Bart Star

"Bart Star" is the sixth episode in the ninth season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 9, 1997.[2] Written by Donick Cary and directed by Dominic Polcino, the episode guest starred Joe Namath, Roy Firestone, and Mike Judge.[2] The episode sees Homer becoming the coach of a pee-wee football team and practices nepotism with Bart by making him the quarterback, which receives backlash from the whole team, including Bart himself. The episode was critically well received.

"Bart Star"
The Simpsons episode
Episode no.Season 9
Episode 6
Directed byDominic Polcino
Written byDonick Cary
Production code5F03
Original air dateNovember 9, 1997
Guest appearance(s)

Joe Namath as himself
Roy Firestone as himself
Mike Judge as Hank Hill

Episode features
Chalkboard gag"I did not invent Irish dancing"
Couch gagEveryone sits on the couch and is crushed into a cuboid block by a compactor.[1]
CommentaryMike Scully
George Meyer
Donick Cary
Nancy Cartwright
Dan Castellaneta
Dominic Polcino


Following a Health convention held in Springfield, the children of Springfield (including Bart) are deemed to be overweight. To help them stay in shape, their parents enroll them in pee-wee football. The coach, Ned Flanders, helps keep the team undefeated, but Homer heckles him relentlessly. Ned finally snaps and turns the job over to Homer, who admits that he (Flanders) was doing a good job.

Homer initially acts tough towards Bart, but when he is reminded of how his father Abe was hard on him as a child, he decides to be nicer to Bart. The next day, he decides to cut many players from the team, and replaces star quarterback Nelson with Bart, causing an uproar from the team. Bart is unable to play the position well and causes the team's first loss. While training at night Bart meets Joe Namath, who promises to help him, but soon after Joe's wife fixes the car, which had broken down due to vapor lock, Joe leaves without helping Bart.

Lisa suggests that Bart pretend he is injured to get out of quarterbacking, which he eagerly does, but Homer claims that without Bart the team must forfeit. This causes Bart to become angry and quit the team. The next game, Nelson is made quarterback again and the team wins, but Homer has nobody to celebrate with and becomes lonely. Afterwards, Homer finds Bart and persuades him to rejoin the team. The next day, during the championship game, the score is tied when Chief Wiggum comes to arrest Nelson. Bart decides to pretend he is Nelson and the team finally wins the championship.[2][3]


Mike Judge by Gage Skidmore
Mike Judge voiced character Hank Hill in a cameo cross-promotion for his animated series King of the Hill.

The episode was written by Donick Cary, who obtained inspiration from an experience in high school he had with a football coach who had a son on the team.[4] Similarly, show runner Mike Scully had been on a soccer team whose coach would give his son special treatment.[5]

George Meyer obtained inspiration for the scene toward the beginning of the episode where Rainier Wolfcastle is taunting the children from an experience he had with Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was following Schwarzenegger during a hike, and overheard him taunting his children.[6] Schwarzenegger's influence was seen in the same scene, as he was appointed to be the chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, on which he served from 1990 to 1993.[7]

The final scene took a long time to write. The writing staff found it difficult to come up with a resolution that would end on positive terms for Bart and Homer, and was originally different when it was read at the writing table.[5]


Joe Namath, Roy Firestone, and Mike Judge guest-starred in the episode. The appearance was a cross-promotion for Judge's animated series King of the Hill which followed The Simpsons on Fox's Sunday schedule in 1997. Other King of the Hill characters (Hank's niece Luanne, Hank's wife Peggy, Hank's son Bobby, and Hank's friends, Dale Gribble, Bill Dauterive, and Boomhauer) were present in the scene, although none of them spoke.[8] Marv Albert was originally going to play Firestone's part as a sports radio host, but was dropped following sexual assault charges that were made against him around the time the episode was in pre-production.[5] Albert would later appear, however, in the season 20 episode "The Burns and the Bees".[9]


In its original broadcast, "Bart Star" finished 27th in ratings for the week of November 3–9, 1997, with a Nielsen rating of 10.8, equivalent to approximately 10.6 million viewing households. It was the third highest-rated show on the Fox network that week, following The X-Files and King of the Hill.[10]

