Last night The Simpsons’ long line of notable guest stars checked author Harlan Ellison off its Bucket List, alongside a return appearance from Stan “The Man” Lee. Now, don’t assume that just because I’m using a Bucket List metaphor, I think Simpsons is on its death bed. No, I’m suggesting Simpsons should have been mercifully put down ages ago. But while the show’s writing has spiraled down a well of diminishing returns, it continues to draw all manner of notable persons into the jaundiced world of Springfield. Over the years that’s included quite a few famous faces from the worlds of science and science fiction. Here’s the cream of that crop from The Simpsons’ two and a half decades (so far) of life.
Appearances: “One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish” (1991), “Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo” (1999), “A Hunka Hunka Burns in Love” (2001)
Star Trek actor/Facebook staple George Takei has popped up in Simpsons several times over the years, but unlike a lot of the names on this list, he’s never appeared playing himself. He first popped up in “One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish” lending his distinctive voice to Akira, a waiter at a sushi restaurant who serves Homer a fugu blowfish, an extremely venomous dish that must be prepared by a master sushi chef or risk killing its eater. (Akira has appeared other times in the show, but was voiced by Hank Azaria on those occasions.) Takei later voiced Wink, the host of a Japanese game show called Super Happy Smile Time Family Wish Show and and an unnamed waiter in a 2001 episode.
Homer: There’s got to be something I haven’t tried. Huh? Hey, hey, what’s this? Fugu!
Akira: (Gasps.) It is a blowfish, sir. But I should warn you that one–
Homer: Come on, pal. Fugu me!