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The Simpsons: Our Top 7 Musical Guest Appearances

Since timeless cartoon show The Simpsons made it's TV debut in 1989, some of music's big names have done voiceovers. Here's our top 7...

Johnny Cash - 'The Mysterious Voyage of Homer'
Who'd have thought a strong Jalfrezi could lead to a quest for spiritual freedom? In this episode, Homer eats one too many Guatemalan insanity peppers, taking him on a voyage of surreal animation in which he meets a Space Coyote. That creature is played by Johnny Cash, who provides profound wisdom that leads the main character to question the strength of his relationship with Marge. Cash's poise and deep voice made him a perfect fit for the brief role in The Simpsons episode - he was walking the right lines with that performance.

U2 - 'Trash of the Titans'
Here, U2 perform 'Pride (In the Name of Love),' a then-controversial 1984 song about Martin Luther King and socio-political concerns. In typically buffoonish fashion, Homer crashes the gig to promote his campaign to become Springfield's Sanitation Commissioner. Lead singer Bono is initially sympathetic, claiming: "he's talking about waste management, that affects the whole damn planet!". However, when he asked Homer why the public should vote for him, he was unable to elaborate convincingly and was soon dragged away. A quick reminder: claiming to be security's 'potato man' won't normally grant you backstage access.


Michael Jackson - 'Stark Raving Dad'

Leon Komposki, a man who Homer met in a mental institution, helps Bart compose a song dedicated to Lisa on her birthday. In fact, Kompowski's speaking voice was played by music icon Michael Jackson, whose role in the episode was not confirmed until after it was first broadcast. A sequel was later planned in which Komposki was voiced by another star, but it was never produced: when you've already got the King of Pop you probably don't need the Prince.

The Moody Blues - 'Viva Ned Flanders'
Viva Ned Vegas received widespread acclaim from Casino pundits for its side-splitting portrayal of Las Vegas, but what can be forgotten is that the episode featured a cameo from The Moody Blues.
They played a comically poetic role in trying to catch Homer Simpson and Ned Flanders – who were trying to escape Neros Palace after drunkenly finding new wives. Graeme Edge, the only remaining original member of the band, begins by insulting Homer for being ‘cold-hearted’ and ‘ditching his wife’. Justin Hayward is then interrupted by Ray Thomas, who proclaims ‘it’s arse-whupping time!” and Mike Pinder pulls out a sword and says he wants “the fattie”.

Paul McCartney - 'Lisa The Vegetarian'
Remember the cute, talking lamb that encouraged Lisa to stop eating meat? The girl was ridiculed by her family for becoming a vegetarian at first, but soon got by with a little help from her friends. Beatles songwriter Paul McCartney made a guest appearance, as did his first wife, Linda. Both vegetarians, they appeared on the show on the condition that Lisa would remain one for the rest of the series. The episode subsequently won two awards, Environmental Media and Genesis, for bringing environmental and animal issues to light. This episode was less about 'Lovely Rita' and more about considerate Lisa.

Sting - 'Radio Bart'
Ay, caramba! We see Bart up to his usual mischief in this episode. He throws a radio down the well and speaks through it using a microphone to trick the whole town into thinking there was a small boy, Timmy O'Toole, trapped down there. The public are unable to rescue 'Timmy', but the story gets so much attention, Sting and other pop stars felt compelled to write a song "We're Sending Our Love Down the Well". Bart later falls into the well and admits that 'Timmy' does not exist to the public who, angry at being lied to, do not attempt to rescue him. No more over the top japes, Bart, we'll be watching you.

Robert Goulet - $pringfield
Bart again. In mood for rebellion after being judged too young to visit Mr Burns' Casino, Bart builds his own. In need of performers in his Casino/treehouse, he approaches Robert Goulet, the Massachussets born singer. Aside from accidentally hitting Milhouse with his mic, Goulet proved a hit with 'Jingle Bells, Batman Smells' in this 1993 episode. Clearly his voice deteriorated six years later, when he played coarse-voiced penguin 'Wheezy' in Toy Story.
Sources & Refererences:

  1. epguides.com/simpsons: All Simpsons TV Show Guides
  2. betway.com/online-casino: Casino in Popular Culture (The Simpsons)
  3. u2.com/tv-appearences: All Media from U2
  4. ecorazzi.com/lisa-the-vegetarian: A Look Back Over the 20 Years


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The Simpsons: Our Top 7 Musical Guest Appearances

 


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