The Simpsons commemorated the 25th Anniversary of "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" on Fox today. Writer Bill Oakley shared the milestone on Twitter and fans were pumped to trip back down memory lane. The seventh season premiere drew a ton of eyeballs back in 1995 as the country tuned in to see the resolution of the mystery that lingered over the summer. (Spoiler alert: It was Maggie.) Oakley has had to talk about this episode a lot in the past and fans hold it dear for how zany the entire set up is. For those who don’t know, the whole premise is a comedic take on Dallas’ “Who Shot J.R.?” plot. There was a phone line to call in and guess and a website in the early days of the Internet. "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" is a true pop culture forebearer to our current moment of fan theorizing in a lot of ways.
The writer made some comments about the social media phenomenon of so many clips from the show proving to be prophetic in some form or fashion. He’s not buying it for the most part.
25 YEARS AGO TONIGHT the somewhat thrilling conclusion to the Who Shot Mr. Burns saga aired on the Fox Television Network! pic.twitter.com/r3NVORpfp1— BILL OAKLEY (@thatbilloakley) September 17, 2020
"I don't like it being used for nefarious purposes," Oakley began. "The idea that anyone misappropriates it to make coronavirus seem like an Asian plot is terrible. In terms of trying to place blame on Asia — I think that is gross. I believe the most antecedent to (Osaka Flu) was the Hong Kong flu of 1968. It was just supposed to be a quick joke about how the flu got here."
"It was meant to be absurd that someone could cough into a box and the virus would survive for six to eight weeks in the box,” he continued. “It is cartoonish. We intentionally made it cartoonish because we wanted it to be silly and not scary, and not carry any of these bad associations along with it, which is why the virus itself was acting like a cartoon character and behaving in extremely unrealistic ways."
"There are very few cases where The Simpsons predicted something," Oakley added. "It's mainly just coincidence because the episodes are so old that history repeats itself. Most of these episodes are based on things that happened in the 60s, 70s, or 80s that we knew about."
Is this one of the best Simpsons episodes ever? Let us know down in the comments! Check out the nostalgia below:
Chuckle out of this
25 years and I still get chills from the theme to Speedway Squad https://t.co/IZSywspi6t— BILL OAKLEY (@thatbilloakley) September 17, 2020
Times were different back then
Yes since the hard drive on our Macintosh SE had crashed and had to be sent to @drivesavers we ended up writing the entire episode by hand on legal pads!— BILL OAKLEY (@thatbilloakley) September 17, 2020
yes! we had free ones in the writers room and they were GOOD— BILL OAKLEY (@thatbilloakley) September 17, 2020
Shout out to Mom
That summer, my mom correctly guessed who the shooter was solely based on the fact that it was the silliest and stupidest choice. Changed the way that I thought about everything.— Chris Crash🐙🐙 (@ChrisCrash00) September 17, 2020
Makes you wonder
I wonder if all his stuff is still up there?— Joe Thorne (@joethorneYYT) September 17, 2020
You're not alone
Homer’s face in that scene has always stuck with me. Just pure unbridled rage. pic.twitter.com/FcCHxXusOc— mike toole (@miketoole) September 17, 2020
This absolutely happened
I remember John Walsh of "America's Most Wanted" filmed a promo looking for information about the shooter.— Richard Jackson (@Rickymtj) September 18, 2020
Some bookies in Ireland took bets on the outcome. Unfortunately for them they forgot (a) everyone in Ireland has an American relative and (b) Telephones exist. The odds on Maggie were quite long and some decent money was made.— Ross Kavanagh (@Ross_Kav) September 17, 2020
Tip of the cap
Looked through the comments for this. Excellent work sir 🤣— Ben Swatridge (@bswatridge) September 17, 2020