‘The Simpsons’ to Produce Script Written by Judd Apatow 22 Years Ago

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The Simpsons Judd Apatow The Simpsons to Produce Script Written by Judd Apatow 22 Years Ago

Most often, even the greats of entertainment need to start at the bottom floor. In 1990, Judd Apatow (now the ubiquitous writer-director of films such as Knocked Up and the upcoming This Is 40) was an ambitious-but-frustrated 23-year-old trying to carve his way into Hollywood comedy. During his efforts to find an opening into the insular world of television writing, Apatow took a crack at submitting an unsolicited spec script to what was then a fledgling, up-and-coming series: The Simpsons.

Needless to say, he did not find success with the raucous animated satire. Since then, Judd Apatow has not only found his way into the Hollywood movie-making scene, he has routinely found box office success with comedies that carry his name. Based on that name power alone, it looks as if the Simpsons script that time forgot is going to get another chance. Apatow recently announced that his freshman effort has been dusted off and will see production in the near future.

In an interview posted on Conan O’Brien’s web supplemental series Serious Jibber-Jabber, Judd Apatow admitted that he has been approached by producers of The Simpsons asking to use the spec script he wrote 22 years ago. Simpsons executive producer Al Jean heard about the forgotten script when Apatow mentioned it in an interview done for the upcoming opening of his new film, This Is 40. Intrigued and eager to attach Apatow’s star power to The Simpsons, he contacted the director and asked if the show might finally take the script into consideration.

Apparently, Apatow’s script involves Homer (Dan Castellaneta) going to a shyster hypnotist and becoming convinced that he is a ten-year-old-boy. In the process of returning to his adolescent heyday, Homer becomes best friends with Bart (Nancy Cartwright) and discovers it difficult to return to the workaday life of a middle-aged slob. When one thinks about it, the description sounds like an opposite tack on many of the themes of aging, maturity, and responsibility tackled by Apatow in his film scripts.

Though it’s amusing to think about Apatow’s unique brand of raunchy comedy combined with pathos inserted into The Simpsons, one has to wonder how well it will mesh with the show at this point in its history. Al Jean has presided over a show that has had solid ratings for two decades, but has also somewhat alienated its original audience. This is not necessarily a bad thing – long-running television series need to evolve in order to outrun stagnation, and if they shed viewers while picking up new ones, the net gain is undeniable.

The Simpsons Judd Apatow Mystery Box The Simpsons to Produce Script Written by Judd Apatow 22 Years Ago

At this point, Judd Apatow’s script for ‘The Simpsons’ is an unknown quantity.

At the same time, Apatow’s script was written for The Simpsons when it was in its infancy – a period in which the series had fewer tertiary characters, focused largely on the Simpson family itself, and had a far more acidic social viewpoint. If this long-lost story is anything in keeping with that aesthetic, the resultant episode may stand out like a bruised thumb from the current run of the show. Of course, revisions made between now and the episode’s airing will probably smooth out any major tonal inconsistencies.

All this makes the upcoming production of Judd Apatow’s script doubly interesting – not only is it a story written by one of Hollywood’s premiere funny-men, it may also serve as a king of narrative time capsule to the era when parachute pants were plentiful and The Simpsons was denounced by the President of the United States.

The Simpsons continues its 25th season on Sundays.

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Source: Team Coco

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TAGS: the simpsons, this is 40

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  1. It could be funny hey there’s a first time for everything I personally don’t find the Simpsons funny but I still like the show.

  2. Agree, everything is funny when translated into the Simpsons
    http://bit.ly/10fp4TC

  3. So they really have run out of ideas.

    • That is not what it means. It means they have a catalog of spec scripts to choose from, and this one happens to be from apatow.

      • ‘The Simpsons’ hasn’t been good for about a decade now, i haven’t watched a new episode in literally years… it should have ended in the 1999-2000 season and went out on a high!

        • If you haven’t watched it for a decade how can you say it hasn’t been good?

          • My thoughts exactly

            • I stopped watching because it had stopped being good, plus the fact it had clearly taken a sharp veer towards left-wing propaganda, and from everything I’ve read and heard about it now, it hasn’t gotten any better… and ratings show that, they remain solid but not what they were during it’s 1990′s heyday.

              • If you think they just took a sharp turn to the left you never watched during the 90′s.

                • I did, it was around 2001-02 I stopped regularly watching and haven’t watched a single new episode since, I think, 2008 – the one where Homer and Ned Flanders both became bounty hunters, what year was that? – it just strikes me that show has completely run out of substantive ideas, it’s more about big-name guest stars rather than a humorous take on small-town life, they seem to be running on fumes at this point… if they’d stopped around 2002 and concentrated exclusively on the movie at that point, they would still have had plenty time to come up with a sensational script instead of the pretty decent but uneven script that was, still, just my humble opining for what it’s worth…

                  • …actually, let me quantify that; if ‘The Simpsons’ hadn’t replaced character-based storylines that had heart and genuine pathos with bizarre and surreal zany antics that were little more than excuses to shoe-horn in big-name guest star voices around the tenth season, they could easily have went on for another four seasons, ended on a high whilst they still had actual real ideas left for character development and interesting storylines, and transitioned smoothly to working on the movie… as it is, the ninth season was the last great season, and although season ten had a couple of classic episodes, it was absolutely the last one that did, at least ’24′ knew when to end when it was still seriously good, a pity FOX and Matt Groening still haven’t learned that lesson…

                    • To be fair the overall opinion of the guys on The Simpsons team seems to be “We’ve run out of ideas but if Fox wants to throw money at a show that’s run dry on originality and creativity then fine with us!” Would you stop making a show like The Simpsons? The Simpsons team work harder then they’ve ever worked in their entire lives.

                      I mean they need to come up with enough new, half recycled content to fill a 20ish episode season every year with no end in sight.

  4. Sounds pretty much exactly like the episode of Rugrats when Stu hits his head and becomes a baby and hangs out with Tommy and the babies all day.

  5. 24th season, not 25th.

  6. Homer acting stupid again?. Well of course. I try to watch the new ones every sunday when I get the chance.