Gump Roast

"Gump Roast" is the seventeenth episode of The Simpsonsthirteenth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 21, 2002. In the episode, Homer Simpson is honored by the townspeople at a Friars' Club Roast, until it is interrupted by Kang and Kodos.[2]

The episode was directed by Mark Kirkland and was written by Dan Castellaneta and his wife Deb Lacusta. The plot idea for the episode came about when The Simpsons cast members were on hiatus following a payment dispute. This is the fifth and, so far, the last clip show The Simpsons has produced. Instead, the series implements one "trilogy episode" each season. When it was first broadcast, "Gump Roast" received a 5.7 rating and was watched by 12.2 million viewers, making it the 16th most watched television show of the night. However, following its release on DVD and Blu-ray, the episode received negative reviews from critics.

"Gump Roast"
The Simpsons episode
Episode no.Season 13
Episode 17
Directed byMark Kirkland
Written byDeb Lacusta and
Dan Castellaneta
Production codeDABF12[1]
Original air dateApril 21, 2002
Guest appearance(s)

Alec Baldwin as Himself
Kim Basinger as Herself
*NSYNC as Themselves
U2 as themselves
Stephen Hawking as Himself
Ron Howard as Himself
Elton John as himself
Lucy Lawless as Herself
Larry Mullen, Jr. as Himself
Joe Namath as Himself
Elizabeth Taylor as Maggie Simpson (All recorded in previous episodes)

Episode features
Couch gagThe couch is a slot machine that shows Homer, Marge, Bart, and Lisa in the windows. Maggie, however, is replaced by lucky number 7 as a jackpot siren is heard and a pile of gold coins spill out.
CommentaryMatt Groening
Al Jean
Matt Selman
John Frink
Don Payne
Deb Lacusta
Tom Gammill
Max Pross

Plot

Homer Simpson sits on a park bench holding a box of chocolates, when Chief Wiggum appears to arrest him for impersonating a movie character. Homer tells Wiggum a story that he is not interested in at first, but becomes more intrigued when Homer uses flashbacks to help him tell the story. The Simpson family then arrives to take Homer to the Friars’ Club, where he is roasted by Krusty the Clown and other prominent citizens of Springfield. Among those roasting him are his son Bart, his daughter Lisa, and his boss Mr. Burns who tries to warn the people of Springfield of Homer's incompetence which, much to his dismay, they think is a joke. The roasters utilize more clips from previous episodes.

Soon, Kang and Kodos arrive at the roast and declare that humans are stupid, as demonstrated by more clips. However, when they probe Homer's baby daughter Maggie's brain and see her memories through a monitor, the emotional impact seems to be too much for them and it appears they are crying, but they then inform everyone they were just vomiting from their eyes and say Maggies memories just made them more angry. However, Maggie's mind also reveals more clips, this time consisting of various celebrities. Kang and Kodos love celebrities so they and the citizens make a deal, they agree to spare the Earth if everyone agrees to give them a place in the People's Choice Awards and the Daytime Emmys. They do, and Kang and Kodos enjoy the award ceremony. The episode ends with the song "They’ll Never Stop the Simpsons", which recounts additional past plots, possible future plots, and an apology for airing this clip show.

Production

Dan Castellaneta cropped
Dan Castellaneta wrote the episode with his wife Deb Lacusta.

"Gump Roast" was co-written by Dan Castellaneta and his wife Deb Lacusta, while Mark Kirkland served as director. It was first broadcast on the Fox network in the United States on April 21, 2002.[3] The idea for the episode came about when Castellaneta and the other main Simpsons cast members were on hiatus while renegotiating their salaries. During the hiatus, Lacusta and Castellaneta were discussing the film Forrest Gump and questioned whether the stories Gump told actually happened, or if he made them up. They then compared the character to Homer, since they are both dimwitted and have "fumbled into" many different situations. Writing ensued, and when the cast members had settled the payment issue, Castellaneta and Lacusta presented the script to show runner Al Jean, who put the script into production.[4]

