‘Simpsons’ skewers Hollywood, pay TV and yes, Variety

Maybe it was all the behind-the-scenes maneuvering involved in the the near cancellation of “The Simpsons” earlier this year that has the series obsessed with showbiz lately. After last week’s “Mad Men” parody, this week’s episode is a full-blown Hollywood satire that takes shots at everything from HBO to agents to a certain trade publication with its own biz-savvy terminology.

Much of “The Ten Percent Solution” episode is devoted to the fall, rise and fall of longtime “Simpsons” character Krusty the Clown. After he’s fired from his TV show, a chance encounter with Lisa Simpson has her offering encouragement using the telltale “slanguage” Variety has made famous:

“You need an agent?” Lisa asks Krusty. “We met a tenpercenter today. She’ll get you a meeting with the Eye, the Peacock and the Alphabet web. You’ll have a skein on the sked before you could say ‘Krusty’s Wardrobe. Furnished by Haha’s of Bevery Hills.'”

The tenpercenter Lisa refers to is Annie Dubinsky, voiced with raspy verve by Joan Rivers. She engineers his comeback only to suffer the fate of every agent who manages to pluck her client from obscurity to stardom: He dumps her for Ron Rabinowitz at United Parasites.

We don’t want to give too much away but the biggest target of all in this satirical episode is a pay-TV network that goes by the name HBOWtime. “Our brand is classy and upscale,” one network exec informs Krusty before a second one chimes in, “And we pay for everything with soft porno and boxing.”

Unfortunately, we only have a link to unauthorized footage because Fox doesn’t make TV episodes available online until eight days after its initial telecast unless you are a subscriber to a few select multichannel services like Dish Network that grants access via password. We’ll update it eight days from now with a link from Hulu.

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