Anthony Bourdain Inspired by The Simpsons

By Karen

About The Simpsons, Anthony Bourdain once wrote on eGullet: Far and away the smartest funniest thing on television – and the font of all truth and wisdom.

As I watched a still-mellow Bourdain tearing through the U.S. Southwest in a borrowed BMW in the latest episode of No Reservations, I noticed him invoking The Simpsons several times. Has having a child put him in touch with his inner Bart?

First, in Indio, Calif., while he was watching a documentary called Romance and Sex Life of the Date, he was dead-on with one of Homer’s lecherous sighs, even though in the end he dismissed the film in true Bourdain fashion as “not as good as Debbie Does Durian.”

At Cooperstown, Alice Cooper’s restaurant in Phoenix, while eating Randy Johnson’s Big Unit (an incredibly long hot dog), he briefly went into one of Homer’s typically donut-inspired trances, muttering, “Ummm, must rebel against parents, must wear only black.”

Homer's Dream Donut

Homer's Dream Donut

He also let his inner Bart shine through a couple of times, as in Texas when he cruelly challenged newly returned cameraman Jerry (who apparently had been traumatized by the Beirut episode) to eat a 72 oz. steak in 60 minutes, then sat there gloating as Jerry stuffed himself, but failed. Welcome back!

Then when he toured a desert facility housing a huge preserved bomb, he revealed antipathy toward the Swiss, which he just explained on his blog. Reaching for the bomb’s launch button in true Bart style, he said, “Eidelweiss this, you yodeling freaks!”

Then, in a shameless play on Homer’s description of the French as “cheese-eating surrender monkeys,” he called the Swiss, “neutral, cheese-eating, peace-monkey Cuckoo-clock makers.”

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but I’ve always expected Homer Simpson would someday do Bourdain, not the other way around.

3 Responses to Anthony Bourdain Inspired by The Simpsons

  1. Daniel says:

    Tony is definitely mellowing. He needs a little drama or something to perk him up. Maybe if he and Samantha Brown got together for a couple of shows there would be a cosmic transfer of perkiness and things would get back to the good old days. Anyway, just a suggestion from us at

  2. Bob says:

    Tony has always sprinkled “Simpsons” tid bits in his work.
    From his books to his show.

    MMMMM PORK. Seems like he and homer were separated at birth.

    Going though his back material, IE ” A Cook Tour” and the books. Its all in there.

    Like Finding Nancy, Just need to look under the skin.

    I have been really wondering myself when the braintrust on the Simpsons would pick up Tony and invite him to Springfield. Considering the counter culture icons that have been on that show he would be a slam dunk.

    As for his Hatred of the swiss I will let the master explain in his own words.

    Maybe it has something to do with Helmut, the Swiss/German barber I had to go to as a child. He had one of those wall murals of Lake Geneva with snow capped alps in the background — and I always associate those images with getting an ugly and humiliating haircut from a stern-looking old guy with a scary German accent. Followed by bullying at school. Even Ricola commercials make me break into a cold sweat.

    Just my take on things, thanks for letting me post on your blog Karen


  3. catsworking says:

    Hi, Bob. Thanks for the additional examples. I feel like I’ve noticed them as well, but they really got my attention when they hit me all at once in that Southwest episode.

    I agree that he’s such a natural to guest on The Simpsons, they should be able to come up with a plot to accommodate him. I bet South Park could do it with ease.

    As long as you don’t call me a sewer rat (which really riles the cats), your insights are always welcome!

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