I guess once you go black, you sometimes can go back.
Lifelong fans of The Simpsons will likely recall that Waylon Smithers, Mr. Burns’ obedient and devoted assistant, once (but only once) had a darker skin color (as well as blue hair and eyebrows) way back in the season one episode “Homer’s Odyssey.” However, they may not know exactly why.
Enter Simpsons creator Matt Groening, who explained that it was all just a big mistake.
“He was always yellow, and they painted him wrong once,” Groening explained to TMZ. “At the time, we didn’t have enough to do retakes, so when there were glitches and mistakes it stayed that way. He was never ‘black’, it was an accident.”
His skin was supposed to be the yellow color that later became synonymous with The Simpsons, a decision initially instated “so they wouldn’t look like anything else on TV… except for SpongeBob.” Of course SpongeBob wouldn’t even exist for another eight or nine years.
As for why they only have four fingers, Groening simply said that it was “easier to draw.”
“That is a lot of pencil mileage if you add another finger.”