More likely than not, you’ve probably had something rejected. A script, an essay, a story, a poem, a proposal, artwork. Most of us have crushingly experienced having our creative work turned down, but we’re definitely not alone in this. Judd Apatow, executive producer of GIRLS, This is 40, The Five-Year Engagement, writer of Funny People, Pineapple Express, Knocked Up (and like a billion more titles) and overall very successful human, was initially rejected when he wrote a script for The Simpsons back in 1990. Yup. JUDD APATOW.
At the time, Apatow was a 22-year-old major Simpsons fan who was pining for a writing career in television. He stated,”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.” A spec script is an unsolicited screenplay usually written by someone who hopes their work will be picked up and purchased to be made into a film or TV episode. In Apatow’s case, it surely wasn’t.
“I sent it in —in fact, I sent it to all my favorite shows —and got no job offers,” Apatow added. It’s hard to believe that Seth Rogen’s maker is not immune to failure, but it turns out he’s mortal just like the rest of us. WHO KNEW?
Al Jean, the executive producer of The Simpsons, finally decided to air the episode after he saw Apatow give an interview at the LA County Museum, where the producer mentioned his spec script that never went anywhere.
The episode actually sounds super amazing, so I’m kind of surprised it was never picked up. According to Ace Showbiz, the episode titled “Bart’s New Friend” (which airs Sunday, January 11th on FOX) revolves around Homer, who “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.” Awww, 22-year-old Judd! We like the way you think. While the episode won’t be untouched (Apatow revealed that parts have naturally been edited and retouched by the Simpsons writers), we’ll still get to take a peak inside the mind of ’90s Judd, and that’s super rad.