The Simpsons season 34 mocked Arnold Schwarzenegger’s infamous secret, but hid the celebrity’s identity by using a recurring character in his place.
Warning: Spoilers for The Simpsons season 34, episode 14.While The Simpsons doesn’t usually bother to hide its celebrity parodies, season 34’s most brutal celebrity roast was surprisingly cryptic. The Simpsons is not as outright antagonistic toward public figures as, for example, its R-rated competitor South Park. However, The Simpsons has still gotten a lot of laughs out of mocking celebrities over the decades and, for all of the show’s good-natured jibes, some of the satirical jabs featured in the series are sharper than viewers of the family sitcom might expect. That said, The Simpsons season 34’s most brutal celebrity roast wouldn’t be obvious to a casual viewer.
In The Simpsons season 34, episode 14, “Carl Carlson Rides Again,” Carl attempted to uncover the history of his biological family when a disastrous date led him to realize that he was out of touch with his heritage. The Simpsons season 34 brought back a host of obscure supporting stars in the outing, with the Rich Texan purchasing a mysterious belt buckle that Carl inherited from his birth parents and sending the barfly on a quest to find the artifact. Eventually, Carl hunted down the buckle’s buyer, Finding Your Roots host Henry Louis Gates Jr. The real-life literary critic and historian’s cameo in turn set up season 34’s darkest gag.
The Simpsons Mocked Schwarzenegger’s Infamous Family History
When Henry Louis Gates Jr saw that Carl was the owner of the belt buckle, he immediately told the show’s producers to bump his next guest so that he could uncover Carl’s family history. In a subtle gag that brought to mind The Simpsons season 34’s best meta-jokes, the guest was revealed to be Rainier Wolfcastle. A despondent Rainier, looking through a family album, admitted that the producers of Finding Your Roots postponing his appearance was “probably for the best,” a nod to the fact that Wolfcastle’s real-life inspiration Arnold Schwarzenegger has an unfortunate family history.
During his 2003 political campaign, it came to light that Schwarzenegger’s father was a decorated Nazi soldier. Gustav Schwarzenegger was an Austrian chief of police who joined the Nazi Party and the Sturmabteilung, fighting in the siege of Leningrad. While knowledge of this family history did not end up hurting Schwarzenegger’s political ambitions, the revelation was still embarrassing for the famous actor. Interestingly, the season 34 episode mocked Schwarzenegger using the character of Wolfcastle, underlining a Simpsons canon plot hole in the process. In 2007’s The Simpsons Movie, a character with Wolfcastle’s voice and appearance is named President Schwarzenegger.
The Simpsons’ Schwarzenegger Joke Underlined A Weird Plot Hole
Rainier Wolfcastle has always been an obvious parody of Schwarzenegger but, in The Simpsons Movie, Schwarzenegger is the president and his caricature looks and sounds identical to Wolfcastle. As such, it is unclear whether these two characters are meant to be the same person or not. Since Schwarzenegger’s planned cameo in The Simpsons never came to pass, there is no version of Schwarzenegger in the show’s universe played by the real-life actor. However, The Simpsons Movie’s success proves the show could have named the character President Wolfcastle and viewers would have understood the gag, so The Simpsons season 34 underlining the comparisons between Schwarzenegger and Wolfcastle only make this plot hole weirder.
Episodes of The Simpsons season 34 air Sundays on Fox
More: The Simpsons Continues To Embrace The Show’s Decline (& That’s Good)