Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons was surprised with the 2012 Icon Award during the panel for that other, also amazing show he helped create (Futurama).
“We’re still on the air!” David X. Cohen shouted, opening what wound up being an incredibly free-wheeling panel that included drawing and costume contests among other things (the latter, won handily by a maniac in a Zoidberg costume so good it threatened to be the highlight of the day).
Fans were also treated to an extended clip of an as-yet un-aired episode in which Fry discovers the horrors of “future Oktoberfest” before becoming an ingredient in Bender’s illbegotten Wooly Mammoth brautwursts. But the obvious highlight was Groening’s award, which he accepted with the kind of humility we’ve come to expect from the man (i.e. overblown gloating, masking a gentle nature and genuine appreciation of the moment).
With this award, Groening joins the ranks of geek luminaries such as George Lucas (Boo!), Neil Gaiman (Yay!) and Frank Miller (Yoo?).
If that weren’t enough, the creators let it be know that, yes, they’re aware of the “Fry Not Sure If ‘X’” meme (the one all over your Facebook feed) too. With the help of Billy West (Fry), they “performed” a few live versions of the meme, with West reading (in character) text like, “Not Sure In San Diego Convention Center…Or Just A Small Wing Of Matt Groening’s House” wrapped around his head.
Beyond the new footage, this was a content-lite panel with charisma to spare and nearly all of the cast present to shoot the shit with an eager audience. And when one of those fans stepped up to the mic, sporting a “brain slug” head band, you could tell that Groening still had a lot of pride in even the most minute corners of the universe he’d helped to create.
“Nice brain slug,” he shot out. Indeed.