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By Suzanne

Matt Selman 

Interview with Matt Selman of "The Simpsons" on FOX 1/13/17

Final Transcript
FBC PUBLICITY: Conference Call with Matt Selman of The Simpsons
January 13, 2017/1:00 p.m. PST

SPEAKERS
Michael Roach Ė Host
Matt Selman Ė The Simpsons

PRESENTATION

Moderator Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by and welcome to the conference call with Matt Selman of The Simpsons. At this time all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question and answer session. Instructions will be given at that time. [Operator instructions]. As a reminder, the conference is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to our host, Mr. Michael Roach. Please go ahead. Thank you.


Michael Hello, and thanks for participating in todayís conference call with The Simpsons Executive Producer, Matt Selman, on behalf of the milestone one hour episode entitled ďThe Great Phatsby,Ē which airs this Sunday, January 15th, at 8/7 Central on Fox. As you probably all know, the episodes features guest star voice appearances by Taraji P. Henson, Keegan-Michael Key, Snoop Dogg, Common, RZA, and Charles Barkley. And itís posted on the Fox screening room right now and you guys can take a look at it in advance of posting your stories.

And I guess thatís about it, so without further ado, weíre ready to begin the call.

Moderator [Operator instructions]. First, weíre going to the line of Suzanne Lanoue. Your line is open.

Suzanne Hi.

Matt Hi there.

Suzanne How are you?

Matt Iím great. How are you?

Suzanne Pretty good. I watched the episode today and I enjoyed it.

Matt Thank you.

Suzanne It was pretty funny. I chuckled all the way through. I was in the library trying not to laugh too loud.

Matt We encourage children to watch the show in the library wherever possible.

Suzanne I was in a college library.

Matt Okay.

Suzanne So, it was really funny. I was just curious, I know that Family Guy, which I also watch, had a Great Gatsby episode this season. Was that on purpose, or just total coincidence?

Matt It was by complete accident. I had forgotten they did it, you just reminded me, but we didnít see it.

Suzanne Oh.

Matt What was theirs? Theirs was like a straight up parody of Baz Luhrmannís Great Gatsby, right?

Suzanne Well, I havenít seen the Baz Luhrmann one, so I didnít know that that was what it was.

Matt Okay.

Suzanne I just know it had something to do with The Great Gatsby.

Matt I think it was a super straight movie parody, where ours borrows from the themes and ideas of the book.

Suzanne Right.

Matt If you want to take any inference as to how Family Guy does things and how we do it, you may.

Suzanne Oh, okay. Well, I saw that it was a great satire of both The Great Gatsby and Empire, sort of a blending of the two, and then fitting it into The Simpsons universe. How do they come up with these ideas?

Matt Well, we really wanted to do a show set in the world of hip hop that was a crossover with Empire that took advantage of this huge cultural phenomenon. Empire is a great show, itís funny, itís sad, itís dramatic, itís over-the-top, we love it, and we really wanted to do a show that had that flavor, so that was our start off point.

The next point was, whatís our way in? Well, Mr. Burns actually would have more in common with a hip hop mogul than you would think, in that they both seek power and are ruthless. And they both also love the style of the 1920s, of the over-the-top millionaires of that age, of Rockefeller, and Jay Zís company is Roc-a-Fella, so both old-timey white guys and super, awesome, cool hip hop moguls have that in common, of the embracing of the over-the-top glamorous style of an earlier age.

Suzanne And did any of your guest star actors have any input into the way it was done, or did they just come in and do their lines and that was it, or the singing?

Matt Well, they all bring their own voice to it. Itís very collaborative. Taraji P. Henson adlibbed a lot of her lines and put in her catch phrase, what is it, ďBoo Boo Kitty.Ē

Suzanne Oh, right.

Matt She put that in there. And Keegan-Michael Key is an improviser and he worked with the dialogue with us, and Snoop, and Common and RZA, they all made the lyrics their own and crafted them to their own style. So, it really was a collaboration with all of them. I would say Charles Barkley just said the lines, but he did a great job. Thank you, Charles. Youíre a busy guy.

