Dancin' Homer Written by Ken Levine and David Isaacs Directed by Mark Kirkland [$Id 7f05 1

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Dancin' Homer Written by Ken Levine and David Isaacs Directed by Mark Kirkland =============================================================================== [$Id: 7f05 1.5 91/12/17 14:45:08 raymond Exp Locker: raymond $] =============================================================================== > Title sequence =============================================================================== Blackboard :- `I will not trade pants with others'. `I will not trade pants wit' at cutoff. Driveway :- Homer says nothing when Lisa scoots past. Couch: :- The family fit, with Maggie in Marge's 'do. =============================================================================== > Didja notice... =============================================================================== ... the cash register at the stadium has a total of $1.14 in its display? {mn} At most stadiums, the cost of things is in multiples of 5 cents, so as to avoid fussing with pennies. ... Marge was loaded down with a huge satchel of pennants, etc.? ... the angry people stuck behind Marge? {dh} ... Bleedin' Gums Murphy's rendition of `The Star Spangled Banner' began at 7:30pm and ended at 7:56pm, for a total of 26 minutes? ... Smithers dusted off Mr. Burns' place with a brush not unlike the one that umpires use to brush off home plate? ... aside from the `Employees and...etc' group in section Z, the stands were nearly empty? ... the 'Topes' batter was out of the batter's box? ... the mug shots hanging up in the announcer's box? {dh} ... the organist (Helen) had a martini atop the organ? ... and she had pictures of body builders on the wall behind her? {tws} ... when the ball was hit, it flew over the moon? {dh} ... the `Dancin' Homer' T-shirts were selling 2 for $24? ... When Homer asks his supervisor for time off, he's standing in front of a sign that says, ``DANGER! DO NOT STAND HERE''? ... Homer was selling `like new' golf clubs that were completely bent out of shape? ... as Homer finishes up his story, the mugs are still full of beer as if they'd not been touched, they even have a good head? {dh} ... at the very end, we see Richie Sakai [7f11] in Moe's Tavern listening to Homer's story? {tws} Dave Hall {dh}: ... the old gal (dressed as a guard?) lets the guy with the video camera go through, or that Bart sneaked in by using a couple as cover? (Possible animation goof as the scenes before and after shows him already in the stands.) ... the wide shot of the Simpsons driving down the street shows what appears to be cars double and triple parked? =============================================================================== > Movie References =============================================================================== + The Tidewater Tides; see below + The Natural - slo-mo as Bill McCloskey hits a tater. {jdb} (The music is also similar.) Nearly any other movie about baseball (Major League, Mr. Destiny) - and in true movie form, ever ball game ends either in a home run or a strikeout. + Bobby Thompson's home run - `The Isotopes win a game! The Isotopes win a game!' (cf. `The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!') + Friedrich Nietzsche - ``That which does not destroy me makes me stronger.'' ~ Saturday Night Live / Wayne's World - `I'm gonna miss you too.... not.' (I don't know if SNL invented it [they probably didn't], but at any rate, it's become mainstream, hence the ~.) + Pride of the Yankees - Homer's farewell speech to the fans. ``I consider myself the luckiest mascot on the face of the earth.'' (Lou Gehrig's farewell address.) - according to `Simpsons Illustrated' + `New York, New York' - the vamp for the song `Capital City' sounds like that of `New York, New York'. =============================================================================== > Freeze Frame Fun =============================================================================== >> The billboards in the ballpark Theron Stanford {tws} kindly provides the list: SPRINGFIELD SAVINGS SAFE FROM 1890-1986 1988- ROYAL MAJESTY CLOTHING FOR THE OBESE OR GANGLY GENTLEMAN (see `Simpson and Delilah'[7f02].) Moe's Tavern (with a beer mug) HIT THIS SIGN AND WIN A FREE WELL DRINK GIRDLES N' SUCH Fancy Lingerie THE SPRINGFIELD MALL >> Atop the car on the drive to/from Capital City were... ... a tall potted tree. ... a huge Homer-sized teddy bear. ... a Krusty doll sticking(?) to the window. {dh} =============================================================================== > Inside jokes =============================================================================== Profuse thanks to Ken Miller for locating an article from the newspaper ``Daily Press - Hampton Roads Newport News VA'' Nov. 16, 1990 written by Terry Armour. I certainly hope Mr. Armour and his paper take no offense to me passing along this newsworthy article. ------------------------------------------------- Local baseball teams give inspiration to Simpsons ------------------------------------------------- Fans of The Simpsons may have noticed an eerie local flavor in last Thursday's episode on the Fox Network. For those who didn't see the episode, Homer, the gruff but lovable patriarch of the Simpsons' household, was the mascot for the local minor league team. His name was `Dancing Homer'. `Dancing Homer' was so good at the local minor-league stadium, he made the jump to the Major Leagues. The major league team was owned by Dave Rosenfield, as in the Tidewater Tides general manager. There were also references to Dave Glass, the Tides' former radio man, and there was a player on the minor-league team named Flash Bailey as in Lash Bailey, former Peninsula Pilot. [1] It turns out the episode was written by Ken Levine, who for two years has done some radio work for the Tidewater Tides. Levine is a former writer for the Emmy-award winning Cheers. [2] According to Rosenfield, Levine hinted he would use Rosenfield's name in an upcoming episode. Later, Rosenfield was told to watch Thursday's episode. His wife taped it for him. ``I had a bunch of calls on it,'' Rosenfield said. ``People saw it and thought it was interesting. Funny thing about it is people always say, `Ordinarily I don't watch the Simpsons but I just happened to watch it Thursday.' '' Rosenfield was somewhat a bad guy in the episode. He fired Homer Simpson. ``I haven't fired a mascot in my whole life, primarily because I haven't hired one,'' Rosenfield said with a grin. ``I only fire assistant general managers.'' Rosenfield admitted he's not a big fan of The Simpsons, having now watched it just twice. Frankly, he doesn't find it funny. Rosenfield said he smiled once during the Thursday's episode. ``I know it's a very successful show and an awful lot of people like it,'' Rosenfield said. ``I'm just not one of them. I don't like The Simpsons.'' --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mr Miller concludes, ``Mr Rosenfields' opinions about The Simpsons are fine with me. I don't like the Tidewater Tides. So if you can believe what you read in the newspaper, this is the story behind the baseball episode of The Simpsons.'' [1] Actually, the character's name was Flash Baylor. [2] Ken Levine and David Isaacs always work together as a team. They wrote 28 `Cheers' episodes together, and earned two Emmy nominations for their work. (They didn't win, though.) [3] Oh, and by the way, the Tidewater Tides are the farm team for the New York Mets, if you cared. =============================================================================== > The Star Spangled Banner (spangled by a star) =============================================================================== Oooooooooooooooooooooh say. Can you, I'm asking you, can you seeeeeeeeee byyyyyyyyyy the dawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.... [time passes] Aaand the rocket's red glaaaaaaaaaaare, The bombs bursting, suit it on, pop and wail up in the aiiiiiiiiir.... [time passes] ... laaaaaaaaaaaaaaand of theeeeeee.... [time passes] ... hooooooooome of theeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave. [huge sigh of relief from crowd] =============================================================================== > Capital City =============================================================================== As they set out on their journey, they