NEWS BRIEFS, PANEL PIECES

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The creator of The Simpsons shows off his sweet dance moves, the crew dashes the hopes of Comic-Con attendees, Homer chokes, Bob from Bob’s Burgers flies, and a showrunner becomes a lawbreaker.

  • Witness the raw acting talent of Matt Groening as he interacts with a hologram version of Homer. [YouTube]
  • A couple of of the questions from the audience at the Simpsons panel seemed a wee bit hostile:

    Is there any way to inject fresh blood into the series? “No!” we’re told. But Matt explains that no-one ever leaves the show once they’ve joined the series.

    The next young fan asks if The Simpsons is ever going to end? There are claps as Matt says the show is “going to be around for a while”. “We’ve got two years to run it into the ground and ten years before it ends,” he jokes.

    When one of the most-asked questions about your show is about when it’s ending, maybe it’s a sign you’ve worn out your welcome? [Digital Spy]

  • Maybe it’s funnier in context, but I’m a little baffled someone somewhere decided this scene where Homer struggles to breathe as Lisa helplessly watches was hilarious enough to show at Comic-Con. [YouTube]
  • Here’s some footage from the upcoming Simpsons/Family Guy crossover featuring a surprise cameo from none other than Bob Belcher… which is no longer a surprise, sorry. [Entertainment Weekly]

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NEWS BRIEFS

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When Simpsons news falls through the cracks, Lewis Black catches it, in a feature we like to call “NEWS BRIEFS,” because we couldn’t think of a more creative name.

  • Ex-Simpsons/Futurama writer Patric Verrone trailed in his bid for State Senate and won’t be advancing to the general election in November. This is great news, because he now has more time to work on his Supreme Court figurines. [Variety]
  • The town of Springfield, Oregon is getting an officially-sanctioned Simpsons mural even though they’re not “the real Springfield” and don’t deserve diddly squat. Go to hell, Springfield, Oregon. [The Oregonian]
  • Some fans held off on buying the barebones DVD version of The Simpsons Movie because they were expecting Fox to “double-dip” by selling a more deluxe set with more features later on. That ended up never happening, and Simpsons head honcho Al Jean has confirmed there are no current plans to release one. He blames the dwindling home video market, but I think we all know the real reason: it was axed once the executives realized it could never live up to my joke version. [Al Jean via Twitter]
  • Seth MacFarlane’s western movie bombed at the box office and will likely be quickly forgotten, much like Matt Groening’s ill-fated turn as a hardboiled detective in 1993’s Deadly Slumber. [Los Angeles Times]

NEWS BRIEFS

police dogAh, a new year is upon us, giving me a chance to catch up on all the news stories I’ve neglected over the past few weeks before they get too old to post.

  • The administrator of the now-defunct pirate streaming site WatchTheSimpsonsOnline, which was shut down in October, has been ordered to pay $10.5 million in damages. Now that’s a lot of “D’oh”!!!!! [TorrentFreak]
  • Fox is getting back in the theme park game! Twelve years after the miserable failure of their first park, Fox is bringing “Twentieth Century Fox World” to Malaysia, with plans for more. They won’t be allowed to feature any Simpsons attractions since the franchise is licensed to Universal, which is kinda like Comedy Central making a theme park without South Park. But they will have a recreation of the Titanic!!! [Variety]
  • Mrs. Krabappel and the late Simpsons writer Don Payne were depicted as angels for a split-second in a recent Christmas episode. That’s heartwarming and all, but why are there angels at the North Pole? [E! Online]
  • The Simpsons has teamed up with BAPE for a line of streetwear where they all look dead. [BAPE]
NEWS BRIEFS

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  • The sleuths at Bleeding Cool, hot off the heels of their Bapper discovery, noticed that Matt Groening recently bought the domain lifeinhell.tv, which could only mean one thing: Groening is moving to the islands of Tuvalu, which owns and operates the .tv domain. [Bleeding Cool]
  • The Awl has a good piece about the Simpsons-themed area at Universal Orlando (does it have a name?) and the “Experience Economy” that reflects my ambivalence to the whole thing. [The Awl]
  • Nick Offerman, who plays Ron Swanson in Parks & Recreation, casually mentioned that he recorded a part for The Simpsons, a show he’d been “ape-shit” about for a couple decades. [A.V. Club]
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    NEWS BRIEFS

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    • Conan O’Brien got tired of people always asking him about The Simpsons, so he did a lengthy roundtable discussion with his former co-workers Al Jean, Jay Kogen, Jeff Martin, and Mike Reiss that touches on Tracey Ullman, the writers’ room, Reiss’s feud with a line producer, Sam Simon’s impeccable writing and drawing skills, and The Brady Bunch Variety Hour. My favorite anecdote is Jay Kogen running up to Bruce Springsteen, who instinctively shielded his wife from the crazy person. [Team Coco]
    • After a 30 year run, Santa Monica radio station KCRW is replacing Harry Shearer’s Le Show with something called “TED Radio Hour,” which is either Seth MacFarlane making raunchy jokes in the guise of a horny teddy bear for an hour or repackaged TED Talk lectures where captains of industry share “inspiring” words of wisdom cribbed from Chicken Soup for the Soul. Not sure which is worse. [Los Angeles Times]
    • Not only does Fox’s parent corporation News Corp. have an education division (“If you have three Pepsis and drink one, how much more refreshed are you?”), but said division has created their own Android-based learning tablet. Which is great, because why wouldn’t you want to buy a communication device from a company embroiled in a massive phone-hacking scandal? [New York Times]
    NEWS BRIEFS

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    • The Simpsons lost every Annie Award it was nominated for (including one for the infamous rag episode), but Simpsons alumni Rich Moore won Best Director and his film Wreck-It Ralph won Best Feature, so good for him!
    • My Google Alert for “Yeardley Smith sex tape” has finally beared fruit! Here is a photo of Lisa Simpson’s voice actress cavorting with a naked man in broad daylight.
    • Simpsons producer James L. Brooks is literally on the National Rifle Association’s enemies list. No word on Matt “NRA4EVER” Groening, though.
    • Speaking of Brooks, looks like he got his Twitter hacked, with little success at stopping it. He appears to be waging a hilarious battle with the Twitter-jacker over which one is the real one. Just goes to show you, even if you’re a big-time Hollywood mega-producer, you can still get your stuff hacked. Stay protected, yo. [via @vmcampos]
    • Former showrunner Bill Oakley posted the pre-distortion audio file of Ned Flanders from Homer’s chili-induced hallucination. Much respect for Harry Shearer.
    • UNRELATED SIMPSONS IN THE NEWS: 81-year old ex-senator Alan Simpson, namesake of the Simpson-Bowles commission, attempted to perform the Gangnam Style dance in a bid to turn young people into granny-starving deficit hawks. [via kushibo]