Satire in the Simpsons Satire Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Homer's exaggerated comments on various issues bring them to the limelight and help America see the sad side of their obsessions, phobias and paranoia. In one episode, we see how Homer uses satire to show the funny side of parents' excessive interference in their children's lives.

Bart and Lisa are competing against each other in youth hockey competition. Both are key players on their respective teams. Marge tries to assure the two that they do not need to compete with each other and take it as nothing more than a game. "We love you both! You're not in competition with each other! Repeat: You are not in competition with each other" (Groening 157) but Homer who is obviously unaware of what Marge was just advocating, barges in and shouts: "Hey! [Your coach] just called. This Friday Lisa's team is playing Bart's team. You're in direct competition. And don't go easy on each other just because you're brother and sister. I want to see you both fighting for your parents' love" (Groening 157). It was the exaggeration of this comment that made it hilarious and also forces people to see the reality of such situations. No matter how we try to cloak such tricky situations, the truth remains that overzealous parents also favor the kid that excels in sports and academic. So Homer's comment 'fighting for your parents' love' takes a direct hit at twisted psyche of 'bad' parents.

And satire is not limited to the Simpsons' family. The show frequently ridicules the faulty police force, the flawed political system, the defective society and everything else. It accomplishes this with the help of caricatures that frequently appear in the show and present a stereotypical picture of various people from politicians to police to teachers. For example Springfield Police Chief Clancy Wiggum is corruption personified. But instead of hinting at bribe that he frequently wishes to draw out of his victims, Wiggum openly asks for the same thus leaving very little to imagination. Wiggum is a perfect caricature of a corrupt police officer. In one episode, he tries to extract a bribe that Homer is unwilling to offer. Homer tells him:

Homer: You know, one-day honest citizens are gonna to stand up to you crooked cops.

Wiggum: They are? Oh no. Have they set a date? (Groening 108)

Similarly there are other such caricatures including that of a politician Mayor Diamond Joe Quimby. Quimby is epitome of stupidity combined with conniving mind but above everything else he is licentious and simply corrupt. His appearances on television are embarrassing for the public. In one episode, Quimby's is attacked and charged with numerous vices: "You are an illiterate, tax-cheating, wife-swapping, pot-smoking

Spend-o-crat" (Groening 153). To this Quimby, dim-wittedly replies: "Hey, I am no longer illiterate" (Groening 153) as if he was admitting all other charges against him simply illiteracy.

In short, the Simpsons is not your average cartoon show. It is one program that promises to stay fresh and alive with its satirical comments on everything under the sun. Howard Roesenberg of Los Angeles Times writes, "Throughout its decade of smart existence, the Simpsons has made delicious, but not malicious fun of just about the entire cosmos."

References

Groening, Matt. The Simpsons: A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family. New York: HarperCollins, 1997.

MacGregor, Jeff. "More Than Sight Gags and Subversive Satire." Review. New York Times 20 June 1999: Television/Radio 27.

Rosenberg, Howard. "Fox Does Have Standards -- and Double Standards."

Editorial. Los Angeles Times (2 June 1999): Accessed 4th November 2004 http://www.snpp.com/other/articles/foxstandards.html.

Batscha, Robert M. Interview with Robert M. Batscha. Library. The Museum of Television and Radio. New York.

Keveney, Bill. "Champion…

Sources Used in Document:

References

Groening, Matt. The Simpsons: A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family. New York: HarperCollins, 1997.

MacGregor, Jeff. "More Than Sight Gags and Subversive Satire." Review. New York Times 20 June 1999: Television/Radio 27.

Rosenberg, Howard. "Fox Does Have Standards -- and Double Standards."

Editorial. Los Angeles Times (2 June 1999): Accessed 4th November 2004 http://www.snpp.com/other/articles/foxstandards.html.

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