Homer Simpson could also be maturing, or so he says.
The character, voiced by Dan Castellaneta, hinted that he would not choke his son, Bart, showing to acknowledge that one of many oldest recurring bits on “The Simpsons” was a transparent type of animated baby abuse that was performed for laughs.
Within the third episode of the present season, the present’s thirty fifth, titled “McMansion & Spouse,” Homer meets a neighbor who compliments the grip on his handshake.
“See Marge? Strangling the boy has paid off,” Homer says to his spouse within the episode, which aired on Oct. 22. “Simply kidding. I don’t try this anymore. Instances have modified.”
It was not clear whether or not this signaled a long-lasting shift within the present, which was renewed for a 36th season this 12 months. A spokesman for Fox, the community that has lengthy aired “The Simpsons,” declined to remark.
“The Simpsons,” created by Matt Groening, has made strikes lately to replace its humor to suit with evolving requirements. In 2020, Hank Azaria mentioned he would not voice the character of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, an Indian comfort retailer proprietor who grew to become recognized for his catchphrase, “Thanks! Come once more.”
Apu had lengthy been a sore level amongst viewers of Indian descent, a lot of whom seen the character, which Azaria had voiced since 1990, as nothing greater than a racist caricature. Azaria has mentioned the voice was impressed by South Asian clerks he heard rising up in New York, in addition to Peter Sellers in the 1968 film “The Party.”
The dialogue took off within the public sphere after the discharge of the 2017 documentary “The Downside With Apu,” through which the comic Hari Kondabolu spoke to different Indian American actors and performers who mentioned the character had change into emblematic of the marginalization they confronted within the leisure trade.
However there isn’t a consensus amongst folks of South Asian descent, as evidenced by the Indian American comic Akaash Singh, who argued in a 2022 YouTube particular titled “Deliver Again Apu” that the character was a constructive portrayal of an immigrant story. Apu has not been seen since Season 33.
The “Simpsons” inventive workforce responded to Kondabolu’s documentary by the present, then in its twenty ninth season, in a 2018 episode titled “No Good Learn Goes Unpunished.” Within the episode, Lisa Simpson breaks the fourth wall and says: “One thing that began a long time in the past and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What are you able to do?”
The shot instantly pans to a framed image of Apu. Marge chimes in and says, “Some issues might be handled at a later date,” to which Lisa replies, “If in any respect.”
The present has lengthy been self-referential, and has been so with the choking bit on a number of events. One episode — “Love Is a Many Strangled Factor,” from Season 22 — examines the roots of Homer’s choking impulses, with the help of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (as himself) and Paul Rudd (as a therapist). A newly empathetic Homer swears to by no means choke Bart once more, which then sends Bart on a spree of unhealthy habits, as he’s not afraid of his father’s rage.
The Season 11 finale, titled “Behind the Laughter,” was a parody of the VH1 documentary collection “Behind the Music.” After Homer is shown choking Bart, he says, “And that horrible act of kid abuse grew to become certainly one of our beloved operating gags!”