The clip in which Homer skis down a mountain is one of the most used clips during events, according to Jean. One of the plot turns in the episode sees Kang and Kodos interrupting the roast. These characters normally only appear in Halloween episodes, however since "Gump Roast" is a clip show and therefore not in The Simpsons canon, Kang and Kodos were included in the episode. Since "Gump Roast", there has not been any more clip shows of The Simpsons. Jean stated in the DVD commentary for the episode, that since the show now produces "trilogy episodes" (episodes that have three separate stories for each act) each season after season 13, making a clip show would be unnecessary.[3]

The song "They'll Never Stop The Simpsons" playing at the end of the episode was written by Simpsons writer Matt Selman and sung by Castellaneta. It is a parody on the song “We Didn't Start the Fire” by Billy Joel, and was originally the same length as the song it was based on. However, because the episode was too long, the song had to be cut to its current length.[5] In 2011, the song was re-recorded with alternative lyrics as a promotional video after The Simpsons was renewed for an additional 24th and 25th season.[6] Castellaneta came in and recorded eight new takes, which was mixed together with some of the original vocals.[7]

Referenced clips

Episode Season Description
Homer the Heretic 4 Homer dreams of being in the womb.
Homer Simpson in: "Kidney Trouble" 10 In a flashback, Homer tells how he and Grampa were never close, but still loved each other.
The Way We Was 2 Homer tells how he met Marge in high school.
Take My Wife, Sleaze 11 Homer and Marge dance at Greasers Cafe.
Natural Born Kissers 9 Nude Homer and Marge hide behind some lawn ornaments.
Bart Gets an Elephant 5 Homer tells how Bart got an elephant.
The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson 9 Homer drives the car on the street of New York, with the boot still on his car.
Faith Off 11 Homer recklessly drives the car, with the bucket still glued to his head.
Dumbbell Indemnity 9 Homer tries escaping from Moe's stolen car by rolling out, only to roll over a rock, back in the car, and then drives off a cliff.
Grift of the Magi 11 Bart and Lisa do Christmas caroling to distract families while Homer steals their Funzo dolls.
Brush With Greatness 2 Bart and Lisa repeatedly ask Homer to take them to Mt. Splashmore.
Thirty Minutes over Tokyo 10 The family gets seizures from watching Battling Seizure Robots.
Montage sequence 10-12 Past scenes of Homer singing.
Homer to the Max 10 The crowd watches Homer as he's working, waiting for him to do something stupid.
Mountain of Madness 8 A fire drill at the nuclear power plant.
Little Big Mom 11 Homer fails at skiing.
When You Dish Upon a Star 10 Homer goes para sailing.
Mom and Pop Art 10 Homer fails at building his BBQ pit.
Montage sequence 3-13 Homer strangling Bart.
Children of a Lesser Clod 12 Homer chases Bart with a mace.
Home Sweet Homediddly-Dum-Doodily 7 Maggie almost chooses the Flanders family just before Marge comes over.
Lisa's First Word 4 Maggie says her first word, "Daddy" (in this version, Nancy Cartwright replaces Elizabeth Taylor as the voice of Maggie).
Montage sequence 9-12 Scenes of guest stars that have previously appeared on the show

Cultural references

The opening scene, which shows Homer sitting on a bench holding a box of chocolates, is a reference to the movie Forrest Gump. At one point Homer drunkenly quotes the film Secrets & Lies. The act that Ned Flanders and Reverend Lovejoy are performing at the roast is an homage to the Smothers Brothers, who would later appear on The Simpsons in the episode “O Brother, Where Bart Thou?”.[3] Moe dresses as Austin Powers from the comedy film series. Dr. Hibbert wears a costume of the character Darth Vader from the Star Wars series,[8] and Mr. Burns approaches the podium to the sound of "The Imperial March", aka "Darth Vader's Theme". The song "They'll Never Stop The Simpsons" is a parody of Billy Joel's song "We Didn't Start The Fire".

