Want to feel ancient? Just let it sink in that The Simpsons airs its 600th episode, as well as its 27th annual Halloween episode, on Oct. 16. As the showrunner for 300 episodes (and counting), executive producer Al Jean shared with Blastr today that "Treehouse of Horror XXVII" will again be comprised of short stories featuring a bevy of celebrity guest voices.
Teasing one of the storylines, Jean revealed, "Sarah Silverman plays Lisa's imaginary friend. When Lisa starts making real friends, the imaginary friend starts murdering them. We also have Drew Carey as a cameo. Donald Fagen of Steely Dan and Kelsey Grammer as Sideshow Bob. Hank Azaria also returns as Frank Grimes, who wasn't that hard to get," Jean laughs in regard to Azaria's core cast member status.
Jean says the creative team didn't plan the Halloween episode to be the 600th of the series, but it worked out as a happy accident in scheduling. "We weren't sure which one was going to be the 600th, so we were just doing a Treehouse show. Our standards for those episodes are very high, and it came out very well. So, at that point, we thought it would be great that the 600th episode would air October 16th so we could make it the Treehouse [episode] and it wouldn't be out of place. Because in the past, I have to admit, we've said things like the 302nd episode was really the 300th and tried to fool people, which you cannot do anymore," he laughs.
When it was formally scheduled, Jean says they made sure to bake three things into the episode. "One, there's a special ending which we showed at Comic-Con." For those who didn't attend the summer geek festival, here's that revealed clip:
"There's also a special beginning," Jean continues, "and a third thing we can't say. But, for the first and the 100th episode, Bart wrote on the chalkboard, 'I will not celebrate meaningless milestones,' so we've made sure to really celebrate this one," he laughs.
THE SIMPSONS “Treehouse of Horror XXVII” episode, airing Sunday, Oct. 16 (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT).