The Simpsons/Kamp Krusty
Kamp Krusty is the first episode of the fourth season of The Simpsons, and the sixtieth episode overall. Bart and Lisa spend their summer at a camp created by Krusty the Clown, but when they get there it's not quite what the expected.
It's the end of the school year and Mrs. Krabappel is handing back the end-of-year grades. Somehow, Bart has managed to get a F- in every possible subject. Bart protests, saying that he needs a C average so that his parents will let him go to Kamp Krusty. Kabappel obliges and marks Bart's report card to suit his needs and then the students begin destroying the school. Of course, this all turns out to be a dream and he's woken up by Homer. When report cards are actually handed out, Lisa winds up with a B+ in conduct and Bart tries to convince Krabappel that he needs a C average, she mocks him and gives him all D-'s. He attempts to forge his grades, even though they're clearly impossible. When he shows the forged reportcard to Homer, he caves in and lets him go to the camp.
Soon after, the kids head off to Kamp Krusty and the fatter kids head off to "image enhancement camp." As soon as the bus is over the horizon, the parents celebrate with cheeering and champage. When they arrive, the kids find that Krusty isn't actually at the camp and that Dolph, Jimbo and Kearney are the camp counselors. They're led to their cabins, which are snake-infested and "a little more rustic" than Lisa inspected. Bart remains optimistic that Krusty wouldn't put his name on something that isn't quality, but in a cut away he's clearly shown to endorse anything that will give him money before he goes off to Wimbledon.
The rest of the camp turns out to be about as big a letdown as the cabins. The activities are dangerous, the infirmary is unsanitary, the food is imitation gruel and the campers are forced into slave labor. But, back at home, Homer and Marge are enjoying their time away from the kids. In fact, Homer lost five pounds and gained new hair. Lisa voices her dissatisfaction in a letter to her parents, which she delivers with a postman she pays with a flask full of brandy. Homer and Marge, however, dismiss it as her just being homesick.
Instead of dinner, the kids are "treated" to a visit with Krusty the Clown, but it just turns out to be Barney Gumble in disguise. Bart realizes instantly that this whole thing is a sham and leads a revolt against Mr. Black and the bullies. The four escape, but the rioting kids manage to take over the entire camp. They rename it "Camp Bart" and name him their leader. While Krusty is being knighted, he's alerted to the situation at camp. Homer and Marge are also alerted to this in a televised interview between Bart and Kent Brockman.
The real Krusty comes to camp to quell the riot, but the kids don't believe that he's the real Krusty. Bart has his subjects tear off his shirt to check for a wire and they discover Krusty's trademark pacemaker scar, third nipple and cattle skull birthmark. Krusty admits that they drove a dumptruck full of money to his house and he's going to make it up to them by driving them to Tijuana, Mexico.
- Blackboard: "This punishment is not boring and pointless." The final line cuts off at "pointl."
- Couch Gag: The family runs in, but The Flintstones (Fred, Wilma and Pebbles) are sitting on the couch.
- School's Out by Alice Cooper: The song that plays at the end of Bart's dream sequence when he's imagining the school being destroyed by him and the other students is "School's Out" by Alice Cooper, originally from his album, School's Out, from 1972. Cooper once said that he thought to write the song when he was asked in an interview, "What's the greatest three minutes of your life?"
- South of the Border by Shep Fields: When Krusty decides to take the kids to Tijuana, the song "South of the Border" by Shep Fields plays, although it was actually performed by Gene Merlino. Merlino's style of singing the song is done in a way to mimic the most popular cover version by Frank Sinatra.
Camp Song Lyrics
- Hail to thee, Kamp Krusty,
- By the shores of Big Snake Lake.
- Though your swings are rusty,
- We know they'll never break.
- From your gleaming mess hall,
- To your hallowed baseball field,
- Your spic-and-span infirmary,
- Where all our wounds are healed.
- Hail to thee, Kamp Krusty,
- Below Mount Avalanche.
- We will always love Kamp Krusty,
- A registered trademark of the Krusty Corporation,
- All rights reserved!
Behind the Scenes
- Feature Film: The plot line for this episode was considered as a possible Simpsons movie, but writers had a hard enough time stretching it into an episode, much less a full film. Much later on, when The Simpsons Movie was made, a ride at Universal Studios was created based on Kamp Krusty.
- Animator Switch: This episode was the last episode to be animated by Klasky Csupo, the rest of the season (and series) is animated by Film Roman.
Allusions and References
- Ben Hur: When Lisa is writing to her mother about how awful the camp is, she writes that the arts and crafts have been transformed into a Dickensian workhouse. At the head of the tables, Kearney is beating a drum to set the pace of the slaves' laboring. This same scene appears in the 1954 film Ben Hur when Judah is working in a ship's slave gallery.
- The French Lieutenant's Woman: The scene in which Lisa sends a man on horseback off to deliver her letter with a flask of brandy is pulled directly from the 1981 film adaptation of The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles. In the film, Meryl Streep also sends a letter using the same methods.
- Lord of the Flies: The riot that Bart leads against the Kamp Krusty counselors and Mr. Black is highly reminiscent of the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding first published in 1954. In the novel, a group of schoolchildren become stranded on a deserted island and attempt to erect a government for themselves, but politics devolve into anarchy and a chasm between two groups that eventually leads to the tribal cleansing of the opposing "law-abiding" tribe. In one scene, a severed pig's head can be seen on a stake behind Kent Brockman, this is a reference to the severed sow's head which appeared in the novel as part of the anarchistic tribe's savagery.
- Homer: Marge, am I crazy, or my back getting hairier?