[1F11] Bart Gets Famous

Bart Gets Famous                                   Written by John Swartzwelder
                                                      Directed by Susie Dietter
Production code: 1F11                        Original airdate in N.A.: 3-Feb-94
                                                  Capsule revision E, 21-Jul-96

Title sequence

Blackboard :- My homework was not stolen by a one-armed man.
              My homework was n/ at cutoff.

Lisa's Solo:- None due to shortened intro.

Couch      :- The family run in, collide, and land as one big hunk of
              amorphous glop on the couch.  Recycled from 9F21.

Did you notice...

    ... Bart is whistling the theme from "The Simpsons"?
    ... when he's asking questions, Bart does a "Bart twitch"?
    ... Bart writes left-handed?
    ... the last four digits of BartChat are 1167?
    ... the girl who calls BartChat has a Corey poster?

Ron Carter:
    ... Lisa's dream house has a saxophone-shaped fountain in front, and
        a horse outside the stable?

Rakesh Agrawal:
    ... in her fantasy, Lisa graduates from Springfield University?
    ... there's a paper airplane on the school bus, a box calendar in
        the guy's office, and a No Smoking sign in Krusty's bathroom?
    ... Krusty is on stage 14 and his show is in Dolby?

Carl Frank:
    ... the television cameras on Channel 6 are 20 years out of date?

Don Del Grande:
    ... Ezekiel and Ishmael are on the forklift in the box factory?
    ... in the studio where Bart is recording his song, there's a
        "Bleeding Gums Gold" gold record and a "Larry Davis Experience"
        record which appears to be silver (platinum is whiter than

Ricardo Lafaurie:
    ... Bart's mouth doesn't match his words when he talked about the

Voice credits

- Starring
    - Dan Castellaneta (Homer, box factory man, Chespirito, Krusty,
      Sideshow Mel, one of Bart's fans, Quimby, fireman, Abe, Barney,
      Billy Crystal)
    - Julie Kavner (Marge, Patty, Selma)
    - Nancy Cartwright (Bart, Nelson)
    - Yeardley Smith (Lisa)
    - Hank Azaria (Guard at channel six, Ethan, kid with danish,
      Giuseppe, Workman, one of Bart's fans, Snake, Apu, man in burning
      building, Match Game announcer, DJ Marty)
    - Harry Shearer (Skinner, Brockman, Hammer, Spike Lee, Klown Show
      announcer, DJ Bill, Flanders, Burns)
- Special Guest Voice
    - Conan O'Brien (himself)
    - Marcia Wallace (Mrs. Krabappel)
- Also Starring
    - Pamela Hayden (Milhouse)
    - Maggie Roswell (BartChat girl, Quimby's wife, Kitty Carlisle)
    - Russi Taylor (Martin, Quimby's mistress)

Movie (and other) references

  + "The Fugitive"
    - writing on blackboard
  + "Hogan's Heroes" {ddg}
    - Bart saying "Jahwol, mein Mommerant" is like what Sergeant Schultz
      says to Colonel Klink: "Jahwol, mein Kommandant"
    "The Beast with Five Fingers" {tkc}
    - a movie about a pianist's severed hand strangling people
    Oliver Stone's "The Hand" {ah}
    - stars Michael Caine; a hand gets chopped off and goes about
      strangling people
  + "Clue" board game
    - Krusty with the candlestick in the conservatory
  + Coke commercial
    - Mean Joe Green: "Hey kid!"
  + "The Jetsons"
    - set of "Match Game 2034"
  + TV's "Batman"
    - musical cue
  + Rick James' "Superfreak"/Hammer's "You Can't Touch This"
    - Bart raps to it
    Kriss Kross rap duo
    - Bart's album cover looks similar

Previous episode references

- [7G01], [7F12] The "Larry Davis Experience" appears {bm}
- [7G12] Bart saves Krusty from jail
- [8F05] Bart reunites Krusty with his estranged father
- [8F19] Spittle County is mentioned {rl}
- [9F10] North Haverbrook is mentioned {rl}
- [9F14], [9F15], [9F16] "Yoink!"
- [9F19] Bart organizes Krusty's comeback special
- [9F19] Quimby uses a catch-phrase to get out of something {bz}
- [1F10] Monstro Mart

Freeze frame fun

- The places Bart's class didn't stop: {rc}
    - Toy Town
    - Fireworks Testing Range
    - Slide Factory
- The schools that did stop: {rc}
    - North Haverbrook Elementary School
    - Capitol City Elementary School
    - Shelbyville Elementary School
    - Spittle County Elementary School
- "I Didn't Do It" stuff: {rc}
    - "I Didn't Do It!  The Bart Simpson Story" ("biography")
    - "I Didn't Do It!  Volume III" (CD)
    - See The "I Didn't Do It" Boy $5 (tent come on)

Animation, continuity, and other goofs

The house is a different color than usual.  {ddg}

Lisa cuts at her food but it doesn't do anything.  {ra}

When Lisa types, her wrists don't move and she types by moving her
fingers from right to left.  {ddg}

You can't get impaled with a Nobel Prize - it's a round medal.  {ddg}

When Bart steps off the bus, he doesn't have his hat.  He has it again
at the start of the "lecture", but by the end of the lecture it's lost
again.  {ddg}

The venetian blind slats aren't visible the first time Milhouse looks
out the window.

