What The Simpsons Took From The Twilight Zone | NowThis Nerd

Submitted for your approval: two holiday traditions One, a year-end exhibition of a sci-fi classic, the other, a twisted take on our favorite animated family

Tonight, we help you plan your marathon with episodes that inspired ‘The Simpsons,’ and together, we’ll join these 2-D icons as they cross into the fifth dimension, otherwise known as ‘The Twilight Zone’ The time? 1990 The place? Springfield, USA The episode? ‘Treehouse of Horror,’ and a tale of deception called: ‘Hungry are the Damned’ Eat! Grow large with food! I’ve gotta switch off the Rod Serling impression or this video will be 40 minutes long

Anyway, during a backyard barbecue, the family is abducted by Kang and Kodos, two drooling aliens who promise them a life of paradise back on Rigel IV A world of infinite delights to tantalize your senses and challenge your intellectual limitations! Only Lisa seems to notice their extremely obvious obsession with the Simpsons’ weight and succulence, Hey, how come we never see you guys eat? Oh, uh, we wouldn't want to spoil our appetite for the great feast when we land on Rigel IV! and her suspicions are confirmed when she finds a book called ‘How to Cook Humans’ But the actual title is obscured by an absurd amount of space dust I guess Serak the Preparer doesn’t keep a tidy kitchen If you wanted to make Serak the Preparer cry, mission accomplished! After a hilariously long back-and-forth, the book’s full title is finally revealed, Let me get this straight: You thought

They thought we were going to eat them! Good God, is this some kind of joke?! and the humiliated Simpsons are left behind to toil on Earth There were monsters on that ship And truly, we were them The segment is based on a 1962 ‘Twilight Zone’ episode called ‘To Serve Man’ Ladies and gentlemen of the Earth, we greet you in peace and friendship! Some giant aliens called the Kanamits arrive on Earth, and humanity is skeptical, Precisely what are you motives in coming here quite uninvited? Are we to assume there is no ulterior motive? until cryptographers decode the title of their mysterious book: ‘To Serve Man’ The Kanamits do just that for a while, but the illusion is shattered after the rest of book is decoded to reveal a horrifying truth: Don't get on that ship! 'To Serve Man,' it's a cookbook! No! No! For such a staple, the episode had a pretty thin premise

I mean, it’s pretty unlikely the Kanamit language even has grammar, and what are the odds they’d have a word with the exact same dual meaning as English? You're speaking English! I am actually speaking Rigelian By an astonishing coincidence, both our languages are exactly the same It’s no ‘Arrival,’ that’s for sure, but the Cold War paranoia that’s a hallmark of the ‘Twilight Zone’ was perfect for a ‘Simpsons’ parody Excellent, Mr Simpson! Excellent

Our next case is a dive into the mind of a troubled ten-year-old boy, Bart’s Nightmare Not to be confused with the incredibly difficult SEGA Genesis game of the same name Quite a twist, eh? In this ‘ToH II’ segment, Bart holds Springfield hostage using godlike psychic powers Hi Otto! Move over, I'm driving No can do little buddy Oh wait, you're the little dude with all the gnarly powers! Quit riding the brake, Otto! Give it some gas, man! This is fun, isn't it?! We're gonna die, aren't we?! He can alter reality, change history, And our country isn't called America anymore It's Bonerland and transform dissenters into hideous monstrosities If Harry Shearer’s Rod Serling impression didn’t clue you in, this segment is based on a ‘Twilight Zone’ episode called ‘It’s a Good Life’ Just like Bart, a boy named Anthony has trapped his entire town in limbo The residents of Peaksville don’t even know if the rest of the world exists anymore, and anyone with unhappy thoughts gets banished to the Cornfield, You think about me! Go ahead, Anthony! You're a bad man! Will somebody sneak up behind him?! Will somebody take a lamp or a bottle or something and END THIS! ‘It’s a Good Life’ is one of the show’s most famous stories, and it was even remade in the 1983 ‘Twilight Zone’ movie

The bigger budget gave director Joe Dante more room to play with Anthony’s powers The show might have left things to our imaginations, Uncle Walt's gonna do a trick! but the film depicts his horrifying creations through some awesome ‘80s puppetry If you look, or listen, close, you’ll see Nancy Cartwright in her first movie role She gets swallowed up in a world of cartoons, just a few years before she became Bart Simpson for basically the rest of her career Th-th-th-that's all, Ethel! Case number 3 brings us Terror at 5½ Feet

Bart’s day starts off bad enough, I hope this is sweat and a gremlin tearing up his school bus pushes him over the edge No one believes Bart’s warnings

