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Motion-captured Homer will answer questions live in upcoming Simpsons episode

New episodes of The Simpsons might not be as well regarded as the classics from earlier seasons, but an upcoming episode will have something its predecessors lacked — a live segment. The show will use motion capture technology for the 3-minute scene, in which veteran actor Dan Castellaneta will voice Homer Simpson, answering questions sent in via Twitter. The episode will be broadcast on May 15th, and executive producer Al Jean tells The Wrap that in addition to answering viewer queries, Homer will find fun ways to "prove" the scene is being performed live.

The Simpsons is now in its 27th season, but Jean says he thinks the stunt will be a first for animation. Producers are soliciting questions on Twitter prior to the broadcast — ask them with the hashtag #HomerLive between May 1st and May 4th — but Jean assures The Wrap that the early start was just to secure permission to use the questions from the people who tweeted them, rather than a way to cook up the animation ahead of time. Jean says he and and other writers will be near Castellaneta in the motion capture booth on the day, ready to offer new riffs and jokes as the live broadcast actually goes live, but the long-time Simpsons producer calls Castellaneta "a great improviser."