Suzanne That was cool. Thank you.

Matt Okay. Great question.

Moderator Thank you. And next weíre going to the line of Art Shrian, My New York Eye. Please go ahead.

Art Hi, Matt. Thank you for taking the time.

Matt Thank you, guys.

Art I love your work, and ďTrilogy of ErrorĒ is one of my most favorite episodes of The Simpsons. I just wanted to tell you that.

Matt Oh, great. Thank you so much.

Art And my wife says ďhello.Ē Sheís from Arlington andó

Matt Wow, thatís a real connection.

Art Yes. So, tell me, you guys have been doing a lot of new things with the show, with the live show and now this one hour episode. What was the inspiration behind doing a one hour episode? Itís almost becoming like a movie, a long form of storytelling. So, what inspired you to do a one hour episode, and on top of that, is there a conscious effort to do new things with the show because over such a long periodó

Matt Sure. Well, weíre very competitive with all the other 29-year-old television shows out there, and we just want to make sure that we never get complacent and that weíre always trying new things. Weíve been on TV longer than most of the other shows out there, but we did The Simpsons virtual reality couch gag, yes, we did the live thing with Dan Castellaneta improvíing Homer in real time, we did a CGI Lego episode a couple years ago, and we did the live show at the Hollywood Bowl. You just canít rest on our laurels, you need to be trying new things.

And the way this episode came around was it was just a regular half hour episode, and the table read went so well that our super producer, James L. Brooks, said letís double it, letís double down on this, letís make it an hour. And we were like, yes, thatís going to be a lot of work but youíve got to challenge yourself. Iíve been on the show for 20 years, a mere 20, and when a new idea comes around itís so rare we just have to embrace it. And this was really hard, it was tough to create a story that keeps your attention going for a full hour, or 40 minutes with commercials.

Art Right.

Matt But itís a two-part structure and there is a natural break in the middle if itís ever broken up for syndication, but itís a Mr. Burns story, heís the main character in it really, more so than The Simpsons, and there are so many new characters and the episode takes place and a lot of it is not in Springfield. So, itís really an artistic departure for us to tell this, in my opinion, epic story of the rise and fall of great men and the competitiveness that comes with power, and the need for powerful people to destroy their friends, and what that means, and why they have that. So, I think thereís a literary quality which sustains it.

And if we hadnít doubled down on it we wouldnít have had the room to add all these great guest stars and original rap songs and hip hop music. And thereís more original music in this show than any other, well, I donít want to go out on a limb, but we brought in a collaborator, this man, Jim Beanz, who wrote a lot and produced a lot of the songs for Empire, and heís a protťgť of Timbaland, and he was great, and he wrote so much rap, and hip hop, and beat and R&B for us. The episode feels different, itís more energetic and it has more energy. The scenes are scored with dramatic hip hop beats, where in a regular episode they might not be because we just wanted to embrace that hip hop Empire energy. And we really did, we really went for it. Itís cool, the episode just feels different. In addition to being twice as long, itís also twice as cool.

Art It sure is, itís amazing. Thank you. You keep making it more and more interesting every year when youíre doing these wonderful things.

Matt Well, if you have any ideas, Iíll do them.

Art I will. Iíll reach out to the other channel. Congratulations. Thank you so much.

Matt Thanks.

Moderator Thank you. Next, weíre going to the line of Jim Colucci, freelance.

Matt Hi, Jim.
Jim Hi, Matt. How are you?

Matt I havenít seen you for two days.

Jim I know itís great. I love that weíve seen each other this week. I want to build on that last question, you talked about ways that you like to stretch and challenge yourself, and here you are in Season 28. And not just creatively but also itís amazing that a show in its 28th season can continue to make headlines the way The Simpsons does by being experimental and trying different forms of the programming and stretching outside the box.

