Radio Bart

Radio Bart                                                Written by John Vitti
                                                       Directed by Carlos Baeza

TV Guide synopsis

Bart's practical joke backfires bigtime after he fools the town into thinking
there's a little boy trapped in a well.  Sting joins Springfield celebrities
for a fund-raising song and video entitled ``We're Sending Our Love down the

Title sequence

Blackboard :- `I will not carve gods'.
              `I will not carve go' at cutoff.

Lisa's solo:- upbeat with a funky rhythm.

Driveway   :- Homer says `D'oh!' when Lisa scoots past.
              Homer says `Waugh!' when the car closes in on him.

Couch      :- The family leap onto the couch and bounce on the
              springs.  At each bounce, the relative position of the
              family members changes.

Didja notice...

    ... Sting voiced himself?  Other guest voices were
        Pamela Hayden (Martin), Russi Taylor, and Maggie Roswell.
    ... Maggie fell only once?  (When the townspeople rush past with shovels.)
        Though she did crawl to the door, suggesting that there was an
        unseen fall shortly before.
    ... the freezer was in SERIOUS need of defrosting?
    ... Jimbo sticks his head into the camera frame and waves during
        Kent Brockman's live report?
    ... Chief Wiggum consistently wore his badge on the wrong side of
        his chest?
    ... one of the policemen looks like Wiggum's son!
    ... Maggie was playing with the foil after the prayer?
    ... in the interview with Krusty the Klown, they kept cutting
        back to Kent Brockman for a shot of an attentive nod? {thf}
    ... Sideshow Mel's headset goes INTO his hair?
    ... McBain wore his gun to the recording session? {jrd}
        And was `Sing sing sing' a reference to Sing-sing prison?
    ... people were wearing little well-hats?  Merchandising strikes again.
    ... the oil spot in the driveway is back?
    ... Marge's hair is a bit askew once Bart's well crisis begins?
    ... the acorn by the Lincoln squirrel's head?  (I.e., a top hat.)

Dave Hall {dh}:
    ... Homer was eating while Bart opened his gifts?  Nelson was slurping
        on a drink.
    ... Bart placed a ``Property of Bart Simpson'' label on the kitchen
        ceiling and the Play/Rec. room floor?  (Bart's labels are gone from
        the kitchen throughout the rest of the episode.)
    ... the freezer contained nothing but ice cream?  (The freezer
        even has a light.  Compare the fridge light, which has burnt out.)
    ... Homer threw a loaded rifle to the floor to grab at Bart's throat?
    ... the pacifier hook on Maggie's crib?
    ... the dinosaur skeleton was nearest the surface, followd by the
        treasure chest, then the flying saucer?  You'd think the dinosaur
        would be buried the deepest...

Rave Reviews

John R. Donald {jrd}: I give it an A.

Ric Dube (  This was just about my favorite
episode since Bart The Daredevil.  Or Flaming Moe's.

Jamie Ide {ji}:  I thought it was a classic!  One of my favorites, anyway.

Shane P. Faulkner {spf}:  A great episode, Bart was at his devious best in
this one.

Ted Frank {thf}:  All-in-all, a good episode.  Homer tackled his second
rock star, and we got to see Sideshow Mel and the Capital City Goofball.

Eric Jablow {ej}:  I didn't like the episode much, although I&S were great,
and the playground scene with Lisa and the jump-ropers was superb.  Notice
the really fast turnaround time from the I&S animators?

Marc Colten {mc}:  Really a terrific episode.

Lawrence A. Schwimmer {las}:  Overall, a fully-packed episode!  I'm amazed
they managed to stuff so many things in (I&S, McBain, guest voice, Krusty,
TV commercial snaring Homer, media events, etc...)

Alan J. Rosenthal {ajr}:  A great one!  Sting was kind of bizarre; it's
funny how unkind they are to guest stars!  The measuring of Bart's height
was probably the best part.

Ron Carter {rc}:  Great episode!

Scott Amspoker {sa}:  Absolutely!

Yours truly {rjc}:  Lots of little laughs.  Bart's ``Uh huh'' while Homer's
hands are still around his throat.  ``He fell down a well, and...  he
can't get out.''  Not a classic, but still a strong showing.

