Writer of Bart to the Future episode, aired almost exactly 16 years ago, says idea was consistent with vision of US going insane
It was intended, according to its creator, as a warning to America, a horrifying and fantastical vision of the future in which the US ludicrously had elected as its president Donald Trump.
But with the property billionaire now the favourite to gain the Republican nomination for the presidency, the episode of The Simpsons that in 2000 foresaw such a laughable outcome has begun looking unnervingly prescient.
A possible future Trump presidency, said the episodes writer Dan Greaney, just seemed like the logical last stop before hitting bottom. It was pitched because it was consistent with the vision of America going insane.
The episode, broadcast almost exactly 16 years ago on 19 March 2000, saw Bart offered a vision of his future in which he is a beer-swilling bum, while his sister Lisa has become president, following Trumps time in office.
As you know, weve inherited quite a budget crunch from President Trump, Lisa who describes herself as Americas first straight, female president tells her advisers from behind her Oval Office desk. How bad is it? The country is broke? How can it be?
The previous regime, she is told, made the mistake of investing in our nations children The balanced breakfast programme just created a generation of ultra-strong supercriminals. And midnight basketball just taught them to function without sleep.
Barts vision, he is told, is 30 years in the future, which would mean Trump is hoping to claim the White House a full 14 years ahead of Greaneys prediction.
He told the Hollywood Reporter, The important thing is that Lisa comes into the presidency when America is on the ropes and that is the condition left by the Trump presidency. What we needed was for Lisa to have problems that were beyond her fixing, that everything went as bad as it possibly could, and thats why we had Trump be president before her.
The Simpsons, he said, has always kind of embraced the over-the-top side of American culture and [Trump] is just the fulfilment of that.
In a separate brief animation, released by the Simpsons broadcaster Fox in July, Homer is paid to attend a Trump campaign rally (Do you care who the next president is? No? Come with me), where he is captured by rogue fronds of Trumps puzzling hairstyle before being dragged off by two security guards. The presidential candidates podium slogan reads: America, you can be my ex-wife!