The color of the laundry changes.  Also, the cart is pushed back when
Bart is in the room.  In that position, he could not have seen it from
the other room.  {ra}

When Bart is entering the studio, he pushes the door in.  But on that
side it has the push bars, meaning the door should open out.  {ra}

In 7G12, Brockman says Krusty is on opposite "our own award-winning Hobo
Hank", yet now, they're on the same channel.  {bm}

In a previous episode (9F19 {bm}), Chespirito is said to be on channel
eight ("ocho"), yet in this episode, he's on channel six.  {fcm}

The danish looks more like a cinnamon roll.  {ra}

When the little girl dials BartChat, the tones do not match the numbers.

The phone the girl was using to dial the Bart Chat line had the letters
wrong; "ABC" was 1, "DEF" was 2, and so on (including Q) through "YZ"
for 9.  (On phones in the USA that have letters, 1 and 0 don't have
letters, and Q and Z aren't used, although 0 did have "Z" until the
1960s or so; the other 24 letters are grouped in order, 3 per number
from 2 to 9.)  {ddg}


Alan Gindlesperger: This Simpsons was funny.  Some good gags, such as
    Spike Lee in a game show, Homer thinking Bart was a Box.  The ending
    was very clever.

Jeff Miller: 4 big thumbs up!  What a classic episode.  Good plot,
    strong gags, and possible the best ending in any Simpsons episode.
    This season is turning out to be pretty decent so far.

Andrew Ross: I rarely laugh out loud during OFF these days, but this one
    had me ROTFL at least once each act.  I never thought any series
    could get away with so many self-referential gags in the same
    episode (like TV being repetitive, etc), but they did it just right!
    And WHAT an ending!  But they'll only get away with it once.

Ron Carter: [ C ] Hmmm, shouldn't this have been titled the "self-ref"
    show?  All in all not bad, but, on second viewing, it didn't hold up
    very well.  I know Bart gets tired of the one line, but do -we-have
    to?  Ending was all too lame by now; highlights was Bart whistling
    the theme song, and the box factory.  The Conan gag, wasn't...

Rakesh Agrawal: Overall an above average episode with some very good
    parts.  The box factory and such went very very slow, as did Bart's
    repetition toward the end.  The catch phrases had me ROTF.  B+

Elson Trinidad: The pacing was slow, but I enjoyed it overall.  Things
    started picking up when the catchphrase begins.  [...] The boring
    box factory guy was hilarious, so was Bart's gag about the hands of
    box factory workers.  As a fan of "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" as
    well, I thought it was a great gag too.

Jeff Briskin {jb2}: Last night's episode was, IMHO, second only in
    badness to "Marge on the Lam."  Whoever wrote it must have been
    reading this group too much because the whole episode was self-
    conscious references to Simpsonalia.  [...] The pacing was glacial,
    the timing was off, the "I didn't do it" shtick was so painstakingly
    obvious and unfunny that it was nearly unbearable.

Don Frega {df} This episode was a concept episode exploiting the self-
    referential tendency of The Simpsons.  As such it was extremely
    effective; even the Mexican bee guy was used in such a way so as to
    refer back to itself.  [...] I commend the writers for being able to
    poke fun at themselves by pointing out the rather formulaic patterns
    and catch phrases incorporated in The Simpsons week after week.

Joey Berner: Well, last night was a really strange episode.  I liked it.
    Once again, it seemed to take a few minutes to get started but I
    loved a lot of the gags.  (the "catchphrases" at the end were
    priceless) The animation reminded me of the second and third season,
    a little washed out looking, but good.  Overall, I'd have to rate
    this one a very strong "B+".

Jeremy Greystoke: I loved the return of the Mexican Bumblebee...and him
    reading the news had me sliding onto the floor laughing.  Good
    episode overall...liked the Conan scene "Only *I* can dance".

Carl Frank: Well, I've seen worse (most of the first season, e.g., Dead
    Putter Society).  It sure was slow in getting started.  The ending
    was extraordinary - I was ROTF saying "they're toying with us!"
    And, earlier, OFF seemed to be speaking directly to Andrew Ross and
    all the Rake Haters ("TV is supposed to be redundant").  All in all,
    however, the episode was dull - few references, not enough funny
    lines, and entirely too predictable.  Rating: C+

Peter Vachuska: I thought that this was a great episode.  The continual
    self-referencing was a stoke of genius.  Only a show as deep as and
    having as much infrastructure as "The Simpson's" could have pulled
    it off.  I liked the recent negative review here that said that the
    Simpson's are becoming caricatures of themselves.  [...] All in all,
    I'd give it a B+.

Don Del Grande: The S-man [John Swartzwelder - ed] does it again.  Even
    with the relatively slow bits in the box factory, this gets
    consideration for best episode of the season, especially with that

Yours Truly: The self-reference was brilliant: Bart whistling Simpsons'
    theme, Bart slamming TV, Bart listing his interactions with Krusty,
    "one-dimensional character", catch phrases at the end.  I didn't
    like Conan much ("Only I may dance"), and the episode as a whole
    seemed a little contrived.  My rating: C.

