Itchy and Scratchy focus group
S08E14 - The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show
The ratings of the Itchy & Scratchy Show segment on the Krusty the Clown Show suddenly fall. Krusty orders the cartoon's producer, Roger Meyers, to find a way to fix the sagging ratings, or else a Chinese cartoon will replace Itchy and Scratchy. Meyers decides to commission a focus group to discover why Itchy and Scratchy has lost its popularity. Bart and Lisa participate in the study, by watching cartoons and answering the questions. However, things do not go well, with the children contradicting themselves when explaining what they want. Eventually, Lisa tells the executives that there is nothing wrong with the show and that it is as good as it has ever been?but after being on TV for so long, the show does not have as much an impact on audiences as it did in its early years. Meyers thanks Lisa for "saving" Itchy and Scratchy, and decides that his cartoon's salvation lies in a new character. He tells Krusty and his team of writers that this new character should be a dog with "attitude", who will be called Poochie.
Bart and Lisa suggest Homer have a go at voice acting when they read that there will be open auditions. Homer auditions to read for Poochie's voice, and gets the part. He and June Bellamy, his fellow voice actor, make several publicity stops to promote Poochie, where Homer confronts the show's hardcore fans. Homer invites all of his friends and relatives to the screening of the first Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show. However, the cartoon is full of clich?s and asinine antics, and by emphasizing Poochie, contains none of the show's trademark violence. Everyone except Homer finds the episode unimpressive. Meyers is forced to admit that Poochie's debut was a dud, and he decides to get rid of the character. Homer learns that Poochie will be killed off, and resolves to keep Poochie alive. At his next recording session, rather than reading from the script, he implores the audience, through lines that he wrote, to give Poochie a fair chance. The writing team appears moved by Homer's statement. However, on airing, his statement is dubbed over by Myers and Poochie is killed off in a poorly edited fashion. The in-studio audience cheers wildly as Krusty promises that Poochie is gone for good. Homer feels betrayed but attributes the affair to the nature of show business.