Here is a very cold take: The Simpsons is the greatest sitcom — nay, TV series — of all time.
It’s an oft-repeated claim that, at this point, stands as fact. Sure, it’s had some rough years; now in its 29th season, The Simpsons has had more lackluster episodes than all-star ones. But recent weeks have reminded us all of its indelible greatness, thanks to absurdly wonderful reinterpretations of what may be the show’s best scene.
If you haven’t seen the original “Steamed Hams” bit — officially known as “Skinner and the Superintendent,” from classic season seven episode “22 Short Films About Springfield” — please watch it below.
OK, now you’re prepared for the next steps. While the internet has praised “Steamed Hams” for years, a specific take on the goof caused a resurgence in mid-November. I’ve tracked this back to a highly upvoted Reddit thread, which started off as a basic conversation praising the scene.
But the thread’s top post linked out to a video from October: “Steamed Hams but it’s a Custom Guitar Hero Song.” It’s exactly what it sounds like.
From there, the internet fell in love with the new take on the bit. Now there’s “Steamed Hams But It’s A Piano Dub” (a beautiful variation); my personal favorite, “Steamed Hams translated in to Chinese and then back in to English on google translate;” and even “Steamed Hams but it’s Metal Gear Solid.” That last one is the most recent of the trio, and it is absolutely fantastic.
This is what they call shitposting at its finest, friends. Please keep the “Steamed Hams” coming.
Update: “Steamed Hams” may have reached its apex. Writer Bill Oakley, who scripted the original version of the “Skinner and the Superintendent” segment back in 1996, shared the first draft on Twitter.
It’s not all that different from the aired version. Either way, this thread — and Oakley — rules.
Steamed Hams, but it's the original first draft in a thread pic.twitter.com/x9ORERiBVq— Bill Oakley (@thatbilloakley) January 4, 2018
Update 2: These videos only keep getting better. This is a parody of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, given the “Steamed Hams” treatment.
Keep those updates and recs coming, my dear friends. [Thanks Alex!]
Update 3: I’m pleased to share with you all another entry in our never-ending quest to catalogue the best of “Steamed Hams.” Please watch the ambitious “Steamed Hams but it’s Hotline Miami,” embedded below.
Update 4: I will never cease to be astounded by what folks are doing with this meme. Below is “Steamed Hams but it’s edited in the style of Nier Automata,” which is even better than it sounds. And it already sounds extremely good.
“Steamed Hams but it’s a mission in GTA San Andreas” is another marvel in editing. There’s omnipresent rap playing in the background; the user interface is beautifully recreated; the captions perfectly convey that this is a choice-based mission. I want this game.
Lastly, this one’s not a video, but it is still a lovely goof. If you’ve played Fire Pro Wrestling World, which has gained a cult following since its Early Access release last year, you’ll really appreciate Chalmers and Skinner getting ready to duke it out in the tweet below.
AURORA BOREALIS?— oh god ramona's on this site? (@lonelyfrontier) January 18, 2018
AT THIS TIME OF DAY?
AT THIS TIME OF YEAR?
IN THIS PART OF THE COUNTRY?
LOCALIZED ENTIRELY WITHIN YOUR RING? pic.twitter.com/gO7dcQ5fw4
Update 5: I would like to say hello to my family; I would like to say hello to my friends; and I would like to say hello to you, readers, and my fellow fans of the “Steamed Hams.” Today, I bring you one of my new favorite takes on “Steamed Hams”: an elaborate homage to Ghost Trick, the cult-favorite Nintendo DS game from the creator of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.
Designed like a chapter from this stylish game, this video includes some original animation from user Micnaxable. Superintendent Chalmers and Principal Skinner would have looked pretty good in their own Nintendo DS game, based on their appearance here.
Another stop on our journey to the center of this delicious meme is this very good speedrunning gag, which I’ve returned to time and again over the past weeks. Several YouTubers are “speedrunning” their way through this glorious snippet of comedy history; this is the fastest time thus far. Congrats, Meme - tastic!, on finishing the sketch in just over 30 seconds.
For the Team Fortress 2 fans out there, here’s a relatively new one: “Steamed Hams but it’s animated in source filmmaker and there’s a twist.” The Sniper is Skinner; the Soldier is Chalmers. Stick around for that ending, because Spockitans isn’t kidding when they say there is a twist. It’s nice to see folks continuing to take the storyline into their own hands as we continue to ride into that good, steamed night.
Keep ‘em coming, friends. Don’t forget to hit me up with your latest favorite “Steamed Hams” content as we soldier on through this darkest of seasons.
Update 6: It’s that time again — “Steamed Hams” time. Let’s get rolling with the goods:
Both The Simpsons and the Persona franchise are on my shortlist of favorite things, so I’m really into “Steamed Hams but it’s a Persona 5 Confidant.” Principal Skinner makes for a good silent protagonist.
“Steamed Hams but the genre changes every time Skinner tells a lie” is probably the most disturbing version I’ve seen yet. It’s also one of the most impressive. I love it so much. (The part when the scene turns into Outrun is baller.)
If you saw Blade Runner 2049, you’ll appreciate this inspired take: “Steamed Hams but Chalmers is a Blade Runner.” Even if you haven’t seen the movie, the opening card is the perfect kind of absurd.
This one’s been kicking around since just after my last update, but it’s always worth a rewatch. Left 4 Dead 2 fans and unawares alike can appreciate “Steamed Hams but it’s Coach and Nick,” starring the two playable characters who hate each other the most.
I could keep going, but let’s just end things here — on the highest of high notes. “Steamed Hams Inc.” is the latest in a trend of syncing up the sketch to quality jams, but this Gorillaz version is my favorite one thus far. Congratulations, NPCarlsson: You have won at “Steamed Hams”-ing.
Thanks to all the good people who’ve sent content my way for the past month. Keep ‘em coming; “Steamed Hams” is the only thing I’m happy to see blowing up my mentions.