[3G02] Lisa's Sax

Lisa's Sax                                  Written by Al Jean & Mike Reiss
                                                Directed by Dominic Polcino
Production Code: 3G02                     Original Airdate on FOX: 10/19/97
Capsule revision A (29-Feb-2000)

"TV Guide" synopsis

   None submitted.

   For reference, here's a TV Guide-like synopsis:
   The family reminisce on the way Lisa got her first saxaphone, when
   Bart destroys it. We learn the tale of Bart's first day of school,
   and Lisa's first signs of musical interest.

   (see "comments and other observations" for an observation concerning
   the entry in Canada's TV Guide.)

Title sequence

Blackboard:     I NO LONGER WANT MY MTV
                I NO LONGER WAN (at cutoff)

Couch gag:      Homer runs in, and splits in two, the top half jumping
                onto the couch. Then Marge (who is inside), Bart and Lisa.
                Maggie stays put sucking her pacifier.

Didja Notice...

Andrew Gill:
   ... Snowball I is accurately there?
   ... "It Blows" is where King Toots should be, and KT is across the
       (not a goof, because who is to know how it's changed over the
       years --hmw)

Jason Hancock:
   ... young Milhouse, Nelson, Wendell, Sherri, and Terri in the
   ... Homer says "It's Miller Time!" while holding a can of Duff?
   ... the picture of Albert Einstein in the gifted school?
   ... the three clocks in the picture?  (I couldn't tell what they were
       supposed to represent.)
   ... Michelangelo's David wears a fig leaf in Homer's fantasy?

Ondre Lombard:
   ... in 29 seasons, Krusty has only received FOUR Emmies?  (Probably due
       to the fact that the Academy hates him [9F19])
   ... Maggie was visibly UNWILLING to take the beer?
   ... when Homer watches "Twin Peaks," the music in the bizarre sequence
       Homer watches is the EXACT same music they used during Wiggum's
       confused dream with Lisa in 2F20, which was also a parody of "Twin
   ... the last time we saw Michelangelo's David, David's penis was
       replaced with a toe, but this time it's _covered_ with a fig?
   ... Snowball I looks exactly like Snowball II, only white?  
   ... This is also the only time we've seen Snowball I active--alive?
   ... Homer quotes the bible correctly for once (and in relation to a
       specific point he is making)?
   ... how awfully cute toddler Bart and Lisa are?

Mark Aaron Richey:
   ... the burning tire yard?
   ... the front yard is a mess?
   ... Hans is the one on the triangle?
   ... you can see Otto's silhouette in the school bus window?
   ... the picture over the fireplace in the flashback has only Homer,
       Marge, Bart, and Lisa?
   ... Homer wears his baseball cap backwards when he trys to interest
       Bart in catch?
   ... the puzzle Lisa puts together in Dr. J's office is of the Taj
   ... Dr. J's clock reads 3:00?
   ... the photo of Albert Einstein and the clocks set for different time
       zones at the preschool?
   ... the fig leaf covering David (SNUH would be happy)?
   ... Snowball I?
   ... Milhouse's glasses take up a bigger percentage of his face in
   ... in the dream sequence, Homer is sitting in front of the air
       conditioner like it's a TV?

Benjamin Robinson:
   ... this is the first episode to be rated under the new, expanded TV
       rating system?  (For the record, the rating was TV-PG-L, the "L"
       presumably earned by Bart's stand-up routine)
   ... this is Al Jean's first "Simpsons" writing credit without partner
       Mike Reiss?
   ... Lisa didn't wear the trademark pearls when she was three?  (This,
       despite wearing them as a baby in "Lisa's First Word [9F08]")

Voice credits

- Starring
    Dan Castellaneta (Homer, Announcer, Michigan J. Frog, Grampa, Willy,
      Barney, Music Store Owner)
    Julie Kavner (Marge, Selma, Patty)
    Nancy Cartwright (Bart, Chin-Ho, Todd, Nelson)
    Yeardley Smith (Lisa)
    Hank Azaria (Apu, Moe)
    Harry Shearer (Movie Announcer, Skinner, Man in "Twin Peaks," Dr.
      Hibbert, J. Loren Pryor, voice in Homer's Nobel Prize image, Kent
      Brockman, Ned Flanders, "Frutopia" Announcer)

- Special Guest Voice
    Fyvush Finkel (Himself, as Krusty)

- Also Starring
    Doris Grau (Lunchlady Doris)
    Pamela Hayden (Jimbo, Milhouse, Worm-Eating Boy)
    Maggie Roswell (Teacher, Miss Tillingham)

(voice credits courtesy of Ondre Lombard.)

Movie (and other) references

   + "I want my MTV" (slogan)
     - Bart's blackboard gag spoofs this slogan from MTV's early days {bjr}

   + "All in the Family" (TV show)
     - Homer and Marge sing a nostalgic tune, just as Archie and Edith
       Bunker at the top of their show {bjr}
     - as they are singing, the scene dissolves through several shots of
       Springfield, like "All in the Family's" opening credits {bjr}
     - Homer calls Bart "meathead," which was the way Archie referred to
       his son-in-law {bjr}

   + The Simpsons Ullman shorts (from "The Tracey Ullman Show" TV show)
     (meta reference)
     - Homer says that the Tracey Ullman show featured comedy and crudely-
       drawn filler material.  In our universe, that material was "The
       Simpsons," in short-subject form.  What I want to know is what
       preceded commercials on the Simpsons' version of "Tracey Ullman"
       -- "Fish Police?"

   + The Woody Allen-Mia Farrow marriage
     - Krusty and Woody share an ill-starred attempt at matrimony to this
       actress {bjr}
     - Mia's predisposition to adopt children is shown {bjr}

   + "The A-Team" (TV series)
     - in tonight's flashback, Dr. Hibbert fashions his hair after Mr.
       T's {bjr}

   + Coppertone Ad (commercial)
     - while Brockman introduces his piece on the heat wave, the graphic
       shows a dog tugging off his bathing suit, just like in the famous
       suntan lotion ad {bjr}

   + "The Scream" (painting)
     - the subject of this Norwegian painting takes up Homer's foosball
       challenge (By the way, this painting was stolen from a museum in
       Norway shortly before the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer.  I
       don't know whether or not the painting has been recovered) {bjr}

    + "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In"
      - the music after Lisa's sax is flattened {jh}
      - after Lisa's sax gets flattened, Hans Moleman, wearing a raincoat,
        rides by on a tricycle and flips over.  There was a guy on "Laugh-
        In" who did the same thing {bjr}

Previous episode references

[7G02] [2F04] Baby Maggie plays with blocks (cf. Lisa plays with blocks)
       Also, Maggie uses her blocks to spell out E=MC^2, at a younger age
       than Lisa, in fact.  (So who's the real gifted one whose gift will
       go to waste?) {ol}
[7G02] J. Loren Pryor decides that a Simpson child is gifted {ol}
[7G04] "B-I-N-G-O" {jh}
[7G08] Grampa playing piano during end credits {ms}
[7F07] Thanks to Bart, something important to Lisa ends up ruined {ol}
[7F09] Maggie playing with a dangerous household tool {dsb}
[7F09] Michelangelo's David on The Simpsons {ol}
[8F04] Homer goes to Moe's with Lisa {ol}
[8F06] Homer has to replace Lisa's saxophone {ol}
[8F14] [3G03] Marge addresses the familial pressure taking its toll on
       her {ol}
[8F15] The last time we saw J. Loren Pryor (did he die, too?) {ol}
[9F02] Reference to "The Ugly Duckling" {ol}
[9F02] Homer has to decide between something he really wants and Lisa {ol}
[9F04] [9F21] Flashback stories are started by Marge and Homer with
       accounts of pop culture happenings of yesteryear {ol}
[9F04] Homer gets sidetracked when the family intended to reminisce about
       Lisa {ol}
[9F14] A syringe found in an alcoholic beverage {ol}
[9F16] [9F17] Grampa's narcolepsy {ol}
[9F20] [3G01] Grampa's teeth wind up in the mouth of an animal.  (Is this
       a trend or something?) {ol}
[9F21] Homer playing a piano {dsb}
[9F22] A succession of unlikely subjects trampling something {dsb}
[1F08] [3F31] [4F20] An audience and associated laughter is inserted into
       The Simpsons {ol}
[1F09] Lisa loses her sax, and Homer doesn't seem to understand Lisa's
       attachment to it {ol}
[1F10] Imagination shows that Lisa will grow up to win the Nobel Prize {ol}
[1F22] A heatwave hits Springfield; Homer uses frozen boxes of vegetables
       to cool himself off {ol}
[2F06] Reference to "Gentle Ben" {ol}
[2F07] Grampa stunting Young Homer's self esteem {ol}
[2F07] Grampa making money selling sexual medication to dead heads {ol}
[2F10], [9F04], [2F02], [7G08] Snowball I references {ms}
[3F01] "Sax-a-ma-phone!" {jh}
[3F03] Ralph Wiggum's worm eating habit {ms}
[4F18] Homer speaks in another language {ol}

