Washington Babylon — October 16, 2009, 8:27 am

Revealed: Bart Simpson behind helium balloon hoax

The story that captivated the nation ends with a whimper, not a bang. “A 6-year-old boy…thought to be inside a balloon that floated over Colorado for over two hours has been found alive at his home, the county sheriff said,” reports the New York Times.

The boy, Falcon Heene, clearly was inspired by The Simpsons, specifically the “Radio Bart” episode, summarized here:

It is Bart’s birthday. Homer buys him a “Superstar Celebrity Microphone” that sends sound through an AM radio. Bart plays a prank on the town with the radio. He throws the radio down a well and talks on the microphone, acting like he is trapped in the well.

Best moment:

Homer: That Timmy is a real hero!

Lisa: How do you mean, Dad?

Homer: Well, he fell down a well, and… he can’t get out.

Lisa: How does that make him a hero?

Homer: Well, that’s more than you did!

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More from Ken Silverstein:

From the November 2013 issue

Dirty South

The foul legacy of Louisiana oil

Perspective October 23, 2013, 8:00 am

On Brining and Dining

How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy

Postcard October 16, 2013, 8:00 am

The Most Cajun Place on Earth

A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits 

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