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The Simpsons. Season 1 Episode Guide


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By TM
Alternate Names: 

Simpsons
The Simpsons Show



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The series was originally set to debut in November of 1989 with the episode "Some Enchanted Evening" (13th and final episode of the first season), which was meant to introduce the main characters. However, during the first screening of the episode, the producers discovered that the animation was so appalling that 70% of the episode needed to be redone.

One problem was that much of the actual work would have to be farmed out to studios in Korea, which were used to animating Transformers and not sophisticated comedy shows. Another was that most of the staff—including Brooks and Groening—had little experience with animation. According to Michael Mendel, when the first show came back from Korea it was a complete disaster. It was unairable.

So, The producers considered to cancel the series if the next episode "Bart the Genius" turned out as bad, but it only suffered from easily fixable problems. Finally the producers convinced Fox to move the debut to December 17, and aired "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" as the first episode of the series. It must be pointed out that due to the aforementioned animation problems, this episode which was originally the eighth episode produced for season one; was finally aired as the first of the series; that's why Santa's Little Helper is missing during the first half of the season that followed. It's also known as "The Simpsons Christmas Special". Ironically "Some Enchanted Evening" was aired as the season finale.

The first season won one Emmy Award, and received four additional nominations. Although television shows are limited to one episode a category, "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" was considered a separate special, and was nominated alongside "Life on the Fast Lane" for Outstanding Animated Program; "Life on the Fast Lane" won the award. "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" was also nominated for "Outstanding Editing in a Miniseries or Special", while "The Call of the Simpsons" was nominated for "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Comedy Series or a Special". The main theme song, composed by Danny Elfman, was nominated for "Outstanding Achievement in Main Title Theme Music"

The show hit a ratings high at the end of its first season, in the spring of 1990, cracking the Top 10 (the only Fox show to do so that year). Fox struck a deal with Mattel, and talking Bart Simpson dolls began disappearing from department-store shelves. Bart T-shirts were selling at the rate of a million per day in North America. His catchphrases, such as "Underachiever and proud of it" and "Don't have a cow, man," became staples of early-90s lexicon. Bootleg merchandise was soon as ubiquitous as the real thing. "Black Bart" T-shirts were a popular phenomenon in African-American communities, with Bart's catchphrases altered to "Watch it, mon!" and, without irony, "You wouldn't understand; it's a black thing". The Simpsons merchandise sold well and generated US$2 billion in revenue during the first 14 months of sales.

With Bart omnipresent and Fox expanding its programming schedule from three nights a week to five, a bold plan was hatched: beginning with the show's second season, in the fall of 1990, it would be moved to Thursday nights, where it would take on the reigning television champion, NBC's The Cosby Show.


Episodes: 

Aired between December 17, 1989 and May 13, 1990

Number of episodes: 13

  1. Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire:

    Original Air Date: December 17, 1989

    Writer: Mimi Pond.

    Director: David Silverman.

    Starring Characters: Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others), Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier), Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson).

    Recurring Characters: Jo Ann Harris (Additional Voices), Pamela Hayden (Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others), Hank Azaria (Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others).

    Guest Star: Christopher Collins (Additional Voices).

    First Appearances:Principal Skinner, Mr Largo, Milhouse, Janey, Sherri and Terri, Wendell, Lewis, Richard, Ned Flanders, Rod Flanders, Mr Burns, Moe, Barney. We hear Smithers on a loudspeaker at the power plant, but he's not seen until 'Homer's Odyssey'.

    Plot:There's to be no Christmas bonus in Homer's pay packet this year. And Marge's savings are sacrificed to rescue Bart from a scrape at a tattoo parlour. It looks like the Simpsons' festivities will be frugal - unless Homer can find success as a department store Santa Claus to raise more cash. Homer and Bart save Christmas by adopting the losing greyhound, Santa's Little Helper.

    Trivia:

    • FOX was very nervous about the show because they were unsure that they could sustain the audience's attention for the duration of the episode.
    • The episode, being the first to air, lacked the now famous opening sequence which was later added in the second episode when Groening thought of the idea of a longer opening sequence resulting in less animation.
    • This special was not originally intended to be the series' opening episode. Production problems, particularly with the first produced episode, "Some Enchanted Evening", saw the show delayed from its planned October debut until late December, thus dictating that this Christmas-themed episode, the eighth one produced, was the first to be broadcast. ("One Enchanted Evening" was eventually broadcast as the last episode in the first season).
    • This episode was the eighth to be made for the series, as shown by the production code, but because the series was beginning broadcast just before Christmas 1989, logic dictated that should be the first one shown in the run.
    • This is the only Simpsons episode Mimi Pond ever wrote.
    • At Moe's Tavern, the push door does not exist, it is a pair of saloon doors instead.
    • The episode was nominated for two Emmy Awards in 1990, Outstanding Animated Program and "Outstanding Editing for a Miniseries or Special." Because "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" is considered to be a separate special, The Simpsons was nominated twice in the Animated Program category; the episode would lose to fellow The Simpsons episode "Life on the Fast Lane".
    • Rich Moore storyboarded the episode and designed Flanders.
    • In this episode, Barney had yellow hair which was the same color as his skin, but that was later dropped because of the belief that only the Simpson family should have such hair

  2. Bart the Genius:

    Original Air Date: January 14, 1990

    Writer: Jon Vitti.

    Director: David Silverman.

    Starring Characters: Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others), Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier), Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson).

    Recurring Characters: Jo Ann Harris (Additional Voices), Pamela Hayden (Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others), Russi Taylor (Martin Prince, Sherri, Terri and others), Marcia Wallace (Edna Krabappel).

    Show runner: James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Sam Simon.

    First Appearances: Martin Prince, Ms Krabappel.

    Chalkboard Gag: "I will not waste chalk".

    Plot: The episode starts with the Simpson family playing a game of Scrabble in order to help Bart prepare for an intelligence test he will take at school the next day. Not taking the game seriously, Bart lays down all his tiles in no particular order, inventing the word "Kwyjibo", a big dumb, balding North American ape with no chin and a short temper. The definition is of Homer Simpson Furthermore, Bart is subsequently mocked by Lisa for being unintelligent and chased out of the house by an enraged Homer.

