Many believe that the first 10 seasons of The Simpsons were by far their finest. Including us. While not necessarily the best (hello, Albert Brooks as Hank Scorpio(n), Joe Mantegna as Fat Tony, Dustin Hoff- uh, ‘Sam Etic’ as Mr Bergstrom…), here’s a list of guests who we think were the coolest real world folk to invade the first 10 seasons of the overbite-ridden world of The Simpsons.
(as Homer’s space coyote spirit guide)
Episode: El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (Season 8)
Who? Legendary – and sadly late – rock/country singer with a voice that James Earl Jones would envy, plus a penchant for gigging in prisons and covering Nine Inch Nails tracks incredibly well.
Where? While Homer’s tripping out on Guatemalan insanity peppers he stumbles across a sagely, mysterious coyote hovering in the sky, suggesting that he find his soul mate.
Quote: (Gnawing Homer’s leg) “Sorry. I AM a coyote…”
(as Mr Burns’ long-lost son, Larry)
Episode: Burns, Baby Burns (Season 8)
Who? Classic boggle-eyed comedian who was famous for his “I don’t get no respect” shtick and deliverer of the best comeback to a bum-burp ever, “Hey, did somebody step on a duck?!”.
Where? A train breaks down in Buttbonk, Nowhere, right near Larry’s isolated souvenir stand. Trying to hawk his wares to the train’s occupants, he encounters Mr Burns, who seems familiar…
Quote: “Whoa! This guy’s got more bread than a prison meatloaf!”
(as the Rubber Baby Buggy Bumper Babysitting Service receptionist)
Episode: Some Enchanted Evening (Season 1)
Who? A cartoon voice artist from the golden age, who sadly departed the world at the young age of 99, June gave her voice to pretty much EVERYTHING animated from Looney Tunes to one of The Simpsons biggest influences, The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle. She was also born in Springfield!
Where? Homer’s taking Marge out for a night on the town, so a babysitter is required. They discover that their reputation precedes them…
Quote: “The Simpsons? Lady, you’ve GOT to be kidding!”
Episode: Rosebud (Season 5)
Who? Seminal (thank you pretentious rock word dictionary) bubblegum rockers who were instrumental in the creation and rise of New York punk in the ’70s.
Where? Somebody had to be booked to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ at Burnsy’s party – perhaps a more apt choice could have been made, but it did inspire a classic Burns line involving the Rolling Stones…
Quote: “I’d just like to say, this gig sucks!”
Episode: Homerpalooza (Season 7)
Who? Seminal – damn, we used that already – OK, hugely influential feedback wranglers who pretty much provide the link between The Ramones and Pixies on the alternative rock evolutionary scale.
Where? Raiding hoary ’70s rocker Peter Frampton’s esky at the Hullabalooza music festival for watermelon… (and performing the best ever cover of The Simpsons theme over the end credits.)
Quote: “Aww, c’mon Mr Frampton, you’re not gonna eat ALL that watermelon.”
Episode: Brush with Greatness (Season 2)
Who? Duh, he was the drummer in a little ’60s beat combo who called themselves The Beatles. They had a few hits. He also likes to say “Peace and love” a lot. An awful lot.
Where? Still ploughing steadily through bags of fan mail dating back to the 1960s, when he comes across a portrait of himself, painted by Marge as a teenager.
(as Number One (of the Stonecutters, not the Enterprise.))
Episode: Homer the Great (Season 2)
Who? Naked bonced Shakespearean actor and possessor of golden tonsils who went from the crampy confines of the stage to the vast voluminousness of space (what do you mean Trek wasn’t real???)
Where? As Grand Poobah of the Springfield chapter of the Stonecutters, a secret society that Homer stumbles upon when wondering why others he knows have life cushier than him.
Quote: “Now, let’s all get drunk and play ping pong!”
(as John, “fruity” proprietor of Cockamamie’s, a kitsch store at Springfield Mall – although he’s really kind of playing himself.)
Episode: Homer’s Phobia (Season 8)
Who? Pencil-moustachioed auteur who was responsible for some of the trashiest – yet perversely fun – flicks ever, usually starring his female impersonator friend Divine. Also wrote the original, less singing and dancing 1988 version of Hairspray.
Where? Oh, we kind of gave it away up above – he runs a store full of kitschy memorabilia, which the Simpsons visit when Marge has to sell her “heirloom” Civil War doll to pay a gas bill.
Quote: “Uh-oh, somethin’s gonna die!”
Episode: Whacking Day (Season 8)
Who? Amply-girthed American soul singer, cruelly (but funnily) nicknamed ‘the Walrus of Love’. He was HUGE in the ’70s in more ways than one, and believed by many to be THE artist to play to get a date “in the mood”. Although South Park’s Chef may disagree.
Where? As the Grand Marshall of Whacking Day festivities, introduced by the ever-reliable Mayor Quimby as ‘Larry’ White. He reappears later to help Lisa and Bart give safe harbour to some slithery beasties…
Quote: “I love the sexy slither of a lady snake. Ohhhhhhhh baby!”
Episode: Mr Plow (Season 4)
Who? The best Batman of them all to many Bat-fans, he was both Bruce Wayne and the titular Batman in the 1960s campy classic TV series. Sadly he has also passed away – holy missed idol, Batman!
Where? Doing an appearance at an auto show alongside the Batmobile, as the camera ever-so-slowly tilts on an angle…
Quote: “And I didn’t need moulded plastic to improve my physique. Pure West.”