As the internet’s leading “Steamed Hams” beat reporter (self-appointed, naturally), I am pleased to inform you all that there are now two playable versions of this wonderful Simpsons meme.
The first comes to us from developer MonsterJail, otherwise known as Daniel McFarline, who has produced several small downloadable games available on itch.io. “Steamed Hams but it’s a playable 2D indie game” is a pixelated recreation of the short’s entirety. There’s an interactive portion here, however — which means, for the first time, we get to create our own “Steamed Hams” storyline. Watch a full playthrough above.
There are six different endings for McFarline’s gamified version of the sketch, which is a Windows-exclusive. Yet if you’re like me, a begrudging Mac user, “Steamed Hams but it’s a playable 2D indie game” is out of reach. I appreciate, then, that Geek.com’s Will Greenwald took the joke farther with “Steamed Hams But it’s a Visual Novel Made Entirely With Stock Art,” hosted on game site Newgrounds.
Principal Skinner and Superintendent Chalmers have been transformed into adorable anime boys, which is slightly disconcerting. But try to tell me that the sketch’s apex, the “Aurora borealis” joke, during which anime Chalmers takes up more and more of the screen, isn’t a hilarious use of this lo-fi genre.
The visual novel take is otherwise a straight text-based version of the sketch without any creative leeway. But I’m in love with the increasing ambition of these “Steamed Hams” jokes. May they never die.