Some Simpsons couch gags are funny, some are cute, and some are imaginative. (content removed), created by Don Hertzfeldt, is unsettling. It starts with Homer sitting on a strange device that accidentally turns time back to the late 1980s, morphing his face and body to its original incarnation in the process. He tries to reverse the process, but slams time forward to the 101st century, a nightmare future where Marge is a clump of talking hair and Maggie is a free-floating blob that demands you buy "SAMPSANS"-branded products.
The intro sequence, which marked the start of the show's 26th season last night, was taken from the warped mind of influential animator and independent filmmaker Don Hertzfeldt, whose animated short Rejected was nominated for an Academy Award in 2001. Like Rejected, Hertzfeldt's couch gag is full of unnerving touches, with Marge hailing "the dark lord of the twin moons," and Bart — or a dribbling gelatinous mass that once was Bart — struggling to piece together the words "don't have a cow, man."