That’s the word from executive producer Al Jean, who disclosed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that last Sunday’s brief stab at FNC was “slipped in” just days before the show aired. He admitted it was ordered by ‘Simpsons’ creator Matt Groening as a calculated response to Bill O’Reilly’s criticism of the show earlier in the week.
“It was inserted late because we did the first joke [a week earlier] and Bill O’Reilly got upset and called [the characters] ‘pinheads’,” Jean explained. He then took his own shot at O’Reilly. “If you’re calling cartoon characters ‘pinheads’,” Jean said, “what does that make you? Matt Groening wanted to do a response to O’Reilly so we slipped this in.”
Both of the FNC jibes seen recently on ‘The Simpsons’ made use of a fictional Fox News helicopter. This past Sunday, a slogan on the chopper read: “Fox News: Unsuitable for Viewers Under 75.” A week earlier, the chopper slogan was even more pointed. It said, “Fox News: Not Racist But #1 With Racists.”
After that initial salvo, O’Reilly had a comment of his own the next day on his FNC show, ‘The O’Reilly Factor,’ slapping the show with one of his “pinhead” labels (as opposed to “patriot,” which is the opposite of “pinhead” in O’Reilly’s world).
Now, though, with each side getting their licks in, Jean says ‘The Simpsons’ will give it a rest. On whether the show would take a third poke at FNC, Jean said, “I think at that point you’re becoming stale. I believe that something is only funny twice.”
Oh, well. This feud was fun while it lasted. What do you think of it? Are you sorry to see it end? Or is it time for ‘The Simpsons’ to put it to rest and move on?