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Michael Jackson: The pop star, credited as John Jay Smith, voiced the character Leon Kompowsky in the 1991 episode “Stark Raving Dad,” in which Homer encounters Leon (a patient with Jackson-like tendencies) after he is committed to a mental institution.
Michael Jackson: The pop star, credited as John Jay Smith, voiced the character Leon Kompowsky in the 1991 episode "Stark Raving Dad," in which Homer encounters Leon (a patient with Jackson-like tendencies) after he is committed to a mental institution.FOX
Michael Jackson: The pop star, credited as John Jay Smith, voiced the character Leon Kompowsky in the 1991 episode “Stark Raving Dad,” in which Homer encounters Leon (a patient with Jackson-like tendencies) after he is committed to a mental institution.
Leonard Nimoy: Leonard Nimoy made his first cameo as himself in the classic episode "Marge vs. the Monorail” in 1993. Nimoy comes to Springfield as a guest of honor for the maiden voyage of the town's fraudulent monorail. Nimoy also appeared in “The Springfield Files” in 1997 as himself. The 2015 episode “The Princess Guide” was dedicated to his memory.
Barry White: The singer appeared as himself in “Whacking Day,” where Lisa uses White’s voice to lure snakes to safety. He also appeared as himself in “Krusty Gets Kancelled” in 1993 and his song “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe” was used in the final scene of “The Last Temptation of Homer” in 1993.
Stephen Hawking: Dr. Stephen Hawking first paid Springfield a visit as himself in 1999 on the episode "They Saved Lisa's Brain" and is summarily unimpressed by the improvements to the town made by Lisa and her MENSA compatriots. He went onto make three more appearances as himself, “Don’t Fear the Roofer” in 2005, “Stop or My Dog Will Shoot!” in 2007, and “Elementary School Musical” in 2010.
THE SIMPSONS: Lady Gaga (guest-voicing as herself) wants to help  Lisa realize that being herself is better than being like anyone else in the "Lisa Goes Gaga" season finale episode of THE SIMPSONS airing Sunday, May 20 (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  THE SIMPSONS ™ and © 2012 TCFFC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Johnny Cash: Cash notably guest starred as Homer’s Spirit Guide, the Space Coyote, who Homer meets in a Guatemalan pepper-fueled hallucination in the 1997 episode “El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (The Mysterious Voayage of Homer).”
Paul and Linda McCartney: Paul and Linda McCartney help teach Lisa that it's alright to be a vegetarian in the 1995 episode "Lisa the Vegetarian."
Elizabeth Taylor: Maggie's first word, "daddy," was voiced by Elizabeth Taylor in the 1992 episode "Lisa's First Word.” She also appeared as herself in the 1993 episode “Krusty Gets Kancelled."
Jon Lovitz: The Saturday Night Live alum has voiced a variety of characters since 1991, including Marge's ex-prom date Artie Ziff, theater director Llewellyn Sinclair, paparazzo Enrico Irritazio, Professor Lombardo and Aristotle Amadopolis. He has also appeared as Jay Sherman, his character from the TV series The Critic.
Bart's boy band from New Kids on the Blecchh
Gillian Anderson & David Duchovny: Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny voiced their X-Files alter egos, Scully and Mulder, in "The Springfield Files," which aired in 1997.
THE SIMPSONS: Stan Lee guest voices as himself in "Married to the Blob" episode of THE SIMPSONS airing Sunday, Jan. 12 (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  THE SIMPSONS ™ and © 2014 TCFFC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
George Takei: George Takei appeared as the voice of Akira in "One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish" in 1991 and in "What Animated Women Want" in 2013. He played Japanese game show host Wink in "Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo" in 1999, and a waiter in "A Hunka Hunka Burns in Love" in 2001. He also voiced himself in "The Burns Cage" in 2016.
Dustin Hoffman: Credited as Sam Etic, Hoffman appeared as Mr. Bergstrom in "Lisa's Subsitute" in 1991. Bergstrom takes over for Lisa's teacher while she is on medical leave. Impressed by Bergstrom's personality, she is devastated when he eventually has to leave her class.
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Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman: Mythbusters Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman played parodic versions of themselves in 2012's "The Daughter Also Rises," hosting a show called MythCrackers.
Jon Stewart: The former Daily Show host appeared as himself in "E. Pluribus Wiggum" in 2008, when Springfield holds the first presidential primary and its the residents rally behind their own candidate, Ralph Wiggum.
