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I for one welcome our new _______ overlords
December 18, 2002 11:02 AM   Subscribe

I was wondering if anyone out there could point out the source of the "I for one welcome our new _______ overlords" meme. I've seen it frequently on Metafilter in many different iterations... I Googled it to no avail. Movie, song, novel, event? Thnx!
posted by ao4047 to Etiquette/Policy at 11:02 AM (57 comments total)

Kent Brockman, Homer in space episode.
posted by Dark Messiah at 11:06 AM on December 18, 2002


It's from The Simpsons (or at least, that's where I first heard it). The episode where Homer goes to space with a terrarium full of ants (hoping to teach them to use tiny tools in space), and Homer bumps into it while eating potato chips in zero-G, the ants are given "horrible, horrible freedom" and one is floating past the camera while Kent Brockman is giving the news about the mission, leading him to assume that the ants have mutated and taken over, hence the line "And I for one welcome our new ant overlords, and I remind them that as a member of the media, I could be useful in convincing people to toil in their underground sugar mines" (or words to that effect). Ack...why do I know that?
posted by biscotti at 11:09 AM on December 18, 2002


Great! Thanks for clearing that up...
posted by ao4047 at 11:12 AM on December 18, 2002


Kent: We're just about to get our first pictures from inside the spacecraft with "average-naut" Homer Simpson, and we'd like to -- aah!
[Camera shows a close-up of an ant floating in front of the three astronauts]
Everyone: Aah!
Kent: Ladies and gentlemen, er, we've just lost the picture, but, uh, what we've seen speaks for itself. The Corvair spacecraft has been taken over -- "conquered", if you will -- by a master race of giant space ants. It's difficult to tell from this vantage point whether they will consume the captive earth men or merely enslave them. One thing is for certain, there is no stopping them; the ants will soon be here.
And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords. I'd like to remind them that as a trusted TV personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.

(Homer in Space)
posted by PrinceValium at 11:12 AM on December 18, 2002


And I, for one, thank all our old Simpson trivia overlords.
posted by y2karl at 11:19 AM on December 18, 2002


I've deleted several dozen comments that mentioned "overlords" or "vibrating" and still it continues to get mileage.

It's a perfect example of how comedy doesn't scale well. That 'All your base' thing was hilarious the first time you heard about it, but less so on each repeated utterance. In a small group of friends, the joke might only last a few days, but in a large group of thousands it can go on for quite a while. After a few months of enduring it, it finally went away.

Same goes for pretty much every in-joke at MetaFilter. Funny once, completely and utterly unfunny and stupid the 100th time, then rage-inducing the 1,000th time, and burning-the-server-to-the-ground on the 10,000th time. The "overlords" bit from the simpsons was a once funny quip that slid right into the "I have nothing to say, but I'll make the obvious joke because no one else has and I must comment in every thread" realm quickly.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:24 AM on December 18, 2002 [6 favorites]


Why aren't these in the FAQ?

'Cause then people would be trying to create their own just to get listed, dimwit.

Oh, thanks.
posted by gottabefunky at 11:25 AM on December 18, 2002


Lord knows that if the Simpsons were ever taken out of syndication, a good portion of the populace would have nothing to reference when scraping for the appropriate Pop Culture quip. I shudder when I think of that cold world, where instead of familiar Homerisms we would be reduced to the current lackluster seasons and movies of SNL, and god forbid... South Park.

Then again, the Simpsons hasn't produced anything catchphrase worthy in the last few seasons. Or does it take a few years of syndicated bombardment before that sets in? In the meantime, the new Pop Culture icon that is Conan O'Brien seems to be chugging along.
posted by Stan Chin at 11:27 AM on December 18, 2002


I just don't understand why so many people keep making the joke - it is different people isn't it?

