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Could you please tell me what the joke is in the following conversation between two English guys? I mean why did they depict them betting on urchin children ? Why are they kissing ?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xT7fVUKoHUU

00:11:43,411 --> 00:11:45,871 Well, look at those filthy urchins.

227 00:11:45,955 --> 00:11:48,374 Surely they could never be taught proper manners.

228 00:11:48,458 --> 00:11:51,668 One gold sovereign says I could do just that.

229 00:11:51,753 --> 00:11:55,047 (CHUCKLING) it's a bet, Lord Daftwager!

230 00:11:55,131 --> 00:11:58,634 You can't bet on my kids! This is America, pal!

231 00:11:59,302 --> 00:12:01,804 Don't worry. We'll find more wagers.

232 00:12:02,555 --> 00:12:04,390 I love you, Lord Daftwager.

233 00:12:04,474 --> 00:12:05,849 Yes. And I you.

234 00:12:07,644 --> 00:12:09,019 Yes, quite.

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I'm British. The Simpsons is American. The humour is based on American stereotypes of British behaviour and attitudes. It also draws on the authors' perceptions about the limitations of their own compatriots.

  1. Please tell me what the joke is in the following conversation - Homer says, "You can't do that, this is America!" The action takes place in London so Homer is wrong! He is reflecting a stereotypical perception of many less educated Americans that they 'own the world'. Homer believes that England is part of America.

  2. Why did they depict them betting on urchin children? The idea of urchin children in the streets of London comes from the fact that many American readers are familiar with the works of Charles Dickens. In Dickens' day there were indeed many such children. Whether they can be found nowadays is a matter for political discussion.

  3. Why are they kissing? I see this as a flight of imagination. It may be that the authors have read a news story about some English lords who are openly gay. I really don't know. I don't think it's significant. It is just an amusing way of bringing the scene to an end.

  • Definitely humor based on stereotypes, but it's about bi-directional cultural influence as well. Homer's kids are dressed in 1960s-era psychedelic clothing (a British import to America), a funny mix of Dickensian Victoriana and the 1960s. The music is from a James Bond soundtrack. Homer spots Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin (the British band) and calls him "one of the greatest thieves of American black music who ever walked the earth". The "passionate" homo-erotic kissing is deflated by stereotypical British reserve: "yes, quite". – Tᴚoɯɐuo Aug 13 '15 at 14:03
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    Quite possibly a My Fair Lady/Pygmalion reference in there as well. – nkjt Aug 13 '15 at 14:11
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    @nkjt: I'd say that's an absolute certainty. – FumbleFingers Aug 13 '15 at 14:20
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Lord Daftwager and his friend (and their betting on the kids) is a reference to the play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw (which was adapted as the musical film My Fair Lady.)

The two male characters in the play and the musical are not gay though, that's just The Simpsons being funny.

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