Treehouse of Horror VIII

"Treehouse of Horror VIII" is the fourth episode of The Simpsons' ninth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 26, 1997.[2] In the eighth annual Treehouse of Horror episode, Homer Simpson is the last man left alive when a neutron bomb destroys Springfield until a gang of mutants come after him, Homer buys a transporter that Bart uses to switch bodies with a housefly, and Marge is accused of witchcraft in a Puritan rendition of Springfield in 1649. It was written by Mike Scully, David X. Cohen and Ned Goldreyer, and was directed by Mark Kirkland.[1]

"Treehouse of Horror VIII"
The Simpsons episode
Episode no.Season 9
Episode 4
Directed byMark Kirkland
Written byMike Scully
David X. Cohen
Ned Goldreyer
Production code5F02
Original air dateOctober 26, 1997
Episode features
Couch gagThe Simpsons sit on the couch. Metal shackles restrain their wrists and ankles and a metal cap comes down on all of their heads. The family writhes in pain as they get shocked by electricity.[1]
CommentaryMatt Groening
Mike Scully
David X. Cohen
Mark Kirkland
George Meyer
Matt Selman

Plot

Opening

A Fox censor named Fox Censor is sitting at his desk going through the show's script, censoring some things and explaining to the audience that the episode is rated TV-G with no violence or anything explicit. As he continues talking, a hand reaches with a cutlass from the rating and stabs Fox many times with the rating changing from G to PG to 14 to 21 to MA to TV-666. Fox falls on his desk dead and his blood spells the name of the episode.

The HΩmega Man

When Mayor Quimby makes an offensive joke about France, and refuses to apologize, the French president launches a neutron bomb directly into Springfield, killing everyone except Homer, who had been inspecting a bomb shelter he was considering buying from Herman's military surplus store. After the blast, Homer emerges from the shelter and seems to be the only person in town to survive the blast, but he is soon confronted by a band of hostile Springfield citizens who have become mutants. Homer flees back home where he discovers that his family survived the blast because their house was protected by its layers of lead paint. Marge and the children kill the mutants with shotguns that they were hiding behind their backs and the family head off to steal some Ferraris.

Fly vs. Fly

Homer buys a matter transporter from Professor Frink. That night, Bart sees the family pets inadvertently go through the transporter together and he steps into the teleporter with a fly on his arm, thinking that he will become a mutant superhero. He comes out with his normal head, but with the fly's body whilst the fly has his body. Bart enlists the help of Lisa. However, she is chased by the fly and cornered in the kitchen. Bart tries to stop the fighting, but is quickly eaten by the fly. Lisa then sees this as an opportunity to undo the process and pushes the fly into the teleporter. Bart comes out the other end, now with his head back on his real body. Homer then pulls out an axe and angrily chases Bart for using the device.

Easy-Bake Coven

In 1649, the town is witness to many witch burnings. In the church, the townspeople try to figure out whom to condemn next. People begin accusing others and soon they erupt into chaos, until Marge intervenes. She tries to talk sense into the townspeople, but Moe accuses her of being a witch. Quimby assures her that she is entitled to due process which means she will be thrown off a cliff with a broomstick; if she is a witch she will be able to fly to safety, in which case the authorities expect her to report back for punishment. If she is not a witch, then she will fall to an honorable Christian death. After being shoved off the cliff, Marge flies up on the broomstick revealing that she really is a witch and vows to conquer the whole entire town. She returns to her sisters Patty and Selma. The sisters watch Ned and Maude Flanders talking about how the witches eat children, which gives them the notion to do just that. They knock on the Flanders' door and demand their sons, but before they leave, Maude offers the witches gingerbread men instead. The witches like these better than the children so they go to each house, getting goodies in exchange for not eating the children. As they fly off, the Sea Captain says that is how the tradition of Halloween and trick-or-treating started.

Production

THOH8censor
The opening segment of the episode had a difficult time getting through the (real-life) censors.

