|The Simpsons Season 3|
The Simpsons Season 3 DVD
|Country of origin||USA|
August 27, 1992
|No. of episodes||24|
|DVD release date||August 26, 2003 (Boxset)|
The Simpsons' third season originally aired on the Fox network between September 19, 1991 and May 7, 1992. The show runners for the third production season were Al Jean and Mike Reiss who executive produced 22 episodes the season, while two other episodes were produced by James L. Brooks, Matt Groening and Sam Simon. An additional episode, Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?, aired in August, after the official end of the third season and is included on the Season 3 DVD set. Season three won six Primetime Emmy Awards for " Outstanding Voice-Over Performance" and also received a nomination for "Outstanding Animated Program" for the episode "Radio Bart". The complete season was released on DVD in region 1 on August 26, 2003, region 2 on October 6, 2003, and in region 4 on October 22, 2003.
Al Jean and Mike Reiss, who had written for The Simpsons since the start of the show, took over as show runners this season. Their first episode as show runners was "Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington" and they felt a lot of pressure about running the show. They also ran the following season and Jean would return as executive producer in season 13. There were two episodes, "Kamp Krusty" and "A Streetcar Named Marge", that were produced at the same time, but aired during season four as holdover episodes. Two episodes that aired during this season, "Stark Raving Dad" and "When Flanders Failed", were executive produced during the previous season by James L. Brooks, Matt Groening and Sam Simon.
Carlos Baeza and Jeffrey Lynch received their first directing credits this season. Alan Smart, an assistant director and layout artist, would receive his only directing credit. One-time writers from this season include Robert Cohen, Howard Gewirtz, Ken Levine and David Isaacs. Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein, who would later become executive producers, became a part of the writing staff to replace Jay Kogen and Wallace Wolodarsky both of whom had decided to leave the next season. The current arrangement of the theme song was introduced during this season.
The season premiere episode was "Stark Raving Dad", which guest starred Michael Jackson as the speaking voice of Leon Kompowsky. One of Jackson's conditions for guest starring was that he voiced himself under a pseudonym. While he recorded the voice work for the character, all of his singing was performed by Kipp Lennon, because Jackson wanted to play a joke on his brothers. Michael Jackson's lines were recorded at a second session by Brooks. The January 30, 1992 rerun of the episode featured a brief alternate opening, which was written in response to a comment made by then-President of the United States George H. W. Bush. On January 27, 1992 Bush made a speech during his re-election campaign where he said, "we are going to keep on trying to strengthen the American family, to make American families a lot more like The Waltons and a lot less like The Simpsons." The writers decided that they wanted to respond by adding a response to the next broadcast of The Simpsons, which was a rerun of "Stark Raving Dad" on January 30. The broadcast included a new tongue-in-cheek opening where they watch Bush's speech. Bart replies "hey, we're just like the Waltons. We're praying for an end to the Depression, too".
"Homer at the Bat" is the first episode in the series to feature a large supporting cast of guest stars. The idea was suggested by Sam Simon, who wanted an episode filled with real Major League Baseball players. They did manage to get nine players who agreed to guest star and they were recorded over a period of six months. Several new characters were introduced this season, including Lunchlady Doris, Fat Tony, Legs and Louie, Rabbi Hyman Krustofski, Lurleen Lumpkin and Kirk and Luann Van Houten.
In 2003, Entertainment Weekly published a list of its 25 favorite episodes and placed "Homer at the Bat", "Flaming Moe's" and "Radio Bart" at 15th, 16th and 20th positions, respectively. IGN.com made a list of the best guest appearances in the show's history, and placed Aerosmith at 24, Spinal Tap at 18, the "Homer at the Bat" baseball players at 17, Jon Lovitz at eight, and Michael Jackson at number five. IGN would later name "Flaming Moe's" the best episode of the third season. Chris Turner, the author of the book Planet Simpson, believes that the third season marks the beginning of "the Golden Age" of The Simpsons and pinpoints "Homer at the Bat" as the first episode of the era.
1992 was The Simpsons' most successful year at the Primetime Emmy Awards, with the series receiving six Emmys, all for " Outstanding Voice-Over Performance", a category which is juried rather than competitive. The recipients were: Nancy Cartwright as Bart Simpson in "Separate Vocations"; Dan Castellaneta as Homer Simpson in "Lisa's Pony"; Julie Kavner as Marge Simpson in "I Married Marge"; Jackie Mason as Rabbi Hyman Krustofski in "Like Father, Like Clown"; Yeardley Smith as Lisa Simpson in "Lisa the Greek"; and Marcia Wallace as Edna Krabappel in "Bart the Lover". Mason is the only irregular guest star from the show to win an Emmy. The series received three other Emmy nominations: for "Outstanding Animated Program" with the episode "Radio Bart"; for "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore)" (Alf Clausen) and "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Comedy Series or a Special" (Brad Brock, Peter Cole, Anthony D'Amico, Gary Gegan), both for the episode "Treehouse of Horror II".
