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The Simpsons' Showrunner Makes It Clear That 'Not It' Isn't A Stephen King Parody

When it comes to brilliantly orchestrated, animated spoofing of iconic films, classic and not-so-classic TV shows, and a breathtaking variety of miscellaneous pop culture tropes, "The Simpsons" has racked up a parodic record second-to-none. In this regard, the series is perhaps best known for the spookified parodies it unleashes every October in its "Treehouse of Horror" outings. Generally divvied up into three segments per episode, the special installments tackle a select trio of fright films or other shows to poke loving fun at.

Since debuting as a regular annual feature of the franchise in its second season (per Paste Magazine), the series has gifted viewers with a trick-or-treat bag full of movie allusions from Easter-Egg-like references that could slip by unnoticed to all-out, intricately scripted satiric masterpieces of the macabre. With past seasons lampooning everything from "A Nightmare on Elm Street" to "A Clockwork Orange," the show this year serves up two distinct "Treehouse of Horror" episodes. One episode plays out in the usual three-tiered format, while the other spends the entire episode expanding on horrormeister Steven King's creepy-sewer-clown saga, "It." But as it turns out, the "Not IT" episode haunting this year's treehouse on "The Simpsons" isn't truly a parody as usually presented on the show.

The Simpsons' showrunner says 'Not It' draws on, but doesn't parody, King's 'It'

In general, parodies mounted on "The Simpsons" are unmistakable as such, with clear-cut, shot-for-shot mimicry of classic characters and scenes and wonderfully Simpson-ated twists on memorable dialogue. But as "The Simpsons" writer, producer, and co-showrunner Matt Selman told CinemaBlend, "The IT [episode] is not really a parody of IT."

Selman went on to explain that while the "Not It" installment latches onto the overall structure of King's book, it ends up simply using that structure as the skeleton onto which the Simpson's characters are arranged to maximum comedic effect. "It's using the story of IT, like it's an exploitation of IT," he said. In addition, Selman elaborated how the word 'parody' implies that the show is either critical of or mocking the film or story in question. But in the case of "Not It," Selman said the series is saying: "Hey, thanks for the great story, IT. We'll run with it here." Spelman then concluded his remarks on the episode with a tip of the hat to the inventiveness of the writer, Cesar Mazariego, saying he "did a great job in trying to jam in all the IT stuff."