[4F06] Bart After Dark

Bart After Dark                                       Written by Richard Appel
                                                   Directed by Dominic Polcino
Production code: 4F06                      Original Airdate in U.S.: 24-Nov-96
Capsule revision B,  6-Jul-97            Original Airdate in Canada: 23-Nov-96

"TV Guide" Synopsis {jmb}

While Marge and Lisa are away cleaning up and oil spill, Bart becomes the right-hand man for the owner of a burlesque house.

Title sequence

Couch :- OFF sits on the couch, which is a mostly clever and detailed parody of The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album cover. [see Comments for details]

Did you notice...

... all the stuff in the couch scene, including wax statues from the Tracey Ullman era? [see Comments for a lengthy description] ... Bongo (of "Life in Hell" fame) is sitting in the I&S audience? ... Lisa and Marge are cleaning rocks with toothbrushes? ... when the oily tide rolls in, Maggie pulls her pacifier out of her mouth and holds it up high? ... the side of the cleanup chief's vehicle says "BEGLEY 2000"? ... the mailbox that Homer knocked down is still there the night he comes to pick up Bart, but it's up the next morning? ... Marge has lived in Springfield all of her 37 years and is a third-generation Springfieldian? ... Smithers' parents seem to disapprove of his choice of lifestyle? Dale G. Abersold: ... according to the closed captioning, Mrs. Van Houten's first name is "Luana"? [My own version had "Luanan". Anyway, it will be changed to Luanne in 4F04 --ed] ... Springfield has a burlesque house and a bordello? ... Yeardley Smith provided the voice of one of the chorus girls? (a very rare non-Lisa role for Ms. Smith) ... for the seventh consecutive episode, they haven't used the normal Simpsons theme for the closing credits? (Last time-[3F20]) Keith Bailey: ... Rainier Wolfcastle and the Golden Globe nominee are talking about saving the environment, yet they are wearing fur coats? Stephan Bonneville: ... Ned and Maude have an unusual lust for violence in this episode? ... how disappointed Smithers looked leaving the house? ... Marge can operate heavy machinery? ... Moleman's flaming arrow barely misses Marge's head? ... we see Jack Marley from 9F05? ... Ralph and Martin are boating in ankle deep water? ... Bart and Homer are watching a bumper car derby? ... one of the pictures at Maison Derriere appears to have Lunch Lady Doris in it? ... the erotic picture on the wall behind Homer and Belle? ... Mr. Burns still owns an extremely old antique car? Frederic Briere: ... Marge seems to have lost a lot of her French accent? James R. Curry: ... Marges hair is messed up after working on the beach all day, you can see a strand sticking out in the close up? ... Homer sets Bart's plate with a knife and fork, but only has a fork himself? ... when Marge returns home, Maggie and Lisa vanish from the episode completely? ... when the mob arrive at the house, the gargoyle which Bart knocked down appears to be fixed? ... Bart never really gets punished, he enjoys his punishment? Don Del Grande: ... Tress MacNeille got a "starring" (as opposed to "also starring") credit? (The only other "regular" to get one was Pamela Hayden in 2F17) ... Homer called Mrs. Lovejoy "Helen", something few (if any) other characters have ever done to her face? ... the Simpsons live 400 miles from an ocean or large (one that would have a tanker going through it) coast? ... Marge suggests keeping a window open to reduce the amount of Carbon Monoxide in the house? ... they have a smaller TV (bigger than the one the Cat Burglar stole, though)? ... Bart didn't regrab the edge of the roof with his left hand once the caterpillar crawled over it? ... despite Doris Grau being dead, Lunch Lady Doris is alive? ... in the audience when Princess Kashmir is dancing is Charlie and - well, that's either David Crosby or John Swartzwelder? Dominik Halas: ... Milhouse's "perfectly level flying" line sounds like it came straight from a book? ... Smithers brings a candelabrum to the picnic? ... Apu swinging in a tree outside Maison Derriere? Jason Hancock: ... in the I&S cartoon, Scratchy is able to read the captions on the screen? ... the bottle of Heinz ketchup on the dinner table? ... Burns' monogrammed picnic basket? ... when Burns says "too many fat children," Martin and Ralph split? Joe Klemm: ... there are planned bloopers at the city hall tomorrow? Haynes Lee: ... "local perverts" Eugene and Rusty have very pale skin (probably from surfing the Internet)? ... Patty lighting up a cigarette in photograph? ... Quimby's wife wearing same outfit from [1F05] (and what Marge wore in [3F06]) Ondre Lombard: ... this is the first time we've seen the full (sort of) Itchy & Scratchy theme song in quite a while? ... Homer can cook, and it's so good, Bart wants more? ... the girls in the burlesque house are dressed the same way the women were in 7G10? ... gambling seems to still be legal in Springfield since 1F08? (Maison Derriere is never sited for illegal gambling) ... Maison Derriere has an outdated 1930s-era phone? ... Homer seems to have forgotten the lesson he learned in 7G10 about treating women like sex objects? (He drools at bare naked tease Princess Cashmere in front of Bart, yet again) ... a silly song overrules the solid Christian, moral values of Flanders? (never mind Helen Lovejoy and Timothy Lovejoy) ... Belle would rather let Marge try her hand at ventriloquism than ask for damage repair money? David Ney: ... Lisa's peach tree looks a lot like Springfield's lemon tree? ... OFF's car was made in 1987? ... this is the first episode we see Groundskeeper Willy since he was deported? [though in p-code order, he's shown since 4F01 --ed] Damian Penny: ... Mr. Burns has a Model T Ford? ... Marge can handle a bulldozer? ... Bart's fascination with womens' undergarments? ... Rainer Wolfcastle is suddenly an environmentalist? ... one of the dancers wears the "Paris" costume from the episode where Homer gets caught with the stripper? Dallas Pesola: ... Homer leaves uneaten donuts on garbage covered floor? Mark Aaron Richey: ... the talk show host is a mouse? ... Homer seems to know how to cook (or at least heat up what Marge left)? ... the gargoyle's tongue was sticking out? ... the girl who asked for the dice was wearing an oil derrick on her head? ... the cone bra in the bra pile? ... Rev. Lovejoy is wearing a watch? ... the Texas senator from [1F08] and Disco Stu at the blackjack table? ... Marge doesn't care about humiliating Patty with the slide show? Benjamin Jay Robinson: ... when Bart tries to retrieve the airplane, the sky around the house is a little darker than normal? Ana Robles: ... Homer prepares a decent make a meal that both he a Bart can eat? ... the RC plane ricochets off Smithers' hair (he must use a lot of mousse)? ... Ralph says "a Frankenstein"? ... Maggie wears gloves at the oil spill? ... Marge is a TERRIBLE ventriloquist? Matt Rose: ... According to Marge, Alaska is only 400 miles from Springfield? Liam J. Scanlan: ... only one dancer was ever totally naked? ... Homer's age goof from 4F03 and Marge's age goof fit perfectly? ... Tress MacNeille got a "Starring" credit? (she's the third extra to get do this) Rick Senger: ... investigative reporter Dave Shelton (also from the fish 'sode) standing to the right as Captain McAllister is busted for running the ship aground? ... Snowball II requires daily doses of medication? ... Grampa drinks Whiskey sours? ... Kearney, Jimbo and Dolph comprise a remarkably strong singing trio? ... Marge says a word that sounds an awful lot like "shit"? Marge Starbrod Simpson: ... even Otto was against Maison Derriere? ... this is the first time Dolph has opened his mouth since 3F02?