Comments and other observations

"I didn't do it"

Several people point out this is Krusty's original catch-phrase.  Bart
    has said it before too, for example, in 9F18 when he throws the
    paper airplane at Marge and it lands in her hair.

"Tighten Up"

Elson Trinidad says of Homer's song, "The guitar line was the same as
    the original, but the rhythm was all messed up!  It was a riot!  Esp
    after the monkey attacks Homer's face, and the music keeps playing!
    If you knew the original `Tighten Up,' then you'd agree it was a
    laugh."  Daniel Reitman adds, "It was, indeed, by Archie Bell and
    the Drells.  The intro Homer used was almost a complete quote, other
    than not saying he was from Houston.  Ironically, Archie Bell's
    career was destroyed by other groups copycatting his name."

Credits in "Krusty the Klown" show

Don Del Grande says, "The credits to the Krusty the Klown show are taken
    from the Simpsons' own credits (begin with the screen with `Music
    Editor' at the top, skip the `Animation Produced By' and two
    `Overseas' screens, take the next three, skip the screen with `Color
    Design Supervisor' at the top, and take the next one), with four
    added; the `Executive Producer' at the beginning, and the three at
    the end:
    1 - Supervising Producer, Music By, Production Coordinator,
    Editors(?), Animators(?), Storyboard Artist, Casting Assistant,
    Production Assistant
    2 - Executive Consultant, Assistant to Itchy, Assistant to Scratchy,
    Assistant to Side Show Mel, Associate Producer, Post Production
    Supervisor, Post Production Assistant, Supervising Producer, Sound
    3 - Animators, Assistants to the Producers"

Conan O'Brien

Conan used to be a writer for the Simpsons; his most recent episode was
    1F02, "Homer Goes to College".  As the host of NBC's late night talk
    show, he's not doing so well, according to Kevin Cecotti {kc}.
    "When Bart does his line on the Conan O'Brien show, he slumps in his
    seat and turns to Conan, who leads into a commercial.  When the
    angle turns toward the audience, for one split second, you can
    clearly see that most of the seats on the stage-left side of the
    house are empty.  Did anyone else notice this?  I have read that
    tickets to see Late Night are not exactly hot items in New York,
    whereby people are practically selling their first born sons for
    tickets to see Letterman."

Farah Fawcett-Majors-O'Neal-Varney

This is no doubt a joke about Farah Fawcett's three husbands: her ex,
    Lee Majors, the current one, Ryan O'Neal, and the future one, Jim
    Varney (TV's "Ernest").

Bart repeating himself

Yours truly wrote, "I was _really_ hoping Bart would repeat himself
    _more_ times than three -- `My job is to be repetitive' followed by
    `The best performance of my career!'  -- eight times, a la rake
    scene, would have been good."  Herschel Gelman responded, "Well,
    personally, I didn't think that repetitiveness bit was really that
    funny to begin with.  Once he said the first line, I was actually
    hoping that he'd do something better than the most obvious -- which
    was what he did.  If he had kept going, I don't think it would have
    helped anything."

The taxi price

Don Del Grande notes, "The taxi wanted $1.15 for the first 1/9 mile and
    50 cents for each additional 1/9 mile; $4.50 a mile is outrageous.
    (The highest I've ever seen is $1.60 a mile, not including the
    initial charge.)"

Quotes and Scene Summary

[Syndication cuts are marked in curly braces "{}" and are courtesy of
Ricardo Lafaurie and Frederic Briere.]

At the Simpsons' breakfast table, Homer reads the newspaper.

Ah, the morning horoscope.  "Today will be a day like every other day"
-- D'oh!  It just gets worse and worse.
-- Homer the pessimist, "Bart Gets Famous"

Bart walks down the stairs in his lucky red hat, whistling the theme
music to "The Simpsons".  Marge chides him for whistling "that annoying
tune."  Bart responds cheerfully, "Jahwol, mein Mommerant."

 Lisa: [to Bart] Why are you so happy?
Homer: Yeah.  You kids gotta go to school, I gotta go to work; the only
       one who has it easy is Marge.
        [Marge scrubs at the floor, grunting]
-- Easy is relative, "Bart Gets Famous"

Bart: We're having a field trip today!  Ah, Lis, won't it be great to
      cast of the shackles of the soul-crushing hellhole that is
      Springfield Elementary?  [sarcastically] Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot:
      your class isn't going!
Lisa: You're right, Bart: school is for losers.
       [fade to Lisa's future mansion]
       [Her wall covered with awards]
       [typing] "And that's how I cured all disease, ended war, and
      reunited the entire cast of TV's `Facts of Life', including long-
      time holdout, Tootie."
Bart: [polishing Lisa's awards] [groans] Sounds like another Pulitzer
      for me to polish.
Lisa: Hush, field-trip boy!
       [Lisa kicks Bart]
      Impaled on my Nobel Peace Prize: how ironic.
       [back to reality]
Bart: Yo, Lis: Lis!  Come back, Lis!  Come back!
Lisa: [dreamy] Why?  I'm so much happier here.
-- "Bart Gets Famous"

In the fourth-grade classroom, Mrs. Krabappel introduces Seymour.

