Hey hey hey Addictereenos!
So… once upon a time EA brought us a 4th of July update with some cool stuff. Among it all was the appearance of George Washington and the cherry tree. Being a history nerd/buff/major, I immediately called dibs on writing about him and then never got around to it. Week by week passed without my promised Mad Men of Springfield post.
Well, I won’t bore you with the details of my life/school/procrastination, but the long anticipated (by at least Alissa and Bunny) post is finally done and in yet another case of better late than never, I bring it to you. While this is no Mad Men (unless you’re including me), I will preface this all by saying this character has been voiced in the show by Harry Shearer, Dan Castellaneta and Hank Azaria. If that doesn’t qualify for a little madness, I don’t know what will.
George Washington is just one of those names that stands out in American history. No surprise as he was the country’s very first President. Throughout his life, he was a surveyor, a farmer, a military man and a politician. While the truth is he never cut down a cherry tree as a young boy or threw a silver dollar across the Potomac, he was well known for his honesty and physical strength. At 6 foot 2 inches, he would have been a giant of a man in the late 1700s. Arguably, the world and U.S. would be different places without his impact.
To see this American patriot in TSTO brings me great joy. Back when Lincoln was first introduced into the game, I immediately thought GW would be a great addition at some point. Thankfully, great minds at EA think alike and he was introduced during the 2014 July 4th update for 180 Donuts with his ironic cherry tree that provided a 2.75% bonus on all cash and XP. But why the heck would Washington be added to a game about the Simpsons? Well let’s take a look…
“Bart Gets an F” (S2:E1) is largely touted as the first appearance of George Washington.
The history major in me rankles at this. Clearly the scene shows the Declaration of Independence being read. While GW did have a part in the Declaration, he didn’t write it. He served as President of the convention and according to James Madison’s notes was mainly silent throughout not adding to ideas. He basically was there to ensure the job got done. Thomas Jefferson (with inputs from Benjamin Franklin) was the writer of it. I always think of this scene as showing Jefferson reading it. Just my opinion though. GW did later preside over a famous reading of the Declaration on July 9th, 1776 in Manhattan where he was preparing to defend it against the British. He didn’t even sign it. We won’t even get into the signing on the second of Jul, etc., etc. That’s an argument for Homer and Giuseppe.
In fairness, it could be Washington but I didn’t think the daydream of Bart’s showed anything conclusive. The biggest proof would be by comparing it to this famous painting of the signing of the Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull. I think we can all agree the Simpsons image looks like the honcho standing at the middle of the table.
Who just so happens to be Thomas Jefferson. GW wasn’t even in this picture. End rant here.
Appearances by great presidents don’t always have to be physical though. I love the moment in this same episode where Bart fails his test despite trying his best and even studying during a snow day. He fails but then compares it to George Washington’s surrender of Fort Necessity to the French in 1754. Mrs. K (we still miss you Edna) is so impressed by Bart’s acquired knowledge she gives him one point and a passing D minus. Woo hoo for obscure knowledge about a president!
Wow, lots of words, words, words already from me about President Washington. I’ll try to be more concise as we continue. In the show, I like to think GW’s first appearance in the “flesh” so to speak was in “Treehouse of Horror III” (S4:E5) as a zombie. I like the irreverence of Homer taking him out as well as Einstein and Shakespeare. You could also point out that his image appeared earlier in “Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington” (S3:E2). Our boy George’s likeness is seen on Mount Rushmore as an oil tycoon lobbies to drill Roosevelt’s nose. Typical lobbyist stuff, right?
In a show about an American family, it should come as no surprise that George Washington pops up a bunch. Here’s some quick references:
“Selma’s Choice” (S4:E13) – Duff Gardens has a ton of Disney puns including a Duff Hall of Presidents. Most remember this for rapping Abraham Lincoln but lest we forget, it is audioanimatronic George Washington that Bart pants. That last word is a total 80s verb you should look up as in “to PANTS someone”. GW may never be the same.
“I Love Lisa” (S4:E15) – The kids of Springfield honor American presidents. Ralph plays George Washington and is actually eloquent and amazing.
“Pray Anything” (S14:E10) – When a plumber causes the Simpsons’ drywall to break, the crack forms the shape of the famous painting of George Washington Crossing the Delaware.
“Mobile Homer” (S16:E13) – George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Andrew Jackson appear and convince Homer to spend the money that Marge had been saving up as a nest egg. Homer buys a mobile home and hilariousness ensues.
Treehouse of Horror XIX (S20:E4) – George and Abe kissing in a tree… F-I-C-T-I-O-N-eeeeeeeeeee. For more on this, check out my Lincoln post.
