[MG12] House of Cards

House of Cards                                         Written by Matt Groening
[$Id: mg12 1.1 92/03/04 23:15:03 raymond Exp Locker: raymond $]
> Didja notice...
    Voice credits:
        YEARDLEY SMITH as Lisa & Maggie
        NANCY CARTWRIGHT as Bart

    Animators were Wes Archer, Bill Kopp, and David Silverman.


    ... in Act One, Lisa appears to be wearing stockings?

> Assorted comments and observations
Brian Howard {bh} gives the timing for this short as 1:18, which means
nothing got cut for syndication.  (Yay!)

> Quotes and scene summary
% B = Bart, L = Lisa, A = Maggie
% Bart stands alone in a room in front of a table, on which stands an
% impressive house of cards.  Bart speaks quietly, so as not to disturb
% the cards.

B: One of <the> most difficult of all human endeavors:
   the house of cards.

% He carefully places a card atop the house, completing a roof.  (The
% obligatory tongue sticking out of the corner of the mouth.)

B: Whew!

% The door springs open.  It's Lisa and Maggie.

L: Whatcha doin'?

% The house of cards falls down as Bart reacts accordingly.

L: Really neat, Bart.  A pile o' cards.

% [End of Act One.  Time: 0:18]
% A view from the door.  Lisa and Maggie are on the other side of the
% table watching Bart struggle to place the two of diamonds.  On the
% wall is a picture of Homer and Marge.  There are two mouse holes
% in the wainscotting.  Lisa's advice is spoken in a teasing, practically
% taunting tone.

L: Take it easy...
   Whatever you do, don't get the jitters...

% Bart's hand starts shaking.  He glares angrily at Maggie.  Close-up of
% Maggie's mouth, sucking rhythmically.

L: One false move, and you're a goner...

% The shaking spreads to Bart's head.

L: You're too tense.
   Reeeeeeeeeeeeeee..... LAX!

% Lisa's sudden yelling jolts Bart into dropping the card, and the entire
% house of cards collapses.  Bart puts his head down and pounds the table
% in frustration.

L: You've got to learn to listen to our advice.

% Maggie removes her pacifier and speaks.

A: Dooey shooey gavem mush.

% (Anybody good at decoding baby talk?)
% [End of Act Two.  Time: 0:42]
% Lisa and Maggie stand outside a closed door.  The door opens.
% It's Bart, who speaks in a whisper.

B: Okay, it's ready.
   You can come in now, but don't make any noise.
   Not a sound.

% The girls follow him in.  Bart tip-toes.  On the table is an impressive
% house of cards.

B: It's very precarious.

% Pause.
% Maggie sucks once.
% The house of cards collapses.  Bart faints.
% [End of Act Three.  Time: 0:58]
% Lisa and Maggie standing in the doorway.  A colossal house of cards
% on the table.  Bart climbs a stack of boxes and stepstools so high
% that his head goes off screen.

B: This is one small step for a kid, one giant leap for kidkind.

% During Bart's speech, the camera angle shifts to a ceiling-mounted
% view.  Bart is very high up.  He places the last card (the ace of
% spades), but in the process loses his balance (*hulp*) and falls.
% He lies on the floor unconscious.  The house of cards remains standing.
% Lisa is amazed.  The two girls crouch over Bart's head.  Lisa speaks
% in that adorable Lisa-voice we all know and love.

L: Bart!  Wake up!  Wake up!  You did it!

% Bart regains consciousness.

B: [still somewhat confused]  What?

% The house of cards starts shaking, and soon collapses.

L: [annoyed]  Oh, forget it.

% Bart puts his head back down and closes his eyes.
% [End of Act Four.  Time: 1:18]
Shorts 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 Tracey Ullman Show, and the reproduced articles
remain the property of the original authors.  I'm just taking credit for the

Conversion by Howard Jones (ha.jones@ic.ac.uk)