The Simpsons

Season 15 Episode 14

The Ziff Who Came to Dinner

2
Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Mar 14, 2004 on FOX
7.5
out of 10
User Rating
103 votes
6

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
The Ziff Who Came to Dinner
AIRED:
Homer tries to take the kids (Bart, Lisa Rod & Todd) to a movie; meanwhile Ned has taken the seniors for ice cream to celebrate Jasper's birthday. With all the kid friendly movies sold out, Homer (on Lenny's recommendation – he's in the movie) takes the kids to see "The Re-Deadening" a horror film that really scares the children. So much so that Bart and Lisa begin hearing noises from the attic. They try to investigate, but their fears scare them out of the attic. They get Homer to lead an investigation into the attic and they find that Artie Ziff has been living there. Ziff tells them why he is living in their attic, his Internet business failed and he's lost everything. He wants to stay there and promises to be on his best behavior until he gets back on his feet. Artie stays, but Marge sees a news report that the SEC is looking for Artie Ziff. Meanwhile, Artie is playing poker with Homer and his friends. Artie puts up 98% of his remaining stock to make a bet and Homer wins the pot, just as the SEC sweeps in to arrest Ziff. Homer (as majority stockholder) is taken into custody. Homer is put on trial and sentenced to ten years in prison. Marge tells Artie that the only reason no one likes him is because he only thinks of himself, which he soon begins to realize and after a night of passion with the only Bouvier sister (Selma) he can have he Ziff turns over his corporate books and Homer is exonerated.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The Ziff is back.

    8.5
    Homer takes Bart, Lisa, Rod and Todd to the movies. He chooses the film 'The Re-Deadening', a horror film which leaves the children in fear of everything. Bart and Lisa begin to hear noises in the attic and they tell Homer, who leads an investigation only to find Artie Ziff living up there. After Artie's internet business failed, he lost all his money. He requests to stay with The Simpsons until he gets back on track. Marge discovers that the SEC are looking for Artie. While playing poker with Homer and the gang, Artie puts up 98% of his remaining stock to make a bet and Homer wins the lot. The SEC arrive, but Homer is the one arrested as he is now the major stockholder. Homer is sentenced to ten years in prison. Marge tells Artie nobody likes him because he's selfish, which he realizes after sleeping with Selma. Ziff turns over his corporate books and is put in prison, and Homer is exonerated. Artie Ziff is a great character to bring back to the show. This time they brought him back, but unfortunately he was not as good as last time. Anyways the episode deserved a decent score and a B grade. Watch it.moreless
  • Artie Ziff strike back... Only this time as an attic bum....

    8.5
    Homer takes Bart, Lisa, Rod and Todd to the movies. He chooses the film 'The Re-Deadening', a horror film which leaves the children in fear of everything. Bart and Lisa begin to hear noises in the attic and they tell Homer, who leads an investigation only to find Artie Ziff living up there. After Artie's internet business failed, he lost all his money. He requests to stay with The Simpsons until he gets back on track. Marge discovers that the SEC are looking for Artie. While playing poker with Homer and the gang, Artie puts up 98% of his remaining stock to make a bet and Homer wins the lot. The SEC arrive, but Homer is the one arrested as he is now the major stockholder. Homer is sentenced to ten years in prison. Marge tells Artie nobody likes him because he's selfish, which he realizes after sleeping with Selma. Ziff turns over his corporate books and is put in prison, and Homer is exonerated. This episode was good, but certainly not as good as the rest of season 15..... There is not much else to say about the episode except good but not excellent.moreless
  • Artie Ziff! Pretty good episode here.

    7.7
    Well, I guess it was a bit much to ask for three great episodes in a row. This episode was not bad per se, just a little "meh". The plot was quite weak and Artie was not as funny as he usually was. On the other hand, there was some excellent subtle humour and visual gags, and the couch gag was the best I've seen for a long time.



    The first act, as usual, had nothing to do with the rest of the episode, but was probably the funniest. The two Matrix posters, and some of the movie titles were great (The Fashion Of Christ, Eating Nemo and Freddy Vs. Jason Vs. Board of Education spring to mind).



    I thought it was pretty strange that Artie Ziff happened to be living in the Simpsons' attic, but the rest of the plot progressed okay. There were some good one-liners (such as "Morman? But I'm from Earth!" from Homer) and the resolution of the episode wasn't too bad, although the actual ending (Ziff spraying water on everyone) was a bit stupid.



    moreless
  • The fine return of Artie Ziff. He went from billionaire to attic bum. How creative!