Movie (and other) References

    Soul Train and its host Don Cornelius {mc}
    Milli Vanilli
        - Funky-See Funky Do's lip-sync'ing
        - Note also Funky Do's hairstyle.
  + Chuck E. Cheez
        - The `Wall E. Weasel' pizzeria/entertainment center.
    Real Genius
        - in the movie, `our heroes' trick a guy (named Tod) into believing
          that God is talking to him by wiring his braces. {rc}
  + Jessica McClure, the girl who fell down the well
        - the plot
        - the man with the fishhook and chocolate bar
          is the character Quint (Robert Shaw) {spf, wab}
  + We Are the World (and its imitators)
        - a big production to raise money for a needy cause
        - everybody swaying back and forth while singing
    Cat Scratch Fever (song)
        - The I&S cartoon is titled `Cat Splat Fever'. {dab}
  + the song `Axel F' from Beverly Hills Cop
        - the music as Bart descends the well {hot, sg}
    I Think We're Alone Now (pop song)
        - the new #1 hit, `I Do Believe We're Naked'. {dab}
  + Popeye
        - I've had all I can stands and I can't stands no more! {dab}
  + Canary in a Coal Mine (song by The Police, incl. Sting)
        - the, well, you know {spf}

Freeze Frame Fun

The lucky birthday kids

Anna Goodwin
Reagan Gray
Paul Grenville
Jim Greigor
Harriet Hartman     [any relation to Phil?]
Mike Himes
Julie Hirsh
Janet Hopkins
Cara Hunter
Gracie Jensen
Loretta Kangas
Marilyn Katz
Ken Keeler
John Lanzetta
Lorna Lefever
Marie Lichterman
Iris Lowe
Kim Madrigal
Cammie McGovern
Bill McLain
David Moulton       [I know this guy!]
Mary Myron
Nigel Nelson
J. P. Patches       [see below for explanation of this inside joke]
Ted Phillips
Randy Plot
Brady Reed
Kevin Reilly
Pete St. George
Casey Sanders
Matthew Schneider
Patrick Semple
Emma Shannon
Bart Simpson
Larry Stone
Beth Summerlin
Kate Sunberg
Dale Thomas
John Travis
Eric Van Buerden
Patric Verrone
Lee Wallace
Jay Weinstein
Chris White
Jay Wiviott
Henry Yeomans

At $8 a pop, that's $360, and probably more, since we didn't get the
entire list.

Bart's coupons

Phineas Q. Butterfat / 5600 Flavors / Ice Cream Parlor
1 Free / Birthday / Sundae
    (``Eat it and get out.'')

Jake's Unisex Hair Palace / Free birthday shave

Free Tango Lesson

Wall E. Weasel's

   We cram fun down your throat

Maggie was in the ball pen.
Martin was just standing there.
Milhouse was shooting a basketball.
Wendell was playing Skee-ball.
Nelson held his Skee-balls in his hands, walked up the alley, and
    tossed them all into the center target.
Kids playing `Whack the Weasel'.  [Scott Amspoker {sa} points out that
    this is our second masturbation reference.  Marc Colten {mc} notes,
    though, that there is an actual arcade game called Whack-a-Mole,
    which looks exactly like the game in the show.]

Video games

    Larry the Looter (Bart plays this one)
        You (Larry) break the window of an electronics store, and
        score points for each item you steal.  But watch out for
        the shop owner carrying a shotgun!
    Time Waster
    Coffee Fiend
    Touch of Death
    Comic Shop

Bart's presents

    A label maker from Patty and Selma.  (Bart makes the label ``This bites'')
    A pair of socks
    The book, ``Dr. Marvin Monroe's Guide to Etiquette''
    A tiny potted cactus
    A Superstar Celebrity Microphone from Homer
    A grey cap and blue jacket from Martin.  (``Now we can be twins!'')

Lisa's magazine

   Non-Threatening Boys
   pictures, all captioned, ``Corey''.
   ``A dreamy photo fantasy!''

Rod and Todd's room

   `Springfield #1' pennant over Rod's bed.

We're Sending Our Love Down the Well

[front row]
Troy McClure
Scott Christian
The Channel 6 weather girl (Kent Brockman's girlfriend) {dh}
Bleeding Gums Murphy
Diamond Joe Quimby
Krusty the Klown
Princess Cashmere

[second row]
Sideshow Mel (singing operatically)
Dr. Marvin Monroe
Captain Lance Murdoch (not in a body cast)
The Capital City Goofball
?unknown man?

The things around the well

Man selling ``I survived Timmy O'Toole's Getting Trapped in a Well'' T-shirt.
Man hawking ``Timmy's Baby Teeth'' ($6 a bag).
Bernard the bouncer, ushering people with a flashlight.
Two cops (not the regular two cops) standing guard over the well, as
    people file past to look down.
A sign on the well reads, ``Admission $2.00''
A giant Ferris wheel.
Hot dog stand.
Stand labelled `Games'.
Pizza stand.
Beer stand.

