The prisoner strapped under a descending pendulum blade. A raven who refuses to leave the narrator’s chamber. A beating heart buried under the floorboards. Poe’s macabre and innovative stories of gothic horror have left a timeless mark on literature. But just what is it that makes Edgar Allan Poe one of the greatest American authors? Scott Peeples investigates.
The Don Hertzfeldt couch gag is the first couch gag of Season 26, and appeared in Clown in the Dumps.
“Oh, definitely. What was interesting was, TheSimpsons was something that I was talking to, I think it was Bill Plympton, many years ago, because he did a couch gag for them. I think he’s done a couple actually. But the first one he was telling me about, he mentioned the pressure of it. He’s another independent animator and he said more people saw his opening for The Simpsons in that one night than had seen his previous independent work for 20 years combined. [Laughs.] It was just this massive, like, “My God, the pressure of doing something like that.” Of course, back then I thought, “What would I do if they ever asked me to do something?” It’s just an idea you turn around in your head for awhile. And the weeks went by, and I was like, “There’s nothing. I can’t think of anything I would do. I’m kind of glad they haven’t asked because I’d be paralyzed. I have no clue.” Fast forward years later when they did ask, I was like, “Oh, man, this again.” I don’t want to say no, but I don’t have any ideas. Within 24 hours, the whole thing was almost fully formed. It’s amazing what real-world pressure can do to something in your head to keep the creative engine going. I have to imagine also it was partially because I had started “World Of Tomorrow” and I had the futurism stuff on my mind. It’s such a weird TV show. When you break it down, it’s a show that’s been on for 20—what is it, 25 years?
“Yeah, and the characters don’t age. It’s very unique because it’s animated and they don’t age, but they evolve. They look very different than they did in the 1980s. Thinking about memories, Bart is a character who is 10, I think, in this show, but does he have memories from events from 20 years ago? Because it does seem to happen in real time, in a sense. I remember when Bob Dole was on during the election from like 1996. So, very freaky thing when you kind of break down how the show operates in time. What would happen if this longest running show on television just never ends? The original talent is long dead and buried and it just turns into this corporate nightmare where Marge is spouting fascist political things. It was just so much fun to do that. I’m still surprised that it actually happened. They were completely hands off. It just seems unheard of.
“It was super fun. The pressure of it didn’t get to me until the day of the airing. Like, for some reason it didn’t bother me while I was working on it, maybe because I was drawing Homer the way I draw stuff and it just didn’t look like… You know, when I did the first bit, when Homer runs in and sits down, that was animated over at the Simpsons traditionally and I just directed that bit. That felt more weird to me, because that’s actually Homer Simpson that I’m directing. Rather than the squid thing that I’m drawing. It felt more like a short film I was doing for them. On the day of the airing, I started getting kind of freaked out and my friends made me do a couple shots to relax. You’re wondering what could possibly go wrong right now. Is it going to air with no sound? [Laughs.] Did the Fox censors step in and change everything and they forgot to tell me? I think that was the only moment where I kind of felt the weight of it.
“I don’t know. [Laughs.] I feel like most viewers experienced a weird gentle seizure and just forgot about it. It’s really hard to tell how this stuff is perceived. They told me like 8.5 million people saw that premiere, so it did something. But I’m so isolated from it. I’m not in every living room.”
This animated comedy focuses on the eponymous family in the town of Springfield. The head of the Simpson family, Homer, is not a typical family man. A nuclear-plant employee, he does his best to lead his family, but often finds that they are leading him. The family includes loving, blue-haired matriarch Marge, troublemaking son Bart, overachieving daughter Lisa, and baby Maggie. Other Springfield residents include the family’s religious neighbor, Ned Flanders, family physician Dr. Hibbert, Moe the bartender, and police chief Clancy Wiggum.
