The classic two-part episode of The Simpsons ‘Who Shot Mr Burns?’ saw – uh, just in case one person hasn’t seen it we won’t say whodunnit (we live in spoiler-sensitive times), But it could have been somebody else who pulled the trigger, as revealed by the episode’s story notes.
Co-writer of the episode Josh Weinstein has shared some of the original notes from he and fellow writer Bill Oakley’s pitch, in which they hadn’t yet decided which character would be the one to fill Springfield’s nuclear baron with lead.
As we now know – unless you’re that person who hasn’t seen it – in an effort to make the townsfolk more reliant on his power, Burns decided to block out Springfield’s sun (much like the new apartment building they’ve built next door, which we’ve nicknamed “Burns’ mansion”. But we digress). The story pitch was more nebulous, however, with the reason for Burns making several enemies (more than usual) undecided at the time, not to mention the actual shooter.
Summary of our pitch for "Who Shot Mr. Burns" from the June '94 story conference notes.
Neat to see how this developed (we thought it could be Barney but on the very next page -so within minutes of discussing it- someone suggests Maggie) And Patty & Selma could've been suspects. pic.twitter.com/8O3mOdY7vr
— Josh Weinstein (@Joshstrangehill) March 11, 2018
It’s good to see that they didn’t wish to “cheat’ by having some never-before-seen or minor character do the deed (the memo must have gotten lost by the time they decided Maude Flanderseseses’ fate), and as we all – except for that one person – know, they didn’t.