The Simpsons

Season 3 Episode 1

Stark Raving Dad

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Sep 19, 1991 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
323 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

After a misunderstanding at work, Homer is committed to a mental institution, where he meets an interesting man claiming to be Michael Jackson. Meanwhile, Lisa’s birthday is fast approaching and a reluctant Bart is forced with the task of getting Lisa a birthday present.

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  • Another perfect premiere

    After a misunderstanding at work, Homer is committed to a mental institution, where he meets an interesting man claiming to be Michael Jackson. Meanwhile, Lisa's birthday is fast approaching and a reluctant Bart is forced with the task of getting Lisa a birthday present.

    Overall, this is a really good episode

    10 OUT OF 10

  • The third season begins with Homer being sent to a mental institution due to a misunderstanding at the power plant. While committed he meets a man who says he is Michael Jackson. Back home Lisa's birthday is approaching and she expects a gift from Bart.moreless

    This episode is one of the best season openers in the entire twenty plus season run of "The Simpsons". The laughs start from the very beginning when Lisa wakes up Bart to remind him of her birthday. The late Michael Jackson does a terrific job in one of the best guest appearances ever on the show. He ranks up there with Kelsey Grammar's frequent appearances as Sideshow Bob. There were some predictable moments in this episode, but they did not take away from the episode's appeal. The explanation as to the mental patient's true identity is a definite high point.moreless
  • May be my Fav! (PS: All reviews do is give a portrait of the reviewer)

    MJ's the ultimate performer, someone who only sings with his heart, something so rare that when you hear his voice (its him talking, an impersonator for the singing due to contractual issues, although I believe he wrote the song), its a light that cuts clean through all the mud. That, with such a wonderful premise, which still rings insightful today (like all the early ones), makes this one of my absolute favorites. I've always connected to Lisa the most, and I love that song and how its a nice ep. I won't undermine it by saying much more, but if Michael is somewhere in the world, I'd just like to say thank you for everything. Anyone could recover from anything with your music.moreless
  • this was a good ep

    this was a good ep of the simpsons. in this ep homers white shirt gets turned to pink due to the wash and when he goes to work he gets sent to a mental institue and he meets a guy that says he is michle jackson and homer thinks so also so when he is coming homer he tells bart michle jackson is coming and everyone in the town is excited and then the car pulls up its a fat white guy who comes out and everyone is mad and angrey for getting excited .and then the guy stays with them becasue its lisas birthday and bart makes a song with the guy who says he is michle jackson this was a good ep i thought. and i enjoyed it alotmoreless
  • Michael Jackson

    Homer meets Michael Jackson at an insane asylum. On the day Homer gets out of the asylum, Michael comes to the Simpsons home. News gets out that Michael Jackson is coming over, and everyone who gathers at the Simpson home is shocked and appalled that the man they are looking at is white, not black. So now everyone turns on Bart, who started the rumors that Michael was coming. And Bart has other things to worry about- Lisa's mad because he never got her a birthday present. So Michael and Bart write and sing a special song for her on her special day.

    A great episode, Michael was great, and may he RIPmoreless
Dan Castellaneta

Dan Castellaneta

Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others

Hank Azaria

Hank Azaria

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others

Harry Shearer

Harry Shearer

Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others

Julie Kavner

Julie Kavner

Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier

Nancy Cartwright

Nancy Cartwright

Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others

Yeardley Smith

Yeardley Smith

Lisa Simpson

Kipp Lennon

Kipp Lennon

Michael Jackson/Leon Kompowsky (Singing)

Guest Star

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson/Leon Kompowsky

Guest Star

Pamela Hayden

Pamela Hayden

Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • Snake's prison uniform number is 7F20. The number is the production code for episode 2-20, "The War of the Simpsons." From which this footage of Snake is taken.

    • Some of the Springfieldians waiting for Michael Jackson: Mayor Quimby, Moe, Dr. Marvin Monroe, Chief Wiggum, Helen Lovejoy, Apu, Skinner's mom, Groundskeeper Willie, Dr. Nick, Kearney, Grampa, Wendell, Sherri and Terri, Patti and Selma.

    • An add appears on the box of Krusty Flakes for the "Krusty Hotline--1-909-O-U-KLOWN".

    • When Marge calls the New Bedlam Wrongly Committed Hotline, she is put on hold to the Muzak version of Patsy Cline's "Crazy."

    • Signs at the mental institution include: "You don't have to be crazy to be committed here, but it helps!" and "Your mother isn't committed here, so clean up after yourself!" The front entrance says "New Bedlam Rest Home For The Emotionally Interesting."

