Just to put The Simpsons in perspective; I am 33 years old. The Simpsons began its historic run on FOX in 1989, spun off from the Tracey Ullman Show when I was 7! As in starting second grade! So when my generation speaks of The Simpsons we aren’t just mentioning one of many quality shows on television. We literally grew up with these characters. Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie aren’t characters; they’re our neighbors, classmates, and friends. “DOH” and “Cowabunga Dude” are parts of American history and culture. Co-creator Matt Groening and friends greeted fans at San Diego Comic-Con with a panel that discussed the future of the series as it enters it 27th (!) season, and the all-things Simpsons FXX universe.
Watch the panel videos below.
Joining Groening on stage for the panel were Bart himself (herself), Nancy Cartwright (in cosplay), Executive Producer Al Jean and a special surprise panelist… acclaimed writer/director Guillermo Del Toro. Jean lead a discussion about what fans can look forward to this season, including the girls from Girls (on HBO), and guest star Kelsey Grammar returning as Sideshow Bob, to actually achieve his decades long goal of killing Bart Simpson on this year’s “Treehouse of Horror” Halloween special (del Toro wrote the script). SNL’s Kate McKinnon, and hilarious British comedian/writer/actor Stephen Merchant are also slated to put in voiceover cameos. Jean addresses Simpsons World, the everything Simpsons streaming service provided by FX, their brainchild since spending an unreal $750 million to buy the syndication rights in 2013. Simpsons World is accessible through video game consoles and streaming devices such as Roku and Apple TV. Jean mentioned that Simpsons World will allow fans to watch in original formats or in HD, and commentaries for season 18 are almost completed.
We get fan questions about the Simpsons/Family Guy crossover, to which Groening and Nancy Cartwright both say was a fun experience with the “FOX family.” When asked about controversial episodes, Jean mentions being threatened by Brazil with lawsuits over an episode. Groening addresses the popularity and longevity of the show and says that it was co-creator and multiple Oscar winner James L. Brooks that made it clear the show needed to be grounded in real emotion, so that people forget they’re watching a cartoon. Well, mission accomplished. The Simpsons has maintained its popularity and core values for nearly 3 decades, and shows no signs of slowing down.
Season 27 begins Sunday night September 27th at 8:00pm ET on FOX.
THE SIMPSONS | Comic-Con 2015 Panel (Part 1) | ANIMATION on FOX
Executive Producer Al Jean gives a sneak peek as to what’s in store for Season 27 of THE SIMPSONS!
THE SIMPSONS | Comic-Con 2015 Panel (Part 2) | ANIMATION on FOX
THE SIMPSONS team talks about the FAMILY GUY crossover, controversial episodes, and what’s kept the show a hit for so many years.