Over the course of 23 seasons and 500 episodes “The Simpsons” have seen several celebrity guests. From u2 to Tony Bennett, and Johnny Carson to Conan O’Brien, “The Simpsons” have been able to get just about every celebrity guest they’ve ever wanted. On tonight’s 500th epsiode, they’ll get a very reclusive international celebrity, Julian Assange.
But with Assange’s legal troubles, getting him to agree to an appearance (and getting him to record his part) was pretty difficult. But Executive Producer Al Jean said that the show has been able to track down some pretty elusive guests because of the show’s international popularity.
Jean told the LA Times:
“We have these wish lists, and our casting director Bonnie Pietila is amazing at tracking down people like (Thomas) Pynchon, Banksy, now Julian Assange. And usually it’s that we’re “The Simpsons.” Maybe they have a kid that loves it. Maybe they loved it as a kid. Because we are who we are, it’s how we get so many people.”
Broadway World reports that Assange recorded his part at an undisclosed location last Summer. Al Jean said:
“I only talked to (Assange) over the phone and directed him via satellite. It’s really getting into the land of James Bond.”
Jean said that during the Simpson’s 500th episode, the town holds a secret meeting to try to banish the Simpson family from Springfield. The Simpsons go off the grid where they meet Assange, who becomes the new Flanders. Jean said:
“He’s a controversial figure, and there’s a good reason he’s controversial. There was discussion internally whether or not to have him on the show, but ultimately we went ahead and did it. There’s nothing we did that has anything to do with the legal situation that he’s in…We wanted to make sure it was satirical, and he was willing to do that.”
Are you excited for “The Simpsons” 500th episode? Check out all of the couch gags and all of the chalkboard quotes from The Simpsons” first 500 episodes here or watch some previews for the 500th episode below.