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Peek at Tom Waits as a 'Simpsons' character

January 03, 2013|By Todd Martens
  • Homer Simpson with a character who will be voiced by Tom Waits on an upcoming episode of "The Simpsons."
Homer Simpson with a character who will be voiced by Tom Waits on an upcoming… (FOX )

Tom Waits still hasn't announced any new tour dates, but his cameo appearance on "The Simpsons" will arrive Sunday, according to his record label, Anti-. The label also released of a photo of Homer and Waits in his "Simpsons" guise.

The episode is entitled "Homer Goes to Prep School" and Waits, not straying too far from many of his musical characters, indeed appears to play someone a little creepy. Here's what's described in the episode summary: Homer joins the "Springfield Preppers," an off-the-grid group anticipating the end of the world. 

Waits is one of the leaders of the survivalist camp, and while he isn't expected to sing in the episode, odds are pretty good his weathered, bitter-old-man growl makes an appearance. 

Waits indicated that he had no plans to take his latest album, "Bad as Me," on the road at the time of its release in 2011, but live appearances on the talk show circuit with Jimmy Fallon and David Letterman gave some fans a glimmer of hope. A viral campaign last year that promised an announcement on Aug. 7 also shifted the rumor mill into overdrive, but the date yielded the unsettling video for Waits' "Hell Broke Luce" (which, all expectations aside, was a pretty cool clip).

Waits last toured the U.S. in 2008 with unconventional stops in Mobile, Ala.; Tulsa, Okla.; and Columbus, Ohio, which resulted in a live album, "Glitter and Doom." Alas, in lieu of tour dates, they have "The Simpsons." On the plus side, "The Simpsons" airs on the all-inclusive wonder that is basic cable (no added fees!).

Waits is the latest in a long-running "Simpsons" tradition of animating well-known musicians. Artists including the Ramones, Katy Perry, U2 and George Harrison have been given "The Simpsons" treatment. 

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