[2F17] Radioactive Man

Radioactive Man                                    Written by John Swartzwelder
                                                      Directed by Susie Dietter
Production code: 2F17                       Original airdate in N.A.: 24-Sep-95
                                                  Capsule revision F, 22-Feb-97

Title sequence

Blackboard :- "Bewitched" does not promote satanism.
              "Bewitched" does not promote satanism./ at cutoff.

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

Couch      :- The couch behaves like a giant FAX machine, spewing out a
              color picture of the family that then slides under it.

Did you notice...

Bob Yantosca:
    ... the comic store owner's computer is running Unix, or perhaps
    ... the owner reads alt.binaries.pictures.erotica?
    ... one of the obsessive nerds puts on Spock ears before starting to
    ... Dirk Richter was born in 1922?
    ... Moe kills the original Alfalfa?
    ... for a second the movie crew guy doesn't realize he's talking to
        a Homer-shaped dust trail?
    ... the real X-rays coming out of the X-ray machine?

Dave Hall:
    ... Milhouse is wearing a green cap?
    ... the large hole in the chest of one of comic book heroes?
    ... there are 814 issues of Radioactive Man?
    ... the comic dealer's rear cleavage?
    ... the flying toasters screen saver?
    ... one of the nerds is wearing a Happy Little Elves T-shirt?
    ... the artist formerly known as Prince is one of the nerds?
    ... almost everyone in Bart's class is wearing a hat?
    ... Wendell isn't in Bart's class?
    ... Homer is actually eating with a spoon?
    ... Homer holds his spoon in a fist?
    ... Moe doesn't have his cleaning towel?
    ... young Moe bashes Alfalfa's head into the road seven times?
    ... Skinner has a picture of himself with a jet in his office?
    ... Bart draws jagged lines along his hair when he measures his
    ... the Van Houten family portrait above their couch?
    ... all of the Van Houtens look extremely similar?
    ... Homer's dust shadow has two hair strands?
    ... the SNPP cooling towers in the canvas backdrop?
    ... the X-ray van's front tire rolls over Milhouse's stunt double?
    ... the candy and Squishy machines in Milhouse's trailer?
    ... Milhouse wears his glasses over his mask?
    ... Milhouse's hair style changes after the X-ray van accident?
    ... Radioactive Man and Fallout Boy don't seem to have any special
    ... Milhouse's glasses don't fall off his head while he's hanging
        upside down?
    ... Milhouse is worth $8,000,000?
    ... the wings and halos on the cars in the window of "Slot Car
    ... Otto's slot car is a school bus?
    ... both Herman and Hans Moleman are in this episode?
    ... everyone in Hollywood waves to each other?

Don Del Grande:
    ... Bart's treehouse has six corners on the inside?
    ... one of the nerds is from 1F02?
    ... in class, Richard is wearing a yarmulke?
    ... in class, one of Sherri and Terri is hatless?
    ... Mrs. Van Houten's bikini?
    ... Bart hugs Lisa when she tells him he can hang around Milhouse?
    ... Bart isn't hurt when the dummy Milhouse explodes?
    ... the "Vine Yogurt" stand and the "Brown Derby" at Hollywood and

Dominik Halas:
    ... one of the Internet nerds has a model of the original Enterprise
        on his monitor?
    ... the producers are considering Hawaii but not Alaska to film the
        movie in?
    ... Bart's cape is held on by a safety pin?
    ... to appear taller, Bart elongates the spikes of his hair?
    ... the picture of Abe Lincoln outside Bart's door?
    ... some of the movie crew wear Radioactive Man hats?
    ... the horse in the background has fake horns and an udder, a
        cowbell, and a bound tail?

Alden Skidd:
    ... the Radioactive Man comic features the Bongo Comics logo?
    ... Milhouse has an Oscar in his trailer?

Jose Lafaurie:
    ... on the map with the question marks, each state with a question
        mark in it actually has a town called Springfield in it?

Voice credits

- Starring
    - Dan Castellaneta (movie director, Quimby, Homer, Barney, Little
      Rascals director, Grampa, Krusty, midget)
    - Julie Kavner (Marge)
    - Nancy Cartwright (Bart, Nelson, Ralph)
    - Yeardley Smith (Lisa)
    - Hank Azaria (comic store owner, director's assistant, Scoutmaster,
      Wiggum, Moe, Mr. Van Houten, crewman with pickaxe, acting coach,
      Dr. Spirograph, man who welcomes assistant back to Hollywood)
    - Harry Shearer (man 1 at Hollywood studios, 70s Fallout Boy, 70s
      Radioactive Man, Skinner, Brockman, Rainier Wolfcastle, horse
      painter, teamster, incompetent film editor, Otto, helicopter
- Special Guest Voice
    - Phil Hartman (Lionel Hutz)
    - Mickey Rooney (himself)
- Starring
    - Pamela Hayden (Milhouse)
- Also Starring
    - Doris Grau (Lunch Lady Doris)
    - Maggie Roswell (woman with "Variety" magazine, Mrs. Van Houten)
    - Russi Taylor (Martin)

Movie (and other) references

  + Hanna Barbera's "Atom Ant" cartoon {by}
    - "Up and atom!"
  + "Singin' in the Rain"
    - McBain has trouble saying "Up and atom"
  + "Aeon Flux" {rl}
    - the limited-edition comic where characters die on every page
    - in the MTV animated show's pre-talking days, the heroine would die
      in every short (usually a ghastly death)
  + "Batman" (the 60s TV version)
    - the campy 70s Radioactive Man very similar:
        - trumpet riff when cutting from meeting room to Radioactive Man
        - "Holy billowing backpacks!" from Fallout Boy similar to Robin
        - Radioactive Man sounds, acts like Adam West
        - music during fight scene is straight from Batman
        - trumpet blast, large onomatopoetic words when someone gets
  + "Bewitched"
    - the Scoutmaster is very similar to Paul Lynde
  + Shakespeare's "Richard III" {nc}
    - Bart quotes the novel
  + "The Brady Bunch" episode 64, "Big Little Man" {th}
    - Bobby tries to become taller by stretching himself
  + "Indecent Proposal"
    - Homer asks the director about "Unnatural Discretion", a horrendous
      movie, just like "Indecent Proposal" (similar-sounding name)
  + "Waterworld"
    - "Aquaworld", the place where Radioactive Man and Fallout Boy are
      trapped, looks the same
  + "Star Trek" {bw}
    - sound of van attached to treehouse phone is the communications
      sound effect from "Star Trek"

