In a parallel universe somewhere, a 22-year-old Judd Apatow was hired to write for ‘The Simpsons’ thanks to a spec script called “Bart’s New Friend.” In this world, there would be no The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up or Bridesmaids, as Apatow would contentedly be lost to The Simpsons writers room, with no idea what rejection could have brought.
Thankfully, when a twenty-something stand up tried to break into TV with his Simpsons spec script just six episode into the series run, it was largely ignored by the whole of Hollywood. But now, 25 years later, Apatow’s long lost attempt at Simpsons immortality has been dusted off, revised by show’s this universe writers room, and will air next Sunday, January 11th.
Shocker: the ep focuses on a manchild reluctant to grow up.
In “Bart’s New Friend,” a bit of hypnosis throws Homer into the mind-set of a 10-year-old boy, allowing he and Bart to connect in a way they never had before. (Sort of a reversal of “HOMЯ” that briefly made the oafish dad a genius, allowing him to bond with Lisa.) Apatow explains to TV Guide, “He has such a great time being Bart’s friend that he doesn’t want to become an adult again.” (The same was not true for Lisa’s version.)
How did Apatow’s spec script come back into play? Well, after a mention of it in an interview with EW back in 1992, Simpsons producer Al Jean reached out. So the lesson for all you wannabe writes out there: SAVE EVERYTHING. Some day you may be a major Hollywood power player who can turn even your most forgettable attempts into dreams come true.