Trash of the Titans

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"Trash of the Titans"
The Simpsons episode
Trash of the Titans.jpg
Promotional card, featuring Homer, U2, and Ray Patterson, a character voiced by Steve Martin
Episode no.Season 9
Episode 22
Directed by Jim Reardon
Written by Ian Maxtone-Graham
Production code5F09
Original air dateApril 26, 1998 (1998-04-26) [1]
Guest appearance(s)
Episode features
Couch gag The family appear in Edna Krabappel's classroom, where Bart is writing on the blackboard: "I will not mess with the opening credits". [1]
Commentary
Episode chronology
 Previous
"Girly Edition"
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"King of the Hill"
The Simpsons (season 9)
List of The Simpsons episodes

"Trash of the Titans" is the 22nd episode of The Simpsons ' ninth season. The 200th episode of the series overall, it originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 26, 1998. The episode, which was written by Ian Maxtone-Graham and directed by Jim Reardon, sees Homer Simpson run for the job of Springfield's Sanitation Commissioner. Steve Martin guest stars as Ray Patterson, the incumbent commissioner, while U2 play themselves after requesting an appearance on the show. [2]

<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 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.

Contents

Inspired by a friend's experience in politics, Maxtone-Graham decided to have Homer run for Sanitation Commissioner, although one draft of the episode saw him running for mayor. The staff also wanted the episode to be about trash, and created the concept of "Love Day" as a means of generating waste. The episode's resolution was discussed extensively by the staff, with one proposed idea being that Springfield would be raised up and the excess rubbish swept underneath it. The episode also features a parody of the song "The Candy Man" and an incident involving comedian Redd Foxx.

The Candy Man 1972 single by Sammy Davis, Jr.

"The Candy Man" is a song that originally appeared in the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. It was written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley specifically for the film. Although the original book by Roald Dahl contains lyrics adapted for other songs in the film, the lyrics to "The Candy Man" do not appear in the book. The soundtrack version of the song was sung by Aubrey Woods, who played Bill the candy store owner in the film.

Redd Foxx American comedian and actor

John Elroy Sanford, better known by his stage name Redd Foxx, was an American stand-up comedian and actor. Foxx gained success with his raunchy nightclub acts during the 1950s and 1960s. Known as the "King of the Party Records", he performed on more than 50 records in his lifetime. He also starred in TV shows Sanford and Son, The Redd Foxx Show and The Royal Family. His film projects included All the Fine Young Cannibals (1960), Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970), Norman... Is That You? (1976) and Harlem Nights (1989).

"Trash of the Titans" won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or Less), something the staff believe was due to the environmental message at the end. Over 10 years after the original broadcast, an airing of the episode in the United Kingdom courted controversy when it was aired on Channel 4 in April 2008 before the 9pm watershed, with the word "wanker" left unedited.

Emmy Award American television production award

An Emmy Award, or simply Emmy, is an American award that recognizes excellence in the television industry. It is presented at numerous annual events held throughout the calendar year, each honoring one of the various sectors of the television industry. The two ceremonies that receive the most media coverage are the Primetime Emmy Awards and the Daytime Emmy Awards, which recognize outstanding work in American primetime and daytime entertainment programming, respectively. Other notable Emmy events include those honoring national sports programming, national news and documentary shows, and technological and engineering achievements in television, including the Primetime Engineering Emmy Awards. Regional Emmy Awards are also presented throughout the country at various times through the year, recognizing excellence in local and statewide television. In addition, the International Emmy Awards honor excellence in TV programming produced and initially aired outside the United States.

Channel 4 British free-to-air television channel

Channel 4 is a British public-service free-to-air television network headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It began transmission on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA), the station is now owned and operated by Channel Four Television Corporation, a public corporation of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which was established in 1990 and came into operation in 1993. With the conversion of the Wenvoe transmitter group in Wales to digital terrestrial broadcasting on 31 March 2010, Channel 4 became a UK-wide television channel for the first time.

Wanker insult

Wanker, literally "one who wanks (masturbates)", is a general insult. It is a pejorative term of English origin common in Britain and other parts of the English-speaking world, including Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. It initially referred to an "onanist" and is synonymous with the word tosser.

The episode is dedicated to the memory of Linda McCartney, who appeared alongside her husband Paul in the episode "Lisa the Vegetarian." [1]

Linda McCartney American photographer

Linda Louise McCartney, Lady McCartney was an American musician, photographer, animal rights activist and entrepreneur. She was married to Paul McCartney of the Beatles. Linda was a professional photographer of celebrities and contemporary musicians. Her photos were also published in the book Linda McCartney's Sixties: Portrait of an Era in 1992.