Previous episode references

- [7F09] SNUH is mentioned (cf. sound effect in 2F17) {ddg}
- [7F13] The "Hear Me Roar" channel is shown {dh2}
- [7F21] Nelson corrects someone who gets Radioactive Man's name wrong
- [8F11] Bart's height is marked as a zigzag line {dh2}
- [9F13], [1F19] Lincoln is connected to Bart
- [9F14] Edna does "The Monkey" (cf. Radioactive Man in 2F17) {jck}
- [1F11] Bart says "I didn't do it" {th}
- [1F16], [2F12] the Estonian midget appears {dh}
- [2F01] Bort is mentioned (cf. sound effect in 2F17) {ddg}
- [2F11] a chihuahua is shown

Freeze frame fun

- Comic store sign: {rl}
    TAKE ME  M__|II|__
    TO YOUR  \\_    __|
                |  |  M
    COMIC BOOKS |  |
         &      ||||
- Some of the comics: {dh}
    - Batboy           - Mr. Hop
    - Batchick         - Mr. Smarty-Pants!
    - Birdguy          - Nick (with hole in chest {by})
    - Cat Girl         - Power Person
    - Dog Kid          - Radiation Dude (in Milhouse's hands {ddg})
    - Iguana Girl      - Snake Kid
    - Lava Lady        - Star Dog
    - Manboy ($5)      - The Human Bee
    - Mister Amazing   - Tree Man
- Comic store owner's screen: {dh}
    - "Flying Toasters" from Berkeley Systems' "After Dark" {ddg}
   >hello world
   segmentation fault (core dumped)
- Campy 70s Radioactive Man sound effects:
- Some TV clips: {dh}
    - David Letterman
    - Scott Christian
    - Krusty on a talk show
    - Smartline (Troy McClure is one guest)
    - Brad Goodman
    - Channel 6 news report
    - Scott Christian (again)
    - some news guy
    - Hear Me Roar: Network for Women
    - news report in front of SNPP (with Carl)
    - news report from Springfield Elementary
    - Sally Jesse Raphael
    - Birchibald T. Barlow
    - Springfield News
    - Joan Rivers
    - Conan O'Brien
    - some hick guy reading the news
- Hollywood craze signs: {rl}, {ddg}
    - Welcome Hollywood Money
    - There's No $ Like Show $
    - Welcome Movie Money (bumper sticker)
    - We (heart) Phonies
    - Welcome Film Bucks
    - Will Fawn Over Hollywood Types
    - Hollywood Cafe: ("Springfield" crossed out)
        - Movie Money Welcome Here
        - Special - Mogul Burger
        - Mover & Shaker Shakes
    - Our Extra Patients Make Patient Extras
- Springfield Shopper: {rl}
    - Who Will Be Fallout Boy?
    - picture of boy's silhouette with question mark inside
- Audition sign: {rl}
   Well, not here
   ...    inside
- Price raising: {rl}
    - Le Pamperie: Giant Horrible Toupees, $1,000/lb.
    - Springfield Hardware: Movie Screws, $10
    - Snake: Give Me A Million Dollars or I'll Bash You
- Stuff the Van Houtens buy: {dh2}
    - stereo system
    - skis
    - exercise bike
    - Tiffany lamp
    - jukebox
    - jacuzzi suit
- Spinning newspapers: {rl}
          Movie on Hold
       Ankles Pic - Flick Sick
    -      SPINNING
- Reward poster: {ddg}
    - MILHOUSE!  $8,000,000 REWARD - DEAD (crossed out) OR ALIVE
- Sign: {ddg}
    - SLOT CAR HEAVEN - 1/24 The Size - 3/8 The Fun
- Signs at end: {rl}
    - Welcome Troubled Production
    - We Love You
    - Welcome Home

Animation, continuity, and other goofs

The comic book guy's desk is in a different place in 7F21.  {rl}

There are no buildings near the Capitol Records Tower which are taller
(production meeting scene).  {th}

How could Dirk Richter have been the star of the "campy 1970's"
Radioactive Man series?  In "3 Men and a Comic Book", we saw him as the
star of the 1950's-era series (sponsored by Laramie Cigarettes).  {by}

Young Moe's cap falls off his head, yet it reappears on his head in the
next shot.  {dh}

The Little Rascals are pushing 80, which Moe certainly isn't.  {th}

Skinner's microphone disappears from his office.  {dh}

Bart is a lot farther away from the window than usual in class.  {ddg}

The Hollywood Brown Derby never looked like a derby.  The one which did,
on Wilshire Boulevard, was partially torn down by the owners in the
middle of the night in 1981 to stop the city from saving it.  What was
left was incorporated into a strip mall and was occupied by a Middle
Eastern restaurant last time I noticed.  {th}

The "Hollywood" sign is farther east than shown in the finale.  {th}

The girl with green glasses has clear lenses in class.  {ddg}

"Little Rascals" wasn't called that until it was syndicated.  (see
below) {by}

Snake's tattoo is on the wrong arm.  {dh}

The position of the boys waiting in line changes between scenes.  {dh}

Nelson's reflection in the mirror is wrong.  {dh}

If Bart is so good, why doesn't the director just put him in padded
shoes?  {ddg}

Bart's pencil vanishes after he measures his height.  {dh}

Bart misattributes the line about show business (see comments section).

