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Nine Latter-Day Simpsons Episodes That Match Up to the Early Classics

“Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind,” Season 19 - Homer loses his memory Photo: Matt Groening/FOX

With The Simpsons’ 500th episode coming on February 19, TV critic Matt Zoller Seitz wrote a celebration of the series. He used to be in the “It’s stale, pull the plug” camp, but after catching up on more recent seasons, he revised his opinion, and now feels that while the last thirteen years of The Simpsons weren’t as great as the first ten, the series has maintained an impressive level of quality over nearly a quarter century. And, he points out, there have been episodes in the post–Golden Years that stack up against sainted entries in the Meyer/Swartzwelder/O’Brien glory days. Here he picks nine episodes that prove that while The Simpsons can’t reinvent TV forever, it can still make us laugh.

One of the show’s great high-low spectaculars, starring Lisa as Joan of Arc, Bart as Hamlet, and Homer as Odysseus bumbling through Greek mythology. At one point he crosses the river Styx while “Lady” plays in the background. Did you know Hamlet inspired Ghostbusters?
Krusty learns he was never bar mitzvahed and temporarily leaves his kids’ show to study for it. Homer’s replacement program, a panel show featuring Lenny and Carl, is a smash. So Krusty airs his “Wet ’n’ Wild” bar mitzvah on Fox because they take “chances on crap.” Photo: ?2007FOX BROADCASTING
Marge enters a bake-off with her dessert dogs; camera-shy novelist Thomas Pynchon drops in, wearing a paper bag on his head, sampling food while punning on the titles of his fiction (“These wings are V-licious!”). Photo: © 2005 FOX BROADCASTING
This “Treehouse” anthology has three keepers. My favorite is “You Gotta Know When to Golem” (“XVII”), starring Richard Lewis as the clay avenger of Jewish legend and Fran Drescher as his eventual she-Golem mate.
Homer loses 24 hours of memory after Moe gives him a “Forget-Me-Shot,” then tries to recover it with the help of Professor Frink. Intimations of adultery and domestic violence are chalked up to misunderstandings, but this is still one of the show’s darker episodes. Photo: Matt Groening/FOX
Nine Latter-Day Simpsons Episodes That Match Up to the Early Classics