‘The Simpsons’ Will Be Coming To You Live, But How Exactly Will That Work With An Animated Show?

Exciting news, Simpsons fans: Your favorite beer-bellied character is going to be coming to you live. On Tuesday, it was announced that, on May 15, a portion of The Simpsons will be broadcast live, featuring Homer Simpson in all of his glory, answering your questions without a script. That’s right. You can submit your questions and have them answered by Homer Simpson himself. But are you kind of wondering how that is going to work? Like, how exactly will a live broadcast work with an animated show?

I definitely wondered the same thing. How in the world can a hand drawn show keep up with the demand of live television to answer questions and address the audience in real time? Because The Simpsons is still hand-drawn , even if it’s inked in and colored by computers. And, aside from the background, which, according to creator Matt Groening is sometimes CGI, the rest is mostly all real-live drawings.

Thankfully, Al Jean, one of The Simpsons’ show runners spoke exclusively with The Hollywood Reporter about the live event, saying that they will be using motion capture technology to capture Homer’s voice and motions for the live scene. In other words, the man who does Homer’s voice, Dan Castellaneta, will be the one improvising the answers and making Homer’s mouth move. Thankfully for us, according to Jean, Castellaneta is “a great improviser.”

There are other things that will probably make this live event go off without a hitch, even if it is, according to Jean, “the first time that [a live broadcast has] been done by any animated show.” Like the fact that, if you look closely, Homer Simpson’s mouth doesn’t move in any hugely articulate ways. He purses his lips at the right moments, sure, but otherwise his mouth is moving in similar ways throughout his speech. That definitely has to help this tricky live broadcast work. Chances are the audience wouldn’t notice a mistake, even if it were made.

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Plus, we'll all probably be too busy laughing to pay any mind to the nuances of the animation. If you’re just as excited about this live portion of the show as I am, be sure to tweet your questions between May 1 and May 4, using the hashtag #HomerLive.

Image: FOX (2)