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JuicyLesson 276: “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy” Cross-Over … A Beer That Speaks …

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We are presently in Ganonoque for a couple of days. We’re staying in the same place as last time we were here two weeks ago and I remember that I had quite a lot of trouble getting that day’s JuicyLesson together because of the poor quality Wifi offered in this particular establishment.

Therefore because I don’t want to mess with that again, I find that my JL for today has to be limited in certain ways.

For one thing, uploading videos takes a helluva long time and thus I have decided not to attempt to do so.

So without further ado, here is today’s JuicyLesson beginning with news about plans for a “Family Guy” – “The Simpsons” ‘cross-over’ as well as some mention of the death of a “Simpsons” character.

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Simpsons with Family Guy
© Copyright (c) The Regina Leader-Post

Once upon a time, a crossover episode between Family Guy and The Simpsons would have been unthinkable – if only because The Simpsons is 25 years old and Family Guy is only 15.

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Even now, even though both programs are animated and even though they appeal to a wide audience every week, they’re so different in tone and style that a crossover sounds like a potential calamity in the making – something Krusty the Clown might dream up after a particularly feverish nightmare, with potentially similar results.

But after more than 550 episodes, 25 seasons and a pair of 3D episodes, Simpsons executive producer Al Jean says there’s not much that can sully The Simpsons’ reputation now, except perhaps the Simpson family themselves.

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The Simpsons will return in late September with two appearances on the same night – the hour-long Simpsons-Family Guy crossover and a stand-alone Simpsons episode in which, Jean teases, a major character will die.

In an animated comedy where the characters don’t look as if they’ve aged a day in 25 years, the death of a major character has the potential to rattle Simpsons believers to their core of their being. After all, the whole world – or so it seemed at the time – obsessed over the 1995 mystery Who Shot Mr. Burns?, and that was 20 years ago. (Spoiler alert: It wasn’t who you might think.)

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The only certainty is that a character will die, and that if you’ve watched The Simpsons for any length of time, you will know who it is. Killing off a major character proved to be a much bigger deal than The Simpsons’ makers expected, Jean admitted.

“The actor who plays the character won an Emmy for that portrayal, and it doesn’t mean you won’t see a flashback in future with the character, or as a ghost or something.”

Jean refused to give any more clues away.

“It’s a very easy mystery,” he said, unlike guessing Who Shot Mr. Burns?

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“If I gave one more clue away, then it’s over. The title of the episode is Clown in the Dumps.” The Simpsons was passed over for an Emmy nomination earlier this month, for the first time in as long as Jean can remember.

“As an obsessive-compulsive, it was 19 years in a row that we’d been nominated, and I was thinking, why not 24? I was worried I’d be thinking that for the rest of my life.”

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The Simpsons is in no danger of disappearing yet.

“We’ve been so lucky to have such a great run,” Jean said. “I think it’s going to go on for a while. The ratings are good. We still enjoy doing the show very much. The cast are still on board.

So I don’t know when it will end.

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“I love The Simpsons. I’ve worked there for 25 years. It means more to me than just a job. It’s been part of my life.”

As for the Family Guy crossover, Jean said, the script has been written and the voice actors – from both series – have already recorded their lines.

Jean asked for some minor tweaks but, other than that, he was fine with what the Family Guy writers came up with.

The episode, in which the Griffins visit Springfield and interact with the Simpsons, was written entirely by Family Guy’s writing staff.

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“We said, ‘Can you cut just one rape joke?'” Jean recalled, straight-faced. “They said, ‘No,’ and we said, ‘OK.'” The Simpsons won’t end the crossover experiment there, either. A November episode will feature a crossover between The Simpsons and the now-retired Futurama, also created by Matt Groening.

The Simpsons returns Sept. 28 on Fox and Global TV.

Now for that commercial:

Another cut from the Eagles is featured today. It’s the lovely “I Can’t a Tell You Why”.

Peace.

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