A Star Is Burns
- "No, Homer, I won't make fun of you. But I will suggest that there may be better things in life than seeing a man get hit in the groin with a football."
- ―Jay Sherman
| "A Star Is Burns"
| Episode Information
"A Star Is Burns" is the eighteenth episode of season 6 of The Simpsons and the one-hundred and twenty-first episode overall. It originally aired on March 5, 1995. The episode was written by Ken Keeler and directed by Susie Dietter. It guest stars Phil Hartman as Charlton Heston, Jon Lovitz as Jay Sherman and Maurice LaMarche as George C. Scott.
- "In order to boost the town's sagging popularly, the people of Springfield hold a Film Festival to attract more tourists. Marge invites Jay Sherman to guest judge."
The Simpson family are watching an episode of Eye on Springfield where Kent Brockman reveals that Springfield is the least popular city in America. To rectify this, a town meeting is called together where Marge puts forward the idea of a film festival, where the people can submit their own films. The townspeople like this idea and agree to do it, to Marge's surprise. Excited by the prospect of having their films featured, the people of Springfield get to work making their films.
Meanwhile, Marge was tasked with putting together the jury to judge the Springfield Film Festival. She watched film critics on television until she decided on Jay Sherman, star of the show Coming Attractions. Marge and Lisa liked Jay as he came across as smart, sensitive and wasn't obsessed with his physical appearance. Marge then wrote a letter to Jay, inviting him to the film festival. Jay received the letter in New York City and, after making a getaway from an angry Rainier Wolfcastle, got a flight to Springfield where he met the Simpsons.
At the Nuclear Power Plant, Mr. Burns was annoyed that the plant's profits had dropped by 37%. Smithers then suggested that Burns enter a film into the film festival to make people like him more. After finding out that Steven Spielberg was unavailable, Burns hired Spielberg's non-union Mexican equivalent, Señor Spielbergo, to direct his film. At this time, Jay was settling in with the Simpsons, and he and Homer became confrontational. At dinner, Homer wanted the last pork chop, but Marge insisted that Jay get it since he was the guest. After Jay showed off his awards, Homer smugly stated that he had won the belching contest at work, only for Jay to unleash a long, loud burp that put Homer's to shame, leading to the kids giving Jay Homer's trophy. Shortly after this, Patty and Selma showed up.
Jay started to dish out information on celebrities to Patty and Selma, including revealing who in Hollywood was gay. When Homer told Jay to tell Patty and Selma that MacGyver was gay, the twins hung Jay on the house by his underwear, to Homer's glee. That night, Homer asked Marge if she respected him. After many pauses, and revealing that she was humoring him, Homer got upset and said that he knew that Jay was more witty than him. He then asked if Jay knew all the lyrics to the Oscar Mayer song, only for Jay, Bart and Lisa to start singing the song together. After this, Homer told Marge to sleep with Jay before taking a lock of her hair. Seeing how much this was affecting Homer, Marge put Homer on the film festival jury.
During this, Mr. Burns was holding auditions for the actor who would play him in his film, before deciding to fill the role himself as nobody was good enough. After this, the film festival started, hosted by Jay. Jay showed off the first few films, Bright Lights, Beef Jerky by Apu, Moe Better Booze by Moe and Man Getting Hit by Football by Hans Moleman. After Moleman's film, Homer roared with laughter and told the audience to just hand Moleman the prize. After this, Barney's film, Pukahontas, started, which moved the entire audience, except Homer who missed it. Finally, Burns' film, A Burns for All Seasons, played, which disgusted the audience with how egotistic and self-indulgent it was.
In the jury room, Krusty and Mayor Quimby voted for A Burns for All Seasons, having been bribed by Burns to vote for it, whilst Jay and Marge voted for Pukahontas. Homer decided to vote for Man Getting Hit by Football, which annoyed Marge. During a break from judging, Marge and Jay had a word with Homer and asked him to watch Barney's film and consider it. After doing so, Homer changed his vote and Barney won. During his speech, Barney said that he would go sober and never drink again, before being given a lifetime supply of Duff Beer.
The episode was conceived by James L. Brooks to be a funny episode and to launch The Critic on Fox. Brooks suggested that they do a film festival for the Critic to come and judge. The producers of The Simpsons went to Jon Lovitz and told him they had an idea for an episode with him before they had written the script. Rainier Wolfcastle's line "On closer inspection, these are loafers." was ad libbed by Dan Castellaneta who was standing in for Harry Shearer. The scene Bart telling Jay that he really loved his show was written by Al Jean.
In Barney's film, the curtains were done in airbrush and were not fully exposed so that they appeared transparent. The Itchy & Scratchy Show cartoon "Four Funerals and a Wedding" was written after the rest of the script. They came up with the title first and the episode was written in rewrites.
- Jean, Al (2005). Commentary for "A Star Is Burns", in The Simpsons: The Complete Sixth Season.
- Lovitz, Jon (2005). Commentary for "A Star Is Burns", in The Simpsons: The Complete Sixth Season.
- Reiss, Mike (2005). Commentary for "A Star Is Burns", in The Simpsons: The Complete Sixth Season.
- Keeler, Ken (2005). Commentary for "A Star Is Burns", in The Simpsons: The Complete Sixth Season.
- Dietter, Susie (2005). Commentary for "A Star Is Burns", in The Simpsons: The Complete Sixth Season.
- IMDb - "A Star Is Burns"
- TV.com - "A Star Is Burns"