You may now exclaim, “Holy crap! Woo hoo!”: Seth MacFarlane has recorded a guest spot on The Simpsons.
The Family Guy creator and voice actor (not to mention one of EW’s Entertainers of the Year and the host of the upcoming Oscars) will try to romance Marge in an episode that’s slated to air next fall as the season 25 premiere, EW has learned. The two popular animated shows, of course, share a network, a night, an overweight patriarch that falls well shy of role model, and a rivalry as they’ve playfully jabbed each other on screen over the years. “We wanted to come together in a bipartisan way to make Fox Sunday night rock,” sums up Simpsons executive producer Al Jean of the MacFarlane casting. “This was all very fun.”
In the episode, titled “Dangers on a Train,” Marge mistakes an Ashley Madison-type website for a Dolly Madison-type cupcake site, not realizing that it’s a destination for married people to arrange affairs. While on the site, she encounters the charming Ben (MacFarlane), who pursues her as they bond over their mutual love of a Downton Abbey-ish series, Upton Rectory. “A lot of him trying to go after her is over the phone, so it’s a perfect part for someone with his voice,” says Jean, who adds that the smooth-voiced MacFarlane croons “The Way You Look Tonight” in the episode. (By the way, Ben’s wife is voiced by comedian Lisa Lampanelli, “which explains what’s wrong with his marriage,” quips Jean.)
MacFarlane — who lent his voice to Matt Groening’s other animated series, Futurama, in 2009 — welcomed the offer to visit Springfield. “We thought we had a great part that he’d be perfect for, and it would be great to have him on our show, so it worked out just right,” says Jean, noting: “There’s been a little rivalry. We’re both humor shows and we make jokes, but it’s always been friendly.”
In fact, “Dangers on a Train” contains a joke that tweaks both Family Guy and The Simpsons. During one of Marge and Ben’s conversations, says Jean, “they talk about this Downton Abbey show and they say, ‘There’s so much great stuff on Sunday nights… except on Fox.'”
Will Family Guy flip the script and feature some Simpsons talent on an upcoming episode? MacFarlane was unavailable for comment, but Jean says, “I’m hopeful that there will be something of us on their show but that’s up to them. We’d certainly welcome it.” In any case, he adds, “for Seth, it completes the Saturday Night Live/Oscar host/Simpsons triple crown that exists only in my head.”
(UPDATE: Some of you have astutely noted that Dan Castellaneta had a one-line cameo in an October episode of Family Guy. We were asking if Family Guy will return the favor with a prominent guest role like MacFarlane’s.)