LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 25:  A Bart Simpson cut-out is seen on display at "The Simpsons" 350th episode block party on the New York street of Fox Pico Lot on April 25, 2005 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Two Classic Episodes Of The Simpsons Faced Intervention From Fox
“The Simpsons” has a unique clause in its contract barring Fox network executives from attending the show’s table reads and forcing notes on the writers. The clause has allowed the show to make fun of everything, including the Fox network — but the series isn’t entirely immune from interference, as former co-showrunner Bill Oakley revealed two instances where Fox tried to remove jokes.
The first was in the Season 7 episode “Marge Be Not Proud,” with guest star Lawrence Tierney delivering the joke, “If I wanted smoke blown up my ass, I’d be at home with a pack of cigarettes and a short length of hose.” Oakley said, “We refused to remove it. So they took the master videotape and removed it for the initial broadcast. [Producer James L.] Brooks read them the Riot Act.”
The episode aired with the joke still intact, but another gag in the Season 7 episode “Sideshow Bob’s Last Gleaming” had the network against a small cameo. Oakley said, “We had [21st Century Fox founder] Rupert Murdoch in prison with Sideshow Bob. Someone at Fox worried and went to Murdoch,” but Murdoch responded, “I would be honored to be in prison” on the show, and the joke made it in.