Daniel Radcliffe’s Education Is Mainly Based on ‘The Simpsons’

‘Bismarck is the capital of North Dakota, and I know that because of ‘The Simpsons‘‘
Daniel Radcliffe’s Education Is Mainly Based on ‘The Simpsons’

Daniel Radcliffe considers himself a pretty bright guy, with a cultural knowledge base that extends well beyond what one learns at Hogwarts. How did he build his internal store of information? “There are so many weird facts, and things from my general knowledge of the world to my sense of humor (that) were formed in some way by The Simpsons,” he told CBR. “I was watching Jeopardy! the other night, and one of the contestants credited a ton of his trivia knowledge to The Simpsons. That’s absolutely true of me as well.”

So you can have your Successions and your Mad Men. Radcliffe isn’t interested. “Honestly, I watch cartoons, and I watch reality TV,” he said. “I’ve never seen Breaking Bad. I’ve never watched The Sopranos or The Wire. All the sort of heavy hour-long stuff. Just, I can’t.”

Besides, would Radcliffe know his American geography by watching Better Call Saul? “For a lot of people growing up in England, there are things I know about America and American culture,” he told Kelly Clarkson in 2022. “Like by the time I was eight years old, I was like, ‘Bismarck is the capital of North Dakota,’ and I know that because of The Simpsons.”

These days in particular, Radcliffe leans hard into adult animation. “It makes sense that our generation of people that have grown up on The Simpsons would want to continue watching more adult-themed cartoons when they got older,” he told CBR

Radcliffe loves adult animated shows in part for their ability to revel in horrors that would be too intense for live-action TV. “I think a lot of BoJack Horseman would be just too fucking bleak and sad if it wasn’t a talking horse,” he explained. “The classic example is Homer strangling Bart in The Simpsons. In a live-action, that’s just like a horrendous act of child abuse that there’s nothing funny about whatsoever; whereas it’s a running gag in The Simpsons, and it’s funny because of what Bart’s neck does.”

Unsurprisingly, Radcliffe has become a Simpsons character himself. Actually, make that three Simpsons characters. First, he was the voice of a Robert Pattinson-type for a “Treehouse of Horror” Twilight parody.

Then he was Diggs, a falconry expert who was missing a finger or two.

And most recently, he appeared as himself, meeting Homer at a video game convention. It was the Minecraft-loving role he was born to play.

Gracie Films

“If you came to earth tomorrow and had to quickly educate somebody about the last 30 years of American culture,” Radcliffe told Clarkson, “you could do worse than doing The Simpsons.”


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