Simpsons Did It!: “Itchy & Scratchy & Marge”


Every so often, The Simpsons would do an episode based in or around Itchy and Scratchy Studios and trot out Roger Meyers (voiced by late Alex Rocco), where they parodied cartoons and how they are made, and the creators snuck Simpsonized versions of themselves into scenes.

Also, we got today’s episode.

I think that South Park is often an overly preachy show, and I can’t really watch it anymore as a result.  Well, that, and the over-repetition of some really foul and disgusting joke in many episodes that I didn’t find funny the first time bugged me a whole hell of a lot.  But the South Park movie had one thing right:  parents should take more responsibility for their kids and not blame entertainment for the little monsters they may be.

I bring that up because this episodes puts the blame for violent child behavior strictly on cartoon violence.  Ignoring how meta it is that The Simpsons itself is a cartoon displaying this violence, there’s a part of me that just thinks that maybe if Marge had taught better morals, or even blamed her kids for misbehavior, I might have viewed her as personally a more responsible parent.

But where’s the fun of that?  Homer isn’t the only member of the family capable of drawing large crowds of poorly-drawn followers, even if all Moe wants is the return of Wagon Train.

Fun fact: outside episodes about the cartoon studio itself, most of the time the only reason Itchy and Scratchy appear on The Simpsons in the early years was because the producers needed to fill time and were out of material.  They had other techniques, but random Itchy and Scratchy cartoons was one of them.

I suppose we should give Marge credit for changing the world, or at least Springfield, resulting in a town where suddenly the kids go out to play because Itchy and Scratchy, give or take a blue-haired squirrel, are no fun anymore.  Sure, its temporary, but she did it.

And I always have found it a little odd that violence is considered OK as entertainment for all ages.   I bring this up because no one on the show seems to see the weird disconnect between a classic piece of Renaissance art and the disemboweling of cartoon characters being lumped together as the same problem for parents.  Well, Marge and Springfield Elementary don’t see the connection the way Marge’s crusading group and Dr. Marvin Monroe do.  But the kids will see the statue whether they want to or not, cartoon violence returns, and Maggie will try to kill Homer again before she eventually takes to protecting him in future episodes.

And Nelson will never finish whitewashing that fence.

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