OK, one or two people want to fit in by making the obvious joke once or twice. It's a simple look at me I'm in on the gag too guys. I understand that, but that so many people would get on board with it and proceed to pound it into bloody hamburger pulp with a force of will that is to be feared. How the hell does that happen? I seriously don't get it.
posted by willnot at 11:30 AM on December 18, 2002


Oh, and when is that whole Haiku thing coming back? That was more excruciating than all the injokes combined. Actually, let's try it:

Vibrating haiku,
Your old overlord returns,
Set up us the bomb



Be very appreciative that nobody does that anymore.
posted by Stan Chin at 11:33 AM on December 18, 2002


I guess I'm easily amused. I still laugh at every new iteration.
posted by timeistight at 11:37 AM on December 18, 2002 [2 favorites]


the new Pop Culture icon that is Conan O'Brien seems to be chugging along.

Metafilter - for me to poop on.
posted by PrinceValium at 11:39 AM on December 18, 2002


"I have nothing to say, but I'll make the obvious joke because no one else has and I must comment in every thread"

That would be the real slashdot effect.
posted by websavvy at 11:50 AM on December 18, 2002


well, i for one would like to welcome our new rage-inducing in-joke overlords...
posted by quonsar at 12:00 PM on December 18, 2002


We need a cliche retirement thread.

Administrator! Hope me!
posted by machaus at 12:19 PM on December 18, 2002


Some in-jokes soon grate, others really grate.. but then can come full circle and become funny again, I suppose the naffness of the in-joke becomes an in-joke in itself. Argh.
posted by malevolent at 12:40 PM on December 18, 2002


"I've deleted several dozen comments that mentioned "overlords" or "vibrating" and still it continues to get mileage."

I don't think I ever heard that this was subject to being deleted. Was it a secret? I'm sure most people would be happy to avoid both jokes if they knew those were rage-inducing for you (Matt).

I think it's safe to say that most here don't want to do things that will induce your rage. Might I suggest adding things like your comment here to the sidebar? Maybe you said this before and I missed it (and if I missed it so did almost everyone else), but it seems like we're playing "guess the rules" a bit too much.

I only say this because I continue to find the vibrating overlords thing mildly amusing. I wouldn't have hesitated to use that in a comment. But of course now that I know about the rage thing I wouldn't.

My point is that once you start actually deleting things like this there should be a rule. And it should be posted clearly.

Me? I prefer making up the rules and changing them on a random basis. Really. A while back I decided I was tired of the word "grizzly" in my comments so I have the script automagically change it to "wombat". Great fun. But maybe not the way to run a big site like Metafilter.

Or maybe something like:

$FWit = "I'm a cliche loving simp.";
$Comment = ereg_replace ("I for one ([[:alnum:]]+) welcome ([[:alnum:]]+) overlords\.", $FWit, $Comment);

That's php. I have no idea what the CF would be. Seems like that would be more fun than just deleting.
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:08 PM on December 18, 2002


Hmm. I must be easily amused too, because the "I for one welcome our fill-in-the-blank overlords" nearly always makes me giggle (and I think I've even posted it once or twice, too, shortly after I joined; I figured I'd make myself right at home and start imitating the locals). Maybe I just haven't read it enough, and the thousandth time a red light will go off in my brain and I'll turn into one of the "Kill! Kill!" Itchy & Scratchy robots that go crazy in that one episode...
posted by scody at 1:56 PM on December 18, 2002


That's pretty y6^3.
posted by eyeballkid at 2:01 PM on December 18, 2002


Of course, the purpose of in jokes isn't really humour; it's the fostering of tribal solidarity. Maybe that's why the jokes sound so lame to members of inner circles when those on the fringes pick up on them.
posted by timeistight at 2:13 PM on December 18, 2002


I thought the whole 'simpsons humor' thing was where you repeat phrases forever. The 'overlords' thing isn't funny at all the first few times - neither is 'all your base'. it only becomes funny because you laugh to yourself that someone is still saying it. The joke is that it's overused.
posted by goneill at 2:14 PM on December 18, 2002


I, personally, have had enough of overlord references.
posted by ursus_comiter at 2:23 PM on December 18, 2002


Only 77 overlord references? That's underestimating it a bit, isn't it Google?

