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The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show script

The Itchy & Scratchy Show gets a new character to boost ratings - Poochie the dog, voiced by Homer Simpson.

Episode 4F12, Season 8
First aired Feb 09, 1997
Written by David S. Cohen
Directed by Steve Moore

ACT ONE

The episode opens with the Krusty the Klown show, and Krusty is covered in cream pies.

KRUSTY
I hope you enjoyed my one-man pie fight, kids! Now it's time for another fanschmabulous episode of... Itchy and Scratchy!

The episode is titled "Why Do Fools Fall In Lava?" Itchy makes Scratchy bungee jump into a volcano using his intestine. Scratchy dangles just above the lava, and Itchy pours gasoline into him until Scratchy goes up in flames. The Simpsons TV is turned on, displaying this episode, but with no one watching. Marge walks through the living room and notices.

MARGE
Kids? Kids? (She finds her children eating cereal in the kitchen.) You're missing the Itchy & Scratchy Show. Don't you like it anymore?

LISA
(reading the back of a cereal box) Sure, we love it. But how can we watch TV when it's so beautiful out? (pointing out the window)

BART
Well, yeah, Mom. I mean, we love you and Dad too, but God knows we don't need to see you every day.

MARGE
An occasional hug is all I ask. (hugs him)

BART
Mom! You can hug me when I'm asleep.

MARGE
I do!

BART
Ahhh!

At Krustylu studios, Roger Meyers Jr. comes to Krusty's office.

MEYERS
Hey, Krusty, you look great. You get your teeth bleached?

KRUSTY
Yeah, it's a new kind of polymer treatment... Hey, shut up! You're here 'cause your Itchy & Scratchy cartoons are stinking up my ratings. Look at this breakdown of yesterday's show. (He shows Meyers the ratings graph, with a huge dip in) Eh, eh, eh, KABOOM!

MEYERS
What happened here? Lightning hit the transmitter?

KRUSTY
See, that's what I thought at first, but then... Hey, shut up! That crater is where you lousy cartoon crash landed. It's ratings poison.

MEYERS
But Itchy & Scratchy is critically acclaimed!

KRUSTY
Acclaimed!? (spits) I oughta replace it right now with that Chinese cartoon where the robots that turn into... blingwads! (sits down in his chair) But I'm a lazy, lazy man, Roger. So I'll give you one more chance. Get out! Don't come back 'til you fixed "Itchy & Scratchy"!

Meyers walks out, slamming Krusty's office door so hard that it comes of the hinges and falls to the floor. Sideshow Mel can be seen outside.

SECRETARY
(off screen) Okay Mel, you can go in now.

Sideshow Mel enters, holding a tin can.

SIDESHOW MEL
Krusty, I've come to solicit donations for the Rock 'N Roll museum, and... (Krusty stares at him) Uh... I'll come back later.

At Springfield Mall, Marge is shopping with the kids.

MARGE
I need to purchase a brassiere. You kids wait over here in the credit department.

BART
Oh, can't we just wander around and meet you back here later?

MARGE
Mmm...okay, just be careful.

Bart and Lisa run off. They run into a creepy-looking guy.

MAN
Would you kids like to come with me?

BART
(simultaneously with Lisa) Sounds good to me! Let's go!

LISA
(simultaneously with Bart) Okay! Guess so.

Bart & Lisa participate in a focus group, along with several other kids including Milhouse, Nelson and Ralph.

MAN
Alright, thanks for participating in our focus group, kids. Today, we're going to show you some Itchy & Scratchy cartoons.

The kids cheer in delight.

NELSON
Cool!

MAN
We want you to tell us what you think. And, be honest, because no one from the show is here spying on you. (chuckles)

A sneezing sound comes from a large mirror on the wall.

LISA
Why is that mirror sneezing?

MAN
Ah, look, it's just an old, creaky mirror, y'know, sometimes it sounds a little like it's sneezing, or coughing, or talking softly.

LISA
Hmm...

The man gives a thumbs-up to the mirror.

