“Everything’s coming up Millhouse!”
On Saturday Ballroom 29 was alight with good news and good vibes from The Simpsons panel at Comic Con.
3 years after its last release the show is coming back to DVD. Creator Matt Groening and executive producer Al Jean announced that 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment will release the 18th season of “The Simpsons” on DVD this December 5. On the cover: Mobster Fat Tony.
“Matt Groening tried really hard to bring them back, and we’re very happy to say the fans were listened to,” Jean said. “This is the one Tweet I’ve been looking forward to announce.”
A barebones Season 20 DVD was released out of order in 2010 to capitalize on the show’s landmark 20th anniversary; it didn’t include any commentary. What this means for collectors, myself included, looking to at least have the first 20 seasons on disc, only season 19 will be missing.
At the panel, Groening admitted that Fox generally gave “The Simpsons” free reign – except when someone from parent company 20th Century Fox asked the show to lighten up on its criticism of Fox News Channel. One joke, which featured a faux Fox News banner complaining that it was “not racist, but No. 1 with racists,” seemed to rile someone at the company.
“Then Bill O’Reilly called us pinheads and look what happened,” Groening quipped.
Naturally, the conversation segued onto Donald Trump. The Simpsons repeatedly made headlines over the past year for not only predicting Trump’s presidency several seasons prior but also for how it tackled his eventful time in office thus far. “Our show holds up a Springfield mirror to society, so that never fails to inspire us,” exec producer Matt Selman said.
Then the chanting.
Groening asked fans to start chanting: Lock him up, a new take on the “Lock her up” chant that conservatives used in reference to Hillary Clinton during last year’s campaign. Another producer did provide a silver lining by reminding everyone that Lisa became President after Trump.
Looking ahead, “The Simpsons” has been renewed through its 30th season; next year, during the show’s 29th season, it will hit episode 636, surpassing “Gunsmoke” as producing the most episodes ever of any scripted series.
Al Jean revealed that the animated series will be doing a Bob’s Burgers couch gag this season. “Now you have no reason to turn your TV off between them and us anymore,” Jean said.
The executive producers also teased several previously announced guest stars for the upcoming season, including Shaquille O’Neal, Martin Short, returning favorite Kelsey Grammer as Sideshow Bob and Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, whose character “has a very inappropriate relationship with one of the Simpsons,” Jean noted.
In terms of upcoming storylines, The Simpsons Movie director David Silverman reported that he’s working on an upcoming episode where the Simpson family travels to New Orleans for JazzFest. Jean also talked about a potential storyline that would reimagine Stephen King’s It but with Krusty the Clown.
One interesting moment came when Jean was asked about Lisa and who she would choose: Millhouse or Nelson? Jean replied that an upcoming episode will be set in the future that will focus on Lisa. “You see where she might wind up, and she might end up with a woman,”
Lisa’s bisexuality has been hinted at on The Simpsons before on a few occasions. Photos in a montage from the episode Holidays of Future Passed appeared to show her in relationships with several women, though she was eventually shown married to Millhouse with a child.
Bart himself made a cameo of sorts on the panel where among things revealed that his favourite curse word is boosum. Nancy Cartwright appeared after the cameo and took to fielding some questions.
The panel ended with a sneak peek of this season’s Treehouse of Horror, which provided applause and laughter from the crowd.