If you were a youth in the 90s, you may remember that, aside from rumours of Marilyn Manson’s very specific elective surgery, or tales of your friend’s dad’s job at Nintendo, one of the more-discussed urban legends was that Michael Jackson made a secret, uncredited appearance on the Simpsons. Decades later, and just in time for what would be the late singer’s 60th birthday yesterday, Simpsons mastermind Matt Groening has blown the lid on the whole thing: yep, the rumours are true.
Groening confirmed in an interview with The Weekly that Jackson did in indeed make an appearance in season 3’s “Stark Raving Dad”, way back in 1993. Jackson appeared as Leon Kompowsky, a fellow patient at the mental institution Homer finds himself at, though Kompowsky’s actor was credited under the pseudonym John Jay Smith.
The tipoff that caused these rumours to start swirling in the first place was the Kompowsky character’s performance of the undeniably Jackson-esque song, “Lisa, It’s Your Birthday” – a song that, surprisingly enough, Groening admits Jackson had nothing to do with the recording of. “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,” Groening revealed. We can only wonder about the musicians snuck their way onto Futurama that we’ll find out about in ten years.