MAN
Now, you each have a knob in front of you. When you like what you see, turn the knob to the right. When you don't like what you see, turn it left.

RALPH
(with knob in mouth) My knob tastes funny.

MAN
Please refrain from tasting the knob.

First up, Itchy & Scratchy play pool. Itchy knocks out Scratchy's eyeballs with a cue ball and Scratchy replaces them with two pool balls. The kids laugh turn their knobs to the right. The next cartoon is set on an island. While Itchy & Scratchy sunbathe, a muscle-bound man in bikini trunks flexes in front of the camera. Nelson turns Milhouse's knob repeatedly to the right.

MILHOUSE
Hey, quit it!

From behind the mirror, Meyers and two other people watch on a monitor.

MEYERS
They like Itchy, they like Scratchy, one kid seems to love the Speedo man... what more do they want?

Back with the focus group.

MAN
Okay, how many of you kids would like Itchy & Scratchy to deal with real-life problems, like the ones you face every day? (the kids all cheer and agree) And who would like to see them do just the opposite - getting into far-out situations involving robots and magic powers? (more cheering) So, you want a realistic, down-to-earth show... that's completely off-the-wall and swarming with magic robots? (The kids agree)

NELSON
Yeah, good.

MILHOUSE
And also, you should win things by watching!

The man sighs. The light is turned on in the observation booth, and Meyers appears at the mirror.

MEYERS
You kids don't know what you want! That's why you're still kids: 'cause you're stupid! Just tell me what's wrong with the freakin' show!

He turns the lights out. Ralph starts crying and turns his knob to the left.

RALPH
Mommy!

LISA
(talking to the mirror) Um, excuse me sir. The thing is, there's not really anything wrong with the Itchy & Scratchy show, it's as good as ever. But after so many years, the characters just can't have the same impact they once had.

Meyers turns the light back on.

MEYERS
That's it. That's it, little girl! You've saved Itchy & Scratchy!

A lawyer enters the room, holding papers.

LAWYER
Please sign these papers indicating that you did not save Itchy & Scratchy.

At Itchy & Scratchy, Intl., Meyers has called a meeting of the writers (who look strikingly similar to the real Simpsons writers) along with Krusty and a female network executive.

MEYERS
I have figured out how to rejuvenate the show. It's so simple, you egghead writers would've never thought of it! What we need is... a new character! One that today's kids can relate to!

The writers look at each other, uncertain.

OAKLEY
Are you absolutely sure that's wise, sir? I mean, I don't want to sound pretentious here, but Itchy and Scratchy comprise a dramaturgical dyad.

KRUSTY
Hey, this ain't art, it's business! (to Meyers) Whaddya got in mind? Sexy broad? Gangster octopus?

MEYERS
No, no. The animal chain of command goes mouse, cat, dog. (to the writers) D-O-G.

WEINSTEIN
Uh, a dog? Isn't that a tad predictable?

EXECUTIVE
In your dreams. We're talking the original dog from hell.

OAKLEY
You mean Cerberus?

EXECUTIVE
(pause) We at the network want a dog with attitude. He's edgy, he's "in your face." You've heard the expression "let's get busy"? Well, this is a dog who gets "biz-zay!" Consistently and thoroughly.

KRUSTY
So he's proactive, huh?

EXECUTIVE
Oh, God, yes. We're talking about a totally outrageous paradigm.

MEYER
Excuse me, but "proactive" and "paradigm"? Aren't these just buzzwords that dumb people use to sound important? Not that I'm accusing you of anything like that. I'm fired, aren't I?

MEYERS
Oh, yes.

MEYERS
The rest of you writers start thinking up a name for this funky dog; I dunno, something along the line of say... Poochie, only more proactive.

KRUSTY
Yeah!

Meyers, Krusty and the network executive leave.

OAKLEY
So, Poochie okay with everybody?

WRITERS
Yeah...

An animator, who looks like David Silverman, draws a sketch of a dog.

MEYERS
No, no, no! He was supposed to have attitude.

SILVERMAN
Um... wh-what do you mean, exactly?

