'The Simpsons' Premieres First Episode Featuring American Sign Language and Deaf Voice Actor

Deaf actor John Autry II guest starred as Monk, the son of Lisa’s late saxophone mentor.

Entertainment
7,895 Hypes 3 Comments

The Simpsons premiered its first ever episode that featured American Sign Language (ASL) and a deaf voice actor on Sunday.

Entitled “The Sound of Bleeding Gums,” the episode saw Lisa Simpson befriend Monk, the deaf son of her saxophonist mentor Bleeding Gums Murphy, as he wanted to get a cochlear implant. Deaf actor John Autry II guest starred as Monk, who episode writer Loni Steele Sosthand pitched to executive producers James L. Brooks and Al Jean. “Jim and Al very much got on board and saw what a gem he was,” she told Variety. “The character has little personal moments from my childhood with my brother but is also very much influenced by John.”

“It’s so incredible,” Autry said of his guest role. “It’s life-changing equality and participation. This can impact change for all of us. It’s about hard of hearing and hearing characters coming together. It’s a part of history.”

Sosthand added that the episode was inspired by her family, “I’m mixed race; my father’s Black and jazz was big in our house.” She continued, “We grew up in the suburbs, and it was a way for my dad to bring in that aspect of our culture. But when I think about music, I also think about my brother, who was born deaf. When we were talking about this Bleeding Gums character in our initial brainstorms, we thought, wouldn’t it be cool if Lisa discovers this whole other side of his life. That led to him having a son, and then we based that character at least somewhat on my brother. And the story grew from there.”

She further revealed that she got her brother Eli’s approval for the script, as she also took inspiration from the real life events of their parents finding out that he was hearing impaired, then translated that to Bleeding Gums discovering that Monk was deaf. Eli and other deaf actors, such as Kathy Buckley and Kaylee Arellano, Ian Mayorga and Hazel Lopez of the nonprofit No Limits, also contributed to the episode.

As for the characters having only four fingers, Sosthand was confident that featuring ASL could still be feasible. “That was a little tricky, especially because the one thing we’re translating is Shakespeare,” she said. “But I think we pulled it off.”

Elsewhere in entertainment, Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul will both appear in the final season of Better Call Saul.

Read Full Article

What to Read Next

The Weeknd To Guest Star in Upcoming 'The Simpsons' Episode
Entertainment

The Weeknd To Guest Star in Upcoming 'The Simpsons' Episode

Premiering on March 20.

Levi's and 'The Simpsons' Immortalize Fans' Favorite Springfield Moments for SS22
Fashion

Levi's and 'The Simpsons' Immortalize Fans' Favorite Springfield Moments for SS22

Delivering a nostalgic collaborative collection.

Watch The Weeknd Guest Star As Orion Hughes in 'The Simpsons'
Entertainment

Watch The Weeknd Guest Star As Orion Hughes in 'The Simpsons'

Owner of streetwear brand “Slipreme.”


atmos and SECRET BASE Collaborate With 'The Simpsons' For X-Ray Bart Figure
Design

atmos and SECRET BASE Collaborate With 'The Simpsons' For X-Ray Bart Figure

Featuring a skeletonized left half.

Apple's iOS 16 Rumored to Feature Better Notifications and Enhanced Health Tracking
Tech

Apple's iOS 16 Rumored to Feature Better Notifications and Enhanced Health Tracking

But there won’t be any radical change in user interface.

On Adds Extra Cushioning and Support to the Cloudrunner
Footwear

On Adds Extra Cushioning and Support to the Cloudrunner

Featuring new support zones, extra breathability and a new CloudTec construction.

Highs and Lows' HAL STUDIOS® Strips Back the ASICS GEL-1130
Footwear

Highs and Lows' HAL STUDIOS® Strips Back the ASICS GEL-1130

The soon-coming collaboration takes a “maximal minimalism” approach.

Bored & Hungry, The First Bored Ape Yacht Club Restaurant Has Officially Opened
Food & Beverage

Bored & Hungry, The First Bored Ape Yacht Club Restaurant Has Officially Opened

The first restaurant to accept $APE (ApeCoin).

Joe Freshgoods and Kawhi Leonard Star in New Balance's First "Conversations Amongst Us" Campaign
Footwear

Joe Freshgoods and Kawhi Leonard Star in New Balance's First "Conversations Amongst Us" Campaign

In a short film titled, ‘NOD.’


Artisans de Genève Reveals Custom Rolex Daytona "Rusty" With Unique Oxidized Dial
Watches

Artisans de Genève Reveals Custom Rolex Daytona "Rusty" With Unique Oxidized Dial

To reflect its aged look.

Makoto Shinkai's New Film 'Suzume no Tojimari' Receives Premiere Date
Entertainment

Makoto Shinkai's New Film 'Suzume no Tojimari' Receives Premiere Date

Marking the ‘Your Name.’ and ‘Weathering With You’ director’s first movie in three years.

Bandai Namco's New BTS Partnership Turns the K-pop Group Into Tamagotchi Pets
Gaming

Bandai Namco's New BTS Partnership Turns the K-pop Group Into Tamagotchi Pets

Combining the K-pop phenomenon with 2000 nostalgia.

'Sherlock' Creators Say Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman Aren't Interested in Fifth Season
Entertainment

'Sherlock' Creators Say Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman Aren't Interested in Fifth Season

Both actors have moved on to bigger projects.

Ford GT Holman Moody Edition Pays Tribute to '66 Le Mans Podium Sweep
Automotive

Ford GT Holman Moody Edition Pays Tribute to '66 Le Mans Podium Sweep

Referencing the Ford GT40 Mk II sportscar featured in the film ‘Ford v. Ferrari. ‘

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Gain access to exclusive interviews with industry creatives, think pieces, trend forecasts, guides and more.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Looks like you’re using an ad-blocker

We charge advertisers instead of our readers. Support us by whitelisting our site.

Whitelist Us

How to Whitelist Us

screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Under “Pause on this site” click “Always”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock Plus icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Block ads on – This website” switch off the toggle to turn it from blue to gray.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlocker Ultimate icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Switch off the toggle to turn it from “Enabled on this site” to “Disabled on this site”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the Ghostery icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the “Ad-Blocking” button at the bottom. It will turn gray and the text above will go from “ON” to “OFF”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the UBlock Origin icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the large blue power icon at the top.
  3. When it turns gray, click the refresh icon that has appeared next to it or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the icon of the ad-blocker extension installed on your browser.You’ll usually find this icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. You may have more than one ad-blocker installed.
  2. Follow the instructions for disabling the ad blocker on the site you’re viewing.You may have to select a menu option or click a button.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.