Tom Bogert, CBS Local Sports

(MINNESOTA CBS) — On December 4 The Simpsons will have a special guest star on a new episode, as Wayne Gretzky will be converted into Simpsons’ graphics and voice his virtual self, via Sportsnet.

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Gretzky was in studios recording the episode this summer. Ahead of its airing, Simpsons’ producers Joel Cohen and Al Jean have nothing but effusive adulation for The Great One.

“I’m a Calgary native and consequent Oiler-hater,” said Cohen. “So 99 and I had a lot to talk about, and even more to trash-talk about — Semenko, Fuhr, Steve Smith bouncing the puck off Fuhr. Through it all, he was as classy and generous as you hope an icon can be. It was almost enough for me to forgive him for repeatedly demolishing my Flames’ playoff hopes. Not quite, but almost.”

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Jean added to Cohen’s sentiment.

“He’s smart, funny and we felt like (Gretzky) must have when he met Gordie Howe as a kid,” said Jean.

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The Simpsons air on FOX on Sunday’s at 8pm eastern time.