The Simpsons Producer Responds To 'Homer In A Coma' Theory
Fans believe character has been unconscious since 1993...
The Simpsons producer Al Jean has dismissed a popular fan theory that Homer has actually been in a coma for more than two decades.
The long-serving show exec was quizzed by US gossip site TMZ about the outlandish theory, which had been gaining increasing traction on the web after being posted on Reddit.
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It was suggested that Homer had never come out of the coma in which he is depicted in 1993 clips compilation episode So It's Come To This: A Simpsons Clip Show - and that each subsequent episode had been taking place in his imagination.
However Jean pointed out that the show's creators were not thinking that far ahead: "It would mean back in 1993 we would presume the show was going on for years and years more and right before we left, threw this hidden monkey wrench in for all our successors.
"I'm afraid it goes with the 'Dead Bart' episode in the intriguing but false file."
The Simpsons began airing back in 1989 - with the coma episode appearing four years into its now legendary stint as the longest-running prime-time animated sitcom in US TV history.
Taking credit for the theory, Reddit user Hardtopickaname responded: "This got really big. I'm getting messages about it making the news in Australia, Belgium, and other places.
"It made the front page of Yahoo!, and TMZ even got a statement from Al Jean about my theory. He says it's not true, but what does he know about The Simpsons?"
But like all good conspiracy theories, the denials only make it seem more intriguing!