‘The Simpsons’ Tackle Jewish Intermarriage

By Nathan Burstein

Published January 13, 2010, issue of January 22, 2010.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Twenty seasons, 450 episodes, 23 Emmy Awards — and it all led up to a story line about Jewish intermarriage.

Romance blooms: ‘The Simpsons’ Krusty the Clown marries his non-Jewish co-host.
FOX
Romance blooms: ‘The Simpsons’ Krusty the Clown marries his non-Jewish co-host.

“The Simpsons” celebrated two decades on television January 10, airing a celebrity-packed episode that skewered long-standing targets, such as the show’s nuclear power plant and patriarch Homer Simpson’s obsession with doughnuts. In a jab at those who would tinker with the long-running series, the episode’s plot is set in motion by meddlesome TV executives who force the show’s favorite burned-out entertainer, Krusty the Clown (born Herschel Shmoikel Pinchas Yerucham Krustofski), to add a new co-host to his children’s after-school TV program.

Despite initial tensions, Krusty soon hits it off romantically with the sidekick, Princess Penelope, voiced by “The Devil Wears Prada” star Anne Hathaway.

The pair’s wedding plans generate pointed ambivalence in Krusty’s father — long familiar to fans as Rabbi Hyman Krustofski — who can’t quite restrain himself while performing the ceremony. “Friends, loved ones,” says the rabbi, voiced by Jackie Mason, “we are gathered here today to marry a Jew and — a Congregationalist? Is that even a thing?”

Following an interruption by Bart Simpson — who reveals that he has locked a monkey in the synagogue’s “Torah room” — the ceremony is called off, only for a distraught Krusty to follow his beloved to Paris for a reunion. Although she hasn’t converted, Princess Penelope reveals her appreciation for Krusty’s Jewish roots, proclaiming him her “Borscht Belt baby” in the episode’s closing scene.

Krusty, who had a midlife bar mitzvah ceremony in a 2003 episode titled “Today, I Am a Clown,” expresses satisfaction that sounds Yiddish. As the pair floats down the Seine, he declares, “I’d rather be a happy shnook than a noble shlumpf.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.