So, it’s nearing the end of February and y’all know what that means, right? Fat Tuesday! The day it’s ok to be fat on Tuesday. Ok, maybe not that but it does mean that Mardis Gras aka the “Carnival season” is coming soon. Whether just celebrating the day before the Christian Ash Wednesday (1st day of Lent) or encompassing the entire period from Kings day (Epiphany) to Fat Tuesday, it is pretty well known for costumes, masks, defiance of social conventions, parades, and beads, can’t forget the beads. Not sure how far back the beads go but the actual event can be traced back to Medieval history.
Reader Seapeach1 had asked if we’d talk about it here at Addicts and I thought it was a great idea. While I doubt EA will tie in this event with the game, it’s always nice to revisit Simpsons episodes and like Bart Simpson says, “Mardi Gras, man. When the Big Easy calls, ya gotta accept the charges.”
The first thing I thought about when I started writing this article was Season 4, Episode 2: A Streetcar Named Marge. This episode isn’t about Mardi Gras but in the musical Marge stars in (based on A Streetcar Named Desire), she does sort of sing about it.
“I thought my life would be a Mardi Gras,
A never ending party – ha!
I’m a faded southern dame without a dime.”
The song most people remember from this episode is the one about New Orleans. Definitely a non-flattering little ditty. In fact, when this episode aired, so many folks got upset, Fox Broadcasting publicly apologized. This episode is a fave of Matt Groening. I’m betting he probably likes the Marlon Brando movie too. Either that, or he likes the irreverence. Maybe both?
For our first glimpse of actual Mardi Gras (some Germans call it Fastnacht), we fast forward 4 seasons to “The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase” (S8:E24). This episode is non-canon but still a really funny one. You know something is hilarious when the writer’s admit they intentionally wrote it badly and you still laugh a bunch. In this episode, we get to see 3 spin-off ideas for The Simpsons. The first is Wiggum P.I. and set in the Big Easy aka New Orleans. Any guess what’s going on at the same time Wiggum is tracking down Ralph’s kidnapper?
Skinner: “Eh, it’s not really a party town though if I remember correctly they occasionally hold a function called Marty Something.”
Supposedly Seymour hails from N’awlins but it WAS 42 years ago. Chances are he forgot a thing or two. Our next Shrove Tuesday fun is in Season 14, Episode 6: The Great Louse Detective. This episode is cool because we actually get a chance to see Sideshow Bob as a “good” guy. Someone is out to kill Homer and Bob is recruited to help find out who. Homer is elected King of Mardi Gras in the episode.
So silly that the voting booth is a stand in the Kwik-E-Mart.
SPOILER ALERT: They find the killer. Not gonna tell you who it is though because I think watching Simpsons episodes is a great thing to do plus I think it’s funny to say spoiler alert and then not spoil anything.
Funniest part of this episode for me is finding out Cletus was the previous Mardis Gras King and that he had to abdicate his crown for marrying a commoner aka Brandine. Kinda sweet that he’d do it all again even if he does miss the Royal Crown Cola. Anyone else besides me think it tastes better than Poke and Cepsi?
Gotta love that Springfield has its own parade for the festival too. NERD NOTE: According to the 2014 New Orleans Mardi Gras parade schedule, there are 62 parades total from February 15th to March 4th. My favorite is easily the “Krewe of Chewbacchus”.
Our last Martedí Grasso (Italian) episode is Season 20, Episode 12: No Loan Again, Naturally. Right at the start we get some Fat Tuesday action with a party at the Simpsons’ House.
Homer: “Oh Mardi Gras, Oh Mardi Gras, you see a lot of (word that rhymes with noobies).”
Perfect theme for Mardi Gras a la Homer: Super-jet dinosaur fun monkeys. Apparently the yearly Simpsons Mardis Gras Party has been a tradition since 2 days before Bart was born. It definitely looks like a hedonistic time to be had.
Literally anyone who’s anyone in Springfield is there except Ned Flanders.
Unfortunately the cost of the extravagance results in the foreclosure of the Simpsons house which is then bought and rented back to them by said Flanders who then evicts them and changes his mind, the end. Kinda wonder if Ned actually still owns the place.
And there you have it. Mardi Gras (the Swedes call it Fastan) and The Simpsons. All are fun episodes. You got any big plans for Fat Tuesday? Been to the actual festival in New Orleans? Do we really need another parade item in Springfield? Want to see more random stuff like this? Sound off in the comments.
I think this whole post can be summed up by a hilarious joke I found on the interent: “Mardi Gras reminds me how much inflation changes things. Beads used to buy you the island of Manhattan, now you only get two coconuts.”
TTFN… Wookiee out!
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