Voice credits {dga}

- Starring - Dan Castellaneta (Homer, Abe, Quimby, Willy, Sideshow Mel, Hans Moleman, Krusty, Barney) - Julie Kavner (Marge, Selma) - Nancy Cartwright (Bart, Nelson, Ralph, Kearney) - Yeardley Smith (Lisa, Chorus girl) - Hank Azaria (Moe, Chalmers, Apu, Special Report announcer, Cleanup guy) - Harry Shearer (Brockman, McAllister, Wolfcastle, Burns, Skinner, Lovejoy, Ned, Otto, Smithers, Jasper, Lenny, Bumper car announcer, Eleven o'clock announcer) - Starring - Tress MacNeille (Belle, Agnes Skinner, Brandine, Mrs. Wiggum, Luanne Van Houten, Chorus girl) - Also Starring - Pamela Hayden (Milhouse, Jimbo, Dolph, Chorus girl) - Maggie Roswell (Helen Lovejoy, Mrs. Quimby, starlet, Chorus girl) - Russi Taylor (Martin)

Movie (and other) references

+ "Playboy After Dark", 60s-era (?) show hosted by Hugh Heffner {sr} - title + "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" - the couch gag copies this album cover - the final chord of "A Day in the Life" is played + "Jenny Jones" talk show {hl} - a man murders another man after show when he reveals that he is a secret admirer + Exxon Valdez Spill - Captain James Hazelwood runs the Exon Valdez aground off the coast of Alaska. A breathalyser test taken six hours later reveals that even then he is still drunk as a skunk + Baby Seals {hl} - Brigitte Bardot's crusade against the slaughter of baby seals off the east coast of Canada + "North by Northwest" (or possibly, "Vertigo") {dga} - Bart hanging from the eaves was much like Cary Grant hanging from Mt. Rushmore "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas", musical and movie {ljs} + Jaqueline Kennedy {bjr} - Quimby's wife and the late First Lady seem to have the same fashion consultant + "Our House", song by Crosby, Stills and Nash {ol} - "Our house, is a very very very fine house" is the same as Lovejoy's assessment of Belle's burlesque after the showtune + Twiggy, a very anorexic looking model from the 60s {hl} - Marge's dummy's name

Previous episode references

- Didn't you hear the song? {ol} [thanks to {dh} for titles] - [9F10] Monorail - [1F06] Springfield, Springfield - [1F10] Who Needs the Kwik-E-Mart? - [2F09] We Do! - [2F18] See My Vest - [4F06] The Spring in Springfield - Stop interrupting my Itchy & Scratchy! {dga} - [9F16] Lisa flicks the channel by mistake - [1F02] The nerds need the outlet for their rock tumbler - [4F06] Baby Seal Beach is under tons of oil - [MG15] Bart and Homer have the house all to themselves {ol} - [7G07] A mob is seen, along with fire torches and other assortments of weapons {ol} - [7G10] Burlesque parlors in Springfield - [7F09] Marge goes on a moral crusade (which ultimately fails) - [7F20], [8F14], [9F20] The house is filthy when Marge is away {dga} - [7F21] Bart does chores for an elderly woman - [8F03] Bart gets a job in a private club - [8F11] Celebrity (Sting) claims a charity effort is not for publicity {ol} - [8F14] Bart screwing around with lingerie {dga} - [8F16] Bart unclogs a sink {hl} - [9F03] Homer is loath to punish Bart {dga} - [9F05] Jack Marley appears {jh} - [9F05], [2F19] Marge gets a job {ljs} - [9F10] Everyone is convinced of something Marge disapproves by a song - [9F10] Nearly every character is in the couch gag {mss} - [9F10] Quimby says "That could be anyone's ass!" {hl} - [9F10] "I said we could fix up Main St." (cf. tear the house down) - [9F21] Homer's back turned like Paul McCartney's {dn} - [1F08] A casino is open {ljs} - [1F12] Frisbee (cf. RC plane) lands on rich person's lawn {hl} - [1F21] Mr. Burns on a picnic {ol} - [1F22] "Bart" and "Dark" are in the episode title. {ljs} - [1F22] Bart takes a long fall {dga} - [2F04] Another Lovejoy appears {ljs} - [2F07] Milhouse believes in a supernatural conspiracy {dh} - [2F17], [4F02] An often regular gets a "Starring" credit. {ljs} - [2F21] Marge makes a lame attempt at ventrilloquism (McGruff, the Crime Dog) {ol} - [3F01] Itchy attacks Scratchy with a broken bottle {dh} - [3F02] Martin falls out of a boat {dga} - [3F06] The Lovejoys and the Flanders come to the simpsons door to explain what to do. {eh} - [3F08] Eisenhower picture appears. {hl} - [3F09] Another mansion appears {ljs} - [3F09] Bart gets in trouble with a neighbor {jh} - [3F11] A Simpson's speech (Lisa in 3F11) is distracted by something {jh} - [3F12] Homer: "Knock yourself out" (cf. Krusty in 3F12) {jh} - [3F20] An angry mob announces itself {dh} - [3F22] Grandpa walks into the strip club, sees Bart, turns around, and walks away, saying nothing (Marge after hearing teenager) {jp} - [3F22] Homer's improvised underwear

Freeze frame fun

Some of the items in the garbage: {dp2}

   - bowling ball
   - pizza box with 1 or 2 slices left
   - nearly full donut box
   - full egg carton
   - empty lunch bags
   - empty styrofoam burger boxes
   - envelope
   - many half-eaten donuts
   - open book face down
   - gallon of orange juice
   - yogurt cup with green mold

Items that fell out of homer's garbage bag pants: {dp2}

   - 1 beer
   - 2 bananas
   - 2 eggs (farm fresh)
   - 3 carrots
   - 2 unknown perishable boxes
   - 1 tube/container (shampoo?)
      [seemed like the ol' bear-shaped honey bottle  --ed]

People in the burlesque house during Bart's monologue: {jh}

   Generic Sarcastic Middle-Aged Worker, Herman, Dr. Nick Riviera, Disco
   Stu, Lionel Hutz, Kent Brockman, Jack Marley

City Hall sign:

          TOWN MEETING

People at the town meeting: {ddg}

   [I did my best to sketch the disposition of the audience --ed]

   - Front row: Helen and Timothy Lovejoy, Marge, Maude and Ned Flanders
   - 2nd row: Carl, Ms. Hoover, x, x, Lenny
   - 3rd row: Kent Brockman, Ruth Powers, Kirk and Luanne Van Houten,
      Ms. Albright, Moe
   - 4th row: x (looks a lot like Chalmers), x, Hans Moleman, Mel, Edna
      Krabappel, Sanjay, Apu
   - 5th row: Eugene and Rusty

   - Ned turns off the lights: Frink and Mrs. Glick in the left aisle,
      Prof. Largo in the right
   - "Julius!": Eddie, Lou // Mrs. and Julius Hibbert
   - "Clancy!": Sideshow Mel, Willy, Lunch Lady Doris // Mrs. and
      Clancy Wiggum, Otto  (this shot contradicts others)
   - "Skinner!": Chalmers, Seymour and Agnes Skinner
   - "Smithers?": Smithers, Burns
   - Heard, but not seen: Selma, Brandine,
   - At the end: Abe, Jasper

People in the mob and their weapons: {jh} {mar}

   Mrs. Albright, Apu (crowbar), Barney, Bart, Kent Brockman
   (sledgehammer), Bumblebee Man, Burns, Carl, Chalmers, the Comic Book
   Guy, Dolph, Eddie, Ned Flanders (flaming torch), Maude Flanders,
   Professor Frink (axe), Grampa, Homer, Herman (board with a nail), Dr.
   Hibbert (crowbar), Jasper, Jimbo, Kearney, Mrs. Krabappel, Krusty,
   Mr. Largo (drill), Lenny (flaming torch), Rev. Lovejoy (crowbar),
   Helen Lovejoy (shovel), Captain McAllister, Sideshow Mel
   (sledgehammer), Moe (crowbar), Hans Moleman (bow with flaming arrow),
   Mayor Quimby, Mrs. Quimby, Otto (axe), Skinner (crowbar), Mr. Van
   Houten (sledgehammer), Chief Wiggum, Willy (pitchfork)

People watching Marge's performance: {jh}

      [Two per table, from left to right while looking from stage]

   - 1st row: Grampa (alone), Chalmers (blue hair, could it be Burnsie?)
      and Skinner, Ned and Rev. Lovejoy
   - 2nd row: Mayor Quimby and Kent Brockman, Apu and Dr. Hibbert, Homer
      and Lenny
   - 3rd row: Carl and Moe (maybe, we don't see their face), two other
      tables with faceless people, Chief Wiggum and Lionel Hutz

