Despite being under house arrest somewhere in Britain, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is still managing to make waves.
Apparently not fully content with having a talk show on a Russian TV network, Assange is boosting his personal brand by making an appearance on The Simpsons.
The controversial spokesman recorded his guest spot last summer for the show’s 500th episode, which is set to air Feb. 19. He is playing himself in the episode, according to Entertainment Weekly.
It seems The Simpsons creator Matt Groening learned about Assange’s interest in appearing on the show, and the producers asked casting director Bonnie Pietila to track him down. His guest spot was subsequently recorded over the phone.
The episode’s plot centers around a conspiracy to kick the Simpsons out of Springfield due to the trouble they’ve caused in the town over the years. Once they hear of such a meeting between the town’s other residents, Homer, Marge, and the kids vanish off the grid for a while, which is when they meet Assange.
Executive Producer Al Jean compares Assange’s character to Ned Flanders, though only in the sense that he lives next door to the Simpsons’ new abode. “The similarities end there… He invites them over for a home movie and it’s an Afghan wedding being bombed,” joked Jean to Entertainment Weekly.
Assange is facing extradition to Sweden on sex crime allegations, and Jean noted there was discussion over whether to have Assange on The Simpsons due to his reputation. However, Jean noted his appearance on the show had nothing to do with his legal situation and is satirical in nature.
As redditor Neato notes, Assange could probably do with some good press after the legal issues that have dogged him over the last few years. Between his Simpsons appearance and his talk show, he’s certainly making himself more visible, and perhaps even more likeable.
The Daily Dot’s somewhat surprised about all of this this. I mean, EW uncovered this news before WikiLeaks? Assange must be slacking at his day job.
Photo by espenmoe