Simpson's reference to Canada last night

Did y’all catch the season finale of Simpsons last night? The particular episode I’m talking about is the one where Bart joins the pre-teen braves and Millhouse was a member of the Cavalry Kids. There is then a competition between the two groups to sell the most candy for charity. The winner gets to sing the [American] national anthem at the next ball game. The Cavalry Kids win. But, they don’t make it, instead, Bart dresses himself up like Millhouse and the other Pre-Teen Braves dress up like Cavalry Kids and proceed to sing creative lyrics to the national anthem. This gets the crowd mad and they start a riot.

That’s when it gets weird.

Marge starts crying because of the violence, and her image is picked up by the huge TV. Everyone immediately stops rioting and something along these lines is said;

“Hey, everybody, let’s sing the national anthem, but not an anthem about war, but an anthem about peace, like the Canadian national anthem.”

They then proceed to sing “O Canada” (leaving out a line, BTW).

Then Millhouse says “Well, I guess we learned that war isn’t the answer”.

To which Bart repliesj, “except to all of America’s problems.”

If you saw this for yourself, it would have seemed even stranger. Can anyone explain this? AFAIK, the Simpsons have never made very political statements, and these just seemed so obvious. Is there some joke here I’m missing?

BTW, isn’t Lorne Michaels the executive producer?

There were also watching South Park at the beginning of the show, so maybe they were just having a little fun with it. (Or was that the other episode that was on?)

i don’t think Lorne Michaels of SNL fame has anything to do with the Simpsons… I could be wrong, but i doubt it.

I don’t think it’s a political statement, just a simple jibe at USA and its use of force when needed. If it were a big political thing, I highly doubt that the Fox network would’ve aired this episode.

I thought it was very weird. They just broke out in song, went to commercial and left me thinking, “Did they just dis the american anthem or are they trying to make a joke?”

What do americans really think of canadians?
We don’t.

(Sorry, I couldn’t resist ;). This would apply to any country in the world, not just canadians.)

It’s the Simpsons. They rip the piss out of everything. What’s not to understand?

I didn’t see this episode BTW

I’m a long-time simpsons fan and this struck me as particularly odd.

IMHO the whole episode was a rather subtle ‘slam’ at america and our entire history… from the slaughter of our native peoples, right up to the present uber-PC attitude.

The simpsons last night said, I think, “America, you’re going nuts. The only good stuff left comes from CANADA. Isn’t there something wrong with that, don’cha think?” Remember when bart and milhouse were dancing around, overjoyed at ‘cartoon violence! cartoon violence!’… from CANADA. Can’t do that in America anymore.

That’s just my opinion… I could be wrong.

Interesting how topical the Simpsons has been lately. Last night’s Jay Leno show featured a young girl who screwed up the National Anthem at one of the NBA playoff games. And last week, when Bart was handcuffed to a hospital bed, he said, “Five more minutes and I’m chewing through my wrist”…eerily echoing that hiker who chopped off his own arm after being trapped for five days.

Those are coincidences, though. It takes six months to produce a Simpsons episode, so odds are the jokes were written in 2002. Funny coincidences, but the show isn’t South Park, which works so fast (and usually cheap) that they can get a joke out of something only a week or two old.

The show makes political statements all the time. It takes abundant swipes at both sides, that’s the key. The writers admit they’re mostly Democrats - maybe all, I’m not sure - but they’re comedians first and foremost. One of my favorite jokes from this one was (something like)
Marge: What are we gonna do?
Braves: Clean the field!
Marge: Why are we gonna do it?
Braves: Liberal guilt!

It’s not like they’ve never made jokes about the Bushies, either. There is, or at least was, an episode in the works where he’d move next to the Simpsons like his dad did. I would’ve dug the hell out of that.

Anyway, I loved the Canada gag. I admit I did feel that the show took its gloves off for a minute and threw some real punches. Bart’s one-liner was very sharp in my opinion. Reminds me why I love the show.

No, he’s not involved with the show. Which is why The Simpsons is still funny. The executive producers are Sam Simon, James L. Brooks, and Matt Groening; same 3 it always has been.

They’re FOX’s biggest draw. If they’d censored the show, Rupert Murdoch would be dangling from a telephone pole somewhere. :wink: Besides, the Simpsons is 13 years old. FOX knows what they do and they’re used to it. If they’d object to anything, you’d think it’d be the characterizations of the host network. Remember that thing they did with the ticker at the end of March?

South Park isn’t Canadian. The joke was sarcastic, I think: “gee, a violent cartoon [South Park], how groundbreaking.” I’m sure kids today still dig Tom and Jerry and other violent cartoons - in fact, I bet there are more of them, not less. The Simpsons kids have Itchy and Scratchy, too. There was some good PC stuff in there, though.
The Simpsons takes plenty of shots at the USA, but [and this is coming from a self-identified liberal] the show cannot be usurped for any particular purpose because they are intentionally apolitical. There are no targets they avoid, and that’s what makes it a great show instead of a partisan mouthpiece.

The whole episode was pretty damn weak, in my opinion.

Fagjunk Theology: Not just for sodomite propagandists anymore.

The SNL connection and Simpsons: Conan OBrian worked on SNL before writing for the Simpsons. It’s possible others have done likewise. Even before Conan, the show took jabs at SNL whenever they could (e.g., Krusty’s guest hosting of the show).

The Canada thing was a continuation of the riff on South Park (which is kind of a returned joke for the South Park episode that riffed on the Simpsons).

South Park never has anything good to say about Canadiens, or Canada (its a long running joke- they are even drawn differently, like flip-top trash cans) and in the South Park movie we go to war with them. I believe that was the inspiration for the Canada jokes in this particular episode.

I thought both episodes were fun- but the South Park parody was quite inspired.


Krusty hosted Tuesday Night Live! :smiley: