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Thursday, Aug 17, 2017

‘The Simpsons’ marathon: 10 must-watch episodes

Hopefully, you’ve already let your boss know you’ll be on vacation until Sept. 1, and if not, just go ahead and quit right now, because FXX’s “The Simpsons” marathon has arrived.

That’s right. Starting at 10 a.m. today, the cable network will begin setting its record for the longest marathon in TV history by airing all 552 episodes consecutively. That amounts to about 12 days of three-eyed fish, blue hair, bumblebee men, chalkboard gags, doing The Bartman, crank calls to Moe’s, donuts, monorails, nuclear rods, Kwik-E-Marts, Sideshow Bobs, saxophones and treehouses of horror.

To make it easier to catch your favorite episodes, Uproxx.com blog Warming Glow (a title that references a Homer Simpson quote, by the way) has carefully compiled a complete schedule of what time every “Simpsons” episode will air over the 200-hour marathon.

If you don’t have time to check that out, here’s a schedule for 10 of the all-time greatest episodes:

“Simpson and Delilah,” 5 p.m. today - In this Season 2 classic, Homer abuses his insurance policy to score hair-growth medicine, and his luscious new mane suddenly gets him noticed by Mr. Burns as a “young go-getter.” Then comes a promotion to a junior executive position and a personal assistant voiced by Harvey Firestein, whose dead-serious performance made it so much funnier.

“Homer at the Bat,” 11:30 a.m. Friday - In order to win a $1 million bet, Mr. Burns brings in ringers for the nuclear plant’s softball team, but gives them legitimate jobs to skirt the rules. That’s how you end up with Roger Clemens as the new security guard, Wade Boggs as the new janitor and Ken Griffey Jr. as a lunchroom cashier.

“Marge vs. the Monorail” 9 p.m. Friday - The best episode from the series’ perfect Season 4 is possibly the best ever, and a shining example of writer Conan O’Brien’s creative genius during the show’s peak. Homer singing “Homer, Homer Simpson” to the tune of “The Flintstones” theme song before crashing his car into a tree is one of my favorite gags ever, and that happens in the first 10 seconds.

“Last Exit to Springfield” 11:30 p.m. Friday - Homer becomes leader of the power plant workers’ union, but faces a tough decision while negotiating a new contract that requires employees to give up their dental plan for a free keg of beer at the union meeting. Meanwhile, Lisa needs braces, but will she be stuck with rusty headgear, or be able to get the top of the line invisible ones that periodically release a delightful burst of Calvin Klein’s “Obsession For Teeth?”

“Deep Space Homer” 9:30 a.m. Saturday - When NASA decides it needs an “everyman” astronaut to boost public interest, Homer ends up on the space shuttle. Make it past one of the more preposterous premises in the show’s history, and you’ll be treated to Homer bonking his head on an ant farm in zero gravity, causing misguided anchorman Kent Brockman to declare “I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords” and a guest spot by James Taylor.

“Two Dozen and One Greyhounds” 11 p.m. Saturday - The Simpsons’ dog Santa’s Little Helper runs off to the race track and breeds with another greyhound, leaving the family with 25 puppies, which Mr. Burns adopts with plans of turning into a tuxedo. Of course, this all gets explained through the epic musical number “See My Vest,” about Burns’ vest (made of pure gorilla chest) and other exotic animal couture.

“Treehouse of Horror V” 4 p.m. Saturday - Honestly, I can’t even remember the other segments from this Halloween special, but “The Shinning” (a parody of Stanley Kubrick’s classic horror film “The Shining,” as it’s pronounced in Groundskeeper Willie’s thick Scottish accent) proves that all work and no play makes Homer go crazy, and that everyone should occasionally “bask in television’s warm, glowing, warming glow.”

“Summer of 4 Ft. 2” 1:30 p.m. Sunday - The greatest Lisa-centric episode ever sees the family taking a summer road trip to a beach house where nerdy Lisa somehow becomes cool, and Homer, in an attempt to act casual while looking for illegal fireworks, makes one of the strangest purchases ever, before celebrating his “nation’s independence by blowing up a small part of it.”

“You Only Move Twice” 3 p.m. Sunday - Homer moves the family to an idyllic new town to take a job at better nuclear plant, but unwittingly becomes the No. 2 to a James Bond-esque supervillain (and super nice guy) named Hank Scorpio (guest voiced by Albert Brooks).

“The Regina Monologues” Midnight Aug. 28 - One of only a few standouts from the past decade, and one of the best Simpsons go abroad episodes, this one has the family traveling to London so Grandpa can reconnect with an old flame. Homer ends up in jail for hurting the queen, Prime Minister Tony Blair guest stars (causing a bit of a stir, since this was the middle of the Iraq war) and Homer drops a should-be classic quote: “I’m acting the way America acts best: unilaterally!”

More classic episodes: “Mr. Plow” (7:30 p.m. Friday), “Homie the Clown” (8:30 p.m. Saturday), “Homer’s Enemy” (1:30 a.m. Monday), “Lisa’s Rival” (2 p.m. Saturday), “Rosebud” (4 a.m. Saturday), “Lisa’s Substitute” (1:30 a.m. Friday), “Bart Gets and Elephant” (10:30 a.m. Saturday), “Homer Goes to College” (3:30 a.m. Saturday), “Brick Like Me” Lego episode (11 a.m. Sept. 1)

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