Hallowed be their names that are immortalised in yellow, four-fingered form. The list of Simpsons cameos is as close as a list can get to endless. And now co-creator of Rick and Morty Dan Harmon can count himself among Johnny Cash, Liz Taylor and James Earl Jones.
Harmon appeared on The Simpsons on Sunday as a teacher in the episode ‘Springfield Splendor,’ in which Marge and Lisa try to write a graphic novel together.
Rick and Morty already did a couch gag for The Simpsons a couple of years ago, but Harmon himself never appeared on it. In an Instagram post, he says he was nervous about how he would be portrayed, but he was pleasantly surprised.
Low self-esteem or tongue-in-cheek irony? Knowing Harmon, it’s probably both.
Harmon fans will notice a few key trademarks of the man’s distinct style in this cameo.
Firstly, he’s hitting the booze pretty hard, much like his hard-drinking creation Rick Sanchez.
Secondly, in the background we see ‘Prof. Harmon’s story circle,’ a reference to Harmon’s much-loved script-writing aid ‘the story circle‘. However, instead of the usual stages detailing the development of the hero there’s a reference to Dan Harmon’s own career, getting fired and re-hired from his show ‘Community,’ which eventually ended up on Yahoo.
In The Simpsons universe Harmon never came up with the break-out hit that is Rick and Morty. The circle ends in ‘teaching’ rather than ‘provoking a national hysteria over McDonald’s szechuan sauce‘.
It’s great that Harmon’s happy with the way The Simpsons represented him, but the image of him gazing at the drawing pre-sex is a little unnerving. Then again, a little unnerving has got Harmon written all over it.
In the words of Morty Smith, “maybe people who create things aren’t concerned with your delicate sensibilities.”
Touché Harmon, touché.