|"The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson"|
|The Simpsons episode|
|Episode no.||Season 9|
|Directed by||Jim Reardon|
|Written by||Ian Maxtone-Graham|
|Original air date||September 21, 1997|
|Couch gag||The Simpsons are dressed as the Harlem Globetrotters, showing off elaborate basketball tricks to the tune of "Sweet Georgia Brown".|
"The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson" is the first episode of The Simpsons ' ninth season. It was originally broadcast on the Fox network in the United States on September 21, 1997, as the 179th episode of the series. The episode features the Simpson family traveling to Manhattan to recover the family car, which was taken by Barney Gumble and abandoned outside the World Trade Center, where it has been repeatedly posted with parking tickets, and disabled with a parking boot.
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.
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.
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.
Writer Ian Maxtone-Graham was interested in making an episode where the Simpson family travels to New York to retrieve their misplaced car. Executive producers Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein suggested that the car be found in Austin J. Tobin Plaza at the World Trade Center, as they wanted a location that would be widely known. Great lengths were taken to make a detailed replica of the borough of Manhattan. The episode received generally positive reviews, and has since been on accolade lists of The Simpsons episodes. The "You're Checkin' In" musical sequence won two awards. Because of the World Trade Center's main role, the episode was taken off syndication in many areas following the September 11 attacks, but had come back into syndication by 2006.
Ian Howes Maxtone-Graham is an American television writer and producer. He has formerly written for Saturday Night Live (1992–1995) and The Simpsons (1995–2012), as well as serving as a co-executive producer and consulting producer for the latter.
William Lloyd Oakley is an American television writer and producer, known for his work on the animated comedy series The Simpsons. Oakley and Josh Weinstein became best friends and writing partners at high school; Oakley then attended Harvard University and was Vice President of the Harvard Lampoon. He worked on several short-term media projects, including writing for the variety show Sunday Best, but was then unemployed for a long period.
Josh Weinstein is an American television writer and producer, known for his work on the animated comedy series The Simpsons. Weinstein and Bill Oakley became best friends and writing partners at St. Albans High School; Weinstein then attended Stanford University and was editor-in-chief of the Stanford Chaparral. He worked on several short-term media projects, including writing for the variety show Sunday Best, but was then unemployed for a long period.
At Moe's Tavern, Moe informs Homer and his friends that one of them must be a designated driver, and Barney loses the choosing draw. After Barney drives the drunken men home in Homer's car, Homer allows him to use it to drive himself home, expecting Barney to return it the following morning. In his distressed state, Barney disappears with the car. Two months later, Barney returns to Moe's Tavern, unable to recall where he left the car. Homer later receives a letter from the New York City government, which informs him that his car has been found parked in the World Trade Center plaza and will be destroyed if not picked up in 72 hours. Homer reveals to the family that he had once been to New York before when he was 17 years old, and had a horrible experience. Marge and the children persuade Homer to go retrieve the car, and he reluctantly agrees.
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.
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.
The terms "designated driver" and "designated driving", refer to the selection of a person who remains sober as the responsible driver of a vehicle whilst others have been allowed to drink alcoholic beverages.
When the family arrives in Manhattan, they decide to split up. Upon arrival at his car, Homer discovers it has been issued many parking tickets and has been wheel clamped. While waiting for parking officer Steve Grabowski to come and remove the clamp, Homer drinks an excessive amount of crab juice from a food vendor and needs to urinate, but is afraid to leave his car behind. After several hours of holding it in and failing to urinate in a mailbox, he finally goes to the restroom at the South Tower's indoor observation deck, but discovers that it is out of order and must use the one at the top of the North Tower. While he is doing that, the officer arrives at the car and, finding no one present, issues another ticket and leaves; Homer's subsequent "D'oh!" echoes across the city. Meanwhile, the rest of the family tours the Statue of Liberty, Little Italy, Chinatown, and the Empire State Building. Bart leaves the group to visit the offices of Mad magazine, and is in awe when he sees Alfred E. Neuman. The family attends a Broadway musical about the Betty Ford Clinic, and then takes a carriage through Central Park to where they are planning to meet Homer.