The series also won an Annie Award for Best
Animated Television Production, an Environmental Media Award nomination for
"Best Television Episodic Comedy" for the episode "Mr. Lisa Goes to
Washington", and a
People's Choice Award nomination for
"Favorite Series Among Young People".
|#||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original airdate||Prod. code|
|36 – 1||"Stark Raving Dad"||Rich Moore||Al Jean & Mike Reiss||September 19, 1991||7F24|
|Homer's sanity is called into question
when he arrives at work wearing a pink shirt. After Bart takes
Homer's mental stability test for him, Homer is committed to a
mental hospital where he meets a big, hulking bald man who says his
name is Michael
Jackson. Meanwhile, Lisa is depressed over her upcoming eighth
birthday, but is very happy in the end to receive a song that is
written specially for her birthday.
Special guest star: Michael Jackson (under the pseudonym of "John Jay Smith") and Kipp Lennon.
|37 – 2||"Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington"||Wes Archer||George Meyer||September 26, 1991||8F01|
|While reading a copy of Reading Digest, Homer finds an entry form for an essay contest for which Lisa signs up. When she successfully wins the contest, she and the family travel to Washington, DC where the finals are to be held. Here, Lisa bears witness to the seedy underbelly of politics and becomes bitterly disappointed after learning of a bribery scandal involving Springfield's state congressman. In her final essay, she disdains and condemns the government system, which leads to the arrest of the the corrupt congressman. While she fails to win the contest, her faith in government is restored.|
|38 – 3||"When Flanders Failed"||Jim Reardon||Jon Vitti||October 3, 1991||7F23|
|Homer makes a wish for Ned Flanders to be a financial failure. The wish comes to life when Flanders's store catering to left handed people goes out of business, causing the Flanders family to end up financially in trouble. When finding out that Ned’s house is to be repossessed, Homer feels guilty and decides to help by telling all the left-handed population of Springfield about the Leftorium and calling in a few favors from his friends. This helps Ned keep the store and get his house back. Meanwhile, Bart goes to the Japanese bartender Akira and takes karate lessons, but quits after he discovers that it is not as interesting as he had expected it to be.|
|39 – 4||"Bart the Murderer"||Rich Moore||John Swartzwelder||October 10, 1991||8F03|
|After having a terrible day at school, Bart stumbles
upon the "Legitimate Businessman's Social Club" Mafia bar where the
leader, Fat Tony, hires
him to work as their permanent bartender. However, when Principal
Skinner ends up missing for nearly a week, Bart is immediately
blamed for murdering him, causing Bart to get sent to court. As
Bart is about to get convicted, the principal shows up which leads
to Bart being cleared of all the charges.
Guest star: Joe Mantegna, Neil Patrick Harris.
|40 – 5||"Homer Defined"||Mark Kirkland||Howard Gewirtz||October 17, 1991||8F04|
|Homer accidentally saves the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant and is
ashamed when people mistake him for a hero. When another impending
meltdown threatens the Shelbyville plant, he is asked to perform
his heroic deeds once again. He is lucky again, but this time he is
derided as a lucky imbecile, even more so than he was hailed as a
hero. Meanwhile, Luann Van Houten
forbids Milhouse to be friends with Bart as
she feels Bart is a bad influence on her son.
Guest stars: Magic Johnson, Chick Hearn and Jon Lovitz.
|41 – 6||"Like Father, Like Clown"||Brad Bird & Jeffrey Lynch||Jay Kogen & Wallace Wolodarsky||October 24, 1991||8F05|
|When Krusty comes over to the Simpsons’
house for dinner, he reveals to them that he is of Jewish heritage,
and that his father, Rabbi Krustofski disowned him for pursuing
an a career in comedy, and not a successful career as a rabbi.
Krusty starts to fall apart and Bart and Lisa decide to contact the
rabbi and convince him to forgive Krusty. The rabbi at first
refuses to see Krusty, but Bart convinces him to do so, and the two
Guest star: Jackie Mason.
|42 – 7||"Treehouse of Horror II"||Jim Reardon||Al Jean, Mike Reiss
Jeff Martin, George Meyer
Sam Simon, John Swartzwelder
|October 31, 1991||8F02|
|When Homer, Bart, and Lisa eat a ton of candy, the
three begin having various nightmares:
Lisa's nightmare: The Simpsons visit Morocco and find a monkey's paw that makes all their wishes come true – with dire consequences.