“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”
Under her shrewd eye and pen, Sylvia Plath turned everyday objects into haunting images: a “new statue in a drafty museum,” a shadow in a mirror, a slab of soap. Her breathtaking perspectives and unflinching language made her a touchstone for readers seeking to break the silence around issues of trauma, frustration and sexuality. Iseult Gillespie shares why Plath’s writing continues to captivate.
Lesson by Iseult Gillespie, directed by Sarah Saidan, narrated by Bethany Cutmore-Scott, and music by Stephen LaRosa.
While crash-landing Rick’s ship in the ocean, Morty unexpectedly talks Jessica into a date. Unfortunately, landing in the ocean provokes Rick’s hitherto unmentioned nemesis, Mr. Nimbus, King of the Ocean, and controller of the police. Morty attempts to have a normal date at his home with Jessica while also helping Rick host a dinner party to placate Mr. Nimbus. In the process, he accidentally meddles with the affairs of an alternate dimension where time passes differently, coming to be seen as a legendary figure of doom there and complicating his date further. Eventually, Rick and Mr. Nimbus resolve their differences and help Morty and Jessica escape the futuristic overlords. Mr. Nimbus controls police to arrest Rick after discovering he had sent Summer to destroy a shell that increases his physical strength, and Jessica decides to stay friends with Morty after her outlook on life changed significantly from being imprisoned for hundreds of years by the alien society. Meanwhile, Beth and Jerry brag unconvincingly that their relationship has become more sex positive.
Rick and Morty is an American adult animated science fiction sitcom created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon for Cartoon Network’s nighttime Adult Swim programming block. The series follows the misadventures of cynical mad scientist Rick Sanchez and his good-hearted but fretful grandson Morty Smith, who split their time between domestic life and interdimensional adventures.
Frustrated at being the only straight flamingo in a gay flock, our hero falls in love with a lady stork who flies by. Unable to convince her of his serious intentions, he isolates himself and endures an identity crisis. An intensive encounter inspires him to make a bold move.
a classic scene from Ralph Bakshi’s Heavy Traffic in which is a transgender woman named Snowflake hooks up with a random guy.
Heavy Traffic is a 1973 American live action adult animated comedy-drama film written and directed by Ralph Bakshi. The film, which begins, ends, and occasionally combines with live-action, explores the often surreal fantasies of a young New York cartoonist named Michael Corleone, using pinball imagery as a metaphor for inner-city life.
Ralph Bakshi is an American director of animated and live-action films. In the 1970s, he established an alternative to mainstream animation through independent and adult-oriented productions. Between 1972 and 2015, he directed ten theatrically released feature films, six of which he wrote.
Angry Inch is a song by Type O Negative, included on the sixth album Life Is Killing Me, released in 2003. It is the cover of the off-Broadway musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch. It is a punkish song reminiscent of I Like Goils or Kill All the White People. This song tributes to the Broadway play about a botched sex-change operation.
This song was written by Stephen Trask, who wrote music for Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
The official song Angry Inch from the movie Hedwig &the Angry Inch composed by Stephen Trask and performed by John Cameron Mitchell.
Money, Success, Fame, Glamour is a song performed by musical artist Felix da Housecat for the movie Party Monster starring Macaulay Culkin and Seth Green.
Felix da Housecat is an American DJ and record producer, mostly known for house music and electro. Felix is regarded as a member of the second wave of Chicago house and has produced an eclectic mix of sound since, from resolute acid and techno warrior to avant-garde nu-skool electro-disco.
Party Monster is a 2003 American biographical drama film directed by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, and starring Macaulay Culkin as the drug-addled “king of the Club Kids”. The film tells the story of the rise and fall of the infamous New York City party promoter Michael Alig.
The Club Kids were a group of young New York City dance club personalities popularized by Michael Alig, James St. James, Julie Jewels, DJ Keoki, and Ernie Glam in the late 1980s, and throughout the 1990s would grow to include Amanda Lepore, Waltpaper, Christopher Comp, It Twins, Jennytalia, Desi Monster, Keda, Kabuki Starshine, and Richie Rich.
