The Simpsons (1989– )
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The Ten-Per-Cent Solution 

Krusty the Clown is stuck in a rut when the television network pulls his show from the air and his talent agency drops him as a client. But when the Simpsons introduce him to seasoned agent... See full summary »

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Marge Simpson (voice)
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Bart Simpson / Additional Voices (voice)
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Lisa Simpson (voice)
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Himself (voice)
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Herself (voice)
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Annie Dubinsky (voice)
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(voice)
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Eunice / Hobow Tv Executive / Waitress / Various (voice)
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Storyline

Krusty the Clown is stuck in a rut when the television network pulls his show from the air and his talent agency drops him as a client. But when the Simpsons introduce him to seasoned agent Annie, they are surprised to learn that Annie was Krusty's very first agent. Despite their rocky relationship, Annie is convinced to re-sign Krusty and craft his career comeback. But when Krusty's retro comedy show reboot is deemed a critical success, Krusty must decide to stay with his agent or side with the network executives. Written by Fox Publicity

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Animation | Comedy

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4 December 2011 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Marge Simpson: Wasn't that show just a rip-off of The Honeymooners?
Homer Simpson: Every show is a rip-off of The Honeymooners. Baby, you're the greatest.
Marge Simpson: Oh, Ralph, Fred, Archie, King of Queens... I mean, Homer.
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Connections

References CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Yahoos and Triangles
(uncredited)
Performed by The Refreshments
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User Reviews

 
In the Beginning... There was Fox, Joan Rivers, and a long time coming...
22 September 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As a fan of Ms. Rivers, I'm occasionally in wonder at some of her cameo appearances where she takes on a "character" (brilliant when written well, awkward when her hand isn't in on the concept and script). With this in mind, I still assembled a small crowd of people to watch this episode when it first aired- they were not disappointed.

For some reason, I looked it up again tonight on IMDb, and was surprised at its low ratings and its dismissal as "just another special guest appearance." Wondering if maybe I had missed something in the first viewing, a Google search showed several entries that also recognized that this episode, in a mode more like the Simpsons of yester-year, had a lot going on behind it.

(A large hat tip to Adam Buchman at TVHOWL.com for getting it when so few with shorter memories did not...)

Before Tracey Ullman, Married With Children, before Rupert Murdoch had total control of FOX, before Football, before anything, Joan Rivers was declared the first major star of Fox Broadcasting, leaving The Tonight Show, where she was the first Permanent Guest Host, for a live late night show on Fox, with a 3 year, $15 million (in 1986 dollars, when that was FY money). Her late husband, Edgar Rosenberg, a noted TV producer before meeting Ms. Rivers, and a driving force in the development of her career and success, would be Executive Producer.

The result was a far better rated show than any of Carson's competitors (a common assumption is that poor ratings killed it, but it pulled audience share that made it entirely viable, and was booked with advertisers for six months before its cancellation) In fact, Rivers was ahead in some markets, a reality not seen until Carson's retirement and the Leno/Letterman schism years later.

However, the Late Show was born of countless battles between a defensive and not on his game Rosenberg, and the young executives of the new network. (Recall, this was before the much needed original lead in material, making Rivers's Late Show the full force of keeping the network together...)

To make a long story short, as this episode reflects, battles over simple items kept escalating and disrupting the show behind the scenes. Ultimately, the network pulled rank and made the same ultimatum to Rivers- drop her husband as the Executive Producer, and you can stay. Rivers at the time, fell on the sword, Fox fired both of them. Rosenberg committed suicide not long after.

Equally brilliant about this episode and its retelling of the story (casting Krusty as Rivers in a bizarre but brilliant way and Rivers as an argumentative Rosenberg. The comparison to Rivers's book "Still Talking" is evident and wise. But this time, there is in fact, a happy ending. Krusty quits with his producer, and in the time since, it is not the death knell to his career that it was for Rivers, before the vast landscape of cable appeared and it wasn't solely about network TV anymore. In many ways, also a reason for Rivers's own career explosion in recent years.

For those who loved The Simpsons for its brilliant and subtle nuance and ability to integrate history, events, and popular culture, and anyone with some knowledge of the real history of late night talk shows (Forget Vodka, Chelsea, you were not the first...) this was deft, smart, and re-told the story on the very network that grew out of the ashes of her earlier defeat. That Rivers and former Fox CEO Barry Diller have since gone on to have a hugely successful partnership together at QVC, perhaps shows the world just works this way.

But above all, I'm certain this was a "last laugh" triumph for Rivers at Fox, through a brilliantly executed story line, 25 years after it all went down... And best of all, it proved The Simpsons still have some smarts and its subliminal edge is still intact... 10/10. No doubts.


3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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