Of course, there's only 16 hits for that other one, and I don't believe those results either. Hmph.
posted by WolfDaddy at 2:39 PM on December 18, 2002


shh. if everyone stops talking about it, it stops -- ex.: BEST. X. EVER. seems to be no longer in circulation.

(oh, and the overlord thing, meh. but the "..., it vibrates?" catchphrase makes me want to kill puppies. honest to god puppies. the cute ones, too. not the ugly ones. like there's ugly puppies, anyhow. i challenge you to find an ugly puppy.)
posted by fishfucker at 3:06 PM on December 18, 2002


Wow, a lot of people didnt have their pancakes this morning! :P

I for one welcome our unimaginative cliche-bearing meme-vectoring bretheren. :)
posted by elphTeq at 4:03 PM on December 18, 2002


Worst. In-joke. Ever.

Hey, I never claimed I had anything to say.
posted by UnReality at 4:51 PM on December 18, 2002


I have exactly the opposite reaction, goneill. I remember the first time I saw a MeFi "overlords" quote (as I recall, it was the actual Simpsons quote, not one of the many many many subsequent variants); I was astonished and enchanted ("I thought I was the only one who remembered that bit!"), laughed heartily, quoted it to anyone who would listen. The second time I chuckled a little, but thought "Hey, it's been done, let's move on." When I realized it was becoming an unstoppable juggernaut I was appalled, then nauseated, finally filled with helpless rage. I'm really glad Matt hates it too. Maybe someday I'll be able to enjoy the Simpsons episode again.
posted by languagehat at 5:19 PM on December 18, 2002


Gah. My lame overlord reference is on the first page of the Google results. I repent most humbly.

I think timeistight is onto something. Many of the overlord comments don't even seem to have been crafted with humor in mind--for newcomers, it may seem that this is just the way such things are said on Metafilter.
posted by hippugeek at 5:22 PM on December 18, 2002


I did my part to try and nip this in the bud.
posted by Shadowkeeper at 5:49 PM on December 18, 2002


I despise any reference to pancakes; I passed languagehat's appalled stage and am firmly stalled in the nauseated stage when it comes to any pancake reference. Hopefully I will never slip into the helpless rage stage. I also mildy despise any reference to overlords of any kind, and am vaguely displeased at mentions of things that vibrate. I am just barely irked at Best. Anthing. Ever remarks. On the other hand, I laugh at any mention of All Your Base. No idea why. It really tickles me when someone remarks "set us up the bomb". Still. And "won't someone think of the children?" is guaranteed to make me laugh out loud.

The quick summary for those in a hurry:
pancakes = nauseated
overlords = mildly despised
vibrate = vaguely displeased
best.anything.ever = barely irked
all your base = tickled
think of the children = laughed out loud
posted by iconomy at 6:35 PM on December 18, 2002


iconomy, what about the meme I am starting?
posted by riffola at 6:36 PM on December 18, 2002


Riffola, did you not like the post, or something?
posted by iconomy at 6:40 PM on December 18, 2002


eh, these jokes are not that bad. For better, or for worse, they are helping building an internal image of metafilter. As long as the process is not painful...
posted by MzB at 6:44 PM on December 18, 2002


As long as the process is not painful...

(phone rings)
"hello"
"MzB, why don't you pass the time by playing some solitaire...hello?...Helllloooo...Hel-lo...hello"
(hangs up phone)
posted by clavdivs at 7:17 PM on December 18, 2002


All of these in-jokes are fine if used properly, which they are usually not. There is nothing wrong with a well-crafted pancakes or overlord et al comment, but they are usually just thrown in by someone with a desperate urge to see his/her/its name in print but no idea of what to say. Much like this comment, you say?
posted by dg at 9:27 PM on December 18, 2002


I, for one, welcome our new google-challenged overlords.
posted by eddydamascene at 9:40 PM on December 18, 2002


I, for one, welcome our non-overlord-reference-using overlords.
posted by kindall at 10:38 PM on December 18, 2002


We need to freshen up: The Catch Phrase Filterin' satellite of love!
posted by agentfresh at 11:02 PM on December 18, 2002


Same goes for pretty much every in-joke at MetaFilter. Funny once, completely and utterly unfunny and stupid the 100th time, then rage-inducing the 1,000th time, and burning-the-server-to-the-ground on the 10,000th time.

