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August 27, 2015

Which celebs will be shoehorned into Simpsons episodes this year?

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 25th 2006 2:06PM
Fat TonyYou know, I used to love hearing the yearly announcement about which major celebrities will lend their voices to the upcoming season of The Simpsons. I think I liked it because I knew the writers would make good use of those voices, either making them a new character or somehow integrating a cartoon version of the celebrity into the plot (for instance: "Hi, I'm Billy Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins." "I'm Homer Simpson, smiling politely."). But it seems like lately the list just shows how "with it" the producers of the long-running series still are, and the voices seem to be somehow forced into the episodes, either in pop culture asides or something the family watches on TV.

This year's list is no exception. Fox announced that the following celebrities will lend their voices for the show's 18th season: The White Stripes, Dr. Phil, Natalie Portman, Kiefer Sutherland, Tom Wolfe, Gore Vidal, Michael Chabon and Jonathan Franzen. Also, Joe Pantoliano and Michael Imperioli will appear as Fat Tony's henchmen (Fat Tony, of course, has been voiced by Joe Mantegna since the beginning of the series). That last bit particularly screams "shoehorning", because Fat Tony's henchmen have been voiced by cast regulars for the last 17 years; why give them celebrity voices now?

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I just wanted to say that I didn't even read this post, but found the title to be pitch perfect. So bully to you, Joel, for that.

Now then, good or not, I'm glad The Simpsonos is still on the air. There are some things in life that are comforting simply in their continued existence.

Plus, the worst episode of The Simpsons is still better television than any Family Guy if for no other reason then they actually try to tell stories instead of simply a series of random occurances strung together by... I don't know, commercial breaks?

July 26 2006 at 2:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

A lot of people watched "Webster," too. No acounting for taste.

July 25 2006 at 4:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Can´t wait to see a 24 joke. A lot of people still watch the show, otherwise they wouldn´t be on their 18th season.

July 25 2006 at 3:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Bah, humbug, Scott...

The Simpsons is still one of the funniest, and most endearing, shows on television. Hell, just from a Sunday Night Fox standpoint, it's funnier than "Family Guy" and "American Dad". I think it's just become hip to hate on The Simpsons, a hate that has no real basis in reality. Familiarity breeds contempt, and all that...

Anyways, I'm intrigued by how they will utilize Michael Chabon & Jonathan Franzen within the show. Perhaps Marge will write another best-selling "bodice-ripper" and appear on a panel of authors at some book convention. Maybe they'll even bring back Thomas Pynchon for that episode...And while they're at it, they ought to corral that old curmudgeon Vonnegut as well, and really do an absurdly high-brow episode...

July 25 2006 at 3:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michael Shapiro

Scott, Watch out, just want to admonish you Joel will give you negative stars for voicing your own opinion, even though he gets paid for this gig.

I agree with Scott, the show has become so trite and expected, just like Futurama has always been. Even a great show like Seinfield, knew when there time was up, that being said...Simpsons should just go away.

July 25 2006 at 3:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

People still watch "The Simpsons"? Didn't that show stop being funny like 10 years ago? Every season I try one or two, and can't believe how bland & awful it is now.

July 25 2006 at 2:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Keifer Sutherland would probably be doing a 24 parody. that would be cool.

July 25 2006 at 2:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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