Otto, you gotta do something! There's a gremlin on the side of the bus! No problemo, Bart dude! Otto thinks the problem is solved after he runs Hans Moleman off the road, and Skinner gets so aggravated he forces Bart to sit next to Uter, in his very first appearance Bart fights off the creature, but he receives no thanks for his efforts Look at the bus! I was right, I tell you, I was right! Right or wrong, your behavior was still disruptive, young man! Perhaps spending the rest of your life in a madhouse will teach you some manners Haw haw! It’s not as cerebral as the last two segments, but it’s a helluva ride, and there’s something genuinely disturbing about Flander’s severed head In ‘Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,’ the paranoid passenger of a jumbo jet is played by none other than William Shatner

There's a man out there! Look! Look, he's crawling on It’s three years before ‘Star Trek,’ KHAN!!! and he hams it up in a brilliant performance that’s become a part of pop culture: ‘Mad Max’ mastermind George Miller directed the movie remake, starring Shatner’s ‘3rd Rock’ costar John Lithgow There was somebody out there! You gotta believe me! He does a great job, but he’s no Captain Kirk

There's a man out there! The gremlin suit might be less convincing in the original, but if you ever want to see the Shat go apeshit in a confined space, you should check out this episode come New Year’s Now, ‘ToH VI’ provides us the curious case of Homer³ Desperate to hide from Patty and Selma, Homer steps through a hidden portal into the third dimension It's like something outta that Twilighty show about that Zone In 1995, it was a big deal to see a fully rendered 3D world on ‘The Simpsons’ Man, this place looks expensive

I feel like I'm wasting a fortune just standing here This was a month before ‘Toy Story’ changed everything, and the episode was hyped for weeks before it aired It's Homer in 3-D! Holy macaroni! At first, the animators didn’t know how to translate Matt Groening’s cartoon anatomy into the third dimension, so they based Homer and Bart’s models on vinyl toys, Cool, man! and results still look pretty damn good today The CGI void is filled with obscure math jokes and nerdy references, but at the same time it still feels eerie Don’t forget, Homer vanishes forever at the end of this episode

He’s stuck in our reality, trapped in a world he never made with only erotic cakes to ease his infinite loneliness Ooh! Erotic cakes! ‘Homer³’ actually has a bleaker ending than the ‘Twilight Zone’ episode it’s based on, ‘Little Girl Lost’ It’s about a couple who wakes up to discover that their daughter has vanished into the walls of their house Since this is the ‘60s, the husband is obviously best friends with a physicist, If it's what I think, it's kind of a gap opening on another dimension Probably the 4th dimension

Just like Bart, her father follows her through the portal, which is surrounded by the exact frame drawn by Professor Frink There are no goldfish or teapots in the fourth dimension, just a strange, trippy existence our minds can’t comprehend But somehow, he saves his dog and daughter just before the portal closes forever That's why It was closing up all the time you were in there

Another few seconds and half of you would have been in here, and the other half It’s not often you see a happy ending on the ‘Twilight Zone,’ but the non-canon ‘Treehouse of Horror’ is never afraid to go there Crap crap crap crap crap crap crap! Like our last case, ‘The Genesis Tub’ After an electric shock creates tiny advanced life in Lisa’s science experiment, their civilization worships her as their god

You look down on us from heaven! You gave us life! And only your divine intervention can save us from the devil! Naturally, Bart gets a little jealous, Whoops, my finger slipped Whoops, my finger slipped Whoops, my finger slipped Bart! Stop it! and the tooth people launch a counteroffensive in another early use of computer animation What the heck?! The small society is taken from a ‘Twilight Zone’ episode called ‘The Little People

’ After two astronauts land on a strange alien planet, one of them discovers a race of insect-sized beings who he terrorizes as a vengeful overlord They're scared, Fletch! Petrified! So they do what they're told! Just like Bart and Lisa, the two partners wage war over the helpless little civ But while Lisa is trapped in the tiny world until they can figure out re-bigulator technology, Great I'm stuck in this lousy tub for the rest of my life ‘The Little People’ ends with a twist worthy of ‘The Scary Door

’ What have you got? A man A tiny little man Well, you crushed him to death I didn't mean to Say, you suppose there are any more of them down there? I dunno, what's the difference? We're not here exploring, we're here making repairs

C'mon, let's get outta here Speaking of which, ‘Futurama’ did their own parody of the episode, and so did ‘Rick and Morty’ ‘South Park’ even built a whole episode around the fact that the ‘Simpsons did it’ Oh my god! The tiny underwater civilization has advanced hundreds of years! They think I'm God! ‘The Little People’ was an impressive feat for 1962 television, and it’s a cool concept that’s stood the test of time, just like ‘Treehouse of Horror’ By telling short stories outside of series canon, the writers had a chance to cut loose with the established ‘Simpsons’ characters in situations that were too crazy, even for Springfield

I’m gonna switch back to Rod in case your forgot the subtle meaning of this video Because ‘Treehouse of Horror’ is the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to an influential classic, and use its cultural clout to make a legendary show like ‘The Simpsons’ even better, on its influential trek through ‘The Twilight Zone’

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