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Hercules Finds Chilling Fox's

I am – Hercules!!

Teleplay is by “Carolyn? Oh. Mean, Eh?”

Objects of parody this year:

* “127 Hours”

* “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”

* “Dexter”

* “Avatar”

More in the text invisible.

* The “127 Hours” parody features more dismemberment than the movie. It’s the first, funniest and shortest of the four segments, which makes it particularly convenient for “Boardwalk Empire” fans.

* “Diving Bell and the Butterball” likely features more flatulence per second than any seven minutes of primetime broadcast television ever. Its extended twist ending is very strange without being particularly funny.

* Ned Flanders is a serial murderer who gets instructions from the Father/Holy Ghost rather than the ghost of his father. This segment features a brief homage to some old Chuck Jones cartoons.

* Superintendant Gary Chalmers gets the Stephen Lang role. Lisa is Sigourney Weaver. And Bart gets to bone a Rigellian.

8 p.m. Sunday. Fox.

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Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 30, 2011, 5:04 a.m. CST

    by hst666


  • Oct. 30, 2011, 6:16 a.m. CST

    Good to see the Simpsons staying consistent

    by Monkey Butler

    That clip was as unfunny as everything else they've produced in the last 15 years.

  • Well, for you to know that they haven't been funny for the last 15 years, you must have watched it for the last 15 years so they got your patronage anyway.

  • Oct. 30, 2011, 7:29 a.m. CST

    I stopped watching the Simpsons when they did the Nsync episode

    by photoboy

    I stopped watching for two reasons: The show was becoming too weird, and not in the way random stuff can be funny, it was just getting strange. The other thing that totally hacked me off were the "celebrity" cameos. Every time they had a celebrity on they'd be playing themselves and one of the Simpsons would have to stop and say "Hey, look everybody it's <insert_name_here>!" so that the audience would know who the fuck was on this week. So instead of episodes being about something, they were just about getting to whatever cameo they were having that week. It was so much better when the guests just played actual characters like Sideshow Bob or Reverend Lovejoy's daughter, instead of themselves. Maybe it's dramatically improved since then, but I've just not felt the urge yet to watch it again.

  • That's why the Simpsons hasn't produced a worthwhile Halloween segment since the late 90's. Well, that, and the fact that an average episode these days is as violent and non-sequitir as a typical Halloween ep was back in the day.

  • Oct. 30, 2011, 7:48 a.m. CST

    And good call, photoboy, about Simpsons celeb voices playing temselves

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    Like you said, it's doubly annoying that the cast has to call out each celeb as they appear ("Hey, look, it's Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling...!"). It's like how Family Guy has to ram each and every pop culture reference home by underlining the punchline half-a-dozen times.

  • Oct. 30, 2011, 8:36 a.m. CST

    yes the nsinc episode was the jump the shark moment

    by robamenta

  • Oct. 30, 2011, 8:43 a.m. CST

    it's still better than the other crap on TV

    by Kraven Morehead

    It's also difficult for it to spoof horror when the only recent fodder for it to spoof is all the really rough stuff like Hostel. I guess the Simpsons should try to live up to the challenge if it's writers are so good, etc. With that said, spoofing Diving Bell is pretty ridiculous. The Treehouse episodes are always good. At the very least it's interesting to see who is cast as who e.g. will Bart be Dexter or will Homer be Dexter. Both have father figures capable of giving pretty terrible advice. i look forward to that.

  • Oct. 30, 2011, 10 a.m. CST

    I find hard to read Herc's writing

    by Corman

  • Oct. 30, 2011, 10:41 a.m. CST

    so who played DEXTER? what was the plot?

    by Tigger Tales

    I am not going to watch that crap, so...

  • Oct. 30, 2011, 11:40 a.m. CST

    Still As Topical as Ever

    by A-COD

    Avatar, Dexter, 127 hours? This episode would have been out of date if it was released in Oct of 2010.

  • Oct. 30, 2011, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Worst example of yelling out who "this week's guest is":

    by awardgiver

    cast: Stephen Hawking! Principle Skinner: The world's smartest maaaan! ugh.

  • Oct. 30, 2011, 12:12 p.m. CST

    So did the cast agree to the big pay cut after all?

    by FlandersBum

    Haven't heard anything lately about the negotiations to keep the show going. Kinda curious to see how much longer they keep churning this show out, not that I've watched it in years myself.

