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'The Simpsons' Creator Reveals How The Show Predicts Historical Events. It's Nothing You'd Expect

'The Simpson' creator shares the secret sauce behind getting all these predictions right from 9/11 to the Covid pandemic.
PUBLISHED MAY 26, 2024
Cover Image Source: YouTube/Disney Television Animation News
Cover Image Source: YouTube/Disney Television Animation News

The Simpsons has achieved iconic status in global pop culture and the show starring Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, and Harry Shearer has been popular since the 1980s. In the past few years, it has managed to make headlines for predicting events such as Donald Trump's presidency and Lady Gaga's Superbowl performance. Past episodes also foresaw space travel and so many other things listed by Collider. Things that seemed impossible even in the days leading up to it, were predicted accurately by the show.

Image Source: (Original Caption) Dan Castellaneta who is the voice of Homer Simpsonat the Edinburgh Assembly Rooms, where the SimpsonMania show will be staged,celebrating 10 years of the series on British television. (Photo by Colin McPherson/Sygma via Getty Images)
Image Source: (Original Caption) Dan Castellaneta who is the voice of Homer Simpsonat the Edinburgh Assembly Rooms, where the SimpsonMania show will be staged,celebrating 10 years of the series on British television. (Photo by Colin McPherson/Sygma via Getty Images)

In an interview with NME, The Simpsons showrunner Al Jean addressed questions about the involvement of an astrologer or tarot card reader behind the predictions. He said, “One of our writers, the guy whose episode predicted Donald Trump as president, said it best, ‘If you write 700 episodes and you don’t predict anything, then you’re pretty bad. If you throw enough darts, you’re going to get some bullseyes'." He said this after the world once again was in awe of the show for correctly guessing that Virgin Galactic boss Richard Branson would spend some time in space. The show somehow even managed to predict the spread of COVID-19, something that caught the entire world by surprise.



 

“The 9/11 one is so bizarre,” says Jean. “In the World Trade Center episode, [‘The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson’], there was a brochure reading $9 a day with an 11 styled up like the towers. That was in ’96, which was crazy, like this insane coincidence. But mostly it’s just educated guesses. Stanley Kubrick made the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968 and there’s Zoom and iPads in it – but that’s because he had futurologists helping him construct what the world might look like in 30 years time.”



 

The Simpsons, which premiered in the 1980s, has still maintained a hold on people's hearts. The characters Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie have a special place in people's hearts. The show has been used by various brands to promote their products as well. Since it was acquired by Disney, the characters have been utilized for many collaborations. In 2021, the show celebrated Disney+ Day with a new short film, entitled "The Simpsons in Plusaversary." The show has already been made into a movie and Jean believes a second one is on the horizon, although he is a bit scared it might stretch his staff too thin. “We’re cursed by high ratings,” Jean said. “We’re still on the air as a TV show and that takes up a lot of time. I worked on the [first] movie simultaneous to the show, and it nearly killed the animators. But we have an idea, it’s just that we’re waiting to see what the environment is. Do we want to do it as a streamer? In theatres? Animation has been the slowest to come back to theatres. But now that [ages] five and up are getting vaccinated [in America], the business might resume. We’re in a wait-and-see mode. But there’s definitely the germ of something there.”

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