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By Suzanne

Homer Simpson, Matt Groening and Al Jean

Interview with Al Jean of "The Simpsons" from FOX Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009

Usually when FOX has its conference calls for us web sites to get to ask some questions of their people, they send us a chat transcript afterwards. I don't bother taking notes for that reason. This time, however, they did not send it, and I didn't know they didn't have it until two weeks later when I finally got around to reminding them about it.  So I can't tell you word-for-word what Mr. Jean said.

We asked him about the upcoming Simpsons episodes, and he rattled off a long list of the episodes, what they were about, and who was guest-starring in them.  That was pretty impressive. He is clearly a very smart man. You would have to be, in order to run a show like The Simpsons for so long. 

One of the episodes involved Marge posing for a nude calendar, and the fact that in real life, Playboy put Marge on the cover.  I asked him about that. He said that Playboy came up with the idea, so they figured they should do a story similar to that, so they can tie them together.  Marge is not just in the cover, but there is the usual stuff they do inside, where the Playmate is asked questions.  Sounds like it is hilarious and almost makes me want to buy a copy!

My husband and I started watching "The Simpsons" way back 20 years ago when it first started. The world was a very different place back then, of course. Cable TV didn't have the foothold on our lives the way it does now.  FOX was a fairly new network.  "The Simpsons" was a fresh, funny show.  In the earliest episodes, we had to watch with no distractions because if you blinked, you might miss one of the jokes. Not only did they have lots of verbal jokes, but tons of visual ones.  It was a really funny show.  A few years later, I think it was the 7th or 8th season, it was not that funny anymore, so we stopped watching. We have caught a few episodes since, but mostly we were not really fond of it. Last season, we watched a few and found they were funny again...not as funny as originally, but funny enough to watch.

This season most of the episodes have been okay.  Frankly, if we didn't already watch the rest of the FOX shows that night, we might not bother watching The Simpsons. Also, it's pretty easy to record the shows with the DVR.

It's clear, though, that the folks at the show do work very hard at their jobs and try to give us the funniest shows they can. I was happy to speak to Mr. Jean and ask him questions!

One of the things they're doing this year is having an on-air scavenger hunt.  Fans watch the FOX shows, and they will all have clues about the hunt.

Here are some other recent articles about Al Jean and The Simpson you may enjoy.

Blogcritics

Zap2it

TV Done Right

Digital Spy

Hollywood Outbreak

ABOUT THE SIMPSONS SCAVENGER HUNT:

FOX is paying “homarge” to 20 years of television’s favorite yellow family with the network’s first-ever on-air scavenger hunt. Beginning Monday, Nov. 9 and continuing through Friday, Nov. 13, fans can watch FOX each night to find SIMPSONS shout-outs, tributes and clues featured in primetime programming and on-air promos.

One lucky winner will receive the ultimate SIMPSONS prize package, including a trip for two to Los Angeles to attend a SIMPSONS table read with the Emmy Award-winning voice cast and producers, a home entertainment system, SIMPSONS DVDs and merchandise and tickets to Universal Studios Hollywood, home of The Simpsons Ride.

Viewers 13 years of age and older who spot SIMPSONS shout-outs can log on to www.fox.com/scavengerhunt  each night to test their knowledge for an opportunity to unlock daily downloadable extras and to enter to win the ultimate grand prize. The deadline for submissions is 2:00 PM ET on Saturday, Nov. 14. For complete official rules, guidelines and more information, visit www.fox.com/scavengerhunt

ABOUT NOVEMBER SWEEPS EPISODES:

Sunday, Nov. 15

THE SIMPSONS (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT) – “The Devil Wears Nada”

In an effort to raise money for charity, Marge and the “Philanthro-Chicks” decide to pose for a calendar. At the photo studio, Marge is a bit reluctant to reveal any skin, but the photographer (Hank Azaria) loosens her up with wine and before long, Marge and her pin-up poses are the talk of Springfield.

Sunday, Nov. 22

THE SIMPSONS (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT) – “Pranks and Greens”

JONAH HILL GUEST VOICES

Fed up with Bart’s constant pranks, Principal Skinner (Harry Shearer) tells him there is a former Springfield Elementary student who is hailed as the best prankster ever, even better than Bart. When Bart finally tracks down Andy Hamilton (guest voice Jonah Hill), a 19-year-old who hasn’t grown out of his pranking days, they become fast friends.

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Page updated 9/4/12

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