"Radioactive Man" is the second episode of The Simpsons' seventh season which originally aired September 24, 1995. It was written by John Swartzwelder, and directed by Susie Dietter. Mickey Rooney guest starred as himself. The episode sees the film version of the comic book Radioactive Man set up production in Springfield.
It was also the first episode to be digitally colored. The duties of that task went to USAnimation, who also worked on "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular". Digital coloring would not be attempted again until season 12's "Tennis the Menace", and again when the show permanently switched to digital coloring in season 14 with "The Great Louse Detective".
A despondent Bart is told by Lisa that he is still needed as a star's friend and confidant, and Bart eagerly accepts this new role. However, Milhouse finds his own job intolerable and disappears, right during the filming of the most expensive scene in the movie. The film is suspended while the townspeople search for Milhouse. Eventually Bart finds him in the treehouse, but despite encouragement from former child star Mickey Rooney, Milhouse gives up on his acting career. All production on the film is aborted, with the project bankrupt, thanks to price gouging and other unscrupulous conduct by the people of Springfield. Despite Rooney's stern lecture about their selfish greed, Mayor Quimby insists the townspeople can't give any of the directors' money back before they leave. The directors return to Hollywood, "where people treat each other right," and wait until they're able to resume production on the movie.
During the battle with the Scoutmaster's "henchmen," two of the words that appear as sound effects, "SNUH!!" and "BORT!!" are words previously used in the series: SNUH is the acronym for Marge's public interest group, "Springfieldians for Nonviolence, Understanding, and Helping" (Itchy & Scratchy & Marge), and "BORT" is the name on a novelty license plate Bart finds in the gift shop in Itchy & Scratchy Land.
Comic Book Guy sends a message to other Internet nerds about who will star in the new Radioactive Man movie, two of whom are the nerds Homer met in "Homer Goes to College", while the one in the center square is Prince dressed in a purple suit. The usenet newsgroup which he posted to (alt.nerd.obsessive) is a reference to the alt.tv.simpsons newsgroup.