Air Date: October 25, 1990
The Simpsons start their annual Halloween episode. Three separate stories of comedic horror. In this case, a haunted house story, the first appearance of Kodos and Kang when aliens kidnap the Simpsons for a feast, and a retelling of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven as only James Earl Jones, and the Simpsons, can tell it.
This is a great way for the Simpsons to parody Horror movies every year, as that seems to be a genre that will never go out of style. As Bart says at the end, “It’s pretty tame by today’s standards.” And though I remember this scaring me when I was 5, I can’t imagine why watching it now. Even to a five year old this is pretty unscary compared to today’s Simpsons Halloween episodes. It doesn’t have to be scary though, just funny. And it’s got plenty of jokes that work, even after all these years.
I really like the Raven retelling at the end. Other than a few extra bits thrown in, it’s word-for-word the poem that Mr. Poe wrote so many years ago. It’s a bit classier than what we’ve come to expect after years of Horror-themed episodes of the Simpsons, but it’s a nice touch on a 150-year-old classic.
+10: Very impressive shorts episode that came to be something everyone could look forward to every year