Meet The Man Who Gets Paid To Watch 'The Simpsons'
With his long, flowing locks and colorful, flowered shirts, Alexander Townley looks like an extra from an Austin Powers movie. He’s positively shagadelic, baby.
But Townley has an even sexier gig. An online casino is paying Townley to watch The Simpsons -- to find any hints of the show predicting the future.
From forecasting three-eyed fish to Siegfried and Roy’s tiger attack to Super Bowl scores, The Simpsons has always had an eerie ability to predict unfathomable futures that somehow come true.
Simpsons scribe Mike Reiss remembers an episode set in the future where Lisa becomes President, bemoaning the budget crunch she inherited from President Trump. That was “an impressive call,” says Reiss, “especially since we made it in 2000, sixteen years before Trump was elected. Virtually every news outlet mentioned the joke, but none of our writers can recall who pitched it. Or maybe nobody wants the blame.”
Now it’s Townley’s job to identify more of the show’s prophecies. To what end? So far, the casino isn’t saying. If we had to guess, it will eventually take wagers on questions like whether or not Kid Rock will be elected president.
But who cares what the casino is after! This dude gets paid to watch The Simpsons!
How does one go about landing a job like that? Is it something you can add to your LinkedIn as a career aspiration? In Townley’s case, the road to employment in Springfield began with an advertisement on social media looking for someone to analyze each of the show’s episodes for predictions.
“Around 10 people shared the post with me,” says Townley, “because all my friends and family know about my unhealthy obsession with the show.”
Townley got the job -- and his employer even sends him free vegan donuts to eat while he devours the show. D’oh!
But Townley insists the job’s not all crullers and Duff. “It's not as simple as just watching a few episodes and chilling out on the sofa.”
The specifics he’s looking for? It’s predictions, but especially ones that relate to technology and sports outcomes.
“I have to sit with a notepad and pen and have to write every little detail down, even the opening credits with the chalkboard sequence and couch gag,” he says. “There's even been weeks where I've watched up to 30 episodes in a day, several days in a row, and that really is mentally draining.”
“It's got to the point now where I'll put something else on just to break the cycle a bit and I'll subconsciously start analyzing that too!”
Forgive us, Alexander, but your job sounds exactly like watching a few episodes and chilling out on the sofa.
For now, Townly has discovered at least one Simpsons prediction that he’s willing to share.
"There's been a few times where I've seen characters like Marge sit and analyze TV programs such as 'Itchy And Scratchy' with a notepad and pen and I've been like, ‘wait what the f**k, that's literally what I'm doing right now'."
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Top image: Gracie Films