- "The Simpsons are going to Africa!"
- ―Homer Simpson
| "Simpson Safari"
| Episode Information
"Simpson Safari" is the seventeenth episode of season 12 of The Simpsons and the two-hundred and sixty-fifth episode overall. It originally aired on April 1, 2001. The episode was written by John Swartzwelder and directed by Mark Kirkland.
- "In a frantic search for food Homer finds a box of thirty-year-old animal crackers, which contains a gold giraffe - which means he has just won an African safari."
Homer takes Bart and Lisa to CostMo Foods to go shopping because Maggie managed to swallow a magazine and Marge had to take her to the hospital. At CostMo, Homer manages to anger the bagboys and they all go on strike. Time passes and the food supply to Springfield gets cut off, leading to the Simpsons having a low amount of food. Santa's Little Helper then smells food and leads the family to the attic where Homer's old lunchbox was, with some Animal Crackers from the 1960s in. Homer starts eating the crackers when he finds a gold giraffe, which meant he won a competition to be sent to Africa.
At Kitchen-Maid Inc., the company that made Animal Crackers, Homer demanded they honor the competition, even though it ended decades ago. After the Animal Crackers box snaps off the string and hurts Homer's eye, the executive at the company decided to honor the competition after all, rather than get sued by Homer. The Simpsons then go to Tanzania where they meet their tour guide, Kitenge.
Kitenge takes the Simpsons around the country, telling them about President Muntu and showing them the Ngorongoro Wildlife Preserve. At the preserve, the family and Kitenge encounter poachers, who Kitenge scares away. They then visit the Olduvai Gorge archaeological site and then a Masai Village. At the Masai village, the family joins in the singing and dancing and makes friends. Homer then accidentally angered a hippopotamus and Kitenge fought it off, telling the family to run away. The Simpsons get on a small boat and sail down the river, eventually going over Victoria Falls. They then find their way to Joan Bushwell's Chimp Refuge, near Mt. Kilimanjaro, where they seek Dr. Bushwell's help.
At the Chimp Refuge, the poachers attack. The Simpsons help Dr. Bushwell to fend them off, until Lisa found out that they were with Greenpeace. Greenpeace explained that they were trying to save the chimps because Dr. Bushwell was running a diamond mine, with the chimps as slaves. Dr. Bushwell gets erratic and slightly crazy and offers the Simpsons diamonds in exchange for their silence on the matter. The Simpsons accept and go home with a lot of diamonds. On the plane, they notice another billboard, this one showing that Kitenge had now become president, which they thought was a big promotion for him. Muntu on the other hand was now a flight attendant on the plane the Simpsons were on.
The bag boys going on strike was inspired by an Albertsons store in Los Angeles, whose employees went on strike when the episode was written. The idea for the Simpsons visiting Africa was pitched by Larry Doyle. The writers of the episode deliberatly included factual errors about Tanzania to annoy viewers who wanted the series to seem realistic.
Mark Kirkland, who served as the director of the episode, had previously visited Kenya. He said that the episode was all over the place geographically and attempted to make the episode look as real as possible. In order to make Kitenge's singing sound as accurate as possible, Hank Azaria was taught to sing the song phonetically by a professor in Swahili at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Composer Alf Clausen was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series in the 53rd Primetime Emmy Awards for "Simpson Safari". However, it lost to "Endgame from Star Trek: Voyager.
- Maxtone-Graham, Ian (2009) Commentary for "Simpson Safari", in The Simpsons: The Complete Eleventh Season.
- Selman, Matt (2009) Commentary for "Simpson Safari", in The Simpsons: The Complete Eleventh Season.
- Kirkland, Mark (2009) Commentary for "Simpson Safari", in The Simpsons: The Complete Eleventh Season.
- Scully, Mike (2009) Commentary for "Simpson Safari", in The Simpsons: The Complete Eleventh Season.
- Television Academy - "Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore) – 2001"
- IMDb - "Simpson Safari"
- TV.com - "Simpson Safari"