A few weeks ago, The Simpsons made headlines for finally ending the long-running joke of dad Homer strangling his oldest son Bart. In the episode “McMansion & Wife,” which aired on October 22, Homer met his new neighbor, who noted that Homer had “quite a grip” as they shook hands. In response, Homer jokes to his wife Marge, “Strangling the boy has paid off,” before adding, “Just kidding. I don’t do that anymore. Times have changed.”
The news was met with a lot of people saying, “Finally!” and pointing out that a dad strangling his son for laughs is not really funny. Well, hold off on that praise and applause, folks, because Simpsons co-creator James L. Brooks has some words to say about Homer’s woke reformation. Not only does he deny that the show is going to stop the strangulation gag, he denies it with his whole chest.
The Simpsons’ patriarch will continue to get aggressive with his son, co-creator and producer James L. Brooks tells PEOPLE.
Asked about that episode, Brooks tells PEOPLE, “Don’t think for a second we’re changing anything.”
Brooks then showed an illustration of Homer strangling Bart, who was holding a smartphone with a headline that read, “Simpsons: No more strangling.” Text in a word bubble showed Homer yelling at his son, “Why you little clickbaiting-!!”
“Nothing’s getting tamed. Nothing, nothing, nothing,” Brooks continues. “He’ll continue to be strangled—[if] you want to use that awful term for it. He’ll continue to be loved by his father in a specific way.”
Despite Brooks’ declaration, Homer hasn’t actually strangled Bart (Nancy Cartwright) on air in some time. According to IGN, Homer last strangled Bart on screen during the show’s 31st season, which aired from 2019 to 2020.
Goodness, James, read the room here. WTF is this, “He’ll continue to be loved by his father in a specific way” crap? Child abuse is not funny and those headlines gave The Simpsons more attention than it’s had in a while. In fact, there were a lot more people commenting over the Internet that “The Simpsons really hasn’t been funny in years” than there were fans saying, “Oh man, you know what would make that show funny again? Watching a dad show his young son love by putting his hands around his neck for laughs.” Times have changed. You can either evolve with them or get left behind, and if you run into the consequences for not keeping up, you have no one to blame but yourself.
Photos credit: Avalon.red and screenshots from YouTube
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