The Simpsons to air longest-ever episode
The Simpsons will air its longest ever episode in January 2017.
The popular animated comedy is set to celebrate 600 episodes in October, and yet none of them have ever reached the hour mark – until now.
FOX announced on Monday (August 8) at the Television Critic’s Association press tour that the special hour-long episode will pay homage to The Great Gatsby with a hip hop twist. In keeping with this theme, the Simpsons has lined up Empire‘s Taraji P. Henson and Key & Peele‘s Keegan-Michael Key to guest star.
The new episode, which is titled “The Great Phatsby”, focuses on Mr. Burns and tells the story of his friends-to-enemies relationship with enigmatic hip hop mogul Jay G.
The decision to supersize the episode was apparently taken after a table reading went incredibly well. Simpsons executive producer Matt Selman told EW: “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.”
Speaking of the episode’s story, Selman said: “Burns is an old-school Gatsby and Jay G is a new-school Gatsby, and their mutual Gatsbyism brings them together.
But after the pair become friends, Jay G “seduces Burns into the excesses of the hip-hop lifestyle”, bankrupting his pal in order to take over the nuclear power plant.
Henson will play a character much like Cookie on Empire, says Selman, who “teams up with Burns and Homer and Bart and our all-star team of rappers to help get revenge on Jay G.” Rapper Jazzy James, who will be voiced by Key, will also be on the warpath against Jay G.
Selman continued: “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.”
Jim Beanz, who produces the music for Empire, is also on board to write songs for the special episode.