    At school the next day, intelligent classmate Martin Prince reports Bart to Principal Seymour Skinner for vandalizing a school wall. Later, Bart, having trouble with the intelligence test, switches tests with Martin.

    At a meeting with Bart's parents after school that day to discuss his behavior, psychiatrist Dr. J. Loren Pryor identified Bart as a genius based on the test results.

    Homer, Marge, and Principal Skinner are all surprised by this, but all are pleased to enroll Bart in a school for gifted children. Lisa, however refuses to believe that her brother is a genius.

    At the new school, Bart is intimidated by the other students, who are studying confusing advanced topics and have little to nothing in common with him, and are suspicious and disdainful of him.

    They use their greater knowledge of different systems of measurement as a form of bullying to trick Bart out of his lunch.

    Homer regains an appreciation of Bart and shows a new-found interest in spending time with him. The two bond over their shared disdain for an opera that Marge forces the family to attend in an attempt to get her family to understand "culture".

    After Bart visits his old school, where he is rejected by his friends for being so smart, he prepares to confess his cheating to his father, but holds off at the opportunity to play baseball with Homer.

    When Bart's science project causes an explosion in the school which results in acid burns, he tells Dr. Pryor that he would like to return to his old school, to study the behavior of average children.

    After a frustrating attempt to write up a proposal for this experiment, he confesses that he cheated on the test.

    At home that evening, Homer helps Bart bathe and Bart tells him the truth. He adds that he has enjoyed the past few weeks, because he and Homer are closer than ever. Homer is again furious, and he chases a naked Bart upstairs. Marge and Lisa observe, with Lisa casually noting, "I think Bart's stupid again."[
    .

    Trivia:

    • There is a picture of Bart on the wall opposite one of Albert Einstein in Dr. Pryor's office.
    • While the family plays Scrabble, Maggie plays with lettered blocks. While playing with the blocks she spells out EMCSQU, which refers to Einstein's famous equation, E=MC^2.
    • The episode was the first to feature the series' full title sequence, including the chalkboard gag and couch gag. Matt Groening developed the lengthy sequence in order to cut down on the animation necessary for each episode, but devised the two gags as compensation for the repeated material each week. As the finished episodes became longer, the production team were reluctant to cut the stories in order to allow for the long title sequence, so shorter versions of it were developed.
    • The concept for the episode developed from writer Jon Vitti coming up with a long list of bad things Bart could do and imagining the potential consequences. The only idea that developed into an interesting episode concept was Bart cheating on an IQ test. This idea was based on an incident from Vitti's childhood when a number of his classmates did not take an intelligence test seriously and suffered poor academic treatment because of it. Because Bart was already obviously unintelligent, Vitti reversed the problem for his episode. Vitti used all his memories of elementary school behavior to produce a draft script of 71 pages, substantially above the required length of about 45 pages. It was Vitti's first script for a 30-minute television program.

  3. Homer's Odyssey:

    Original Air Date: January 21, 1990

    Writer: Jay Kogen, Wallace Wolodarsky.

    Director: Wesley Archer.

    Starring Characters: Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson), Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others).

    Recurring Characters: Russi Taylor (Martin Prince, Sherri, Terri and others), Marcia Wallace (Edna Krabappel), Hank Azaria (Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others), Pamela Hayden (Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others).

    Guest Star: Christopher Collins (Additional Voices), Sam McMurray (Additional Voices).

    Chalkboard Gag: "I will not skateboard in the halls"

    First Appearances: Otto, Smithers (who appears very tanned), Moe's two barflies, Mr and Mrs Winfield, Wiggum, and Jasper. It's hard to tell, but the guy who nearly runs Homer down looks like Hans Moleman.

    Plot: Homer is fired from his job as technical supervisor at the Springfield nuclear plant. Unable to provide for his family, he contemplates commiting suicide but is talked out of it by his family. Then he discovers a new life path as a campaigner for safety. So he tries to get Springfield to shut down the nuclear power plant. That's when Mr. Burns offers Homer a job as safety inspector at the plant, with a large pay raise included. Finally, Homer agrees, and tells his growing mass of supporters he can no longer continue his crusade for public safety, urging them to carry on instead while he makes sure the plant is safe.

    Trivia:

    • Smithers first appears in the episode "Homer's Odyssey" where he is shown being apparently African American. However, in his second appearance, "There's No Disgrace Like Home," he appears as having a yellow complexion, which remains throughout the rest of the series. In "There's no disgrace like home", Lou the policeman is depicted not as African-American (as he later appears), but as a Caucasian (yellow).
    • The cartoon at the power plant was given an old-time reel footage feel by having the animation cells dragged across a cement floor to scratch it up. This trick was used several times by the animators for the next 10 seasons.
    • Although Mr. Burns was seen in Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire, this was his first appearance in order of production codes, hence the dramatic music when the camera pans out on him. It must be noted that originally "Roasting On An Open Fire" was supposed to be the 8th episode instead of the first.
    • Blinky, the fish Bart catches in Two Cars In Every Garage And Three Eyes On Every Fish can be seen in the water outside during the kids' tour of the power plant.
    • Couch Gag: Under immense pressure the couch flies apart leaving the family sitting on the floor.
    • When Homer is standing on the car explaining safety to people, if you pause when it shows the crowd, you can see a skeleton and a happy little elf to the right.
    • First time the Duff Beer are mentioned in the series.
    • First Bart's prank calls to Moe's Tavern. The first one used is: I. P. Freely.

  4. There's No Disgrace Like Home:

    Original Air Date: January 28, 1990

    Writer: Mike Reiss, Al Jean.

    Director: Gregg Vanzo, Kent Butterworth.

    Starring Characters: Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson), Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others), Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier).

    Recurring Characters: Hank Azaria (Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others), Maggie Roswell (Maude Flanders, Helen Lovejoy, Miss Hoover, and others), Pamela Hayden (Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others).

    Chalkboard Gag: "I will not burp in class".

