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"Saddlesore Galactica"
The Simpsons episode
Bart riding Duncan (a.k.a Furious D).
Episode no. 239
Prod. code BABF09
Orig. airdate February 6, 2000
Show runner(s) Mike Scully
Written by Tim Long
Directed by Lance Kramer
Chalkboard "Substitute teachers are not scabs."
Couch gag The family act as karate students and chop up the couch. Homer does a karate flip as he turns the TV on via remote control.
Guest star(s) Jim Cummings as Furious D.
Bachman-Turner Overdrive as themselves
Trevor Denman as himself
Matt Groening
Mike Scully
George Meyer
Ian Maxtone-Graham
Tim Long
Matt Selman
Tom Martin
Lance Kramer

"Saddlesore Galactica" is the thirteenth episode of The Simpsons' eleventh season. The episode, which aired on February 6, 2000, was Tim Long's first solo writing credit and Lance Kramer's first episode directed.



Mr. Largo is helping the Springfield Elementary School band prepare for their big performance at the state fair. After a suggestion by Lisa that they are doing the same old songs, they perform a different song, which is James Brown's "Living in America". They perform the song, but lose to Ogdenville Elementary School, who performs John Philip Sousa's old "Stars and Stripes Forever" using red, white, and blue glowsticks, forming a flag, which was against the rules as the competition forbade use of visual aids. After they win, Lisa accuses Ogdenville of cheating, later writing a letter to President Clinton. At the fair, Homer and Bart see Duncan, the diving horse, who dives into the pool. The Simpsons take Duncan home after his sleazy owner is accused of animal cruelty and flees, but not before the Comic Book Guy points out that the Simpsons have already taken in a horse as a pet, and “the expense forced Homer to work at the Kwik-E-Mart, with hilarious consequences”.

Just as the Comic Book Guy predicted (and how it played out on "Lisa's Pony"), The Simpsons end up having financial issues while keeping Duncan: it costs them $500 a week to keep him. Homer and Bart try to think of a way that Duncan can make money to help offset the costs of keeping him. Duncan makes an excellent placekicker, but National Football League rules forbid horses from competing. After Homer denounces the rules, Bart discovers that Duncan is fast and suggests that he should be a racehorse. Homer enters Duncan at Springfield Downs, with Bart as the jockey; they lose as Duncan, frightened, refuses to leave the stall until all other horses have actually finished.

Homer and Bart find a new strategy for Duncan to win, by making him into a Dennis Rodman look-alike, "Furious D", complete with purple hair and a nose ring. He intimidates the other horses (and headbutts several of them) and wins the next races. They go on to win a series of races until Homer is invited to have a beer in the jockeys' lounge, but instead, discovers the secret lair of the losing jockeys. They reveal themselves to be murderous elf-like creatures who want him to throw the upcoming race. They threaten to eat Homer's brain if he doesn't comply. At the Springfield Derby, Duncan surprisingly wins the race, and the furious jockeys chase after Bart and Homer. Marge and Lisa foil the jockeys by spraying them with a hose and stuffing them in garbage bags. President Clinton comes to see Lisa at home and present her with a plaque.


Cultural references

Alternate versions

An instrumental version of the racing themed song "The Distance" by Cake is used as background music during the montage of Duncan winning races under his new persona, Furious D in the syndicated reruns of this episode. When the episode premiered, a sound-alike instrumental of the same song was used because the staff couldn't get the music rights in on time. On the season 11 DVD set, the actual song (lyrics and music) is used. In the United Kingdom, the sound-alike version from the U.S. premiere is used on Channel 4 airings while the actual instrumental (from the syndicated version) is used on the Sky 1 airings.

External links

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