“Not in Utica, no — it’s an Albany expression.” So goes one of the deadpan lines in a much-loved, and oft-imitated, segment of “The Simpsons.” The segment, in an episode that first aired 25 years ago this month, carries the official name of “Skinner and the Superintendent,” but has become shortened into a two-word fan catchphrase: “Steamed hams.”
The segment built a cult following over time, to the point that online videos using the “steamed hams” plot and characters have proliferated in recent years. The explosion of the meme shows how the show became a cultural icon of American television. Indeed, the evolving history of the “steamed hams” bit illustrates the former power of a widely watched show that used to define comedy for millions of Americans.
Origins of the Segment
The “steamed hams” segment occurred in “22 Short Films About Springfield,” an episode of the seventh season of “The Simpsons” that first aired on Apr. 14, 1996. According to