It's hard to imagine The Simpsons getting any better. After all, it's the longest-running scripted show on American television — but you don't get to be number one by sitting around and doing nothing. So get excited, because The Simpsons' upcoming "Great Phatsby" episode (Snoop Dogg is just one of the many talents starring) is going to be hip-hop happening. According to Entertainment Weekly, the 60-minute episode will satirize one of the most hotly discussed novels of the '20s, The Great Gatsby. The storyline focuses on Mr. Burns' friendship with a mysterious hip-hop mogul named Jay G (because, y'know — it sounds like Jay Gatsby) and how G leaves Burns financially destitute after they go into business together. In place of the book's narrator, aka the slippery loner Nick Carraway, instead fans get his opposite: Homer Simpson, consummate family man and sweet simpleton.
The episode is intended as a celebration of a milestone moment for the show — to mark reaching their 600th episode. This explains why it's longer and more extravagantly casted than usual. RZA and Common will star alongside Snoop Dogg as themselves, while Empire's Taraji P. Henson (Cookie Lyon) will be playing an animated take on her Empire role as Praline.
Comedian Keegan-Michael Key will also be starring as one of Burns' squad members gathered to exact revenge on Jay G. Oh, and if you weren't sure already — there will be a whole lot of hip-hop music in the episode, thanks to Jim Beanz, who created original songs for the episode. Beanz produces music for Empire.
Simpsons producer Dan Greaney told EW,
“We wanted the Mt. Rushmore of rap, and we got it... They represent different moods and different aspects of the history of hip-hop.”
Executive producer Matt Selman also seemed excited about explaining the episode via music metaphors, enthusing over why the two-part structure of the show (which will air as one extra-long episode for its debut) was so perfect for its content. Back in August, he said to Entertainment Weekly,
"Part 1 of the show I would subtitle as ‘The Betrayal,’ and part 2 I would subtitle as ‘The Revenge,' it’s kind of like a two-part rap album."
With this amount of musical talent on offer — from three rappers who have all released great albums this year to the guy behind the catchiest tunes on Empire — combined with the comedy skills fans know and love from The Simpsons, it's hard to imagine how this episode could be anything other than the greatest. It's set to air in January — so skip looking forward to Christmas and get excited about the biggest post-Christmas present animation nerds could imagine.
Images: Fox; Giphy