The Simpsons are well known for having guest stars, so much so that overusing and under-utilising them has become a frequent criticism of the later seasons. When done right though, the guest stars can be a brilliant addition to the cast.
Some of the most famous guest stars, like Lyle Lanley or Frank Grimes, are actually played by Simpsons regulars, in these examples Phil Hartman and Hank Azaria. Other times, guest stars like Rodney Dangerfield (who played Larry Burns) guest star as brilliant one off characters.
Here though, we’re taking a look at the characters who were actually allowed to play themselves. Congratulations.
Though little walk on appearances or episodes built around celebrities are a big part of modern day frustration with the show, some episodes fold the celebrities in seamlessly, making them feel a natural part of Springfield. These characters get enough time to shine without hogging the spotlight, and manage to get in some great laughs too.
Though celebrity appearances might rightly be criticised on The Simpsons, let’s give credit where it’s due. When they get it right, they hit it out of the park like Darryl Strawberry.
10. Linda Rondstat
Linda Rondstat isn’t often talked about as one of the great Simpsons celebrity cameos, but she really should be. She appears in one of the all time great episodes, Mr. Plow, helping Barney with his Plow King song.
The legendary episode sees Barney steal Homer’s business, with his commercial attacking Mr Plow - he’s a loser, and I think he is boozer.
Rondstat adds a touch of class to proceedings, and makes the song one of the most iconic in Simpsons history. She’s a little drowned out by the rest of the episode being so wonderful, but compared to a lot of the modern day misfires, Linda Rondstat is a brilliant addition. Mr Plow is up there with the likes of Last Exit To Springfield as early benchmarks of the show’s quality.
It’s difficult to comprehend when you see the results, but Season 4 of The Simpsons was made with the smallest crew the show ever had, and so the episode’s writer Jon Vitti was sent to San Francisco to record Rondstat’s lines.
He’s since commented that hearing Rondstat sing Plow King in Spanish was his favourite memory of the show. Given Rondstat’s lyrical voice, that’s no real surprise.