Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be portrayed in Sunday’s Canadian-themed episode of “The Simpsons,” which is titled “D’Oh Canada.” Toronto journalist Lucas Meyer tweeted on Monday that he got to guest-voice Trudeau for the segment after putting together an impressions video on YouTube. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-City TV)

‘The Simpsons’ writer reveals details on Sunday’s Canuck-themed episode

The Simpsons visit Niagara Falls

“The Simpsons” consulting producer Tim Long grew up in Ontario and has always sensed something secretly Canadian about Lisa, the middle child and most critically-minded member of the enduring American animated family.

“She’s the one who’s had the most barbed critiques of the United States,” Long, a writer-producer who was raised in Exeter, Ont., said in a recent phone interview.

“I thought Bart was sort of like America: brash, unreflective, much more sure of himself. And Lisa was sort of the intellectual, quiet, thoughtful, rational one. And I’ve always felt like that was sort of the relationship between America and Canada, too.”

So when it came to this Sunday’s Canadian-themed episode, it felt natural to make Lisa the one who spends time on this side of the border, said Long, who has won five Emmy Awards.

READ MORE: ‘Simpsons’ producers pull iconic Michael Jackson episode

It happens when the Simpsons visit Niagara Falls and, through a series of wacky mishaps, Lisa goes over the powerful flow of water that separates Ontario and New York.

She lands on the Canadian side and is admitted to hospital, where she realizes Canada is the place for her.

The episode, “D’Oh Canada,” airs on Citytv and Fox.

“She is not unscathed, but because of Canada’s incredibly generous health-care system, she ends up just fine,” said Long, who co-wrote the episode with his wife, screenwriter Miranda Thompson.

“The Simpsons, when they see her in the hospital, are fully prepared to go bankrupt, because that’s what would happen to them in America. But they’re stunned and amazed and delighted to find the health-care system takes care of them.”

Yes, much of the Simpsons clan also visits Canada in the episode, which Long said has “a shocking number of Canadian things” that “95 per cent of the American audience won’t get.”

“They’re briefly there but then Homer gets belligerent and they’re asked to leave, except for Lisa. Then much of the rest of the show features the Simpsons plotting to get her back and trying to convince Lisa that she should come back, because she’s at least initially very happy.”

Earlier this week, Toronto journalist Lucas Meyer revealed he voices Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the episode.

While Meyer recorded his role in September, Long said they write episodes “until the very last second,” leaving room for current references.

One of those references on Sunday might be the SNC-Lavalin controversy, Long suggested when he said “there may be mention of a current scandal that” Trudeau is in.

“Compared to putting immigrant children in cages, this scandal feels a little bit like small beer to me,” said Long, referencing 2018 footage of migrant children housed in fenced-off cages at U.S. border facilities.

“But I know also that it’s serious and maybe not everyone has been forthcoming about what happened. I understand he’s behind in the polls, which I think would shock most Americans.”

Long was born in Brandon, Man., and moved to Exeter with his family when he was four. He got his big break as head writer of “Late Show with David Letterman” and joined “The Simpsons” in 1998.

He lives in Los Angeles but has found himself back on home soil lately, in Almonte, Ont., shooting the film “The Exchange.” Long wrote the comedy, which is set in Canada and loosely based on his experience with an exchange student as a teen.

On “The Simpsons,” he’s one of three Canadian writers, the others being Joel H. Cohen and Jeff Westbrook.

“Canada is always in the air” in the writers’ room, said Long.

“I remember the day when we taught them that the Canadian one-dollar coin was called a loonie and the two-dollar coin was called a toonie. Oh, that shut down work for several hours, because nobody could believe it.”

The show has referenced Canada before, including an episode where Homer and Grandpa Simpson smuggle prescription drugs from here.

“With the Canadian references, my instinct when I first started was not to make too many of them, because I wanted to fit in,” said Long. “But I find that the kind of American who writes for ‘The Simpsons’ is fascinated by it.

“So you’ll often find that the references on the show to Canada haven’t been written by Canadians, but they’ve been written by Americans looking across the table at a Canadian and thinking, ‘What the hell is with that guy?’”

Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Military called in to remove inert practice round found in Quesnel industrial park

A maintenance worker mowing the grass found the round, which turned out to no longer be explosive

Ranch Musings: No-till pasture rejuvenation and sivopasture trials

Columnist David Zirnhelt is hosting a field day Aug. 29 in Beaver Valley

Meet Tour de North cyclist Chris Fedoruk

Quesnel man is a community rider with this year’s Cops for Cancer team

Forestry Ink: Forest tenure changes are occurring throughout the world

Regular columnist Jim Hilton writes about forest tenure and ownership

Quesnel Safeway honours its volunteer shoppers

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Safeway’s volunteer shopper program

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Unseasonable snow forces campers out of northeastern B.C. provincial park

Storm brought as much as 35 centimetres of snow to the Fort Nelson, Muncho Lake Park-Stone Mountain Park

Most Read