The modern landscape of American entertainment is filled with commentary on the state of the union. Viewers turn to The Daily Show instead of Fox or CNN, satirical films such as Wag the Dog, cartoons like The Simpsons, or controversial action dramas similar to 24 in order to learn more about current events in the United States. Popular culture is educating America more than the nightly news, aiding viewers in their quest to understand the American political system.
On April 19, 1987, twenty-nine years ago to date, one of America’s most beloved cartoon families sprang to life on the Tracy Ullman show. What started as a short comedy sketch, soon bloomed into a full series and nation-wide sensation, calling enormous amounts of attention to the Simpson family. But what is it about the yellow cartoons that draw such commanding attention? For nearly three decades, the Simpsons have lived the American dream in Springfield, pioneering the age of satirical comedies that give you more commentaries on life as we know it than you could know what to do with.
Over the years, the UPK team has published a series of books featuring the head honcho of Springfield himself, Homer Simpson, and how the actions in his life, among other satirical outlets reflect the U.S. political system. From theories in politics to popular culture, the insights of these books demonstrate the crucial tie between satire and modern American politics. Check out the series below to learn more: