Go learn this oral historical past of The Simpsons’ iconic ‘Steamed Hams’ sketch
In 1996, a 2.5-minute brief sandwiched between a bunch of different shorts premiered in an episode of The Simpsons. Nobody thought a lot of it on the time, however during the last couple many years, “Chalmers vs. Skinner” — rebranded to “Steamed Hams” — would go on to develop into one of the vital iconic Simpsons moments.
A brand new oral historical past of the brief printed on Mel Journal by Brian VanHooker dives into the way it got here to be, that includes interviews with then-showrunners Invoice Oakley and Josh Weinstein. The oral historical past does an exquisite job of tracing how this brief got here to be the place it’s now, an extremely fashionable meme that acquired its begin in a Fb group earlier than shifting to YouTube and different social media platforms. It’s an increase that shocked Oakley contemplating that through the preliminary desk learn, the sketch didn’t garner a lot laughs.
“After it broadcasted, we by no means actually heard something about it for years afterwards,” Oakley advised Mel. “‘Steamed Hams’ didn’t even develop into a factor till 2016, when some Australian grocery retailer stored getting calls from individuals asking for steamed hams.”
The latter half of the historical past is a ravishing instance of simply how rapidly one thing can unfold on-line if there’s sufficient ignition. From a well-liked Fb group to a BuzzFeed story in 2016 to infinite new variations of “Steamed Hams” popping up, as soon as it grew to become a phenomenon, it by no means actually stopped.
“I’m delighted that individuals truly did suppose the sketch was humorous, as a result of it took me roughly 20 years to search out out that individuals appreciated it,” Oakley mentioned. “I’m much more delighted that individuals discover it so user-friendly as a result of I really like all these remixes. It’s onerous to get into the precise weirdness of its success, however I feel that a part of the explanation it’s profitable is as a result of it pushes that nostalgia buzzer for Simpsons followers.”
The complete piece is obtainable at Mel, and it comes with a superbly curated collection of “Steamed Hams” memes to take pleasure in.
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