NOTE: This article was picked up from alt.tv.simpsons. However, Chaim Keller contacted me and informed that he could not find this article in the Time Magazine archives. It is therefore possible that this article never actually appeared in the magazine, which would make this a 'hoax hoax'. Regardless of this, since the article is well-written and entertaining I decided to keep it available.
The following article was printed by Time Magazine to troll Simpsons fans:
Move Over Simpsons - Here Comes Something Cleaner!By Rebecca Smith
Time Magazine, August 1996.
The Simpsons' creator Matt Groening, has annouced late July that he is in the process of providing a "gentler, kinder, cartoon." -- And not to mention more educational. Fox has been under a lot of pressure lately from the FCC to carry more educational shows for children during it's "Fox Kids" time slots during the week. Although they tried to prove that their current educational shows (which rotate every few weeks in the same time slot) such as "The Animal Show" and "Rimba's Island" should be enough, the FCC gave it a no go.
"They must have two hours of dedicated educational programming to be considered in compliance with the new law" states Fred C. Carter of the FCC. So, to help FOX out, Matt Groening will be creating a NEW series for kids and adults alike that will be rich in educational, ethical, and religious values.
His new show will star a current Simpson's character that usually get's put in an unfavorable light by the male members of the Simpson Family. You guessed it, it's that loving, caring, God fearing father of two that everyone loves, Ned Flanders. Appropriately enough, the show will be called "The Flanders'." Also, the appointed Reverend in the Simpsons show (Known as Rev. Lovejoy to Simpsons' buffs) will have a key role in the Flanders show also.
Why is Mr. Groening doing all this? "Well, after hearing all the critism of how we seem to be bashing Christians in ['The Simpsons'], this is a way we can give back to those we have offended, as well as satify part of FOX's educational program requirement."
"The Flanders" will cover many real-world topics that all can learn from. Here is a sample of them that will arise in the upcoming 1997 season:
HOMOSEXUALITY - God's chosen few who will lead the country to love him. Also, contrary to popular belief, Homosexaulity is God approved. "Interesting tidbits like this uncovered by our contracted Reaserch team makes our new show all worthwhile" states Groening.
RACE RELATIONS - Their is only one Race: The Human Race. People with different skin colors are no different from anyone else.
HYGIENE - The importance of proper hygiene, especially in areas where no other educational program has dared to scrub. "Your butt should be jjust as clean as your teeth" chuckles Groening.
ETHICS - What's morally right or wrong. Adults can really learn from these episodes. One such topic deals with the Governent and it's Tax system which tells people it's not morally wrong to cheat on your taxes if you feel the governent hasn't done anything worthwhile for you. "It teaches 'No taxation without representation' to everyone who needs a dose of reality, and History at the same time. We're very versatile like that" says Groening.
RELIGION - Which faith is the real true faith? Learn about different religons such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, and cults such as the Montana Freemen, Branch Davidians, Jim Jones, Jerry Falwell Ministries, 700 Club, Satanism, and others. Educational fun for everyone of every faith!
SEX - It's made perfectly clear that sex should NEVER be had before marriage. It is God's gift that should be shared between two God fearing married couples. Under this topic, prostitution pops up frequently. Is it okay to frequent a Jezabel if she has already been Damned to hell by the Lord? Groening's research team's findings will be revealed in the pilot episode premiering in January 1997.
Other topics such as Nutrition, Male-Female relations, Dating, Health, and so on will defintily spice up educational TV as we know it. Other educational program producers are looking at what Matt's doing and are fiendishly trying to keep up, seeing the enormous potential. William Nye, an assocate producer for his NEA acclaimed science show "Bill Nye, The Science Guy" said "That Matt Groening guy is a [freakin] genuis! We are now trying to incorporate some of his ideas into our show. Our projected ratings should be through the G**Da**ed roof!"
PBS, known for it's excellent educational shows, is considering dropping the more traditional programs like Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, even Barney and Friends, unless they change their outdated approach to educating and entertaining children.
Associate Secretary to the Director of PBS, Kathy Clairol says: "We just have to do it. We've attended a private screening of Mr. Groening's new show, and it's just out-shines the [stuff] we carry in every way possible! We are now bidding for the Syndication rights after 'The Flanders' finishes it's first two seasons. In the meantime, we will try to work with the producers of our current shows to get them to join us in the 90s with new educational tactics that will appeal to TODAY'S kids as well as their parents."
"The Flanders" series premiere is scheduled for a date in early April. However, all will be able to tune into FOX in January to see two pilot episodes, that are sure to please children and adults alike. Mary Cunningham of the Child Welfare League attended the private screening. "Absolutely wonderful! This will win the hearts of many parents who have been looking for something like this! Something for today!"
Hewletta Packard-Bell of the NEA says "We have wasted no time in getting the NEA seal of approval on this."
Paul Reubens (bka Pee-Wee Herman), star or Pee-Wee's Playhouse attended the screening and had this to say: "I like it a lot. That part about Todd (Ned's Son) having a roblem with masturbation guilt really struck home with me. I think it also strucked[sic] something else too." He ran away with his sportcoat around his waist before being asked to explain his statement further.
So folks, it looks like we will have a winner. FOX says that if the new show gets higher ratings than the Simpsons, they will drop the Simpsons entirely, and will have Flanders in the old time slot, making it the first prime-time "real-world" educational cartoon in the history of television. Groening's final comment on this was "everything's going to be okily-dokily-doo, neighbor! The good Lord is on our side! Aaaaaaamen!"
Last updated on May 12, 1998 by Jouni Paakkinen (firstname.lastname@example.org)