View Poll Results: How do you rate "Love Is a Many Strangled Thing"?

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  • 5/5: WHY YOU LITTLE!

    6 6.74%
  • 4/5: Arr Ah Augh!

    4 4.49%
  • 3/5: Can't breathe

    17 19.10%
  • 2/5: Stop choking me!

    32 35.96%
  • 1/5: I'm dead

    30 33.71%
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Thread: Rate and Review: "Love Is a Many Strangled Thing" (NABF10)



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  1. #1
    Same Avatar, Different Shit Zombies Rise from the Sea's Avatar
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    Rate and Review: "Love Is a Many Strangled Thing" (NABF10)

    March 27, 2011: Love Is a Many Strangled Thing (NABF10)
    When Homer inadvertently humiliates Bart in front of a stadium crowd, Marge encourages Homer to enroll in a fathering enrichment class taught by therapist Dr. Zander. Shocked to learn that Homer often strangles Bart for mischievous behavior, Dr. Zander conducts a series of treatments with the help of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to teach Homer what it feels like to be young and small. But when Bart learns that the therapy sessions have transformed Homer into a pushover, he takes advantage of Homer and becomes a school bully. Hoping therapy could also cure Bart of his bullying habits, Marge enlists Dr. Zander's help to patch their relationship.
    Last edited by Zombies Rise from the Sea; 03-27-2011 at 02:44 PM.
    My Simpsons Season 25 Ratings/Reviews:
    Homerland (3.5/10) Treehouse of Horror XXIV (5.0/10) Four Regrettings and a Funeral (4.0/10) YOLO (4.5/10) Labor Pains (5.0/10) The Kid is All Right (3.0/10) Yellow Subterfuge (5.5/10) White Christmas Blues (1.5/10) Steal This Episode (7.0/10) Married to the Blob (5.5/10) Specs and the City (4.5/10)

  2. #2
    Junior Camper Ram27's Avatar
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    Please don't tell me this episode is because some people actually had a problem with the strangling.
    It's still pretty terrible.
    Last edited by Ram27; 03-27-2011 at 04:20 PM.

  3. #3
    The Things I Do For Love Wail-Id's Avatar
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    that was pretty awful. i laughed like twice; the "Abc, 1, 2, 3! It's the easiest song ever" line (or whatever it was), and little homer strangling grandpa. the rest of the episode was pretty awful. it was boring.

    Homer trying to shoot the balloon down was alright.
    I almost smiled at Burns changing the "Kill Mr. Burns" to "Skilled Mr. Burns"
    "make an ass of yourself" almost got a smile out of me


    I don't get why Kareem Abdul Jabber, but whatever. Him strangling Homer so many times wasn't funny.

    I don't get why Bart became a 'bully'. I mean, Homer can't strangle him anymore, but he can still punish him. It's not like Bart's stranglings were punishments. So just because Homer can't strangle Bart anymore, Bart can to whatever he wants? Whatever happened to punishments?

    Also, Bart suddenly having a cell phone was weird; the whole point of Lost Verizon was that he didn't have one, and now he does? Did they decide to get him one? (this might just be a nitpicky thing though so i won't have it affect my grade).

    but yea this was terrible. i laughed twice. the rest was really boring and just did not have me interested. 1/5. Worst of the season

  4. #4
    No Life Club Member D'ohmer's Avatar
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    Some of the jokes were funny (Lenny's reason for not shooting down the balloon, the prank texting) and the plot before the forth act was good, but I didn't like the characterization. I thought both Homer and Bart were in jerkass mode with Homer not caring about Bart's feelings. Even worse was Bart, who didn't care if Homer died and only reverted back to his former self after he was strangled. I also thought the Marge and Lisa cutaway gag was pointless. Still, I enjoyed the episode before the forth act. 3/5
    You can do anything if you put your mind to it.

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  5. #5


    The first three minutes were the funniest, while Homer's dream sequence was laughable. The gag about the recession and high paying people being driven out of business was hysterical. But a number of gags were in poor taste. I especially didn't like Bart sticking a snake in Homer's pants and Dr. Zander accidentally grabbing Homer's penis instead before grabbing the snake. The scene regarding Homer tickling Bart and Bart wetting himself is overlong. Lisa and Marge's scene in act four seems to be tacked on.

    A mediocre episode 3/5
    Last edited by biffwestwood; 03-27-2011 at 04:54 PM.

  6. #6
    Chatting Simpsons Since 1993 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    Congratulations Bill Odenkirk. You're 0 for 7. That may be a record.
    On the bright side, one of your 6 Futurama episodes managed to actually be decent.

