So the much-heralded 400th episode of The Simpsons aired last night, and the critical consensus seems to be that it was just fine, if inevitably an ever-so-slight letdown. But forget all that; the part of the show I was most looking forward to was Ludacris’ promised cameo as, er, a rapping toothpaste tube in a dental-hygiene video. (Dude’s last name, after all, is Bridges.) One of the rap game’s most consistently funny punchline artists plus the best cartoon of all time — how could it go wrong?
I ended up missing the episode last night — sorry, but I was just too busy biting my nails in anticipation of our latest brilliantly grim update on that other Sunday-night TV family. Thankfully, Luda’s part of the show has already turned up on good ol’ YouTube, albeit in a heinously grainy clip which appears to have been shot by one of those furtive in-theater cameramen who supply downtown NYC’s curbside bootleg vendors. So how was it? (Watch it below, then read PopWatch’s evaluation after the jump.)
Pretty great, for the most part. There’s no way the rapper actually wrote the super-simplistic rhymes he kicks here, but his fluoride-enhanced alter ego “Ludacrest” does battle cavities with the requisite sly swagger — “Hey, you lowlife degenerates! Stop illin’ with the fillin’!” — and I know I laughed when he shouted out his pride in the”Dirty, dirty mouth, y’all!” The show’s writers even get in a nice dig at the moral ambiguity which plagues much mainstream hip-hop: “This film is against tooth decay,” muses Lisa, “but it also kinda glamorizes it. Mixed signals!” Not bad at all for a minute-long diversion.
That said, I am left with one serious complaint: Why does “Ludacrest” bear so little visual resemblance to the real Ludacris?!?! Dude looks like a leftover sketch of Ike Turner with a buzz cut!