    First Appearances: Eddie and Lou, Dr Marvin Monroe, Itchy and Scratchy. (There's a guy drinking in Moe's Tavern who looks a bit like Lenny.).

    Plot: Homer takes his family to the company picnic at Mr Burn's manor. The entire picnic is a catastrophe when Bart tortures the swans, Lisa drinks the fountain water, and Marge gets drunk and performs a musical number. Bart tries to win a race that was scheduled for Mr. Burns to win, but Homer is there to stop him.

    Convinced that both he and his family are pathetic, Homer stops by Moe's Tavern, where he sees a TV commercial for Dr. Marvin Monroe's Family Therapy Center. When he hears that Dr. Monroe guarantees "family bliss or double your money back", Homer spends the kids' college fund and pawns the TV set to enrol the family in the clinic; they are extremely angry with him for his recent actions.

    Dr. Monroe implements shock therapy and wires the Simpsons to electrodes. Soon the whole family is sending shocks to one another. This causes blackouts throughout the city. Resigned to the fact that the Simpsons are incurable, the doctor reluctantly gives them double their money back. With $500 in his pocket, Homer takes his blissful family to buy a new television set.

    Trivia:

    • In the Couch Gag, Homer is squeezed out on to the floor.
    • Stately Burns Manor looks a lot like Kane's castle in Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941). The cry, 'One of us! One of us!' comes from the final scene of Freaks (Tod Browning, 1932).
    • In the Itchy and Scratchy show. We don't see the theme tune or even hear their names.
    • The episode is inspired by the comedy of Laurel and Hardy and features cultural references to Citizen Kane, the Batman series and Freaks.
    • The episode shows signs of being one of the earliest shows of the season produced despite being aired 4th.
    • The characters act slightly differently to how the do in later seasons: Lisa is a brat, Marge is a drunk and Homer is concerned that his family is going to make him look bad.
    • First episode where Mr. Burns mentions, "the hounds."
    • First episode to air in the U.K. in 1996 on BBC1.
    • Dr. Marvin Monroe's phone number is 1-800-555-HUGS.
    • It is an early episode for Mr. Burns, in which he had a different voice than the one it would later become.
    • It is the first time Smithers appears yellow.
    • The episode also marks the first appearance of Eddie and Lou, although Lou is yellow instead of black, as he would become later. Lou was named after Lou Whitaker - a former Major League Baseball player.
    • The scene of the shock therapy was rearranged in the editing room, because when it was first produced it played out differently. The edits made to the finished product were preliminary, however they were received well and remained unchanged.

  5. Bart the General:

    Original Air Date: February 4, 1990

    Writer: John Swartzwelder.

    Director: David Silverman.

    Starring Characters: Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others), Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others).

    Recurring Characters: Pamela Hayden (Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others), Jo Ann Harris (Additional Voices).

    Guest Star: Susan Blu (Weasel #1).

    Chalkboard Gag: None

    First Appearances: Nelson Muntz, Herman.

    Plot: Lisa bakes a batch of cupcakes for her teacher. When they get off the bus, Lisa's cupcakes are snatched by one of Nelson Muntz's buddies, when she was going to offer her friend Jamie one, who, after Bart asks for them back, stomps on them. Bart jumps at the rug-rat and tries to subdue him, but to no effect. Nelson shows up and holds Bart up by the scruff of his neck, questioning his bravery. Bart persists to struggle and accidentally hits Nelson on the nose. Nervously, Bart attempts to shrug it all off, but he does not get out of it that easily. After school, Nelson beats Bart to a bloody pulp and dumps him into a trash can, which he then rolls down a hill, stopping at his front door.

    Bart tells Homer and Marge about the bully, and Homer advises Bart to fight dirty, while Marge suggests that he tell Principal Skinner. Bart chooses Homer's advice, and he has Bart face a punching bag. Disapproving of Bart's fighting skills, Homer jumps on top of the bag and shakes it around in an attempt to beat it up, going as far as biting a piece off, while Bart looks on, disgusted. Homer then reassures Bart that he should "fight dirty," saying that it is okay every now and then. Bart confronts Nelson and at first throws mud in his eyes which enrages Nelson. Bart tries to fight but is once again, mauled by Nelson.

    Grampa introduces Bart to Herman, a veteran who runs an army surplus store. Herman declares war on Nelson and instructs Bart on a full-assault strategy. Bart gathers other kids from school who have been traumatized by Nelson and enlists them as troops. After a long and tedious training program, the troops go marching one by one. Cornering Nelson and his buddies, they commence firing intense numbers of water balloons. The buddies finally surrender; so afterwards, Herman drafts an armistice, which Bart and Nelson agree to sign. Marge enters with cupcakes, and peace prevails.

    This episode ends with a disclaimer featuring Bart in a library telling the viewers about the reality of war and saying that the only good wars are The American Revolution, World War II, and the Star Wars trilogy and advising viewers to go to the library and look up info about war. Also the end credits roll over an exterior shot nighttime of the Simpsons' home instead of a black screen.

    Trivia:

    • The opening title sequence was edited down to a bare minimum due to the episode running long; only the title and the first aerial shot of Springfield are shown. Most of the usual opening credits are missing, including the creator, developers, producers and writer.
    • There are lines taken wholesale from Patton (Franklin Schnaffner, 1970), and some vague nods in the marching sequences to Full Metal Jacket (Stanley Kubrick, 1986).
    • This is the first episode that John Swartzwelder wrote. He has written more episodes than anyone in the show's history.
    • "Bart the General" and Seinfeld's "The Tape" were used in a Dartmouth College experiment to study brain activity in relation to humorous moments in television shows. The results were published in a 2004 issue of the academic journal Neurolmage. The researchers noted, "During moments of humor detection, significant [brain] activation was noted in the left posterior middle temporal gyrus ... and left inferior frontal gyrus".

  6. Moaning Lisa:

    Original Air Date: February 11, 1990

    Writer: Mike Reiss, Al Jean.

    Director: Wesley Archer.

    Starring Characters: Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others), Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson).

    Recurring Characters: Pamela Hayden (Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others), Hank Azaria (Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others).

