7F24: Stark Raving Dad

Airdate: 19 September 1991

Writer: Al Jean and Mike Reiss
Director: Rich Moore
Executive Producer: James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Sam Simon

Lisa's birthday is approaching, so she makes sure Bart wont forget. Homer discovers that Bart threw his red hat into the wash with all the white clothes, turning them pink. Mr. Burns sees Homer and detains him for being a troublemaker, while Dr. Monroe gives Homer a sanity test to take home. Homer has Bart fill it out, and Homer scores the lowest possible score. He is taken away to a mental institution. At the institution, Homer shares a room with a big white man who talks, dances, and acts like he's Michael Jackson. Homer has never heard of Jackson, so he takes his word for it. Michael phones home for Homer, and Bart answers. Believing it's Michael Jackson, and hearing he'll be staying with The Simpsons, Bart tells Milhouse, and soon enough the whole town knows. Lisa's birthday arrives, and in the midst of all the excitement, Bart forgets. Lisa disowns him as a brother. "Michael" helps a disappointed Bart write a birthday song for Bart, and Lisa thinks it's the best present ever. Michael reveals his true colors; his name is Leon Kompowsky, and he leaves because his work is done.
 

8F01: Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington

Airdate: 26 September 1991

Writer: George Meyer
Director: Wes Archer
Executive Producer: Al Jean and Mike Reiss

Lisa writes an essay for a Readers Digest competition and the family gets an all-expense-paid trip to Washington D.C. The morning of the contest, Lisa wanders off to a little known memorial, where she witnesses a Congressman taking a bribe from a lobbyist. Her faith in democracy now destroyed, she tears up the essay she prepared for the final. She writes a new essay exposing the Congressman and condemns the politicians in Washington. He is immediately arrested in a sting operation. Lisa loses the contest, but her faith in the democratic system is restored.
 

7F23: When Flanders Failed

Airdate: 3 October 1991

Writer: Jon Vitti
Director: Jim Reardon
Executive Producer: James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Sam Simon

Flanders announces that he's opening 'The Leftorium', a store for Left-Handed people. On a wishbone, Homer wishes that his business will fail. Meanwhile, Bart takes Karate lessons, and while taking him there, he notices Flanders' business is doing poorly. Bart thinks Karate is boring so every time Homer takes him, he creeps out and spends the money on Video Games instead. Ned is going broke so he holds a yard sale, and Homer buys all of his posessions for practically nothing. Homer runs into left-handed people needing help, but doesn't tell them about Ned's store. Meanwhile Lisa tells all the bullies that Bart knows karate, which puts him at a dead-end. He is beaten up and learns a lesson. Homer's wish comes true and the Flanders evacuate their house. Homer realizes what he's caused, so he lets everybody know about his store. The next day, Ned gets a huge surprise at the mall where everybody is at his store. He's back in business.
 

8F03: Bart The Murderer

Airdate: 10 October 1991

Writer: John Swartzwelder
Director: Rich Moore
Executive Producer: Al Jean and Mike Reiss

Bart crashes down a flight of stairs on his Skateboard and ends up at the Legitimate Businessman's Social Club -- a mobster hangout. The mobsters, Fat Tony, Louie and Joey, are impressed with Bart's spunk and give him a job tending bar. Marge finds out what Bart is doing and asks Homer to stop it. Homer however, is impressed with the mobsters. Fat Tony finds out that Skinner is making Bart stay after school, so the mob pay him a visit. The next day Skinner goes missing, and Bart and the mob is the main blame. Just as Bart is about to be convicted, Skinner bursts in and tells the court he was trapped in his basement after a stack of newspapers fell on him. Bart quits his job, and all is well.
 

8F04: Homer Defined

Airdate: 17 October 1991

Writer: Howard Gewirtz
Director: Mark Kirkland
Executive Producer: Al Jean and Mike Reiss

At the Power Plant, Homer falls asleep, unaware that a nuclear meltdown has begun and he is responsible. Only he can stop it and all of Springfield is reliable. With only seconds to go, he presses a random button and stops the meltdown. He is hailed a hero, and given the position of employee of the month. The owner of the Shelbyville Plant is impressed with Homer so much that he asks him to perform a speech to his workers. Homer knows what happened was a fraud. At the speech, Homer is lost for words, but is saved by the bell when another meltdown occurs. Again, it is up to Homer to stop it, but everybody is watching him. Again, he pushes a random button, and the meltdown is stopped. Homer's true colours are revealled, it was just a lucky guess.
 