Characters appear without explanation or unexpectedly in the Simpson house

[9F22] Nelson pops up when everyone laughs at "Wide Load" on Homer's butt.
[1F10] When everyone says their catch phrase in the living room.
[1F21] Milhouse appears to help sing the Armour Hot Dogs song.
[3G03] Barney appears and disappears occasionally during Sharry Bobbins'

Homer stealing items from Ned {ol}:

[7F11] Borrows Ned's camera and apparently loses it (8F16)
[7F23] Steals Ned's weed whacker
[9F08] Steals Ned's TV tray
[3F23] Steals items from Ned and moves away to Cypress Creek with them
[4F06] Plans to steal Ned's newspaper
[3G01] Steals an assortment of items from Ned, and his birthday party and
       uses it during a camp outing with Bart; steals Ned's weathervane
[3G02] Steals Ned's air conditioning (this time Ned seems rather miffed
       about it)

Clips shown where Lisa is playing her sax {jg}:

[7G06] Lisa is playing with Bleedin Gums Murphy.
[8F06] (I think) Lisa is playing on the stage when Homer couldn't get the
[8F15] Lisa is playing while Bart is writing on the chalkboard.
[9F17] Lisa is playing while Homer is in a coma.

(Note: These aren't all of them.)

Freeze frame fun (FFF)

Sign {bjr}:

        SCHOOL FOR
        MAMA'S BOYS

Animation, continuity, and other goofs

= The WB logo is wrong (the "W" is right next to the "B," not on top of
  it), but this may have been done to avoid a lawsuit. {jh}
  (WB = Warner Bros. --hmw)

c The song playing at the beginning of the flashbacks is "Don't Worry, Be
  Happy" by Bobby McFerrin, but the closed-captioning shows lyrics to
  Hammer's "U Can't Touch This" instead. {jh}

* Bart was born in 1980 in 8F10, so he would be 10 in the flashback, and
  not five; also, Lisa would be 8 since she was born in 1982 in 9F08! {jg}

= Just before Bart enters the house after the first day of school, a
  picture of Maggie can be seen behind Marge -- didn't this episode take
  place before Maggie was born? {jh}

* Jimbo has always been portrayed as being teen-aged (obviously to denote
  failing in school).  Yet, he is portrayed as being the same age as Bart
  and the other kids in kindergarten. {ol}

* I won't pretend I know that the Ebola virus didn't exist in 1990, but I
  know that it wasn't as commonly known back then as it became in 1995.

= I thought "The A-Team" had bit the dust in 1987 -- yet Dr. Hibbert
  dresses like Mr. T in 1990. {jh}
  (some people take time to settle in with the new trends. --hmw)

- J. Loren Pryor's voice is off.  In comparison to him in "Bart the
  Genius," he sounds more like Smithers than Mr. Burns. {ol}

* Why would a jigsaw puzzle just be lying around J. Loren Pryor's office,
  especially near a baby that could put a piece in its mouth and choke on
  it? {ol}

* OFF have some fans back in 1F21. {ms}
  (fans = cooling fans, air conditioning etc. --hmw)

* If Snowball I run over in 1990 [9F04], how come Marge mentioned in 7G08
  (Aired at Christmastime, 1989), that she run over earlier that year? {ms}
  (should be in the 9F04 capsule, but since Snowball I was in this episode,
  I'll include it here too. --hmw)

= Lisa correctly counts thirteen pickled eggs, however, in a previous
  shot, there are clearly more than thirteen pickled eggs. (submitted by
  "Ian" seafood@laker.net.)

* Doesn't Grampa need some sort of denture cream to make those teeth stick
  to his gums? {ol}

* The true origin of Maggie's pacifier, according to 2F10, is that Maggie
  found one and grew attached to it when she was born. {ol}

An anti-goof: No, they didn't get Snowball II's color wrong.  That white
  cat was her predecessor, Snowball I.  Note that this means that Snowball
  I died after Lisa's third birthday, but before her eighth. {bjr}


Dale G. Abersold:  A refreshing change of pace: another (long overdue)
   flashback into the past lives of The Simpsons, helping us see how Bart
   and Lisa came to be the great characters they are.  Also refreshing that
   the characters stayed in character, that the plot was not outlandish,
   and that it remained very funny.  Although it is not perfect, this
   episode is very easy to love.  (Grade: A-)

Jesse Bergheimer:  Indeed, those were the days, but in this case, a new
   episode of "The Simpsons" has actually been up to standard. Nevermind
   that this was a spare "3G" ep., written by the AWOL Al and Mike guys.
   This one has been the best one so far in the season (save for the fact
   that this is the first new episode in 3 weeks, and that the coveted
   Halloween episode is next week).
     The story of Lisa obtaining her saxaphone and Bart beginning
   Springfield Elementary were great, leaving room for lots of jokes and
   plot twists. My complaints are few, and this has probably been the first
   episode in a long time that I've really hollered at. Great work, Simpson
   staff! Keep it up!  (Grade: A)

Ben Collins:  OFF is back from two weeks of subpar material and two
   more of BASEBALL. Many hilarious moments, and fine social commentary
   on the education system and general restriction of childhood
   creativity. Plus, we get to see more of the "old Homer," the goofy,
   childlike guy who sacrifices his own comfort for his daughter.
   Unfortunately, annoying glimmers of self-indulgence and self-regard
   (the "D'oh" on the sax, for example) keep it from that precious A.
   (Grade: B+)

Chris Courtois:  "Lisa's Sax" was a perfectly satifactory, nothing special,
   middle of the road episode. It recovered from an overly
   referencer-heavy, "Critic"-esque first 5 minutes, and managed to spin a
   decent flashback yarn. (Of course, I've enjoyed all of the flashback
   shows except "..And Maggie Makes Three", so I'm slightly biased towards
   those.) Not the great character depth that Jean and Reiss used to bring
   to the series in the early days (I didn't feel Bart's pain the way I did
   in "Bart Gets an F"), but at least the characters weren't foils for a
   bunch of pop culture gags the way they have been in the other 3G shows.
   No huge belly laughs, but enough amusing moments after the opening to
   merit a... (Grade: B)

Andrew Gill:  I liked this ep.  The refs to past occurances were great.
   My only complaint is that the previous episode refs were too forced
   (there's no need to match tubababa in Beethoven's Fifth).  (Grade: B)

Ondre Lombard:  The Simpsons have returned after 27 episodes of
   abomination and/or mediocrity. We have been returned a Homer who is
   halfway sensitive, a Lisa who is smart, the bad Bart who we used to know
   and love, and the loving but harried Marge. (Even Maggie has been made
   useful for once!)  The flashback story was marvelous, especially in
   comparison to the last ("And Maggie Makes Three").  Toddler Bart and
   Lisa is remarkably cute.  The best thing of all, though, I'd have to say
   is that this was truly SIMPSONS. Not, The Simpsons help us learn
   unwanted secrets about other characters.  Not, The Simpsons help a
   special guest actor in some way.  Not, The Simpsons in a wacky or stupid
   adventure.  It was a rather genuine outing that was funny without being
   contrived.  My big complaints would have to be that once again, the
   ending is off.  The nonsense with Grampa and Apu I didn't care for.  Had
   they ended off the episode with the wonderful montage of Lisa and her
   sax, and Lisa's solo (maybe a pull out shot of Lisa's room), it would've
   been absolutely perfect.  And a lot of the sequences with Grampa and Apu
   in them were unnecessary, and not particularly funny.  (I'd suspect they
   were thrown in like the longer opening because the episode was too
   short).  All and all, the strongest showing in months.  (Grade: A)

Michael K. Neylon:  A very strong outing, and, being the first season 9
   episode that we've seen, gives at least some promise to the rest of the
   batch (though, reading the synopsis for these worries me...)  (Grade: A)

