A Simpsons Script

Grim music plays at the nuclear power plant as Smithers' voice comes
over the PA system. "Attention. All workers trudge immediately to the
main yard for the mandatory 'Worker of the Week award' festivities."
Each person must walk through an X-ray machine watched by several
security guards. One of them watches each worker: "Clean. Clean.
Pistol. Uzi. Two kids posing as an adult. Oh -- " he says, seeing a
Neanderthal-looking skeleton, "hey Homer."

Carl: I hate these "Worker of the Week Award" ceremonies.
Lenny: Who even cares any more? Everyone at work sure has already got
Carl: Except foooooor --
Homer: Hello! Well, today's the day for Homer J.! I _know_ I'm going
to win this time.
Lenny: Yeah? How come?
Homer: Union rule 26. "Every employee must win 'Worker of the Week' at
least once, regardless of gross incompetence, obesity, or rank
odor." Heh heh heh heh.
-- He's a shoo-in, then, "Deep Space Homer"

Smithers uses a megaphone to make an announcement.

Smithers: Attention, everyone. Let's have an awed hush please for Mr.
[Everyone gasps]
Burns: Compadres, it is imperative that we crush the freedom fighters
before the start of the rainy season. And remember, a shiny
new donkey for whoever brings me the head of Colonel Montoya.
[Smithers whispers to him]
Hmm? What? Oh, and by that I mean, of course, it's time for
the "Worker of the Week Award". I can't believe we've
overlooked this week's winner for so very, very long. We
simply could not function without his tireless efforts. So, a
round of applause for...this inanimate carbon rod!
[Everyone cheers]
Homer: [growls] Ooh...inanimate, huh? I'll show him inanimate!
[stands perfectly still while his shadow elongates]
-- Homer, master impressionist, "Deep Space Homer"

Homer is despondent that night at dinner.

Homer: Stupid carbon rod. It's all just a popularity contest!
Bart: Wow! Did you actually get to _see_ the rod?
Marge: Oh, I'm sorry, Homey.
Homer: [mournful] Nobody respects me at work.
Marge: Well _we_ respect you!
[Bart writes "Insert Brain Here" on the back of Homer's head]
[Lisa and Bart laugh]
Bart, I told you, don't draw on your father's skull.
[Marge reads it and begins to chuckle]
-- Once a Simpson, always a Simpson, "Deep Space Homer"

Since everyone's laughing, Homer asks, "What does it say? I want to
see!" He tries spinning around to see it, but only ends up falling on
the ground and gasping as he continues to run in circles. The family's
laughter tapers off slowly. Soon, they all groan.

Homer: Ah, TV respects me. It laughs _with_ me, not at me!
[Turns it on; a man points at him]
Man: You stupid -- [laughs uncontrollably]
Homer: D'oh! [switches channels]
-- "Deep Space Homer"

The channel Homer happened to flick to shows two men talking about the
impending launch of the space shuttle.

Tom: It's a lovely day for a launch, here, live at Cape Canaveral, at
the lower end of the Florida Peninsula, and the purpose of
today's mission is truly, really electrifying.
Man 2: That's correct, Tom. The lion's share of this flight will be
devoted to the study of the effects of weightlessness on tiny
Tom: Unbelievable, and just imagine the logistics of weightlessness.
And of course, this could have literally millions of applications
here on Earth -- everything from watchmaking to watch repair.
Homer: Boring.
[tries to switch channels, but the batteries fall from the
remote control]
No! The batteries!
Tom: Now let's look at the crew a little.
Man 2: They're a colorful bunch. They've been dubbed "the Three
Musketeers". Heh heh heh --
Tom: And we laugh legitimately. There's a mathematician, a different
_kind_ of mathematician, and a statistician.
Homer: Make it stop! [panics]
Bart: Oh no, not another boring space launch. Change the channel.
Change the channel!
Homer: I can't! I can't!
[Bart dives for the plug and tears it from the wall]
[He and Homer both sigh]
-- Close call, "Deep Space Homer"

Meanwhile, at Mission Control...

