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D'oh-in' in the Wind

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"D'oh-in' in the Wind"
The Simpsons episode
Episode no.Season 10
Episode 6
Directed byMark Kirkland
Matthew Nastuk
Written byDonick Cary
Production codeAABF02
Original air dateNovember 15, 1998
Guest appearance(s)

George Carlin as Munchie
Martin Mull as Seth
Yo La Tengo (perform end theme)

Episode features
Chalkboard gag"No one cares what my definition of "is" is"
Couch gagA bar comes down over the couch, locking the family in a rollercoaster seat.
CommentaryMatt Groening
Mike Scully
George Meyer
Donick Cary
Ron Hauge
Mark Kirkland
Episode chronology
← Previous
"When You Dish Upon a Star"
Next →
"Lisa Gets an "A""
The Simpsons (season 10)
List of The Simpsons episodes

"D'oh-in' in the Wind" is the sixth episode of The Simpsons' tenth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 15, 1998. In the episode, Homer Simpson travels to a farm owned by Seth and Munchie, two aged hippies who were friends with Homer's mother. After finding out his middle name is "Jay", Homer is drawn to the care-free lifestyle of hippies, and decides to become one himself.

The episode was written by Donick Cary and directed by Mark Kirkland, with a couple of scenes being directed by Matthew Nastuk. Kirkland, who was going through a divorce during the episode's production, assigned Nastuk, his assistant director, to take over direction in his stead. However, after Nastuk had directed a scene, Kirkland felt better and returned to direct the rest of the episode. The episode features the revelation of Homer's middle name, "Jay", which is a tribute to characters from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show who got their middle initial from Jay Ward.

The episode features comic actors George Carlin as Munchie and Martin Mull as Seth. Carlin was suggested by Simpsons writer Ron Hauge, who "really wanted to meet him", although he did not attend the recording session with Carlin and Mull.

In its original broadcast, the episode was seen by approximately 8.4 million viewers. Following the tenth season's home release on August 7, 2007, "D'oh-in' in the Wind" received mixed reviews from critics.

Plot[edit]

After starring in a commercial by Mr. Burns for the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, Homer decides to be an actor. As he fills out a Screen Actors Guild form at home, Lisa points out that he has only written his middle initial, J, in the blank for his middle name. Neither Homer nor Grampa knows that name, but Grampa takes Homer to a farm where Mona, Grampa's wife and Homer's mother, spent some time during her days as a hippie. The farm is run by two middle-aged hippies, Seth and Munchie, who were friends of Mona; they point out a mural that she painted based on an incident at Woodstock, which is dedicated to Homer and reveals his middle name as Jay.

Seeing how carefree his life would have been as a hippie, Homer decides to become one. He dons a dirty old poncho left behind by Mona and begins to carry a frisbee, but is dismayed to learn that Seth and Munchie are running an organic juice company at the farm. He persuades them to accompany him on a "freak-out" ride through Springfield, disrupting the citizens' daily lives with silly antics. When the three return to the farm afterward, though, they find that Homer's frisbee has jammed the juicing machinery and caused the loss of an entire shipment of the farm's products. Seth and Munchie angrily order Homer to leave.

To set things right, Homer sneaks back to the farm at night, picks and processes all the vegetables he can find, and delivers the juice shipment to Springfield. In so doing, he unknowingly harvests a hidden field of peyote, which Seth and Munchie had intended for their personal use as recreational drugs. The juice causes intense psychedelic hallucinations in those who drink it, and the police quickly trace it to the farm and move in to arrest Homer, Seth, and Munchie. Homer defends Seth and Munchie by placing himself in the officers' path, reminding them of the morals and values from the 1960s, and placing a flower in the barrel of each officer's rifle. When Chief Wiggum fires, Homer ends up hospitalized with one of the flowers lodged in his skull.