    Guest Star: Susan Blu (Howie), Miriam Flynn (Miss Barr), Ron Taylor ("Bleeding Gums" Murphy).

    Chalkboard Gag: "I will not instigate revolution".

    First Appearances: Ralph Wiggum, Jacqueline Bouvier (Marge's Mother), Mr. Largo, Bleeding Gums Murphy.

    Plot: Lisa awakens one morning with a potent case of the blues. She attempts to exorcise some of her sadness with a burst of "creativity" which is unwelcomed by band teacher Mr. Largo. Homer and Bart, meanwhile, are playing a video boxing game. Undefeated with 48 wins, Bart takes only one round to knock off the head of Homer's boxer. While Homer is down for the count, Marge gives him the note from Lisa's teacher. Lisa's existential anxiety puzzles Homer's simple emotional sensibilities, and Marge attempts to administer the advice she was given by her mother regarding happiness. Nothing her parents say can bring Lisa out of her depression.

    Hearing distant music one night, Lisa sneaks out of her room to follow it. She finds a soulful saxophone player, Bleeding Gums Murphy, playing some hard blues. Murphy teaches Lisa how to express her sadness on the sax and plays with her until Marge finds her and exclaims, "Lisa! Get away from that Jazz Man!".

    Afterwards, Marge drops off Lisa at school and tells her to smile no matter what she feels inside. She sees Lisa hiding her true feelings and classmates taking advantage of her and becomes mad. Just then, Mr. Largo comes out and denies Lisa her creativity. Realizing that that is reason why Lisa is sad, Marge becomes furious, floors the pedal, takes Lisa back, and drives away in an instant. Marge tells Lisa that it is best to be herself. When Lisa hears this, she feels happy again. Afterwards, the Simpsons visit a jazz club to hear Bleeding Gums Murphy sing a blues number written by Lisa.

    Trivia:

    • In the sofa gag Maggie pops out and Marge catches her.
    • Some of the video games that can be seen at the arcade: Time Waster, Freeway, Pac-Rat, Eat My Shorts, Nuclear Disaster, Robert Goulet Destroyer, Escape from Grandma's House, Itchy vs. Scratchy.
    • Bart's phone prank to Moe's Tavern: Jacques Strap.
    • The episode title is a play on Leonardo da Vinci's painting the Mona Lisa.
    • The background noise of the arcade is the music from the Tetris arcade machine.
    • The controllers being used on Bart's video game system resemble Atari 2600 joysticks, but the graphics on the TV would suggest a newer model console. Also the game being played, Slugfest, is quite similar to the Nintendo game Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!.
    • As with a few other early episodes, Marge's pearls change from red to white quite frequently.
    • This episode also contains the first appearance of Homer's all-time favourite greasy snack, Pork Rinds Lite.

  7. The Call of the Simpsons:

    Original Air Date: February 18, 1990

    Writer: John Swartzwelder.

    Director: Wesley Archer.

    Starring Characters: Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others), Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier).

    Recurring Characters: Hank Azaria (Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others), Albert Brooks (Bob), Maggie Roswell (Maude Flanders, Helen Lovejoy, Miss Hoover, and others).

    Chalkboard Gag: "I will not draw naked ladies in class".

    First Appearances: Rod Flanders, Cowboy Bob.

    Plot: Homer goes to Bob's RV Round-Up to buy a RV. The sly con-man Bob tells Homer that because of his poor credit, he only qualifies for a second hand, dilapidated RV with broken windows and weeds growing out of its grill. Thrilled with the new RV, Homer takes his family on an excursion. After seeing the gridlock on the freeway, he decides to take a shortcut through the Springfield Forest. Marge tells him the road is getting bumpy and that he should turn back, to which he replies "Don't worry, this is an all-terrain vehicle!". After a short while he loses control of the camper and comes to an abrupt halt at the edge of a huge gorge. With the RV tilting back and forth at the edge, the family slowly creeps out of it just before it plummets into the abyss and explodes.

    Stranded in the wilderness, Homer and Bart set out for civilization, unaware that baby Maggie is tagging along. As they stroll through the woods, they hear a noise and assume it is a rattlesnake. As they run off, it is revealed that the noise was just Maggie sucking her pacifier. Separated from Homer and Bart, Maggie is soon adopted by a family of grizzly bears. Homer and Bart lose their clothes in a fast-moving river and use plants and mud to cover themselves. Homer finds a bee hive and digs his hand inside, and after eating a scoop says it tastes "tangy". He is soon bombarded with bee stings and flees in the direction of water, which turns out to be thick mud. Homer emerges from the brown goop and, due to the bee stings, mumbles like an animal at a nearby nature photographer for help. Mistaking Homer for Bigfoot, the man takes a picture and flees.

    Soon the forest is filled with Bigfooters hunters; Reporters find Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie and warn them about the hideous creature roaming the woods. When she sees the picture of Homer, Marge identifies the grotesque monster as her husband and tries to clear up the misunderstanding, but the authorities now think that she married Bigfoot. Cold and near exhaustion, Homer is captured by hunters, shot with a tranquilizer gun and taken to a lab for tests. Scientists observe Homer, but are unsure if he is a below-average human being or a brilliant beast. They allow Homer to return to his family until they can determine to what species he belongs.

    Trivia:

    • In the couch gag the family comes in and just sits on the couch in a normal manner
    • Headlines seen in the "National Informer" include: "I Married Bigfoot", "Wife Pleads: 'Call Him Homer'" and "The Bigfoot Diet: 'Pork Chops Aplenty.'
    • Signs at Bob's RV Roundup include: "We'd rather make a friend...(followed by a smiley face) than a profit (followed by a frowny face.)", "We give credit to everyone.", "Bankruptcy, shmankruptcy!", and "No credit? Good!"
    • Flanders makes $27 more a week than Homer does (although this is based on Ned's original job at a pharmaceutical company, not the Leftorium).
    • The fact that Homer is indeed the missing link is referenced again in season 16's "The Monkey Suit".
    • This is the first episode to feature Albert Brooks as a guest star. Like all his appearances, he is credited as A. Brooks.
    • Bart wears his "lucky red hat" for the first time in this episode (but coughs it out multiple times in Bart the General). Also, this is the only time the hat is totally red (other episodes depict it as red with a white visor).
    • This episode was the theme of a Burger King promotion including kids meal toys and collectable cups.
    • At the time of production, the writers and producers felt that this episode had the potential to be made into a two-part story. However, they eventually decided to make it as a single episode.
    • The tune for the camping scenes is called "The Happy Wanderer".
    • The episode title is a reference to the novella "The Call of the Wild" by Jack London.
    • When Homer is shot with tranquilizer darts, his last words to Bart before he loses consciousness are "Avenge my death." This is similar to Harry Dean Stanton yelling out to his two sons in Red Dawn.