"The HΩmega Man" was written by Mike Scully,[3] "Fly Vs. Fly" was written by David X. Cohen,[4] and "Easy-Bake Coven" was written by Ned Goldreyer.[3] Large portions of the "Fly vs. Fly" segment were cut, including the original ending where the fly also emerges from the teleporter, but is considerably larger and the Simpson family ride it to the mall.[4]

The producers had trouble with the censors over several segments in this episode. The opening segment of the episode, which features Fox Censor (pictured on the right) being stabbed to death, was pitched by David Mirkin and had a difficult time getting through the real-life censors. They had issues with the size of the knife and the sound effects used.[3] Originally, the TV-rating was supposed to stab Censor with a dagger, but Fox objected because it was too gruesome and was changed to a cutlass.[5] The censors also objected to an unaired scene where Homer does his naked church dance on an altar. The scene was reanimated so that Homer was dancing naked in the front row.[3]

This episode was the only Treehouse of Horror episode that was directed by Mark Kirkland. It was also the last episode Brad Bird worked on; he left the show to direct The Iron Giant. "Easy-Bake Coven" was storyboarded by Kirkland and the backgrounds were designed by Lance Wilder.[5] Although Kang and Kodos make brief appearances in every Treehouse of Horror episode, their brief appearance in this one was nearly cut. David X. Cohen managed to persuade the producers to leave the scene in.[4]

Cultural references

As with the majority of the Treehouse of Horror episodes, numerous cultural references are made throughout the episode. "The HΩmega Man" is an extended homage to film The Omega Man, which was one of Mike Scully's favorite movies as a child.[3] In the same segment, Homer runs over Johnny and Edgar Winter while fleeing the mutants pursuing him, mistaking them as mutants as the Winter brothers are both albino.[3]

The title "Fly vs. Fly" is a reference to the Mad magazine comic strip "Spy vs. Spy", while the segment itself is based on the film The Fly.[4] In "Easy-Bake Coven", the animators referenced the film The Crucible for many of their designs,[5] and Edna Krabappel is wearing a Scarlet A, which is a reference to the novel The Scarlet Letter.[4]

Reception

In its original broadcast, "Treehouse of Horror VIII" finished 18th in ratings for the week of October 20–26, 1997, with a Nielsen rating of 11.2, equivalent to approximately 10.9 million viewing households. It was the highest-rated show on the Fox network that week, beating King of the Hill.[6]

"Treehouse of Horror VIII" won a Golden Reel Award in 1998 for "Best Sound Editing – Television Animated Specials" for Robert Mackston, Travis Powers, Norm MacLeod and Terry Greene.[7] Alf Clausen received an Emmy Award nomination for "Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore)" for this episode, which he ultimately lost.[8] The A.V. Club named Comic Book Guy's line "Oh, I've wasted my life" as one of the quotes from The Simpsons that can be used in everyday situations.[9]

References

  1. ^ a b Martyn, Warren; Wood, Adrian (2000). "Treehouse of Horror VIII". BBC. Retrieved 2007-10-24.
  2. ^ "Treehouse of Horror VIII". The Simpsons.com. Retrieved 2007-10-24.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Scully, Mike (2006). The Simpsons season 9 DVD commentary for the episode "Treehouse of Horror VIII" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  4. ^ a b c d e Cohen, David X. (2006). The Simpsons season 9 DVD commentary for the episode "Treehouse of Horror VIII" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  5. ^ a b c Kirkland, Mark (2006). The Simpsons season 9 DVD commentary for the episode "Treehouse of Horror VIII" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  6. ^ Bauder, David (October 31, 1997). "Strongs series finish boosts NBC". Rocky Mountain News. p. 11D.
  7. ^ "Past Golden Reel Awards". MPSE.org. Archived from the original on 2009-03-17. Retrieved 2007-10-17. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  8. ^ "Primetime Emmy Awards Advanced Search". Emmys.org. Archived from the original on 2009-02-15. Retrieved 2007-10-24. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  9. ^ Bahn, Christopher; Donna Bowman, Josh Modell, Noel Murray, Nathan Rabin, Tasha Robinson, Kyle Ryan, Scott Tobias (2006-04-26). "Beyond "D'oh!": Simpsons Quotes For Everyday Use". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on 2008-07-09. Retrieved 2008-08-02. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

External links

Comic Book Guy

Comic Book Guy is the common, popular name for Jeff Albertson, a recurring fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Hank Azaria and first appeared in the second-season episode "Three Men and a Comic Book", which originally aired on May 9, 1991. Comic Book Guy is the proprietor of a comic book store, The Android's Dungeon & Baseball Card Shop. He is based on "every comic book store guy in America" and represents a stereotypical middle-aged comic-book collector. He is well known for his distinctive accent, disagreeable personality and his catchphrase, "Worst [blank] ever!"

