Tuesday, December 06, 2005

"Aaah, my suit!" Wolfe and writers on Simpsons!

TOM WOLFE is screaming. He screams softly, this Southern gentleman, his trademark white suit unwrinkled, his spats unwavering even as a giant granite boulder hurtles down upon him. It looks to be the end of the pioneering New Journalism author of "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.""Aaaaaaaahh! Wait, no, that wasn't good, let me start over."

"How did you scream last time a boulder was hurtling toward you?" asks Carolyn Omine, executive producer of "The Simpsons.""Why don't you try, 'Aaaaahhhh, my suit!' " suggests a rail-thin, nerdy-looking writer, from the front of the Fox recording studio.

The LA Times gives us a preview of an upcoming Simpsons with Tom Wolfe, Gore Vidal, Michael Chabon and Jonathan Frantzen voicing themselves and "parodying highfalutin literary culture." The animators will capture Wolfe in signature white suit and "bug-eyed glory." And more wonderfully, how a Simpson's spot is today's height of fame. (Chabon's father touts how he knew his son would win a Putlizer but he had no idea he would ever be so accomplished to appear on the long running animated show.) And best of all, we get to see our literary icons feeling just as silly as anyone else as they try to voice animation.

Franzen: "Gaa! Dajjjmit! Ach! Rrrr!
Writer: "How about, 'Nooo! My prescription-less glasses, the ones I wear to look smart!' "

Franzen: "My trademark glasses!"
Omine (Producer): "Let's continue with Jonathan, because you have to whack Michael with a chair. Some more pain sounds, please."

Writer: "How about saying, 'You fight like Anne Rice!' "

Eventually, it's time to encounter that same runaway granite chunk that flattened Tom Wolfe. Franzen's scream has a hint of falsetto; Chabon writhes as he lets out an anguished moan.

Franzen and Chabon fight! Wolfe is flattened! Gore Vidal lives! (D'oh did I give away the ending?!) I can hardly wait!


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