Release

In its original American broadcast on April 21, 2002, "Gump Roast" was watched by 12.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research, making it the 16th most watched television show of the night, as well as the highest-ranked show on the Fox network.[9] It received, along with a new episode of Malcolm in the Middle, a 5.7 rating among adult viewers between ages 18 and 49, meaning it was seen by 5.7% of the population in said demographic.[10]

Following the home video release of the thirteenth season of The Simpsons, "Gump Roast" received overwhelmingly negative reviews from critics. Both Ron Martin of 411Mania and Adam Rayner of Obsessed with Film wrote that the episode's premise is "lazy", and Rayner added that he felt "cheated".[11][12] Andre Dellamorte of Collider was negative as well, writing that the episode “does a very poor job at justifying its existence".[13] The episode's plot was criticized by reviewers; Jennifer Malkowski of DVD Verdict called the plot "lackluster" and added that it "doesn't really make sense—and I mean that last part in a bad way!"[14] Nate Boss of Project-Blu held a similar view, stated that the plot "made no sense" and that the episode as a whole was "complete lameness."[15] James Greene of Nerve.com put the clip show third on his list Ten Times The Simpsons Jumped the Shark, stating that "You'd think by 2002 The Simpsons would've generated enough cash for FOX that they were no longer beholden to archaic penny-saving concepts like the clip show."[16] Some reviewers considered the episode to be the worst of the season.[12][13][14] However, Colin Jacobson of DVD Movie Guide stated that, even though he thought the episode was "a cheap excuse for a new episode", he found that it "provokes more laughs than many of the other season 13 episodes since it quotes better programs from the past."[17] Furthermore, the song at the end of the episode was well received by Malkowski, who described it as the best moment of the episode.[14]

Notes

  1. ^ "Gump Roast". The Simpsons.com. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
  2. ^ McCann 2005, pp. 46–47
  3. ^ a b c Jean, Al. (2010). Commentary for "Gump Roast", in The Simpsons: The Complete Thirteenth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  4. ^ Lacusta, Deb. (2010). Commentary for "Gump Roast", in The Simpsons: The Complete Thirteenth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  5. ^ Selman, Matt. (2010). Commentary for "Gump Roast", in The Simpsons: The Complete Thirteenth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  6. ^ Snierson, Dan (October 13, 2011). "'The Simpsons' promo reacts to two-season renewal -- First Look Video". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
  7. ^ Ledesma, Chris (October 13, 2011). "The "Secret Song" Is Out!". Simpsons Music 500. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
  8. ^ Chernoff, Scott (2007-07-24). "I Bent My Wookiee! Celebrating the Star Wars/Simpsons Connection". Star Wars.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-24. Retrieved 2011-08-28. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  9. ^ Huff, Richard (April 24, 2002). "'CSI,' 'SURVIVOR' PROPEL CBS TO NO. 1". Media Post News. NY Daily News. Retrieved March 9, 2011. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  10. ^ "'Bachelor' tops the night". Media Life. April 23, 2001. Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved March 9, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  11. ^ Raynor, Adam (September 20, 2010). "DVD Review: THE SIMPSONS SEASON 13". Obsessed With Film. Archived from the original on November 26, 2010. Retrieved March 9, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  12. ^ a b Martin, Ron (September 15, 2010). "The Simpsons Season 13 DVD Review". 411Mania. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
  13. ^ a b Dellamorte, Andre (September 17, 2010). "THE SIMPSONS: Thirteenth Season Blu-ray Review". Collider. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
  14. ^ a b c Malkowski, Jennifer (September 6, 2010). "The Simpsons: The Complete Thirteenth Season (Blu-Ray)". DVD Verdict. Archived from the original on December 9, 2011. Retrieved March 9, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help); Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  15. ^ Boss, Nate (September 8, 2010). "The Simpsons: The Thirteenth Season". Project-Blu. Archived from the original on June 22, 2011. Retrieved March 9, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  16. ^ James Greene Jr. (May 6, 2010). "Ten Times The Simpsons Jumped the Shark". Nerve.com. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  17. ^ Jacobson, Colin (September 2, 2010). "The Simpsons: The Complete Thirteenth Season [Blu-Ray] (2001)". DVD Movie Guide. Retrieved March 9, 2011.

References

  • McCann, Jesse L.; Matt Groening (2005). The Simpsons One Step Beyond Forever!: A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family ...Continued Yet Again. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-081754-2.

External links

Dan Castellaneta

Daniel Louis Castellaneta (; born October 29, 1957) is an American actor, voice actor, comedian, producer and screenwriter, best known for his long-running role as Homer Simpson on the Fox Broadcasting Company animated sitcom The Simpsons. He also voices many other characters for the show including Abraham "Grampa" Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Sideshow Mel, Groundskeeper Willie, Mayor Quimby and Hans Moleman. Castellaneta also had roles in several other programs, including Futurama for Fox Broadcasting Company, Sibs and Darkwing Duck for ABC, The Adventures of Dynamo Duck for Fox Kids, Back to the Future: The Animated Series for CBS, Aladdin for Toon Disney, Taz-Mania for Warner Bros. Animation and in Hey Arnold! as Grandpa Phil for Nickelodeon.

