After 27 Years, Groening Confirms Simpsons Rumor

He says Michael Jackson was in 1991 episode
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2018 6:42 AM CDT
Updated Sep 2, 2018 2:15 PM CDT
Groening: Michael Jackson Made Early Simpsons Cameo
Matt Groening speaks at a panel for "The Simpsons" on day three of Comic-Con International in San Diego last month.   (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Simpsons creator Matt Groening has confirmed a fan rumor that has been circulating for 27 years: Leon Kompowsky is Michael Jackson. Groening told Australian chat show The Weekly this week that the King of Pop ended up voicing the character, a psychiatric patient convinced he is Michael Jackson, after Jackson called him to volunteer for a cameo, Esquire reports. Groening says he initially hung up on Jackson, believing somebody was faking his voice for a prank, but he was convinced after the star called back. "We really did have him" in 1991 episode "Stark Raving Dad," Groening told the show.

Groening said Jackson—credited as "John Jay Smith"—provided Kompowsky's speaking voice but an impersonator provided his singing voice, Time reports. "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 said. "He stood there and watched the guy, who was so nervous, who had to sound like Michael Jackson, and then he giggled." Groening said there had been plans to bring in Prince for another Kompowsky episode, but the singer turned them down because he didn't like the script. (Read more The Simpsons stories.)

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