Much Apu About Nothing? "The Simpsons" Respond To The PC Questions About Apu

Submitted by: fancylad 1 week ago in News & Politics


The Simpsons has been on the air over thirty years, so why is Apu suddenly so controversial?

A lot of the recent focus probably has to do with the 2017 documentary made by comedian Hari Kondabolu The Problem with Apu, a feature that tackled the stereotypical Indian character on The Simpsons.

Though Kondabolu, who is Indian-American, loves the classic comedy series, Apu upset him for years, so he used the doc to explore the tone of the character in addition to broader issues about representation. In an interview last year, he told Vanity Fair that Apu is fatally flawed for a number of reasons, but predominantly because it’s "a white person’s perception of an Indian immigrant."

Azaria himself told TMZ that he watched it and thought it made “some really interesting points.” And that, essentially, was that—until now.

Last night, The Simpsons addressed the Apu controversy into the latest episode, titled “No Good Read Goes Unpunished.” In one scene, Marge is seen reading a book called The Princess in the Garden to her daughter Lisa. Though the book used to be considered offensive to some, it's been re-written to meet "modern standards." Despite the effort, Lisa isn’t impressed by the new version. "Well, what am I supposed to do?" Marge says, frustrated.

Lisa responds by breaking the fourth wall. "It’s hard to say. Something that started decades ago, and was applauded and inoffensive, is now politically incorrect. What can you do?” she says. She then looks at her nightstand, upon which rests a framed photo of Apu, emblazoned with the caption, "Don’t have a cow!"

Apparently, the people who were unhappy about the Apu controversy are mad at The Simpsons' response. So what's she solution? Kill off Apu? Reshape the character? And what about the Mexican Bee Man? What about the Fat Tony and his Italian mobsters? What about Willie the groundskeeper? Where does it end and what has to be done to make EVERYONE happy?


There are 88 comments:
Male 517
Remember, offence is taken, not given.  It is up to you how you react to the world as you see it.  If you don't like something, go create something alternative, rather than trying to tear down something established.  Give people an alternative and let them choose.
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Male 71
I thought this video would be appropriate. Relevant bit starts at 3:25
https://youtu.be/fHMoDt3nSHs
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Male 23
If a stereotype offends you on TV, change the channel or turn it off. Same thing in the movies, internet, magazines, etc. etc. Don’t let it remain in your focus. Either that or grow some thicker skin!
I’m Irish and their portrayal of the Irish as heavy drinking fighting idiots makes me laugh, cause guess what, some of the Irish fill that stereotype. Stereotypes are there because some people are just like that. 
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Male 16,490
The Simpsons is a show filled with stereotypes. That's the point.
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Male 5,357
Hmm, seems like some folks are kinda missing the boat on this one.

The shit was offensive 30 years ago too, just NO ONE gave a fuck.  Now, some people do and some still don't.  That's all.
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Female 5,247
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Male 42,110
The 3 7-11s nearest my home are all run by indians.
The by work is run by iraqi.
Sometimes stereotypes exist because it's true.
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Male 11,698
Gerry1of1 Indian Americans also own over 50% of all hotels in America as well. That is kind of crazy. I remember thinking every time I stayed at a dive motel the lobby smelled like Indian food. Turns out it wasn't just anecdotal.
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Male 457
holygod yep. Motel Patel. 
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Male 2,183
I believe in your right to be offended. But it is not my or anyone else's job to not offend you.
 I am a white male, of Italian and Scottish descent (among others) , If I was offended by the Simpsons I would have a lot more reasons than how they portray one character.
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Male 181
casaledana you're not offended by grounds keeper Willie? that's impossible
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Male 457
Yawn. Maybe they should make him more "real" and make him a Dalit?
No wait. I get it. Let's make him a successful entrepreneur. Or a surgeon, yeah. Brain surgeon please. 
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Male 8,885
I'm offended that Homer represents most average beer, tv, lazy american stereotype.  This is much to do about nothing.
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Male 9,356
i'm glad to say i have only watched a few episodes (less than 10).  I could see the stupidity of it early on, and how the stupidity of it was affecting others.  It's no wonder the nation it came from has so much stupidity going on.
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Male 66
monkwarrior I felt the same way about church. When I was 9.
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Male 9,356
popsicle01 doesn't surprise me in the slightest, sounds like you got caught up in stupidity.
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Male 73
monkwarrior - Don't have a cow, man!