In 1999, he appeared in the Christmas special Olive, the Other Reindeer, and won an Annie Award for his portrayal of the Postman. He released a comedy album I Am Not Homer, and wrote and starred in a one-person show titled Where Did Vincent van Gogh?

Deb Lacusta

Deborah Lacusta (born March 15, 1958) is an American television writer and actress.

Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump is a 1994 American comedy-drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis and written by Eric Roth. It is based on the 1986 novel by Winston Groom, and stars Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson, and Sally Field. The story depicts several decades in the life of Forrest Gump (Hanks), a slow-witted but kind-hearted man from Alabama who witnesses and unwittingly influences several defining historical events in the 20th century in the United States. The film differs substantially from the novel.

Principal photography took place in late 1993, mainly in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Extensive visual effects were used to incorporate Hanks into archived footage and to develop other scenes. The soundtrack features songs reflecting the different periods seen in the film.

Forrest Gump was released in the United States on July 6, 1994 and received favorable reviews for Zemeckis' directing, Hanks' performance, the visual effects, and the script. The film was an enormous success at the box office; it became the top-grossing film in America released that year and earned over US$677 million worldwide during its theatrical run, making it the second highest-grossing film of 1994. The soundtrack sold over 12 million copies. Forrest Gump won the Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Hanks, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Visual Effects, and Best Film Editing. It won many other awards and nominations, including Golden Globes, People's Choice Awards, and Young Artist Awards.

Varying interpretations have been made of the protagonist and the film's political symbolism. In 2011, the Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

I Am Furious (Yellow)

"I Am Furious (Yellow)" is the eighteenth episode of The Simpsons' thirteenth season. It first aired in the United States on the Fox network on April 28, 2002. In the episode, Bart creates a comic book series based on his father Homer's anger problems, which turns into a popular Internet cartoon series called Angry Dad. Homer finds out about this and is at first outraged, but after talking to his family, he decides to try to become a less angry person.

The episode was directed by Chuck Sheetz and written by John Swartzwelder. The idea for the episode was pitched by Matt Selman, and the staff took inspiration for the episode from the Simpsons staff's own experience with web cartoons, such as Queer Duck and Hard Drinkin' Lincoln. The episode includes references to the dot-com bubble, Danish physicist Niels Bohr and comic book publishers Marvel Comics and DC Comics. It also features American comic book writer Stan Lee as himself.

Before its original broadcast, "I Am Furious (Yellow)" faced scrutiny from fans, who thought that Homer would literally transform into the Hulk in the episode. In its original broadcast, the episode was seen by approximately 7.8 million viewers, finishing in 26th place in the ratings the week it aired. Following its home video release, "I Am Furious (Yellow)" received positive reviews from critics, and is often considered a favorite among fans. A sequel to this episode, "Angry Dad: The Movie", in which Bart and Homer make a short film based on Angry Dad, aired in the United States on February 20, 2011.

Kang and Kodos

Kang and Kodos Johnson are a duo of fictional recurring characters in the animated television series The Simpsons. Kang is voiced by Harry Shearer and Kodos by Dan Castellaneta. They are green, octopus-like aliens from the fictional planet Rigel VII and appear almost exclusively in the "Treehouse of Horror" episodes. The duo has appeared in at least one segment of all twenty-eight Treehouse of Horror episodes. Sometimes their appearance is the focus of a plot, other times a brief cameo. Kang and Kodos are often bent on the conquest of Earth and are usually seen working on sinister plans to invade and subjugate humanity.

The duo first appeared in season two's "Treehouse of Horror". The first drawing of Kang and Kodos came from writers Jay Kogen and Wallace Wolodarsky. The finished design was based on an EC Comics issue cover. Kang and Kodos had brief cameo appearances in several non-"Treehouse of Horror" episodes and have appeared as villains in several of The Simpsons video games.