“Treehouse of Horror XX” (S21:E4) Mount Rushmore returns in “Dial ‘M’ for Murder or Press # to Return to Main Menu”
“The Nedliest Catch” (S22:E22) – just a bit of dialogue from Bart saying teachers and students are natural enemies, just like Washington and Lincoln… makes me chuckle every time.
“Politically Inept, with Homer Simpson (S23:E10) – yet another image of Mount Rushmore
“Treehouse of Horror XXIII” (S24:E2) – In the opening, Mayan gods destroy Earth. During their rampage, GW’s head is ripped off Mount Rushmore and made to kiss Lincoln. Me thinks the writers love this idea a bit too much.
“A Test Before Trying” (S24:E10) – When Bart is the last hope for Springfield Elementary to pass standardized testing and avoid closure, Bart actually tries studying. Is it any surprise we see him taking a gander at GW and Lincoln in his History book?
“Black-Eyed, Please” (S24:E15) – In the epitome of educational advertising, GW is seen advertising Buzz Cola next to a chopped down tree.
Even better than quick appearances, America’s first president has actually played a bigger part in several episodes. In “Lisa the Iconoclast” (S7:E16), Lisa the bookworm heads to the Springfield Historical Society to research the founder of her home town, Mr. Jebediah Springfield. When she blows into his fife that is on display, she discovers a hidden parchment written by Jebediah revealing he not only didn’t tame the famous wild buffalo but was actually a notorious bloodthirsty pirate by the name of Hans Sprungfield and died of infectious diphtheria. He was one of the evilest men of the 1780s and even tried to kill… wait for it… wait for it… GEORGE WASHINGTON!
Lisa tries to reveal the truth but is shutdown when her prime clue doesn’t turn out. Downhearted, Lisa is prepared to give up but is visited by the ghosts of JS and GW. George encourages her to keep digging. “We had quitters in the Revolution too. We called them Kentuckians!”
Lisa ends up proving Jebediah was a fraud and is prepared to tell all of Springfield at the 200th Birthday celebration but ends up realizing the myth of Springfield’s founder has value for the town’s pride and dignity. I bet GW’s ghost was mad at that but I’m sure Janey will make a great president lol.
As an interesting aside, the Kentuckian quote from this episode has apparently been used by people so much it has become considered something George Washington actually said. On the Mount Vernon web site, they actually made a point to debunk things he never said and this made the list. So scary great that The Simpsons popularity would potentially rewrite history.
The last George Washington appearance I’ll mention is in “Gone Maggie Gone” (S20:E13). The set-up: Marge goes blind looking at a solar eclipse and Homer accidentally surrenders Maggie to a Catholic convent (only in this show, right?). Lots more hilariousness but to get to GW, this particular convent has a mystery. Lisa finds out about a mysterious gem in the convent and is off to search for it Da Vinci Code style.
During her search, she finds out this info about the gem from Skinner and CBG: “Legend has it that on her deathbed, St. Teresa of Ávila had a vision of a jewel that would usher in an era of peace and harmony. She dispatched a team of nuns to the New World to seek this fabulous gem. They landed at what is now Philadelphia and used the timbers of their ship to construct a convent. The order flourished, never forgetting its sacred mission, but word about the gem got out and a group of high-ranking Freemasons led by Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and King George III staged a phony War of Independence to cover their search for the gem. Fleeing the violence, the nuns of St. Teresa’s left the colonies and settled here in Springfield.”
Wow… who knew the Revolutionary War was a sham? To find out if Lisa finds the “gem”, you just have to watch the episode. This IS a post about George Washington. So that about sums up the First POTUS’ contributions so far to Springfield. Zombie, pirate hater, gem seeker, Lincoln lover, face on a mountain. I for one am so thrilled to have added him to Wookieetown and loved his dialogue. Missed it? Alissa’s got you covered here. Here are GW’s tasks in TSTO:
|Get Fitted For a New Pair of Dentures||1hr||$105, 26xp||Dr. Hibbert’s Office|
|Write a Tell-All||4hrs||$260, 70xp||The Simpson House|
|Plan an Invasion of Britain||8hrs||$420, 105xp||The Simpson House|
|Try to Cut Down a Cherry Tree||12hrs||$600, 150xp||Outside|
|Hunt for Jebediah Springfield||24hrs||$1,000, 225xp||Outside|
Well my friends, that’s all this History major has to say on this subject. Hope you enjoyed the info. Apologies for the delay. Until next time, stay classy and all that jazz. Just remember to not be a Kentuckian unless you’re from there and that’s ok. Kentucky wasn’t a state during the American Revolution and was actually part of Virginia at the time. We all know Virginia is for lovers so all is well.
TTFN… Wookiee out!