Fox announced this week that they’re planning a live Simpsons segment to air in May. Now, my brain initially processed this information as “live action,” to which the obvious response is “But why?” Once it clicked, though, that they just meant they would air the segment live, the question was still, “No really, but why?”
The segment will take up the last three to five minutes of an episode this May, using motion capture (because otherwise, wow would those animators get hand cramps) to give us a live Q&A with Homer, voiced by Dan Castellaneta. From the sound of it, they’ll be doing this twice, as it will air live on both coasts’ broadcasts.
According to showrunner Al Jean, the bit will fit in with the rest of the episode, which will have an improv theme or storyline. He cites Castellaneta’s great improv skills as a reason why this will work. I’m guessing that most of us don’t have any doubts that this will work, that this team can do three minutes of motion captured improv. Still, though, the why. Is it just to show us that they can do something new? Or is this actually an impressive feat, and I’ve just been jaded by seeing it done in too many fictional stories? Because I hear this, and can’t help but think that Waldo already did it better than they possibly could:
Although, honestly, if they wanted to take a page from Black Mirror’s book and have Homer join in on a presidential debate— Republican, Democrat, post-primary, I don’t even care— that is something I would be interested in.
Homer is going to be answering questions from fans during this segment, so from May 1st to the 4th, you can tweet yours with #HomerLive. I’ve already got dibs on the question “What was it like working with the inanimate carbon rod?” Because I kind of want to see if I can make a cartoon man cry.