Writers: Don't Expect 'Simpsons' to Slow
Saturday, July 28, 2007; 10:55 PM
SAN DIEGO -- TV's favorite animated family, "The Simpsons," already has a hit movie, a video game on the way, a new theme-park ride and the title of America's longest-running sitcom. So what's next? Plenty, according to creator Matt Groening and his team of writers, who spoke to a crowd of more than 6,500 fans at the Comic-Con entertainment expo on Saturday _ just one day after "The Simpsons Movie" opened.
Fans can expect the return of Sideshow Bob, with guest stars John Mahoney as his father and David Hyde Pierce as his brother, said head writer Al Jean. Sideshow Bob will also be part of the new Simpsons ride, set to open in spring 2008 at Universal Studios in Orlando and Universal City, Calif.
A new comic-book store will be coming to Springfield, said "Simpsons" writer-producer Matt Selman. The shop owner will be voiced by Jack Black, with guest stars including Art Spiegelman, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Maus"; and "recluse wizard genius" Alan Moore, the writer behind "V For Vendetta" and "Watchmen."
"There will be more comic book references per capita than in any other piece of comedy animation in the history of entertainment," Selman said.
Springfield will also become the unlikely site of the first presidential primary in the nation, said writer-producer Michael Price. Jon Stewart and "another giant 'Simpsons' nerd, Dan Rather," lend their voices to the candidates. Springfield residents, tired of the politicking, submit a protest vote.
"They decide to write in the most ridiculous, insane, stupid protest candidate they can think of, which is Ralph Wiggam," Price said. "But of course it's taken seriously and Ralph Wiggam becomes the front-runner of the presidential nomination for both parties."
The show's 19th season begins Sept. 23. And it won't stop there, said longtime writer-producer David Mirkin.
"We hope we'll still be producing the show when we can actually hypodermically inject it into your head," he said. "That's how far into the future we're planning."