The Simpsons have become a staple of modern pop culture and an ever present for anyone born in the last 30 years. Whilst valid criticisms have been levied towards the show in more recent seasons, it is still going strong, with season 33 set to launch on 26th September this year.
Some of the cast and crew were present at this year's virtual edition of San Diego Comic-Con to discuss the new season and one of the key things on the agenda was the upcoming Halloween episode. The Treehouse of Horror series can offer a welcome break of pace to the show's regular writing style, allowing the team to break conventions and tell stories not otherwise possible within this world.
They have also become synonymous with parody but sometimes to great aplomb such as the critically praised A Clockwork Orange segment in Treehouse of Horror XXV. This year's show will look shake up the formula with the panel revealing that Treehouse of Horror XXXII will feature five vignettes as opposed to the traditional three.
Fans were also treated to a sneak peek at one of these segments with a portrayal of Vincent Price reading Maggie a bedtime story. The aptly titled "The Telltale Bart" also pays homage to another horror Edgar Allen Poe and his story The Telltale Heart. Presenting a nice symmetry as the scene harps back to the roots of the series when Lisa reads Bart a version of Poe's The Raven in the very first Treehouse of Horror.
It's not the first time horror icon Vincent Price has been depicted in the show either, he also featured in the season 10 episode Sunday Cruddy Sunday as the licensor of an egg painting kit. This latest iteration is a more traditional depiction of the character and will be voiced by series veteran Maurice La Marche.
Beyond the framing, the bulk of the clip features Bart animated in a style reminiscent of American writer and illustrator Edward Gorey. The style has also been used several times before in the show, first appearing in the episode Yokel Chords in 2007 when Bart tries to prank his school with the tale of 'Dark Stanley.' The atmospheric art style lends well to a narrative of Bart becoming involved in some increasingly macabre antics as the months' tick by.
The conclusion to the story is cut short when the segment jumps back to Maggie's bedroom where she promptly strangles Price before he can finish the tale. The infant's homicidal tendencies being another running gag in the show dating back all the way to the time she infamously shot Mr Burns.
Writer Matt Selman also discussed the season premiere which will be a Broadway inspired episode that he described as "the most musical episode we've ever done." Kristen Bell has been cast as Marge's singing voice. The panel also teased further season plot details with talk of a new romance for Moe and the "greatest tragedy Homer ever faced." Fans will have to wait to learn more about those, Treehouse of Horror XXXII meanwhile is scheduled to release on October 10th.