Speaking of cartoons, it only occurred to me a couple days ago, oddly enough, that maybe I really did cause a joke to be used on The Simpsons.
I wrote in the Brown Film Bulletin circa 1991 that novelist Chaim Potok’s name sounds Klingon, and Krusty the Clown said the same thing in 2003 (in the extra-Jewish episode “Today I Am a Clown”). What with various Ivy League humor writers having ties to the Simpsons writers, doesn’t it seem more likely that they saw a Bulletin at some point (possibly even a copy belonging to my fellow Bulletineer Christine Caldwell, back when she was my roommate and worked with future Simpsons writer Ian Maxtone-Graham at National Lampoon) and half-remembered it a decade later than that this extremely obscure joke was independently invented twice?
Not that the latter is impossible (Chaim Potok does sound like a Klingon name), nor do I want royalties from them or anything, but somehow back in 2003 it didn’t even occur to me to think there could be an actual causal connection rather than a mere coincidence. I must have become less humble over the past seven years…
P.S. This hypothesized chain of comedy-making events is less interesting than Christine’s resume-enhancing script for a sketch about an Axl Rose Christmas album being ripped off by a prominent late-night comedy show (complete with the idea of a Slash Hanukkah album bonus if you call and order now), but that’s a story for her to tell. Show biz people are no good at all.
P.P.S. And speaking of show biz, I still need an extroverted believer in macroeconomics to make the case for macro’s relevance (about seven minutes of comments followed by q&a) at this coming Thursday’s 8pm Debate at Lolita Bar against a libertarian who says macro’s all bunk, so e-mail me if you’re willing and able. Unless you Keynesian/welfare-statist/Krugman types are all chicken, of course. You’re not chicken, are you? (Note: This is the first time I have deployed this tactic for recruitment purposes. We’ll see how it goes.)