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The Simpsons: Funeral for a Fiend

Sideshow Bob makes his 10th appearance on 'The Simpsons'(S19E08) Welcome to the Frasier reunion. Yes, not only did we have Kelsey Grammer reprising his role as Sideshow Bob Terwilliger in this episode of The Simpsons but we also had David Hyde Pierce return as Cecil Terwilliger and John Mahoney come in as the boys' father. While Pierce and Mahoney did have their moments it was all Grammer this episode as a Sideshow Bob coming apart at the seams.

And, that's appropriate, as it was the tenth time that Bob has appeared on the animated comedy. I fear there is a bit of a discrepancy, though, since Bob didn't attempt to murder Bart in each of those appearances. For instance, in the first season episode "Krusty Gets Busted" Bob attempted to frame Krusty rather than kill Bart (he barely even knew who the boy was). In "Brother From Another Series" it was Cecil, not Bob, who attempted to kill the young Simpson lad. So, technically, you could say that Sideshow Bob directly attempted to kill Bart in five episodes (including tonight's). This, I am sure, will bring debate to the board.

Gallery: The Simpsons

The cast of 'The Simpsons'Lionel Richie, Homer, Marge and Stephen ColbertSideshow BobTreehouse of Horror XVIIIJack Black

For the most part this week's episode was entertaining. Plus, it also brought a bit of continuity into the show, something that comes and goes on the program like the fabled city of Brigadoon. The Simpsons needs to keep things straight when it comes to its Sideshow Bob appearances because there is so much history with the character and fans would probably cause a minor uproar if they saw the slightest change. With the other characters this isn't done so much. For example, what happened to Milhouse's new James Dean attitude he developed a few weeks ago?

The episode featured the usual jokes you'd find in a Sideshow Bob vehicle. Bob's cleverly planned plot to kill Bart and the rest of his family goes horribly wrong in the end due to some quick thinking by a Simpson child. This time around it's Lisa. I've noticed over the years that most of his plots are foiled by either Lisa or Bart, or a combination of the two. I still remember the episode "Black Widower" when Bart had to draw diagrams for Homer to let him know that Selma was in trouble her new beau, Bob.

For a minute there I did believe that Sideshow Bob had finally kicked the bucket. I mean, the show has to end sometime. So, why not start to kill off some of the characters? What made me believe that was not the funeral itself but Cecil's little speech to Bart on the sidewalk near his home. Then, the minute passed, and I realized that Bob could never be killed and that it was all a clever ruse. Plus, some individual attempt on Bart's life had to take place.

Some of my favorite moments during the Sideshow Bob scenes:

  • Bob mentions that his fake commercial led him to direct a feature film -- The Hills Have Eyes 3: The Hills Still Have Eyes
  • Lisa mentioning Bob's misquotes of Shakespeare, which he really takes to heart.
  • Snake appearing at Bob's funeral and then again as a cellmate of the Terwilligers.
  • Mother Terwilliger. Turns out that Bob his hairstyle from his mother.

Time to talk about the scenes that brought us to the return of Sideshow Bob. Other than the appearance of the Mr. Sparkle commercial during Lisa's first scan, the Tivo moments didn't do anything for me. This may be due to the fact that it was done a few years before in an episode of Family Guy. When I saw the Tivo sign at the Circuit Shack my mind immediately went back to that other animated comedy and the originality of the idea went out the window. Even Marge staying up all night watching television wasn't new -- the whole family did it years ago when they first got cable.

Next week -- nothing. Nada, Nil. No new episodes until December 16th. However, when The Simpsons does return it looks to be a interesting episode.

What did you think of Sideshow Bob's tenth appearance on 'The Simpsons'?

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