Does Barack Obama speak Simpsons?


While it’s unlikely that the president would respond to a health care reform setback with a Homer-like “D’oh!”, or accompany a troop pullout from Afghanistan with a sly “Yoink!”, according to John Ortved — author of “The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History” — we’ve all been affected by the goggle-eyed family.


“I really believe that we, as a culture, speak Simpsons,” says Ortved. “‘The Simpsons’ has been so widely watched and is so resonant as a program that its irony and humor has seeped into our sense of humor and our sense of storytelling. The chief speechwriter for the president is 28 years old. I’m sure his sense of story is shaped in some way, even if it’s a small way, by ‘The Simpsons.’”


Ortved’s new book traces the show’s history from Matt Groening’s initial crude sketches to its current status, and lets its creative minds speak for themselves in an oral history format.


According to Ortved, “I thought the voices of the writers and cast and producers involved, guys like Conan O’Brien, are so outsized that I really wanted the reader to hear more from them than from me.”

John Ortved reading
Tonight, 7, Gershman Y
Free with reservations