Fallout Boy doesn't wear glasses -- why would they keep Milhouse if he
had to wear them?  {ddg}

$30 million isn't much of a budget for an action movie.  {ddg}

How did the Van Houtens buy all that stuff so soon after the
announcement?  {ddg}

Milhouse's stunt double has the wrong kind of glasses -- the frames
aren't as thick in the front.  {ddg}

Milhouse's pants disappear from Wiggum's hand.  {dh}

A cup-and-string phone doesn't work unless the string is taut.  {ddg}

The Capitol Records Tower is right on Vine Street just north of
Hollywood Boulevard.  {th}

Mann's Chinese Theatre is not on the Vine corner.  {th}

The Hollywood Hotel (which is no longer called that) is located on
neither Hollywood nor Vine.  {th}


Scott Fujimoto: I felt the jokes were pretty flat and the story non-
    involving.  A few good bits such as the 70's Batman spoof and that
    Estonian guy, but that's about it.  Also, the animation and voice
    acting were subpar.  If the writers were trying to spoof Hollywood
    movie-making (a ripe target), they totally failed.  Grade: D.

Harry Wareing: Something seems to be missing this season.  There were a
    few funny moment especially the Hollywood sequence at the end, but
    like the first episode it lacked something.  Could it be the writers
    have run out of fresh ideas?  I hope not...

David Smith: Yeesh.  That was about as subtle as a L.A.P.D.
    interrogation.  Only not as funny.  Is it too early in the season to
    choose a "worst episode this year?"

Mark A. Richey: I didn't think this was that great of a show.  Some of
    the movie cliches were funny, and I was impressed that they got a
    "Waterworld" gag in the film so quickly, but overall, it was only
    mildly funny.  I give it a C+.

Bob Yantosca: Definitely a two thumbs up for Radioactive Man!  And now
    the writers have started to make fun of us "obsessive nerds" on the
    Internet as well!

Mark Dallara: Did the entire production staff turn over?  The animation
    was different, the voices were different, and the writing absolutely
    sucked.  I was really looking forward to this episode, but if this
    is the standard for the rest of the season, I'm going to have to
    find something else to do on Sunday nights.

Brad Veenvliet: Many of the reruns that are on all of the time are WAY
    better than the episode that was on tonight.  There were a few funny
    parts, but on the whole, it wasn't that funny.  I hope that they do
    a better job the rest of the season, or the move to Sunday night may
    really cost them a lot of ratings.

Dave Kathman: It was a pretty decent episode with some funny stuff, some
    stuff that didn't work, and a pretty lame ending.  The highlight for
    me was the cheesy '70s version of Radioactive Man -- Fallout Boy
    sounding just like Burt Ward, Paul Lynde as "The Scoutmaster", the
    sound effects, and the go-go dancing at the end.

Don Del Grande: Grade: B. It had a number of good, if overused,
    Hollywood gags, but the ending fizzled out; maybe if they had moved
    the "stunt man in Mrs. Krabappel's class" bit to the end instead of
    before the "Hollywood and Vine" bit, it would have been better.

Jim Smith: I loved this episode.  I always enjoy Bart's trips to the
    comic store, and today was no exception.  Radiation Dude was cool,
    and the "special where Radioactive Man and Fallout Boy die on every
    page" was hilarious.  I think Troy McClure would've been a better
    Radioactive Man, though.

Ricardo Lafaurie: Well, it was okay, but...oh, who am I kidding?  It
    sucked!  Great Batman spoof (Go get 'em, scouts!) and I laughed at
    Rooney's "Jiminy Jillikers", but other jokes were just really
    forced.  The ending was _trash_.  Only "Springfield Connection" was
    worse.  D-

Frederic Briere: An episode should have humoristic, satirical or
    emotional contents; in this case, none of that was present, besides
    the Batman parody, the air conditioning thing, and some other jokes
    that could make you laugh for 5-10 seconds.  Grade: D+.

Greg Lam: Grade: B. The pacing and timing seemed a bit off at times, and
    the acid thing was just much too implausible to do anything for me.
    However, the ending was _perfect_.  A complete twist on the cliche
    big city/small town values shpiel which pervades so many second rate
    plots.  Mickey Rooney had a good guest shot.

Dominik Halas: Merely an average episode.  Some parts, such as the
    Batman parody, had me ROTFL, but too many of the jokes seemed forced
    and predictable.  In addition, the plot didn't appear to have a real
    direction.  Grade: C+/B-

Jose Lafaurie: I've been waiting for this episode since I saw the title.
    After knowing the plot, it made me even more anxious to watch it.
    Then they come up with this episode, that, in the words of the crew
    man, was "a bunch of cats taped together."  Grade: C

Keith Palmer: Although "Radioactive Man" did suffer from a lot of
    outlandish sight gags (such as the hats-flying-off gag), it seemed
    to be genuinely funny within its own narrowly defined limits.  The
    best part was the seventies RM TV show.  Grade: B/B+

Chris Courtois: The first two acts were a great spoof of movie making
    and star-struck small towns, and the "campy 70s TV version" was a
    classic.  But act three fell flat and mainly served to shoehorn in a
    gratuitous celebrity appearance.  A B+ episode knocked down to a B-
    by a weak last act.

Tony Hill: Whoever conceived of an episode based around _Milhouse_?!?
    This would have been a scream had Bart gotten the part.  Instead, we
    got a bunch of gags edited together not much more seamlessly than
    the work for which the film editor was fired.  This gets a D, and
    with good cause.

Yours truly: It had the endearing qualities of all Swartzwelder
    episodes, but for the most part failed to deliver really good jokes.
    Liked the newsgroup jokes, the Batman parody, and McBain's bad
    acting, but not Quimby, Rooney, or the Hollywood jokes.  Grade: D+.

Comments and other observations

The animation in this episode

Tom Mannion forwarded me a post from Chris Cammack which stated that
    "Radioactive Man was rendered on a Silicon Graphics (SGI) Onyx
    Workstation with a fancy animation program.  With a SGI reality
    engine as a sever, this computer could animate an episode in Real
    Time!  Don't worry, the software had a modification to emulate old
    fashion animation and they have used test scenes in earlier
    episodes.  This is something of keeping your eyes out for."  Several
    readers commented that they felt the animation in this episode was

"Little Rascals"

Several readers point out that the original name of the TV series was
    "Our Gang".  The name was changed only after it went into
    syndication.  As well, Bob Yantosca writes: "The guy who played
    Alfalfa didn't die until he was an adult...he was shot in a dispute
    over $50 when he was in his 40's or 50's."

Paul Lynde

Jose Lafaurie writes, "The Scoutmaster looks and talks like Paul Lynde.
    He was a star on the popular `Laugh-In' series of the 1970's, more
    famous for Goldie Hawn.  He was also very effeminate.  In his later
    years, he maintained the center spot in `Hollywood Squares' during
    the late '70s."  Tony Hill adds that he dies in early 1982.

Show Business: "Hideous bitch goddess"

Bart attributes this line to George Burns.  Andrew Rose says, "It wasn't
    George Burns who said this, but rather William James, who is quoted
    by Tennesse Williams in his essay The Catastrophe of Success
    (published along with `The Glass Menagerie').  George Burns enjoyed
    a long and (he always proclaimed) enjoyable life in showbusiness,
    and it wouldn't have made too much sense for him to have said it."

Mickey Rooney

Ricardo Lafaurie provides some information about the guest star in this
    episode: "Mickey Rooney has been around a long time as a child star
    in the '40s to '50s.  Right now, he plays in various secluded
    movies.  This isn't Rooney's first time to be `tooned' either.  He
    starred in the film `Little Nemo in Slumberland' as the voice of
    Flip.  Coincidentally, Nancy Cartwright also voiced a role in that
    movie, showing up moments before Flip's first appearance."

Quotes and Scene Summary

At the Android's Dungeon & Baseball Card Shop, Bart and Milhouse survey
the new superhero comic offerings.

    Bart: Ohh, all these new superheroes _suck_!  None of them can hold
          a candle to "Radioactive Man".
Milhouse: The only decent new one is "Radiation Dude".
    Bart: Nah, he's just a cheap imitation of Radioactive Man.
Milhouse: [put out] Explain.
    Bart: The similarities are subtle, but many.  For example,
          Radioactive Man has his famous catch phrase, "Up and at 'em!"
          with "at 'em" spelled A-T-O-M in a delicious pun.
Milhouse: Go on...
    Bart: While Radiation Dude has a similar but lamer catch phrase, "Up
          and let's go!"
-- Bart compares and contrasts, "Radioactive Man"

The store owner overhears their conversation.

   Owner: So you kids fancy yourselves experts, eh?
    Bart: Well, between us we've read all 814 issues of "Radioactive
Milhouse: Yeah, and we both have the special limited-edition issue where
          he and Fallout Boy get killed on every page!
   Owner: Well I suppose you know, then, that Hollywood is planning a
          feature film about Radioactive Man.
           [Bart and Milhouse gasp in surprise]
           [their hats shoot up off their heads]
          I have got to do something about that air conditioner suction.
-- Those cheap sight gags explained, "Radioactive Man"

"Who's going to play Radioactive Man?"  Bart asks.  The owner says, "I
will tell you in exactly seven minutes."  He shuffles his wide behind
back to his computer and says, "OK, here we are...alt.nerd.obsessive.
`Need know star RM pic'," he types.  Several geeks around the country
(the artist formerly known as Prince among them) receive his message.  A
guy sitting under a table in Hollywood receives the message at last and
puts a stethoscope to the underside of the table.  The group of men
sitting around the table are discussing the casting of the film.

          Man 1: I don't see why Rainier Wolfcastle should be the star.
                 I think we should bring back Dirk Richter.  Kids will
                 want to see the original Radioactive Man.
      Assistant: I keep telling you, he's 73 years old and he's dead.
          Man 1: Granted, but --
       Director: Besides, we want to stay as far away from the campy 70s
                 version as possible.
                  [Batman-like flash to 70s version]
    Fallout Boy: Billowing backpacks, Radioactive Man: it's the worst
                 villain of them all -- the Scoutmaster!
Radioactive Man: I see him, Fallout Boy.
    Scoutmaster: [a la Paul Lynde] Go get 'em, scouts.
                  [Batman music plays as a large fight ensues]
                 Don't be afraid to use your nails, boys!  [laughs]
                  [with each huge punch, onomatopoetic sounds appear:
                 ZUFF!  PAN!  SNUH!  BORT!  POOO!  NEWT!  MINT!  ZAK!]
                  [a bunch of women run on and start boogying, as do
                 Radioactive Man, Fallout Boy, and all the scouts]
                  [in the present, the director shudders]
-- The decade of bad TV, "Radioactive Man"

    Man 1: So where can we shoot this picture?
Assistant: [holding a map of the US] We need a city that has a nuclear
           reactor, and a gorge, and can guarantee us the full
           cooperation of city officials.
    Woman: I'll check "Variety".
            [flips past "Film New York", "Film Texas", and "Film Utah"
Assistant: Wow!  Look at that ad!
            [a small box with "Flim Springfield" in it]
           All right, this place _must_ be hot.  They don't need a big
           ad, or even correct spelling.
    Man 1: I agree with that logic.
Assistant: [into intercom] Get me two plane tickets to the state that
           Springfield is in.
-- The best-kept secret, "Radioactive Man"

The director and his assistant talk to Quimby and Wiggum at the town

Assistant: All right, we have $30 million to spend.
   Quimby: We'll blow up our dams, destroy forests, anything!  If
           there's a species of animal that's causing problems nosing
           around your camera, we'll have it wiped out!
 Director: Look!  We just want to make movies, not kill things.
   Wiggum: [winks] Riight, _we_ understand, heh.
-- Say no more, "Radioactive Man"

At school, Principal Skinner makes an announcement.

Skinner: Students, I have an announcement.  One of your favorite comic
         book heroes, Radio Man --
 Nelson: Radio_active_ Man, stupid!
Skinner: Strange, I shouldn't have been able to hear that.  Anyway, uh,
         Hollywood Studio has decided to film the Radioactive Man movie
         here in Springfield.
   Kids: Yay!
Skinner: And they will be holding auditions to find a local youngster to
         play Fallout Boy.
          [kids all gasp, their hats fly off]
         Oh, and the air conditioner will be fixed this afternoon.
-- Those dumb ducts, "Radioactive Man"

A newspaper headline announces, "Who Will Be Fallout Boy?"  The
subheading asks, "Who will be Fallout Boy?".  At the breakfast table,
everyone except Bart is present.  Bart walks in, stands on the stove,
and delivers a line.

 Bart: Look behind you, Radioactive Man!  The sun is exploding again!
        [jumps down, does a somersault]
Marge: Bart, why are you talking like that?
Homer: Yeah, and who the hell are you talking to?  Marge, do you have
       other men in this house?  Radioactive men?
 Bart: I'm practising my Fallout Boy dialog.  If I get this role, I can
       finally come to terms with this funny little muddle called Bart.
-- The purest motives, "Radioactive Man"

Everyone around Springfield sets up banners to welcome the guys from
Hollywood: "There's no $ like show $", "We [heart] phonies", "Welcome
film bucks (will fawn over Hollywood types!)", and the like.  The
hospital erects a sign: "Our extra patients make patient extras".

Homer flips through the channels quickly, and each person he flips past
says one syllable in the sentence, "Everyone is talking about
Radioactive Man, y'all."  At Moe's, Moe shows a Little Rascals poster to
the bar denizens, with a young Morris Szyslak surrounded by the gang.

Barney: Whoa!  You mean, you were one of the original Little Rascals?
   Moe: Yeah.
 Homer: Which one were you?  The ugly one?
         [Moe glares]
        Were you the ugly one?
   Moe: No, I was the tough kid, Smelly.  My shtick was looking into an
        exhaust pipe and getting a faceful of soot.  Nobody could do
        that better than me.  Of course, it was kind of hard to think of
        _reasons_ for me to _look_ in that exhaust pipe every time, but,
        you know -- we had good writers.  William Faulkner can write an
        exhaust pipe gag that would really make you think.
-- Faulkner's humble beginnings, "Radioactive Man"

  Barney: If you were such a big shot, why aren't you still making
          movies?  Moe?  Moe!
           [Moe thinks back to an episode where the Little Rascals are
          playing marbles]
           [he flicks one away; it bounces into an exhaust pipe]
     Moe: Oh, no!  My favorite aggie!
           [Alfalfa runs off, looks in the exhaust pipe]
           [the car starts and blows soot in his face]
     Moe: [smashing Alfalfa's head into the ground] You stole my bit!
          That's my bit...ooh!  Ooh!  You stole my bit!
     Man: Cut!  Oh my God!  He's killed the original Alfalfa.
     Moe: [in the present] Yeah.  Luckily, Alfalfa was an orphan owned
          by the studio.
Denizens: Oh!  I see.  That makes sense.
-- Justifiable homicide, "Radioactive Man"

Kent Brockman delivers a news report.

Kent: With wealthy Hollywood people on the way, local merchants can be
      forgiven for raising their prices a little.
       [at Le Pamperie: "Giant Horrible Toupees: $1000/lb"]
       [at Springfield Hardware: "Movie Screws $10"]
       [Snake with a sign: "Give me a million dollars or I'll bash you"]
-- The new sights around town, "Radioactive Man"

The auditions for Fallout Boy are being held at Springfield Elementary.
A long line of kids stands with papers in front of them, practising
their Fallout Boy impressions.  Bart jumps in wearing a cape.

 Bart: Watch out --
        [all the kids look where he's pointing and gasp]
       -- Radioactive Man!
        [the kids applaud]
       Thank you, thank you, thank you.  It's all in the delivery.  Now
       is the winter of our discontent.
Ralph: [gasps] Oh no!  Run!  [runs off]
        [the kids all applaud again]
-- Sir Bart Olivier, "Radioactive Man"

Mrs. Van Houten preens Milhouse in preparation for his audition.

Milhouse: [whining] Mom, don't make me do this.  I don't want to be an
 Mrs. VH: Nonsense.  You're going to be great.  Now take off those
          glasses so they can see your beautiful eyes...
           [she does so, revealing his downright odd-looking eyes]
-- A mother's love, "Radioactive Man"

Lunch Lady Doris is reading the kids their setup lines as the director
and his cohorts watch.

   Doris: At last the world is safe, eh, Fallout Boy?
  Nelson: [too slowly] Watch out --
Director: Next!
           [Nelson walks off, sees his face in a mirror]
  Nelson: Ha ha!  Hey -- that hurts.  No wonder no one came to my
          birthday party.
   Doris: At last the world is safe, eh, Fallout Boy?
   Ralph: What's for lunch tomorrow?
Director: Next.
   Ralph: Chicken necks?
Director: We're never going to find -- [spots Martin sitting outside] --
          wait a minute.  That child has the exact qualities we're
          looking for.  He's perfect!  What is his name?
   Woman: I don't know.  He just came along with one of the others.  He
          didn't sign up officially.
Director: Oh, forget him, then.  It wouldn't be fair to the other
          children who filled out their application forms in full.
-- The new Hollywood ethics, "Radioactive Man"

   Doris: At last the world is safe, eh, Fallout Boy?
    Bart: Watch out, Radioactive Man!
Director: Brilliant reading!  Again?
    Bart: Watch out, Radioactive Man!
Director: Fantastic!  One more time?
    Bart: Watch out, Radioactive Man!
Director: Congratulations, Bart Simpson: you're our new Fallout Boy!
    Bart: [gasps]
Director: That's what I'd be saying to you if you weren't an inch too
          short.  Next!
-- The new Hollywood cruelty, "Radioactive Man"

[End of Act One.  Time: 7:29]

Bart lies on the grass with ropes tied to his arms and legs.

