The Seven-Beer Snitch

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"The Seven-Beer Snitch"
The Simpsons episode
Episode no.349
Directed byMatthew Nastuk
Written byBill Odenkirk
Showrunner(s)Al Jean
Production codeGABF08
Original air dateApril 3, 2005
Couch gagThe Simpsons sit down on the couch. A roasting spit skewers the couch and the floor below pulls back to reveal a fiery pit. The Simpsons are then spun around over the heat. Marge's hair is soon on fire.
CommentaryMatt Groening
Al Jean
Bill Odenkirk
Tim Long
Ian Maxtone-Graham
Matt Selman
Michael Price
Dan Castellaneta
Tom Gammill
Max Pross
David Silverman
Steven Dean Moore
Guest appearance(s)

Frank Gehry as himself, Charles Napier as Officer Krackney and Joe Mantegna as Fat Tony

Seasons

"The Seven-Beer Snitch" is the fourteenth episode of The Simpsons' sixteenth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 3, 2005.

Plot[edit]

The Simpsons go to Shelbyville to see a musical, which paints Shelbyvillians as smart, sophisticated people and Springfielders as hicks and morons. Afterward, an angry Marge goes to Springfield's Cultural Advisory Board to brainstorm a plan to make Springfield more sophisticated and gets the idea to hire architect Frank Gehry to build a concert hall. The $30 million project is eventually finished, but opening night proves to be a bust when everyone in Springfield leaves after hearing the first five notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Eventually, the building falls into shambles from abandonment.

At the town meeting, Mr. Burns agrees to buy the hall and turn it into a state prison. Homer applies for a job as a guard, but is rejected after Otto switches his thoroughly drug-laded urine sample with Homer's. Mr. Burns soon forces Chief Wiggum to reinstate old and forgotten laws to fill his prison with convicts and make more money. Homer becomes one of those convicts after getting caught kicking a can five times down the street.

Homer is sent to work in the prison kitchen and becomes a prison snitch after unwittingly alerting the guards of Snake's escape attempt. Soon, Homer is rewarded with food, special treatment, and a new plasma TV, but the other prisoners soon learn he is a snitch after he openly reveals this to Marge in the visitation room. After using a fake claim of a prison break to lure out all of the guards, the prisoners attack Homer. Using the key to the concert hall given to her as head of the Springfield Cultural Activities Board, Marge finds Homer in the kitchen with the other prisoners on his tail. They take refuge in the gas chamber, where Marge scolds Homer about the lives he ruined with his tattling.

Before the prisoners can attack Homer and Marge, the guards come in with tear gas and riot gear. As they are released, Homer tells Governor Mary Bailey about the prison's deplorable conditions and food. Bailey tells the prisoners that since there is no room left in the prisons they were transferred from, they will be put on a garbage barge and bare-knuckle box until someone emerges as their king, a plan the hardened convicts applaud. Homer is eventually released, which pleases Marge, and heads out to Moe's after she falls asleep.

Meanwhile, Bart and Lisa find out that Snowball II has been gaining weight. Lisa follows her and discovers she has been regularly visiting and eating food from another family, who believe she is theirs and nicknamed her "Smokey". Snowball prefers her second family to the Simpsons, to Lisa's dismay. Bart goes in to set the record straight, but instead the family fills him up with good food and teaches him the same trick they had taught Snowball.

Production[edit]

Walt Disney Concert Hall, designed by Gehry, is thought by many to have been inspired by a piece of crumpled paper.

Frank Gehry guest starred in the episode of himself, becoming the first architect to appear on The Simpsons.[1] According to Matt Chaban of The New York Observer, "Because of his successful style, Frank Gehry sometimes comes under criticism for being a hack whose buildings all look the same—even if in their 50th iteration, those waving bands of metal still look amazing, fresh and different. This sensibility was, like so many other things, immortalized on The Simpsons."[1] The episode makes fun of Gehry's architectural style in a throwaway gag, which sees Gehry becoming unintentionally inspired for the design of the concert hall after crumpling up Marge's letter and hurling it to the ground. The crumpled letters becomes the model for the building.[1] As a result of the scene, according to Gehry, many people believe this is how he actually received the inspiration for his real-life buildings, particularly the Walt Disney Concert Hall, though this is not the case.[1] He told the public affairs show Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN in September 2011 the gag was just "a fun – fun thing. But it has – it has haunted me. People do – who've seen The Simpsons believe it."[2] He also commented that "Clients come to me and say crumple a piece of paper, we'll give you $100 and then we'll build it."[2]

Reception[edit]

In 2007, Simon Crerar of The Times listed Gehry's performance as one of the thirty-three funniest cameos in the history of the show.[3]

Cultural references[edit]

Homer's tiny hat is a reference to the character Simon Adebisi from HBO's prison drama Oz.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Chaban, Matt (2011-09-05). "Frank Gehry Really, Really Regrets His Guest Appearance on The Simpsons". The New York Observer. Retrieved 2011-09-10.
  2. ^ a b "Transcripts - Fareed Zakaria GPS: The Role of Women in the World; Interview With Robot Comedian". CNN. Retrieved 2011-09-10.
  3. ^ Crerar, Simon (2007-07-05). "The 33 funniest Simpsons cameos ever". The Times. Retrieved 2010-08-09.

External links[edit]