Barbara Bush was known for many things throughout her 92 years, but never as a fan of The Simpsons. The recently deceased former First Lady publicly slammed the series in an interview in 1990. While she revealed that she was a big fan of comedies like America's Funniest Home Videos, she stated that The Simpsons was the "dumbest thing she had ever seen." As a joke, the show's staff penned a letter to the First Lady in the voice of Marge Simpson, only to be shocked when they received an awesome letter back from Bush not long after:
That "P.S." at the end of the letter showed the late First Lady could take a joke and even hand one back to The Simpsons writers! It's pretty funny that Barbara Bush's compliment came not from watching the show, but from looking at one of the many pieces of memorabilia that were being sold throughout the early 90s. Bush had admitted in her interview with People that she only got a "sample" of the program before she made her comment, so perhaps seeing that wonderful camping scene was enough to convince her that she may have been wrong about America's Fox family. Knowing that only makes the story better, as it was clear Bush felt some guilt in trashing the program and wanted to make things right with the people who worked so hard on the show even though she didn't necessarily enjoy the humor.
Executive producer Al Jean's tweet only tells part of the story between The Simpsons and the Bush family, however, as while any bad blood between Barbara and the show had simmered with the late First Lady's note, President George Bush still had some things to say. The former President would later give a public speech and say that he would be working to ensure American families were more like The Waltons and less like The Simpsons. Not one to back down from political commentary, the show once again delivered a message to the White House in a short televised skit:
Executive producer for the series James L. Brooks said not long after that bit, he actually happened to meet the late Barbara Bush at a private dinner of which she and her husband were the guests of honor. Brooks, who had assumed all that happened between The Simpsons and the Bush family was all in good fun, approached The First Lady and after introducing himself quickly realized that things were not quite as cool as they seemed between them. Sometime after that encounter, the show would end its feud with the George and Barbara Bush in the 1996 episode "Two Bad Neighbors," in which the former President and Homer had an actual fight. Much like the role model she was in real life, Barbara Bush stepped in and forced her husband to apologize to Homer, bringing the two's rivalry to an end.
The Simpsons air on Fox Sundays at 8:00 p.m. ET as well as FXX throughout the week. Those looking for information on upcoming shows that are hoping to make a splash in 2018 can head over to our midseason premiere guide and summer premiere guide. And you can head to the next page to see Barbara Bush's other contributions to animated TV in the early 1990s.
While Barbara Bush may have initially had issues with The Simpsons' irreverent and sardonic humor, the First Lady was apparently okay with other animated characters, especially when the message they were delivering was loud, clear, and didn't have the words "damn" or "hell" in it. Back in 1990, both Barbara and George Bush agreed to present the anti-drug animated special Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue, which brought together classic cartoon characters such as the Ninja Turtles, Garfield, the Muppet Babies and more, all in an effort to show a teen how uncool drugs are. You can check out the first couple introducing the special below.
It's no surprise that neither Bart nor Lisa Simpson was present for the Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue special. And not just because they were two of the newest animated characters on TV at the time.
Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.
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