Saturdays of Thunder Written by Ken Levine and David Isaacs Directed by Jim Reardon [$Id 8

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Saturdays of Thunder Written by Ken Levine and David Isaacs Directed by Jim Reardon =============================================================================== [$Id: 8f07 1.3 92/03/26 07:50:26 raymond Exp Locker: raymond $] =============================================================================== Note that this capsule was built from the version aired on 14 November 1991, which was cut to make room for the premiere of a Michael Jackson video. The uncut version will likely appear when the episode repeats. =============================================================================== > Title sequence =============================================================================== Cut from clouds directly to driveway. Driveway :- Homer says `D'oh!' when Lisa scoots past. Couch :- The bottom cushions are missing, but they don't notice until it's too late. In an alternate universe: Blackboard :- Hamsters cannot fly. Lisa's solo:- slightly freer variation on the second season solo Couch :- Same as US version. =============================================================================== > Didja notice... =============================================================================== ... voices were supplied by Larry McKay and Phil Hartman? (Phil Hartman voiced Troy McClure, of course.) ... Patty and Selma exchange grins when Homer bawls, `I'm also fat!' {pmm} ... Homer was trying to wear a Cosby sweater when he offered to help Bart with his racer? ... the firemen douse Martin's car, but completely ignore Martin! {tws} ... Homer backed out of the driveway without checking the rear view mirror? (He could've run over SLH on his way out!) Dave Hall {dh}: ... Homer double parked at the VHS Village! ... the Hockey-player that got his head smashed on the cover of ``Blood on the Ice'' wore a sweater with the number 13 on it? ... during the derby intro on TV, a guy in the stands was carrying a purse? ... one of the spectators made a peace/victory sign at the camera? ... in the picture of Nelson, it looks like he punched out a tooth from one of his cronies? =============================================================================== > Mixed reviews =============================================================================== [JYANOWITZ@hamp.hampshire.edu]: Sappyness seems to continue, but there were some great moments... David Willard {dw}: Excellent episode!!! I thought it was going to turn out to be another one of those sappy ending we've been seeing lately, but Nah nah na-nah naaah!!!! David Hyatt {dh2}: Generally a less than average episode, I thought. Mainly suffered from inconsistencies with the previous episode, Lisa's Pony. Why two episodes in a row about Homer realizing he's a bad father? How could he forget what he had learned just one week ago? [Brian Scearce {bls} responds, ``Simpson, eh?''] Ron Carter {rc}: Good stuff until the simpy end; quit it with the thousand points o' kinder gentler Simpsons stuff! Dora Kilburn {dk3}: Well, not the greatest episode, but it sure had a lot of VERY funny little things. Scott Amspoker {sa}: To me, a good Simpsons episode has to have at least one scene that leaves me stunned. Watching Martin running ablaze from his firey soapbox accident made the episode for me. Yours Truly {rjc}: When I saw the names Ken Levine and David Isaacs, I said to myself, ``Okay, this is going to be one awesome episode.'' Alas, it was merely adequate. (The program-length advertisement was expertly handled, though.) A truly great Simpsons episode is one in which OFF end up poorer but wiser. =============================================================================== > Movie (and other) References =============================================================================== + Days of Thunder - the title is an obvious pun - when a hospitalized Martin asks Bart to drive his car for him, cf Rowdy Gaines asking Cole Trickle to do same. {dw} + The Mary Tyler Moore Show - Ed Asner and MTM herself were mentioned. The Ed Asner haircut is further funny because Asner is bald. - Julie Kavner (the voice of Marge) starred in Rhoda, a MTM spinoff. - Selma says, ``You can turn the world on with your smile,'' which is the first line of the MTM theme song. {rc, tws} Lethal Weapon - older, black cop on verge of retirement teamed with insane, young white