  8. The Telltale Head:

    Original Air Date: February 25, 1990

    Writer: Matt Groening, Al Jean, Mike Reiss, Sam Simon.

    Director: Rich Moore.

    Starring Characters: Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others), Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson).

    Recurring Characters: Marcia Wallace (Edna Krabappel), Hank Azaria (Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others), Pamela Hayden (Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others), Tress MacNeille (Agnes Skinner, Brandine Del Roy, Dolph and others).

    Chalkboard Gag: "I did not see Elvis"; one line reads "I did see Elvis".

    First Appearances: Rev. Lovejoy, Krusty (in the series show, however he had made his first appearance in the shorts), Jimbo Jones, Kearney, Dolph, Apu. Lovejoy and Krusty are given their first few lines as part of the mob. Sideshow Bob appears for the first time as Krusty's silent stooge. Not a hint of the terrors to come. And his hair is in curls rather than dreads.

    Plot: Homer and Bart are chased through the streets of Springfield by an angry mob while carrying the head of the statue of their town founder. Someone has sawn off the head of the statue of town founder Jebediah Springfield. Surrounded by the surly crowd, Bart pleads for understanding and relates the events of the previous day.

    As the story unfolds, Bart borrows $5.00 from Homer and sneaks away to see Space Mutants IV at the local movie theater. On his way, he runs into a gang of troublemakers. One of them, Jimbo, invites Bart to sneak into the movies with him and his buddies. Later, as the boys throw rocks at Jebediah's statue, Jimbo wishes someone would cut off the statue's head. When Bart tries to defend the town's hero, Jimbo and the boys laugh at him. To be "cool," Bart sneaks out of the house that night and saws the statue's head off.

    Feeling remorse, Bart returns home and confesses to his family. As Homer (who also feels more than a little responsible for this incident) takes Bart to place the head back on the statue, they are confronted by the angry mob. Bart tells the crowd that his act has united the town and taught people to appreciate their heritage. The townspeople agree, the head is placed back into the statue, and Bart is forgiven.

    Trivia:

    • In the sofa gag the family rush into the living room with such force that Bart is squeezed out and thrown into the air and lands in front of the TV.
    • This is one of only four episodes of The Simpsons on which Matt Groening is credited as a writer.
    • This episode is one of very few to have the episode title on screen.
    • The first episode that mentions Jebediah Springfield.
    • The football commentator mentions a player named 'Wolodarsky'. Wallace Wolodarsky is a writer on The Simpsons.
    • Bart saying his story would take about 23 minutes and 5 seconds was a cheap line added by Jim Brooks about the length of their episodes (minus commercials of course).
    • First and possibly only utterance by Bart on his skateboard of "cowabunga" in the series. For years many of the crew thought it was a line just added to T-Shirts out of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles craze.
    • Among the members of the angry mob that chases Bart and Homer through town are Patty, Selma and Grandpa Simpson.
    • The look of Sideshow Bob hasn't been established yet, as he has an afro hairstyle, rounder nose, a pudgy body, a different Sideshow necklace and an armband.
    • The layout and the colors of Moe's Tavern, aren't quite established yet in this episode. The interior is all red, and the entrance door seems to lead to another room and not outside.
    • The episode title is a reference to the short story "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe. In addition, Bart actually hears the head talking when he is overcome with guilt.
    • The line "What have I done? is a reference to "The Bridge over the River Kwai".
    • Bart awakening to a find the head of Jebediah Springfield in bed next to him is a reference to the famous scene in The Godfather where Jack Woltz finds the head of his prize racehorse next to him one morning.
    • When Bart wakes up, he says "Top of the world, Ma!", referring to the final scene of White Heat.

  9. Life on the Fast Lane:

    Original Air Date: March 18, 1990

    Writer: John Swartzwelder.

    Director: David Silverman.

    Starring Characters: Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others), Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson).

    Recurring Characters: Albert Brooks (Jacques), Maggie Roswell (Maude Flanders, Helen Lovejoy, Miss Hoover, and others).

    Chalkboard Gag: None

    First Appearances: Helen Lovejoy, Lenny.

    Plot: It is Marge's 34th birthday and Homer has completely forgotten about the date. He quickly leaves to go to the Springfield Mall to buy Marge a last-minute gift and impulsively settles on an expensive bowling ball. The birthday party takes place at the Singing Sirloin, a restaurant featuring singing waiters, recommended by Patty and Selma. Marge is highly insulted that her primary "gift" is something Homer selfishly wants for his own use, even going to the extent of having the ball engraved with his name and having the holes drilled for his fingers. To spite him, Marge decides to keep it and use it anyway.

    Marge goes bowling for the first time ever, but is unsuccessful. At the bowling alley she meets Jacques, a handsome French bowling instructor in the next lane, who offers her bowling lessons. Jacques invites her to have brunch with him. Although she feels guilty, she agrees.

    On their date they encounter Helen Lovejoy, a known gossip who speculates about what Marge is doing having brunch with a man who is not her husband. Jacques assures her that it is merely a bowling lesson. However, when Helen is out of earshot, Jacques invites Marge to his apartment. Marge accepts the invitation, but has a moral dilemma en route. She reaches a fork in the road, one direction leading to Jacques' apartment, the other to the Springfield Nuclear Plant where Homer is working. After much deliberation, she proceeds to the plant, where she tells Homer she loves him. Homer happily leaves work with Marge in his arms.

