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Tag: The Simpsons (51-60 of 111)

'Simpsons' producer on Vatican's assertion that Homer is Catholic: 'I really don't think he could go without eating meat on Fridays'

HOMER-CATHOLICImage Credit: FoxHe may drink too much and strangle his son—and, sure, there was that time he sold his soul to the devil for a donut—but Homer Simpson seems to have the Vatican seal of approval. In an article from the Oct. 17 edition of the Vatican publication L’Osservatore Romano—which also references a story in the Italian Jesuit magazine La Civilita Cattolica—Fox’s The Simpsons is praised for covering issues of faith, family, and Christianity (plus, they say prayers before meals!). There is also mention of the animated comedy’s 2005 episode in which Homer and Bart consider converting to Catholicism after Bart befriends a Catholic priest (voiced by Liam Neeson). “Few people know it, and he does everything he can to hide it… [but] it is true: Homer J. Simpson is a Catholic,” states L’Osservatore Romano, which also tipped its papal hat to the show last year during The Simpsons’ 20th anniversary celebration. (Perhaps they didn’t see The Simpsons Movie, in which Homer mocks churchgoers as “pious morons” who are “too busy talking to their phony-baloney god.”)

Simpsons HQ is flattered and amused by the attention from the Vatican. “My first reaction is shock and awe,” exec producer Al Jean tells EW.com, “and I guess it makes up for me not going to church for 20 years.” That said, Jean is quick to throw not-so-holy water on the Homer-is-Catholic assertion, pointing out that the family attends the First Church of Springfield, which is decidedly Presbylutheran. “We’ve pretty clearly shown that Homer is not Catholic,” he says. “I really don’t think he could go without eating meat on Fridays—for even an hour.”

Do you think the Church has a case, PopWatchers? Or did you question Homer’s faith ever since the episode when he said, “I’m not normally a praying man, but if you’re up there, please save me, Superman!

Banksy does 'The Simpsons': Exec producer Al Jean talks about pulling off the ultimate couch gag

Al-Jean-simpsons-banksyImage Credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.com; FoxWho says The Simpsons isn’t as subversive as it used to be? Last night, the animated Fox series raised eyebrows—and corners of mouths—with a daring, bleak opening credits sequence that was masterminded by Banksy, the mysterious British graffiti artist. Viewers were taken on a surreal journey into an Asian sweatshop where kittens were used as stuffing for Simpsons dolls, and a shackled, defeated unicorn was used to make holes in Simpsons DVDs. Shudder. EW.com rang up Simpsons executive producer Al Jean to get the behind-the-scenes story on the Banksy gag. READ FULL STORY

'The Simpsons' airs controversial opening sequence by Banksy

banksy-simpsonsThe Simpsons has always been subversive, but last night, the animated show took that to a new level by airing a dark, extended opening title sequence — created by UK graffiti artist Banksy — that depicted Asian workers laboring over Simpsons animation and merchandise. The effect was rather stark and piercing: The first few 35 seconds of the sequence feature the near-usual credits, except for a few “Banksy” tags on prominent Springfield buildings, before rather unexpectedly veering into a depressing tour of overseas sweatshop facilities, where legions of workers slave over Simpsons animation stills (see: photo here!), kill kittens to stuff Bart Simpson dolls, and even use a chained unicorn to punch out the center of Simpsons DVDs.

Apparently, the title sequence was a reaction to reports that the show outsources much of its animation to a company in South Korea. The BBC is reporting that the controversial credits caused delays behind the scenes because of disputes over broadcast standards and a threatened walk-out by the show’s animation department. The news organization even quoted Simpsons executive producer Al Jean as saying: “This is what you get when you outsource.” Watch the clip here:

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Mark Zuckerberg on 'The Simpsons.' Click here if you Like

While The Social Network was becoming the biggest movie of the weekend, Mark Zuckerberg was piggy-backing on Sir Richard Branson’s shoulders and engaging in a playful chicken-fight against Bill Gates and Nelson Mandela Muntz. The Facebook founder, who’s portrayed as a cold and calculating outsider in director David Fincher’s new film, was much friendlier in his cameo on Sunday night’s The Simpsons. Take a look: READ FULL STORY

Katy Perry to guest star on 'The Simpsons'! Here's your exclusive first look...

Simpsons-Katy-PerryImage Credit: FoxIt looks like Katy Perry will get to sing with a puppet on TV after all. Although Sesame Street has decided that Perry’s “Hot N Cold” duet with Elmo is too hot for TV, The Simpsons is rolling out the yellow carpet for the pop star. EW.com has learned that Perry will guest in a Christmas-themed episode of the animated comedy—and in an unusual way: She appears as herself in a live-action segment that features Simpsons characters as puppets. “In the wake of Elmo’s terrible betrayal, the Simpsons puppets wish to announce they stand felt-shoulder-to-shoulder with Katy Perry,” quipped series executive producer Al Jean in a statement to EW.com. Not only does the singer wind up leading Homer & co. in a rendition of “The 39 Days of Christmas,” she plays the unlikely role of… Moe’s girlfriend! Yes, from Elmo to Moe she goes. (And her sartorial choice—adorned with Simpsons characters, not visible in the photo above—probably wouldn’t have been Street-approved either: The PBS show announced on Sept. 23 that it wouldn’t air Perry’s performance after previewing it on YouTube and receiving complaints about her cleavage-revealing outfit. By the way, her Simpsons bit was shot in mid-September, prior to the fuss.) Perry, the musical guest on Saturday Night Live tonight, won’t be the only celebrity gracing this episode; Martha Stewart also pops up, but in cartoon form. “The Fight Before Christmas” airs Dec. 5 on Fox.

