Oh boy. Look what washed up today. A football episode full of weird and needless cameos, two of my least favorite things? Huzzah?
We start things off with something I assume everybody can relate to. Having to endure a field trip to the post office, also known as the most boring thing in the world. The Postmaster does his best to make it fun for the kids, which is a pretty Herculean task, and all he ends up teaching them about it zip codes, murder sprees, and the fact that mailmen steal your birthday money from cards. Which wasn’t really that entertaining for the kids. But he makes it up a bit by taking them to the dead-letter room where they’re all allowed to take one piece of undeliverable mail home. And Bart unfortunately pulls a coupon book.
Obviously a ten-year-old doesn’t really have any interest in a coupon book, so he gives it to Homer as a birthday present. Homer is stoked, even though it becomes clear that the coupons are all pretty terrible. But that’s irrelevant, because Homer is excited and heads out for a tango lesson, some terrible pizza, and a nice refreshing colonic. However, before he gets to all that, he stops by a garage to get his wheels balanced, which obviously leads to the mechanic claiming Homer needs four new tires, and a whole bunch of needless crap.
So Homer has to sit in the waiting room, on his birthday, defeated, as he struggles to keep his sanity. And that’s helped when a fellow sucker wanders into the waiting room, Wally Kogan. Homer and Wally hit it off pretty quickly, and decide to go grab a beer together at Moe’s, since the mechanics just keep laughing at them. And it turns out it was fate that Wally walked into Homer’s life, because we find that he’s a travel agent with a charter bus and free tickets to the Super Bowl, which happens to be in the next week or so. He then offers Homer the tickets and the bus, as long as he finds enough people to fill it. So Homer has a mission! We also get the ridiculous gag where they keep holding beers up to their lips and saying the names of the teams and the presidents, as if they were planning on airing this episode every year with updated names. Which baffled me as a kid.
Homer quickly gets to work, and ends up roping basically every male secondary character into the trip, even people whose names he doesn’t actually know. And once they have all the dumb guys in town in one place, they pile onto the bus, and head out to the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, Marge and Lisa need a plot, and they decide the only thing to do is make arts and crafts. So they start going through a bunch of craft-kits that they have, and Lisa shoots down the ones involving leather or clay. However she does find something called Vincent Price’s Egg Magic, which is the obvious winner.
Unfortunately we can’t just stick around with whatever weirdness is going to be in that Vincent Price product, and we have to go look at the Springfield guys get to the Super Bowl. They get out of the bus, having made it disgusting, and start wandering around the fair that’s grown up around the stadium. We get a bunch of weird cameos from football players, like Rosey Grier hosting some sort of religious sermon in the Porta-Chapel, Troy Aikman doing caricatures, and Dan Marino tossing spirals to people.
Snooze. Let’s get back to the eggs! We cut back to the kitchen and see Lisa and Marge painting goofy little faces on some eggs. And when they’re done, the only thing left to do is attach the painted eggs onto some little plastic feet. However, it turns out the feet are missing! Oh no! So Marge calls up the company, and talks to either a recording of Vincent Price, or he’s survived death and is some sort of metaphysical monster. Either way, they order some feet, and screw with the people who actually care about what state the Simpsons live in my acting like it was about to be Ohio, but it turns into Oh-hi-ya Maude! So great.
Sadly that’s the end of the egg plot though, so let’s go back to the Super Bowl, where things aren’t going well. Turns out, as we learned earlier, Wally is a sucker, and the tickets he have aren’t real, which is proven by the fact that they don’t have the hologram, they claim a team called the Spungos is playing, and they’re printed on some sort of cracker. And the men of Springfield obviously respond calmly and with sanity. Psych! They start beating up Homer and Wally. However Homer isn’t ready to give up, and talks the guys into sneaking into the game. So they push over some guards and start running through the stadium, only to be caught immediately and put in a detention facility, where they continue to beat up Homer and Wally.
We’re then treated to a hilariously skanky Super Bowl ad for the Catholic Church, which was truly hilarious. But after that’s over we cut back to the idiots in Super Bowl jail. They struggle to get out of the cell to watch the game, and the day is saved when Dolly Parton comes wandering by, and happens to know Wally. She busts them out of their cell before flying off to the Halftime Show, leaving the Springfieldians free to run around hooting and hollering.
They start looking for somewhere to watch the game, and just happen upon an empty private box. They flood inside, and start eating and drinking, since everything about a football game that isn’t the actual game is far more interesting. However, things hit a snag when the owner of the box shows up, and turns out to be billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch. He summons goons to attack our heroes, who run off again into the stadium, only to get swept up by the winning team. So they missed the game, but they get to party with the winner, and apparently steal some rings. The episode then ends with the hilarious nonsensical ending with John Madden and Pat Summerall recapping the episode, which is my job, before getting a bus ride home with Vincent Price, even though that “doesn’t make a lick of sense.”
This episode. I don’t know, it doesn’t work for me, but it could be because it revolves around something I find so ridiculous. Stories about football and the Super Bowl aren’t really going to resonate with me, and this episode really didn’t have that many great jokes in it, at least as soon as they get on the football path. I really love the colonic joke, but once Wally shows up the episode becomes a pretty bad bore. Except for Rupert Murdoch, that stuff was hilarious, and I love that they actually got him to voice this weird caricature of himself. There is one caveat, and that’s the ridiculous egg subplot. You may have thought I was joking while discussing it in the rest of the article, but I really love that silly-ass plot. It’s so dumb, and the bizarre inclusion of Vincent Price, who may or may not be alive, was so funny and strange, and I love it so much.
Take Away: If you’re going cross-country to watch some stupid football game, maybe check to see if your tickets are legit. Oh, and don’t trust any product endorsed by Vincent Price.
“Sunday, Cruddy Sunday” was written by Tom Martin, George Meyer, Brian Scully and Mike Scully and directed by Steven Dean Moore, 1999.