Woodcock, Pete (2008) The Depiction of Politicians in The Simpsons. In: Narrative and Fiction: an Interdisciplinary Approach. University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, pp. 91-99.
Abstract

Due to its longevity (almost 400 episodes and 18 years), and the sheer number of
supporting characters that appear on it, the writers and producers of The Simpsons
has created a model of society which can be exploited by the political theorist. This
paper aims to explore the social and political ramifications of this model of, especially
the accusation that the programme in inherently conservative in its portrayal of
gender and the nuclear family.

This paper will also look at the depiction of politicians in the programme (for example
fictional politicians such as Mayor ‘Diamond’ Joe Quimby and Sideshow Bob as well
as real politicians Bill Clinton and George Bush snr), and suggest that whereas The
Simpsons may appear to mock all politicians, this is not in fact the case, and that The
Simpsons does provide us with examples of the types of qualities that are admirable
in a politician. It will be argued that the writers of The Simpsons only mock two types
of politicians; actual living politicians (it is from this fact that it gets its reputation for
being impartial), and dishonest metropolitan-type politicians. Local, hard working
politicians (most notably Governor Mary Bailey and former Sanitation Commissioner
Ray Patterson) are exempt from their criticism, suggesting that they prefer local
substance over glitz and style.

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