- Overseas Animation: Rough Draft  {ddg}

Animation, continuity, and other goofs

* Baby fur seals (who grow into harp seals) are raised on ice floes, not beaches. The cutest stars of the Valdez spill was the sea otters. {hl} * An oily seal couldn't be fully cleaned simply by rubbing it with a towel. {dh} * There is no way a cat could walk on nails that long. {dh} * How can Lisa go on this trip, anyway? She's got school! {ol} * If the bag McBain had was full of sandpipers, it wouldn't have been anywhere close to 150 pounds. {sb} * The garbage beneath Homer's and Bart's heads and torsos shouldn't have been cleared away in the process of making "garbage angels". {dh} + Since when have Martin and Ralph been friends? * Martin and Ralph couldn't have pedalled the boat into such shallow water. {dh} = OFF's house is drawn a little differently when Bart is dragged home. {jh} + Once again, there is no Bush/Ford house across the street. This is the last time I'm going to mention it. {mar} - When Belle opens the door to Bart when he arrives to help out, her arm is completely yellow for a few frames, before the sleeve of her gown appears. {jrc} - Homer looks no fatter with or without groceries in his grocery bag underwear. {ljs} * Isn't it illegal for a minor to be working in a burlesque house? {ol} + This had a casino ever since it opened a long time ago. Yet gambling wasn't legalized till 1F08. {ljs} - When Lionel Hutz is shooting craps, the dice don't start rolling until they reach the near end of the table. {ddg} - One of the craps dice has a 5 next to a 2 (no real dice have two adjacent sides that total 7) {ddg} + Grampa must have bought his hat back, because in 7F17, Herman puts it up for sale. {ljs} = Like "Home Alone" (but unlike past episodes such as [7F20] and [9F20]), the house was cleaned inexplicably. {dga} = The set of matches Marge was holding disappears. {ol} [why hire her as ventriloquist when she's a great magician? --ed] + Marge has been about 34 years old in previous episodes. (It appears that she's been aged to match Homer's new age of 38 given in 4F03, a rather stupid thing to do since it's long been accepted that none of the characters age.) {dh} = When Marge, Lisa, and Maggie are leaving for the spill, the station wagon is red, but when Marge has the valet get it at the Maison, she says it's "light pink", the color of their other car. {ddg} = Quimby's suntan is very visible in his first scene, but is gone for the rest of his screen time {ar} + Why would Marge object to gambling? In 1F08 she was for it. {sb} + Considering that Springfield has a rather thriving red-light district (as evidenced in [7G10] "Homer's Night Out"), why should this one relatively tasteful burlesque house put everyone in an uproar (of course, Bart didn't work at the strip joints in [7G10]). * Where is Lisa and Maggie during the mob scene? Marge should know better than to leave 8-year-old Lisa and baby Maggie home alone. (And no one will babysit for them anymore, and Grampa was clearly at the meeting and in the mob). {ol} = Krusty, Wiggum, and Skinner are outside in one shot during the song, but they are inside looking out the window in the next shot. {jh} = During Bart's comedy routine, Dr Nick is wearing his white labcoat when seen from behind, but a pink shirt when seen from the front. {dh}


Dale G. Abersold: I don't think there's ever been an episode like this one. This was just plain weird. There were dozens of great gags, but they didn't seem to jell together. In the end, however, it fulfilled the requirement of good Simpsons episodes: it made me laugh loudly and often. Kudos to Tress MacNeille on a great performance as Belle. (B+) Jennifer M. Blaske: Mmmm ... I would have liked this episode better if I had left about halfway through it. I didn't care at all for the Marge-teaming-up-with-Flanders-and-Lovejoy-to-fight-immorality bit. The song itself was well done, but seemed out of place - I didn't like it when it first started. The whole ending with the bulldozer and ventriloquist stuff left me cold. But the first half was pretty fun, although the peach tree scene was awkward and unnecessary. (C-) Stephan Bonneville: There were some pretty good lines in this episode eg. Ralph: "I'm peddling backwards!" but yet again we see a flat ending that was only saved this time by a great song from the townspeople. The Smithers jokes are wearing a bit thin. (B) Jeff Clarke: A poor episode not even up to the standards of recent years. Flat jokes, and not many of those. The writers didn't seem to know what they wanted to say. A good argument against syndication. (D) Chris Courtois: "Bart After Dark" was a bit of a mixed bag. I really liked some parts, like the Homer/Bart scenes, and the model airplane flight. But other parts, such as the intolerant-Marge-on-a-crusade turn the story took and the Springfield-is-an-easily-swayed-mob-of- idiots, have been done before multiple times and are getting kinda stale. And Lisa... well, I think the portrayal of Lisa has gotten so inconsistent it no longer makes sense to say whether she's in or out of character. (B) Dominik Halas: A good episode that didn't have any point or message, but did have a lot of great jokes. It could have easily fit in with episodes from the Fifth Season. Unlike many recent episodes, none of the humour here was forced; it all flowed naturally. The song was one of the best since "Who Needs The Kwik-E-Mart?", and the discussion following it was a great send-up of the whole concept of songs suddenly appearing in the middle of a show. (A) Jason Hancock: I thought this was the best episode of the season so far. The slide show was the funniest moment of the season for me, topping last week's Hans Moleman scene, and the song was well done (although the Stonecutters' song remains my favorite musical number). The "Marge as a ventriloquist" ending was a little too weird, though. (A-) Ryan Johnson: Ye gads! Another monstrosity! The first two acts were actually fairly solid, but the last five minutes were absolutely horrid. I'm still waiting for an episode this season which doesn't have to introduce a bunch of new characters and locations. First act:B Second act:B- Third act:not gradable. (D-) Ricardo Lafaurie: Well, actually, it seemed to be going well. Then, unfortunately, we get More Musical Mucilage. I despise this "musical" "comedy" that we see in "Animaniacs" all the time. I'm not making fun of "Animaniacs", I just hate the songs. And to see this on OFF, altogether too many times (also the terrible "Who Needs the Kwik-E-Mart" ruin-the-whole-episode-thing). Without the song, it's a B -- but as it stands, a (D) Ondre Lombard: This one had some very fine jokes in it, taking it over the average mark. It was going good up until Act Three, where it slammed into a wall with Marge's preachy moral crusade and the unnecessary showstopper tune. I also don't entirely care for the characterization on Lisa, but overall it had a wacky plotline and it was a solid episode. (B-) Blaine Moller: Sorry, but I thought this episode sucked. No good gags, homer was a little too far out of character. The ending was a bit unusual, I guess it was some kind of musical satire. Marge was also a bit out of character, not usually so violent (vs.Itchy and Scratchy) Where did Marge learn to drive a bulldozer? (C-) John Mulhausen: I'm pleased with this episode, myself. It seems the Simpsons is getting back to that dense joke-per-minute rate they're so notable of...I don't see what a lot of people's problem is with the characters...Marge has always been a moral upholder in the show...They all turned to her expecting her to be against legalized gambling. The last three lines were priceless..The angry mob scene was perfect. And Homer as the only parental figure was great. Though it's not up to some of the more classic episodes, it's certainly reassuring as to where the show's headed this season. (those first few episodes were real bombs). (B) David Ney: Man, what a cool episode! The Simpsons have not lost their charm! The humor was great, the story was great, and just about everything in the episode was great! The ending was kind of weak, but other than that, It was a really good episode! Best of the season so far! I think this episode and the last episode are good indications of more great episodes to come! (A-) Mark Aaron Richey: What, on the surface, looks like a cross between [8F03] "Bart the Murderer" and [7F09] "Itchy and Scratchy and Marge" turns out to be something terrific. The funniest episode of the season, complete with one of those brilliant musical numbers that only OFF can do so well. A great job by Tress MacNeille as Belle. (A-) Ana Robles: Another good episode! Season number seven is starting to pick up. I liked this episode a lot, even though it didn't get many LOL's. The song was GREAT, my favorite part was the bullie's three part harmony. Some other good parts were the Lisa's peach tree song, trash angles, "I'm peddling backwards!", the slide-show, and Marge missing the song. My only complaint is that the whole oil spill thing just seemed like a lame excuse to get rid of Marge and Lisa for a little while, and could of been made into a much funnier subplot. Still, a good solid Simpson's show. (A-) Matt Rose: The couch opening was funny, and the song at the end was cute, but the rest of it was disappointing. My expectations for this episode were fairly high; I had a good feeling about it and instead I think it's the worst episode of the season so far. Very few jokes and gags at all. I did not like the subplot, either. I think once again they went too far with Lisa's political and environmental concerns. I found the idea that Marge could actually be brainwashed into driving to Alaska very hard to swallow. (C-) Rick Senger: Overall, a positive episode. Some gags fizzled, but a high number of jokes attempted, which usually bodes well. The burlesque house was just funny and different enough from the episode in which Homer permits Bart to work for gangsters that we forgive the obvious theft of the concept. The remote controlled plane bit had potential but disappointed. Funnier was Lisa and Marge's foray into oil clean-up, and especially Homer and Bart's early exuberance at being unsupervised together in the Simpson's household. (B+) Nelson Seggley: The best episode I've seen this season. As usual, the jokes play off of the characters' most noticeable traits (Homer's stupidity, Marge's zealotry, Lisa's do-goodery, etc). Gripes: I didn't like the ending. It was funny, but it didn't resolve anything. Did the burlesque house stay or not? I couldn't understand it. Also, why did homer actually follow through with his alleged intention to punish Bart? It seems quite unlike him. All in all, though, I laughed quite a lot. (B+) Aaron Varhola: Funny, incisive, and an excellent star turn by Tress MacNeille as Belle. It's strange how "nobody knows" there's a burlesque house (read: strip club) in one's own town, yet most men have gone there at least once. The one big flaw with this episode was Marge as the crusader against the club; government censorship is not in character with her established beliefs. An outside agitator, say, Birge Barlow, would have been much better. The couch gag was faboo. Would have been an easy A if Marge wasn't the ringleader of the censorship mob. (B) Yours Truly: Funny (or should I say, unfunny) how this episode reminds me of Lisa the Vegetarian [3F03]; a rising episode throughout the first two acts, which plunges to death in the third. Here we have a great plot and a stellar (though short) sub-plot, which has the glorious merit of putting Marge in a funny situation. But then, she comes back, acts as the righteous moral conscience of Springfield, and the show goes freefall to the song. (Hope you liked it -- I didn't.) Fortunately, a nice ending and the strength of the first two acts made up for this, but I'm afraid the writers' inability to cope with Marge will put us in front of a difficult choice. (B+) AVERAGE GRADE: B- (2.73) NIELSEN RATING: 8.5 (ranked 57th out of 114) {ol}

