!!!!"
  • Mitch Album, real-life author of "Tuesdays with Morrie" making a brief guest appearance, but getting the brush-off from Homer.
  • Ralph: "Clouds are God's sneezes." Mitch Album: "I like this Kid!"
  • Nelson, after Lisa has lost Larry the Lamb but before anyone else knows that she lost it, asking Nelson what would happen if someone were to lose Larry: "They would see a dark side of me no one has ever seen" (as the screen turns all black behind him and scary music plays).
  • In the scene where Homer is listening to Mr. Burns' rambling story, we only get to hear the very end of the story where Mr. Burns cryptically says, "Let's just say that the Yangtze River hides all secrets."
  • When Homer is in Marshall's office he notices that media materials for the movie and play adaptation of his soon-to-be Pulitzer winning works has already been created. The play poster proclaims that Hank Azaria (a voice of many characters on The Simpsons) is the star.

Overall, a funny episode. We're actually looking forward to each Sunday again. Next week is the 450th episode of The Simpsons and the much anticipated Morgan Spurlock's The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special: in 3-D! on Ice.  Can't wait!

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The Simpsons go to "Wet 'n Wacky World — (formerly the JFK Naval Museum)." While there, Grampa tells some of his boring, nonsensical rambling old man stories. While the other Simpsons are watching the performing octopus, Slimu, someone has taken an interest in Grampa's stories that he's telling to nobody in particular while sitting alone on a bench. This man introduces himself as Marshall Goldman — a human interest columnist for the Springfield Shopper and he would like to turn Grampa's stories into a regular column.

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Premiered: December 17, 1989, on FOX
Rating: TV-PG
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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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