The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular
| "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular"
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"The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular" is the tenth episode of season 7 of The Simpsons and the one-hundred and thirty-eighth episode overall. It originally aired on December 3, 1995. The episode was written by Jon Vitti and directed by David Silverman. It guest stars Phil Hartman as Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz, Buzz Aldrin as himself and Glenn Close as Mona Simpson, with Aldrin and Close only appearing in clips.
- "Troy McClure hosts "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular", where we take a look at the show's history answer viewer questions, and take a look at some never before seen deleted scenes."
At the Springfield Civic Auditorium, Troy McClure hosts "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular" to honor America's favorite non-prehistoric family. He tells the viewers about how the show was created when Matt Groening teamed up with award-winning producers James L. Brooks and Sam Simon to make the show. McClure then shows the original short, "Good Night". After that short is finished, scenes from "The Perfect Crime", "Space Patrol", "World War III" and "Bathtime" are also shown.
The first commercial break then happens, asking the audience what the cash register says when Maggie is scanned in the opening sequence. After the break, the answer is revealed to be "NRA4EVER", one of the many radical right-wing messages inserted into the show. After the break, McClure answers viewer questions. The first one, from Professor Lawrence Pierce, simply states "I think Homer gets stupider every year.". Troy points out that it's not a question, but then goes on to show clips of Homer's stupidity from various episodes.
The next viewer question, from Dr. Linus Irvin, asks how Matt Groening can write and animate an entire episode every week. The crew go to Groening to ask him just that question. However, Groening yells at them to get out of his office and shoots at the crew. Troy then tells the viewers that, according to Groening's lawyers, what he meant to say was that he couldn't possibly do it alone. A list of people who work on The Simpsons then scrolls down the screen. The final question is from Ambassador Henry Mwabwetumba of the Ivory Coast, who asks "What is the real deal with Mr. Burns' assistant, Smithers". Several scenes of Smithers romanticizing Mr. Burns are then shown off. Troy summarizes the clips by saying that the "real deal" with Waylon Smithers is that he's Mr. Burns' assistant, he's in his early 40s, is unmarried, and currently resides in Springfield.
The next commercial break asks what popular Simpsons characters had died in the past year. After the break, the announcer says that if you answered Marvin Monroe and Bleeding Gums Murphy that you were wrong, as those characters were never popular. The next segment of the show has Troy McClure showing off deleted scenes from episodes. The first scenes are from "Krusty Gets Kancelled" and has Krusty trying to get people to watch his show by offering free copies of his book, Sex, and being told that his show is being replaced by a hemorrhoids infomercial. The next scenes are from "$pringfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)" where Homer is the dealer for a poker game involving James Bont, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Jaws, and Oddjob. The scenes after that are from "Mother Simpson", where Homer retrieves the care packages that were sent to him by his mother, and proceeds to eat everything from them. The next scenes are from "Treehouse of Horror IV", where Lionel Hutz tells Marge that if they don't win the court case in 30 minutes, the pizza is free. Bart also says that he would sell his soul for a racing car, causing Flanders the Devil to appear, before Bart changes his mind, The next scene is from "Homer and Apu", where Apu and the Simpsons watch an Indian movie. Finally, a deleted scene from "Burns' Heir" featuring the Robotic Richard Simmons is shown off.
The next part of the special looks at "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" and the different outcomes for the end that were written and animated. A montage of different characters shooting Burns is shown off, followed by the alternate ending where it is revealed that Smithers shot Burns. Mr. Burns then gives Smithers a five percent pay cut for shooting him. Troy McClure then ends the special by showing what everyone came to see, a montage of hardcore nudity.
The episode happened because the network forced them to have clip shows. The idea of this clip show was to just be up front with the viewers that this was a clip show. The producers also wanted to use footage that hadn't been seen, or hadn't been seen in a while. This is why deleted scenes and The Simpsons shorts were used in the clip show as opposed to already seen episodes.
The image of Sam Simon was drawn by Sam Simon himself who didn't like the original joke about him. The original joke was that it said "no photo available". The crude drawings of Grampa and Krusty were a satirical jab at the early drawings of the Simpsons characters. Director David Silverman got defensive over the joke, saying that they didn't have a lot of time to do the drawings back then.
The jokes about Matt Groening being right-wing and inserting right-wing messages into every episode were made as a subversion to the beliefs of the staff because most of the show's staff are very left-wing.
Erik Adams of The A.V. Club calls the episode "a relic of a bygone era" since deleted scenes are available on the DVD boxsets. He ends his review by saying that "The staff deserves kudos for taking such an undesirable assignment so seriously; they get further props for not papering over the really embarrassing stuff."
- Oakley, Bill (2005). Commentary for "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular", in The Simpsons: The Complete Seventh Season.
- Vitti, Jon (2005). Commentary for "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular", in The Simpsons: The Complete Seventh Season.
- Weinstein, Josh (2005). Commentary for "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular", in The Simpsons: The Complete Seventh Season.
- The A.V. Club - "The Simpsons: "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular""
- IMDb - "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular"