Well it’s Season Ten, and we need another crazy occupation for Homer to try out for one episode. What’s left? He’s been a grease entrepreneur, a musician, an astronaut, and an inventor. Hmm. Bodyguard? Yeah, let’s go with bodyguard.
Things start off, as they often do, with the family sitting around on the couch watching terrible television. This week they’re checking out a Roger Corman directed Titanic movie, which from the bad special effects to the nudity, was a spot on parody. But right before the vengeful ship eats our protagonists, they cut to commercial and the family watches an ad for Springfield’s Bi-Monthly Sci-Fi Convention. Or the BiMonSciFiCon! It’s going to have big name stars like Mark Hamill and Alf, and even have a cage-fight between some Cylons and C-3PO and R2-D2. They all look at each other, shrug about the inevitability that they’ll be going there, and get ready to go to a con!
So the family head down to the convention center and we’re treated to a bunch of sight gags! We see no one in Springfield wanting Neil Armstrong’s autograph, since it’s all about Godzilla and Gort. We also briefly see Comic Book Guy have a meet-cute with some girl, but before the episode goes down that route and become a Comic Book Guy episode we cut over to Mayor Quimby mocking all the nerds at the con while introducing Mark Hamill. And after that rousing introduction, Mark gets into his true purpose, selling the good people of Springfield on Sprint. They’re not really into this sales pitch though, so he decides to reenact some scenes from Star Wars, and asks for a volunteer to be Obi-Wan. Which promptly causes a massive riot in the Hall. And since Quimby’s bodyguards are too busy looking at clouds outside, they’re screwed. That is until Homer springs into action, and starts kicking some nerd-ass, saving the Mayor and Mark.
When they finally get outside Mark runs off, and Quimby fires his bodyguards. He then offers Homer a job as his bodyguard, since his nerd-kicking was so impressive. Homer obviously agrees, and Marge is obviously concerned, but not so much that she can talk Homer out of it. So Homer heads to bodyguard training school, run by a drill sergeant named Leavelle (who is also voiced by Mark Hamill), and he gets to work. Homer is a pretty terrible bodyguard, right from the get-go, but it seems like everyone else there is in the same boat. But their checks clear, so they officially graduate, and are rewarded with the drill sergeant singing the theme song from that Bodyguard movie with Whitney Houston.
So Homer is an official bodyguard, and starts showing off for his family, wearing a suit with aviators and nerve-pinching everyone who talks back to him. And then the job actually begins, and Homer realizes how awesome it is. All he basically does is drive Quimby around so he can get bribes from all the local businesses, while Homer gets free beer and snacks. Win-win! That is until they make their stop at the Legitimate Businessman’s Social Club to meet with Fat Tony. Apparently Fat Tony has taken over the contract to provide Springfield schools with their milk. Which should be a red flag in and of itself, but Homer doesn’t really seem to notice anything is wrong until he accidently barges into the “milking room.” And what he finds inside is a bunch of rats getting milked.
This is a bridge too far for Homer, who runs out of the meeting and heads straight over to the Elementary School. And he’s horrified to see everyone drinking their precious rat-milk. Even his kids. He freaks out, and makes Lisa and Bart promise not to drink milk (Milhouse is allowed to go nuts though) and he vows to end this shady deal. He then heads over to talk with Mayor Quimby, who is awkwardly walking on a treadmill next to an open window. Homer tries to get Quimby to agree to cut Fat Tony loose, but Quimby decline. This results in Homer having a hissy-fit, and accidently turning the speed of the treadmill up, causing Quimby to fly out the window. Homer saves him though, and in exchange for not having the Mayor he’s sworn to protect plummet to his death, Quimby agrees to get rid of the rat-milk.
So Quimby shows up at the Social Club with the police, Homer, and the press to proudly shut down Fat Tony’s operations, once and for all. Or at least until he posts bail. Which becomes a problem when Homer starts mocking Fat Tony on live TV, causing Fat Tony to swear bloody vengeance on the Mayor. And that’s probably something that you should be concerned about when you’re the Mayor’s bodyguard, especially when Fat Tony immediacy posts bail and gets out. But Homer and Mayor Quimby aren’t going to let a little thing like thing like possible assassination spoil their good times, so the two still head out that night to watch a dinner-theater production of Guys and Dolls, staring Mark Hamill as Nathan Detroit!
Homer and Quimby get settled in for the show, and Homer begins scanning the crowd, quickly realizing that Fat Tony is just blatantly there, watching them. Homer heads over to threaten Fat Tony, but it doesn’t really go that well. And then the show begins, and we get to see Mark Hamill straight up dressed like Luke Skywalker play Nathan Detroit while singing Star Wars parody lyrics of Luck Be A Lady, while other times they just play songs that aren’t even in that show. And as Homer and Quimby are enjoying the show, Louie shows up with a knife, ready to kill Quimby, only to be mistaken as a cast-member, and pushed out to dance. Louie and Homer then fights for a while, and Homer triumphantly beats the assassin! Only to find Fat Tony has been busy bludgeoning Quimby with a bat the whole time. But after a stern talking to, Fat Tony gives up on the whole vendetta, and Homer is presumably fired to return things to the status quo.
I don’t know about this episode. There are some great gags in it, but as I’ve been alluding to the whole recap, it’s pretty generic. It’s like “Homer gets a wacky new job” is an episode template, and this one just quickly replaced some stuff to make it an episode. Sometimes this works for me, kind of like how a lot of the Lisa Episodes are really similar to each other, but this one kind of falls flat for me. Don’t get me wrong, seeing Mark Hamill sing “Luke Be a Jedi Tonight,” or the people of Springfield interact with a sweaty Sci-Fi con is pretty great, but the episode as a whole just doesn’t work for me. I just don’t even have anything else to say. It’s just one of those episodes.
Take Away: It’s super easy to be a bodyguard. And Sci-Fi cons are hotbeds for riots.
“Mayored to the Mob” was written by Ron Hauge and directed by Swinton O Scott III, 1998.