And I wanted to ask you, now that youíve done all the, and you named more than I could name off the top of my head, but the live episode, and the virtual reality, all the experiments youíve tried, what frontiers are left in terms of keeping the show at the top of the headlines by trying something really groundbreaking, and what might be next for you guys?

Matt Oh my gosh, Jim, I wish I knew. I wish I knew. I donít know, we never rest on our laurels, we need to keep searching for those things that keep us excited, because if weíre excited the viewers are going to be excited. I would love to do a three hour episode, thatís whatís next, itís twice as long as a movie but itís still on TV and it lasts the whole night.

Jim Will we see all musical, all live action, in terms of really breaking the mold?

Matt Well, I think we might have a top secret Claymation thing coming up, which Iím probably not allowed to talk about.

Jim Oh, wow.

Matt But Iíll just say the word ďClaymationĒóno, no, excuse me, not Claymation, stop motion.

Jim Stop motion.

Matt Some exciting stop motion potential thing. This one really took a lot of our energy. It was a labor of love, but it was also a labor of work. And Iím excited to get feedback on it because weíve been working on it for a year in our crazy bubble, and itís a stylistic shift, itís a different kind of show, itís got so much more music and so much more rhythm to it, and so much more of an urban flavor, how many ways can I say that?
Jim Yes.

Matt And itís all about Mr. Burnsí friendship with another rich guy. But I think the story is very deep and very meaningful, especially in modern times where billionaires dominate the headlines. And I think the feelings of billionaires are going to become increasingly important in the future, so letís do a show about that.

Jim Well, thank you, Matt.

Matt Alright, my pleasure, Jim. And Iíll talk to you soon.

Moderator Thank you. Next, weíre going to the line of Laura Hurley of Cinema Blend.

Matt Hi there.

Laura Hi. I have to ask, how interesting was it to have that crazy variety of guest stars for this episode?

Matt It was fantastic. Each one was so fun. Hereís how it works, is they come in, they read the script, and theyíre so funny and they add so much that you have to go back and change the script after theyíre here to accommodate all the great extra stuff they said.

And, I will say, they were all amazing, but Taraji P. Henson particularly was the only one really making fun of herself. And she did it with reckless abandon, she had so much fun doing a send up of Cookie called Praline, whoís, if possible, even more over-the-top than Cookie herself, and she just escaped from jail. And every scene she comes in she just stirs the pot, and she clearly was loving it and having so much fun, sort of the opposite of her serious role in Hidden Figures. But, theyíre a good counterpoint to each other, I guess, the two sides of Taraji P. Henson, dramatic and comic.

Laura Thank you very much.

Matt They were all fantastic, especially Charles Barkley with his one line.

Moderator Thank you. And next weíre going to the line of Steve Owens, Entertainment World.

Matt Hi, Steve.
Steve How are you doing, Matt? A question for you, since youíve been on the show now 20 years how do you come up with the creativity, that youíre not burned out? Do you read magazines, or watch TV, or what?

Matt Well, I am burned out. Letís make that clear, Iím burned out. But The Simpsons holds up a mirror to America, and America, for better or for worse, never stops changing, so thereís always ideas there. And the family doesnít really age or really doesnít change that much, at the beginning of every episode theyíre still like a regular family with their problems. And that is a very relatable emotional place to start out from, and thatís just a great creative launching off point to tell almost any kind of story.

And so you can do so many different kind of things, small, emotional stories, epic, sprawling, F. Scott Fitzgerald hour-long, hip hop ultra homages, or darkly satirical South Park style stories. There are so many ways you can take the show. Our format is so flexible. And thereís no better show to me that is more fun to keep fresh than The Simpsons, and also a fear of getting fired is inspirational as well.

Steve What character would you be closest to on the show as far as your own personality?

Matt Probably all the writers are sadly closest to Milhouse, unfortunately, but maybe Lisa. Itís a show about Homer written by a room full of Milhouseís but not a lot of Homerís.

Steve Great.

Matt We have a couple Homerís on the staff, Bartís.

Steve Thatís the studio execs.

