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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Simpsons Remember Their Michael Jackson Rehearsal: Sikhs, Nose and All

SimpsonsJackson225.jpgSince Michael Jackson’s tragic death this summer, everyone from Al Sharpton to Heidi Montag has shared their memories of the King of Pop. Now, on the eve of John Ortved’s The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History release, details have emerged about the time the Fox cartoon crew met the singer for an unprecedented location rehearsal. Instead of tiptoeing around the late artist’s strangeness, The Simpsons team recalls the straight-up bizarreness of their 1991 experience, including an implicit “Don’t Stare at His Nose” policy and Jackson’s “sing-along guy.”

The book which hits shelves tomorrow, details the Simpsons rehearsal with Jackson, who appeared as an overweight mental patient convinced that he is the former King of Pop. In preparation for the guest spot, Jackson requested the crew leave the studio to hold a read-through at Jackson’s manager’s house. Writer Wallace Wolodarsky remembers that the entire afternoon was weird, especially the fact that everyone was “served food by Sikhs in white robes and turbans.”

Even in the early nineties, Hank Azaria (voice of Moe and Chief Wiggum) says that he tried to avoid looking at Jackson’s face while talking to him: “I remember even then, staring at his nose, and it was all about, ‘Don’t Stare at His Nose.’ “

So intimidated by the environment and pressure of the situation, editor Brian Roberts tried to avoid all eye contact with Jackson:

“I literally didn’t want to look at him. So I get my head buried in the script, and then at one point in the script he sang, ‘Man in the Mirror,’ and I said, ‘All right. How many times in your life are you sitting next to Michael Jackson and he’s singing “Man in the Mirror?” I just gotta look.’

“So I look over to Michael Jackson, and he wasn’t singing! He had a sing-along guy next to him who was actually singing for him. I couldn’t believe it. I was like, What kinda weird [expletive] is this?”

A “sing-along guy”? Did he look anything like this?

· Jacko Freaked Out Simpsons [New York Post]