Few achievements in the TV business can surpass the honor of being invited to provide a guest voice to “The Simpsons.”
And now, mild-mannered TCM host Ben Mankiewicz joins the ranks of Paul McCartney, Stephen Hawking, Rupert Murdoch, “Gilligan’s Island” star Bob Denver and scores of other bold-faced names who have agreed to lend their voices to “The Simpsons” over the hallowed show’s 31 seasons.
The voice of Mankiewicz is heard -- and his cartoon image seen (photo above) -- in this weekend’s 31st annual “Simpsons” Halloween special “Treehouse of Horror XXXI.”
In his brief appearance, Mankiewicz appears on a TV screen in the Simpsons’ living room (as Marge and Homer blissfully doze on the couch) to make a timely comment about the old movies on TCM.
Mankiewicz, who became the star of TCM following the death of beloved TCM host Robert Osborne in 2017, is the only celebrity guest star in this year’s “Simpsons” anthology of Halloween horror stories.
In the episode’s three principal segments, Bart Simpson will suffer surprising consequences when he takes up the task of destroying some long-time playthings that he has outgrown; the Simpson family will have to cope with multiple Homer Simpsons who were created from a science-fiction space-time continuum; and Lisa Simpson will have a life-and-death experience on her ninth birthday.
Let the record show that the famed green, slobbering outer-space aliens Kang and Kodos make an appearance in the episode that is so brief you might miss them if you blink.
Nevertheless, the appearance, however short, means their record of appearing in 31 consecutive “Treehouse of Horror” specials remains intact.
“The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror XXXI” airs Sunday (October 18) at 8 p.m. Eastern on Fox.