The Simpsons continues to roll on in the wake of the Disney acquisition, and the show is adding two very special guest stars for some upcoming episodes. Both David Harbor of Stranger Things and Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett will join the show later this season. Season 31’s finale is being speculated to be the visit from Blanchett as a canine psychologist named Elaine. She’s there to help the family dog, Santa’s Little Helper, get over some depression. This is going to include a callback to the first episode of the show, which will be a special moment for longtime fans. In Season 32, Harbor will be filling the shoes of an alternate Mr. Burns as he goes undercover to discover the cause of some unrest at the power plant. Both of these stars seem to have done a great job in creating their characters. Simpsons executive producer Al Jean told EW all about their turns in a recent interview.
“She determines if there’s a trauma in his past that they have to go solve, which actually goes back to the first episode of the series.” Jean said of Blanchett. “Fans will experience a callback that is older than the internet.” That's a pretty steep claim, but it checks out with that first episode airing all the way back in December of 1989. This is one way to freshen up the approach to a show that has been on for a long time now.
“She sleeps in the same room with him when she brings him in for treatment,” continues Jean. “She’s very loving. But with people she’s a lot more brusque.”
He concluded, “As expected, she was fantastic. We’re proud to say that we got a two-time Oscar winner to talk in dog gibberish, but it really sounded like Elvish to me.”
Harbor comes to be an alternate version of Mr. Burns in the most unlikely of ways. Jean explains how that all comes to be as well, “Like Mission: Impossible, they give him a whole new body and face and voice so that this people in the plant won’t possibly recognize him,” shares Jean. “He’s supposed to be a blue-collar guy from another part of the plant, but everything he says is like Mr. Burns. He wants to go to karaoke and sing songs from the 1890s, but the guys don’t see through it.”
The Simpsons beam into your homes Sundays at 8 PM on Fox. You can also stream older episodes of the show on Disney+.