    • Maggie has a doll of Binky, Matt Groening's character from Life In Hell.

    • Goof: When Homer is shown on Mr. Burns' security camera, he isn't wearing his tie and plant ID.

  • QUOTES (24)

    • Marge : I told you kids you were going to send your father to the crazy house!
      Bart: No, Mom, you said "poor house".
      Marge: I said "crazy house"!

    • (Mr. Burns and Smithers review the security camera footage at the power plant.)
      Mr. Burns: Wait a minute. Go back.
      (Tape rewinds)
      Mr. Burns: Zoom in.
      (Screen zooms in to Homer.)
      Mr. Burns: Why is that man in pink?
      Smithers: That's Homer Simpson, sir. He's one of your boobs from Sector 7-G.
      Mr. Burns: Simpson, eh? Well, judging by his outlandish attire, he's some sort of free-thinking anarchist.
      Smithers: I'll call security, sir.
      Mr. Burns: Excellent.

    • Bart and Michael Jackson (Leon)'s song to Lisa:
      Lisa, it's your birthday.
      God bless you this day.
      You gave me the gift of a little sister, and I'm proud of you today.
      Lisa, it's your birthday.
      Happy birthday, Lisa.
      Lisa, it's your birthday.
      Happy birthday, Lisa.
      I wish you love and good will.
      I wish you peace and joy.
      I wish you better than your heart desires.
      And your first kiss from a boy.
      Lisa, it's your birthday.
      Happy birthday, Lisa.
      Lisa, it's your birthday.
      Happy birthday, Lisa.

    • Bart: Milhouse can you keep a secret?
      Milhouse: No.
      Bart: Oh well who cares, Michael Jackson is coming to my house!!

    • Bart: Things change when you hit the big 1-O. Your legs start to go, candy doesn't taste as good anymore.

    • Marge: (about Homer being in a mental institution) Oh my God, Mother was right!

    • Guy with Mustache: Then one Monday morning, I got up. I got up, I couldn't leave the house. I just couldn't.
      Homer: Was the door locked?
      Guy with Mustache: No, I just couldn't face what was out there.
      Homer: Was it raining?

    • Bart: (Answering phone) Joe's Taxidermy. You snuff 'em, we stuff 'em!
      Homer: Boy! When I get home, I'm going to wrap my hands around your neck--
      (The mental doctors suddenly gasp and look at Homer.)
      Homer: --and smother you with kisses.
      Bart: Dad, whatever they got you on, cut the dose!

    • Homer: Marge, I can't wear a pink shirt to work. Everybody wears white shirts. I'm not popular enough to be different!

    • Marge: Bart, I asked you to watch your sister.
      Bart: I tried to stop her, but she overpowered me!

    • Bart: Hey, we're just like the Waltons. We're praying for an end to the depression, too.

    • Michael Jackson (Leon): The training wheels, come off your bike, you start to notice boys you like, a-hee hee hee.

      Bart: You're just putting that in because it's commercial.

    • Bart: Lisa, her teeth are big and green, Lisa, she smells like gasoline, Lisa, da-da-da disa, she is my sister, her birthday, I missed-ah!
      Michael Jackson (Leon): Uh, no.

    • Homer: (talking in sleep) Cakes, football, boobies.
      Michael Jackson (Leon): Bubbles, it's gonna be a long night.

    • Michael Jackson (Leon): You seem like a nice guy, why did they put you in here?
      Homer: Cuz I wore a pink shirt?
      Michael Jackson (Leon): I understand. People thought I was crazy for the way I dressed.
      Homer: What did you wear?
      Michael Jackson (Leon): One white glove, covered with Rhinestones.
      Homer: (rubs finger up and down his lips making a 'bibbity bobbity sound)

    • Michael Jackson (Leon): I can't believe you never heard of me, I'm a very popular entertainer!
      Homer: Oh of course I've heard of you, you'd have to be living under a rock not to know... what did you say your name was?

    • Homer: Lisa you like homework, could you fill out this form for me?
      Lisa: Well, alright. If you listen to the poem I just wrote.
      Homer: D'oh! Okay.
      Lisa: I had a cat named Snowball, she died, she died. Mom said she was sleeping, she lied, she lied! Why, oh why is my cat dead? Couldn't that Chrysler hit me instead? (Pause) I had a hamster named Snuffy, he died--
      Homer: No deal!

    • Homer: Honey, could you do me a favor and fill out this form? Marge: Homer this is an intimate psychological profile, I can't fill this out for you! Homer: Alright. Alright. I'll get Lisa to do it!