   Edna: And now, Principal Skinner will tell us where we'll be going on
         this year's field trip.
Skinner: Thank you, Edna, everyone.  [clears throat] Now, class, I
         wonder who among you can tell me what this is?  [shows a box]
   Edna: Oh, not the box factory again, Seymour!
          [Class groans]
 Martin: This may well prove fascinating!
   Bart: I know: I'll just do like Lisa and escape into fantasy!
          [Bart imagines Seymour]
Skinner: Class, instead of going to the box factory today, we'll be
         going to the...box factory!
   Bart: Damn TV, you've ruined my imagination, just like you've ruined
         my ability to -- to, um...uh...oh well.  [Turns on Itchy &
         Scratchy on a portable TV]
-- The source of the world's problems, "Bart Gets Famous"

On the bus to the factory, Martin and Seymour sing a duet: "Fifty-six
boxes of bottles of beer on the wall, fifty-six boxes of bottles of
beer, you take one down and pass it around, fifty-five boxes of bottles
of beer on the wall."  Just then, they drive by an amusement park,
complete with fireworks testing range and slide factory.  School buses
from many other places are parked in front, and most of grade four
(including Mrs. Krabappel) stare longingly out the window, but their bus
drives on.

Arriving at the box factory, Skinner and Martin are the first ones off
the bus.  Bart and Edna walk off together, looking bored.

Once inside the factory, their tour guide tells them a story.

The story of how two brothers (and five other men) parlayed a small
business loan into a thriving paper-goods concern is a long and
interesting one.  And, here it is: it all began with the filing of form
637/A, the application for a small business or farm...
-- The box factory's tour guide, "Bart Gets Famous"

At the end of the story, the tour guide continues.

   Guide: Many interesting and important things have been put into boxes
          over the years: textiles, other boxes, even children's candy.
Milhouse: Do any of these boxes have candy in them?
   Guide: No.
Milhouse: Will they ever?
   Guide: No, we only make boxes to ship nails.  Any other questions?
  Martin: When will we be able to see a finished box, Sir?
   Guide: Well, we don't assemble them here -- that's done in Flint,
    Bart: Have any of the workers ever had their hands cut off by the
   Guide: No --
    Bart: And then the hand started crawling around and tried to
          strangle everybody?
   Guide: No, that has never happened.
    Bart: Any popped eyeballs?
   Guide: I'm not sure what kind of factory you're thinking of; we just
          make boxes here.
-- Q&A at the box factory, "Bart Gets Famous"

   Guide: This room is the most popular part of our tour.
Milhouse: It's just like the other rooms.
   Guide: Yes, but with one important difference: [looks over] Oh, they
          took that out.  Yes, it is just like the other rooms.
Milhouse: [pointing out the window] What's that building over there?
   Guide: That's just a TV studio where they film Krusty the Klown and
          other non-box-related programs.  Since it has nothing to do
          with boxes, I'll just shut these blinds.
-- Keeping attention focused, "Bart Gets Famous"

The tour guide shows them his office, and calls their attention to the
yellow line entering the room, encircling his desk, and leaving the
room.  He entreats them to follow it.  Seymour and Martin go first, and
everyone follows in a line.  Everyone, that is, except Bart.  "I gotta
get out of here," he says desperately.  "Ah ha!" he exclaims, spying a
laundry cart, "The perfect escape!"  He runs over to it, looks around,
and jumps in.  Nothing happens, so he gets out again and walks out a
door marked "Emergency Exit".

He wanders over to the aforementioned TV studio, and looks around near
the entrance gate.  A security guard wearing mirrored shades approaches

Guard: [condescending] Do you work here, little boy?
 Bart: Yeah!
Guard: [formal] Well then, go right in, Sir!
-- Bart's deceptive!, "Bart Gets Famous"

Meanwhile, the rest of the fourth graders scour the box factory looking
for Bart.

Skinner: [to Edna] I'll handle this.  Simpson!  I'm giving you till the
         count of three to come out!  One, two, three!  [pause] I've
         done all I can do.
   Edna: We better call his parents.
  Marge: [Runs dripping from the shower toward the ringing phone]
         Just a minute!  Don't hang up!
          [picks up the phone, but it's dead]
   Edna: No answer at home; I'll call his father.
  Homer: [Runs with a towel around his waist toward the phone]
         Just a minute!  Don't hang up!
         Y'ello?  You'll have to speak up, I'm wearing a towel.
-- "Bart Gets Famous"

Inside the studio, Bart looks around at the hustle and bustle.  He
wanders past some workmen carrying a tropical beach scene, and in front
of the set of Chespirito, the Spanish bee.

