When I compiled my list of the top five references to Jimmy Carter in the Simpsons, I half jokingly said I would compile a list of top five Gerald Ford references for next week. Well, it turns out, according to my research, there are actually only five references to Gerald Ford in the Simpsons. And, to be fair, two of them are pretty crappy. I recommend you jump to number three on this list. Nevertheless, without further adieu, here is a list of all five references to Gerald Ford, the United States Thirty Eighth President, the first of many that is known to be left handed, and, as of this date, the only President to never be elected, since all others that became President by succession were at least elected Vice President.
Number 5: Episode 4F19 season eight episode twenty three “Homer’s Enemy”
In this one, Homer shows his new co-worker Frank Grimes a picture of him with Gerald Ford. This is a reference to an episode that may or may not appear higher up on the list (spoiler: it will). It’s not much of a reference since it’s just a callback to another reference. The whole point of this episode is that Frank Grimes represents a real life person in the Simpson’s world, and the writers show how they are aware how unrealistic Homer’s life is, and how a real person could not survive. Grimes finds it ridiculous that someone so stupid as Homer has met a former President and been in outer space, and he’s right, it is. The picture of Ford isn’t exactly funny in itself, but it works within the collection of self referential humour that appears in this episode.
Number 4: Episode 4F11 season eight episode fifteen “Homer’s Phobia”
A collection of Presidential campaign badges (or buttons) are shown, including one for Gerald Ford.
there are quite a few good ones really. shame I can’t include them all. it looks like it says ‘imbeciles for ford’. fairly amusing
Number 3: Episode 8F04 season three episode five “Homer Defined”
There is nearly a meltdown in the power plant. During the crisis, the following exchange between Burns and Smithers occurs:
Burns: 7-G? Good God, who’s the safety inspector there?
Smithers: Homer Simpson, sir.
Burns: Simpson, eh? Good man? Intelligent?
Smithers: Actually, sir, he was hired under Project Bootstrap.
Burns: Thank you, President Ford.
To be fair, they could have used any Presidents name here. I suppose Ford just fit the right time for when about Homer would have been hired. Still, I think it makes it funnier than if they used Nixon, Reagan, or even Carter. Project bootstrap is never explained, and rightfully so.
Number 2: Episode 3G03 season eight episode thirteen “Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious”
Season Eight apparently loves Gerald Ford. Here Gerald Ford is invited onto Krusty’s show to talk about the boy scouts of America. Apparently all the good Presidents turned the show down. While he talks, Krusty makes faces behind him and the word “boring” flashes up. Ford notices this
Ford: What are you…
Krusty: Uh, how’s your wife, Nancy?
Krusty: Who cares?
God, there’s so much here. The fact that Ford is talking about Boy Scouts is funny. The fact that a good President wouldn’t agree to go on, but Krusty mistaking Ford’s wife for Reagan’s wife and, when correcting, simply shouting “who cares?” is hilarious. An amazing exchange
Number 1: Episode 3F09 season seven episode thirteen “Two Bad Neighbors”
I told you this one would come up later. George Herbert Walker Bush moves in opposite the Simpsons. Homer and Bush feud throughout the whole episode. Eventually Bush moves out, and who should move in his place but former President Gerald Ford. I was hoping to find a video, but the audio and transcript will have to do.
Ford: Hi! Pleased to meet you, I just moved in. My name is Gerry Ford.
Homer: Former President Gerald Ford? Put her there! I’m Homer Simpson!
Ford: Say, Homer, do you like football?
Homer: Do I ever!
Ford: Do you like nachos?
Homer: Yes, Mr. Ford.
Ford: Well, why don’t you come over and watch the game, and we’ll have nachos? And then, some beer.
Homer: Ooh! Gerry, I think you and I are going to get along just –
[they both trip]
For the lack in quantity, the quality of this one certainly makes up for it. It is probably one of the best appearances of any President on the Simpsons ever. Ford is pretty famous for being clumsy, and I do remember reading that part of the reason he was selected to be Vice President was because he was one of the nicest and most agreeable people in the House of Representatives. Therefore, the fact that him and Homer immediately get along and then both fall over really works.
Well, I don’t think I’ll be able to get any more lists out of Presidents on the Simpsons. Maybe one more list, but I’ll save it for the moment. The majority of Presidents just don’t get mentioned enough, though perhaps I will do a best of list somewhere along the line.