Can anyone tell me whether it is actually Michael Jackson on the epsisode of the Simpsons when Homer is in the mental institution? He isn’t credited at the end but maybe he wanted to do it incognito. I believe he wrote the ‘Bartman’ song and judging from the calibre of some of the other guests I would say it is not beyond the realms of reality. So does anyone have any info?
The 3rd season DVD collection has this episode, and this is discussed in the commentary. It is indeed MJ himself doing the voice, but for some reason he refused to sing the song. That was done by an impersonator. He did not want to be credited for the episode, so they left his name off, but it was strongly implied that it was really him. He specifically asked to have a scene singing a song with Bart.
Wonder why he was willing to do the voice but not willing to sing?
It was a nice song, by the way.
He was contractually unable to sing.
mobo85 is correct, MJ’s recording contract would not allow him to sing on The Simpsons, so a MJ imitator was used for the singing.
The impersonator is one who’s authorized by Michael. Also, MJ insisted on writing Lisa’s birthday song.
And, this was self-reference by the Simpsons in the episode with the Itchy and Scratchy movie.
Not that Michael Jackson ever needs a rational explanation for his behavior.
I had no idea it was an impersonator singing. As a huge Simpsons fan, I am deeply ashamed.
Let’s see… Michael really, really wanted to do it. But he was contractually unable to put his name to it. So they found an impersonator to do the singing…
Any chance that it actually was Michael, and the song was just credited to the impersonator for contractual reasons? It sure sounds like him.
If it was, Hank Azaria’s a liar. I once saw him on a TV show where he described the taping, and how bizarre it was when Jackson stopped talking and a white guy started singing.
I could sort-of-buy the contractural angle, if Jackson had signed agreements that any paid singing performance required that a fee be paid to his management company or agent, and that the minimal fee was more than the Simpsons producers were willing to pay, or some other show-bizz bullplop.
Dustin Hoffman ducking his credit, though, especially since his episode had a blatant The Graduate parody (“Mrs. Krabapple, you’re trying to seduce me”), continues to mystify me.
Homer: Disco Duck and Fleetwood Mac
Marge: Coming out of my 8-track
Homer/Marge: Michael Jackson still was black–those were the daaaaays!
I forget which cast member it was, but I remember hearing in an interview that the fee to have Micheal Jackson sing is much higher than the fee to have him speak, and they simply didn’t want to pay that much. It actually makes sense to me to be paid more for doing the thing you are famous for; I’m sure Tiger Woods, for example, doesn’t get the same amount of money for a public appearance that he does for playing golf. (I know, I know - Tiger has to win to get paid, but I’m sure you get my point.)
I’m pretty sure this was done for legal/contractual reasons as well, though I don’t remember any details.
Jackson’s name was not “left off the show.” He was credited under a psudonym, John Jay Smith. Also, I believe he also used a historical psudonym for the credit of Happy Birthday, Lisa: the Simpsons album credits the songwriter as W.A. Mozart.
Thanks for all the information…consider my bet won.
Forgive me. I thought Jackson was the white guy.
sorry. couldn’t resist.
“Yo, looney tunes—THIS is Michael Jackson. You’re just some big fat mental patient.”
“You’d be surprised how much I hear that.”
“This is Michael Jackson. I’m here with your father in a mental institution.”
“Uh huh. And is Elvis there with you?”
“Could be. It’s a big hospital.”