On Sunday December 4th, Joan Rivers guest-starred on The Simpsons
(Sunday 8:00 p.m. ET), voicing the character of a feisty, sharp-tongued
talent agent who resurrects Krusty the Klown’s career and – you guessed it – his
love life. The frank sexual dialogue warranted a TV-14 rating, but the episode
was rated TV-PG. Fox network executives surely know that almost nothing that
comes out of Joan Rivers’ mouth is rated PG; but they chose to rate the program
inappropriately anyway, thus blindsiding parents and children with crude
content. For inaccurate ratings and content inappropriate for the Family Hour ,
The Simpsons has been named Worst TV Show of the Week.
In this episode, the network that airs Krusty’s show fires him – literally, from
a cannon. His long-time agent and friend quickly drops him thereafter. Desperate
to resuscitate his career, Krusty accepts help from the Simpsons, who take him
to washed-up talent agent Annie Dubinsky (voiced by Joan Rivers).
Krusty and Annie have a sordid history together. She apparently had instructed
him to change his comedic style from political to slapstick clown humor. Annie
recounts, “Every night, he had them rolling in the aisles, followed by a roll in
the hay with me.”
Marge replies, “This is the part where I get the kids out of the room.”
“Oh, grow up,” Annie snaps back. “Today's kids are less sensitive than an Army
condom. They see more on TV than my mother did on her wedding night. And they
don't complain about it for the next 50 years.”
Krusty eventually dropped Annie as his agent -- right after they finished having
sex. “I can only tell the truth right after sex,” Krusty explains, “But all
during sex, I was thinking it.”
Krusty begs Annie to take him on as a client. She relents and books live gigs
where he recreates the experience of his children’s show for adult audiences,
explaining, “It worked like magic for Pee-Wee Herman after his setback.”
Unfamiliar with Pee-Wee’s sex scandal (in which he was caught masturbating in a
theater showing pornographic movies), Annie whispers the details into Krusty’s
“That’s all? I did that while you were on the phone,” Krusty shrugs.
The success of the live show garners a meeting with execs at the premium cable
network, HBOWtime. “We pay for everything with soft porno and boxing,” the exec
“Wait a minute, there’s soft porno?” Krusty asks incredulously.
have undergone a strange evolution over the years. As Fox’s Sunday night line-up
became dominated by the Seth MacFarlane’s shows – Family Guy, American Dad,
and The Cleveland Show – those programs’ rampant vulgarity has made
the once-controversial The Simpsons into Fox’s Ned Flanders by
comparison. In fact, on many Sunday nights The Simpsons is Fox’s only
TV-PG rated show. On this night, however, the network – which rates its own
shows – got it wrong. Parents probably weren’t expecting their children to hear
about condoms and pornography. And if that’s what Joan meant when Annie said
“grow up,” then surely many parents would have rather their kids stay young for
just a bit longer.
For a misrated episode containing frank sexual dialogue, The Simpsons has
been named Worst TV Show of the Week.
Parents Television Council,
Clean Up TV Now, Because our children are watching, The
nation's most influential advocacy organization, Protecting
children against sex, violence and profanity in
entertainment, Parents Television Council Seal of Approval,
and Family Guide to Prime Time Television
are trademarks of the Parents Television Council.