Production[edit]

"D'oh-in' in the Wind" was written by Donick Cary and directed by Mark Kirkland and Matthew Nastuk. It was first broadcast on the Fox network in the United States on November 15, 1998.[1] The idea for the episode was pitched by Cary, who thought it would be fun to see the citizens of Springfield hallucinating. He then fleshed it out, forming its current iteration.[2] The episode features the revelation of Homer's middle name, "Jay", which is a "tribute" to animated characters such as Bullwinkle J. Moose and Rocket J. Squirrel from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show who got their middle initial from Jay Ward.[3] The name was pitched on for three days by the writers.[2]

Martin Mull (left) and George Carlin (right) guest-starred as the aging hippies Seth and Munchie in the episode.

Originally, Kirkland was supposed to be the sole director for the episode, however, at the time, he was going through a divorce that he "did not see coming". Because of this, Kirkland assigned his assistant director, Matthew Nastuk, to direct the episode in his stead. However, after having directed a scene, Nastuk claimed that he was "terrified" and wanted Kirkland to continue the direction. Kirkland returned to direct the episode, feeling better after getting over the divorce. Despite the circumstances, Kirkland stated that he "loved" working on the episode, and could relate to the story since he had grown up in a "sort of hippie commune school" in the late '60s and early '70s. Kirkland based a lot of the scenery designs in the episode on the state Vermont where, according to him, a lot of "ex-hippies" live.[4]

The two hippies, Seth and Munchie, were portrayed by comic actors Martin Mull and George Carlin respectively. For a while, the staff were not sure of who would play Munchie. Although they had decided on Mull to play Seth, the staff were "kind of stuck" on who would play Munchie. Carlin was suggested by Ron Hauge, one of the Simpsons writers, who "really wanted to meet [Carlin]" but ended up not going to the recording session.[5] Scully stated that Mull and Carlin were "some of the funniest guys that ever lived", and that recording their lines was "a lot of fun". Although it does not occur with most other guest stars in the series, Mull and Carlin recorded their lines together.[1] While the designs of Seth and Munchie were not modeled after anyone in particular, their hair-styles were slightly based on those of Jerry Greenfield and Ben Cohen, owners of the ice cream company Ben & Jerry's.[4] Comedian Bob Hope was portrayed by series regular cast member Dan Castellaneta, who plays Homer among many other characters in the series. Jill St. John and Phyllis Diller were both voiced by American voice actress Tress MacNeille.[1] The psychedelic version of The Simpsons' main theme that plays during the end credits was performed by Yo La Tengo, an American alternative rock band who are friends of Cary's.[2]

Cultural references[edit]

The episode makes multiple references to 1960s culture, including films such as The Love-Ins (1967).[2] The episode features the theme from the musical Hair, "Incense and Peppermints" by Strawberry Alarm Clock (1967), "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane (1967) and "Time of the Season" by The Zombies (1968).[6][7] In a flashback to Woodstock in 1969, Jimi Hendrix's performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" is shown,[6] as is a recreation of the photograph of embracing couple Nick and Bobbi Ercoline taken at the festival and used as a poster for the film Woodstock (1970).[7][8]

Additionally, Homer sings Billy Joel's 1983 song "Uptown Girl".[6] After drinking the tainted juice, Grampa and Jasper sit on a bench, laughing like the title characters from the series Beavis and Butt-head,[7] while Flanders hallucinates skeletons and dancing bears (images associated with the Grateful Dead), marching hammers (from Pink Floyd's 1982 film Pink Floyd—The Wall) and The Rolling Stones' lips and tongue logo.[7] Mr. Burns' film is credited as "An Alan Smithee Film", a reference to the Alan Smithee pseudonym credit used by directors who wanted to be disassociated from a film on which they had lost creative control, to the detriment of the final product.[6][7] When Barney drinks alcohol to prevent the bad effects from the tainted juice, a pink elephant comes to his rescue, referencing the scene in Dumbo where Dumbo and Timothy drink alcohol and see pink elephants. Seth and Munchie's dog is named Ginsberg, thought to be a reference to beat poet Allen Ginsberg. Homer putting the flowers in the policemen's rifles is a reference to the iconic October 22, 1967 Life magazine picture, "Flower Power" by Bernie Boston.

The phrase used by Dr. Hibbert regarding Homer's condition ("I'm a doctor, not a gardener") is a reference to a recurring Star Trek gag, when Doctor Leonard McCoy retorts, mostly to Spock, that he is a doctor and not a [whatever the situation refers to].

