Homer & Ned’s Hail Mary Pass, the 8th episode of season 16 and the 343rd episode, was first broadcasted after Super Bowl XXXIX on February 6, 2015, with a script by Tim Long and directed by Steven Dean Moore.
After Homer inadvertently performs a wild crowd-pleasing dance at a local carnival, he is hired by several sports figures, Lebron James, Warren Sapp, Michelle Kwan, Yao Ming, and Tom Brady (which, by the way, Tom Brady lead his New England Patriots to their third Super Bowl in four years in the game prior to the episode airing (ah remember when the Patriots were actually respected, those were the days)), to teach them how to showboat. Meanwhile, Flanders creates ultra-violent, ultra-gory Bible movies à la Passion of the Christ.
Another interesting note, this is the first episode in which Comic Book Guy’s real name, Jeff Albertson, is revealed to the audience.
Watching this one again just recently during The Simpsons 600 marathon on FXX, I remember really loving this one much more than I gave it credit for. The cameos by the five sports stars are extremely funny and carry a ton of the weight for this episode’s quality value. You’ve also got two really solid storylines working for the episode and when it comes together at the end when Homer has to put the halftime show together and has nothing to work with until Flanders comes on board, it just leads to one of the best climaxes the show has done in a while. Also, gotta love the way the series parodied halftime shows before they became concerts because before 1993, those halftime shows were unbearable to watch…no, really, go back and look at a halftime show from 1992 and back, they were godawful to watch.
Bottom line, this is the best episode of the season up to this point, it’s very funny, it uses its’ guest stars very well, the animation is good, it’s a very good episode, not quite as good as the Simpsons’ previous post Super Bowl episode but still really good.
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