Things brought for Bart when he is trapped down the well

Homer brings

    Krusty doll (which Homer throws down)
    an alarm clock (with only one bell.  How does it ring?)
    plastic bag containing a goldfish, and an empty aquarium.
      (Homer looks like he's about ready to throw this down, but doesn't.)
    baseball bat
    baseball glove

Marge brings

    oversized sweater (knit it herself)

other stuff

    a Krusty picture.  Or is it some other picture and a Krusty doll on top?

Digging Bart out

Things in the soil

    A dinosaur skeleton
    A treasure chest
    A flying saucer with a one-eyed space alien's skeleton

People helping

    Herman acts as foreman (since he can't dig)
    Groundskeeper Willie (and Agnes)
    Principal Skinner
    Apu holds a lantern

Animation and continuity goofs

Homer was standing in the doorway between the TV room and kitchen while
Bart was watching TV, but when Marge stuck her head into the TV room, the
kitchen disappeared and was replaced by a hallway.  Also, the telephone
cord would have to be really extra long to reach from the wall next to the
fridge all the way to the TV room entrance. {dh}

The lip sync during Homer's speech in bed was way off because the
animation was stolen from `Saturdays of Thunder' [8[FG]07].  The scene where
the two cops tell Homer and Marge about Bart's fate might have been taken
from `Bart vs. Thanksgiving' [7[FG]07].

When Bart opens his gift from Patty and Selma, there's an ashtray in front
of them.  But when Homer gives Bart the microphone gift, the ashtray is

When Homer opens the freezer door, we see three rectangular boxes of ice
cream.  But Homer only inspects two boxes before he quits.  Moreover, the
side angle of the freezer shows cylindrical cartons of ice cream!  (Though
I did like how Homer muttered, ``Mmm... Chocolate'' three times.)

Bart raised his desk lid, which has nothing on it, to hide/throw the
micro-phone in, yet in the next scene, the top of his desk appears to be
full of stuff. {dh}

Rod and Todd's radio antenna appears to change positions. {dh}

Both door mats are missing from the front door as Homer asked `What's up?' {dh}

The stump that Bart looped the rope around appears and disappears from
scene to scene. {dh}

The I&S cartoon is interrupted by a special report from Channel 6 News,
where Kent Brockman gives the report.  Except that in `Krusty Gets Busted'
[7[FG]12], Kent says that the Krusty the Klown show is on a rival network.

In the establishing shot of Homer bringing stuff to the well, he brings a
baseball bat.  But when we move in closer, the bat is missing.  Not a
goof:  In the same shot, Quimby appears to be to the left of his security
guards, but is between them when he tells the cops to take Homer away.
This isn't a goof because he's actually standing in front of them; he
merely seems to be to their left because of the camera angle.

And, of course, a real radio microphone doesn't have the range that Bart's
did.  Dave Hall asks what brand of batteries Bart's radio used.  Sure lasted
a long, long time.

Dave Hall points out that Bart <did> use a fake ID.  In ``Bart vs.
Thanksgiving'' [7[FG]07].

Groundskeeper Willy opened his flask, threw away the cap, downed a drink,
then placed the (uncapped) flask back into his pocket. {dh}

Comments and other observations


J. P. Patches

Bill Baker {wab} explains this inside joke.  His story is so well-told that
I include it in its entirety:

J.P. Patches was a clown character played by Chris Wiedes who had a morning
kids show (much like the Krusty the Klown Show) on Channel 7 in Seattle.
He even had a daily shtick where he would look through his ICU2 TV set to
divine the names of kids who were having birthdays that day (he didn't
charge $8).  J.P. was <the> beloved figure to a generation of Seattle

The parallels get really weird if you remember Bart's disillusionment with
Krusty this season.  One of the things Krusty does off camera is smoke.
Well, my dad used to work at Channel 7 and share an office with Chris
Wiedes.  One day my Dad brings me in early to hang around the set while
they're shooting the show.  He drops me off in the cafeteria with (Yes!) the
idol of my youth, J.P. Patches.  Up close in person, I see that J.P. is an
old, tired guy in makeup and a mop wig slumped over a cup of coffee.  He
gives me a desultory hello and then pulls out a coffin nail (J.P. Patches
keeps cigarettes in his pockets?) and lights up.  There went the last of my
childhood innocence.  Then I sat through the show and discovered, through
the off-camera banter, that a lot of the seemingly innocent running jokes
and shtick, the catch phrases repeated by thousands of Seattle tykes, were
actually very adult inside jokes.  Oh well.

