Hurricane Neddy

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"Hurricane Neddy"
The Simpsons episode
Episode no.Season 8
Episode 161
Directed by Bob Anderson
Written by Steve Young
Production code4F07
Original air dateDecember 29, 1996
Guest appearance(s)
Episode features
Couch gag The couch is replaced with a coin slot and the words "Vend-A-Couch" are written on the wall. Homer puts a coin in; nothing happens. Homer pounds on the wall before the couch falls on him. [1]
CommentaryJosh Weinstein
Steve Young
George Meyer
Bob Anderson
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The Simpsons (season 8)
List of The Simpsons episodes

"Hurricane Neddy" is the eighth episode of The Simpsons ' eighth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on December 29, 1996. [2] It was written by Steve Young, directed by Bob Anderson, and features a cameo by Jon Lovitz as Jay Sherman from The Critic . [1] In the episode, "Hurricane Barbara" viciously strikes Springfield but, by pure chance, the house of Ned Flanders is the only one destroyed. As a result, he begins to lose his faith in both God and the townspeople around him, especially Homer as he suffers a nervous breakdown.

<i>The Simpsons</i> American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening

The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical depiction of working-class life, epitomized by the Simpson family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture and society, television, and the human condition.

<i>The Simpsons</i> (season 8) Episode list for season of animated series

The Simpsons' eighth season originally aired on the Fox network between October 27, 1996, and May 18, 1997, beginning with "Treehouse of Horror VII". The showrunners for the eighth production season were Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein. The aired season contained two episodes that were hold-over episodes from season seven, which Oakley and Weinstein also ran. It also contained two episodes for which Al Jean and Mike Reiss were the show runners.

Fox Broadcasting Company American television network

The Fox Broadcasting Company is an American commercial terrestrial 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.

Contents

Plot

In the midst of a quiet afternoon, the wind starts to pick up, which leads Lisa to find out that a hurricane is on the way. The evening news confirms that "Hurricane Barbara" is close, resulting in panicked citizens storming the Kwik-E-Mart. The hurricane strikes, and after a few treacherous hours, the storm ends. The Simpsons cautiously leave their basement and learn that the home is untouched. However, next door, Ned Flanders emerges from a heap of rubble and sees that although his family is safe and are not seriously hurt, his house has been destroyed. The Flanders family is forced to move into the Rescue Center in the church basement. Ned is further discouraged after learning that his business The Leftorium was looted following the hurricane. Distraught with annoyance, Ned begins to believe that God is punishing him like Job.

Lisa Simpson fictional character from The Simpsons franchise

Lisa Marie Simpson is a fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons. She is the middle child and most intelligent of the Simpson family. Voiced by Yeardley Smith, Lisa was born as a character in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Cartoonist Matt Groening created and designed her while waiting to meet James L. Brooks. Groening had been invited to pitch a series of shorts based on his comic Life in Hell, but instead decided to create a new set of characters. He named the elder Simpson daughter after his younger sister Lisa Groening Bartlett. After appearing on The Tracey Ullman Show for three years, the Simpson family were moved to their own series on Fox, which debuted on December 17, 1989.

Tropical cyclone Is a rotating storm system

A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain. Depending on its location and strength, a tropical cyclone is referred to by different names, including hurricane, typhoon, tropical storm, cyclonic storm, tropical depression, and simply cyclone. A hurricane is a tropical cyclone that occurs in the Atlantic Ocean and northeastern Pacific Ocean, and a typhoon occurs in the northwestern Pacific Ocean; in the south Pacific or Indian Ocean, comparable storms are referred to simply as "tropical cyclones" or "severe cyclonic storms".

Kwik-E-Mart fictional shop in the television series The Simpsons

The Kwik-E-Mart is a convenience store in the animated television series The Simpsons. It is a parody of American convenience stores, such as 7-Eleven and Wawa Inc., and depicts many of the stereotypes about them. It is notorious for its high prices and the poor quality of its merchandise. It is run by an Indian-American named Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. It first appeared in the episode "The Telltale Head" and has since become a common setting in The Simpsons.

