Posted on Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 by Germain Lussier
No, you didn’t get a touch of space madness watching The Simpsons Sunday night. Matt Groening and company just happened to commision another famous artist to animate their own couch gag. We’ve already seen Banksy’s take but there’s a possibility John Kricfalusi‘s might be even more disturbing. Kricfalusi is best known for his hit 1990s Nickelodeon series Ren & Stimpy and has since been doing music videos and various other animated work. However, his Simpsons couch gag probably came as a wild surprise to old and new fans alike.
After the jump, watch the gag itself, see some of the sketches from it and read parts of an interview Kricfalusi did about how the whole thing came about.
Thanks to Laughing Squid for the heads up. Here’s the couch gag from the second episode of season 23 called
“Bart Stops to Smell the Roosevelts.”
Kricfalusi spoke exclusively to Cartoon Brew about the whole process. Head there to read the whole interview, but here’s how it came about:
Matt Groening and Al Jean [executive producer] asked me to do it. They showed me an opening that Banksy did that satirized the animation production assembly line system in Korea and told me it was really popular, so they wanted to do something similar with me.
At first they just wanted me to do a storyboard and have their regular crew animate it. If we had done it that way, no one would even have known that I had anything to do with it because it would have ended up on model and all pose to pose. I showed them the Adult Swim shorts I had been doing and pointed out that the way things happened was even more important than what was happening in my work. You can’t write visual performance. You have to actually draw it.
This project was the most fun I’ve had in years. It has really hammered home (to me) the importance of animation in animation. I think it’s possible to bring animation back to this country and make the core of it fun again, not be a mere tertiary addition to some high concept or executive’s “vision.” The pure act of animating is the most fun part of animation. I am so grateful to Matt for letting me have some real fun this summer.
Cartoon Brew also posted a bunch sketches from the process. Check them out below and read more at Kricfalusi’s official site.