Bart's nightmare: The town of Springfield must think happy thoughts or suffer the powers of Bart's twisted imagination.
Homer's nightmare: Mr. Burns kills Homer so he can transplant his brain into a robot's to create a super-efficient worker.
|43 – 8||"Lisa's Pony"||Carlos Baeza||Al Jean & Mike Reiss||November 7, 1991||8F06|
|When Lisa requires a new saxophone reed for her talent
recital, she asks Homer, who immediately promises to buy her one.
Though when Homer breaks his promise, he makes up for it by giving
Lisa the one thing she had always wanted, a pony named Princess.
With a new pony in the house, Homer struggles with two jobs to
cover the cost. Lisa, upon seeing what Homer must go through to pay
for the pony, decides to sell it.
Guest star: Frank Welker.
|44 – 9||"Saturdays of Thunder"||Jim Reardon||Ken Levine & David Isaacs||November 14, 1991||8F07|
|After taking a fatherhood quiz, Homer realizes that he knows nothing about Bart, and in the result, strives to be a better father after learning that Bart is one of the racers in the Soapbox Derby. Their entry is not very good, and Bart decides to drive Martin Prince's much nicer racer. Homer is at first devastated, but decides that he must be a good father and support Bart. Bart later goes on to win the race.|
|45 – 10||"Flaming Moe's"||Alan Smart & Rich Moore||Robert Cohen||November 21, 1991||8F08|
|One night at Moe's Tavern, Homer
tells Moe Szyslak of
a secret alcoholic cocktail made with cough syrup and fire that he
calls "Flaming Homer". When Moe tries Homer's recipe in the bar, he
finds it boosts his business and patronage, so Moe steals the
recipe from Homer. Later, Moe is about to sell the recipe for
$1,000,000 but Homer comes and divulges the secret ingredient, only
to find out that Moe was planning to split the million with
Guest stars: Aerosmith.
|46 – 11||"Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk"||Mark Kirkland||Jon Vitti||December 5, 1991||8F09|
|The stock in the Nuclear Plant skyrockets amid rumors
of a takeover meaning that all the workers get rich, except for
Homer who has sold his for a mere $25 and fears that he'll lose his
job. The rumors prove true as two German businessmen buy the plant
from Mr. Burns for $100 million and fire Homer for incompetence. Mr. Burns
decides to buy the plant back when he discovers that his former
employees no longer fear him.
Guest star: Phil Hartman.
|47 – 12||"I Married Marge"||Jeffrey Lynch||Jeff Martin||December 26, 1991||8F10|
|After worrying that she may yet again be pregnant, Marge drives to Dr. Hibbert's office. While anxiously waiting, Homer begins to tell Bart, Lisa, and Maggie about how he and Marge got married at a quickie wedding chapel, and how he attempted to prove to Marge's sisters that he can provide for their upcoming child.|
|48 – 13||"Radio Bart"||Carlos Baeza||Jon Vitti||January 9, 1992||8F11|
|When Bart's birthday party turns into a disaster, he
uses an AM radio Homer gave him to play pranks on other citizens.
He decides to throw a radio down an old well and tricks the town
into thinking a little boy is stuck in it. At first he is
successful, but he realizes that he left a "property of Bart
Simpson" label on the radio and goes to retrieve it. Bart becomes
trapped in the well and while the town decides to leave him there,
Homer frantically tries to rescue him.
Guest star: Sting.
|49 – 14||"Lisa the Greek"||Rich Moore||Jay Kogen & Wallace Wolodarsky||January 23, 1992||8F12|
|Homer begins to bond with Lisa after learning her unique and convenient ability to pick winning American football teams. When Lisa finds out Homer has only been using her for gambling, she refuses to speak to her father until he fully understands her.|
|50 – 15||"Homer Alone"||Mark Kirkland||David M. Stern||February 6, 1992||8F14|
|The family's dependence on Marge causes Marge to suffer
a nervous breakdown during her early morning errands, and she
decides to go to a spa resort to calm down. Homer, meanwhile has to
care for the troublesome Maggie while Bart and Lisa spend their
time with their spinster aunts, Patty and Selma.
The entire family realizes how much they need Marge to take care of
things, and everybody is happy when she eventually returns from the
Guest star: Phil Hartman.
|51 – 16||"Bart the Lover"||Carlos Baeza||Jon Vitti||February 13, 1992||8F16|
|When a yo-yo craze sweeps over Springfield Elementary School, Bart's inept yo-yo happens to break a fish tank, killing the class goldfish. Edna Krabappel sentences Bart to a month of detention. Bart decides to write phony love letters to her under the guise of a man who responded to her personal ad. Meanwhile, Homer tries to cut back on swearing after Flanders complains that Todd is picking up on the foul language.|
|52 – 17||"Homer at the Bat"||Jim Reardon||John Swartzwelder||February 20, 1992||8F13|
|The Springfield Nuclear Power Plant softball team proves to be a
huge success with Homer as their official star player. But after
Mr. Burns makes a bet with Shelbyville Nuclear Power Plant owner
Aristotle Amadopoulis, he hires nine professional baseball players
to fill out the team. However, eight of those ringers fall victim
to separate misfortunes, and Burns is forced to turn to his regular
employees, who win the game.
