After a summer where FXX boosted its profile by showing #EverySimpsonsEver, Fox is very eager for its Sunday season premieres. “Clown in the Dumps” kicked off Animation Deference-to-Brooklyn-Nine-Nine with the death of Krusty’s father, Rabbi Krustofsky. It’s typical hit-or-miss current Simpsons, but the couch gag by Don Hertzfeldt made me remember the infinitesimal possibility that humanity’s future is probably as subatomic particles receiving TV signals into their exo-skeletons.
On the guest star front, comics Jeff Ross and Sarah Silverman lend their voices and likenesses to Krusty’s Comedy Central Celebrity Roast. The Simpsons writers did what they could with tamer roast material, but I think the “Itchy and Scratchy are his testicle’s names” sound like something heard on a schoolyard. Carrot Top appears along with two other comics I can’t recognize.
Also, Sideshow Bob (voice of Kelsey Grammer) makes a brief cameo. Sideshow Mel obviously despises him. Heh. Maurice LaMarche also does a lot voicing local critic Clive Merriweather and Rodney Dangerfield. (I think.)
About the death of the Rabbi: Krusty gets angsty about never receiving little more than “Eh” than his father. Krusty is a tough son, after all: he only calls his father on Easter and Christmas (Honor your father, indeed). To get over the Rabbi, Krusty creates a “Jewish Heaven” in his mind where Rodney Dangersfield welcomes entrants, the Marx brothers dance in a nightclub, and Joe Lieberman has a “Presidential Library.”
After Krusty watches, Krusty visits a synagogue of a favorite rabbi of his father’s then is relieved that the rabbi uses the Klown’s material down to the “Hey, hey!” (Deuteronomy? Isn’t that the study of Deuters?) Bart, also with Krusty, retorts that Rabbi Krustofsky hated his son’s delivery. Krusty not making accusations of joke stealing wraps up the A plot.
The B plot didn’t go very far. Homer’s overweight and Lisa is worried about him. There’s a whole episode of Homer-versus-morbid-obesity (“King-Size Homer”) where Homer’s health is the main plot. There was more room for showing the consequences in that episode. Here, it’s just a dumping ground for unfunny dramedy.
“Dumps” had some amusing bits, including Homer punishing Bart after the brat calls his dad a “Flabbi.” The B plot with Homer and Lisa weighs the episode down, but “Dumps” generates some chuckles.
Final Rating: 3½ out of 5.