Things will get artificially deep on The Simpsons this weekend.
In the episode, titled “The Girl Code,” Marge posts a jokey photo of Homer on social media that inadvertently costs Homer his job. “Homer hasn’t been fired in a while,” Simpsons exec producer Matt Selman points out to EW, ”so hopefully this will have some impact.”
Homer’s firing prompts Lisa to create an app called Conrad (Consequences Eradictor for long) that can predict the consequences of an online post. This being a cartoon in which anything can happen, our eight-year-old brainiac winds up pioneering artificial intelligence that actually comes to life. Selman says the role of Conrad in this Her-esque tale was written specifically for Stephen Merchant, co-creator of the original, British version of The Office and star of Hello Ladies. “We’ve been looking for a voice for Stephen to do for awhile — he’s at the top of our wish list,” says Selman. “One of the great things about Stephen as a comic actor is that he seems calm, cool collected on the outside, but it’s hilarious when that unravels and we see what a neurotic, quirky mess he really is. Stephen gives good freak-out.”
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Selman also nerdily points out that this isn’t the first time that Merchant “is playing a quasi-sentient A.I. machine with its own agenda,” citing his role as Wheatley in the video game Portal 2.
Meet the concerned Conrad in this exclusive clip from the episode, which airs Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.