AceShowbiz - The Simpsons creator Matt Groening has confirmed reports Michael Jackson appeared on his hit cartoon series.
For years, it was believed the King of Pop's cameo on the show was recorded by an impersonator, but in a new interview with The Weekly, Groening insists he recruited the real deal.
"We really did have him," the animator says, revealing Jackson called him personally and asked to be part of an episode.
"I was sitting in the office late at night, the phone rings and I pick it up," he recalls. "(This voice says), 'Hi, this is Michael Jackson...' He said that he loved Bart (Simpson) and wanted to be on the show."
Groening thought it was a prank call at first, because the late pop star had a voice "that sounds like somebody doing a Michael Jackson bit", but the Thriller legend called back and stayed on the line.
His persistence paid off and the King of Pop appeared in The Simpson's season three premiere episode, titled Stark Raving Dad, as a man who befriends Homer Simpson in a mental institution.
Groening reveals all the spoken parts were recorded by Jackson, but he had to recruit an impersonator to sing for the star to avoid breaching a contract: "He didn't want credit for, or there was some kind of deal with his record company or whatever, so when it came time to sing the songs, he had a sound-a-like singer," he explains.
"He stood there and watched the guy, who was so nervous who had to sound like Michael Jackson, and then he giggled."
Fans of the late King of Pop celebrated his 60th birthday on Wednesday, August 29.