At one point while watching Dustin Hoffman record his lines for a memorable guest spot, ”Simpsons” exec producer Sam Simon had to coach the Oscar-winning actor on a line reading he ought to have been quite familiar with: ”Miss Krabappel, are you trying to seduce me?” This amusing anecdote pops up on one of the commentary tracks that accompany the 22 episodes collected on The Simpsons: The Complete Second Season.
But just like the season 1 box, the bulk of these audio supplements — offered by creator Matt Groening and exec producers Al Jean and Mike Reiss, along with various writers and directors — is engaging yet largely uninformative (”Simpsons” scribes love reading comics). What the commentators also often do is just sit back and laugh. You will too. ”The Simpsons”’ second season is a classic TV comedy hitting its stride.
And, yes, the set is worth the wait: Along with some unforgettable episodes featuring some terrific guest actors (Hoffman — credited as ”Sam Etic” — Danny DeVito, James Earl Jones, the late Phil Hartman), there’s a truly painful clip of voice actress Yeardley Smith in a godawful Bart costume presenting an American Music Award. As Mr. Burns would say: ”Excellent!”