Simp­sons do the time warp to avoid Trump jokes

Sunday News - - WORLD -

LOS AN­GE­LES The cre­ators of satir­i­cal an­i­mated se­ries The Simp­sons, who once eerily pre­dicted that Don­ald Trump would be­come pres­i­dent of the United States, say they can­not keep pace with the com­edy he is now in­spir­ing and have de­cided in­stead to take the fam­ily back to me­dieval times.

Bum­bling Homer, house­wife Marge, trou­ble­maker Bart, prodigy Lisa and baby Mag­gie, who have cap­tured the chang­ing face of Amer­ica over 28 years, be­come ‘‘The Serf­sons’’ in the sea­son 29 premiere, screen­ing in the US on Fox to­mor­row.

In 2000, The Simp­sons joked in an episode ti­tled ‘‘Bart to the Fu­ture’’ that Trump would en­ter the White House, and said his pres­i­dency would ruin the US econ­omy.

But ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Matt Sel­man said the show, which takes more than a year to pro­duce each sea­son, could not keep up with jokes about Trump since he won the 2016 elec­tion.

‘‘There’s a mas­sive in­dus­try of noth­ing but Trump com­edy,’’ he said. ‘‘We can’t beat them to the punch. We can only show how Trump’s Amer­ica has sadly seeped its way into Spring­field.’’

For the new se­ries, the fam­ily live in a feu­dal me­dieval so­ci­ety where gob­lins, ogres and dragons ex­ist, 8-year-old Lisa Simpson can do magic, and Niko­laj CosterWal­dau from Game of Thrones plays Marge’s horny twin brother.

‘‘The Serf­sons’’ in­cludes ref­er­ences to an ar­ray of fan­tasy tales, from Game of Thrones and The Lord of the Rings to Co­nan the Bar­bar­ian.

‘‘In all fan­tasy, there’s al­ways anal­ogy to the mod­ern world,’’ writer-pro­ducer Brian Kel­ley said.

In one episode, Marge’s age­ing mother Mrs Bou­vier is slowly turned to ice and Homer and Marge try to find an al­ter­na­tive cure when they fail to get enough money for health­care.

‘‘While we were writ­ing it, the world be­came much more hor­ri­fy­ing, scary and evil,’’ Sel­man said. ‘‘Wealth and equal­ity and the 1 per cent and health­care – we just wrote those be­cause we thought these were eter­nal is­sues, and then they turned into ter­ri­fy­ing is­sues.’’

The Simp­sons is the longestrun­ning com­edy on US tele­vi­sion, and will break another record in its 29th sea­son with the most episodes for a scripted show.

Sea­son 29 will have guest stars such as Martin Short, singer Ed Sheeran, and au­thor Neil Gaiman in a Hal­loween episode in­spired by his works, in­clud­ing Co­ra­line. Reuters


The Simp­sons be­come ‘‘The Serf­sons’’ when the long-run­ning an­i­mated com­edy re­turns this week for its 29th sea­son.

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