    Trivia:

    • In this episode the titles crash straight in from the school to the episode; with no chalkboard and couch gags featured.
    • Before it was retitled "Life on the Fast Lane" this episode was called "Jacques to be Wild". Although this title doesn't seem to make any sense, it was a revised title based on the very first iteration of the story. In the original story, Marge didn't take bowling lessons; she took tennis lessons from a handsome tennis pro named Bjorn. Of course, the original title was "Bjorn to be Wild".
    • The original backstory for Barney's Bowlerama was that it was owned by Barney Gumble. Over time it changed to Barney just being an employee, as the writers could not imagine Barney owning anything.
    • It was later revealed that Barney's uncle was the owner.
    • The exterior of the Bowlerama was designed by No Doubt member Eric Stefani.
    • Albert Brooks improvised almost all of his dialogue, producing over three hours of material.
    • Marge's laugh was an ad-libbed, natural laugh by Julie Kavner, who was laughing at something Albert Brooks has just said.
    • The line "four onion rings!" was one the many lines that Brooks ad-libbed and when saying it, Jacques loses his French accent.
    • The moon was designed to resemble a bowling ball in the scene in which Jacques drops Marge home.
    • The restaurant that Jacques and Marge attend is called "Shorty's"; it was originally intended that a chef's hat would be shown moving around in the background, implying that the owner was short, but the concept was dropped as it seemed to be too much of a silly idea.
    • The episode's conclusion is a reference to An Officer and a Gentleman, which David Silverman had to watch first, so that he knew how to set the scene out.
    • The title is a pun on The Eagles' song "Life in the Fast Lane," while the alternate title "Jacques to Be Wild" is a reference to Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild".
    • The end scene, in which Marge walks into the power plant, and Homer carries her away, is a reference to the film An Officer and a Gentleman, and features the same music, "Up Where We Belong."
    • This episode won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or Less) in 1990, defeating fellow Simpsons episode "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", and becoming the first The Simpsons episode to win the award.
    • In a 2000 Entertainment Weekly article, Matt Groening ranked this episode as his second favorite episode of all time, behind "Bart the Daredevil".
    • IGN.com named Albert Brooks' guest performance in this episode, along with his four other appearances, the best guest appearance in the show's history.

  10. Homer's Night Out:

    Original Air Date: March 25, 1990

    Writer: Jon Vitti.

    Director: Rich Moore.

    Starring Characters: Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson), Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others), Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others).

    Recurring Characters: Jo Ann Harris (Additional Voices), Pamela Hayden (Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others), Maggie Roswell (Maude Flanders, Helen Lovejoy, Miss Hoover, and others), Hank Azaria (Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others).

    Guest Star: Sam McMurray (Additional Voices).

    Chalkboard Gag: "I will not call my teacher 'hot cakes'".

    First Appearances: Carl, Princess Kashmir.

    Plot: Bart purchases a miniature spy camera from a mail-order catalog, and Bart uses it to take candid photos around the house. Later, Homer announces he is going to a bachelor party for a co-worker, Eugene Fisk. Marge decides to take the children to the Rusty Barnacle, a seafood restaurant where (unbeknownst to her) the bachelor party is taking place.

    The party turns out to be a flop until a sexy belly dancer named Princess Kashmir arrives. Kashmir invites Homer onstage to dance with her. Homer eventually gets on stage and begins dancing, at which point Bart wanders into the room and eagerly snaps a picture.

    At school, Bart joins the camera club. President Martin compliments Bart for the picture of Homer dancing with Princess Kashmir and asks to have a copy. It is not long before everyone in Springfield has one.

    Marge sees a copy of the picture at her aerobics class and furiously rips it from the bulletin board. When Homer gets home that day, Marge immediately shoves the picture in his face and demands an explanation and then kicks him out of the house. Homer spends the night at Barney's poorly kept apartment.

    The next day Homer goes home to apologize; Marge tells Homer that what upset her was not what he did, but that Bart saw it. She insists that he take Bart to meet Princess Kashmir so that he can see for himself that women are not objects.

    Homer introduces himself and Bart to Kashmir (who tells Bart her real name is Shauna Tifton), who is preoccupied with getting onstage for her performance. However, Homer accidentally finds himself on stage for the night's feature attraction: dancing with many scantily clad women. Homer is about to be thrown offstage when the audience applauds that "the guy from the picture" dropped in, and he gets caught up in the fanfare, joining the kick line, until he looks at Bart and realizes what he is doing. Homer stops the show and successfully manages to make a plea to the audience to treat women with respect. The men in the audience then get up and leave, telling each other they should go tell the women in their families they are special, and Princess Kashmir wipes a tear from her cheek as she is glad to see a man give a speech extolling the virtues of respecting women. Marge, who is in the audience, accepts Homer's apology and the two make up.

    Trivia:

    • In the couch gag the family sits and the sofa collapses.
    • The photocopier says 5 cents on the front but Bart and friends each put in 10 cents.
    • The entire scene in the photo lab is animated in real color, but has a red gel pasted over the scene to give it the photo-lab effect.
    • Bart's piggy bank is glued and taped together from when Homer broke it in episode 1-3, "Homer's Odyssey."
    • In this episode, Carl's voice sounds different from what it usually sounds like.

  11. The Crepes of Wrath:

    Original Air Date: April 15, 1990

    Writer: George Meyer, Sam Simon, John Swartzwelder, Jon Vitti.

    Director: Wesley Archer, Milton Gray.

    Starring Characters: Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others), Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson).

    Recurring Characters: Pamela Hayden (Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others), Tress MacNeille (Agnes Skinner, Brandine Del Roy, Dolph and others).

    Guest Star: Christian Coffinet (Gendarme Officer).

    Chalkboard Gag: "Garlic gum is not funny"

    First Appearances: Agnes Skinner.

    Plot: Due to his continous pranks Bart is punished. Skinner proposes "deportation" to the Simpsons, by having Bart participate in a foreign exchange program. Bart is sent to France, while the Simpsons host a student from the Socialist People's Republic of Albania, named Adil Hoxha, or known as the Sparrow. Bart is shown a picture of a lovely chateau in the heart of France and he immediately agrees to go, much to Homer and Skinner's delight.

