SD Comic-Con 2015: ‘The Simpsons’ panel

SDCC15Today is July 11, 2015.

In San Diego [California, USA], this week takes place the “San Diego Comic-Con International” of 2015. And, as always, The Simpsons panel has taken place in noon-12:45 p.m. in Ballroom 20.

Who will be on the panel?

The “protagonists” of this year’s panel have been the show’s creator Matt Groening, executive producers Al Jean and Matt Selman, supervising director Mike Anderson, longtime director David Silverman and Nancy Cartwright (Bart, Nelson and Ralph’s voice [among others]). And also special guest Guillermo del Toro.

Official Synopsis of the Panel:

Going into its record-demolishing 27th season on FOX! Join us for a sneak peek at “Treehouse of Horror XXVI” and much, much more with creator Matt Groening; executive producers Al Jean and Matt Selman; supervising director Mike Anderson; longtime director David Silverman; and the voice of Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz and Ralph Wiggum, Nancy Cartwright; as well as very special guest Guillermo Del Toro. Ay carumba, indeed.

The Simpsons SDCC 2015 Panel:

The panel opened with Marge and Homer insisting that they’re not splitting up… followed by a clip in which Homer gets sucked into Donald Trump’s hair after meeting him during the presidential campaign!

As the panellists take to the stage, Matt Groening takes the mic and introduces Nancy Cartwright herself! She comes flying out with wearing a superhero mask and cape – amazing.

Al Jean says in the premiere we get all the girls from Girls (“Lena Dunham! And the rest!” Matt jokes.) Kelsey Grammer plays Sideshow Bob in the Treehouse of Horror episode, while Kate McKinnon, Stephen Merchant, Michael York and SPIDER-PIG will also all feature.

Matt lifts up a huge billboard for a Jimbo Jones comic!

Well, okay – Guillermo del Toro just came out on stage to join the panel! He’s involved in the new ‘Treehouse of Horror’ so we get to see the incredible opening titles – we can’t even begin to mention all of the references in there! Guillermo says his inspiration was “lots of lonely nights as a kid”.

Guillermo says he asked if they were any limits and they said no. Al Jean talks about having a meeting at Guillermo’s house with all of his artefacts: “If I was ever a burglar and I broke in I’d die of fright.”

Mike says supervising the direction on it was the most fun he’s ever had. “I love all the monsters, so the references were close to my heart,” he says. Matt explains that more references were added at every step of the process.

Guillermo admits he’s a massive Hypnotoad geek (“I identify with his body shape”) so there’s a smart Pan’s Labyrinth/Hypnotoad mash-up in there.

“There are a lot of references people still haven’t got,” Guillermo says.

Nancy jokes that Ralph is a “walking non-sequitur” but says she loves him. But it’s time for some fan questions!

The first fan is dressed as Leela and Stitch – best costume ever. Anyway, she asks when Marge Simpson’s birthday is: “It could be my birthday!” Matt actually doesn’t know and they ask the fan when her birthday is. There’s a lot of talk about March 19 (the fan’s birthday, which is circled with a heart on a calendar in one episode), so they announce it will be March 19 from now on.

The next fan – the last fan’s son! – asks if Matt would be up for more Futurama and Simpsons crossovers. “It’s possible,” Matt says. “The fans of Futurama are still watching the show – you know how everything gets rebooted? Futurama will get rebooted one day.”

The next fan is dressed as Lady Duff and wants to know if we’ll see her in any future episodes. “I see a live action spin-off in the works,” Matt jokes. But he adds that there is a Duffman episode coming up.

Guillermo reveals that no matter what disgusting, perverted, twisted ideas he came up with for Treehouse of Horror… they’d already done it!

Nancy says some episodes are really challenging – like when Bart spoke French! But doing Bart at different ages was particularly tough – though she nails a 2-year-old Bart saying: “Eat my shorts.” In fact, she’s doing all the voices but when she gets to a 40-year-old Bart she jokes it sounds like Nelson.

Ugolin and Cesar will appear this season! The panel joke that they were based on “real Frenchmen”.

Will Danny DeVito be back at some point? Matt says he’d love that but they haven’t written a story for his character Uncle Herbert yet.

The next fan wants Matt’s opinion on people saying that Family Guy steals from The Simpsons and how working with Seth Macfarlane on the crossover worked! “We love everyone in the Fox family,” Matt says. “It was a Family Guy episode and my part in it was just looking at the script and going, ‘Yep, sounds good’.”

Nancy says it was “really fun meeting and playing with” the Family Guy team. David Silverman agrees that it was collaborative and says they’re all rooting for each other: “Hooray for all shows being successful!” Al Jean jokes that they’ve submitted the episode for an Emmy and if it wins, the Emmy will say ‘The SImpsons’.

The next fan wants to know if Scorpio will be back on the show. Al says that’s probably the most asked-for character on the show, but he doesn’t know if he’ll be back. He does say he’d like Albert Brooks to return though.

The next fan asks how Matt blended his sense of humour with the family sweetness. “I’m the sweet one!” Matt insists. But he explains the show is a huge collaborative effort and people bring their own life experiences to the show. He says the emotion in the show is the reason it’s done so well.

Matt admits that he has moments when he wonders, ‘Can we do that?’ Al says all the writers have both funny and sweet moments.

“On behalf of all the fat men in the world, thank you for making Homer good in bed,” Guillermo grins.

Nancy says the show touches on so many subjects and explains that an episode coming up deals with bullying. But Al admits he’s a bit worried that they’ll lose the ability to make fun of stuff by going too politically correct.

An Australian fan is asking about the episode where The Simpsons goes to Australia. She says on the radio beforehand, it said the producers’ contacts would be given out for anyone who wanted to complain – so which episode caused the most controversy? “Brazil does not have a good sense of humour,” Al jokes. “They were going to sue us. So then we did the episode where they lose the World Cup and look what happened.”

Is there anyone the panel wanted on the show that never worked out? Guillermo del Toro! Guillermo jokes that he wants to play Bumblebee Man’s brother.

The next fan asks which song on the show is the panel’s favourite. We’re having a sing-song now, especially with ‘We Do’. Nancy sings the ‘Minimum Wage Nanny’ track!

Matt rounds up the question by simply singing: ‘The Simpsons’. He says when they first played back the theme song it sounded like ‘The Simpson’, so Danny Elfman went into a recording booth to add the “s”.

Two segments from the Halloween show are shown now – one with Sideshow Bob and one with Homerzilla!

The Sideshow Bob clip seemed to be really good fun, with him killing Bart in various different ways, bringing him back to life just to kill him again in another inventive manner…

But that’s a wrap for the Simpsons panel – thanks for joining The Springfield Shopper during this!

All the credit for this live report of the Comic-Con 2015 ‘The Simpsons’ panel goes to

Panel Videos:


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