David X. Cohen

David Samuel Cohen (born July 13, 1966), better known as David X. Cohen, is an American television writer. He began working on Beavis and Butt-Head, has written for The Simpsons, and served as the head writer and executive producer of Futurama. Cohen is a producer of Disenchantment, Matt Groening's series for Netflix.

Hugo (name)

Hugo is a surname and male given name of Germanic origin Hugo, meaning "mind". The English version of the name is Hugh, the Italian version is Ugo. For detailed history and etymology of the name, see Hugh (given name).

Hugo is one of the most popular given names in Europe, ranking as high as #9 in Spain, and #8 in Belgium in 2006. April 1 is the name day of Hugo in many European countries.

Kang and Kodos

Kang and Kodos Johnson are a duo of fictional recurring characters in the animated television series The Simpsons. Kang is voiced by Harry Shearer and Kodos by Dan Castellaneta. They are green, octopus-like aliens from the fictional planet Rigel VII and appear almost exclusively in the "Treehouse of Horror" episodes. The duo has appeared in at least one segment of all twenty-eight Treehouse of Horror episodes. Sometimes their appearance is the focus of a plot, other times a brief cameo. Kang and Kodos are often bent on the conquest of Earth and are usually seen working on sinister plans to invade and subjugate humanity.

The duo first appeared in season two's "Treehouse of Horror". The first drawing of Kang and Kodos came from writers Jay Kogen and Wallace Wolodarsky. The finished design was based on an EC Comics issue cover. Kang and Kodos had brief cameo appearances in several non-"Treehouse of Horror" episodes and have appeared as villains in several of The Simpsons video games.

Lisa's Sax

"Lisa's Sax" is the third episode of The Simpsons' ninth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 19, 1997, to overwhelmingly positive reviews. In the series' sixth flashback episode, it is explained how Lisa got her saxophone. The episode was executive produced by Al Jean and Mike Reiss and was the first episode Jean wrote by himself as all of his previous writing credits had been shared with Reiss. It was directed by Dominic Polcino and guest starred Fyvush Finkel, who appeared as himself portraying Krusty in a film.

List of The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episodes

This is a list of Treehouse of Horror episodes produced by the animated television series The Simpsons. Treehouse of Horror episodes have aired annually since the second season (1990) and each episode has three separate segments. These segments usually involve the family in some horror, science fiction, or supernatural setting and always take place outside the normal continuity of the show and are therefore considered to be non-canon. The original "Treehouse of Horror" episode aired on October 25, 1990 and was inspired by EC Comics Horror tales. Before "Treehouse of Horror XI", which aired in 2000, every episode has aired in the week preceding or on October 31; "Treehouse of Horror II" and "Treehouse of Horror X" are the only two episodes to air on Halloween. Between 2000 to 2008 and 2010, due to Fox's contract with Major League Baseball's World Series, several episodes have originally aired in November; as of 2011 every Treehouse of Horror episode has aired in October. From "Treehouse of Horror" to "Treehouse of Horror XIII", all three segments were written by different writers and in some cases there was a fourth writer that wrote the opening and wraparound segments. For "Treehouse of Horror", there were even three different directors for the episode. Starting with season fifteen's "Treehouse of Horror XIV", only one writer was credited as having written a Treehouse of Horror episode, and the trend has continued since.As of 2018, there are twenty-nine Treehouse of Horror episodes, with one airing every year. They are known for being more violent than an average Simpsons episode and contain several different trademarks, including the alien characters Kang and Kodos who have appeared in every episode. Quite often the segments will parody well-known movies, books, radio shows, and television shows. The Twilight Zone has been parodied quite often, and has served as the inspiration for numerous segments.