  7. #7
    Skeletor rising hughes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Lascelle View Post
    Congratulations Bill Odenkirk. You're 0 for 7. That may be a record.
    On the bright side, one of your 6 Futurama episodes managed to actually be decent.
    I'm not gonna argue with you on the simpsons statement (I enjoyed this one, but he doesn't have the greatest track record) but how the hell can you not like five out of six of these episodes:
    * "How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back"
    * "Insane in the Mainframe"
    * "A Tale of Two Santas"
    * "The Cyber House Rules"
    * "Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch"
    * "The Farnsworth Parabox"

    Anyway, I thought the episode was pretty great. Most of the jokes hit, Homer strangling Grandpa might have been the biggest laugh of the season from me, and I liked the ending gag. 13/15
    Living In a Rock and Roll Fantasy--my music review blog
    Most recent review--The Who's My Generation (12/15)

  8. #8
    Junior Camper Muskrat's Avatar
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    The Planet Express ship at the beginning was cool, and it was nice to have a little tribute to Elizabeth Taylor at the end. Otherwise, extremely dull.

  9. #9
    big bad Bartolo sung's Avatar
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    can't really decide yet for what i feel about this one, but i thought it was cool to see the intro start with futurama theme song; i was hoping that they would somehow integrate that tune into the simpsons intro but they went immediately back to the off theme, ah well
    calmer than you are

  10. #10
    canadian. likes the hockeys arii's Avatar
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    I honestly have no idea what to think about this one. I... don't think it was the best idea to have an entire episode revolve around Homer strangling his child?

    Homer was unbearably obnoxious and annoying in the beginning, then ended up being a one-dimensional coward.

    Bart started this episode off well, but then turned into a one-dimensional dick.

    An individual joke based around the exaggeration allowed by being animated is one thing, but focusing an entire episode on child abuse and attempting to make it a comedy... Maybe I need to watch it again, but I wasn't connecting with it.

    I guess the ending was kind of cute. Good for 'em.

  11. #11
    Don't bad-mouth the head! Xt'Tapalatakettle's Avatar
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    This one had a lot of potential, i.e.- an exploration of Homer's incessant strangling of Bart, but just felt stupid. I find it hard to remember the one joke I liked (ok, maybe there were two or three, something about therapists, but there was not much to smile about). At first, I moderately liked the idea of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but then they have to kill it with a montage. It's just amazing how forced everything felt in this episode. The beginning of the second act was probably one of the few points where this episode felt anything remotely close to natural. Lisa and Marge subplot... was that even a plot? Talk about filler.

    I'm rounding up to 2/5 just because I don't want to completely discredit the couple of jokes I laughed at.

  12. #12


    This was an okay episode at first with a premise that wasn't bad and might have even been interesting at first glance, but it just kept dropping points by the act.

    It wasn't a good start with the sequence with Burns and the balloon that while mildly amusing should have been cut. It might have been better to just start off at the stadium, and even the gags about all the superfluous attractions felt overlong. Then we get to the actual plot, and I was a little upset how few scenes we got dedicated to Bart, you'd think that with him getting humiliated we would have some more scenes showing how hurt or betrayed he felt, but he doesn't even show up again until act 3. That said, I actually thought the early scenes with Homer and the therapist were kind of funny, and while Kareem felt a little out of place at first, it ended up being a fairly humorous gag. Still, we didn't need a music montage, especially since we already had one of sorts with the stadium scene.

    The third act starts, and Bart becomes too evil too quickly. Bart's antics might have had some complexity or meaning behind them if we had some more focus on him earlier in the show, but we have nothing else to draw on except watching him be a monster towards Homer, who at this point has gone from evil to pathetic. Now we have no one to care about. The third act at least had Homer's nightmare as well as that little aside about the economy cutting all the luxury job positions (I almost wanted them to take that farther in some way), the fourth act however was just bad in every way. We still have Bart acting horribly, we still have Homer just being a pathetic target for pain gags, and in the middle of it all we get a long scene of Marge and Lisa that felt like it belonged to a different episode. There is no conceivable development or build-up going on, and that ends up making the climax with Homer, Bart, and the therapist ring hollow and false. That one act by Bart to save Homer from the noose (interrupted by a prank call gag to Moe, again completely disruptive to the flow of the scene) is all it takes to fix Homer and Bart? It feels rushed and flat. It might have worked if we watched Homer save himself from the noose and then save Bart from the therapist. Then we could have had a realization moment by Bart who realizes it was wrong of him to do what he did to Homer. Not to mention that not enough was made about just how bad the therapist was and how his methods were never helping anybody. Then, the episode just ends, too little build-up, too little pay-off, too little closure, the final act was just a mess.

