Sunday night's (October 10) episode of "The Simpsons" was a typical entry in the show's latter-day run, full of a handful of solid gags and not much else. (On a side note: How many baseball-related episodes of "The Simpsons" have there been? At least a dozen, right?) But the highlight of the show came right in the very beginning. The credit sequence is always something the producers of the show have played around with (just check the always-changing "blackboard gags" for proof), but this time around, they really kicked it up a notch. To shake things up, they handed over the opening 90 seconds of the show to Banksy, the legendary graffiti artist known for his aggressive attention to secrecy and his rugged, political take on public art.
The sequence (which you can watch below) has all the trappings of a great Banksy piece. His name is dropped onto a handful of walls in Springfield, and there are rats (a common Banksy image) everywhere. But the sequence really stretches out just when you think it's going to wrap up, as the "couch gag" pulls away to reveal a group of child workers grinding out individual animation cels to create "The Simpsons." Further exploration of their dungeon-like dwelling reveals an enslaved unicorn, kittens sacrificed for Bart dolls and a whole lot of toxic chemicals. It's funny, biting and dark — all of the things that make Banksy great.
Though he has gone to great lengths to keep his identity hidden, Banksy has gotten a great deal more pop culture exposure in the past year. He produced a meta documentary called "Exit Through the Gift Shop" that was well-received (if not extremely disorienting) and he also got a shout-out in the VMA-winning clip for 30 Seconds to Mars' "Kings and Queens." Where will Banksy show up next? Only he knows for sure.
What would you like to see Banksy tackle next? Let us know in the comments!