10 Memorable Musical Cameos on ‘The Simpsons’

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

In a musician’s career, there are few achievements bigger than selling millions of albums, winning a Grammy, or being knighted by royalty. Being transformed into a yellow-tinged toon and dropped in Springfield (the hometown of The Simpsons) certainly tops that list.

Let’s take a look at ten cameos from musicians that had the honor of being transformed on The Simpsons.

1. Ringo Starr in “Brush with Greatness,” Season 2 Episode 18

The first of the Fab Four to appear in a coveted guest spot on The Simpsons was Ringo Starr. The former Beatle portrayed himself, determined to answer decades worth of fan mail that had piled up over the years. See what Marge sent the drummer during her high school days in the season 2 episode, “Brush with Greatness.”

2. Aerosmith in “Flaming Moe’s,” Season 3 Episode 10

Some artists play Madison Square Garden, some play Springfield, and some have the great fortune to play both in their careers. After the promise of free pickled eggs, rock titans Aerosmith begrudgingly take the stage at Flaming Moe’s to play “Walk This Way.”

3. Barry White in “Whacking Day,” Season 4 Episode 20

When the annual Springfield tradition of “Whacking Day” rolls around, Lisa is determined to save the snakes from being clubbed. The only person with enough bass to save the reptiles? Barry White.

4. Dolly Parton in “Sunday, Cruddy Sunday,” Season 10 Episode 12

Another star comes to the rescue in “Sunday, Cruddy Sunday” when Homer and his friends get thrown in the stadium jail after trying to rush the entrance at the Super Bowl. Dolly Parton walks by the holding cell and helps them escape with her extra strength make-up remover.

Watch the trademark Dolly sass she throws back at the belligerent group in the video below.

5. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in “How I Spent My Strummer Vacation,” Season 14 Episode 2

Few things make for good television like celebrities poking fun at themselves. In the episode, “How I Spent My Strummer Vacation,” Homer realizes his childhood dream of becoming a rockstar, so he attends The Rolling Stones Rock N’ Roll Fantasy Camp with some fellow Sprigfielders.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards lead the camp in this star-studded episode also featuring Elvis Costello, Lenny Kravitz, Tom Petty, and Brian Setzer.

6. Lady Gaga in “Lisa Goes Gaga,” Season 23 Episode 22

Lisa wants to change her fate, aiming for popularity in school. With the help of Lady Gaga, whose mission it is to cheer up the town of Springfield, she just might achieve it. Listen to Lisa’s Gaga-backed track “Superstar,” below, from the episode “Lisa Goes Gaga.”

7. Sammy Hagar in “Covercraft,” Season 26 Episode 8

A mid-life crisis leads Homer to form a cover band, Covercraft, with the other dads in Springfield. Their breakthrough success attracts the attention of another band that ropes in Covercraft’s star performer, Apu. Watch the rock gods … and Sammy Hagar look down upon Homer and laugh at his misfortune.

8. Paul & Linda McCartney in “Lisa the Vegetarian,” Season 7 Episode 5

Lisa is ridiculed by her family and peers for choosing to be a vegetarian, however, fellow herbivores Apu, and Paul and Linda McCartney, offer her a new vegetarian outlook.

Listen to Apu’s rendition of “Sgt. Pepper” and let us know if you think it holds up to The Beatles’ classic. (Comment below)

9. U2 in “Trash of the Titans,” Season 9 Episode 22

To appear hip to the folks of Springfield, Homer crashes U2’s performance to promote his campaign for sanitation commissioner. Bono gets behind Homer’s speech about waste management while the remainder of the band heads to Moe’s for a drink.

10. Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth, Cypress Hill, and Peter Frampton in “Homerpalooza,” Season 7 Episode 24

Homer shows off his rock and roll side after his kids tease him for his taste in music. To prove his coolness, he takes Bart and Lisa to the music festival, Hullabalooza, where he discovers a hidden talent. Homer then hits the road with the traveling festival, encountering several rocking guests.

Watch the bumbling Homer interact with Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth, and more stars at The Simpsons’ take on Lollapalooza.

Photo: Katarina Benzova / ID PR

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