(Twitter: @dansnierson)

More Simpsons and Katy Perry news from EW:
Glee: New Directions gets Simpsons-ized
Ricky Gervais returning to The Simpsons
Paul Rudd, Halle Berry set for The Simpsons
Russell Brand weighs in with jokes about Katy Perry-Sesame Street controversy
Katy Perry called Sesame Street appearance ‘The highlight of my career’
Katy Perry Sesame Steet appearance yanked over complaints about dress

'Glee': New Directions get 'Simpsons'-ized!

glee-simpsonsThe Glee kids have really made it. First, they win a Golden Globe award, then they get their own national tour, and now? A role on The Simpsons! Glee characters Rachel (Lea Michele), Finn (Cory Monteith), and Mercedes (Amber Riley) will be featured on the season premiere of The Simpsons, airing Sunday, Sept. 26, and first look images have been released. (But where are the slushie stains?) In “Elementary School Musical,” Lisa Simpson heads to performing arts camp, where she runs into miniature versions of these New Directions members, as well as Flight of the Conchords‘ Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie as camp counselors.

What do you think, PopWatchers? Do these Simpsonized Glee kids look the part? What’s next? Wax figures? (Looks like Sue Sylvester beat them to that one). [Extra]

'Simpsons' exclusive: Ricky Gervais returns!

Ricky-Gervais-Simpsons_320.jpg Image Credit: Michael Caulfield/Getty Images; FoxRicky Gervais is making a return trip to Springfield! The co-creator and star of The Office will lend his voice to an episode of The Simpsons this coming season, EW.com has learned. Gervais—who wrote 2006′s “Homer Simpson, This is Your Wife,” in addition to guest-starring in it as a brownbeaten husband who appears with Marge and Homer on a reality series—pops up this time as himself in an early 2011 installment that brings Homer and Bart to L.A. for the Oscars. (Gervais is not penning the episode.)  Jon Hamm, Paul Rudd, Daniel Radcliffe, Hugh Laurie, and Martha Stewart are among the other celebrities getting animated in season 22, which begins Sept. 26 on Fox.

(Follow: @dansnierson)

Photo creditMichael Caulfield/Getty Images; Fox

Halle Berry, Paul Rudd to guest on 'The Simpsons': EW Exclusive

berry-ruddImage Credit: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images; Michael Loccisano/Getty ImagesInterested in a Berry-flavored serving of The Simpsons? Halle Berry will play herself in an upcoming installment of the animated series, exec producer Al Jean tells EW.com. The Oscar-winning actress (Monster’s Ball) tosses off a few quips while presenting a trophy at the Academy Awards, which features Bart and Homer as nominees for their animated short that’s based on Bart’s cartoon webseries Angry Dad.  “It’s a bit of a satire of the different Oscar acceptances where two people clearly race to the stage to get there first,” says Jean, “and Homer and Bart are fighting to be the one that accepts.” The episode is scheduled to air in early 2011.

Another film star, Paul Rudd (I Love You, Man), will grace a different episode to be broadcast early next year.  After a humiliating JumboTron incident involving Bart, Homer is sent to a “fathering enrichment class” run by Rudd’s Dr. Zander, a therapist who’s horrified to learn that Homer has a habit of throttling Bart. “For 20 years we’ve shown Homer strangling Bart and we’ve never had anybody go, ‘Oh, that’s horrible!’” says Jean. “So Paul Rudd goes, ‘That’s terrible!’ and he tries to cure him.” Also lending a hand—or two: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Jean adds that the NBA legend “puts on a Homer wig and then starts strangling Homer to show him how it feels.” Season 22 of The Simpsons premieres Sept. 26 on Fox.

(Twitter: @dansnierson)

'Simpsons' exclusive: Jon Hamm to guest

jon-hamm-homerImage Credit: Albert L. Ortega/PR Photos; FoxThe Simpsons is serving up a side of Hamm: Mad Men star Jon Hamm will voice a character on an upcoming episode of the animated Fox comedy, exec producer Al Jean tells EW.com. In the episode—titled “Donnie Fatso” and slated to air in December—Hamm plays an FBI supervisor whom Homer reports to when he becomes an undercover informant in prison and infiltrates Fat Tony’s inner circle (which means, yes, Joe Mantegna returns to reprise his mobster role). But don’t expect to see Don in this don-themed episode. “There’s no Mad Men reference,” says Jean. “Jon’s a gruff FBI man. Homer asks if he can pick his undercover name and finally Jon just says, ‘Your name will be Nicky Blue Pants Altosaxophony.’ Homer says, ‘Do I get to keep the name when I’m done with it?’ and Jon says, ‘No, it’s the property of the government.’  He has no patience for Homer.”  And how did the recording session go with Hamm, who has also guested on 30 Rock and SNL? “You gave him one note and he immediately did 12 great things with it,” reports Jean. “He was really funny. And handsome. He had it all.”

Twitter: @dansnierson

Witness the Epic World Cup Commercial, starring Homer Simpson, Cristiano Ronaldo, and the entire planet

The new World Cup-themed commercial from Nike is one of the best advertisements of all time. Heck, I’m just barely holding myself back from calling it one of the best soccer movies of all time. Featuring a cross-cultural cast stacked with some of the best players in the world, the ad cuts from on-the-field action to viewers watching around the world. It also features a few kitchen-sink cameos by non-soccer celebrities, because why not? Quick, watch it after the jump before I spoil anything… READ FULL STORY

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