The Simpsons is perhaps television's greatest aberration -- it's likely to carry on until the sun explodes, and not once have they tried to cash in on a spin-off series. What you may not know is that Matt Groening has bounced around a lot of spin-off pipe dreams over the years, including a live-action Troy McClure movie, the adventures of young Homer, and a full length feature film parody of Fantasia. None saw the light of day, but the one that came closest to actually appearing on your TV screen was a sitcom starring Krusty the Clown.
Oh, and here's the twist: It would have been live-action.
Nothing unsettling about that.
The show would have starred Dan Castellaneta, the actor who voices Krusty in the cartoon and who has the benefit of being an accomplished real-world actor as well. The show was going to be all about this guy, in Krusty makeup, moving to L.A. and hosting a talk show.
Proving once and for all that Matt Groening has been shithouse crazy for years.
It's unsure whether the show would have branched continuity or whether the Simpsons' Krusty would have dramatically left Springfield like Cleveland from Family Guy. And even though The Simpsons is pretty much inextricably bound with the zeitgeist, there's no guarantee that everything it spawned would have been up to the same high standards. After all, there's only a very thin line separating Frasier from The Tortellis.
Unfortunately, Groening's script called for Krusty's house to be held up by wooden stilts that were being slowly eaten away by beavers, which probably would have been hilarious, we guess, but Groening was told by the studio that either trained or animatronic beavers were prohibitively expensive commodities, and for some reason he preferred to shelve the idea rather than compromise on this plot point. Instead, he began developing some dopey series that takes place in the future or something.
Anthony Scibelli is a handsome stand-up comedian and comedy writer. You can find him at his blog, "There's No Success Like Failure."
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