MEYERS
Oh, you know, attitude, attitude! Uh... sunglasses!

EXECUTIVE
Can we put him in more of a "hip-hop" context?

KRUSTY
Forget context, he's gotta be a surfer. Give me a nice shmear of surfer.

EXECUTIVE
I feel we should rastafy him by ... ten percent or so.

Silverman redraws Poochie. They're still not totally satisfied.

MEYERS
Hmm... I think he needs a little more attitude.

Silverman blackens in Poochie's sunglasses.

EXECUTIVE
Oh yeah, bingo. There it is, right there!

KRUSTY
Yeah, that's it!

MEYERS
I love it!

The next morning, The Simpsons eat breakfast. Bart notices the headline in the newspaper Homer is reading: "Funny Dog To Make Life Worthwhile".

BART
Hey, Lis, look! They're adding a new character to Itchy & Scratchy! Poochie the dog?!

LISA
Adding a new character is often a desperate attempt to boost low ratings.

A guy enters the kitchen.

ROY
Yo, yo! How's it hangin' everybody?

MARGE
Morning, Roy!

HOMER
Yeah, hi, Roy. Hey, there having open casting for the voice of Poochie.

LISA
You should try out, Dad. You have a funny voice.

HOMER
I do not!

BART
Haven't you ever listened to yourself on a tape recorder?

HOMER
I prefer to listen to Cheap Trick.

BART
(holding up a tape recorder) Well, here. Say something.

HOMER
Hey, this is Homer Simpson saying howdy to all the girls out there in radio land. (Bart plays back the tape) Ah! I don't sound like that, do I? Oh... I don't like having such a hilarious voice.

BART
That hilarious voice could be your ticket to stardom.

At the auditions. First up is Otto.

OTTO
(reading script) Whoa! A talking dog! What were you guys smokin' when you came up with that?

COHEN
We were eating rotisserie chicken. Can you just read the line, please?

OTTO
Ruff, ruff. I'm Poochie, the rockin' dog!

MEYERS
You're perfect! In fact, you're better than perfect! Next to you, perfection is crap!

Troy McClure is up next.

MCCLURE
Ruff, ruff! I'm Poochie, the rocking dog! Hi, I'm Troy McClure. You may remember me from such cartoons as "Christmas Ape" and "Christmas Ape Goes to Summer Camp".

MEYERS
You're even better than this guy! (to Otto) Take a hike, you bum.

Otto moans and walks off. Next it's Homer.

HOMER
(clears throat) Ruff, ruff! I'm Poochie, the rockin' dog!

MEYERS
Now, that's just bad. You've got no attitude, you're barely outrageous, and I don't know what you're in, but it's not my face. Next!

HOMER
(angrily) Oh, no attitude, eh? Not in your face, huh? Well, you can cram it with walnuts, ugly!

MEYERS
That's it! That's the Poochie attitude, do that again!

HOMER
(sheepishly) Huh? I can't, I don't remember what I did.

MEYERS
Then you don't get the job. Next!

HOMER
(sarcastically) Oh, I don't get the job, do I? Well boo-hoo! I don't get to be a cartoon dog!

MEYERS
That's it, you've got the job!

HOMER
Oh, now I've got the job, huh? (realizing) Oh, thank you.

 

ACT TWO

Homer attends the recording session at Itchy & Scratchy studios.

SOUND GUY
Okay, Homer. Let's get a level check on your voice.

HOMER
She smells sheep smells by the sheet shtore. Wait, wait. Let me try it again.

BELLAMY
Relax Homer, you'll do fine. I'm June Bellamy. I do the voices of Itchy and Scratchy.

HOMER
You? But you're a lady!

BELLAMY
(Itchy voice) She's a lady alright. (Scratchy voice) A beauuuuuutiful lady.

HOMER
(laughing) Hey, it really is you! How'd you get to be so good?

BELLAMY
Oh, just experience I suppose. I started out as Roadrunner. (Roadrunner voice) Meep!

HOMER
You mean "meep-meep"?

