by BROCK KOLLER
Who knew that two of my favorite shows of all-time could have predicted the two possible outcomes for this Tuesday’s presidential election many years ago.
Back in 2000, The Simpsons, the long-running cartoon series that follows a dysfunctional, nuclear family and its Springfield neighbors, aired an episode called “Bart to the Future” which presented a future of the United States where Lisa Simpson was president and Bart…well, we love Bart.
In one of the early scenes of this presidential prophesy, President Lisa states to her staff, “As you know we’ve inherited quite a budget crunch from President Trump.”
As in Donald Trump, the current Republican presidential candidate in 2016.
She then asks her Secretary of State – Milhouse Van Houten how bad is it?
“We’re broke,” Milhouse replies. The future was surely not coming up Milhouse.
Milhouse explains the last administration – which would have been President Trump’s - invested in the nation’s children.
“Big mistake,” Mihouse points out.
"I am tickled we are getting all this attention, but I don't think it's going to trigger this well-awaited re-evaluation of my episode that I was hoping for," episode writer Dan Greaney told The Hollywood Reporter in March. "The Simpsons has always kind of embraced the over-the-top side of American culture … and [Trump] is just the fulfillment of that."
This vision of the future also included Homer and Marge searching for Abraham Lincoln’s buried gold. It had nothing to do with the main plot and, coincidentally, has nothing to do with this writing.
A few years before this episode of The Simpsons aired, another show on FOX had its own version of the presidency that is relevant to today’s current election.
The program was called Sliders. It featured Jerry O’Connell as college brainiac Quinn Mallory who invented a device that allowed people to travel to parallel universes. He and his friends – Professor Arturo, Wade, and Rembrant – become the Sliders.
In 1995, Sliders was in its first season. It would go on to reach five seasons on two networks, with varying degree of success.
In its inaugural season, the show featured the episode “The Weaker Sex” where Quinn and friends landed on an Earth where the phrase “it’s a man’s world” would not apply.
At first, the Sliders believe they have finally made it back to their home world. You see, they got lost in the multi-verse because they slid out of a parallel world too early before their timer went off…and…you don’t need to know to know this, do you? Anyway…
The four grab a pretzel at a food cart and are told the president is about to speak.
“You mean President Clinton?” Wade asks.
“Of course I mean President Clinton, who else?” the vendor says.
“That clinches it. We’re home,” Rembrant says.
Sorry, Remmy, this was only episode 7 in Season 1. Slim chance, you were home.
One look at the television and the Sliders realize they were not back home.
President Clinton was giving a speech – but it wasn’t President Bill Clinton as it was on their Earth in 1995 - it was Hillary.
As in Hillary Clinton, the current Democratic presidential candidate in 2016.
Not only was Hillary Clinton president of this world in 1995, but Jane Pauley was the Pope.
The professor stopped eating his pretzel.
“I love that episode. We were also making statements on glass-ceiling issues, chauvinism in society, and the danger of stereotypes,” O’Connell told Yahoo! TV in March.
So on Tuesday, this Earth could look like the parallel one the Sliders visited.
Or on Tuesday, this present day could resemble the future The Simpsons predicted.
One thing is for sure – I watch a lot of TV.