Having been a prevalent part of popular culture for decades, it’s always fascinating to take a trip down memory lane and contemplate the early days of The Simpsons.
Audiences fell in love with The Simpsons of Evergreen Terrace from the very beginning, and a myriad of Springfield residents began to reveal themselves in the early seasons, sowing seeds for future fan favorites like Comic Book Guy.
In season 2, a special episode was introduced and has since become a staple. Of course, we’re talking about the Treehouse Of Horror. The very first arrived as the season’s third episode which premiered in October 1990.
The anthology presented viewers with three stories, the first of which revolves around a haunted house and pays homage to movies firmly rooted in the horror subgenre. On the other hand, the third was a riff on Edgar Allan Poe’s 1845 poem The Raven.
However, it’s the second story that stands out most because it introduced us to Kang and Kodos, aliens from the planet Rigel VII. Their appearance was immediately striking, as they’re constantly drooling, and their large heads are protected in glass domes.
The duo abducted The Simpsons in the segment, but they’ve shown up in all subsequent Treehouse Of Horror episodes ever since.
Kang is voiced by Harry Shearer whereas Dan Castellaneta voices Kodos. What you might not know though is that the alien pair are named after characters from the iconic sci-fi series Star Trek.
That’s right. The Simpsons characters were created by Wallace Wolodarsky and Jay Kogen, and they were inspired by the characters of Kang and Kodos the Executioner from Star Trek: The Original Series, which ran from 1966 through to 1969.
Michael Ansara played Kang, a Klingon captain who was introduced in season 3 episode 7, Day Of The Dove. He was a leader and diplomat of great power during the 23rd and 24th centuries, associated with Kor, Curzon Dax, and Koloth.
Alternately, Kodos the Executioner (played by Arnold Moss) was a human antagonist presented in season 1 episode 13, The Conscience Of The King. He was also prevalent in the 23rd century, and he governed Tarsus IV, an Earth colony, in 2246.
There are some overt parallels between their counterparts in The Simpsons, and the name fits neatly while also providing a nod and a wink to sci-fi fans in the know.
Kang and Kodos have since become a gem of every Treehouse Of Horror entry.