Today, Judd Apatow is a major Hollywood player, having directed hits such as Knocked Up and The Forty Year Old Virgin. But 20 years ago he had recently given up on a career in stand-up comedy and was taking his first steps as a TV writer. Among his early efforts was a script for The Simpsons which, sadly, never saw the light of day – until now.
After talking about the script at a screening for his new movie This is 40, Apatow was contacted by Simpsons producers keen to use it on the show.
Executive producer Al Jean confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that Apatow’s episode would air as part of the next season: “I sent word to him: ‘If you’re interested, we’ll buy it.’ I think he had to find it – it was in one of his boxes.”
The story – penned shortly after the show was first launched – sees Homer Simpson hypnotised into believing he is ten years old again, leading him to become best friends with his mischevious son, Bart.
Jean has welcomed any involvement Apatow would like in the development stages, saying: “I’m sure he’ll want to have a hand in the rewrite, which is great.”
The producer also offered aspiring writers a guaranteed way to see their own Simpsons script brought to life: “For people who want to know how to write a freelance Simpsons episode: Just do it, then have a mega-million dollar movie career and we’ll buy the spec.”