Since airing, the episode has 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 well of the episode, saying, "A fun episode, where you root for Bart and, unusually, Nelson - all the way through. Homer is just too stupid for words, but that's excusable because we finally see Ned Flanders lose it, big time!"[1] In 2011, Keith Plocek of LA Weekly's Squid Ink blog named the scene in which Homer tries to purchase "beer that has candy floating in it" (which Homer calls skittlebrau) at the Kwik-E-Mart as the fourth best food moment on the show.[11]

The director of the episode, Dominic Polcino, greatly enjoyed the episode, and claims that it is his favorite episode that he directed.[12]


  1. ^ a b Martyn, Warren; Wood, Adrian (2000). "Bart Star". BBC. Retrieved 2007-11-11.
  2. ^ a b c Gimple, Scott (1999). The Simpsons Forever!: A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family ...Continued. Harper Collins Publishers. p. 17. ISBN 0-06-098763-4.
  3. ^ "Bart Star". The Retrieved on November 11, 2007.
  4. ^ Cary, Donick (2006). The Simpsons season 9 DVD commentary for the episode "Bart Star" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  5. ^ a b c Scully, Mike (2006). The Simpsons season 9 DVD commentary for the episode "Bart Star" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  6. ^ Meyer, George (2006). The Simpsons season 9 DVD commentary for the episode "Bart Star" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  7. ^ Castellaneta, Dan (2006). The Simpsons season 9 DVD commentary for the episode "Bart Star" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  8. ^ Cartwright, Nancy (2006). The Simpsons season 9 DVD commentary for the episode "Bart Star" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  9. ^ "Sports Figures on The Simpsons". Sports Illustrated. CNN. 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-16.
  10. ^ Associated Press (November 13, 1997). "CBS soars to top on 'angel' wings". Sun-Sentinel. p. 4E.
  11. ^ Plocek, Keith (2011-11-11). "Top 10 Simpsons Food Episodes: Tomacco Ribwich with a Side of Guatemalan Insanity Peppers + Skittlebrau". Squid Ink. LA Weekly. Archived from the original on 2011-11-13. Retrieved 2011-11-12. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |newspaper= (help); Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  12. ^ Polcino, Dominic (2006). The Simpsons season 9 DVD commentary for the episode "Bart Star" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.

External links

1958 Baltimore Colts season

The 1958 Baltimore Colts season was the sixth season for the team in the National Football League. The Colts finished the 1958 season with a record of 9 wins and 3 losses to win their first Western Conference title. They won their first league title in the NFL championship game, which ended in overtime.

1958 Detroit Lions season

The 1958 Detroit Lions season was their 29th in the National Football League. The defending NFL champions failed to improve on their previous season and finished at 4–7–1, fifth in the six-team Western Conference.Hall of Fame quarterback Bobby Layne, age 31, was traded after the second game to the Pittsburgh Steelers for Earl Morrall and two draft choices. After losing their first two games without Layne, the Steelers finished at 7–4–1.

The Lions won only one game in the first half of the season, then spilt the final six games. It was one of the poorest performances by a defending league champion in league history.

Bart Starr

Bryan Bartlett Starr (January 9, 1934 – May 26, 2019) was a professional American football quarterback and coach. Starr played college football at the University of Alabama, and was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 17th round of the 1956 NFL draft, where he played for them until 1971. Starr was the only quarterback in NFL history to lead a team to three consecutive league championships (1965–1967). Starr led his team to victories in the first two Super Bowls: I and II. As the Packers' head coach, he was less successful, compiling a 52–76–3 (.408) record from 1975 through 1983.

Starr was named the Most Valuable Player of the first two Super Bowls and during his career earned four Pro Bowl selections. He won the league MVP award in 1966. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Packers Hall of Fame in 1977. Starr has the highest postseason passer rating (104.8) of any quarterback in NFL history and a postseason record of 9–1. His career completion percentage of 57.4 was an NFL best when he retired in 1972. Starr also held the Packers' franchise record for games played (196) for 32 years, through the 2003 season.

