'Simpsons' Couch Gag Goes French, Thanks to Sylvain Chomet

Image: 'Simpsons' Couch Gag Goes French, Thanks to Sylvain Chomet French comic writer, animator and film director, Sylvain Chomet.

Friday, 07 Mar 2014 10:50 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Oscar-nominated animator Sylvain Chomet had a hand at drawing the couch gag that is part of the opening for the long-running Fox show "The Simpsons." The Chomet couch gag will air Sunday night.

The French-born Chomet was the animator of "Triplets of Bellville," which was nominated in 2004 for Academy Awards for best animated feature and best original song for "Belleville Rendez-Vouz," E! News reported. 

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The gag was posted on YouTube Thursday. The Simpsons emerge from darkness. Homer wears a thin mustache and eats snails; Bart stuffs a goose; Lisa plays an accordion, and Marge frantically looks for Maggie. 

"Chomet received a personal request from 'The Simpsons' Matt Groening to animate the iconic 'couch gag' that concludes the opening credits of the show, now entering its 26th season," Mediabistro's Erik Oster wrote. "Obviously, you don't turn down a personal request from Matt Groening, so the three-time Oscar nominee Chomet offered up a distinctly French take on the gag, which was just revealed online today."

Bill Plympton, Banksy and Guillermo Del Toro have also written couch gags for "The Simpsons."

"Executive producer Dominic Buttimore worked closely with Chomet to create and storyboard the concept for the animation sequence, which was immediately met with 'laughter and appreciation' by Groening and Simpsons’ longtime show-runner/producer Al Jean," Mediabistro reported.

The Chomet couch gag opens "The Simpsons'" episode "Diggs," which features "Harry Potter's" Daniel Radcliffe. A second episode on Sunday brings Kelsey Grammar back as Sideshow Bob, per E! News.

Radcliffe appears as Diggs, a new student at Springfield Elementary and a big fan of falconry. In the second episode, "The Man Who Grew Too Much," Sideshow Bob becomes the new head scientist at a chemical engineering company, winning a fan in Lisa.

"The Simpsons," which grew from animated shots on the '80s' "The Tracey Ullman Show," launched its own series in 1989 with the voices of Dan Castellanetta as Homer, Julie Kavner as Marge, Nancy Cartwright as Bart and Yeardley Smith as Lisa.

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