Keith Richards/Mick Jagger: The Rolling Stones rockers make cameos as themselves in "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation" in 2002, when Homer Simpson is sent to a rock and roll fantasy camp so he can attempt to live out his childhood dreams.
Snoop Dogg: The rapper guest starred as himself in the first hour-long episode, 2017's "The Great Phatsby," alongside RZA and Common.
Ricky Gervais: Ricky Gervais first appeared on the episode "Homer Simpson, This Is Your Wife" in 2006, voicing Charles Heathbar. Gervais also wrote it, making him the first Simpsons guest star to write an entire episode. He also appeared as himself in the 2011 episode "Angry Dad: The Movie."
Liam Neeson: Neeson guest starred in "The Father, the Son and the Holy Guest Star" in 2005. In the episode he plays Father Sean, who encounters Bart at the Catholic school to which he is sent after being expelled from his school for pulling a prank on Groundskeeper Willie.
Glenn Close: Close voiced Homer's mother, Mona Simpson, in six episodes. Her first appearance in "Mother Simpson" was in 1995, when Homer fakes his own death, and her most recent appearance was in the 2014 episode "The Yellow Badge of Cowardge."
Patrick Stewart: Stewart first appeared on The Simpsons in 1995 in "Homer the Great." His character, Number One, is the Springfield chapter leader of the Stonecutters, an ancient secret society. Stewart also appeared as himself in "The Fabulous Faker Boy" in 2013.
Meryl Streep: Streep voiced Jessica Lovejoy in the 1994 episode "Bart's Girlfriend." In the episode, Bart has a crush on Reverend Lovejoy's daughter Lisa, though his infatuation comes to an end after she steals money from the church collection plate and Bart is blamed.
Tony Hawk: The pro skater appeared as himself in the 2003 episode "Barting Over," in which Bart gets angry with his dad and moves out, befriending new neighbor Hawk, who lets Homer beat him in a competition so that Bart can move back home.
Susan Sarandon: Sarandon appeared in "Homer vs. Patty and Selma" in 1995 as a ballet teacher and voiced FeMac, a computer won by Ned Flanders in a rubber duck racing contest, in "Bart Has Two Mommies" in 2006.
Anne Hathaway: The actress appeared twice as Bart's love interest Jenny in "The Good, the Sad and the Drugly" (2009) and "Moonshine River" (2012). She also voiced Princess Penelope, who marries Krusty the Clown, in "Once Upon a Time in Springfield" in 2010. Hathaway won an Emmy for her role as Penelope and was declared by Matt Groening as his favorite guest star.
Danny DeVito: DeVito appeared three times on The Simpsons as Homer's half-brother, Herb Powell, first in "Oh Brother Where Art Thou?" in 1991 and then in 1992's "Brother, Can you Spare Two Dimes?" more than 20 years later, in 2013, in "The Changing of the Guardian."
James Earl Jones: Jones' trademark voice provided the narration for the ending of the 1998 episode "Das Bus." He also appeared in two special Halloween episodes.
Steve Martin: Martin voiced sanitation commissioner Ray Patterson, whom Homer chooses to run against after avoiding taking out the trash in "Trash of the Titans" in 1998.
Michael Jackson: The pop star, credited as John Jay Smith, voiced the character Leon Kompowsky in the 1991 episode "Star
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The 30 Best Celebrity Cameos on The Simpsons

Updated: Apr 18, 2017 2:29 PM ET | Originally published: Aug 21, 2014

On April 19, 1987, 30 years ago this week, the Simpsons made their first television appearance. Created and illustrated by Matt Groening, the characters appeared as part of a series of animated sketches on The Tracey Ullman Show that producer James L. Brooks commissioned as a segue in and out of commercial breaks. The first short, "Good Night," was less than two minutes long, the first of nearly 50 created for the show. During their early appearances, the Simpsons family looked similar to their final versions, but more crudely drawn, because Groening had hastily sketched them before a pitch meeting with Brooks, and the show's animators kept them as-is.

The Simpsons went on to get its own series on FOX, premiering on Dec. 17, 1989. The show quickly met with critical acclaim and went on to break numerous records. TIME named it the 20th century's best television series. And since the show was renewed for a 29th and 30th season, it is expected to break the record for most scripted episodes for a television series.

One of the show's defining features is its wealth of illustrious guest stars. The Simpsons holds a Guinness World Record for "Most Guest Stars Featured in a TV Series," with 712 as of May 2016 — a number that's increased by dozens since that date. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the iconic family's first appearance, TIME looks back at 30 of the show’s best celebrity cameos.

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