When two actors cancel and the tape recorder cuts out, what's a podcast host to do? In this “cursed” episode, Natalie learns how to make the best of a bad situation when everything goes wrong. She looks back at her perfectly cromulent Simpsons spec “Lisa the Kid” which has unfortunately suffered at the hands of time. Afterwards, she sits down with one-man sketch team Adam Murray to talk about his career aspirations and work philosophies, and Natalie marvels at his ability to keep calm under pressure. D'oh!
ABOUT THIS EPISODE
The Simpsons was without question the most influential show on my impressionable young psyche growing up. I was absolutely obsessed with it. I memorized every episode guide, listened to all the songs on repeat and watched every rerun over and over again. The Simpsons made me understand and appreciate comedy, even when I wasn't aware of it at the time.
As a kid, I heavily identified with Lisa. She made me want to play the saxophone in middle school and become a vegetarian. She made me feel better about being smart and different from everyone else. She felt like someone who could actually be my friend.
"Lisa the Kid" was the third spec script I wrote, which I finished in early 2012. I pulled heavily from my generalized anxieties about puberty, growing up and aging when coming up with the ideas and themes for this episode. I also drew inspiration from some of my favorite Simpsons episodes: the one where Lisa becomes a cool kid over the summer ("The Summer of 4 Ft. 2"), the angel episode ("Lisa the Skeptic") and the one where Bart and Milhouse get trapped inside the Springfield Mall ("The Last Tap Dance in Springfield"). I'm fascinated by malls and decided to set my script there because it was a relatively untapped arena on the show.
When I pulled this script back out of hiding, I was surprised by how much I still liked it; I thought it was going to be much worse for wear. Honestly, if I could make an episode of The Simpsons, this would be my dream episode. The only problem with it is that it's very outdated. As you'll see, a lot of it revolves around recession jokes and Occupy Wall Street-- super topical stuff in 2012 but not so much today. I don't regret centering it around a topical issue because I think The Simpsons does that fairly regularly (and it's honestly fun to look back at those episodes as time capsules), but it sucks not being able to use this script as a sample anymore.
In my revisions for the reading, I kept the references the same but did punch up some jokes and clarify some scenes I thought were lacking. I also fleshed out Homer's fantasy sequence in the food court.