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Remembering The Simpsons' groundbreaking "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" episode

To this day, the 1995 episode that was marketed with a 1-800 number remains the only two-parter in The Simpsons' history.


That was a great episode.


Oh that is whack


Is that so? Interesting. I never watched the show back then but I remember everybody in school talking about it. It was super huge.


Then they found out it was the baby... *cough*


Was it?


I love when Lisa, in a later episode, remembers Maggie shot Burns and when Homer asks "I thought Smitters did it" Lisa replies with ".. that woulda made more sense"

he he


Why was it "groundbreaking?" It was a parody of the infamous "Who Shot JR" episode from Dallas.

Don't get me wrong; it was a good episode, but people are being disingenuous claiming it was the first of its kind. A staple of The Simpsons was to do parodies of popular TV shows and movies. That two parter was just one of them. In reading the article, I'm really shocked that the producers and writers are pretending that they just came up with this story idea out of thin air. They didn't.


It was not technically groundbreaking. It had been done before on TV.


I'm guessing most of the people who have commented on this didn't bother reading the article.

The episode itself wasn't groundbreaking, although it was very funny. As other people have said, it was a parody of "Who Shot J.R.", as well as many other shows and movies, including The Fugitive.

However the marketing around the show was groundbreaking. The promotion for the show, the sponsorship with 1-800-COLLECT, having fans guess the culprit as well competing for the chance to win a guess spot on show. Then having a special edition of American's Most Wanted dedicated to the show, and celebrities giving their predictions was something that had not been seen before


I'm guessing most of the people who have commented on this didn't bother reading the article

And I'm guessing you weren't alive at the time or too young to remember I Shot JR to understand why the entire premise of the article is a joke. For example:

However the marketing around the show was groundbreaking.

Don't take this the wrong way, but this is the classic position of a fanboy who thinks his favorite thing was the first to do anything.


Beer branded "J.R." was sold with a variation on the question. Posters, magazine covers, coffee mugs, buttons, and T-shirts all asked the same thing: Who shot J.R.?

From Today:

T-shirts boasted "I shot J.R.," a novelty song was written about the plot, and reportedly even England's Queen Mum was fascinated.

From BT:

But both were about to get bigger. Seeing an opportunity to renegotiate his contract, Hagman left Los Angeles for London - threatening not to return. Hagman made sure he was photographed a lot in London. "We were presented to the Queen Mother. And she says, 'I don't suppose you could tell me who shot J.R?' I said, 'no ma'am not even you.'"

I repeat: there was nothing groundbreaking about Who Shot Mr. Burns. It was just a riff on the huge campaign blitz that surrounded the I Shot JR phenomenon.