    I would like to say that there was a fair amount of good humor here and there (though the gags would drift into disruptive or overlong territory here and there) so it wasn't a horrible episode, but overall it leaves a bad taste considering that things just kept getting more and more unfocused and sloppy as the episode went on. 2/5
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  13. #13
    Wants you to do fine. NoOneFamous's Avatar
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    And just when I thought they couldn't kill the "Homer strangling Bart" joke any further, along comes this episode (excluding Homer strangling Abe in the flashback, which was funny). Like others have already mentioned, calling attention to the fact that strangling him is actually child abuse just makes it awkward to watch. And then there was that bit where apparently Homer was strangled for hours and hours at a time as "treatment"...

    The beginning of the episode was pretty good, but I didn't care much for anything to do with therapy, especially after they went back to the therapist and "the economy went south and now I'm unrealistically poor". And then Bart annoying Homer because Homer can't do anything about it. Ugh they've already done all of this so many times.

    The end/resolution was so totally half-assed and rushed, and a poor characterization of Bart - He would not ignore the situation to send prank texts.

    3/5, generous

  14. #14
    I Just Want My Kids Back EthanRunt's Avatar
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    I enjoyed the episode, some good laughs, a nice solid premise, interesting moments and it all flowed well. Rudd was a good guest, Abdul Jabaar knocked it out of the park. I had a smile on my face for 22 minutes. 4/5

  15. #15
    Profound Sadness Kiyosuki's Avatar
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    edit: it's the episode's "direction" in the nutshell.

  16. #16
    I'm baaaack! Patches O'houlihan's Avatar
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    I'm in Virgina now, but forgot there was a new episode this week.

    Oh, well.


    Well, ya'know if you stay positive and forget about trivial things like "proper characterization," "Satire," and "emotional depth" watching new Simpsons episodes can be a seemingly enjoyable lie.

    "One of the keys to life is having a sense of proportion, knowing how long to sit at a restaurant after you've eaten, or how long you should go on vacation if you go to Hawaii for a month on vacation, I guarantee you that by the end you'll hate it. So it's the same with a TV show, you want to do a certain amount of it, so that when people look back on it and they love it. I could have easily done the show for one or two or three more years, but it would have changed the way people look back at it. I think I made the right decision. Because people like the show now even more than they did in the 1990s, because it didn't get worn out." -- Jerry Seinfeld

  17. #17
    Snakes and snails Neptune's Avatar
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    Ah, It was ok, I guess. Everything I have to say about this episode has been said already. I definitely didn't like the fact that they turned the Homer strangling Bart gag into an episode. Not my favorite of this season.
    3/5
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  18. #18
    lp.org Mira's Avatar
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    It started off good enough; a little cartoony, but nothing too ridiculous. I liked Homer's dream sequence a lot, especially the "Precious" parody. I hate the music montages and it this episode it was really unnecessary seeing as it was just segments of KAJ strangling Homer over and over. Once was enough. The resolution also was pretty weak and too silly & wacky, in my opinion. Bart not caring enough to cut the rope was not believable. 3/5 being generous... plenty of room for improvement here, but certainly not the worst.

  19. #19


    Honestly, I'm confused. Apart from the list joke, I'm not sure what to take away from this episode.
    The moral of the episode is that therapy doesn't work and that strangling is justified because Bart annoys people?

    Is that correct? I assume there's some moral due to the tune they played at the end.

  20. #20
    Moe is their leader. Captain_Smiley's Avatar
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    I really loved the part where Bart pushes the therapist over the edge. "We'll talk when he's dead." was the best line of the night for me.

  21. #21
    Junior Camper Ram27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain_Smiley View Post
    I really loved the part where Bart pushes the therapist over the edge. "We'll talk when he's dead." was the best line of the night for me.
    I agree. That line was a ray of sunshine in this otherwise cloudy episode.

  22. #22
    DAMN YOU TED TURNER! D DEBBS's Avatar
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    Few laughs (Green Bay fan and the Vikings fan/Boy Homer choking Abe), but M-E-H.

