Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Germans, as they so often do, have a word for a highly specific, immediately recognizable sensation that nevertheless has no English-language equivalent. This particular word is fremdscham, the cringing secondhand embarrassment you feel when someone is obliviously making a fool of himself, and Ted Cruz has revealed himself to be a natural at generating it. The presidential candidate and Tea Party favorite did some of the worst Simpsons impressions you’ve ever heard for BuzzFeed, as part of a mock audition to replace departing cast member Harry Shearer. Nitpickers might point out that Shearer didn’t voice Homer or Lisa Simpson, but that doesn’t stop Cruz:

In just over one extremely painful to watch minute, Cruz appears dead set on developing counter-evidence to a separate BuzzFeed piece about his supposed savvy at viral campaign strategy. According to that article, Cruz and his team agreed to do the video on the fly and had just a few minutes to go over the script, which definitely checks out once you’ve seen the impressions. Still, neither his Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Homer, Lisa, nor Kang-as-Bill Clinton manages to be quite as fremdscham-inducing as his rendition of “Amazing Grace,” so there is that.


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