THE SIMPSONS Boss on the Show's Biggest Political Statement Yet - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

THE SIMPSONS Boss on the Show’s Biggest Political Statement Yet

November 1, 2020 by  

The Simpsons Trump list

THE SIMPSONS: Don’t miss the annual terror-themed trilogy, including a frightening look at the 2020 election, parodies of Pixar and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and a ninth birthday Lisa just can’t get over in the Halloween-themed “Treehouse of Horror XXXI” episode of THE SIMPSONS airing Sunday, Oct. 18 (8:00-8:31 PM ET/PT) on FOX. THE SIMPSONS © 2020 by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

[Warning: This post contains spoilers for THE SIMPSONS’ “Treehouse of Horror XXXI.”]

THE SIMPSONS has tackled politics over its more than thirty year run, but it has frequently been even-handed and addressing bigger problems. (Be it the “Citizen Kang” installment of “Treehouse of Horror,” voting machines issues, or when the real world directly addressed the show itself.)

But in the intro for “Treehouse of Horror XXXI,” the show took its biggest stand yet, literally listing some of the most abhorrent actions done by President Trump.

“We have the most polarizing president there’s ever been,” THE SIMPSONS executive producer Al Jean notes. “When we started 30 years ago, I had some conservative leanings and I thought that you wanted to be even-handed. It’s just things have gotten pushed so crazily—and this is just my opinion, not the show’s—but Trump has been engaged in so much illegal activities as documented by the New York Times, you just go, oh this is crazy. No president in my life has violated policy like this; no president had a rally at the White House. You can’t be even-handed when the subject at hand is not, that’s my view.”

Of course, with the world moving so fast, Jean notes they “kept adding” to the list, though the bulk of the scene was written a year ago. “Obviously, we didn’t know about the pandemic, so then we added that everybody’s wearing a mask, except Homer,” he says. “The masks, we had those put in April—we guessed that would be what things would look like around November, but most of it, ironically, was written about a year ago.”

Of course, the show also had its traditional Halloween-centric installments, with parodies of TOY STORY, EDGE OF TOMORROW/RUSSIAN DOLL, and INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE. And with the SPIDER-VERSE parody, the show dove into the world of multiple Homers, something they’ve done in the past.

The approach to crafting a different story in a similar world wasn’t as difficult as it might seem, Jean explains. “Well, the big difference was SPIDER-VERSE just had this incredible variety of different Spider-Mans,” he says. “We had an episode where there were clones of Homer running around en mass. These are not just variances on Homers, but there are variances on Burns and Smithers. [This] came from a different starting poin, so we thought it was a different story than the clones of the story that we did in ‘Treehouse XIII.'”

As a bonus, “I thought it just provided an opportunity for amazing animation feats,” Jean points out. “Every segment has this really great look, and they’re all different from each other. We were really happy with the way it came together.”

And the team is already working on next year’s “Treehouse of Horror.” Previews Jean: “There is a parody of the movie PARASITE, which I think came out really well.”

THE SIMPSONS, Sundays, 8/7c, Fox


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