Lisa's First Word

"Lisa's First Word" is the tenth episode of The Simpsons' fourth season. It was first broadcast on the Fox network in the United States on December 3, 1992. In the episode, as the Simpson family gathers around Maggie and tries to encourage her to say her first word, Marge reminisces and tells the story of Lisa's first word. Elizabeth Taylor appeared for the voicing of Maggie's first word.

The episode was directed by Mark Kirkland and written by Jeff Martin. After its initial airing on Fox, the episode was later released as part of a 1999 video collection: The Simpsons: Greatest Hits, and released again on the 2003 DVD edition of the same collection. The episode features cultural references to two chains of fast food restaurants, Wendy's and McDonald's, as well as a reference to the 1981 arcade video game Ms. Pac-Man. "Lisa's First Word" received positive reception from television critics, and acquired a Nielsen rating of 16.6.

List of The Simpsons couch gags

The Simpsons is an American animated television sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The opening sequence of The Simpsons features a couch gag: a "twist of events that befalls the Simpson family at the end of every credit sequence as they converge on their living-room couch to watch TV." The couch gag is a running visual joke near the end of the opening sequence.

The couch gag changes from episode to episode and usually features the Simpson family's living room couch. A typical gag features the Simpsons running into the living room, only to find some abnormality with the couch, be it a bizarre and unexpected occupant, an odd placement of the couch, such as on the ceiling, or any number of other situations, such as to make a pop culture reference. Longer couch gags have sometimes been used to fill time in shorter episodes, such as in "Lisa's First Word", "The Front" and "Cape Feare". The show's 500th episode "At Long Last Leave" showcases each couch gag that was used in the series.

List of The Simpsons episodes (seasons 1–20)

The Simpsons is an American animated television sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. It is a satirical depiction of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its eponymous family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield, and lampoons American culture, society, and television, as well as many aspects of the human condition. The family was conceived by Groening shortly before a pitch for a series of animated shorts with producer James L. Brooks. Groening created a dysfunctional family and named the characters after members of his own family, substituting Bart for his own name. The shorts became a part of the Fox series The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. After a three-season run, the sketch was developed into a half-hour prime-time show that was an early hit for Fox.Since its debut on December 17, 1989, The Simpsons has broadcast 662 episodes. The show holds several American television longevity records. It is the longest-running prime-time animated series and longest-running sitcom in the United States. On February 19, 2012, The Simpsons reached its 500th episode in the twenty-third season. With its twenty-first season (2009–10), the series surpassed Gunsmoke in seasons to claim the spot as the longest-running American prime-time scripted television series, and later also surpassed Gunsmoke in episode count with the episode "Forgive and Regret" on April 29, 2018.Episodes of The Simpsons have won dozens of awards, including 31 Emmy Awards (with ten for Outstanding Animated Program), 30 Annie Awards, and a Peabody Award. The Simpsons Movie, a feature-length film, was released in theaters worldwide on July 26 and 27, 2007 and grossed US$526.2 million worldwide. The first eighteen seasons are available on DVD in regions 1, 2, and 4, with the twentieth season released on both DVD and Blu-ray in 2010 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the series. On April 8, 2015, show runner Al Jean announced that there would be no more DVD or Blu-ray releases, shifting focus to digital distribution, although this was later reversed on July 22, 2017. Another two years later, on July 20, 2019, it was announced that Season 19 will be released on December 3, 2019 on DVD.On November 4, 2016, The Simpsons was renewed for seasons 29 and 30. It reached its 600th episode on October 16, 2016, in its twenty-eighth season. The thirtieth season ended on May 12, 2019. On February 6, 2019, The Simpsons was renewed for seasons 31 and 32, in which the latter will contain the 700th episode.Season 31 will premiere on September 29, 2019.

Mark Kirkland

Mark Kirkland (born November 5, 1956) is an American animation director. He has directed 83 episodes of The Simpsons since 1990, more than any other director.

Media in The Simpsons

Media is a recurring theme of satire on The Simpsons. The show is known for its satire of American popular culture and especially television culture, but has since its inception covered all types of media such as animation, journalism, commercials, comic books, movies, internet, and music. The series centers on a family and their life in a typical American town but the town of Springfield acts as a complete universe. The town features a vast array of media channels—from kids' television programming to local news, which enables the producers to make jokes about themselves and the entertainment industry.

