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The minds behind The Simpsons recently discussed the process

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anya helinton

The minds behind The Simpsons recently discussed the process they used to create the legendary animated TV show's iconic opening sequence couch gags. The show's 34th season debuted on September 25th, continuing its stretch as the longest-running American sitcom of all time. The Simpsons will air its landmark 750th episode later this season, as the series continues to show unparalleled staying power over three decades on TV screens with no signs of slowing down.


Director David Silverman and showrunner Matt Selman sat down with GQ recently to talk about some of the biggest moments of The Simpsons' ongoing 34-year run, including their unique and ever-changing couch gag opening sequences. Selman spoke about how the producers would enlist staff writers who were not busy to come up with fun ideas for couch gags ahead of time. Selman also said that the couch gags are not related to the creative writing of the show and that they're essentially part of a parallel production process. Nowadays, the producers are much more creative in finding outside talent to come in and do the couch gags for them.


The Simpsons is famous for its famous guest actors, but filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro and Academy Award-nominated animator Bill Plympton are among the big names that have pinch hit for The Simpsons producers on couch gags. Interestingly, Selman also divulged that they've often contracted fan artists to do some of their couch gags, including a pair of super fans from Switzerland who got a regular gig doing couch gags for the show after they shared a live-action version of a classic sequence where Homer eats his way through New Orleans.


The Simpsons broke down barriers in 2007 when they released a feature film based on the show. The Simpsons Movie received widespread acclaim from fans and critics alike, not to mention it made over $500 million at the box office for 20th Century Fox. The Simpsons Movie remains beloved thanks to its classic Simpsons humor but also for its unique plot and the emotional weight of the narrative. It's now been 15 years since its release, and no sequel has been officially announced, but that hasn't quelled the demand for another Simpsons adventure on the big screen.


While there haven't been any concrete announcements about the sequel, The Simpsons producer Al Jean did say in November 2021 that pre-production for The Simpsons Movie 2 was underway, though it would not be a direct sequel. Jean's desire to have the movie be a major theatrical release like its predecessor is a contributing cause to the delays, as such a release would require a much bigger budget than one built for a straight-to-streaming release. There haven't been any announcements since then, but considering that The Simpsons Movie happened after 18 seasons, it would be reasonable to suspect that a similar timeframe would be targeted for the sequel. That would put a possible The Simpsons 2 movie release date somewhere in the range of 2025 or 2026 if it ever happens.

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