The Greatest Story Ever D'ohed

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"The Greatest Story Ever D'ohed"
The Simpsons episode
Episode no.Season 21
Episode 17
Directed byMichael Polcino
Written byKevin Curran
Production codeMABF10[1]
Original air dateMarch 28, 2010
Guest appearance(s)

Sacha Baron Cohen as Jakob
Yael Naim as Dorit

Episode features
Couch gagThe Simpsons are led to the living room on leashes like dogs at a dog show. Bart is awarded the blue ribbon, and a jealous Homer attacks him, but Bart bites back harder & wins.
Episode chronology
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"Stealing First Base"
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"American History X-cellent"
The Simpsons (season 21)
List of The Simpsons episodes

"The Greatest Story Ever D'ohed" is the seventeenth episode of The Simpsons' twenty-first season and the 457th episode overall. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 28, 2010 (Palm Sunday and the eve of Passover).[2] In this episode, the Simpsons vacation in Jerusalem with Ned Flanders, but Homer does not appreciate the city's religious importance—until he gets lost in the desert, and in a severe state of dehydration, believes himself to be the Messiah.[3]

The episode was written by Kevin Curran and directed by Michael Polcino and guest stars Sacha Baron Cohen as the Israeli tour guide Jakob and Yael Naim as his niece Dorit.

“The Greatest Story Ever D'ohed" received a 2.7/8 Nielsen Rating in the 18-49 demographic and mixed reviews from critics.


Ned Flanders becomes frustrated when Homer disrupts his Bible study group, and Reverend Lovejoy recommends that Ned invites the Simpson family to join the group on their tour of Jerusalem. Homer is skeptical, but Marge accepts and soon the family is on their way to the Holy Land. Upon arrival in Jerusalem, they are joined by Krusty the Clown, who is making a Jewish pilgrimage. Passing the Western Wall, they meet a talkative, pushy tour guide named Jakob and his niece Dorit, who doubles as his security guard and pummels Bart into submission using her knowledge of Krav Maga.

At first, Homer and the other tourists show more interest in the hotel's buffet than they do in seeing the city, much to Ned's dismay. When they arrive at King David's tomb, Ned implores Homer to show some respect. Homer, however, continues to goof off and Ned becomes increasingly impatient with him.

Their next stop is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Ned prays that Homer will find some meaning in the tour but soon finds him taking a nap on Jesus' tomb. Ned loses his temper and yells at Homer, an outburst that prompts security personnel to remove him from the church and permanently ban him from returning. He storms off, exasperated with Homer's crass behavior and lack of reverence. Homer loses sight of Ned and believes that he is lost in the desert; in reality, Ned has calmed himself by getting a cup of tea and going to see a movie. Homer rides into the desert on a camel in search of Ned, but becomes lost in a sandstorm and begins to succumb to dehydration. He drinks some of the brackish water from the Dead Sea, worsening his condition, and hallucinates that several of the characters from VeggieTales are naming him as a new Messiah.

Marge and a security guard rescue Homer, and Dr. Hibbert diagnoses him with Jerusalem syndrome, whose sufferers possess religiously-themed obsessive ideas. Homer escapes from the hotel and ends up at the Dome of the Rock. Marge, the Simpson children, and Dr. Hibbert chase after him, only to hear him preach that the similarities of different religions outweigh their differences, and that all should search for a common ground for a joint new religion, the so-called "Chrismujews". Ned witnesses Homer's speech and is profoundly moved, but the effect is lost on the crowd as nearly all of the other tour group members have developed Jerusalem syndrome as well. On the flight back to Springfield, Ned and Homer reconcile.


A reviewer from IGN found Sacha Baron Cohen's voiceover of the tour guide difficult to understand

In its original airing, "The Greatest Story Ever D'ohed" was viewed by 5.698 million viewers and got a Nielsen Rating of 2.7, with an 8 share of the audience. It came second in its timeslot and second in the "Animation Domination" lineup.[4]

The episode received mixed and positive reviews.

Robert Canning of IGN gave the episode a 7.3, calling it was "Decent" and adding, "I was underwhelmed with Sacha Baron Cohen's voice work as the group's tour guide. He was like a sped up Borat and was actually a bit difficult to understand at times. The few jokes that did get through were only okay." Canning also stated that "It's difficult to keep your expectations in check when you hear about an upcoming guest star, and that likely affected my perception of this episode. But that it is what it is. Perhaps subsequent viewings will find me enjoying this more, but for now, "Greatest Story Ever D'ohed" was just this side of good."[5]

Emily VanDerWerff of The A.V. Club gave the episode a B+ and said "there were jokes here that went on way too long, like that whole krav maga thing. But, for the most part, this was a funny vacation episode, and the show hasn't done one of those in a while."[6]

Jason Hughes of TV Squad gave the episode a negative review saying "I don't expect 'The Simpsons' to have that sharp edge of wit it used to in its earlier, more subversive days, but I do expect it to be able to create situations for humor from time to time; even if it's gentle humor."[7] The TV Fanatic gave the episode a 3/5 saying "It manages to combine jokes, while still showing positive messages such as Homer showing genuine care after Flanders, his supposed enemy, takes off into the desert [sic]. Or even Homer's positive message of re-uniting all faiths."[8]

Writer Kevin Curran was nominated for a Humanitas Award for his script.[9]


The episode was used on a report on Jerusalem syndrome by CNN.[10]

While searching for Ned in the desert, Homer complains of his hunger, thirst, and libido to the tune of the theme from Lawrence of Arabia.


  1. ^ "U.S. Copyright Office - Search Copyright Records". Archived from the original on 2011-02-24. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
  2. ^ Snierson, Dan (2009-09-18). "Exclusive: Sacha Baron Cohen to guest on 'The Simpsons'". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 2009-09-23. Retrieved 2009-09-19.
  3. ^ "The Simpsons - Episode Guide - MSN TV". 2011-01-23. Archived from the original on 2012-08-29. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
  4. ^ Gorman, Bill. "TV Ratings: Basketball Elevates CBS; Undercover Boss Still In Charge". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on 2010-04-01. Retrieved 2010-03-29.
  5. ^ Canning, Robert. "The Simpsons: "Greats Story Ever D'Ohed" [sic] Review". IGN. Archived from the original on 2010-03-31. Retrieved 2010-03-29.
  6. ^ VanDerWerff, Emily. ""The Greatest Story Ever D'ohed"/"The Brown Knight"/"Brian Griffin's House of Payne"". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on 2010-03-31. Retrieved 2010-03-29.
  7. ^ Jason Hughes. "'The Simpsons' - 'The Greatest Story Ever D'Ohed' Recap". TV Squad. Archived from the original on 2010-04-01. Retrieved 2010-03-29.
  8. ^ Eric Hochberger. "The Simpsons Review: "The Greatest Story Ever D'ohed"". TV Fanatic. Archived from the original on 2010-04-02. Retrieved 2010-04-08.
  9. ^ "Simpsons writers share their memories of the late Kevin Curran". 2016-10-26. Archived from the original on 2016-10-27. Retrieved 2016-10-26.
  10. ^ Jessica Ravitz (March 29, 2010). "Homer Simpson isn't the only would-be 'Messiah' in Jerusalem". CNN. Archived from the original on 2010-04-01. Retrieved 2010-03-29.

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