Comments and other observations

Your Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band Membership Pack

Mark Aaron Richey:  Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is considered
   by many not only to be the Beatles best album, but the best rock
   album of all time.  The couch gag is a terrific takeoff on "Sgt.
   Pepper"'s album cover, which featured many past celebrities standing
   behind the Fab Four (who were wearing those striking bandleader
   outfits that OFF was modeling). 

Dominik Halas:  The couch scene in 4F06 is a clever parody of the
   Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band" album cover.  It
   shows OFF, in full Sgt. Pepper uniforms, running to their couch in
   front of a backdrop of numerous Simpsons characters, posed as on the
   original album.  I've described the arrangement of the characters
   below. (Note that there isn't a one-to-one correspondence between
   characters in the couch scene and people on the album cover.)

   - Top Row (left to right):

   Patty, Selma, Captain Lance Murdock (only the top of his helmet is
   visible), someone I can't identify directly below Murdock (it might
   be Rainier Wolfcastle, ie McBain), Apu (although he is white (er,
   yellow) and his hair is grey - an animation error), Barney,
   Radioactive Man, Reverend Lovejoy, Principal Skinner, Sideshow Bob,
   Otto, Smithers (either Otto or Smithers is forming a V with their
   fingers above Mayor Quimby's head), Mr. Burns, Dr. Marvin Monroe,
   Herb Powell, Ned Flanders, Jimbo, and Kearney.

   - Second Row (this begins beneath Burns, and goes to the right):

   Itchy, Moe, Troy McClure, someone I can't identify, and Dolph.

   - Third Row (left to right):

   Hans Moleman, Chief Wiggum, (the Marge dummy's hair -see below), Kent
   Brockman, Mrs Krabappel, Grampa, Ms Hoover, Dr Hibbert, Scratchy,
   Mayor Quimby (with his hand raised, palm forward, Quimby is the
   counterpart of Issy Bonn on the album cover), Cletus, Brandine, the
   Comic Book Guy, Krusty, Princess Kashmere (her arms akimbo, she is
   the counterpart of Diana Dors on the album cover), Lou (although he
   is drawn yellow), and Eddie.

   Additionally, there is a plant above Lou and Eddie, corresponding to
   the palm tree on the album cover. (I would have put Sideshow Bob here
   instead, since his hair looks just like the tree on the album cover.)

   - Fourth Row (left to right):

   Bleeding Gums Murphy, Sherri or Terri, a Homer dummy, a Marge dummy
   (more on this below), Terri or Sherri, the couch, Martin, Milhouse
   (Martin and Milhouse are both standing on a riser), Nelson (holding a
   Krusty doll, which is the counterpart of the Shirley Temple doll on
   the album cover).

   - The OFF dummies:

   On the original album cover, the Beatles were actually portraying a
   fictional group known as Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the
   premise being that the band had just finished a show in a park
   somewhere, and they were posing for a photo with a crowd behind them.
   Peter Blake, the man who designed the cover, decided to add waxworks
   of the Beatles themselves (obtained from Madame Tussauds) because he
   thought that the Beatles "might be looking at Sgt. Pepper's Band
   too."  The waxworks were of the Beatles in their early moptop days.
   The OFF dummies in the couch scene represent OFF as drawn on Tracey
   Ullman, and are wearing dark suits like those of the Beatle dummies
   on the album cover.  The arrangement of the dummies is as follows:
   Homer and Marge at the back, and Bart and Lisa at the front, with
   Maggie between them.  Bart, Lisa, and Maggie are standing on a riser.

   - Other Tidbits:

   In front of the couch is a drum; the pattern on it is very similar to
   that of the drum on the album cover, although the drum in the couch
   scene has no words on it. (The album cover's drum reads "Sgt.
   Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".)  Santa's Little Helper is to the
   left of the drum; Snowball II is to the right.

   Below the drum, the word "SIMPSONS" is spelled out in donuts on the
   floor, corresponding to "BEATLES" (spelled out in flowers) on the
   album cover. There is a variety of artifacts arranged around the
   word, not all of which I was able to identify.  They include
   (clockwise, starting from the right of the drum):

   a bust of Jebediah Springfield (in the same place as the bust from
   John Lennon's house on the album cover), what might be a Be Sharps
   lunchbox, Blinky the Three-eyed Fish in a fishbowl (directly to the
   right of "SIMPSONS"), a plate of pink jello, a Squishie, a bowling
   ball, a Happy Little Elves doll (directly beneath "SIMPSONS", in the
   same place as the four-armed Indian doll on the album cover), an
   upside-down ice cream cone, a bottle of Simpson and Sons Revitalizing
   Tonic, what might be bags of snack food, and a very hilarious fat
   Homer doll, corresponding to the Japanese stone figure on the album
   cover.  Above the word "SIMPSONS" there is a line of what might be
   beer cans.  At the very right a copy of the Be Sharps "Bigger Than
   Jesus" album can partially be seen.

   After a few frames, OFF runs into the scene.  Homer and Marge
   (holding Maggie in her arms) run from the left of the screen; Bart
   and Lisa run from the right. Marge is dressed like John, in green;
   Maggie's uniform has a hat like Ringo's, but the hat and uniform are
   red, not pink. Homer, in blue, is Paul.  Lisa, in pink, is Ringo, but
   she isn't wearing the hat. Bart, in red, is dressed as George.  On
   the album cover, John was holding a French horn, Ringo was holding a
   trumpet, Paul was holding an English horn, and George was holding a
   flute.  Here, Marge is holding Maggie, Homer is holding a glass of
   beer, Lisa is holding her saxophone, and Bart is holding a slingshot.
   Lisa and Bart stand on the couch; Marge and Homer stand in front of
   it.  On the album cover, the order, left to right, was: John, Ringo,
   Paul, and George (or green, pink, blue, red.)  Here, it's green
   (Marge), blue (Homer), pink (Lisa), and red (Bart).

   After looking to his right and then his left, Homer decides to turn
   his back to the "camera".  This is a reference to the back of the
   Sgt. Pepper album, where the four Beatles stood in a row, Paul with
   his back to the camera.

   The chord which is heard during the couch scene is quite similar to
   the very famous final chord of the final song on the album, "A Day In
   The Life".

Not Yet Rated

Mark Aaron Richey:  The V-chip is a piece of technology that is supposed
   to allow parents to automatically block out all programs that some
   group deems as "violent". Few, if any, TV sets with this chip are on
   the market now (even though the US Government wants them on all sets
   soon), and it's especially unlikely that OFF's old Carnivale would
   have one installed.


Mark Aaron Richey:  For a while, the afternoon lineup on many TV
   stations around the US were occupied with these talk shows (which the
   I&S cartoon was poking fun at), most of which featured "normal"
   people screaming at each other or worse about their truly depraved
   problems for the entertainment of the audience and home viewers.
   Luckily for us, the ratings for most of them have gone way down, and
   many have been cancelled or shifted to bad time slots.  BTW, a couple
   of weeks ago, the "talk show" trial wrapped up, where a man was
   convicted of murdering another man who had told the first man (who
   was straight) that he had a crush on him, on the "Jenny Jones" show
   (one of the worst offenders).

Where'd that coast come from?

Mark Aaron Richey:  In 1989, the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Alaska,
   dumping around 250,000 barrels of oil into Prince William Sound. Like
   Capt. McAllister, the capitain, Joseph Hazelwood, was drunk at the
   time. Unlike last night's spill, this one took a long time start
   cleaning up, because no one would admit responsibility and start
   working.  The accident ended up costing Exxon $3 billion.

