Category Archives: The Simpsons

Counting Down To Halloween With The Simpsons #4

The Simpsons Halloween Specials have become as much a part of Halloween as trick-or-treating. Ever since that first Treehouse of Horror episode way back in 1990 we have been thrilled by the one episode every season where all the rules are thrown out of the window and anything goes as The Simpsons pay homage to classic horror movies and TV series such as The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits and Alfred Hitchcock Presents…

To celebrate this tradition we are going to be posting quotes, reviews, trivia and pictures as we await the arrival of All Hallow’s Eve. Dust off the fake fangs, unscrew the bottle of fake blood because here at the Order of Trinity we’re counting down to Halloween with The Simpsons.


#4 Scary Cast & Crew Names

Scary Nmaes

One of the ongoing jokes surrounding the Treehouse of Horror episodes is the replacement of cast and crew names with scary or horror themed alternatives. This trend began with Treehouse of Horror II and has been continued ever since. Early themes were simple changes such as “Bat Groening” in place of series creator “Matt Groening’s” name. As time went on new variations became longer and longer to the point where often the screen literally became filled despite the episode starting. Matt Groening did try making a rule for the “scary names” stating that they could not be longer than a person’s real name, but this was rarely followed by anyone else.

One interesting case and a name that has not changed is “Sam Simon’s” who left the show during the fourth season but still received “developed by” and “executive producer” credits as a result of his contract. Since Treehouse of Horror II his name has repeatedly appeared as “Sam ‘Sayonara’ Simon” reflecting the fact he had left.

Just like Marge’s Warnings the “scary names” became so difficult to keep fresh that they were dropped for Treehouse of Horror XII and Treehouse of Horror XIII. The fans however were devastated by this and so from Treehouse of Horror XIV the scary credits returned.

Counting Down To Halloween With The Simpsons #3

The Simpsons Halloween Specials have become as much a part of Halloween as trick-or-treating. Ever since that first Treehouse of Horror episode way back in 1990 we have been thrilled by the one episode every season where all the rules are thrown out of the window and anything goes as The Simpsons pay homage to classic horror movies and TV series such as The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits and Alfred Hitchcock Presents…

To celebrate this tradition we are going to be posting quotes, reviews, trivia and pictures as we await the arrival of All Hallow’s Eve. Dust off the fake fangs, unscrew the bottle of fake blood because here at the Order of Trinity we’re counting down to Halloween with The Simpsons.


#3 The Amusing Tombstones

Tonbstones

In the first five Treehouse of Horrors the episodes began with the camera view passing through a cemetery. In the cemetery there are numerous tombstones with funny epitaphs written on them. The source of these epitaphs varied and included the names of cancelled shows from the previous TV season and deceased celebrities including “Walt Disney” and “Jim Morrison” (complete with hippy sat in front of it mourning his dead icon). One tombstone had an inscription that read “TV violence” that was riddled with bullets as the camera passed by it.

They were last used in Treehouse of Horror V after which they were discontinued. While the writers found them easy to do at first it soon became difficult to keep them fresh and funny. As a final salute to the ongoing gag a solitary tombstone with the words “Amusing Tombstones” was put in the opening of Treehouse of Horror V to signal that now too these gags were dead.

Counting Down To Halloween With The Simpsons #2

The Simpsons Halloween Specials have become as much a part of Halloween as trick-or-treating. Ever since that first Treehouse of Horror episode way back in 1990 we have been thrilled by the one episode every season where all the rules are thrown out of the window and anything goes as The Simpsons pay homage to classic horror movies and TV series such as The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits and Alfred Hitchcock Presents…

To celebrate this tradition we are going to be posting quotes, reviews, trivia and pictures as we await the arrival of All Hallow’s Eve. Dust off the fake fangs, unscrew the bottle of fake blood because here at the Order of Trinity we’re counting down to Halloween with The Simpsons.


#2 Marge’s Warning

treehouseofhorrorii6

On October 25th 1990 The Simpsons aired the first Treehouse of Horror. Before the episode even began however Marge appears from behind a red curtain like the ones seen at movie theatres and says;

Hello, everyone. You know, Halloween is a very strange holiday. Personally, I don’t understand it. Kids worshipping ghosts, pretending to be devils. Things on TV that are completely inappropriate for young viewers. Things like the following half-hour! Nothing seems to bother my kids, but tonight’s show—which I totally wash my hands of—is really scary. So if you have sensitive children, maybe you should tuck them in early tonight instead of writing us angry letters tomorrow. Thanks for your attention.

This became one of the trademark moments of the Halloween specials that people remember the most even though it was only done in three of the twenty four Halloween episodes.

What few people realize however is that in the very first Treehouse of Horror this warning was not a gag or gimmick as it became later but was meant to be taken seriously. In 2014 The Simpsons have pretty much become part of the furniture in western society so its easy to forget that when it first aired in 1989 it was a highly controversial show. It was one of the only family shows that actually displayed conflict amongst the family members as opposed to the family facing outside antagonists and many conservative elements felt that this along with the dis-respective nature of Bart to his elders was diluting the view of the traditional nuclear family. The part about “letter writing” in Marge’s warning was a reference to the protests the show received.

With this backdrop its easy to understand why the producers of The Simpsons were nervous about the Halloween episode fearing it could be a step too far and so felt they needed to warn viewers before the episode began. Unfortunately it had the opposite effect and people assumed it was just a gag.

Counting Down To Halloween With The Simpsons #1

The Simpsons Halloween Specials have become as much a part of Halloween as trick-or-treating. Ever since that first Treehouse of Horror episode way back in 1990 we have been thrilled by the one episode every season where all the rules are thrown out of the window and anything goes as The Simpsons pay homage to classic horror movies and TV series such as The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits and Alfred Hitchcock Presents…

To celebrate this tradition we are going to be posting quotes, reviews, trivia and pictures as we await the arrival of All Hallow’s Eve. Dust off the fake fangs, unscrew the bottle of fake blood because here at the Order of Trinity we’re counting down to Halloween with The Simpsons.


#1 Hungry are the Damned

Hungry_are_the_damned_poster

Hungry are the Damned is the second segment of the very first Treehouse of Horror. In a parody of The Twilight Zone episode To Serve Man, The Simpsons are having a barbecue when an alien ship suddenly appears and uses a tractor beam to bring them up (Homer requires an extra beam to lift him). There we are introduced to the aliens Kang and his sister Kodos (with a very male voice that sounds strikingly similar to Homer) who seem determined to feed The Simpsons up causing Lisa to suspect the aliens intend to eat them. When they find out about this the aliens are horrified and return them to Earth, offended. Of course being Bart’s story it’s all Lisa’s fault.

This is not my favourite Treehouse of Horror segment but it is memorable mostly for the fact that this is the first time we are introduced to Kang and his sister Kodos who would go on to feature in every Treehouse of Horror afterwards along with their creepy theme. Usually they appear in a cameo but they did get bigger parts in some of the later stories including the Jerry Springer Show segment where Kang reveals he is Maggie’s father.

Despite being so well loved the writers of the episodes admit that some of their smaller appearances were last minute additions when someone on the production staff realized nobody had put them in. This is because unlike a normal episode where one or two writers deal with the whole story the Halloween episodes are composed of three segments each written by different people and as such it proved easy to overlook them as the writers concentrated on their own stories.

Kang and Kodos; we at the Order of Trinity salute you…you loveable Quantum Presbytarians.