Most of The Simpsons media satire focuses on television. This is mainly done through three characters: Krusty the Clown, Sideshow Bob, and until 1998 Troy McClure. The Itchy & Scratchy Show is a show within a show, used as a satire of animation and in some cases The Simpsons itself. Topics include censorship, plagiarism, unoriginal writing, live-action clip shows and documentaries. Kent Brockman, Springfield's principal news presenter illustrates the glibness, amplification, and sensationalism of broadcast journalism. His tabloidization methods include making people look guilty without trial, and invasion of privacy by setting up camp outside people's homes.

Rome-Old and Juli-Eh

"Rome-Old and Juli-Eh" is the 15th episode of The Simpsons' eighteenth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 11, 2007. It was written by Daniel Chun, and directed by Nancy Kruse. Jane Kaczmarek guest starred as her recurring character, Judge Constance Harm.

The Simpsons (season 13)

The Simpsons' thirteenth season originally aired on the Fox network between November 6, 2001 and May 22, 2002 and consists of 22 episodes. The show runner for the thirteenth production season was Al Jean who executive-produced 17 episodes. Mike Scully executive-produced the remaining five, which were all hold-overs that were produced for the previous season. The Simpsons is an animated series about a working-class family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional city of Springfield, and lampoons American culture, society, television and many aspects of the human condition.

The season won an Annie Award for Best Animated Television Production, and was nominated for several other awards, including two Primetime Emmy Awards, three Writers Guild of America Awards, and an Environmental Media Award. The Simpsons ranked 30th in the season ratings with an average viewership of 12.4 million viewers. It was the second-highest-rated show on Fox after Malcolm in the Middle. Season 13 was released on DVD in Region 1 on August 24, 2010, Region 2 on September 20, 2010, and Region 4 on December 1, 2010.

We Didn't Start the Fire

"We Didn't Start the Fire" is a list song by American musician Billy Joel. Its lyrics include brief, rapid-fire allusions to more than 100 headline events between 1949, the year of Joel's birth, and 1989, when the song was released on his album Storm Front. The song was nominated for the Grammy Award for Record of the Year. The song was also a No. 1 hit in the United States in late 1989.

Weekend at Burnsie's

"Weekend at Burnsie's" is the sixteenth episode of The Simpsons' thirteenth season. It first aired in the United States on the Fox network on April 7, 2002. In the episode, Homer Simpson is prescribed medicinal marijuana after getting pecked in the eyes by a murder of crows. While his family and friends worry about the drug altering his personality, Homer becomes Mr. Burns's vice president after cracking up at Burns's antiquated jokes.

The episode was directed by Michael Marcantel. The plot idea for the episode was pitched by George Meyer, who wanted to make an episode about Homer getting addicted to medicinal marijuana. Executive producer and current showrunner Al Jean found the idea "very funny" and gave former staff writer Jon Vitti the duty to write the episode's first draft. Fox was initially very uneasy to pass the episode for broadcast, since they were concerned that it might encourage younger viewers to smoke marijuana. Even though The Simpsons' staff slightly altered the episode by not actually showing Homer smoke his medicinal marijuana, the network was still worried that it might cause a controversy.

The use of medicinal marijuana is prominently featured throughout "Weekend at Burnsie's". Because the legislation of medicinal marijuana is a controversial issue, The Simpsons' staff has stated that they wanted to explore both sides of the argument, showing both the negative and positive effects of marijuana use. The episode does not come to an absolute conclusion about the issue. The episode also criticizes the use of genetically modified foods, and references Citizen Kane, Dragnet, The Birds, and Judy Garland, among other things. It also features the American rock band Phish as themselves.

Despite the network's initial concerns, "Weekend at Burnsie's" did not attract any controversy. In its original broadcast, the episode was seen by approximately 7.2 million viewers, finishing in 46th place in the ratings the week it aired. Following the thirteenth season's release on DVD and Blu-ray on August 24, 2010, the episode received mostly positive reviews from critics.

The episode is one of two from the series that has been restricted to post-watershed airing in the UK - a restriction that is still in place as of 2019 (the other episode being The Cartridge Family, although the restrictions on this episode have since been lifted).

Season 13
Themed episodes
See also

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