Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The First Simpsons Guest Star- Penny Marshall is Ms. Botz

Long before it became fashionable to provide a guest voice on The Simpsons, getting the big names on the show required the assistance of producer and Hollywood legend James L. Brooks. His first 'get' was Penny Marshall, who would provide the voice of a dastardly babysitter in what was then considered to be the show's first episode- Some Enchanted Evening.


In the episode, it is revealed that Bart Simpson is so terrible to babysitters that Marge and Homer have a hard time hiring one. They unwittingly hire Ms. Botz, the notorious Babysitter Bandit, who plans to steal from them. After the three kids capture her, Homer sets her free, believing she has been the victim of one of Bart's pranks. He becomes a laughingstock when it is revealed that he has aided the escape of the wanted felon.


This first episode was a disaster. The network was not happy with the animation and pulled the show, forcing a costly re-do of the animation. They ended up pushing this episode to the season finale, which led to some chatter about whether the show would prove successful or not. When the show became a phenomenon, Fox's patience with it was richly rewarded.