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Video screenshot via Simpsons Clips

Coinciding with Michael Jackson’s 60th birthday, The Simpsons creator Matt Groening has confirmed theories that the King of Pop had voiced a character in a 27-year-old episode.

Suspicions arose after an episode titled ‘Stark Raving Dad’ aired in 1991. Here, ‘Homer’ (Dan Castellaneta) checks into a mental institution, where he meets a large-set man by the name of ‘Leon Kompowsky’. Amusingly, the latter—who has a remarkably soothing voice—claims to be Michael Jackson.

The supposed ‘Michael Jackson’ phones in to the ‘Simpson’ residence and speaks to a suspicious ‘Bart’, who quizzes him on a few pieces of trivia relating to the star. The patient answers everything correctly, and ‘Bart’ proclaims, “You are Michael Jackson!”

In a recent interview with ABC’s news comedy show The Weekly with Charlie Pickering, Groening finally revealed the name of the voice behind ‘Leon Kompowsky’.

“You don’t have to put it in quotes,” Groening said. “We really did have [Michael Jackson].”

He recounted, “I was sitting in the office late at night. The phone rings, and I pick it up. [I say], ‘Hello?’ [He says], ‘Hi, this is Michael Jackson.’”

Not believing the caller, Groening hung up. “He has a voice like somebody [was] doing a Michael Jackson bit,” the cartoonist said.

The phone rang again and the caller confirmed his identity as the real Michael Jackson. “[H]e said that he loved ‘Bart’ and wanted to be on the show,” Groening added.

In spite of the major appearance, the part was attributed to a ‘John Jay Smith’ in the credit roll. This was because Jackson had a deal with his record company that restricted him from being named.

In one scene, ‘Leon’ and ‘Bart’ sing ‘Lisa’ a birthday song. However, a soundalike had to sub-in for Jackson’s part due to contract limitations. Even till this point, Jackson oversaw his replacement’s recording to ensure the latter’s voice resembled his.

“The guy was so nervous,” Groening recalled.

The rumours circled every school playground in the 90s – was M.J. on #TheSimpsons? @Briggs ask the man himself, Matt Groening. #TheWeekly

— The Weekly (@theweeklytv) August 29, 2018

[via Syfy, videos via various sources, cover image via Simpsons Clips]

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