     Ethan: Action!
Chespirito: [With a lobster on his tail] Ay, ay, ay!  No me gusta!
             [stops] I'm sorry, I'm really not comfortable with this,
     Ethan: What's the matter, love?
Chespirito: It's just -- it's, it's the same old tired gags, isn't it?
            I mean, let's give the audience some credit.
     Ethan: How about a giant mousetrap?
Chespirito: I love it!
             [someone gets a giant mousetrap]
     Ethan: Action!
Chespirito: Ay, ay, ay!  No me gusta!  Ay, es grande!
-- Ah, much better, "Bart Gets Famous"

Homer has arrived at the box factory, and he is livid.

Homer: [to Skinner] Whaddaya mean, you lost him?  He might have fallen
       into one of these machines!  [turns]
       Oh, my God: that's his lucky red hat.  He's a box!  My boy's a
       box!  Damn you, a box!
-- Tragedy befalls Homer, "Bart Gets Famous"

Meanwhile, Bart walks up to Krusty while he nags an employee.  "I said I
wanted a danish!"  Krusty berates, and the employee apologizes, saying
all the danishes were gone.  "They're not gone," riposts Krusty, "You're
gone!"  Bart looks down guiltily at the danish he stole.

Kent Brockman prepares his newscast for that evening.

[reading] "Tragic news tonight: 120 dead in a tidal wave in Kuala Lala
-- pure.  Kuala Lum -- per..."
 [crosses it out] "France!"
-- Kent Brockman acts like Mike Wallace, "Bart Gets Famous"

Bart runs up to Kent's desk and steals the danish on it, saying "Yoink!"
Kent looks up, surprised.  He notices his danish is missing, and he

Krusty: Aw, heck: now where am I gonna get a danish?
  Bart: Here's a danish, Krusty!
Krusty: Gimme, gimme, gimme!  [devours it] Now that's danish!  Where'd
        you get it?
  Bart: I stole it from Kent Brockman.
Krusty: Great!  [realizes] Uh, he didn't touch it, did he?
  Bart: No.
Krusty: Good job, kid!  What's your name?
  Bart: I'm Bart Simpson.  I saved you from jail.
Krusty: [not remembering] Er, I...
  Bart: I reunited you with your estranged father.
Krusty: Er, uh, I don't know...
  Bart: I saved your career, man!  Remember your comeback special?
Krusty: Yeah, well, what have you done for me lately?
  Bart: I got you that danish.
Krusty: [grateful] And I'll never forget it.
-- It's the little things he remembers, "Bart Gets Famous"

Krusty starts to walk off, and Bart wanders away, hands in pockets,
dejected.  But Krusty calls out, "Hey, kid!"  Bart turns around
hopefully, and Krusty tosses him something.  "Wow: a big clown hankie!"
he says, a trifle surprised, and Krusty scoffs, "It's a towel, you yutz!
I want you to wash it: you're my new assistant."  Bart exclaims, "Cool!"

Kent Brockman sits at his news desk.

      Kent: Yeah, I know I'm on.  But I don't care.  I _don't_ read the
            news until I get my danish.  Go ahead, try to find a
             [Chespirito runs over and pushes him aside]
Chespirito: A powerful tidal wave in Kuala Lumpur has killed one hundred
            and twenty people.  [jumps up] Ay, chihuahua!  Whoa, whoa,
-- News with actions, "Bart Gets Famous"

[End of Act One.  Time: 8:13]

Homer has to break the bad news about Bart to Marge.

Homer: [holding a box with a red hat on top]
       Marge, I have some horrible, bone-chilling news!
Marge: [gasps] What is it?
 Bart: Hi, Homer.
Homer: Oh...nothing.
-- Crisis averted, everything is super, "Bart Gets Famous"

 Bart: Hey, that's my lucky red hat sitting on top of a double-
       corrugated, eight-fold, fourteen-gauge box!
Marge: Oh, it sounds like you really learned something on your field
       trip.  Think you'd be interested in a career as a box maker?
 Bart: Well, that'll always be the dream...
-- "Bart Gets Famous"

Bart then tells Marge he's got a job in the show business, helping
Krusty the Klown after school.

Marge: Hmm, I don't know, Bart.  You're only ten.
 Lisa: I've got a weekend job helping the poor and I'm only eight.
Homer: [scoffs] That's not a job, it's a waste of time.  What can poor
       people pay you?  Nothing!  What satisfaction you get from helping
       them?  None!  Who wants to help poor people anyway?  Nobody!
        [Marge, Lisa, and Bart stare at him]
 Bart: So, anyway...
-- Homer the Generous, "Bart Gets Famous"

    Bart: Can I, Mom?  Can I take the job?
   Marge: Well --
   Homer: Why not?  I remember my first after school job.  I was in a
           [Flashback to Homer wearing many instruments and holding a
          Hello, everybody.  I'm Archie Bell, and I'm also the Drells.
          I've got a new song called "Tighten Up," and this is the music
          you tighten up with!
           [starts playing; everyone leaves, and an organ grinder chides
Giuseppe: Hey, what's-a matter you?  You crazy kid, you chasing away my
   Homer: Buzz off, Giuseppe.
Giuseppe: [to his monkey] A-Pepe, go for the face-a!
           [The monkey does so, and Homer falls over and screams]
          Yes, son, you can have an electric guitar just like your old
    Bart: Dad, I'm asking if I can get a job.
   Homer: [condescending] Gig, son.  When you're a musician, a job is
          called a "gig".
-- Attack of the killer organ grinder's monkey, "Bart Gets Famous"

Bart stands at the set of Krusty's show, watching as Gina Ballerina
tries to coax a monkey to jump through a hoop.