The more that I think about it, the more parallels I see between J.P. and
Krusty.  J.P. had a number of sidekicks like Sideshow Bob and Corporal
Punishment, and he played a lot of cartoons.  Of course, this is a
much-copied formula.

However, I did get a great picture of me at 14, long hair down past my
shoulders, with J.P. Patches standing with his arm around me.

The Harvard Lampoon

Many of Krusty's Birthday Buddies wrote for the Harvard Lampoon.
David Mirsky @{dm3} has met Ken Keeler (who went on to write for Late
Night) and Patric Verrone (who also went on to a career in
television).  Bill Oakley further names Ted Phillips as a Lampoon

When I @{rjc} mentioned the appearance of his name to David Moulton,
he responded, ``Cool, it worked!''  Alas, I didn't have a chance to
press him for details.

Jessica McClure

Some years ago [can anyone give a year?] a young girl named Jessica McClure
fell down a well, the aperture of which was too narrow for a grown-up to
fit down.  She became the focus of media attention for several days until
her rescue, upon which she immediately faded into obscurity.

Garry Shandling also spoofed this news item on his program.  Garry `fell'
down a well, hoping that the media attention would boost his show's ratings.

Chuck E. Cheez

Chuck E. Cheez is a combination pizzeria/kiddie entertainment center on
the West Coast (though outlets have allegedly been spotted on the East
Coast and abroad).  It is a popular site for kiddie birthday parties.  The
similarities with Wall E. Weasel were unmistakeable.

    - the guy costumed as the mascot
    - the cage full of plastic balls (for the youngsters to frolic in)
    - Skee-Ball alleys
    - video games (relatively feeble ones)
    - the birthday party
    - the animated mechanical singers
    - kids running amok
    - the mediocre pizza  [Okay okay, maybe not the mediocre pizza. --rjc]

Previous episodes

    [8[FG]06] Phineas Q. Butterfat
    [7[FG]23] Touch of Death
    [7[FG]14] Non-Threatening Boys
    [8[FG]08] Bernard the bouncer
    [7[FG]01] Dave Shutton
    [7[FG]04, 8[FG]02, 8[FG]04] The one-eyed space alien

Stupid Springfieldians

Rolf Wilson {rw} complained that it never dawned on the townspeople to
send down somebody skinny (not necessarily a policeman), or to start
digging (until Homer did).  Nor did anybody shine a flashlight down the

Of course, I think that was the whole point.  Everybody in Springfield is
a boob.  Only in Springfield (or perhaps Dick Loudon's Vermont town of
Norwich) could Bart fool everyone for so long.

The TV commercial

One of `The Simpsons' strong points is their relentless lampooning of the
less admirable aspects of modern television.

John R. Donald {jrd}:  I love the detail.  Through the window, kids are
throwing a ball around.  When the TV `magically' disappears and the radio
toy-thing reappears in its place, the kids have suddenly stopped throwing
the ball, and are in slightly different positions.  It would have been
easier, from the standpoint of the cartoonist, to simply continue the
action in the background, but in order to imitate the cheesy commercial,
the continuity is purposefully messed up.

Jamie Ide {ji} identifies the song as ``Convoy'' by C. W. McCall.

Ron Carter {rc}:  Part of the commercial is a direct lift from Ronco's Mr.
Microphone ads ``Hey honey, we'll come back later...''  And Homer's
response ``That guy is in for some lovin' later...'' is hilarious...

Yours Truly {rjc}:  My favorite part was the first line.  ``Why sit in
front of the TV, when you can be...''  Playing volleyball outside with
your friends getting some fresh air?  No!  ``... on the radio!''

Itchy and Scratchy

(Most of this section will be deleted when J. D. Baldwin incorporates it
into his I&S Guide.)

Cat Splat Fever

Scratchy comes into the bedroom (which contains two beds, one with `Itchy'
on the headrest, the other with `Scratchy') and finds a note: ``Good bye
cruel world.  Itchy.''  Scratchy looks out the window and sees Itchy
calmly hop into the well outside.  Scratchy rushes outside and leaps into
the well to save his friend.

As he falls, Scratchy passes by Itchy, sitting calmly on a brick that
happens to be jutting out from the wall of the well.  Itchy waves bye-bye
as Scratchy falls past.  Scratchy screams and flails his arms, landing in
the open mouth of a waiting alligator.  After a few chomps, the alligator
swallows Scratchy and submerges.  The water turns red.