We call him our Seal of Approval

Damian Penny:  The celebrities rushing to clean off the baby seals is an
   obvious reference to the mid-70s controversy over the seal hunt off
   Newfoundland, when animal rights groups - slobbering over cute cuddly
   animals with tear-filled eyes that could grace many a fund-raising
   poster - protested.  Most notable was Brigitte Bardot, who posed for
   a famous photo cuddling a "baby seal" (most likely a stuffed doll,
   since anyone with as little experience around the sea as Bardot would
   never be able to actually hold one).  I'm from Newfoundland and
   remember the controversy, so I loved the bit about all the animals
   being "reserved for celebrities".

Not as funny as the Emmys...

Mark Aaron Richey:  One of the more important movie awards out there,
   the Golden Globes are given every January by the Hollywood Foreign
   Press Association, and are considered a good predictor for the
   Oscars.  Unlike the Academy Awards, the Picture, Actor, and Actress
   categories are divided between comedies and dramas, meaning it's not
   nearly as difficult to get a nomination, which is how such noted
   thespians as Arnold Schwarzenneger can proudly boast that they've
   been Golden Globe Nominees.  Actually, the winners do usually go on
   to an Oscar nomination, espically the Drama winners.  There's also a
   TV branch, which to my knowledge, has never honored OFF, either.

That fellow at Radio Shack said I was mad!

Mark Aaron Richey:  One of the classic horror novels, Mary Shelley's
   Frankenstein tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a young
   scientist who becomes obsessed with the concept of reanimating life,
   and eventually creates a creature from discarded body parts, only to
   abandon him in fear.  The creature isn't too pleased with this. There
   have been several movie versions of this, the most recent being in
   1994 with Kenneth Braungh and Robert DeNiro, but the most famous one,
   with Boris Karloff, bears little relation to the novel except the
   bare plot.  As I've mentioned, Frankenstein is the name of the
   scientist, not the monster.

I'm not an environmentalist, but I play one on TV

Benjamin Jay Robinson:  The electric runabout the beach cleanup chief
   drove was supposedly a Begley 2000.  Ed Begley, Jr. is an actor, most
   famous for playing young Dr. Erlich on "St. Elsewhere."  (The
   Internet Movie Database credits him with numerous other movies.) He's
   also an activist for environmental causes, including promoting
   electric cars.  (One media stunt involved his living in his regular
   car for a week to prove, um, that you can gain media attention by
   living in your car for a week.  Or something like that.)  I don't
   believe that Mr. Begley is involved with an electric-vehicle firm,
   but it was a cute reference anyway.

From the Back of My Mind

"Derriere" is a proposition, the French equivalent of "back". Basically,
   "Maison Derriere" would mean "the house at the back" or "the house
   back there". Now, as many pointed out, this word can also have a
   double meaning, but it is not at all naughty, just a mild version of

Hands Off My Shopper!

Dale G. Abersold:  Homer mentioned that he has to get up early to swipe
   Flanders' newspaper. "This must be a continuity error," you say. "The
   Simpsons subscribe to the Daily Shopper."  Au contraire!  In the
   past, the Shopper was free, but in more recent episodes (especially
   [3F18]), it now costs at least 25 cents. Evidently, Homer no longer
   subscribes to it.  Why bother?

Happy birthday... yet again

Calvin Henry-Cotnam:  When Marge meets with the woman of the burlesque
   house, she says something to the effect of "in all my 35 years..."
   (it may not have been 35, but it was close to that).

   Think about it:

   - if she is 35 and Bart is 10, she had Bart when she was 25
   - but didn't she have Bart within a couple of years of leaving high
   - the flashback episodes to high school are in the
     early-mid-seventies, so that would make her about 35 in 1996, but
   - Bart should be pushing close to 20 now?!?

   Of course, many cartoons/comics do not age their characters (eg:
   Peanuts!) the way some do (eg: For Better or For Worse), but the
   Simpsons seems to age some characters while not aging others.

That's Proposition 24 + 7

Aaron Varhola:  This past election, Oregon voted on whether to amend its
   constitution to allow "obscenity" to be banned by local option. (The
   Oregon Supreme Court ruled several years ago that "obscenity",
   whatever THAT is, was protected under the Oregon Constitution, as it
   grants greater freedom than the U.S. Constitution).  Christian
   Coalition-influenced groups tried to paint such, uh, burlesque clubs
   as destroying Oregon. (They're not. Californians are destroying
   Oregon). One of the contributors against this measure was none other
   than Matt Groening; his check caused a buzz around the No on 31
   campaign headquarters. :)

Wanna Hear Something Disturbing?

Jason Hancock:  I have a feeling that Patty eventually lost her interest
   in men after "MacGyver" was canceled and her relationship with
   Principal Skinner ended.  Also, remember when she saw Homer running
   naked in "Treehouse of Horror III" and said, "There goes the last
   lingering thread of my heterosexuality?"  (Granted, it was a
   Halloween episode, where continuity doesn't count.)

Jim Smith:  You're ignoring another possibility.  Maybe Patty works at
   the burlesque house.

Car Watch

Benjamin Jay Robinson:  Looks like Monty Burns has added another car to
   his fleet -- a Ford Model T.  This one is an earlier model,
   identifiable by its flat-topped fenders and white tires (which were
   the style at the time). Eventually, Ford would switch to more
   modern-looking rounded fenders, and sturdier black tires.  Notice
   that the radiator and headlamps are chrome-colored, while the rest of
   the car's hardware is brass. [This is an error -- the Model T started
   out with nickel-plated fittings, which have a slightly yellowish
   tinge.  Later, these parts would be painted black.]

   Burn's car is green.  Surprisingly, this is not an error, as Model
   T's were originally available in a variety of colors.  It was only
   later, as production rates increased, that the `black only' policy
   went into effect.  The factory needed fast-drying paint to keep the
   assembly lines moving, and the only paint that would dry quickly
   enough happened to be a black enamel.

Fashion model, ventriloquist's dummy, what's the difference?

Benjamin Jay Robinson:  `Twiggy,' the name Marge have to her dummy
   doppelganger, has a double significance.  Of course, it refers to the
   fact the dummy is made of wood.  But, there was also an English
   fashion model by that name.  Her parents didn't inflict the name
   `Twiggy' on some helpless infant; Twiggy's manager gave her the name
   because he thought she was as thin as a twig.  Twiggy was the Kate
   Moss of her day -- very popular and very skinny.  Her heyday was in
   the late sixties, which is about when Marge would be a young teen,
   and paying the most attention to fashion models.

A Tale of Three Promotions

Benjamin Jay Robinson:  Fox's promotion strategy for this episode was
   more interesting than usual.  Commercials that aired during
   prime-time claimed that Springfield would be rocked by a sex scandal,
   and showed Marge's incriminating pictures of people leaving the
   Maison Derriere.  A promo that aired during Fox's Saturday morning
   lineup was less racy -- it showed the scene where Homer and Bart make
   `garbage angels' in the living room.  A third promo, which aired on
   my local rock radio station, played up the sex angle again, and
   quoted Homer: `I have misplaced my pants.'  (Notice how much dirtier
   this sounds when it's used out of context.)  To my knowledge, this is
   the first time Fox has targeted its `Simpsons' promotions to a
   particular advertising venue.

Lyrics for "The Spring In Springfield"

Dominik Halas provides us with the lyrics for this song:

                     Homer: You could close down Moe's,
                            Or the Kwik-E-Mart,
                            And nobody would care,
                            But the heart and soul
                            Of Springfield's in
                            Our Maison Derriere!

                             [music starts]

                     Belle: We're the sauce on your steak,
                            We're the cheese in your cake,
                            We put the spring in Springfield.
            Dancing Girl 1: We're the lace on the nightgown,
            Dancing Girl 2: The point after touchdown,
   Belle and Dancing Girls: Yes we put the spring in Springfield.

                     Belle: We're that little extra spice
                            That makes existence extra-nice,
                            A giddy little thrill
                            At a reasonable price.
                   Lovejoy: Our only major quarrel's
                            With your total lack of morals.
            Dancing Girl 3: Our skimpy costumes ain't so bad,
            Dancing Girl 4: They seem to entertain your dad!

   Belle and Dancing Girls: The gin in your martini,
                            The clams on your linguine,
                            Yes we keep the
                             [Belle flicks Bumblebee Man's antenna]
                            In Springfield!