  23. #23
    Mama took those batteries Bankrupt Panther's Avatar
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    I haven't read this thread or even voted in the poll, so I have no idea how this episode was received, but as for me:

    I feel this episode could have been a bit more than what it was. I think it might have been better if the fans saw Homer strangle bart on the fan cam, and they would be appalled, forcing Homer to try and change his ways. Like the last episode, it had some good jokes, my favorite being little Homer strangling his dad. But then we get to the part where they're trying to help Bart, and this already pain-heavy episode reaches epic proportions. And that sex joke was disturbing. Do they have to do this in EVERY EPISODE now?

    3/5.
    The original Favorite and least favorite by season
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    Voted "Best Taste" in NHC awards. Therefore, I'm right, you're wrong.

  24. #24
    Same Avatar, Different Shit Zombies Rise from the Sea's Avatar
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    Love Is a Many Strangled Thing

    And yet another episode of generic cartoon comedy #18, this one involving the long mentioned but never taken seriously until now thing of "choking", which only happens halfway into the episode. The beginning of the episode starts off with the Futurama theme music and in my opinion, a slightly less impressive version of the Planet Express ship (which I admit was cool but then again anything from the internet is cool.) the end of the intro made up for it with an (in my opinion.) cool couch gag.

    While the previous episodes had a good plot building up before collapsing on themselves, this one doesn't really have a good plot at all. Most of the jokes in the beginning (Mr. Burns balloon gag, Homer's shooting gag, the fancy smanchy stadium with various gags) fail to hit. Except for the Skilled Mr. Burn gag and the Kent Brockman gag (I sort of liked this one.) The way Homer gets into parenting class is also weak, Homer and his family dances while Bart suddenly becomes rejective and doesn't want to dance, leading for him too... Wait for it... Make him wet himself... It's surprising that the people laugh at Bart even though Homer was directly at fault, these writers seriously have no idea on how to make a deep story, just instantly taking the easy way out.

    The middle and last parts of the story don't show any improvements either. We get a nice bit with Homer and his past (I admit, it was a nice bait and switch joke) but other then that, most of the scenes at the counseling center fail to connect. It was good seeing him choke Homer once but they just dragged the joke on and on and on and on, I don't get why they couldn't get an ordinary guy but I guess they had some jokes about the NBA they wanted to get out into the open. After that, Homer becomes a complete fucking patsy and completely forgets about punishment and all that (so do the other characters (especially at the school.) leaving Bart completely free to do anything that creates more jokes for us to laugh at (he was a bully to his father, when will we ever see him bully kids? I'm guessing never.) The dream sequences featuring Homer parodying famous Black abuse movies/incidents never really connected for me, feeling more like Homer and Bart playing the roles of abuser and abused with just a small amount of exaggeration so that we know it's a parody.

    The whole thing about the people with high paying professions being homeless doesn't feel believable for me (maybe it's due to the lack of a proper transition.). I guess in the world of The Simpsons, all the people who've had high-class jobs are suddenly homeless because people stopped spending money (apparently they've never looked at the middle class segment, only the rich, which makes it only less believable.) While I appreciate them trying to evoke feelings from us, it could of been done with a lot more execution, then we get Homer and Bart going through Therapy once more, and the gags throughout most of this segment mainly rely on coasting and us expecting to laugh when Homer gets hurt (I'm not a fan of these visual gags, especially when they're this constant.) The saving grace comes when the therapist utters a decent line when he's choking Bart (maybe to state how Bart makes people crazy but him? I dunno.) and Bart cuts down his father and they decide to sue the guy... Huh? I appreciate them ending with father and son together but after a full blown episode filled with not much plot development, I don't know what to think of it.

    Some other things, Marge had some character going on though I disliked the smile she gave when she was calling on the phone. The Marge and Lisa scene, while it was nice that they gave them some airtime, I don't know why that scene had to be in there, nor why the list joke had to be in there as well... Also the Moe texting gag, very weak (I am a wiener) and very outdated (texting replies are hard, donating to Haiti (especially when stuff like Syria and Japan are happening right now, seriously.)). And the guest star was decent in this one, but not a saving factor at all.

    This is one of the latest examples of how down the show has gotten. Most of the characters are just vessel for jokes and even the main characters were poorly characterized and when the story calls on them, they just happen to move the plot forward, the writers should learn that creating a story can also create a memorable episode (the jokes I think are a smaller but still more important part of the formula.) I also did not laugh at many of the jokes that flew on screen, it seems like they were focused on the fact that Bart as the abuser and Homer as the patsy and Homer being choked is funny and as such it kind of contributes to the downfall of the episode. There are some jokes that I laughed at but then again I can just burn those jokes and just leave the rest.

