Stark Raving Dad

Stark Raving Dad                Written by Al Jean, Mike Reiss (and Sam Simon?)
                                                         Directed by Rich Moore

TV Guide Synopsis

An inadvertent deviation from his norm lands Homer in a mental
hospital, where he shares a cage with a large white man who thinks
he's Michael Jackson.

Title sequence


    {I am not a dentist.}
    {I am not a dentis|} at cutoff.

Lisa's solo



        No oil on the driveway.
	Homer does not shake his fist at Bart.
        Homer yells, ``D'oh!'' when Lisa scoots past.
        Homer yells, ``Waugh!'' when the car closes in on him.


        The couch tips over backwards, sending them through the wall.

Quotes and scene summary

 Before the 30-Jan-1992 airing, a brief Simpsons clip was shown.
 [Written with help from Gregory Abel (gabel@vtssi.vt.EDU).]

 Fade in from black.  The Simpsons living room.  Homer and the
 Gruesome Twosome on the couch with TV dinner tables.  Maggie in
 her high chair stage right, sucking on her pacifier.  On the floor,
 Lisa and Bart are eating sundaes.  SLH is also on the floor.
 (Animation borrowed from [7[FG]02].)

 Zoom in on the TV set.  A live-action inset of President Bush
 giving a recent speech.  ``We need a nation closer to the Waltons
 than to the Simpsons.''

 Cut back to Homer and the Bouvier twins.  Homer's mouth drops open.
 ``Huh??''  The sisters light another cigarette.

 Homer's eye view of the kids in front of the set.  Bart turns and says...
   Bush:  We need a nation closer to the Waltons than to the Simpsons.
   Bart:  Hey, we're just like the Waltons.  We're praying for an end
          to the depression, too.
   -- Bart reacts to President Bush's recent (real) speech
 Fade to black.  End of clip.

 Lisa wakes up Bart by holding his nose shut until he gags awake.
   Lisa: [wakes up Bart]
   Bart: Lisa!  It's 6am!  Something's wrong.  Dad died!
   Lisa: No no, he's fine!
   Bart: Well, whaddya know, I'm relieved.
   -- ``Stark Raving Dad''
   Lisa: Bart, my birthday's in two days.  I'm going to be eight years old.
         It's a big number, almost double digits.
   Bart: Well, enjoy it while you can.  Everything changes when you hit the
         big one-oh.  Your legs start to go, candy doesn't taste as good
         any more...
   Lisa: Bart, will you please let me pour my little heart out?
   Bart: Sorry, this old-timer does ramble on sometimes, don't he.
   -- Pre-life crisis?  ``Stark Raving Dad''
 Lisa complains that Bart never does anything for her on her birthday,
 until he angrily gives in.  She hugs him and says, ``Oh, thank you.''
 At breakfast, Marge asks Bart to watch Maggie while she does the laundry.
 Bart sees the Krusty Hot-Line on his cereal box and calls it.
   Hi, kids!  You've reached the Krusty Hot-Line!
   If you haven't asked your parent's permission, naughty-naughty!
   But Krusty forgives you.
   ($2 for the first minute, 50 cents for each additional minute.)
   [laughs and laughs and laughs]
   Thanks for calling, kids!  A new message every day!
   -- 1-909-O-U-KLOWN, ``Stark Raving Dad''
 Meanwhile, Maggie takes a ride on the ceiling fan.  Marge comes
 upstairs with the laundry and scolds Bart.
   Marge: Bart, I asked you to watch your sister [Maggie].
   Bart:  I tried to stop her, but she overpowered me!
   -- A likely story, ``Stark Raving Dad''
 Maggie spits her pacifier at Bart.  Homer comes down to get a clean shirt,
 to find that they're all... pink?
   Aagh!  Pink?
   Marge, I can't wear a pink shirt to work.
   Everybody wears white shirts.  I'm not popular enough to be different...
   -- Homer finds all his shirts are pinko, ``Stark Raving Dad''
 The reason is that Bart put his lucky red hat in with the wash.
 Marge assures Homer that nobody will notice.  At the office, Burns
 and Smithers review the tapes of the employees coming to work...
   Burns:    Why is that man in pink!
   Smithers: Oh, that's Homer Simpson, sir.
             He's one of your boobs from Sector 7-G.
   Burns:    Simpson, eh?
   -- ``Stark Raving Dad''
   Burns:    Well, judging by his outlandish attire, he's some sort of
             free-thinking anarchist.
   Smithers: I'll call security, sir.
   Burns:    Excellent.  Yes, these color monitors have already
             paid for themselves...
   -- Homer wears a pink shirt to work, ``Stark Raving Dad''
 Homer's coworkers razz him about wearing pink, and
 he is carted off by security to an interrogation room.  He tries to explain
 what happened, but Burns doesn't believe him.  Smithers notes that the
 body cavity search turned up nothing, nor did X-rays.  Burns recalls
 Smithers' penchant for bell-bottom trousers, but that was for the company
 performance of HMS Pinafore.  (``Oh, yes.  Your spirited hornpipes stole
 the show, as I recall.'')  Burns asks Dr. Marvin Monroe for assistance.
   Burns:  Doctor, what should we do about our freewheeling fop over here?
   Monroe: Well, Monty, it used to be that establishing a patient's sanity
           took months.  That's all changed, thanks to the Marvin Monroe
           take-home personality test.  Twenty simple questions that will
           determine exactly how crazy or [makes quotation sign with fingers]
           `meshuggeneh' someone is.  [hands it to Homer]
   Homer:  [reading]  Print name?   [moans]  Oh...
   -- In triplicate, please... ``Stark Raving Dad''
 At home, Marge applies hair spray, three empty cans atop her dresser.
 She finds her can empty and opens her drawer, revealing a dozen cans ready
 to go.  She grabs one and continues spraying...

