Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Scratchy was almost (briefly) Smithers' cat on The Simpsons

Twitter is, generally speaking, terrible, but the account of animator David Silverman is providing some respite. The one-time Simpsons sketcher’s been sharing some old drawings from a 1995 writers’ retreat for the show and it’s filled with ideas that never made it to air, as well as early scribbles of ideas that would one day come to fruition.

Perhaps the most revealing of the many sketches is the one above, which shows the early brainstorming process of the “The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase,” from the series’ eighth season. And while “Chief Wiggum, P.I.” and the Simpsons’ variety hour made the final cut, a spin-off featuring Smithers, Milhouse, and Scratchy the cat (?) apparently didn’t. While its replacement, “The Love-matic Grandpa,” serves as a fine skewering of the mid-90s sitcom, who isn’t now dying to see Smithers guide a petulant Milhouse through his own confused sexuality while caring for a blood-lusting, human-sized cat?


Keep exploring and you’ll find early sketches of fan favorite Frank Grimes, as well as the seeds that eventually sprouted into episodes like “The Secret War of Lisa Simpson” and “The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson,” which aired in the eighth and ninth seasons, respectively.

Also, Homer as the Swedish chef from the Muppets. Why? Let’s ask Silverman.


Oh, to be a fly on those walls.

Send Great Job, Internet tips to gji@theonion.com


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About the author

Randall Colburn

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.