Bart: I have _got_ to grow an inch by tomorrow or I won't get that part.
      Pull, you mighty stallions, pull!  Show me no mercy.
       [SLH and Snowball II make a small effort at pulling]
       [they stop, and start licking themselves and scratching]
-- Mighty, schmighty, "Radioactive Man"

The next morning, Bart's alarm goes off.  He leaps out of bed, slides
down the banister, runs into the kitchen with a pencil, and traces the
outline of his hair on the wall.

  Bart: Ohh, I only grew half an inch.  I'm still too short.
 Marge: Growing half an inch in one day is still pretty good, Bart.
  Lisa: Yeah, that's how fast Grampa's shrinking.
Grampa: [walking by, his head below table level] Oh, I'm as tall as I --
  Bart: Is there any way I can look taller without actually being
         [he walks out of the house with elevator shoes, a chihuahua,
        and a spikier haircut]
-- There are three ways, actually, "Radioactive Man"

Bart struts into the Fallout Boy tryouts.

    Bart: Good news, gentlemen: I've grown that extra inch you wanted
          plus several feet more.
Director: We've found our new Fallout Boy!
    Bart: [gasps]
Director: And he's right over there.  [camera pans to Milhouse]
Milhouse: Huh?
-- A great day in the history of acting, "Radioactive Man"

The director introduces America's new Fallout Boy to the assembled crowd
of children on the lawn of the school.

Director: Ladies and gentlement, meet America's new Fallout Boy!
Milhouse: Aah!
           [screaming girls close in on him]
    Hutz: [pushing through] Out of the way...Milhouse, baby!  Lionel
          Hutz, your new agent, body guard, unauthorized biographer, and
          drug dealer...er, keeper-awayer.
Milhouse: Aah!  Leave me alone!
           [everyone chases him back to his house]
          Mom!  Dad!  Make 'em stop!
           [slams the door to the house]
           [sees his parents opening boxes]
          What is all this stuff?
  Mr. VH: We've heard you've become a star.  We've decided we better
          start living in the fast lane.
Milhouse: What if I'm not a success?  How will you pay for all this?
 Mrs. VH: I'm sorry, I can't hear you, son!  I'm wearing a jacuzzi suit.
Milhouse: Ohh --
-- Instant collateral, "Radioactive Man"

Bart lies on his bed, dejected.

Bart: Ohh, I just missed out on the greatest opportunity of my entire
      life!  George Burns was right: show business is a hideous bitch
Lisa: Cheer up, Bart.  Milhouse is still going to need a true friend,
      someone to tell him he's great.  Someone to rub lotion on him.
      Someone he can hurl whiskey bottles at when he's feeling low!
Bart: You're right, Lis.  I can suck up to him, like the religious
      people suck up to God.
-- Bart deconstructs religion, "Radioactive Man"

A couple of camera crew members walk into Bart's room, smashing a
spotlight into the alcove around the door.

    Homer: Guess what, kids?  They're going to pay us $50 a day to film
           some of the movie here.
  Crewman: Yeah, we'll run that cable through here.
            [starts hammering into the wall]
    Homer: Careful, now -- [turns around] Hey!  Didn't you direct
           "Unnatural Discretion"?
 Director: [modest] Yes, I did.
    Homer: [holding his news] Phew-ee!  Woo!  Oh!  You know, I never
           walk out of a movie, but -- yecch!
Assistant: Ahem, I've got an idea Mr. Simpson.  Why don't you get
           something to eat from our food truck?
            [Homer flies off; a cloud of dust retains his form]
           Mist -- Mr. Simpson?  [pokes at dust]
-- Cartoon physics revisited, "Radioactive Man"

Krusty walks into a trailer.

   Krusty: You've got to give me the part of Crispy the Clown!
 Director: I'm sorry: you're wrong for the part.
   Krusty: But look at my range!  [holds out photograph]
            [pictures show Krusty laughing, frowning, saluting in a
           sailor cap, and looking through a microscope]
Assistant: Well, I'm sorry: Crispy the Clown has been cast.  But I will
           hire you for Angry the Crown, Silly Sailor, and Dr. Clownius.
   Krusty: I _won't_ let you down.  [the men leave]
           Well, I _might_ let you down in Silly Sailor.
-- Aware of his faults, "Radioactive Man"

Bart walks through the shooting area and sees a script coach with

  Coach: Up and atom!
Rainier: Up and at them!
  Coach: Up and atom!
Rainier: Up and at them!
  Coach: [annoyed] Up and atom!
Rainier: [louder] Up and at them!
  Coach: [covers his eyes] Better.
-- McBain misses the point, "Radioactive Man"

Bart walks up to Milhouse.

  Bart: Hey, Milhouse.  I want you to know that I'm glad at least one of
        us got the part.
         [Milhouse explodes]
  Bart: Milhouse!  [a leg lands in front of him]
        I didn't do it...I didn't do it!  I wished him well.
         [his head lands in Bart's arms] Aah!
   Man: Stupid dummy wasn't supposed to explode yet!
  Bart: [sighs] There's the _real_ Milhouse.
         [Milhouse rides a bike across a road]
         [a truck plows into him; its door opens and an X-ray machine
        falls out, pointing right at his head]
  Bart: [gasps] Milhouse!  [runs up] Hey, you're not Milhouse.
         [it's the Estonian midget from 1F16]1F16]
Midget: No, I'm just Milhouse when he gets hurt.  [groans]
-- Stunt doubles, "Radioactive Man"

Director: OK, let's get the _real_ Milhouse over here, under the X-ray
Milhouse: [abashed] Hi, Bart.
    Bart: Hey.  Cool, Milhouse!  You get to be crushed by a truck.
Milhouse: It sounds like more fun that it really is.  Hey!  I think I'm
          lying on a broken bottle.
Director: Beautiful!  Use it.
-- Unaccounted-for props, "Radioactive Man"

Director: OK, Fallout Boy origin scene, take 1 -- action!
           [X-ray machine blasts straight on Milhouse's face]
 Rainier: [lifts up truck] Up and at them.
Milhouse: Thanks for the help, mysterious stranger.  Say -- I think
          those X-rays gave me super powers.
           [they stand around; Rainier scratches himself]
Director: That was perfect!  Let's do it again.
Milhouse: Uh, these aren't real X-rays, are they?
Director: Good question!  We'll check into that.  OK, X-ray machine to
          full power, and -- action!
           [X-ray machine blasts Milhouse's face; his skull becomes
-- "Radioactive Man"

Nelson, Ralph, and Martin watch a man paint black patches on a white

 Martin: Uh, Sir, why don't you just use real cows?
Painter: Cows don't look like cows on film.  You gotta use horses.
  Ralph: What do you do if you want something that looks like a horse?
Painter: Ehh, usually we just tape a bunch of cats together.
-- Clever film techniques, "Radioactive Man"

Homer goes up to a bunch of Teamsters.