 Homer comes home and asks her to fill out the personality test, but she
 insists it's something only he can do.  He goes to Lisa's room...
   Homer: Lisa, you like homework.  Could you fill out this form for me?
   Lisa:  Well, all right.  If you'll listen to the poem I just wrote.
   Homer: D'oh!!  Oh, okay.
   Lisa:  Meditations on Turning Eight, by Lisa Simpson.
          I had a cat named Snowball --
          She died!  She died!
          Mom said she was sleeping --
          She lied!  She lied!
          Why oh why is my cat dead?
          Couldn't that Chrysler hit me instead?
          [next verse]
          I had a hamster named Snuffy --
          He died...
   Homer: [takes his form]  No deal.
   -- Death and Transfiguration, ``Stark Raving Dad''
 Homer goes to Bart...
   Bart:  Dad, maybe you should do this.
   Homer: Son, it's no different than the time I let you vote for me.
          Remember that absentee ballot?
   -- On filling out a psychiatric evaluation form, ``Stark Raving Dad''
 Homer watches television...
   Announcer:  Our $50,000 home video finalists are...
          Man Breaking Hip. [sound of bowling pins, followed by a scream]
   Homer: [chuckles]
   Announcer:  [chuckles]
          Dog On Fire.
          [doing a doggy voice]
          Ruff, anybody order a hot dog?
   Homer: [laughs uproariously]  Oh, look at him!
   Announcer: And finally, Baby With a Nail Gun. [kachunk]
   Homer: Aww....
   Announcer: Okay, it's time to cast your votes now!
   Homer: Dog On Fire!  Dog On Fire!
   -- America's Stupidest Home Videos, ``Stark Raving Dad''
   Bart:  Hey, Dad, do you hear voices?
   Homer: [angrily] Yes, I'm hearing one right now while I'm trying to watch TV...
   Bart:  [checks] Yes.  Are you quick to anger?
   Homer: Bart!  Shut up or I'll shut you up!
   Bart:  [checks] Yes.  Do you wet your pants?  Well, even the best of us
          has an occasional accident.
          [checks the remainder of the form `Yes' all the way down]
   -- Filling out a psychiatric evaluation form, ``Stark Raving Dad''
 The next day, Homer asks, ``So, did I pass?''  The answer is, ``No.''
   Careful, men.  He wets his pants.
   -- Smithers' instructions to security, ``Stark Raving Dad''
 He's carted off to the New Bedlam Rest Home for the Emotionally Interesting
 and given a Rorschach test.
   Doctor: [shows Homer an inkblot]
   Homer:  Eh, the devil with his fly open.
   Doctor: Right.  [shows another]
   Homer:  Uh, that's a spill on the floor with bugs going after it.  Uh, they're
           going to eat it.
   Doctor: Good.  [shows another, which looks like Bart]
   Homer:  THE BOY!!!!!!  [restrained by two orderlies]
   -- I'm perfectly normal, really... ``Stark Raving Dad''
   Homer:  This isn't fair!  How can you tell who's sane and who's insane?
   Doctor: Well, we have a very simple method.
           [stamps his hand, `INSANE']
           Whoever has that stamp on his hand is insane.
   -- Does that mean he can come back for free?  ``Stark Raving Dad''
 They ``put him in with the big white guy who thinks he's the
 little black guy.''
   Homer: Who are you?
   Man:   Hi, I'm Michael Jackson, from The Jacksons.
   Homer: I'm Homer Simpson, from The Simpsons...
   -- Homer meets his cell-mate at the asylum, ``Stark Raving Dad''
      [A little meta-humor for your enjoyment.]
 [End of Act One.  Time: 6:16]
   Man:   I can't believe you never heard of me.  I'm a very popular entertainer.
   Homer: Oh, of <course> I've heard of you!  I mean, you'd have to be living
          under a rock not to know... What'd you say your name was?
   Man:   Michael Jackson.
   Homer: Doesn't ring a bell.
   -- I own a mansion and a yacht... ``Stark Raving Dad''
   Man:   Well, have you heard of MTV?
   Homer: No.
   Man:   Motown.
   Homer: No.
   Man:   Beat It.
   Homer: <You> beat it!
   Man:   Thriller.
   Homer: What was that last one?
   Man:   Thriller.
   Homer: Nope.
   Man:   Well, how about this...
          [sings Billy Jean, complete with wild gyrations, crotch grab,
          and moonwalk]
   Homer: Wow!  How do you do that thing with your feet?
   Man:   The moonwalk?
   Homer: No, that thing with your feet!
   Man:   Here, look.  Just raise your heel a bit, put a little pressure on
          the ball of your foot.  [demonstrates]
   Homer: [tries to imitate, but ends up going forwards]  D'oh!