Chuck Zapiec

Chuck Zapiec (born July 1, 1949) is a former All-American linebacker at Penn State and defensive captain of the Cotton Bowl Champion Nittany Lions. He earned his All-American Status as a linebacker in the only year that he played linebacker at "Linebacker U". Prior to his senior year, he also started 2 seasons as an offensive guard for the Lions and helped his team to 2 undefeated seasons in 1968 and 1969. He was drafted in the fourth round of the 1972 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. He played with the Miami Dolphins. He was a Canadian Football League (CFL) All-Star with the Montreal Alouettes.

Costume Designers Guild Award for Excellence in Fantasy Film

The Costume Designers Guild Award for Excellent in Fantasy Film is one of the annual awards given by the Costume Designers Guild. Before 2005, the category was combined to also include period films. The 1998 inaugural awards year combined period, fantasy and contemporary films.

Dominic Polcino

Dominic Polcino (born February 13, 1964) is an animation director who has worked on The Simpsons, Mission Hill, King of the Hill, and Family Guy. Polcino worked on the first season of Family Guy, then left to direct for King of the Hill and then returned to Family Guy. Polcino is currently a director on the Adult Swim series Rick and Morty. He then went on to create the TV pilot Lovesick Fool which debuted on FunnyOrDie then went on to exhibit at Film Festivals and is currently on YouTube. His brother, Michael Polcino, is currently a director on The Simpsons.

Dominic was also the Supervising Director on the Dan Harmon series, HarmonQuest, which is a hybrid live action series that animates the tabletop RPG exploits of Dan Harmon and his celebrity friends.

Donick Cary

Donick Cary is an American writer and producer. He got his start writing for “Late Night with David Letterman.” He continued working with the show through its move to CBS, serving as both head writer and the “guy in the bear suit.”

After five years in Late Night, Cary moved to “The Simpsons,” where he served as a co-executive producer for four seasons (Seasons 7-11).

He then served in the same capacity on NBC’s Just Shoot Me, HBO’s Bored to Death, Fox’s New Girl, and NBC’s Parks and Recreation. Cary has produced pilots for and developed with: Brillstein Grey, Sony Television, Happy Madison, Conaco, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, FX, HBO, the WB and Nickelodeon.

In 2004 Donick created the animated series Lil’ Bush for Ampd mobile cell phones. The show was then picked up by Comedy Central and became the first mobi/web-series ever to move from cell phones to television. To handle the animation Donick founded Sugarshack Animation ( with offices in Los Angeles, Miami, and Sofia, Bulgaria.

Currently Cary is writing and producing “Silicon Valley” for HBO and directing a feature documentary entitled “Bad Trip” (a comic exploration of tripping) for Ben Stiller’s Red Hour films.

Cary grew up on Nantucket Island, graduating from Nantucket High School in 1986.

He is the son of actors Richard and Mara Cary and the brother of actress Martha Cary, the latter two of whom have done voices for his show Lil' Bush.

Dumbbell Indemnity

"Dumbbell Indemnity" is the sixteenth episode in the ninth season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 1, 1998. It was written by Ron Hauge and directed by Dominic Polcino. The episode sees Moe trying to keep his new girlfriend by using a large amount of money, but when it runs out, he decides to commit insurance fraud. Homer helps him, but is caught and sent to jail, and attempts to take revenge on Moe when he does not bail him out. Helen Hunt makes a guest appearance as Moe's girlfriend, Renee. The episode contains several cultural references and was generally well received.

Grampa Simpson

Abraham Jebediah "Abe" Simpson II, better known as Grampa Simpson, is a main character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He made his first appearance in the episode entitled "Grampa and the Kids", a one-minute Simpsons short on The Tracey Ullman Show, before the debut of the television show in 1989.

Grampa Simpson is voiced by Dan Castellaneta, who also voices his son, Homer Simpson. He is also the grandfather of Bart, Lisa and Maggie Simpson. In the 1000th issue of Entertainment Weekly, Grampa was selected as the Grandpa for "The Perfect TV Family". Grampa Simpson is a World War II veteran and retired farmer who was later sent to the Springfield Retirement Castle by Homer. He is known for his long, rambling, often incoherent and irrelevant stories and senility.