Werner Peeters:  There's definitely something about this 3G series of
   episodes that makes them way above the rest. Once you disregard the
   discontinuity goof (which is almost inevitable since cartoon characters
   never age) of putting the scene in 1990 - they even made a nice
   allusion to the Simpsons shorts - this is one superb showing. It's
   always very cute to see Bart and Lisa as pre-schoolers - I just cracked
   up when Bart excitedly shouted out "School will be fun!" And then the
   younger versions of Milhouse and Jimbo and Nelson! This episode was
   pure bliss!  (Grade: A+)

Mark Aaron Richey:  Another 3G episode, another winner. The show comes
   back from  "The Cities of New York, Baltimore, and Cleveland vs. Homer
   Simpson (and the rest of Fox's lineup)" with a terrific flashback
   episode that deftly chronicles Bart's beginnings as the class clown and
   Lisa's musicial development.  This episode offers perhaps the best
   characterization of Homer in quite some time.  A truly delightful
   episode.  (Grade: A-)

Benjamin Robinson:  A slight episode, given the importance of the subject
   matter to Lisa's development, but entertaining nonetheless.  "Lisa's
   Sax" would probably have been stronger if the story hadn't tried to
   explore so many different territories.  As it is, it's a funny episode
   whose plot never quite jells.  (Grade: B+)

Donni Saphire-Bernsten:  Hmmm. This episode read kind of like the old
   Simpsons- old in that they stuck to a plot, made some sort of sense,
   and still verged on hilarity. I liked it a lot, but there were a couple
   of things I just sort of shook my head at. The Fruitopia bashing, the
   WB bashing, etc- what's the point they're trying to make? It's not
   satire, just bitter bad-mouthing. Some other things didn't make sense
   either. What was the whole "Simpsons is filmed in front of a live
   studio audience" supposed to mean? Why were they remeniscing about the
   '70s at the start of the show? But I don't want to malign the entire
   episode. Grandpa was, without exception, hilarious. So was Homer
   watching Twin Peaks and Bart in school. Principal "Sinner"- that just
   kept me laughing for a minute straight. And all in all, it could have
   been a lot worse. Still, the odd non-sequitirs (sp?) leave me giving
   a... (Grade: B-)

Terry Yocham:  Without a doubt the BEST episode of the new season.  I've
   always enjoyed Al Jean's work.  The jokes started out kinda slow but
   picked up with the "Milhouse is gay" thing.  Other points in which I was
   ROFLMAF: Bart's picture, Maggie's "Miller Time", and Moe's hypodermic
   "parasol." My VCR stopped recording at the very end and I missed
   Grandpa's "Where's Maggie" Joke. Was it good?  (Grade: B+)

Yours truly:  A strong showing. The episode was more audience-warming than
   previous episodes in recent seasons. Not only did the episode focus on
   the family reminiscing on times past, it made me reminisce on past
   Simpsons episodes. It's a really pleasant episode with fantastic
   characterization (with a few slips here and there, however), many funny
   lines, strong focus on the plot, no unnecessary sidetracks, and a good
   ending. It's great to see Homer standing by his daughter by spending the
   much needed air conditioning funds on a new saxaphone for Lisa. This is
   how we like it.  (Grade: A)

Comments and other observations

>> Would you kiss the frog, baby?

Ondre Lombard: The well-deserved slam on the WB Network might be lost on a
   moderately large group of viewers.  Here is the background on the "Kiss
   the Frog!" network.
     The WB could be placed as the sixth television network (since it is
   always the lowest rated) and it might be a few (decades) before it
   changes the term from Big Four to Big Six.  In Spring of 1995 (I believe
   March), Warner Brothers, in competition with Paramount which created
   UPN, created a television network that started off with four sitcoms
   (three of which are still on the air): "The Wayans Bros.," "The Parent
   'Hood," "Unhappily Ever After" and "Muscle."  Naturally, these series
   accepted considerably low ratings, always winding up the bottom four
   shows.  And not much has changed since then, in spite of WB often lying
   and saying it's the fastest growing network.
     As of 1997, they've expanded to three nights of television and have
   their own children's programming (some of which is arguably superior to
   most of their primetime fare.)  In explanation of the parody, The WB
   can't be taken seriously partially because they have a singing and
   dancing frog for their mascot.  Specifically, the singing frog from the
   classic 1955 cartoon short "One Froggy Evening," Michigan J. Frog.
   Michigan often dances and sings for "We'll be right back..." bumpers for
   the WB, sings parental guidelines for each WB show and even accosts the
   helpless viewers of its Los Angeles affiliate, KTLA.
     The WB is especially not taken serious because the network's content
   is entirely made up of 10 badly-scripted sitcoms and 2 dramas.  Unlike
   the Fox Network, the WB apparently figured that programming safe sitcoms
   with horribly formulatic plots would put them on the map, and obviously
   it hasn't.  In its fourth season of television, its programs still
   dangle in the bottom 20 TV series, and WB often gets a 3.0 (average)
   rating for the week.
     Why some people might not understand the reference?  The WB doesn't
   have complete coverage of the U.S., and a lot of its affiliates are so
   bad that some cities may not bother to tune in.  (They run their shows
   on the WGN cable network probably to catch more viewers.)
     As for the people who are more easily made aware of the WB, the
   explanation stated above explains why this frog sings, "Another bad
   show that no one will see."  It's too bad the episode wasn't made in
   1997, or they could've ripped on that stupid "Dubba Dubba" dance.
     Incidentally, the WB has yet to play any movies on any night of
   programming which, personally I find rather idiotic considering they
   might score some ratings if they would play one of their own recent
   feature films on television.  At any rate, even Krusty's crappy TV movie
   wouldn't have a home on the WB yet.

>> Baldness is hereditary!

Ondre Lombard: Homer apparently went completely bald either during Lisa's
   second year of life, or the beginning of her third.  In 9F21, we see
   that Homer has a head of hair, but Lisa is over 1 and Bart is about 3.
   9F21, however, had a flashback that went back seven years.  3G02 goes
   back 5 years.  So, it was just two years away from being inconsistant
   regarding Homer's hair.

>> The reason behind Bart's underachievement

Ondre Lombard: Apparently that unkind kindergarten teacher is responsible
   for Bart's underachieving.  What is truly sad is that Bart actually
   liked the idea of school and learning at one time.  But he found himself
   using insubordinance and rebellious behavior as his only means of
   comfort after being mentally stunted by the teacher.  Makes Bart's bad
   boy nature seem almost sad in a way.

>> I pity the fool who can't come up with funny headers! (me -- hmw)

Ondre Lombard: Dr. Hibbert must have decided to go 80s-retro.  In the last
   flashback story, he has the trendy 90s hairstyle for black men.
   However, in this one (which also takes place in 1990), he looks like Mr.
   T, a pop culture icon of the early-to-mid 1980s.

>> Warner Bros.

Jason Hancock: The WB (Warner Brothers) Network was launched in January
   1995, and features cartoons (like "Animaniacs"), dramas (like "Buffy the
   Vampire Slayer") and some pretty lame comedies (like "Sister Sister" and
   "Unhappily Ever After").  Its mascot, Michigan J. Frog, was first seen
   in the mid-1950s cartoon "One Froggy Evening."  The WB's ratings are the
   lowest among the six networks, largely because most people don't receive
   it except through cable (thanks to Chicago "superstation" WGN) or
   through low-powered UHF affiliates.  Incidentally, this leaves UPN as
   the only broadcast network that has not been attacked by OFF.

Ben Collins:  Let's start this one with a joke:
 Q: How is the WB network like the universe 15 billion years ago?
 A: Black with no stars.

   The WB started in 1995 with a few big-city affiliates, then quickly
   snapped up many small, formerly independent UHF outlets across the
   country. It's since become a favorite target of ridicule as a last
   resort for shows that couldn't make it anywhere else.

>> Un-d'oh-stood!

Jason Hancock: Any arguments over how Homer's "annoyed grunt" is spelled
   should be put to rest after this episode -- it's "D'oh!"

>> Simpsons Writing Duos

Ben Collins: The Simpsons' staff has had many writers who generally write
   as a duo (Jay Kogen/Wallace Wolodarsky; Bill Oakley/Josh Weinstein; Al
   Jean/Mile Reiss). The duo often works as a unit and takes on a character
   of its own. This is the first episode ever individually credited to a
   duo member (in this case, Al Jean without Mike Reiss).