    9.9
    I found the trip to the ice cream store with the old people pretty funny. I found the movie funny. The one thing I didn't like was the way the movie scared Bart. Whatever happened to the evil laughing Bart? He's become a wimp! I liked how Artie Ziff acted like one of the kids, that was cool enough. I really think that there was no need for the Flanders kids to be with Homer though. Then Artie got Homer sent to prison after losing his shares of his business, making Homer the majority owner. Artie got kicked out, yada yada, and he found romance with Selma. Classic! How about a wedding for those two? I loved the ending, where Artie Ziff kept squirting cigarettes, enraging the prisoners.moreless
  • Homer goes to prison again

    8.9
    From the redeadening at the start to homer kicking the guard in the crotch at the end, this episode is non-stop comedy. however, this is my least favourite Artie Ziff episode, definitely not as good as Half-Decent Proposal because the character seemed to be finished until this episode aired. Ziff did have some god lines but the first act is definitely my favourite with homer buying the redeadening soundtrack and playing it at the dinner table and Bart and Lisa's trip to the attic. Well, at least now we know that since Ziff is in prison he can't watch Marge through a camera (though Homer doesn't seem to snore since Proposal anyway)moreless
Julie Kavner

Julie Kavner

Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier

Harry Shearer

Harry Shearer

Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others

Dan Castellaneta

Dan Castellaneta

Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others

Nancy Cartwright

Nancy Cartwright

Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others

Yeardley Smith

Yeardley Smith

Lisa Simpson

Hank Azaria

Hank Azaria

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others

Jon Lovitz

Jon Lovitz

Artie Ziff, Jay Sherman, Llewelyn Sinclair, Aristotle Amadopoulis, Prof. Lombardo

Recurring Role

Tress MacNeille

Tress MacNeille

Agnes Skinner, Brandine Del Roy, Dolph and others

Recurring Role

Karl Wiedergott

Karl Wiedergott

Additional Voices

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (5)

    • As the children grow suspicious of something being in the attic (accompanied by eerie music), Homer demands to find out what it is, because "No one plays my theremin" (referring to the electronic musical instrument often used to create such eerie incidental music in films). When they find Ziff in the attic, a theremin can be seen on the table behind him.

    • During the card game, Barney's hair is messy. But when the police drag Homer away, it's neatly combed.

    • Krusty is a member of the Congressional Committee investigating securities fraud. Ironic, since he was nailed for tax fraud in "Bart the Fink." Krusty was elected to Congress in last season's "Mr. Spritz Goes to Washington."

    • The poster for 'The Wild Dingleberries Movie' has the main characters standing around a dead zebra that is lying in a pool of blood. Springfield Church Movie Guide is named 'What Would Jesus View.'

    • On the Googoplex theater's movie sign, in 2 there is The Fashion of the Christ but in the other two at the right of the picture there is A Kiss Before B and it is cut off.

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Marge: (to Homer) You took young children to see The Re-Deadening? This is a rare lapse of judgment for you!

    • Marge: You only care about yourself.
      Artie: Don't be ridiculous. I care about more than just moi.
      (He daydreams)
      Artie look-alike can-can dancers: Artie! Artie! Artie! Artie!
      (The dancers clap and laugh and the daydream ends)
      Artie: Oh, dear God...

    • Guard: Sorry you were wrongfully imprisoned, Simpson.
      Homer: Can I apply my time toward a future crime?
      Guard: You can either steal a car or kick me in the crotch.
      (Homer kicks him in the crotch)
      Guard: Uhhh, no one ever picks the car.

    • Lawyer: You, sir, are a moron.
      Homer: A Mormon? But I'm from Earth!

    • Homer: Don't tell my kids I'm going to jail! Tell them I joined the Blue Man Group! I'm the fat one!

    • Homer: (Laughs) Check it out! I own a multi-national corporation! (Chuckles) I always knew someday I'd be a C.O.D.!

    • Chief Wiggum: That's some good spelunkin' Lou. Mighty fine spelunkin'!

    • Lisa: Aw, thanks for reading me the corrections. It makes me feel better about my own family.
      Artie: Doesn't your father ever read to you?
      Lisa: He tried once, but he got confused and thought the book was real. He's still looking for that chocolate factory. It consumes him.

    • Lisa and Bart: Mom, Dad, there's a ghost in the house!
      Marge: Good, can you play with him for a half-hour?

    • Groundskeeper Willie: I lost all my "screw you" money!
      Principal Skinner: I'm very sorry to hear that, Willie.
      Groundskeeper Willie: Screw you!

    • Lisa: Mom, Dad, I love you. Maggie, you can have my books. And Bart I'll see you in hell you booger-eating wuss! That's right, we all know!

    • Kent Brockman: Coming up. Can yodelling cure cancer? Of course not.

