Go ahead, have a cow, man! After 30 years as the voice of Bart Simpson, you’d think there’d be nothing left for Nancy Cartwright to accomplish on the show. You’d be SO wrong! On tonight’s episode (8pm ET on FOX) she’s stepping out from behind the microphone and stepping into the Writers’ Room.
Nancy wrote her first episode ever, titled The Girls In The Band, and chilled with The Cocktail to tell us all about it. “It focuses on Lisa, and how it challenges the family to help support her.” In the show, Lisa lands a spot in a prestigious orchestra, but to fund her adventure, Home has to work overtime and that stresses the family.
But it was Nancy’s own family that inspired the episode. “I have that going on in my own family with a niece. Sabrina Carpenter is such a sweetheart and she works for Disney. She did Girl Meets World, and she’s got a singing contract with Disney. What her family had to do to support her and push her along so that she could make her dreams come true. It took quite a bit from everyone to help her. And now she’s on tour in Japan right now. She’s just an amazing artist.”
The great part about this episode is it doesn’t just focus on Lisa’s struggle to succeed. Instead it shows how it takes an entire family to lift up our girls so they can maximize their potential.
Use Your Words
Normally, stepping into one of the funniest Writers’ Rooms in TV would be uber-daunting. but Nancy’s worked with this gang for
years decades, so she fit right in. “They treated me with such care. It’s really not my wheelhouse if you will. It’s kind of thinking out of the box. But their care for me, and encouragement.”
But once she finished the script, Nancy says her job was just beginning. “Being part of the entire production line, not just the writing. Meeting the animators, and the director. Going in and seeing the beginning animation and being able to give my own notes on my own script. Listening to what they’re saying about it, helping to carve it out and make it even better. I was completely overwhelmed by the amount of skill and talent that these guys have.”
Sounds like a lot of work, but she was loving it! “It was such an honor to be a part of it. A real privilege at this time in my life.”
And honestly, it sounds like Nancy is just loving life overall. She was laughing through the entire interview, and even let Bart sneak in once. And remember, the show is on hiatus and she had been interviewing since 8am! Almost all my interviews are good and fun, but my time with Nancy was joyous.
This isn’t the first time she’s written from her own experiences. “I’d written a screenplay, In Search of Fellini, a couple of years ago that came out. It’s still available on Netflix. It was a piece that I did from the heart, because it was a true adventure that I had taken before I was cast as Bart Simpson.”
Who even knew there was life before Bart?!? “So all these years had gone by, and that film came out and now I’m thinking now it’s time for me to write a Simpsons episode. So I came up with this idea and I pitched it and they liked it. Then I got to work with all these amazing writers. It was an incredible experience. It still is an incredible experience. They’re very sweet.”
Be My Guest.. PLEASE!
Nancy told me the best part of the experience was getting to recruit guest stars. Tonight Oscar Winner J.K. Simmons will play the part of Lisa’s conductor. “This particular episode was super fun because I got to write whatever I wanted and tell the story. Including putting in some guest stars that I wanted including J.K. Simmons. He plays this conductor. He was so funny. I think he got the Oscar for Whiplash.” He did, so J.K. should feel right at home.
And then there’s another guest, filling our favorite role. “And Dave Matthews, who I absolutely adore, he plays the bartender. He’s super great.”
The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation
Now that we have a guest star playing a bartender, we decided to let Nancy order the first round. “If I was gonna be in an animated episode of a show called The Simpsons, playing Nancy Cartwright, I’d probably order a Flaming Moe.”
Make it two!