  Wiggum, Krusty & Skinner: We remember our first visit,
              Mayor Quimby: The service was exquisite!
                Mrs Quimby: Why Joseph, I had no idea!
              Mayor Quimby: Come on now, you were working here!
         Grampa and Jasper: Without it we'd have had no fun
                            Since March of 1961!
                      Bart: To shut it down now would be twisted,
    Jimbo, Dolph & Kearney: We just heard this place existed!

             Dancing Girls: We're the highlights in your hairdo,
                       Apu: The extra arms on Vishnu,
             Dancing Girls: So don't take the
                             [Barney opens a jack-in-the-box]
                       Mob: We won't take the
                             [Sideshow Mel blows on his slide-whistle]
                  Everyone: Yes let's keep the
                             [Moe crashes two garbage can lids together]
                            In Springfield!

   [Krusty hits his face with a pie, Willy accidentally hits Lenny in
   the head with a sledgehammer, Wiggum and the Comic Book Guy bounce
   their bellies together, Burns honks the horn on his antique car,
   Cap'n MacAllister reels in a fish, and Barney burps.]

Those Immortal Threads

Is Smithers Gay?

Haynes Lee:  Photograph shown of a dejected Smithers leaving a burlesque
   house. When Burns asks for an explanation he says "My parents
   insisted I give it a try".

Where is Springfield?

Dominik Halas:  Lisa said she wanted to clean an otter at the beach; sea
   otters are only found on the west coast, indicating that Baby Seal
   Beach is on the west coast, and thus Springfield, in this episode, is
   near the west coast.

Loose Ends

Mark Aaron Richey:   Eisenhower was the nation's 35th President, serving
   from 1953 to 1961.

Mark Aaron Richey:  The National Air and Space Museum is NOT located in
   Springfield, but in Washington DC, where it's part of the Smithsonian
   (sp) Museum. Highlights include the Spirit of St. Louis and the
   Wright Bros. first plane.  OFF visited it in [8F01] "Mr. Lisa Goes to

Don Del Grande:  Homer needs to get out more - just about everybody BUT
   Homer knew about the Stonecutters and Maison Derriere...

To my surprise, James R. Curry and Nick Plant both report no cuts on the
   SKY UK version of this episode. I find this mostly strange,
   considering how SKY has been known to censor for much less than

