TomTom GPS devices add the soothing voice of Homer Simpson

Posted on Wed Jun 17 2009

Tomtomhomer

I don't know if I'd be more appalled or frightened hearing Homer Simpson's disembodied voice guide me along as I drive. Yet that prospect has become a reality now that GPS maker TomTom is partnering with Locutio Voice Technologies and Fox Licensing to bring Homer to all TomTom devices via a $12.95 download. OK, backtracking, I would probably be amused having Homer in my car—someone to talk to and laugh with while driving those lonely, narrow nighttime roads. However, as weeks and months slid by, I would begin to look like a middle-aged, overweight cartoon character due to Homer comments such as "Take the third right for the ice cream truck! Mmm … ice cream." Then I would not be laughing anymore. And what if the device malfunctioned and made inappropriate or frightening or remarks like, "Take the third right, donut! ... Mmm people"? Homer would be fun at first, but I prefer the calming, ambiguous voice of a British woman, a male college professor, or even Mr. Moviephone. Thanks but no thanks, TomTom!

—Posted by Allison Shafir

Adidas' famous house-party commercial given a 'Simpsons' spin

Posted on Thu Apr 2 2009

Adidas's house party is still going on. The two-minute TV ad, introduced last December, has been viewed more than 800,000 times on YouTube, and now the ad is getting the ultimate pop-culture tribute: a Simpsons parody. This ad, which promotes the show's 20th anniversary, uses the same song—a remixed version of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons' "Beggin'," by Pilooski—and features stitched-together moments of various Simpsons characters grooving and uttering signature catch phrases ("Ha ha!"). Since the show had 20 years of material to draw from, the ad was able to echo the commercial pretty closely. There's the buildup with Homer, Bart and others arriving at the club and even an underwater pool scene at the end. Unfortunately, the makers were unable to find a Simpsons equivalent of the original ad's most indelible moment: Katy Perry salaciously sticking out her tongue. D'oh!

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Bart Simpson under fire for sudden endorsement of Scientology

Posted on Thu Jan 29 2009

Bart Simpson has been known to shill for the likes of Burger King, Butterfinger, 7-Eleven and JetBlue. But Scientology?
  Word's out in Hollywood that Nancy Cartwright, the actress who voices Bart, and who, along with the rest of the cast, negotiated a new $400,000-per-episode Simpsons deal for herself a few months back, spoke like the famous animated character as part of a Scientology promotion.
  Cartwright, a member of that controversial pseudo-church, recorded a phone message to promote an upcoming Scientology event in Los Angeles. While she identified herself by name, she used Bart's voice in a few places, according to The Live Feed, a Hollywood Reporter blog.
  It's caused quite a kerfuffle, with Simpsons property owner Fox investigating the use of its trademark and the show's execs distancing themselves from the implied endorsement.
  Maybe it's time to have a cow. Anyway, we've always thought of Bart as an agnostic.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley


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