    • Homer: I am so there.
      Ticket Agent: Sorry pallie, The Dingleberries are sold out, but looking at you, I'm sure your kids are used to disappointment.

  • NOTES (3)

    • This the third appearance of Jay Sherman. The first being in "A Star is Burns" and the second being in "Hurricane Neddy".

    • The couch gag offers more evidence that the family lives in midwestern America; however check out the Cultural References section for more on the origin of this couch gag.

    • Blackboard Joke: I will not speculate on how hot teacher used to be.
      Couch Gag: The family sits on the couch as normal and then the camera turns and tracks upwards through the ceiling, into the atmosphere and out into space with a view of the Earth, which is shown in its place in the solar system. The solar system becomes part of the galaxy, which in turns becomes part of the universe. The galaxies in the universe become parts of an atom, which in turn are part of a DNA molecule, which in turn makes a part of Homer's head. Homer then says, "Wow!"

  • ALLUSIONS (16)

    • Lisa's (as she believes) last words into the camcorder is a reference to the film "The Blair Witch Project", right down to the tears and snot running down her face.

    • When the repo men are taking Artie's stuff, one of them is loading Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night painting into a truck.

    • Homer: My Big Fat Greek Salad?
      Googolplex Employee: Not a movie.

      The movie Homer is thinking of is probably My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

    • The song playing during "The Re-Deadening" is similar to the song played at the beginning and end of the 1968 film "Rosemary's Baby."

    • Lisa: He's still looking for that chocolate factory. It consumes him.
      Lisa said this about Homer who had tried reading to her Roald Dahl's story "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" in which a underprivileged boy named Charlie finds a golden ticket to Wonka's Chocolate factory. In 1971 this story was released as the film "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory."

    • Theater marquee: The Pianist Goes Hawaiian
      Another "combine two movies to make a Simpsons' creation" – "The Pianist" and "Gidget Goes Hawaiian" make for this oddly-titled film.

    • :
      "Freddy vs. Jason vs. Board of Education" is yet another film playing at the theater, and has several parodies in one. First, "Freddie vs. Jason" recalls the film "Freddy vs. Jason", the 2003 horror flick where Jason kills the family of Freddy's previous victims and, to save his life, Freddy tries to stop them.

      The inclusion of the Board of Education – referencing the landmark 1954 Supreme Court case which declared racially segregated schools unconstitutional – make the battle an only-on-the-Simpsons "triple threat match."

    • :
      The Ziffcorp logo (the "crooked Z") is supposed to look like the Enron symbol. I don't think Enron needs any explanation.

    • :
      The couch gag is a parody of a well-known film from science class circa 1977, "Powers of Ten", a cinematic classic that opens at a lakeside picnic in Chicago and draws back in perspective by order of magnitudes of ten, every ten seconds, until the Milky Way is a dot of light lost amidst an unimaginably large universe, then reverses the journey, ending inside the proton of a carbon atom." Pretty standard short film of high school science classes the last 20 years; this is 0% a reference that the Simpsons live in the midwest--rather, since it is nearly a shot-for-shot parody, of course it starts over the Chicago area.

    • :
      Jay Sherman of The Critic has been featured on the show before. His own TV series ran on 1994 - 1995 on ABC (and later FOX) and recently had 3 minute shorts on Shockwave.com. The shows are also connected by James L. Brooks, Al Jean, Mike Reiss & Nancy Cartwright.

    • :
      'The Wild Dingleberries' and the remarks about the film poke fun at Klasky-Csupo's 2002 film "The Wild Thornberrys Movie."

    • Theater Posters for Matrix sequels: Matrix Christmas and You're in the Matrix Charlie Brown
      Multiple-layered parody here. First, the idea of two different Matrix movies out so close to each other, which happened last year. A "Christmas" Matrix is a play on the usual cliche of setting a sequel during Christmas. The Charlie Brown matrix is a reference to the old Peanuts story, "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown."

    • Theatre Marquee: From Justin to Kelly 4
      Apparently in Simpsonworld, the flop American Idol musical triggered three sequels.

    • Theater Marquee: The Fashion of the Christ
      This is a play on the controversial movie The Passion of the Christ by Mel Gibson, which is about the last 12 hours of Christ's life before his crucifixion.

    • :
      The title is based off of the title of the play "The Man Who Came to Dinner."

    • Selma Bouvier (to Artie Ziff): "C'mon Short Round, I'm taking you back to my 'Temple of Doom'."
      In the 1984 film "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom," archeologist/adventurer Indiana Jones had a Chinese kid for a sidekick. The boy's nickname was "Short Round."

More
Less
  • 8:00 pm
    Caught on Camera With Nick Cannon Octane
    NEW
    NBC
  • 10:00 pm
    20/20
    NEW
    ABC