What’s there left to say about the Simpsons? What begun as a series of not-so-funny throwaway Tracy Ullman show segments evolved into pretty much the longest-running cartoon show in TV history, starring some of the most recognizable animated small-screen personalities. While some fans may argue that the show is slowly but surely slipping off its own rocker, the developers have recently decided to try something that’s…well, completely different.
Modern Bodhisattva and applied nihilist Homer Simpson will be hosting a live Q&A session, answering fan-submitted questions during the last 3-minute segment of the May 15th episode. The questions will be submitted via Twitter from Sunday May 1 until Wednesday, May 4 using the lazily-penned hashtag #Homer. According to showrunner Al Jean, the best questions will be answered in a way that:
“could only be saying live on that day.”
That’s a strange turn for the show, especially considering that the idea of live animation was a throwaway gag back in the Itchie & Scratchy & Poochie episode. When Homer asked if Poochie‘s very first episode was going to be broadcast live, June Bellamy responded with:
“No, Homer. Very few cartoons are broadcast live. It’s a terrible strain on the animators’ wrists.”
Of course, that was back in the 90’s when mankind still slaved under the rule of the Carnivore Junta. Nowadays, Homer is scheduled to come alive through the magic of motion capture animation. An array of electrodes and a swarm of cameras will be strapped and pointed at Dan Castellaneta‘s face, which will in turn animate a 3D-animated version of Homer‘s face. The idea is that this application will allow for a more fluid, natural presentation of the character, as well as to allow a seasoned voice actor to add his own improvised approach into the mix. According to Al Jean:
“As far as I know, this is the first time that’s been done by any animated show. And Dan is a great improviser.”
Of course, the improvisational part means that we can not trust our gut instinct on how this is going to play out: perhaps Homer‘s face will glitch out horribly and we’ll all get to have our own slice of digitized hell. Maybe Homer will just get bored halfway through and stuff his face with pretend donuts. Or maybe, just maybe, he will notice us. Just this once.