Hey folks, welcome back to another week of Simpsons episodes. And boy is it a weird week. We just happened to pull five really odd episodes in a row, and we’re just going to have to deal with what we’ve been dealt. So let’s learn about politics!
We start the episode off with the incredibly solid joke of some sort of the Three Stooges, the later years, where we see how rough things are for the Stooges in old age. They have to deal with dementia, lack of health insurance, and the effects of a stroke on the body, which certainly made me laugh. That’s immediately followed by an insane joke where a Joe Millionaire promo comes on the screen and Homer eats it. Hey folks, remember Joe Millionaire? No? Hey, I barely did either!
Anyway, once Homer’s done mocking his network, the whole family become shocked that their house is shaking. They assume that it’s an earthquake, and all run outside to see what’s going on, only to find that it’s not an earthquake, it’s a goddamn jumbo jet passing right over their house. Turns out that the flight-paths have been changed, and now there are all sorts of airline traffic coming right over their house, dangerously close.
The family can’t really figure out what to do about this though, so they decide to acclimate to life with constant jet noise. Which does not go well. They’re all slowly being driven mad by the noise, so they break down and head to the airport to formally request a change of the flight-paths. Unfortunately the government worker refuses to be helpful, revealing to us that it was a mandate from Mayor Quimby because the previous flight-path was messing with his affairs, and they’re basically told to just live with it.
But that clearly wasn’t working last time, so they decide to do the unthinkable, and try to move. So the hire Cookie Kwan, and start trying to sell the house, while hoping that no one notices the horrible plane noise. Which doesn’t go well, no one wants to give them a shot, and Cookie eventually gives up, leaving them trapped in their horrible house. Luckily Lisa has one last idea though, that they go talk to their Congressman.
So the family somehow get an audience with Horace Wilcox, their Congressman, and tell him about their plight. And he’s deeply moved. That is until he suffers a fatal heart attack while talking with them and dies. So that plan is ruined too! But the family isn’t going to give up, so after shooting down Homer’s murder-suicide pact idea, they decide to keep doing the Congressman idea, but by influencing a new person to run, specifically to help them. And obviously their choice for candidate is Krusty the Clown.
Bart then heads out to talk to Krusty, which is always the easiest thing in the world to do, and while Krusty is initially put off by the idea of running for Congress, he gets into it after Bart explains that he could use his Congressional power to get past the FCC and all his other legal woes. So Krusty heads to the creepy Republican castle and meets with the secret council. And after they discuss renaming everything in America after Ronald Reagan, they talk about the Congressional race and formally nominate Krusty.
Krusty then begins to campaign, and things aren’t going great. He’s pretty rough around the edges, and manages to insult both a group of Latino voters and women voters. Which isn’t a good idea. His opponent also starts pulling up all sorts of old racist sketches to make him seem horrible. So things aren’t going well. But Krusty starts to actually turn the campaign around, and actually relate to the common man, and his campaign slowly starts to change.
And Krusty rides all that momentum to an insane Fox News debate, which is obviously going to be in his favor. They make Krusty’s Democratic opponent seems like a devil-worshipping monster, and it gives Krusty the boost he needed to win the election. Which seemed so incredibly accurate, it was crazy.
So Krusty’s now a Congressman, and immediately after getting sworn in he decides to get to work. He heads to Capitol Hill with a new bill to re-zone airline traffic, ready to fulfill his only campaign promise. At which point he promptly learns that Congress never gets anything done, and that the system is basically arranged to keep new representatives from actually fulfilling anything that they promised to do in their campaign.
Instead Krusty is stuck into the political machine, being put on stupid committees and treated like a fraternity pledge. And when the Simpsons show up to try and hold his feet to the fire and make him follow through on his promise, he reveals that the system has already broken him, and that he’s already depressed. But the day is saved when some weird janitor who is apparently Walter Mondale shows up and teaches the Simpsons how to play the political game. He gets them set on the path, and the Simpsons eventually start blackmailing, getting rival Congressmen drunk, and attaching shady rider to bills, ultimately getting Krusty’s bill passed! So the flights are changed, Krusty’s faith in government has been fixed, and I guess he’s still a Congressman?
Yeah I guess this episode is okay. It’s just kind of weird. Of all the characters, why was Krusty picked to be the one that the Simpsons force to run for Congress to fit their needs? They barely even take advantage of it being Krusty. It honestly could have been anyone else. Other than the opponent using old racist Krusty sketches in attack ads, they don’t really do anything with the plot that needed to be Krusty. You could stick Mr. Burns, Mayor Quimby, or anyone else into this plot and it would have worked perfectly. Really all that putting Krusty into this episode does is make it more confusing, because the episode doesn’t end with him being recalled or anything, so I guess things didn’t reset. I really don’t remember Krusty ever being a Congressman again, but maybe I’m wrong. But if I’m not, how weird is that? They just never mention this episode again? I don’t know if it works that way, so I guess I’ll find out, but if they never do bring up this episode and Krusty having a drastic life-change, it’ll feel weird.
Take Away: Congress is incredibly inefficient, unless you’re doing shady things to expedite the process.
“Mr. Spritz Goes to Washington” was written by John Swartzwelder and directed by Lance Kramer, 2003.