    • (Mr. Burns, Smithers, Dr. Marvin Monroe and other doctors review Homer's test shaking their heads in disbelief making tsk-tsk noises.)
      Homer: So did I pass doc?
      Mr. Burns: N-no.
      (Doctors grab Homer and escort him out. Homer gasps and screeches.)
      Smithers: Careful men. He wets his pants.

    • (Bart fills out Homer's psychiatric form for him.)
      Bart: Dad, do you hear voices?
      Homer: (Annoyed) Yes, I hear voices, although I'm trying to watch TV.
      Bart: (Checks "yes") Check. Are you quick to anger?
      Homer: (Upset) Bart! Shut up, or I will shut you up.
      Bart: (Checks "yes") Check. Do you wet your pants? Hmm, well I guess if that was an occasional accident.
      (Starts checking "yes" to every question.)

    • Leon: Hi. I'm Michael Jackson, from the Jacksons.
      Homer: I'm Homer Simpson, from the Simpsons.

    • Psychiatrist: Mrs. Simpson, I'm sorry, but your husband suffers from a persecution complex, extreme paranoia, and bladder hostility.
      Marge: Doctor, if you just talk to him for five minutes without mentioning our son Bart, you'd see how sane he is.
      Psychiatrist: You mean there really is a Bart?! Good Lord!

    • (Bart answers the phone.)
      Bart: Joe's kill 'em, we grill 'em.

    • Homer: (On phone with Bart) Now make sure we have plenty of cold cuts, and put some beer on ice--
      Michael: Um, Homer, I'm a vegetarian, and I don't drink.
      Homer: Are you sure you're here voluntarily?

  • NOTES (10)

    • At one point Leon Kompowsky was going to come back to Springfield, but this time he thought he was Prince. Prince rejected the script and the episode was never made.

    • It was Michael Jackson's idea to have the scene where Bart and "Michael" stay up and write the song for Lisa.

    • Michael Jackson was credited as "John Jay Smith" due to contractual obligations. He did do the voice, however the singing parts were done by Kipp Lennon.

    • Before this episode was released various Simpsons eternal media such as books, magazines, Arcade Games etc. had Lisa's age printed as Age: 7, and in this episode Lisa celebrates her 8th birthday, thus this episode is the only time in the series where a member of the Simpsons family officially ages.

    • With this episode, Hank Azaria is added to the show's regular ensemble, thus establishing what some fans call the "big six."

    • Itchy & Scratchy: "Bang The Cat Slowly." Itchy gives Scratchy a bomb inside a box, and ties the box with Scratchy's tongue. When Scratchy swallows the box, the bomb blows his head off. As Scratchy's head falls to the ground, it is impaled on a pointy birthday hat.

    • Originally there was a joke about Prince in the episode, but Jackson wanted it changed to Elvis. To keep him happy, it was done. Another script change was in the original, Homer was taking Barney to the asylum, but the staff mistook Homer for the crazy one based off his attitude.

    • On November 20th, 2002, on Late Night With Conan O'Brien, Dan Castellaneta and Harry Shearer told a story which confirmed Michael Jackson REALLY was the voice in this episode, but singing was done by his stand-in, Kipp Lennon.

    • On January 30th, 1992, the repeat of this episode contained a pre-title sequence as follows: Patty, Selma and the Simpsons are watching a George Bush speech on TV.
      Bush: We're 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.
      Homer: Huh?
      Bart: Hey, we're just like the Waltons. We're praying for an end to the depression, too.

      This line of dialog can be found on the Season 4 DVD.

    • Blackboard Joke: I am not a dentist.
      Couch Gag: The family rush to sit on the couch which tips backwards slowly. As they fall through the wall, the couch rights itself.


    • Bang the Drum Slowly
      The title of the Itchy & Scratchy cartoon, "Bang The Cat Slowly," is a parody of the title to the 1973 film Bang the Drum Slowly.

    • The Silence of the Lambs
      The man with a leather mask over his face is a parody of the Hannibal Lecter character from the 1991 film The Silence Of The Lambs.

    • America's Funniest Home Videos
      The TV show Homer watches, where viewers send in their home videos, is a take on the Bob Saget hosted show, America's Funniest Home Videos.

    • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
      Several of the elements, characters and scenes that take place in the asylum are lifted directly from the 1975 film, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which was originally a novel by Ken Kesey published in 1962.

    • Rain Man
      The idiot savant Homer meets at the asylum, who can multiply large numbers in his head, is a parody of the Dustin Hoffman's character in the 1987 film, Rain Man.