C.E.D'oh

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"C.E. D'oh"
The Simpsons episode
Episode no. 306
Production code EABF10
Original air date March 16, 2003
Showrunner(s) Al Jean
Written by Dana Gould
Directed by Mike B. Anderson
Couch gag The Simpsons' rushing to and sitting on the couch is animated in flipbook style, with the pages flipped by real hands.
DVD
commentary
Al Jean
Ian Maxtone-Graham
Tim Long
John Frink
Kevin Curran
Michael Price
Mike B. Anderson
Steven Dean Moore

"C.E. D'oh" is the fifteenth episode of The Simpsonsfourteenth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 16, 2003.

Plot[edit]

A sleepy Marge is too tired on Valentine's Day to have sex with an eager and well-prepared Homer, who dejectedly leaves the house. He sees a billboard for a school offering extension courses. He goes to the school and attempts to take a course on stripping for his wife, which Dr. Hibbert teaches, but is kicked out for hogging the stripping oil and (literally) slides into a class on Successmanship. The class teaches Homer how to succeed in the workplace.

It gives Homer inspiration, and he investigates problems at the power plant, so he develops solutions to the problem – all of which are rejected by Mr. Burns, without reading them. This angers Homer after overhearing Burns admit that the plant’s real owner is a canary named "Canary M. Burns" to protect Burns from responsibility for any wrongdoing by the power plant. Homer, with Bart’s help, devises a plan to overthrow Burns by releasing the bird from the plant to the Canary Islands.

After the bird is released, he tells Mr. Burns that inspectors are here to check the condition of the plant. Out of panic, Mr. Burns, who is unable to find his canary, names Homer the new owner. Homer reveals that it was all a ruse: there are no inspectors; and he had tricked Mr. Burns. As Homer's first act during his brief tenure as the plant’s owner, he fires Mr. Burns and, quite literally, overthrows him by throwing him off of the balcony where the masses flows him to a taxi-cab while singing "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye". Mr. Burns then heads to Marrakesh, Morocco with Smithers to purchase a great deal of opium.

However, problems ensue when Homer is in charge of the plant. He has less time to do things with the family, much to their disappointment. He is forced to lay off employees at the plant, making himself miserable. He has to listen to the plant’s woes from his analysts while on vacation. One night, Mr. Burns visits Homer (mentioning that Smithers was arrested and sentenced to 80 years for opium possession, but seems to be ecstatic to have been put in a Turkish prison), and brings him to the cemetery, where he shows him the people who he was too busy working to have good relationships with (such as Mr. Burns' wife, who died of "loneliness and rabies").

Burns makes Homer understand how much he has missed his family. Homer decides to quit as the owner and give back ownership to Burns. However, Burns already has his own plans to take back ownership of the plant. He drugs Homer and begins to immure him in the wall of a crypt. Unfortunately for Burns, he is too weak to carry each brick from the cart to the intended wall. By the time he manages to finish a couple of layers, Homer wakes and easily steps over the few layers of bricks that Mr. Burns had painstakingly managed to cement in place.

He tells Burns that the power plant is his again, and returns home for a barbecue with his family, much happier to be back to his old life.

Production[edit]

The live-action flipbook couch gag was actually intended for another episode but it was placed into this one instead. The couch gag director Mike Polcino hired a hand model to play the part of the animator. It was a reference to the way animators flip through recently drawn images to make sure the action flows properly. As the chosen couch gag is often dependent on the length of the episode, this relatively short one was placed into C.E.D'oh, a longer Simpsons episode than the one it was originally intended for.[1]

The writers said that they did not want to watch characters "walking around" as it was not funny, and instead wanted them to "go from joke to joke". They however note that the entire act 1 closer consists of Homer wandering through town seeing things. They justify it by explaining that a "sweet romantic" mood is being built, and that a slower pace was needed.[1]

Steve Moore posed for the scene where Snake strangles inmate Terrance, only for Homer to misinterpret it as love.[1]

Another suggestion for Dr Hibbert's stripper name that was pitched besides "Malcolm Sex" (which made it into the episode) was "Christmas Buttocks". In this scene, where Hibbert leads a "Strip For Your Wife" seminar on Valentine's Day, the team included regulars rather than Simpson-ised extras. This led to random cameos such as Cletus and one of the mobsters.[1]

Edwin Aguilar did all the animation for the Legoland sequence, yet he is not featured in the episode's credits.[1]

According to Al Jean, Matt Groening pitched the joke where Homer puts a blanket over Mr Burns after his failed attempt to brick Homer up.[2]

Cultural references[edit]

The title of the episode is a reference to a C.E.O. Within the context of the episode, Homer becomes C.E.O of the Nuclear Power Plant after he gets Mr Burns fired. This is one of the first times when an episode title - which intends to play with Homer's catchphrase D'oh - uses "D'oh" instead of "[Annoyed Grunt]".

In the episode, Carl and Lenny begin to fight each other with plutonium rods, simulating lightsabers. They fight over whether The Phantom Menace or Attack of the Clones "sucked more".[3] The prank that is pulled in American Graffiti is parodied in the Itchy & Scratchy short "Bleeder of the Pack".[2] Legoland is referenced when Smithers says Burns has dumped nuclear waste under it for years.[2] The scene where Ned Flanders stares at Homer and Marge at night from his bedroom window, in the dark with the cigar lit, is a parody of Rear Window.[1] The scene where Mr Burns attempts to brick Homer up is a satire of The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe.[2] The episode ends with the theme song to the 1969-1972 show The Courtship of Eddie's Father.[1]

The head of the "Successmanship 101" seminar, played by Hank Azaria, is a parody of Alec Baldwin's character in the film Glengarry Glen Ross.

Critical reception[edit]

On imdb, the episode has a rating of 7.2/10 from 319 users.[4] In 2014, The Simpsons writers picked "Bleeder of the Pack" from this episode as one of their nine favorite "Itchy & Stratchy" episodes of all time.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g The Simpsons staff. (2003). Commentary for "C.E.D'oh", in The Simpsons: The Complete Fourteenth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  2. ^ a b c d Jean, Al. (2003). Commentary for "C.E.D'oh", in The Simpsons: The Complete Fourteenth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  3. ^ Finding the Force of the Star Wars Franchise: Fans, Merchandise, & Critics - Google Books. Books.google.com.au. 1994-04-14. Retrieved 2014-01-20. 
  4. ^ C.E.D'oh at the Internet Movie Database
  5. ^ "The Simpsons’ Writers Pick Their Favorite ‘Itchy & Scratchy’ Cartoons". Vulture. 2014-03-26. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 

External links[edit]