pass a sign that says, ``Capital City, 220 miles.'' >> Things in Capital City * The Cross-Town Bridge (a suspension bridge) [Cross-town? What kind of city needs a cross-town bridge?] * The Penny Loafer (a restaurant shaped like a... well... a penny loafer) * Street crime. * A bum who washes your car windshield. * Tony Bennett singing the song, `Capital City'. * The `Original' Frenchie's. * Fourth Street and `D'. * ``To the brave men of the Army Reserve'' statue. (A man holding a gun in one hand and a briefcase in the other.) * The Duff Brewery. (``Can't get enough of that wonderful Duff.'') * A skimpily clad lady on the billboard shakes her leg; across the street, a man with a `shocked' look (on the Laramie's billboard) blows smoke rings (at her?). {dh} * `Health for less' * Neon sign for Bootleg T-Shirt Emporium. * Neon sign for St. Dominick's Cathedral. >> The Capital City Song words by Jeff Martin performed by Tony Bennett interjections by the Simpson family [Homer: Well, kids, there it is! Capital City!] [Marge: Look, the Cross-Town Bridge!] [begin vamp] [Bart: Wow!] [Homer: Wow.] There's a swingin' town I known called... Capital City. [Lisa: The Penny Loafer!] People stop and scream hello in... Capital City. [Homer: Kids, look! Street crime!] It's the kind of place that makes a bum feel like a king. [Homer: Wow, that's service!] And it makes a king feel some nutty, cuckoo, super-king. [Marge: Look, it's Tony Bennett!] [Tony: Hey, good to see you.] It's against the law to frown in... Capital City. You'll caper like a super-clown when you chance to see... [Marge: Fourth Street and `D'!] ... Fourth Street and `D'! Yeah! Once you get a whiff of it, you'll never want to roam. [Homer: The Duff brewery!] Capital City, my home sweet, yeah! Capital City, that happy-go city, It's Capital City, my home sweet swingin' home! [All: Capital City! Yeah!] The song was also performed during the closing credits, but our local affiliate decided that hyping `Beverly Hills 90210' was more important than hearing Tony Bennett. Anyone care to check if there were any new verses? >> Where is Capital City? Theron Stanford {tws} notes... Capital City seems to be a synthesis of a number of large American metropolitan areas. The "crosstown bridge" is a parody of SF/East Bay, as well as perhaps NY. Also, Capital City has two restaurants named "The Penny Loafer" and "The `Original' Frenchie's". In Los Angeles, there used to be a restaurant called "The Brown Derby" which indeed was in the shape of a hat. And there still is a hamburger stand on Beverly and Rampart called "The Original Tommy's". They have a number of affiliated stands, as well as a few copycats such as "Tom's Number 5", hence the epithet "original". =============================================================================== > The Capital City baseball team =============================================================================== >> In the locker room {dh} The `Playdude' pin-up in one of the lockers. (cf. [7f02]) Pan show of locker room shows one of the players placing a cake on the seat of another player (playing poker), who is about to sit down. Another player is placing a sharp object (tack?) under the seat of the player who's placing the cake under the other player, while another player is testing the flexibility of a towel behind that player. Off camera, you hear the sound of a crack and a yelp. >> What happens on the field as Homer waits for his big break {jdc} The right fielder catches a foul pop up and lands right next to Homer. Everyone runs out on the field for a fight (one guy pops up in the air). The Goof Ball rides by on a bicycle. =============================================================================== > Other stuff =============================================================================== >> Since this episode was a flashback, there is no inconsistency with Mr. Burns having an outdated index card on the Simpsons, though it does conflict with their banishment from all company outings in ``There's No Disgrace Like Home''. Apparently, Homer was forgiven after his mascot escapades. >> Homer and Burns drank three 72oz tubs, which comes out to 18 beers each, 3/4 of a case! Burns must have set