Manhattan, , is the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City, coextensive with New York County, one of the original counties of the U.S. state of New York. Manhattan serves as the city's economic and administrative center, cultural identifier, and historical birthplace. The borough consists mostly of Manhattan Island, bounded by the Hudson, East, and Harlem rivers; several small adjacent islands; and Marble Hill, a small neighborhood now on the U.S. mainland, physically connected to the Bronx and separated from the rest of Manhattan by the Harlem River. Manhattan Island is divided into three informally bounded components, each aligned with the borough's long axis: Lower, Midtown, and Upper Manhattan.
A wheel clamp, also known as wheel boot, parking boot, or Denver boot, is a device that is designed to prevent motor vehicles from being moved. In its most common form, it consists of a clamp that surrounds a vehicle wheel, designed to prevent removal of both itself and the wheel.
Windows on the World was a complex of venues on the top floors of the North Tower of the original World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan. It included a restaurant called Windows on the World, a smaller restaurant called Wild Blue, a bar called The Greatest Bar on Earth, and rooms for private functions. Developed by restaurateur Joe Baum and designed initially by Warren Platner, Windows on the World occupied 50,000 square feet of space in the North Tower. The restaurants operated from April 19, 1976 until September 11, 2001 when they were destroyed in the September 11 attacks.
Upon returning to the car, Homer realizes he must make it to Central Park to find his family and leave before it gets dark. Ignoring the wheel clamp, he tries to accelerate and in the process destroys the car's fender. Homer stops by a road construction crew and steals a jackhammer so he can use it to remove the clamp. The car is freed from the clamp, but further damaged as a result. Homer races to Central Park and reunites with his family. While driving back to Springfield, the family reflects on their wonderful time, while Homer's hatred for New York remains.
Fender is the American English term for the part of an automobile, motorcycle or other vehicle body that frames a wheel well. Its primary purpose is to prevent sand, mud, rocks, liquids, and other road spray from being thrown into the air by the rotating tire. Fenders are typically rigid and can be damaged by contact with the road surface.
A jackhammer is a pneumatic or electro-mechanical tool that combines a hammer directly with a chisel. It was invented by William Mcreavy, who then sold the patent to Charles Brady King. Hand-held jackhammers are generally powered by compressed air, but some are also powered by electric motors. Larger jackhammers, such as rig mounted hammers used on construction machinery, are usually hydraulically powered. They are typically used to break up rock, pavement, and concrete.
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.
Writer Ian Maxtone-Graham, a former resident of New York, had conceived the idea of having the family travel to the city to locate their missing car and believed it to be "a classic Manhattan problem".Bill Oakley, who had visited the World Trade Center when the construction of the towers was completed in 1973, suggested parking the car in the plaza of the buildings. Josh Weinstein observed that, "When we realized that there was a plaza between the two towers, we knew it was a perfect spot to have Homer's car."
The animators were told to make a detailed replica of the city. David Silverman was sent to Manhattan to take hundreds of pictures of the city and areas around the World Trade Center.When he returned, Lance Wilder and his team spent time creating new scenes and backgrounds, incorporating small details such as signs and hundreds of extras that would correctly illustrate the city. Oakley and Weinstein were pleased with the final results, and both noted that the buildings, streets, and even elevator cabins were detailed closely to their real life counterparts. In the final scene, as the family is seen driving away from New York on the George Washington Bridge, the credits roll with the "camera" gradually pulling back from a view of the car, to a view of the side, and then on to a panorama view of the city; as if the whole sequence was being shot from a helicopter. To achieve this effect, a computer model of the bridge pulling out was made and then printed out. With the print outs, photocopies were made traced onto the animation cels. The process took a long time and was expensive, as the use of computer animation was not widespread when the episode was produced. Director Jim Reardon wanted to replicate films that ended in a similar way, and commented, "I remembered that every movie located in New York would pull back if you were leaving town on a bridge." Shortly before the episode aired, the production staff contacted Fox to make sure they would not run commercials during the credits.
