Mr. Burns goes to college, sort of, in an upcoming episode of The Simpsons. Titled “Caper Chase,” the story has Springfield’s wealthy villain, fed up with collegiate political correctness, starting his own for-profit university. Naturally, Homer is hired as a professor.
Hmm, Trump University? Exec producer and showrunner Al Jean insists the story idea pre-dated that scandal. “It was conceived originally as a satire of for profit college, before Trump University hit it big,” he says. “We figured this is going to be a topic that was good, whether he won or not. It’s a big issue that’s going to be with us for a long time.”
In fielding questions from reporters during a phone conference, Jean admitted that the now defunct Trump U did lead to a few script tweaks.
“I think we made for-profit colleges look even greedier because of what happened,” he said. “We sped the idea up” because “we knew that anything with Trump goes 90 miles an hour. Now that he’s settled his way out of that lawsuit more or less, we knew his involvement might not be central to peoples’ thoughts. But we knew that the topic was a pretty good one and Mr. Burns would be the perfect guy to run one.”
Speaking on the topic of comedy in the Trump era, Jean said, “There’s a silver lining for comedy writers with what’s going on right now but I’d rather have it the other way.”
When asked if he was worried that “Caper Chase” might receive the infamous President Trump 3 AM tweet treatment, Jean remarked, “I can only be honored if that happened. If Trump didn’t tweet us for depicting his hair as an orange dog, I don’t know what would bother him.”
The Simpsons episode airs this Sunday with guest-voice appearances by Jason Alexander, Neil Degrasse Tyson, Ken Jennings, writing instructor Robert Mckee and financial expert Suze Orman.