Paul McCartney English singer-songwriter and composer, bass guitarist of The Beatles

Sir James Paul McCartney is an English singer, songwriter, musician, composer, and record and film producer who gained worldwide fame as co-lead vocalist and bassist for the Beatles. His songwriting partnership with John Lennon remains the most successful in history. After the group disbanded in 1970, he pursued an also successful solo career and formed the band Wings with his first wife, Linda, and Denny Laine.

"Lisa the Vegetarian" is the fifth episode in the seventh season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 15, 1995. In the episode, Lisa decides to stop eating meat after bonding with a lamb at a petting zoo. Her schoolmates and family members ridicule her for her beliefs, but with the help of Apu and Paul and Linda McCartney, she commits to vegetarianism.

Plot

A local department store announces the formation of a new August holiday called Love Day intended to boost sales. The Simpsons celebrate it, but the vast amount of packaging it produces causes the garbage to build up. When Homer takes it out, he fails to make it to the curb in time. As the garbage men drive away without collecting his trash, Homer angrily shouts insults at them, causing a fight that leads to the family's garbage service being cut off. Garbage gradually piles up on their front lawn and despite Marge's pleas, Homer refuses to apologize to the garbage men.

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.

Homer awakens one morning to find the pile of trash gone and believes he has beaten City Hall, only to learn that Marge wrote a letter of apology to the Springfield Sanitation Commissioner Ray Patterson, forging Homer's name. Homer sees the commissioner, demanding the letter be returned. Patterson does so and tries to be civil with Homer, but Homer insists he will fight the department and decides to run for Commissioner.

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.

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.

Homer's campaign starts badly with him being beaten up after interrupting U2's PopMart Tour concert, but picks up when he thinks of a slogan: "Can't someone else do it?" Homer spreads his message to the town and promises expensive services such as round-the-clock garbage service and sanitation workers doing all possible cleaning, leading to his landslide victory in the election. After being sworn in, he shows his plans by singing a parody of "The Candy Man" entitled "The Garbage Man."

However, fulfilling these promises proves costly and Mayor Quimby denounces Homer for spending the department's yearly budget in only a month. Homer gets cities all over the United States to pay him to store their excess garbage in an abandoned mine shaft on the outskirts of Springfield. Despite the budget crisis having ended and the workers receiving their salaries as promised, the garbage builds up underground and eventually erupts, pouring trash all over the town. At a town hall meeting, Homer is fired from his post and replaced with Ray Patterson, who declines reinstatement. With no other options left, Quimby moves the entire town five miles down the road.

Production

The production team wanted the episode to be about trash, [3] and show runner Mike Scully pitched the idea that Homer should run for office. [2] [3] Writer Ian Maxtone-Graham had a friend who had made their way in Chicago politics, through the Sanitation Commission, and so he decided that Homer should run for Sanitation Commissioner. [3] They then spent a lot of time trying to get to the point that Homer would have an "over-filled trash can," and through its extensive use of packaging, the concept of Love Day was formed. [3] Originally the episode saw Homer running for mayor, but this idea was abandoned. [2] The ending was talked about for a while, with the original idea being that the whole town would be raised up and the rubbish be swept underneath. [2] The ending was not intended to carry an environmental message, but it played well and is what the staff believe won the episode an Emmy. [3]

U2 contacted the show about doing a guest spot, rather than the other way around. The writers immediately wrote them one, in case they changed their minds. [2] They recorded their lines for the episode in October 1997. [4] The band's head of Principal Management Paul McGuinness and Susie Smith, an employee of Principal Management, also make brief appearances in the episode. [5] U2's drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. appears in the episode, although he has no dialogue. [1] Steve Martin guest stars as Ray Patterson. [1]

The episode marked the first appearance of Costington's department store, whose slogan is "Over a Century Without a Slogan." It took "a lot of wasted man-hours" to come up with both the name and slogan. [6]

Ray Patterson (Steve Martin) leaves the stage to the Sanford and Son theme music, in the reference to the Redd Foxx incident Redfoxxtott.png
Ray Patterson (Steve Martin) leaves the stage to the Sanford and Son theme music, in the reference to the Redd Foxx incident

