"The Simpsons" to air a 'live episode' next week

Viewers can call into the show and ask Homer a question directly

image via Entertainment Weekly

image via Entertainment Weekly

On May 15th, television broadcaster Fox will try something never attempted before, by airing a "live episode" of The Simpsons.

The episode, titled 'Simprovised', will tell the story of Homer's attempts to become a stand-up comedian, after a public speech goes awry.

For the final three minutes of the episode, voice actor Dan Castellaneta will answer questions asked by audience members who ring up a yet-to-be-revealed 1800-number.

Talking to Entertainment Weekly, executive producer Al Jean talks about how technology has finally caught up with the idea, which the show's creators have been toying with since 2007's The Simpsons Movie:

"[Motion capture technology] used to have electrodes wired into the person. Now they don’t. The actor just speaks into a mic, and the camera records his motions, and transfers it to the character onscreen. However, you can only do that with one or at most two characters. The backgrounds don’t change and the character can’t really interact with somebody in the background. We have background jokes that are pre-set. For three minutes, that’s fine. For 30 minutes, I think people would get pretty tired of it. Anything’s possible in the future, but at the moment, three seemed like the perfect amount."