Emmy-winning veteran actress Marcia Wallace has passed away, due to complications from breast cancer. In 1972, Wallace became a part of television history when she was cast to play Carol Kester, the joke-loving receptionist to Dr. Robert Hartley on The Bob Newhart Show. It was a breakout role for the actress, but to an entire generation of television viewers Wallace will forever be remembered as Edna Krabappel, Bart Simpson's cynical, sarcastic, and largely unlucky in love fourth grade teacher on The Simpsons.
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In yet another moment clearly meant to remind you that you are no longer young, The Simpsons is about to air it's 24th "Treehouse of Horror" Halloween special. Any current or lapsed fan of the show is familiar with a few of the traditions that go into the annual episode, including the altered opening and horror-inspired Couch Gag. The theme continues this year, and this time the producers of the show brought on Guillermo del Toro to create the opening. Just under three minutes long, the animation features guest appearances by a few comic characters, as well as a nod to Futurama, and some inspiration from Mad magazine and former Hellboy artist and frequent del Toro collaborator Guy Davis.
If you have ever dreamed about drinking a Flaming Moe at Moe's Tavern or having a for-real Krusty Burger, you can go get one in The Simpsons' apparent home state of... Florida?
That's right: Universal Studios Orlando has a fully realized Springfield. There's even an Android's Dungeon and Baseball Card Shop (which assuredly sells Bongo Comics). So stifle your annoyed grunts (that's Simpsons script-speak for "d'oh") and check out all the images and video of the new attraction putting the "Spring" in "Springfield" after the cut.
We all know that bananas and banana peels are excellent sources of potassium and physical comedy, respectively, but did you know that they could also be used as a medium for art that will alternately amuse you and haunt you to your grave? Neither did I until I saw the work of Japanese "banana engraver" Keisuke Yamada, who has carved presumably edible versions of all manner of pop culture figures and/or mind-bending horrors.
Check out a few of our favorites -- including characters from Attack on Titan, The Simpsons, Alien, Transformers, Castle in the Sky and Star Wars -- below, and don't worry: If one of these pops up in your breakfast tomorrow, you can always defend yourself with Yamada's flintlock pistol. The flintlock pistol is also carved from a banana.
The town of Springfield has conquered almost every medium: TV, video games, film, comics, home video, books, t-shirts, radio (if you have The Simpsons on while you look away from the TV), figure skating, etc.
And yet Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie and the rest of Springfield's denizens hadn't made the jump to that all-important mode of expression, the Lego set, until now.
I doubt any sitcom in television history has employed as many movie references as The Simpsons, or been as clever about it. It's been a staple of the series throughout its run, and catching as many of them as possible is a bit of an obsession for some, including Bryan Menegus, who did us all the wonderful favor of cutting together every movie reference from the first five seasons of The Simpsons into one video. You can watch the whole video after the cut, but I should say that it's about 20 minutes long and pretty much impossible to stop watching once you've started. You've been warned.
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In terms of branding, Matt Groening has always been the anti-Bill Watterson. Whereas the Calvin and Hobbes cartoonist was opposed to nearly any use of his creations on merchandise, Groening was never shy about his desire to see characters from The Simpsons on t-shirts, posters, sneakers, and nearly anything else you could think of. The strategy paid off: Simpsons merchandise, seemingly omnipresent at one point, served as great advertising and played a role in making the show the longest-running American television sitcom of all time. And while that movement has died down a bit over the years, it hasn't completely gone away. Case in point: these new Converse sneakers, featuring Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie, available now on Converse's website. You can check out pictures of each below. Feel free to get a pair of Bart Simpson kicks, grab a Butterfinger, and be transported to another world. And by another world, I mean 1993.