Julian Assange joins outcast Simpsons for 500th episode

Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:02pm EST
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Wikileaks comes to Springfield as controversial figure Julian Assange joins the cast of "The Simpsons" for their milestone 500th episode on Sunday, which will see America's famous animated family being banished from their hometown.

Wikileaks founder Assange, who is currently under house arrest Britain and fighting extradition to Sweden for questioning over alleged sex crimes, recorded his cameo on "The Simpsons" over the phone from a secret location after the casting director tracked him down and asked him to guest star.

"Obviously he's a controversial figure and that was discussed before we agreed to let him do it. But it's a funny cameo and it makes no judgments about the larger case about him," Al Jean, executive producer of "The Simpsons", told reporters in a conference call.

Assange is the latest big name to be added to the show's prominent guest-list, which has included a Who's Who of pop culture voices including Elizabeth Taylor, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner and former British prime minister Tony Blair.

In the trailers for the upcoming milestone episode, Springfield's Mayor Quimby is seen announcing the results of a vote to get rid of "Springfield's un-ending nightmare, The Simpsons," as the family get kicked out of town.

Producers have not revealed other details or how Assange is worked into the plot.

"There's a lot of little touches marking the milestone in the way we like to celebrate and mock something, and then there's a really nice emotional story about the family finding out how their neighbors really feel about them and it's not good and they have to deal with that," said Jean.

TWO DECADES OF "D'OHS"   Continued...

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrives at the Supreme Court in Westminster, on the second day of his extradition appeal, in London, February 2, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Winning