The Simpsons "Some Enchanted Evening" (partially found original pilot of Fox animated sitcom; 1989)

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Screenshot of the five minute clip.

Status: Partially Found

The animated TV series The Simpsons needs no introduction. With 646 episodes and 30 seasons (as of November 2018), a large fanbase, and a number of awards, the show will always be remembered as a pinnacle of comedy.

But very few fans of the show, even devout ones, are aware that a pilot for this show exists.

Matt Groening, the show's creator, started his work by producing a series of comics called Life in Hell, which ran from 1976 until 2012. In the mid to late 1980s, Tracy Ullman, who was a fan of the characters, asked Groening to include them as skits in her show, which debuted in 1987 and ran until 1990. Groening, fearful of copyright issues, decided instead to create an entirely new cast of characters, which became The Simpsons.

Homer, Lisa, Marge, and Maggie were all named after his family members, with Bart being an anagram for the word "brat". After the skits got good reception, they were spun off into a separate half-hour series. The first produced episode for the series was "Some Enchanted Evening". The plot of the episode revolves around Homer and Marge taking a night out and hiring a babysitter to look after Bart and Lisa. It turns out that this babysitter is a notorious thief, and begins robbing the family. This episode originally suffered various problems before finally airing.

The animation for the original episode was criticized heavily, with James L. Brooks's reaction being, "This is shit". However, the episode was later remade and rewritten and then aired on December 17th, 1989, as the first episode of the first season, with "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", the eighth episode produced, becoming the first aired episode instead. The plot of “Some Enchanted Evening” appears to have been recycled into Season 1, Episode 13, an episode that is also titled “Some Enchanted Evening”. As of now, only a five-minute clip of the pilot has resurfaced onto the Internet due to it being included as a bonus feature on the season 1 DVD,[1] along with some footage being used in the final episode.



The five-minute pilot clip.

Stay Up Late Productions' video on the subject.


Remnants of the pilot in the finished episode

These shots are most likely leftovers from the pilot, based on the fact that the backgrounds contain gradients instead of solid colors.

See Also