Assistant: Sir, we've run into a serious problem with the mission.
These Nielsen ratings are the lowest ever. [holds a piece of
Scientist: Oh my God...we've been beaten by "A Connie Chung Christmas!"
-- NASA's ultimate nightmare, "Deep Space Homer"

A meeting is called to discuss the ratings fiasco.

Scientist: People, we're in danger of losing our funding. America isn't
interested in space exploration any more.
Assistant: Maybe we should finally tell them the big secret: that all
the chimps we sent into space came back super-intelligent.
Chimp: No, I don't think we'll be telling them _that_.
[Roller skates away, making monkey noises]
-- The best-kept secret, "Deep Space Homer"

Scientist: We need a fresh angle to keep the public interested.
Assistant: The public see our astronauts as clean-cut, athletic go-
getters. They hate people like that.
Woman: Well, who do they like?
Assistant: Well, here are the most popular personalities on television,
or "TV".
[Turns one on, shows "Home Improvement"]
Taylor: I did it! I supercharged my riding mower.
[Makes his characteristic noises. Backs through a fence by
Oh, no! I've killed Wilson. Looks like it's back to jail
for me.
[Makes more train noises]
[The next channel shows "Married...With Children"]
Peg: [whines] Al...let's have sex!
Al: Ehh, no Peg.
[Audience laughs and claps]
[Al flushes a toilet, and everyone hollers and cheers]
-- Fox: only the best programs, "Deep Space Homer"

The scientist sees the common theme in the popular shows.

Researcher: Why, they're all a bunch of blue-collar slobs!
Scientist: People, that's who we need for our next astronaut.
Assistant: I suggest a lengthy, inefficient search. At the taxpayers'
expense, of course.
Scientist: I wish there was an easier way.
[Phone rings]
Homer: Hello, is this NASA?
Scientist: Yes?
Homer: Good! Listen: I'm sick of your boring space launches. Now
I'm just an ordinary, blue-collar slob, but I know what I
likes on TV.
Scientist: How did you get this number?
Homer: Shut up! And another thing: how come I can't get no Tang
'round here? And also --
[a toilet flushes]
Scientist: People, our long search is over.
-- At no expense to the taxpayers, yet, "Deep Space Homer"

Homer's next phone call from Moe's is to the President of the United

Homer: Hello, is this President Clinton? Good! I figured if anyone
knew where to get some Tang, it'd be you. ...Shut up!
Assistant: Excuse me --
Homer: Aah!
Assistant: Are you the person that called NASA yesterday?
Homer: No, it wasn't me, I swear! It was...him! [points to Barney]
Scientist: Sir, how would you like to get higher than you've ever been
in your life?
Barney: Be an astronaut? Sure!
Scientist: Well, welcome aboard. I think you'll find this will win you
the respect of your family and friends.
Homer: [gasps] Respect? Nooo! It was me. _I_ made the crank call.
I do it all the time! Check with the FBI: I have a file. I
have a file!
Scientist: Ehh, better take both of them.
[The assistant clubs Barney and Homer, knocking them out]
I don't really think that was necessary; they _wanted_ to be
Assistant: I know.
-- "Deep Space Homer"

[End of Act One. Time: 6:05]

Homer drags his whole family down to Florida in a Beverly Hillbillies-
style junker. They arrive at a gate through which a guard motions them.

The scientist has called a press conference. He stands at a podium on a
stage in front of red curtains.

Scientist: Ladies and gentlemen and members of the press. I'd like to
present the new generation of NASA astronauts: the average
[Curtain rises to show Homer wearing a "Hail to the Chef"
apron and Barney dressed as a golfer]
Reporter: Jim Wallace, Associated Press. [clears throat] Is this a
Scientist: [cheery] Far from it, Jim. One of these men will prove space
travel is within the reach of the common man.
Reporter: Toby Hunter, Minneapolis Star. No really, is this a joke?
Scientist: No, Toby, and no more questions about whether this is a joke.
[Everyone lowers their hand, dejected]
-- "Deep Space Homer"

Another reporter decides to grill Homer.

