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September 17, 2014

season 18

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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