FOX’s Animation Domination block of Sunday night programming may have been broken up for the upcoming fall season, but its top-line programs aren’t about to fade quietly into the night. "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy" have had a crossover episode on the books since last year’s Comic Con, and fans got a glimpse at the first footage Saturday morning in San Diego.
It did not disappoint.
"Family Guy" executive producers Rich Appel and Steve Callaghan introduced a number of extended scenes from the September 28th episode: Without giving away too much, the hour-long season premiere titled "The Simpsons Guy" will feature a massive Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin fistfight (a la the Chicken Fights on "Family Guy"), Bart and Stewy getting into some shenanigans together, and an acknowledgement of "Family Guy’s" obvious indebtedness to the animated family comedy preceding it.
"We would be remiss if we didn’t say how thrilling it was to do the crossover we did thanks to what Matt [Groening] created 25 years ago," Appel said. "They were okay with a story that implied ‘Family Guy’ was ripped off from ‘The Simpsons.’"
Perhaps the moment from the crossover clips that best encapsulated the two shows’ differences came when Bart shows Stewie how to make a prank call. Bart uses his trademarked pun-like fake names to get Moe the bartender into trouble with his patrons. Stewie, however, simply says, "Moe, your sister’s being raped." Elaborate (or at least carefully considered) wordplay vs. blunt, well-timed shock value.
The clips also featured a cameo from another popular FOX animated dad and many jokes about the oddities of Springfield.
At a "Simpsons" panel earlier in the day, Matt Groening — who later appeared to ask a question of the "Family Guy" gang — also introduced Homer Simpson, live and in the hologram version of flesh. Homer joked with Groening about a new "Simpsons" movie getting a green light when "Stephen King needs a new idea" before trying to give out his creator’s email address for anyone looking to pitch him scripts.
"The Simpsons" gang also discussed the upcoming "Futurama" crossover episode, showing fans a few clips from the upcoming episode (airing November 9th and titled "Simpsorama") as well as the intro with Homer singing along to a "Simpsons"/"Futurama" blended theme song.
Don’t get your hopes up for a(nother) "Futurama" resurrection, though. "There are no plans right now to bring back ‘Futurama,’" Groening said. "But some people who worked on the show are having waffles tomorrow morning, and we’re going to talk about it."
During the clips, an image flashed showing 14 popular "Simpsons" characters, including Homer, Moe, Lisa, Comic Book Guy, Bart, Maggie, and more characters along with the tagline, "On September 28th, one will die." We’ve known for a while the creators planned to off a major character on the show — and learned at this month’s TCAs the show title would be "A Clown in the Dumps" and whoever voices the character in peril has won an Emmy — but the the date of death had yet to be nailed down.
It wasn’t made clear whether this would take place on the "Family Guy" crossover episode or on a separate "Simpsons" episode that night (Groening said of the crossover, "It’s a ‘Family Guy’ episode, not a ‘Simpsons’ episode."), but the creators did make one thing clear to ease the minds of worried fans.
"Comic Con exclusive: Homer Simpson doesn’t die," said executive producer Al Jean.
Watch the hologram video below (with pictures at the very bottom), and check out the Season 26 premiere preview as well.