The Simpsons – tape 2116

Two Simpsons episodes on this tape. First there’s Who Shot Mr Burns part 2 which resolved the previous season’s finale cliffhanger with the shock revelation that it was Maggie Simpson who shot Mr Burns.

Maggie Shot First

Then, Mother Simpson in which Homer fakes his own death to get out of working on a Saturday.

Homer's Tombstone

We also get a glimpse of Homer’s childhood.

Homer and Mother

At this point, the tape gets a bit perplexing. Recording switches to Bravo, where the film Where Eagles Dare is already running and has been for a while. This looks like a deliberate recording – it’s not just one underneath a newer recording. But why?

Even stranger is that this film doesn’t even get to finish. Before the end, it switches to Neil Diamond in The Jazz Singer (also on Bravo). The very weirdest thing of all is that this doesn’t look like an overrecording – there’s not telltale VHS noise, and its a very clean cut, almost as if it’s in the broadcast itself. Very odd indeed.

This film, at least, plays out to the end. I didn’t watch it, but the final number, a hymn to American immigrants from the second generation Jewish Neil Diamond (in the movie at least, where his stern, disapproving father is played by Marathon Man’s Laurence Olivier) really sounds like a different time, in which a triumphal anthem could celebrate the welcome that immigrants get from America.

Following the movie is something more aligned with current American political values – the first five unencrypted minutes of Playboy TV, which replaces Bravo at midnight. The tape ends there.

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One comment

  1. The Diamond Jazz Singer is hilariously bad (“I haff no son!”) but I never thought about the pro-immigrant ending before. I suppose it would do a timely repeat on some film channel now. For some reason ladies of a certain age love it, though (they’ll be little old ladies of a certain age now, I don’t think the new generations embraced it quite the same).

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