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The Simpsons has been on the air for 27 seasons now, and in that time the long-running Fox comedy has covered a lot of topical ground. However, over the weekend, Simpsons executive producer Al Jean took to social media to explain one awesome episode concept that never quite came to fruition. The show went so far as to write a script for an episode featuring Prince, but apparently, they couldn’t get the famous musician to sign on. The good news? We now know what that awesome episode would have featured.
A while back, writer Mike Reiss revealed via DVD commentary that the episode would have simply been called “The Prince Episode.” It would have featured the return of mental patient Leon Kompowsky, who had impersonated Michael Jackson several times earlier in the story. However, this time around Leon would have believed he was Prince. The creative team wrote a full script for the episode; however, apparently there were disagreements about the original episode and a second script was produced that the Simpsons staff didn’t like. The episode then never came together, but we know more about what it would have been like, now.
Because Prince is certainly on everyone’s minds right now, Al Jean remembered the unproduced episode and managed to share some of the scripts with fans via Twitter. There’s a first page, which features a really amusing scene with Lisa trying to procure her own tickets to see Prince:
And, if you are wondering what Prince could possibly have objected to with the original Simpsons script, Al Jean also shared a second page that may have turned the iconic musician off. Here’s another scene from the episode that almost was:
It all would have culminated in a concert that Bart, Lisa and others would have attended during which Prince would have dispensed some invaluable advice:
Prince was never known as an artist who was particularly easy to work with. His clashes with his record label are legendary and the action he took to control his own voice and his own empire is particularly interesting. With that in mind, if he didn’t want to do The Simpsons episode in question, there would be no way to convince him otherwise. Instead, the show ultimately opted to simply reference the famous musician in several episodes, including during one “Treehouse of Horror” in which Homer was signed on as a celebrity assassin and killed Prince with his own guitar. Having a full episode tribute probably would have been better, come to think of it.
Of course, like a lot of crazy-wonderful ideas, this Simpsons episode never came together. Luckily, it meant we got more of Michael Jackson in the Leon Kompowsky role. At the end of the day, there are plenty of great Simpsons moments that are still coming together. You can catch them on Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET, only on Fox.
In addition, here’s what the network still has coming up.