    In France, Bart arrives at the "beautiful chateau", which is actually a dilapidated farmhouse on a run-down vineyard. He is greeted by the two unscrupulous winemakers, César and Ugolin, who proceed to treat him like a slave. Bart is made to carry buckets of water, collect and crush grapes, sleep on the floor and test wine contaminated with antifreeze.

    Meanwhile, in Springfield, Adil arrives and turns out to be a sweet and helpful boy. Unbeknown to the family, Adil is actually a spy sent by his government to obtain blueprints of the nuclear plant's reactor. Homer unwittingly takes him on a tour of the power plant and thinks nothing of the many photographs Adil takes, which Adil sends home by a secret fax machine in Bart's treehouse.

    When Bart is sent by his captors to Paris to buy a case of antifreeze, he sees a gendarme and tries to ask for help, but the gendarme doesn't understand English, and only gives Bart a piece of candy. Bart walks away, despairing over his own stupidity, then unconsciously begins speaking French to himself. Realizing he has become fluent in French, he runs back to the gendarme and tells him everything. The wine-makers are swiftly arrested and Bart finishes his stay in France being hailed as a hero.

    In Springfield, Adil is caught by the FBI and is exchanged for another boy of the same age who was an American spy caught in Albania. Bart returns to his family, bringing them French gifts. When Homer has trouble opening a bottle of wine, Bart mutters "Mon père, quel bouffon" ("My father, what a buffoon!" in French), Homer declares that he is proud that his son can speak French and then opens the bottle.

    Trivia:

    • In the couch gag Homer pops out and lands on the floor.
    • The two evil French wine makers, Cesar and Ugolin, are named after the two villains of the classic French films "Jean de Florette" (1986) and "Manon of the Spring" (1986).
    • It's said on the Season 1 DVD commentary that the tenting of the fingers and the phrase "excellent" was taken from the actions of James Downey, who some of the staff worked with on Letterman and Carson. The action was later passed onto Mr. Burns as homage to their former head writer.
    • The name of Adil Hoxha was created by the writers. It wasn't until the show went into production that they found out it was the real last name of the then current Albania president, Enver Hoxha.
    • The entire idea behind using Albania as the country the exchange student comes from was a combination of the fact that it was a country many didn't know about, and that John Belushi was Albanian and that quote "the staff liked him."
    • According to the production code number, this episode was meant to be the season finale, but was changed to Some Enchanted Evening.
    • On the way to the chateau, Bart and Ugolin driver pass through scenes depicted in several famous paintings, notably Bassin aux nymphéas by Claude Monet, Champ de blé aux corbeaux by Vincent Van Gogh, Le rêve by Henri Rousseau and Déjeuner sur l'herbe by Édouard Manet.
    • In later seasons, Agnes Skinner's personality seems vastly different from her kindly demeanor in this episode. In the DVD audio commentary, Matt Groening offers the theory that her current mean streak can be attributed to being a victim of Bart's prank.
    • Bart's experience is a reference to the Austrian Diethylene.
    • The episode's title is a play on John Steinbeck's novel The Grapes of Wrath.
    • Bart's airplane on his way back is called "Air France 1789", the year the French Revolution took place.
    • By now Homer has lost what little fatherly dignity he had at the season's start, and has become the guzzling, lazy dimwit that is the lynchpin of the show's success.
    • The first Simpsons episode devoted to jibes at a whole nation.

  12. Krusty Gets Busted:

    Original Air Date: April 29, 1990

    Writer: Wallace Wolodarsky, Jay Kogen.

    Director: Brad Bird.

    Starring Characters: Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson), Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others).

    Recurring Characters: Kelsey Grammer (Sideshow Bob Terwilliger), Pamela Hayden (Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others), Hank Azaria (Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others).

    Chalkboard Gag: "They are laughing at me, not with me"

    First Appearances: Sideshow Bob, Kent Brockman, Scott Christian, Judge Snyder, Krusty the Clown.

    Plot: As Bart and Lisa watch The Krusty The Clown Show, Marge phones Homer to stop at the Kwik-E-Mart on his way home from work. While in the Kwik-E-Mart, a masked clown, resembling Krusty, points a gun at Apu and robs the store. Police question Homer and a Police sketch artist creates an image that looks exactly like Krusty. Chief Wiggum and the SWAT team barge into Krusty's home and take him into custody.

    Krusty is found guilty and sentenced to prison. The Krusty The Clown Show is replaced with Sideshow Bob's Cavalcade of Whimsy, a critically-acclaimed educational program. Bart and Lisa set out to prove Krusty's innocence. Judging from the fact Krusty is illiterate and has a pacemaker (hence he could not be near Apu's microwave), Bart guesses that his hero was framed and Sideshow Bob would know who did it. The next day, Bart, Lisa and Maggie meet Sideshow Bob at the studio to ask him for input. A suspicious Bob dismisses their investigations and gives them tickets to his show. On the air, Bob spots an "unhappy child" – Bart – in the audience, and invites him onstage to talk about what's the matter. Bart states his findings, but Bob provides plausible explanations for each claim. Then, Bob admits that he "has big shoes to fill." That statement echoes through Bart's mind, as he realizes the final link to the mystery: Homer stepped on the tip of the robber's oversized floppy shoes, causing the suspect to cry out in pain; yet, Krusty had small feet like everyone else. Being an underappreciated TV sidekick, Bob would have the most to gain from Krusty's downfall.

    Bart grabs the microphone and reveals Bob as the imposter who committed the robbery. To prove his point, Bart grabs a croquet mallet and smashes the end of Bob's shoe, causing him to scream in pain. Bart pulls off Bob's shoes to reveal very large feet. Exposed, Bob admits that he framed Krusty out of frustration being constantly on the receiving end of the clown's humiliating (and often painful) gags. He is taken off to jail, swearing revenge on Bart (which he will attempt to carry out in many of his subsequent appearances), and the charges are dropped against Krusty, who receives apologies from Wiggum and Homer.

