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THE SIMPSONS Originally Had a Different Ending for “Who Shot Mr. Burns”

THE SIMPSONS Originally Had a Different Ending for “Who Shot Mr. Burns”

As a kid who was obsessed with The Simpsons, “Who Shot Mr. Burns” was one of the most important television events of my life. I remember where my family ordered pizza from the night Part Two aired, how furious I was that it didn’t arrive before the episode started, and how blown away I was when the answer turned out to be Maggie. But it all could have been very different. One of the show’s writers shared the original pitch for the episode, and it had a very different ending from what we got.

In a story we saw at The A.V. Club, former show writer and producer Josh Weinstein shared the first page of the pitch he made with Bill Oakley for one of the show’s most famous stories. Although as you’ll see, it was another famous TV series that specifically got mentioned here.

The pitch for Part One isn’t all that far off from what we got, but instead of a big real estate project Mr. Burns ended up trying to block out the sun. But believe me, Barney, Patty, or Selma never seemed like real possibilities while we were all trying to solve the puzzle that summer (needless to say, they achieved their stated goal at the bottom of this page here). We all KNEW it was Homer or Smithers. (He pointed at “W” and “S” on the sundial!)

But it turns out Maggie wasn’t some last second idea that let them off the hook from “sacrificing” anyone, because she was brought up quickly as a candidate.

Simpsons is still my all-time favorite television show, and this is why. They pulled off the ultimate parody with a surprising payoff that both made sense and exceeded all of our expectations. There’s a reason I was so obsessed with it, and why I spent that whole summer waiting for the conclusion.

The pizza was pretty good too.

What do you think of this original pitch? Is there any part of it you like better than what we got? Tell us why in the comments below.

Featured Image: 20th Century Fox

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