Dan Greaney has written for The Simpsons since 1995, but it’s a 2000 episode that he’s best remembered for. Titled “Bart to the Future,” the episode predicts a very grim future in which Nelson becomes a wealthy impresario and his signature “smell ya later” takes the place of “goodbye.” Most disturbing though is a throwaway line uttered by President Lisa Simpson: “There’s quite a budget crunch from President Trump. How bad is it?” Her advisors’ reply? “We’re broke!”
The Hollywood Reporter spoke to Greaney about the episode yesterday. He called the episode a “warning to America,” and of the Trump bit specifically, he says it’s indicative of America’s rock “bottom.” “And that just seemed like the logical last stop before hitting bottom. It was pitched because it was consistent with the vision of America going insane.”
Greaney observes that the rise of Trump sees America fully embracing it’s absurdity. “The Simpsons has always kind of embraced the over the top side of American culture … and [Trump] is just the fulfillment of that.” It’s a keen insight, but it’s not very optimistic, nor does it really make Trump’s surprisingly serious bid for the presidency any less frightening.
The small scene with President Lisa is at 2:20 below.