Beyond Blunderdome: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Beyond Blunderdome"
The Simpsons episode
Mel Gibson and Homer.
Episode no. 227
Prod. code AABF23
Orig. airdate September 26, 1999[1]
Show runner(s) Mike Scully
Written by Mike Scully
Directed by Steven Dean Moore
Chalkboard "Fridays are not really 'pants optional'".
Couch gag The crudely drawn Simpsons family from The Tracy Ullman Show shorts are on the couch. The Simpsons (as they're currently drawn) come in. All ten of them scream and run away.
Guest star(s) Mel Gibson
Jack Burns
Mike Scully
Ian Maxtone-Graham
George Meyer
Ron Hauge
Matt Selman
Steven Dean Moore

"Beyond Blunderdome" is the season premiere of the The Simpsons' eleventh season, and the last episode produced for the tenth. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on September 26, 1999.[1] Homer test drives an electric car because it'll get him a gift. The gift is that Homer and Marge get to be part of a test audience for the new remake of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, starring and directed by actor Mel Gibson. Everyone loves the film except for Homer, who despises it. Because Mel Gibson thinks Homer is the only one who dares to speak his mind, he asks Homer to help him change the film. Therefore, Mel Gibson takes Homer, Marge, Bart and Lisa to Hollywood. The episode was written by Mike Scully and was directed by Steven Dean Moore. It guest starred Mel Gibson as himself, and Jack Burns as Edward Christian.



Homer takes a test drive of a new electric car so that he can get a free gift. After destroying the car, the family return to the dealer to receive their gift, which they forget to open until Homer and Marge are in bed. His gift turns out to be free tickets to a preview screening of the new Mel Gibson movie, a remake of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. The audience members are given comment cards to fill out so that the filmmakers can change the movie based on the audiences' reactions. The movie is a smash with everyone but Homer. During the screening, Mel Gibson, having come to the test screening unannounced, is assured by the producers that the movie is wonderful. "But I don't shoot anybody," he laments. Mel tries to escape through an emergency exit, triggering an alarm and thus causing everyone present to notice him. Marge asks if Mel will be reading the comment cards himself, and he says he will read hers personally and kisses her hand, which angers Homer and motivates him to write a bad review. Later, while reading the comment cards, Mel is certain that everyone loves him too much to tell him how to improve the movie. When he reads Homer's comments, he decides that Homer was the only person brave enough to tell him the truth.

Mel shows up at the Simpsons' door and invites Homer and his family to come with him to Hollywood to change the movie. They fly in a plane piloted by John Travolta. Homer and Mel begin work on the film while the rest of the family explores Hollywood. The family sees Robert Downey Jr. in a shootout with the cops, which they at first believe to be a movie shoot until Bart notices that there are no cameras present. When Homer's ideas prove to be stupid and pointless, (an example is Homer's idea of having a villain be "a dog with shifty eyes"), Mel begins to wonder whether he made a mistake. However, he is enthusiastic when Homer tells him his ideas for the famous "filibuster" scene at the end. The next day, they present the new ending to the producers. In the new version, Mr. Smith goes berserk and slaughters every member of Congress and the President in a mindless action movie sequence. The producers are horrified at this, saying that "Mr. Smith" was meant to be the Studio's big prestige picture and that they've already "bought five Golden Globes." They attempt to burn the new ending, as Homer and Mel, determined to save their movie, run for it.

They meet up with the rest of the family at a car museum. They steal a replica of the main villain's car from The Road Warrior and engage in a ludicrous car chase through the streets of Hollywood, with the film executives hot on their trail. Homer, taking an idea from Braveheart, moons the execs along with Mel, which leads to Homer getting the car's front end stuck in his backside. Homer and Mel then attend the movie's premiere back in Springfield, and when the film ends, the entire audience walks out disgusted. Homer then tries to apologize to Mel, but he doesn't blame him, arriving to the conclusion there's no place for violence-lovers like them in Hollywood; however, as soon as Homer suggests similarly stupid ideas for "their" next movie while leaving the theater, Mel kicks him out of his limousine. Homer yells after Mel, indicating that he fell out, the scene then zooms in to a dog with evil shifty eyes.


In the DVD box set, "Beyond Blunderdome" contains an option to watch the episode in a few different languages, particularly Portuguese, Czech, Italian and German.[2] According to DVD commentary (and the deleted scene reel), the episode had a slightly different ending: After Homer and Mel get shunned for their gory remake of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Apu suggests that they sell the movie to India, since the people of India love violent, action-packed American movies.[2]

Cultural references

  • The title is a reference to the movie Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, which also starred Mel Gibson.
  • Electaurus, the electric car which Homer drives for a test drive, resembles the General Motors EV1.
  • Homer driving the Electaurus car by shocked beachgoers and into the water is a likely reference to James Bond performing a similar act while escaping enemies with a car that could drive underwater in The Spy Who Loved Me.
  • When discussing the remake, Homer says "At least the Jimmy Stewart version had the giant rabbit who ran the savings and loan!". These are references to Harvey and It's a Wonderful Life.
  • Rainier Wolfcastle is seen filming Saving Irene Ryan, a reference to both Saving Private Ryan and the TV sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies.[3]
  • After the studio cart crashes, Mel says to Homer, "I'm getting too old for this crap," which is very similar to what Danny Glover often says to Mel Gibson's Lethal Weapon character.
  • Mel Gibson tossing away his U.S. Senator badge at the end of the Mr. Smith Goes to Washington remake is similar to the endings of Dirty Harry and High Noon.
  • Homer says, "you had me at 'hello'," a reference to a famous quote from Jerry Maguire.
  • Homer says, "I second that motion, with a vengeance" a reference to the Die Hard movies.
  • When at the screentesting for the remake of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, two producers are introduced as producers who worked on Shaquille O'Neal's movies including Kazaam.
  • When Homer and Mel Gibson are being hunted by the management people, they enter a car museum. The Batmobile and the Monkeemobile are among the exhibits.
  • Jack Burns' character asks one of the other executives "And we were worried about the Latino market, huh? Huh? Huh?" much to the other executive's annoyance. This is a reference to Burns' character Warren Ferguson on The Andy Griffith Show in which his character was known for asking rhetorical questions in the same manner.
  • "Look, they're towing away a Range Rover" is a possible reference to Robert Altman's The Player, in which the main character (Tim Robbins) drove a Range Rover.


Mel Gibson ranked 20th on AOL's list of their favorite 25 Simpsons guest stars.[4] Total Film's Nathan Ditum ranked Gibson's performance as the seventh best guest appearance in the show's history.[5]


External links

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address