‘The Simpsons’ marks 500 episodes

“The Simpsons” reached its 500th-show milestone tonight, in case you’ve been living off the grid for a while now and haven’t heard.

As has been the case since the mid-90s, the episode was pretty hit-and-miss. There were some funny moments, but all too often in recent years the show seems to trade clever for crude. (More on that later.)

The plot: The entire town of Springfield, tired of the antics of Homer and the clan, decides to exile them from town. The Simpsons leave Springfield and stumble across some folks “living off the grid” and decide to give it a try.

There were some nice touches. The opening credits ended with a montage of hundreds — maybe 500; I sure couldn’t count them all — opening credits couch gags.

The show, as it often does, took a shot at its network home.

Midway through the show, the newly off-the-grid Simpson family recreated their opening credits at their new rural location. The family assembles in the living room and, instead of watching TV, they’re watching a fox sleeping on a rock.

“I’m sick of watching Fox,” Homer complains.

The episode also contained what might be the dirtiest joke I’ve ever heard on TV.

When someone acknowledges that Springfield is full of jerks, Lenny (I think it was Lenny) says, “Want me to spray some of my Jerk Off on you?”

Other good jokes:

Moe, the proprietor of Moe’s Tavern, sets up shop in a cave. The name: Moe’s Cavern.

Chief Wiggum’s acknowledgement: “I’m not the sharpest pencil in the … pencil thing.”

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