O.J. Simpson, who is not a murderer but did once go to prison for nine years for trying to steal some sports memorabilia, was once set to make an appearance on the show that bears his name. And not just on any episode, on one of the best ones ever made.
Al Jean, long-serving The Simpsons showrunner, has revealed that Juice turned down he opportunity for a brief cameo in ‘Last Exit To Springfield’, the 17th episode of Season 4 and one of the high points in the show’s history.
The episode aired on 11 March 1993. Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were murdered on 12 June 1994.
Last night Fox aired an interview with Simpson from 2006, when he was pushing his extremely controversial book If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer. The interview was pulled at the time for various reasons (chiefly concerns about who was profiting from a pair of murders), but included in this new documentary, O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession, broadcast coincidentally on the 25th anniversary of ‘Last Exit To Springfield’.
It’s the episode with:
- DENTAL PLAN/LISA NEEDS BRACES
- “It was the best of times, it was the ‘blurst’ of times? You stupid monkey!”
- McBain bursting out of an ice sculpture and annoucing “Ice to see you!” before gunning down an orchestra
- Olden-day nuclear power plant employees smashing atoms by hand
- Grampa Simpson’s finest ever moment: “I needed a new heel for my shoe, so, I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on ‘em. ‘Give me five bees for a quarter,’ you’d say. Now where were we? Oh yeah - the important thing was that I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time…”
- Fake Vomit, Inc
- “Whoops, left the gas on!”
It’s a good one, and tops most lists of the greatest episodes ever. Some disagree.
It wouldn’t have been a huge role: Jean says he was replaced in the role by Dr Joyce Brothers, a famous American advice columnist and TV personality, who only has one line in the final episode (“I brought my own mic!”).
Simpson wasn’t the only big name to turn down a role in that episode. Anthony Hopkins and Clint Eastwood turned down the role of the dentist Dr Wolfe, which was then earmarked for Anthony Perkins (aka Norman Bates from Psycho), who died before recording the part. It eventually went to regular cast member Hank Azaria.
(Image: Getty / Fox)