Wow, I did not know that

Having just caught the end of The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror VI episode, with the segment where Homer goes 3D in Tron world and then gets sucked out into the real world, I was curious about where the Erotic Cakes shop was situated. Turns out it’s at 13567 Ventura Blvd – I assume that’s Hollywood, California.

Anyway, one of the pages that came up in the search results was IMDB’s Alternate Versions for The Simpsons. Many interesting differences in syndication and Australia and Canada there. But I’ve just been surprised by this note:

The DVD release of “The Complete First Season” has a slighty shorter version of the episode “The Telltale Head” than was originally telecast. Near the end of the network version of the episode when the mob is about to attack Bart and Homer, Bart makes a speech to the mob about “taking the town’s heritage for granted”, which finally convinces the mob to let them go. On the DVD release, however, this short speech is absent and it quickly jumps to the mob deciding to leave them alone — because it did not exist in the original reel of the episode that Groening and Brooks delivered to the Fox Network! The speech Bart made about the mob “taking the town’s heritage for granted” was the editorial creation of the network censors in compliance of the FCC‘s 1989 ruling that every serial animated television show transmitted include at least 28 seconds of educational content.

I’d never heard of this ruling before and I wonder if it still applies? This could provide hours of trainspotting entertainment in any number of cartoons. Where’s the education in Family Guy? Or American Dad? And is that why we have the regular, “I guess we all learned a lesson here today…” lines at the end of South Park? Now that I think of it, I can’t remember many educational seconds in Ren and Stimpy… unless Powdered Toast Man‘s speech about Vitamin F was actually true.



One Comment

  1. fourthof5 says:

    That would explain barts editorial comment at the end of the first (I think) Simpsons ep where he says “There are no good wars other than the American War of indipendence and the Star Wars Trilogy. Given the content of the [b]Family Guy[/b] and [b] American Dad[/b] I am not sure if this still applies. However , it might be argued that the content itself (although a parody) is educational. But I think thats pushing it; seems an odd law though. Fascinating really, Your right about the trainspotting moments. I will have to have a look next time I see some animation. Of course such a law falls under the “cartoons are only for children” ideal. Which is far from true.

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