FXX Celebrates Halloween With 'The Simpsons' Treehouse Of Horror Marathon

Oct 30, 2015
Originally published on October 30, 2015 7:58 pm
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Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Twenty-five years ago, a new Halloween tradition was launched.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE SIMPSONS")

NANCY CARTWRIGHT: (As Bart Simpson) Here's a story that's really scarifying.

YEARDLEY SMITH: (As Lisa Simpson) Oh, brother.

CARTWRIGHT: (As Bart Simpson) I call it Bad Dream House (laughter).

SIEGEL: The Simpsons annual "Treehouse Of Horror." These episodes have proven so popular since the first one aired in 1990, that the FXX channel is running a marathon of all of them. Here's NPR's Elizabeth Blair.

ELIZABETH BLAIR, BYLINE: "The Simpsons'" "Treehouse Of Horror" episodes are partly send-ups of everything spooky, like "The Twilight Zone."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE SIMPSONS")

SMITH: (As Lisa Simpson) It looks like a vortex, a gateway into another dimension.

DAN CASTELLANETA: (As Homer Simpson) Oh, a vortex.

BLAIR: In another episode, the devil pays Homer a visit. Marge thinks she knows why.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE SIMPSONS")

JULIE KAVNER: (As Marge Simpson) Homer, did you eat that doughnut?

CASTELLANETA: (As Homer Simpson) No.

BLAIR: Chainsaws, one-eyed monsters, scary music...

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE SIMPSONS")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As Thug, singing) Creepy nursery rhyme, like in every movie.

BLAIR: To hear "Simpsons'" executive producer Matt Selman tell it, working on a "Treehouse Of Horror" episode is like recess for troublemakers.

MATT SELMAN: It's like regular Halloween. It's like people hold back and they behave. And they be good all year, and then they get to let loose once and have terrible, terrible behavior.

BLAIR: And since they've done so many of them, they've been able to see what's considered scary grow more extreme. "Treehouse Of Horror" episodes from the early '90s began with Marge coming out from behind a curtain with a disclaimer.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE SIMPSONS")

KAVNER: (As Marge Simpson) So if you have sensitive children, maybe you should tuck them into bed early tonight instead of writing us angry letters tomorrow.

BLAIR: But those first two episodes seem really mild compared to the carnage that followed, says "Simpsons'" showrunner, Al Jean.

AL JEAN: I think it's just a societal thing. You know, my 10-year-old loves, you know, movies like "Coraline." And I think the age of scary stories, you know, appropriateness has gotten lower.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE SIMPSONS")

CARTWRIGHT: (As Bart Simpson) Oh, something's wrong. That music is in tune.

KELSEY GRAMMER: (As Sideshow Bob) Hey Bart.

CARTWRIGHT: (As Bart Simpson, screaming).

BLAIR: In this season's "Treehouse Of Horror," 10-year-old Bart Simpson gets killed.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE SIMPSONS")

CARTWRIGHT: (As Bart Simpson) Tell my father he's fat.

BLAIR: But before the dimwitted Homer brings his son back to life, he points out the animation for dead Bart looks fine. Elizabeth Blair, NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE SIMPSONS THEME") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.