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No Joke: Marge Simpson in Playboy

 by Julie Hanus


Tags: Media, magazines, media criticism, The Simpsons, Marge Simpson, Playboy, nudie magazines, total bafflement, Huffington Post, Kelsey Wallace, Bitch,

Marge Simpson on the November 2009 cover of PlayboySimpsons fans, brace yourselves. The Huffington Post picked up an AP report that Marge Simpson will be on the cover of the November issue of Playboy, available on newsstands October 16, apparently in an attempt to attract 20-something readers into the audience—whose average age is 35.

I hate to ask a perhaps obvious question, but… shouldn’t die-hard Simpsons fans also skew that way? Not that the humor of the longest-running American sitcom doesn’t transcend the ages, but choosing a character from a show that debuted in 1989 and garnered its greatest praise in the 1990s seems a bit of a weird choice for nabbing the 20-something set.

But then there’s really nothing not weird about any of it. Kelsey Wallace over at Bitch catalogs the panoply of unanswered questions:

Honestly, I don't know what is weirdest about this. Is it:

- Playboy thinking that a cartoon character is remotely erotic/sexy to the average reader?

- The Simpsons thinking that putting their animated character on the cover of a nudie magazine is a good idea?

- That the rest of the cover is also laid out in a decidedly creepy “The Simpsons Does Porno” cartoon style? (Sorry Benecio! Bum luck getting in this issue!)

- That Playboy CEO Scott Flanders insists that the three-page spread of Marge inside the magazine contains only “implied nudity”? (Thank goodness, because the real worry here was that we might see a cartoon nip slip.)

- That this all might turn out to be a wild success, proving that I am unknowingly hooked on crazy pills?

Kelsey, you are not hooked on crazy pills. It is Marge, it is Playboy, and it is baffling.

Sources: Huffington Post, Bitch

calamity carol_1
10/14/2009 3:06:08 PM

Although I think the tactic will fail, I understand Playboy's rationale. But I'm disappointed in Groening. He should know and respect his own character better than that. Would Edna Krabappel pose or Marge's sisters? Probably, although I'm not sure they'd be a big draw. But not Marge, except for the reasons I gave above. Maud Flanders would have been good, - providing it was before she died - although she wouldn't have posed, either. Actually, given the proximity to Halloween, maybe Playbook should have done a post-mortum photo spread of Maud. That I would buy. It doesn't even matter what the mag looks like. As Comic Book Guy would say: "Worst issue ever!"


calamity carol_1
10/14/2009 3:05:57 PM

Although I think the tactic will fail, I understand Playboy's rationale. But I'm disappointed in Groening. He should know and respect his own character better than that. Would Edna Krabappel pose or Marge's sisters? Probably, although I'm not sure they'd be a big draw. But not Marge, except for the reasons I gave above. Maud Flanders would have been good, - providing it was before she died - although she wouldn't have posed, either. Actually, given the proximity to Halloween, maybe Playbook should have done a post-mortum photo spread of Maud. That I would buy. It doesn't even matter what the mag looks like. As Comic Book Guy would say: "Worst issue ever!"


calamity carol_1
10/14/2009 1:08:13 PM

As a Simpson's fan from the get go, I've got to say that I find the Marge Playboy cover baffling, as well. I can't imagine Marge (her character) posing for Playboy in any circumstance except for one that would involve saving her family from financial ruin or perhaps raising tons of money for some otherwise hopeless but deserving charitable cause. Say it ain't so, Hugh!