cop. {bls} - His daughter was graduating from college, even. {mah} + Colors (a movie reference within a movie reference) - McBain kneels over his fallen comrade and screams while the camera pulls back, cf. Sean Penn kneeling over Robert Duvall. {bh2} ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation, ``Heart of Glory'' - Worf kneels and give the death-yell when a fellow Klingon dies. {bls} Grease - Bart's car is named Lil' Lightnin', cf. Greased Lighting. {dab} Deathrace 2000 - Nelson's racer is named `Roadkill 2000'. {jct} Back to the Future - Martin's car leaves a trail of fire behind. ? The Right Stuff - Deploy, damn you! {rc} + The Natural {rc} - Homer stands up in the crowd to cheer on Bart, his body silhouetted against the sun, cf. Glenn Close + Ben Hur {rc} - using a whip - rotating blades on Nelson's car ~ Grease, Goldfinger, etc. - rotating blades on Nelson's car =============================================================================== > Freeze Frame Fun =============================================================================== All items tagged with a `-' are courtesy of Ron Carter {rc}. Items tagged with a `+' are due to Dave Hall {dh}. >> I Can't Believe They Invented It! with your host, Troy McClure - Foam Dome (plastic cap with twin beverage holders attached) - Jet Walker (for seniors that just don't want to wait) - Mr. Sugar Cube (which works better on TV than in life) - Spiffy (Jr.) (to clean up those pesky tombstones) - Quoth the raven, ``What a shine!'' >> The hair salon - Idol Chatter - Peephole [almost as good a pun as Feeble Magazine] - Patty gets a Mary Tyler Moore hairdo, whereas Selma gets a Farrah Fawcett. >> VHS Village (formerly The Beta Barn) - Happy Little Elves poster (on the front window) - Store display with space monster on it (same as on Bart's night stand) - Laramie TAR cigarette machine (in the McBain movie (Sloppy Joes)) - Foreign movies section - DA DA DA - Border Siesta - Sports section - The Bad Football (picture of football with demon horns on box) - Speedboat Bloopers - Frisbee 1991 - Super Jock III - Go Figure A Cheerleader's Story - Death By Knockout - Bench Clearing Brawls - Blood on the Ice! - Football's Greatest Injuries (Homer's choice) - Elvis section >> McBain the diner was named Sloppy Joe's + McBain legs sort of dragged under his seat. + One extra fork was place in the counter. (Salad fork?) + Skowie's gun fell easily out of its holster while he was getting shot-up. It fell into McBain's lap, yet you don't see it again throughout the rest of the clip. + As the hit-man was making his get-away, a person was hiding under the counter. + The Special was: Ribs & Fries ($3.99) & Hot Link Fries ($1.99) + Skowie's tongue was hanging out of his month (in true cartoon fashion). + McBain's hotdog was the only thing that was touched by broken glass, or blood. (I wonder if he's still going to eat it...) + Homer stole some pop-corn while he watched McBain. >> The National Fatherhood Institute Father practicing teaching his son how to ride a bicycle. Father practicing fishing with his son. Father plays catch with his son, as a computer wire-model records the scene. `Underwater Fathering'. Unfortunately, a shark attacks the son. ``Dear God! Not again!'' Note that the institute should be more properly named the National Father-and-Son Institute. There were no father/daughter scenes anywhere in the institute. >> At the track Bart's car: Lil' Lightnin' A pile of junk Martin's car: Honor Roller, shaped like the space shuttle Martin is wearing a streamlined helmet + He's also wearing patches on his driving suit - General Dynamics, Tang, MENSA stickers Nelson's car: Roadkill 2000 The front is shaped like a shark's head A person locked in the trunk. (ballast?) - A `No 55' sticker + Nelson had a ``55 speed limit ban'' sticker on his cart. Martin's second car: the Homer Roller General Dynamics sticker A speedometer sticker, which peeled off when Bart drove. {dk3} >> Dr. Julius Hibbert - Office hours Mon-Tues 11-5 Thur-Fri 12-6 - Kid with vase stuck on head - Kid with tongue stuck to ice cube tray * According to the X-ray, Martin has 20 bones in his arm. {dh} [Truly one of soapbox derby racing's greatest injuries. --rjc] >> The Simpsons fridge - Krusty magnet holds the Father Quotient (FQ) test on fridge - Albert Einstein - Collect $200 Monopoly card - beefcake photo =============================================================================== > Animation and continuity