Ken Keeler, who wrote the lyrics for the "You're Checkin' In" musical number, spent two hours in a room alone to write the song. Upon sharing the lyrics with the rest of the production staff, some revisions were made, although little was changed. Bill Oakley was unsatisfied with the part of the musical where the actor sings, "Hey, that's just my aspirin!", claiming that a better line could have been written.
The song used during Duffman's first and subsequent appearances is "Oh Yeah" by Yello, popularized in the final scene of the film Ferris Bueller's Day Off .The Original Famous Ray's Pizza shop Homer sees is a parody of independently owned pizza stores that carry the name "Ray" in their name. The musical sequence played during the Flushing Meadows segment is a stylistic parody of the piece "Flower Duet" from the opera Lakmé by Leo Delibes. When the traveling bus passes some Hasidic Jews, Bart mistakes them for ZZ Top, and when he visits Mad magazine's offices, he sees Alfred E. Neuman, the Spy vs. Spy characters, and cartoonist Dave Berg. The actor in the musical number "You're Checkin' In" was based on Robert Downey Jr., who was battling a cocaine addiction during the time of the episode creation, just as the character in the musical was. The sequence where Homer races alongside the carriage in Central Park was a reference to a similar scene in the film Ben-Hur . The final scene when the family is crossing the George Washington Bridge uses a version of the song "Theme from New York, New York", which continues to play throughout the credits.
Several cultural references are made during Homer's flashback to his previous visit to New York City. During the entire flashback, "The Entertainer", a piece made famous by the film The Sting , is played.Writer Ian Maxtone-Graham had brought the piece to the attention of director Jim Reardon and asked him to try to fit the piece into the flashback. Maxtone-Graham later commented, "It turned out that the music and the visual gags fit each other perfectly." In the beginning of the scene, Homer passes by three pornographic film theaters, which are playing The Godfather's Parts, II, Jeremiah's Johnson, and Five Sleazy Pieces, plays on the names of The Godfather Part II , Jeremiah Johnson , and Five Easy Pieces , respectively. A character resembling Woody Allen can be seen during the flashback, pouring trash out of his window onto Homer.
In its original broadcast, "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson" finished 18th in ratings for the week of September 15–21, 1997, with a Nielsen rating of 10.7, equivalent to approximately 10.5 million viewing households. It was the highest-rated show on the Fox network that week, beating King of the Hill 's season two opener "How to Fire a Rifle Without Really Trying".
The episode was mostly well received. The song "You're Checkin' In" won a 1998 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music and Lyrics, ' 300th episode milestone in 2003, Entertainment Weekly ranked the episode at number 13 on the list of their 25 favorite episodes, and AskMen ranked the episode at number seven on their top ten; in both cases it was the second-most-recent installment chosen to co-inhabit the lists. IGN named the episode the best of the ninth season, claiming "this is a very funny episode that started season 9 off on a strong note". Since the release of the season nine DVD box set, the episode has been highlighted by newspaper reviewers to show excellence of the season.and an Annie Award for Outstanding Music in an Animated Television Production in the same year. In honor of The Simpsons
Ian Jones and Steve Williams, writers for British review website Off the Telly, claimed that the episode "ditched all pretence of a plot and went flat out for individual, unconnected sight gags and vignettes". The two noted that it was their least favorite debut episode for a season of The Simpsons. wasn't shown for reasons of taste and has never appeared on terrestrial television in Britain", referring to a BBC Two schedule of the ninth season, which began in October 2001.In a separate article in Off the Telly, Jones and Williams write that the episode "...
