The Simpsons has a long and storied catalog of celebrity cameos and guest appearances throughout its 27-season run; Prince cannot be counted among them. But recently unearthed scripts shared by showrunner Al Jean reveal that staff had reached out to the Purple One before, to no avail. The Artist was notoriously guarded and controlling of his image, especially in the media; screenshots of Conan O’Brien’s revised script reveal that the star would have been the butt of some of the jokes and he presumably took issue with the content of the episode. According to the non-continuous pages, the episode centered around Lisa almost winning tickets to a Prince show and Marge’s sister, Selma, professing her admiration of some of TAFKAP’s, er, lesser-known filmography. In the end, Prince’s likeness was used and his influence referenced in multiple gags, but he never lent his vocal talents to the show.
For one of Prince’s more notorious public appearances, look no further than his SNL after-party.
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