A full sixteen years ago, The Simpsons predicted that Donald Trump – reality TV star and notoriously sexist billionaire tycoon – would become the leader of the free world.
In the episode ‘Bart to the Future,’ which was broadcast in March 2000, Lisa takes the top job and is shown sitting in the Oval office, surrounded by advisors. She says:
‘We’ve inherited quite a budget crunch from President Trump’ – as can be seen in the clip below.
In March, The Simpsons writer Dan Greaney spoke of the prediction:
“It was a warning to America… And that just seemed like the logical last stop before hitting bottom. It was pitched because it was consistent with the vision of America going insane. What we needed was for Lisa to have problems that were beyond her fixing, that everything went as bad as it possibly could, and that’s why we had Trump be president before her.”
Very comforting indeed.
Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons also commented on the ridiculousness of picking Donald Trump to appear as president in the show.
“We predicted that he would be president back in 2000 – but (Trump) was of course the most absurd placeholder joke name that we could think of at the time, and that’s still true…It’s beyond satire.”
It sure is absurd, but unlike The Simpsons, what is really going on is far from fictional.
More recently, in 2015, another episode titled ‘Trumptastic Voyage’ featured a scene where Trump travels down an escalator as Homer stands behind him, and people gather around cheering. The scene was designed to mock the actual entrance Trump made last year to announce his candidacy. Trump was accused of hiring actors to cheer for him, and in the Simpsons scene, those cheering can be seen holding placards which read ‘PAID.’
As the scene unfolds, Homer is shown pondering to himself what would happen if he managed to touch Trump’s hair. He is heard thinking “I’m right behind him, I’m not supposed to touch it directly but I can’t help it. If I touch it will it heal my baldness?” Homer then disappears into his hair and it all becomes rather surreal.
Still, probably not as surreal as many feel about Donald Trump as a real-life president.