   -- ``Stark Raving Dad''
   Man:   You seem like a nice guy.  Why'd they put you in here?
   Homer: 'Cause I wore a pink shirt.
   Man:   I understand.  People thought I was crazy for the way I dressed...
   Homer: What'd you wear?
   Man:   One white glove, covered with rhinestones.
   Homer: [crosses his eyes and does that `bebebebebebe' thing with his lips]
   -- ``Stark Raving Dad''
 Meanwhile, Bart and Lisa watch another absurdly violent Itchy and Scratchy
 cartoon, this one with a birthday theme.
   Lisa: Bart, in the split second before he died,
         I bet Scratchy appreciated his birthday present.
         Do you see how this relates to us?
   Bart: Hey, you want that once-a-year empty gesture?  You got it, Sis.
   - Lisa fishes for a birthday gift, ``Stark Raving Dad''
 Meanwhile, The Man shows Homer around the asylum.
   Man:   Homer, this is Floyd.  He's an idiot savant.  Give him any two
          numbers, and he can multiply them in his head, just like that.
   Homer: Okay.  Five times nine.
   Floyd: Forty-five.
   Homer: Wow!
   -- ``Stark Raving Dad''
 He also introduces the taciturn Chief, who says, `Hello.'  The doctors
 and nurses rush over excitedly.  ``Well, it's about time somebody reached
 out to me.''  Homer is too embarrassed to phone home, so The Man offers to
 do it.
   Homer: I gotta call my family.  Oh, this is so embarrassing, calling them
          from a nuthouse.  I mean, they think I'm a god!
   Man:   I could call them for you.
   Homer: Oh great.  And uh, try to put a good face on it.
          Tell them this is one of those places where rich women lose weight.
   -- HS, Phone Home... ``Stark Raving Dad''
   Joe's Crematorium.  You kill 'em, we grill 'em.
   -- Bart answers the phone, ``Stark Raving Dad''
   Man:  Hello?  Who's this?
   Bart: I'm Bart Simpson.  Who the hell are you?
   Man:  I'm Michael Jackson.
   -- Bart answers the phone, ``Stark Raving Dad''
   Man:  I'm Michael Jackson.
   Bart: <The> Michael Jackson?  [makes scoffing sound]  No way!
   Man:  It's true.  I'm with your father in a mental institution.
   Bart: Uh huh.  And is Elvis with you?
   Man:  Could be.  It's a big hospital.
   -- ``Stark Raving Dad''
 Bart gives him a little interrogation, which the man passes.
   Man:   Your father really needs your help.  You don't want him to get a
          lobotomy, do you?
   Bart:  Hm...  lobotomy...
          [begin dream]
          [Bart is playing in the house and breaks a lamp]
   Homer: [stitches on forehead still visible, wearing his pink shirt]
          [zombie-like]  That's all right, son...
          [end dream]
   Bart:  Well, there's probably a down side I don't see.
   -- ``Stark Raving Dad''
   [Bart jots down a message]
   Uh huh.  New Bedlam Asylum.  Loves us.  Needs us.  Fears he may never see
   us again.  Got it.  [hangs up]
   Michael Jackson, woo hoo!  I love you, man!
   -- A difference of priorities, ``Stark Raving Dad''
 Bart relays the message...
   Bart:  Hey, Mom!  Dad's in a mental institution!
   Marge: Oh, my God... Mother was right!
   -- ``Stark Raving Dad''
 Bart hums `Beat It' and does the moonwalk.  Meanwhile...
   Man:     Don't you worry.  Your family's going to be here before you know it.
   Patient: Forget it, pal.
            There's only one way out of here, and it ain't pretty.
   Homer:   What's that?
   Patient: Dating a nurse.
   Homer:   [whining] Oh!
   -- Escape from New Bedlam, ``Stark Raving Dad''
 Back at home...
   Marge: I told you kids you were going to send your father to the crazy house!
   Bart:  No, Mom, you said poor house.
   Marge: I said crazy house.
   Bart:  Poor house.
   Marge: Crazy house.
   Bart:  Poor house.
   Marge: Crazy house!
   -- Den of iniquity?  ``Stark Raving Dad''
 Marge calls the asylum...
   Hello, you have reached the New Bedlam ``Wrongly Committed'' Hot-line.
   All of our operators are currently busy.  Please stand by.
   [Muzak is `Crazy', Patsy Cline's biggest hit (written by Willie Nelson).]
   -- ``Stark Raving Dad''
 That evening, Homer is scared, so The Man sings him a song.
 Homer has dozed off, but is talking in his sleep...
   Homer: [talking in his sleep] pancakes... football... boobies...
          pork rinds... waffles...
   Man:   [to his stuffed animal]  Bubbles, it's going to be a long night.
   -- ``Stark Raving Dad''
 [End of Act Two.  Time: 11:01]

