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"Husbands and Knives"
The Simpsons episode
Husbandsandknives.jpg
Promotional image featuring Milo outside his new comic book store.
Episode no. 407
Prod. code JABF17
Orig. airdate November 18, 2007
Show runner(s) Al Jean
Written by Matt Selman
Directed by Nancy Kruse
Chalkboard "The Pilgrims were not illegal aliens"
Couch gag Two hands (with five fingers instead of four) open a pop-up book to reveal the family sitting on the couch
Guest star(s) Alan Moore as Himself
Art Spiegelman as Himself
Dan Clowes as Himself
Jack Black as Milo
Maurice LaMarche as the jock

"Husbands and Knives" is the seventh episode of The Simpsons' nineteenth season, and was first broadcast on November 18, 2007.[1] It features guest appearances from Alan Moore, Art Spiegelman and Dan Clowes as themselves as well as Jack Black as Milo.[1] It was written by Matt Selman and directed by Nancy Kruse.

Contents

Plot

While shopping at the The Android's Dungeon, Millhouse accidentally sheds a tear on a Wolverine comic book and blurs Wolverine's iconic sideburns. For this, Comic Book Guy charges Milhouse $25. After Bart speaks out about how comic books are not "real", Comic Book Guy tells him and the other children customers to get out, thinking he has the only comic book store in town. To his surprise, a new comic book store, "Coolsville Comics & Toys", situated directly across the street from the Android's Dungeon, has just opened.

The children leave the store and head towards Coolsville, where the store owner, a hipster named Milo gives them Japanese candy and invites them to his grand opening. The children are astonished to see the store is jam-packed not only with comic books, but also with video games and modern art, giving it a sophisticated arcade look. When Lisa accidentally rips a page of a Tintin book, Milo is not angry and merely tells her that the books are meant to be read and enjoyed, not to be bought for the collector's value.

The store becomes even more popular, playing host to Art Spiegelman, Daniel Clowes and Alan Moore, who all visit for a book signing. Comic Book Guy jealously tries to sabotage Milo's popularity by pointing out his girlfriend (whom the kids have no problem with for she, like Milo, is also hip) and bribing the children with "Japanese weapons". When these plots do not work, Comic Book Guy tries to use the weapons to destroy Coolsville, but is subdued by the three authors, who remove their shirts to reveal bulging super-hero physiques.

(left to right) Dan Clowes, Art Spiegelman (wearing a Maus mask) and Alan Moore.

After dropping Bart and Lisa off at Coolsville, Marge compares herself to a standee of Wonder Woman, and is shocked to see how her physical feature is much larger. Marge promises to become slimmer, but while exercising at a large gym, Marge struggles with the treadmill. After being embarrassed by showering in public, Marge opens a gym for ordinary women.

Comic Book Guy, having finally given up, closes the Android's Dungeon, where Marge opens Shapes, a women-only workout center reminiscent of Curves, that is an immediate hit. Many women of Springfield comment on Marge's efforts; she opens another location at an abandoned Krusty Burger. Soon, after an interview on Opal (similar to Oprah), Marge becomes an international hit. Homer and Marge go on a luxury vacation at a hotel where Homer meets a group of three strapping young men who tell him he is on "wife support". They are all the second 'trophy' husbands and convince Homer that Marge will soon dump him for a healthier man, and give him a list of the stages Marge will go through before dumping him. These start to happen and Homer overhears Marge talking to a group of women about dumping something. Homer assumes it is him, although it is actually her purse. One of the three younger men tells Homer he is actually a first husband who used to be fat and ugly, but transformed himself through fashion, diet and exercise. Homer realizes what he needs to do: get cosmetic surgery.

Homer attempts to win Marge back by having stomach staples and plastic surgery done. When finished, Homer looks entirely different; his appetite level is significantly lower and his tear ducts moved to his pectoral muscles. While Mayor Quimby rewards Marge for her work with Shapes, Homer arrives in his new form, much to the shock and disgust of the town. Quimby orders the town to bring pitchforks and attack Homer. Homer and Marge run to the top of Springfield's Notre Dame tower and Marge, saying she wants a trophy husband, deliberately pushes Homer off the tower. Homer wakes up in the hospital, back to his old self. Marge informs him that after he was knocked out, the surgeon called for her permission on the surgery, to which she said no, and that everything from Homer's surgery to his "death" was just a dream. She had the doctor reverse Homer's stomach stapling, since she loves him no matter how he looks. The episode ends with Moore, Spiegelman, and Clowes watching Homer and Marge from mid-air. They mention that a meteor is headed for Earth, but forget about it after the mention of a convention for underpaid writers, flying away and allowing the meteor to strike.

Production

Alan Moore recorded his lines in October 2006, after the writers approached his then fiancée Melinda Gebbie. He is a fan of the show.[2]

Cultural references

Lisa reading a Tintin comic book.
Watchmen Babies in V for Vacation

Reception

The episode's initial broadcast had 10.5 million viewers.[7] Robert Canning of IGN called it an episode that can keep viewers entertained and laughing.[3] He called the character of Milo and Jack Black a perfect fit and particularly enjoyed the appearances of comic book legends Alan Moore, Art Spiegelman and Dan Clowes. He did note that the Homer/Marge plot was "not nearly as enjoyable as the comic related bits" and gave the episode a 7/10.[3]

On May 11, 2008, Entertainment Weekly named Jack Black's role as Milo the second of 16 great guest stars on The Simpsons.[8]

References

External links

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