Former “Simpsons” writer Bill Oakley — who, along with his writing partner Josh Weinstein, wrote for the show from Seasons 3 through 8 and served as co-showrunner during Seasons 7 and 8 — released a document from an old hard drive that offers fans a glimpse of the writing process from the show’s golden age.
The document, called “Leftover Story Ideas & Fragments,” is a list of embryonic ideas that could be anything from an entire episode to a one-off joke. Some of them did, indeed, come to fruition — “Bart vs. Australia,” “Homer gets Smithers job,” and “Rodney Dangerfield” all became episodes — but there are many more enticing possibilities that I would have loved to see, such as “Speed limit gets raised to 100 miles per hour” and “Lisa takes the cat to a cat show. (The weird world of cat lovers.)”
Leftover Story Ideas & Fragments
-Bill Oakley & Josh Weinstein
•Crawlspace or small room over the garage
•Homer vs. Mr. Muntz
•Homer gets Smithers job
•Speed limit raised to 100 miles per hour
•Martin’s parents throw him a really fancy birthday party in hopes of
making him more popular.
•Grampa has a emergency switch installed in his rest home room. Bart pulls it?
-The fire department comes
•Oh Calcutta or something at the Springfield playhouse. Something that sounds like it might be for kids and is actually really raunchy. Maybe the family goes.
•Lisa vs. the History of the United States of America.
-Lisa unearths some fact that debunks some famous event in U.S. (or
Springfield) history and causes a big controversy.
-She’s at center of this big controversy.
•Moe, in desperation, finally gets his phone number changed.
First, to 867-5309
-then teenagers call him
-then to Pennsylvania 6-5000
-and old people call him
-then to Beechwood 4-5789
-and Motown women call him
-and so forth
•Krusty gets married
– maybe to Selma or something
-maybe something with Krusty’s ex-wife
•Sequel to some famous thing, a la “Scarlett”
•Sideshow Bob, now a free man, is shot. Everyone thinks Bart did it.
•Grampa wins a trip to Los Angeles to visit the set of Matlock. (or
maybe Matlock films in Springfield)
Newspaper headline: “MATLOCK CANCELLED”
Grampa sees it and has a heart attack then he starts a write-in campaign, petition drive, etc. and gets it back on the air
-Grampa is a Matlock nerd and knows all the little details of the show.
The producers and Matlock are so grateful that they invite him and the family to L.A. so that Grampa can have a walk-on role.
Grampa goes to the show. All the producers and staff are 70 years old, with canes and pipes and sweaters
He has a small part
•Costume party at the plant. Smithers dressed as Elton John. (Halloween segment)
Lisa wins contest to perform at Playdude Jazz festival
•Lisa takes the cat to a cat show. (The weird world of cat lovers.)
Bart gives Grampa the novelty trophy that says “World’s Worst Grampa” and he’s really hurt.
•Bart gets 144 Jeeps
-find old ads in Argosy or True
“WW2 Surplus Jeeps as Low as $1.00 each when bought in quantity!’
“Min. Order 1 Gross.”
Gets kids to give him $, Homer buys 10, Grampa buys 50
Some young army guy doesn’t know what to do, send jeeps (maybe they’re packed in grease and unassembled)
“Grampa, come over and pick up your 50 jeeps”
Everyone, including the kids, are driving around in jeeps. Homer wrecks his and just uses a new one.
***Kids urban myths
-i.e. Mikey exploded from eating space dust.
Bart wants to try “MoonRocks”
Older kid tells him not to
Howie, the kid from moonrocks
Finally, Howie goes on tv all sick.
Start with commercial for “MoonRocksZ” with funny astronaut
-“That’s one small piece for a kid, one giant bag for a buck.” (?)
•People at the photo lab have a big collection of photos of Homer in embarrassing situations
•Flanders writes a Christian sci-fi book
•Piece of mail for Hobart Simpson
•Homer sees one of those old ads from the 60s that says “Be the Life of the Party! Learn to Play the Piano!” So Homer takes piano lessons, maybe with some cranky old lady, i.e. Mrs. Glick, and really does become the life of the party. Or perhaps he finds that nobody cares if you play the piano, and people tell him to stop doing it.
•Marge and Homer singing at the piano like Archie and Edith bunker.
Close with “Remembering You” going doing the street.
•Jimbo is finally graduating to Jr. High School. He bestows on Bart the troublemaker things that have been passed down through the generations, including a key to the school, an old xerox with the teachers’s home addresses and phone numbers, etc.
•Lisa becomes one of the kids on Zoom
-“I’m Milhouse and I’m here with today’s droodle.”
“What’s this? A witch drowning. Help, help, says the witch.”
•The cat story
•Homer and Generation X
•Bart vs. Australia