Simply Streep is your premiere source on Meryl Streep's work on film, television and in the theatre - a career that has won her three Academy Awards and the praise to be one of the world's greatest working actresses. Created in 1999, we have built an extensive collection to discover Miss Streep's work through an archive of press articles, photos and video clips. Enjoy your stay.
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November 06, 1994 | FOX Television | 30 minutes
“Bart’s Girlfriend” was written by Jonathan Collier and directed by Susie Dietter. David Mirkin, who was show runner at the time, originally had the idea of Bart having a girlfriend that was more evil than he was. Mirkin gave the idea to Collier to write it with the help of the show’s executive producer, James L. Brooks. Collier said later that he thought it was a case of Brooks coming up with good ideas and him “giggling insequentially”. The idea for the ending of the episode was to have none of the characters learn anything from the experience. Meryl Streep was called in to do the voice of Jessica. Nancy Cartwright, who provides the voice of Bart Simpson on the show, was a huge fan of Streep and she assumed that Streep would record her lines individually, but all of their recordings were done together. Streep showed up alone with no entourage at the Village Recorder in West Los Angeles, where she recorded her parts with Cartwright. Streep was continually doing many different versions of her lines. Mirkin felt she was easy to work with because she was versatile and keen to do a lot of different things, and as Mirkin expressed it, “easily evil”. Cartwright said in an interview with The Pantagraph that she really wanted Streep’s autograph, but was afraid to ask for it. After the recording session, Streep tapped Cartwright on the shoulder, and said her kids were big The Simpsons fans and that she would be in “big trouble” if she did not get Cartwright’s autograph.
Since airing, the episode has received many positive reviews from fans and television critics, and Entertainment Weekly named Meryl Streep’s role as one of the best guest appearances on The Simpsons. According to an interview with the New York Times in 1994, “Meryl Streep says she has finally accepted a role that impresses her children: the voice of Bart’s new girlfriend in “The Simpsons.” “It’s given me more credibility in my home than anything I’ve ever done,” she said of the cartoon project. “Now, as far as they’re concerned, I can do no wrong.” Besides this episode, Meryl has been mentioned quite a few times in the Simpsons world – in the episode “A Streetcar named Marge”, where a pageant is sponsored by Meryl Streep’s (fictional) perfume Versatility – “Smell Like Streep, For Cheap”‘. A reference to “A Cry in the Dark” was made in the episode “Bart vs. Australia,” where Bart says “Hey, I think I hear a dingo eatin’ your baby.”