   Homer: You guys work on the movie?
Teamster: You sayin' we're not working?
   Homer: Oh, I always wanted to be a Teamster.  So lazy and surly...
          mind if I relax next to you?
-- Yet another lifelong dream, "Radioactive Man"

Homer stretches and leans on the truck.  The Teamster does the same,
only for longer, and sighs with more satisfaction at the end.  Homer
does a _really_ long stretch, then sits down and leans against the
truck.  The other Teamsters, not to be outdone, all do the same, only
more exaggeratedly.  The whole thing degenerates into a big stretching
and groaning contest.

The director and his main man are seated in an office.  Wiggum walks in,
whispering to Quimby.

Assistant: [on phone] Oh, here he comes.  What is it now, Quimby?
   Quimby: Nothing, nothing.  Only the, er, city has just passed another
           tax on puffy directing pants.
 Director: [exasperated] But I don't wear puffy pants!
   Quimby: I meant a tax on _not_ wearing puffy pants.
Assistant: Oy.
   Quimby: I'm sorry.  [sounding anything but]
-- More stringent than the "two comely lasses" thing, "Radioactive Man"

Bart walks into Milhouse's trailer and marvels at all the stuff inside.

    Bart: Wow, you really got it made now, Milhouse.  This is living!
Milhouse: [in a costume] Is it, Bart?  Is it really?
    Bart: Yeah.
Milhouse: Ever since I became a movie star I've been miserable.  I had
          to get up at five a.m. just for makeup.  I like the way the
          blush brings out my cheekbones, but it's not worth it.  And
          making movies is so horribly repetitive: I've said "jiminy
          jillikers" so many times the words have lost all meaning!
Director: We've got to do the "jiminy jillikers" scene again, Milhouse.
Milhouse: [quietly angry] But we already did it.  It took seven hours,
          but we did it.  It's done!
Director: Yes...but we've got to do it from different angles!  Again and
          again, and again and again and again!
Milhouse: Aah!  [gets dragged out screaming]
    Bart: [looking around] Yeah!  [sighs]
-- The downside of stardom, "Radioactive Man"

The next scene of the film features Radioactive Man and Fallout Boy tied
up inside a wooden cage.

  Rainier: Ach!  I can't believe Silly Sailor beat us both up and
           imprisoned us in his floating Aquaworld.
 Milhouse: Jiminy jillikers!
  Rainier: Uh, now there's no need for profanity, Fallout Boy.
            [in the editing room, the clip rolls]
Assistant: Everyone in town has been gouging us silly, but it's worth
           it: it's all up there on the screen.
 Director: Yes.  That Milhouse is going to be big -- Gabby Hayes big!
-- Appropriate allusions, "Radioactive Man"

The next scene is to be filmed in the nuclear plant.

Director: OK, listen up, everybody: this is the hardest, most expensive
          scene in the movie, and we only get one shot at it, so we
          _have_ to do it right.
          Fallout Boy will untie Radioactive Man and pull him to safety
          moments before he's hit with a forty-foot wall of sulfuric
          acid that will horribly burn everything in its path.  Now,
          that's real acid, so I want to see goggles, people!
           [everyone puts them on]
 Rainier: [tied up] _Real_ acid?
-- The perils of movie stardom, "Radioactive Man"

"OK, roll film...tip the acid vats...and -- action!"  A fire lights up
around Rainier as he laments, "Ach...only Fallout Boy can save me now."
The director calls, "Where's Fallout Boy?"  Rainier gasps as the acid
flies toward him.  "Fallout Boy!" calls the director.  "Uh oh," says
Rainier, putting on goggles.  The acid hits him full force and carries
him off, leaving a burning dent in the pillar where he was tied.  "My
eyes...the goggles do nothing!"  The wave of acid deposits him through a
trailer wall, burning his pants off as a final insult.

The damage left in the wake of the acid wave is total.  "Where in the
hell is Milhouse?" asks the director angrily.  "That one-shot cost us a
million dollars!"  Krusty is more interested in talking to the producer
about the coffee.

Milhouse runs away from the cameras and trailers, up a hill, away from
the place that ruined his life.

[End of Act Two.  Time: 15:59]

The Springfield Shopper headlines spin toward the screen.  "Milhouse
Disappears!  Move on hold."  "Milhouse Meltdown.  Ankles pic -- flick
sick."  "Spinning Newspaper Injures Printer."  Everyone in town joins in
the hunt for the missing boy.

In the editing room, a editing man has good news.

   Editor: Thanks to modern editing techniques, we can use existing
           footage to complete the film without Milhouse!
            [shot of assistant and director staring blankly]
           Watch.  [rolls film]
            [a band of Road Warrior-esque toughs faces the duo in a
  Rainier: Looks like we're in trouble, Fallout Boy.
            [scene switch to field in springtime]
 Milhouse: Jiminy jillikers, Radioactive Man.
            [back to cave]
  Rainier: We'll have to fight our way out.  Are you ready?
            [switch to Milhouse on a couch]
 Milhouse: Yes.
            [switch to Radioactive Man and Fallout Boy fighting alien
   Editor: Seamless, huh?
Assistant: [pause] You're fired.
   Editor: And with good cause!
-- ILM, you've done it again, "Radioactive Man"

Chief Wiggum waves a pair of Milhouse's pants in front of three
ferocious attack dogs.  He then releases their leashes and encourages
them, "Go!"