BELLAMY
No, they only paid me to say it once, then they doubled it up on the soundtrack. Cheap bastards.

MEYERS
(handing them scripts) You folks ready to begin?

HOMER
Uh, I guess. Is this episode going on the air live?

BELLAMY
No, Homer. Very few cartoons are broadcast live, it's a terrible strain on the animators' wrists.

Poochie hype grips Springfield. Homer and June make an appearance at The Android's Dungeon, which is full of nerds (including Doug, Benjamin and Gary from Homer Goes To College).

DOUG
Hi. Question for Ms. Bellamy. In episode 2F09, when Itchy plays Scratchy's skeleton like a xylophone, he strikes the same rib twice in succession, yet he produces two clearly different tones. I mean, what are we to believe, that this is some sort of a... (sniggering) magic xylophone or something? Boy, I really hope somebody got fired for that blunder.

BELLAMY
Uh, well, uh...

HOMER
I'll field that one. Let me ask you a question. Why would a man whose shirt says "Genius at Work" spend all of his time watching a children's cartoon show?

DOUG
(embarrassed) I withdraw my question. (eats a chocolate bar)

DATABASE
Ah, excuse me Mr. Simpson. On the Itchy & Scratchy CD-ROM, is there a way to get out of the dungeon without using the wizard key?

HOMER
What the hell are you talking about?

BELLAMY
You're a lifesaver, Homer, I can't deal with these hardcore fans!

COMIC BOOK GUY
Your attention, please.

FAN
Uh, in episode...

COMIC BOOK GUY
Your attention, please! Mr. Simpson will now be autographing eight-by-ten glossies of Poochie, ONE per customer. Please form a line. There will be no cutting. I'm talking to you, Mr. Cutter.

A few minutes later, CBG cuts through the crowd.

COMIC BOOK GUY
Pardon me, look out, pardon me, excuse me, hot soup... Hi. (puts down glossies) Kindly make one out to me, and three out to my friend of the same name.

The first episode with Poochie is about to air. The Simpsons' friends and family gather in their living room.

MARGE
I'm so glad you could join us for Homer's big premiere.

BARNEY
(in the background) You know, Poochie's based on me...

JASPER
(sitting down) Is this seat taken, little girl?

BART
I'm not a girl! Are you blind?

JASPER
Yes.

ROY
I am stoked, Mr. S.

MARGE
Shh! Everybody it's coming on!

Krusty appears on-screen, lit by a dim spotlight. Slides appear behind him.

KRUSTY
Once in a great while, we are privileged to experience a television event so extraordinary, it becomes part of our shared heritage. (slide of an astronaut on the moon) 1969 - Man walks on the moon. (slide of astronaut playing golf on the moon) 1971 - Man walks on the moon... again. (no slide) Then, for a long time, nothing happened. Until tonight. Behold the future of Comedy: Poochie!!

The audience cheer and the cartoon starts, with altered theme music. Poochie's voice:

THEME
(high voice) They fight, and bite... (low voice) and bark. (high voice) They fight they fight and bite... (low voice) and bark. (high voice) Fight fight fight (low voice) Woof woof woof. (high voice) The Itchy and Scratchy... and Poochie show!

The episode is titled "The Beagle Has Landed." Itchy & Scratchy are driving together. They pass signs reading "Fireworks Factory 2 Miles", "Fireworks Factory 1 Mile", then "Fireworks Factory ½ Mile". They then spot Poochie at the side of the road.

ITCHY
Look, Scratchy, it's our new friend, Poochie.

SCRATCHY
What's that name again? I forgot.

POOCHIE
(rapping) The name's Poochie D, And I rock the telly, I'm half Joe Camel, And a third Fonzarelli. I'm the kung fu hippie, From gangsta city, I'm a rappin' surfer, You the fool I pity.

SCRATCHY
Ooh, Poochie is one outrageous dude.

ITCHY
He's totally in my face.

POOCHIE
(playing guitar) Wiggity wiggity, Word up? Rock on party!