Matt Lisaís and Milhouseís, weíre all Lisaís and Milhouseís, youíre sitting in the corner observing, sadly. But I am excited to the degree to which this episode seems to have really struck a cultural nerve, I was hearing about it from everywhere. And weíre right after the huge NFC football game, and I donít know if I can tell you this, but I have arranged for Aaron Rodgers to throw yet another, a game winning Hail Mary right at 8:00 Eastern Time, ending the game launching right into this episode. So, thatís already been pre-arranged.

Steve Oh, okay.
Matt So, you can write that, that he will definitely throw another Hail Mary at 7:55 Eastern Sunday night, and then, boom, just to make the launch of this episode even more amazing.

Steve Perfect. Alright, I appreciate it, Matt.

Matt Okay. Thanks.

Moderator Thank you. And next weíre going to the line of Simon Applebaum. Please go ahead.

Simon Hi, itís Simon Applebaum from Tomorrow Will Be Televised. Itís all about television [indiscernible], and we just wrapped up our show, so Iím late on the call. And Iím looking on my computer screen about Jim Beanz, who came out with a press release, by the way, today, Matt, about his work. Iím curious whether his music influenced the couch gag you did for the episode on Sunday, what Bart writes on the chalkboard, what Lisa does with the saxophone, etc., etc.

Matt Which was the couch tag last Sunday? I donít remember.

Simon The couch tag this Sunday, this episode.

Matt There is no couch tag in this episode. Itís so jam-packed with Empire, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Long Island, Great Gatsby, Simpsons, Burns, ruthless, adventure, hip hop excitement that thereís no couch tag.

Simon Is that a first?

Matt No, because if episodes are long we just get right into them because you want to deliver as much story value as we can. So, in fact, whatís unique about this one is that thereís no middle, thereís no end credits at the end of the first one, thereís no new opening credits at the end of the second half hour. Itís run straight through. Itís never been done by The Simpsons before. So, itís just one single piece, thatís a brand new thing. But Jim Beanz was fantastic, and I stand by everything from the press release, his music really informed the show and he has a different voice, an exciting voice that gives the show I think a new emotional value that is really interesting, weíve never done before.

And Jim did a hip hop remix of the classic Simpsons theme, itís over the closing credits, which is fantastic and weíre very proud of that, heís proud of his work. He wrote a lot of music for us, thereís a lot of rap in this, but the trick is never have the Simpsons rap. The Simpsons must not rap. You have to bring in the outside characters to rap because they are much better at it.

Simon Thou shall not rap, a very interesting thing. Matt, I also wanted to ask you, because this is the first hour long episode of 600+, whether thereís been any thought about doing a cliffhanger situation where you start the show on a Sunday and then you have an episode on Monday night to wrap up the plot line? Iím asking this because this weekend HBOís launching a new series called The Young Pope with Jude Law and for the first time that I can recall theyíre having episodes both on Sunday and Monday. So, Iím just curious whether thatís ever been discussed, the idea of a cliffhanger where you start the show one night and then you end the next night?

Matt Well, I love that idea. If I ever recover from making this episode I will do it, because we had the cliffhanger of who shot Mr. Burns many years ago, 22 or 23 years ago, and that was a two-part show with a cliffhanger, but that was always engineered in that way. This is our first solid one hour, one epic, super story event television. But that Young Pope thing sounds pretty cool. Again, if I could think of a great idea for a cliffhanger worthy of two nights in a row, I would do it. Maybe I will.

Simon Matt, thank you again for the conversation. Good luck on the show Sunday night. Weíd love to have you and the gang on our show at some point.

Matt Oh, any time, any time. Go Aaron Rodgers.

Moderator Thank you. [Operator instructions]. Next weíre going to the line of Stacy Roberts of SeriouslyOMG.com.

Stacy Hi, Matt. I loved the episode.

Matt Oh, thank you so much.

Stacy You said itís a labor of love, what made this episode different than all the others, besides being an hour?