>> Disco Stu doesn't advertise

Haynes Lee: The Canadian TV Guide said that in 3G02 that Homer Simpsons
   had a bad case of "disco fever". But he made only a few references to
   disco music in "Those were the days". Could there have been a Disco Stu 

>> Lisa's ... Tuba?

Benjamin Robinson: During the Simpsons' run on the Tracey Ullman show,
   Bart and Lisa were almost the same character.  Both siblings had a
   cavalier attitude towards authority (their parents in particular) and
   a tendency to stir up entertaining trouble.  When "The Simpsons" became
   a half-hour show, however, that wasn't going to do; Bart and Lisa would
   seem redundant. The producers needed something to distinguish the two
   characters. Since Bart's rebellious personality was well-established,
   the producers focused on finding a good "hook" for Lisa.
     The idea of Lisa being musically talented apparently surfaced early.
   The Question of the Day was now, "which instrument?"  David Silverman,
   the show's head honcho for animation, suggested the tuba, an instrument
   that he had played in high school.  That didn't click, for some reason.
   (My suspicion is that the tuba was perceived as too "stodgy" an
   instrument.  Never mind that the one and only tuba player I know
   personally was a popular guy in high school; we are talking purely
   about perception here.)  The producers brainstormed a bit, and then
   James L. Brooks, one of the executive producers, suggested the baritone
   sax.  She could be, Brooks said, a bright, expressive kid who was
   overshadowed by her rambunctious brother.  Everyone at the table looked
   at each other -- it was one of those moments when you realize that you
   have just stumbled upon the perfect answer to a problem -- and the
   baritone sax became Lisa's instrument of choice.

   (The above information was derived from reports made by Aaron Varhola
   and "dlsmay@aol.com" about David Silverman's lecture to fans in San

>> Perhaps it was the baby baritone sax

Benjamin Robinson: When the newsgroup rec.music.makers.saxophone formed, I
   subscribed for a short while in the hopes of learning more about Lisa's
   favorite instrument.  Not too long after I joined, someone asked for
   advice on behalf of his nine-year-old daughter.  It seems the girl
   wanted to play the sax, and her father wanted to know if this was a
   practical idea.
     The general opinion was that a nine-year-old could learn the
   instrument.  However, a few people suggested that she start with the
   alto sax.  This sax would be easier for a child to learn because it was
   fairly compact, and the keys would all be within reach for little
   hands.  Anything much larger that that would be physically impossible
   to manage.  The baritone sax that Lisa plays is a much bigger
   instrument, and would be hard for an eight-year-old to deal with, let
   alone a three-year-old.  It looks like Lisa is exceptional in more ways
   than one.
     By the way, the impression that I got from r.m.m.s is that the
   saxophone is not the instrument to buy if you're buying on a tight
   budget.  The price tag on a baritone sax, for example, is closer to
   four digits, not $200.

>> Douglas Wambaugh for the defense!

Dale G. Abersold: Fyvush Finkel is best known for his role as Douglas
   Wambaugh, the gonzo defense attorney on the late, lamented "Picket
   Fences."  He deservedly won an Emmy for the role.  Finkel, who has
   appeared in other television shows and films (such as "Nixon"), got his
   start as a vaudeville performer.  He sometimes jokingly claims to be
   personally responsible for killing Yiddish vaudeville. Besides "The
   Simpsons", he has recently appeared in a pair of Nick cartoons, 
   "Rugrats" and "Ahh! Real Monsters."

>> Where are they now?

Andrew Gill: Bobby McFerrin is now doing classical. The Artist Formerly
   Known as Prince is out. Fruitopia (Distributed by Coca-Cola) is no
   longer faddish (I still like it, though). Mr. T hasn't been publicly
   seen since 1988.

>> All in the Family

Mark Aaron Richey: One of the most popular and groundbreaking sitcoms
   of all time, "All in the Family" focused on the lives of Archie Bunker
   (Carroll O'Connor), a blue collar laborer who could politely be called
   a bigot (to say the least), wife Edith (Jean Stapleton), his nice but
   easily flustered wife), daughter Gloria (Sally Struthers) and
   son-in-law Mike (Rob Reiner), aka "Meathead", who didn't see eye-to-eye
   with Archie on anthing.
     The show (a remake of the British sitcom "Till Death Us Do Part")
   premiered in 1971 and soon became one of CBS's and TV's top hits.  It
   didn't shy away from dealing with controversial issues (the first season
   alone had episodes dealing with racism and homophobia-in 1971!).  It
   spawned two spinoffs, "Maude" (about Edith's liberal cousin) and "The
   Jeffersons" (focusing on the Bunker's newly affluent African-American
   neighbors), which spawned spinoffs of their own (the successful "Good
   Times" and the forgotten "Checking In" respectivly).
     In 1979, Jean Stapleton left the show (Edith died), and the focus
   switched to Archie's newly acquired bar, and the show became "Archie
   Bunker's Place", where it went on for a few more seasons.
   Afer the show finally ended, it had two short-lived sequels, "Glora"
   (about Archie's newly divorced daughter) and "704 Hauser" (the
   combative, African American family that now lived in Archie's old
     The show proved how popular it really was in 1991, when CBS paired
   classic reruns of the series with "AITF"'s producer Norman Lear's new
   series "Sunday Dinner".  "Family" got better raitings.
   The opening credits panned from a shot of New York, down the Bunkers'
   street, and to their house, as Archie and Edith warbled "Those Were the
   Days", while Archie brandished a cigar (More about what Marge and Homer
   mentioned in their song later).  There is a page on snpp.com that lists
   some comparisons between Archie and Homer.

>> Filmed in front of a live studio audience.

Mark Aaron Richey: Since the Fifties, it has been common for almost all
   prerecorded comedies to film or tape in front of an audience.  Sitcoms
   during the seventies and eighties announced this fact either before or
   after every show.  However, no sitcom today announces who the series is
   filmed before (I believe that "Cheers" was the last show to continue
   that practice).

>> Mia Farrow

Mark Aaron Richey: This is obviously a ref to the relationship between
   Farrow and Woody Allen, which ended badly after she discovered he was
   sleeping with her 18-year-old adopted daughter Soon-Yi, who, as it came
   out, was the only one of Farrow's many, many, many adopted children that
   he knew the name of.

>> Laugh-In

Mark Aaron Richey: Hit variety show from the late sixties and early
   seventies that was chock-full of puns, bad jokes, running gags, phrases,
   blackouts, and everything else the writers and performers could fit in.
   One of the running gags was a grown man wearing a raincoat falling off a

>> The Artist Formerly Known as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince

Mark Aaron Richey: One of the most revolutionary singers/songwriters/talent
   scouts in music history, in 1993, he changed his name from Prince to an
   unprononcible symbol that combined the symbols for male and female.  His
   spoken name became "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince".

>> Tracey Ullman

Mark Aaron Richey: British comedians whose variety show was one of the
   first Fox programs.  Despite good reviews, it never caught on
   ratings-wise, and ended in 1990.

>> Crudely drawn filler material

Mark Aaron Richey: The Simpsons (well, duh!).  Actually, Homer was wrong.
   By 1990, OFF was no longer on "Tracy Ullman"; they had been spun off
   into their own show in early 1990; a show that you are currently
   reading a discussion of right now (well, duh II: the second insult!)

>> Twin Peaks

Mark Aaron Richey: Bizarre ABC series from David Lynch obstintaly about the
   investagation of FBI agent Dale Cooper into the murder of high school
   student Laura Palmer, who turned out to be into a lot of dark stuff.
   However, Lynch filled the series with bizarre characters and images that
   made very little sense.  Still, the series became a cult hit in the
   spring of 1990, but anger began to grow when the series went into the
   summer without revealing who killed Laura.  The anger mounted the
   following fall, and ratings fell off dramatically.  There were very few
   people still around when it was revealed that Laura's murderer was her
   father, who was possessed by an evil spirit.  The series was canceled in
   1991.  That didn't stop Lynch from making one more visit to Twin Peaks.
   "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me", a prequel chronicling the last seven
   days of Laura's life, opened in August 1992 to horrible reviews and,
   after the first weekend, no business.

>> The Divine Miss Sarah Bernhardt

Mark Aaron Richey: One of the greatest actresses of the Victorian era,
   Bernhardt rose to the top in her hometown of Paris, and became one of
   the most famous women in the world.  She seemed to specialize in playing
   men's roles, like Hamlet.  Even after she lost a leg to an injury, she
   kept performing.

>> Balzac

Mark Aaron Richey: A great French writer, he wrote realist novels during
   the first half of the nineteenth century.  He grew up without air

>> Those were the (Simpsons) days!