goofs =============================================================================== >> Sometimes there's a knock at the door, other times there's a doorbell. [8f05] Krusty knocks on the door, but Milhouse rings the doorbell. [8f07] Patty and Selma knock on the door. >> Why would Martin's car burst into flames? Was he secretly powering his car with gasoline? David A. Berson {dab} observes that the nose of Martin's space shuttle was heating up and turning red, much like the space shuttle on re-entry. Must have had defective heat tiles. >> Homer owns a Beta VCR in [8f06], but here, we see him paying a visit to the VHS Village. >> In the McBain clip, the bad-guy motorcyclist drove past the daily special sign twice. [John Mastrangelo (ice@ntia.its.bldr.nist.gov)] For a brief moment, the picture in McBain's partner's hand disappeared. {dh} Of course, these could be considered goofs in McBain, not Simpsons goofs. >> Miscellaneous Due to Dave Hall {dh} Homer reached for the sugar cubes bare-handed, yet we later see tongs in his hand. The chair (that was thrown at Nick Riviera) disappeared at the corner of the screen. Note that when Homer opened the door, the door on the house behind Homer had two window panes, yet when the camera closed in on Homer's face, they turned into 1 pane. A book is missing from the in-table beside the couch. (There's normally 3.) Eveattempt to reference a more vulgar version of ``Eat my shorts''? =============================================================================== > Quotes and scene summary =============================================================================== % I Can't Believe They Invented It! They recap the previous gadgets they've % hawked, including `Mister Sugar Cube', wherein you dump in a five pound % sack of sugar, and out come three little cubes. Homer notes, ``That baby % changed our lives,'' and reaches for a dish of sugar rocks. I'm actor Troy McClure. You might remember me from such TV series as ``Buck Henderson, Union Buster'' and ``Troy and Company's Summertime Smile Factory''. -- I Can't Believe They Invented It! ``Saturdays of Thunder'' Troy: I'm here to tell you about `Spiffy!', the twenty-first-century stain remover. Let's meet the inventor, Dr. Nick Riviera. Nick: Thank you, Troy! Hi, everybody! All: Hi, Dr. Nick! -- I Can't Believe They Invented It! ``Saturdays of Thunder'' Nick: Troy, I brought with me the gravestone of author and troubled soul Edgar Allen Poe! [exhibits a grimy tombstone] Troy: One of our best writers. Nick: Yes, but unfortunately, a century of neglect has turn this tombstone into a depressing eyesore. Troy: So what? I guess we're going to have to throw it away. Nick: Not so fast, Troy! With one application of Spiffy, you'll think the body's still warm! [applies some Spiffy, removes all the grime] All: Ooooooh! Ahhhhhhhh! [The name `POE' twinkles (add visual and sound effects).] Troy: Quoth the raven, ``What a shine!'' Homer: [watching the show] Ooooh! That's one clean tombstone! -- For all your tombstone-cleaning needs, I Can't Believe They Invented It! ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % Bart stops in and asks for a power drill. Homer % sends him to the basement. The spoof of program-length commercials is % simply exquisite. Nick: I'm offering three bottles, enough to clean one thousand tombstones, for only $39.95! All: Booo! [a chair is heaved on stage] Troy: I'm afraid you're going to have to do better, doctor. Homer: [watching the show] Yeah, give us a break, doctor! -- I Can't Believe They Invented It! ``Saturdays of Thunder'' Bart: Hey Homer, I can't find the safety goggles for the power saw. Homer: If stuff starts flying, just turn your head! Bart: Oh. Check. -- ``Saturdays of Thunder'' Okay, I'll throw in a bottle, the applicator glove, and a state of Kansas jell-o mold. $29.95! [crowd goes wild] -- Dr. Nick Riviera hawks `Spiffy' on I Can't Believe They Invented It! ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % Homer frantically dials the phone, then catches himself. Then resumes % dialing. But he can't complete the call; there's a knock at the door. % It's Patty and Selma. Homer: Patty! Selma! What a pleasant surprise! Patty: [grunt] Whaddya know, he's wearing pants. Selma: I owe you a lunch. -- ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % In the kitchen, Patty (Selma?) goes through a % book of hairstyles and decides she must look like Mary Tyler Moore. % Meanwhile, Homer is on the phone... Expiration date? June nineteen eighty ni--uh.... 2012, yeah... -- Homer orders junk off the TV again, ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % Sound of power tools from the garage, which Homer ignores. % Marge and her sisters leave for the salon. Marge: Maybe you should do something with the kids while I'm gone. Homer: [sugary-sweet] Oh, sure, great idea. I've love to. [sees Lisa] D'oh!! Did you hear that? Lisa: Yes. Homer: How much? Lisa: Everything. Homer: What's the quickest, cheapest, easiest way to do something with you? Lisa: Uh.... Take us to the video store? Homer: Anything for my little girl. -- ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % On their way out... [Bart wields an acetylene torch, his safety goggles neatly perched atop his head (not over his eyes).] Homer: Bart! You can't weld with such a little flame. (Stupid kid.) -- Safety last, ``Saturdays eachy .. egg-headed .. institute guy! How much do you see son? Dave: Why don't you ask him yourself? Homer, meet Dave, Jr. Homer: [stunned] Huh? Dave: How's your research, coming, son? Dave, Jr: I think we're near a breakthrough. Dave: Good work. Dave, Jr: [leaving] Thanks, Dad. Homer: Oh, how I envy you. Dave: Homer, that easy back-and-forth you just witnessed didn't happen overnight. It took years of effort. -- The National Fatherhood Institute, ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % Dave sugests he find something he can do with his son, % and Homer recalls the soap box racer. % % Dressed in a Cosby-like sweater, Homer approaches Bart. Homer: Bart, I'm gonna help you build that racer. Bart: Thanks, but I'm almost done. Why don't you go back on the couch and watch TV. Homer: Okay. [catches himself] Urgh. No! -- ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % Homer reminds him of all the things % he's made. Like the spice rack (clink, a jar falls to the floor with % a crash), the bird feeder (it collapses, trapping a poor bird), and % the gym-boree (atop the slide, Maggie grabs a ring, and the entire structure % collapses in a pile of dust). Homer consults the book. Homer: [reading] Cosby's First Law of Inter-generational Perversity: No matter what you tell your child to do, he will always do the opposite. Huh? [inner voice] Don't you get it!? You gotta use reverse psychology! [out loud] Well, that sounds too complicated. [inner voice] Okay, use reverse psychology. [out loud] All right, I will! -- His own worst enemy, ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % Homer offers to leave Bart alone, and Bart says Homer could clean the % paintbrushes. Homer is pleased. Thank you, Bill Cosby. You've saved The Simpsons! -- Homer thanks the author of `Fatherhood', ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % Wearing `Team Simpsons' T-shirts, Homer and Bart work together on the soap % box racer. Homer reaches for a can of Buzz Cola, but drinks paint thinner % by mistake. They do some welding, the safety goggles not over their eyes. % Homer puts the (still lit) torch next to a can of gasoline. They wheel the % car away, revealing Maggie in a wheel-less stroller. Homer talks to Marge % about how Bart reminds him of him as a child. % % It's race time, and the race official lets Bart race without a helmet, % rather than argue with Homer. Martin unveils his Honor Roller. Judge: Hey, you're not supposed to smoke in the pit area. Nelson: Fine! [extinguishes his cigarette on his tongue] -- At the soap box derby race, ``Saturdays of Thunder'' Nelson: Hey, [Bart] Simpson, where's your loser-mobile? Homer: Loser-mobile, heh heh heh... wait a minute! -- At the soap box derby race, ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % Nelson scoffs at Bart's feeble go-cart. Martin confides in Bart that he % doesn't care who wins, as long as it isn't Nelson. Bart agrees. Nelson's % goons wheel in his Roadkill 2000. (``It tooryone knows (at least on the net) that the kitchen faces the back of the house, yet Ned was seen through the kitchen window. (i.e. Ned would have to be in the Simpson's back yard rather than his own yard.) =============================================================================== > Comments and other observations =============================================================================== >> McBain >>> References David Hyatt {dh2}: How many `black/white' buddy movies have such scenes as in McBain? Off the top of my head, there's Lethal Weapon, Predator, well... actually name any movie with Danny Glover, other than `Pure Luck'. >>> Seeing it coming Marc Colten {mc} observes: What made that scene especially funny is that it fit so perfectly with action movies conventions: 1. He was the partner of the indestructible hero (e.g., any Arnold Schwartznegger picture, or Dirty Harry.) 