‘A show that all faiths can be offended by’

‘Simpsons’ episode set in Israel to air on the eve of Pessah.

By MELANIE LIDMAN
March 18, 2010 01:12
1 minute read.
Homer and Bart Simpson visit the Western Wall.

simpsons israel eposide 311. (photo credit: Screenshot)

 
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After 20 years of poking fun at American culture, the Simpsons are scheduled to land at Ben-Gurion Airport to target Israel.

The episode set in the Holy Land, titled “The Greatest Story Ever D’ohed,” airs on March 28 in the US, coinciding with both Pessah Eve and Palm Sunday.

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The plot involves Homer developing Jerusalem Syndrome and Marge interacting with an aggressive Israeli tour guide, voiced by Sasha Baron Cohen of Borat and Bruno fame.

“He’s trying to get Marge to give him good grades on the comment card, and she goes, ‘You people are pushy,’ and he goes, ‘What do you mean, you people? You try having Syria for a neighbor! What do you have – Canada?’” Simpsons producer Al Jean told Entertainment Weekly: “It’ll be a show that all faiths can come together and be offended by.”

Tourism Minister Stas Meseznikov (Israel Beiteinu) welcomed the visit of America’s famous cartoon family, whose journeys will be focused on Jerusalem.

“The series is released to millions of children around the world, and releasing a special part about Israel will without a doubt create an improvement in the reputation of Israel in the world and will encourage people to come and visit and enjoy Israel,” Meseznikov’s press secretary, Amnon Liebermann, told The Jerusalem Post. “We hope initiatives like this will continue.”

The Simpsons is the longest-running comedy on American television, with more than 450 episodes. Jewish references have figured prominently on the show, including Krusty the Clown, born Herschel Shmoikel Pinkus Yerucham Krustofski. Krusty’s father is an Orthodox rabbi, voiced by veteran Jewish comedian Jackie Mason.

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Last December, the Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, congratulated The Simpsons on its 20th anniversary and praised the way the show often weaves religious and philosophical arguments into the episodes.

Rumors of the Simpsons’ visit started last March and were confirmed in September. The first images from the episode, showing the Simpsons at the Western Wall, were released this week.

“The Christians, the Jews and Muslims are united in that they all get mad at Homer. It’s the only thing they can agree on,” Jean said.

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