Bart the Daredevil

Bart the Daredevil
                                    Written by Jay Kogen and Wallace Wolodarsky
                                                Directed by Wesley Meyer Archer

Title sequence


    {I will not drive the principal's car.}
    \message{Gotta remember to ask a Canadian what the cutoff was.}%//


    Homer says nothing when Lisa scoots past.


    Homer's weight tips the couch.

Quotes and scene summary


 While Bart and his pals crowd around the TV set to watch pro wrestling,
 Lisa reads a book.
   Live, from the Springfield Center for the Performing Arts,
   the wrestling match of the century!
   -- Announcer, ``Bart the Daredevil''
   Announcer: Rasputin, the friendly Russian!
   Lewis:     Didn't he use to be the Mad Russian?
   Lisa:      Yes, but I'm afraid the forces of history have changed
              wrestling, perhaps forever.
   -- ``Bart the Daredevil''
   Bart:  [in the Simpsons' living room, watching a wrestling match]          \\
          If you ask me, this is going to be one helluva match.
   Lisa:  Oh, Bart, I hope you're not taking this seriously.
          Even a 5-year-old knows that this is as choreographed as any ballet!
   Homer: [in Moe's tavern]                                                   \\
          Eh, Rasputin's got the reach, but on the other hand,
          the Professor's got his patented coma lock.
          If you ask me, this is going to be one helluva match.
   -- Great minds think alike, ``Bart the Daredevil''
 The match between Rasputin and Professor Werner von Brawn begins...
   Rasputin is spinning the professor like an autogyro.
   That's <got> to be disorienting...
   -- Announcer for wrestling match, ``Bart the Daredevil''
 Bart asks Milhouse to turn up the volume, and steals his seat.
 Homer does the same to Barney.  Brawn wins the match by cheating.
 (What?  Pro wrestling has rules?)  Next comes a TV advert for
 the Monster Truck Rally...
   If you miss this, you'd better be dead... or in jail...
   And if you're in jail, break out!
   -- Announcer for ``Truck-o-Saurus'', ``Bart the Daredevil''
 Homer rushes home as Bart rushes to the front door to greet him.
 They have the same thing on their mind:  Truck-o-Saurus!
 At the dinner table...
   Homer: I have an announcement to make.  As a family growth thing, Bart and
          I think we should all go to the monster truck rally this Saturday.
   Lisa:  Aren't you forgetting something?
   Homer: Uh... Monster truck rally... Growth thing.  No, I don't think so.
   -- at the dinner table, ``Bart the Daredevil''
   I'll be playing my first solo!  If you miss it on Saturday,
   I'd advise you to start looking for a child therapist on Sunday.
   -- Lisa, ``Bart the Daredevil''
   Oh cruel Fate!  Why do you mock me?
   -- Homer, ``Bart the Daredevil''
 Marge points out that they can go to Lisa's recital first, then afterwards
 go to the Monster Truck Rally.  At the concert...
   Skinner:  Tonight, Sherberts, oops, heh heh, Schubert's Unfinished Symphony.
   Homer:    Oh good, unfinished.  This shouldn't take long.
   Marge:    Mmmmm.
   -- music recital, ``Bart the Daredevil''
 Despite Mr. Largo's exhortation of ``Remember children, stay together!'',
 they fall out of step within the first two seconds.  (What'd you
 expect?  They're only eight years old!)  Lisa executes her solo, but
 Homer is anxious to leave.  Todd Flanders has a solo...
   Flanders: [weeping at his son's solo]  My son!  My son!
   Homer:    Come on Flanders, he's not <that> bad.
   -- music recital, ``Bart the Daredevil''
 The concert concludes with the 1812 Overture, complete with cannons.
 Homer takes Lisa away almost before the last note is played.
 He drives recklessly through traffic to get to Springfield Speedway.
   I reached him!
   -- Lisa, on Homer humming the 1812 Overture while driving recklessly,
      ``Bart the Daredevil''
 but all the parking spots are taken.  They accidentally drive into the
 arena itself, where they are attacked by Truck-o-Saurus, ``twenty tons
 and four stories of car-crunching fire-breathing prehistoric insanity''...

