Dumbbell Indemnity

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"Dumbbell Indemnity"
The Simpsons episode
Dumbbell Indemnity.png
Moe and Renee at the police moonlight ball
Episode no.Season 9
Episode 16
Directed by Dominic Polcino
Written by Ron Hauge
Production code5F12
Original air dateMarch 1, 1998
Guest appearance(s)

Helen Hunt as Renee

Episode features
Chalkboard gag "Silly string is not a nasal spray" [1]
Couch gag The Simpsons sit on the couch, and hydraulic presses crush them into a cube. [2]
Commentary Matt Groening
Mike Scully
George Meyer
Ron Hauge
Ian Maxtone-Graham
Dominic Polcino
Episode chronology
 Previous
"The Last Temptation of Krust"
Next 
"Lisa the Simpson"
The Simpsons (season 9)
List of The Simpsons episodes

"Dumbbell Indemnity" is the sixteenth episode in the ninth season of the American animated television series The Simpsons . It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 1, 1998. [3] It was written by Ron Hauge and directed by Dominic Polcino. [3] The episode sees Moe trying to keep his new girlfriend by using a large amount of money, but when it runs out, he decides to commit insurance fraud. Homer helps him, but is caught and sent to jail, and attempts to take revenge on Moe when he does not bail him out. Helen Hunt makes a guest appearance as Moe's girlfriend, Renee. The episode contains several cultural references and was generally well received.

<i>The Simpsons</i> (season 9) Episode list for season of animated series

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.

Fox Broadcasting Company American television network

The Fox Broadcasting Company is an American free-to-air television network that is a flagship property of the Fox Corporation. The network is headquartered at 1211 Avenue of the Americas in New York City, with additional offices at the Fox Broadcasting Center and at the Fox Television Center in Los Angeles.

Ron Hauge is an American television writer and executive producer. Early in his career, Hauge was a contributor to National Lampoon. He then wrote for Seinfeld, In Living Color, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Rocko's Modern Life, The Mouse and the Monster, and a short lived reincarnation of The Carol Burnett Show. In 1994, an episode of Ren and Stimpy that he co-wrote was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program.

Contents

Plot

At Moe's Tavern, Homer notices that Moe is depressed because he cannot get a date. Homer decides to take Moe out to meet a woman. The trip to a disco proves to be unsuccessful, but on their way home, a flower vendor named Renee starts a conversation with Moe, and he ends up asking her out.

Homer Simpson fictional character from The Simpsons franchise

Homer Jay Simpson is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. He is voiced by Dan Castellaneta and first appeared on television, along with the rest of his family, in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Homer was created and designed by cartoonist Matt Groening while he was waiting in the lobby of James L. Brooks' office. Groening had been called to pitch a series of shorts based on his comic strip Life in Hell but instead decided to create a new set of characters. He named the character after his father, Homer Groening. After appearing for three seasons on The Tracey Ullman Show, the Simpson family got their own series on Fox that debuted December 17, 1989.

Moe Szyslak Fictional character from The Simpsons franchise

Morris "Moe" Szyslak is a recurring character from the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Hank Azaria and first appeared in the series premiere episode "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire". Moe is the proprietor and bartender of Moe's Tavern, a Springfield bar frequented by Homer Simpson, Barney Gumble, Lenny Leonard, Carl Carlson, Sam, Larry, and others.

Moe and Renee seem to form a strong relationship, but Moe is insecure about his hold on her and he feels he must spend large amounts of money so she will stay with him. Upon maxing out his credit card, Moe comes up with a scheme to commit insurance fraud by having Homer steal his car and park it on train tracks so it would be destroyed. The night the scheme is supposed to take place, Moe and Renee attend a police charity event aboard a yacht; the event's attendance by all the officers in town ensures Homer will not get caught perpetrating the scheme, and gives Moe an alibi so that no one will suspect he was behind the act. Homer botches the plan by stopping to watch a drive-in movie, while the train they were counting on to destroy Moe's car passes by. Deciding all is not lost, Homer drives the car over a cliff — but his attempt to exit the car before it sinks into the water below fails. The car ends up sinking just near the yacht where the police charity event is taking place, and when Homer swims to the surface, he is arrested.

Insurance fraud is any act committed to defraud an insurance process. This occurs when a claimant attempts to obtain some benefit or advantage they are not entitled to, or when an insurer knowingly denies some benefit that is due. According to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, the most common schemes include: premium diversion, fee churning, asset diversion, and workers compensation fraud. Perpetrators in these schemes can be insurance company employees or claimants. False insurance claims are insurance claims filed with the fraudulent intention towards an insurance provider.

Moe speaks to Homer through the bars of his jail cell window and promises to bail him out, but changes his mind when Renee talks about wanting to vacation in Hawaii. While packing for the trip, Moe is confronted by his own conscience, in the form of Homer, who makes him feel bad for his betrayal. Moe ends up telling Renee the truth about the insurance fraud scheme, and she is at first happy he was honest. However, when Moe starts scheming again for a way to get Homer out of jail without paying the bail, Renee is disgusted and leaves him.

Moe's idea involved setting his bar on fire, which he ends up doing by accident as he realizes Renee has left. Meanwhile, Homer escapes jail by attacking Hans Moleman, who was delivering books to the inmates. He enters the burning bar to confront Moe, and the two start fighting. They are both soon rendered unconscious from smoke inhalation, but Barney appears and rescues them. The bar is completely destroyed, and during their reconciliation Homer promises to help Moe get back on his feet. In the final scene, Homer has allowed Moe to temporarily relocate his bar to the Simpsons' home. [3]

Smoke inhalation is the primary cause of death for victims of fires. The inhalation or exposure to hot gaseous products of combustion can cause serious respiratory complications.

