Simpsons Did It!: “Gorgeous Grampa”

The more we learn about Grampa Simpson, the more we see that guy has held onto all kinds of jobs over an increasingly long span of time.

Apparently, in the 1950s, he was a “bad guy” wrestler.

How did this come about?  Our story begins with Homer encouraging Lisa to give up reading a book in order to watch TV.  Lisa uncharacteristically accepts because it’s the new Golden Age of Scripted Television and there’s some good stuff out there.  Homer actually thinks that’s for chumps because reality TV is where it’s really at, where poor, rural people do disgusting and humiliating things for the camera.  Every show prompts a groan from Lisa until he settles on Storage Battles, which looks an awful lot like Storage Wars, a show my wife’s father once completely explained to me unprompted.  That leads Homer to try his hand at an auction for an abandoned storage locker, and he finds he isn’t alone.  He proceeds to outbid a whole lot of his friends and neighbors (including Stampy the elephant) by bidding way more than a sensible person should only to find the locker has a lot of what looks like muscle magazines, a wig, perfume, and tights.  Was it a woman’s locker?

Er, no.  It was Grampa’s.

Is Grampa gay?  Well, he was married to a woman who eventually left him due to years of neglect.  Anyway, Marge and Homer like this idea, particularly Marge since she thinks she can finally hold one over on Helen Lovejoy, who is forever bragging about her transgender cousin.  Granted, this is still Grampa, and he’s still cranky and irritable, so Marge and Homer even attempt to set up an online dating profile for him in secret, and all that gets is a confused Smithers in the park.  Grampa has to insist he isn’t gay, which prompts Marge and Homer to pop out with the wig and ask what happened.

No, Grampa wasn’t gay.  He was a pro-wrestler, a “heel” the crowd loved to hate known as Glamorous Godfrey.  He used to play that schtick up, but he grew tired of being hated and eventually gave the whole thing up.  That would be when Mr. Burns shows up.

See, Burns used to be a fan.  A big fan.  He wants Grampa to wrestle again, this time against old folks like himself, and while Grampa initially reluctantly dons the Glamorous Godfrey tights and wig again, getting back all the hate he used to get, the real problem for Marge and Homer (here, Homer is uncharacteristically being a good parent) is Bart is loving the hell out of Grampa’s bad boy antics.

Such that when a dinner is set up with the man who ruined Homer’s past (Grampa) with the man who ruined Homer’s present (Burns), along for the ride is the probable ruination of Homer’s future (Bart).  And though Grampa is initially reluctant to be hated again, Burns loves being hated, and even has a snappy song all about it.

So, Grampa’s onboard, and Bart is emulating him in other places like Little League and Show’n’Tell.  Homer tries to forbid Bart joining Grampa in the ring as Beautiful Bart, but that doesn’t work since nothing Homer forbids is ever stopped by anything.  That just leaves Marge to appeal to Grampa’s better nature.  It’s one thing to be that in the ring.  But Bart is doing it everywhere, and if he doesn’t know the difference, he could grow up awful.

That actually works.  Grampa sees Bart acting up outside the ring, so once inside, he declares that Glamorous Godfrey is dead.  From now on, he’s Honest Abe (as in Lincoln), and Bart is Laddie Liberty.  Burns is outraged.  Wrestling needs a bad guy.  Grampa is now a good guy.  What can that mean?

Well, it means Grampa can toss around a bad guy and be loved for a change.

Yes, that would be Burns being tossed around.

Karma, Burns.  Karma.


Defender of the faith, contributing writer, debonair man-about-town.

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