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Male 9,356
bil128 i don't own any cows
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Male 11,698
monkwarrior lol. You are literally the worst person I have ever interacted with. Go get friends. Or a girlfriend. Or a hobby. Or SOMETHING that gives you something to do other than shitting on everything.
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Male 9,356
holygod I know, your desperate whines have made as much clear.  Apparently you don't know a lot of people. As for me, i have friends, and I have a hobby of pointing out the downfall of your nation.  I love it.  I especially love it when people like you get all upset about it too.  Sorry if the truth hurts, but yeah, your nation is in decline because of stupidity like this show that 'everyone should like', and there's lots more stupidity to point out from many other areas. 

What's a real shame is you're here whining that people should stop pointing out the stupidity of your nation, rather than actually doing something about it.  It's amazing that people outside your nation can see it's downfall but prideful people within it can't.

I mean, all you have to do is look at how bankrupt entertainment coming from that nation has become, of course, you have to also avoid the brainwashing of 'normalcy' pushed by your media too (its delusions).  I understand it's difficult for people to see it in that nation, but you often talk of your high IQ but still can't see it, which makes it almost void.
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Female 5,247
monkwarrior "As for me, i have friends, and I have a hobby of pointing out the downfall of your nation.  I love it." 

Prov 24:17  "Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth." KJV
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Male 9,356
melcervini who says i'm rejoicing over the fall?  i love it that more people are becoming aware of it, i'd much rather see a nation humble and correct itself than fall.
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Female 5,247
monkwarrior As a professed Christian, I'd check myself a little.  j/s
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Male 9,356
melcervini Thanks, but i know exactly where i stand.
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Female 5,247
monkwarrior That's between you and your god, but if its the same Christ that's been in all the papers, I just cant see Him delighting in the misfortunes of anyone.  Last I heard he said to love your neighbor and your enemies.
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Male 9,356
melcervini Jesus pointed out the misfortune of unrepentant sinners many times.  People also have pointed out nations sinful ways.  I understand and know exactly where i stand. 
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Male 11,698
monkwarrior Nah. You don't upset me. You irritate me. You aren't cancer, you're just a paper cut that never seems to heal.

1. I love the irony of someone who thinks the Earth might be flat, doesn't think we went to the moon, think 9/11 was an inside job, thinks vaccines might cause autism, and thinks the bible is literally true calling other people stupid.

2. I can't imagine someone being on their computer as much as you unless it is part of their job or they have literally nothing else going on in their lives. I am on my computer all day every day for work. What the hell are you on here for? Certainly this isn't part of "monking". Wouldn't you serve god better if you were out in the world helping people instead of trolling a website 24/7? Doesn't seem very "monk"-like.

3. I "often" talk of my high IQ? Where? When? I mentioned it once or twice because you brought up intelligence. You are the one obsessed with it, not me. 


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Male 9,356
holygod you're irritated because i know how to expose the stupidity you need to rely on.

  1. lol, you still haven't gotten over your self-delusions, part of why you continue to crash and burn.
  2. as a monk, the internet affords a great way to reach out to people, and expose stupidity like your own.  Keep trying to self delude over topics you don't know about in the slightest, it might make you feel better, but you're only deluding yourself.
  3. You've talked of it much more than once or twice, and by your own accord.
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Male 4,811
monkwarrior so you "reach out" to people by telling them they're stupid and delusional. how noble
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Male 9,356
rumham the truth huts sometimes. i'm not a sugar-coater
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Male 11,698
monkwarrior 

2. It affords you the ability to be a worthless. obnoxious, petulant douchebag. I don't know if you are under the impression that you are somehow bringing people closer to god on here, but if you think that's what you are doing, you are failing miserably. All you do is give religious people a bad name. You serve your god very very poorly.
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Male 66
holygod Remember when WiltChamberlain would come by just to write 'Go fuck yourself' on every 5cats post? Good times, good times. I understand that kind of thing is frowned upon now.
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Male 9,356
holygod it only seems that way to you, because that's your own nature.  I'm a reflector, you never seem to get that.  Instead you always fall into your tantrum throwing 5-year-old mode.  Besides, i hardly expect to someone with ignorance like yours to understand deep matters pertaining God, after all, you're again par for the course: insult and mock.  Just give me a sad face, after all it's all you can really do without being herded onto the path of a crash and burn.
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Male 11,698
monkwarrior It only seems that way to ME? You sure you want to open this up to the rest of the community? Anyone else have an opinion here?
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Male 1,431
holygod I'm with HG on this one.
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Male 9,356
holygod ahaha you're so desperate.  Keep ignoring your own nature is being reflected back to you.
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Male 11,698
monkwarrior Well here is something for you that you can't argue with, as it is my own perception and my own personal belief:

You, what you say, and the way you behave has pushed me farther away from god.
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Male 9,356
holygod Quit being intellectually dishonest, everyone here knows you had already erected your barriers long ago.  Your insults, mockery, and ignorance only hurt you.  If you don't like seeing yourself reflected back at you, you always have the option to remain silent.
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Male 4,811
monkwarrior you said erected
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Male 9,356
rumham how is your synth coming along?
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Male 11,698
monkwarrior No doubt I was always far away. You just have pushed me even farther.
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Male 9,356
holygod It's only a natural result of your continued ignorance.  That is on you, as much as you wish to push it on me.
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Male 5,357
monkwarrior Sometimes i cant tell if your trolling or just that dense.
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Male 4,696
daegog Definitely the former.



