The original 'Who Shot Mr. Burns?' Simpsons ending is blowing people's minds
A former Simpsons writer has leaked the production notes on Twitter. Things could have been very different.
"Yeah, right, pops. No jury in the world is going to convict a baby. Well, maybe Texas." And with that remark came the conclusion to one of the biggest mysteries in TV history, who shot Mr. Burns? Granted, practically everyone in Springfield was a suspect and while Chief Wiggum did his very best to "Don't... Eat... The... Clues...This suit burns better," we ultimately knew that Mr.Burns' plans to steal candy from a baby backfired spectacularly.
Truth be told, nobody could have predicted what was to come in that revelation - you know, unless you ask someone" did you have the same backwards-talking dream with the flaming cards? I'll drive." - but things could have been very, very different.
As he regularly does on Twitter, Simpsons writer Josh Weinstein has shared a few production notes for specific episodes and the early draft of Who Shot Mr. Burns? is fascinating.
Even at this early stage of production, the question of who despises the nuclear power plant owner is already being considered and Barney is one of the first names that comes up frequently.
Aside from this, Patty and Selma were also original suspects in the shooting and the fact that the writers were insistent on hiding clues throughout the episode is further proof of its genius.
On this note, Barney would have been a very interesting villain.
After all, in that episode, he did go mad when Moe's was forced to close and as we've seen before, Barney does have a violent streak. Remember the episode 'Rosebud' where Maggie inherits Burns's beloved bear, Bobo? Well, Burns tries to get his teddy bear back by removing every single drop of alcohol in Springfield. Within seconds, Barney shows up to Homer's door with a loaded gun!
Take a look at 2:10 on.
Clip via - The Bootstrap MF
Since sharing this draft, plenty of Simpsons fans were quick to reminisce and praise a truly spectacular double-bill of episodes.
Hell, people were so engrossed in this mystery that an alternate version of events where Smithers shoots Burns was created just to avoid spoilers from leaking.
Ah, remember The Simpsons when it was truly brilliant?
Summary of our pitch for "Who Shot Mr. Burns" from the June '94 story conference notes.
Neat to see how this developed (we thought it could be Barney but on the very next page -so within minutes of discussing it- someone suggests Maggie) And Patty & Selma could've been suspects. pic.twitter.com/8O3mOdY7vr
— Josh Weinstein (@Joshstrangehill) March 11, 2018
I really like the last paragraph and the fact you thought of it from a kids perspective.
— Smallsy (@Smallsy_) March 11, 2018
Love the fact that you had the idea to hide clues in the episode so early!
— Charlie (@wrestlersn2mins) March 11, 2018
I went through that episode with my friend frame-by-frame on VHS! And we solved it! You guys showing the map of Springfield (that Burns smashed his foot on) did it for us, it allowed us to figure out where Burns walked (the parking lot) after he left the town meeting.
— Mike Feedback (@BarelyEvenTryin) March 11, 2018
Unfiltered with James O'Brien
This week: Lord Alf Dubs on escaping the Nazis and fighting for refugees
The Unfiltered back catalogue is FREE to listen to. Fascinating interviews with Gary Lineker, Russell Brand, Lily Allen, Eric Cantona, Alastair Campbell, Jon Ronson, Nick Clegg and more.