Mark Twain in Our Times

Twain, Television and Pop Culture


Mark Twain is probably the most famous and beloved humorist, satirist, and entertainer in American history.  Twain's quotes and humor are as popular today as at any time in American history.  In fact, examples everywhere reveal Twain's status as an American icon.  On November 29th, 2001, Laura Bush opened her Salute to American Authors series at the White House with Mark Twain as the first featured artist, saying that Twain is "what a lot of people would say is our very most important author."  In 2002, Ken Burns debuted his highly-successful two-part miniseries Mark Twain with a great deal of fanfare.

This website seeks to explore a few questions: How is the image of Mark Twain and of his works depicted on television today?  How accurate is that representation?  And what does the image of Mark Twain mean to America today?

This website details how two fixtures of modern television entertainment, "The Simpsons" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation," dealt with the image of Mark Twain and the tales which helped define his iconic image. 

Click on Simpsons to find out more about how America's Favorite Family takes on Twain's Tales. 

Click on Star Trek to explore how Twain would take on the 24th century–at least according to Roddenberry and Co.