• Former showrunner of The Simpsons, Josh Weinstein, confirmed a callback to the series in Disenchantment season 5, episode 3.
  • The callback references a scene from a 1994 episode of The Simpsons, co-written by Weinstein and Bill Oakley.
  • The callback involves a reference to Hig Heisler, mentioned by Comic Book Guy to Bart Simpson in the episode “Lady Bouvier’s Lover.”

The Simpsons just got a callback to a joke from almost three decades ago, though it happened in another show. Given its status as one of the most influential shows of all time, the influence of The Simpsons is clear to see in other sitcoms and family comedies, like Malcolm in the Middle. But the animated staple has also built a loosely connected universe through crossovers and clever references that could just as easily fall under the radar.

Josh Weinstein, a former showrunner on The Simpsons, confirmed a callback to the series in Disenchantment. See his Tweets confirming the callback, below:

Weinstein was responding to a Twitter user who noticed the callback in Disenchantment season 5, episode 3. A credits sequence in the episode includes the name Hig Heisler, crediting him with only drawing the arms. This is a reference to the 1994 Simpsons episode “Lady Bouvier’s Lover”, which was the penultimate installment of season 5 and had been co-written by Weinstein and Bill Oakley. In that episode, Bart tries to sell an Itchy & Scratchy animation cell of just an arm but is turned down by Comic Book Guy, who then shows Bart another cell and says: “This is Snagglepuss, drawn by Hig Heisler. It is worth something. This, this is an arm. Drawn by nobody. It is worth nothing.

The Simpsons Has A History Of Crossovers

Fry Bender Homer and Leela in Simpsorama The Simpsons Futurama crossover

The Simpsons has built up a bit of a legacy in terms of crossing over with other shows, but the first instance was not without controversy. It happened in season 6, with the episode “A Star Is Burns.” It featured characters from The Critic, which was produced by former Simpsons writers Al Jean and Mike Reiss, in addition to producer James L. Brooks. Simpsons creator Matt Groening publicly criticized the episode, feeling that it served as just a promotion for another show, and would remove his name from the opening credits.

Since then, The Simpsons has had crossovers with shows that Groening created, like Futurama, and others that he did not. For example, The Simpsons had a full crossover with Family Guy (as part of Family Guy season 13) and has influenced references to and appearances by Bob’s Burgers characters. It also featured a Rick and Morty couch gag. Maggie also holds up Rick & Morty‘s Szechuan Sauce during one opening sequence.

Related: The Simpsons: Every Crossover Episode Explained

This was at least cheekily explained by a sight gag in the “Treehouse of Horror XXXIII” episode of The Simpsons, which imagines different animated shows, including South Park, Spongebob, and Netflix’s Big Mouth, as destinations that are within a reasonable distance of one another. It’s a cool way that different animated comedies can nod to one another, as Disenchantment has with its callback.

Source: Josh Weinstein/Twitter

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