The Otto Show: Wikis


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"The Otto Show"
The Simpsons episode
Simpsons 8F21.png
Otto with Bart in the Simpsons garage
Episode no. 57
Prod. code 8F21
Orig. airdate April 23, 1992
Show runner(s) Al Jean & Mike Reiss
Written by Jeff Martin
Directed by Wes Archer
Chalkboard “I will not spin the turtle”
Couch gag Santa’s Little Helper growls at the family as they enter, forcing them to retreat slowly.[1]
Guest star(s) Spinal Tap
Christopher Guest
Michael McKean
Matt Groening
James L. Brooks
Al Jean
Mike Reiss
Dan Castellaneta
Jeff Martin
Wes Archer

The Otto Show” is the 22nd episode of The Simpsons' third season. It premiered on the Fox network in the United States on April 23, 1992.

The episode was written by Jeff Martin and directed by Wes Archer. It featured guest appearances from members of the band Spinal Tap, Christopher Guest and Michael McKean, who had featured in the mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap. The title is a pun on auto show and the episode itself features references to the American comedy series Happy Days.



Bart and Milhouse attend a Spinal Tap concert, but it turns into a comedy of errors and degenerates into a riot started by Snake. Nonetheless, Bart is impressed by the aging heavy metal band and wants to become a rock guitarist. Homer and Marge decide to buy Bart his own electric guitar, but Bart struggles to learn how to play it. The next morning on the school bus, Bart tells Otto he thinks his guitar is broken, and Otto—with the bus still stopped in traffic—wows his passengers with an impromptu concert, thoughtlessly clogging up the road. However, Otto loses track of time and is forced to drive recklessly to school. The bus runs Spinal Tap’s bus off the road (causing it to crash and burst into flames, presumably killing Spinal Tap), and causes other chaos before turning over onto its side in the town square. Thankfully, no one else is hurt.

Numerous people call Springfield Elementary School to report the incident, earning Otto a reprimand from Principal Skinner. However, when Officer Lou asks for Otto’s driver’s license to complete his report, Otto is forced to admit he doesn’t have a license (or wear his own underwear). Otto is suspended without pay, and Skinner takes over his route. Skinner finds driving the bus hard going, being a less aggressive driver than Otto, and ends up being trapped at a busy intersection for an entire day. At first he takes an insulting song the children sing (called "Hail to the Bus Driver", to the tune of Oh du lieber Augustin) with good humour and even sings along, but after being stuck at the intersection, he becomes irritated and snaps at Ralph Wiggum when he tries to continue singing.

Meanwhile, things quickly go downhill for Otto. He fails his driver’s test at the Springfield DMV (not helped when he asks his examiner, Patty if she was born a man); he is also unable to find a new job, and therefore cannot pay his rent and is evicted from his apartment. Bart finds him living in a Trash Co. Waste Disposal Unit (since Dumpsters are too top-of-the-line for Otto), and agrees to let him live in the Simpsons' garage. Homer and Marge disapprove of this, and Bart tries to convince them that Marge in fact has agreed to let Otto stay, presenting a tape recording where she did so; in reality though, it features Bart doing a poor impression of his mother. Marge is not fooled by this (although Homer is), but reluctantly agrees to let him stay.

Otto quickly makes a nuisance of himself. He becomes comfortable lying around watching game shows, playing Bart's guitar at high volume, and hogging the bathroom. When he clogs up a sink with hair while washing in it, Homer begins to lose patience with him. However, Marge convinces him that at least Otto is good with the kids. At that moment, Otto terrifies Lisa with a scary story, and her scream startles everyone. This is the final straw for Homer, and he demands that Otto be sent on his way. Otto is now uncertain about his future, even considering faking his own death. Marge and Bart, however, encourage him to give the driving test one last try. Otto goes to the DMV to take the test again, saying that he has something to prove to Homer by stapling his license to Homer's head. This quickly changes Patty's demeanor out of spite for her brother-in-law. Despite performing even worse in his second test, Patty grants Otto his license anyway, allowing him to regain his job. Otto proudly shows off his license to Bart, which has a big red stamp of "PROBATIONARY". As Otto drives off into the sunset running two stop signs, with the children singing "Hail to the Bus Driver", Skinner proudly remarks, "Yes, hail to the bus driver, bus driver man."


The song, 'Spanish Flea'; was very hard to get rights to until writer Jon Vitti, who is related to the drummer of the band, could finally manage to at the last minute.

Cultural references

  • Homer makes a comment on their situation with Otto, saying “This is not Happy Days and he is not The Fonz!” Otto then walks in and says to Homer, “Heeeeeyy, Mr. S,” much like many of the teenagers address Howard Cunningham as “Mr. C” in the long-running situation comedy.
  • The rock band is reunited from the mockumentary, This Is Spinal Tap. Harry Shearer plays bassist Derek Smalls in the movie (and in this episode) and provides many of the voices on The Simpsons, including Otto.
  • The song that Spınal Tap opens the concert with is "Break Like the Wind". They also begin to play "The Majesty of Rock", but they do not get past the intro.
  • The song Homer sings along with in the car is "Summer Samba".
  • While riot police enter the arena to calm down the rowdy crowd, Homer listens to "Spanish Flea" performed by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. He also sings the lyrics.
  • The title is a pun on auto show.
  • Homer finds a can of Billy Beer in his old jacket. This is a reference to the beer endorsed by Jimmy Carter’s brother, Billy Carter.
  • Otto's statement that he'd prefer to be sleeping in a Dumpster brand trash container over the "Trash Co. Waste Disposial Unit" that he's in alludes to the word's status as a registered trademark for a brand of large trash containers.
  • When Otto leaves the bathroom (after Homer says that he has to go), Otto refers to Homer as "Poppin' Fresh", the nickname for The Pillsbury Doughboy. Homer would later be referred to as Poppin' Fresh by Mr. Burns (who, like Otto the bus driver, is voiced by Harry Shearer) in the season seven episode Team Homer.
  • The song Otto plays on the school bus is "Free Bird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd.


The episode, like the whole of the third season, received mostly positive reviews from critics.'s Dennis Landmann named "The Otto Show" as one of the stand-out episodes from the third season.[2] Bryce Wilson, in his review of the third season for Cinema Blend, wrote "Simpson’s voice actor Harry Shearer...reunites Spinal Tap just for "The Otto Show", an episode full of the trademark Tap banter and stage disasters that rival even the mighty 18 inch Stonehenge."[3] IGN named Spinal Tap as the '18th best guest stars' in the show's history for this episode.[4] Nate Meyers of Digitally Obsessed was also positive about the episode, giving it a rating of five donuts out of five and writing "The writing is at full throttle here, cramming tons of jokes into the episode's 20-minute runtime with stunning success."[5]


External links



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