How I Spent My Strummer Vacation
- "My dream has been shattered into shards of a broken dream!"
- ―Homer Simpson
| "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation"
| Episode Information
"How I Spent My Strummer Vacation" is the second episode of season 14 of The Simpsons and the two-hundred and ninety-third episode overall. It originally aired on November 10, 2002. The episode was written by Mike Scully and directed by Mike B. Anderson. It guest stars Elvis Costello as himself, Mick Jagger as himself, Lenny Kravitz as himself, Tom Petty as himself, Keith Richards as himself and Brian Setzer as himself.
- "When Marge, Lisa and Bart find out how hard Homer struggles to keep a roof over their heads, they enroll him in a Rock & Roll fantasy camp to relax at for a week."
Homer goes to Moe's Tavern to get a beer. However, Moe doesn't serve him because Homer has no money. Homer then goes to get the effects of being drunk elsewhere before he goes back to Moe's to rub it in his face. Moe apologizes to Homer for not serving him earlier and gives him a free beer. Due to Homer already being very light-headed, he becomes very drunk. Moe and the barflies send Homer home in a taxi instead of letting him drive home. However, this taxi turns out to be part of the show Taxicab Conversations.
At home, the family are watching television when Taxicab Conversations comes on. After a part about Disco Stu, Homer's conversation comes on. Homer starts off by saying nice things about his family before he goes on to complain that he can't fulfill his dreams anymore due to his family and job holding him back. After work the next day, the family picks Homer up and takes him out into the forest. Homer gets scared until he finds out that they're taking him to The Rolling Stones' Rock N' Roll Fantasy Camp to fulfill his fantasy of being a rock star.
Homer and several other men from Springfield take part in the camp's activities, which are all hosted by rock stars. These activities include learning how to strut, learning about lyrics, and learning how to escape to a limo. The campers then end their week by performing "Hound Dog" on stage. When Homer sees his family waiting for him, he gets upset that he has to leave. Seeing this, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards offer to let Homer go on stage with them at a concert they were doing in Springfield. Homer is excited to accept this and gets VIP passes for him and his family.
At the concert, Homer uses his VIP pass to get into places he normally wouldn't be allowed in. He then gets ready to go on stage but is disappointed to learn that he will only be performing a mic test as a roadie. He goes on stage and starts the mic test, which disappoints his family and friends. Homer sees the disappointment and starts to perform a song instead, which angers the rock stars. The rock stars then chase after Homer on a devils head prop which breathes fire. The devil head then falls into the audience and sets the stadium on fire. During the commotion, Tom Petty lost his toe.
After the fire is put out, the rock stars apologize to Homer for the way they acted. They then ask Homer if he wants to actually perform with them on stage at another concert. Homer declines, deciding to go with his family instead. The next day, Homer takes Bart and Lisa to school in the devil's head, which has been turned into a car. He then uses the fire breath to burn Principal Skinner's pants off. During the credits, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger are seen working in their back yards.
The episode came around when Fox wanted an additional episode as there was an opening in the schedule. Al Jean offered episode writer Mike Scully a chance to do the episode. Scully looked through his old episode ideas and found one that said "Homer goes on Taxicab Confessions." Scully wanted to do a show where Homer goes on the show and says something horrible about his family. However, Scully couldn't figure out what the second half of the episode would be. The second half of the episode came when Scully was driving one day and listening to the radio, when he heard Leslie West talking about a rock and roll fantasy camp that he was doing. He then changed the original plan from the family being mad at Homer for what he said to thinking that Homer had a point. Whilst the episode was being written, Denise Sirkot was contacted by a friend of hers who said that the Rolling Stones were fans of the show and wanted to be in an episode, which led to Keith Richards and Mick Jagger getting guest spots.
This was the last episode to be produced whilst the show was still being inked and painted. Future episodes would be colored in on computer.
Robert Canning of IGN gave the episode an 8.6 rating. He said that he absolutely loved the episode when he first saw it. However, subsequent viewings of the episode have revealed some weaknesses, stating that the first act of the episode is his "least favorite part".
- Scully, Mike (2011). Commentary for "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation", in The Simpsons: The Complete Fourteenth Season.
- Jean, Al (2011). Commentary for "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation", in The Simpsons: The Complete Fourteenth Season.
- Entertainment Weekly - "The best Simpsons episodes, Nos. 21-25"
- IGN - "The Simpsons Flashback: "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation" Review"
- IMDb - "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation"