The Simpsons Producer Teases “Thanksgiving of Horror” Special Full of Black Mirror Nods
Usually famous for its Halloween episodes, the long-running cartoon is doing things a little differently this Turkey Day.
By Chris Morse
Forget the Treehouse of Horror, The Simpsons is getting ready to deliver some additional scares in its upcoming “Thanksgiving of Horror” trilogy special, set to air on November 24th at 8 PM. The fine folks over at EW shared a preview of the episode earlier today, featuring some teases from executive producer Matt Selman. We are even going to see a whole bunch of Black Mirror references in this one.
The three-part episode follows a “past, present, and future” structure with the first act involving invading Pilgrims and innocent turkeys, the second bringing in Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker to voice a “Nosedive”-like app, and the third heading off to space to celebrate the final Thanksgiving while escaping a dying planet in a spaceship.
“We love ‘Treehouse of Horror’ so much that, like Thanksgiving itself, we are greedy for a second helping of horror,” said Selman. “Thanksgiving is a scary holiday from unwanted political discussions to not knowing what time the food is being served. There’s a lot of fear there.”
As an added bonus, the producer dropped 10 hints to tease some moments and Black Mirror references from the upcoming special, which has a nearly 25-minute runtime, the longest-ever for an episode of The Simpsons. See below for the full list.
1. “In homage to the classic scary Halloween names from ‘Treehouse of Horror,’ the show’s writers have yummy Thanksgiving names in this episode. For example, Joel H. Cohen becomes Joel Ate Corn.”
2. “The inspiration for Act One was to make a more pulse-pounding version of the movie Apocalypto.”
3. “The thrilling chase music in ‘A-Gobble-lyto’ includes actual turkeys gobbling.”
4. “The idea for a cranberry monster was inspired by sitcom writers lazily pitching on items on the Thanksgiving table, ‘cranberry’ being the second most obvious food.”
5. “The Simpsons, who are reimagined as a family of turkeys, speak only in gobble language, improvised by the voice actors at rehearsal.”
6. “Scary images recur in all three acts of the show, including a very terrifying brand of cranberry sauce, Bog Queen.”
7. “The plot of Black Mirror episode ‘White Christmas’ was the inspiration for ‘The Fourth Thursday After Tomorrow’ — with Homer in the Jon Hamm role. But like in ‘The USS Callister,’ we are rooting for the artificial intelligence to defeat the actual people.”
8. “The episode has many hidden Black Mirror Easter eggs, including references to ‘San Junipero,’ ‘The Waldo Moment,’ and ‘The National Anthem.” Mayor Quimby looks very uncomfortable with what he might have to do Spider-pig.”
9. “This is the last episode in which you will hear the late Russi Taylor voicing Martin Prince. But trust us, Russi’s Martin goes out in memorable style.”
10. “The end credits are shown over the original Simpsons-Thanksgiving connection: actual footage of the Bart balloon at the 1991 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.”
Once again, The Simpsons’ “Thanksgiving of Horror” trilogy special will air on Fox this Sunday, November 24th at 8 PM local time. Will you be tuning in?