Trivia / The Simpsons S 3 E 1 Stark Raving Dad

In General:

  • The original airing had an introduction which was a huge Take That! at President George H.W. Bush's comments (saying that American families should be "more like The Waltons and less like The Simpsons"). The family is sitting in front of the TV watching Bush's speech, and Bart fires back with, "Hey, we're just like The Waltons; we're praying for an end to The Depression too!"

Specific Tropes:

  • Actor-Inspired Element: Michael Jackson pitched several story ideas for the episode, such as Bart telling everyone in town that Michael Jackson was coming to his house. He also requested that there be a scene in which he and Bart wrote a song together and asked that a joke about Prince be changed to one about Elvis Presley.
  • Non-Singing Voice: Leon Kompowsky's singing parts were performed by Kipp Lennon, because Michael Jackson wanted to play a joke on his brothers and fool them into thinking the impersonator was him. Lennon recorded his lines at the same time as Jackson, who found the impersonations humorous. According to Al Jean, Jackson did record versions of the singing parts, and while there have been rumors that those parts were the ones used in the final episode, music editor Chris Ledesma has stated the Lennon versions were used.
  • Promoted Fanboy: The entire reason Michael Jackson agreed to do this episode was because he was a huge fan of the show.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: The unbridled excitement surrounding the prospect of the real life Michael Jackson coming to an North American town dates the episode to pre-August 1993. After Jackson was accused of child molestation in '93 and chose to settle the matter out of court, his reputation in the U.S. was permanently soiled, with his increasingly erratic and eccentric behavior overshadowing his fame. Tellingly, four seasons later, Negative Continuity results in Bart (an unabashed fan of Jackson here) telling Milhouse in "Bart Sells His Soul" that Michael Jackson is, like the boogeyman and the soul, a fiction that parents use to scare children.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • A Sequel Episode was planned where Leon Kompowsky now believes he's Prince and encourages the town to be free and open with their sexual sides. The episode was dropped when they couldn't get the real Prince to do voicework, in part because he insisted on writing his own script for it and the showrunners found Prince's script too out-there for network TV.
    • The original plot line for Homer to be committed was that he would escort Barney to the asylum to be treated for his alcoholism, but then start acting crazily upon their arrival, causing the doctors to assumed he was the one to be committed.
    • The episode originally was supposed to end with Kompowsky singing a portion of "Man in the Mirror" in his Michael Jackson voice as he walked down the road, but it was changed to him singing the beginning of "Happy Birthday Lisa".
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