Reporter: Uh, question for the barbeque chef. Don't you think there is
an inherent danger in sending underqualified civilians into
Homer: I'll field this one. The only danger is if they send us to
[ominous] that terrible Planet of the Apes. Wait a minute...
Statue of Liberty...that was _our_ planet! You maniacs! You
blew it up! Damn you! Damn you all to hell! [weeps]
Barney: [burps] Oh -- [falls over]
Scientist: Thank you, that's all we have time for.
-- The NASA press conference, "Deep Space Homer"

The scientist tries to impress on Homer and Barney the weight of their

Scientist: Now of course only one of you will be chosen to go into
space. So the next few weeks will be a grueling series of
tests to determine which one of you is most qualified.
Assistant: Oh, and Mr. Gumble: for the duration of the training there
will be no more beer.
Barney: What? Three whole weeks with only wine? I'll go crazy!
Homer: And may the best man win. [whispers to assistant] He's got a
big drinking problem; could embarrass the program. Meet me
up in that tree later and I'll tell you more.
-- Good sportsmanship, "Deep Space Homer"

At their new homette on-site, the family sits down for dinner.

Bart: Wow, my father an astronaut. I feel so full of...what's the
opposite of shame?
Marge: Pride?
Bart: No, not _that_ far from shame.
Homer: [quavering] Less shame?
Bart: [happy] Yeah...
-- English has a word for everything, "Deep Space Homer"

Marge: You know, Homer, when I found out about this, I went through a
wide range of emotions. First I was nervous, then anxious, then
wary, then apprehensive, then...kind of sleepy, then worried, and
then concerned, but now I realize that being a spaceman is
something you have to do.
Homer: Who's doing what now?
-- Does Marge read "Life in Hell"?, "Deep Space Homer"

The next day, Homer shows up for training eating a pink donut. (But not
wearing a pink shirt. Careful, he wets his -- oh, never mind.)

Homer: Well, here I am, right on time. I don't see Barney "Let's
crash the rocket into the White House and kill the President"
Assistant: Actually, he's been here since sunrise.
[Barney works with a punching bag]
Barney: Hi Homer. Since they made me stop drinking, I've regained my
balance and diction! Observe: [does backflips] "I am the
very model of a modern major general, I've information
vegetable, animal, and mineral."
Homer: Oh, that's nothing. Watch this: [does cartwheels] "There
once was a man fron Nantucket, Whose --" [smashes into a
-- Let's not complete that limerick, "Deep Space Homer"

Both men are tested on the centrifugal force machine, their faces taking
on obscene-looking shapes (Homer's remarkably reminiscent of Popeye).
They both blow into small tubes connected to columns filled with water
and a white ball, to test the strength of their lungs. Homer drinks his
water instead, sighing, "Mmm...mediciney." {They are even forced to do
battle in a futuristic arena while everyone watches. The assistant
whispers, "I wager 400 quatloos on the newcomer."}

Scientist: Gentlemen, I'd like you to meet the two experienced
astronauts who will accompany the winner into space: Race
Banyon and Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon!
Buzz: {Second comes right after first.
[Long pause]}
So Barney, we hear you're kickin' ass.
Homer: [contemptuous] I, er, don't think this contest is over yet,
"Buzz"...if that _is_ your real name. I believe there is
still a little something called "The Swimsuit Competition".
Scientist: There's no swimsuit competition, Homer.
Homer: [voice rising] You mean I shaved my bikini zone for nothing?!
-- That's what he means, "Deep Space Homer"

At last, the big day arrives. Barney does somersaults while holding
onto some gymnast's rings as Homer stands there. The scientist and his
assistant approach, and Barney does a perfect dismount.

