Summary: Krusty isn’t doing too well. After being roasted on TV, he goes to see his father, Rabbi Hyman Krustofsky. Right before the rabbi passes away, Krusty asks his father what he thought of his act. His father responds with a tepid, “Eh” and dies. Krusty is heartbroken and spends the rest of the episode trying to figure out if his life and career truly meant anything. He finds his answer when Bart shows him that another rabbi uses jokes Krusty once told, which reaffirms his worth as a comedian.
Meanwhile, after the death of Krusty’s father, Lisa is worried about her own dad and how long he has left. It’s no secret that Homer’s not in great shape, and he’s getting worse as the years go by. After Lisa surrounds her dad in bubble wrap in an attempt to keep him safe, Homer explains he’s not scared because there’s no guarantee about how he’ll die. Still, when a bus hits him and the bubble wrap lessens the impact, Lisa is happy because she has a marginal amount of control.
Review: An unfortunate problem for this episode is hype surrounding the death ahead of the season premiere. For months, Fox released trailers advertising that a character would die, the creators dropped hints about it during panels, and an effort was made to fool viewers into believing a major character was going to pass. In the end, the victim was just a one-off character who had no real personality or presence. Yes he was Krusty’s father, but outside of his first appearance (Like Father Like Clown) he hasn’t had much to do with the show.
Another problem with this episode is how it handles Jewish culture. When Krusty sees Jewish heaven, it’s nothing but stereotypes, including a poorly done Rodney Dangerfield. For an episode centered on the death of a rabbi you’d hope for something more creative and actually funny.
Krusty’s grief is understandable. After all, he’s lost his father after learning that the rabbi Hyman didn’t care for his act. That’s one of the best parts of the episode. For every joke about his drug and drinking habits, Krusty is still legitimately hurt that his dad’s gone and that he never found him funny.
Seeing Lisa obsess over her dad’s health is an element that’s overdone. In past episodes, it seems like every Simpson has tried to do something to Homer’s health. What makes this different is that he seems to be closer to death than ever before. But since they’ve already axed Herschel in the episode and said in the opening of the episode that he doesn’t die, is there any point to this story? Also, why is Lisa wrapping Homer in bubble wrap when it seems she’s worried about how unhealthy he is? Isn’t she supposed to be the smart one? Still, while there may not be many memorable sayings or moments in these newer seasons, I’ll say that Homer does give good advice about worrying about life and death near the end of the episode.
As a new episode, it’s OK. If it hadn’t hyped up a death for months, then it would have been better. It could have been worse if it dragged the death out through the episode. Hopefully, this will be the beginning of a return to the Simpsons we love.
Final Score 3.5/5.0
Well, it would have been stupid of me to not keep up with the new episodes. Check in every week now for a review of a classic and a new episode during the season. My name’s Andrew Semkow and Welcome To Springfield.