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The longest scripted television series: The Simpsons, has been on air since 1989 and will be launching its 600th episode this fall. And now, according to Entertainment Weekly, the animated comedy series will be releasing an hourlong episode. This of course, will include commercial time. The episode will be a hip-hop homage to The Great Gatsby and will feature Taraji P. Henson and Keegan-Michael Key as guest voices.
Fox announced the news at the TCA Summer Press Tour. This is the closest The Simpsons has come to an hourlong episode since its popular two-part Who Shot Mr. Burns episodes in 1995. This is when the show aired the first part for the season 6 finale and later revealed the resolution during the season 7 premiere.
The episode is titled The Great Phatsby and will revolve around a merciless, elderly tycoon who owns the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. The episode riffs on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic Roaring Twenties novel The Great Gatsby while showing the turbulent friendship between Mr. Burns and a mysterious hip-hop mogul named Jay G.
Matt Selman the executive producer for The Simpsons stated “This was just going to be a regular episode, but the table read went so well, in a fit of passion and excitement and ambition and excess, we decided to supersize it, And we haven’t done a huge amount of stories in the world of hip-hop and rap culture, so we just went for it.”
A huge chunk of the episode will be set at Burns’ summer mansion in the Springfield Hamptons with Homer serving as narrator who somehow becomes entangled in the story, similar to Nick Carroway in the book. “Burns is an old-school Gatsby and Jay G is a new-school Gatsby and their mutual Gatsbyism brings them together,” Selman says, adding how Jay G slyly “seduces Burns into the excesses of the hip-hop lifestyle.”
According to Selman “Part 1 of the show I would subtitle as The Betrayal, and part 2 I would subtitle as The Revenge. It’s kind of like a two-part rap album.” The hourlong episode will air in January.