Scientist: Gentlemen, you've both worked very hard. And in a way,
you're both winners. But in another more accurate way,
Barney is the winner.
Homer: [downcast] Congratulations, Barney.
Scientist: That's very gracious of you, Homer. Please join us in a
toast...to the mission!
[The four of them drink, and Barney looks slightly crazed]
Barney: It begins...[grabs the bottle and chugs]
-- So close and yet so far, "Deep Space Homer"

The two men try to restrain Barney, but he breaks free and runs for a
rocket backpack. Drunkenly yodeling a fanfare, he straps it on and
blasts off. But it runs out of fuel in midair. Barney bounces
repeatedly off the corrugated metal roof of a pillow factory, then lands
in the middle of the road, only to be run over by a marshmallow truck.
"I don't understand it," says the assistant, "that was non-alcoholic

Scientist: [resigned] Well, Homer, I guess you're the winner by default.
Homer: Default? Woo hoo! The two sweetest words in the English
language: de-fault! De-fault! De-fault!
[assistant clubs him]
Scientist: Where'd you get that, anyway?
Assistant: Sent away.
-- Thank God for mail-order, "Deep Space Homer"

[End of Act Two. Time: 11:13]

The Itchy and Scratchy cartoon is a topical one: "Scar Trek: The Next
Laceration". Scratchy pilots a spaceship, eating a baloney sandwich and
licking his fingers as he swallows it whole. But his stomach starts to
bulge out, and he screams as Itchy breaks through, holding the
undigested sandwich. Out of spite, Itchy eats the sandwich himself and
tosses the cat in the airlock, pressing the button to blow him into
space. Luckily, Scratchy is prepared, and he snaps his space suit
helmet on just as he is ejected.

Floating free in space doesn't save him, however. Itchy goes out in a
space pod with arms and giggles, grabbing Scratchy's body. He carries
the body up to the rings of a nearby planet and saws the unfortunate cat
in half. Scratchy chases after his lower half, but it burns up as it
enters the planet's atmosphere. He shrugs, but Itchy flies up to him,
grabs his torso, and removes his helmet. His head enlarges in the
vacuum, and Itchy bursts it with a pin. "THE END" appears on the screen
in Scratchy's blood.

Announcer: The preceding program contained scenes of extreme violence
and should not have been viewed by young children.
[Bart and Lisa cackle with mirth]
-- Pointless disclaimers after Itchy and Scratchy, "Deep Space Homer"

Homer sweats as his children laugh.

Next, we see a shot of Homer, Race, and Buzz, all wearing their space
suits, striding towards us down a hall. They approach the shuttle in
which they'll be flying. Homer looks up at it with awe, and becomes
frightened. "Noooo!" he yells, then runs back down the hall, panting.
He loses his nerve and calls Marge.

Homer: Marge...I don't really want to go through with this. But being
an astronaut is how I got you to respect me!
Marge: Homer, when I met you, you weren't an astronaut. You didn't even
know how to use a touchtone, but I _still_ respected you and I
always will, no matter what.
[touchtone sounds come from the phone]
Homer, you already dialed.
-- I can't believe they invented it, "Deep Space Homer"

Marge: But on the other hand, when you don't take advantage of an
opportunity, you can end up regretting it for the rest of your
Homer: You're right, Marge. Just like the time I could have met Mr. T
at the mall. The entire day I kept saying, "I'll go a little
later. I'll go a little later." And then when I got there, they
told me he'd just left. And when I asked the mall guy if he
would ever come back again, he said he didn't know. Well, I'm
never going to let something like that happen again! I'm going
into space right now!
Marge: Oh, I am so proud of you. And I know it's going to go just fine
[touchtone sounds come from the phone]
-- I still can't believe they invented it, "Deep Space Homer"

At the Cape, a voice announces, "T minus three minutes till liftoff and

Buzz: Mission Control, this is Corvair. Launch sequence
initiated. All systems go.
Homer: Are we there yet? I'm thirsty.
Race: Mission Control, request permission to sedate cargo ahead of
Controller: Permission denied.
-- Busted!, "Deep Space Homer"

Race: Payload checklist. IRS surveillance satellite --
Buzz: Check.
Race: Ant farm --
Buzz: Check.
Race: Children's letters to God --
Buzz: Check.
-- Only the essentials on _this_ mission, "Deep Space Homer"

The voice counts down, "Three, two, one, make rocket go now!" It lifts
off. The G forces are very strong, and they cause Homer to take on a
Nixon-like appearance briefly.

