The Simpsons’ fraught-but-loving dating after they got here at the air in 1989 turns out downright old fashioned and heartwarming now. However on the time, the nuclear circle of relatives used to be a sacred establishment, and the sequence’ portrayal of a father who used to be a drunken slob and a backtalking hellraiser of a son used to be one thing shut to blasphemy.
No less than, that is for sure how then-president George H.W. Bush felt. In an interview with Other folks in 1990, First Girl Barbara Bush referred to as “The Simpsons” “the dumbest factor I had ever noticed.”
George H.W. Bush himself would again up his spouse in 1992, famously remarking in a speech: “We’d like a country nearer to the Waltons than The Simpsons.” Bush left himself huge open for a comeback there, because the Waltons will have revered the parental hierarchy, yet they have been additionally suffering throughout the worst of the Nice Despair. In fact, that is precisely what “The Simpsons” identified in a promo the place the circle of relatives watched the are living motion clip of Bush’s speech on TV, with Bart firing again: “Whats up, we are identical to the Waltons! We are praying for an finish to the melancholy too!”
However the back-and-forth did not finish there. In 1996, the sequence aired “Two Dangerous Neighbors” because the 13th episode in Season 7. The now-classic episode had George and Barbara transferring in around the boulevard, turning the Timber right into a parody of the Wilsons from the “Dennis the Risk” caricature. When George enforced his outdated concepts of self-discipline by way of spanking Bart, he instigated a prank conflict that ended with a cathartic scene of Homer punching him sq. within the face.
Author Invoice Oakley has stated that the episode is regularly misunderstood: “It isn’t a political assault, it is a private assault,” he stated at the display’s Season 7 DVD observation. The episode used to be supposed to parody Bush’s “crotchetiness” quite than his politics, and co-showrunner Josh Weinstein in comparison the characterization to Frank Grimes — some other buttoned-up Springfield outsider who clashed with Homer. If Bush ever got here around the episode on TV, he by no means commented on it — yet it kind of feels relatively affordable that he’d have simply modified the channel to “The Waltons.”