Wiggum: OK, we can all stop worrying now.  These dogs never fail.
Mr. VH: But...will they just find Milhouse, or will they find him and
        kill him?
Wiggum: Well, they'll -- when they find him, they'll, um -- [mumbles
        something incomprehensible]
Mr. VH: Uh, excuse me: you didn't answer me.  You just trailed off.
Wiggum: Yeah...yeah, I did kind of trail off, there, didn't I?  Heh.
-- Evading the honest answer, "Radioactive Man"

Bart figures he can find Milhouse by checking all his old haunts.  He
walks into Slot Car Heaven to find Otto and the comic store guy racing
slot cars.

 Bart: Have you seen Milhouse?
Owner: No, now go away: we're racing for the title of the champion of
       the universe.
        [Otto's school bus crashes]
 Otto: All right!
-- A day at the slot car races, "Radioactive Man"

Bart checks the decrepit old Spirograph[tm] factory.  A lone man plays
with a Spirograph on a slanted desk.

 Bart: Yo, Dr. S: have you seen Milhouse today?
Dr. S: No.
 Bart: OK, thanks.  [starts to leave]
Dr. S: Wait: did you know that there's a direct correlation between the
       decline of Spirograph and the rise in gang activity?  Think about
 Bart: I will.  [walks off]
Dr. S: No you won't.  [goes back to drawing]
-- Bart visits the Spirograph factory, "Radioactive Man"

"The only place left is the treehouse," reasons Bart.  The camera pans
to each of the corners, finally stopping on Milhouse on the sixth

    Bart: Aha!
Milhouse: Stay away from me, Bart.  I mean it: I'm not going back.  I'm
          not cut out to be a star.
    Bart: But Milhouse, being a star is every patriotic American's
Milhouse: Not mine.  It's a sham, Bart!  You get up on that movie screen
          pretending to be a hero, but you're not.  The real heroes are
          out _there_, toiling day and night on more important things!
    Bart: [dreamy] Television.
Milhouse: No!  Curing heart disease and wiping out world hunger.
    Bart: But Milhouse, they haven't cured anything!  Heart disease and
          world hunger are still rampant.  Those do-gooders are all a
          bunch a pitiful losers...every last one of them.  Want
          results?  You have to go to the Schwarzeneggers, the
          Stallones, and to a lesser extent, the Van Dammes.
-- Bart mounts the soapbox, "Radioactive Man"

A helicopter with a rope ladder and someone on it flies towards the
treehouse.  A man jumps off the rope ladder into the treehouse and
smiles at the boys.

    Boys: [gasp] Mickey Rooney!
  Rooney: Hi, Milhouse.  The studio sent me to talk to you, being a
          former child star myself, _and_ the number one box office draw
          from 1939 to 1940.
    Bart: Wow, spanning two decades.
Milhouse: How'd you find us?
  Rooney: Uh, they tapped your treehouse phone.
           [shot of a pair of cans with a wire going to a van]
-- The latest technology, "Radioactive Man"

   Rooney: Milhouse, listen: you can't quit this movie.  I've seen your
           work; it's good -- very, very good.  Van Johnson good.
 Milhouse: I know I'm good.  Movie stardom is just so hollow.
   Rooney: Hollow?!  The only thing in show business that's hollow is
           the music industry.  Come on, Milhouse, you _have_ to do
           this, if not for yourself, then for the moviegoing public and
           for the foreign markets that are more important than ever
           nowadays and...finally, for me -- the Mickster.
 Milhouse: [adamant] No.
   Rooney: All right, I tried.  Fortunately, we have a perfectly good
           Fallout Boy right here.  [puts his arm around Bart]
            [next shot shows Rooney in Fallout Boy costume]
   Rooney: Jiminy jillikers.  Jiminy jillikers.  Jiminy jillikers!
 Director: [covering his eyes] We're shutting down production.
Assistant: Yeah, well, we only have $1000 left anyway.
   Quimby: Uh, there's a $1000 leaving town tax.
-- Good to the last milked drop, "Radioactive Man"

The town gathers to see the movie folk off.

Rooney: Well, I hope you're all satisfied.  You bankrupted a bunch of
        naive movie folks -- folks from a Hollywood where values are...
        different.  They weren't thinking about the money.  They just
        wanted to tell a story, a story about a radioactive man, and you
        slick small-towners took 'em for all they were worth.
         [everyone looks dejected and mournful]
  Otto: [sniffles] Do we give them some of their money back?
Quimby: [weeps] No.
         [the helicopter swings by overhead]
 Pilot: Hurry, Mr. Rooney!  We've got a disenchanted little girl in a
        Jell-O Pudding commercial!
Rooney: I could play that...[grabs the rope ladder]
-- Always looking out for numero uno, "Radioactive Man"

In class, Mrs. Krabappel drones on in front of a map of the world.

  Bart: So, Milhouse, it must be a little tough giving up all that
        glamor and coming back to school, huh?
Midget: Quiet!  Maybe I can get my citizenship.
-- All's well, "Radioactive Man"

In Hollywood, an assembled crowd welcomes back the troubled production
with open arms.  An actor hugs the assistant and says, "We know you
don't have any more money left, but that doesn't matter.  Just take
whatever you need from our boutiques until you can get back on your
feet."  The assistant sighs, "Thank God we're back in Hollywood where
people treat each other right."

The camera pans out from Hollywood Blvd. and Vine St., where everyone
smiles and acts friendly, to the strains of "Lean On Me."

[End of Act Three.  Time: 21:17]


   {nc}  Neil Cook
   {ddg} Don Del Grande
   {dh2} Dominik Halas
   {dh}  Dave Hall
   {th}  Tony Hill
   {jck} J. C. T. Kelly
   {rl}  Ricardo Lafaurie
   {ar}  Andrew Rose
   {bw}  Bill Walko
   {by}  Bob Yantosca
This episode summary is Copyright 1997 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.)