Between all his TV and movie obligations, Judd Apatow seems to have unlimited time for new projects. He even found a few hours to script an episode of The Simpsons… 25 years ago. Written on spec within weeks of the show’s 1990 premiere, “Bart’s New Friend” was gathering dust on Apatow’s shelf (or hard drive or something) until the show’s producers decided to polish some of those dated references and bring the script to life.
Apatow admits he didn’t really know what he was doing at the time, but his script’s premise—Homer gets hypnotized and believes he’s a 10-year-old—has remained on his mind, as it taps into one of his pet themes: the frustrating reality of growing up. “Everything I've done on film and TV is pretty much based on my Simpsons idea,” he joked to TV Guide. “I can't shake it.”
While Apatow is still waiting for Get a Life to get un-cancelled and offer him a job, the unexpected realization of his Simpsons dream eliminates one more item from his bucket list. “The whole process blew my mind,” he said. “Sitting at the table read, listening to Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright and Yeardley Smith putting their brilliant spin on something I wrote back when I was a dreamer, was one of the greatest days of my life. These are legends! It was as thrilling as if I'd been allowed to sit in on the making of The Honeymooners.”
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