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Heard on the Hill: Best Floor Speech Ever

Correction Appended

Sometimes, Members of Congress get to do some pretty cool stuff — like paying tribute to their favorite television show on the House floor.

Rep. Mike Quigley honored TV’s treasured animated family “The Simpsons” in a one-minute speech last week, noting the show recently marked its 20th anniversary. And as it turns out, the Illinois Democrat is a “Simpsons” superfan.

Quigley spokeswoman Aviva Gibbs tells HOH that she has “never met a bigger fan of any TV show,” noting that her boss can do spot-on imitations of several characters. For his part, the Congressman says he appreciates the show on two levels, for its slapstick comedy traits and its underlying deep themes. “In the end, it can be a very tender show,” he says.

Among Quigley’s favorite characters is the similarly named (and similarly employed) Mayor “Diamond Joe” Quimby — the Congressman joked that Springfield’s mayor is “our mentor.” Quigley is such a huge Quimby fan that when he filmed a recent “Better Know a District” segment on “The Colbert Report,” host Stephen Colbert began the interview with, “Mayor Quimby, good to have you here.” (Unfortunately, the clip didn’t make the show’s final cut.)

Quigley also is a big fan of uber-awkward second-grader Ralph Wiggum.

“I grew up on a block filled with Homers and Ralphies,” he says. “There were more Ralphs than ‘Leave it to Beavers.’”

It’s tougher for Quigley to pick a favorite “Simpsons” episode. “It would be like asking him which of his children he loves the most,” Gibbs joked.

But the Congressman is fond of “Bart Sells His Soul,” a seventh-season episode in which Bart sells his soul to Milhouse for $5; “The Cartridge Family,” a ninth-season episode that sees Homer buying a gun; and “Mother Simpson,” which features Glenn Close in a cameo as Homer’s long-lost mother.

So where does Quigley weigh in on the heated debate among “Simpsons” fans over whether the animated sitcom is past its heyday?

“It’s still my favorite show,” Quigley says. “I guess, overall, earlier was a little better. But there are some real gems that still pop up.”

The Comedy Caucus. The snow wordplay thankfully has gone the way of the blizzards that hit D.C. (SnOMG? Snowpocalypse? So last month), but Rep. Earl Blumenauer is set to revive it. The Oregon Democrat’s annual comedy fundraiser is titled “Snow More Puns: A Blizzard of Comedy.”

The event, slated for March 16 at the Washington Court Hotel, features a stellar lineup of Members of Congress doing their best stand-up acts. This year’s roster includes Democratic Reps. Marion Berry (Ark.), Bruce Braley (Iowa), Emanuel Cleaver (Mo.), Peter DeFazio (Ore.), John Larson (Conn.), Linda Sánchez (Calif.) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.).

Although Blumenauer’s fundraising comedy show is not technically a contest, like anything in Washington, it’s bound to be competitive. So who will get the most laughs?

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