2. He was black. (I've seen a few of those pictures - NEVER be from an ethnic minority and partner those guys. :-) ) 3. Most importantly he said the magic words ``Yeah, in two days I'm retiring...'' I instantly knew the guy was toast. >> Music >>> `Cat's in the Cradle' by Harry Chapin (NFI hold music) Kenneth Herron {kh} explains that ``the song was released during the early 70's I believe. The words tell the story of a man who never has time for his son while he's growing up. When the son grows up, he [the son] never has time for his dad. It's a very poignant song; Homer in his vulnerable state started sniffling when he heard it.'' >>> ... Oh, you are one in a million ... (NFI background music) >>> `Watching Scottie Grow' circa 1972 {rs} ``There he sits with a pen and a yellow pad. What a handsome lad. That's my boy.'' -- during the car-building montage Laurence H. Palter {lhp} believes the song was done by Bobby Goldsboro. Paul Thrasher (slan@darkside.com) adds: Mac Davis wrote it, decided it wasn't something he could record. Goldsboro recorded it, made a mint, and now tells jokes about Mac Davis' son claiming to really be Goldsboro's child. >>> `The Wind Beneath My Wings', as the NFI celebrate Bart's victory >> Cosby references David Hyatt {dh2}: One brilliant reference was the taking of the baby carriage wheels to make the go cart racers with. This is a blatant reference to a stand-up routine by Bill Cosby, in which all the kids in his neighborhood build go-carts from baby carriage wheels and ride them down Dead Man's Hill. So in that one episode, you had ``Bill Cosby saved the Simpsons'', ``Fatherhood'', Dr. Hibbert, a take-off of one of Cosby's own old standup routines. [Don't forget the quasi-Cosby sweater Homer tried to wear. --rjc] >> Mark A. Holtz {mah} asks, ``Why were Homer and Bart wearing Arc Welding helmets for Oxy-Acetlyne welding? (Not to mention that they were wearing them the wrong way.)'' >> Was I the only one who thought that `F.Q.' was an attempt to reference a more vulgar version of ``Eat my shorts''? =============================================================================== > Quotes and scene summary =============================================================================== % I Can't Believe They Invented It! They recap the previous gadgets they've % hawked, including `Mister Sugar Cube', wherein you dump in a five pound % sack of sugar, and out come three little cubes. Homer notes, ``That baby % changed our lives,'' and reaches for a dish of sugar rocks. I'm actor Troy McClure. You might remember me from such TV series as ``Buck Henderson, Union Buster'' and ``Troy and Company's Summertime Smile Factory''. -- I Can't Believe They Invented It! ``Saturdays of Thunder'' Troy: I'm here to tell you about `Spiffy!', the twenty-first-century stain remover. Let's meet the inventor, Dr. Nick Riviera. Nick: Thank you, Troy! Hi, everybody! All: Hi, Dr. Nick! -- I Can't Believe They Invented It! ``Saturdays of Thunder'' Nick: Troy, I brought with me the gravestone of author and troubled soul Edgar Allen Poe! [exhibits a grimy tombstone] Troy: One of our best writers. Nick: Yes, but unfortunately, a century of neglect has turn this tombstone into a depressing eyesore. Troy: So what? I guess we're going to have to throw it away. Nick: Not so fast, Troy! With one application of Spiffy, you'll think the body's still warm! [applies some Spiffy, removes all the grime] All: Ooooooh! Ahhhhhhhh! [The name `POE' twinkles (add visual and sound effects).] Troy: Quoth the raven, ``What a shine!'' Homer: [watching the show] Ooooh! That's one clean tombstone! -- For all your tombstone-cleaning needs, I Can't Believe They Invented It! ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % Bart stops in and asks for a power drill. Homer % sends him to the basement. The spoof of program-length commercials is % simply exquisite. Nick: I'm offering three bottles, enough to clean one thousand tombstones, for only $39.95! All: Booo! [a chair is heaved on stage] Troy: I'm afraid you're going to have to do better, doctor. Homer: [watching the show] Yeah, give us a break, doctor! -- I Can't Believe They Invented It! ``Saturdays of Thunder'' Bart: Hey Homer, I can't find the safety goggles for the power saw. Homer: If stuff starts flying, just turn your head! Bart: Oh. Check. -- ``Saturdays of Thunder'' Okay, I'll throw in a bottle, the applicator glove, and a state of Kansas jell-o mold. $29.95! [crowd goes wild] -- Dr. Nick Riviera hawks `Spiffy' on I Can't Believe They Invented It! ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % Homer frantically dials the phone, then catches himself. Then resumes % dialing. But he can't complete the call; there's a knock at the door. % It's Patty and Selma. Homer: Patty! Selma! What a pleasant surprise! Patty: [grunt] Whaddya know, he's wearing pants. Selma: I owe you a lunch. -- ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % In the kitchen, Patty (Selma?) goes through a % book of hairstyles and decides she must look like Mary Tyler Moore. % Meanwhile, Homer is on the phone... Expiration date? June nineteen eighty ni--uh.... 2012, yeah... -- Homer orders junk off the TV again, ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % Sound of power tools from the garage, which Homer ignores. % Marge and her sisters leave for the salon. Marge: Maybe you should do something with the kids while I'm gone. Homer: [sugary-sweet] Oh, sure, great idea. I've love to. [sees Lisa] D'oh!! Did you hear that? Lisa: Yes. Homer: How much? Lisa: Everything. Homer: What's the quickest, cheapest, easiest way to do something with you? Lisa: Uh.... Take us to the video store? Homer: Anything for my little girl. -- ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % On their way out... [Bart wields an acetylene torch, his safety goggles neatly perched atop his head (not over his eyes).] Homer: Bart! You can't weld with such a little flame. (Stupid kid.) -- Safety last, ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % At the beauty salon, Patty (Selma?) shows Marge a ``Test your F.Q.'' % (fatherhood quotient) test and challenges her to administer it to Homer. % At the video store, Homer watches a (typically violent) scene from % McBain on the video store monitors. Skowie: [pumped full of lead by a passing motorcyclist, lying in a pool of his own blood] Damn, damn damn. McBain? McBain: Yes? Skowie: I'm not going to make it. McBain: Oh, stop talking crazy! -- ``Saturdays of Thunder'' Homer: [watches a scene from McBain on the video store monitors] Clerk: You want to rent it, sir? Homer: Why? I just saw the best part! Heh heh heh heh. -- At the VHS Village, ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % Homer decides to rent ``Football's Greatest Injuries''. He watches % it at home, and Marge returns, her sisters sporting new 'dos. The compound fracture, truly one of football's greatest injuries. -- Watching `Football's Greatest Injuries', ``Saturdays of Thunder'' Marge: Homer, could you turn off the TV? There's a little test I want you to take. TV: [crunch] Augh! Homer; Oh, great, you made me miss Joe Theismann! -- Watching `Football's Greatest Injuries', ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % She shows him the quiz from the National Fatherhood Institute. % First question: Name one of your child's friends. Homer can't. % Second question: Who is your son's hero? Homer answers, `Steve McQueen', % but that's hero, not Bart's. % Third question: Name another dad you talked to about parenting. (``Next.'') % Fourth: What are your son's hobbies? Homer denies that Bart has any. Bart: [hammering away] Homer: Bart, you don't have any hobbies, do you, boy? Bart: No, not really. Homer: Well, that what I... Wait a minute, what are you doing? Bart: Building a soap box derby racer. Homer: Ohhhhhhh! That's a hobby! Bart: Hey, so it is! -- ``Saturdays of Thunder'' Homer: I don't know jack about my boy. I'm a bad father! [bawls] Selma: You're also fat. Homer: I'm also fat! [bawls more] -- ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % [End of Act One. Time: 6:33] % % Homer calls the National Fatherhood Institute. (Hold music is `The % Cat's in the Cradle'.) He tells them he scored a zero, and Dave is stunned. Mr. Simpson, we'll send a wood-paneled station wagon over for you immediately. -- Dave from the National Fatherhood Institute, ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % Milhouse asks Bart where he got the lumber. Bart quotes three-time soap % box derby champ Ronnie Beck, ``Poorly guarded construction sites are a % gold mine.'' Martin brags that he is also