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December 28, 2006

Comments

Jaime J. Weinman

I love that episode (and let's not forget Jeff Martin's "Capital City" song). It's nice to flash back to the time when Simpsons scripts had room for some quiet, observational jokes and a certain amount of realism. The show has had its ups and downs recently, but it seems every script for the last few years has to have an obvious joke or pun in every other line.

EditThis

A few years ago, I was working on the Fox lot for an editor who was always (somehow) finding odd things in dumpsters and "rescuing" them to his office. One day he came in with a huge box full of Simpsons scripts. The box was marked "Basura" (garbage). He was ecstatic, and plunked them down on my office floor for safekeeping. The next morning we came in, only to find the box gone. Brilliant guy that he was, he didn't take off the label that said "Basura" and the housekeeping staff threw the box of scripts in the garbage. That's my only Simpsons script story.

Ger Apeldoorn

I never followed the Simpsons, but my 12 year old son is now watching it religiously and I have finally discovered it with him. Great script... didn't I recenlty see a similarely butchered Anthem on Saterday Night Live?

Phil

Ken, please give yourself and David a big wet kiss for writing a favourite episode.Please note:- no tongue.

Paul Duca

Obviously, this was drawn from your experiences in the field, Ken...so some over the hill fast baller did, in fact, make a untoward advance to Debbie?

ahomer

Fantastic post. What's great is to read a good script where writers can grasp the attributes of these cartoon characters. It is evident even on paper. Is there a difference between writing for Simpsons and live-action?In some instances, just to read the script, I would miss Homer's voice. This way Dan Castanella (sp?) has for taking what looks like a simple line on paper and then 'homering' it. Its a subtle combination, quick pacing and certainly having energy, which still manages to play with his supposed lag in response time. Like in one of the more recent episodes (many of which I feel are still really up to speed) when Marge is shocked that young Bart has pre-enlisted for the Army, and Homer says it won't matter because by the time Bart is 18, "we'll run the world", then he stops to think for a few milliseconds and says "We are China, right?"

Graham

"The obese or gangly gentleman" - ha, I remember that line clearly but didn't know it came from this episode.

Tom Dougherty

"You'll giggle like a stupid clown when you chance to see 4th Street and D"!This is one of the episodes that never gets old. All the fantastic details, and Tom Poston too!

tbone

I like Dan Hoard's comment near the end of the game, where big slugger'mcClosky' or someone is up to bat. "As soon as he pops up, we'll go to the post game show", and we see said slugger looking around annoyed upon hearing that.

Anonymous

I actually paid $10 for a copy of that wonderful script years ago at a TV memorabilia store... don't know what's happened to the script (or the store, for that matter) in the intervening years.My favorite scene was one that got cut out of the episode: after Tony Bennett sings the "Capital City" song, the family goes to the Capital City ballpark and finds that Tony Bennett is there to sing the National Anthem. He screws up the words - but the crowd goes wild anyway. ("He's the best!" "NOBODY sings the National Anthem like Tony Bennett!")I always wondered why that scene was cut - was it for time, or did Tony object to it?-Tim D.

Miranda Prince

I *think* (though I'm not positive) that Tony Bennett really sang the "Capitol City" song, so chances are he did the National Anthem scene too? So my guess would be that the scene was cut for time.

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About

    Ken Levine is an Emmy winning writer/director/producer/major league baseball announcer. In a career that has spanned over 30 years Ken has worked on MASH, CHEERS, FRASIER, THE SIMPSONS, WINGS, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, BECKER, DHARMA & GREG, and has co-created his own series including ALMOST PERFECT starring Nancy Travis. He and his partner wrote the feature VOLUNTEERS. Ken has also been the radio/TV play-by-play voice of the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres.
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