From Lady Gaga to Coldplay: 10 musical acts who guest starred on ‘The Simpsons’

UK singer Morrissey recently hit back at his parody on the series

Coldplay appeared in a 2010 episode of 'The Simpsons'. YouTube
Coldplay appeared in a 2010 episode of 'The Simpsons'. YouTube

Morrissey has hit back at his appearance in The Simpsons.

The English singer is the latest pop star parodied in the long-running animated series and it seems some of the jokes may have landed too close to home.

Aired in the US last Sunday, the episode Panic on the Streets of Springfield skewers all aspect of Morrissey's career, from former band The Smiths (now called The Snuffs) to his veganism and controversial politics.

It was the latter Morrissey seemingly took offence to, with his character portrayed as a meat eater with anti-immigrant leanings.

Morrissey released a statement condemning the episode and claiming the incident was part of a wider public push to discredit him.

"You are especially despised if your music affects people in a strong and beautiful way, since music is no longer required to," he said.

"In a world obsessed with hate laws, there are none that protect me.”

Despite his disdain, Morrissey finds himself joining a star-studded club of musical personalities featuring in the show – some of whom went as far as making official guest appearances over its 21-year run.

Here are 10 artists and groups, in no particular order, who have set foot in Springfield.

1. George Harrison (1993)

Music cameos work best when celebrity and story are in song.

Such was the case when Harrison appeared in an episode following the success of Homer Simpson’s former barber shop quartet, The Be Sharps.

Oblivious to his own fame at the time, the episode finds Homer recalling meeting Harrison and being more excited by the brownie he was eating than the late Beatle himself.

2. The Ramones (1993)

“My, these minstrels will soothe my jangled nerves,” a haggard Mr Burns says before the punk group arrives to his party and deliver a blistering Happy Birthday rendition, complete with insult, to the tycoon.

Burns was not pleased and, in one of his greatest lines, declares: “Have the Rolling Stones killed?”

3. Spinal Tap (1992)

About to release 1992 album Break Like the Wind in real life, the group promoted the release by popping into The Simpsons.

Their interview with Springfield radio station is full of the winning banter (“we are big in Bulgaria”) that made 1984 spoof documentary This Is Spinal Tap a cult success.

4. Michael Jackson (1991)

Playing the role of hospital inmate Leon Kompowsky, Jackson’s performance in this 1991 episode was more of a supporting character than a mere cameo.

Believing Leon’s false claim that he is Michael Jackson, Homer invites the gentle giant to Springfield where his arrival causes quite a stir.

5. Coldplay (2010)

Coldplay have never had a problem poking fun at themselves.

In this episode, they plan an arena concert solely for Homer Simpson, after he wins the lotto.

Not caring for their on-stage theatrics, Homer tests the nerves of frontman Chris Martin after frequently halting the performance to ask inane questions.

6. Lady Gaga (2012)

If you know your Lady Gaga trivia, then her episode was a real treat.

Arriving to Springfield on her tour train, The Lady Gaga Express, the singer is shocked to see residents depressed and stays in the city to lift their spirits.

The episode parodies many of Gaga's exuberant fashion choices over the years. The winning segment is Homer eating her famed meat dress.

7. Zooey Deschanel (2013)

Zooey Deschanel delivers one of the oddest bossa nova tunes on record with lyrics about an ex who was "horrid" and how she "can't even tell where his hair meets his forehead".

Watching the live performance is an exasperated Bart, who curses the fact he brought Deschanel a rhyming dictionary.

8. NSync (2001)

Fair game to NSync for appearing in an episode that skewers boy bands.

With his rebel streak, Bart is invited to join the manufactured pop group Party Posse, whose rise to stardom is aided by the kind of studio trickery Milli Vanilli would have been proud of.

On tour they meet NSync and a friendly rivalry ensues.

9. Tom Jones (1992)

Tom Jones was held captive by Mr Burns after failing to help the businessman land Marge Simpson's affections.

The episode ends with Jones delivering a private performance to Homer and Marge, while chained under the watchful eye of Mr Burns.

"Get help love," he pleads to Marge amid It’s Not Unusual. "Get me a hacksaw, anything."

10. The Baha Men (2002)

This was probably the most inconsequential guest appearance of the entire series.

The pop group appeared on the show two years after the release of novelty tune Who Let the Dogs Out.

The whole premise of their appearance is to sing various versions of the hit.

Updated: April 25, 2021 12:49 PM

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