  • Oct. 30, 2011, 1:31 p.m. CST

    No kraven, it's not "better than the other crap on TV"

    by OutsideChance

    Archer, South Park, the Walking Dead, Fringe, Mad Men, Dexter, Louie, Curb, Boardwalk Empire, Futurama, Modern Family, Community, Parks and Rec, Venture Brothers, Walking Dead, Sunny, Justified...all better than current Simpsons. In fact, at this point, even the McFarlane shows have more "stupid laughs" than Simpsons. Hell, at this point, I'd even rate a couple of ABC and CBS sitcoms higher than Simpsons.

  • Oct. 30, 2011, 2:22 p.m. CST

    Why all the Simpsons hate?

    by gotilk

    I mean, I haven't watched in about 6 years either, but what the hell?? lol

  • Oct. 30, 2011, 2:33 p.m. CST

    As Troy McClure prophetically said"

    by MapMan

    "Yes, the Simpsons have come a long way since an old drunk made humans out of his rabbit characters to pay off his gambling debts. Who knows what adventures they'll have between now and the time the show becomes unprofitable?" And this is the problem right there. FOX doesn't need to make the show good enough the please the old fans. But even now it appears that the show is not making the money it used to so they lean on the voice talent to make the sacrifice while not including them in profits from DVD sales and syndication. The writing is to blame. The voice actors are just reading the scripts they are given. Face it, the show is done. There are no more stories to tell that aren't self-referential to an earlier, better episode. For me the show stopped being funny around 2000. I stopped watching a few years later. The odd one I've seen since then confirms that I've made the right decision. I'm also glad I didn't pay money to see the awful Simpsons movie.

  • Oct. 30, 2011, 2:47 p.m. CST

    This all sounds okay, but I love me some Treehouse of Horror

    by BlaGyver

    I'm not even a regular watcher, but I will watch Treehouse of Horror episodes as long as they keep coming on.

  • Oct. 30, 2011, 2:58 p.m. CST

    this will be funny, funnier than the clip

    by HornyForHarry

    new simpsons isn't as bad as people make it out to be. a lot's changed but it'll still be funny i bet.

  • Oct. 30, 2011, 3:53 p.m. CST


    by 3rdrate

    For the love of god, could you please comment to some degree on the endless amount of tv schedule announcements? Title is the weirdly phrased Herc finds chilling Treehouse of did you like it? Not? I mean, without some sort of opinion, this is basically turning into the TV guide channel WITH all the ads.

  • Oct. 30, 2011, 4:46 p.m. CST


    by Hercules

    Laughed at the "127 Hours" segment; thought the other three highly meh.

  • Oct. 30, 2011, 5:28 p.m. CST

    The Simpsons is still on?

    by theDORK

    I'll pass. Instead, I'll watch The Walking Dead, then wait for Seth McFarlane's The Flintstones. Mainly for the talkback on that.

  • Oct. 30, 2011, 7:10 p.m. CST

    This farting one is beyond awful

    by Scorchy

    Just....awful. Jamarcus Russell at QB awful.

  • Oct. 30, 2011, 7:12 p.m. CST

    Breaking Bad reference?

    by Captain Hollywood

    Am I grasping at straws or was that a Breaking Bad reference?

  • Oct. 30, 2011, 7:29 p.m. CST

    Yeah it was

    by Mugato5150

    which is surprising since it takes like 9 months to make an episode.

  • Oct. 30, 2011, 7:42 p.m. CST

    Wasn't too great.

    by Mugato5150

    But what is this shit that's on after it?

  • Oct. 30, 2011, 8:21 p.m. CST

    that was a plate of sauteed dog shit

    by HoweHatTrick

    Honestly, just phone it in. Avatar was a horror movie? Aside from having to sit through it, no scary parts. Rather watch puppies boil to death.

  • Oct. 30, 2011, 9:08 p.m. CST

    Well....the paralyzed thing is kind of a horror trope

    by bah

    Stephen King's done it, Twilight Zone did it. Hell, I think *every* anthology show has done it. But like many above, I no longer watch the show other than Treehouse of Horror, and those are increasingly bad. Mostly just movie parodies, and not even horror movies -- Avatar, Transformers, Mr and Mrs Smith, AI. Why not do a Paranormal Activity/Found Footage segment? Or torture porn? Or Japanese horror (it's never too late)? Or dig up more classics like The Shining (I suppose they did Hitchcock last year, and it wasn't awful). And I'm with photoboy, dead on post there. To me, re-writing Marge and Homer's courtship, and making a joke of re-writing it, was the final straw. That made it clear that the writers were more interesting in weirdness than in the characters.