A Scratchy-angel rises from the water, but as it passes Itchy, the mouse
pulls a gun and fires at the cat's head, blowing a hole clean through his
left eye.  Scratchy's halo rises upward out of shot, but the rest of
Scratchy falls with a scream.  Itchy waves good-bye.

After the cartoon, a panel containing Itchy and Scratchy's heads
bracketing a yellow ribbon appears on the screen, captioned, ``Dedicated
to Timmy O'Toole.''

Didja notice...

    ... the picture of Itchy and Scratchy on the wall?
    ... the alligator chomped Scratchy four times instead of just
        swallowing him whole, as is traditional for cartoons?
        Itchy and Scratchy, at the forefront of cartoon violence. {thf}

The jumprope rhyme

One plus one plus three is five.
Little Bart Simpson's buried alive!
He's so neat, he's so sweet.
Now the rats have Bart to eat!

How many days until Bart croaks?  One, two, three, four, ...


For those who didn't know, in the early days of coal mining, canaries were
placed in the mines as a sort of early-warning system.  Being much smaller
than humans, they were more sensitive to the presence of poison gas.  (Note
also the reference to a song by The Police.)

Quotes and scene summary

 Homer finds Lisa dancing provocatively in front of the television.  She's
 watching a TV dance show, laden with pretty young girls dancing the same
 way.  Homer drools at the girls (reflected not only in his eyes, but
 also in his drool).
   Lisa:  Dad, can I have some money to buy Bart a birthday present?
   Homer: [entranced by a TV show of pretty girls dancing provocatively]
          Mon-ney.  [hands over a huge wad of bills]
   Lisa:  [riffles through it]  Dad, this is a hundred and ten dollars!
   Homer: Oh, sorry.  [gives her the entire wallet]
   -- Ask, and you shall receive, ``Radio Bart''
   `Funky-See Funky-Do' will be right back to lip-sync another of their
   hits, right after this...
   -- Announcer on TV music dance show, ``Radio Bart''
 Lisa leaves to go shopping, and a commercial comes on.  It's for one of
 those microphones that acts as a mini radio transmitter.  The commercial
 is your usual shameless plug, and Homer gobbles it, hook, line, and
 sinker.  Homer decides to buy it for Bart's birthday.
   Announcer: ... But order now.  Supply is limited.
   Homer:     Gasp!  Limited!?!?  [frantically dials the phone]
              Do you have any of those microphones left?
   Clerk:     [standing in a warehouse filled to the roof with boxes
              of microphones]  Yeah, a couple...
   -- A couple thousand, perhaps... ``Radio Bart''
 In bed, Homer tells Marge that this time, perhaps he will succeed at
 purchasing his son's affections.

 It's Bart's birthday.  Homer marks Bart's height on the wall.  (All the
 marks are zig-zagged, being outlines of Bart's spikey hair.)  Bart tunes in
 the Krusty the Klown Show in time to watch the birthday announcements.
 Sideshow Mel brings out a giant birthday cake, and Krusty trips him.
 Mel lands on his face, but the cake is intact.  As Mel gets up, Krusty
 kicks him in the butt, sending him headfirst into the cake.  Mel's
 hair catches fire on the candles.  (Later, we see Mel running frantically
 in the background, his hair still afire.)

 Krusty says it's time to see the names of the birthday boys and girls,
 and Bart watches his name scroll past (along with two dozen other names)
 at lightning speed.  ``Wow, best eight bucks I ever spent.''  Marge tells
 Bart that Grampa is on the phone to wish him a happy birthday.  ``Take a
 message.''  Bart brandishes a handful of 46 coupons for birthday goodies
 and heads out.

 First stop is a free birthday sundae at Phineas Q. Butterfat's.  The
 clerk gives Bart a tiny teaspoon-sized sundae.  Next is a free shave.
   Bart:   [in the barber shop, getting a shave]
           Digital audio tape, my butt!  When <I> was a kid, we had compact
           disks, and <I> don't recall no one complaining.
   Barber: Damn right.
   -- Bart's free shave, ``Radio Bart''
 Bart then gets his free tango lesson.  Although half the height of his
 partner, Bart dances divinely.  Bart excuses himself to go to his
 birthday party.  (``Farewell, Senor Bart,'' sighs Rosarita.)

 Bart arrives at the birthday party and greets his guests.
   Hey, good to see you.
   Glad you could make it.
   Toby, have you lost weight?
   -- Bart, the perfect host at his birthday party, ``Radio Bart''
 The kids harrass Wall E. Weasel, who is trying to deliver a pizza.
 Bart busies himself with a video game.  Later, he `talks' with the
 mechanical entertainment, which performs a birthday song.  (The
 lyrics sing to the `birthday boy or girl'.)  Until it catches fire,
 at least.

