July 28, 2010 | 8:50 AM
Grameen America’s microloan programs are no laughing matter, but just for a moment allow me to direct your attention away from the United States to Dhaka, Bangladesh where a member of one of America’s funniest TV shows is seeing firsthand how Professor Yunus is changing the lives of low-income entrepreneurs.
Yeardley Smith, the voice of Lisa Simpson of The Simpsons cartoon fame has been a longtime supporter of Professor Yunus and the work of Grameen Bank. In the past, she has visited Grameen operations in other countries, such as Haiti, but this week marked her first trip to the country of Grameen’s origin.
This won’t be the last time this year that The Simpsons, the longest running sitcom in American history, and Professor Yunus will be mentioned in the same sentence. Professor Yunus has been invited to the iconic town of Springfield, USA, the animated home of The Simpsons. He will be featured on an episode devoted to the theme of Grameen and microfinance. Professor Yunus has already recorded his voice for the show.
Although the episode doesn’t air until October, you can bet we will have updates on it as more information becomes available. You can read the official Grameen Bank release here and the BBC story here. No word yet on if Lisa will be applying for a loan.