  • Oct. 30, 2011, 9:40 p.m. CST

    It's actually airing BEFORE Hallowen?

    by BigTuna

    This is the first time it hasn't aired in November in years.

  • Oct. 30, 2011, 11:23 p.m. CST

    such a weird episode

    by Bulla_11

    and I miss when they used the other characters

  • Oct. 31, 2011, 12:10 a.m. CST

    Rabble, rabble, rabble...

    by jimmy_009

    ...I always hear how terrible the Simpsons is now, then I occasionally catch an episode and find it's not actually terrible at all. I don't catch it regularly simply because I don't really watch any half hour comedies or animated series anymore, but when I do catch a new episode, I always get at least a dozen good laughs out of it if not more. Is it Golden Age Simpsons? No. But it's not terrible either. Not by a long shot. I can't help but think that it's not the Simpsons that's changed, but rather the culture that watches it. The Simpsons is virtually the same as it ever was, hitting and missing at the exact same rate. What's different is an internet saavy culture, one that learned this kind of humor FROM the Simpsons and now doesn't feel like it needs anymore. The Simpsons is like a parent that nurtured you and now you're the bratty college kid rolling your eyes. That, and I think most of the hate is just bandwagoning. It's no longer cool to think the Simpsons is funny, so people say it's not funny. Sorry, but I think it's still decent.

  • Oct. 31, 2011, 12:49 a.m. CST

    wow this one was painfully unfunny, pretty much all the way thru

    by TheSeeker7

    Despite what the haters like to say, the show can still have some real comedy gems shine thru from time to time even these days now, but this was just sad.

  • FG's become practically unwatchable, I honestly don't even know why I'm still bothering at all. This is at least the second episode so far this year where it's like they're trying to make just a plain, almost dramatic kind of story, but in like an after school special kind of way. and yet, it's FG, so the whole time you're sort of just waiting for the other shoe to drop, how they'll make a big joke out of it... It just plays as... weird. and barely funny.

  • Oct. 31, 2011, 12:58 a.m. CST

    Worst night of Animation Domination ever!

    by DrAwkward

    I've consistently watched and loved the Simpsons since the Tracy Ullman days. There have been some bad ones, but each had a joke or two to provide some value. There were some episodes last year that might even stack up to some golden age eps. (I really liked the "Eternal Sunshine" one where Homer lost his memory.) But Jesus Christ, that Treehouse was horrible. Not as bad as Allen Gregory, the worst cartoon Fox ever made, but bad. And Family Guy sucked, too. I never watch "The Cleveland Show," so at least I won't be on suicide watch tonight. At least "Walking Dead" wasdecent, even though this season's storyline is taking too long. No one gives a fuck about that little girl. She didn't listen to Rick and her mom is annoying and bald. Move on and fight some zombies in another city.

  • Oct. 31, 2011, 1:22 a.m. CST


    by Kraven Morehead

    that was pretty average. The Dexter spoof was really only the theme song. When I heard they were doing that I got excited and wondered if the father/son dynamic would be Grandpa/Homer or Homer/Bart. They didn't even go there. 127 Hours was short but sweet. Otherwise I gotta admit it was pretty lackluster. I defend the show but most of that is because of the amazing show it use to be.

  • Oct. 31, 2011, 1:27 a.m. CST

    Strong episode of Family GUy tonight

    by Bobo_Vision

    It tackled the issue of domestic abuse. We also got an inside peak into the type of person who enjoys Jay Leno.

  • Oct. 31, 2011, 1:31 a.m. CST

    Are the Family Guy writers ghostwriting The Simpsons now?

    by Jarek

    I like some of the weirdness, and still watch, but it's drifting further and further from what made it good in the first place for quite some time now. It's almost like the popularity of that random Family Guy humour has dominated all cartoons outside of Adult Swim, to the point where pretty much the whole block isn't really funny anymore, just random. I'd add last week's Robot Chicken premiere in with that too. I'll admit this treehouse entertained me during the increasingly ridiculous Avatar battle sequence (the power walker getting into an even bigger power walker, just how stupidly overpowering everything was... The monkeys that bite the heads off of smaller monkeys to turn them into grenades.... all pretty funny stuff). Anyway, there's great comedy out there. This used to be it, and sometimes still is. Just not tonight.

