Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled Steamed Hams reaches its zenith with Jeff Goldblum as Principal Skinner
Photo: Charles Sykes (Bravo/NBCU via Getty Images)

The ubiquity of the “Steamed Hams” meme is a textbook example of the internet firing on all cylinders. Taking an old piece of daffy pop-culture ephemera—in this case the “Steamed Hams” clip from The Simpsons’ seventh season episode “22 Short Films About Springfield”—and repurposing it in a seemingly endless variety of translations, weird alterations, and oddly edited formats is a time-honored means of wasting away the hours online. Mashable recently even put together a history of the transition from random Simpsons shitposting to omnipresent video-clip lore, calling it “the world’s greatest meme.” But all of that was before Jeff Goldblum got involved.

Displaying a kind of chutzpah more media outlets on lightweight press junkets should emulate, it appears that Gamespot sent a representative to one of the nonstop press events for upcoming sequel Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and rather than just ask Goldblum questions about the movie, handed him the script for “Steamed Hams” and asked him to perform the role of Seymour Skinner. And the actor, who has a proven track record of not giving a fuck, was more than happy to oblige, delivering a very Goldblum-esque version of the animated principal’s prevarications, complete with signature “ah, ums” and all.


And with that, “Steamed Hams” reaches its apex. The synthesis of Goldblum and an aurora borealis localized entirely with Skinner’s kitchen turns out to be the steamed hams the world was waiting for. “I like the writing, too—that was from what?” Goldblum asks after completing his cold read, thereby ensuring his immortal place in the lineage of “Steamed Hams,” now presumably the only project with which anyone will ever associate him.

Alex McLevy is a writer and editor at The A.V. Club, and would kindly appreciate additional videos of robots failing to accomplish basic tasks.

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