    You know, I had actually hoped that Homer would choke Bart and it'd be caught on the jumbo-tron, it would of been interesting to see the whole town of Springfield shun Homer for choking his son, and it would of been more interesting to see Homer try to prove that he is a nice father but I guess the writers aren't sophisticated enough to write a story like that... So, a muddied moral lesson, a feeling of false advertisement and no attempt to even change anything (even Homer's choking, which only people in family counseling found offensive), if Bart's unchokable throat proves anything, is that The Simpsons in it's current state will never die and this episode is sheer proof of it. There may be a chance we could get lucky but then again, it's not to be expected.

    One thing I gotta say though. With the current slate of Simpsons episodes being released, Conan O'Brien's fears should be relinquished already. I'm guessing that there is some part of his brain that is constantly thinking "These new Simpsons episodes are horse crap, I can certainly write better episodes then these chimps." But then again, it's just a simple guess.

    1.0/10


    P.S.: The fact they devoted this episode to Elizabeth Taylor in her memory just makes me speechless, that is all.
    Last edited by Zombies Rise from the Sea; 03-30-2011 at 06:32 AM.

  25. #25
    Internet, eh? Rowdy Roddy Peeper's Avatar
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    One of the problems with modern Simpsons is that the characters personalities are exaggerated to unrealistic and unfunny degrees. We all know Bart likes to pull pranks on Homer, but at no point would Bart EVER want his Father to be KILLED?! Allowing his Father to be hung like that, when there's scissors in his reach...It's sick, out of character and unfunny. Similarly I've noticed the same kind of attitude forming between Homer and Grampa. They've always had a complicated relationship, and Homer would often get bored of him and Grampa would be an old coot. But at no point whilst Homer's having a stroke would Grampa videotape his Son potentially suffering brain damage. This show isn't Family Guy. The writer's shouldn't make 'edgy' jokes and then fall behind the 'It's only a joke, it's only a cartoon' barrier. Because that's precisely what they're doing. "It doesn't matter that Bart becomes EVIL in the third act. It doesn't matter that for some reason Homer doesn't try to punish his Son using non-violence. None of these things matter, because it's only a cartoon, it's only a joke and I'm getting paid."

    Just care some more would ya. All of you.

  26. #26
    Got milk? Snaked's Avatar
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    I think i'll be fair: 0/5

  27. #27
    The Things I Do For Love Wail-Id's Avatar
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    i was actually a little shocked that they had bart simply not care whether or not his dad died. i mean, what the hell. bart may be a brat but he has a heart. that made him seem like a little heartless bastard, and that is definitely NOT the bart we're used to. i may not have cared if it was funny, but i doubt that the writers could have made such a thing funny. that's probably my least favorite bart moment right there

  28. #28


    It's getting really hard to say worst episode ever when every season at least 3 more episodes could take the title. But this episode is probably the worst since Bonfire and my first F grade of the season. I mean on one hand making Homer responsible for his shotty parenting isn't really a new premise but they did have hime dealing with the choking thing but they managed to turn that into the worst possible plot filled with the worst characterizations the show has seen in a long time.

    Grade: F and a 1/5 on the poll a definite bottom 20 episode.
    Last edited by Old painty-can Ned; 05-09-2011 at 09:45 AM.

  29. #29
    space-time condominium chris's Avatar
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    if i recall two of matt groening's cardinal rules for this show were

    a) animals aren't people (re: that stupid dolphin slapping another animal at the arena gag [though this shit has been recklessly trotted out since season 10])
    b) nothing should ever be made out of homer strangling bart because of how disturbing that would be

    actually, in regards to the first subject, i recently listened to the war of the simpsons commentary wherein matt groans incredibly hard and angrily at general sherman's camera wink. seems like he managed to get the staff to put those gags on the backburner for roughly ten years before it got so, so much worse, when matt turned his attentions toward futurama and scully began receiving carte blanche. but why didn't he put his foot down when last night's episode was going into production? rule b seems more serious than rule a. at the very least he could have taken his name out of the credits a la a star is burns. yeah, matt's contributions are limited now or whatever, but he still could have called jean on this. furthermore, why does jean care so little about adhering to the few basic but severe restrictions his boss/assumed friend (they sound like they get along fine now in these commentaries) gave him? it's more than apparent he doesn't care about anything much anymore but come on, guy

  30. #30
    Wants you to do fine. NoOneFamous's Avatar
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    Matt Groening doesn't care because as long as he doesn't complain, he still gets lots of money for doing essentially nothing.

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