Many people are surprised to learn that beloved television personality Conan O’Brien, of “I’m With CoCo” fame, used to be a writer for The Simpsons. It’s true. The job that dear old Conan held before taking over “Late Night” was that of class clown in the Simpsons’ writers room. Even then, he was well-regarded among his colleagues for his zany antics, and he penned some of the show’s best-remembered episodes like “Marge vs. the Monorail.”
Now, at a time when the show is facing declining ratings and a hit and miss creative side of the equation, many of the diehard fans have suggested trying to talk Conan into writing another episode for the show. The fine folks at NoHomers have taken this to heart with their latest edition of their Just D’oh It contest. The contest presents fans with a fun Simpsons related question, and awards prizes to the contestants who do the best job of “answer[ing] in a creative and fun way.” This edition’s question is a pretty straightforward one: If the writers got Conan O’Brien to write one more episode, what would it be about?
I have to admit, despite the rampant nature of my Simpsons nerdiness, this is the first time I have entered the “Just D’oh It” contest. As a big fan of both Conan and Our Favorite Family, I thought it would be fun to give it a try. Here’s what I came up with.
Sideshow Mel Gets Boned
After over seventy years in show business, Krusty the Clown is finally retiring. Sideshow Mel is ecstatic, as he has toiled for years under Krusty in the hopes that he would finally get to take over and bring the show he’s been tinkering with in his head for so long to life. He’s been itching to bring “The Sideshow Mel Show” into the livingrooms of the kids of Springfield for a long time. Mel gets his chance, and moves the show in new innovative directions with new avant-guard segments like “The Large Hadron Side-splitter” and “Commedia Mel-Arte.” Mel has never been more professionally or creatively fulfilled.
Meanwhile, at the departure of their childhood icon, Bart and the other fourth graders start to feel the passage of time, and begin to act like old men, nostalgic for a bygone age. As part of this “thing aint like they used to be” mentality, Bart begins to lament all these changes: 3D holograms on Radioactive man comics, new flavors of squishees, and kids riding segueways instead of skateboards. The crux of this involves Bart, Milhouse, Nelson, etc. recounting their way of life to kindergartners. For example:
Bart: And you couldn’t just TiVo Krusty. You had to put a big plastic rectangle into a crazy machine called a VCR!
Ralph: What did it stand for?
Bart: No one knows!
Later, the suits at Channel 6 approach Mel. It turns out that the kindergarten teacher is a plant from Channel 6 who’s only there to do market research. Principal Skinner agreed to it because, as always, Springfield Elementary needed the money. The teacher has been observing Bart and his cronies, and she’s come back with one clear message: audiences only like what they’re familiar with. Mel’s ratings are down, and it’s because the kids want to see what they’ve already seen, not Mel’s adventurous new material. It turns out that Krusty got behind on his gambling debts again, and so he’s willing to come out of retirement to take over the show again.
Mel is distraught and immediately quits. He plans to give up showbusiness until he runs into Lisa, who raves about how much she loved the show’s new direction. He decides he needs to foster the Lisas of Springfield, and with new resolve, Mel goes back to the suits and makes a deal. He’ll return as Sideshow Mel on the Krusty show, but he gets his own show on Channel 6′s sister station – Channel 78 as well. Bart and the other fourth-graders are happy again seeing their hero back on the screen, now in 3D!, and realize that all this new stuff isn’t so bad after all. Finally, Lisa and Martin shoo Bart and his friends out of the room after the Krusty Show, flip to channel 78, and enjoy the first episode of “The Bone Zone with Melvin Van Horne.”