Ed Sheeran is ringing in the new year in style. Sure, he had one of 2017’s best-selling albums, toured the world and launched a series of huge radio hits. But let’s be honest, visiting Springfield is kind of a bigger deal than any of that. Ed gets his shot on Sunday’s (Jan. 7) season 29 premiere of The Simpsons, the La La Land parody “Haw-Haw Land,” where he’ll play Lisa’s piano-playing love interest Brendan.
In a brief preview of the cameo, Sheeran pounds the keys (with Lisa on saxophone accompaniment), at one point turning around and, after taking a sip from his grape juicebox, lamenting to his lady love, “you didn’t applaud.” Despite the sweet music the two are making, dad Homer Simpson bangs on the wall from upstairs in the kitchen and whines, “Oh no, they’re playing in time to the beat of my banging!”
“He keeps alternating [between], ‘You’re not that great, but you could be fantastic,’ and she keeps falling for him because of his talent,” executive producer Al Jean told EW in July about Sheeran’s character. There’s actually a love triangle forming as well with Nelson, who tries to impress Lisa with his singing talent. How is Nelson’s voice? “Well, you’ll hear,” says Jean with a chuckle. “He sings ‘Save the Last Dance for Me’ with new lyrics, and he kind of bullies those notes.”
Sheeran will obviously sing a bit in the episode, catching Lisa’s eye and raising the ire of Milhouse, who has been crushing on Lisa for years. “We had a perfect part for him,” said Jean. “So we said, ‘Oh, great, we’ll have him do this!’ And we recorded him over the phone from England.”
Check it out.