Episode 80: NOT A Disco Stu Episode

The Overthinkers tackle the Simpsons anniversary episode and the last 20 years of the show.

Mark Lee hosts with Pete Fenzel and Jordan Stokes to overthink the allegory of the Simpsons anniversary episode, the last twenty years of the show, and why Disco Stu can’t have his own episode.

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Download Episode 80 (MP3)

10 Comments on “Episode 80: NOT A Disco Stu Episode”

  1. Chris Morgan #

    Notes: The origins of Disco Stu was from the “Springfield Up” episodes. The joke was that he was a sea captain, but then he went to get his photo taken by Marge (who was working at a mall photo hut type place) she turned on some music, it was disco, and thus Disco Stu was born. It was a swerve of a joke, the premise being you presumed it was the Sea Captain.

    Additionally, there was never a Duffman episode. There was an episode where Santa’s Little Helper replaced him as the Duff spokesentity, and he does play quite a large part in the plot, but it isn’t a “Duffman episode” per say.

    I must admit I haven’t finished listening to the podcast yet, so if these things resolved themselves within the podcast, my apologies.


  2. Chris Morgan #

    Wow, my piece was mentioned several times in the course of that conversation. If only I could have been involved to discuss it. Oh well.

    The Simpsons Arcade Game was awesome. It’s the only arcade game I’ve ever really played in my life, save some version of Techmo Bowl. I was always Marge, because (for whatever reason) I felt that her vacuum cleaner was a distinct advantage over the other characters.


  3. cat #

    The episode was a bit…meh, but it was greatly improved by the inclusion of Anne Hathaway. I think this is her fourth time playing a princess. I never fail to be impressed by the effortless, soaring soprano notes. I know she was already Mia and therefore included in the imposing Disney bubble but doesn’t Anne Hathaway seem like the perfect voice actress for a Disney animated princess? Why Mandy Moore (Rapunzel)?

    By including a bit of the “unicorn hour for girls” and more episodes focused on Lisa lately, has the Simpsons been trying to pull in a more balanced audience?


  4. sean from philly #

    One of the often-overlooked (dare we say “underthought?”) angles on the show’s decline is the fact that it’s current writers grew up watching the it. Maybe it was their dream to write for The Simpsons. They were probably inspired to do so by what they see as its “golden age”. However, that age is different for each of us. Consensus seems to be that “peak Simpsons” occurred between seasons 3 and 9. But the show has gone through so many changes over the years that it’s possible the younger writers think that it’s peak came later. Maybe they think the early series was too earnest and mawkish (which it was at times) and that it really only got funny when it started getting zanier and less grounded in the characters’ relationships. Maybe their favorite character was the Sea Captain and they always wanted to see him developed.


  5. Matthew Wrather #

    You know, I was surprised watching the Morgan Spurlock special how many old timers are still there. Al Jean is the big one, but there were a bunch of guys with lower thirds saying “1983-present” or “1997-present.”

    Also: All guys. I guess that’s the norm for TV comedy.


  6. Amy #

    Holy crap, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted. I’m sans internet, which means sans iTunes, which obviously means I’m going through Overthinking it withdrawals! Thank Jebus I’ve acquired employment that lets me have free reign on the internet.

    As soon as I finish downloading this episode, and listen to it. I’ll be back to comment! I’ve missed the dulcet tones of the podcasters!

    All my love!


  7. RiderIon #

    The fact that long time staffers are still on the show (like Al Jean) is sort of a moot point when you look at the writing process for The Simpsons. Conan O’Brien was a writer for the show from 91 to 93 and he only has 4 episode credits (one of which is the Monorail episode). He more than likely apart of the everyday writing process (changing a punchline, suggesting a different joke, etc.) but wasn’t a huge influence on the overall direction of the show. The long time writers more than likely fill in this spot of smoothing over and generally adjusting the script. I’d be curious as to how many actual episodes someone like Al Jean has written in the last 10 years as opposed to how many he’s tweaked and polished. I could check IMDB but that would require me to be not lazy and to use a computer to such as opposed to my mobile phone. I may look it up later.


  8. Victoria #

    I’m not a huge Simpsons fan, but my favorite episodes were always the blatantly obvious literary/movie/historical parodies, such as “A Streetcar Named Marge” or the Hamlet episode (nothing in my mind will ever top RosenCarl and GuildeLenny’s death by poison high-five). That might just be because my English teachers were huge nerds and would show these episodes in class when they didn’t want to start teaching a new book.

    A Disco Stu episode might actually be entertaining if they pulled it off right. Now, a Happiest Man in Springfield episode, that would be where I draw the line,


  9. Chris Morgan #

    Yeah, many of the old timers now work as “producers” or “consultants” and none of them have written an episode in a long time, and the guys they interviewed were also mostly old show runners who didn’t write many episodes in the first place. Additionally, Al Jean has a lot to do with the show, and has since he returned as show runner in season 13. That basically means every script has to meet his approval before it can be turned into an episode. He can tweak and polish and rewrite whatever he wants, and the style of the show is pretty much exactly what he wants it to be.


  10. Sylvia #

    Jordan: What if the Discu Stu centric episode was like DS9’s Morn centric episode? Do you remember? Morn doesn’t show up until the very end and Quark is actually the episode protagonist? What if you replace Quark with a Simpsons character that should be episode centric and Morn with Disco Stu?


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