8F05: Like Father, Like Clown

Airdate: 24 October 1991

Writer: Jay Kogen and Wallace Wolodarsky
Director: Jeffrey Lynch and Brad Bird
Executive Producer: Al Jean and Mike Reiss

Bart and Lisa try to track down Krusty The Clown's father so they can make amends with each other. Rev Lovejoy appears with Rabbi Krustofski on a radio show, so they got his address from him. Krustofski tells them he has no son and slams the door in their face. They try to reason with the rabbi, but nothing can convince him to reunite with his son. Rabbi Krustofski recognizes his mistake by not acknowledging his children. He and his son celebrate their reunion on the Krusty The Clown Show.
 

8F02: Treehouse Of Horror II

Airdate: 31 October 1991

Writer: Al Jean, Mike Reiss, Jeff Martin, George Meyer, Sam Simon, John Swartzwelder
Director: Jim Reardon
Executive Producer: Al Jean and Mike Reiss

Lisa's Nightmare: Lisa dreams that Homer purchases a monkey's paw that grants the family four wishes.
Bart's Nightmare: Bart dreams that he has the power to read mind and make things happening by thinking about them. Why is it a nightmare? Bart.. kisses Homer.
Homer's Nightmare: Homer dreams that Mr Burns fires him, cuts out his brain, and places it in a robot to become the 'perfect employee'.
 

8F06: Lisa's Pony

Airdate: 7 November 1991

Writer: Al Jean and Mike Reiss
Director: Carlos Baeza
Executive Producer: Al Jean and Mike Reiss

Homer needs to pick up a reed for Lisa's sax so she can play at the talent show that night, but Homer turns up too late and she's made a spectacle of herself already. Lisa is unable to forgive Homer, so he buys Lisa the pony she always wanted. He takes a loan out from the plant's credit union. There's still not enough money to take care of the pony, so Homer takes an overnight job at the Kwik-E-Mart. With no free time, this makes him a zombie. Marge tells Lisa about what Homer has been through, and although she adore's the pony, she has to do what's right for her father. She returns the pony.
 

8F07: Saturdays Of Thunder

Airdate: 14 November 1991

Writer: Ken Levine and David Isaacs
Director: Jim Reardon
Executive Producer: Al Jean and Mike Reiss

After Homer fails a National Fatherhood test, he concludes that he's a bad father. He spends more time with Bart, helping him build a Soapbox Derby racer. At the qualifying race, Bart's car doesn't even cross the finishing ling. Martin's model easily wins, but he loses control and crashes. He breaks his arm and cannot enter the final race against Nelson. He asks Bart to race for him and Bart accepts. Homer feel's betrayed, deciding to ride Martin's car rather than the car the two built together. Homer takes the test again, but this time passes. He runs to the final race and cheers Bart along in Martin's racer. He blasts past Nelson and wins the race.
 

8F08: Flaming Moe's

Airdate: 21 November 1991

Writer: Robert Cohen
Director: Rich Moore and Alan Smart
Executive Producer: Al Jean and Mike Reiss

When business gets slow at Moe's Tavern, Homer shows him the "Flaming Homer", a concoction of various liquors mixed with Krusty's Kough Syrup, and then sets it on fire. An instant hit, the drink attracts a lot of business. Moe renames it the 'Flaming Moe' and takes all credit. Moe's is now the most popular place in Springfield, even Aerosmith perform there. Homer feels he should be getting some money for it, but Moe refuses to cut him in. A local restaraunt chain offers Moe one million dollars for the secret ingredient to be revealled. But just as Moe is about to take the money, Homer bursts in and tells it to everybody, and the businessman walks away. Moe's Tavern returns to normal.
 

