'The Simpsons' Premiere: Watch the Trippy Don Hertzfeldt Couch Gag, Plus Big Character Death Explained


And lo, 'The Simpsons' has begun its 26th season on a bittersweet, if ultimately uplifting note, as a memorable character greeted the grim reaper after many years in the background. Last night's season premiere "Clown in the Dumps" also brought with it the longrunning FOX animation staple's most unusual couch gag yet, as created by artist Don Hertzfeldt, so check both out with the latest from last night's premiere!

Following in the same vein as Hertzfeldt's Academy Award-nominated 2001 short 'Rejected,' last night's 'Simpsons' couch gag continued the tradition of showcasing different animation styles, fast-forwarding Homer and family 10,000 years into the future. There, Bart and the others have become little more than mashed-together blobs spouting fragments of iconic catchphrases, all the while, cryptically directing viewers toward "Sampsans" merchandise and the "Dark Lord of the Twin Moons." So, you know, check back in 10,000 years, and see how far off they were!

Elsewhere, producer Al Jean offered up a bit of insight into last night's surprising character death, wherein - SPOILER ALERT - Krusty said goodbye to his Rabbi father Hyman Krustofsky, as played by Emmy-winner Jackie Mason. Jean downplayed that he had ever previewed the death as that of an "iconic" character, but rather that he wanted to see Krusty confronted by his father's last words being that of an indifferent "eh" toward his career: Per Entertainment Weekly:

I was just trying to think of a story and I thought, “It would be a good father-son story if the rabbi passed away and the last thing he said to his son was, “I think you’re eh.” That the last word that Krusty heard from his dad was “eh,” and that he had to try to reconcile himself with that, and try to find an answer for this lifetime relationship. I thought we did it in a way that I hope is touching but is real and is just the little ways that people make peace with their past.

Then [last fall, journalists] were asking me on a phone conference what shows we had coming up and instead of just saying that, I thought it would be a little sneaky to say that the character had won an Emmy and the next thing I knew it was a huge, worldwide story.

As far as the upcoming 26th season goes, we know that 'The Simpsons will also see 'Futurama' guest stars Billy West, John DiMaggio, Katey Sagal, Phil LaMarr, Lauren Tom, Maurice LaMarche, and Tress MacNeille reprising their 31st century roles for "Simpsorama." An upcoming episode will also see 'SNL' alum Will Forte guesting as the owner of King Toots' music store.

You cant watch the bizarre Don Hertzfeldt couch gag above, and tell us what you think of last night's big 'Simpsons' character death! Do you think the show should have gone further, or was losing Krusty's father as sweet and ultimately harmless as producers had thought?

Filed Under: Fox, The Simpsons
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