Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Is Earth Really Worth It?

As humans, we have yet to step foot on another planet, nor have we discovered extraterrestrial lifeforms, intelligent or not. This is something that the beings from the planet Rigel VII have over us, as is noted in several "Treehouse of Horror" episodes of The Simpsons. But the real question is: are the constant visits to the planet Earth worth the hassle of schlepping across the galaxy?

We suppose we won't know unless we take an exhaustive look at some past visits of Kang (and others, but for our purposes, we'll limit the mentions to Kang... no offense, Kodos).

Treehouse of Horror
Kang picked up the Simpson Family and promised to take them to his home planet, where there would be received for a great feast. Lisa, who was already suspicious, found what she thought was a copy of How To Cook Humans, and exposed Kang for trying to eat her and her family. It was pointed out that the book was actually How To Cook for Forty Humans, and the Rigelians, hurt by Lisa's accusations, returned the family to their home.
If there's that much grime on the cover of a book kept in the kitchen,
that probably means the kitchen is pretty unsanitary as well.

Is cooking for a specific number of specific beings from a specific planet that much of a popular subject enough to warrant the publishing of a book? Apparently, because they bought a copy.

Was the trip successful? Ehh, not at first. But we imagine it would have been easy for Kang to find another family of five on Earth. Plus 35 more people?

Treehouse of Horror II
After Lisa wished for world peace, Kang swooped down to Earth for an invasion. With all weapons abolished, it was pretty easy to take over. That is, until, Moe got the idea to chase after the invaders with a board with a nail in it. Kang left the planet in haste.

Was the trip successful? No. A much-inferior species ran them off the planet with a simple weapon. Though, Kang also reasoned that humans will eventually create a board with a nail in it so large that it will destroy all mankind. There's potential for another invasion in the long run, but we're still going to give Kang an "loss" here.

Treehouse of Horror III
While trying to bring their dead cat back from the beyond, Bart and Lisa accidentally caused a zombie invasion. Kang never touched down onto Earth, but he watched the zombies from afar. He reasoned that mankind will be destroyed by the zombies, making their own invasion easier.
With or without dancing.

Was the trip successful? No. Bart eventually figured out how to send the zombies back to their graves, which means there was no alien invasion after all.

Treehouse of Horror IV
In yet another take off of a Twilight Zone episode, Bart noticed a gremlin on the side of the school bus. No one else believed him that the gremlin was destroying the bus.
That sort of thing only happens to William Shatner.
Or John Lithgow.

Kang, again from afar, laughed at the puny humans for believing in fictional creatures.

Was the trip successful? It didn't seem like Kang was there for an invasion. Maybe it was a reconnaissance mission? Either way, his laughing was cut short when he realized a space gremlin was tearing apart his ship, so that's a no.

Treehouse of Horror V
While fixing the family's toaster, Homer accidentally figured out a way to temporarily travel back to prehistoric time. However, in doing so, he created a series of horrific alternate timelines.

Kang watched from space and commented that humans are incapable of handling time travel. He laughed until Homer unintentionally created a timeline where Kang is transformed into Sherman from the Mr. Peabody and Sherman cartoons. Kodos told Kang to shut up in Mr. Peabody's signature "Quiet, you."

Was the trip successful? No. Once again, Kang's laughing at how primitive is mankind was cut short. This time, he was transformed into a human, which must have really irked Kang. Not just any human, but a boy who gets bossed around by a talking dog whose history lessons are nothing more than a long and complex set-up for a spectacularly groanworthy pun.

Treehouse of Horror VI
Kang and Kodos were on Earth, preparing for an invasion of their own. Part of their plan was to land on Earth and to hitchhike to "Earth Capital" while posing as a newlywed couple.
Their plan was spectacularly flawed, but it could have been worse.

Was the trip successful? We imagine not. Not only did they fail to disguise themselves in any way, but they were seeking a ride to a city that didn't exist. We're sure that raised a few red flags and that they were either killed or were sent running away.

