The modern-day Simpsons will meet their Tracey Ullman Show counter-parts in October's "Treehouse of Horror".
The Simpsons is involved in all kinds of crossovers these days, whether meeting the crew from Futurama or making appearances in Family Guy. But this October, the Simpsons are going to meet another television family: The original Simpsons. As part of the annual "Treehouse of Horror" Halloween event, the modern-day characters will meet the 1987 family that first appeared way back in The Tracey Ullman Show.
For those who weren't aware, before The Simpsons became the long-running juggernaut we're familiar with, it was a series of animated shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show. The original art style was largely scrapped as Simpsons transitioned into its own series, but long-time viewers have seen the classic characters appear from time to time, even as dead bodies in past Halloween specials.
This time however, the crossover is going to be far more explicit. Inspired by the horror film The Others, the modern-day Simpsons are haunted by ghostly presences which are eventually revealed as their crudely-drawn former selves. The Simpsons cast, including Dan Castellaneta and Nancy Cartwright, will even readopt the characters' classic speech patterns, which were noticeably different back in the day.
"People remember Dan's, but Nancy's is different too," executive producer Al Jean explained. "It was lower-register, and you can see in the difference in this segment. It was really funny to get the interplay [between the two versions of the Simpsons] and for the actors to see the voice evolution. The great thing is we didn't have to ask-we already had the cast hired for the Tracey Ullman Simpsons."
This year's "Treehouse of Horror" airs on Oct. 19, and if it's anything like past specials it'll be cartoonishly gory. "We've implied that [the classic family] were murdered and buried under the house, so this is expanding that thought," Jean said. "If people want a real Halloween bloodbath, they get it."