You Kent Always Say What You Want
|"You Kent Always Say What You Want"|
|The Simpsons episode|
|Directed by||Matthew Nastuk|
|Written by||Tim Long|
|Original air date||May 20, 2007|
Mike B. Anderson
"You Kent Always Say What You Want" is the twenty-second episode of The Simpsons' eighteenth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on May 20, 2007 as part of the one-hour season finale, alongside the episode "24 Minutes"; a repeat took place on August 19, 2007. It was the milestone 400th episode of The Simpsons and was written by Tim Long. The episode guest starred Ludacris as himself and Maurice LaMarche as the Fox announcer. It was the last episode to air prior to The Simpsons Movie releasing into theaters on July 27, 2007.
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the show (when counting the shorts), the entire opening sequence is replaced with a black screen that reads, "20 Years Ago..." followed by a showing of The Tracey Ullman Show Simpsons short "Family Portrait".
Driving home after a trip to the dentist, Homer takes the Simpson family to an ice cream parlor, where he buys the store's millionth ice cream cone. This results in Homer's appearing on Kent Brockman's TV news talk show Smartline. Kent is disgusted that he is forced to do a fluff piece instead of an in-depth, intellectually stimulating discussion of the conflict in the Middle East. During the interview, Homer accidentally knocks Kent's cup of coffee into his lap, making him swear in pain.
After the commercial break, Kent apologizes, but is relieved to find that nobody saw his on-air faux pas. However, Ned Flanders sees Kent's infamous newscast during his nightly ritual of reviewing TV content, and gets people of a like mind to e-mail the Federal Communications Commission about the incident. The next day, during the Channel 6 newscast, Kent finds out that he is under scrutiny for his indiscretion and that the station has been fined a whopping $10 million. He is demoted to weekend weatherman with his rival, Arnie Pye, as the new anchorman. Later, Lindsey Naegle speaks to Kent, assuring him that his job is safe, but fires him after she finds "cocaine" in his coffee cup (actually Splenda, but Naegle doesn't care because it's the best excuse to fire him for cause).
The next day, at the Simpsons' home, Homer finds Kent sleeping on their couch, after Marge took him in amid fears that he might kill himself. While watching TV, Lisa wonders why the cable channel Fox News can be so conservative while the Fox Network broadcasts sexualized content. Kent replies that Fox deliberately airs programs with morally reprehensible content so that they will be fined by the FCC, with the fines being funneled to the Republican Party. According to Brockman, everyone in the entertainment business knows this, but no one is brave enough to report the scam. Lisa goads him into blowing the whistle on the scam, using her web camera and uploading the revelation onto YouTube. Kent's subsequent webcast is so successful that Springfield's Republican Party members are less than thrilled about Kent threatening their ill-gotten gains, so Lindsay Naegle and Krusty the Clown hatch a plan to stop him.
The next day, Lisa and Kent are confronted by the party members, who offer him his old job back with a 50% raise, which Kent accepts instantly, before apologizing to Lisa. At home, Lisa complains to Homer that today's media figures have no bravery or integrity. Homer consoles her by telling a horrifying secret that Kent told him about the Fox network, only for all references to the secret to be reduced with an announcer praising the network's programming. Before the closing credits, Homer tries again to tell the Fox network's horrible secret, only to be cut off by the Gracie Films and 20th Century Fox Television logos.
- The title references the Rolling Stones' song "You Can't Always Get What You Want", as well as the 1970 Kent State massacre (the original title for this episode was supposed to be "The Kent State Massacre," but following the Virginia Tech shooting, the title had to be changed).
- The song played when Kent is fired is the movie theme of Midnight Cowboy by John Barry.
- Homer makes implicit references to the Terri Schiavo case and the hot-button issues of immigration and homosexuality.
- The scene where Kent Brockman says to stand up to Fox while smoking is in reference to Edward R. Murrow and the film Good Night, and Good Luck.
- The title of the video shown in the dentist's office, "Menace Tooth Society", is a spoof of Menace II Society. Lisa's comment that the dentist's cartoon sends mixed messages parallels critiques of the spoofed movie.
- As Marge runs hurriedly home to greet Bart and Lisa, the main yodeling music (Way Out There by Carter Burwell) of the Coen Brothers' film Raising Arizona is heard, and parts of the scene parody the same scene (Moleman almost hitting them head-on, being shot at by Snake, etc.)
- One of Kent Brockman's career highlights was his interview with the Star Wars character R4-D4.
This episode, formerly known as "The Kent State Massacre", was renamed in light of the Virginia Tech massacre, which occurred only a month before the episode was set to air. The episode was intended to spoof increased fines by the Federal Communications Commission in the wake of the Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction. However, a month before the episode aired, Don Imus was suspended and subsequently fired for remarks he made on the air about the Rutgers University women's basketball team, through events closely paralleling the events of this episode.
The show was viewed by 9.80 million viewers. Robert Canning of IGN named the episode one of his three favorites of the season, stating that it "ended the season on a very high note". Canning also gave it a score of 9.3 out of 10 and called it "an episode full of highlights", adding, "This was a fantastic way to both end the year and celebrate the 400th episode milestone. The well-balanced finale reminded us how wonderfully the show can handle biting satire while remaining true to the family situation comedy at its core. If every future episode could be guaranteed to remain this smart and funny, we wouldn't have a problem with the show staying on the air for another 18 seasons."
- You Kent Always Say What You Want at TheSimpsons.com Archived October 23, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- Chernoff, Scott (2007-07-24). "I Bent My Wookiee! Celebrating the Star Wars/Simpsons Connection". Star Wars.com. Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-28.
- Reg. # PAu-3-061-056 in the U.S. Copyright Records database Retrieved on June 16, 2007
- Catlin, Roger (2007-05-20). "If Only Homer Could Count: He'd Know Tonight's Season Finale Marks The 400th Episode Of `The Simpsons'". Hartford Courant (ctnow.com). Archived from the original on 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2007-05-22.
- Ratings/Video 400th Episode Hour Archived December 4, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- Canning, Robert (June 14, 2007). "The Simpsons: Season 18 Review". IGN. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
- Canning, Robert (May 21, 2007). "The Simpsons: "You Kent Always Say What You Want" Review". IGN. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
- You Kent Always Say What You Want at TheSimpsons.com
- "You Kent Always Say What You Want" on IMDb
- "You Kent Always Say What You Want" at TV.com
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