When The Simpsons joked of a theoretical Apprentice presidency way back in 2000, the idea was flippantly met with restrained giggles. Such a thing, at least 16 years ago, simply seemed too preposterous to ever actually happen. Yet here we are in 2016, fighting like hell against the normalization of the President-elect's rhetoric in the wake of what will arguably go down as the most shocking American election in history. But The Simpsons isn't even remotely interested in gloating.
In Sunday's episode "Havana Wild Weekend," Bart Simpson referenced the show's 2000 prediction while scribbling furiously on the infamous chalkboard during the opening credits. Bart's message? A stern one, devoid of the usual mockery: "Being right sucks."
Simpsons writer Dan Greaney told the Hollywood Reporter in March that the "throwaway line" on the 2000 episode "Bart to the Future" was intended to be a "warning" for the country. "And that just seemed like the logical last stop before hitting bottom," Greaney explained. "It was pitched because it was consistent with the vision of America going insane." The decision to make Lisa Simpson the former Apprentice host's successor, Greaney added, was a statement on what might happen should such a person make it to the White House.
"The important thing is that Lisa comes into the presidency when America is on the ropes, and that is the condition left by the Trump presidency," Greaney told THR. "What we needed was for Lisa to have problems that were beyond her fixing, that everything went as bad as it possibly could, and that's why we had Trump be president before her."