Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others
Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others
Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier
Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others
Sideshow Bob Terwilliger
Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others
Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others
The cover of Timely Magazine: "Krusty-Krook of the Year"
Goof: When Lou the Policeman appears each time in this episode, he is white instead of black.
Sign seen on the Kwik-E-Mart microwave: "People with pacemakers should stay away from this thing."
During Kent Brockman's news report on Krusty's arrest, magazine headlines can be seen in the background. From Timely: "Krook of the Year," and from Newsweekly: "Rhymes with Dastard."
Homer doesn't wear his tie and ID badge at the plant.
Goof: When Homer buys ice cream at the Kwik-E-Mart the containers are brown and white in the freezer. Yet when he carries a container of ice cream up the counter for purchase, the container is pink.
You may notice that Chief Wiggum's hair is black in this episode, along with a few other early episodes. It is not until after the first few years that Wiggum's hair becomes blue.
Goof: At the Kwik-E-Mart, during the armed robbery, when we first see the potato chip shelf, it's behind Homer as he stands in line. But when Homer dives for cover into the shelf of chips, it's to the left of him.
In this episode, we learn from a news clip that Krusty the Clown has his own line of pork products, and it is implied that his excessive pork eating led to a heart-attack on the air.
Homer: Krusty, I'm man enough to admit I was wrong, and I'm sorry I fingered you in court. I sincerely hope that the horrible stories I heard about what goes on in prison are exaggerated.
(Apu is still jittery after the robbery and overreacts by cowering behind the counter when Bart and Lisa enter the Kwik-E-Mart.)
Apu: Oh, oh. Okay, okay. Don't try anything funny. I'm armed to the teeth.
(Sideshow Bob greets his viewers for the first time since taking over for Krusty the Clown.)
Sideshow Bob: My young friends, for years I have been silent, save for the crude glissandos of this primitive wind instrument. (Holds up slide whistle.) But now, destiny has thrust me into the center ring. In the coming weeks, you will notice some rather sweeping changes in our program. Please do not be alarmed. Itchy and Scratchy will still have a home here. But we will also learn about nutrition, self-esteem, etiquette, and all the lively arts.
(Krusty the Clown breaks down on the witness stand and admits that he can't read.)
Judge Snyder: Can it be that the champion of child literacy can't even read himself?
Krusty: (Distraught) Is it a crime to be illiterate?
Prosecutor: All right, all right. See this, Krusty? (Holds up an evidence label with a "B" on it.) This is a "B." And this is exhibit B. (Holds up betting slips.) Betting slips--obtained by this court indicating that you have lost substantial sums of money on sports gambling.
Krusty: (Nearly crying) Is it a crime to bet on sporting events?
Prosecutor: Yes, it is!
Krusty: (Sheepishly) Oh.
(During Krusty the Clown's trial, Homer is on the witness stand and the security camera footage from the robbery has just been played for the jury.)
Prosecutor: Mr. Simpson, was that you taking that cowardly dive into that display of heavily-salted snack treats?
Kent Brockman: Good evening, again, Springfield. Krusty the Clown, the beloved idol of countless tots, now nothing more than a common, alleged criminal. His trial, which begins tomorrow, has taken center ring in a national media circus as children of all ages from 8 to 80 hang on each new development like so many Romanian trapeze artists.
(A news report about Krusty the Clown's armed robbery airs on the TV.)
Scott Christian: Why did the clown cross the road? To rob a Kwik-E-Mart. The news story behind that enigmatic half-joke right after this commercial message.
Homer: Wait a minute. Bart, you know that guy on your lunchbox?
Bart: Oh, you mean, Krusty the Clown?
Homer: He's sort of a hero of yours, isn't he?
Bart: Are you kidding? He's my idol! I've based my life on Krusty's teachings.
(Patty and Selma arrive with slides from their trip.)
Marge: Ooh, eight carousels! We're in for a real treat!
(Marge walks in the living room as Bart and Lisa watch Itchy & Scratchy.)
Marge: Oh, my! All this senseless violence. I don't understand its appeal.
Bart: We don't expect you to, Mom.
Lisa: If cartoons were meant for adults, they'd put them on in prime time.
(Bart pins the robbery on Sideshow Bob, during his show.)
Bart: Attention, fellow children! Krusty didn't rob that store! Sideshow Bob framed him, and I got proof!
