Comic-Con@Home 2021: What We Learned from “The Simpsons” Season 33 and Beyond Panel

Comic-Con@Home continues today with more virtual panels and presentations about our favorite pop-culture properties. This morning’s panel for “The Simpsons Season 33 and Beyond” featured moderator Yeardley Smith (voice of Lisa Simpson) alongside showrunner Al Jean, producers David Silverman, Matt Selman, and Carolyn Omine, director Mike B. Anderson, and animator Debbie Mahan.

In the bullet-point list below, I’ve enumerated the most interesting tidbits and factoids to come out of “The Simpsons Season 33 and Beyond” panel during Comic-Con@Home 2021.

Watch The Simpsons Season 33 and Beyond! | Comic-Con@Home 2021:

  • The panel opens with a short parody video about a new streaming service called “Simpflix.”
  • Yeardley Smith introduces the “Dream Team” of panelists and says that they have aggregated questions from the fans to fill the length of the presentation.
  • The first question was from Yeardley herself: “Can we please have an episode where Lisa Simpson befriends The Rock?” Carolyn Omine says they have a story idea for this but they’re waiting to hear from Dwayne Johnson.
  • “If you didn’t write on The Simpsons, what TV show would you like to write on?” Omine says It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Matt Selman says What We Do in the Shadows and Bob’s Burgers. Al Jean says The Sopranos and Mad Men. Yeardley talked about her guest appearance on Mad Men and how Jon Hamm is a huge fan of The Simpsons.
  • “For David Silverman, what does The Simpsons mean to you having been involved from the very beginning?” “It means an amazing thing that happened to me and my career.” He always wanted to be involved in some kind of animation that made a difference.
  • “For Debbie and Mike, how do you go about designing a character and do you draw at home?” Debbie Mahan says she has an Instagram account (@debbadoh) where she posts comics that are strictly markers on paper. Mike B. Anderson says he used to doodle when they had meetings in person. He showed some examples.
  • They talked about the possibility of going back to live table reads, but nobody knows when it will happen.
  • “Has there been any planning for or musing about a final episode?” Jean says one idea is that the last episode would go back to the first episode, and the whole series would be a loop without a beginning or end. Selman says the pressure to write a last episode would be too big. “Disney will never let the show end.”
  • “Are there more Maggie shorts planned?” Jean says the idea came up because Maggie works for free. James L. Brooks wanted to do different shorts for each Disney-owned property like Star Wars and Marvel. Silverman talked about the quick turnaround on the shorts.
  • “When you read a script, do you see the animation in your brains?” Anderson says that’s why he loves the table reads, because they help him see the show in his head. Silverman talked about “The Land of Chocolate” segment and how it made him fall out of his chair laughing.
  • At this point Matt Selman started giving a preview of season 33: the season premiere is a musical with almost wall-to-wall music starring Kristen Bell as Marge’s singing voice. Then they showed a sneak preview drawing of one of the scenes, with Homer singing to Marge in the bathroom while perched on the toilet bowl.
  • Jean says this year’s “Treehouse of Horror” will have five segments with guest star Rachel Bloom.
  • At the end of November there will be a two-part epic love letter to the series Fargo. Timothy Olyphant and Brian Cox will guest star. Silverman gushes over his love of Fargo.
  • Silverman talked about how many former Disney animators came over to the show because they prefer working in hand-drawn animation to 3D CGI animation.
  • They played a complete segment from “Treehouse of Horror” starring voice actor Maurice LaMarche doing a Vincent Price impression.
  • Then they played a game of Simpsons Pictionary, with each writer paired with an animator. The animator drew a supporting character and the writer had to guess who it was. Then they did the same but with scenes from the show.
  • After the game, series creator Matt Groening joined the discussion for the final ten minutes.
  • For the final question, Smith asked everyone, “Do you have a nickname?” Carolyn said “Corky,” Al said “Little Al” because his dad had the same name, Debbie said “Debba D’oh” or “The Debbanatrix,” David said “Silvie” or “Davey,” Matt Selman said “Selmo” or “Matty,” Mike said “Anderbuns” or “Flower” as a reference to his love of Bambi, and Matt Groening said “Matty” as well but from the Mattel mascol “Matty Mattel” and in high school it was “Matt Groin Injury,” Yeardley Smith says her fiance calls her “Squirrel” and her castmates call her “Yardle.”

The Simpsons season 33 begins this fall on FOX.

Mike Celestino
Mike serves as Laughing Place's lead Southern California reporter, Editorial Director for Star Wars content, and host of the weekly "Who's the Bossk?" Star Wars podcast. He's been fascinated by Disney theme parks and storytelling in general all his life and resides in Burbank, California with his beloved wife and cats.