Due to the prominence of the World Trade Center in the plot, the episode was removed from syndication after the September 11 attacks.By 2006, the episode had come back into syndication in some areas; however, parts of the episode were often edited out. One previously such edited item is a scene of two men arguing across Tower 1 and Tower 2, where a man from Tower 2 claims, "They stick all the jerks in Tower 1." Co-executive producer Bill Oakley commented in retrospect that the line was "regrettable". In 2019, a hand-drawn cel from the episode, depicting the two towers, was given to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, in what the curator termed a "hilarious and tender" donation.
Some conspiracy theorists believe that a scene in the episode foreshadows the September 11 attacks: in it, Lisa holds a brochure for a $9 bus fare with the World Trade Center shown in the background.Showrunner Al Jean said in an interview with The New York Times in 2018, "There is a frame where there's a brochure that says New York at $9 a day, and behind the nine are the twin towers. So they look like an 11, and it looks like a 9/11. That one is a completely bizarre, strange thing." Bill Oakley, the episode's showrunner, reacted to a New York Observer article in 2010 via Twitter by saying, "$9 was picked as a comically cheap fare...To make an ad for it, the artist logically chose to include a silhouette of NYC. I signed off on the design. It's pretty self-explanatory. And I will grant that it's eerie given that it's on the only episode of any series ever that had an entire act of World Trade Center jokes."
Abraham Jebediah "Abe" Simpson II, better known as Grampa Simpson, is a main character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He made his first appearance in the episode entitled "Grampa and the Kids", a one-minute Simpsons short on The Tracey Ullman Show, before the debut of the television show in 1989.
"Burns, Baby Burns" is the fourth episode of The Simpsons' eighth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 17, 1996. In the episode, Mr. Burns reunites with his long lost son named Larry. They at first get along well, but Mr. Burns sees that his son had turned out to be an oaf. It was directed by Jim Reardon and was the first episode written by Ian Maxtone-Graham. It guest starred Rodney Dangerfield as Larry Burns.
"Mr. Plow" is the ninth episode of The Simpsons' fourth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 19, 1992. In the episode, Homer buys a snow plow and starts a business plowing driveways. It is a huge success, and inspired by this, Barney Gumble starts a rival company and quickly puts Homer out of business. The episode was written by Jon Vitti and directed by Jim Reardon. The episode was well received, with some critics calling it one of the best in the show's history. In 1993, Dan Castellaneta won his second Emmy Award for "Outstanding Voice-Over Performance" for this episode. The episode was also submitted in the "Outstanding Comedy Series" category although ultimately it was not nominated.
"Homer's Phobia" is the fifteenth episode in the eighth season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 16, 1997. In the episode, Homer dissociates himself from new family friend John after discovering that John is gay. Homer fears that John will have a negative influence on his son Bart and decides to ensure Bart's heterosexuality by taking him hunting.
"Trilogy of Error" is the eighteenth episode of The Simpsons' twelfth season, and the 266th episode overall. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 29, 2001. In the episode, Homer's rush to the hospital to re-attach his severed thumb, Lisa's rush to school to win the science fair, and Bart's run-in with an illegal fireworks scheme are interconnected as each act tells the events of the same day, but from a different point of view.
"Tennis the Menace" is the twelfth episode of the twelfth season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 11, 2001. In the episode, the Simpsons build a tennis court in their backyard and are ridiculed by the entire town because of Homer's inferior tennis ability. Homer therefore tries to please Marge by entering the two into a tournament, but they quickly turn into rivals when Marge replaces Homer with Bart as her partner.
"Simpsons Tall Tales" is the twenty-first episode and season finale of The Simpsons' twelfth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on May 20, 2001. In the episode, Homer refuses to pay a five dollar airport tax to fly to Delaware, which forces the family to ride in a livestock car of a train instead. There they meet a singing hobo who tells three tall tales which include Homer as Paul Bunyan, Lisa as Connie Appleseed and Bart and Nelson as Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn respectively.