 [End of Act One.  Time: 6:12]

 The car is a total wreck, and the rescue team has trouble pulling
 Homer's girth out of the car.  The insurance adjuster writes Marge
 a check, which she squirrels away in her hair.  The family then take
 their seats...
   Let the destruction begin!
   -- Homer, at the Monster Truck Rally, ``Bart the Daredevil''
 The last event of the evening is...
   The world's greatest daredevil, the man who's no stranger to danger,
   if he's not in action, he's in traction... Captain Lance Murdoch!
   -- Announcer at Monster Truck Rally, ``Bart the Daredevil''
   Ladies and gentlemen, and especially little children.  I'm glad you're
   all here to witness what may very well be my grisly death.  Tonight, my
   most dangerous stunt.  I will death-defy both nature and gravity by
   leaping over this tank of water, filled with man-eating great white sharks,
   deadly electric eels, ravenous piranha, bone-crushing alligators, and
   perhaps most frightening of all, the king of the jungle, one ferocious lion!
   [a lion is added to the pool]
   Heh heh heh.  I almost forgot.  To add a real element of danger, one
   drop of human blood.
   [pricks his finger, one drop of blood falls in, the pool bubbles furiously]
   Now, in case I don't survive, let me just say, seat belts save lives, so
   buckle up!
   -- Captain Lance Murdoch, at the Monster Truck Rally, ``Bart the Daredevil''
   This is <so> cool.
   -- Bart, ``Bart the Daredevil''
 Aside from Bart, everybody in the arena is too scared to watch.  Bart
 yells, ``He made it!'' and all cheer.  Murdoch takes a curtain call
 and falls into the pool, where he is fished out and carted off.

 Homer drives what's left of the car home, as Bart daydreams in the
 back seat...
   Ladies and gentlemen, the ten-year old who's brave and bold,
   when he's not in class, he's risking his ass,
   the world's greatest daredevil, Bart Simpson!
   -- Announcer in Bart's dream, ``Bart the Daredevil''
 To the chant of `Bart!', he jumps his skateboard over a pool.
 Homer wakes him up.
   Bart:  Dad, I want to be a daredevil.
   Homer: Heh heh heh.  Kids say such stupid things.
   -- ``Bart the Daredevil''
 The next day, Bart tries to jump over a car on his skateboard, but
   Lewis:    Oh no, he's hurt.
   Richard:  Bad.
   Milhouse: Let's get out of here!
   -- kids after Bart hurts himself doing a stunt, ``Bart the Daredevil''
 The family pick up Bart at the hospital.
   Marge:  Are you all right?
   Bart:   Better than all right.  I got stitches!  [lifts the bandage]
   Homer+Lisa:  Ewwwww.
   -- in the hospital, ``Bart the Daredevil''
 Dr. Hibbert has an idea of how they can discourage Bart from trying again.
   Bart, in this ward are the children who have been hurt by
   imitating stunts they saw on television, movies, and the legitimate stage.
   -- Dr. Hibbert, ``Bart the Daredevil''
   Dr. H: This little boy broke his leg trying to fly like Superman.
          This boy's brother hit him in the head with a wrench, mimicking a
          recent TV wrestling match.
          I won't even subject you to the horrors of our Three Stooges ward.
   Marge: Gee, I never realized TV was such a dangerous influence.
   Dr. H: Well, as tragic as all this is, it's a small price to pay for countless
          hours of top-notch entertainment.
   Homer: Amen!
   -- Dr. Hibbert shows Bart the injury ward, ``Bart the Daredevil''
 Bart returns to attempt his jump a second time, and he succeeds.
 He then jumps over the swimming pool.  He jumps over a
 string of animals.  He jumps over Homer.

