Oh I get it, I get jokes
September 8, 2016 4:08 PM   Subscribe

Can someone explain this Simpsons joke to me? I feel like I'm missing some key cultural reference.

In S07E15 "Bart the Fink", Krusty says "my grandpa would be turning in his grave if it wasn't filled with some veteran". I... don't get it. Anyone care to explain to me? I'm not American and I think I must be missing an important piece of cultural information. Why would his grandfather's grave be filled with "some veteran" (who is presumably not said grandpa)?
posted by the long dark teatime of the soul to Media & Arts (7 answers total)
 
It's a callback to an earlier scene:
"They took my money. They wrecked my show, they buried a bunch of stinking veterans in my family plot. But at least I got my memories. Those are locked up safe in my fabulous mansion."
posted by Paragon at 4:14 PM on September 8, 2016 [11 favorites]


Earlier, Krusty says "They took my money, they wrecked my show, they buried a bunch of stinking veterans in my family plot, but at least I still got my memories", referring to the measures the IRS has gone to in order to recoup losses because Krusty wasn't paying his taxes.

upon edit: beaten by a hair!
posted by King Bee at 4:14 PM on September 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


The IRS garnishes Krusty's salary, including, apparently, using the Krusty family plot for burying veterans.

"They took my money. They wrecked my show, they buried a bunch of
stinking veterans in my family plot. "


So the line you quoted is kind of the punch line to the whole thing.

Whether or not it's a reference to something else, I don't think so.

Edit: er, what they said.
posted by bondcliff at 4:15 PM on September 8, 2016


It is a contextual joke.

Krusty's mansion is getting confiscated by the irs for tax evasion, and as they're wheeling out his many status symbols, Krusty delivers that line, implying that he even sold his grandfather's grave

Part of the golden era of the Simpsons, arguably their strongest season overall

(per Mr. Arnicae)
posted by arnicae at 4:18 PM on September 8, 2016


It's a little deeper than that, I think. The Virginia estate of Robert E. Lee, the commander of the Confederate Army in the Civil War, was turned into a cemetary for the Union War dead, and is now Arlington National Cemetary, the final resting place of America's most honored soldiers.
posted by Diablevert at 5:20 PM on September 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


Sorry, at first I couldn't find ANC's own "History" page --- they make it a little difficult --- but when I did dig it up it turns out the Simpsons are even more spot on with their refereces than I thought:
After the Lee family vacated the property at the onset of the Civil War in 1861, federal troops used the land as a camp and headquarters - beginning on May 24, 1861... A property tax dispute, amounting to just over $92.07 cost the Lee family their home and in January 1864, the U.S. government purchased the property for $26,800 at public auction.
A Lee descendent sued the government over the seizure after the war and eventually won his case, but by that time the cemetary was so well established he ended up just selling the estate back to the government.
posted by Diablevert at 5:32 PM on September 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


Thank you all, I had indeed missed that line. And thank you especially Diablevert, I love those Simpsons jokes that have an extra layer backed up by some obscure scientific or historical fact.
posted by the long dark teatime of the soul at 12:49 AM on September 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


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