Quotes and Scene Summary {dga}

At the Simpson household, Bart and Lisa are watching "Itchy & Scratchy" when suddenly the screen goes blank. TV: ... and fight and fight and fight... [screen goes blank] Bart & Lisa: [screaming] Dad! V-chip, v-chip! Homer: Sorry, sorry, my fault. -- Is "Itchy & Scratchy" TV-14? "Bart After Dark" Homer resumes the show, which is "Good Cats - Bad Choices". The setting is a talk show, and Scratchy is the guest. "Says mouse friend mistreats him" reads the caption. Backstage, Itchy "feels he is the victim", and goes on-stage with a broken bottle. Scratchy "doesn't know slashing is imminent", but panics when reading this last caption. His nemesis joins him -- applause from the audience -- raises the bottle, and... Announcer: We interrupt this cartoon for a special report. Homer: [gasps] Someone found my keys! -- Prioritizing the news, "Bart After Dark" Brockman: Kent Brockman at the Action News desk. A massive tanker has run aground on the central coastline, spilling millions of gallons of oil on Baby Seal Beach. Lisa: [gasps] Oh, no! Homer: It'll be okay, honey. There's lots more oil where that came from. -- Environmentalist at heart, "Bart After Dark" Brockman reports that apparently the captain was drunk at the helm. And the captain, it turns out, is none other than Captain McAllister, barely standing on his feet. He offers 100 bucks to Dave Shutton for taking the blame -- aloud and on camera, of course. Brockman: A clean-up effort is already underway, and as always, the first to pitch in are those unsung heroes, Hollywood movie stars. [cut to Baby Seal Beach, where Rainier Wolfcastle is cleaning off a baby seal] Rainier: This isn't about publicity. This is about cleaning off gunk. Starlet: [holding a bird egg] As a Golden Globe nominee, I just think it's our duty to make the real globe a little more golden. [egg hatches] -- Steering clear of more fashionable causes, "Bart After Dark" Lisa is touched, and tries to talk her mother into driving up there. Lisa: We'd be doing our part for the environment! Plus, we'd get to clean up all those cute animals. Marge: Honey, we don't need to drive 400 miles to clean animals. You can stay right here and give the dog a bath. Or trim the cat's nails. [Snowball II walks by on nails that raise her several inches off the ground] -- "Bart After Dark" Lisa: Oh, Mom, please? You can make this my birthday and Christmas presents. Marge: You already used up your birthday and Christmas presents on that peach tree we got you. And you hardly ever play with that anymore. Lisa: Yes, I do. Sure, I do. Look! [runs out and frolics unconvincingly by the tree] [singing] Here I am playing on my peach tree, Mom. Marge: [fed up] Oh, all right, we'll go. -- "Bart After Dark" Marge packs up the car and briefs Homer. Marge: Now the cat needs his medication... Homer: [assenting, simultaneously] No problem... Marge: ... every morning and the furnace has been putting off... Homer: Can do. Right. Uh-huh. Marge: ... a lot of carbon monoxide, so keep the window open. Homer: Gotcha. Cat in the furnace. Marge: Ah, you know, I think we'll take Maggie with us. -- Wise decision, "Bart After Dark" And if anything happens, just use your best judgemmmm... just do what I would do. -- Marge and the dangers of leaving Homer alone, "Bart After Dark" The girls drive off, and the boys wave to them. Not that they'll miss them too much, though. Homer: A whole week of just father and son. See you at dinner. [both walk off whistling] Bart: What time? Homer: You know? I don't know. Bart: Shall we say... ten? Homer: All right, just wake me up. -- "Bart After Dark" Later that night, Bart and Homer stuff their faces while watching TV. Homer: [mouth full of food] You know, Bart, I saw this one. Bart: [mumbles incoherently] Announcer: Live, from the Grand Ballroom of the Hapsburg Imperial Palace, it's the World Series of Bumper Cars. -- Homer and Bart "batching" it, "Bart After Dark" Bart: Dad, do I have to brush my teeth? Homer: No, but at least rinse your mouth out with soda. [Bart opens a can and gargles with it] -- Only three cavities? Best checkup ever! "Bart After Dark" At Baby Seal Beach, the girls have reached their oily destination. Lisa: [enthusiastic] I'm gonna rescue a baby seal, and then I'm gonna save an otter! Man: Whoa, whoa, whoa, I'm sorry, but all the animals have already been reserved for celebrities. [Rainer Wolfcastle carries up a huge sack] Rainer: There. That's 104 pounds of sandpipers. Lisa: You mean there's nothing left to clean? Man: Well, there are rocks. Thousands and thousands of rocks. [smiles] [later that day, Marge and Lisa are scrubbing rocks] Marge: I've got rocks that need washing at home -- This is not as fun as I had anticipated, "Bart After Dark" Seems Baby Seal Beach is not the only place in need of cleaning, as Homer throws a beer can into the dumpster which the floor has become. Homer: Geez, look at this place. We gotta do something. Bart: Hmm. Garbage angels? [they throw themselves from the sofa and make garbage angels, laughing] -- Family quality clean-up time, "Bart After Dark" Later, Bart feels sluggish (stupid Carbon Monoxide). Bart: Dad? I think I need some fresh air. Can I go to the park? Homer: Do I have to sit up? Bart: No. Homer: Knock yourself out. -- "Bart After Dark" At the Springfield Park, Milhouse is showing his RC plane flight skills to Bart and Nelson, as they watch the plane come and go, and come, and go... Bart: Milhouse, this is boring. Make it crash or something. Milhouse: [smugly] Perfectly level flying is the supreme challenge of the scale model pilot. -- Milhouse the RC nerd, "Bart After Dark" Nelson takes the remote and gives a more spectacular stunt. The plane loops and wanders everywhere, until it targets a paddleboat occupied by Martin and Ralph. Martin: Ah! It's gaining on us! Ralph: I'm pedaling backwards! -- Ralph the Viking, "Bart After Dark" Monty Burns also has a close encounter with the plane... I don't like being outdoors, Smithers. For one thing, there are too many fat children. -- Monty Burns, "Bart After Dark" The plane bounces off Smithers' head, and finally ends its trip crashing on the roof of a mysterious old house. The fence says "no trespassing". Milhouse: Thanks a lot. Now it's stuck on that haunted house. Nelson: I heard a witch lives there. Ralph: I heard a Frankenstein lives there. Milhouse: You guys are way off. It's a secret lab where they take the brains out of zombies and put them in the heads of other zombies to create a race of super-zombies. Nelson: That's the house?! -- Are reverse vampires involved? "Bart After Dark" Bart isn't impressed, and rings. The reply on the intercom is clear enough: "Go away. No children." But it'll take more than that to stop Bart, who climbs in a tree, then jumps on the roof. He grabs the plane, showing off. S-U-C-C-E-E-S! That's the way you spell succe... -- Bart follows the steps of his S-M-R-T father, "Bart After Dark" But he slips and slides down the roof, bumping into a gargoyle which crashed to the ground. He hangs onto a rain gutter for dear life, when comes... oh, no! It's a caterpillar! It steps on Bart's fingers one by one, and the tickling makes him slowly lose his grip. [lauging] No, no. H-help, h-help. I'm gonna die. -- Bart, very perceptive, "Bart After Dark" Bart survives his fall to the ground, but has brought the attention of the lady of the house. The look, the dress, the floating cape and the lighting give the perfect impression of a witch. She grabs him by the ear. Milhouse: Oh, no! The witch has Bart! Martin: We've got to hurry! [The boys run off screaming in terror.] -- A good solution to any crisis, "Bart After Dark" The old lady, Bart in tow, rings the doorbell at the Simpson residence. Homer: Just a minute! [sounds of grunting and paper tearing] Hello? Belle: Your son was trespassing on my property and destroyed a very valuable stone gargoyle and... are you wearing a grocery bag? Homer: I have misplaced my pants. -- "Bart After Dark" Homer doesn't seem concerned at all with all the trouble Bart got himself into, but changes his mind when the lady threatens to talk to Bart's mother. He promises to handle this. Homer: Aw, I don't know how to punish you. What does Marge usually do? Bart: She makes me taste beer. Homer: Come on, boy, give your old man a little credit. [the bag bursts, sending a load of groceries to the floor] -- The perils of improvised clothing, "Bart After Dark" As a solution, Homer drops his boy in front of the mansion. Homer: Now you're gonna do chores for that lady until you work off the damage you did. It's called "responsibility." [drives forward, and crushes the mailbox] [screams, backs off and drives away] -- Do as I say... "Bart After Dark" The lady lets him in. Bart: I can't believe I've gotta spend all my free time dusting doilies in a smelly run-down dump for a creepy old witch. [pulls a curtain, behind which we see a number of scantily-clad girls dancing can-can and people gambling] Lady, I gotta tell ya, I have been grossly misinformed about witches. -- That's "wiccans" to you, "Bart After Dark" The girls pull off a last "leg up" in front of the camera. [End of Act One. Time: 8:02] Bart: Wow, man, what is this place? Belle: I prefer not to be called "man." My name is Belle, and this is the Maison Derriere. That means the, uh, "Back House." -- "Bart After Dark" Belle explains that this is a burlesque house, "a private club where gentlemen can play some cards and see a show." A girl from the "Around the World" number comes in, asking for Monte Carlo's dice; Belle hands her what is in fact a bra. Bart observes, his jaw dropped. Belle: Normally, we don't allow children in here, but your father was so insistent. Bart: He's tough but fair. I'll start sorting these bras. Belle: That's a bit advanced for you, but I know a stopped-up sink that needs some attention. Bart: Just glad to be on the team. -- "Bart After Dark" Next thing, Belle introduces Bart to other tasks. Belle: When you work the door, the main things are to greet the visitors and toss out the troublemakers. Bart: Ah, the ol' greet'n'toss. No problemo. Belle: How did I ever get along without you? -- Bart finds his niche, "Bart After Dark" Among the patrons of the Maison Derriere is one Abraham J. Simpson. Grampa: [whistles, hangs his hat] [seeing Bart] Oop. [whistles again, turns around, picks up his hat and leaves] [sticking his head in] Is your name "Bart"? Bart: [nodding] Mm-hmm. Grampa: What the... Does your father know you're working here? Bart: It was his idea. Grampa: In that case, I'll have a whiskey sour. -- Taking it in stride, "Bart After Dark" Meanwhile, Marge and the girls are hard at work scrubbing oil-covered rocks. Lisa: Oh, there's something unsatisfying about scrubbing these rocks and I think I know what it is. [a wave washes a new coat of oil on the once-clean rocks] Marge: Lisa, I know it's frustrating, but we made a commitment, and we have to see it through, no matter how unpleasant. [the cleanup guy drives up] Man: Quitting time. Okay. Scrub up and head for the communal tarp. We're having kelpburgers, and we're going to watch a tape of Johnny Arvik, he's the Eskimo comedian. [Marge and Lisa stare at him for a moment] [the next thing you know, they're driving away] Lisa: Faster, Mom, faster! -- "Bart After Dark" At the Maison Derriere, Belle hangs up the phone. Belle: Oh, that was our emcee, Mel Zetz. He got out of bed too fast and broke his hip. Bart: So who's gonna warm up the crowd tonight? Belle: Well, whoever fits Mel's tuxedo. [Size: extra small] Bart: Eep. Belle: The jokes are in the breast pocket. If you get in trouble, there's a switch that makes the bow tie spin. [the tie spins while making an amusing noise] -- "Bart After Dark" Bart is on stage, reading the jokes rather lamely. Bart: Heh, nudist colonies are everywhere