The following day, Marge arrives at the church and takes the Flanders family back to their house, completely "rebuilt" by the people of Springfield. Overjoyed, Ned inspects the house, but becomes increasingly dismayed as he discovers its extremely shoddy construction. Immediately after the inspection, the house collapses. Ned initially tries to remain calm (knowing that everybody had done their best), but after inadvertently breaking his glasses, he is unable to contain his rage and finally snaps, lashing out at the residents, including Homer who he says is the worst human being he had ever met (to which Homer believes that he had got off pretty easy). Ned then drives to a mental hospital to seek psychotherapy, where he is visited by his childhood psychiatrist, Dr. Foster, who tells Ned about his childhood as an out-of-control brat raised by beatnik parents. Ned's treatment involved eight months of continuous spanking. The treatment worked so well that it rendered him unable to express any anger, and Ned's repressed anger built up inside him until he erupted.

Marjorie Jacqueline "Marge" Simpson is a fictional character in the American animated sitcom The Simpsons and part of the eponymous family. She is voiced by Julie Kavner and first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Marge 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 Life in Hell but instead decided to create a new set of characters. He named the character after his mother Margaret Groening. After appearing on The Tracey Ullman Show for three seasons, the Simpson family received their own series on Fox, which debuted December 17, 1989.

Homer Simpson fictional character from The Simpsons franchise

Homer Jay Simpson is a fictional character and one of the main protagonists 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.

Psychotherapy is the use of psychological methods, particularly when based on regular personal interaction, to help a person change behavior and overcome problems in desired ways. Psychotherapy aims to improve an individual's well-being and mental health, to resolve or mitigate troublesome behaviors, beliefs, compulsions, thoughts, or emotions, and to improve relationships and social skills. Certain psychotherapies are considered evidence-based for treating some diagnosed mental disorders. Others have been criticized as pseudoscience.

Dr. Foster enlists Homer to help Ned learn how to appropriately express emotions. After several failed scripted insults, Homer manages to get Ned to open up about some of his repressed dislikes, finally admitting he hates post offices and his parents, after which he immediately feels better. Dr. Foster declares Flanders cured and he is immediately released. Outside the hospital, Ned is greeted by the townsfolk of Springfield, including the rest of the Simpsons and his family. Ned promises that from now on, if anyone does something he does not like, they will hear about it, which Dr. Foster tells him is very healthy. Ned then goes one step too far and informs everyone that if they really make him angry he'll drive them over with his car, Homer then jokes to Ned that he's "so crazy" as they both laugh. [2] [3]

A post office is a public department that provides a customer service to the public and handles their mail needs. Post offices offer mail-related services such as acceptance of letters and parcels; provision of post office boxes; and sale of postage stamps, packaging, and stationery. In addition, many post offices offer additional services: providing and accepting government forms, processing government services and fees, and banking services. The chief administrator of a post office is called a postmaster.

Production

A scene from the episode, featuring a sign reading "Free John Swartzwelder", referencing one of the series' writers FreeSwartzwelder.png
A scene from the episode, featuring a sign reading "Free John Swartzwelder", referencing one of the series' writers

Steve Young, a writer for the Late Show with David Letterman , was brought in as a freelance writer to write the episode. [4] The writers wanted to explore what made Flanders tick and examine what made him act the way he does. [4] The original idea came from George Meyer, who had also wanted an episode about Flanders' faith being tested. [5] One of the key story points came from his friend Jack Handey, a writer for Saturday Night Live , who wanted to do a sketch about a down-on-his-luck shoemaker who is visited by elves who help him, but make very bad shoes. Likewise, it inspired the idea that the neighbors would rebuild Flanders' house, but do a bad job and provoke an outburst. [5]

Steve Young is a television writer for Late Show with David Letterman and Late Night with David Letterman. He is a Harvard University graduate and former writer for the Harvard Lampoon. He also wrote The Simpsons season eight episode "Hurricane Neddy". Young adapted the holiday book Olive, the Other Reindeer for the animated holiday special. He won an Annie Award in 2000 for his screenplay. Young's other television writing credits include Not Necessarily the News.

<i>Late Show with David Letterman</i> American talk show hosted by David Letterman on CBS (1993-2015)

Late Show with David Letterman is an American late-night talk show hosted by David Letterman on CBS, the first iteration of the Late Show franchise. The show debuted on August 30, 1993, and was produced by Letterman's production company, Worldwide Pants, and CBS Television Studios. The show's music director and leader of the house band, the CBS Orchestra, was Paul Shaffer. The head writer was Matt Roberts and the announcer was originally Bill Wendell, then Alan Kalter. Of the major U.S. late-night programs, Late Show ranked second in cumulative average viewers over time and third in number of episodes over time. In most U.S. markets the show aired from 11:35 p.m. to 12:37 a.m. Eastern and Pacific Time, and recorded Monday through Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m., and Thursdays at 3:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The second Thursday episode usually aired on Friday of that week.