 The next morning, Homer joins a discussion group.  The nurse tells them
 to relax.  Behind a one-way mirror, doctors monitor the discussion with
 a mind-boggling array of advanced electronics equipment and readouts.
   Dave:  So I was working in an insurance company, right?  Youngest VP
          in the history of the firm, okay?  The job was my life.
          Then one Monday morning, I got up.  I got up, I couldn't leave
          the house.  I just couldn't.
   Homer: Was the door locked?
   Dave:  No, I just couldn't face what was out there.
   Homer: Was it raining?
   Nurse: No, Homer, Dave suffers from agoraphobia, a fear of open areas and
          crowds.  Please, Dave, go on.
   Dave:  Thank you.  Anyway, that day I just knew I just couldn't make that
          long drive to work.
   Homer: Were you out of gas?
   Nurse: [glares at Homer]
   Homer: Pffft.  Baby...
   -- ``Stark Raving Dad''
 Marge talks to a doctor.
   Doctor: Mrs. Simpson, I'm sorry, but your husband suffers from a persecution
           complex, extreme paranoia, and bladder hostility.
   Marge:  Doctor, if you just talk to him for five minutes without mentioning
           our son Bart, you'd see how sane he is.
   Doctor: You mean there really is a Bart?!  Good Lord!
   -- Springing Homer from the New Bedlam Home for the Emotionally Interesting,
      ``Stark Raving Dad''
 Homer's breakfast of pancakes is interrupted by Marge, and he is released.
   Doctor: Mr. Simpson, after talking to your wife, we believe you're no
           threat to yourself or others.
   Homer:  That's the most flattering thing anyone has ever said to me.
           Can I have it in writing, please?
   Doctor: Of course.  [hands Homer a certificate:
               This certifies
               HOMER SIMPSON
               not insane.]
   -- ``Stark Raving Dad''
 Homer is grateful to The Man ...
   Homer: If you ever find your marbles, come visit us.
   Man:   Well, how about today?  I'm only here voluntarily.
   Homer: You are!?  Why?
   Man:   Well, back in 1979, I got real depressed when my `Off the Wall'
          album just got one lousy Grammy nomination.
   -- ``Stark Raving Dad''
 At home, Lisa and Maggie sit at the kitchen table, and Lisa sings sadly
 to herself... ``Happy birthday to me, Happy birthday to me, Happy birthday
 overlooked middle child, Happy birthday to me.''  Lisa collapses in tears,
 and Maggie toots her noisemaker.
   Joe's Taxidermy.  You snuff 'em, we stuff 'em.
   -- Bart answers the phone, ``Stark Raving Dad''
 Homer starts to threaten Bart, then realizes that the doctors are watching.
   Homer: [on the phone with Bart]
          I'm bringing Michael Jackson home to stay with us for a few days.
          [aside]  Isn't that cute, he's heard of you.
          [to phone]  Now make sure we have plenty of cold cuts, and put some
          beer on ice...
   Man:   Um, Homer, I'm a vegetarian, and I don't drink.
   Homer: Are you <sure> you're here voluntarily?
   -- Checking out of the New Bedlam Home for the Emotionally Interesting,
      ``Stark Raving Dad''
   Bart:  [on the phone]
          Yes, Dad, I solemnly swear I will not tell another living soul.
          No, not even Milhouse. [hangs up]
          [intense, but brief, mental struggle]
          [dials phone]
          Hello, Milhouse?  Can you keep a secret?
   Milhouse:  No.
   Bart:  Oh, well, who cares.
   -- I've got a secret, ``Stark Raving Dad''
 Word quickly spreads throughout town.  Apu hears the report on the radio
 and debates with himself whether he should leave his post.  He does so,
 turning the `We never close' sign over to read `Closed for the first time
 ever'.  The Simpsons front lawn is swarming with people (and even a
 helicopter), as Mayor Diamond Joe Quimby orates...
   This is the uh most exciting thing to happen to our uh fair town
   since the Dalai Lama visited in 1952.  And so, I hereby declare that