these days. I'd love to go, but I... [stares at the card] can't get the wrinkles out of my birthday suit. [rim shot, heavy laughs] [Bart looks at the card again in disbelief] But, I gotta tell you, Adam and Eve must have been the first bookkeepers. They invented the "loose-leaf" system. [rim shot, more laughs] If there's a bad bookkeeping joke, I haven't heard it. -- Bart does stand-up in the Maison Derriere, "Bart After Dark" Back at Evergreen Terrace, Homer is watching television. Announcer: It's eleven o'clock. Do you know where your children are? Homer: I told you last night, no! -- Argueing with public messages, "Bart After Dark" Where is Bart anyway? His dinner is getting all cold and eaten. [picks at Bart's dinner] -- Homer, "Bart After Dark" Homer drives to the Maison Derriere, where he barges inside. Bart, where are you? Come on! I have to be up at 6am to swipe Flanders' newspaper. -- Homer, "Bart After Dark" Homer takes a moment to look at a picture. "President Eisenhower celebrates 40th wedding anniversary. Not pictured, Mrs. Eisenhower." -- "Bart After Dark" Belle: I'm sorry. This is all my fault. Bart was filling in for... Homer: I don't care if he was filling in for Mel Zetz, he's my son, and I don't want him working... [in the next room, Homer sees a sexy chorus girl doing a fan dance] ...so...late....that... Belle: Oh, I agree, kids need rules and boundaries. Homer: [trancelike] Yes, everyone loves rules. Belle: It's so tough to be a parent these days, what with all the gangs and the drugs. Homer: Oh yeah, drugs, you gotta have drugs. [Homer goes in to see the fan dancer] Bart: Hey, he didn't pay the cover. Belle: Oh, Bart, he's your father. We'll comp him tonight, start a tab tomorrow. -- "Bart After Dark" Principal Skinner enters. He obviously doesn't see the new doorman. Skinner: Oh, I hope I didn't miss the floor show. Bart: Nope. Skinner: Is Roxanne back? Bart: Yep. Skinner: Did she, uh, get my flowers? Bart: She did. Skinner: [Finally noticing his fourth-grade nemesis] Hello, Bart. Bart: Hello, Principal Skinner. Skinner: This is the National Air and Space Museum, isn't it? -- Nice try, Seymour, "Bart After Dark" The doorbell rings. Homer answers it and sees the "God Squad" of the Lovejoys and the Flanderseses. Homer: Uh, this isn't going to be about Jesus, is it? Lovejoy: All things are about Jesus, Homer, except this. -- "Bart After Dark" Lovejoy: Your son has been working in a burlesque house. Helen: Principal Skinner saw him with his own eyes. Skinner: [appearing from being Rev. Lovejoy] That's true, but I was only in there to get directions on how to get away from there. -- Suuuuuuure, "Bart After Dark" Homer tells them that he is already well aware of his son's employment. Ned: Homer? I'm as permissive as the next parent, I mean, just yesterday I let Todd buy some red-hots with a cartoon devil on the box, but you can't possibly think it's appropriate for your ten-year-old son to work in a burlesque house! Homer: Oh, no? Well, if Homer Simpson wants his ten-year-old son working in a burlesque house, then Homer Simpson's ten-year-old son is going to work in a burlesque house! That... [his visitors walk away, revealing Marge] Ha-ha-ha... Hi! Now, Marge, you're gonna hear a lot of crazy talk about Bart working in a burlesque house... -- Backpedaling, "Bart After Dark" [End of Act Two. Time: 12:49] Marge contemplates a Maison Derriere matchbook, still shocked to learn the existence of such a place in her little town. Marge: Homer, did you know it was a burlesque house when you sent Bart to work there? Homer: No, I only learned that four days ago. -- And he's been working there five days, right?, "Bart After Dark" Marge: What were you thinking, sending Bart to such an awful place? Homer: I was trying to punish him exactly like you would. [sly] So in a way, you really dropped the ball on this one. This is your mess, and I'll be damned if I'm going to clean it up. -- He's got her with his legal mumbo-jumbo, "Bart After Dark" The trick doesn't work. Marge visits the Maison Derriere and asks a favor of Belle: to close the house down and move away. Marge: Springfield doesn't want places like this. Belle: I think I know what Springfield wants, sugar. Marge: Oh? I've lived in this town for thirty-seven years. Belle: I've lived here fifty-two years. Marge: I'm third generation. Belle: Sixth. Marge: [pause] Get outta my town! -- If you can't beat 'em through argument, use invective, "Bart After Dark" We're just as much a part of Springfield as the church, the library or the crazy house. -- Belle illustrates the diversity of Springfield, "Bart After Dark" Belle teases Marge as a "neighbor", but Springfield's watchdog doesn't give up. Sleazy entertainment and raunchy jokes will never be as popular as sobriety and self-denial. -- The world according to Marge, "Bart After Dark" "You're about to learn the two most dangerous words in the English language are `Marge Simpson'" she threatens, before leaving. Later, at a town meeting... Quimby: ...and after visiting the area for, uh, the past two months, I have determined it is not feasible to construct a supertrain between Springfield and Aruba. [removes his sunglasses] [audience groans] [with a tan] Next on the agenda is, uh, the Citizens' Committee on Moral Hygiene. [audience groans] -- This isn't as fun a meeting as I had anticipated, "Bart After Dark" Marge: I'm here to share my moral outrage. But this time it's not about that giant inflatable "Dos Equis" bottle. It's about a certain house in our town. Moe: Yeah, well what's wrong with this house? Is it the plumbing? Marge: No. It's a house of ill fame. A house of loose ethics. Brockman: Is there a building code violation? A drainage issue? A surveying error? Marge: [annoyed] The house is perfectly fine! Wiggum: Well, then quite bad-mouthing the house! Otto: Yeah, leave the house alone! -- The perils of speaking figuratively, "Bart After Dark" Marge says she is talking about the burlesque house, a place of "drinking, gambling and debauchery." The audience gasps. Quimby: People, this is an issue that we as a town are strong enough to ignore. Let us give no more scrutiny to this bawdy house and its small clientele of loyal perverts. Lovejoy: Oh, I'm afraid this problem goes far beyond Eugene and Rusty. [said perverts chuckle uncomfortably] -- I'll bet they're with AOL, "Bart After Dark" The lights go out and a slide show of Maison Derriere patrons begins (their eyes covered to protect their identity). However, in such a small town where everybody wears the same clothes day after day... [slide of Dr. Hibbert] Mrs. Hibbert: Julius! [slide or Chief Wiggum] Mrs. Wiggum: Clancy! [slide of Skinner] Chalmers: Skinner? Agnes: Seymour! Seymour: Mother... [slide of Patty] Selma: [off-screen] Patty? [slide of Cletus] Brandine: Cletus! [slide of Barney, to which nobody reacts] Moe: ... Oh, uh... [forced] Barney. [slide of Chief Wiggum] Mrs. Wiggum: Clancy! Chief Wiggum: Hey, come on, you did me twice. [slide of... Smithers?!] Burns: Smithers? Smithers: My... my parents insisted I give it a try, sir. [slide of Quimby, wearing a "Mayor" sash] Luanne Van Houten: Mayor Quimby! Quimby: Uh, well, that could be any mayor. -- A typical town meeting slide show, "Bart After Dark" Er, uh, well... eh, in light of these new facts, of which I now realize I was largely aware, I must take action. All in favor of demolishing our beloved burlesque house, raise your hands. -- Mayor "Diamond Joe" Quimby, "Bart After Dark" Few do, until the Citizens' Committee on Moral Hygiene turn around and stare. All hands spring up. Jasper: [whispering] Are they talking about the bordello? Abe: No! The burlesque house. So just keep your mouth shut. -- Some ill-fame will remain, "Bart After Dark" It doesn't take too long for a mob to form and convene at the Maison Derriere. Skinner: Oh, there's no justice like angry-mob justice. Lenny: I'm gonna burn all the historic memorabilia Moe: I'm gonna take me home a toilet. Willy: Well, there'd better be two. -- Pre-mob-demolition talk, "Bart After Dark" Ned rings. Belle: [through intercom] Who is it? Ned: Uh, it's an angry mob, ma'am. Could you step outside for a twinkle while we knock down your house? Belle: Just a minute. -- Make yourselves at home, "Bart After Dark" Rev. Lovejoy forces the gates open, and the mob walks in, faced by Belle and the girls, who walk out of the house. After a brief bit of name-calling, the crowd begins to break apart the house. Bart tells Homer to do something. Homer: My friends! Stop! [the mob stops, intrigued] Hans: [stretching a bow and flaming arrow] Please, hurry... Homer: Sure. We could tear this house down... [mob cheers and resumes smashing] Homer: No! My friends! Stop! Let me finish. -- Mob mentality and intelligence, "Bart After Dark" Homer declares that if they destroy the burlesque house, they are destroying a part of themselves. Follows a musical number which slowly wins the heart of all mobsters. Ned: Well, I'm convinced. The house stays. Lovejoy: This house is a very, very, very fine house. -- In the middle of the street? "Bart After Dark" Marge arrives hell-bent for leather on a bulldozer. "Here I come, everybody!" The crowd forces her to stop. Homer: What are you doing, Marge? Didn't you hear the song? Marge: No, I had to go rent the bulldozer. Ned: Well, we all changed our minds. Wiggum: Yeah, now we love the house. Marge: What about the sleaze and the depravity? Helen: It was a very convincing song, Marge! Skinner: Mm-hm, there were kicks and everything. Marge: Oh. Can you sing it again? Ned: I'm sorry, it really was one of those spur-of-the-moment type things. -- Did they lie to you through song? "Bart After Dark" Marge: Well, I also have a song to sing. [flaming arrow pass by her head] Don't make up your mind until you hear both songs. [clears throat, coughs] [singing off key] Morals and ethics and carnal forbearance... -- Marge's lame attempt at follow-up, "Bart After Dark" Meanwhile, she hits the brake lever of the bulldozer, which tears down part of the Maison Derriere. Oops. Marge: Uh... sorry. Lovejoy: Thanks a lot, Marge. That was our only burlesque house. Belle: I do love it when you drop by, Marge. Next time, why don't we get together at your house. -- "Bart After Dark" Marge asks how she can possibly ever make it up? "Oh, there's a way, Mom," Bart answers smugly. At what remains of Maison Derriere, Marge is doing a ventriloquist act with a doll that looks just like her. Marge: So, Twiggy, I hear you and your husband, Woody, just had a baby. What did you name him? "Twiggy": Chip. [Rim shot. No laughs.] Homer: Take it off! Bart: [as a bouncer] All right, Dad, you've been warned, let's go. -- Hall monitor experience put to good use, "Bart After Dark" [End of Act Three. Time: 21:28] Instead of the normal closing theme music, we are treated to an instrumental reprise of "We Put The Spring in Springfield."


{ar} Ana Robles {bjr} Benjamin Jay Robinson {ddg} Don Del Grande {dga} Dale G. Abersold {dh} Dominik Halas {dn} David Ney {dp2} Dallas Pesola {eh} Eric Hartman {hl} Haynes Lee {jh} Jason Hancock {jmb} Jennifer M. Blaske {jp} John Plasket {jrc} James R. Curry {ljs} Liam J. Scanlan {mar} Mark Aaron Richey {mss} Marge Starbrod-Simpson {ol} Ondre Lombard {sb} Stephan Bonneville {sr} Sean Redlitz

Legal Mumbo Jumbo

This episode capsule is Copyright 1997 Frederic Briere. It is not to be redistributed in a public forum without consent from its author or current maintainer (capsules@snpp.com). All quoted material, episode summaries and so-called Virtual Springfield remain property of The Simpsons, Copyright of Twentieth Century Fox. The transcript itself is Copyright 1997 Dale G. Abersold. Respect the posology. This work is dedicated to Raymond Chen, James A. Cherry, Ricardo Lafaurie, and all of those who made episode capsules what they are today.