Branson gets the call to play "Mr. Burns’ nosy neighbor"
They say you haven’t ‘made it’ – i.e., reached the peak of your career- until you’ve had your Simpsons cameo. And even though Richard Branson was depicted in a season 22 episode alongside fellow billionaire Mark Zuckerberg, his voice has never featured.
But now it has. The Virgin overlord will star as himself in an upcoming episode due to air early next year. “Richard Branson is the Flanders to Mr. Burns,” executive producer Al Jean told EW. “He’s Mr. Burns’ nosy neighbor.”
Harry Shearer, voice of Kent Brockman, Mr. Burns, Younger Burns and Smithers, finally won his first Emmy award for The Simpsons recently. After learning about the award, Shearer, who was asleep when the news was announced, said: "I want to thank the Academy, for this incredible honor, and for the impeccable timing” – a subtle jibe there at receiving his long-awaited Emmy while he was out of the country.
But with that Emmy, Shearere completes a remarkable record for the Simpsons cast – ever primary actor now has one to speak of. It was also the first win in the Best Character Voice-Over category since it was divided from narration.
"Family Guy" producer Rich Appel recently said that "The Simpsons" writers were invited to read the script for the upcoming Simpsons/Family Guy crossover episode and offer creative input with their team. "We sent them the script, and I think between Jim [Brooks], Matt [Groening], and Al [Jean], they had one or two lines in the hour-long episode they asked us to tweak. They gave us free rein," said Appel.
Nick Offerman, Sarah Silverman, David Hyde Pierce, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Ross, Jane Fonda are also set to provide celebrity cameos for this season of The Simpsons.
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