I'll confess: I desperately, desperately wanted to include the bit where Troy confesses to Selma that he likes to bonk fishes in my last post about great Simpsons moments. But the trouble is, it's not funny enough. It's really more disturbing than anything else - though it's disturbing in that uniquely Simpsons way, that surreal, somehow-you-still-believe-it-way.
And it's also orsum. Oh my God it's orsum. A Fish Called Selma is hands down my favourite ever Simpsons episode. And it reigns supreme because of one man, one towering, brilliant, B-movie star parody of a man:
God, just look at that almost sweater-vest. Check out the dazed desperation in his eyes. How I love Troy McClure! I love everything about him, from his resume that includes such films as:
The Erotic Adventures of Hercules
The Verdict Was Mail Fraud
The Revenge of Abe Lincoln
Leper In The Backfield
Here Comes The Coast Guard
To the fact that he's so clearly based on every also-ran actor to ever exist. He symbolises that grey, terrible, not-quite hopelessness that I feel on a daily basis, like some awful reminder of the mediocre limbo the majority of people fall into. We can't all be Brad Pitt. Some of us are just Scott Valentine, or literally any guy who had a mullet in some TV show in the eighties.
But that's okay, cos you know what? I love Scott Valentine. And I love Troy McClure. I even love that he likes bonking fishes and stars in infomercials where you squeeze juice out of an orange with your eye. I love the fact that he needs lens as thick as bricks in order to see, and has all of these creases around his eyes.
But most of all, I love that he was voiced by Phil Hartman. Phil Hartman, who seemed like the gentlest, loveliest, funniest guy in the world. I don't often miss dead celebrities, because, well...they're not actually really here in my life. But I do miss Phil Hartman, if only because there's some terribly sad part of me that always knows I'll never again hear a new you may remember me from such films as...