Tom Waits to play himself on an upcoming Simpsons episode

The singer and songwriter Tom Waits will be playing himself in an episode of The Simpsons, set to air in December. According to The Guardian, the episode will revolve around “preppers,” people who are preparing for a catastrophe that they believe is about to occur:

Waits is apparently the person who introduces Homer to the preppers. Although he doesn’t sing in the episode, fans will recognise the musician’s voice “in a second”, [Simpsons Executive Producer Al] Jean said. Waits, who is well-known as an actor, has previously lent his growl to the CGI short The Monster of Nix, playing a “terrifying swallow”.

Tom Waits helped me get through high school and college. Really, I don’t know what I would have done without his albums (that’s what they used to call collections of songs when I was a kid)– The Heart of Saturday Night, Small Change, Swordfishtrombones, Rain Dogs, and Bone Machine in particular.  And of course The Simpsons is a classic television series.

What would really be awesome would be if they could go back in time 20 years to when Waits was my favorite singer, and The Simpsons was my favorite television show, and do this episode then. I’d be counting the days to December, that’s for sure. As it is, I doubt that this will top Waits’s classic appearance on Fernwood 2Night from 1977, in which he stated, among other things, “I live at Bedlam and Squalor,” and “I’d rather have this bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.” (Click the image below to watch the video.)



And this isn’t the first time Waits has been animated, either. Back in 1979 he appeared in an Academy Award-winning short film called “Tom Waits For No One,” in which he was filmed live and then rotoscoped (which was what we used to have instead of “motion capture“) singing a version of “The One that Got Away” from Small Change. (Click the image to watch the video.)