 Bart's first birthday gift is from Selma.  It's a label-maker.  Bart is
 hardly amused.  The other gifts are equally boring.  Homer gives Bart the
 radio microphone, but Bart merely calls, ``Next.''  Martin gives Bart a
 matching jacket and beret, identical to his own.

 Having nothing better to do, Bart labels everything in the house
 ``Property of Bart Simpson'' (including SLH).  Homer opens the fridge...
   Oh, there's only one can of beer left, and it's Bart's.
   -- Homer finds a `Property of Bart Simpson' sticker on a can of Duff,
      ``Radio Bart''
 Homer asks Bart how the microphone is working, to see it being used
 to prop the window open.  ``Bart, I would love to get a present like
 that.''  Bart hands it over.  ``Here you go.  Enjoy.''  Homer demonstrates
 the microphone, singing the song that was sung on the TV commercial,
 blasting his melodious voice out Lisa's radio.  Lisa covers her ears.
 (SLH howls in agreement.)

 He then makes an announcement for Marge over her radio, but she couldn't
 understand him because of the distortion.  Homer realizes his gift was
 a flop.

 In his room, Bart grouses, ``What a crappy birthday.''  Marge comes in
 and tells him the radio microphone isn't so bad.  She demonstrates.
 ``Testing, testing, one two three. ...  Oh my, do I sound like that?''
 Bart decides it might not be a total loss after all.

 Downstairs, Homer opens the freezer and pulls out a box of Neapolitan
 ice cream, to find that the chocolate is completely gone.  (The vanilla
 and strawberry are untouched.)  He pulls out a second box, with the
 same result.  ``Marge, we need some more vanilla, chocolate and
 strawberry ice cream!''  The radio crackles to life.
   People of earth, this is Bartron, commander of the Martian invasion force.
   Your planet is in our hands.  Resistance is useless.
   -- The first broadcast of ``Radio Bart''
 Only after he fetches a shotgun does Homer realize that it was Bart.
 ``Why you little...''  But he stops his strangling when he realizes
 that this means Bart actually <liked> his gift after all!  He makes
 Bart promise not to play any more practical jokes, and Bart agrees.
 (Bart surreptitiously slaps a ``Property of Bart Simpson'' label on
 Homer's butt.)

 [End of Act One.  Time: 6:41]

 Marge puts Maggie to bed and removes her pacifier.  As Marge turns
 to leave, we hear Maggie say, ``Mama!  Mama!''  Marge is amazed,
 then discovers a small radio hidden behind Maggie's pillow.

 Bart hides his microphone under Lisa's bed and uses it to snoop in
 on her conversation with one of her friends.

 In school, flatulent noises are heard when Ms. Krabappel sits down.
 Ms. K discovers the radio under her chair.

 Bart spots Rod and Todd sitting in their room listening to the radio.
   Bart: [over the radio] Rod!  Todd!  This is God!
   Rod:  How did you get on the radio?
   Bart: Whaddya mean, how did I get on the radio?  I created the universe!
         Stupid kid.
   Todd+Rod: [fall to their knees and clasp their hands]
   Todd: Forgive my brother.  We believe you.
   Bart: Talk is cheap.  Perhaps I'll test a guy's faith.  Walk through the
         wall!  I will remove it for you.
   Rod:  [walks into the wall]  [thud]
   Bart: Ha ha ha.
   Todd+Rod: [return to their knees in prayer]
   Todd: What do you want from us?
   Bart: I got a job for you.  Bring forth all the cookies from your kitchen
         and leave them on the Simpsons' porch.
   Rod:  But those cookies belong to our parents.
   Bart: Ugh!  Look, do you want a happy God or a vengeful God?
   Todd: [quickly]  Happy God.
   Bart: Then quit flapping your lip and make with the cookies!
   Todd+Rod: Yes, sir!
   -- How to win friends and influence people, ``Radio Bart''
 Bart twirls his microphone and blows across it, as if it were a

 Bart lowers his portable radio on a rope down a well, but he loses his
 grip, and it falls to the bottom.  Groundskeeper Willie hears a plaintive
 ``Help!  Help!'' coming from the well.  He takes a swig from his liquor
 flask and runs through traffic, returning with his plow.  Bart
 chuckles, ``Sucker!''