   Route 401, currently known as the Dalai Lama Expressway, will be
   henceforth be known as the Michael Jackson Expressway.
   -- Mayor `Diamond' Joe Quimby, ``Stark Raving Dad''
 When Homer and The Man arrive, everybody is disappointed that it's not
 the real Michael Jackson and quickly wander off.
   Lisa: Bart, the entire town is howling for your blood, and before I join
         them, I have one question.  Today is my birthday.  You promised
         to get me something and... and... I'm afraid to ask...
   Bart: You know, maybe you should trust that instinct and not ask.
   -- ``Stark Raving Dad''
 Homer tries (and fails) to wash the `INSANE' stamp off his hand.
 Lisa angrily writes Bart a letter...
   Dear Bart, I am using the stationery Mom and Dad gave me <for my birthday>
   to inform you that we are now brother and sister in name only.  Perhaps
   if a professional so advises, I will give you a hug at some far-distant
   family reunion.  But rest assured, it will be purely for show. [sobs]
   -- Lisa writes a letter to Bart, ``Stark Raving Dad''
 The Man sees Lisa and talks to Bart, and he suggests Bart write Lisa a
 song for her birthday.
   Bart: I can't write a song, I'm only ten.
   Man:  Only ten?  When I was your age, I had six gold records!
   -- ``Stark Raving Dad''
   Bart: Looney Toons, this is what Michael Jackson looks like.
         [shows an album]
         You're nothing but a big fat mental patient.
   Man:  You'd be amazed how often I hear that.
   -- ``Stark Raving Dad''
 He tells Bart to believe what he wants.  Bart asks Michael to sit down at
 the piano while he boils some coffee.
   [to the tune of the Colonel Bogey March]
   Lisa, her teeth are big and green.
   Lisa, she smells like gasoline.
   Lisa, da da da Disa.
   She is my sister, her birthday, I missed-a.
   -- Bart's birthday song for Lisa, ``Stark Raving Dad''
 The Man suggests they go look at Lisa so Bart can figure out what his
 feelings toward her are.  They do so from the treehouse.
   Man:  Oh, she looks sad.
   Bart: That's 'cause she knows you're looking at her.
   Lisa: [turns]  Although I'm aware you're looking at me, I would look
         exactly the same even if you weren't.
   -- ``Stark Raving Dad''
 Back at the piano...
   Man:  Bart, think.  What happens to you when you turn eight?
   Bart: Well, your training wheels come off your bike...
   Man:  Good.  That's good.  [plays and sings]
         Your training wheels come off your bike,
         You start to notice boy you like.  Hee hee hee!
   Bart: You're just putting that in because it's commercial.
   Man:  [chuckles]
   -- Bart's birthday song for Lisa, ``Stark Raving Dad''
 The next morning, the newspaper headline reads, ``Michael Jackson a hoax!
 Everyone mad at local boy.''  Bart wakes up Lisa by holding her nose shut
 until she gags awake.  The Man wheels in the piano, and Bart takes an
 upended wastepaper basket for a drum, and they play and sing.  (Homer covers
 his head with his pillow.)  Lisa thanks them for the best birthday present
 she's ever gotten.
   Man:   [in his normal voice]  Well, my work is done here.
   Bart:  Hey, Michael, what happened to your voice?
   Man:   This is my real voice.  My name is Leon Kompowski, and I'm a bricklayer
          from Paterson, New Jersey.  All my life, I was very angry.  Until one
          day, I just [Michael Jackson voice] talked like this.
          [in his normal voice]  All of a sudden, everyone was smiling at me,
          and I was only doing good on this earth.  So I kept on doing it.
          To make a tired point, which one of us is truly crazy?
   Homer: Not me, I've got this!  [shows his certificate]
   -- ``Stark Raving Dad''
   Marge: Bye-bye, Leon.
   Lisa:  You're a credit to dementia!
   -- ``Stark Raving Dad''
 Leon saunters down the sidewalk, singing Lisa's birthday song.

