As if foreseeing a Trump presidency, FIFA corruption scandal, Siegfried and Roy’s tiger attack, and Greece’s financial default weren’t enough, The Simpsons has come through again with a peek into the future, sort of predicting Disney’s $52.4 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox assets some two decades ago.
The animated comedy’s 1998 episode, “When You Dish Upon a Star,” featured Homer becoming the personal assistant to Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger, who were trying to escape the spotlight by moving to Springfield. He annoys Ron Howard, who visits the couple, by trying to pitch a screenplay involving a time-traveling killer robot driving-instructor and a pie that can talk. Homer’s lack of discretion about the whereabouts of Baldwin and Basinger prompts the pair to sever their relationship with him, which prompts Homer to create a mobile museum showcasing their personal effects. After a high-speed chase, in which Howard is injured, Homer is ordered to keep away from all celebrities, and, one month later, we see Howard pitching Homer’s script at 20th Century Fox, which, according to the giant sign out front, is now “a division of Walt Disney Co.”
That’s not the only Disney reference to make its way on The Simpsons. Homer was once roughed up by Mickey Mouse and Goofy, while season 27 included a Disney couch gag. Following the Thursday news of the Disney-Fox merger, executive producer James L. Brooks offered a “hi” to Mickey Mouse from Homer and Bart.