Barney Gumble fictional character from The Simpsons franchise

Barnard Arnold "Barney" Gumble is a recurring character in the American animated TV series, The Simpsons. He is voiced by Dan Castellaneta and first appeared in the series premiere episode "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire".

Production

The episode was written by Ron Hauge, who has said he thought of the episode while attempting to create a story involving general illegal activity. [4] Originally, Hauge had a different title for the episode, "Mutual of Moemaha", parodying the name of the Mutual of Omaha insurance company. [5] The episode was going to add to the development of Moe's character in the show, though the staff did not think they were able to develop him more until later episodes. [4]

Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha is a Fortune 500 mutual insurance and financial services company based in Omaha, Nebraska. Founded in 1909 as Mutual Benefit Health & Accident Association, Mutual of Omaha is a multi-line organization providing insurance, banking, and financial products for individuals, businesses and groups throughout the United States.

Director Dominic Polcino and the animators of the episode were praised for their efforts by the other staff members, especially during the scene where Homer is driving down the cliff and attempts to escape Moe's car. Polcino and his animators went to great lengths to correctly time Homer's rolling and create a vivid and detailed lake, as well as animate Homer sinking to the bottom of the lake. [6] [7] Show runner Mike Scully commented that, "It's hard enough for us to come up with the ideas, but when Dominic and the animators can make it, it's really fantastic." [6]

Dominic Polcino is an animation director who has worked on The Simpsons, Mission Hill, King of the Hill, and Family Guy. Polcino worked on the first season of Family Guy, then left to direct for King of the Hill and then returned to Family Guy. Polcino is currently a director on the Adult Swim series Rick and Morty. He then went on to create the TV pilot Lovesick Fool which debuted on FunnyOrDie then went on to exhibit at Film Festivals and is currently on YouTube. His brother, Michael Polcino, is currently a director on The Simpsons.

Mike Scully American writer and producer

Michael Scully 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.

The episode guest starred Helen Hunt as Renee, Moe's girlfriend. Hunt has said she liked the design of her character, who was named after Hauge's wife. [5] During the making of the episode, Hunt and Hank Azaria, who voices Moe, were dating. [6] In an interview with People Magazine in 1998, Scully stated: "Hank and Helen got along so well it's hard to believe they are a real couple." [8] In July 1999, the couple married, but divorced in December 2000, after a long separation. [9]

Cultural references

The title of the episode is a reference to the film Double Indemnity , which also had a plot involving an insurance scam. [2] In the scenes where Moe and Renee are seen dating, the song "I'm a Believer" by The Monkees is playing. [2] Other songs include "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer" by Amos Milburn and "Brick House" by the Commodores. [1]

Reception

In its original broadcast, "Dumbbell Indemnity" finished 25th in ratings for the week of February 23 - March 1, 1998, with a Nielsen rating of 10.5, equivalent to approximately 10.3 million viewing households. It was the third highest-rated show on the Fox network that week, following The X-Files and King of the Hill . [10]

The authors of the book I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide, Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood, enjoyed the episode, commenting: "A case perhaps of life reflecting art as guest star Helen Hunt is now married to Hank Azaria, who is, of course, Moe, which is rather nice as you can't help but feel sad that, by the end of this rather clever and charming episode, Moe has been unlucky in love once more." [2] In a 2006 article in USA Today , "Dumbbell Indemnity" was highlighted among the six best episodes of The Simpsons season 9, along with "Trash of the Titans", "The Last Temptation of Krust", "The Cartridge Family", "The Joy of Sect", and "Das Bus". [11] IGN ranked Hail to the Chimp, the film Homer goes to see in the episode, as the seventh best fictional film within another work. [12] Show runner Mike Scully greatly enjoyed the scene where Homer attempts to escape Moe's car when it is going down the cliff, and has said that it is one of his favorite scenes from the show. [6]

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References

  1. 1 2 Bates, James W.; Gimple, Scott M.; McCann, Jesse L.; Richmond, Ray; Seghers, Christine, eds. (2010). Simpsons World The Ultimate Episode Guide: Seasons 1–20 (1st ed.). Harper Collins Publishers. p. 447. ISBN   978-0-00-738815-8.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Martyn, Warren; Wood, Adrian (2000). "Bart Star". BBC. Retrieved 2007-11-11.
  3. 1 2 3 Gimple, Scott (1999). The Simpsons Forever!: A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family ...Continued . Harper Collins Publishers. pp. 30–31. ISBN   0-06-098763-4.
  4. 1 2 Hauge, Ron (2006). The Simpsons season 9 DVD commentary for the episode "Dumbbell Indemnity" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  5. 1 2 Polcino, Dominic (2006). The Simpsons season 9 DVD commentary for the episode "Dumbbell Indemnity" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  6. 1 2 3 4 Scully, Mike (2006). The Simpsons season 9 DVD commentary for the episode "Dumbbell Indemnity" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  7. Meyer, George (2006). The Simpsons season 9 DVD commentary for the episode "Dumbbell Indemnity" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  8. Knight Ridder (January 21, 1998). "Cartoon Imitates Life". The Buffalo News . pp. Page D4.
  9. "Hunt files for divorce". BBC News. 2000-12-20. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
  10. Associated Press (March 5, 1998). "CBS last despite Grammys' boost". Sun-Sentinel. p. 4E.
  11. Clark, Mike (2006-12-22). "New on DVD". USA Today . Gannett Co. Inc. Retrieved 2007-10-24.
  12. "Top 10 Movies Within Movies". IGN . 2008-08-11. Archived from the original on 2011-02-27. Retrieved 2011-08-26.Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)