A spec script that the 'Knocked Up' director wrote for the FOX animated comedy in 1990 will finally see the light of the day on January 11.
Even acclaimed filmmaker Judd Apatow had some experiences of being rejected. In 1990, the "Girls" executive producer wrote a script for "The Simpsons", but only more than two decades later that his work is picked up by "The Simpsons" executive producer Al Jean.
The Apatow-written episode titled "Bart's New Friend" will air Sunday, January 11. In the episode, "Homer gets hypnotized and thinks he's a 10-year-old. He has such a great time being Bart's friend that he doesn't want to become an adult again."
"I was 22, a huge fan of 'The Simpsons', and hoping for a TV writing career," he recalled what prompted him to write the script for the animated comedy. "At the time I was a fledgling standup comic and people said, 'If you want to write for sitcoms, you need to do spec scripts.' Only six episodes of 'The Simpsons' had aired at that point but I tried to copy the style and did a spec script."
He continued, "I sent it in - in fact, I sent it to all my favorite shows - and got no job offers. I also wrote a spec script for the great Chris Elliott show 'Get a Life'. They at least brought me in for a meeting, but that didn't lead to any work, either. Then, all these years later, ['Simpsons' executive producer] Al Jean calls and says, 'Hey, we'll make it now!' "
On why "The Simpsons" bosses noticed his work after all these years, he told TV Guide, "I had talked about the script on stage in an interview at the L.A. County Museum and how I have always been fascinated with how difficult it is to grow up. In fact, everything I've done on film and TV is pretty much based on my 'Simpsons' idea. [Laughs] I can't shake it. Parts of that interview hit the press and I guess Al read about it. Better late than never."
Apatow revealed some of his jokes on "The Simpsons" were rewritten, but he didn't mind it. "They know their business," he said. "They were very collaborative and very respectful but everything they wanted to do was so much better than anything I could think up. They turned my messy little effort into Cinderella."
So, what the message that Apatow wanted to share with this experience? "Never give up," he said. "I'm a packrat so I hung on to that 'Simpsons' script. My wife [actress Leslie Mann] is always yelling at me to throw everything out. Glad I didn't. Of course, the downside is that I'm paying for storage facilities all over California. Now, if 'Get a Life' will come back on the air and buy my script, my life will be complete. No more bucket list."