Guest stars: Wade Boggs, José Canseco, Roger Clemens, Ken Griffey, Jr., Don Mattingly, Steve Sax, Mike Scioscia, Ozzie Smith, Terry Cashman and Darryl Strawberry.
|53 – 18||"Separate Vocations"||Jeffrey Lynch||George Meyer||February 27, 1992||8F15|
|The school makes the students take an aptitude test,
and it ends up suggesting Bart become a policeman and Lisa become a
homemaker instead of a professional jazz musician. While Lisa
becomes a troublemaker, Bart improves his grades and behavior and
is chosen to be Principal Skinner's newest hall monitor.
Guest star: Steve Allen.
|54 – 19||"Dog of Death"||Jim Reardon||John Swartzwelder||March 12, 1992||8F17|
|Santa's Little Helper (SLH) falls ill and the family must make budget cuts in order to pay for his operation. Although the dog's life is saved, the family begins treating him badly so he runs away. SLH ends up in the possession of Mr. Burns, who trains him to become a vicious attack dog. Bart stumbles across the new SLH and is attacked, but SLH recognizes Bart and decides to stop the attack.|
|55 – 20||"Colonel Homer"||Mark Kirkland||Matt Groening||March 26, 1992||8F19|
|After his behavior at the movie theater embarrasses
Marge, Homer and Marge have a large argument, causing Homer to head
to a redneck bar where he meets a beautiful barmaid named Lurleen
Lumpkin with a talent for singing. Homer becomes her manager and
does everything he can to make Lurleen famous, but it takes a very
long time for him to notice Lurleen has fallen in love with him.
With Marge already upset and thinking Homer's the one with the
roving eyes, it's time for him to decide on his romantic
Guest star: Beverly D'Angelo.
|56 – 21||"Black Widower"||David Silverman||Jon Vitti (story), Sam Simon (teleplay) & Thomas Chastain (teleplay)||April 9, 1992||8F20|
|Selma reveals that she has a new boyfriend that she met
through the prison pen-pal program, Sideshow Bob. Bart is immediately
suspicious of Bob, but he does everything he can to romance Selma
and prove he's changed. After Selma and Bob are married, Bob
reveals that he plans to kill Selma, but he is stopped by
Guest star: Kelsey Grammer.
|57 – 22||"The Otto Show"||Wes Archer||Jeff Martin||April 23, 1992||8F21|
the school bus, and is later discovered that he never actually
owned a real driver's license, prompting authorities to fire him.
Otto then moves in with the Simpsons after he has been evicted, and
attempts to teach Bart to learn to play the guitar, though with
difficulty. But it's the way he enrages Homer that might provide an
inadvertent return ticket to his beloved bus-driving job.
Guest stars: Christopher Guest and Michael McKean.
|58 – 23||"Bart's Friend Falls in Love"||Jim Reardon||Jay Kogen & Wallace Wolodarsky||May 7, 1992||8F22|
|Milhouse falls in love with the new girl, Samantha
Stankey, jeopardizing Bart and Milhouse's friendship. Bart
eventually calls Samantha's father and lets him know what's
happening. Her father takes her away, which leads to Bart and
Millhouse having a fight. Meanwhile, Homer orders a subliminal
cassette tape to help him lose weight, but is accidentally sent one
that helps him increase his vocabulary after the weight-loss tapes
Guest star: Kimmy Robertson.
|59 – 24||"Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?"||Rich Moore||John Swartzwelder||August 27, 1992||8F23|
|When the radiation from the Nuclear Power Plant causes
Homer to become infertile, he is awarded a complete $2,000
compensation. Meanwhile, Homer's half-brother, Herb, now living on
the streets, returns with a plan on how to regain his name, wealth,
and life back and reluctantly turns to Homer for help. Herb asks
for Homer's $2,000 so he can develop a new product that will
translate baby gibberish into speech.
Guest stars: Danny DeVito and Joe Frazier.
The DVD boxset for season three was released by 20th Century Fox in the United States and Canada on August 26, 2003, eleven years after it had completed broadcast on television. As well as every episode from the season, the DVD release features bonus material including commentaries for every episode.
|The Complete Third Season|
|Set details||Special features|
|Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|August 26, 2003||October 6, 2003||October 22, 2003|