Comic-Con: 'The Simpsons'...coming to an end?

Simpsons_lWe’re not sure it’s possible for Simpsons fans to bedisappointed in the presence of their deity-on-Earth, series creatorMatt Groening. But if you want them to get there, try presenting aComic-Con panel with absolutely no one from the cast. That’s right, all ninepeople onstage, including showrunner Al Jean, and Groening, himself,were either writers, directors, or producers. No Dan Castellaneta, no JulieKavner, not even a Hank Azaria graced the Saturday panel.

But there was a clip! Simpsons fans took in portions oftwo acts from the upcoming "Treehouse of Horror XIX." The first followed Homer on Election Day (appropriate: these Halloween-themed eps always fall inNovember), as a recalcitrant electronic voting booth turns his vote for Obama into one for McCain. Thesecond scene, an homage to Charles Schulz, dropped the Simpsons characters in the world of Peanuts.Lisa and Milhouse make like Sally and Linus, waiting up on Halloweennight for the "Grand Pumpkin." Hint: If you’re trying to make nice witha giant gourd, don’t feed him pumpkin bread.

Once the Q&A session started, the panel took great delight in extolling the Simpsons ride at Universal Studios, "If you take drugs and watch The Simpsonson TV, you don’t have to take drugs anymore," said Groening. "Just goon the Simpsons ride. It’s great. You’ll think you’re going to die."

As for spoilers, they’re after the jump, so stop now if you want to remain happy and clueless.

Upcoming guests include Julia-Louis Dreyfus, Joe Mantegna, and RobertForster — all of them are in the season opener alone. In the second episode, Homer findsguest Denis Leary’s cell phone, and starts dialing. One of the callsgoes to Leary’s agent, setting up Leary to star in Everybody Poops: The Movie. For Seth Rogen fans, your wait will be a little longer — his guest spot isn’t slated to air till 2009.

Groening fans were also given two nuggets of info: First, the team has "no intention" of wrapping up The Simpsonsanytime soon — certainly not as long as "the ratings keep up," addedJean, "and they have." Also, Groening was asked if he’d ever consideredturning his newspaper comic strip Life in Hell into an animated series. Not really, he said, before launching into a castigation of the San Diego Reader, which no longer carries the strip, noting that he needles the paper every time he comes to Comic-Con.

But that was hardly Groening’s best story from the Con. He mentionedgoing to the convention floor one year, and seeing a vendor with themost amazing display of Simpsonscollectibles, all intricately made. It turned out, says Groening, thatthey were rare pieces imported from Australia. After talking with thevendor a few moments, the man asked, "What a minute, are you thecreator of The Simpsons?" "Yes, I am," answered Groening. "Sir," theman replied, "it would be an honor to sell these to you."

Comments (21 total) Add your comment
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  • Anonymous

    As long as the ratings keep up? This past season featured the two lowest rated episodes in the entire series’ history.

  • SKR

    The lowest rated ep. on one of the hightest rated seiries ever is still pretty good numbers

  • Jared

    Uh, your title is shamefacedly deceiving. Was there a rumor that the show was ending that your story doesn’t reference? Oh well, you got to me click.

  • KAH

    This misleading article title should have surfaced on the net 4 years ago. Yes, the Simpsons is one of the greatest shows ever, but the last few seasons have been a huge letdown. To be blunt, it’s just not funny like it used to be.

  • donner

    I don’t watch Simpsons anymore – its not funny at ALL…but I do like that the movie Leary is pitched is called “Everybody Poops”…which of course is one of the books that Peter Griffin asks about when trying to potty-train Stewie…they do like to dig back and forth, these two shows…

    • Leebo

      how can you sau the SImpsons is not funny! Its on of the funniest shows ever!

  • jratmuus

    I really do enjoy the ‘Simpsons.’ I enjoy watching it every Sunday on Fox. I would give the show 4 stars :)

  • Nathan

    That was the most misleadeing headline I’ve ever seen on EW. Boring, pointless story to boot.

  • Jer

    You guys are better than that headline. Stupid.

  • flip

    Um, Lucy and Linus didn’t wait up for the Great Pumpkin, SALLY and Linus did. No not only is the title of the post misleading, as others have noted, but the post is inaccurate, too. Weak.

  • Hubert

    “As long as the ratings keep up…” And as long as the money keeps pouring in, right Matt? This show ceased to be relevant like, oh, I don’t know, a decade ago…

  • GingerCat

    donner, “Everybody Poops” is a real book, so perhaps the show is referring to the actual book, not responding to “Family Guy.” I mean, why would they need to? “The Simpsons” has been around for a long time and has made it clear they think “Family Guy” has been ripping them off. Of course, when “The Simpsons” referenced “Back to the Future,” all the “Family Guy” fans assumed it was a reference to that show too! Narrow focus, you “Family Guy” fans.

  • t3hdow

    Misleading title or not, I haven’t watched the Simpsons since 2002. Sure, every now and then, the producers managed to squeeze out a superb installment, but in between those bouts of excellent lies a wasteland of mediocre/bad episodes that make me regret giving it another chance. Not even the movie – which was clearly influenced by this decade’s cheap gag heavy, Family Guy-lite batch – can dodge the fact that The Simpsons’s golden days are LOOONG behind them.

  • G-Dog

    Part of the problem with the Simpsons is that it has been on so long they have done it all. The other is that it takes so long to make an episode, by the time they make fun of something the joke is already too old. South Park has the technology to make fun of something the same WEEK it happened. The biting social commentary on the Simpsons is long gone. Even the nuclear power plant jokes are lost on todays youth.

  • Rob Grizzly

    Yes, it would seem- no one cares
    The Simpsons needs to hang it up.

  • Jack

    Our society has lost its sight on family values just to sell another new flavor of curlyQ’s. Let’s go back to having Homer trying to be a father again and failing miserably. That’s what made the show outrageously hysterical and could be again.. if only someone will listen to the average guy out here. But in this day and age of rewarding big business and political incompetence, trying to be heard has become completely impossible. I’m sorry for wasting this site administrator’s time.

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