The King of Pop is a guest voice on The Simpsons in the episode “Stark Raving Dad”

On this day in 1991 Michael Jackson was a guest voice on The Simpsons

The King of Pop is a guest voice on The Simpsons in the episode “Stark Raving Dad”

The Simpsons have had a long history of celebrities making cameo appearances on the show, but none more talked about then when Michael Jackson would guest voice on the first episode of the third season. In “Stark Raving Dad” Homer Simpson is mistaken for a “free-thinking anarchist” and sent to a mental institution, where he shares a room with a large white man named Leon Kompowsky who pretends to be American pop star, Michael Jackson. Meanwhile, because he normally forgets her birthday, Bart promises his sister Lisa that he will get her the best present ever. Marge, upon hearing what has happened, comes to the institution and is able to convince Homer’s doctors that he is not insane. Homer who is unaware who Michael Jackson is decides to let him stay in the family home. He calls and tells Bart that he is bringing Michael to stay for a few days. Against Homer and Michael’s wishes, Bart tells his friend Milhouse and soon all of Springfield turns up outside of the Simpson family’s home to see Michael. After seeing the Imposter the townspeople become angry at Bart and leave. At the same time, Lisa realizes that yet again Bart has failed to acknowledge her birthday because of the excitement surrounding Michael. After a few tense moments, Michael and Bart decide to team up to write and perform a song for Lisa’s birthday called “Happy Birthday Lisa”. Upon hearing the song Lisa calls it “the best birthday present she ever got”. But Michael Jackson didn’t really sing the birthday song to Lisa. In an interview actress Yeardley Smith, who voices Lisa on the show, said: “He literally hand-picked a guy to sing like him”. Jackson entrusted Kipp Lennon, a founding member of the folk band, Venice, with the job. “How unnerving would it be to sing like Michael Jackson in front of Michael Jackson?” she says. However, the song was written by Michael Jackson along with the novelty song “Do the Bartman” which was released the previous year. Prince was asked to guest star as Leon Kompowsky in a sequel to “Stark Raving Dad”. However, the episode was never produced.

By Ken Warren, 2018

Watch 1991 “Happy Birthday Lisa” from “Stark Raving Dad”

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