Michael Jackson famously lent his voice to the 1991 “Simpsons” episode “Stark Raving Dad,” playing a mental patient who believes he’s Michael Jackson. In a way, then, it’s fitting that the catchy-as-hell “Happy Birthday Lisa” song wasn’t sung by Jackson, but by a Jackson impersonator named Kipp Lennon.
Simpsons actress Yeardley Smith (who voices Lisa Simpson) revealed that Sony blocked Jackson from doing any of the singing for Jackson’s character, the large bald-headed mental patient Leon Kompowsky, who actually thought he was Jackson and serenaded Little Lisa with “Happy Birthday, Lisa”. Jackson, who was credited as John Jay Smith, instead handpicked impersonator Kipp Lennon, who also sang for the King of Pop during the miniseries The Jacksons: An American Dream. [consequenceofsound; original story at TMZ]
It seems like a lot of “Simpsons” fans are upset by this news, but I don’t see what the big deal is. Michael Jackson still voiced the character, and he even chose the guy who would sing in his place because his record deal precluded him from doing so. It doesn’t make “Happy Birthday Lisa” any less catchy, either. That thing’s gonna be in my head all day. At least until I go to the nuclear option of earworms.