Much Better Than Average Al Jean Interview

As a nice contrast to last week’s depressingly formulaic Al Jean Season 13 promo interview, comes this much longer and much better one from Crave Online.  Not only does the interviewer, Silas Lesnick, manage to not ask the “When are you quitting?” question that Jean usually has to duck, but he keeps the celebrity stuff to a minimum and even manages to tease out some actual information:

CraveOnline: What’s the biggest difference between working on the show now and working on the 13th season?
Al Jean: Between the 13th season and now, I would say that the biggest change is technological. The 13th season was the last one that was hand painted in the sense that there were actual cells.  Subsequently, we switched to digital coloring. Back then I would watch half inch tapes of episodes and give notes. Now, obviously, I get everything through e-mail. And as a writer, I can’t begin to say how useful Google is. There used to be things we wouldn’t even bother trying to find out. Now you can find out in just a minute. I would say those are the biggest changes. At it’s core, it’s still all about trying to depict the truth of an American family.

Given free reign to answer decent questions, Jean takes the opportunity to deviate from the company line a little bit:

CraveOnline: I remember there was a joke on the very first Simpsons DVD where Matt Groening said that the releases would come out just fast enough for the format to become obsolete. Now we’re getting the first release on Blu-ray, which almost seems a payoff to that.
Al Jean: We had a season 20 Blu-ray release, but they kind of rushed it and we didn’t do commentaries. But this is the first of the sort of full-commentary with all the extras season that’s on Blu-ray.

There’s plenty more, and while I certainly don’t think Season 13 is anything more than a floating, unflushed turd, it’s worth reading.

[Programming note: No Crazy Noises again this week.]

5 Responses to “Much Better Than Average Al Jean Interview”

  1. 24 August 2010 at 4:32 pm

    The best bit is when says he thinks the ‘internet fans’ are trying to kill him.

  2. 3 Stan
    24 August 2010 at 5:55 pm

    “Sometimes I suspect my mother is one of the people who’s posting. Just kidding on the last one.”
    This is the humour of Zombie Simpsons today. Straight from Jean’s mouth into your TVs.

  3. 4 Commentator
    6 October 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Whilst I will, in extraordinary sorrow, admit that the quality of the Simpsons has declined, I have to point out that it’s extremely difficult to create new scenarios and episodes after over four hundred and sixty episodes. Also, it’s still better than half the programmes on and I’m sure you still appreciate it to some extent.
    P.S: Some episodes are still very funny and Al Jean has written some of the most exemplary episodes of the simpsons ever.

  4. 5 Commentator
    6 October 2010 at 3:33 pm

    He hs a degree in mathematics from Harvard. It’s not very relevant but it does show that Al Jean is a brilliant polymath.
    Also, if the simpsons stopped being produced this site would inevitably become entirely redundant.

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