- "Dear Mom, I no longer fear Hell, for I have been to Kamp Krusty."
- ―An excerpt from Lisa's letter home.
| "Kamp Krusty"
| Episode Information
"Kamp Krusty" is the first episode of season 4 of The Simpsons and the sixtieth episode overall. It originally aired on September 24, 1992. The episode was written by David M. Stern and directed by Mark Kirkland.
- "Bart and Lisa spend six weeks at Kamp Krusty. However, the camp is not what it seems, as Bart and Lisa quickly find out."
At school, Bart gets his report card back to find he's been given all F minuses. He tells Mrs. Krabappel that if he doesn't get a C average, Homer won't let him go to Kamp Krusty. Mrs. Krabappel then changes his grades to Cs, even though it's not fair on the other students. Over the school intercom, Principal Skinner tells all the students to get out their implements of destruction. The students all pull out weapons and get to destroying the school. Bart then wakes up in the morning to find that it's the last day of school and the kids get ready for school.
At school, Lisa gets a B+ for conduct, being the first B grade she has ever gotten. She complains about this to Miss Hoover, hurting her hand in the process. Meanwhile, Bart tries to sweet talk Mrs. Krabappel into giving him a better grade but walks away with D grades. On the school bus home, Bart changes his D grades into A+ grades, which Lisa says wouldn't fool anyone. At home, Bart watches an advert for Kamp Krusty before showing his report card to Homer. Homer told Bart that he only told Bart that he needed a C average so he would work to get better grades. Since that failed, he didn't see why Bart had to be punished for his mistake so lets Bart go anyway.
The kids get ready to go to Kamp Krusty and eventually board the bus. At the camp, they find that Krusty isn't actually there and Mr. Black is running the show, with Jimbo, Dolph and Kearney as the camp counselors. Things get worse as they find their accommodations are filthy and falling apart. Meanwhile, Homer and Marge are enjoying their time away from the kids and Krusty goes to Wimbledon in England. Back at the camp, the kids are forced to roast pine cones rather than marshmallows. Meanwhile, the kids in Chief Starving Bear Weight Loss Center were being forced to do pull ups. The kids in Kamp Krusty were then made to sing "Hail to Thee, Kamp Krusty", the theme song for the camp and were given Krusty Brand Imitation Gruel for meals.
Back at home, Homer found that without the kids, he was losing weight and gaining hair, whilst the kids in Kamp Krusty were suffering in cold hammocks. In Wimbledon, Krusty was heckling the tennis players, which annoyed Queen Elizabeth II. Marge then sent cookies, which Kearney ate, and a letter to Bart and Lisa. Lisa wrote back to them about the horrible conditions they were in, which Homer and Marge blew off, thinking it was just the kids playing up their imaginations. Eventually, Krusty was announced to be showing up, only for it to be Barney in a costume. After this, Bart started a revolt and the kids overthrew the counselors and took over the camp, freeing the other kids from the fat camp too.
As Krusty was being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, he got a phone call about the rebellion in the camp and flew back to America. At the same time, news reports about the rebellion started on TV and Homer was annoyed to find that Bart was the ringleader. Krusty got to the camp and convinces the kids that he's not an imposter. Krusty apologizes for everything, saying that he had been given a lot of money to put his name on the camp. Krusty then takes the kids to Tijuana, the happiest place on Earth, to make up for the horrible camp. As this happens, "South of the Border" plays.
The "Kamp Krusty" script was originally suggested by James L. Brooks as a possible plot for a Simpsons movie. However, due to problems with making the story long enough for an 80-minute film, the idea was dropped.
The episode was the last to be animated at Klasky Csupo, who have been working on the Simpsons since its beginnings as a short segment on "The Tracy Ullman Show", before the show's producers Gracie Films moved its domestic production to Film Roman.
"Kamp Krusty" was viewed by approximately 12.6 million households and garnered a 13.5 Nielsen rating, making it the highest-rated show on the FOX network the week it aired.
The episode received overwhelmingly positive reviews from TV critics. The A.V Club called the episode "iconic" and went on to say "Nearly two decades on, 'Kamp Krusty' still feels bracingly dark and sharp and uncompromising." They summed up, "It's timeless in the best possible sense, 22 minutes of hilarious anarchy that more than stands the test of time. God bless you, The Simpsons. You were truly doing God's work." Total Film ranked the episode's reference to Ben-Hur as the 31st greatest film reference in the history of the show.
Fan reaction was mixed-to-positive. Reviews submitted to NoHomers.net label the episode as "solid" with an "interesting plot" and that it was "a great way to start out Season 4." However, many fans agreed that the episode was overshadowed by the rest of the fourth season, including episodes such as "A Streetcar Named Marge" and "Last Exit to Springfield", and subsequently deemed it as "forgettable."
- Audio commentary for "Kamp Krusty". The Complete Fourth Season DVD Boxset.
- Los Angeles Times - Sharon Bernstein - January 21, 1992 - Special to the times - "'The Simpsons' Producer Changes Animation Firms: Don't have a cow, but a different animation studio is going to be drawing Bart Simpson next season."
- The A.V Club review
- Total Film - The Modern Guide to Movies - Nathan Ditum/Jun 6th 2009 - "The 50 Greatest Simpsons Movie References: Smart and funny riffs on classic cinema moments..."
- NoHomers.net fan reviews
- TV.com Kamp Krusty user rating
- IMDb page