  • Oct. 31, 2011, 8:29 a.m. CST

    Gotta stand up for the Simpsons

    by menacingphantom

    Admittedly the treehouse of horror is the only ep this season I've watched (got the others DVR'd) and it kind of sucked. ...BUT... The last two or three seasons prior to this one have been pretty consistently great. Not early seasons great, but how could they? If you are too cool to watch you're missing out.

  • Oct. 31, 2011, 8:30 a.m. CST

    Simpson's Lifer...

    by Ender's Jeesh

    Seriously, it was a gut-wrencher for me, at age 18, to switch my loyalty from Cosby Show to Simpson's. But I did it. And for about 10-12 years I was fruitfully rewarded. However, I stopped watching after the really odd "Yvan Eht Nioj" (Join the Navy) boy band episode, and one where Mr. Burns ended up fighting a dragon or some shit... Watch a few in syndication now and then. mostly because my kids beg me too, and find them enjoyable enough for the most part, but lacking the sizzle and spark of seasons 3-10. If they can't make good shows they should wrap i up. God knows everyone's made enough money off them.

  • Oct. 31, 2011, 8:35 a.m. CST

    Homer Scissorhands

    by Blanket-Man

    Hadn't watched a "new" episode in a while, and the ep before the Treehouse of Horror, "Homer Scissorhands" (from last May) made me laugh a lot. The part in the bar, with Homer seeing all his male pal's traits next to them, as revealed to him by their wives during haircuts, was hilarious. Treehouse itself was pretty weak after the spider-paralyzing bit.

  • Oct. 31, 2011, 9:32 a.m. CST


    by Himbo

    I tuned out of Simpsons about 5 years ago, and I had forgotten they did Treehouse of Terror. As above said "It is airing in October?" which surprisese me a little. Glad to hear I have a few ToTs to catch-up on. I suppose recent one will be on Hulu today. I had been drifting away from Simpsons. Then I watched an ep that really reminded me of Family Guy from an Oscar Wilde perspective. OW said "If you can't be witty, be blasphemous. It may pass for wit." I can't stand Family Guy. Seeing Simpsons channel FG was like see Mac after the electroshock. I did not have a pillow handy, but I was able to smash out the window with the water fountain.

  • Oct. 31, 2011, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Sorry Jimmy, but you're wrong...

    by Billyeveryteen

    For your hypothesis to work, older Simpsons would no longer be funny, but they are. Deliciously, and hilariously so. Those that used to care, don't. I don't want to be right about this, my beloved Simpsons, but I am.

  • Oct. 31, 2011, 10:27 a.m. CST

    I thought Homer as a paralyzed Spider-Man was hilarious

    by D.Vader

    I couldn't stop laughing at the sheer absurdity of his situation.

  • Oct. 31, 2011, 10:42 a.m. CST


    by Bobo_Vision

    It was the lobotomy that changed Mac. Electroshock is actually a very effective and humane tool for treating depression.

  • Oct. 31, 2011, 10:57 a.m. CST

    Stupid TV

    by harrys_site_sucks


  • Oct. 31, 2011, 12:38 p.m. CST

    Lousy Smarch weather.

    by Scorchy

    I think back to some of the early ToH episodes, and they really are great. They're not just funny, there's actually a concerted effort to get some atmosphere in there (most notable the one where Willie becomes Freddy Krueger - I absolutely LOVE that episode). Even the ballyhooed computer-animated one was pretty entertaining. Homer: "There's so much I don't know about astrophysics!" Or, "Has anybody seen the movie Tron?" And they all repeat, "No." until Wiggum says "Yes....I mean, no. No." Ah, the halcyon days of my youth....

  • Oct. 31, 2011, 2:06 p.m. CST

    Treehouse Eps Used to Be the Best

    by _Maltheus_

    Now they're the worst episodes of each season. Not that the Simpsons has really been good since S5, but it has picked back up a little in recent years. Still, the Halloween ep used to be a huge deal. Talk about phoning it in. That definitely goes down as one of the top 5 worst Simpsons eps of all time (which is really saying something after several decades).

  • Oct. 31, 2011, 4:44 p.m. CST

    Homer as paralyzed Spider-Man WAS hilarious

    by smudgewhat

    nothing wrong with a good fart joke. it's just that usually fart jokes are obvious & stupid. i approve of the fart jokes in this episode. we laughed and accidentally farted while watching.

  • Oct. 31, 2011, 10:01 p.m. CST

    Harry Shearer himself said the show isn't as good as it used to br

    by Dr. Hfuhruhurr

    Nuff said.

  • Oct. 31, 2011, 10:01 p.m. CST

    "used to be"

    by Dr. Hfuhruhurr

  • Oct. 31, 2011, 10:44 p.m. CST


    by gotilk

    It really was funny. I was rolling. And the 127 hours thing was classic Homer. Some of it was indeed meh... but overall very funny.

  • Nov. 1, 2011, 1:19 p.m. CST

    The problem with the Simpson's

    by SlickyVonBoner

    is that it seems the writers grew up watching the show. So they recycle the same jokes, without coming up with new material. That my 2 cents. But it was the best show in its hey day.

  • Nov. 1, 2011, 2:17 p.m. CST

    The only two problems with modern Simpsons episodes

    by Sick Fixx

    1) Promoting the gay agenda ad nauseum EVERY SINGLE EPISODE 2) Satirizing religion ad nauseum to the point of hatefulness.

  • No, I would not prefer it be the other way around. Simpsons have always had a healthy bent towards satirizing anything and everything in their path. But these two common elements can be found in every single episode the last few years.

  • Nov. 1, 2011, 2:45 p.m. CST

    yeah gotlik, 127 hours was the other winner.

    by smudgewhat

    and the re-play on homer scissorhands, which i hadn't seen.

  • Nov. 1, 2011, 3:03 p.m. CST

    It was OK.

    by Smashing

    And that comment in itself says all I need too, it used to be hysterical and compelling, I agree it's likely the world that has changed but really Simpsons at least have a stab at keeping up. I still watch now and then, still laugh now and then too but mostly in a "ahh I remember when I was 16 and the show launched" kind of way.

  • Nov. 1, 2011, 4:18 p.m. CST

    I liked the Avitar Send-Up.

    by cookylamoo

    But it was an easy target.

  • Nov. 1, 2011, 10:04 p.m. CST

    Anyway, the numbers are in...

    by OutsideChance

    ...and they are the worst ever for a Halloween episode. To make matters worse, the Halloween episode often have some of the strongest numbers of the year, and if that’s the best Season 23 has to offer then it’s going to plummet to unheard of depths by the end of the season. Fox may regret re-upping the cast if the numbers continue to plunge.

  • Nov. 2, 2011, 1:59 p.m. CST

    the numbers were down

    by paulloch

    because of the millions of blackouts in the NE. I couldn't see it on TV. I live in NNJ. Even the hotel we stayed at, the cable was out. Treehouse used to be solid 22 min of laughs. Look at the early ones which mocked the TZONE. Now it's really hit and miss. Yeah I agree the whole Animation Domination has run it's course. GUT IT. It's really sad to talk about Family Guy the same way we talk about Simpsons, and remembering how funny it used to be, and how lazy it's gotten.

  • Nov. 2, 2011, 3:07 p.m. CST

    The only Sunday Fox animation I make time for is Bob's Burgers

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    ..and thats coming back when?

  • Nov. 2, 2011, 3:38 p.m. CST

    They are still funny... but not as consistantly

    by madhouseman

    Last year there was one scene that still makes me laugh every time I think about it. Bart was being pulled up the side of a building and his ass was showing and one guy saw it, and turned into a wolfman and began howling! HAHAHAHA. Even just writing that makes me laugh. Yes they are not as good, but what is after 20 years? There is still usually at least one laugh out loud moment. And the Treehouse episodes were usually crap anyway.

  • Nov. 2, 2011, 8:15 p.m. CST

    The Simpsons

    by MegaBeth

    were brilliant at one point. But somewhere along the way it was decided the show would leave the wacky family realm and enter the political field. It seems every episode now has a hard liberal slant to it. In the past The Simpsons seemed apolitical. Now it is way obvious Homer, Lisa and crew are supporting every liberal cause known to man.

  • Nov. 5, 2011, 12:39 a.m. CST

    Simpsons - Liberal - Duh

    by Xen11

    They should be liberal, as any intelligent person should. Fuck rednecks.