During the initial airing, the USA was completely in love with Bart (Bartmania), so this episode (initially the third of season 2) was favored as the season-opener.
Good episode, very realistic characterization, Bart actually saying "cowabunga", Sideshow Bob standing in the crowd singing along with other season 1-favorites (?) as cowboy Bob. (the Call of the Simpsons)
But what happened with Bart's shirt in this one? It looks so pale.
The overall animation-quality in this one is great though.
Look at these shadows.
And also notice the effect they use when Bart is watching out of his window at the stars. Can't show a picture of that, you have to see it in motion.
In a way, a lot of elements from Bart the Genius reappear.
eg. Dr Pryor, the coloring-style and figurants in Bart's daydream, the schoolgrafitti...
Also interesting: the great Bart-Martin interaction.
These two characters are combined way too little throughout the series.
In this episode, they prove how funny they are together as two opposites, each trying to become the other one.
Last question: Was the voice of Milhouse done by somebody else in this episode?
Listen to him saying that "milk out of his nose"-bit. Sounds totally different from what we are used to.