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The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular

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Season 7 Episode
137 "Sideshow Bob's Last Gleaming"
138
"The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular"
"Marge Be Not Proud" 139
Clip show.png This episode is a Clip Show.
It features clips from previous episodes.
The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular
138th Episode Spectacular (Simpsons Now and Then).png
Episode Information
Episode Number: 138
Production Code: 3F31
Original Airdate: December 3, 1995
Couch Gag: A montage of various couch gags.
Blackboard Text: "I will only do this once a year"
Special Guest Voices: Phil Hartman as Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz
Buzz Aldrin as himself
Glenn Close as Mona Simpson
Written By: Jon Vitti (credited as Penny Wise)
Directed By: David Silverman (credited as Pound Foolish)
DVD features


"The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular" is the tenth episode of season 7. The episode marks the first time Matt Groening has appeared in the show, however being depicted as a Texan drugger who will shoot anyone he sees, so his attorneys speak for him.

Synopsis[edit]

"Troy McClure hosts this behind the scenes style show. We start with a brief history, showing some classic Tracey Ullman clips, and then Troy goes on to answer viewers' questions about Smithers sexuality and Homer's stupidity. We then see never-before-seen deleted scenes from various episodes up to this point, and we are shown an alternate ending to 'Who Shot Mr Burns?' where Smithers actually is the culprit."


Plot[edit]

In honor of the 138th episode of "The Simpsons", Troy McClure hosts a Simpsons TV special looking back at the history of the show. The opening has "I Will Only Do This Once A Year" as an chalkboard gag and the couch gags from "A Streetcar Named Marge", "Lisa the Beauty Queen", "Marge vs. the Monorail, "Homer's Triple Bypass", "Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk", "Homer Goes to College", "A Star Is Burns", "Homer the Great", "Homer Badman", "Lisa's Rival", "Bart's Comet" and "Lisa's First Word". The first act is composed of various Tracey Ullman shorts, "Good Night", "The Perfect Crime", "Space Patrol", "World War III" and "Bathtime". Troy also has a "talk" with the "real" Matt Groening. Mr. Groening declines the interview by shooting out the camera with a revolver. Matt's attorneys instead give Troy a note, supposedly written by Groening, stating that The Simpsons is possible only through the continuing effort and hard work from the shows staff.

Next, Troy answers some viewer mail. One person asks whats the deal with Smithers, referring to his apparent homosexuality. Troy responds by spouting lots of general information about Smithers, and completely dodging the actual question. Someone else asks if Homer is getting dumber each season from season 2 to season 6, to which Troy responds with "Yes".

The final act is made up of a deleted scenes reel, in episodes such as "Krusty Gets Kancelled", "$pringfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)", "Homer and Apu" and "Burns' Heir". The alternate ending to "Who Shot Mr. Burns" is also shown, which reveals Waylon Smithers, Jr. as the shooter. There are also unaired scenes involving Barney, Tito Puente, Moe, Apu and Santa's Little Helper shooting Mr. Burns each with different guns.

Troy then mentions two new possible episodes for the next season, neither of which were ever actually made. To end off the episode, Troy shows everyone "what they all wanted to see: hardcore nudity!" Numerous clips depicting nudity from the other episodes are then played (mostly from the front and censored in a way) as well as clips showing people (mostly Bart) pulling down their pants to "moon" somebody.

Reception[edit]

The episode ranked among the ten most heavily viewed episodes of the seventh season. After its initial American airing, the episode received a Nielsen rating of 9.5, and a Nielsen rank of 48. The episode has become study material for sociology courses at University of California, Berkeley, where it is used to "examine issues of the production and reception of cultural objects, in this case, a satirical cartoon show", and to figure out what it is "trying to tell audiences about aspects primarily of American society, and, to a lesser extent, about other societies."

The episode received positive reviews from critics. The authors of the book I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide, Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood, thought "the out-takes are up to standard" and contains "a number of great self-referential moments". Simone Knox praised its visual style in her article Reading the Ungraspable Double-Codedness of "The Simpsons". DVD Movie Guide's Colin Jacobson said even though the episode is a clip show, it "gussies up the concept with some interesting elements, and keeps repetitive material to a minimum. Instead, it offers lots of then-unseen footage as well as old snippets from The Tracey Ullman Show. It still feels like a cheap way to crank out a new episode, but it’s one of the better clip shows you’ll see."


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