It’s taken a while – 25 years to be exact – but director and producer Judd Apatow (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up) will finally see his Simpsons episode on television this weekend.
He’s not the first celebrity to have a crack at the yellow fellows, but Apatow wasn’t the multi-million dollar filmmaker that he is now when he first put together the episode. In fact, no one had heard of him at all when he wrote the script in 1990 when the long-running cartoon series was in its infancy.
“I was 22, a huge fan of The Simpsons, and hoping for a TV writing career,” he told TV Guide.
“Only six episodes of The Simpsons had aired at that point but I tried to copy the style and did a spec script where Homer gets hypnotised and thinks he’s a 10-year-old. He has such a great time being Bart’s friend that he doesn’t want to become an adult again. I sent it in — in fact, I sent it to all my favorite shows — and got no job offers.”
Two decades later Apatow got a call in which his youthful dreams came true.
“All these years later, [Simpsons executive producer] Al Jean calls and says, ‘Hey, we’ll make it now!’” Apatow said, adding that working with the programme-makers “turned my messy little effort into Cinderella.”
The episode (titled Bart’s New Friend) airs this weekend on the 11th January in the US, and will presumably be broadcast in the UK in the near future. It just goes to show that — as long as you’re a massively successful writer/director/producer — dreams really can come true. Mmm….dreams…