Mark Aaron Richey:

BeeGees - Three brother singing group that rose to superstardom with the
   disco hit "Stayin' Alive" in 1977.  Unfortunally for them, they became
   synonymous, and when disco's popularity took a sudden nosedive, so did
   theirs.  They are still around, insisting that they are not a disco
   band, though they no longer sell many records.

John Travolta - Late 70's star of two of the biggest hits of the
   decade-"Grease" and "Saturday Night Fever", which featured "Stayin'
   Alive".  Unfortunately, his career also nosedived at the end of the
   disco era, and with a few exceptions, it took him nearly 20 years to
   Face/Off with his image and become a Phenomenon again.

Elvis's weight - Throughout the 1970's until his death in 1977, many
   people followed with amusement the King's ever incresing weight.

Gentle Ben - Late 60's drama starring Clint Howard (Ron's brother) as a
   little boy with a big bear friend (Ben).  The two were always getting
   into misadventures.

Sheriff Lobo - Started out as a minor character (played by Claude Akins)
   on the lame late seventies action comedy "BJ and the Bear" (a knockoff
   of the Clint Eastwood movie "Every Which Way You Can"), but got so
   popular (somehow) that he got his own show.  Programming decisions like
   that is why NBC was about where the WB is now in 1980.

Disco Duck - Roller disco move

Fleetwood Mac - Great seventies band that produced one of the biggest hits
   of all time with their album "Rumours".  Their songs are (often)
   autobiographical works on the love and pain they inflict on themselves
   and others.  They are currently on a triumphant comeback tour and have
   released a brilliant new live album, "The Dance", that I encourage
   everyone to go and buy (yes, I'm a Fleetwood Mac fan)

>> Miscellaneous, Etc.

Benjamin Robinson: Various odds'n'ends from this show.

-    As Marge preps Bart for his first school day, Bobby McFerrin's
     "Don't Worry, Be Happy" plays in the background.
-    Doris Grau, as Lunch Lady Doris, makes what I think is the first
     posthumous appearance on the show.
-    Curious George is a series of children's stories about an
     inquisitive monkey.  The Ebola Virus is one of the world's
     deadliest viruses, capable of literally liquidating its victims'
     internal organs.  Monkeys sometimes carry the virus, so
     juxtaposing the two makes some sort of sense.
-    "Twin Peaks" was a creepy but nearly incomprehensible but TV
     series airing around 1990.  It was the brainchild of David Lynch,
     who is now known for a series of creepy but nearly
     incomprehensible movies.
-    Please, let's not have any "Milhouse is Gay" threads.  I think his
     crush on Lisa (in "Lisa's Wedding (2F15)" and "Lisa's Date with
     Density (4F01)") and his brief romance with Samantha ("Bart's
     Friend Falls in Love (8F22)") prove that Dr. Pryor was mistaken.
-    Balzac (1799 - 1850; well before the age of air conditioning) was
     a French novelist and playwright.  I think he once wrote, "All
     great fortunes are founded on a crime," which I thought was a cool
-    When Fruitopia was first rolled out, it was promoted with an
     aggressively New Age-y campaign that suggested drinking it would
     bring about universal brotherhood and good karma.  Not only was
     this neo-Hippie posturing annoying, but it was hypocritical, as
     well.  Fruitopia is the product of Coca-Cola, one of the largest
     corporate entities on the Earth.

Quotes and scene summary

% Act one.  Homer, smoking a cigar, and Marge sit at the family piano, 
% singing their own version of the "All In The Family" theme.

        Homer: Oy, the way the Bee Gee's played,
        Marge: Movies John Travolta made,
        Homer: Guessing how much Elvis weighed,
Homer & Marge: Those were the days!
        Marge: And you knew where you were then,
        Homer: Watching shows like "Gentle Ben",
Homer & Marge: Mister, we could use a man like Sheriff Lobo again!
        Homer: Disco Duck and Fleetwood Mac,
        Marge: Coming out of my eight-track,
Homer & Marge: Michael Jackson still was black, those were the days!
-- A little sing-song, ``Lisa's Sax''

% Applause, and fade out.  Of course, don't forget the usual reminder, 
% provided by a voice-over, that "The Simpsons" is filmed before a live
% studio audience.

% In the living room, Bart sits on the couch, watching TV.  Homer comes
% in from the kitchen, drinking a can of beer.

Homer: Hey there, meathead, what are you watching?
 Bart: Aw, I thought I'd check out the Warner Brothers Network.
       [On the TV, an singing and dancing amphibian similar to "Michigan
       J. Frog" appears on screen, in front of a logo similar to the "WB"
 Frog: [singing] We're proud to present on the WB, another bad show that no 
       one will see! [disgustedly walking off] Ah, I need a drink.
-- Watching TV, ``Lisa's Sax''

% Said show that no one will see, except for Bart and Homer, is about
% Krusty the clown.

It's the TV movie of the year!  "The Krusty the Clown Story: Booze, Drugs,
Guns, Lies, Blackmail, and Laughter!"  Starring Fyvush Finkel as Krusty
the Clown!
-- Fun for the whole family! TV announcer, ``Lisa's Sax''

% In the movie, "Krusty" sits among a circle of clowns at the Betty Ford
% Center in the "Clown Detox Wing", baring his soul.

I went through a five-year orgy of non-stop pills, and booze, with
nothing to show for it but four Emmys and a Peabody Award! [groans]
-- Krusty the clown played by Fyvush Finkel, ``Lisa's Sax''

% Back at home with the Simpsons, Bart seems to actually like the movie.

All right!  They're going to show his disastrous marriage to Mia Farrow!
-- Bart, on Krusty, ``Lisa's Sax''

% They sure do; "Krusty" is standing in his living room in a sea of kids.

 Fyvush: Chan Ho, your mother Mia and I are getting a divorce.
Chin Ho: Chan Ho is over there!  I am Chin Ho!
 Fyvush: Whoever you are!  Just pass it along, kid!
-- The Krusty the Clown movie, ``Lisa's Sax''

[watching the show] Heh, heh, heh, heh!  What a bad father!
[As if on cue, Maggie walks by with a power drill in her arms, falling
onto the floor from the weight. Homer ignores this.]
-- Homer, All-American father, ``Lisa's Sax''

% From the top floor comes a familiar baritone groan; it's Lisa, practicing
% on her saxophone.

Lisa!  Knock off that racket!
-- I can't hear the bad father on TV. Homer, ``Lisa's Sax''

% Lisa calls back from the top of the stairs, holding her instrument.

 Lisa: But Dad, I'm supposed to practice an hour a day!
Homer: I'll practice you!
 Lisa: You'll practice me...what does that mean?  Is it supposed to be some
       sort of a threat?
-- Kids are getting smarter, ``Lisa's Sax''

% Lisa walks back to her room and continues wailing.  Homer growls in
% frustration. Homer asks Bart to make her stop.
% Bart murmurs in assent, and confronts Lisa, who is sitting on her bed.

Lisa: Look Bart, I have to practice my saxophone, and you can't stop me!
Bart: Oh yeah?  My dear Lisa, you are eight, and I am ten.  And in my two
      extra years on this planet, I've learned a few tricks.
      [Bart thinks for a moment, deciding which trick to use.  He opts for
      the traditional means.]
Bart: Gimmie that sax!
Lisa: No!
Bart: I said gimmie it!
Lisa: I said NO!
Bart: Gimmie it!
Lisa: No!
-- Kids, don't try this at home, ``Lisa's Sax''

% After this goes on for a while, Bart yanks the sax from her hands, and 
% Lisa watches in slow-mo terror as it flies out her window, into the
% street. It lands with a clatter, and is immediately crushed by car, a
% truck driven by Hans Moleman, and a few jumps from Nelson, accompanied
% by the usual "Ha, ha!".  Not to mention the tricycle-riding man from
% Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In falling onto it.  Back inside, Lisa holds her
% beloved instrument on the family room couch, sobbing.

