Help yourself to some stock.
April 29, 2002
After your typical 5 minutes of opening shenanigans, Bart decides he’s going to be a comic artist. His first efforts more or less suck, but he gets encouragement from an unlikely source: Stan Lee himself, who’s visiting the Android’s Dungeon to hang out and make sure Marvel merchandise is at the front of the shelf ahead of DC’s. I don’t believe any mention was made of the new Spider-Man movie at all, and restraint like that is deserving of a kudo or two.
Hunting about for a “classic character,” Bart notices Homer struggling to set up a chaise longue, his frustration mounting until he ends up setting himself on fire. Voila: “Angry Dad” is born. Bart draws his first issue of “Angry Dad” and prints it (call me a stickler, but I do find myself wondering how a 10-year-old prints a color comic book by himself), and the reception is good. So good, indeed, that a soul-patched dot-com entrepreneur offers to buy “Angry Dad” and repackage it as an internet cartoon series.
What follows is the latest string of Simpsons in-jokes and self-referential animation humor (Lisa asks Bart if her character can have the last line in the scene—and gets it), along with some groaningly dated satire about the dot-com bust. While the jokes were pretty good — the company, BetterThanTV.com, prints its stock certificates on toilet rolls — they would’ve seemed a lot funnier 12 months ago. I realize it takes a while to draw these shows, but dated material is still dated, no matter how good your excuse. So there.
Things improve once Homer discovers he’s become an internet laughing stock and swears off anger forever. Despite some occasional worrisome swelling on his neck, he succeeds. Without an angry Homer, Bart has no material to draw on for his comic, so he sets a trap for Homer and goes off to see his internet partners, who are now bankrupt (see above) and tearing the copper wiring out of the walls. Homer, meanwhile, falls into Bart’s trap and gets very angry indeed, and the episode cultivates on the paint-drenched Homer giving into his rage and turning into an amusing facsimile of the Incredible Hulk, “Homer smash!” and all. Homer is quickly subdued and we learn that repressing his rage was actually killing him, and that Bart did the best thing possible in allowing him to express it. We also learn that Stan Lee once actually turned himself into the Incredible Hulk, but judging by the pitiful effort we see him make, he may be lying. ‘Nuff said!