Marge, her sisters, Grampa, and the kids all watch at home.

Bart: Go, Dad, go!
Lisa: "How doth the hero strong and brave,
A celestial path in the heavens pave."
Everyone: Huh?
Lisa: [quiet] Go, Dad, go.
-- No time for eloquence, "Deep Space Homer"

Good news at Mission Control, too.

Assistant: Sir, the TV ratings for the launch are the highest in ten
Everyone: Yay!
Scientist: And how's the spacecraft doing?
Assistant: I dunno. All this equipment is just used to measure TV
-- Equipment purchased at the taxpayers' expense, "Deep Space Homer"

It's beautiful. It's the most awe-inspiring sight I have ever seen.
Giver of life, mother of us all...hey guys, look what I smuggled aboard!
[shows a bag of chips]
-- Homer, just after lift-off, "Deep Space Homer"

Buzz warns him, "Homer, no!" But it's too late: Homer opens the bag
nonetheless. The chips float about the cabin, and Race rues, "They'll
clog the instruments!" Buzz is worried: "Careful! They're ruffled."
Homer has the solution, however; he unbuckles his seat belt, and
accompanied by "The Blue Danube Waltz", he floats about the cabin,
eating the chips. But his head drifts perilously close to the ant

Ant 1: Protect the queen!
Ant 2: Which one's the queen?
Ant 3: I'm the queen!
Ant 1: No you're not!
Homer: Nooo! [his head smashed the colony, and the ants float free]
Ant 1: Freedom! Horrible, horrible freedom!
Buzz: You fool! Now we may never know if ants can be trained to sort
tiny screws in space.
-- The bane of humanity, "Deep Space Homer"

Controller: Er, some good news, gentlemen. We have quite a treat for
you. We've been able to coax superstar James Taylor in here
to Mission Control to wish you well and play you a little
bit of his own brand of laid-back adult contemporary music.
Homer: Wow, former president James Taylor.
Taylor: How ya doin', fellas?
Buzz: With all due respect, Mr. Taylor, this isn't the best time
for your unique brand of bittersweet folk rock. We have a
potentially critical situation here. I'm sure you'll
Taylor: Listen, Aldrin, I'm not as laid back as people think. Now
here's the deal: I'm going to play, and you're going to
float there and like it.
When you're down, and troubled,
And you need a helping hand,
And nothing, oh, nothing is going right...
-- Strangely apt choice of lyrics, "Deep Space Homer"

Kent Brockman reports on Channel Six.

Kent: We're just about to get our first pictures from inside the
spacecraft with "average-naut" Homer Simpson, and we'd like to
-- aah!
[Camera shows a close-up of an ant floating in front of the
three astronauts]
Everyone: Aah!
Kent: Ladies and gentlemen, er, we've just lost the picture, but,
uh, what we've seen speaks for itself. The Corvair spacecraft
has been taken over -- "conquered", if you will -- by a master
race of giant space ants. It's difficult to tell from this
vantage point whether they will consume the captive earth men
or merely enslave them. One thing is for certain, there is no
stopping them; the ants will soon be here.
And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords. I'd like to
remind them that as a trusted TV personality, I can be helpful
in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar
Marge: Mmm, don't worry, kids. I'm sure your father's all right.
Lisa: What are you basing that on, Mom?
Marge: [with forced cheer] Who wants ginger snaps?
-- I do! Me too, please!, "Deep Space Homer"

James Taylor continues to sing to the hapless astronauts. "{There's
hours of time on the telephone line,/Talking 'bout things to
come.}/Sweet dreams, and flying machines,/And pieces on the ground --
um..." He pauses, then continues, "Sweet dreams, and flying
machines,/Flying safely through the air..."

Things go from bad to worse on the spaceship. Some of the ants land on
the controls and crawl into them.

