Despite a contract squabble earlier this year that might have brought an end to the Simpsons, Matt Groening’s animated comedy is still kicking — and will be indefinitely, he says.
But how does a comedy stay fresh after 23 seasons? And what would an end look like? Series creator Groening says he doesn’t plan to be around to find out.
Do you already know how the show is going to end? Do you have the last episode in your mind?
I think everybody who works on the show has a secret final episode in mind. I had my idea, but my idea already got used up 10 years ago. However, we inadvertently, accidently might have already animated one we thought might be the final episode, and that is our Christmas episode coming up, which shows the Simpsons in the future.
Surprisingly enough, things don’t work out well for Bart. But it’s a very sweet and touching episode as well, and there’s a great scene of adult Bart and adult Lisa together talking about their family, in the tree house. They had come home for the holidays. They’re up in Bart’s tree house, and they’re drunk, which you’ve never been able to do.
What’s the secret to keeping a show going for more than 20 years?
I think the Simpsons is basically a forum for different kinds of comedy.
It’s not any one kind of comedy. It started out I think, in a more limited way, but now we do everything.
We tried different kinds of jokes and different styles, and we parody different kinds of animation styles, and our range of references go from truly obscure literary references to the most dumb, broad comedy that you can imagine.