King of the Hill (The Simpsons)

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"King of the Hill"
The Simpsons episode
Episode no.Season 9
Episode 23
Directed by Steven Dean Moore
Written by John Swartzwelder
Production code5F16
Original air dateMay 3, 1998 (1998-05-03)
Guest appearance(s)

Brendan Fraser as Brad
Steven Weber as Neil

Episode features
Couch gag The Simpsons sit on the couch and the camera zooms out to reveal that they are inside a snow globe. Two hands then shake the globe. [1]
CommentaryMike Scully
Richard Appel
Steven Dean Moore
Episode chronology
 Previous
"Trash of the Titans"
Next 
"Lost Our Lisa"
The Simpsons (season 9)
List of The Simpsons episodes

"King of the Hill" is the twenty-third 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 May 3, 1998. [2] It was written by John Swartzwelder and directed by Steven Dean Moore, and guest stars Brendan Fraser and Steven Weber. [2] The episode sees Homer trying to climb a large mountain to impress Bart after he humiliates him at a church picnic with his lack of fitness.

<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.

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.

Contents

Plot

After his obesity embarrasses Bart at a church picnic, Homer attempts to lose weight. He soon discovers Power Sauce, an energy bar which he starts to eat regularly.

Obesity Medical condition in which excess body fat harms health

Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to an extent that it may have a negative effect on health. People are generally considered obese when their body mass index (BMI), a measurement obtained by dividing a person's weight by the square of the person's height, is over 30 kg/m2; the range 25–30 kg/m2 is defined as overweight. Some East Asian countries use lower values. Obesity increases the likelihood of various diseases and conditions, particularly cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, certain types of cancer, osteoarthritis, and depression.

Bart Simpson fictional character from The Simpsons franchise

Bartholomew JoJo "Bart" Simpson is a fictional character in the American animated television series The Simpsons and part of the Simpson family. He is voiced by Nancy Cartwright and first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Cartoonist Matt Groening created and designed Bart while 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. While the rest of the characters were named after Groening's family members, Bart's name is an anagram of the word brat. After appearing on The Tracey Ullman Show for three years, the Simpson family received its 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 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.

At a gym, Homer meets Rainier Wolfcastle who becomes his fitness coach. In two months, Homer is healthier and reveals what he has been doing to his family. At the gym, two Power Sauce representatives ask Rainier to climb to the top of Springfield's tallest mountain, "The Murderhorn", as a publicity stunt. When he refuses, Bart insists Homer do it.

Gym locality for both physical and intellectual education

A gymnasium, also known as a gym, is a covered location for gymnastics, athletics and gymnastic services. The word is derived from the ancient Greek gymnasium. They are commonly found in athletic and fitness centers, and as activity and learning spaces in educational institutions. "Gym" is also slang for "fitness center", which is often an area for indoor recreation.

Springfield (<i>The Simpsons</i>) Fictional city in the United States from the Simpsons universe

Springfield is a fictional town in the American animated sitcom The Simpsons, which serves as its main setting. A mid-sized town in an undetermined state of the United States, Springfield acts as a complete universe in which characters can explore the issues faced by modern society. The geography of the town and its surroundings are flexible, changing to address whatever an episode's plot calls for.

Despite his father telling him about how he was betrayed by a friend, C. W. McAllister, during their climb on the Murderhorn, Homer accepts and is aided by two Sherpas, but fires them after waking up one night to find them secretly dragging him up.

The mountain proves too treacherous and high for Homer, who takes shelter in a cave. In it, he finds McAllister's frozen body and evidence proving it was Abraham who betrayed him. Too tired and ashamed to continue, Homer sticks his flag pole on the ledge. The ensuing crack collapses the rest of the mountain, making where he is on now the peak. Proud, he uses McAllister's body to sled down, where he is greeted by the crowd. [2] [3]

Production

The episode was pitched and written by John Swartzwelder. The writing staff had to find a new angle for Homer's weight problems, as the idea had been used several times before. This was emphasized in this episode when Marge does not seem to care that Homer is going to try to lose weight again. [4]

In the scenes where the Sherpas were speaking, the show staff went to great lengths to find translations. Originally, the producers of the film adaption of the book Into Thin Air were contacted to help. The film producers were shocked at the trouble the Simpsons staff were going to, and replied that they had simply made up translations in the film. The staff then had to consult various experts by telephone. [4]

The idea of the upper part of the mountain collapsing so Homer would be at the peak came from Mike Scully's brother Brian, after the staff "desperately needed a way out". [4]

Cultural references

The mountain Homer must climb, the Murderhorn, is a reference to the mountain Matterhorn, which is located in the Swiss Alps. [1] The name of the episode is a reference to the Fox series King of The Hill.

Reception

In its original broadcast, "King of the Hill" finished 23rd in ratings for the week of April 27–May 4, 1998, with a Nielsen rating of 9.4, equivalent to approximately 9.2 million viewing households. It was the fourth highest-rated show on the Fox network that week, following The X-Files , King of the Hill , and Ally McBeal . [5]

The authors of the book I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide, Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood, thought well of the episode, stating: "A quite charming little adventure in which, in an effort to impress Bart, Homer undertakes a dangerous adventure and comes through successfully. It's nice because just for once, to all intents and purposes, Homer actually succeeds in something." [1]

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References

  1. 1 2 3 Martyn, Warren; Wood, Adrian (2000). "This Little Wiggy". BBC.co.uk . Retrieved 2007-11-01.
  2. 1 2 3 Gimple, Scott (1999). The Simpsons Forever!: A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family ...Continued . Harper Collins Publishers. p. 40. ISBN   0-06-098763-4.
  3. "King of the Hill" The Simpsons.com. Retrieved on November 1, 2007
  4. 1 2 3 Scully, Mike (2006). The Simpsons season 9 DVD commentary for the episode "King of the Hill" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  5. Associated Press (May 7, 1998). "'Merlin' magic works again for NBC". Sun-Sentinel . p. 4E.