Bill Oakley has done it again. Last Friday on Twitter, the former Simpsons showrunner revealed his personal top ten Simpsons episodes that were "pitched, discussed, [and] written," but, for whatever reason, never produced and lost to the sands of time.
Now, most of our competition would just lazily copy & paste the list and call it a day, but we here at rubbercat.net/simpsons have much more respect for you, the reader. We have attempted to dig up as much information about these would-be episodes as possible, from audio commentaries, interviews, and story outlines, to bring you the most complete picture of these extra-bonus-non-episodes as possible. Let's run through the list, shall we?
Simpsons creator Matt Groening got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today. According to KPCC, it's star #2,459 , located at 7021 Hollywood Blvd, in case you want to visit it and step all over it. Since The Simpsons themselves already have a star, you can consider this one a quiet acknowledgment of Futurama and Life in Hell.
It's been a banner couple of weeks for the Groenster - he's getting a toy modeled off of his likeness, he just celebrated the 500th episode of The Simpsons, he just created the Matt Groening Chair in Animation with a $500,000 donation to UCLA, and his birthday is tomorrow. Everything's coming up Groening!
The Hollywood Reporter did a big cover story about The Simpsons in honor its meaningless milestone of having churned out a certain number of product. Former showrunner Mike Scully used the occasion to share his death wish with the nation:
"I think the show will outlive all of us," says former producer Mike Scully. "Nothing would make me happier than some episode in the future to end with a title card that reads, 'In memory of Mike Scully.'"
Yup, Mike Scully wants to die. Nothing would make him happier. There is no other way to interpret that quote. After years of death threats from Simpsons nerds, it seems Scully has decided to embrace the icy hand of death.
The rest of the article is mostly just a rehash of the same stories they've been telling for years in interviews and audio commentaries (did you know Michael Jackson didn't do his own singing???), but nonetheless there's a few interesting tidbits I haven't heard elsewhere, if you use a charitable interpretation of "interesting."
The Country of Iran has taken the unprecedented step of banning the foreign import of Simpsons dolls, thereby throwing a wrench in peace negotiations and putting the entire international community in mortal jeopardy.
Oh, sure, the Iranian Secretary for Policy-making at the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults in Tehran (the Iranian equivalent of the IntelDevChiYA czar) claims they're doing it so as not to corrupt the morals of Iranian youth with Western depravity, but we all know the real reason: to strike back America for the tough economic sanctions we've been putting on them to get them to stop being so nuke-curious and weird. As we all know, the production of Simpsons crap is America's largest industry, and the loss of such a big market could really hamper our economic recovery and prolong the recession. This is Iran's way of letting us know they mean business. Diplomats are working around the clock trying to come up with an agreement, but have been met with resistance. Just yesterday, President Obama told NBC's Matt Lauer that "all options are on the table" with regards to the Simpsons ban; "I will not rest until every Iranian child has a Bart Simpson plush doll," the president vowed.
After failing to come up with any new ideas for Simpsons episodes, the writers decided to call it quits and throw in the towel... then, as they gazed upon the towel they threw, suddenly became struck with inspiration and wrote a whole episode around it. At least, that's how I imagine this rag episode came about.
I didn't see it, but I read the Wikisimpsons article about it, which is chock full of insane plot details like "Moe is part yeti," "Moe has a magical talking bar rag from the Middle Ages voiced by Jeremy Irons," "Milhouse's mom chokes on a rock and refuses the Heimlich maneuver," and "Moe is part yeti."
Judging from the feedback on the internet, "the rag episode" represents yet another low point for the series, like jockey gnomes, "the Israel episode," and whatever that Ke$ha thing was.