A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a hot catchphrase can be measured in bucks—big bucks, as Nancy Cartwright pointed out to us.
Interviewed last month on Passions, the actress best known as the voice of Bart Simpson recalled how her character acquired his wildy popular retort, “Eat my shorts!”
“That was totally mine!” Nancy told host Beverly Malone—a classmate of hers at Ohio University.
“That came from high school. I was in the marching band. And we used to say, ‘Dun-dun-da-DUN-dun
—Fairmont West! Dun-dun-da-DUN-dun—Fairmont West!’
“But my senior year it changed to ‘Dun-dun-da-DUN-dun—Eat my shorts!’
“That was the drum cadence and we would march down to the stadium saying, ‘Eat my shorts! Eat my shorts!’
“And when I got The Simpsons, I was reading one of the scripts and I went ‘Eat my shorts!’ and it ended up sticking.
“And next thing you know, it’s on three million T-shirts makin’ millions of kids happy—and makin’ Fox multi-billionaires!”
Nancy, who’s been voicing Bart for two decades, also discusses how she landed that role.
“The audition came up and it was for the part of Lisa. But I didn’t really want to do Lisa because she was eight years old—a little child,” she says.
“But Bart was a 10-year-old underachiever in school, but proud of it. He seemed more interesting to me.
“So I told [Simpsons creator] Matt Groening, ‘You don’t mind if—I don’t want to do the girl. I wanna do the kid.’ And he was like, ‘Yea, no problem.’
“And I did the part and that was it. I got the job right there on the spot.”
To hear Nancy’s full interview, click here.