Top 5 Simpsons Facts You Probably Didn't Know

Written by Michael Wynands

They might be America’s most-well known animated family, but even the most high-profile of fictional characters have their secrets. Welcome to WatchMojo’s Top 5 Facts. In today’s instalment we’re counting down the Top 5 Simpsons Facts You Probably Didn't Know. We’re going behind-the-scenes of this long-running massive hit series.

Special thanks to our users jenit and Jesse Perez Perez for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest

Credits
Tags
Comments

You must login to access this feature

Transcript

Top 5 Simpsons Facts You Probably Didn't Know


They might be America’s most well-known animated family, but even the most high-profile of fictional characters have their secrets. Welcome to WatchMojo’s Top 5 Facts.

In today’s instalment we’re counting down the Top 5 Simpsons Facts You Probably Didn't Know. We’re going behind-the-scenes of this long-running massive hit series.


#5: The Producers Messed with Justin Timberlake

The creative team behind The Simpsons aren’t exactly the type to get awe-struck at the idea of working with stars… they’d rather flex their comedic muscles. When *NSYNC appeared on the show, J.T. made the mistake of critiquing the script– explaining that he would never say the word: “word.” He might make a living opening his mouth, but this is the one time he would’ve been better served keeping it shut. Celebrity cameos are always exaggerated parodies of themselves on The Simpsons, and by nitpicking, young Mr. Timberlake made himself the target of editing room magic. The team tacked his least favorite “word” onto the end of a bunch of his lines. Thankfully, he has since developed a much better sense of humor.

#4: There's a Reason Maude Flanders Was Killed off the Show

We all know how she died on-screen– it was a straightforward case of “accidental death by t-shirt cannon firing squad resulting from the ill-timed discovery of a bobby pin by one Homer J. Simpson”. Case closed. In the real world though... Maude was killed off as a result of a contract dispute between her voice actress, Maggie Roswell, and Fox, regarding compensation. Maude died, and Roswell’s other voice roles were given away. In 2002, however, she finally returned to voice the ghost of Maude. Other notables characters such as Lionel Hutz, Troy McClure and Edna Krabappel were more ceremoniously retired from The Simpsons out of respect for the voice actors behind them, Phil Hartman and Marcia Wallace, when they passed away in 1998 and 2013 respectively.

#3: Michael Jackson Guest-Starred… And So Did An Impersonator?

Few shows in television history can boast a quantity or quality of celebrity cameos on par with The Simpsons. Michael Jackson’s cameo is undeniably one of the greatest, but also one of the program’s strangest moments. Jackson apparently called series creator Matt Groening himself to offer a guest appearance. Rather than voice himself, however, he performed the speaking roles of a man claiming to be Michael Jackson, later revealed to be a bricklayer by the name of Leon Kompowsky. Jackson himself refused to be credited for the speaking role, taking the pseudonym John Jay Smith. Even stranger, he insisted that the character’s singing parts be recorded by an MJ impersonator, so that he might trick his brothers with the on-screen voice switcheroo. Talk about a layered performance.

#2: Their Yellow Skin Was Chosen to Grab Viewers' Attention

As perhaps best illustrated by the family hairdos… the Simpsons’ style of animation has never focused creating realistic-looking characters. But what the people of Springfield lack in beauty however, they make up for with their ability to catch and retain the attention of viewers. According to Groening, this was the reason behind that distinctly jaundiced look. The Simpsons debuted in 1987, long before the era of online streaming or PVRs. It was a competitive time in television, since you really needed to catch the eye of a potential audience as they channel surfed. The bright yellow skin color, allegedly first shown to Groening by colorist Gyorgyi Peluce, was a sure-fire way to make the then-unknown series stand out.

#1: Lisa Is a Vegetarian Because of Paul McCartney

If there’s someone out there with enough star power to top the late Michael Jackson as the biggest name to ever visit Springfield… it’s gonna be a Beatle. They were, after all bigger than... the Dave Clark Five and you don’t get become that big without learning how to throw your weight around. So, channelling his outer activist and inner diva in equal parts, Sir Paul McCartney set his terms. He agreed to doing a guest spot, but only under the condition that Lisa Simpson's conversion to vegetarianism become permanent. The episode, aptly titled “Lisa The Vegetarian”, aired in 1995, and decades on, Lisa (and the showrunners) have kept that promise.
Download

You must register to a corporate account to download. Please login

Related Videos

+ see more

More WMFacts