8F09: Burns Verkaufen Der Kraftwerk

Airdate: 5 December 1991

Writer: Jon Vitti
Director: Mark Kirkland
Executive Producer: Al Jean and Mike Reiss

Mr. Burns sells the Power Plant to a German company for $100 million. In the aftermath of the takeover, Homer loses his job and slips into a depression state. Homer and his friends stumble accross Burns in Moe's Tavern and give him a piece of his mind. Burns and Smithers leave. Burns realizes that because he is no longer in a position of power, he is no longer feared. He buys his plant back, they agree to sell it back to Burns for $50 million, and Homer is re-hired.
 

8F10: I Married Marge

Airdate: 26 December 1991

Writer: Jeff Martin
Director: Jeffrey Lynch
Executive Producer: Al Jean and Mike Reiss

The story startes in 1980, and Homer is dating Marge. The two see The Empire Strikes Back one night, then "celebrate" afterwards. Weeks later, Marge discover's she is pregnant with Bart. To make her an honest woman, Homer proposes. Homer tries to find a decent job, but fails. When the baby clothes and furniture are repossessed, Homer decides Marge would be better off without him. He leaves in the middle of the night, but Marge tracks him down. Homer returns to the Power Plant for a job and tells him he'll be the perfect employee. Burns hires him.
 

8F11: Radio Bart

Airdate: 9 January 1992

Writer: Jon Vitti
Director: Carlos Baeza
Executive Producer: Al Jean and Mike Reiss

Homer buys Bart a "Superstar Celebrity Microphone" that transmits sound through AM radio. As a prank, he throws a small radio down a well and identifies himself as "Timmy O'Toole", and he'd fallen down the well. Soon, a large crowd gathers. They realize the hole is too small for an adult to fit down and rescue him so the town's celebrities write a song to raise money for "Timmy". Lisa discovers Bart is responsible and warns him that the radio had "Property Of Bart Simpson" written on it. Bart knew he'd get caught, so he climbs down the well to retrieve the radio. The rope breaks and he is trapped for real. Bart admits to the cops that he is "Timmy O'Toole" and he was playing a prank, but now it's real. They decide to leave him stranded. Homer overhears Bart crying and starts to dig. Others join in, and the townspeople finally rescue Bart.
 

8F12: Lisa The Greek

Airdate: 23 January 1992

Writer: Jay Kogen and Wallace Wolodarsky
Director: Rich Moore
Executive Producer: Al Jean and Mike Reiss

Lisa decides to spend more time with Homer. She watches a footmal game with Homer, who aks here to pick a team for a $50 bet. Lisa picks the correct team, and when the trend starts continue, her picks remain perfect for eight weeks, earning Homer lots of money. Lisa calls off the bets, and Homer feels bad for taking advantage of her. Lisa makes one last bet for the Super Bowl. If Washington wins, she'll love Homer. If Buffalo wins, she won't. Washington comes from behind to win and Homer and Lisa go hiking the next day.
 

8F14: Homer Alone

Airdate: 6 February 1992

Writer: David Stern
Director: Mark Kirkland
Executive Producer: Al Jean and Mike Reiss

Marge goes off the rails and decides to take a vacation at Rancho Relaxo. Bart and Lisa are left with Patty and Selma, but Maggie doesn't want to let go of Homer. Feeling lonely, Maggie crawls out of bed in the middle of the night in search for her mother. Homer realizes that she's gone missing and can't find her anywhere. With Marge soon coming home, Homer panics, but at the last minute before he leaves to pick her up, Chief Wiggum shows up with Maggie. Marge comes back and promises she'll never leave again.
 

8F16: Bart The Lover

Airdate: 13 February 1992

Writer: Jon Vitti
Director: Mark Baeza
Executive Producer: Al Jean and Mike Reiss

Mrs. Krabappel puts a personal ad in the paper and Bart finds it. He decides to reply to her ad under the name of 'Woodrow' and a photo of Gordie Howe. She sends a response with a revealing photo. Mrs. Krabappel wants to meet Woodrow so Bart organizes a time and location, but the man of her dreams doesn't show up and leaves her depressed. Bart feels bad about what he's done, so he tells the family about it. They decide to write another letter letting her down easily, and they write a poetic masterpiece, leaving Edna's spirits lifted.
 

