Tag Archives: the simpsons

Daily Discussion with BQB – Is Apu Offensive?

Hey 3.5 readers.

I write an ongoing column on this fine blog called, “Is Comedy Dying?” where I lament how the “rush to offense” culture is tearing down comedy and not replacing it with anything good.  What passes for comedy now is just going to be Samantha Bee yelling at me about her political views, John Oliver snarking at me about his political views, and Amy Schumer making yet another dumb movie where she’s like, “Hey guys!  I’m a drunk slut who acts like an idiot but nice guys should like me or else they’re super mean, right?”

I digress.  On the surface, I get why an American of Indian descent might not be a fan of Apu, the owner of the Quick-E-Mart on “The Simpsons.”

On a deeper level though, those who watched the show regularly are aware that a) Apu is often the most intelligent resident of Springfield b) he’s an immigrant who built himself up into a businessman c) he suffers casual racism from incompetent Springfield boobs regularly with dignity and grace, often helping those who hurt him and d) he might as well be the one making money selling Homer outdated snacks because if he weren’t doing, Homer would just drive his fat ass to another convenience store and if anything, the scenes where Apu crosses out the date on expired products only for Homer to eat them and get sick is more about how chubby Americans suffer a love affair with junk food and are willing to make the worse decisions about what to shove in their holes.

I get the complaints – Hank Azaria isn’t Indian, some Indian Americans lament that when they were growing up they were called “Apu” or subjected to catch phrases like, “Thank you, come again” and so on.

But I don’t know.  Look at the rest of the show.  If we’re getting rid of Apu, then we also have to get rid of Bumblebee Man, Groundskeeper Willie, Uter the Chubby Exchange student and so on.  From Chief Wiggum, the fat donut chomping cop to Principal Skinner, the uptight, bureaucratic educator, every character is essentially a stereotype because that’s what cartoons are.

I get that people get offended but good comedy offends everyone, eventually.  There’s humor in everyone, everywhere.  If anything, comedy is fair when it offends everyone, when sooner or later, it pokes fun at anyone and everyone and leaves no one behind.

At the very least, can we really harangue the Simpsons creators for doing something that was considered OK 30 years ago?

I don’t know.  I do get the complaints.  I don’t want people to feel bad.  Still, I don’t know how the Simpsons continues if these are the constraints we are working under now.

It makes me a little sad and ready to throw in the comedy towel, to just let the snarky Manhattanite comics take the whole thing and ruin it all with their high falutin, brie cheese sniffing jokes that only three people get.  That’s fine.  Let’s just go ahead and get the Simpsons cancelled then.  What really need is 16 more movies where Amy Schumer laments that she can’t find a man who will accept her drunken sluttyness, more of John Oliver and Steve Colbert making my eyes glaze over with their policy talks, more of Samantha Bee yelling jokes at me that her writers room nerds thought were funny so ergo, I should find them funny.

I’ll be at the bar, 3.5 readers.  Tell me what you say in the comments below.

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Hi I’m Troy McClure…

…and you might remember me from such book blogs as “Bookshelfbattle.com” and “Return to the Valley of Bookshelfbattle.com!”

In honor of the Simpsons Marathon on FXX, “Every Simpsons Ever!” I’m posting the following filmography of everyone’s favorite Hollywood hack, Troy McClure. Voiced by the late, great Phil Hartman, the character was a mockery of celebrities who have fallen from stardom and are forced to take part in lame projects they view as beneath them. In Troy’s case, he was always featured in some movie, film, TV special that was incorporated into the Simpsons’ plot and he’d introduce himself by saying, “Hi I’m Troy McClure! You might remember me from such films as…” and then he’d go on to list two hilariously titled films.

Without further ado:

Hi! I’m Troy McClure! You might remember me from…

1) …such films as “Today We Kill, Tomorrow We Die” and “Gladys the Groovy Mule.”

2)…such educational films as “Smoke Yourself Thin!” and “Get Some Confidence, Stupid!”

3) …such films as “The Greatest Story Ever Hula-ed” and “They Came to Burgle Carnegie Hall!”

4) …such driver education films as “Alice’s Adventures through the Windshield Glass” and “The Decapitation of Larry Leadfoot.”

5) …such cartoons as “Christmas Ape” and “Christmas Ape Goes to Summer Camp”

6) …such educational films as “Lead Paint: Delicious But Deadly” and “Here Comes the Metric System!”

7) …such Fox Network Specials as “Alien Nose Job” and “The Five Fabulous Weeks of the Chevy Chase Show!”

8) …such telethons as “Out with Gout 88” and “Let’s Save Tony Orlando’s House”

9) …such films as “P is for Psycho” and “The President’s Neck is Missing”

10) …such TV spinoffs as “Son of Sanford and Son” and “After Mannix.”

There’s plenty more where that came from. What’s your favorite Troy McClure movie title? Or, for that matter, what’s your favorite Simpsons quote?

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