‘The Simpsons’ Will Premiere an Hour-Long ‘Great Gatsby’ Episode Next Year
The Simpsons is venturing into uncharted territory next year. The long-running Fox comedy, which airs its unprecedented 600th episode this fall, will feature its first ever hour-long episode in 2017. Entitled “The Great Phatsby,” the episode will be a hip-hop infused homage to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel The Great Gatsby.
Prior to this, the show’s closest flirtation with an hour-long episode came with the two-part “Who Shot Mr. Burns” cliffhanger that spanned the end of season 6 and start of season 7.
Simpsons executive producer Matt Selman explained to Entertainment Weekly how the episode came about, saying, “This was just going to be a regular episode, but the table read went so well, in a fit of passion and excitement and ambition and excess, we decided to supersize it. And we haven’t done a huge amount of stories in the world of hip-hop and rap culture, so we just went for it”
Selman went on to further explain the plot of the episode.
“Burns is an old-school Gatsby and Jay G (an enigmatic hip hop mogul) is a new-school Gatsby, and their mutual Gatsbyism brings them together,” said Selman. After the two meet, Jay G slyly “seduces Burns into the excesses of the hip-hop lifestyle,” eventually driving Burns bankrupt and taking over the nuclear plant. “Part 1 of the show I would subtitle as ‘The Betrayal,’ and part 2 I would subtitle as ‘The Revenge.’ It’s kind of like a two-part rap album.”
The creative team called in some of Fox’s biggest guns for the project recruiting both actress Taraji P. Henson (pictured) and music producer Jim Beanz from the network’s successful Empire series for the episode. Beanz created original hip-hop songs, while Selman explained that Henson will be playing “a Simpsons version of Cookie (her Empire character). She teams up with Burns and Homer and Bart and our all-star team of rappers to help get revenge on Jay G.”
“The Great Phatsby,” which also features Keegan-Michael Key as a guest voice, is scheduled to air during the show’s 28th season. In summation of the episode, Selmen said “It’s a tale of greed, excess, betrayal, revenge, and ruthlessness and there’s a hilarious goose in it. The goose is really funny.”