The Simpsons might be television’s longest-running primetime scripted series, and yes, its creators have won fistfuls of Emmy awards — but they’re still not immune to the charms of a good fart joke.
Burlington-based film school student Katie Hemming found that out firsthand when her entry into Global Television’s Simpsons “couch gag contest” was personally selected by the show’s writers to be animated and used in an episode airing this month.
Fans of the show know the longstanding gag well, when the Simpson family runs into their home and flops down on the couch — usually to a bunch of wacky set pieces or jokes. Hemming’s version was simple enough: the family runs in to find their living room covered in bubble wrap. They spend some time gleefully popping it (as we’re all known to do) before jumping on the bubble-wrapped covered couch — which predictably elicits a chain reaction farting sound from underneath Homer.
Hemming’s version actually came in second place in the fan-voted contest, behind Oakville native Ray Savaya’s Canadian-themed entry. “The writers of The Simpsons liked mine more, so they decided to air mine too,” Hemming told CBC Hamilton. “I entered on a whim and didn’t think anything of it.”
“Now I’m part of the legacy — and that’s pretty cool.”
Savaya earned a trip to Hollywood to meet with the show’s creators with his winning entry, as well as an autographed DVD, a signed script, and an animation still from his couch gag. The voice of Lisa Simpson Yeardley Smith also hung out with him for almost half an hour.
Hemming wasn’t lucky enough to snag a trip, but her consolation prize is still pretty great: a season one DVD, an animation still from her couch gag and a “Simpsonized” sketch of herself done by the show’s animators.
Her family and friends all know her episode is running on April 13 at 8 p.m. — because her mom is acting as one of her biggest supporters and won’t stop telling people about it.
“My mom is making a huge deal of it,” she said. “She thinks it’s really cool.”