List of awards and nominations received by The Simpsons

The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom that debuted on December 17, 1989 on the Fox network. The show is the longest-running prime time scripted television series in the United States. It has won many different awards, including 33

Emmy awards, 34 Annie Awards, nine Environmental Media Awards, twelve Writers Guild of America Awards, six Genesis Awards, eight People's Choice Awards, three British Comedy Awards, among other awards. Episodes of the show have won 10 Emmys in the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming less than One Hour) category. However, The Simpsons has never been nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series, although the show was submitted in the category in 1993 and 1994. James L. Brooks, an executive producer on the show, won ten Emmys for The Simpsons as well as ten for other shows and holds the record for most Primetime Emmys won by a single person, with 20. The Simpsons was the first animated series to be given a Peabody Award, and in 2000 the Simpson family was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. As of 2016, The Simpsons have received a total of 85 Emmy nominations.The Simpsons Movie, released in 2007, was nominated for several major awards, including a Golden Globe Award, while The Longest Daycare, a short film released in 2013, became the franchise's first production to be nominated for an Academy Award.

The Simpsons also holds two world records from the Guinness World Records: Longest-Running Primetime Animated Television Series and Most Guest Stars Featured in a Television Series.

Mark Kirkland

Mark Kirkland (born November 5, 1956) is an American animation director. He has directed 83 episodes of The Simpsons since 1990, more than any other director.

Mike Scully

Michael Scully (born October 2, 1956) is an American television writer and producer. He is known for his work as executive producer and showrunner of the animated sitcom The Simpsons from 1997 to 2001. Scully grew up in West Springfield, Massachusetts and long had an interest in writing. He was an underachiever at school and dropped out of college, going on to work in a series of jobs. Eventually, in 1986, he moved to Los Angeles where he worked as a stand-up comic and wrote for Yakov Smirnoff.

Scully went on to write for several television sitcoms before 1993, when he was hired to write for The Simpsons. There, he wrote twelve episodes, including "Lisa on Ice" and "Team Homer", and served as showrunner from seasons 9 to 12. Scully won three Primetime Emmy Awards for his work on the series, with many publications praising his episodes, but others criticizing his tenure as a period of decline in the show's quality. Scully still works on the show and also co-wrote 2007's The Simpsons Movie.

More recently, Scully co-created The Pitts and Complete Savages as well as working on Everybody Loves Raymond and Parks and Recreation. He co-developed the short-lived animated television version of Napoleon Dynamite. Scully is married to fellow writer Julie Thacker.

Ned Goldreyer

Ned Goldreyer (born 1972) is a television writer, television producer and comedian who lives in Los Angeles.

Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series

This is a list of winners and nominees of the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series.

Starting in 2019, the category recognizes scripted programs. Unscripted programs compete for Music Composition for a Documentary Series or Special.

The Cartridge Family

"The Cartridge Family" is the fifth episode of The Simpsons' ninth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 2, 1997. It was written by John Swartzwelder and directed by Pete Michels. In the episode, Homer purchases a gun to protect his family, of which Marge disapproves. Homer begins to show extremely careless gun usage causing Marge to leave him when she catches Bart using the gun without their permission. The episode was intended to show guns in a neutral way, and faced some problems with the censors because of the subject matter. Critical reaction was mostly positive.

The Fly (Langelaan)

"The Fly" is a science fiction horror short story by French-British writer George Langelaan. It was published in the June 1957 issue of Playboy magazine. It appeared in SF The Year's Greatest Science-Fiction and Fantasy, Dell First Edition B119, 1958. It was first filmed in 1958, and then again in 1986. An opera of the same name by Howard Shore premiered at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, in 2008.The short story "The Fly" is included in Langelaan's short story collection Out of Time (1964).

The Omega Man

The Omega Man (stylized as The Ωmega Man) is a 1971 American science fiction film directed by Boris Sagal and starring Charlton Heston as a survivor of a global pandemic. It was written by John William Corrington and Joyce Corrington, based on the 1954 novel I Am Legend by the American writer Richard Matheson. The film's producer, Walter Seltzer, went on to work with Heston again in the dystopian science-fiction film Soylent Green in 1973.The Omega Man is the second adaptation of Matheson's novel. The first was The Last Man on Earth (1964) which starred Vincent Price. A third adaptation, I Am Legend, starring Will Smith, was released in 2007.