8F13: Homer At The Bat

Airdate: 20 February 1992

Writer: John Swartzwelder
Director: Jim Reardon
Executive Producer: Al Jean and Mike Reiss

Homer joins his work's softball team because he has made a "super bat" known as 'wonderbat'. The bat manages to hit a grand slam every time and the team face Shelbyville in the championship. Mr Burns bets the other coach a million dollars that his team will win, so he signs up a bunch of professional Baseball players to his team. Darrel Strawberry take's Homer's position. On the day of the game, all professional players are involved in some sort of incident that'll keep them from playing. Burns has to use his old team, however, Strawberry is still standing. Homer is kept on the bench, and with scores tied and bases loaded, Burns sends him in to pitch. The pitch hits Homer in the head and knocks him unconscious which wins them the game.
 

8F15: Separate Vocations

Airdate: 27 February 1992

Writer: George Meyer
Director: Jeffrey Lynch
Executive Producer: Al Jean and Mike Reiss

The school takes an Aptitude test, and says that Bart will become a policeman, and Lisa a homemaker. Lisa wants to prove the test wrong because she wants to be a jazz player. Bart gets to know what being a cop is all about, and becomes hall monitor at the school. Lisa's dreams are shattered, and she becomes a bad student. She steals every teachers' edition school books and sends all the teachers into a panic. Bart and Skinner search every locker at the school and Bart discovers them in Lisa's locker. Bart believe's Lisa has more to live for, so he takes the rap for her and is put on detention for 600 days.
 

8F17: Dog Of Death

Airdate: 12 March 1992

Writer: John Swartzwelder
Director: Jim Reardon
Executive Producer: Al Jean and Mike Reiss

Santa's Little Helper collapses so they rush him to the hospital, but need $750 for the operation. They don't want to let the dog die, so they resolve to find a way to help him. Everybody in the family has to sacrifice something to help save money. The operation goes ahead and is sucessfull, but the family hate the dog for the sacrifices they made for him. He runs away one night, and the family feels guilty. Meanwhile, SLH is at the dog pound and Mr. Burns buys him and trains him to become a killer dog. Bart knocks on Burns' door asking if he's seen his dog, and he releases the hounds. Bart notices one of them is the dog, and he takes him home.
 

8F19: Colonel Homer

Airdate: 26 March 1992

Writer: Matt Groening
Director: Mark Kirkland
Executive Producer: Al Jean and Mike Reiss

Homer and Marge go see a movie but Homer doesn't shut up in the theater. He ends up giving the film away and the audience boo's him. Marge yells at him, leaving him embarrassed. Homer drives off to a country pub to think about what happened when he meets a waitress called Lurleen who sings a song that he falls in love with. Homer returns home but can't get her song out of his head. He drives back and decides to get the song recorded. It is given to the local radio station and the song is an instant success. Homer becomes Lurleen's manager, much to Marge's objection. Lurleen wants more from homer than him being her manager, but Homer cares for his wife and kids and decides he made the wrong choice.
 

8F20: Black Widower

Airdate: 8 April 1992

Writer: Jon Vitti
Director: David Silverman
Executive Producer: Al Jean and Mike Reiss

Selma's prison pal is released, but it turns out that he is Sideshow Bob. Bob asks Selma to marry him, and she says yes. Bart knows Bob has some kind of plan. Selma marries Sideshow Bob and sends a honeymoon tape back for the family to watch. By watching the video, Bart realizes Bob wants to blow up the apartment with Selma in it, and he tells the police. They arrive just in time to foil his plan, and Sideshow Bob is sent to prison... again.
 

8F21: The Otto Show

Airdate: 23 April 1992

Writer: Jeff Martin
Director: Wes Archer
Executive Producer: Al Jean and Mike Reiss

Bart attends a Spinal Tap concert and decides he wants to be a rock star. Homer and Marge buy him a guitar but he doesn't know how to play. Bart brings his guitar onto the bus and Otto plays it. Enjoying it too much, he realizes he's running late and takes a short cut to school. He crashes the bus and it is discovered that he never had drivers license. Otto also loses his house, and fails his driving test, so Bart hides him out in their garage. Homer finds out and orders him to leave. Otto takes the drivers test again, but tells Patty and Selma that he hates Homer. Hearing this, they automatically pass him and he's given another chance at being the bus driver.
 

