There's no denying the current impact of Rick and Morty to the cultural zeitgeist. It adds so many elements of science fiction together from satirizing the pop culture through its various worlds while maintaining the balance between comedy, cynicism and nihilism. Hard to imagine despite the show's popularity on Adult Swim, it gets the longevity of The Simpsons or South Park. It wouldn't matter how much money you throw towards creators Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland. The only thing that comes close, but nowhere near as dark is Matt Groening's Futurama.
"Rick and Morty" & "The Simpsons" Couch Gag
It makes sense since both animation styles are similar not to mention Rick and Morty's appearance as a couch gag on Groening's main series The Simpsons in the season 26 episode "Mathlete's Feat." The original gag had the duo crashing into the Simpson's home melting the family on the couch. In a fourth-wall break, Rick reminds Morty how beloved the Simpsons are. He collects the leftover Simpson DNA, a family portrait, and tells Morty to make a copy of the family. Once Rick gives Morty the coordinates, Morty travels through the portal to a remote planet.
As Morty goes to the clerk to restore the Simpsons, there's a Futurama Easter Egg of the Planet Express ship in the background. Rick snoops and pilfers through their belongings messing with Marge's necklace and Lisa's saxophone. A curious Flanders walks by before Rick freezes him in place with his gun. Once Morty completes his mission, Rick dumps the sack filled with alien balls. He raises the temperature of the home to 100 plus degrees despite the lack of insulation from the home with a hole on their roof. The balls grow into mutated Simpsons-Rick hybrids. Before the family comes to, the duo make their escape on their ship through the portal. With the family largely disoriented, Bart quips, "No more guest animators, man!"
How a Crossover Could Work…
Futurama has a colorful list of characters, who experience similar type of zany adventures in space. Morty Smith (Roiland) and Philip J. Fry (Billy West) share a kind of youthful innocence and everyman role. Both have a sense of vulnerability with their doubt, both can fly off the deep end when subjected to tremendous abuse.
Rick Sanchez (Roiland) and his possible intellectual equal Professor Farnsworth (West) both have chips on their shoulder when it comes to their genius. Seeing the two in a game of one-upsmanship is guaranteed comedy gold. If you combine Farnsworth and alcoholic robot Bender (John DiMaggio), you essentially get Rick. Even beyond the two main characters, I can see Jerry (Chris Parnell) and Zoidberg (West) connecting just from sharing about their past failures. Amy (Lauren Tom), Summer (Spencer Grammer), Leela (Katey Segal), and Beth (Sarah Chalke) have plenty of things to talk about between the idiot men in their lives, having to be the responsible adult, and the struggles of dating.
Aside from the Council of Ricks in Rick and Morty, Futurama also dealt with alternate realities with different versions of the main characters. Sure Futurama ended its original run in 2013 and had a crossover appearance on The Simpsons in 2014. There are voice actors who appeared on both shows in Maruice LaMarche, Phil Hendrie, and DiMaggio.