In celebration of the 500th Episode of my favorite TV show of all-time, The Simpsons. I'm counting down my Top 40 favorite episodes.
#36: Brother From Another Series
Original Air Date: February 23, 1997
PLOT: Sideshow Bob is let out of prison, into the care of his brother Cecil (David Hyde Pierce).
It's amazing that this episode just turned 15 years old. It really speaks to the, for better or worse, longevity of the show. This is a season eight episode, which means its towards the tail-end of what would be called by most, the best years of the series. Make no mistake though, the show, in hindsight, was still churning out absolute classics seemingly every week. A lot of the future spots on this list will be filled by Season Eight episodes.
In a brilliant, if a little obvious, piece of stunt-casting, David Hyde-Pierce is brought in to play Cecil, Sideshow Bob's brother. Eight seasons in, its a bit brazen to add to or change the mythos of an already classic character. For example, Season Nine's episode "The Principal and the Pauper" introduced the Armin Tanzarian-Seymour Skinner plotline that everyone basically agrees sucks. This is Sideshow Bob's sixth appearance and it is one of my favorites. What makes this show great is what made the show Frasier so great: the chemistry between David Hyde-Pierce and Kelsey Grammer. I can only imagine it was a walk in the park for both of these actors.
I like the fact that, for once, Sideshow Bob is trying to turn his life around and definitely seems to have turned over a new leaf. What's hilarious about it is that Bart and Lisa will stop at nothing at uncovering his non-existent evil deeds.
One scene that has always made me laugh is the exchange at the dam, between Sideshow Bob and the slack-jawed yokel workers.
“See, Cousin Merle and me, we were playing with Geech. That’s our smell hound. And…”
“Geech gone to heaven, Mr. Terwilliger.”
“Oh, Cousin Merle, really!”
“Temper, temper. You know Cousin Merle ‘ain’t been quite right’ lately.”
Gets me every time.