"Lisa Gets an "A"" is the seventh episode of The Simpsons' tenth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 22, 1998. In the episode, Lisa cheats on a test for which she fails to study and receives an A+++ grade, but becomes guilt-ridden. Meanwhile, Homer buys a lobster with the intention of fattening him up to eat. However, he becomes attached to it and decides to keep it as a pet named Pinchy.
"Homer Simpson in: "Kidney Trouble"" is the eighth episode of The Simpsons' tenth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on December 6, 1998. In the episode Grampa's kidneys explode, leaving him in urgent need of a donor. His son Homer initially agrees to donate one of his kidneys, but after hearing of side effects of only having one kidney, he begins to have second thoughts about the operation.
"Make Room for Lisa" is the sixteenth episode of The Simpsons' tenth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 28, 1999. In the episode, while visiting the Smithsonian expedition, Homer Simpson meets a businesswoman who convinces him to build a cell phone tower in the Simpsons house, making it take up Lisa's room. Lisa is forced to share Bart's room, but the stress of living in the same room as Bart gives her stomach aches. Homer and Lisa decide to visit a New Age store, where the owner convinces them to go on a spiritual journey by lying in a sensory deprivation tank for a prolonged amount of time.
"22 Short Films About Springfield" is the twenty-first episode of The Simpsons' seventh season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 14, 1996. It was written by Richard Appel, David S. Cohen, Jonathan Collier, Jennifer Crittenden, Greg Daniels, Brent Forrester, Dan Greaney, Rachel Pulido, Steve Tompkins, Josh Weinstein, Bill Oakley, and Matt Groening, with the writing being supervised by Daniels. The episode was directed by Jim Reardon. Phil Hartman guest starred as Lionel Hutz and the hospital board chairman.
"Days of Wine and D'oh'ses" is the eighteenth episode of the eleventh season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 9, 2000. In the episode, Barney realizes how much of a pathetic drunk he is after watching his birthday party video and decides to give up alcohol forever, which upsets his friend Homer. Meanwhile, Bart and Lisa work together to take a memorable photo for a new phone book cover contest. The episode was written by cast member Dan Castellaneta and his wife Deb Lacusta. Several staff members opposed the idea of Barney becoming sober because they did not think his character change would be funny. Several critics, including Chris Turner, were also not fond of Barney's change.
"The Blunder Years" is the fifth episode of The Simpsons’ thirteenth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on December 9, 2001. The episode sees Homer, after being hypnotized by the hypnotist Mesmerino while having dinner at the restaurant Pimento Grove, reminded by a repressed traumatic experience from his childhood. The Simpsons set out to find the corpse that triggered Homer's psychological trauma, which evolves into a murder mystery later in the episode.
"The Parent Rap" is the second episode and official premiere of the thirteenth season of The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 11, 2001. In the episode, Bart and his father, Homer, are sentenced by the cruel judge Constance Harm to be tethered to each other as a result of Bart stealing Police Chief Wiggum's car. Eventually, Homer's wife, Marge, is fed up with the punishment and cuts the rope, which instead leads to Judge Harm sentencing them to have their heads and hands locked up in wooden stocks.
"The Trouble with Trillions" is the twentieth 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 April 5, 1998. It was written by Ian Maxtone-Graham and directed by Swinton O. Scott III. The episode sees Homer being sent by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to try to obtain a trillion dollar bill that Mr. Burns failed to deliver to Europe during the post-war era.
"Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy" is the tenth episode of The Simpsons' sixth season. It was first broadcast on the Fox network in the United States on December 4, 1994. In the episode, Homer and Marge's sex life is struggling, but Grampa perks things up with a homemade revitalizing tonic. He and Homer go on the road to sell their elixir, and Grampa reveals that Homer’s conception was unintentional.
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