Between Two Ferns with Jerry Seinfeld

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, a video essay explores the art of sales by looking at the unconventional methods of Michael Scott from The Office. Plus, the Zack Galifianaikis web series Between Two Ferns returns with two new guests, and The Simpsons voice star Hank Azaria breaks down his career on the big and small screen. Read More »

apu controversy

The problem with Apu doesn’t seem like it will be solved any time soon. The Simpsons, which just hit a record-breaking 636 episodes, has been criticized for the Indian stereotypes pushed by its long-running character Apu, the Kwik-E-Mart owner voiced by Hank Azaria. And while the Fox sitcom dismissed the Apu controversy in a recent episode — igniting even more controversy — some people are willing to do something about it.

Castlevania producer Adi Shankar challenged writers to “fix” Apu, starting a contest to rewrite the character without mocking Indian stereotypes. But just as Shankar took us in a step in the right direction, The Simpsons creator Matt Groening took us one step back, doubling down on the show’s polarizing response.

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simpsons gunsmoke parody

The Simpsons just hit a historic milestone: it beat Gunsmoke to become the longest-running primetime scripted series on television. Will this animated series ever end? Who the heck knows! Watch a Simpsons Gunsmoke parody below!

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hank azaria apu

The problem with Apu has reached a fever pitch ever since The Simpsons decided to clumsily brush off criticisms of the character’s Indian stereotypes. But the voice actor behind Apu, Hank Azaria, has a much more dignified response to the controversy.

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the simpsons apu

In the 2017 documentary The Problem with Apu, comedian Hari Kondabolu questions the legacy of Apu, the long-running The Simpsons character voiced by Hank Azaria. The stereotype of the thick-accented convenience store owner has haunted Indian-Americans for decades, and Kondabolu takes the caricature to task in the hour-long film, which interrogates the character’s impact on South Asian representation on television.

“[He’s] a white guy doing an impression of a white guy making fun of my father,” Kondabolu jabbed about the character.

Now, The Simpsons has finally responded to The Problem with Apu’s criticisms. And the long-running Fox series addressed it with what was essentially a wave of the hand and a shrug.

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stephen hawking dead

The world has lost one of its greatest minds.

Stephen Hawking, the renowned theoretical physicist who helped shape current thought on cosmology and the infinite possibilities of the universe, has died. He was 76.

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The Simpsons - Who Shot Mr. Burns Pitch

One of the most famous episodes of The Simpsons is the two-part mystery episode “Who Shot Mr. Burns?” that aired in 1995 as part of both the sixth and seventh season of the animated comedy series. Taking cues from the famous Dallas cliffhanger episode about who shot J.R. Ewing, the mystery was created in the season finale of the sixth season and wouldn’t be solved until the season premiere of the season seven.

It was quite the television event, with fans looking for clues and trying to figure out who shot Springfield’s maligned millionaire. While we all know that the culprit ridiculously turned out to be none other than Maggie Simpson, the original pitch for the episode had a variety of threads that could have been followed to reveal someone else behind the crime. A hard copy of the Who Shot Mr. Burns pitch has emerged online and provides some new details on where the episode could have gone. Read More »

100% Soft Kaweidoscope Art

One of the most unique and unmistakable pop culture artists working today is 100% Soft. His adorable illustrations have brought cute flair to our favorite movies and television shows. His artwork is so delightful that the likes of Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm commissioned him to create the little emojis that appear on Twitter with certain character and title hashtags.

For his latest project, 100% Soft is getting a little trippy with his signature art style. The Gallery 1988 show Kaweidoscopes features 100% Soft’s familiar character designs, but in a symmetrical, circular pattern as if they were being viewed through a kaleidoscope. Not only are there regular prints of these new pieces, but there are also lenticular versions that make them all the more trippy. Read More »

the simpsons showrunner interview

Somehow, in 29 years of The Simpsons, I still have not run out of things to ask showrunner Al Jean. And this year, there have been some pretty monumental changes to address. Longtime composer Alf Clausen ended his run with season 28. The Disney acquisition of 20th Century Fox makesThe Simpsons now a Disney-produced show, even as their network, Fox, remains separate.

I caught up with Jean at the Fox party for the Television Critics Association. In addition to the big news, we also went over some specific risque lines and cameos from fan favorites Leon Kompowski and the Pin Pals. The Simpsons airs Sunday nights on Fox.

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The Problem with Apu

Last year, comedian Hari Kondabolu released a documentary called The Problem with Apu, addressing problems the titular character from The Simpsons, a convenience store owner of Indian-American descent. Hank Azaria, who voices Apu, was on a Television Critics Association panel for season two of his IFC series Brockmire when he was asked about the documentary. Azaria was grateful for the chance to respond, but does it mean The Simpsons will make any changes to the character?

Find out what Hank Azaria had to say about The Simpsons Apu problem below. Read More »