a world's record for blood alcohol level since he only weighs about fifty pounds. {ptb} >> Antoine Tex O'Hara Eric Jablow {ej} points out: For many years, New York's WABC-TV evening news had a popular weatherman, Tex Antoine. Tex had been around for 20 years or so, but he self-destructed in a gruesome way. In the mid-70s, his spot came up just after a report of a rape case. Tex thereupon said about the last story, ``Confucius says, `If rape be inevitable, just lie back and enjoy it.' '' This so-called joke got him first suspended, and then fired. [The incident was a major news story at the time. Whether this is an intentional reference or just a coincidence is still unresolved. --rjc] =============================================================================== > Quotes and scene summary =============================================================================== % At Moe's Tavern, the gang beg Homer to tell his story... Homer: There's only one thing worse than being a loser. It's being one of those guys who sits in a bar telling a story of how he became a loser, and I never want that to happen to me. Barney: Please, Homer? Moe: Yeah, come on, Homer. Homer: Well, okay. -- Homer becomes one of those guys who sits in a bar telling a story of how he became a loser, ``Dancin' Homer'' % The story begins at `Nuclear Plant Employees, Spouses, and No More % Than Three Children Night', at Springfield War Memorial Stadium to % watch the local minor-league team, the Springfield Isotopes, known % as the 'Topes to its fans... [police sirens wail in the distance] Heh, I think we lost 'em. Hey, and we're at the ballpark! Awright! Two birds with one stone! -- Otto drives the bus to the ballpark, ``Dancin' Homer'' % pull back to see the huge set of skid marks leading up to the bus. % Heading into the stadium... Homer: You know, boy, some of the players you see tonight may make it to the big leagues someday. Bart: What? Aren't we going to see any washed-up major-leaguers? Homer: Sure! We get a nice mix here. -- At the ballpark to watch the local minor league team, ``Dancin' Homer'' % Lisa looks forward to seeing poetry in motion, but Homer looks forward % to the 72-ounce tubs of beer. Marge: Last year you got a little rambunction and mooned the poor umpire. Homer: Marge, this ticket doesn't just give me a seat, it also gives me the right, no, the duty! to make a complete ass of myself. Marge: Mph. -- At the ballpark to watch the local minor league team, ``Dancin' Homer'' % At the gate, Mr. Burns greets each family as it arrives. Burns: Ah, the Gammels. Good to see you. Mr.G.: You're an inspiration to all of us in waste management, sir. Burns: Well, take your mind off contaminants for one night and have a hot dog! [laughs] -- Out of the frying pan... ``Dancin' Homer'' Burns: Ah, well, if it isn't the Simps! Homer: Uh, it's Simp-son, sir. Burns: Eh? [refers to the index card] Oh, yes. Homer and Marge Simpson. Oh, and these must be Bart, Lisa, and uh, `expecting'. -- At Nuclear Plant Employees, Spouses, and No More Than Three Children Night ``Dancin' Homer'' % At the stadium, Flash Baylor doesn't sign a baseball for Bart, so % Marge angrily takes the ball and approaches him. She returns with the % ball... Marge: Here you go, Bart. Bart: [reads the inscription] Springfield Kozy Kourt Motel, Room 26, How about it? -- Flash. Homer: Wow! Flash Baylor came onto my wife! You've still got the magic, Marge. -- Marge gets a baseball autographed, ``Dancin' Homer'' % Homer appears on `Jumbo-Vision', and is embarrassed to find that his % zipper is undone. Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, throwing out tonight's first ball, the man whose name is synonymous with our nation's safest and cleanest energy source, Mr. Montgomery Burns! [isolated smatterings of applause] Smithers: Oh, they love you, sir. -- At the ballpark, ``Dancin' Homer'' % Burns only manages to throw the ball two feet and is taunted by Homer, % Bart, and even Lisa. The National Anthem is sung by Bleeding Gums % Murphy, and Lisa is the one one who manages to stay awake for all of % it. The game between the Springfield Isotopes and the pesky Shelbyville % Shelby-Villians begins, the 'Topes hoping to snap