10 Unexpected Celebrity Cameos On The SimpsonsNovember 4, 2023
"Hopefully astronauts know not to bring ruffled snacks into space now!"
There’s been plenty of surprises over the course of The Simpsons’ 33 year run — from the show’s eerily accurate predictions about the future to some pretty unexpected guest stars. The show has featured an array of celebs throughout the years, from Oscar-winning actors to iconic astronauts. Altogether, there have been hundreds of celebrity cameos, some of which have left viewers wondering exactly how the series got those stars to agree to appear. While their decision to lend their voices to the show does come as a surprise, it just proves that pretty much everyone is a Simpsons fan!
Look back on some unexpected Simpsons guest stars below…
1. Kylie Jenner
Kylie Jenner is the most recent surprising celeb to lend her voice to The Simpsons. The makeup mogul and reality star appeared on season 35’s Halloween episode, “Treehouse of Horror XXXIV.” Kylie portrays herself in the episode, playing one of a few celebs part of the “illuminati of the crypto universe.” They are recruited to help Marge find Bart, who has been turned into an NFT and lost in the blockchain.
Showrunner Matt Selman says when he approached Kylie about the episode, she was down to poke fun at herself, telling Variety that “we wrote her some pages, and I think it’s a good fit. She was up for it and game to be made fun of as a celebrity shill.”
2. 50 Cent
In 2005, rapper 50 Cent made a guest appearance on an episode called “Pranksta Rap,” where he voiced himself. During the episode, Bart finds himself getting a ride home from his favorite rapper Alcatraz when 50 Cent’s Hummer limo pulls up beside them. He tells Bart to stay in school — and then asks another person in the limo if it counts as his community service.
3. Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep may be a three-time Oscar winner, but she’s also made an appearance on The Simpsons. In 1994, Meryl lent her voice to an episode called “Bart’s Girlfriend,” where she played Bart’s love interest and the Reverend’s daughter, Jessica Lovejoy. While Bart tries to be on his best behavior to impress Jessica, he quickly learns that she’s actually after a bad boy. When the episode aired, Meryl said it gave her “more credibility” in her home than anything she’d “ever done.”
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4. Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash surprised fans when he guest starred on a season 8 episode of The Simpsons called “El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer” — which translates to “The Mysterious Voyage of Our Homer.” During the episode, Johnny played Homer’s spirit guide in the form of a space coyote who comes to him amid a hot pepper-induced hallucination.
The role was reportedly supposed to go to Bob Dylan, but after he turned it down, Johnny was approached. In commentary for the episode on the season’s DVD, creator Matt Groening called Johnny’s appearance “one of the greatest coups the show has ever had.”
5. Stephen Hawking
Back in 1999, Stephen Hawking made a guest appearance as himself on an episode of the series called “They Saved Lisa’s Brain.” As part of the plot, Lisa is recruited to join high-IQ society MENSA but after Springfield’s mayor flees the city, the organization takes over the government. In the end, it’s up to Stephen to help regain control of the city from MENSA.
Stephen flew to LA to record his voiceover and because he spoke using a custom-made computer, his voice had to be recorded through the device’s speakers. While writer Matt Selman said it would have been easy to replicate Stephen’s voice on another computer, they preferred to have him there.
“It’s easy to do a fake Stephen Hawking in your comedy TV show. Any computer can sound just like his computer, but every line that we wrote for him, he typed in himself and we recorded with our microphones as if it had come out of a regular mouth,” Matt said during the DVD commentary for the episode.
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6. Mick Jagger
Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger guest starred on an episode called “How I Spent My Strummer Vacation” alongside his bandmate Keith Richards. During the episode, Homer attends a Rock ‘n Roll Fantasy Camp run by the group and is taught by other musicians including Elvis Costello, Lenny Kravitz and Tom Petty — who all also made guest appearances.
“That was very exciting,” Lisa Simpson voice actor Yeardley Smith told Billboard. “I mean, these people are larger than life. It’s peculiar to be in the same room with them. You start to see them as people, which I think is good, but it doesn’t take the gloss off it at all. It’s still kind of like, ‘Wow, you’re Mick Jagger.’ It’s still pretty stunning.”
7. Betty White
Before her passing, Betty White appeared on two episodes of The Simpsons. She first got animated for the episode “Missionary: Impossible,” where she played herself as she hosted a PBS pledge drive. Homer, frustrated by one of his shows getting interrupted, called in to pledge $10,000 in order to return to regular programming. But when the PBS Pledge Enforcement Team track him down and he is unable to come up with the money, Betty sends a mob of PBS characters after him.
In another episode, “Homerazzi,” Homer becomes a member of the paparazzi and photographs Betty outside of a dry cleaners. This time, she’s extremely kind to him and asked Homer to mail a photo to her so she could sign it and send it back to him.
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8. The Ramones
The Ramones made a surprising appearance on The Simpsons episode “Rosebud” back in 1993. In celebration of Mr. Burns’ birthday, The Ramones perform a punk rock rendition of “Happy Birthday,” much to his dismay. Mr. Burns, who is distracted by the loss of a childhood toy, demands for the band to be killed — but mistakenly calls them the Rolling Stones. In the DVD commentary, director David Silverman said the band “were gigantic obsessive Simpsons fans.”
9. Buzz Aldrin
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin made an appearance on The Simpsons when Homer goes to space. In the episode, titled “Deep Space Homer,” Homer is selected by NASA for a space exploration program which aimed encourage other regular citizens to go to space. On his expedition, he’s joined by Buzz as well as musician James Taylor — but ends up almost destroying the shuttle’s navigation system thanks to a bag of chips he smuggled on board.
“It’s been 25 years since I guest starred on @TheSimpsons and brought Homer Simpson to space with me!” Buzz tweeted in 2019.
“Hopefully astronauts know not to bring ruffled snacks into space now #DeepSpaceHomer.”
10. Paul McCartney
When Paul McCartney appeared on The Simpsons, it wasn’t because of his incredible music career — it was because he’s a vegetarian. Paul played himself on the episode “Lisa the Vegetarian,” where she struggles to find other vegetarians in Springfield. She later learns Apu is a vegetarian, as well as his friends Paul and Linda McCartney. Creator Matt Groening later revealed that Paul had only agreed to appear on the show if producers made Lisa’s choice to become a vegetarian a permanent part of the show. Matt says Paul still holds them to their promise.
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