Hi. I’m Kevin Hayman. You might remember me from such blogs as “Why Trees are the Devil” and “No! Screw YOU!”
About ten years ago I stopped watching The Simpsons. I think it was the episode where they went to Africa and a giraffe was hiding in a prairie dog hole where I realized that they’d gone way off the rails. I stopped watching the new episodes, our local stations stopped playing it in syndication, and the show faded from my mind.
This week, FXX started the Simpsons Marathon and I’ve been watching when I’m home. Several things jumped out at me. First, the early seasons were far more cartoony in motion and expression. Second, the show was as funny as I hoped it was. Third, my writing was influence so much by The Simpsons that I’m surprised Matt Groening, Bill Oakley, and Josh Weinstein haven’t shown up at my house to beat me senseless.
It really sort of boggles my mind. I watched the show for years every time it was on. I can tell you numerous shows Troy McClure starred in. I still yell “I’ve had it with you people holding me back! I’m going to Clown College!” at random (and inappropriate) times. The show isn’t just an influence. It’s in my genes somewhere. It’s a part of my lizard comedy writing brain. And yet, I never list it as an influence on me and that bothers me. I think part of the reason is the way I felt so betrayed by the show. I felt like it let me down when it went down hill. I realize the people that make the show owe me nothing, but it’s hard to watch someone you love suffer like that. So what did I do? I left. Not only did I leave, I blocked it all out on some level because it hurt to much to look back.
So now here we are all these years later and the wounds have healed. I can open the shoe box full of photos of the good times and I can laugh again. I can appreciate what me and The Simpsons had and I can proudly say that I was heavily influenced in my comedy writing by the show. Now if you’ll leave the room, I’d like to be alone with the sandwich for a minute.
*Are you gonna eat it?