Co.Create has a cool interview with long-time Simpsons writer and showrunner Al Jean about the process of writing an episode of the legendary show and how the show has has been impacted by its rivals over the years.
We did quite a few [random cutaways] in season four (and on The Critic) but as they have been widely used by other shows (both animated and not) we have done fewer, as we feel the idea is not as fresh as it was.
He also talks about the elasticity of reality in Springfield, not using a formula, and the difficulties of working in a long production schedule. Jean was one of the first writers to be hired on The Simpsons back in 1989, and has been with the show for all but four of its soon-to-be 25 seasons. He also co-created the short-lived but wonderful animated sitcom The Critic.