Who doesn't love The Simpsons? Practically nobody. Well, until recently. The world obviously adores this satire and it's not a surprise at all. However, Mike Reiss, one of the show's writers, reveals that there is one market untapped or does not seem to fall for the charms of The Simpsons - the Japanese audience.
The Japanese Audience Don't Like Watching "The Simpsons" - Drives Show Writers Crazy
Japan is quite a large market to crack but it seems they're not crazy about the show. The Simpsons somehow have that uncanny knack for world domination, but it seems to be extra challenging to conquer this large pie of Asia - Japan.
Mike Reiss, mentioned in an interview that, "It drives some people [at The Simpsons] crazy that the Japanese don't watch our show. We cannot get them interested. Japan is the biggest market in the world that we haven't conquered. I think, ‘Why do you care? We're not Alexander the Great, we're just a cartoon show!'"
"Al Shamshoon" - Local Middle East Version of "The Simpsons"
If it's any consolation, the audience from the Middle East is hooked with "The Simpsons." MBC, an Arabic satellite TV station, launched "Al Shamshoon" which is their own local version of "The Simpsons." In the show, Homer is known as Omar Shamshoon. Also, the scenes that involve pork and alcohol use were scrapped. It's not really about completely changing the concept of "The Simpsons," but Arabizing it so they actually had to tone it down a bit. The local network toned down its liberal concept and the language too so it jives with the culture.
"Al Shamshoon" now airs unedited and complete with Arabic subtitles on Fox Series channel. The Simpsons writers actually find it "mind-blowing" that the Arab audience would actually get it or even like it in the Middle East.
Mike Reiss, "The Simpsons" Show Writer And Producer Feels Strongly For Political Satire
Mike Reiss, four-time Emmy winner as writer and producer of "The Simpsons" was one of the original writers when the show started out in 1989. He still continues to work on the show at least once a week; practically "because that's all I feel I'm good for," according to Reiss. While he may not feel as strongly for political comedy when he was starting out, he is very interested in this right now, especially with the complex political landscape that the country has at present.
While "The Simpsons" has been well-famed for being "political"; it's just trying to depict how "surreal" the political trend is now in the country - and as "elite" as it may have been labeled to be, it showcases something real and raw in people that anyone can relate to and at the end of the day - just be able to roll and laugh it off.