'The Simpsons' writer reveals who they originally decided would shoot Mr. Burns
It was one of the most iconic moments in The Simpsons history, and it's an episode that has lived long in the memory of both die hard and part-time fans alike: who shot Mr Burns? Of course, we now all know that the answer is Maggie Simpson, but, the reality could've been much more different, according to one of the writers of the show.
Josh Weinstein has revealed an alternate ending to the classic two-part "Who Shot Mr Burns?" fiasco, with their being a very different culprit at the heart of the story.
Weinstein co-wrote both of the episodes alongside Bill Oakley, with the final version revealing that it was Maggie who pulled the trigger on Burns after he tried to steal her candy. However, according to the writer, the original idea was for it to be Barney Gumble who shot Burns.
Barney, the lovable drunk who later polishes up his act, would've been mad at Burns for shutting down Moe's Tavern due to the fumes from Burn's oil drilling. The idea was that "it could be a big real estate thing where Burns is going to buy this block of the downtown area and build some cray Burns thing, and it includes Moe's bar."
Taking to his Twitter account to share the original pitch, Weinstein said:
"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."
As the pitch says, "The story has to basically be about Mr. Burns making six mortal enemies. Obviously Homer, maybe Bart, and possibly other major characters like Apu, Barney etc. Perhaps he fires Smithers." Interestingly, the writers say that it "would be really satisfying if it were not some cheap-out guy like Burn's brother who suddenly appeared at the last minute."
While their initial plans may have changed, it would be safe-to-say that Maggie wasn't a cheap-out choice - showing that the writers stuck to their principle on that.
This isn't the first time that Weinstein has revealed secrets of the infamous episode, back in December 2017, the writer shared images of the original scripts including cut scenes of Homer on the run as a fugitive.
"Whoa, I totally forgot about this scene from the table draft we cut from “Who Shot Mr. Burns, Pt. 2” of Homer on the run as a fugitive," said Weinstein.
The writer also offered up a deleted scene involving Milhouse being trapped with a globe over is head - something which fans sadly didn't get to see.
If you're a fan of the Simpsons, it's well worth giving the writers and illustrators a follow as they often offer up hidden gems. It's crazy to think that one of the most iconic moments in the programme's history could've been much different. Who knows, we could've even lost Barney!