The scene where Ray Patterson is reinstated (to which he enters and exits to the Sanford and Son theme song) was a reference to a moment that occurred during a stand up show of comedian Redd Foxx (who starred on Sanford and Son). During a show in Vegas, Redd Foxx came on stage to the Sanford and Son theme song, only to find that there were very few people in the audience. Foxx angrily stated that he refused to do a show with such a small audience and walked off the stage. The house orchestra, puzzled by Foxx's leaving, simply played him off with the Sanford and Son theme song again. [7] The same incident was the basis for a joke in "The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons," where Moe Szyslak walks onto the stage and, without breaking stride, walks off. [8]

Reception

In its original broadcast, "Trash of the Titans" finished 16th in ratings for the week of April 20–26, 1998, with a Nielsen rating of 10.5, equivalent to approximately 10.2 million viewing households. It was the highest-rated show on the Fox network that week, beating King of the Hill . [9]

This episode won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or Less) in 1998. [10] Jim Reardon won the Annie Award for "Outstanding Individual Achievement for Directing in an Animated Television Production". [11] The authors of the book I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide, Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood, said: "Although not a great episode, this one has a series of high points that keep you amused until the end." [1] In a 2006 article in USA Today , "Trash of the Titans" was highlighted among the six best episodes of The Simpsons season nine, along with "The Joy of Sect," "The Last Temptation of Krust," "The Cartridge Family," "Dumbbell Indemnity," and "Das Bus." [12]

During Toronto City Council deliberations over the proposal to turn the abandoned Adams Mine in Northern Ontario into a massive dump site for Toronto's garbage, then-councillors Jack Layton and Olivia Chow surprised their council colleagues by playing "Trash of the Titans." "It was absolutely stunning," Layton later told The Globe and Mail . "It was so accurate to what was going on." Layton, who would later become leader of Canada's New Democratic Party and Leader of the Official Opposition, called The Simpsons "the single most important influence on progressive social commentary in the world." [13]

In 2016, the episode received a new wave of commentary from observers of the US presidential election, who compared Homer's campaign to that of President Donald Trump. [14] [15] Stephen Sander wrote, "Homer makes crazy promises, and panders to the lowest common denominator in the citizens of Springfield, telling everyone what they want to hear in order to win. And he does win." [16]

Controversy

In 2008, the episode caused controversy in the United Kingdom, for use of the word "wanker." The word is first used by Adam Clayton, and later by Mr. Burns, at the end of the episode. While the word is not well known in the United States, where it generally means a self-indulgent person, it is considered offensive in the United Kingdom, where it is a slang term for one who engages in masturbation.

On April 15, 2008, "Trash of the Titans" was broadcast on Channel 4 at 6pm, with both mentions of the word broadcast. Ofcom, which deals with television complaints in the United Kingdom, received 31 complaints from viewers who felt that the episode should not have been shown before the 9pm watershed. Channel 4 said that the error was caused by a member of the compliance staff, who had incorrectly certified the program as suitable to be shown from 6pm. The error was not corrected by the acquisitions department. Ofcom said that while they were "concerned," it would not look into the incident any further because it was "an isolated incident." [17] [18]

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References

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  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Scully, Mike (2006). The Simpsons The Complete Ninth Season DVD commentary for the episode "Trash of the Titans" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Maxtone-Graham, Ian (2006). The Simpsons The Complete Ninth Season DVD commentary for the episode "Trash of the Titans" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  4. http://www.mtv.com/news/1435018/u2-meets-the-simpsons/
  5. Smith, Yeardley; Scully, Mike (2006). The Simpsons The Complete Ninth Season DVD commentary for the episode "Trash of the Titans" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  6. Groening, Matt; Scully, Mike (2006). The Simpsons The Complete Ninth Season DVD commentary for the episode "Trash of the Titans" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  7. Meyer, George; Scully, Mike; Maxtone-Graham, Ian; Groening Matt (2006). The Simpsons The Complete Ninth Season DVD commentary for the episode "Trash of the Titans" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  8. Scully, Mike; Appel, Richard; Dean Moore, Steven (2006). The Simpsons The Complete Ninth Season DVD commentary for the episode "The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  9. Associated Press (April 30, 1998). "'Merlin' works ratings magic". Rocky Mountain News . p. 14D.
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  15. Peckerar, Michael (2017-01-29). "The Simpsons Episode That Perfectly Sums Up Donald Trump". YMBNews. Retrieved 2017-03-06.
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