What's startling is how many people think that an unoriginal echo of someone else's humor is funny.
posted by rushmc at 11:18 PM on December 18, 2002


In SOVIET RUSSIA, someone else's humor funnies YOU!

(For those not in the know, the 'SOVIET RUSSIA' meme is the latest annoyance on Slashdot, since 'FIRST POSTS!!' were quashed. It's actually a joke from Family Guy/Yakov Smirnof, that seems to get twisted to cover every story now.)
posted by wackybrit at 3:39 AM on December 19, 2002


I still like references to Germans loving David Hasselhoff too, so I may not be the best judge on what's past its prime, humour-wise.
posted by iconomy at 5:28 AM on December 19, 2002


There's an entire untapped vein of Seinfeld references out there. These pretzels are making me thirsty.
posted by owillis at 6:00 AM on December 19, 2002


I could point to conformity and compliance as causes for jokes (and mefi police, btw), but I have to finish my solitaire game first (destructive obedience).
posted by MzB at 6:56 AM on December 19, 2002


I, for one, would like to welcome our new n-levels-of-self-referential meta-ironic overlords.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 8:06 AM on December 19, 2002


When I realized it was becoming an unstoppable juggernaut I was appalled, then nauseated, finally filled with helpless rage.

The modern marvels of medicine include drugs that will help you control your condition. See a psychiatrist today. ;-P
posted by mischief at 9:36 AM on December 19, 2002


I still smile a bit when there is a well-crafted twist to a catchphrase, but in general I try to avoid using them because...

"It's a trap!"

Just shoot me now.
posted by grum@work at 10:08 AM on December 19, 2002


I still like references to Germans loving David Hasselhoff too, so I may not be the best judge on what's past its prime, humour-wise.

This is what happens when you pour coffee into Gene Shalit's cup!
posted by y2karl at 10:35 AM on December 19, 2002


i tip my urban sombrero to ya.....
posted by sgt.serenity at 11:15 AM on December 19, 2002


Overused MetaFilter memes make the baby Jesus cry.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 11:21 AM on December 19, 2002


Okay, yeah, I love pancakes, don't like the pancake remarks.
still secretly bitter about my chip-hop thread being derailed by a pancake joke
posted by mikrophon at 12:03 PM on December 19, 2002


heh. Sorry about that. I was riffing on the subject of the thread, I swear!

(what other snack would you associate with the site?)
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:22 PM on December 19, 2002


This thread is making me thirsty.

Iconomy, you are the bravest person I know, making that confession :-)

posted by dg at 1:41 PM on December 19, 2002


WHAT.
THE.
FUCK.
MATT?

Sorry, I couldn't resist....
posted by hyperizer at 1:43 PM on December 19, 2002


we've heard all this before....
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:17 PM on December 19, 2002


I think the new metameme is "We have cameras". I'm embarrassed to admit that I have no idea where this quote comes from, but every time someone says it, lots of other people go crazy with delight, so it must be really good.

y2karl, as a former waitress, I actually have poured coffee into Gene Shalit's cup...it's so strange that you would say that. He's not a very good tipper.
posted by iconomy at 7:40 PM on December 19, 2002


iconomy, if you google "we have cameras metafilter" you'll find this.

'twas another crazy day at metafilter.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:02 AM on December 20, 2002


A-ha! Thank you, matt - it's been driving me crazy. I feel so "in the know" now.
posted by iconomy at 5:15 AM on December 20, 2002


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