 On the class trip, Bart mopes because he's run out of things to jump.
 Then he sees Springfield Gorge.
   Hey, this thing's pretty gnarly.
   I bet you could throw a dead body in there, and no one would eeeeever
   find it.
   -- Otto, on Springfield Gorge, ``Bart the Daredevil''
   Bart: Otto, I'm going to leap over Springfield Gorge on my skateboard.
   Otto: You know, Bart, as the only adult here, I feel I should say something?
   Bart: What?
   Otto: COOOOOOOOL!!!!!
   -- ``Bart the Daredevil''
 [End of Act Two.  Time: 12:04]
   Otto: [humming into the bus microphone]
   Bart: Hey, Otto, can I use that microphone?
   Otto: Sorry, Bart-dude, it's for emergencies only.
   -- on the bus, ``Bart the Daredevil''
 Bart takes the microphone to announce that he's going to jump Springfield
 Gorge on Saturday.  With Dr. Hibbert's help, Lisa takes Bart to see Captain
 Lance Murdoch in the hospital.
   Murdoch:     [tries to give a thumbs-up sign]  Doc, I heard a snap.
   Dr. Hibbert: Hm.  I'm afraid the bone is broken.  Well, that's all of them!
   -- in the hospital, ``Bart the Daredevil''
 Since he can't use his hand, Murdoch writes a long dedication on an
 8 x 10 glossy to Bart by holding the pen in his teeth.  (When we eventually
 see it, it's an illegible scrawl.)  When he learns that Bart intends to
 jump Springfield Gorge...
   Now let me start by saying...  Good for you son!
   It's always good to see young people taking an interest in danger.
   Now a lot of people are going to be telling you you're crazy,
   and maybe they're right.  But the fact of the matter is:
   Bones heal.  Chicks dig scars.  And the United States of America
   has the best doctor-to-daredevil ratio in the world!
   -- Captain Lance Murdoch, upon hearing that Bart wants to do a dangerous stunt,
      ``Bart the Daredevil''
 Lisa is shocked by this.  The kids leave as Murdoch asks Bart to tell
 the nurse he's ready for his sponge bath.  ``Another fringe benefit.''
 At the dinner table, Bart is mad that Lisa squealed about his plans
 to jump Springfield Gorge.
   I'm sorry Bart.  But if you got hurt or died, despite the extra
   attention I'd receive, I'd miss you.
   -- Lisa, ``Bart the Daredevil''
 Homer forbids Bart from doing it, but Bart threatens, ``The minute your
 back is turned, I'm grabbing my skateboard and heading for that gorge.''
   Homer: He's done it, Marge; there's nothing we can do.
          He's as good as dead! [bawls]
   Marge: You're his father, you've got to try and reason with him.
   Homer: Oh, that never works.  He's a goner!
   -- Bart wants to jump Springfield Gorge on a skateboard, ``Bart the Daredevil''
 Marge convinces Homer to have a heart-to-heart talk with Bart.
 Homer pays a visit to Bart's room.
   Homer:  Bart?  Bart?
           What are you doing?
   Bart:   [halfway out the window] Uh, nothing.
   -- ``Bart the Daredevil''
   Homer: You were on your way to jump the gorge, weren't you!
   Bart:  Maybe.
   -- Bart and the 9th commandment? ``Bart the Daredevil''
 He asks Bart to promise that he won't jump the gorge.
   Bart, this isn't one of those phony-baloney promises I don't expect
   you to keep!
   -- Homer, having a heart-to-heart with Bart, ``Bart the Daredevil''
 Bart promises.  Homer returns to the dinner table, where we see Bart
 skateboard past.  Bart arrives at the gorge, where a crowd of kids has
 gathered to watch.  Homer heads upstairs...
   Why that little liar!  I should have...
   And I was going to play pickle with him.
   -- Homer, finding Bart's room empty, ``Bart the Daredevil''
 (You need three people to play `pickle'.)

 Bart warms up the crowd, then prepares to make his big jump.  As he
 speeds down the ramp, Homer arrives and tackles him.  Homer takes
 the skateboard...
   I tried ordering you, I tried punishing you, and God help me, I even
   tried reasoning with you.
   -- Homer to Bart, ``Bart the Daredevil''
 Homer says the only thing left is for him to jump the gorge himself.
 Bart begs him not to and promises not to jump anything any more.
   You know boy, I don't think I've ever felt as close to you as I do right...
   -- Homer, slipping away on a skateboard, ``Bart the Daredevil''
 Homer speeds down the ramp, and across the gorge.  It looks like he's
 going to make it, but he doesn't.  As if tumbling down the gorge is bad
 enough, the skateboard lands on him.  A helicopter hauls him up, where he
 is placed into an ambulance.  The ambulance tries to speed away, but
 immediately crashes into a tree; the back doors open, and Homer falls out,
 back down the gorge.

