Bart: You know, I'm pretty sure I will.
Part of the fun of watching The Simpsons is trying to guess who the guest voice is each week. This episode had five guest voices packed into the episode, some of which were easier to guess since the actors were playing themselves, of course: Steven Sondheim, Meg Ryan, Peter Bogdanavich, Andy Dick and James Patterson.
With or without the clever cameos, I thought this was one of the strongest episodes of the season so far: plenty of great jokes, visual gags, and pop culture references. I loved Lisa and the kids going to see Un Chein Andalou, and the gigantic eye and razor blade showing up at the end of their big musical number.
Okay, I'll admit I didn't care much for the musical numbers in this episode, but at least they were used sparingly, and as I stated above, they were packed with great visual gags.
Speaking of visuals, the Goreyesque sequence in which Bart tells his friend about a cafeteria worker who makes soup of children's heads was a touch of brilliance, if I do say so myself. That sequence ended with a nice little transition back to reality as the scene dissolved from one of the bobbing heads to Milhouse woozily teetering back and forth. Of course, the transition of James Patterson in Marge's dream turning into her alarm clock was much funnier, but it's that combination of subtle gags and not-so-subtle gags that combine to make the best episodes.
Here's a few other things I loved in this episode:
- The names of Cletus' kids, which included: Incest, International Harvester, Birthday and Crystal Meth
- Bart doing Mad Libs with his psychiatrist, and coming to the realization that his father never took him on the Merry-Go-Booger because he was always passed out in the parking snot.
- The Honeymooners ending with Cletus' face appearing in the moon over Springfield.
Oh, yeah, and one other thing: is this the first time we've heard Superintendent Chalmer's first name? Bart refers to him as "Gary" in one scene.