For more than two decades, “Simpsons” fans debated whether that really was the voice of the singer, who died in 2009 at the age of 50. A credit for the character at the end of the episode read “John Jay Smith.”
“Hello? Who is this?” the character asks, as Homer Simpson’s son, Bart, picks up the phone.
“I’m Bart Simpson, who the hell are you?” Bart replies.
“I’m Michael Jackson,” he said.
“Michael Jackson? No way,” Bart said.
“The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening admitted fans weren’t just hearing things if they recognized a familiar voice in a 1991 episode involving a patient at a mental institution.
Many fans thought they heard Michael Jackson’s voice in the episode titled, “Stark Raving Dad.” In the episode, the psychiatric patient called the Simpson’s home and introduced himself as Michael Jackson.
Groening also said that Michael Jackson’s name never appeared in the credits due to a dispute with his record label. “He did do the show. He didn’t want credit for it, it was some kind of deal with his record company or whatever,” Groening said. “When it came time to do the songs, he had a sound-a-like singer and he stood there and watched the guy—and he was so nervous—who had to to sound like Michael Jackson.” Groening also revealed that Jackson was credited under the pseudonym John Jay Smith.