 Word travels quickly through town, and before you know it, the well
 is surrounded by the police, curious onlookers, and Kent Brockman.
 Bart identifies himself as Timmy O'Toole, an orphan who was turned
 away from Springfield Elementary by Principal Skinner on account of
 his shabby clothes.  Skinner denies this accusation.
   The circumference of the well is 34 inches, so, unfortunately, not
   one member of our city's police force is slender enough to rescue the
   -- Kent Brockman's report, ``Radio Bart''
 (During Kent's report, we see Eddie bring a box of donuts from the
 food stand.  The other cops are already munching away.)  Chief
 Wiggum scolds his men, and when asked why <he> doesn't go down,
 he says, ``Well, I'm too... important.''

 Kent explains that Timmy's foot is caught under a rock, so they
 can't simply pull him up, lest he become injured.

 A falconer explains that his bird will fly the boy to safety.
 He releases the bird, which flies away, never to return.

 A man shows a fishhook and a bar of chocolate.  ``And then I'll
 clean him for free.''
   Although we can't reach the boy, we <can> freeze him with liquid
   nitrogen, so that future generations can rescue him.
   -- Dr. John Fink's plan to rescue poor Timmy O'Toole, ``Radio Bart''
 The Simpsons sit on the TV couch, metal trays set up in front of them.
   Dear Lord, before we peel the foil back from Your bounty...
   -- Marge's TV dinner prayer, ``Radio Bart''
 Marge asks the Lord to keep an eye on poor Timmy, and Bart laughs.
   Homer: That Timmy is a real hero!
   Lisa:  How do you mean, Dad?
   Homer: Well, he fell down a well, and... he can't get out.
   Lisa:  How does that make him a hero?
   Homer: Well, that's more than you did!
   -- ``Radio Bart''
 On TV...
   Channel 6's own Krusty the Klown has gathered members of the entertainment
   community, who normally steer clear of fashionable causes...
   -- Kent Brockman's news report, ``Radio Bart''
 Kent Brockman interviews Krusty regarding his new project, a video
 called We're Sending Our Love Down the Well.
   I called my good friend Sting.  He said, ``Krusty, when do you need me?''
   I said, ``Thursday.''  He said, ``I'm busy Thursday.''
   I said, ``What about Friday?''  He said, ``Friday's worse than Thursday.''
   Then <he> said, ``How about Saturday?''  I said, ``Fine.''  True story!
   -- Krusty makes his music video, ``Radio Bart''
 Kent interviews Sting and Krusty, then we see the resulting video.
   Sting:  There's a hole in my heart as deep as a well for that poor little boy,
           who's stuck halfway to Hell...
   Sideshow Mel: Though we can't get him out, we'll do the next best thing...
   McBane: We go on TV and sing, sing, sing!
   All:    And we're sending our love down the well...
   Krusty: All the way down!
   All:    We're sending our love down the well...
   Krusty: Down that well!
   -- Krusty's music video, ``Radio Bart''
 Kent asks Krusty what he's going to do with the royalties.  Krusty explains
 that first, they have to pay for promotion, shipping, distribution, the
 limos they rented...  Whatever's left over, they throw down the well.

 The field around the well has turned into a Timmy O'Toole amusement park.

 Lisa watches another ridiculously violent Itchy and Scratch cartoon,
 this one with a well theme, and dedicated to Timmy O'Toole.  Meanwhile,
 SLH has gotten his hands, er, mouth on Bart's microphone, and growls
 emerge from the well.  The cartoon is interrupted for a special report,
 and Kent asks Dr. Marvin Monroe for an explanation.  Monroe explains that
 the child is returning to a feral stage.  He shows an artists's conception,
 which looks like a young wolfman.  Lisa sees Bart struggling to
 recover the microphone and puts two and two together.  Bart finally gets
 the mike and explains (in his Timmy voice) that he was trying to chew his
 foot off, then pretends to go to sleep.  Lisa tells Bart that when the
 townspeople realize that it was a hoax, they're going to want to kill him.
 Bart asks how they'll find out.  Lisa says, ``I bet you were stupid enough
 to have left a `Property of Bart Simpson' label on that radio.''  We take
 a wild ride through Springfield, down the well, and focus on the label
 Lisa described.  (Bart:  ``D'oh!'')

 That evening, the two cops read the Cinderella story down the well for
 Timmy, then go for a coffee break.  While they're gone, Bart ties a rope
 to a tree stump and rappels down the well.  (He's wearing a flashlight
 taped to his lucky red hat so he can see where he's going.)  The cops
 return, and Eddie says, ``Hey, I almost tripped over this thing,'' and
 unhooks the rope from the stump.  Bart screams as he falls...