Hank Hill

Hank Rutherford Hill is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the Fox animated television series King of the Hill. He lives in the fictional town of Arlen, Texas with his family and works as the assistant manager of a local branch of Strickland Propane. He likes to drink beer in the alley behind his house with his friends. He is voiced by series creator Mike Judge. The Economist described Hank Hill as one of the wisest people on television, and in 1997 Texas Monthly included him on its annual list of the most influential Texans.

Lisa Simpson

Lisa Marie Simpson is a fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons. She is the middle child and most intelligent of the Simpson family. Voiced by Yeardley Smith, Lisa was born as a character in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Cartoonist Matt Groening created and designed her while waiting to meet James L. Brooks. Groening had been invited to pitch a series of shorts based on his comic Life in Hell, but instead decided to create a new set of characters. He named the elder Simpson daughter after his younger sister Lisa Groening Bartlett. After appearing on The Tracey Ullman Show for three years, the Simpson family were moved to their own series on Fox, which debuted on December 17, 1989.

Intelligent, passionate, and the moral center of the family, Lisa Simpson, at eight years old, is the second child of Homer and Marge, younger sister of Bart, and older sister of Maggie. Lisa's high intellect and liberal political stance creates a barrier between her and other children her age, therefore she is a bit of a loner and social outcast. Lisa is a vegetarian, a strong environmentalist, a feminist, and a Buddhist. Lisa's character develops many times over the course of the show: she becomes a vegetarian in season 7 and converts to Buddhism in season 13. A strong liberal, Lisa advocates for a variety of political causes (e.g. standing with the Tibetan independence movement) which usually sets her against most of the people in Springfield. However, she can also be somewhat intolerant of opinions that differ from her own, often refusing to consider alternative perspectives. In her free time, Lisa enjoys many hobbies such as reading and playing the baritone saxophone, despite her father's annoyance regarding the latter. She has appeared in other media relating to The Simpsons – including video games, The Simpsons Movie, The Simpsons Ride, commercials and comic books – and inspired a line of merchandise.

Yeardley Smith originally tried out for the role of Bart, while Nancy Cartwright (who was later cast as the voice for Bart) tried out for Lisa. Producers considered Smith's voice too high for a boy, so she was given the role of Lisa. In the Tracey Ullman Show shorts, Lisa was something of a "female Bart" who mirrored her brother's mischief, but as the series progressed she became a liberal voice of reason which has drawn both praise and criticism from fans of the show. Because of her unusual pointed hair style, many animators consider Lisa the most difficult Simpsons character to draw.

TV Guide ranked her 11th (tied with Bart) on their list of the "Top 50 Greatest Cartoon Characters of All Time". Her environmentalism has been especially well received; several episodes featuring her have won Genesis and Environmental Media Awards, including a special "Board of Directors Ongoing Commitment Award" in 2001. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals included Lisa on their list of the "Most Animal-Friendly TV Characters of All Time". Yeardley Smith won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance in 1992 and Lisa and her family were awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2000.

Marv Albert

Marv Albert (born Marvin Philip Aufrichtig; June 12, 1941) is an American sportscaster. Honored for his work as a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, he is commonly referred to as "the voice of basketball". From 1967 to 2004, he was also known as "the voice of the New York Knicks". Albert currently works for Turner Sports, serving as lead announcer for NBA games on TNT.

In addition to calling both professional and college basketball, he has experience announcing other sports such as American football, ice hockey, horse racing, boxing, and tennis. Albert has called the play-by-play of eight Super Bowls, NBA Finals, and seven Stanley Cup Finals. He has also called the Wimbledon Tennis Championships for TNT with Jim Courier and Mary Carillo. He also worked as a co-host and reporter for two World Series (1986 and 1988)

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Mike Judge

Michael Craig Judge (born October 17, 1962) is an Ecuadorian-born American actor, animator, writer, producer, director, and musician. Judge is the creator of the television series Beavis and Butt-Head (1993–97, 2011), and co-creator of the television series King of the Hill (1997–2010), The Goode Family (2009), Silicon Valley (2014–present), and Mike Judge Presents: Tales from the Tour Bus (2017–present). He also wrote and directed the films Beavis and Butt-Head Do America (1996), Office Space (1999), Idiocracy (2006), and Extract (2009).

