"The Simpsons" Al Jean Gives Derek James the Scoop on Season 23
The longest running comedy in history will surpass 500 episodes this season.
HOLLYWOOD, CA - “The Simpsons” made the leap from short sketches on the Tracey Ullman Show” in 1989 in a thirty minute Christmas episode called "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire."
Al Jean has been with the show from the beginning, going from writer to showrunner to executive producer. He knew “The Simpsons” was a hit from the moment he saw that first full episode but never expected it to last this long.
"My fear personally was I had worked on ‘Alf’ which was a huge hit but only lasted four years with an audience that had a kid component. So I was afraid ‘The Simpsons’ would have a similar flame out," says Jean.
At the end of last season viewers were asked to vote if Nedna (Ned Flanders and Edna Krabappel should be a couple.
"In the season premiere we reveal the answer to the Nedna question and it's part of a show where Kiefer Sutherland comes to Springfield he's a retired sort of '24' kind of guy trying to live a peaceful life and it immediately gets ruined by a robbery at Moe's,” adds Jean.
“The Simpsons” 500th episode is also expected to be special.
"The plot is that there's a secret town meeting the Simpsons aren't invited to and when they crash it they find the meeting is designed to kick the Simpsons out of Springfield because of all the crap they've done over the years. All the pranks; Homer's shenanigans are so expensive all the stuff Lisa has done has been...annoying."
Al won't tell us who the surprise guest stars are in the 500th episode but he was willing to talk about an upcoming show featuring Lady Gaga.
"She was great. She came in a couple weeks ago. Was funny, very natural and then she sang the singing parts of the show a couple days later and was brilliant, you know. Just really talented."
It looks likely that after getting past the 500 episode mark, “The Simpsons” will make it to at least a quarter century on the air. There are even talks of FOX developing a network that plays nothing but “The Simpsons.” Until then, catch "The Simpsons" Sunday nights at 8 on FOX CHARLOTTE.