Judd Apatow is a patient man when it comes to The Simpsons. He’s been waiting twenty years to paint himself a healthy shade of yellow for the long-long-running classic cartoon comedy.
Writer-director-producer Judd Apatow voiced himself once on The Simpsons, when Homer screened illegally downloaded movies in his backyard and was tried for piracy. Apatow, known for his work in This is 40, Anchorman, Bridesmaids and Girls, also wrote another episode, twenty years ago, that will finally get The Simpsons treatment.
Apatow sat down for a long interview with Entertainment Weekly this week. Well, I assume he was sitting down.
“The closest I’ve gotten to being a part of The Simpsons is in an episode a long time ago — Homer was at a Planet Hollywood-type place and The Cable Guy script was behind glass. Homer made some comment about how important it was, which I would assume was a vicious attack at me, which I could not have enjoyed more.”
In the interview he admitted he’s been a fan and hopeful contributor since the show first launched itself out of The Tracy Ullman Show.
“After the first season of The Simpsons, I sat down and tried to write a spec episode of The Simpsons to use as a sample to get work. I wrote a sample ofThe Simpsons and Get A Life. I sent them all around town and I did not get a job from anybody. I got a meeting at Get A Life and didn’t get a job there either,” he told EW.
Apatow then described his episode: “The family goes to a hypnotism show and the hypnotist has a heart [attack]. But at the show, he made Homer think he was 10 years old so they have to leave the show with Homer thinking he’s 10. 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.”
“After The Ben Stiller Show was cancelled, Al Jean and Mike Reiss, hired me to work on their show, The Critic. And I always wished that they would make my Simpsons episode so last year I was doing an interview with Elvis Mitchell and the subject of my Simpsons spec came up and I told the audience the story I had written, and Al Jean read about it and he called me and he said they’d like to do it,” he said.
“The writers of The Simpsons are rewriting it and trying to bring it up to the standards of the show. [Laughs] I wrote it in what I thought was the style of The Simpsons after only six episodes had aired. I received an email from Al Jean where he detailed the changes they would make to it but they were so hilarious and brilliant, it kind of blew my mind. They are so funny and strong over there. We never should take The Simpsons for granted. It really sets the bar for everybody.”
Apatow said he’d be up for future engagements in Springfield, saying “I hope the door stays open wide. There was a year where I was in between projects and I couldn’t think of a screenplay to write so I would call Phil Rosenthal all the time and pitch him Everybody Loves Raymond episodes. And he would listen and smile and always tell me that they had done something similar during a previous season. I kept trying to pitch him episodes and I always failed, so maybe I’ll do that at The Simpsons — I’ll keep pitching and then they’ll let me do another one in 22 years.”