The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show
| "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show"
| Episode Information
"The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show" is the fourteenth episode of season 8 of The Simpsons and the one-hundred and sixty-seventh episode overall. It originally aired on February 9, 1997. The episode was written by David S. Cohen and directed by Steven Dean Moore. It guest stars Alex Rocco as Roger Meyers, Jr. and Phil Hartman as Troy McClure.
- "When Itchy & Scratchy's ratings start to fall the producers decide to introduce a new character, Poochie. They hold auditions for the voice of the new dog and Homer wins the job."
When the ratings for "Itchy and Scratchy" are dropping, Roger Meyers, Jr. gets a suggestion from Lisa that they should rejuvenate the show with the addition of a new character. They follow the animal enemy chain by going "mouse-cat-dog", and then a new character, Poochie is born. Lisa remarks that new characters are just a desperate effort to boost shows with low ratings, and at this point a character named Roy walks into the living room - It's suggested he has been living with the Simpsons for some time.
Still, at the encouragement of the rest of his family, Homer auditions for the voice of Poochie, and he gets the job. Homer then meets June Bellamy, who does the voices for Itchy and Scratchy. He makes friends with her when he fires back at nerds and engrossed fans at a comic book convention.
When his debut cartoon premieres, it gets the worst reviews ever. For once this is not Homer's fault, but due to poor writing Poochie prevented the violence that the viewers love, causing everyone to hate Poochie. He overhears the staff saying they should kill him off.
When Roger Meyers, Jr. says that Homer is too much trouble and he could be laid off, June Bellamy comes to his defense by putting her foot down. At the next episode's recording, Homer reads lines that he wrote himself about how no-one likes him (Poochie) initially, but they should give him another chance. By the time the episode airs, the company have amateurishly substituted Homers speech with new dialogue, saying Poochie has returned to his home planet and died along the way. Everyone is excited about Poochie dying except for Homer. He soon gets over his disappointment, Roy declares he is moving out. The Next day Bart and Lisa watch TV to see that Itchy and Scratchy have gone back to their basics, the two are pleased with this development and then change the channel to see what else is on.
The addition of Roy is a reference to a suggestion made by Fox executives that the writers add a new character to the show to live with the Simpsons and "liven up the show". The staff rejected the idea and inserted Roy, without explanation, as a joke. Roy was previously planned to appear in one of the alternate universes of "Time and Punishment".
The original plan for Poochie was that he would be incredibly rich and would enslave Itchy and Scratchy in his gold mine. Itchy and Scratchy would plan to kill Poochie, but fail and die themselves.
In the original script, there were scenes for more characters auditioning for the role of Poochie. These include Chief Wiggum, who gets told his voice is "too cartoony", Grampa, who is slow at speaking, Rainier Wolfcastle, who demands $1 million, and Moe, who gets annoyed at the dialogue and quits, only to be asked back. Josh Weinstein said that the reason Moe's part got cut was probably because it was too similar to Homer's audition. Another deleted scene had another The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show episode. This episode had Poochie in oversized sunglasses to be "even more cool". After the episode, everyone watching hated it.