Prince almost shimmied his way into an episode of The Simpsons. It would have been another glitzy addition to his charismatic TV appearances, which include Muppets and New Girl. The performance of Prince, who tragically died last week, on the cartoon would have been extra powerful for its link to Michael Jackson, and a show-runner just tweeted some never-before-seen images of the script.
The "Purple Rain" singer would have accompanied Homer in a 1991 show of Season 3 unofficially titled "The Prince Episode." It would have followed "Stark Raving Dad," in which New Jersey bricklayer Leon Kompowsky mistakenly believes himself to be Michael Jackson. The King of Pop secretly voiced some of the dialogue.
Prince's episode would have seen a return of the Kompowsky character, but this time he would believe himself to be Prince. Writer Mike Reiss revealed in the DVD commentary of the season that the legendary artist was not a fan of the script, originally scribed by Ian Deitchman and Kristin Rusk, for reasons unknown — despite writer Conan O'Brien rewriting it. The Music reported that Reiss said he would have encouraged the people of Springfield to:
"...loosen up, become more flamboyant; everyone becomes more sexually open, they're dressing in paisley."
The singer even sent a page of notes referencing clothes he would wear in each scene of the show. Weirdly, this was about a different episode, written by an unknown party, one Prince was said to have preferred. Unfortunately, the star and the producers couldn't come to an agreement. Sadly, the negotiations were not successful and Prince did not appear in The Simpsons.
Show-runner Bill Oakley wrote on No Homers site in 2008:
It turned out Prince was on a completely different wavelength (imagine!) and actually had a friend of his write a script for the episode instead. No reconciliation was ever reached and the episode never happened.
But we have some of the detail here! Exec. producer Al Jean tweeted some of the actual pages from O'Brien's rewritten script:
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A guy called Stan Bradbury from Michigan posted on The Music article today, claiming he wrote the alternative script. He says it was a parody of The Wizard of Oz but that Prince didn't like it when he found out how similar it was to Jackson's episode. The claim is unverified, but there is an award-winning screenwriter called Stan Bradbury behind the comment:
Although Prince's episode never materialized, he still made iconic appearances several times after this issue, as seen in the images throughout this article. Milhouse referenced his hit song When Doves Cry during a poignant moment when he meets someone who shares his name. In the episode "Radioactive Man," Comic Book Guy messages internet nerds about who will star in a new movie. One of them is Prince. He lives on!
"Is this the untimely end of Milhouse?" Watch the clip here:
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Source: The Music