MILHOUSE
When are they going to get to the fireworks factory? (crying)

MOE
Can somebody tell me what the hell is going on? Midge, help me out here.

HOMER
Quiet! You're missing the jokes!

Poochie dribbles a basketball while riding a bike, slam dunks it and lands in Itchy & Scratchy's car.

POOCHIE
Catch you on the flip side, dudemeisters. (holds out hand for high five, Scratchy extends his arm and Poochie withdraws his) Not!! (Homer's normal voice) Hey kids, always recycle... (as Poochie) to the extreme!! Bust it!

Poochie drives off in Itchy & Scratchy's car. An awkward silence follows in The Simpsons' living room.

NELSON
Ah, that stunk!

HOMER
So, what did everybody think?

Nobody answers and they start leaving.

NED
Homer, I can honestly say that was the best episode of Impy & Chimpy I've ever seen!

CARL
Yeah, you should be very proud, Homer, you, uh... got a beautiful home here.

Nelson punches Bart on his way out.

HOMER
So, it was pretty okay, huh?

BART
Mom, can we go to bed without dinner?

MARGE
Yes we can. (They rush upstairs)

HOMER
Well, at least I liked it. Didn't I? (pan up to brain)

BRAIN
Oh, you don't want to know what I really think. Now look sad and say "D'oh".

HOMER
D'oh...

 

ACT THREE

The next morning at breakfast.

HOMER
I'm the worst Poochie ever.

LISA
Ah, it's not your fault, dad. You did fine. It's just that Poochie was a soulless by-product of committee thinking. You can't be cool just by spouting off a bunch of worn-out buzzwords.

BART
Don't have a cow, Lis.

MARGE
Bart's right. Let's none of us have a cow. All that matters is that the fans of the show liked it.

In the Android's Dungeon...

COMIC BOOK GUY
Last night's Itchy & Scratchy was, without a doubt, the worst episode ever! Rest assured that I was on the Internet within minutes, registering my disgust throughout the world.

BART
Hey, I know it wasn't great, but what right do you have to complain?

COMIC BOOK GUY
As a loyal viewer, I feel they owe me.

BART
What? They're giving you thousands of hours of entertainment for free. What could they possibly owe you? I mean, If anything, you owe them.

COMIC BOOK GUY
(pause) Worst episode ever.

Kent Brockman delivers the news.

KENT BROCKMAN
It looks like the end of the venerable Itchy and Scratchy program. For years, TV critics, such as yours truly, Kent Brockman, have waited impatiently for cracks to appear in the show's hilarious facade. Yesterday, our prays were finally answered when Poochie the Dog made his howlingly unfunny debut. Far be it from me to gloat at another's downfall, but I have a feeling that no children are gonna be crying when this puppy is put to sleep.

Krusty and the writers are watching the report.

KRUSTY
What the hell happened?!

EXECUTIVE
Well, I'd attribute the product failure to fundamental shifts in our key demographic, coupled with the overall crumminess of Poochie.

KRUSTY
(crying hysterically) You've got to stop this thing. Please, I'm getting egged on the street. Do something! Do something!!

Homer enters.

HOMER
Uh, hi, Mr. Meyers. I've been doing some thinking, and I've got some ideas to improve the show. I got it right here. (pulls out a piece of paper) One, Poochie needs to be louder, angrier, and have access to a time machine. Two, whenever Poochie's not onscreen, all the other characters should be asking "Where's Poochie"? Three--

MEYERS
Great, great. Just leave them right there on the floor on your way out.

Homer does so, but realizes something's wrong. He eavesdrops on the meeting from a closet next door.

MEYERS
Listen guys, we've got to do something about Poochie.

KRUSTY
There's only one thing we can do.

Homer hears something and is shocked. At dinner, Homer tells his family what he heard.

HOMER
Then they said they were going to kill Poochie off!

BART
(joyful) Really?! (realizing) Oh, how terrible.

LISA
(trance-like) Yes. Terrible.

MARGE
It's not your fault, Homer. It's those lousy writers. They make me madder than a... um... yak in heat!

