He might have been one of the biggest pop stars of all time, but Michael Jackson’s appearance on The Simpsons has long been one of the most debated topics amongst fans of both music and TV.
Back in September of 1991, The Simpsons aired their ‘Stark Raving Dad’ episode, which features Homer Simpson befriending a man who believes himself to be Michael Jackson. Considering Michael Jackson had produced The Simpsons‘ ‘Do The Bartman’ one year earlier, it wasn’t exactly a huge leap to assume that the musician would have lent his voice to the show.
However, as fans watched the ending credits of the show, they would have noticed that only John Jay Smith was listed as a guest star, leading to mass confusion.
As the years went on, producers of the show implied that Michael Jackson and Dustin Hoffman were the only guest stars to have appeared under a pseudonym.
In fact, an episode that aired one year later saw Lisa Simpson effectively confirming the fact while talking about the fictional The Itchy & Scratchy movie. “The celebrities who did cameos; Dustin Hoffman, Michael Jackson,” she exclaimed. “Of course they didn’t use their real names, but you could tell it was them.”
Now, The Simpsons’ creator, Matt Groening, has explained the circumstances behind Michael Jackson’s appearance all those years ago.
Appearing on The Weekly With Charlie Pickering as part of an interview with Briggs (who scored himself a writing gig on Groening’s Disenchanted), the iconic cartoonist confirmed that Jackson did indeed appear on the show back in 1991.
“We really did have him,” Groening began. “He said that he loved Bart and wanted to be on the show.”
“He did do the show. He didn’t want credit for it,” he continued. “There was some kind of deal with his record company or whatever.
“So when it came time to sing the songs, he had a soundalike singer [Kipp Lennon], and he stood there and watched the guy who was so nervous who had to sound like Michael Jackson.”
Of course, this might not exactly be news to diehard fans who checked out the episode’s DVD commentary where this very topic was discussed, but for many others, this undoubtedly puts to rest one of those persistent trivia questions.