“The Simpsons” is one of the greatest TV shows ever made. It’s not even up for debate.
Sure, it lost its way sometime in the late ’90s and probably should have ended at the same time as the decade, but seasons 3-9 are pretty much perfect. The writers and animators went on a streak that has yet to be matched in the world of TV comedy writing. They created some of the most hilarious moments ever to conceived and propelled the show into Planet Earth’s pop-culture canon for the rest of time.
That’s why it’s so great when the writers animators from the show’s heyday take to social media to share behind-the-scenes insight from the show’s glory days.
Animator David Silverman recently took to Twitter to share a few drawings and sketches from the from a 1995 writers’ retreat for the show. The images feature some ideas that never made it to air, as well as early designs for episodes that would take a few years to get made.
One of the most interesting sketches is the one which shows the early ideas the writers had for “The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase,” from the show’s eighth season. “Simpsons” fan will know that “Chief Wiggum, P.I.” and the Simpsons’ variety hour eventually made it into the episode, but a spin-off featuring Smithers, Milhouse and Scratchy the cat (from the cartoon-within-a-cartoon, “Itchy and Scratchy,”) did not. Sadly.
Obviously, nothing that happened in that episode was canon. So there’s no way that Scratchy being Smithers’ cat would have been anything more than a fleeting gag. But it would’ve been very interesting none-the-less.
Here’s a few more of Silverman’s images:
And yeah, that is Homer pretending to be a Muppet:;
The show was so influential that many of its most memorable scenes still exist in cultural lexicon.
One such scene is the infamous “Steamed Hams” scene from the episode “22 Short Films About Springfield,” which originally aired on April 14, 1996 and was the twenty-first episode of the show’s seventh season.
The episode features a series of short skits, each showing a brief slice of life in Springfield after Bart Simpson, in a somewhat meta moment, ponders if anything interesting happens to the other residents of Springfield.
One of these skits revolves around Bart’s longtime target of ridicule, Seymour Skinner, the principal of Springfield Elementary. In the scene, chaos ensues when Skinner welcomes his boss Superintendent Chalmers to his home for dinner.
When Skinner inadvertently burns his roast before his guest arrives, he concocts a plan to disguise fast food from the Krusty Burger across the street as his own cooking.
It’s almost impossible to do the scene justice in writing, so you’ll just have to watch it:
Despite initially airing 22 years ago, the scene recently went viral after being meme’d on Reddit and YouTube.
The greatest minds of the internet have re-imagined the scene in various ways, like in the style of the video game Minecraft, a Guitar Hero cover and evoking the imagery of a David Lynch film, but one artist has really raised the bar.
An artist known as ARTFONPRO has rendered the scene as though it were a segment in the the 1991 “Simpsons” arcade game produced by Konami — and they’ve absolutely nailed it.
Just look at those beautiful pixels (or lack thereof.)