The mastermind behind one of the funniest shows of all time has shared more than a few secrets from the beloved animated sitcom.
The Simpsons creator Matt Groening was treated to a godlike reception from the show's faithful fans at the Sydney Opera House on Friday night, giving a rare public talk as part of the Graphic Festival.
He shared stories from his early years as a struggling animator, screened wacky Japanese Simpsons adverts, and even gifted a lucky few in the front rows with impromptu hand-drawn sketches.
Most fascinating, though, was Groening's list of his all-time favourite scenes from the show. After an incredible 601 episodes, here are the scenes Groening hand-picked as his absolute favourites:
From the Episode Homer's Phobia
The phrase 'We work hard, we play hard' was never the same again. EVERYBODY DANCE NOW!
Bart and the White Stripes
Because Homer getting tortured to within an inch of his life is ... just funny.
Catch Me If You Can
If you're more of a fan of The Simpsons' classic earlier seasons, you may not have seen this tribute to the title sequence from 2002 flick Catch Me If You Can before. Indeed, Groening focused on the later series of the show for much of his talk.
Hey Mr Prime Minister!
Scenes from the 1995 episode Bart Vs. Australia were received rapturously by the Sydney crowd, so it's easy to forget that some 21 years ago the show's depiction of Aussies as backwater hicks was quite controversial. "We thought it would go over well in Australia, because Australians would understand that we were getting everything wrong," Groening sheepishly admitted. But there was one thing us Aussies should glean from the episode, he told us: "Americans are jerks, and American TV writers are BIG jerks."
Homer steals grease
Surely the best of Homer's hairbrained schemes. Emu farm? PFFT!
Bye bye, Springfield.
Future couch gag
With the traditional couch gag given over to Academy Award-nominated animator/filmmaker Don Hertzfeldt for an episode, Hertzfelt went to town with this surreal riff on the show's seemingly endless longevity. It's lasted 27 years and 601 episodes to date, so what would The Simpsons look like in, say, a few centuries from now? The answer: Really, really upsetting.
We have just one thing to say about this sterling list, Mr Groening ... where's Poochie?