St Patrick’s Day Simpsons Special First Ireland Release
St Patrick’s Day has been adopted as a worldwide cultural day of celebration, it has even caught the attention of America’s most famous family.
The origins of the annual feast day have been somewhat mired in recent years by the waving of huge green plastic shamrocks and copious bouts of drinking Guinness; never mind that the traditional colour for St Patrick’s Day is blue, and that up until 30 years ago, all pubs were shut on the national holiday in Ireland.
However, as the Guinness marketing slogan claims: “Everyone’s Irish on March 17th,” and so it comes as no surprise that the latest non-Irish reveller to jump on the St Paddy’s bandwagon is Homer Simpson.
In a world first, an episode of The Simpsons is to be premiered outside of the US, as the UK and Ireland will be the very first to see the St Patrick’s Day special on Sky1 tonight. In 20 years and over 400 episodes of The Simpsons, tonight will be the first ever not to give priority viewing to US audiences.
The episode in question, In The Name Of The Grandfather portrays the Simpsons taking a trip to the Emerald Isle only to discover that the Irish are too busy working to go drinking anymore. Homer and Grampa end up buying a local Irish pub and recruiting the dependable help of Moe to get the Irish drinking culture back on track.
Typically tongue-in-cheek, the episode doesn’t fail to step on some potentially hazardous topics in the name of comedy which include drunkenness and two Irish men beating up a Scot.
Al Jean, the show’s executive producer said he was unphased by how the episode would be received in Ireland: “I’m Irish American and I know Irish people have an excellent sense of humour so we weren’t very worried,” he told The Daily Telegraph.
Mr Jean said that the next bit of globe trotting the Simpsons would do was likely to include a trip to the Middle East: “The premise will be that the Christians, the Jews and Muslims are united in that they all get mad at Homer. It’s the only thing they can agree on”.
The special will be aired tonight in the UK and Ireland on Sky1 and Sky1 HD at 7.30pm, and in America next week.