While listening to my first episode of Everything's Coming Up Podcast! (Episode 14: A Star is Burns), I often wondered how impenetrable this sort of conversation must be for someone that hasn't already committed every classic-era episode of The Simpsons to memory. Roughly a third of this episode consisted of co-hosts Allie Goertz and Julia Prescott, as well as their guest, Jonah Ray, giggling and verbally tripping over each other in a race to share their favorite quotes and scenes from A Star is Burns. Any coherent line of conversation that was beginning to form would be ground to a halt by someone slipping in a "That's the joke" or "Boo-urns," causing everyone to burst out laughing.
And you know what? For a show that so many people continue to revere to this day, it's understandable that an episode-by-episode discussion podcast could go off the rails like this. I had a constant grin on my face while listening, as it immediately reminded me of all of the times where my friends and I have essentially played rambling games of Simpsons quote-tag. This episode felt like less of a conversation and more of a communal celebration at times, and hey, there's nothing wrong with that.
Jonah Ray, who described himself as a fan of The Critic, did bring up some interesting points about the relatively heavy presence of topical references and jabs at the film industry in this episode of The Simpsons reflected the types of jokes that were prominent on The Critic. The idea of creating a crossover episode like this was not universally loved by the creative staff, but the two different shows and comedic styles ultimately meshed together fairly seamlessly.
Even though I enjoyed my time with this podcast, I'm honestly not sure who I would recommend it to. For people with only a passing familiarity with The Simpsons, you can safely skip this. For anyone that has watched the show as obsessively as I have, you may find yourself fecklessly mumbling corrections when one of the discussants ever-so-slightly misquotes one of the many one-liners that you cherish. Everyone involved in recording this sounded like they were having a blast, though, and their enthusiasm is contagious.