Additionally, the end credit theme music is presented in a style that parodies "Tomorrow Never Knows" by The Beatles, and as the credits end, Homer says "I buried Flanders", a reference to the Paul Is Dead myth.

Reception[edit]

In its original American broadcast on November 15, 1998, "D'oh-in' in the Wind" received an 8.5 rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, translating to approximately 8.3 million viewers. The episode finished in 40th place in the ratings for the week of November 9–15, 1999.[9] On August 7, 2007, the episode was released as part of The Simpsons - The Complete Tenth Season DVD box set. Matt Groening, Mike Scully, George Meyer, Donick Cary, Ron Hauge and Mark Kirkland participated in the DVD's audio commentary of the episode.[10]

Following its home video release, "D'oh-in' in the Wind" received mixed reviews from critics. Giving the episode a positive review, Aaron Roxby of Collider wrote that, even though he felt that the jokes about hippies were "a bit overplayed", he still considered it to be one of the best episodes of the season.[11] James Plath of DVD Town thought fondly of the episode as well, calling it "funny".[12] Writing for DVD Movie Guide, Colin Jacobson stated that, even though he feels the sixties have been lampooned "many, many times over the years", he considered "D'oh-in' in the Wind" to be a successful spoof of the era. He enjoyed the way the episode portrayed and mocked the ways aging hippies "didn't live up to their youthful ideas". He concluded his review by writing that "D'oh-in' in the Wind" is one of the first great episodes of the season.[13]

On the other hand, Jake McNeill of Digital Entertainment News did not enjoy the episode. Considering it to be one of the worst episodes of the season, he found the "jabs" at the hippie culture to be dated, writing that the episode is "a quarter century too late".[14] Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood of I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide were negative as well, calling the episode "dreadful". They wrote that, aside from a couple of references to sixties psychedelia and the hippie movement, the only significant part of the episode is the revelation of Homer's middle name. They concluded by writing that the episode is "humourless".[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Scully, Mike. (2007). Commentary for "D'oh-in' in the Wind", in The Simpsons: The Complete Tenth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  2. ^ a b c d Cary, Donick. (2007). Commentary for "D'oh-in' in the Wind", in The Simpsons: The Complete Tenth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  3. ^ Groening, Matt. (2007). Commentary for "D'oh-in' in the Wind", in The Simpsons: The Complete Tenth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  4. ^ a b Kirkland, Mark. (2007). Commentary for "D'oh-in' in the Wind", in The Simpsons: The Complete Tenth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  5. ^ Hauge, Ron. (2007). Commentary for "D'oh-in' in the Wind", in The Simpsons: The Complete Tenth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  6. ^ a b c d e Warren Martyn & Adrian Wood. "D'oh-in in the Wind". BBC. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  7. ^ a b c d e Bates, James W.; Gimple, Scott M.; McCann, Jesse L.; Richmond, Ray; Seghers, Christine, eds. (2010). Simpsons World The Ultimate Episode Guide: Seasons 1–20 (1st ed.). Harper Collins Publishers. p. 479. ISBN 978-0-00-738815-8.
  8. ^ Farber, Jim (July 7, 2009). "Woodstock concert's undercover lovers, Nick and Bobbi Ercoline, 40 years after summer of love". New York Daily News. Retrieved August 25, 2011.
  9. ^ "JAG HELPS CBS WIN WEEK BY A NOSE". Sun-Sentinel Company. Associated Press. May 19, 1998. p. 4E.
  10. ^ "The Simpsons - The Complete 10th Season". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
  11. ^ Roxby, Aaron (September 7, 2007). "DVD Review – THE SIMPSONS - Season 10". Collider. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  12. ^ Plath, James (August 17, 2007). "Simpsons, The: The Complete 10th Season (DVD)". DVD Town. Archived from the original on December 5, 2012. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  13. ^ Jacobson, Colin (August 20, 2007). "The Simpsons: The Complete Tenth Season (1998)". DVD Movie Guide. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  14. ^ MacNeill, Jake (September 25, 2007). "The Simpsons: Season 10". Digital Entertainment News. Archived from the original on September 28, 2011. Retrieved April 20, 2011.

External links[edit]