Monday, February 6, 2012

The eructative Eudora Welty

I shared in another post how I was introduced to John Cheever through a pop-culture reference in an episode of Seinfeld. But I’m sure Cheever’s not the only writer to befall this sorry fate. Sadly, my first introduction to Eudora Welty came in a 1995 episode of the Simpsons.

In “A Star is Burns” film critic Jay Sherman comes to Springfield to judge a film festival. It’s an important episode in the Simpson’s canon if only for the two short films embedded below, “Man getting hit by Football” by Hans Moleman and “Pukahontas” by Barney Gumble (You’ll have to ignore the Polish subtitles.)

The reference to Mme. Welty comes as Sherman is bragging about having won the Pulitzer, to which Homer responds with some bragging of his own:

The exchange between Lisa and Sherman is cut off at the end, but it goes something like this:

Lisa: “Wow! How many Pulitzer Prize winners can do that?”
Jay Sherman: “Just me and Eudora Welty.”

Later in the episode Krusty the Clown announces that he has a date with Eurdora Welty, after which a giant belch is heard offscreen and Krusty shouts, “Coming, Eudora!”

My own internet sleuthing (which is notorious in some circles) has failed to come up with any substantiated basis for this running gag at Ms. Welty’s expense. I’d love to learn that she was a profligate belcher, but highly doubt it. Anyone out there know if there’s a source for it? Anyone?


  1. My search yielded no fruit but I did enjoy this:

  2. Thanks, Jennifer. I'll take a look.

    I can't access your link just now, but whatever it is must be good, because the corporate firewall is blocking access.

  3. Today I was wondering the same, and by googling I ended here. However in a second search I found this novel by Eudora Welty:
    Looking there you will find:
    "...So Mike Fink woke up with a belch like the roar of a lion. "
    I think that is the origin of the joke.. really obscure...

  4. Nice....always wondered about this...

  5. Wow....I always use a Eudoea Welty line whenever I hear someone burp loudly.
    I actually never heard of her until this episode, and (ofcourse I'm going to do some research) I hope her life's work hasn't been reduced to a one liner on the Simpson's. Even if it was a clever one liner.

  6. I've laughed my ass off every time I even just think of this moment on the Simpsons, which I have never forgotten in 25 years!!! As with the others, I found this because I had to know. I saw a picture of Eudora on Wikipedia and laughed again as I imagined that great sound coming from her.

  7. I think the joke simply is finding the funniest Pulizer Prize winner you could picture belching.