Judge was born in Ecuador and raised in the U.S. state of New Mexico. He graduated from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied physics. After losing interest in a career in science, Judge began to focus on animation and creating short films, one of which (Frog Baseball) was developed into the successful MTV series Beavis and Butt-Head, which eventually spawned a 1996 feature film as well as the spin-off series, Daria (which Judge had no involvement in).

In 1995, Judge and former The Simpsons writer Greg Daniels developed King of the Hill, which debuted on Fox in 1997 and quickly became a hit with both critics and audiences; running for 13 seasons, it became one of the longest-running American animated series. During the run of the show, Judge took some time off to write and direct Office Space, Idiocracy, and Extract. As King of the Hill was coming to an end, Judge created his third show, ABC's The Goode Family, which received mixed reviews and was cancelled after 13 episodes. After a four-year hiatus, he created his fourth show, the live-action Silicon Valley for HBO, which has received critical acclaim since its premiere. In 2017, Judge's fourth animated series, the music-themed Tales from the Tour Bus, premiered on Cinemax, to critical and audience acclaim.

Judge has won a Primetime Emmy Award and two Annie Awards for King of the Hill and two Critics' Choice Television Awards and Satellite Awards for Silicon Valley.

Nelson Muntz

Nelson Muntz is a fictional character and the lead school bully from the animated television series The Simpsons, best known for his signature mocking laugh "Ha-ha!". He is voiced by Nancy Cartwright and was introduced in Season 1's "Bart the General" as an antagonist but later became a close friend of Bart Simpson.

Roy Firestone

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The Cartridge Family

"The Cartridge Family" is the fifth episode of The Simpsons' ninth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 2, 1997. It was written by John Swartzwelder and directed by Pete Michels. In the episode, Homer purchases a gun to protect his family, of which Marge disapproves. Homer begins to show extremely careless gun usage causing Marge to leave him when she catches Bart using the gun without their permission. The episode was intended to show guns in a neutral way, and faced some problems with the censors because of the subject matter. Critical reaction was mostly positive.

The Simpsons (season 9)

The Simpsons' ninth season originally aired on the Fox network between September 1997 and May 1998, beginning on Sunday, September 21, 1997, with "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson". With Mike Scully as showrunner for the ninth production season, the aired season contained three episodes which were hold-over episodes from season eight, which Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein ran. It also contained two episodes which were run by David Mirkin, and another two hold-over episodes which were run by Al Jean and Mike Reiss.Season nine won three Emmy Awards: "Trash of the Titans" for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour) in 1998, Hank Azaria won "Outstanding Voice-Over Performance" for the voice of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, and Alf Clausen and Ken Keeler won the "Outstanding Music and Lyrics" award. Clausen was also nominated for "Outstanding Music Direction" and "Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore)" for "Treehouse of Horror VIII". Season nine was also nominated for a "Best Network Television Series" award by the Saturn Awards and "Best Sound Editing" for a Golden Reel Award.The Simpsons 9th Season DVD was released on December 19, 2006 in Region 1, January 29, 2007 in Region 2 and March 21, 2007 in Region 4. The DVD was released in two different forms: a Lisa-shaped head, to match the Maggie, Homer and Marge shaped heads from the three previous DVD sets, and also a standard rectangular shaped box. Like the previous DVD sets, both versions are available for sale separately.

The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons

"The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons" is the seventh episode of The Simpsons' ninth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 16, 1997. It was written by Richard Appel and directed by Steven Dean Moore. The episode sees Apu Nahasapeemapetilon marry Manjula, and incorporates several aspects of Hindu wedding ceremonies, which the writers researched during the episode's production. Appel pitched the episode several years before season nine but the idea was not used until Mike Scully became showrunner. The episode's subplot, which sees Homer stay at the Springfield Retirement Castle, was initially conceived as a separate episode, but could not be developed in enough detail. The episode received mixed reviews.

Season 9
Themed episodes
See also


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