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Male 66
daegog See, it's not just me. Look at every response. There's like a bank of a dozen words (ignorance, clutch, reflecting, western, delusion, straw, media, free fall, etc.) that get used most times, and in more cases than not he'll parrot the exact thing you said back to you, a.k.a. 'I know you are but what am I'. I think Monk works in some research lab where they do long term social experiments, and this web site is his petri dish.
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Male 6,994
popsicle01 LOL! Interesting theory, I'll give you that.
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Male 4,811
daegog probably dense trolling
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Male 1,431
daegog I can tell. I can tell without looking.
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Male 9,356
daegog whose more dense, someone able to identify problems, or someone who tries to ignore them?
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Male 73
monkwarrior - Seeing the comments of this post should be directed at "The Simpsons" and how your mind changed directions with you're so-called identifying problems becoming an over-inflated delusional case of self-worth arguing the point of the plot of a animated TV series to arguing with someone's views of you leads me to lean more to the former than the latter. (Oh, and at times like these, I have to agree with holygod that you truly are a  worthless, obnoxious, petulant douchebag)
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Male 24
bil128 The propaganda children identify problem is your clutch at straws! But your inability to clutch at straws correctly is simply that. Such propaganda. Whose more dense, danger explains inability to young minds national children as they are caught up in the ignore, or erect intellectually superior barriers? Quit being mockery ignorance.

Am I doing this right?
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Male 73
alienraven no, you're not doing it right just yet but after some elementary English courses, you'll be writing coherent sentences in no time. hang in there 
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Male 9,356
alienraven you're par for the course, good job. It seems you're ready to join the militant atheist or anti-theist movement.  Don't expect much success though.
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Male 9,356
bil128 The propaganda pushed on to children through that program is a problem.  Your clutch at straws is simply just that.  But your inability to identify the danger to young minds with such propaganda explains perfectly why you would agree with hg, as they too are caught up in the lies of national propaganda.
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Male 66
monkwarrior ^See?! THIS!!! 
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Male 9,356
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Male 4,811
monkwarrior wait i gotta know... is that a clutch or a grasp??
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Male 9,356
rumham i dont know, how is your synth coming along?
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Male 4,811
monkwarrior what does that even mean? are you mocking me for having a hobby that doesnt involve trolling people online and stupid 9/11 theories. for real i don't get your angle.
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Male 9,356
rumham your synth you're synthing, how is it coming along?
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Male 6,994
monkwarrior These conversations are becoming increasingly weird. I'm not sure what's happening, frankly, but I am 99.9% sure no one is being taught anything and no one is learning anything.
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Male 9,356
squrlz4ever im just replying to people who reply to me.
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Male 4,811
monkwarrior in your own words you can choose not to reply. but wait you're reaching out to us and trying to help us
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Male 9,356
rumham so is your synth in a minor, or major?
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Male 6,994
monkwarrior Yes, I know. And my comment wasn't directed at you exclusively.
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Male 457
squrlz4ever aww.  But this is most entertaining!
Antitheist freefall pushes grasps at the inability of the propaganda's efforts to conspire against he who wages wars in the name of love. Synth.
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Male 24
Is Simpsons not like any other product that is out there for everybody to try? I don’t feel entitled enough to campaign for any changes from them myself, overall I like the show but don’t watch it much. I either enjoy their flavor of wit or I can always do something else that I find more to my liking. I suppose if Simpsons were a big part of my life growing up then I’d feel like the show is sort of mine too, and that’s understandable, but it still wouldn’t be my show in the end - and that’s important because if I don’t like it anymore I could just stop giving it my attention and call it a day.