 [End of Act 3.  Time: 20:49]

 [Music for closing credits is Lisa's birthday song.  Time: 1:04]

Voice Credits


    Dan Castellaneta        (Homer, Krusty)
    Julie Kavner            (Marge)
    Nancy Cartwright        (Bart, Kearny)
    Yeardley Smith          (Lisa)
    Hank Azaria             (Leon Kompowski)
    \:    and
    Harry Shearer           (Burns, Smithers, Dr. Marvin Monroe)

Also Starring

    Pamela Hayden   	    (Milhouse)
    Kipp Lennon	    	    (?)

Special Guest Voice

    John Jay Smith          (Michael Jackson)

Didja notice...

    ... the man asleep at the safety console on Burns' monitor?
    ... when Homer did that `bebebebebe' thing, insead of crossing
        his eyes towards each other (which is easy; just look at your
        nose), they cross AWAY from each other?
    ... Homer is the only person in the asylum whose hand is stamped?
    ... the hat perched precariously atop Marge's 'do?
    ... Krusty is in costume even when he's at home?
        (Compare "Krusty Gets Busted")
    ... Dr. Hibbert was wearing another Cosby sweater[tm]?
        [Nat Collins (]
        Actually, two.  One on the phone saying, `Michael Jackson?',
        and another when he actually goes to see Michael Jackson.
        (It was a `Beat It!' sweater the second time.) {jdb}
    ... the man with the `John 3:16' sign?  Also in the crowd was a football
        team in full uniform. {dh}
    ... how much Homer wore his pink shirt?
    ... we don't see how they got the piano up the stairs?  (Or back down.)
    ... Maggie has a Binky doll?
    ... Lisa has an Itchy doll on her bookshelf? {scm2}
    ... Lisa's sax solo on the closing credits was an elaboration of the
        one she used to serenade Mr. Bergstrom?

Dave Hall {dh}:
    ... the guy counting the workers as they march into the plant?
    ... Homer was wearing pink slippers?  (Once an anarchist...)
    ... the two cops in Moe's Tavern during the phone chain sequence?
    ... Homer slept with his `NOT INSANE' certificate?

Movie references

  + America's Funniest Home Videos 
      - Homer watches a startlingly similar show on TV
    Rain Man
      - Floyd, the idiot savant
  + One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
      - much of the floor plan of the hospital {pmm}
      - the poker game, one-to-one correspondence with characters in
        the original game.  {jdb}
      - the dude hitting the punching bag with his cane {jf}
      - the discussion group
      - the agoraphobe with the sweater. {jdb}
      - R. P. McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) talking about dating a nurse. {jg}
      - Nurse Ratched, Mr. Harding, the Chief, the old man in the blue robe
        who danced constantly, and, of course, R. P. McMurphy himself.  {jwc}
  ~ Bye Bye Birdie
      - the collage of people calling each other {wm}
  + Silence of the Lambs
      - Hannibal Lector perched on a two wheeler replete with face mask,
        tied to a dolly with a straight jacket. {sf2}
      - In the cafeteria scene, he appears again, being given something to
        drink through a straw by an orderly. {cpc}

Freeze Frame Fun

The title sequence

J.D. Baldwin {jdb} reports:

In the title sequence, observe that in true cartoon style, the hole in the
wall is a silhouette of our favorite family.  Observe Bart's outstretched
hand, and that Marge's hair takes a chunk out of the picture, which swings
back and forth with the chunk missing.  What kind of hair spray <does> she
use?  We know she has a LOT of it.

