“The Simpsons” are back at the annual Comic-Con, only this year it’s at home and the cast and crew had some showing and telling to do.
The animated show’s panel discussion featured a conversation with executive producers and writers Al Jean and Matt Selman, animation directors David Silverman and Mike B. Anderson, writer Carolyn Omine, and was moderated by Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson).
The pre-recorded zoom panel began with a discussion about how the long-running show’s animation process moved from the studio to working at home with their own equipment, due to COVID-19.
Anderson explained, “When all this started happening we moved everybody out to home and had to do this colossal transformation where people, if they didn’t have a computer then we’d have to bring one of their computers from the office or tech would set them up.”
“We very quickly, within the matter of a week, maybe a week and a half, got the whole thing running from home and so it’s the same meetings but you don’t have to drive,” said Anderson.
Jean added that the week of June 17th, was the show’s 15th week working from home and that they’ll “make the best of it” despite missing one another’s energy in the office.
During the panel, Jean introduced a sneak peek of “What Happened To The Halloween Candy?”, a clip from the show’s upcoming Halloween episode.
Smith commented, “I know the Halloween episodes are the most complicated because the backgrounds aren’t the same” and “we aren’t wearing the same clothes.” Taking that into consideration, Smith then asked the crew if they have multiple directors for the Halloween episodes.
“We used to divide it in threes, now it’s sort of a thing where everybody wants their shot to do one Halloween show by themselves because it’s such a great opportunity,” Jean explained.
Silverman added, “We all directed the first episode, we split it up in threes but after that, the second Halloween episode- one director.”
When opening up the discussion to the fans, someone asked a question regarding special guest stars. Jean revealed that the upcoming season, airing this fall, will feature comedian Hannibal Buress, “The Crown” actress Olivia Colman, “Stranger Things” actor David Harbour, and “The Politician”‘s Ben Platt.
Jean went on to talk about all of the incredible guest stars the show has seen over the years, noting that Anne Hathaway was one of his personal favourites. Omine added that Cate Blanchett was “great” while Selman said that Jack Black holds a “special place” in his heart because he had to sing in Korean and “phonetically learn” the song “Gold Finger” from “James Bond.”
Selman applauded Black when the “‘James Bond’ people” didn’t clear the song to be featured in show and he (Black) had to “come in and re-sing ‘What’s New Pussycat’ in Korean.”
“He really was a pro,” Selman stated.
Season 32 of “The Simpsons” debuts on Fox on Sept. 27.