Grammy Nominations 2017
'Simpsons' Showrunner Shares Pages From Lost Prince Episode
There are unending reasons to mourn the death of Prince. One of the geekiest, though, is the news that emerged over the weekend that we were real close to having an entire episode of The Simpsons devoted to the Purple One.
According the Australian site The Music, season five of the long-running Fox cartoon was to contain a sequel of sorts to the wildly popular season three ep, "Stark Raving Mad," which featured a New Jersey bricklayer named Leon Kompowsky who believed he was Michael Jackson. As part of the easter-egg commentary for that episode, writer Mike Reiss explained that the Prince-centric show was to feature the return of Kompowsky, who was now convinced he was Prince.
There was allegedly a full script written for the episode, which may or may not have included an uncredited rewrite by then-staff writer Conan O'Brien, and it was sent to Prince, who reportedly had detailed wardrobe notes. At some point, the whole affair reportedly fell apart over script issues.
The mythological tale was confirmed on Friday by Simpsons writer/showrunner Al Jean, who took to Twitter to clarify any confusion over the never-to-be episode. Jean said the Prince show was written by a pair of freelance writers based on an idea from series co-developer Jim Brooks, with rewrites by O'Brien.
@TheSimpsons original draft by Ian Deitchman and Kristin Rusk based on idea by Jim Brooks uncredited rewrite by Conan— Al Jean (@AlJean) April 23, 2016
Better still, Jean revealed that Kompowsky (who was originally voiced by Jackson) wasn't just going to think he was the King and Prince of pop, but also a series of other musical icons.
@TheSimpsons at points in the draft Kompowsky believed he was Bobby Goldsboro Roberta Flack and Leo Sayer— Al Jean (@AlJean) April 23, 2016
The best part? Jean then started a three-day spree of posting pages from the script, which include Lisa's frustrating attempts to score Prince tickets and Prince admitting to Selma that even he didn't watch one of his own movies.
On Sunday, Jean couldn't help posting one more page, in which Prince tells Lisa he wrote a song for her birthday.