(Bart pounds one of Sideshow Bob's feet with a mallet and Bob jumps around in pain.)
Sideshow Bob: Ow! My Foot! You lousy, stupid, clumsy--
(All the children in the audience gasp.)
Bart: See that? Krusty wore big floppy shoes, but he's got little feet like all good-hearted people!
(Bart pounds Sideshow Bob's other foot as Sideshow Bob crumples onto the ground in pain.)
Bart: Sideshow Bob really fills his shoes with big, ugly feet!
(Bart pulls off one of Sideshow Bob's shoes to reveal his large feet.)
(Reverend Lovejoy leads the public burning of Krusty the Clown merchandise.)
Reverend Lovejoy: Good people, I'm so happy you're all here tonight. But please, just a few words of caution. Now, we are going to set this pile of evil ablaze, but because these are children's toys, the fire will spread quickly, so please stand back and try not to inhale the toxic fumes.
(Patty and Selma finally near the end of their slide show.)
Patty: --And this is all the mail that awaited us upon our return. (Switches to the next slide.) And this is Selma, dropping off our vacation film to be developed. Thus concludes our Mexican odyssey.
(Homer is brought down to the police station to identify Krusty the Clown in a lineup.)
Chief Wiggum: Ready, Mr. Simpson.
Homer: Yes, sir.
Chief Wiggum: Send in the clowns!
(A lineup of five clowns enters the opposite room and stands against the wall as Homer chuckles at the sight.)
Chief Wiggum: So, Simpson, which one is it?
Homer: (Giggles and Laughs) Well, if the crime is making me laugh, they're all guilty! (Laughs)
Chief Wiggum: (Impatiently) No, no! Which one is the robber?
Homer: Oh, definitely number--(Slow wheezing laugh)
Chief Wiggum: Simpson.
(Homer continues to chuckle.)
Chief Wiggum: Simpson!
Homer: (Quickly) Four.
(Homer surveys his options in the ice-cream freezer at the Kwik-E-Mart.)
Homer: Mmm, chocolate. Ooh, double chocolate. (Gasps) New flavor--triple chocolate!
(Bart discusses Krusty the Clown with Sideshow Bob during his show.)
Sideshow Bob: Bart, children, this whole sordid affair has been a shock to all of us. But we must get on with our lives. Let's try to remember Krusty, not as a hardened criminal, but as that loveable jester who honked his horn and puttered around in his little car.
Bart: And shot you out of a cannon.
Sideshow Bob: (Angrily) And shot me out of a cannon. Yes, we will never forget that, will we?
Sideshow Bob: Well, kids, that's our show for today. And now, in the words of Mr. Cole Porter.
(Sideshow Bob, accompanied by a piano, sings a song.)
Sideshow Bob: (Singing) Every time we say goodbye, I die a little.
Every time we say goodbye, I wonder why a little.
Every time we say goodbye...Goodbye.
(Lisa and Bart investigate Krusty's possible innocence at the newsstand in the Kwik-E-Mart.)
Lisa: Wait a minute. Krusty can't read.
Bart: Okay! Okay! So the poor guy can't read. Can't we get off his back, already?
Lisa: No! Don't you get it, Bart? How could Krusty have been reading a magazine if he can't read?
Apu: Hey, hey. This is not a lending library. If you're not going to buy that thing put it down, or I'll blow your heads off!
Judge Snyder: Krusty the Clown, how do you plead?
Krusty the Clown: I plead Guilty, Your Honor.
(The courtroom gasps and murmurs. Krusty's attorney whispers in his ear.)
Krusty the Clown: Oh. (Laughs) I mean, not guilty. Opening night jitters, Your Honor.
(Marge consoles Bart after learning Krusty the Clown has robbed the Kwik-E-Mart.)
Marge: I know it looks very bad, honey. Well, who knows, maybe it'll turn out he was innocent all along.
Homer: Earth to Marge. Earth to Marge. I was there. The clown is G-I-L-L-T-Y.
Apu: What's the matter, sir? Never have I seen you look so unhappy while purchasing such a large quantity of ice cream.
Homer: The reason I look unhappy is that tonight I have to see a slide show starring my wife's sisters. Or as I call 'em, the Gruesome Twosome. (Chuckles)
(A SWAT team busts down Krusty the Clown's door.)