   Bart: Wow.  Bein' in show business is like a dream.  We're really
         lucky, aren't we?
Workman: I wish I was dead.
 Krusty: Don't listen to him, kid.  This is a dream factory, the
         birthplace of magic -- an enchantment!  Now I need you to go
         clean out my toilet.
          [guides Bart over to it]
         Right in here, boy: it -- ew!  I don't know _what_ I was
         thinking last night.  This'll take you a couple hours.
-- "Bart Gets Famous"

Bart tries to convince Milhouse, Martin, and Nelson that he really does
work for Krusty.  He shows them a videotape of the show.

    Bart: I'm telling you, I _do_ work on the Krusty show.  Look at the
          credits!  [presses "play"]
  Krusty: Bye bye, kids!  [laughs]
           [credits roll]
    Kent: I'm Kent Brockman.  On the eleven o'clock news tonight, a
          certain kind of soft drink has been found to be lethal.  We
          won't tell you which one until after sports and the weather
          with Funny Sonny Storm.
    Bart: [presses "pause"] There's my name, right there: Bart Simpson.
Milhouse: Looks more like Brad Stortch.
  Martin: No!  It says Betty -- Betty Symington.
  Nelson: [punches Bart in the gut] That's for taking credit for other
          people's work.
-- Punishment for usurping, "Bart Gets Famous"

Homer: It's OK, son.  Who cares what a bunch of fourth-graders think?
       You're doing what _you_ want to do with your life.  Nothing else
 Bart: [grateful] Thanks, Dad.  That's great advice.
Homer: Yep, well, that's what got me where I am today.
 Bart: [groans]
Homer: There, there.
-- Admission of uselessness, "Bart Gets Famous"

At the Monstro Mart, Krusty is signing autographs.  Well, actually, he
sits on a stool smoking, and _Bart_ signs the autographs.  When a little
girl asks Krusty to sign her picture, he points her towards a long line
of children, at the head of which Bart sits at a table writing "KRUSTY"
in pencil on photos of the klown.  Bart groans, and the girl calls out,
"I love you, Krusty!"

In class, the next day...

  Edna: OK, kids, open your books to page sixty --
         [a phone rings; Bart wakes up and pulls it from his pocket]
  Bart: [tired] Yes, Krusty?
Krusty: Bart, I need to get your fingerprints on a candlestick.  Meet me
        in the conservatory, chop-chop.  Don't worry: everything's gonna
        be aaaall right.
  Bart: Oh, I wish I was dead.
-- You may get your wish soon, "Bart Gets Famous"

After school, Bart hands out food to the cast of Krusty's show.

 Mel: [spits out food] Pah!  There's cheese in this sandwich.  Surely
      you know I'm lactose-intolerant?
Bart: [bored] Sorry.
 Mel: Sorry?  Do you know how sick this is going to make me?  [groans]
      Oh, boy.  Come and stand next to the bathroom door; I want to yell
      at you some more.
-- Bart, scapegoat for abuse, "Bart Gets Famous"

Sideshow Mel rants at Bart, but soon the boy finds it tiresome.  "Show
business sucks," he says, walking dejectedly towards the exit.

Krusty: Bart!  I need to use you in a sketch.
  Bart: You want me to be on the show?
Krusty: It's just one line.  Mel's supposed to say it, but he's dead.
  Bart: Dead?
Krusty: Or sick, I dunno.  I forget.  Anyway, all you gotta do is say,
        "I am waiting for a bus."  Then I hit you with pies for five
        minutes.  Got that?
  Bart: "I am waiting for a bus."
Krusty: Makes _me_ laugh.  Let's go!
-- Humor for the masses, "Bart Gets Famous"

On a set taken from the early 1900s, a mustached Krusty stands next to a
pie cart.  He motions for a mustached Bart to walk in, which Bart does.
"I am waiting for a -- whoa!"  Bart says, bumping into a prop.  He
knocks over a couple more props, and then the backdrop starts to shake.
It falls off its support, dragging a couple of spotlights with it.  Bart
excuses himself hurriedly with "I didn't do it."  Everyone in the
audience starts to laugh and clap as Bart looks around in amazement.

