Once Upon a Time in Springfield
| "Once Upon a Time in Springfield"
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"Once Upon a Time in Springfield" is the tenth episode of season 21 of The Simpsons and the four-hundred and fifty-first episode overall. It originally aired on January 10, 2010. The episode was written by Stephanie Gillis and directed by Matthew Nastuk. It guest stars Jackie Mason as Hyman Krustofsky, Anne Hathaway as Princess Penelope, Eartha Kitt as herself, Gary Larson as himself, and Maurice LaMarche as the Power plant guard supervisor.
- "Krusty is forced to add a female co-star named Princess Penelope to his show in order to attract more female viewers. She immediately overshadows Krusty as the ratings improve. Meanwhile, Homer, Lenny, and Carl consider working at a competing nuclear plant when Mr. Burns cuts off their daily donut service."
Krusty finishes up an episode of The Krusty the Clown Show and is then approached by two show executives who tell Krusty that they want to add a female co-star to the show to gain a higher female audience. Krusty is at first against this, until he is told that there is a talent show, America's Next Krusty, in the works to find a replacement for him should he refuse. Krusty then begrudgingly accepts. The next morning, Marge offers to make the family donuts using her new Fry Girl fryer. Homer refuses since he gets donuts at work. However, when Homer gets to work, he finds out the donuts are no longer being bought by Mr. Burns as he is trying to cut costs in the power plant, to the annoyance of Homer, Lenny and Carl.
On the next episode of The Krusty the Clown Show, Krusty introduces his new female co-star, Princess Penelope. Her acts involve singing and performing on fantasy sets, which the female viewers, including Lisa, enjoy. However, the male viewers, such as Bart and Milhouse hate the new co-star. That evening at Moe's Tavern, Homer, Lenny, and Carl are drinking away their sadness when they are approached by Gator McCall, who is a corporate recruiter. Gator asks if they would want to work for Capital City Nuclear and the three friends decide to check it out.
Princess Penelope continues to be a hit with the girls and Lisa starts to attend the live shows. When Homer and Bart go to pick Lisa up, Bart goes to the Krustylu Studio Store and finds all the Krusty merchandise has been replaced by Princess Penelope merchandise. Bart then finds Krusty out the back, in an alley, and convinces Krusty to do something about Princess Penelope. Later that day, Homer, Lenny, and Carl go to Capital City Nuclear to check out the place. Here they meet Gary Larson, who reveals that he came out of retirement to work at the power plant as the in-house cartoonist.
Krusty decides to confront Penelope over her taking over the show and Penelope tells Krusty that she loves him and has done since she was twelve. The two of them make out then start to do shows together, singing together on stage. A princess fad then takes over Springfield. Meanwhile, in Capital City, Smithers finds out that Homer, Lenny, and Carl are being poached by a rival power plant and tells Mr. Burns about it. During another episode of The Krusty the Clown Show, Krusty proposes to Princess Penelope and she says yes. This annoys Bart and Milhouse, who decide to break up the wedding. That night, Mr. Burns bribes Homer, Lenny, and Carl to stay at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant by giving them fancy donuts.
The day of the wedding, Bart takes over as the ring bearer and reveals that Krusty's first wife, Holly Hippie, was in the room. Holly tells Princess Penelope about how bad a husband Krusty was. A video of another of Krusty's ex-wives, Eartha Kitt, was also shown. Penelope decides that she wants to marry Krusty anyway, as she knows all about his past. However, Krusty decides that he can't go through with the wedding as Penelope is too good for him and deserves better. Penelope then leaves Springfield.
In Paris, Penelope is performing "Moon River" to people at night. She then goes to a bridge over the river and looks sadly into the water as a boat goes by. Penelope thinks she sees Krusty, then realizes it's her imagination. Penelope then notices that Krusty is really there, just in the water, struggling to swim. Penelope dives in after him and the two of them float down the river on Penelope's guitar case. Krusty tells Penelope that he'd rather be happy than noble so he changed his mind.
This episode gathered 21.01 million viewers on its premiere.
Emily VanDerWerff of The A.V. Club gave the episode a B rating. She criticized the amount of guest stars in the episode, singling out Gary Larson in particular. However, she went on to say "It was a funny episode with a nice amount of heart".
"Once Upon a Time in Springfield" was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in "Outstanding Animated Program", which it lost to Prep & Landing. Anne Hathaway also won a Primetime Emmy Award in "Outstanding Voice-Over Performance" for her role as Princess Penelope.
- Simpsons Channel (archived on Wayback Machine)
- IGN - "The Simpsons: "Once Upon a Time in Springfield" Review" (archived on Wayback Machine)
- The A.V. Club - ""Once Upon a Time in Springfield"/The Simpsons 20th Anniversay Special in 3-D on Ice/"Love Rollercoaster""
- Television Academy - "Outstanding Animated Program - 2010"
- Television Academy - "Outstanding Voice-Over Performance - 2010"