'Simpsons' producer on the surprising Kang and Kodos revelation, 'death' of Ralph Wiggum
Futurama came back to life temporarily Sunday night, as the Planet Express crew traveled back in time to present-day Springfield for 30 minutes of Simpsons fun on a bun. While the crossover installment aimed to satisfy fans’ desire to see Fry & Co. on one more adventure, “Simpsorama” also managed to raise a question or two.
The episode included a few revelations about The Simpsons‘ drooling aliens Kang and Kodos during their interaction with Futurama‘s Omicronians Lrrr and Ndnd. The scene indicated that the our extra-terrestrial duo’s last name was Johnson—and that these creatures from Rigel 7 are actually a lesbian couple. Their gender and exact nature of their relationship was never clearly established on the show, as Kodos has been referenced as Kang’s sister in “Treehouse of Horror VII” but has also been referred to as male, like Kang, elsewhere.
So does this set the record straight—or should we say, not straight? “We’ve implied androgyny, we’ve implied that one might be a woman—we never said that both were, but why not? Who knows? We thought it was a great ending to get the [Futurama] aliens, and then we thought it was a good excuse to bring in Kang and Kodos,” Simpsons executive producer Al Jean tells EW. “People are asking: is this episode canon? And I go, ‘What really happened—did Homer really fall off a cliff all those times and live?’ But that being said: Yeah, sure, they’re Kang and Kodos Johnson. They’re a gay female couple in their species. They seemed to be married.”
Viewers will learn even more about the Johnsons in January. “There’s an episode where we go to their home planet that is really cool,” says Jean. “I’m not giving too much away, but we’ll see their home world.”
The end credits of “Simpsorama,” which was a reimagination of the Futurama opening credits, also elevated a few eyebrows as a statue of Ralph Wiggum sported a placard that read: “2006-2017.” Was the show planting a clue that the dimwitted son of Chief Wiggum gets offed in the future? Nope, that’s unpossible. “It’s just a gag,” Jean says. “In the ‘Holidays of Future Passed,’ we implied that he’s been cloned and the clones kept dying because they were so stupid. So we keep saying Ralph keeps dying in the future. It’s a bleak assessment of his future.” Besides, he added, “I learned my lesson with Rabbi Krustofsky,” a reference to the season premiere, which was heavily promoted as featuring the demise of a beloved Simpsons character, who turned out to be Krusty the Clown’s father. “No more death.”