Also, freeze-frame on the skinhead's bedroom (early on in the ``Michael
Jackson!?  Michael Jackson?!'' sequence).  In the background are, among
other nifty things:

   a)  a figurine of the devil on his dresser
   b)  a poster of the Grim Reaper holding a chainsaw labeled `DEATH'

The Krusty Hotline is 1-909-O-U-KLOWN. {dh}

   But Bart dialed ``0530350''. {cjb}

The Take-Home Personality Test, courtesy of Steve VanDevender {sv}

    Besides the questions read aloud ("Do you hear voices?"  "Do you
    ever wet your pants?"), I can make out these parts of the
    following questions on my VCR.

    fly to thin air?
    n't really there?
    circles for hours?
    r father and mother?
    ything in red?
    apparent reason?
    of violence?
    ng food down?
    ?? on rewards?

The New Bedlam Rest Home for the Emotionally Interesting

Dave Hall observes that it has barbed-wire atop the outer walls.  [So that
nobody can break in, I suppose? --rjc]  It also has an emergency entrance,
(for fast checking-in of patients, perhaps) and an outdoor TV antenna.
(Apparently they can't or don't want to have cable.)

The telephone

Theron Stanford {tws} kindly provides the pre-programmed
buttons on the phone at New Bedlam:

    * Larry King
    * Oprah
    * Phil Donahue
    * Geraldo
    * Ski Report

Signs at New Bedlam

    You don't have to be crazy to be committed here, but it helps!
    Your mother isn't committed here, so clean up after yourself!
    Do not throw food.

The phone collage (and the episodes the scenes there taken from) {cjb}

         Convict [7F20]             Patty [7F15]       Barney [7G10]
            Dr H [7F14] Scene from a Mall [7F23] Mrs Winfield [7F14]
     Baby-sitter [7G01]               Abe [7F17]          Moe [7F22]

The `Scene from a Mall' is a man in a little phone-alcove that Bart runs
past when he rushes back to the martial arts school.

The crowd waiting for Michael Jackson

Chris Baird {cjb} observes...

    Mayor Diamond Joe Quimby
    Kent Brockman
    Chief Wiggum
    Nick Riviera
    Dr. Hibbert
    Princess Cashmere
    One of the `Palmer twins' (with blond hair)
    Krusty('s paunch)
    Sherry and Terry
    Ned & Todd Flanders
    Prof Lombardo
    Groundskeeper Willie
    Ms. Allbright
    Helen Lovejoy
    The Teacher from the Enriched Learning Center
    The Shoe-shop and Bowl-o-Rama attendant (`Eraser Head')
    Antoine Tex O'Hara (owner of the 'Topes)
    Red-haired mother from [7G04]
    Patty and Selma
    Grampa Simpson
    Skinner's mother
    A girl from Bart's class
    Dr. Marvin Monroe


Michael sings Homer to sleep...

    Homer, the two of us need look no more.
    We both found what we are lookin' for.
    With a friend to call my own, I'll never be alone,
    And you, my friend, will see, you've got a friend in me.

Lisa's birthday song

As performed during the show, with piano and percussion:

Lisa, it's your birthday.  God bless you this day.
You gave me the gift of a little sister, and I'm proud of you today.

[Michael and Bart]
Lisa, it's your birthday.  Happy birthday, Lisa.
Lisa, it's your birthday.  Happy birthday, Lisa.

I wish you love and good will.  I wish you peace and joy.
I wish you better than your heart desires.
[Michael]                                   And your first kiss from a boy.

[Michael and Bart]
Lisa, it's your birthday.  Happy birthday, Lisa.
Lisa, it's your birthday.  Happy birthday, Lisa.

[Bart]  Yeah!

As performed over the credits, with full musical back-up:

[Michael and Bart]
Lisa, it's your birthday.  Happy birthday, Lisa.
Lisa, it's your birthday.  Happy birthday, Lisa.

I wish you love and good will.  I wish you peace and joy.
I wish you better than your heart desires.
[Michael]                                   And your first kiss from a boy.

[Michael and Bart]
Lisa, it's your birthday.  Happy birthday, Lisa.
Lisa, it's your birthday.  Happy birthday, Lisa.

[Bart]  Take it away, Lis.

[Lisa]  [does a saxophone solo]

[Michael and Bart]
Lisa, it's your birthday.

[Lisa]  [more sax stuff]

[Michael and Bart]         Happy birthday, Lisa.

[Michael] Hoo!

Animation and continuity goofs

David Hall observes that Maggie spits her pacifier at Bart, yet when Marge
sat her down in the high-chair, she still has it in her mouth.  [That's
because Maggie has a near-infinite supply of pacifiers.  See `The Pacifier'
on the Tracey Ullman Show. --rjc]

Who is John Jay Smith?