George Meyer American producer and writer

George A. Meyer is an American producer and writer. Meyer is best known for his work on The Simpsons, where he led the group script rewrite sessions. He has been publicly credited with "thoroughly shap[ing] ... the comedic sensibility" of the show.

Writer John Swartzwelder's animated likeness can be seen in a padded cell, in reference to his reclusiveness. Swartzwelder in Hurricane Neddy.png
Writer John Swartzwelder's animated likeness can be seen in a padded cell, in reference to his reclusiveness.

A caricature of John Swartzwelder can be seen shutting the door of a room in Calmwood Mental Hospital. [4] Later in the episode, during the scene where the townsfolk are welcoming Ned back, someone can be seen holding a sign that says "Free John Swartzwelder". [5] During the sequence where Flanders yells at the town, a man with a ponytail and wearing a white shirt who is a caricature of Bob Anderson can be seen. [6]

John Swartzwelder 1950; comedy writer and novelist

John Joseph Swartzwelder Jr. is an American comedy writer and novelist, best known for his work on the animated television series The Simpsons. Born in Seattle, Washington, Swartzwelder began his career working in advertising. He was later hired to work on comedy series Saturday Night Live in the mid-1980s as a writer. He later contributed to fellow writer George Meyer's short-lived Army Man magazine, which led him to join the original writing team of The Simpsons, beginning in 1989.

Bob Anderson is an American animation director on The Simpsons. He also contributed additional sequence direction on The Simpsons Movie.

Cultural references

The scene at the beginning of the episode, in which the people of Springfield mob the Kwik-E-Mart, is based on the events of the 1992 Los Angeles riots. [4] Todd is wearing a Butthole Surfers shirt; however, the censors only allowed "Buttho Surfers". [4] Jay Sherman from The Critic , who had previously appeared in "A Star Is Burns", can also be seen in the mental hospital repeatedly saying his catchphrase, "It stinks". [4] The small door at the end of the hallway in Flanders' rebuilt house echoes the improbably small hallway in the film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory . [4]

Reception

In its original broadcast, "Hurricane Neddy" finished 18th in ratings for the week of December 23–29, 1996, with a Nielsen rating of 8.7, equivalent to approximately 8.4 million viewing households. It was the second-highest-rated show on the Fox network that week, following The X-Files . [7]

Marge's line, "Dear God, this is Marge Simpson. If You stop this hurricane and save our family, we will be forever grateful and recommend You to all our friends", was cited by journalist Mark Pinsky as an example of how "Simpson family members are both defined and circumscribed by religion." [8] Journalist Ben Rayner speculated that some fans, whom he called "nerds", would want an explanation of "how Barney fit through that tiny door to the 'master bedroom' in the rebuilt Flanders family home." [9]

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References

  1. 1 2 Hurricane Neddy. BBC.co.uk. Retrieved on March 27, 2007.
  2. 1 2 "Hurricane Neddy". The Simpsons.com. Retrieved on March 27, 2007.
  3. Groening, Matt (1997). Richmond, Ray; Coffman, Antonia (eds.). The Simpsons: A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family (1st ed.). New York: HarperPerennial. p. 173. ISBN   978-0-06-095252-5. LCCN   98141857. OCLC   37796735. OL   433519M.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Weinstein, Josh (2006). The Simpsons season 8 DVD commentary for the episode "Hurricane Neddy" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  5. 1 2 3 Meyer, George (2006). The Simpsons season 8 DVD commentary for the episode "Hurricane Neddy" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  6. Anderson, Bob (2006). The Simpsons season 8 DVD commentary for the episode "Hurricane Neddy" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  7. Associated Press (January 3, 1997). "ABC ends up on top in a slow week". Sun-Sentinel. p. 4E.
  8. Victoria Combe, "Praise and glory to the God-fearing Homer Simpson: Chaotic cartoon family criticized as dysfunctional is defined by religion, journalist says in book", Standard, St. Catharines, Ontario: August 31, 2001, pg. A.1.FRO.
  9. Ben Rayner, "Offering up the goods on Springfield's finest; The Simpsons have breached the boundaries of animation. Today a director details how they do it, writes Ben Rayner", Toronto Star , October 30, 2005, pg. C.06.