We all know that The Simpsons will likely outlive both cockroaches and the entire universe, but it's always possible that the creative team will one day soon decide to bring the long-running animated comedy to an end. If it does, showrunner Al Jean has a pretty brilliant idea for how to wrap up the final episode, though we likely won't ever get to see it happening. Here's the pitch and reason why it won't go down.

I thought the final episode could end with them going to the Christmas pageant they went to in the first episode, so the whole series is one loop without a beginning or an end. But now that I've said it, it won't happen. Thank you.

Al Jean shared those thoughts during The Simpsons' panel at this year's San Diego Comic-Con, which was promoting the upcoming Season 30 milestone. It was actually a fan who posed the question about how the show could eventually bow out, and Jean rewarded that fan with a perfectly Simpsons-esque answer that could really only work properly for an animated series. There's no way Bonanza, the longest running scripted series behind The Simpsons, could have wrapped up its finale by jumping back to one or any moments from the first episode, since few people can actually look the exact same for 30 years at a time. Except for Paul Rudd, that is.

In any case, the circular nature of Al Jean's proposed ending is suited to The Simpsons'style and sensibilities. To whisk the series finale back around to the the early years of the series; premiere would sorta create a gigantic narrative loop, in which the show's largely timeless factor could just consume itself accordingly. Every single episode here is basically the same thing, in that they're all standalone stories that all start off by rewinding or reversing anything that had happened in other episodes. (Exceptions do exist, such as Maude Flanders' death, but they're few and far between.) But none of that matters, really, since Al Jean's public admission of said ending has rendered it unusable in Jean's mind. I can't imagine David Chase would have still used The Sopranos' quieted ending had he already told everyone about it.

So without this wraparound idea available to use in the future, you can bet that Jean & Co. will have something pretty ridiculous and over the top set up for the series finale, whenever that may get here. Perhaps every single character will get killed off in a nuclear explosion involving the power plant. Or maybe the entire series will be revealed as a day dream Ralph Wiggum is having instead of doing his math work. The possibilities are nearly endless, much like The Simpsons itself.

Before any of that, though, we still have to watch the entirety of Season 30, and it was also announced during Comic-Con that Season 30 will feature guest stars such as Tracy Morgan, J.K. Simmons, Patti LaPone, Emily Deschanel, Dave Attel, Ted Savandos, Guillermo del Toro, Pete Holmes,, and Jon Lovitz. Plus, Marge and Homer take on The Amazing Race, and Jurassic World's dinos are coming to the "Treehouse of Horror" episode. I can't wait.

Since The Simpsons already spoofed the iconic ending from Six Feet Under _for a recent couch gag, that option sadly isn't on the table anymore. So maybe they'll go for something like _The Sopranos, since Homer looooves to eat. In any case, The Simpsons Season 30 will be making its debut on Sunday, September 30, at 8:00 p.m. ET. To see what other new and returning shows are coming in the future, head to our summer premiere schedule.

 

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