    Trivia:

    • In the couch gag the family sits, Maggie pops out, and Marge catches her.
    • Matt Groening reveals that Krusty the Clown is modeled after a famous performer, Rusty Nails, a children's Christian radio and television clown.
    • The idea behind the Itchy & Scratchy cartoons is nothing more than an "extremely violent" version of the old Tom & Jerry cartoons. Their names however were inspired by the 1958 cartoon Pixie & Dixie.
    • James Earl Jones was also considered for the voice of Sideshow Bob. The job finally went to Kelsey Grammer.
    • When Krusty is wearing his orange prison jumpsuit, his prison number on the front of the uniform is A113. A113 appears in many Disney/Pixar movies. It refers to room 113 at Cal Arts College, famous for its alumna, including many Pixar animators, such as Brad Bird. Brad Bird also produced this episode.
    • All three acts were designed so that you would come up on a face. First Krusty's face on the set, then Krusty behind bars, then Bob's poster on the wall.
    • Originally before this episode, Sideshow Bob wasn't even supposed to speak. All his conversations would be reduced to his slide-whistle.
    • The opening of Act II, with Krusty's face zooming up only to be slammed behind bars, looks very much like the closing credit motif of the British sixties spy TV series The Prisoner.
    • The theme tune of Sideshow Bob's show is Mozart's ine Kleine Nachtmusik.

  13. Some Enchanted Evening:

    Original Air Date: May 13, 1990

    Writer: Sam Simon, Matt Groening.

    Director: Kent Butterworth, David Silverman.

    Starring Characters: Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others), Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson), Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others).

    Recurring Characters: Hank Azaria (Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others).

    Guest Star: Paul Willson (Florist), June Foray (Receptionist, Happy Little Elf), Penny Marshall (Ms. Botz), Christopher Collins (Additional Voices).

    Chalkboard Gag: "I will not yell 'Fire' in a crowded classroom".

    First Appearances: Arnie Pie, Bill from KBBL.

    Plot: Homer decides to invite Marge to a night on the town: dinner at a fancy restaurant, dancing, and a night at a hotel.

    Marge and Homer now need a babysitter and hire Ms. Botz through a local babysitting service. On Marge's advice, Ms. Botz has Bart and Lisa watching The Happy Little Elves. However, after Ms. Botz leaves the room, Bart tunes into a station airing "America's Most Armed and Dangerous", which is doing a profile of a wanted burglar nicknamed "The Babysitter Bandit." A profile of the suspect shows Bart and Lisa that Ms. Botz is "The Babysitter Bandit." Ms. Botz enters the living room and realizes that her cover has been blown. Bart and Lisa try to hide, but she easily finds them, ties them up and makes them watch The Happy Little Elves tape as she goes about her work uninterrupted. Maggie eventually wakes up and goes downstairs, to discover that her siblings are tied up watching TV. Eventually, Maggie frees Bart and Lisa, and they are able to knock out Ms. Botz with a baseball bat.

    After tying up Ms. Botz, the kids find all their telephones disabled and go to a nearby pay telephone to alert the authorities. Meanwhile, Marge decides to try to call home to check up on things at home, but gets no answer. Worried, she and Homer decide to go home and find Ms. Botz bound and gagged. Homer, thinking his children have gotten the best of another babysitter and unaware of her true identity, frees her and pays her handsomely. After advising Homer to keep an eye on Bart, Ms. Botz makes a clean getaway, just seconds before the Springfield police arrive to arrest her. Homer begins to scold Bart for his behavior toward Ms. Botz until he finds a reporter's microphone shoved in his face, telling him he just freed a wanted criminal.

    Trivia:

    • In the couch gag they all barely fit but nothing unusual happens.
    • The fictional radio station, KBBL, is a parody of the radio stations that a few members of the writing staff used to work for in the Los Angeles area.
    • A lip-shaped stain can be seen on the inside of the front door when Homer and Marge leave for their date. This is from the original version of the show where Marge tries to kiss Homer goodbye and he slams the door in her face, making her kiss the door (instead of just stealing her coffee).
    • Despite being shown as the final episode of the 1st season, this was actually the first episode of the series to be made, as shown by the production code. The reason it was shown last was because the episode first came back ruined, so was sent back to Korea to be redone.
    • At the dance, the band is playing the same tune Homer was singing earlier, when he was getting ready for his date.
    • When Homer shaves for his night out on the town with Marge, his clean-shaven look lasts exactly 7 seconds. Then his shadow returns.
    • When Bart hides in the basement from Ms. Botz, Marge's bowling ball from episode 1.9, "Life on the Fast Lane," can be seen.
    • Maggie falls down a total of 19 times in this episode. The "Baby-Sitter Bandit," Ms. Botz, would be seen again in a news report in episode 2.16, "Bart's Dog Gets an F." She also can be seen pacing back and forth in a cell in the Calmwood Mental Hospital in episode 8.8, "Hurricane Neddy."
    • Since this episode was written first Santa's Little Helper doesn't make an appearance.
    • Springfield has a flower store, Howard's Flowers.
    • The name of Ms. Botz was based on a babysitter that Matt Groening's once had.
    • A debacle erupted when this episode, the first to return from animation in Korea, was screened in front of the production staff at the Gracie Films bungalow. The executive producer and developer James L. Brooks' initial reaction to the animation was, "This is shit." After that reaction the room almost cleared.
    • Silverman estimates that about 70% of everything had to be redone. Most of these retakes consisted of changing the backgrounds. The result is an episode where the animation is uneven, because it shifts between the early animation and the retakes.
    • Moe Szyslak has black hair in this episode, which was later changed to grey.
    • Hank Azaria was at the time credited as a guest star for portraying Moe Szyslak. In this episode Moe was originally voiced by Christopher Collins, but when Azaria came with his version, they decided to overdub his voice. He became a regular in the second season.
    • Ms. Botz pursuit of Bart into the cellar is reminiscent of Robert Mitchum's pursuit of a young boy in the film The Night of the Hunter.
    • Tavern plays "The Man That Got Away" from A Star Is Born in the 1954 remake version directed by George Cukor and starring Judy Garland and James Mason.


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