By Stephen Sorace
Published April 29, 2019
“The Simpsons” graced upstate New York with its own parody song during Sunday night’s episode, mocking the area’s economic and population “decline” with jokes that a senior adviser to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo dismissed as “dumb cheap shots.”
Homer Simpson and family went on a road trip to Niagara Falls in the episode titled “D’oh Canada,” poking fun at each of the towns and cities they drove through, including Buffalo, Rochester, Niskayuna and Oriskany.
"We're headed to the one place that can never decline because it was never that great: Upstate New York," Homer tells his family before breaking out in song to the tune of Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.”
The song includes shots of Homer attending a Buffalo Bills game with nearly empty stands, passing by a declining population counter in Utica, and a closed down Kodak plant that implodes as a group of people stand outside taking selfies on cell phones.
"The Kodak plant closed; But I'm a-longin' to stay / And go on disability in upstate New York," Homer sings.
President Trump has previously commented on the region's struggles, telling reporters in February that while he loves upstate New Yorkers, “they’ve been treated very badly,” Rochester-area newspaper the Democrat & Chronicle reported.
"If New York isn’t gonna treat them better, I would recommend they go to another state where they can get a great job," Trump said at the time.
Rich Azzopardi, a senior adviser to Democratic Gov. Cuomo, responded to the episode’s harsh take on the area — tossing a couple of zingers of his own at the show.
"There always remains work to be done but — dumb cheap shots aside — facts are facts: jobs are up, unemployment is down, millennials are coming back and it's clear that Poochie was an uncredited writer on that episode," Azzopardi tweeted. "However, I still want a Fighting Hellfish tattoo."
Census data released in April shows that from 2010 to 2018 the population of 46 of the state’s 62 counties, most of which were in the upstate region, reported declines, the Democrat & Chronicle reported.