Say what you like about ‘new’ Simpsons, (it will never not be weird seeing Bart handling an iPhone), but the couch gag remains one of the cartoon’s most powerful assets, no doubt.
So much so, it’s arguably the one aspect of the show which has actually got better over time, not least thanks to the semi-annual tradition that sees a famous artist having a go at creating their own opening skit.
Among previous treats, we’ve had Banksy’s dystopian nightmare, Oscar-nominated animator Don Hertzfeldt’s time-travelling masterpiece, Steve Cutts’ hyper-Eighties action fest LA-Z Rider and now we have a glorious effort from the makers of Seth Green’s Robot Chicken. Offbeat, and not shy of a few cheeky digs at a certain other cartoons, it ranks as one of the best yet.
Upon noticing the sailboat painting oft found hanging on the wall above the couch is missing, Homer sets off on, well, an odyssey to get it back – while we, the audience, have our 2D perceptions of the show shattered when the camera swoops sideways to reveal a parallel dimension in Springfield, where cartoons are joined like diorama boxes and Homer’s able to leap across them.
Finding his footing on a snowy, crudely-sketched world with foul-mouthed children, there’s no mistaking the first one Homer lands in – it’s a straight up trolling of South Park, but to say any more would be spoiling things.
Watch the new clip above.