Most TV shows never make it eight seasons, but then The Simpsons
is not most TV shows. At a point where other shows would generally become stale and repetitive, Matt Groening & Co. pull out the stops to come up with one of the most creative and hilarious seasons in the whole series. Cases in point for season eight (1996-1997) include "Treehouse of Horror VII," in which aliens Kang and Kodos make a bizarre run for President having taken on the appearances of Bill Clinton and Bob Dole; "Bart After Dark," in which Bart gets a job at The Maison Derriere (featuring one of their most popular songs, The Spring in Springfield); and one of the great all-time episodes, "The Simpsons Spin-off Showcase," a trilogy of Simpsons spin-offs that never made it to prime-time (the final segment--The Simpson Family Smile-Time Variety Hour--is about the best six minutes of parody in the entire Simpsons
canon). Season eight also features some of the most notable guest appearances: Rodney Dangerfield as Mr. Burnss long lost son; Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny as Scully and Mulder from X-Files
in The Springfield Files; The Brother from Another Series which brilliantly pairs up Kelsey Grammar as Sideshow Bob with his brother Cecil (David Hyde Pierce) in a parallel of their Frasier
characters; and in a major casting coup, Johnny Cash shows up in the form of a red fox as Homers spirit guide in El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (also known as The Chili Pepper episode). Other notable episodes include The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show, a fun wink to the audience from the writers about keeping the show fresh without ruining it, and the send up of Mary Poppins
Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(annoyed grunt)cious, which has one of their most memorable endings when Shary Bobbins floats off under her umbrella (So long Superman, Barney cries)... only to get sucked into a jet engine from a passing airplane. Thats the thanks she gets for offering her help. Good to see that, eight seasons in, The Simpsons
still dont need it. --Daniel Vancini
In season eight, audiences are treated to a return of the "Treehouse of Horror" and a "Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase," and Sideshow Bob goes straight.