Incredible story behind Simpsons celeb cameo
AFTER years of debate, Matt Groening is finally clearing up those rumours about Michael Jackson making a cameo on The Simpsons.
Was it really M.J. singing Happy Birthday Lisa? Did he get an impersonator to call Bart from the mental institution?
Groening told The Weekly With Charlie Pickering that Jackson did, in fact, make an appearance on The Simpsons in the '90s, and in true M.J. fashion, the story behind his cameo is unbelievably cool.
While speaking with The Weekly, Groening confirmed that The Simpsons didn't just have a "Michael Jackson" cameo - they had they real deal.
"You don't have to put it in quotes," Groening said. "We really did have him."
The Simpsons creator went on to explain that the singer cold-called him asking to be featured in the show, and at first, he didn't even believe it was Jackson.
"I was sitting in the office late at night, the phone rings and I pick it up," he said.
When the voice on the other end replied, "Hi, this is Michael Jackson" (Groening actually does a pretty good impression), he assumed it was a prank call because the singer has "a voice that sounds like somebody doing a Michael Jackson bit".
Jackson immediately called back and insisted that it really was him, and "he said that he loved Bart and wanted to be on the show," Groening said. And that was that. You can't say no to the King of Pop, can you?
Jackson made his cameo in the Season 3 premiere "Stark Raving Dad". In the episode, his character - referred to as "the big white guy who thinks he's the little black guy" - befriends Homer in a mental institution, and they end up leaving together, just in time for Lisa's birthday.
Bart and Jackson's character perform a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday Lisa, but the post-birthday happiness quickly fades when Jackson's character reveals that he's not the beloved singer after all.
So, yes, Jackson's cameo is legit, but not all of it.
Groening explained that Jackson appeared as himself when he spoke, but he used a voice impersonator for the singing moments.
"He didn't want credit for, or there was some kind of deal with his record company or whatever, so when it came time to sing the songs, he had a sound-a-like singer," said Groening.
"He stood there and watched the guy, who was so nervous who had to sound like Michael Jackson, and then he giggled."
Happy birthday, Lisa, and happy birthday to the King of Pop, who would have turned 60 this week.