The Simpsons Gives Jobs the Macworld Answer

December 17, 2008 | Chris Maxcer | Comments 0

By Chris Maxcer

Doh! When Apple said Steve Jobs would be sitting out of Macworld’s keynote address this year . . . and that the January 2009 Macworld would be the company’s last, Apple didn’t give anyone the real reason for its late-breaking decision.

In fact, I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s really just one clear scenario that makes far more sense than any speculation about the health of Steve Jobs, the lack of wicked cool products for Jobs to ‘one more thing’, or even the idea that conferences cost too much for too little return on investment. No, it’s pretty clear that Apple’s Macworld revelation came courtesy of Matt Groening, a la a recent Apple-spoofing episode of The Simpsons, Mypods and Boomsticks.

In the episode, The Simpsons swap out Apple with “Mapple” and iPods and iPhones with “Mypods” and “Myphones”. Even Steve Jobs gets an M makeover into Steve Mobs.

While the spoofing is funny, something much more important was afoot: The Simpsons unwittingly gave Steve Jobs a dose of clarity. Apple’s fans are such loyalists that Apple can bring them into the Apple Retail Stores just to pitch them new products. If I were IDG, I’d be pissed at Fox and the writers behind The Simpsons, not Apple.

Consider This

In one scene, a voice emanating over loudspeakers begins speaking while customers turn and gaze up, eyes wide, to face a giant television screen.

“Attention Mapple Universe. Prepare for a live announcement from Mapple founder and chief imaginative officer Steve Mobs.”

The crowd gets excited, and someone shouts, “He’s a genius!”

Another gushes, “He’s like a god who knows what we want!”

“Greetings, it is I, your insanely great leader, Steve Mobs. I’m speaking to you from Mapple headquarters deep below the sea with an announcement that will completely change the way you look at everything,” Steve says.

The crowd, of course, is eating this up, and no doubt the real Steve Jobs had an “Ah ha!” moment. Apple doesn’t need Macworld. Apple doesn’t need CES. Apple, with its insanely successful retail stores and QuickTime doesn’t even need reporters to fly into California for new product briefings. All Apple needs to do is make special event announcements all around the world at retail stores whenever it has a new product to introduce.

And why not share it first with Apple customers in a controlled Apple Retail Store environment?

Seriously now, who could possibly not buy a newly introduced product on the heels of seeing Steve Jobs, bigger than life, introduce it almost in person with all those shiny Apple logos everywhere?

If I had been in an Apple Store for the new unibody MacBook announcements, I would have handed my wallet over for a new MBP on the spot. No need to reflect, to consider if it was necessary, much less whether it was even a worthy upgrade.

Boom. Sale. It’s that easy.

We Still Love Bart

Of course, Bart Simpson gets a hold of the Mapple store sound system and pretends to be the voice of Steve Mobs while he calls the customer audience “chumps”.

Then the comic book guy comes running down the aisle with a hammer a la the 1984 ad that started it all . . . and you can guess the rest. Or better yet, head over to Hulu* and watch the episode in full. It’s absolutely delightful — even for Mac-lovin’ fans. Meanwhile, here’s the scene I mentioned: 

*I believe Hulu limits broadcasts to watchers only in the United States . . . sorry. We know that sucks and wish Hulu would share the streaming love with everyone.

Filed Under: Apple Action


About the Author: Chris Maxcer is editor and publisher of He's been writing about the tech industry for years. While he enjoys wicked cool gear and design, there's something to be said for turning it all off — or most of it — to go outside. To contact him, take a firstname.lastname guess at

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