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

Beefs & Bouquets, Sept. 19

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Nanaimo Art Gallery exhibit explores German faux First Nations subculture

Artist Krista Belle Stewart shows photos, videos and items from east German ‘Indianers’

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Keep voicing opposition to pipeline expansion

If we risk our land we are all going to regret it, says letter writer

Multiple arrests made at Tour de Rock jail-and-bail fundraiser in Nanaimo

Suspects make bail in support of Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock on Wednesday at Woodgrove Centre

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Human case of West Nile virus reported on Vancouver Island

B.C. Centre for Disease Control confirmed case reported in August

Forestry watchdog warned B.C. government about Bamfield Road in 2008

Ombusman’s specific concerns re-surface in wake of bus crash that killed two students

Photos surface of Conservative candidate at B.C. event with people in blackface

The controversial “Black Peter” character has been a feature at Sinterklaas celebrations

B.C. Liberal leader says private sector development will help housing affordability

Andrew Wilkenson spoke in Kelowna during a real estate conference

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

‘Really disturbing:’ Trudeau’s racist photos worry B.C. First Nation chief

Wet’suwet’en Chief concerned the photos will sow fear in Indigenous communities

Murder charges laid after body pulled from Fraser River ID’ed as missing man

Accused also face one count each of attempted murder in connection with Rudy Johnson Bridge incident

B.C. salmon farm inspection deal reached with Indigenous people

Monitoring to determine if any Broughton region farms stay open

Most Read