 In the hospital, Homer gets the bed next to Captain Lance Murdoch.
   You think you've got guts.  Try raising my kids.
   -- Homer to Murdoch, ``Bart the Daredevil''
 [End of Act Three.  Time: 18:48]

Voice credits


    Dan Castellaneta    (Homer, Barney, Lance Murdoch)
    Julie Kavner        (Marge)
    Nancy Cartwright    (Bart, Rod, Nelson)
    Yeardley Smith      (Lisa)
    \:    and
    Harry Shearer       (Announcer, Ned Flanders, Skinner, Insurance adjuster?,
                         Dr. Hibbert, Otto)

Also Starring

    Hank Azaria         (Moe)
    Pamela Hayden       (Milhouse)
    Maggie Roswell      (Lewis, Tour guide)

Didja notice...

    ... Lisa is reading a book through the entire wrestling match?
    ... the wresling match was sponsored by Duff Beer?
    ... the wrestling match arena was empty in real life, yet we saw
        a packed auditorium on TV?
    ... when Homer rushes home from Moe's, the oil spot is back in the
    ... the unidentifiable food glop they were eating?  (What <was> it?)
    ... the poor guy stuck behind Marge's hairdo at the recital?
    ... when Homer stands and applauds Lisa's solo, Maggie sort of claps,
        too? @{ajr}
        (And when Homer points at his watch, who does he think he's showing
        it to?  Lisa?  Mr. Largo?)
    ... nobody (except Maggie) was wearing seat belts when Truck-o-Saurus
        grabbed the car?  (Especially with respect to Captain Lance Murdock's
        exhortation, ``Seat belts save lives, so buckle up!'')
    ... at the arena, the slogan on the beer mug was ``I survived
        Truck-o-Saurus''?   (Truth in advertising strikes again.)
    ... the sign outside the Emergency Ward:  `Cash Only'?
    ... Marge start to realize that TV violence can be a problem?
    ... Maggie is spooning her dinner onto the floor when Homer
        tells Bart not to jump Springfield Gorge?
    ... when Homer falls down the gorge the second time, Wendell
        covers his mouth?

    | Chris Baird@{cjb}:

    ... when the kids are watching the wrestling, Maggie's walking trainer is
        in a corner?
    ... Homer drives home directly from Moe's Tavern?  (So much for the
        designated driver...)
    ... when Dr. Hibbert is showing the family around the children's
        ward, there looks to be an <eagle> in one of the beds (or maybe
        just a kid with a very large nose)?  Hibbert was pointing at it
        when he said 'the tragic always is'.
    ... when Lisa mentions to Lance Murdoch that Bart intends jumping over the
        Gorge on his skateboard, watch his eyes bulge...
    ... someone with `Lisa-hair' is in the audience when Bart shows off before
        he climbs the ramp?  (A reasonable guess would be to say that it
        was Lisa, since she's the only one I've [cjb] seen with that type of
        [There is at least one other girl in Springfield with Lisa-hair.
         See [8[FG]12]. --rjc]

    | Dave Hall@{dh}:

    ... when Homer is driving `defensively' down the highway, he cuts off a cab
        with Bleeding-Gums Murphy?
    ... Otto appears to be wearing a pearl(?) bracelet on his right hand,
        and socks with lace trim?

Movie (and other) References

    . Jaws
        - the way the lion leaps out to attack Captain Lance Murdoch.

Freeze Frame Fun

The billboard in front of the Springfield Speedway

    | Tonight!
    | Monster Truck Rally
    | featuring
    | [unclear]
    | Sunday: Bear Baiting

Animation and continuity goofs

At the gorge,  Nelson (the bully) says, ``Where is he?  I thought he said
noon!'' but notice that Milhouse's mouth also moves to the words.

(And, as a plot discontinuity, Bart never said he was going to jump at noon.
He said, ``May I have your attention, please?  This Saturday, I will be
jumping over Springfield Gorge on my skateboard.  There is a good possibility
I will plunge to my bloody death.  Hope to see you there!  Thank you.'')