Matt Well, a lot of it stems from it being an hour, but youíve seen it so youíll notice thereís a B story in the first half with just Lisa, and then Marge has her own B story in the second half about her and her store, so itís kind of cool in that we got to really play with the form of the show and then have stories begin and end, and then new stories begin and end throughout the whole hour, so that was pretty fun and interesting. And that way also if Fox ever does break it up the B stories will be self-contained.

I think the whole thing thematically comes from the world of hip hop and our ideas about that. A lot of hip hop lyrics and ideas are about excess, itís living large and splashing the cash, and having things be over-the-top, and so we wanted the whole episode to have that feel of like a grand hip hop melodrama. So, the fact that thereís so much music in it, and the show is so scored, and thereís so many original songs in it, really makes the whole thing I think feel different, regardless of the fact that itís twice as long. And even Margeís little B story has its own funny little extra score which we put in. And youíve seen it, so youíve seen the raps, thereís no Simpsons rapping, you noticed. But I thought these epic raps are pretty funny and pretty cool, and sound legit, as opposed to just a bunch of nerds trying to think of lyrics.

Stacy No, it did. How did you wind up booking Common and RZA for the show?

Matt Well, we wanted people that really represented both where rap is now and the history of rap, and we only had room really for three people, so we just went out to them as people that weíre all huge fans of, they all have their own style, they all have their own place in hip hop history, and they each bring a distinct point of view to their own music. And we really wanted them to collaborate on what, as part of story, is the ultimate reputation destroying diss rap ever recorded. I donít know if it lives up to that, but that was the goal, and to make it funny.

Stacy It definitely did.

Matt I hope you found it devastating when you watched it.

Stacy I did. And now that youíre renewed for two more years, that means not only are you going to have Episode 666ó

Matt Yes.

Stacy óbut youíre also going to have the most episodes of any scripted television in history. Are you preparing those episodes?

Matt We are. We are. I donít know what 666 is yet, but thatís a big one, right, the mark of the beast.
Stacy Right.

Matt Any episode that signals the coming of the Antichrist is a huge episode, right? I donít know if Fox is ready to announce that yet. But it would be cool if that were a Halloween episode, if we could arrange that, again, Iím just pitching here. But to do a satanic episode for 666, you know us, weíll think of some fun comment on it.

Stacy And what about the episode that will put you ahead of Gunsmoke?

Matt I donít know. I think we just do exactly an old Gunsmoke script with the Simpsons plugged in, but no jokes and just super straight, our favorite episode of Gunsmoke but with the Simpsons.

Stacy That would be awesome.

Matt And to call it Gun Doe doesnít really work.

Stacy I know youíll figure it out.

Matt But, yes, we have two huge milestones. We think we run out of milestones and they keep coming.

Stacy Thanks. As long as they keep coming.

Matt The milestones keep coming.

Stacy Hereís to 1,000.

Matt Oh my gosh, that would be something all right.

Stacy Very cool. Thank you. And thank you for your 20 years of work on the show.

Matt Thank you guys for hanging in there with us along the way.

Moderator Thank you. And next weíre going to the line of Tora Shae of Black Girl Nerds. Please go ahead.

Matt Hello. Hi, itís Matt.

Tora Hi. Can you hear me?

Matt Yes, I can.

Tora Hi. So, nice talking to you again.

Matt Yes, nice talking to you too.

Tora So, first off, what prompted a desire from the team to immerse the Simpsons and Mr. Burns into the world of hip hop and the music business?

Matt Well, it was really that kind of observation that guys like Jay Z make videos in which they live in the world of Mr. Burns when he was a young man, like the world of the í20s, of the opulent millionaires of the í20s. So, it was that observation that Mr. Burns, and Jay Z, or Dr. Dre, or Russell Simmons, or any of these guys actually have more in common than you might think, even though one is an old, old, old white man and the other guys are coming on middle age black men. But the fact that they revere the opulence of the í20s is an interesting commonality that we thought was a great launching point for an epic friendship. And itís an epic friendship all right.

Tora What was the process like trying to represent characters that would appeal to a black audience, the hip hop community from a comedic lens without making them feel like stereotypical characters?

Matt Well, I hope they donít. The Simpsons goofs on everybody, and we certainly employ stereotypes with all our characters. I hope certainly this one, our characters have some level of nuance. I really believe our new character, Jay G, who is voiced by the fantastic voice actor, Kevin Michael Richardson, he brings such a humanity and intelligence to his role. And Jay G isnít just a bad guy or a good guy, but heís a modern man whoís self-made, and what is the price of being a self-made man and climbing to the top. If you have the ruthlessness to become successful, can you turn off that ruthlessness before it destroys you? Does that ruthlessness that allows you to become a billionaire, does that keep you from becoming close to anybody?

To me those were the interesting themes of that character, and so to me we wrote a character whoís really like literary in nature, Jay G, and thatís the kind of depth that keeps you from falling into stereotype, although you know The Simpsons, there are stereotypes, like Chief Wiggum, the pig, right, our policeman is a pig. So, we take stereotypes and we make fun of them and we turn them on their head, and we try not to be lazy about it. And that was our goal in this and all things.

Tora Right. Finally, which character from this episode could you see fitting into the regular Simpsons cast?

Matt Well, I would love it if Jay G was part of the show. Itís so fun. Also. I know Keegan-Michael Key wants to be part of the show, he plays Jazzy James, a washed up, betrayed rapper whoís forced to sell scented candles in The Simpsons version of the Hamptons. But he was just so funny when he came in and so full of energy, and just took everything, and heís such a great improviser and did so much with it that I would love to bring a lot of these people back. I donít know, I love Jay G, though, heís just a great guy.

Tora I definitely look forward to the episode. And thank you for all that you do. Thanks for talking to me.

Matt Thanks so much. I hope you like it.

Tora Thank you.

Moderator Thank you. And next weíre going back to the line of Steve Owens, Entertainment World.

Steve Hi, Matt. First of all, Kanye West is going to be really mad heís not in this episode.

Matt Yes. Well, it could be, itís not too late. It is too late.

Steve Okay. Youíre talking about a lot of music in this particular episode, an hour full, thatís enough for basically an EP to put on iTunes. So, any plans on doing that for the next morning as a follow up kind of thing?

Matt That is a great idea. I think if we did it, it wouldnít be ready right away. Itís exciting. As I was saying before, my one rule is I didnít want The Simpsons to rap, but then Iím like well, are people going to want to buy a rap song that isnít by a new character? I wasnít sure about that. So, in terms of iTunes and digital music streaming, I thought I would just wait and see how the episode played with the audiences before we took that next step. But we havenít ruled it out. To me one of the things that makes the show stronger, again, is that the Simpsons and Mr. Burns do not rap. None of our lame white characters rap. But then again weíre meeting all these new people and theyíre doing all the hip hop, and if people dig it, weíll put it out there.

Steve Great. I look forward to it, hearing the sound track, and I look forward to hearing the episode, and letís see a 12.2 on this episode.

Matt Oh my God, that would be great. Well, Aaron Rodgers, again, has already agreed to throw the Hail Mary to end the game, so thatís going to be a big lead-in.

Steve Perfect.

Matt So, thatís going to be great.

Steve Alright.

Matt Thank you.

Moderator Thank you. And weíre going to the line of Art Shrian, My New York Eye. Please go ahead.

Art Hi, Matt. Something I want to ask you, after working on this show for 20 years, are you able to single out one thing, or one moment thatís been the high of working on this show? And the second part of the same question is, in 20 years what was the most frustrating thing being a storyteller on something that is so long, you talk about long form going on forever, so the most frustrating thing and whatís the most rewarding thing?

Matt And the two go together. Itís a great question. I think the most rewarding thing, itís hard to say thereís one moment, itís like when the episode airs on a Sunday night that youíre really proud of and you feel that thrill that you made something that you hope is special and that people will connect to you and remember. And in this world of eight million really, really, really good television shows that our old dusty 28-year-old show can still make an impact and still reflect the world back to viewers, thatís the high, thatís the thrill, is just putting that show on Sunday nights, the ones like this one, that youíre super proud of, thereís nothing else like it. And itís harder and harder to make an impact in the world of culture because thereís so much great culture that to feel that anything even reaches people is the ultimate thrill.

