The Simpsons made their debut on an Arab satellite TV network, MBC, earlier this month, but the show has been re-branded Al Shamsoon. Along with the new name, America's most beloved cartoon family has also picked up a few interesting new habits.
Arab TV bosses made some changes to help ensure that the show is a hit across the Middle East. Unfortunately, the response has been rather underwhelming, with many bloggers reporting that the adapted version is a travesty.
Homer Simpson, now Omar Shamsoon, looks like the same beer-bellied bum, but on Arab TV he's given up alcohol and bacon (which are both against Islam), and no longer hangs out at "seedy bars with bums and lowlifes." In Arabia, Omar swigs fizzy soda, and his hot dogs are barbecued Egyptian beef. The doughnuts he famously salivates over have become traditional Arab cookies called kahk.
Mischievous Bart is now called Badr, and Moe's Bar has been written out entirely. Others exorcised from the show include Jewish character Krusty [Krustofsky] the Clown and Reverend Lovejoy - apparently to keep them from "corrupting" audiences.
Egyptian actors have been hired to read the characters' voices, but well-known catch phrases such as "Doh!" and "Aye Carumba!" will stay. Michel Costandi of MBC said: "I think Al Shamsoon will open new horizons for us to the future. We are opening up a new genre of programming in the Middle East."