a record 26-game % losing streak. Burns is shown to his seat... Ah, sitting with the employees. I guess this proves I'm their friend. Tsk, get me something on an aisle, Smithers, I don't want to be by them... -- Monty Burns joins his employees at the ball game, ``Dancin' Homer'' % ... which is right next to Homer. The two smile nervously at each other. % Homer bemoans his fate. Burns orders a tub of beer for himself and % Homer. Wait a minute, we're not having a drug test tomorrow, are we? -- Homer suspects a trap when Burns buys him a beer at the ball game, ``Dancin' Homer'' % The cost of two 72-ounce tubs is $2.50. The game continues, % and Homer and Burns join in taunting the players, and doing `the wave' % (which looks pretty stupid with only two people). It's now the bottom % of the ninth. One out, the bases are loaded, and the 'Topes are down % by three. The batter strikes out (``of course''). Big Bill McCloskey coming up. As soon as he pops out, we'll go right to the post-game show. -- Dan Horde calls the game between the 'Topes and Shelbyville, ``Dancin' Homer'' % To the music of `Baby Elephant Walk', Homer dances on the dugout and % fires up the crowd, to the embarrassment of his family. (Lisa covers % Maggie's eyes, as well as her own.) And I got up in front of them. I felt an intoxication that had nothing to do with alcohol. It was the intoxication of being a public spectacle! -- Homer narrates his story, ``Dancin' Homer'' % And it works. McCloskey belts a homer out of the park to win the game. % But Homer's antics earn him a `banned for life' stamp on his index card. % In the parking lot, a shoadowy figure approaches Homer. It's Antoine % Tex O'Hara, the owner, who hires Homer as the team's mascot. % % [End of Act One. Time: 9:22] [pretty long] % % Homer is decked out in his goofy `Dancin' Homer' outfit and drags the % family away from dinner to go to the game. Our lives have taken an odd turn. -- Lisa comments on Homer's goofy costume as... ``Dancin' Homer'' Homer: Don't fill up on those vegetables, kids. Save room for your nachos! Lisa+Bart: All right! Marge: [disapprovingly] Mmm. -- Homer takes the kids to the ballpark dressed as... ``Dancin' Homer'' % At the park, Homer is a hit. For the first time in my life, people weren't laughing at me, they were laughing me! -- Homer narrates his story, ``Dancin' Homer'' % The 'Topes win a second game, and Homer eventually gets top billing on % the signage. A Simpson on a T-shirt. I never thought I'd see the day... -- Marge reacts disapprovingly to Homer's likeness on a T-shirt, ``Dancin' Homer'' % Homer tries to cast a spell on an opposing player, and gets threatened. % He asks the organist to play `Baby Elephant Walk' with a reggae beat. % And two long-haired Caribbean types express their approval. It's the % bottom of the ninth, the bases are loaded, and there are two outs... S! P! R! I! N! G! F! E! E! L! D!! Springfield!!!!! -- Homer spells out the town name while dressed as... ``Dancin' Homer'' % But it doesn't help; the 'Topes lose. Homer is called to Tex's office % and is informed that he's going to be promoted to the big leagues, to % fill in for the Capital City Goofball a couple innings a night. Tex: Why don't you talk it over with your family? Homer: Because they might say no. -- Homer learns he's being promoted to work for the Capital City team, ``Dancin' Homer'' This was the biggest decision the Simpsons ever faced. I should've listened to the kids instead of my big, dumb wife. Oh, I shouldn't have called her that. Bite my tongue. Bite my tongue. Mmph. Ow! -- Homer narrates his story, ``Dancin' Homer'' % He tells the family... Lisa: I can't leave Springfield! I was born here and I thought I would die here! Homer: It won't be so bad. You'll die someplace else. -- On moving to Capital City, ``Dancin' Homer'' % Bart fears losing his friends, but Homer says he'll make new ones. We're simple people with simple values. Capital City is too big and too complex. Everyone in Springfield knows us and has forgiven us. -- Lisa lists some reasons not to move to Capital City, ``Dancin' Homer'' % But Marge tells Homer that this may be his calling in life and he should % go for it. The kids are won over. Whatever