The Otto Show
- "Well, that tears it. Until you get a license and wear your own underwear, mister, you are suspended without pay."
- ―Principal Skinner to Otto Mann
| The Otto Show
| Episode Information
"The Otto Show" is the twenty-second episode of season 3. It originally aired on April 23, 1992. It was written by Jeff Martin and directed by Wes Archer. Christopher Guest and Michael McKean reprised their roles from Spinal Tap, reunited with Simpsons regular Harry Shearer.
- "Otto loses his job driving the school bus, partially because he doesn't have a driver's license, and, after being kicked out of his apartment, goes to live with the Simpsons."
Bart gets ready to go to a Spinal Tap concert, with Homer taking him, digging out his old concert jacket to do so. On their way, they pick Milhouse up and arrive at the Springfield Coliseum, where Homer waits in the car as Bart and Milhouse attend the concert. Backstage, Spinal Tap have an interview with Bill and Marty of KBBL before going on stage and performing "Break Like the Wind" to the audience. During the performance, they have several problems, including puddles on the stage and the inflatable devil deflating. The band decides to end early and leaves, with the audience starting a riot in response.
The rest of the family watch the news about the riot on TV, with Marge getting worried. Homer and Bart then return home, which leaves Marge relieved. Bart then tells Homer and Marge that he wants to be a rock star. When Marge asks how Milhouse is, Homer rushes back to the concert to find him. Homer and Marge discuss Bart wanting to be a rock star and decide to buy him an expensive guitar to practice on. However, Bart isn't any good and thinks the guitar is broken. When he gives it to Otto on the school bus to try out, Otto rocks out, to Bart's surprise, saying that it was all he did in high school. Otto then puts on a performance for the kids, causing traffic and having the students become late for school. Otto then rushes to school and crashes the bus. When the police ask to see Otto's license, Otto tells them he doesn't have one. Otto then gets fired by Skinner, with Principal Skinner taking over as the bus driver.
Bart is shocked to find that Skinner is now the driver, whilst the rest of the kids are fine with it, singing "Hail to the Bus Driver". Skinner then gets stuck at an intersection to a busy road for a long time, with nobody letting him out. Meanwhile, Otto goes to take his bus driver test but fails, scoring a 0. Back at the intersection, several hours have passed and Skinner gets angry at Ralph. Otto then returns home to find that he has been evicted by his landlord for not paying his rent. As Bart goes to the Kwik-E-Mart, he is given a special Squishee that he doesn't like, so he throws it into a trash can, which Otto was currently living in. Bart then invites Otto to live in his garage, not telling Homer and Marge.
Homer and Marge are woken up in the night by Otto and Bart performing rock songs. After talking it through, they decide to let Otto stay with them until he gets back on his feet. However, all Otto does is sit around watching TV, which annoys Marge. Otto also clogs the drains with his hair and annoys Homer in the process. Homer and Marge then decide to kick him out, with Otto scaring Lisa being the final straw.
Angry at being kicked out and insulted by Homer, Otto goes back to the DMV to take the bus test again. Patty agrees to let him do so after Otto said he wanted to staple his license to Homer's big, bald head, with Patty giving Otto the answers to the test. As Otto takes the driving part of the test, the two of them talk about Homer and laugh about him. Patty then passes Otto due to their hatred of Homer. Otto then turns up as the school bus driver the next day and the kids sing "Hail to the Bus Driver", as Skinner watches the bus go off.
The episode title is a pun on "auto show". Fox were unhappy with Spinal Tap being chosen as the band for the episode, as part of the reason was nobody had heard of them and the crew had forgotten to clear the songs until the episode was already animated, and they were charged a lot of money. Fox also thought that they could have gotten a real band for the amount of money spent. In the concert, the crowd were drawn with really long bangs so the animators didn't have to draw eyes for everyone. There was also a scene where the drummer exploded, but it was cut.
The scene of Homer singing "Spanish Flea" was going to be cut, as the song was expensive to license. However, it got a really big laugh at the table read so they kept it in and bought the song rights. Jay Kogen had to pull some strings to get the rights to the song. During the dream sequence of Bart as a rockstar, Bart says "slag off". The producers tried to get "piss off" and "sod off" said instead, but the censor disallowed it. The scene with Spinal Tap's bus going over the cliff and going up in flames was not originally in the script, but the producers felt that the bus going up the hill was too mild. The line about Otto wanting a book written from the vampire's point of view came from Jeff Martin being next to a guy on a plane who was telling him about a book he liked as it was written from the vampire's point of view. Jay Kogen and Wallace Wolodarsky wanted Otto's last name to be "Mechanic", but the animators put "Mann" on his license instead.
Nathan Rabin of The A.V. Club said that "The Otto Show" "has a lot of fun with the cornball rituals of the rock concert". He then goes on to say that the episode "gets much of its mojo from This Is Spinal Tap". Rabin later said that with this episode, "The Simpsons stretched its legs a little and devoted much of an episode to a one-note supporting character".
- Martin, Jeff (2003). Commentary for "The Otto Show", in The Simpsons: The Complete Third Season.
- Jean, Al (2003). Commentary for "The Otto Show", in The Simpsons: The Complete Third Season.
- Reiss, Mike (2003). Commentary for "The Otto Show", in The Simpsons: The Complete Third Season.
- Archer, Wes (2003). Commentary for "The Otto Show", in The Simpsons: The Complete Third Season.
- Brooks, James L. (2003). Commentary for "The Otto Show", in The Simpsons: The Complete Third Season.
- Groening, Matt (2003). Commentary for "The Otto Show", in The Simpsons: The Complete Third Season.
- The A.V. Club - "The Simpsons (Classic): “The Otto Show”"
- IMDb - "The Otto Show"
- TV.com - "The Otto Show"