It’s so easy to take “The Simpsons” for granted: It’s on the air, has seemingly always been on the air and thanks to syndication will always will be on the air. Still, after 25 seasons, a show still has to create buzz online somehow — especially when it lives on Sunday nights, the land of the Prestige Dramas that get so much more attention and social media headlines the following Monday morning. So why not bring in famous artists to mix up the show’s famous opening intro?
French animator Sylvain Chomet (“The Triplets of Belleville,” “The Illusionist”) gets the honors this week, with a truly bizarre take on the iconic couch gag. In this version, we see Homer eating snails, Bart enjoying a DIY goose liver pate kit, Lisa playing the accordion and Marge speaking French while looking for Maggie.
The clip has already been making the rounds, which is the most the “Simpsons” creators can ask for: Especially this Sunday, when “True Detective” ends, “The Good Wife” returns and many other series that return from post-Olympics reruns are likely to dominate Twitter all night.
“The Simpsons,” which averages around 5 to 6 million viewers these days, has pulled similar stunts before to get buzz, such as when Banksy created a truly disturbing opening sequence featuring a sweatshop churning out Simpsons paraphernalia. That quickly went viral — just watch the creepy scene and you’ll know why. (At the time, even the “Simpsons” creators were surprised at the power of letting a new artist design the intro: “We were totally surprised that it caught on so big,” exec producer Al Jean told The Post’s Michael Cavna, explaining how they got Banksy involved.)
Others who have taken the intro into their own hands include producers from Seth Green’s animation company (which creates “Robot Chicken”), along with Guillermo del Toro, whose ode to terrifying horror films appeared in one of the show’s Halloween episodes. Speaking to TV Guide last year, Jean explained, “We’re really pretty easy with these guest couch gags.”
“We just approach people that we admire and say, ‘It just has to have a couch’, and ‘make what you want,'” Jean added.
Easy enough: Plus, an easy way to get lots of clicks on YouTube videos (that would ideally turn into viewers) for an episode on TV’s busiest night of the week.