The Sutherlands, from Ontario in Canada, decided to use their Halloween costumes of everyone’s favourite yellow family to put a COVID-19-related spin on the cartoon classic’s opening theme.
Social Isolation, Day 23
Kids: We're booooored! What can we do?
Wife *cleaning basement*: What are we ever going to do with these Simpsons Halloween costumes we only wore once?
— Joel A. Sutherland (@joelasutherland) April 8, 2020
In the clip, author Joel A. Sutherland and his family take on the various characters of The Simpsons clan including a family member posing as Bart Simpson and writing: “I will social distance” on a blackboard. The original intro shows Bart writing repeated lines, which change episode to episode, on a school chalkboard as part of his detention.
Joel told NME that the school chalkboard was the result of a “family collaboration.” He said: “We had to use what we had in the house, so we were all brainstorming ideas off of each other.”
The Sutherlands are creative elsewhere – from using a frankfurter sausage to emulate the glowing rod of uranium that Homer handles at his nuclear power plant workplace, to Maggie accidentally being scanned by a cashier while her worried mother (Marge) fears she’s lost her baby.
The recreation, which has more than 475,000 views on Twitter, is soundtracked by the original opening theme. It ends with the Sutherlands slumped on their sofa and making moves to high-five one another before remembering to avoid physical contact.
Joel told NME: “My family and I have been having a great time creating videos during the pandemic and couldn’t believe that yesterday’s post took off the way it has! The best part has been seeing how much joy and happiness it has brought to people around the world at a time when we need that the most.
“We honestly didn’t anticipate it would have this kind of reach, and are blown away. It’s a bit nerve-wracking too, to be honest.”
He continued: “It definitely helped with boredom, but it was more a great project to focus our energies on, instead of thinking about the unknowns with the virus.”
In other news, a Simpsons episode from two years ago, Heartbreak Hotel, sees Marge and Homer self-isolate, adding more fuel to the prescience of the long-running series.
NME’s Dan Stubbs noted in a recent article: “whether it’s evidence of Charlie Brooker-style Black Mirror techno-wizard sorcery on the part of the writers or proof of the old adage that if you throw enough shit at the wall some of it will stick is up to you. But here’s a weird thing.
“The second episode of the second-to-latest season of The Simpsons (season 30, broadcast in 2018) features Homer and Marge self-isolating some two years before any of us were unlucky enough to be familiar with the term.”