By Naomi Clarke, PA Entertainment Reporter
The Simpsons’ producer has said Boris Johnson was a “character right for satire” but America’s “own issues” provided enough content for the sitcom.
The US cartoon has cameoed many famous faces over the years including former prime minister Sir Tony Blair, Sir Paul McCartney and recently singer Billie Eilish.
One of the show’s writers and executive producers Al Jean told the PA news agency that they would have featured Mr Johnson but that it was “too late” following his resignation.
He added: “He definitely was a character right for satire but we had our own issues in America.”
Jean said that the number of celebrities who have agreed to feature on the long-running show “astounds” him but said that there were some figures on his cameo bucket list who have eluded them so far.
“Many of the ones that I’d say would be a dream are never going to be on, like John Lennon or Neil Armstrong,” he said.
“We had tried to get a few US presidents, not recently, and they said no so that was the sort of like the Holy Grail we never found.”
The series, a satirical depiction of US life through the Simpson family, first debuted in 1989 and has gone on to produce 34 seasons.
Jean said: “It parodies a family and no matter where you live in the world, you come from a family.
“If you’re outside America I think The Simpsons kind of makes fun of Americans a little bit in a good way and if you’re American you relate.
“And no matter who you are, there’s a character you can relate to on The Simpsons, if you’re smart it’s Lisa, if you’re kind of weird it’s Mo. There’s something for everyone.”
The show has now moved to streaming giant Disney+, which Jean said the team are “really happy” about as he feels there is “no better place” to reach new audiences of children and older viewers.
— Disney+ (@DisneyPlus) September 8, 2022
As part of Disney+ Day, a special short film, Welcome To The Club, saw Lisa Simpson initially wanting to become a Disney princess, but after meeting some of the most notorious villains, she is surprised to learn being bad just might be more fun.
Jean told PA that one of the reasons they took the story in this direction is because they felt villains are “a lot more fun”.
“You remember the names of the villains like Jafar but you don’t remember the name of the king in Aladdin,” he said.
“Villains have real human desires and express their emotions and if you look at something like Wicked on Broadway it’s about villains having a good side.
“And so we thought ‘Oh this would be a lot more fun to write than Lisa joining the Disney princesses’.”
The writer said he has been “amazed” to hear so many women over the years say that they see the character of Lisa as a heroine or role model.
He added: “Yeardley Smith who plays Lisa, so fantastic, and is so aware of this and so blown away by it.
“To work on something where people consider it one of their role models in life is great and daunting.”
The Simpsons’ new short, Welcome To The Club is available on Disney+.