By Alesandra Dubin Posted October 20, 2009, 2:33 PM EDT
LOS ANGELES Now a two-decade-old brand, The Simpsons has had plenty of time to establish itself as a playful, even slightly subversive, household name. Apropos of the show's reputation, the party for The Simpsons 20th anniversary and “Treehouse of Horrors” Halloween episode took on the look and feel of a cartoonish carnival. Fox Broadcasting Company special events producer Bob Stillo oversaw the production of the event—all done with family-friendly touches and Halloween overtones—with production and design by Angel City Designs.
The October 18 event for about 1,200 guests filled Barker Hangar with games like Twister played on a huge inflatable board, and bowling with a willing human strapped into a giant ball. Simpsons toys served as prizes for game winners. Guests could scoop up custom T-shirt designs from a silk-screening station by Hit & Run or pose for a photo op in front of a Simpsons step-and-repeat complete with a prop and accessory station.
Buffet stations offered comfort foods like chicken parmigiana and creamy pasta, and dessert stations were piled high with spreads of chocolate-dipped rice krispie treats and multiple flavors of popcorn that guests could scoop into bags from tall glass cylinders. One buffet station was dedicated to a Homer Simpson favorite—bacon—with offerings like bacon pralines and bacon-wrapped tater tots. An ice bar from liquor sponsor Patron took the form of one of Simpsons creator Matt Groening's animated aliens.
Shortly before 8 p.m., Groening was among those who made remarks to introduce a live broadcast of the show—commercials and all—on a 60-foot-wide rear-projection video screen from Sweetwater Video Production. Round tables at the front of the hangar allowed guests to watch the show with full sound while game operators paused their diversions.
Afterward, '80s cover band the Spazmodics took to the stage while an enthusiastic crowd—as well as Bart, Marge, and Lisa Simpson costumed characters—bopped to classics like “Come on Eileen” and “Jessie's Girl.”