Homer Simpson’s reported decision to stop strangling his son, Bart, has fans talking — at least on the Internet. That’s where everyone, of course, has an opinion. And now, the executive producers behind “The Simpsons” have put together a response — in animated form:
Their one comment? “Homer Simpson was unavailable for comment as he was busy strangling Bart.” So perhaps this was much ado about nothing… or at least, an interesting exercise in blowing news out of proportion?
More from Variety
The frenzy erupted after the episode “McMansion & Wife,” which aired Oct. 22 on Fox. In the episode — the third of Season 35 — Homer jokes that all of those years strangling Bart have paid off with a firm handshake. But then, he adds, “I don’t do that anymore. Times have changed.”
Once people online noticed, that set off hundreds of social media posts and think pieces: Some applauding the show for making Homer more of a good dad, while others lamenting the changing times, etc. — with the authors of those posts and pieces, ironically enough, becoming a real-life version of “old man shakes fist at cloud.”
But as noted by true “Simpsons” fans, Homer had actually stopped strangling Bart several seasons ago, with the last documented event taking place during Season 31. The show’s producers and loyal viewers were taken aback by the rabid reaction this past week, given the fact that this is actually old news — or at least, the kind of news that didn’t raise an eyebrow until now.
Homer strangling Bart had been a long-running gag since the original animated shorts on the “Tracey Ullman Show” — but the show’s strangulations have expanded far beyond just those two characters; the Simpsons Wiki site chronicles strangulations on more than 140 episodes by various characters. But mostly Homer and Bart.
“The Simpsons” has already been renewed through the 2024-2025 TV season, the show’s 36th, extending its standing as the longest-running scripted series in television history.
Best of Variety