The Simpsons On Disney+: Here's The One Episode You Can't Watch
Not every episode has aged perfectly.
Disney+ has arrived, and now you can stream all your favorite things like Star Wars, Marvel, The Simpsons, and more--if you can actually get the app to work. And speaking of The Simpsons, the first 30 seasons of Fox's hit animated sitcom are available to stream right now, including everything up until the ongoing Season 31. However, there is one omission from those first 30 seasons, with an early-season episode being deliberately left out of the Disney+ lineup.
If you're a Simpsons connoisseur, then you've probably guessed that Season 3, Episode 1 is missing from the service, for good reason. Titled "Stark Raving Dad," the episode follows Homer as he's sent to a mental institution by mistake, where he meets a man who thinks he's Michael Jackson--and is actually voiced by the singer. Homer doesn't know who Jackson is, and after being released, has Jackson come stay with the Simpsons. All of Springfield comes to the Simpson household to see the King of Pop, only to realize it's an impostor. Jackson and Bart collaborate on a happy birthday song for Lisa, and Jackson reveals his name is Leon Kompowsky and that talking like the singer made people happy, so he kept doing it.
The episode was actually pulled from rebroadcast and streaming services earlier this year by Simpsons creators. It was the final decision of James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, and Al Jean after HBO aired its documentary Leaving Neverland, which recounts the allegations of sexual abuse from the perspective of the victims.
"The guys I work with--where we spend our lives arguing over jokes--were of one mind on this," Brooks told the Wall Street Journal (via The Guardian). "This was a treasured episode. There are a lot of great memories we have wrapped up in that one, and this certainly doesn’t allow them to remain. I'm against book-burning of any kind. But this is our book, and we're allowed to take out a chapter."
It's not a complete loss though, as there are still hundreds of other episodes to watch. That's not all that's changed with America's favorite animated family. The Simpsons on Disney+ is widescreen only. Because earlier seasons were in the 4:3 aspect ratio, blowing it up to widescreen cuts off a lot of the jokes.
Disney+ is available now.
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