Writer-Director-Producer Judd Apatow has a lengthy filmography that dates back to the early 90s, but the former stand-up comedian can now add the longest running scripted prime-time show to his résumé . On January 11th, The Simpsons script that Apatow wrote 25 years ago will finally see the light of day. He spoke to TV Guide about how the script finally got picked up.
I had talked about the script on stage in an interview at the L.A. County Museum and how I have always been fascinated with how difficult it is to grow up. In fact, everything I’ve done on film and TV is pretty much based on my ‘Simpsons’ idea. [Laughs] I can’t shake it. Parts of that interview hit the press and I guess Al read about it. Better late than never.
“Bart’s New Friend,” follows Bart and Homer’s newfound relationship after Homer gets hypnotized to think he’s a 10-year old. Homer enjoys the experience so much that he decides that he never wants to grow up. Apatow described the struggle to get one of his scripts made when he first began writing.
I was 22, a huge fan of The Simpsons, and hoping for a TV writing career. At the time I was a fledgling standup comic and people said, “If you want to write for sitcoms, you need to do spec scripts.” Only six episodes of The Simpsons had aired at that point but I tried to copy the style and did a spec script where Homer gets hypnotized and thinks he’s a 10-year-old. He has such a great time being Bart’s friend that he doesn’t want to become an adult again. I sent it in — in fact, I sent it to all my favorite shows — and got no job offers. I also wrote a spec script for the great Chris Elliott show Get a Life. They at least brought me in for a meeting, but that didn’t lead to any work, either. Then, all these years later, [Simpsons executive producer] Al Jean calls and says, “Hey, we’ll make it now!
So the Step by Step spec script I wrote in my Voltron journal 17 years ago has a chance?