The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show
couch gag: The Simpsons pardoy the cover of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Director: Steven Dean Moore
Alex Rocco as Roger Meyers Jr
Phil Hartman as Troy McClure
Synopsis: With ratings falling for the Itchy & Scratchy Show, the creative team introduce a new character, voiced by Homer.
Discussion: Ooooooooooooh spooky! This episode is a dark foreshadowing of what the show has sadly become… but not quite this early. This is episode number 167, which was the ep that surpassed The Flintstones as the longest running animated show ever. The writers tried to deal with issues that writers/shows face when they’ve been running for a long time. One such issue is the introduction of new characters which don’t bode well with the audience- who remembers cousin Oliver (Robbie Rist, who is now a popular voice actor himself) from The Brady Bunch?
The “Impy & Chimpy” show has flagging ratings and is rejuvenated with Poochie, voiced by Homer. The character goes down like a lead balloon with the audience and is soon killed off, much to Homer’s dismay.
The overarching message of the episode wasn’t intentional, but anyone who has watched the show since about oh, season 16 will probably tell you it’s jumped the shark. One of the aims of this blog is to analyse when and how that happened, but we’ll get to that later.
The scene of the kids in the focus group, where Lisa tells Roger Meyers Jr that there’s nothing wrong with the show, people are just tired of it, cuts too close to home when one considers that the viewership of early episodes was regularly 8-10 million people, whereas season 24 barely hit 4 million viewers.
Apart from that, this isn’t a fantastic episode, however Poochie lives on in various forms in episodes to come.