doesn't kill me can only make me stronger! -- Lisa gives in and agrees to move to Capital City, ``Dancin' Homer'' [paraphrasing Nietzsche] % Even Maggie raises her arms in triumph. Homer asks his supervisor for % a leave of absence. Sure, what would you like? Four years? Five years. -- Homer's supervisor grants him a leave of absence, ``Dancin' Homer'' % The family holds a yard sale, and Ned has trouble finding the right words... Ned: I don't know how to say this, but uh... Homer: Oh, knock it off, Flanders; don't start blubbering on me. I'll miss you too.... [aside] not. -- Homer prepares to move to Capital City, ``Dancin' Homer'' % In the treehouse, Bart and Millhouse seal their bond as `spit brothers'. % (``Ewwww...'') Lisa: I can't help but fell that if we had gotten to know each other better, my leaving would actually have meant something. Friends: Yeah. -- Lisa bids farewell to her classmates, ``Dancin' Homer'' % Marge bids farewell to her sisters, and Homer gives a tearful farewell % speech to his fans at Homer Appreciation Night. % % [End of Act Two. Time: 14:42] % % The car is packed, and the family drive to Capital City. They arrive % at night and are awed at being in the city. They admire the sights... Kids, look! Street crime! -- Homer drives the family through Capital City, ``Dancin' Homer'' % then check into the Come Back motel for the night. Homer practices his % spelling, but Marge tells him to come to bed. ``We would talk about it % always. For the first time in our lives, Marge fell asleep before I did.'' % % At the stadium, Homer goes in the ``Players-Mascots Entrance'', while % Marge and the kids get their tickets in the players' wives section. Bart was strangely quiet. Later, he explained he was confused by feelings of respect for me. It wouldn't last. -- Homer narrates his story, ``Dancin' Homer'' % Homer talks to the Capital City Goofball (``If there's anything I can do % for you, just squeeze the wheeze'' [squeezes his nose, which honks]), % and learns he's going to be doing the fifth inning. Goof: What exactly do you have planned for us? Homer: Well, I get up and dance, and I spell out the name of the city, all to the tune of `Baby Elephant Walk'. Goof: Ah, Mancini. The mascot's best friend. -- Homer and the Capital City Goofball plan their strategy, ``Dancin' Homer'' % On his way out, Goof bumps into a hanging lamp. Well, hello again, everybody. Dave Glass talking at ya. We've got great weather here tonight, under the dome... -- Calling the baseball game, ``Dancin' Homer'' % Marge and the kids get seats in the upper-upper-upper-mezzanine, and it's % not the players' wives section; it's the players' ex-wives section. Homer: [narrating] I was too tense to enjoy the game. Every ounce of concentration I possessed was focused on the task at hand. Vendor: Red hots! Getcher red hots here! Homer: Ooh, red hots! -- ``Dancin' Homer'' % The spotlight shines on Homer, who quickly scarfs down his hot dog and beer, % then launches into his act. But he's a total flop. He is called into % the owner's office, who fires him (``and for God's sake, put some clothes % on.'') The family wait depressed outside the ``players-mascot'' entrance, % but they put up a good front for Homer when he comes out. Oh, what a family. My wife and kids stood by me. On the way home, I realized how little that helped... -- Homer narrates his story, ``Dancin' Homer'' % And that's the story. Homer is amazed that everyone was hanging on his % every word. The bar denizens beg Homer to tell it again, and he agrees. % ``I wonder why stories of degradation and humiliation make you more % popular.'' Moe responds, ``I dunno. They just do.'' % % [End of Act Three. Time: 20:27] % % Over the closing credits, Tony Bennett sings the `Capital City' song. =============================================================================== Episode summaries Copyright 1991 by Raymond Chen. Not to be redistributed in a public forum without permission. (The quotes themselves, of course, remain the property of The Simpsons, and the reproduced articles remain the property of the original authors. I'm just taking credit for the compilation.)


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