Move over, talking heads–America’s yellowest patriarch has some commentary of his own.
The Simpsons will hold a special “live” episode on May 15th. The show’s executive producer Al Jean announced the news to The Wrap today, admittedly following the success of Grease: Live two weeks ago.
The episode itself, or at least the greater sum of it, will run normally; it will follow whatever plot the scriptwriters crafted for it, as any normal Simpsons episode, or frankly all animation throughout history, has done.
Then in the last three minutes of the episode, Marge, Lisa, and Bart (and Maggie, if she had such ability as a baby) will hand it all off to Homer, who will break out of character as the gluttonous patriarch and transform into a pundit, not unlike the kind you would see around a table on Fox News or CNN.
The Simpsons has been lauded as veiled political commentary before, but this might be the first time it has ever come right out to speak directly on the social issues complicating the world today.
Homer Simpson, of course, is still a fictional character. While the words will be coming out of his donut-flecked mouth, the true voice will be happening live by Homer’s actor, Dan Castellaneta. Jean and some writers will be standing by the actor as they use motion-capture technology, a device that will trap Castellaneta’s voice and transmit it through Homer on the screen in real-time, to help think up some witty answers to questions posed by fans.
Jean isn’t at all worried about Castellaneta’s ability to shine under pressure. In his interview to The Wrap, Jean called Castellaneta “the great improviser.” Any on-air slip-ups, on a scale higher than “D’oh!” level, are unlikely.
Fans, many of whom may have been watching the show for its entire 27-year run and may be yearning for this opportunity at last, will be able to submit their questions via Twitter, using the hashtag #HomerLive. The writers will be collecting them May 1st through May 4th.
These questions will also not be revealed to Homer prior to the “live” episode; like a Presidential debate, the only eyes that will see the chosen queries will be the “moderators,” who may or may not become known closer to the date of the episode.
Jean expects that because the questions are supposed to be current events-related, even “Trump, he’ll do something that day to merit [mentioning].”
To further establish that everything is really happening on the spot, Homer will also supposedly interject to-be-determined examples of proof that nothing is pre-recorded. Maybe he’ll glance at the weather in Springfield and relay that to the audience. Maybe Kanye will Tweet something new, and Simpson will report that when it happens.
Regardless, this will be the first time in history that an animated show will be live, sink or swim.
The episode will air on Sunday, May 15th at 8ET on Fox.