One lucky fan of The Simpsons is going to see his dream come true when the show turns his spec script into an episode that will air on TV. He’s no contest winner, though: He’s Judd Apatow.
During a chat with late-night talk show host/former Simpsons writer Conan O’Brien on his web series Serious Jibber-Jabber, the writer-producer-director (Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old Virgin) revealed that after he recently publicly mentioned that he had written a Simpsons script while trying to break into Hollywood 22 years ago, the show’s producers contacted him with plans to bring his episode to life. (In Apatow’s installment, written shortly after the show’s launch, Homer is hypnotized into thinking that he’s 10 years old again and winds up as best friends with Bart.) Simpsons executive producer Al Jean confirms to EW that the Apatow-penned episode will indeed air next season. Just a few weeks ago, while reading a story about how Apatow had discussed his Simpsons aspirations — and episode idea — at a screening for his new film This is 40, “I thought, ‘Well, we’re always looking for good shows and good writers,’” says Jean. “I sent word to him: ‘If you’re interested, we’ll buy it.’ I think he had to find it — it was in one of his boxes.”
Jean, who hasn’t received the script yet, welcomes any involvement that Apatow wishes to have in the process (“I’m sure he’ll want to have a hand in the rewrite, which is great”) and adds: “For people who want to know how to write a freelance Simpsons episode: Just do it, then have a megamilliondollar movie career and we’ll buy the spec.” And if the Simpsons folks like what they see in Apatow’s script, does he have a shot at a staff writing job? “Sure, why not?” says Jean. “And Conan can come back anytime he wants.”