8F22: Bart's Friend Falls In Love

Airdate: 7 May 1992

Writer: Jay Kogen and Wallace Wolodarsky
Director: Jim Reardon
Executive Producer: Al Jean and Mike Reiss

A new girl, Samantha Stanky starts at the school and Milhouse instantly falls in love with her. To Bart's dismay, Milhouse and Samantha spend all of their free time with each other. Bart calls Samantha's father and lets him know what's happening, and he rushes to the scene and takes her away. She is sent to a Catholic school. Bart lets Milhouse know that he snitched and they fight. Milhouse visits her for one last time at the Catholic School and Bart apologizes.
 

8F23: Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?

Airdate: 27 August 1992
Writer: John Swartzwelder
Director: Rich Moore
Executive Producer: Al Jean and Mike Reiss

Homer learns his sperm count is low due to radiation exposure. Fearing a lawsuit, Mr. Burns sends Homer $2000 and tells him he's won the First Annual Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence. Meanwhile, Herb Powell is back, and living under a bridge. He learns that Homer got the money and decides to visit him so he can use the money to invent something new. Homer agrees, as long as he gets the money back, and Herb creates a "Baby Translator". His invention is an instant money-maker. Being rich once again, Herb pays back Homer and the family receive many gifts. Herb forgives Homer for ruining him in the first place.
 


The Episodes
[7F24] - Stark Raving Dad
[8F01] - Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington
[7F23] - When Flanders Failed
[8F03] - Bart The Murderer
[8F04] - Homer Defined
[8F05] - Like Father Like Clown
[8F02] - Treehouse Of Horror II
[8F06] - Lisa's Pony
[8F07] - Saturdays Of Thunder
[8F08] - Flaming Moe's
[8F09] - Burns Verkaufen Der Kraftwerk
[8F10] - I Married Marge
[8F11] - Radio Bart
[8F12] - Lisa The Greek
[8F14] - Homer Alone
[8F16] - Bart The Lover
[8F13] - Homer At The Bat
[8F15] - Separate Vocations
[8F17] - Dog Of Death
[8F19] - Colonel Homer
[8F20] - Black Widower
[8F21] - The Otto Show
[8F22] - Bart's Friend Falls In Love
[8F23] - Brother, Can You Spare 2 Dimes?


Matt Groening Says:
Pardon me if I sound a little emotional, but when I come home after work and turn on the TV and gaze at all the old reruns of The Simpsons, I get a bit choked up. When I see those yellow-skinned, overbitey cartoon characters I love so much running through their sweet, innocent paces in some almost-forgotten adventure from more than a decade ago, my eyes start to water. As I watch their high jinks and snappy retorts and merry mix ups, I find myself stifling a sob or two. But don't get me wrong. I'm not crying because I'm sad. I'm crying because I'm filled with rage. Do they really have to hack up the syndicated episodes of The Simpsons so poorly, butchering them to the point of near incomprehensibility? Just to squeeze in several more commercials for heavily salted snack treats? Is this how TV repays our years of slavish, unquestioning loyalty?

What I'm trying to say is that if you're hip to the whole recycled Simpsonian merchandise thing, then you're really going to dig this little baby, the third season of the show, with all the jokes, credits, and original animation glitches in tact.

This is the season in which The Simpsons found love. We see Homer and Marge getting married at Shotgun Pete's Wedding Chapel (just over the border from whatever state Springfield's in). We leer at Homer's near romance with country singer Lurleen Lumpkin. We recoil at Marge's sister Selma's marriage to the ever-conniving Sideshow Bob. We stare in disbelief at Milhouse falling in love with someone other than Lisa (Samantha Stancy, to be precise). Plus we get a gander at the 1971 sex education film "Fuzzy Bunny's Guide to You Know What," not to mention Homer's psychedelic ride in the SpineMelter 2000 massage-chair or his unforgettable rhapsody in the Land of Chocolate.

All in all, not a bad batch of shows. I actually think this makes Season Two look like Season One.

Your pal
Matt Groening



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