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.”
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.