“I made this film as part of a teaser campaign to help promote The Saddest Music in the World. I like to think it merely promoted more slapping. Inspiration for the title came from my friend, the author and actor Caelum Vatnsdal, who described to me Sissy-Boy Slap-Party as a game he played frequently with great pleasure and large quantities of salty tears. I kept him on set as a technical consultant to make sure my interpretation of this sport matched his own.”
– Guy Maddin
Starring Noam Gonick, Caelum Vatnsdal, and Simon Hughes.
I Like Boys is a song by American singer Todrick Hall. He co-produced and co-wrote the song with Jean Yves Ducornet. Hall released the song during Pride 2019. It is the second music video for his EP, Haus Party, Pt. 1. The video opens with Hall coming out to his mother played by Luenell. The video shifts to a desert with Hall surrounded by male dancers and a camel. The song celebrates Hall’s sexuality, featuring color, cultural references, and male nudity.
Music video by Taylor Swift performing “You Need To Calm Down” – off her upcoming new album ‘Lover’ (out August 23). Support the Equality Act: https://taylorswift.lnk.to/petition
You Need to Calm Down is an upbeat, summery synth-pop and electropop song, with a chorus of ascending echoes. Its lyrics see Swift address internet trolls and homophobes, voicing her support for the LGBTQ+ community.
Directed by Drew Kirsch & Taylor Swift
Executive Produced by Todrick Hall & Taylor Swift
Featuring appearances by A’keria Davenport, Adam Lambert, Adam Rippon, Adore Delano, Antoni Porowski, Billy Porter, Bobby Berk, Chester Lockhart, Ciara, Delta Work, Dexter Mayfield, Ellen Degeneres, Hannah Hart, Hayley Kiyoko, Jade Jolie, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jonathan Van Ness, Justin Mikita, Karamo Brown, Katy Perry, Laverne Cox, Riley Knoxx, RuPaul, Ryan Reynolds, Tan France, Tatianna, Todrick Hall, Trinity K Bonet, and Trinity Taylor.
The official music video for RuPaul’s Sissy That Walk, featuring the top four queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6, Bianca Del Rio, Adore Delano, Courtney Act, and BenDeLaCreme. RuPaul’s Sissy That Walk from his 10th album Born Naked is available now.
Supermodel (You Better Work) is a 1992 song by the dance music singer and drag queen RuPaul. It was the third single from her album Supermodel of the World. The song was a dance club anthem that, though particularly popular with gay audiences, found mainstream success. The song consists of RuPaul giving advice to a young black supermodel and other models, largely consisting of “sashay, shantay!”, “work, turn to the left”, “work, now turn to the right”, and “you better work”. The music video for the song, featuring RuPaul in various outfits cavorting around town, became a staple on MTV. Singer Kurt Cobain of Nirvana cited the song as one of his favorites of 1993, and the two were photographed together at the MTV Video Music Awards that year.
Once upon a time, a drag queen canceled three weeks worth of gigs to participate in a game show in Hollywood after being disqualified from the same game show. Forty hours before this drag queen was due to report to set, she was purchasing a second-hand Galliano dress when their phone rang with their manager on the other end telling them the game show honchos said they didn’t think there would be “chemistry” between said drag queen and the other game show contestants. There was no compensation offered (or apology) for all the work the drag queen canceled so she had no choice but to write a song and make some money with the assistance of another amazing drag queen. The game was crappily ever after anyway. Teams schmeams.
Is it a Choice? is an animated segment featured in the documentary movie for the BIBLE tells me so about homosexuality and its perceived conflict with Christianity. The cartoon offers a brief summary of the then-current scientific theories about sexual orientation. It is directed by Powerhouse Animation Studios and narrated by Don LaFontaine in one of his last non-trailer narration roles.