How long until The Simpsons is nothing but an empty shell—a soulless, money-spinning franchise that bears no resemblance to the cartoon that spawned it? That’s the question a new “couch gag” put together for the show hopes to answer.
In an unusually candid intro to the cartoon, designed by the Oscar-nominated animator Don Hertzfeldt, the notion that The Simpsons might be betraying its roots is taken to its logical conclusion. A malfunctioning device throws Homer both backwards and forwards in time, ending in an unsettling future in which almost all memory of a loving family is gone from the world.
The couch gag aired in the premiere of Season 26, “Clown in the Dumps,” on Sept. 28. There’s as yet no sign as to when the “Dark Lord of the Twin Moons” will make his debut on the show, however.
Screengrab via Animation Domination / YouTube