‘The Simpsons‘ is still going strong, about to enter its 22nd season, and is the anchor in a strong Sunday animated block on Fox. The Season 13 DVD is being released this coming Tuesday, August 24th as well. In short, it’s hot to be yellow and a Springfield resident. Fancast caught up recently with Simpsons executive producer Al Jean to find out what his favorite episodes from Season 13 were, if there will be a sequel to the blockbuster feature film, and just what voice guests he’d still love to see on the show. You can pre-order the DVD right here.
Which episodes from Season 13 do you remember the most/which stand out?
Al Jean: Several episodes that stand out are I Am Furious (Yellow), in which the legendary Stan Lee played himself (and he does a commentary on this episode for the DVD), Weekend At Burnsie’s, in which Homer grew addicted to medicinal marijuana, and of course Blame it on Lisa, which touched off a war between the Simpsons and Brazil that rages to this day. I think it’s also worth noting that season 13 was the last Simpsons season to have hand-painted animation (and hence the last to have cels).
Do you still have some ultimate guest stars on your list that you haven’t been able to get yet?
Jean: There are really cool people like Sandy Koufax or Clint Eastwood that we’ve asked to be on the show, but have turned us down. As a group, we have never been able to land a U.S. president (or even a first lady).
‘The Simpsons’ movie was such a big hit. Do you guys have plans for a sequel anytime soon? Or not until the series is done?
Jean: We have no immediate plans for a sequel to the Simpsons movie. It was so important to us that the first one be something that the fans genuinely felt deserved to be a film, and we wouldn’t proceed with another script unless we felt the same way about it. At the moment, we are happy continuing to produce the show (season 22!).
What do you attribute to the longevity/sustained popularity of the show?
Jean: I think the longevity of the show is due to several factors–the fact that the world of Springfield, as created by Matt, with Jim Brooks and Sam Simon, is so rich and full of great characters; the fact that the characters don’t age (by now, Bart would be 30, wearing short pants and living in his mom’s house–not a pretty picture); and the fact that everyone who works on the Simpsons takes it as seriously as and with the dedication of people working on a new show still desperate to find its way. Also, it hasn’t hurt that, as a Fox show, we’ve never had to be up against Idol.