Homer: Aw, Lisa, it doesn't look so bad.
 Lisa: Oh yeah?
       [She turns the saxophone so both we and Homer can see that it's
       been rendered perfectly flat.]
-- ``Lisa's Sax''

Homer: Ew!  Lisa, honey, if it'll make you feel better I'll destroy
       something Bart loves.
 Bart: Hey!
Homer: Don't worry, son, if that bothers you, I'll destroy something
       Maggie loves!
       [At this, Maggie looks at Homer and clutches the power drill she's
       holding tighter.]
-- That way everyone's happy, ``Lisa's Sax''

 Lisa: Dad, you don't understand.  This saxophone is like my oldest friend.
       I've had it for as long as I can remember.
Homer: You don't remember how you got it?
 Lisa: [dejected] Nuh-uh.
Homer: Oh, well!  It all happened in 1990!  Back then, "The Artist Formerly
       Known As Prince" was currently known as "Prince".  Tracey Ullman was
       entertaining America with songs, sketches, and crudely drawn filler
       material.  And Bart was eagerly awaiting his first day of school.
-- Thank God this isn't a clip show, ``Lisa's Sax''

% Flashback, accompanied by the song "Don't Worry, Be Happy".  Bart,
% lunchbox in hand, stands at the front door as Marge gets him ready to be
% sent off to school.  Baby Lisa sits on the floor nearby, playing with
% letter blocks.  She stacks them to make the word "STAR". She tries to
% show Marge, but Marge says she's busy getting Bart ready.
% With a frustrated "hmph!" Lisa knocks the blocks over with a smack.  They
% form the word "RATS" on the floor.

Homer: Now son, on your first day of school, I'd like to pass on the words
       of advice my father gave me.
       [Homer remembers his own first day, where Abraham was kneeling down
       to have a talk with him.]
  Abe: Homer, you're dumb as a mule and twice as ugly!  If a strange man
       offers you a ride, I say, take it!
       [Homer re-awakens from his mind wanderings.]
Homer: Lousy traumatic childhood!

-- Reminiscing time, ``Lisa's Sax''

% Outside, a horn beeps.

Marge: Ooh, there's the bus!  Goodbye sweetheart! [she hugs him]
 Bart: [happily] School will be fun!
-- If only, ``Lisa's Sax''

% In the school auditorium, Bart's new Principal gives his opening 
% remarks to the new class of students.

Welcome kindergarteners, I'm Principal Sinner...Skinner!
[The crowd of kids laugh.]
Well, that's it.  I've lost them forever.
-- Class after class of ugly, ugly children, ``Lisa's Sax''

Skinner: Now I'd like to introduce you to Lunch Lady Doris, who'll serve you
         healthy, nutrious meals.
  Doris: Yeah, right.
Skinner: Ms. Phipps, the school nurse, who will provide ointments
         and unguents, and Jimbo, the school bully, who will administer
         noogies and nipple twisters.
  Jimbo: I look forward to wailing on all of you.
-- First impressions, ``Lisa's Sax''

% The kids gulp.  In Bart's class, he and his new schoolmates sit in a
% circle, singing "And Bingo Was His Name-O".  We watch as Bart does a solo.

  Class: [singing] There was a farmer, had a dog, and Bingo was his name-O!
   Bart: B-I-(clap)-(clap)-O!  B-I-(clap)-(clap)-O!  
         B-I-(clap)-(clap)-(clap)!  And Bingo was his name-O!
Teacher: [observing with clipboard] Added extra clap; not college material.
-- Bart's inner child, ``Lisa's Sax''

% Later that day, Bart skips through the grass, humming happily.
% Groundskeeper Willie stops him and yells, through a thick Scottish
% accent, undecipherable exclamations at the boy.  Bart looks at him
% blankly. He points to a sign, which reads "Ach! Keep off the grass!".
% Bart sees the sign and walks melancholically away.  Back at home, Bart
% comes home and walks silently inside the front door.  Marge calls to
% him. Marge cheerfully asks how his day was.
% His lunchbox in one hand and his blanket in the other, Bart walks up
% the stairs without answering.  Back in the present, Homer and Marge
% continue their piano duet.

              Homer: Bart was feeling mighty blue,
              Marge: It's a shame what school can do,
                Apu: [sticks his head in front window] For no reason here's 
Homer & Marge & Apu: Those were the days!
-- Sing-song, ``Lisa's Sax''

% Bart and Lisa clap on the couch, though Lisa's was really more of a "golf
% clap", as she's about to point out that something got neglected.

Homer: And that my children, is the story of Bart's first day of school.
 Bart: [relaxing back on couch] Very nice.
Homer: Yeah.
 Lisa: Yeah.  Except you were supposed to be telling the story of how I
       got my saxophone!
Homer: [thinks for a second] D'oh!
-- ``Lisa's Sax''

[End of act one.  Time: 6:58.]

% Act two.  Marge comes into the family room holding Maggie.

Marge: Homer, I can't get the baby to burp.  Could you try it for a while?
Homer: No problem.  I'll just give her a sip of beer!
-- What a great father, ``Lisa's Sax''

% Homer tries to get Maggie to take a drink, which she wants nothing to 
% do with.

 Homer: Come on, Maggie, it's Miller time!  [baby talk] Yes, it's Miller 
 Marge: Homer!
 Homer: Oh, my father gave me beer as a child.  'Til I wrapped my little
        red wagon around a tree.
        [Flashback to Homer's childhood, where a long line of kids and
        their various vehicles have all rear-ended and smashed into each
        other. Homer and Barney Gumble, as children, are at the front of
        the line, wrecked into a tree.]
Barney: Let's never drink again.
        [Back to reality.  Homer still has the beer in his hand.]
 Homer: And we never did. [takes a swig]
-- ``Lisa's Sax''

 Lisa: Mom, can you tell me a story about how I got my saxophone and not
       have it turn into a story about Bart?!
Marge: Well sure, honey.  Bart had just completed his first day of school,
       and Bart...
 Lisa: Mom!
 Bart: Hey, she's just giving the public what it wants: Bart by the 
-- Well.. it WAS 1990, ``Lisa's Sax''

% Marge resumes the story after explaining that it just goes like that.
% Back in 1990, Bart is reciting the alphabet for his kindergarten teacher.

   Bart: A-B-C...uh, line?
Teacher: D!
   Bart: D-E...mmm, line?
Teacher: F, Bart.  And believe me, you'll be seeing plenty of 'em.
-- Early disencouragement, ``Lisa's Sax''

% At home, Bart lies on his bed, depressed. Marge comes in asking if
% Bart would like to read a book, or draw. Bart says he already did.
% He points to the wall, where a picture he drew hangs.  It shows Bart,
% lying on the ground, with knives stuck in him, thunderclouds overhead,
% and the word "SAD" written across the page.  Marge reacts in surprise.  
% Meanwhile, downstairs, Homer has all the lights turned out as he watches
% television.  From the TV, a certain rather strange program bathes the
% room in blue light, casting shadows all about.

TV Voice: That's damn fine coffee you got here in Twin Peaks!  And damn
          good cherry pie!
          [On the screen, a man dances with a horse under a tree, from
          which a stop light hangs.  They dance to the saxophone music being
   Homer: Brilliant! [laughs] I have absolutely no idea what's going on.
-- Neither do we, ``Lisa's Sax''

Marge: Homer, I want you to look at this drawing Bart did!
Homer: [faking excitement, watching TV] Oh, it's beautiful!  Oh, oh, let's
       put Bart's beautiful drawing up on the fridge!
Marge: Homer, stop.  Will you please look at the drawing?
Homer: Oh, all right.  What...[looks at drawing]...aaah!!  Burn it!  Send
       it to hell!
Marge: I think we're going to have to get Bart some help.
Homer: [cringing] Get it away!
-- The horrible reality, ``Lisa's Sax''

% Later, Homer comes into Bart's room with a cap, ball, and glove.  Bart
% lies on his bed, motionless.

Homer: Bart, son?  You want to play catch?
 Bart: No.
Homer: When a boy doesn't want to play catch with his old man, something is
       seriously wrong!
  Abe: [wearing old-time baseball uniform] I'll play catch with you, son!
Homer: Get the hell out!
  Abe: I'm gone.
-- Like father, like son, ``Lisa's Sax''

% In Doctor Hibbert's office, Hibbert, who wears an outfit not unlike that
% of Mr. T, gives Bart a check-up.

Mr. Simpson, physically your son is as sound as the dollar!  I'm afraid
Bart's severe emotional dysfunction stems from a deep-seated psychological
trauma. [laughs]
-- I pity da poor boy, ``Lisa's Sax''

% With nowhere else to turn, as Marge narrates to us, the Simpsons go to
% see the school psychologist.

