Can Bart Klear Krusty of Krime?
Written by Jay Kogen and Wallace Wolodarsky
Directed by Brad Bird
Also starring: Pamela Hayden
Special guest voice: Kelsey Grammer (as Sideshow Bob), Itchy and Scratchy Theme by Sam Simon, Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye written by Cole Porter
Premise: 'Comedy, thy name is Krusty.' Krusty the Klown, TV hero of Springfield's children, is tried for the armed robbery of the Kwik-E-Mart. Bart and Lisa investigate, convinced that Krusty has been framed. How does Krusty's unusually literate sidekick Sideshow Bob fit into the picture?
Features: Krusty, Sideshow Bob, Patty and Selma, Apu, Eddie and Lou, Wiggum, Rev. Lovejoy.
Couch: Maggie pops up and is fielded by Marge.
And introducing: Scott Christian, Kent Brockman.
- Krusty began his career as a street mime in Tupelo, Mississippi, and had a heart attack in 1986.
- His child literacy posters read 'Give A Hoot - Read A Book!', and we see an excerpt from an old show where Sideshow Bob hands him J.D. Salinger's loss-of-childhood classic The Catcher in the Rye from the Bucket o' Books.
Homage: The opening of Act II, with Krusty's face zooming up only to be slammed behind bars, looks very much like the closing credit motif of the British sixties spy TV series The Prisoner. The incidental music almost breaks into the theme of Mission: Impossible at one point, and there's a reference to Scooby Doo that we aren't going to spoil by spelling out here.
Notes for the Uneducated: The Man in the Iron Mask is a swashbuckling epic novel by Alexandre Dumas. The theme tune of Sideshow Bob's show is Mozart's ine Kleine Nachtmusik. Stoicism is a school of philosophy, started in ancient Greece, which held that all reality is material but there must be a distinction drawn between physical matter and the animating principle of life. In his dressing-room Sideshow Bob has a poster for a production of Verdi's tragic opera Don Carlos. Gore Vidal is an American intellectual and commentator. Susan Sontag is an academic in the field of popular culture.
Itchy and Scratchy in: 'Burning Love.
Notes: The invention of the Simpsons' arch enemy as a lugubrious yet psychotic Englishman in dreadlocks succeeds wonderfully in this super-fast, super-funny episode that works by constantly reversing the audience's expectations (we love the rapt child audience listening to Sideshow Bob's reading).
Bart and Lisa adopt the investigative role that is to crop up in every successive Bob episode. Also memorable for Patty and Selma's Mexican odyssey eight-carousel slide show ('here's Selma with a Mexican delicacy - a taco platter').