Rating Game

Best Episodes of 'The Simpsons'

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The Orpheum Theatre

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Bill Mayeroff

Entertainment Panelist

1. "Who Shot Mr. Burns." The best comedic mystery story ever written.

2. "A Star is Burns." This is the episode where Barney wins the film festival. Jon Lovitz, as Jay Sherman the Critic is one of the funniest cameos in Simpsons history, incurring the wrath of Marge's sisters Patty and Selma for bad-mouthing MacGyver.

3. "The Mysterious Voyage of Homer." Homer eats the Guatemalan insanity pepper and his pepper-fueled trip to find his soul mate includes a great cameo by Johnny Cash as Homer's spirit guide: a celestial coyote.

Bill Gaither

Staff photographer

1. "Home Sweet Homediddly-Dum-Doodily." Misfortune puts the Simpson kids in the care of Ned Flanders. Homer and Marge spend time at a good parenting program while the kids continually resist the suffocating religious ways of Ned. Homer arrives in time to save them from a baptism. I particularly enjoyed this episode because I dated a girl in high school that was a live version female Ned Flanders, just with better looks.

2. "Homer at the Bat." Springfield Nuclear vs. Shelbyville Nuclear, with Homer and plant co-workers being sidelined by professionals hired by Mr. Burns, including Ozzie Smith, Roger Clemens and many more. Numerous catastrophes (some including substance abuse) bench the pros one by one, and it's up to Homer to save the day. I enjoyed the number of players and the ailments to which they succumbed, and I understood the problems as an 11 year old.

3. "The Springfield Files." FBI agents Mulder and Scully (Fox's "X-Files") appear on the scene when Homer claims to have seen an extra-terrestrial. I mostly enjoyed the beginning, as Homer drunkenly stumbles home after a night at Moe's, and is scared by a billboard that says "Die," only to be "Diet" after wind blows the trees away from the covered T. The bus-load of the Springfield Symphony playing 60s horror music. Purely classic.

Rob Buck

Local News Editor

1. "Treehouse of Horror." Lisa reads "The Raven," featuring Bart and Homer in the lead roles. Bart yawns at the mid-19th century tale of horror - perhaps people were easier to scare in 1848 - but Homer is suitably terrified.

2. "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire." The Simpsons were a bit yellower and a bit rougher around the edges in their post-Tracy Ullman Show debut. Homer's efforts to give his family a nice Christmas surpass even Clark Griswold's.

3. "The Crepes of Wrath." Bart learns French through immersion and necessity when he is enslaved by unscrupulous vintners. He is treated worse than the donkey, which at least gets a bed of straw.

Next week's topic: Worst songs to hit the top of the Billboard charts

E-mail jcarlson@register-mail.com with your picks.


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