Dr. Pryor: Mr. and Mrs. Simpson, there's nothing to be alarmed about.  
           Public school can be intimidating to a young child,
           particularly one with as many flamboyantly homosexual
           tendencies as your son.
    Marge: Bart's gay?
Dr. Pryor: Bart?  Ah, whoo, wrong file.
           [Dr. Pryor puts a file reading "VANHOUTEN, MILHOUSE" back onto
           the rack.]
-- He thinks I'm gay? (everybody dance now!) ``Lisa's Sax''

Ah, the point I'm trying to make here is, that Bart must learn to be less
of an individual, and more a...faceless slug.
-- Top notch advice. Dr. Pryor, ``Lisa's Sax''

% With this, he looks down to see Lisa, on Marge's lap, who is busy 
% piecing together a jigsaw puzzle, depicting the Taj Mahal, on Dr. Pryor's 
% desk.

Dr. Pryor: Hm, Lisa, how old are you?
     Lisa: I am three and three eighths!
Dr. Pryor: Hm!  Lisa, if I have five apples, and I take away three apples,
           how many apples do I have left?
     Lisa: Two apples!
    Homer: Wait a minute! [counts on fingers] She's right!
-- Great Scott! ``Lisa's Sax''

Dr. Pryor: Heh, very good.  Marge, Homer, I believe your Lisa may be gifted.
    Marge: That's wonderful!  But still, can't you do anything for Bart?
    Homer: Marge, he's five, his life is over.  Lisa's the wave of
           the future!
     Lisa: Wave of the future!
Dr. Pryor: Uh huh, that's right, honey.  If you nurture her gift now, 
           there's no telling what she can do.
    Homer: Wow...just think of the possibilities!
           [In dreamland, Homer imagines Lisa winning the Nobel Prize.
    Homer: Nah!
           [In revised dreamland, Homer imagines Lisa, wearing a black
           belt, winning the Nobel Prize...for kickboxing!  With the medal
           around her neck, she kicks the official who has just presented
           it to her.]
    Homer: Hmm!
-- Disfunctionally raised, ``Lisa's Sax''

% Dr. Pryor promises them the address of a good preschool.
% At a nearby highly prestigeous-looking preschool, we see kids using 
% computers, painting, and playing a clapping game while reciting the
% digits of pi.  Marge and Homer talk with the headmaster, while Lisa sits
% nearby, crafting a horse out of clay.

Headmaster: I can assure you our preschool is of the highest quality.  Over
            seventy-five percent of our graduates go on to first grade!
     Homer: Well, our little girl has a gift, and we're willing to do what
            it takes to help her.
Headmaster: Very good.  Once we receive your six thousand dollar tuition 
            check, she's in.
     Homer: I'll give you fifty bucks.
Headmaster: Our fee is non-negotiable.
     Homer: Seventy-five!
     Marge: Look, I knew private school would be expensive, but I was hoping
            we could get a scholarship of some sort.
Headmaster: Sorry.  I don't have anything to offer you unless you're a
            member of a minority group.
     Homer: [Mexican accent] Excellente!  Muchos gracias seniorata!
Headmaster: Sorry.
     Homer: [Chinese accent] Aah-so...
-- The man of many faces, ``Lisa's Sax''

% Marge and Homer leave the preschool, taking Lisa with them.
% ``Come on, honey, I guess this is a world you'll never know.''
% Sad music accompanies our journey back into the present, where Homer
% continues to narrate the story.

Homer: Our family was suffering through its worst crisis ever.  Bart was
       miserable at school, and Lisa's gifts were going to waste.
 Bart: Uh, Homer?  It's five years later, and I'm still miserable at 
 Lisa: And my gifts are still going to waste!
Marge: And sometimes I feel so smothered by this family I just want to 
       scream until my lungs explode!!
       [The rest of the family stares at Marge for a moment.  She regains
       her composure after a deep breath.]
Marge: I'll go start dinner now. [leaves for kitchen]
Homer: You do that.
-- Getting some jitters out of the system, ``Lisa's Sax''

[End of act two.  Time: 12:19.]

% Act three.  Grandpa Simpson has come over for a visit.

Homer: Dad, what are you doing here?
  Abe: Looking for my teeth!
       [Santa's Little Helper has the false teeth in place in his mouth.]
  Abe: Gimmie those! [takes teeth] Better wash these off.  Aw, the hell with
       it. [puts teeth in mouth, dog drool and all]
-- Ewwww, ``Lisa's Sax''

Marge: Well, Grandpa, as long as you're here, we were telling a story that
       took place when Bart was five, and Lisa was three.
  Abe: Oh, I know this story!  The year was nineteen-ought-six.  The 
       President is the divine Miss Sarah Burnheart.  And all over America,
       people were doin' a dance called the "Funky Grandpa"!  [sings] Oh...
       I'm...the...[falls asleep standing up]
Marge: Ye-es...well, as if our troubles weren't bad enough, Springfield 
       was going through an unseasonable heat wave.
-- ``Lisa's Sax''

% Back in 1990, Homer sweats up the couch in his underwear, watching a
% Kent Brockman report on TV.

Brockman: And so Springfield's heat wave continues, with today's temperature
          exceeding the record for this date, set way back four billion 
          years ago, when the earth was just a ball of molten lava!
   Homer: Oh...so hot...
   Marge: Homer, have you seen the frozen peas?
          [Homer, after wiping his face with a frozen dinner, pulls the
          peas out from underneath him.]
   Marge: Ahh, you keep 'em.
-- The heatwave, ``Lisa's Sax''

Marge: Now listen, if we can't afford private school, maybe there's some
       other way to encourage Lisa.  Eh, an art class! Ballet lessons!
       They have some fun things you can do at the museum on Saturday!
Homer: Uh-uh.  Forget it, Marge.  There is no way I am spending my
       Saturdays at a museum.  Unless...museums don't have foosball, do
       [Homer imagines himself at the museum, playing foosball with a
Homer: You lose, Michealangelo's "David"!  Who's next?
       [The subject of Edvard Munch's "The Cry" comes out to play with a
       shriek of "Meeeeeee!".]
-- ``Lisa's Sax''

Marge: Mmm, it doesn't matter.  All these things cost money and we don't 
       have it.  Unless...
Homer: Unless...what?
Marge: Well, there is that two hundred dollars we've been saving for the
       new air conditioner.
Homer: Oh, Marge, but...we've needed a new air conditioner for years!  And
       our stop-gap solution is getting cranky!
       [That cranky "stop-gap solution" happens to be a white cat with a
       fan on its tail, blowing air onto a block of ice.  It lets out an
       angry meow.]
-- Advanced technology, ``Lisa's Sax''

Marge: I cannot believe this!  I'm trying to give our daughter a head start
       in life, and you aren't not helping a bit!
Homer: Marge, name one successful person in life who ever lived without air
Marge: Balzac!
Homer: No need for potty mouth just because you can't think of one.
Marge: But Balzac is the name!
Homer: [interrupting] "If if's and but's were candy and nuts..." eh, 
       how does the rest of that go?
-- Just shut up, ``Lisa's Sax''

% Homer decides there must be another way of getting air conditioning
% after promising he'll invest in Lisa's future.
% Later, Homer is sitting pretty on his couch in the cool air of an A/C.  
% "Mmm...recirculated air," he remarks as the white cat walks by, nearly 
% frozen; visible breath puffs out of Homer's mouth.  A rap is heard at
% the window; it's Ned Flanders.  He opens it and sticks his head in.

Mmmm... recirculated air.
-- Homer, ``Lisa's Sax''

  Ned: Uh, Homer?
Homer: What, Flanders?
  Ned: [politely] Well sir, I hate to be suspicious-allouicious on you, 
       [angrily] but did you steal my air conditioner?!
       [We take a look out the window, and see an obvious path leading from
       a hole torn out of the side of Ned's house in the window where his
       air conditioner used to be, leading to a knocked over fence
       accompanied by footprints in the soil, and a newly installed unit
       sticking out of Homer's window.]
Homer: Well, I admit it looks bad, Flanders, but haven't you heard of "let
       he who is without sin cast the first stone"?
       [Homer gets hit in the head with a rock.
 Todd: Got him, dad!
-- Two bad neighbours, ``Lisa's Sax''

% Back in the present, Marge continues the story.

Marge: And so, just as things looked their worst...
  Abe: I realized I could make money selling my medication to dead-heads!
Marge: Grandpa, what are you talking about?
  Abe: Ohh...nothing.
-- Hey old dude, gimmie two reds and a yellow, ``Lisa's Sax''

% Marge resumes the storytelling.
% At kindergarten, Bart sits in a circle of kids for storytime.  His
% lackluster teacher reads "The Ugly Duckling".

