Ned Flanders tries to save the eternal soul of his neighbor, Homer Simpson, by bringing him on a church trip to the Holy Land. In a recent segment of The Simpsons, “The Greatest Story Ever D’ohed,” the unlikely pilgrims are shepherded around famed religious sites — Mount Zion, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre — by Jacob, a hilariously brusque Israeli tour guide (“Okay, first stop, Old City; let’s go, please, shut your face.”), voiced by Sacha Baron Cohen, the British Jewish actor known for his starring roles in the films Borat and BrÃ¼no.
The popular Fox network animated show gets in some digs at Israel (the sign in the airport reads: “Welcome to Israel / YOUR AMERICAN TAX DOLLARS AT WORK“) and Israelis, as well as Christianity; but the treatment is generally affectionate, in the subversive vein beloved by fans of The Simpsons.
Homer, for example, is willing to see the Stations of the Cross in Jerusalem’s Old City — after he visits “the Stations of the Omelette Bar” at the hotel’s breakfast buffet.
Judge for yourself:
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