When Matt Groening appeared on The Tonight Show, Jay Leno (who is a
Simpsons fan) asked him if it really was Michael Jackson.  Groening
answered that he is legally restrained from confirming it.  But he
hinted very strongly that it indeed was the Gloved One.

Paul Jeong ( reports from an appearance at
UCLA of Matt Groening, Nancy Cartwright, and other members of the
staff.  (David Silverman is a UCLA alumnus.)

    Someone asked if Michael Jackson really did the voice.  They were
    silent for a long while, and then they said they can't legally say
    whether it was Michael or not.  Then they went on about how they hate
    using fake names.  Then they said, read between the lines.  (Wink
    wink.)  And then they said how they never turned down a guest
    apperance...and one guy remarks, ``Hey, didn't Michael Jackson want to
    be on The Simpsons?''  Read between <these> lines...

What do you want us to do, hit you over the head?

Assorted comments and observations

The title

   The French translation uses the title ``My Friend Michael Jackson''.
        [Alberto Aimar (]

The clip

The Bush quote came from a speech he gave on 27 January 1992 to a group
of religious broadcasters.  Apparently, he recycled the line in his
State of the Union Address on 28 January 1992.

The John 3:16 man

Mark Yocom ( explains...

The John 3:16 man is Rockin' Rollen Stewart, ``a born-again Christian whose
mission in life is to get his signs (and his mug) on national TV as often as
possible, the better to spread the word of the Lord.  Only in America.''
(according to `More of the Straight Dope', by Cecil Adams.)

The article goes on to explain that before he was born again, in 1980, his
main interest was being ``the most famous person in the world no one knows
about.''  For years he was the guy seen on telecasts of golf tournaments (of
all things -- Ed.) with the multicolored Afro wig.  This earned him the
nickname of `Rainbow Man'.

Lisa's poem

The line `Couldn't that Chrysler hit me instead?' refers to the car
that ran over Snowball I.

Dennis Cleary (

For someone just turning eight, this seems awfully advanced.  Not that the
poem is great or anything, but already feeling betrayed by your parents is
something that I wasn't able to put into words until I was the big 1-0,
when `your legs start to go, candy doesn't taste so good anymore,' etc.

I guess it was just another example of how Lisa feels betrayed by her
family.  I thought it went nicely with the scene of Lisa singing `Happy
Birthday' to herself.  I just wonder how the character development is
going to be carried through, when they insist on only making 20 shows a
year, showing us first and second season re-runs the rest of the time.

The Environment

Marge's hair spray

Jym Dyer suspects that there's probably a hole in the ozone layer right
above the Simpsons' house.  (FYI, Bart uses CFC-free spraypaint in the
`Bart Vs. The Space Mutants' video game.)

Jeff Meredith ( notes that Lisa would be thoroughly
disappointed in a mother that had such blatant disregard for Springfield's
ozone layer.

Lisa's wastebasket

And Mark Walsh ( noticed that ``when Bart dumped
Lisa's garbage can out onto the floor to use it as a drum, an aluminum can
fell out.  I'm disappointed.  I'm CERTAIN that Lisa would recycle.''  Members
of the Abject Admirers of Lisa Simpson the world over are profoundly

Scott Fields (am949@cleveland.Freenet.Edu) listened to it many times and

is convinced that the person singing `Crazy' on the New Bedlam wrongly
committed hotline is Tracey Ullman.

Amitava Biswas ( points out that Michael cannot

seem to teach Homer how to moonwalk, yet in Dancin Homer, Homer clearly
moonwalks on top of the dugout!

The interrogation

Nice, the powerplant has its own interrogation room... {cjb}

Smithers notes, ``We must have X-rayed him a hundred times.''

    The equivalent of working in a nuclear power plant for five minutes.


    [7[FG]10] The `Robert Palmer Twins' (Burns and Smithers' dates)

Brian Howard reports that there were actually two models for

Michael/Leon's mouth, one when he talked in his Michael Jackson voice,
and a different one for when he talked in his Leon voice.

Boring distribution restrictions

Episode summaries Copyright 1991,1992 by Raymond Chen.  Not to be redistributed
in a public forum without permission.  (The quotes themselves, of course,
remain the property of The Simpsons, and the reproduced articles remain
the property of the original authors.  I'm just taking credit for the

HTML conversion by
Howard Jones( on Sat 10 Sept 1994