Behind the Screens with Joshua Maloni
By now, you'd think everyone in Hollywood would welcome a chance to voice a character on "The Simpsons."
To say the show is iconic is like saying water is wet or Homer likes doughnuts.
"The Simpsons" is the longest-running scripted show in American television history. It's also the longest-running animated program and longest-running cartoon. In 1999, Time magazine called "The Simpsons" the best television series of the 20th century. The show has more Emmys than a museum, its 500-plus episodes have netted millions (if not hundreds of millions) of viewers, and its promotional tie-ins have flooded the shelves of retail stores around the world.
Everyone from Phil Hartman to Steve Martin to Jackie Mason to Meryl Streep to Glenn Close to Winona Ryder has voiced a character on "The Simpsons." Tony Bennett was the first guest to appear as himself. Paul and Linda McCartney once taught Lisa a lesson on culinary tolerance, while Aerosmith and U2 have patronized Moe's Tavern. Magic Johnson once "Pulled a Homer." David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reprised their "X Files" characters in one episode, and Johnnie Carson paid tribute to Krusty the Clown in another.
Paul Newman, Bob Hope, Elizabeth Taylor, Adam West, Leonard Nimoy: Yup, each stopped in Springfield.
And yet, for whatever reason, there are stars who have yet to go yellow.
"Yes, occasionally (we are told "no")," Executive Producer Al Jean said. "I've said before, there are people that even asked to be on, and then we wrote them a part, and then they declined. I won't name them. Alright, I will: Jon Bon Jovi."
Of the multitude of guest stars to grace "The Simpsons," Jean said he has "a bunch" of favorite appearances.
"I'd have to say Phil Hartman was absolutely wonderful," he said "Kelsey Grammar has been incredibly memorable in every part that he's done for us. Anne Hathaway won an Emmy for her role on the show. Kiefer Sutherland was terrific."
In Sunday's season 24 premiere, Zooey Deschanel, Anne Hathaway, Natalie Portman and Sarah Michelle Gellar all reprised their roles as Bart's paramours. Jon Lovitz will be featured in next week's annual "Treehouse of Horror" episode. Additional guest stars this season include Edward Norton, Janet Reno, Benedict Cumberbatch, Steve Carell and Tina Fey.
"The Simpsons" airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on FOX.