As Homer and Bart walk to the house after coming home from Truck-o-Sarus,
as they walk from the driveway, they are shaded on their backs, as though
the light is coming from the left.  When they turn to go inside, walking away
from the viewer, the shading remains on their backs.

But this isn't an animation error.  There are two light sources in the
scene.  The first is the streetlamps, which provides the first shadow.
The second is the lights from the house, which provides the second shadow.

Comments and other observations

Bart's T-shirt

Tim P. McNerney @{tpm} observes that Bart's
skull-and-crossbones T-shirt he wears for the jump across the gorge
has a skull with ``Bart-spikes''.

But Jym Dyer @{jd} recalls that the
X-rays in ``Bart Gets Hit By A Car'' shows a
normal skull. (Normal for cartoon characters, that is.)  Bart's spiked skull
is clearly a matter of artistic license on his part.

The concert

General notes

Schubert's Unfinished Symphony and Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture are a
bit too highbrow (and difficult!)\ for a bunch of eight-year-olds.

Mr. Largo counts, ``five, six, seven, eight'' before giving the
downbeat.  Unfortunately, the Unfinished Symphony begins in 12/8 time.
(So he really should have counted either, ``7 8 9 10 11 12'' or just
``3 4''.)  And, of course, the tempo he sets is nothing like the tempo
the orchestra plays.  (And, the symphony doesn't even begin that way.
Mr. Largo skipped the introductory bars.)

There is no saxophone part in the Unfinished Symphony, a fortiori, no
saxophone solo.

The playing itself was down to school standards.  Despite Mr. Largo's
exhortation of ``Remember children, stay together,'' they fall out of
step at the moment the first note is played.  And the conclusion of
the 1812 Overture was the embodiment of school concerts.  Everybody
had long since fallen out of step with everybody else, and moved on to
bigger and better things like playing the wrong note.

When Homer says, ``How much longer was Sherbert planning on making
this junk!'', the symphony comes to an end, and all applaud.
Unfortunately, what was played was only the end of the first movement.
The piece was only halfway finished---to the extent that `halfway
finished' applies to an unfinished symphony.
Perfectly in keeping with
what always happens at school concerts.  (Parents applaud during
any break in the action.)

And as the Symphony started, you could hear Maggie sucking away.

Principal Skinner announced that it was the first in a series of Saturday
Evening Concerts.  This is way beyond the abilities of a student orchestra.
It typically takes grammar school orchestras 10 to 14 weeks to prepare for
a single concert.  (Unless they intend to have other performing groups
fill in, like Bart's fourth-grade dance demonstration.)

The only thing missing that I could think of was flashbulbs going off
intermittently as eager parents take pictures of their kids, unaware that
the flashes are immensely distracting.  (And useless beyond 15 feet.)

Lisa's solo

Brian Heil @{bh3} makes
another interesting note about the concert and Lisa's sax solo:  ``I haven't
paid close enough attention in the past to say if Lisa is lefthanded, but I
assume she is, seeing the way she held the saxophone.  Of course lefthanded
sax players hold it the same way as righthanded players... in fact it is nearly
impossible to play a sax as it was pictured!''

Todd's solo

Theron Stanford @{tws} identifies Todd's solo as `My Heart at Thy Sweet Voice'
from the opera ``Samson and Delilah'' by Camille Saint-Sa\"ens.

Alan J Rosenthal @{ajr} notes that Todd's bowing was very odd.  When he held
a note, he stopped the bow movement.  Of course, this would stop the sound.

Butchered in America

Scenes were removed from the original US airing to make room for the ``Do
the Bart Man'' video on first airing, then again for a Gulf War Update
when the episode repeated.  Canadians received a full episode.

One cut scene involved the introduction of a female truck driver at the
monster truck rally.  Note Lisa, ``Another barrier broken.''

Boring distribution restrictions

Episode summaries Copyright 1991--1993 by Raymond Chen.
Not to be redistributed in a public forum without permission.
(The quotes themselves, of course, remain the property of The Simpsons,
and the reproduced articles remain the property of the original authors.
I'm just taking credit for the compilation.)

HTML conversion by
Howard Jones( on Sat 10 Sept 1994