Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I'm on Wikipedia! (Sort of.)

One day, I hope to have a few choice credits on Internet Movie Database. In the meantime, I'll have to settle for a passing reference on Wikipedia. But at least it's an accurate nod, and fun one, at that.

While I don't yet have my own page on the ubiquitous site, there is a Wikipedia reference to a one of my favorite stories from the 1,400 or so I've written for The Journal News.

Fans of "The Simpsons," take note and rejoice; Whacking Day is based in fact:

"A 2003 article in the The Journal News reported that records show genuine 'Whacking Days' having taken place in Eastchester, New York from 1665 onwards: 'That one day every spring be chosen for the destroying of rattle snakes.' The article quoted showrunner Al Jean as saying: 'I agree with the premise of the episode: leave the snakes alone. They didn't hurt anybody.'"

My phone chat with Jean -- one of my first celebrity interviews -- took weeks to coordinate and about 5.2 minutes to conduct. He was gracious and informative, but I found myself plum out of related questions after that time frame. You see, back in 2003, it was a few years before blogging about entertainment was popularized at The Journal News, so I had to stick to my questions relating to the local story.

It's just as well, because I might have otherwise pulled my own version of the recurring "Chris Farley Show" segment from "Saturday Night Live."

"Hey, Mr. Jean, remember that time Homer said 'Mmm... donuts'? Oh, right, he does that all the time. Stupid! Stupid! But still, that was awesome. Hey, I can do impressions of eight 'Simpsons' characters! Wanna hear? Hel-- hello? Mr. Jean? You there?"

I loved writing this history article so much, especially because my editors approved my lead of "Mmm... historicalicious." Here are the next couple of paragraphs from that story, which I fear reprinting in full due to legal implications:

In an episode of “The Simpsons” that debuted on Fox television stations a decade ago, Homer Simpson and other cartoon residents of the town of Springfield chased and killed snakes to celebrate an annual holiday known as Whacking Day.

So what would Simpson say if he discovered the tradition — so distinctly Springfield — was shared by real-life communities, including the Anglo-Saxon founders of Eastchester? Perhaps the patriarch in history’s longest-running sitcom would repeat his assessment of stereotypical stand-up comedy: "It's funny because it’s true."

If you want to spend some cash and read the whole story, be my guest.

2 comments:

Abbi said...

Can you discuss the historical logic behind the Mammy that would always chase Tom away from Jerry with a broom? Was she in any way related to Nanny from Muppet Babies, also a home-body whose only limbs we ever saw were legs?

Chris Serico said...

No, because the latter photo is too creepy and disturbing for me to be analytical about anything right now.