Maybe, if they had done some intel beforehand, they would have learned that there wasn't an "Earth Capital." And maybe they shouldn't have depended on hitchhiking. C'mon guys, you can fly to another planet, but you can't land in a major world capital?

Treehouse of Horror VII
Kang and Kodos kidnap presidential nominees Bill Clinton and Bob Dole and pose as them, leaving American voters virtually no option other than voting for one of them.
We're going to make you feel old in 3... 2... 1...
Some people who will be voting for the first time in 2012 were born after Ross Perot's first presidential run.

After one of them wins the election, they enslave humanity.

Was the trip successful? Absolutely! Not only was it a diabolical plan that actually worked, the outcome resulted in Kang earning a spot in this tournament, where he was given the opportunity to beat up the Father of the U.S. Constitution -- the document that created the office of President of the United States.

Treehouse of Horror VIII
Kang's ship was hovering around Earth when it nearly collided with a neutron missile on its way to destroying Springfield. When Kang reported it to his home planet's ground control, they laughed at him, not believing his claim.

Was the trip successful? No. While he wasn't accidentally vaporized by a bomb intended for Springfield, no one believed what had happened to him. Even if France's attack did result in worldwide nuclear war (which it didn't seem to) and Kang decided to seize the opportunity and take over a destroyed Earth, it seems as if he didn't have the support of his planet. 

Treehouse of Horror IX
We learn that Homer isn't Maggie's father, Kang is. Maggie summoned her real dad and Kang returned to collect his child. Homer was unwilling to give up Maggie so easily, so they decided to settle this conflict on The Jerry Springer Show. While on the show, Kang vaporized Springer and the entire audience. He then set off to Washington to kill all of our leaders.

Was the trip successful? Probably? The story ends there, so we don't find out how Kang's trip to Washington shakes out. We guess that while he may not have been able to kill every single one of our leaders in Washington, there's really nothing stopping him from heading back to Springfield to collect Maggie. We don't know if he actually does this, but we're going to give him the win anyway for racking up such an impressive body count during his appearance on Springer's show.
Actually, this might be a win for humanity.

Treehouse of Horror X
Kang served as a co-host to the "Treehouse of Horror X," which included making lame jokes about "warming up the audience" with a blow torch. While we hear laughing, we don't see the audience laughing, which means the production was relying heavily on a laugh track.

Was the trip successful? Hard to tell. It didn't seem like Kang was there for an invasion. And hosting a gala event, even if it is a failure, is still an impressive honor. Say what you will about David Letterman's "Uma, Oprah, Uma" joke, Letterman can still boast that he made it while hosting the Academy Awards. That's not something a lot of people can claim.

So, we'll count it as a win.

Treehouse of Horror XI
Kang was upset by the fact he was left out of this year's "Treehouse of Horror" episode, when he received an offer to appear in an Old Navy commercial.

Was the trip successful? Given how annoying the Old Navy commercials of this period were, I'd say the new direction in marketing would have made Old Navy commercials bearable. So that's a possible win.

Treehouse of Horror XII
Kang attended a wedding between a gypsy and a leprechaun. He was kind of annoyed to be there as he didn't know anyone there except for Kodos, who said she "always secrete[s] ocular fluids at weddings."

Was the trip successful? It depends. How was the food? Was there an open bar? The wedding could have turned out pretty fun. Even if not, it's a wedding between a gypsy and a leprechaun. How many people can say they've witnessed that? This could have turned out to be a win.

We could go on, but at this point, we're well past the show's peak. By a quick tallying of his first 12 appearances, it seems that Kang's trips to Earth are half-failures and half-victorious (kind of, in some cases).

It looks like his appearance in the Presidential Gladiatorial Arena against Independence Day's Thomas J. Whitmore this week may be the tiebreaker to decide if his trips to Earth are worth his trouble or not. Best of all, you have a say. If you haven't already, vote and comment in this week's fight.

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