The only solution I’ve seen is to grow up and act like an adult that acknowledges it’s a cartoon that ran since most of its current demographic were children themselves. Yes, the show necessarily changes, as does the world around it due to the need to evolve over the years or risk being stale. People need to be able to laugh at themselves, and if a joke (or character) isn’t funny when the intent was comedy - just pay the show no mind because it failed. I don’t follow bad stand-up comedians and tell them about how they could be doing a way better job entertaining me if they only followed my advice as to how not to trigger me when they try to entertain me either, but I guess that’s just me. Ratings send a message. Who has the time or the desire to point out and overanalyze why every show they would disagree with is objectively bad? I can think of better uses for anyone’s energy than that, but let’s forget the benefits of building up your own material on the back of the Simpsons for a moment.

Pretty much all the franchises I grew up with aren’t what they used to be. Few if any are better, and I don’t think it’s just because I “outgrew” them, though I have noticed that most everything now is designed strictly with the lowest common denominator in mind. In a world of excessively calculated, overt greed with little to no creativity when it comes to most big budget entertainment projects, the problem isn’t the show — it’s the people that take it too seriously as some kind of actual validation for their identity, and moreover assume that I will too. I’m well aware there’s all kinds of people from each nation. What now? Where’s my prize?

On the bright side anyone offended over this can take the time instead to actually search through the wealth of entertainment worth supporting. Or (here’s a crazy idea) make their own! Something to offer up to the world that’s original, and that perfectly represents all their sensibilities to a T. Make the Simpsons’ representations obsolete by doing a better job.

Or heavens forbid just support the individual artists whose work enhances your life instead of pestering them.
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Male 4,982
Everybody needs to recognize the fact that these claims are not real. Nowadays it is a job to get professionally offended. People are paid to write silly articles about things that are offended by. The more ridiculous and outlandish the more likely they're going to get clicks which means more money.

The absurdity of this is equivalent to believing absolutely everything I say on the internet.       
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Male 2,033
It's an old show, with old Stereotypes, and it has worked pretty well without updating itself. Homer hasn't changed to evolve with the times, Marge hasn't, Bart hasn't, and it's OK if the other stereotypical characters haven't. 

Now, if they modernized some characters without modernizing other characters, and that happens over years and years, I could see an issue with picking and choosing. 
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Male 6,025
It's a cartoon. Every character is a stereotype, from the crooked mobster to the lazy dumb cop. I've never been offended by the over-the-top gay stereotypes. This comedian should be happy that a cartoon is teaching the Indian culture to Americans.
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Male 4,696
markust123 

BINGO
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Male 181
you can't please everybody and people will always be upset about something. I say fuck it and keep Apu Apu they've had several episodes with his family members that weren't stereotypes
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Male 11,698
I can't honestly think of any time in my life where i have been offended. 

However, I'm a white, tall, fit, upper middle-class male with no religious affiliation or disability living in America. I'm basically the least persecuted group in the world.

I have to try to remind myself that just because I have never felt offense doesn't mean others haven't. People have a right to feel what they feel.
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Male 66
holygod Atheists may not be persecuted as such, but they are still pretty low on the likability bar here in the states.  http://www.pewforum.org/2017/02/15/americans-express-increasingly-warm-feelings-toward-religious-groups/
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Male 370
holygod Just like others have the right not to give a shit about the feelings of 30 year olds acting like five.  
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Male 9,356
Fojos good one lol
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Male 42,110
holygod   Yes, people can feel what they feel.... but just because someone takes offense that doesn't automatically mean the offender has to change their behavior.  There are lots of people WAY too sensitive that take offense needlessly.
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Male 9,342
Stereotypes are based on at least a little bit of truth.  Which is, of course, how they came into being.

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Male 4,696
megrendel Nice!

On a side note, I just learned an interesting Easter Egg regarding Nedry that I honestly never noticed.  All of his outfits were designed purposefully after The Goonies:



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3,123
kalron Whoa. I've seen both those movies over a dozen times each and never connected those dots. Thats pretty f'n awesome. 
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Male 9,342
kalron Great. Now I CAN NEVER UNSEE THAT!!  (Great trivia, though.)
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3,123
BRB, gotta watch blazing saddles. 
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Female 5,247
skypirate Baby, please! I am NOT from Havana!
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Male 9,342
skypirate I am glad I grew up in a time where that masterpiece could be created.
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3,123
megrendel Im just glad it exists. 

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Male 72
skypirate Yeah one time I saw that Blazing Saddles was on broadcast TV and decided to watch it...it is a very different movie once the censors were done with it!
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Male 1,711
the funniest thing i ever saw was when Apu was going to commit suicide by eating one of his hotdogs in the quickie mart...one that presumably been there for days...
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Male 4,982
spanz when Homer was working at the Kwik-E-Mart. He was told that the hot dogs were just for decoration that there's only one customer he's actually dumb enough to eat them....
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