Race: Oh my God, the ants are shorting out our navigation systems!
[the astronauts smack back and forth into the walls]
Taylor: Ants, huh? We had quite a severe ant problem at the vineyard
this year. I had Art Garfunkel come by with his compressor,
and we created a total vacuum outside the house, and we blew
the ants out the front door. But I'm sure you high-tech NASA
people could care less about our resort-town ways.
Assistant: [menacing] Quiet, you --
Scientist: Wait a minute...this unkempt youngster might just be on to
-- Unkempt? Young? Naah, "Deep Space Homer"

Race and Buzz prepare the shuttle to be evacuated of air. Buzz pushes
the button with a "Make hatch blow now!" The ants and chips get sucked
out, as planned, and Homer (who has forgotten to attach his seat belt)
dusts off his hands, says, "And that is that!" He, too, gets sucked
towards the hatch.

Luckily, he manages to grab the handle of the door, but it bends under
the strain. "Oh my God," says the scientist, "this is a disaster!"
James Taylor uses the distraction to run away.

Homer hangs outside the shuttle still, and the handle finally gives in
and snaps off. Fortunately, Buzz and Race are there to grab him.

Buzz: Homer, you broke the handle.
Race: With that hatch open, we'll burn up on re-entry! That's it: if I
go, I'm taking you to hell with me.
Homer: Wait a minute, Race. Wait a minute...wait!
[breaks off a support rod]
Aha! Now I'll bust that pretty face of yours!
[tries to swing it, but it catches in the door]
Aw, stupid bar.
Buzz: Wait, Homer. If that bar holds, we just might make it back to
Homer: Oh. [voice rising] I'll bash you good!
-- One-track minds, "Deep Space Homer"

Well, this reporter was...possibly a little hasty earlier and would like
to...reaffirm his allegiance to this country and its human president.
May not be perfect, but it's still the best government we have. For
[notices "HAIL ANTS" sign taped up, tears it down]
Oh, yes, by the way, the spacecraft still in extreme danger, may not
make it back, attempting risky reentry, bla bla bla bla bla bla. We'll
see you after the movie.
-- Kent Brockman, backpedaling furiously, "Deep Space Homer"

On the dangerous trip back through the atmosphere, the shuttle heats up
until it glows red. Buzz and Race hum, "The Battle Hymn of the
Republic," while Homer sings, "Oh, those Golden Grahams. Oh, those
Golden Grahams. Crispy, crunchy, graham cereal, brand new breakfast

The Simpson family still watch in suspense.

Lisa: Come on, Dad. You can make it!
Abe: Aw, of course he'll make it. It's TV.
-- Metahumor, "Deep Space Homer"

The spaceship hurtles towards the earth at a dangerous speed. It
smashes into the building where the press is housed, which is convenient
in terms of post-trip interviews.

Tom: Uh, how'd you solve the door dilemma?
Buzz: Homer Simpson was the real hero here. He jury-rigged the door
closed using this.
Man 1: Hey, what is that?
Man 2: It's an inanimate carbon rod!
Everyone: Yay!
[Time magazine cover: "In Rod We Trust"]
-- Rod Flanders? Nope, "Deep Space Homer"

A parade is organized in honor of the rod. It gets to ride in its own
limousine. The family watch the parade, but Homer turns the TV off

[Homer shuts off the TV]
Bart: Aw, they were just about to show some close-ups of the rod!
Homer: Oh, stupid rod! I got gypped.
Marge: Oh, Homey, you should be proud! Only a handful of people have
done what you've done.
Lisa: Yeah, Dad! How many people have seen the icecaps and the deserts
all at once, or the majesty of the Northern Lights from one
hundred miles above?
Homer: Yeah, maybe I do have the right...what's that stuff?
-- Uh, stuff?, "Deep Space Homer"

Homer thanks his wife and elder daughter. "Bart, do you have something
nice to say to your father?" Bart, who has just written "HERO" on
Homer's head, says, "Ehh, he knows how I feel." He tosses the marker in
the air, and we watch it close up, tumbling slowly.

It turns into a FOX satellite in space, descending slowly to "Also
Sprach Zarathustra". It hits a glass ball containing a baby Homer in
it, who says, "D'oh!" indignantly.

[End of Act Three. Time: 21:24]