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Long-running TV cartoons, “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy” love to reference some of our of favorite classic books. Here are some awesome (and hilarious!) references from the shows:
#1. Homer Simpson explains to his daughter, Lisa, the REAL meaning of Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick”…
#2. …and then, Peter enjoys a meal with Captain Ahab’s arch nemesis.
#3. The Simpsons gives you William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies” in 60 seconds. PLEASE NOTE: This is NOT a “Survivor” spoof.
#4. Thomas Pynchon, author of “Gravity’s Rainbow” and known for being quite the societal recluse, drops by “The Simpsons.”
#5. Family Guy uses the Bronte sisters (Charlotte, Emily and Anne) to ease the pain after Chris eclipses his sister, Meg, by earning the opportunity to introduce President Obama at a school assembly.
#6. Hamlet in 5 minutes and 46 seconds, courtesy of Homer Simpson. Where was this when I was in school?
#7. Bart and Nelson as Mark Twain’s famous duo, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn (respectively).
#8. Simpson’s baby, Maggie, breaks her legendary silence, speaking as “Maggie Roark” (based on Howard Roark from Ayn Rand’s 1943 novel “The Fountainhead”) in an episode (Four Great Women and a Manicure) rife with literary references.
#9 J.D. Salinger’s Holden Caulfield calls Peter out as a phony.
#10. Peter’s day dreaming gives us Lady Macbeth in space… wrestling a bear. Why doesn’t she need a bowl over her head? Though, that’s probably not the biggest creative license being taken here…
#11. Lisa reads Bart Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” in its entirety, featuring James Earl Jones. Very cool! Click here.
#12. An alternative ending to the Wizard of Oz, courtesy of Family Guy. AWKWARD!
#13. Stewie, inspired by George Bernard Shaw’s classic play “Pygmalion,” channels his inner Henry Higgins as he attempts to transform Eliza into a lady for her birthday party.
#14. When the “Drunk Clam” gets new management, the bathroom reading gets an upgrade - much to Quagmire’s dismay!
#15. Homer becomes mayor of New Springfield in an episode titled “A Tale of Two Springfields” - a nice shout out to the Dickens classic.
#16. Family Guy takes on J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy with a look at what would happen if Sauron lost his contact…
#17. Stewie challenges the notion of rappers being poets… We wonder what William Wordsworth would think of some of Kayne’s lyrics.
And last, but certainly not least (!), #18. Millhouse shares his thoughts on falling in love, “It was just like Romeo and Juliet, only it ended in tragedy.”
Copyright © 2011, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.