“The Simpsons” is about to d’oh where no animated series has d’oh-ed before.
Timed to the show’s landmark 600th episode, “The Simpsons” teamed with Google to create a couch gag that will be given the full virtual reality experience.
The couch gag, “Planet of the Couches,” will be seen on TV as a normal 45-second segment. But a full three minutes of material has been produced in VR, and will be available to see via iOS and Android devices (via the Google Spotlight Stories app). Any Google Cardboard viewer can be used.
As part of the event, Google is also sending out 25,000 limited-edition customized “Treehouse of Horror XXVII” Google Cardboard viewers featuring either Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie on the side.
Google approached executive producer James L. Brooks about producing the VR experiment. “It’s a thrill to be associated with Google and not only because they have perfected the quality of their cafeteria food, especially those little sausages,” Brooks said.
“The Simpsons” decided to take “Planet of the Couches,” which had already been produced as a couch gag and was waiting for an air date, and expand it into the VR experience. Now, users will be able to explore the city of couches, experience six different views of the prison cell where the Simpson family is being held, and witness first hand a shocking climax.
“The best part of it is trying to discover all the little things you can find in VR,” executive producer Al Jean said. “One of the cool things about being on this long is you get to do stuff that you never dreamed was possible when we first started. It’s a fantastic effect and I can’t wait for people to see it.”
Homer Simpson even managed to offer up a quote in the official press release: “At first we had concerns about working with Google because we didn’t know who they were but then we googled the company and were very impressed.”
“We love animation. We love VR. Working with such a renowned team to bring this iconic family and their fans into immersive storytelling was a blast,” said Karen Dufilho, Google Spotlight Stories’ executive producer.
The 600th episode, “Treehouse of Horror XXVII,” airs Sunday, Oct. 16 at 8 p.m. ET.