Now, the flip side of that is Monday morning you have to go into work and do it again. And that feeling of how are we going to keep this good, how are we going to think of fresh ideas, how are we going to do what the show has done for all these years, which is blow peopleís minds and expose the hypocrisies of the world, and tell great emotional stories, you have to keep doing it, and that pressure is tough. Trust me, this is the greatest job in the world, but at the same time the pressure to be funny, and excellent, and touching, and heart-warming and satirical is hard. And so we take it really seriously, the silly business. So, every day itís like alright, this has to live up to the great history of the show, and itís daunting. But then lunch comes and itís all good.

Art And the last question, from your experience, whatís your message to other young storytellers that youíve had, from your failed scripts to now producer of one of the most excellent shows, whatís your message to young storytellers?

Matt Itís a great question, because storytelling is a joyful and tearful job, and people do it to make money or they do it to express their voice, or they do it for lots of reasons. And it seems like the future is going to be more and more opportunities than ever for storytellers to get their stories out. But the flip side of that is that fewer and fewer people will ever see or absorb those stories, and fewer of those stories will ever become a broad-based cultural phenomenon that connects people and that maybe from now on stories in fact will be dividing people, because theyíre just only reaching these targeted small groups.

So, itís a Simpsons style irony that with more opportunities for self-expression, the more limited the opportunity for that self-expression is to unite people and bring them together. But who knows, I could be wrong. You werenít expecting that articulate an answer, were you, but you got it.

Art Thanks. That is wonderful. Thank you so much.

Matt Alright.

Art That is good you said that. Thank you.

Matt Okay. I can give out my answers now.

Moderator There are no more questions in queue.

Matt That was it. I put them all to sleep with that one.

Michael No, thatís all we have time for. But, Matt, if you have any other additional points or anything to add, you can do that now, and Iíll just wrap it.

Matt Iíll shut up soon. Hank Azaria plays a really funny rich kid, one-percenter that Lisa has a little F. Scott Fitzgerald style romance with in the first half of the show. And I hope you guys recognize that funny character, because heís this spoiled, entitled Hamptons rich kid whose father is an investment banker, and Hank broke this wonderful smarminess to the role, and we just thought he was the funniest, most spoiled kid weíve ever seen. And I would love it if he came back as well, and I hope he doesnít get lost in the mania for hip hop. Itís interesting, because most of the guest stars in the hip hop are in the second half of the show, so people are going to have to stick around for that as they drift away from their football-inspired lead-in.

But what else? Jim Beanz, I canít say enough good things about him. He made the show so unique and interesting, and such authenticity that, trust me, I could never have delivered. And Milhouse is in it, he plays a white rap nerd.

And itís ultimately a huge Mr. Burns episode, heís really the star of this show, his journey from feeling like a lonely old man to finally finding a connection with someone, a hip hop mogul who he thinks is like him, who shows him how to enjoy life again, and then when heís betrayed by that man itís devastating and he tries to get the ultimate revenge. And if any of you have seen the episode, I truly hope youíre shocked by Mr. Burnsí what we think is the ultimate revenge, I donít want to say it out loud, but I hope there at least was a little gasp that we went there for what Mr. Burnsí ultimate revenue is, involving of course our other new character, the hilarious angry goose mascot of Jay Gís Golden Goose Empire, Goosius, who I hope will be the next Spider Pig.

Alright, thatís it, right? Anything else?

Michael Yes, thanks, everyone. Thanks for joining us on the call today. That was perfect. And as a reminder the one hour episode of The Simpsons airs this Sunday, January 15th at 8 PM/7 central on FOX.

Moderator Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude your conference for today. Thank you for your participation and for using AT&T Executive TeleConference Service. You may now disconnect.

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