Insane Clown Poppy

Insane Clown Poppy

Infobox Simpsons episode
episode_name = Insane Clown Poppy

image_caption= Krusty with his newly met daughter Sophie
episode_no = 251
prod_code = BABF17
airdate = November 12, 2000
show runner = Mike Scully
writer = John Frink & Don Payne
director = Bob Anderson
blackboard = "I will not surprise the incontenent."
couch_gag = The family jumps towards the couch. In mid-leap, the picture freezes and turns 180 degrees, in a bullet time fashion. It then unfreezes, and the Simpsons drop onto the couch.
guest_star = Drew Barrymore as Sophie
Jay Mohr as Christopher Walken
Stephen King as himself
Amy Tan as herself
John Updike as himself
Joe Mantegna as Fat Tony
season = 12

"Insane Clown Poppy" is the third episode of the twelfth season of "The Simpsons". It aired on November 12, 2000 in the US. Drew Barrymore guest-starred as Krusty the Klown's daughter in the episode. She told the press, "I've got to be The Simpsons' No. 1 fan, so taking part was almost as much fun as appearing in a blockbuster movie." ["TV week". "The Sun". November 18, 2000. The TV Mag, 3.] Writers Stephen King, Amy Tan, and John Updike also appear as animated versions of themselves.


Homer and Bart are playing with fireworks in the backyard, however Marge gives them a list of things they need to fix. First, they decide to unjam a stuck drawer with the fireworks. At first, Marge protests but Homer asks her if she wants it done right, or fast. Marge says, "Well, like all Americans fast but..." then Homer and Bart cut her off by lighting the fireworks planted in the stuck drawer. The drawer is knocked out and works properly again. Homer and Bart continue to use fireworks to 'fix' things around the house until they come to Lisa's room to fix her VCR. They plant a massive amount of fireworks and end up blowing up everything in her room.

To make it up to her, they go to the Springfield Festival of Books, where they will see Christopher Walken, Stephen King, Tom Wolfe, Dr. Nick Riviera, Tom Clancy, Maya Angelou, Amy Tan, John Updike, and even Reverend Lovejoy offering books. Krusty is seen signing new memoirs, when he ends up signing the memoir of a girl named Sophie, who asked Bart about Krusty's personality and now proclaims to Krusty that he is her father.

Sophie insists Krusty met her mom when she served as a soldier in the Gulf War. Krusty then remembers, as he was at the Gulf War entertaining the soldiers as a comedian, when he meets Sophie's mom-to-be and has sex with her. However, she abandons Krusty the next day after he tackles her on a sand dune, preventing her from killing Saddam Hussein with a rocket launcher, since Saddam is "half his act". On a trip to the beach, Krusty asks Homer to help him with fatherhood, and Homer becomes his mentor. Gradually, after a slow start due to Krusty's original indifference toward his daughter, the two spend more time together and develop a loving bond.

However, things start to go wrong when Fat Tony and his goons, including Frankie the Squealer and Johnny Tightlips, take Sophie's violin after Krusty bets it on a poker game he mistakenly felt he was sure to win. As a result, Sophie loses her trust in Krusty, who becomes guilt-ridden for disappointing his daughter. Homer offers to help Krusty steal the violin back from the mob. They are nearly killed when they break into the mansion, where a Mafia summit is being held, but they manage to get the violin back to Sophie, who regains her trust in and love for Krusty. Homer ends up getting chased down by the Mafia, accused of stealing the violin by Frankie the Squealer, and the episode ends at that.


Mark Naglazas of "The West Australian" called the episode "disappointing". He remarked that it and "A Tale of Two Springfields" (which premiered the same night in Australia) were "so surreal they would have Salvador Dali scratching his head". However, he identified John Updike's guest appearance as an example of "sophisticated comedy". [Mark Naglazas. "End of an era?" "The West Australian". February 14, 2001. 4.] The "Daily Telegraph" said, "The episode gets lost in a quagmire of guest stars. The names range from the sublime to the ridiculous, or to be exact, from Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Updike to actor Drew Barrymore. The script seems designed only to fit in as many big names as possible. Oh for the days when it was the other way round and guest stars fitted in with the script." [Eleanor Sprawson, Michelle Cazzulino, Naomi Toy. "Highlights of the day". "Daily Telegraph". February 14, 2001. 34.]

John Updike's reflection

John Updike described the experience of appearing on "The Simpsons" to a crowd at the University of Cincinnati in 2001, and his reflections were recorded in the book "Updike in Cincinnati". Updike remarked, "I can't claim to be a morbidly avid fan, but I'm basically well-disposed toward "The Simpsons", and was flattered to be asked to be one of the many voices that they work into the endless saga of Springfield. . . . It was the kind of invitation to which you can't say no. I did notice that Amy Tan and Stephen King got many more lines in the episode than I did." He joked that he struggled with the chuckle he had to perform in the episode, saying, "How do you chuckle over a microphone. . . to make it worthy of "The Simpsons"?" [John Updike and James A. Schiff. "Updike in Cincinnati". Ohio University Press, 2007. 26-27.]


Johnny Tightlips and Frankie the Squealer both make their first appearances in this episode.

Jay Mohr, who impersonated Christopher Walken on "Saturday Night Live", voiced Walken in this episode in the short scene where Walken reads "Goodnight Moon" to a group of frightened children.

Sophie in the episode, apparently finds Krusty by typing "pathetic clown" into a search engine (as her mother deemed him a pathetic clown). In dedication to this, sites have been made, usually spamming the phrase "pathetic clown", or by googlebombing, to cause a fake page about Krusty the Klown to come up.

In this episode two members of the Rock Bottom Remainders (Amy Tan and Stephen King) appear as themselves. Simpsons creator Matt Groening is also a member of the band.


Following the September 11th, 2001 attacks and the anthrax scares that followed, Krusty's reference to "the anthrax in the air" in the flashback of how he met Sophie's mom during The Gulf War was edited in American syndicated reruns from 2001 to 2006. As of 2007, the line has been reinstated.

When asked by Sophie if he could play any music, Krusty responds "My father could. I guess musical talent skips a generation. Like polio." In recent airings, the line was changed to "Like diabetes."

Cultural references

*The title alludes to the hip hop group Insane Clown Posse.

*Homer asks Marge if he can play Devil's Advocate which is a pinball machine that can be seen again in Homer the Moe when Homer opens his own bar.

*During his flashback to his Gulf War days, Krusty's USO performance is based on that of veteran entertainer Bob Hope, even down to the golf club. The routine he later mentions following the failed assassination attempt is the classic Abbott and Costello "Who's on First?" skit, but using Middle Eastern names ("Hussein [Who's sayin'] is on First, Ayatollah [I-a told ya] is on Second...").

*It's revealed that Fat Tony's real name is Marion, a reference to John Wayne's real name being Marion.

*Krusty's act involves the cheerleaders of the Cincinnati Bengals.

*Christopher Walken reading Goodnight Moon is a reference to his 1993 appearance on a short lived BBC Four program called "Saturday Zoo" where he read The Three Little Pigs. [ [ YouTube video of Walken's appearance on Saturday Zoo] ]

*After the unseen sex scene with Sophie's mother, Krusty makes a statement and says "come here and get down with the clown." This is another allusion to the Insane Clown Posse.

*During his prayer to God before dinner, Homer mentions Maude Flanders being in heaven, a reference to her death the season before in Alone Again, Natura-Diddily.


External links

*snpp capsule|BABF17
*imdb episode|id=0701137|episode=Insane Clown Poppy

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