The Simpsons just aired their 450th episode to celebrate 20 years of avoiding the network ax, but there’s still plenty more exciting things to come in Springfield. Al Jean, showrunner for 18 of the 20 years of The Simpsons (he only left to run The Critic for two short-lived seasons), told us about some exciting Simpsons events and guest stars coming up.
“January 31st we have an episode where one of our fans created a character,” Jean said over drinks at the Fox party during the Television Critics Association winter press tour. “So that character debuts in that episode. Coming up we have Sarah Silverman in an episode. We have Sacha Baron Cohen playing an Israeli tour guide. We just recorded Jon Hamm today [Jan. 11] for an episode that airs in December.”
More about the season finale after the jump.
The season finale boasts five superstar guests, and still gives Simpsons regulars something to do. “The Simpsons have a dog, they make him ugly and enter him in an ugly dog contest,” Jean said. “The judge is Krusty and he drops out, so Moe becomes this great judge like Simon Cowell. So they give him a shot on American Idol and we’ve got all the judges. We got Simon, Ellen, Randy, Kara and Ryan Seacrest are all in the episode.”
The Treehouse of Horror Halloween episodes are a staple of The Simpsons we always look forward to. This October’s boasts another A-list guest star. “We recorded Hugh Laurie for a segment where Homer and Marge are taking a cruise together on a sailboat and they find him as a castaway and he completely disrupts their romance. It is like Dead Calm.”
Season 20 just came out on DVD and Blu Ray, to take advantage of the show’s entrance into HDTV. DVD fans can still look forward to the show’s 13th season release on old school DVD, and even it has a behind the scenes guest star.
“Stan Lee did a DVD commentary for season 13, the episode he appeared in. He’s a legend, man. It was such a thrill. A wonderful guy and a real hero to people like me. I asked him things in the commentary like, ‘Why did the Watcher in Fantastic Four say he was never supposed to interfere when all he did was interfere with people?’ He laughed. He said, ‘You got me.’”
The Simpsons remains a staple Sunday nights at 8 on Fox.