entering, and excuses himself % to spend some time at the wind tunnel. The station wagon arrives, and % Homer is carted off. (Muses Bart, ``Maybe it's for the best.'') % At the institute, Dave gives Homer a complimentary copy of `Fatherhood' % by Bill Cosby. Dave: Mr. Simpson, if you want to be a good father, you have to spend time with your son. Homer: Well, that's easy for you to say, you .. preachy .. egg-headed .. institute guy! How much do you see son? Dave: Why don't you ask him yourself? Homer, meet Dave, Jr. Homer: [stunned] Huh? Dave: How's your research, coming, son? Dave, Jr: I think we're near a breakthrough. Dave: Good work. Dave, Jr: [leaving] Thanks, Dad. Homer: Oh, how I envy you. Dave: Homer, that easy back-and-forth you just witnessed didn't happen overnight. It took years of effort. -- The National Fatherhood Institute, ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % Dave sugests he find something he can do with his son, % and Homer recalls the soap box racer. % % Dressed in a Cosby-like sweater, Homer approaches Bart. Homer: Bart, I'm gonna help you build that racer. Bart: Thanks, but I'm almost done. Why don't you go back on the couch and watch TV. Homer: Okay. [catches himself] Urgh. No! -- ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % Homer reminds him of all the things % he's made. Like the spice rack (clink, a jar falls to the floor with % a crash), the bird feeder (it collapses, trapping a poor bird), and % the gym-boree (atop the slide, Maggie grabs a ring, and the entire structure % collapses in a pile of dust). Homer consults the book. Homer: [reading] Cosby's First Law of Inter-generational Perversity: No matter what you tell your child to do, he will always do the opposite. Huh? [inner voice] Don't you get it!? You gotta use reverse psychology! [out loud] Well, that sounds too complicated. [inner voice] Okay, use reverse psychology. [out loud] All right, I will! -- His own worst enemy, ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % Homer offers to leave Bart alone, and Bart says Homer could clean the % paintbrushes. Homer is pleased. Thank you, Bill Cosby. You've saved The Simpsons! -- Homer thanks the author of `Fatherhood', ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % Wearing `Team Simpsons' T-shirts, Homer and Bart work together on the soap % box racer. Homer reaches for a can of Buzz Cola, but drinks paint thinner % by mistake. They do some welding, the safety goggles not over their eyes. % Homer puts the (still lit) torch next to a can of gasoline. They wheel the % car away, revealing Maggie in a wheel-less stroller. Homer talks to Marge % about how Bart reminds him of him as a child. % % It's race time, and the race official lets Bart race without a helmet, % rather than argue with Homer. Martin unveils his Honor Roller. Judge: Hey, you're not supposed to smoke in the pit area. Nelson: Fine! [extinguishes his cigarette on his tongue] -- At the soap box derby race, ``Saturdays of Thunder'' Nelson: Hey, [Bart] Simpson, where's your loser-mobile? Homer: Loser-mobile, heh heh heh... wait a minute! -- At the soap box derby race, ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % Nelson scoffs at Bart's feeble go-cart. Martin confides in Bart that he % doesn't care who wins, as long as it isn't Nelson. Bart agrees. Nelson's % goons wheel in his Roadkill 2000. (``It took me months to steal that % bumper.'') Apparently, there is somebody trapped in the trunk. % The cars are poised at the top of the hill, and before Martin can express % second thoughts, the cars are sent down the hill. Nelson uses a whip % to attack Bart, leaving Martin to zoom past both of them in his space % shuttle car. Martin wins easily (all the while screaming for his life). % Nelson comes in second. Bart's car clunks to a stop a few feet short of % the finish line. Martin frantically presses the `Parachute' button, but % the parachute doesn't deploy. It finally does... after he crashes into a % wall. The car bursts into flames, and Martin rushes out, his clothes on % fire. It hurts! It hurts! Owie owie owie ow! -- Martin is wheeled into the hospital, ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % Dr. Hibbert tells him his arm will be in a cast for six weeks. % Bart pays Martin a visit... Hey man, cool crash! Way to cheat death. -- Bart visits Martin in the hospital, ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % To keep Nelson from winning, Martin asks Bart