The Simpsons (season 9)

The Simpsons' ninth season originally aired on the Fox network between September 1997 and May 1998, beginning on Sunday, September 21, 1997, with "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson". With Mike Scully as showrunner for the ninth production season, the aired season contained three episodes which were hold-over episodes from season eight, which Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein ran. It also contained two episodes which were run by David Mirkin, and another two hold-over episodes which were run by Al Jean and Mike Reiss.Season nine won three Emmy Awards: "Trash of the Titans" for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour) in 1998, Hank Azaria won "Outstanding Voice-Over Performance" for the voice of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, and Alf Clausen and Ken Keeler won the "Outstanding Music and Lyrics" award. Clausen was also nominated for "Outstanding Music Direction" and "Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore)" for "Treehouse of Horror VIII". Season nine was also nominated for a "Best Network Television Series" award by the Saturn Awards and "Best Sound Editing" for a Golden Reel Award.The Simpsons 9th Season DVD was released on December 19, 2006 in Region 1, January 29, 2007 in Region 2 and March 21, 2007 in Region 4. The DVD was released in two different forms: a Lisa-shaped head, to match the Maggie, Homer and Marge shaped heads from the three previous DVD sets, and also a standard rectangular shaped box. Like the previous DVD sets, both versions are available for sale separately.

Travis Powers

Travis F. Powers is a sound designer/supervising sound effects editor and composer who has worked on several animated television series, including The Simpsons, Futurama, Dilbert, The PJs, The Critic, The Tracey Ullman Show, Mission Hill and King of the Hill. Powers has received multiple awards, including a Golden Reel Award, in 1998 for "Best Sound Editing" for the episode "Treehouse of Horror VIII".

Powers works mainly in his home. He is best known for his work on The Simpsons, a series that he had worked on since its beginnings on The Tracey Ullman Show.

Treehouse of Horror

Treehouse of Horror, also known as The Simpsons Halloween specials, are a series of Halloween-themed episodes of the animated series The Simpsons, each consisting of three separate, self-contained segments. These segments usually involve the Simpson family in some horror, science fiction, or supernatural setting. They take place outside the show's normal continuity and completely abandon any pretense of being realistic, being known for their far more violent and much darker nature than an average Simpsons episode. The first, entitled "Treehouse of Horror", aired on October 25, 1990, as part of the second season and was inspired by EC Comics horror tales. Since then, there have been 28 other Treehouse of Horror episodes, with one airing every year.

Episodes contain parodies of horror, science fiction, and fantasy films, as well as the alien characters Kang and Kodos, a special version of the opening sequence, and scary names in the credits. The show's staff regard the Treehouse of Horror as being particularly difficult to produce, as the scripts often go through many rewrites, and the animators typically have to design new characters and backgrounds.

Many of the episodes are popular among fans and critics of the show and have inspired a whole offshoot of Simpsons merchandise, including action figures, playsets, video games, books, DVDs, comic books, and a special version of Monopoly. Several of the episodes have won awards for animation and sound editing. In 1996, 2013, and 2015, "Treehouse of Horror VI", "Treehouse of Horror XXIII", and "Treehouse of Horror XXV" were respectively nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award in the "Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour)" category.

Treehouse of Horror X

"Treehouse of Horror X" is the fourth episode of The Simpsons' eleventh season, and the tenth annual Treehouse of Horror episode, consisting of three self-contained segments. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on Halloween 1999. In "I Know What You Diddily-Iddily-Did", the Simpsons cover up a murder and are haunted by an unseen witness. In "Desperately Xeeking Xena", Bart and Lisa gain superpowers and must rescue Xena star Lucy Lawless from the Comic Book Guy's alter ego The Collector, and in "Life's a Glitch, Then You Die", Homer causes worldwide destruction thanks to the Y2K bug.

"Treehouse of Horror X" was directed by Pete Michels and written by Ron Hauge, Donick Cary and Tim Long. The episode contains numerous parodies and references to horror and science fiction works, including Doctor Who, I Know What You Did Last Summer and Battlestar Galactica. It also features actress Lucy Lawless and actors Tom Arnold, and Dick Clark as themselves. In its original broadcast, the episode was seen by approximately 8.7 million viewers, finishing in 34th place in the ratings the week it aired. Since its airing, the episode received positive reviews from critics.

Season 9
Themed episodes
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