Last week, we lost a musical genius and cultural titan, with the passing of Prince. The legacy he left behind him is still being measured, but needless to say it was large, and didn’t just touch upon music, but film as well. “Purple Rain” brought Prince’s personality and blistering songs to the big screen, and it’s still mind-boggling that Warner Bros. ran with his utterly bonkers (and fantastic) soundtrack for Tim Burton‘s “Batman.” However, Prince always moved to the beat of his drum. As the music industry turned to streaming, Prince steadfastly kept most of his catalog off those services, and when it came to “The Simpsons” — another cultural force — he declined to join other celebrities, artists, authors, and musicians from appearing on the show.
As the tributes continue to roll in for Price, longtime “The Simpsons” producer Al Jean shared on Twitter script pages for an abandoned episode that would’ve been a sequel to season three’s classic “Stark Raving Dad.” As fans know, that episode found Homer Simpson committed to a mental institution where he met Leon Kompowsky, a fellow patient who believed he was Michael Jackson (the King Of Pop was uncredited in the role for legal reasons, with an impersonator hired for the singing portions). The sequel would’ve brought back Leon Kompowsky, who this time believed he was Prince.
Apparently, Prince didn’t like the script that came from “The Simpsons” writing team, but he really liked an “alternative version” written by Stan Bradbury. According to the screenwriter, Prince bought the script from him so that “The Simpsons” wouldn’t have to pay Bradbury WGA minimums, and he started writing original songs for the episode. However, “The Simpsons” team were “very, very arrogant” and didn’t want to produce a show from an outside writer. Prince got pissed off, the show was canned, and he never appeared on “The Simpsons” other than in brief animated moments from season seven’s “Radioactive Man” and season twenty’s “Treehouse Of Horror XIX.”
Oh, what could’ve been. Check out the script pages below, along with the amazing “When Doves Cry” moment from “The Simpsons” season six episode “The Lemon Of Troy,” and Charlie Murphy‘s hilarious True Hollywood Story sketch from “Chappelle’s Show.” [The Music/FACT]