Sunday’s season 28 season premiere of The Simpsons featured an Arnold Palmer joke — on the same day that the golfing legend died at 87.
The timing was completely coincidental, as the episode was produced months ago and the reference could not be pulled in time. And the joke was innocuous, focusing on the hybrid drink of lemonade and iced tea Palmer made famous.
During the premiere, Homer tells Marge that he and Carl had plans to “Arnold Palmer” Lenny — which in Homer’s terms meant filling two water guns with lemonade and iced tea, respectively, and then dousing their friend. Marge was incredulous, asking, “‘Arnold Palmer’ Lenny? You’re going to ‘Arnold Palmer’ Lenny’?” In response, Homer explained the origin of Palmer’s beverage. “Yeah, you see, Arnold Palmer was a golfer, and he made up this drink where it’s not a full glass of lemonade or a full glass of iced tea…”
Simpsons showrunner Al Jean tweeted on Sunday night, “[very, very] sorry to learn of death of Arnold Palmer what a giant.” He also responded to a fan who asked if the joke would be cut from the West Coast airing by saying, “I wish I could but it’s too late.”
Nicknamed the King, Palmer helped push golf into the mainstream, winning 62 PGA tournaments. He died in Pittsburgh at the age 87 of complications from heart problems.
Watch the reference below.