Krusty: Oh, man.  It's a miracle we got through that one.  Remind me
        never to let you on stage again, kid.  Some people got it, some
        people don't, and _you_, my young friend, do not have -- hold
        on, I want to finish this thought outside --
         [Opens the door; a crowd awaits]
   Man: It's that kid!
         [Everyone cheers]
   Man: It's the "I didn't do it" guy!
         [Krusty looks shocked]
Krusty: He's mine!  [grabs Bart] I own him and all his subsidiary
-- A sudden change of heart, "Bart Gets Famous"

[End of Act Two.  Time: 13:33]

A screen introduces "The 'I Didn't Do It' Boy In: The Ming Vase On
Ladder Sketch", showing a picture of a smiling Bart.  Krusty says, "Why,
this rickety ladder in front of this door is the _perfect_ place for
this priceless Ming vase."  He then steps back, pointing at the vase and
grinning.  Bart walks in, knocking the ladder over and smashing the
vase.  "I didn't do it," he says, and the audience laugh and cheer.
"Thank you, thank you," says Krusty, then introducing "the 'I Didn't Do
It' Dancers!"  Four women begin dancing to a techno-pop song.

Apu is watching the show on a TV in the Kwik-E-Mart, but he's being held
up by Snake.

Snake: Don't move, dude.  This is totally a gun.
        [Apu presses the alarm button quickly]
        [Snake cocks the shotgun and points it at Apu]
  Apu: I didn't do it!
        [Both laugh helplessly]
-- Important hold-up strategies, "Bart Gets Famous"

Diamond Joe Quimby lies in bed with a woman, giggling.  His wife opens
the door, and the woman screams.  "Joe, how could you?" she asks, hurt,
and Joe says, "I, er, didn't do it."  The three of them begin to laugh.

{In a burning building, a man cries for help from the fourth floor.  A
fireman rues, "This is the third time this building has burned down
because someone has been smoking in bed."  Patty and Selma, slightly
charred, chime in guiltily, "I didn't do it," and everyone laughs, even
the man who's life is in danger.}

At breakfast the next day, everyone holds "I Didn't Do It: the Bart
Simpson Story."

 Lisa: This biography of Bart came out awfully quickly.  It's not even
       about him!
 Bart: Sure it is!  Look at the cover.
 Lisa: But inside it's mostly about Ross Perot, and the last two
       chapters are excerpts from the Oliver North trial.
Homer: Ah, Oliver North.  He was just _poured_ into that uniform.
-- That's _Senator_ Oliver North, almost, "Bart Gets Famous"

In the recording studio, the background to Rick James' "Superfreak"
plays, and Bart raps "I didn't do it" a la Hammer.  The latter watches
from the control room, and he says, "Hey, proper," with admiration.
Bart's "I Didn't Do It III" album comes out, and it sells very quickly.

Krusty even organizes a "See the 'I Didn't Do It' Boy" event where, for
a mere five dollars, one gets to go in a tent and see Bart sitting on a

I have to pay to see my own grandson.  That's the Democrats for ya.
-- Abe, fierce Republican, "Bart Gets Famous"

Krusty: See the boy, five dollars, or call him, twenty-four hours a day,
        on "BartChat".
         [A little girl dials "BartChat"]
Barney: BartChat.
  Girl: Are you Bart?
Barney: Sure I am.  I didn't do nothin'.
  Girl: Uh, isn't it, I didn't do _it_?
Barney: Yeah, whatever.  [burps]
-- Details, "Bart Gets Famous"

In fourth grade, the entire class stares at Bart, grinning silently.
Even Mrs. Krabappel does so.

    Bart: Uh...I never thought I'd say this, but shouldn't we be
          learning something?
Milhouse: Say the line, Bart!
    Bart: [sighs] I didn't do it.
Everyone: Yay!
-- The price of education, "Bart Gets Famous"

Homer: Come on, Lisa, say something funny.
        [holds a tape recorded with a microphone]
 Lisa: Like what?
Homer: Oh, something stupid like Bart would say.  "Bucka Bucka" or
       "Woozle Wuzzle": something like that.
 Lisa: Forget it, Dad.  If I ever become famous, I want it to be for
       something worthwhile, not because of some obnoxious fad.
 Bart: Obnoxious fad?
Homer: Aw, don't worry, son.  You know, they said the same thing about
       Urkel, a -- that little snot boy!  I'd like to smash that kid!
-- Homer's temper flares, "Bart Gets Famous"

At the kitchen table, Bart sits with a stack of books surrounding him.

Homer: What the hell are you reading books for?
 Bart: I'm doing "The Conan O'Brien Show", and I want to have some
       intelligent stuff to talk about.
Homer: Don't forget to say "I didn't do it."
 Bart: Dad, there's more to me than just a catch-phrase.
Homer: How do you figure, boy?
 Bart: Watch "The Conan O'Brien Show", you'll see.
Homer: All right, but after Leno I'm all laughed out, you know.
-- "Bart Gets Famous"

On "Late Night with Conan O'Brien", Bart tries to talk to the host.

 Bart: You know, Conan, I have a lot to say.  I'm not just a one-line
       wonder.  Did you know that a section of rain forest the size of
       Kansas is burned every single --
Conan: Just do the line.
 Bart: [glum] I didn't do it.
        [Everyone laughs and cheers]
Conan: [laughs] Great material.  We'll be right back.
        [Music starts, and Conan dances.  Bart half-heartedly joins him]
       Sit perfectly still: only I may dance!
-- Deprived, "Bart Gets Famous"

Bart lies on his bed after the show, muttering.

