Did The Simpsons invent the iPod?

22 Jun 2015

As the brains behind easily one of the best TV shows of all time, The Simpsons and its team of writers tend to be rather clever people, and some people on the internet believe they may have invented the design of one of this century’s most influential gadgets, Apple’s iPod.

Okay, so maybe Matt Groening hasn’t got much of a legal case against Apple for nicking its iconic iPod design, but boy was it similar.

The ‘iPod’ in question appeared in the episode Bart After Dark, which aired on 24 November 1996, a whole five years before Apple released the product that would quickly make it one of the most influential companies in the world.

In the episode, Bart found himself working for a woman named Belle who runs the town’s burlesque house, in order to pay off damages he did to the house while getting up to his antics.

Unsurprisingly, the town, and in particular Ned Flanders, are not too keen on the idea of a burlesque house being in the town at all, leading to a mob descending on the house.

Being polite, the angry, torch-wielding mob rings the buzzer first, but those of us with hindsight will notice that the buzzer has a rather familiar design — of what looks like a click-wheel and screen.

So there you have it, the writers of The Simpsons are tech prophets.

Simpsons iPod screen

The Simpsons emulating The Beatles image via G8llte/Flickr

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Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic