| Sandy Cohen |
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Bart and Lisa Simpson, Chief Wiggum and son Ralph, bartender Moe and Apu from Kwik-E-Mart celebrated 25 years of “The Simpsons” in Hollywood on Friday.
Those characters are performed by three actors – Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith and Hank Azaria – who hosted the world premiere of “The Simpsons Take the Bowl” at the Los Angeles concert venue the Hollywood Bowl. The programme featured music, stars and reminiscences from TV’s longest-running scripted show.
The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, which featured several members wearing tall, blue Marge Simpson wigs, performed as classic clips from the show’s past 25 seasons played on big screens above them. The 26th season of “The Simpsons” begins on September 28.
“Oh yeah, ‘The Simpsons’ will go on, long after the human race is gone,” sang “Weird” Al Yankovic, who performed “a little ditty about Homer and Marge”.
Other guests appearing during the two-hour programme included show creator Matt Groening, former “Simpsons” writer Conan O’Brien, comedian Jon Lovitz, pro skateboarder Tony Hawk and Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer.
Zimmer, wearing a jacket covered with Bart faces, performed the music he composed for the Oscar-nominated short film “The Longest Daycare,” which shows how Maggie saves a butterfly from a classroom bully.
The entire Hollywood Bowl was Simpson-ified for the program, which continues on Saturday and Sunday night. Plastic doughnuts dangled above concertgoers’ heads and life-sized cardboard cutouts of show characters were scattered throughout the venue.
New “Simpsons” animations were created just for the concert, including a peek at the Simpson family arriving at the Hollywood Bowl and Homer trying to resist pushing the “fireworks” button. Another bit showed Maggie launching the fireworks, and with that, pyrotechnics exploded above the famous Bowl shell.