With 27+ seasons of excellent couch gags in its wake, The Simpsons would have seemingly already hit its peak when it came to the ever-changing opening segment, but that is most certainly not the case. For the upcoming 600th episode, which already has "Treehouse of Horror" awesomeness going for it, The Simpsons will take on virtual reality, inviting fans to actually enter the couch gag itself for a healthy dose of extra laughs you won't get on TV. Woo-hoo!
The couch gag will be titled "Planet of the Couches," an obvious spoof of Planet of the Apes, and while it'll only be a 45-second segment for television audiences, viewers will be given a URL to visit that will take them to the Google VR experience to use with Google Cardboard. Another two minutes and fifteen seconds of additional gags and character bits will be on display, and here's how Al Jean teased the supplemental material to EW.
You can see different characters and different jokes and different music, different effects. The fun of it as a fan is looking at it and trying to figure out everything we've hidden in it. There's a scene where the Simpsons are in a prison cell. In VR, you can look above them to the ceiling of the cave that they're in. Below to the floor, over the left and over to right and behind you. You have six different views. Let's say you see Moe and he does something. You turn again, and you look at him again, and he does something else.
You always want to keep an eye on Moe. Anyway, Fox teamed up with Google for this awesomeness, and though Google Cardboard is the way they're pushing for people to view it, you'll be able to view it you'll still be able to move your phone all around to experience it even without extra parts. Now they just need to go back in time and make all of the couch gags available, because I'm greedy, dammit, and that creeptastic one from Ren & Stimpy's John Kricfalusi needs to be explored.
You may have noticed that Homer is dressed up as a certain Futurama robot in the image above, and we could perhaps get a cameo from Bender in the VR world. Here are a few more fantastic details from Al Jean.
There's one character from Futurama and the clue is: It's 'Planet of the Couches.' There's a reference to an upcoming Fox movie. Kang and Kodos are in it.
Futurama! Kang! Kodos! Fox movie! This thing will have it all. Speaking of, Episode 600 will also feature the return of Frank Grimes for an early moment in which several of the family's foes join together for a supervillain group to take the Simpsons down for good. One segment takes on Mad Max and other post-apocalyptic movies where Mr. Burns has all the world's water, while another will see guest star Sarah Silverman playing ain imaginary friend of Lisa's who starts killing Lisa's friends for reals. In the final segment, Bart will be a James Bond-like spy who joins a high-skills team trying to take down a dangerous baddie.
While The Simpsons opened up Springfield at Universal Studios, giving fans a chance to physical space to walk around in, this will be the first time the universe will be available to explore in animated form. And it thankfully isn't just limited to Flanders' house. The Simpsons airs every Sunday night on Fox at 8:00 p.m. ET, and believe it or not, Season 28 is actually one of the surprise success stories of the fall season so far. To see what else you'll be able to watch from your couch in the future, check out our fall premiere schedule.