Sunday night’s edition of The Simpsons was advertised as an awards-show satire, with Homer and Bart nominated for an Oscar, and guest-voices from Halle Berry, Ricky Gervais, and Russell Brand. None of them were very funny, but that was the joke — they were parodying the toadying tone of awards patter. Well, Brand and Berry were; Gervais seemed to have improvised a lot of Gervais-y stream-of-jokiness blather that he may well have intended to be funny. The producers put up a picture of Gervais during the show’s recreation of The Golden Globes with a caption that read, “Do Not Allow This Man To Host.” Ricky Gervais: Good sport or butt of ridicule?
The premise of the episode was that Bart’s web cartoon “Angry Dad” got made into a feature film, Angry Dad: The Movie, which was nominated, and won, numerous awards. Along the way, Simpsonian jabs were taken at Roman Polanski, Martin Scorsese, Randy Newman, while Lisa did the obligatory erudite name-check, this one including Wes Anderson, Frank Tashlin, Tim Burton, and Taylor Hackford.
However, the truly amusing stuff this week wasn’t the awards spoof, but the showing of the clips competing against Angry Dad for best animated film. The parodies of Pixar animation on the Toy Story-like Condiments was a very accomplished replication of Pixar at its most moistly sentimental.
Even better was the Wallace and Gromit pastiche (complete with Nick Park guest voice), here called a “Willis and Crumble” cartoon titled Better Gnomes and Gardens.
It’s not often that the visuals in The Simpsons, always intentionally, artfully crummy, top the verbal humor, usually intentionally wittier than the visuals.
Did you watch “Angry Dad: The Movie”?