Krusty the Clown: Hey, hey, what's goin' on here?
Chief Wiggum: Krusty the Clown, you're under arrest for armed robbery. You have the right to remain silent, anything you say--Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Krusty the Clown: What is this, a joke?
(Sideshow Bob dresses as Krusty the Clown and uses a gun to rob the Kwik-E-Mart.)
Sideshow Bob: Hand over all your money in a paper bag.
Apu: Yes, yes. I know the procedure for armed robbery. I do work in a convenience store, you know.
(Bart and Lisa watch as Krusty the Clown greets his audience on his show.)
Krusty the Clown: Hey, kids! Who do you love?
Krusty the Clown: How much do you love me?
Bart and Lisa: With all our hearts!
Krusty the Clown: What would you do if I went off the air?
Bart and Lisa: We'd kill ourselves!
(Homer gathers Krusty the Clown merchandise for the public burning.)
Bart: But, dad, you're giving in to mob mentality.
Homer: No, I'm not! I'm hopping on the bandwagon. Now, come on, son. Get with the winning team.
Matt Groening reveals that Krusty the Clown is modeled after a famous performer, Rusty Nails, a children's Christian radio and television clown.
The idea behind the Itchy & Scratchy cartoons is nothing more than an "extremely violent" version of the old Tom & Jerry cartoons. Their names however were inspired by the 1958 cartoon Pixie & Dixie.
James Earl Jones was also considered for the voice of Sideshow Bob.
In 2006 this episode was ranked #9 in Matt Groening's list of top 10 episodes of all time.
The number on Krusty's uniform (A113) is a joke from Brad Bird. He tried to put it in every episode he directs. What does it mean? It's the number of a classroom at his old film college. As he quotes in the Season One DVD Commentary, "It's a geek thing."
All three acts were designed so that you would come up on a face. First Krusty's face on the set, then Krusty behind bars, then Bob's poster on the wall.
Itchy & Scratchy: Titled Burning Love. Scratchy lies in a hammock. When he turns over, Itchy shoots a flaming arrow in his rear. It connects, and Scratchy leaps up on fire screaming.
Originally before this episode, Sideshow Bob wasn't even supposed to speak. All his conversations would be reduced to his slide-whistle.
First Appearance: Kent Brockman, Scott Christian, and Judge Snyder.
Blackboard Joke: They are laughing at me, not with me.
Couch Gag: Maggie pops into the air and falls into Marge's arms.
Reverend Lovejoy refers to Krusty as "The Clown Prince of Corruption". This is an allusion to The Joker, Batman's arch-enemy who is nicknamed "The Clown Prince of Crime".
The New York Review of Books
This episode features a copy of The Springfield Review of Books magazine, which is a direct parody of The New York Review of Books magazine.
The attorney prosecuting Krusty the Clown is dressed up, and acts a lot like 1950's attorney Perry Mason.
Bart: Comedy, thy name is Krusty!
This line is a pun on the line, "Frailty, thy name is woman!" from William Shakespeare's Hamlet.
Krusty: Give a hoot, read a book!
The poster featuring Krusty with a book is a spoof of the U.S. Forest Service mascot, Woodsy Owl's, catchphrase encouraging us to, "Give a hoot, don't pollute!"
Lisa: If cartoons were meant for adults, they'd put them on in prime time.
While poking fun at themselves, Lisa also manages to reference numerous made-for-prime time animated TV shows, most notably The Flintstones.
"The Day the Music Died"
"The Day the Laughter Died" is the title of Kent Brockman's pre-trial news feature on Krusty the Clown. This is a play on the phrase from the song American Pie by Don McLean, "The Day the Music Died." That date was Feb. 3, 1959, when Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper were killed in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa.
Bart: Say it ain't so, Krusty!
Bart's tearful comment references baseball's infamous Black Sox Scandal, where the Chicago White Sox were accused of accepting bribes to throw the 1919 World Series. The specific quote is rewritten from the original, "Say it aint' so, Joe" referring to "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, who supposedly told a child uttering the famous quote that the scandal was for real. The story was later retold in the 1988 film Eight Men Out.
Sideshow Bob: And I would've gotten away with it too if it weren't for these meddling kids.
This line is a quick homage to the final line said by the bad guy in almost every episode of Scooby Doo, Where Are You?
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