Friday, December 30, 2005


After watching a few more episodes from season 7 of The Simpsons on DVD, I'm now completely certain that Fox edits at least some of the episodes down about thirty seconds or so for syndication. It seems that every episode I watch reveals a few short scenes that I've never seen before, and I've watched these episodes a lot of times. I'm not talking about the mostly-bad little deleted scenes that are clearly marked as deleted scenes that you have to press Enter to see and don't even always have the correct actors providing the voices; I'm talking about a few seconds here or there at the end of a longer scene, or maybe something that was maybe a little too racy for afternoon TV.

My favorite scene that I never saw before the DVD is from "I Love Lisa" in season 4, the "I choo-choo-choose you" one with Ralph and Lisa:

(on the way to Krusty's 29th Anniversary Special)
Lisa: Chief Wiggum, how did you ever get these tickets?
Chief Wiggum: Krusty knows how to play ball.
(scene switches to porno theatre)
Chief Wiggum: Ah… nothing beats a good porno movie.
Krusty: Chief Wiggum! Is this a bust?
Chief Wiggum: Uh, yeah! That's just what it is. A bust.
(scene switches back to police car)
Lisa: That story isn’t suitable for children.
Chief Wiggum: Really? I keep my pants on in this version.

I saw that episode about ten times on TV before DVD, and I never saw that scene. Back then, I thought that scene was an anomaly, and given its setting, I could see why it was edited for TV. But, so many things in season 7 that I'd never seen before were perfectly fine and didn't need to be cut for content.

Fun fact from Wikipedia: Al Jean's wife had "I choo-choo-choose you" engraved on his wedding band.


Derrick Stolee said...

Syndication usually cuts 30-60 seconds out of each episode that airs. I don't know why, really. You'd think that commercials would be worth more and take more time the first time around...

Travis said...

Interesting; didn't know that it was typical. Maybe I'm noticing it on episodes that I didn't see when they first showed on TV or something, though I'd have thought that I was a big enough Simpsons fan by season seven to have seen them all when they first ran. I haven't missed a first-run episode of The Simpsons in many, many seasons. So, either I've just seen them in syndication so many times that I've forgotten the scenes from the longer versions, or perhaps they still cut out some bits from the first-run episodes too.

Derrick Stolee said...

also, i didn't know exactly what episode you were talking about until I saw that exact episode tonight.

Derrick Stolee said...

(and that part was in there)

Luke said...

Yeah. The Seinfeld DVDs come right out and say on the box that they feature the original NBC network versions that are 40-60 sec longer than those shown in syndication. Oddly enough, at least for Seinfeld, the full, original cuts are only shown once, on the original night of airing. Even reruns on NBC did not feature the full length versions, and thus the only way to see them again is to get the DVDs. This is why they own my soul.