The two legendary aliens from the Simpsons have roots in Star Trek.
The large, green, slimy, Halloween-appearing aliens from the Simpsons are well known to many people at this point. Their tall, squid-like, with one eye, large gnashing teeth, and are sometimes the villains and sometimes misunderstood. Yet, if their names sounded familiar that’s because you’ve heard them elsewhere before; in Star Trek.
The green Simpson aliens are named Kang and Kodos. If you’ve watched the Original Series from the 1960s, you should recognize those names. As CBR points out, they’re named after the Klingon Kang and Kodos the Executioner, who were two impactful characters with Kodos being in the first season and Kang in the third.
Kodos was an actor who was earned the moniker Kodos the Executioner in the first season episode, “The Conscience of the King”, the 12th episode of the season. Kang appeared in the episode “Day of the Dove”, the 11th episode of season three. He would then reappear in Deep Space Nine’s “Blood Oath” and Voyager’s “Flashback”.
Star Trek and its influence is on par with the Simpsons.
The Simpsons is known for its cultural significance on pop culture, but what does it say when its influence is borrowed from that of Star Trek? It speaks volumes to the historical significance of Star Trek that such a show like the Simpsons created one of its best running gags of all time on two little-known Star Trek characters.
The folks at the Simpsons have turned their own Kang and Kodos into go-to characters for when things in Springfield get a bit tame and are often used to reenact the writer’s favorite pieces of sci-fi. Like when James Earl Jones did one of the voices of Kang and Kodos for a Tree House of Horrors Halloween episode, where the aliens and Simpson family reenacted their own take on the Twilight Zone episode “To Serve Man.”
In the original episode, the aliens who were deemed a saving grace came to Earth and recruited volunteers to come with them to be served. Only, not being served like your vacation, but being served as food. The Simpsons’ version flipped it on its head and did a great repeating gag about what the aliens were really up to.
It was a landmark episode for the Simpsons and it was all thanks in part to Star Trek.