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As The Simpsons makes its way to a monumental Season 27, it is (at the moment) doing so without the vocal talents of Harry Shearer. The door is potentially open for other actors and comedians to step in and show off their Shearer-aping talents, and one of those people trying for the job is a candidate in another field entirely: Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz. Check out his audition tape below.
Okay, so this isn’t a legitimate audition tape, as Cruz did it as a goof for Buzzfeed. Because if there’s any way to appeal to the kids these days, it’s through a Buzzfeed video related to The Simpsons. Generation X had Rock the Vote, and now this generation has…fake audition videos. That’s progress-a-diddly-doodly.
But let’s take a look at Cruz’s untapped voiceover capabilities anyway, because it’s not often that politicians actually show up for a voice role on the long-running value-skewing show. Even though he’s just kidding around, Cruz barely puts forth any real effort to sound like characters like Homer, just repeating lines that someone presumably wrote down for him, and maybe showed him through a clip just before he recorded this. (It’s possible Cruz is or was a Simpsons fan, as he was of college age when it first debuted, but I doubt his growing campaign push has “Sunday Funday” on the schedule.) That said, there would be something rather amazing about Cruz replacing Yeardley Smith in voicing Lisa for an episode, perhaps around April Fool’s Day, or if he adopted speaking like Mr. Burns throughout his candidacy.
And political affinities aside, the existence of this picture is kind of amazing in and of itself.
In the long run, this video could get Cruz on the show for a cameo, if nothing else. Politicians don’t usually play themselves in Springfield, and we can all remember how the show threw the former Prez George H.W. Bush under the bus for his and wife Barbara’s criticisms of the show in the early 1990s. Tony Blair did it, though.
The hope is still out there that Harry Shearer will return to The Simpsons to voice the plethora of characters he’d otherwise be leaving behind. In the meantime, perhaps Buzzfeed will rope other potential Presidential nominees for similar videos. We assume if Donald Trump made something like this, he would probably just talk about how much of a criminal Bumblebee Man is.