 [End of Act Two.  Time: 14:27]

 Bart lands with a thud at the bottom of the well.  Poetically enough, his
 foot is trapped under a rock.  (``What did I do to deserve this?'')
 Bart yells for help and admits to his practical joke.  The cops decide
 to pull their own prank:  They leave.

 The two cops tell Homer and Marge that Bart is trapped down the well.

 Homer and Marge pay a visit to the well, which has drawn a small crowd.
   Don't worry, son.  Just 'cuz you're trapped in a hole doesn't mean you
   can't live a rich and full life.
   -- Homer's reassuring words, ``Radio Bart''
 Homer tosses down Bart's Krusty doll, which lands on Bart's head.  Bart
 complains, ``Ow!  Knock it off, you bald boob!''  Homer threatens, ``Hey,
 don't make me come down there!''

 Chief Wiggum says they've located a piece of machinery in Shreveport,
 Louisiana, but there's no room in the budget to bring it to Springfield.
   Your boy picked a bad time to fall down a well.  If he'd done it
   at the start of the fiscal year, no problemo.
   -- Chief Wiggum tells Marge it's all in the timing, ``Radio Bart''
 Kent interviews Homer and Marge...
   Kent:  The time has come for finger-pointing, and most of them are
          squarely aimed at the boy's parents.
   Homer: It's not our fault!  We didn't want the boy, he was an accident!
   Marge: Homer!
   Homer: Uh...  Could you edit that last part out?
   Kent:  Mr. Simpson, we're live, coast-to-coast.
   Homer: D'oh!
   -- `Radio Bart''
 The next morning, girls have already made up a jumprope rhyme about Bart.
 Lisa tells them to stop, and they do.  But once she's gone, they continue.
   And our <new> number one hit, ``I Do Believe We're Naked'', by
   Funky-See Funky-Do, replaces ``We're Sending Our Love Down the Well'',
   which plunges all the way down to number 97.
   -- Casey Kasem's countdown, ``Radio Bart''
 At a press conference...
   Ever since I called for the rescue of that Simpson lad, I have taken a lot
   of heat.  So, I am flip-flopping!  I say, let him stay down there!
   -- Mayor Diamond Joe Quimby, bending ever so gently, ``Radio Bart''
 Roving Reporter Dave Shutton composes his story, ``Town to Well Boy:
 No more free food''.  He gets a hot lead and speeds off.  The Springfield
 Shopper headline reads, ``Squirrel resembling Abraham Lincoln found.''

 Marge and Homer pay a late-night visit to the well.
   Marge: Bart honey, I made you an extra-warm sweater you can wear while you're
          down in the well.  [tosses it]
   Bart:  Mom, it's too big.
   Homer: Don't worry, you'll grow into it.
   -- Bart is trapped in a well, ``Radio Bart''
   You know, I've done a lot of bad stuff through the years.
   I guess now I'm paying the price.  But there's so many things
   I'll never get a chance to do.  Smoke a cigarette, use a fake ID,
   shave a swear word in my hair... [sobs]
   -- Bart's remorse, ``Radio Bart''
 Homer has had enough and grabs a shovel to start digging; Marge fetches
 a wheelbarrow.  Groundskeeper Willie says to himself, ``Now why didn't I
 think of that?'' and tears off his shirt, revealing an impressive physique.
 He joins Homer with a shovel.  A man appears out of nowhere with a pick-axe.

 Kent Brockman interrupts with a special bulletin:  The Lincoln Squirrel
 has been assassinated!

 Pretty soon, the entire town has joined the digging effort.  Apu discovers
 a dead canary, and everybody rushes out in panic.  Dr. Hibbert concludes
 that the canary died of natural causes, and everybody goes back.

 Sting continues shoveling...
   Marge: Sting, you look tired.  Maybe you should take a rest.
   Sting: Not while one of my fans needs me.
   Marge: Actually, I don't know if I've ever heard Bart play one of your albums.
   Homer: Shhhh.  Marge, he's a good digger!
   -- Digging Bart out of a well, ``Radio Bart''
 Once Sting breaks through, Homer and Marge push him out of the way so they
 can check on Bart.  Homer tells Bart, ``Don't worry, son.  They're going
 to make sure no one ever falls down this well again.''  After the field
 is restored to its former glory, Groundskeeper Willy hammers into the ground
 about thirty feet from the well a small sign that reads simply, ``Caution:
 Well.''  ``Thaht should dew it.''

 [End of Act Three.  Time: 20:03]
   Episode summaries Copyright 1992 by Raymond Chen.  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

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