The Simpsons: Season 11, Episode 22

Behind the Laughter (21 May 2000)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Animation, Comedy
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The Simpsons discuss their fame in a behind the scenes look at the show.



(created by), (developed by), 6 more credits »
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Episode credited cast:
Marge Simpson (voice)
Bart Simpson (voice)
Lisa Simpson (voice)
Moe Szyslak / Director / Carl / Comic Book Guy / Chief Wiggum / Apu / Bobby / Lawyer (voice)
Lenny / Principal Skinner / Second Director / Kang / Dr. Hibbert (voice)
Edna Krabappel (voice) (archive footage)
Queen Elizabeth II / Richie Rich / Actress / Woman Partner / Gloria Allred (voice)
Karl Wiedergott ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Himself (voice) (archive footage)
Himself (voice) (archive footage)
Jim Forbes ...
Narrator (voice)
Stephen Hawking (voice) (archive footage)
Tom Kite ...
Himself (voice) (archive footage)
Himself (voice)


A parody documentary in the style of the show 'Behind the Music' uses clips from previous episodes to show how the Simpsons first became famous and the problems that the fame brought them, culminating in an acrimonious break-up. However they all get back together again to appear in a supposed awards show hosted by Willie Nelson but specifically designed to engineer their reunion. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Animation | Comedy


TV-PG | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

21 May 2000 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The narrator announces "this northern Kentucky family...", so with this information, Springfield is generally thought to be in Kentucky. However, the narrator was indicating that the family originally came from Kentucky, but that is not where they live currently. Furthermore, the DVD subtitles say "southern Missouri" instead of "northern Kentucky", emphasizing the gag that the location of Springfield is unknown. See more »


Narrator: For the Simpsons, everything was coming up roses. But those roses contained ready-to-sting bees.
See more »


Features The Simpsons: Lard of the Dance (1998) See more »


Twist and Shout
Written by Phil Medley and Bert Berns
See more »

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User Reviews

Season 11: Really only memorable for how far in falls in almost no time at all
14 August 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Although I watched a lot of The Simpsons when it came to the UK, I think around this time in the run was when I lost touch, since in this period of rewatching the series, it was now that I found myself watching the majority of the episodes for the first time. This chance was, if I recall, because I lost Sky (or the show moved to Sky from Channel 4 – I don't remember), and I just never watched it again due to it not being accessible. Having watched the eleventh season now, I do think that there was an element of good fortune to this, because by far the most memorable aspect of this season is how far and how fast it falls from the quality of the seasons before. I had of course read of the decline of the show, but I had assumed it would occur nearer season 20, not so close to the glory days I remembered – but here it was.

There are still some laughs, but generally the plots are silly and do not have the charm or wit needed to sell them in the way the show at its best did. Many feel lazy and really lacking in the level of crafting and finesse that they should have. I'm not meaning to ignore everything that has gone before because, like the last episode of this season highlights, the show has never had the most realistic plots – in particular putting Homer through a lot of punishment; however this season is different as there is not that strong foundation of smartness, character, charm, and wit. It is hard to describe, but having watched these first eleven seasons in a comparatively short period, I was really surprised by just how jarring the drop in comparative quality was here. Needless to say the animation remains very good, and the voice cast have their usual great timing and delivery, but the material is really below the show's high standard and it is this that does it in.

The reason I started watching through the seasons from the first one, was mainly to catch up on a show I stopped watching around season 10. This eleventh season made me consider whether I should just call it a day at this point and, although I will continue and give it a chance, it was surprising to see the drop-off.

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