HOMER
You're right Marge. it's not my fault. I won't let them treat Poochie like dirt anymore just because he's the new guy.

ROY
Right on, Mr. S!

HOMER
Put a sock in it, Roy.

At the recording studio.

MEYERS
Okay. So here is where Itchy lunges at Poochie with a rusty chainsaw. Cue sound effects. (Sound guy makes chainsaw sound) Rustier! (rustier chainsaw sound)

BELLAMY
(as Itchy) Are you prepared to die, Poochie?

HOMER
No, I am not.

MEYERS
Oh, cut, cut, cut, cut! You'll stick to the script as its written, Homer. You're supposed to say "Please, cut off my head. I don't deserve to live."

HOMER
Never! (He tears he script in half,the writers gasp) You can't just kill of a classic TV character. Poochie could be bigger than curly fries. But first he has to win back the audience. That's why I'm going to read these lines I wrote myself with my own two hands.

MEYERS
Forget it Homer. We can do this show without you, if we have to.

BELLAMY
But not without me!

MEYERS
Oh, jeez!

BELLAMY
Let him try the new lines.

MEYERS
Alright. Alright. We'll try them. Action.

BELLAMY
(as Itchy) Hi, Poochie. You look like you've got something to say. Do you?

HOMER
(as Poochie) Yes, I certainly do! (normal voice) Hello there, Itchy. I know there's a lot of people who don't like me and wish I would go away. I think we got off on the wrong foot. I know I can come off a little proactive, and for that I'm sorry. But if everyone could find a place in their hearts for the little dog that nobody wanted, I know we can make them laugh and cry until we grow old together.

MEYERS
(impressed) ...and cut!

June claps. Then slowly everyone else begins to clap.

Back at home, the new episode is about to air.

HOMER
Now kids, I know you loved the old Poochie, but the new one is going to be better than ten Super Bowls! I don't want to oversell it, judge for yourself.

At an ice sculpture contest, Itchy begins cutting into Scratchy with a chainsaw. Suddenly, Poochie wanders by.

SCRATCHY
Hey, looks who's here.

ITCHY
Hi, Poochie. You look like you've got something to say. Do you?

POOCHIE
Yes, I certainly do! (Poochie's mouth stops moving and Meyers' voice is heard) I have to go now. My planet needs me.

The whole cel with Poochie on it is moved upwards. A screen shows some handwritten text: "Note: Poochie died on the way back to his home planet".

BART
Wow, Poochie came from another planet?

LISA
Uh, I guess...

HOMER
Hey that wasn't supposed to happen. Those finks double-crossed me.

KRUSTY
Poochie's dead! (laughs) (kids in audience cheer) Well kids, we all know that sometimes when cartoon characters die, they're back again the very next week. That's why I'm presenting this sworn affidavit that Poochie will never, ever, ever return!

LAWYER
This document conforms to all applicable laws and statutes.

BART & LISA
Yeah! ...oh.

BART
Tough break, Dad. I guess people just weren't ready for Poochie. Maybe in a few years.

ROY
Good news, everybody. I'm moving into my own apartment with two sexy ladies.

MARGE
Oh, then I guess this is goodbye, Roy. Maybe we'll see you in a few years. (she kisses him, and he leaves)

HOMER
Well, I guess I learned my lesson. The thing is, I lost creative control of the project. And I forgot to ask for any money. Well, live learn.

Later, Bart & Lisa watch an Itchy & Scratchy episode, back in its original form. Itchy & Scratchy are doing a William Tell act. Itchy shoots a bow and arrow at Scratchy, and it hits the apple on Scratchy's head. He is relieved, but then realizes that the arrow pierced a tank of Carbolic Acid, which leaks out and dissolves Scratchy's flesh. Bart & Lisa laugh.

BART
It's back to the basics, classic "Itchy & Scratchy."

LISA
We should thank our lucky stars that they're still putting on a program of this caliber after so many years.

They both stare blankly for a few seconds.

BART
What else is on?

Lisa changes the channel, screen goes to static and the credits roll.