to race his car. Oh, I don't know if I should do that. My dad and I build our car together, and if I drove somebody else's it'd kill him! On the other hand... I'll do it! -- Bart's dilemma, ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % In the workshop... Okay Bart, we've got a lot of work to do on the car, so I'm going to pull you out of school for the next couple of weeks... -- Homer sets to work on the soap box racer, ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % Bart tells him the car sucks, and Homer is upset. Bart: Dad, I love you, but, you taught me to win. Homer: When did I ever teach you that? Bart: Well, I picked it up somewhere. -- ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % And with Martin's car, Bart claims he has a chance of winning. Homer % tells Bart to go ahead, abandon his father, see if he cares. Homer sits % in Lil' Lightnin', which soon falls apart under his weight. % % [End of Act Two. Time: 13:50] Lisa: Dad, can you take me to Dr. Hibbert's office? Homer: Why? What's wrong? Lisa: Oh, nothing. I just scheduled a tetanus booster. Maybe I'm being a little anal, but barefoot season is coming up and there's a world of rusty nails out there! Homer: Oh, sure, I'll take you, wait with you, worry about you, and then you'll ride home with someone who has a faster car. This is how you get your kicks, isn't it, Lisa! Lisa: Mm... -- ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % As they drive to Dr. Hibbert's office, Bart whizzes past in Martin's racer. % Homer drops Lisa off at the office and becomes furious when he spots Martin. % Martin makes his escape. % % Bart leaves for the race. Bart: Dad, aren't you coming? Homer: No! Marge: Now, don't pout. Homer: I'm not pouting. are! -- ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % Even the Foam Doam (equipped with cans of Duff) doesn't help. Marge % expresses her profound disappointment. % % Homer watches the race coverage on TV. His Duffs empty, Homer pays the % fridge a visit for a refill. He spots the list and goes down the items. % This time, he can answer them! Except for question three. He spots % Flanders and asks him, ``When should a boy start dating?'' Before Ned % can finish his reply, Homer yells, ``Thanks'' and dashes off. ``I'm % a perfect father!'' Barney: My friend [Moe] and I have a bet. Are you Mary Tyler Moore? Patty: [maces him] Barney: Waugh! [belch] Ooh, wow! It really you! -- ``Saturdays of Thunder'' Martin: Bart, if she breaks up on you, steer away from the grandstands or else you might kill hundreds of innocent spectators. [notices Bart isn't paying attention] Bart, what did I just tell you? Bart: Kill spectators. -- ``Saturdays of Thunder'' Martin: What is the matter with you! Bart: It's my dad. Lying there on the couch, drinking a beer, staring at the TV... I've never seen him like that. -- A change of environment, ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % Martin yells, ``You're driving for now!'' and slaps Bart. % Bart spots Homer in the stands. ``Do it for your old man, boy!'' % % `Diamond' Joe Quimby has the honor of dropping the starting flag. To everyone participating today, I salute your vigor. [aside] Check out the rack on the blonde in the fourth row! -- `Diamond' Joe Quimby takes a cue from the Kennedys, ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % He drops the flag, and Bart and Nelson race downhill. All watch excitedly, % except for Maggie, who finds a nearby balloon more interesting. Nelson's % tires are equipped with rotating blades, which he uses to attack Bart's % car, but Bart wins anyway. His pit crew dump a bucket of Gatorade over % him. Nelson attacks his own pit crew. Bart receives a congratulatory % kiss from a pretty lady. Diamond Joe Quimby has found the blonde in the % fourth row. The world has not seen the likes of this since the French carried Lucky Lindy off on their shoulders from Le Bourget Field. -- Soap box derby announcer, ``Saturdays of Thunder'' % Bart is presented the trophy by Ronny Beck, and he (and Homer) take % the rare victory as an opportunity to taunt Nelson. Father and son % embrace, and the people at the NFI (monitoring the event on a giant-screen % TV labelled `Mission Control') are equally touched. % % [End of Act Three. Time: 19:04] =============================================================================== 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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