Television Teaching: Parody, The Simpsons, and Media Literacy Education

This paper examines televisual parody as a media literacy educator, and the potential of parody to channel the powers of comedy and entertainment in order to “teach” the techniques and rhetoric of televisual texts and genres. It focuses on the case of the hugely successful and popular animated parodic sitcom, The Simpsons , and its playful attack on advertising and promotional culture. Currently in its 16th season, The Simpsons broadcasts to approximately 60 million viewers in 70 countries weekly, offering a playful critique of television from within the television frame.