Teacher: And the ugly duckling was amazed to realize it had grown into a
         beautiful swan.  So you see children, there is hope for anyone.
   Bart: Even me?
Teacher: No.
-- ``Lisa's Sax''

% At the school playground, Bart sits alone on a bench at lunchtime, 
% while children play all around.  A blue-haired kid with oversized glasses 
% comes up to talk.

Milhouse: Uh, hi.
    Bart: Hi.
Milhouse: I have soy milk.  The doctor says the real kind could kill me.
    Bart: I wish I was interesting like you.
-- We learned so very much about Milhouse today, ``Lisa's Sax''

% Milhouse starts drinking.  Bart sees him, and makes a farting noise by
% blowing on his hands.  Milhouse laughs so hard he spits up milk.
% Milhouse tells Bart he's funny, and the world needs a clown.
% Later, Bart gives his first comedic performance, standing on a bench,
% making more farting noises and spouting semi-profanities.

 Bart: [fart noise]  Doodie!  [fart noise]  Booger!
       [Bart's captive audience laughs.]
Jimbo: That is killer material!
 Bart: [singing] Skinner is a nut!  He has a rubber butt!
-- A funny thing happened on the way here today... ``Lisa's Sax''

% Skinner appears out from behind a tree.

Young man, I can assure you my posterior is nothing more than flesh, bone,
and...that metal plate I got in 'Nam.
-- Principle Skinner, ``Lisa's Sax''

% Bart gulps.

Skinner: Now, I want you to knock off that potty talk right now!
   Bart: [laughs] The principal said potty!
-- South Park, eh? ``Lisa's Sax''

% The kids watching laugh.  Skinner shudders in frustration.

Skinner: You listen to me, son.  You've just started school, and the path
         you choose now may be the one you follow for the rest of your
         life!  Now, what do you say?
         [Bart looks at Skinner, then Jimbo.  It's his moment of truth.]
   Bart: Eat my shorts.
Skinner: All right, I'll ea...eat your shorts?!
   Bart: Yeah, eat my shorts!  [singing to "Batman" theme] Buttman!  
         Na na na na na na na na, Buttman!
-- So it begins, ``Lisa's Sax''

% "Buttman?!" Principal Skinner exclaims before dragging Bart off.

         Nelson: Haw, haha!  He's the greatest showman since that kid who 
                 eats worms.
Worm-Eating Kid: [worms in mouth] My fifteen minutes of fame are over!
-- ``Lisa's Sax''

% In Moe's bar, Lisa sits on a stool next to her father, who drinks a 
% beer.

    Homer: Well Moe, this is it.  Today's the day I get my new air 
      Moe: Congratulations.  Who's the little chick?
     Lisa: I'm Lisa!
    Homer: [proudly] She has a gift.
     Lisa: You have thirteen pickled eggs in this jar.  And one cockroach!
      Moe: [laughs nervously] Who are you, sweetheart, the health inspector?
Inspector: [seated at other end of bar] No, but I am.
      Moe: Ah, here, have a margarita!
           [The health inspector pulls a syringe out of the drink.]
      Moe: Eh, that's a parasol.
-- Decorative, yet useful, ``Lisa's Sax''

% Homer takes Lisa out of Moe's, and arrives at "It Blows", the air
% conditioning store.  He takes a look at a model of A/C, and takes joy in
% the $200 price tag.  So much joy, in fact, he imagines sitting in the cool
% air it would provide, while Patty and Selma melt in the summer heat outside.
% Looking across the street, however, he sees Lisa gazing in the window of
% King Toots.  He goes over to collect her, when he notices what the store
% sells.

Musical instrument?  Could that be a way to encourage a gifted child?
[to the heavens] Just give me a sign! [At that moment, the store owner
happens to put a sign in the window reading "Musical Instruments: The Way
To Encourage A Gifted Child".] Eh, it works for me.
-- Coulda been a lightning bolt to the butt. Homer, ``Lisa's Sax''

% Inside the store, Homer and Lisa pursue their options.

Homer: So, what do you like, Lisa?  Vio-ma-lin?  Tuba-ma-ba?  Oboe-mo-boe?
 Lisa: [pointing] That one!
       [Lisa's adorable little digit points up to a beautiful new baritone
Homer: Oh...saxo-ma-phone. [reads price tag] Two hundred dollars?!
-- Expensi-ma-ve, ``Lisa's Sax''

% Homer's dream of an air conditioned summer go up in smoke.
% Homer decides to buy the instrument for Lisa.
% Homer hands Lisa the sax, who blows once on the horn and giggles.

Store Owner: Would you like an inscription, sir?
      Homer: Yeah.  To Lisa: never forget your daddy loves...[drops sax 
             on foot]...d'oh!
-- So it's settled, ``Lisa's Sax''

% Back to the Simpson house in the present. Homer says the inscription
% is still here today.
% Sure enough, it is: "To Lisa: Never Forget Your Daddy Loves D'oh!"

 Bart: Wow, so that's how Lisa got her sax!
Homer: Next, I'll tell you the origin of Maggie's pacifier!
Marge: What origin?  We got it for $1.95 down at the Safeway!
-- That was a reeeaal nice legend, Midge, ``Lisa's Sax''

 Lisa: Well, I really liked that story.  But it still doesn't fix this.
Marge: You know, Homer, I think we have some money in the air conditioner
       account again, hmm?
Homer: Oh, but Marge!  Am I doomed to spend the rest of my life sweating 
       like a pig?
 Bart: Yeah, not to mention lookin' like a pig, eatin' like a pig...
  Apu: [from front window] Don't forget the smell!
Homer: Will you get off my front lawn?
  Apu: Why don't you make me?
Homer: Why?  Oh, I give up.
-- A typical few seconds at the Simpsons home, ``Lisa's Sax''

% Lisa tries to kid herself and family into the fact that it's not how
% it looks, it's how it sounds. (Yeah yeah, that's what they said about
% Danny Baker --hmw) She blows on the saxophone, and it, unfortunately,
% squeals like a pig.  She moans in defeat.  Later, Homer sits, watching
% TV during a new heat wave.

Well sir, we got a scorcher today!  And to cool off, nothing beats
Fruitopia!  The iced tea brewed by hippies, but distributed by a heartless,
multi-national corporation!
-- Very heartwarming. TV announcer, ``Lisa's Sax''

% In Lisa's room, she admires her new saxophone, complete with a new
% inscription.
% "Dear Lisa: May Your New Saxophone Bring You Years Of D'oh!".

% Lisa plays the theme from Gerry Rafferty's "Baker Street"; as 'other
% instruments' join in, we watch scenes from previous episodes where Lisa 
% played her sax before, including "Lisa's Pony", "Another Simpsons Clip 
% Show", "Moaning Lisa", and "Separate Vocations".  Back in the Simpson 
% household, Marge and Homer sit on the couch.

Marge: You're a good father.
Homer: I learned from the master.
       [He means Abraham, who sits playing "peek-a-boo" with Maggie,
       sitting on his lap.]
  Abe: Where's Maggie?  Where's Maggie?  I'm not kiddin', I can't see, my
       retinas have detached again!
-- Awww, baby talk, ``Lisa's Sax''

% Homer and Marge laugh loudly.  Apu walks in from the kitchen, holding a 
% sandwich.  He joins them in the merriment.  "He is blind as a bat!" Apu 
% remarks, as Abe stumbles around the family room.

% Fade out to the tune of the Simpson theme, played on saxophone.  Over
% the credits, we hear a lively, jazzy version of the same theme.

[End of act three.  Time: 21:24]

Key to contributors

{bjr} Benjamin Robinson
{dsb} Donni Saphire-Bernstein
{jg}  John Gallen
{jh}  Jason Hancock
{ol}  Ondre Lombard
{ms}  Mike Smith

Legal mumbo jumbo

Season 9 episode summaries copyright 1999, 2000 Hari Michael Wierny.
The quotes and characters remain the property of Matt Groening and
FOX, and the original products remain the property of their
respective authors, I'm just taking credit for the compilation.

This capsule is dedicated to Yeardley Smith, for a great performance in
this episode.

The quotes and scene summary is copyright John Ogan, 1998.

Note: Greg Sarnowski posted the beginning of a capsule for this episode
on 20th October, 1997. He'd started making it, but it was never finished,
and it only contained the title sequence and the quotes and scene summary
up to where Bart throws Lisa's sax out of the window.