The bit will feature Homer — voiced by Dan Castellaneta — talking about the day’s events and answering questions from fans, who can submit on Twitter between May 1st through 4th using the hashtag, #HomerLive. The Simpsons will also air two different segments with different questions for the East and West Coast broadcasts.
In order to pull off the feat, showrunner Al Jean explained the show will use motion capture technology to animate Castellaneta in real-time. Castellaneta will also improvise his dialog, though he will receive some help from Jean and a handful of writers, who will join him in the booth.
Jean said the live segment has been in the works for a while, but was partially inspired by the success of recent live TV events like Grease: Live. He also added that the bit won’t be a random gimmick, but will fit naturally into the episode, which revolves around improv comedy. “As far as I know, this is the first time that’s been done by any animated show,” Jean said. “And Dan is a great improviser.”
Amazingly — to paraphrase South Park — The Simpsons have already done something like this: In a Season 12 episode, Homer tries out a motion-capture suit that allows him to control the movements of an animated dog.