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Judd Apatow's 20-Year-Old 'Simpsons' Episode Will Air Next Season

Homer is hypnotized to believe he's 10 years old . . . and wants to stay that way

January 3, 2014 4:35 PM ET
Judd Apatow
Judd Apatow
Michael Buckner/Getty Images for The Rape Treatment Center

One of Judd Apatow's dreams will come true when The Simpsons creates an episode around a script he wrote . . . over 20 years ago. Apatow recalled writing the episode in a recent interview with EW. He remembered penning it, along with a spec script for the early Nineties Fox series Get a Life, after the cartoon's first season, which premiered in December 1989. 

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"I sent them all around town and I did not get a job from anybody," he said. "I got a meeting at Get a Life and didn't get a job there either. But I heard that they liked it at The Simpsons." After a stint writing for The Ben Stiller Show, Simpsons producers Al Jean and Mike Reiss hired the director to work on the cartoon The Critic, but even then they did not consider developing his episode. Jean finally decided to look at the script a few years ago after reading an interview with Apatow, in which he mentioned his episode. "The reason I brought up The Simpsons episode is because I realized while doing this interview that everything I had ever written was the premise of the first thing I had ever written," Apatow told EW. "All of my stories are about people trying hard not to grow up."

As for the plot of Apatow's episode, he said that the Simpson family would go to a "hypnotism show," but the hypnotist would suffer a heart attack mid-demonstration. This would leave Homer thinking that he was 10 years old. "It's about Bart and Homer becoming best friends because they're the same age, and then Homer doesn't want to be revived because he'd rather be 10 than have adult responsibility," Apatow explained. "I wrote it in what I thought was the style of The Simpsons after only six episodes had aired."

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The director says that the Simpsons writing team is currently punching up his script and that the changes he's seen so far have been "hilarious and brilliant." After the writers finish the editing process, Apatow will look over the script again. "I think the idea of my episode is very good and there are some nice moments," he said, "but it was the first thing I ever wrote. . . ." He also joked about wanting to voice the episode's hypnotist.

Apatow ended the interview by saying that getting the episode developed is "a real full-circle moment" for him. "I wanted to be a part of it from the second it was created," he said. "I knew it was one of the landmark moments in comedy and now that I have become a part of it, there is a small part of me that thinks I should retire. . . . There's nothing else to dream for."

Since writing the script, the Apatow has become one of the strongest voices in modern comedy with films such as The 40-Year-Old VirginKnocked UpThis Is 40 and more, as well as executive-producing the TV series Girls. This Sunday, Apatow will lend his voice to The Simpsons alongside actors he's worked with often over the years – Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen and his wife, Leslie Mann – as well as Channing Tatum and Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford. 

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