     Bart: "Just do the line", "Just do the line"...what's going to
           happen to me?
            [He imagines the future set of "The Match Game"]
Announcer: And now it's time for "Match Game 2034", with Billy Crystal!
    Billy: Hi!
Announcer: Farah Fawcett-Majors-O'Neal-Varney!
    Farah: [grunts]
Announcer: The "I didn't do it" boy!
     Bart: [grunts]
Announcer: Ventriloquist Loni Anderson!
     Loni: [sighs]
Announcer: Spike Lee!
    Spike: Mmm.
Announcer: And the always lovely and vivacious head of Kitty Carlisle!
    Kitty: Hi, everybody: let's start the game!
-- Worse than "Let's Make A Deal", "Bart Gets Famous"

Bart imagines Kitty hissing at him, and him being frightened and
knocking her glass ball onto the floor.  It shatters, sending her head
rolling away.  He screams in the fantasy _and_ in real life.

 Marge: [knocking] Bart?  It's time to get ready for the show.
  Bart: Nooo!  [blocks his door]
Krusty: Where is that little punk?  We go on in ten minutes.  Oh, the
        tension.  Somebody!  Walk on my back.
         [Everyone stops, looks at the prone klown]
         [They all run over to walk on him]
        Ow!  Ow!  One at a time!  No teamsters.
-- Popularity problems, "Bart Gets Famous"

Marge tries to console her son.

Marge: Honey, I know you feel a little silly saying the same four words
       over and over, but you shouldn't.  You're making people happy,
       and that's a very hard thing to do.
 Bart: You're right, Mom.  I shouldn't let this bother me.  I'm in
       television now.  It's my job to be repetitive.  My job.  My job.
       Repetitiveness is my job.  I am going to go out there tonight and
       give the _best_ performance of my life.
Marge: The _best_ performance of your life?
 Bart: The _best_ performance of my life!
-- What was that again?, "Bart Gets Famous"

Krusty is still nervous as he awaits Bart's arrival.

Krusty: Where is that lousy little pisher -- [Bart walks in]
         [joyfully] Bart!  [kisses him]
         [On stage, a fanfare plays]
        And now, boys and girls, here he is, the boy that says the words
        you've been longing to hear, like the salivating dogs that you
        are, Bart Simpson!
-- Did someone ring a bell?, "Bart Gets Famous"

Bart struts out and says, "I didn't do it."  One woman chuckles, and a
man clears his throat.  Bart repeats himself, but only the crickets
chirp.  He looks over at Krusty, but he's no help: he simply shrugs.
Bart tries another line: "Woozle Wuzzle?"  Everyone repeats it to
themselves, and a man asks, "That's what passes for entertainment these
days?  Woozle Wuzzle?"  Everyone gets up to leave, and an announcer
says, "Ladies and Gentlemen, the Klown Show has been put on hiatus for

  Bart: What happened?
Krusty: Aw, don't worry about that.  You're just finished, that's all.
  Bart: Finished?
Krusty: Ehh, it happens all the time.  That's show business for you: one
        day you're the most important guy that ever lived, the next day
        you're some shmoe working in a box factory.
 Guide: I heard that.
  Bart: Boy.  Show business is kind of cruel, isn't it?
         [Krusty slams and locks the exit, leaving Bart outside]
-- You _could_ say that, yes, "Bart Gets Famous"

Bart walks home alone.  As he passes a taxi, he hears KBBL.

Marty: That was "Kung Fu Fighting".  Say, speaking of one-trick ponies,
       whatever happened to that "I didn't do it" kid?
 Bill: Boy, did _that_ get old fast.  Whoa!  You know, if you want to
       last in this business, you've gotta stay fresh!
        [a slide-whistle and clown horn play]
-- "Bart Gets Famous"

At home, Marge hauls up a box of Bart paraphernalia.  She explains she
saved them for Bart to remind him of the time when he was the whole
world's special little guy.  Bart thanks her.

    Lisa: And now you can go back to just being you, instead of a one-
          dimensional character with a silly catch-phrase.
   Homer: [breaks a lamp] D'oh!
    Bart: Ay, caramba!
   Marge: Mmm.
  Maggie: [sucks her pacifier]
Flanders: Heidely-ho.
  Barney: [burps]
  Nelson: Ha, ha!
   Burns: Ex-cellent!
           [Everyone looks at Lisa]
    Lisa: [unimpressed] If anyone wants me, I'll be in my room.
-- Three-dimensional Lisa, "Bart Gets Famous"

[End of Act Three.  Time: 20:56]

Over the credits, Homer asks, "What kind of catch-phrase is that?"


   {ra}  Rakesh Agrawal
   {tkc} Tim Callahan
   {ddg} Don Del Grande
   {ah}  Andrew Hyatt
   {rl}  Ricardo Lafaurie
   {fcm} Franklin Malemud
   {bm}  Bob McBurney
   {bz}  Ben Zimmer
This episode summary is Copyright 1996 by James A. Cherry.  Not to be
redistributed in a public forum without permission.  (The quotes
themselves, of course, remain the property of The Simpsons, and the
reproduced articles remain the property of the original authors.  I'm
just taking credit for the compilation.)