In the lead-up to Disney+, Disney bragged that its streaming service would contain the complete 30-season run of The Simpsons. As it turns out, that’s not quite true. One episode, which features a guest appearance from pop singer Michael Jackson, does not appear on Disney+.
“Stark Raving Dad,” which first aired in 1991 as The Simpsons’ third season premiere, is not available on Disney’s brand-new service. When watching The Simpsons on Disney+, the show jumps from “Blood Feud,” the second season finale, to “Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington,” the second episode of the third season.
The episode’s disappearance isn’t a complete surprise. The Simpsons’ producers removed “Stark Raving Dad” from circulation on television shortly after HBO aired the documentary Leaving Neverland, in which two men accused Jackson of sexually harassing them when they were children. While Jackson passed away in 2009, his estate denies the allegations.
Disney did not respond to The Hollywood Reporter’s request for comment on why “Full Raving Dad” doesn’t appear on Disney+, which maintains a strict family-friendly image. It’s assumed that the episode was removed due to the allegations against Jackson.
“Stark Raving Dad” has been an object of fascination among The Simpsons fans for years. In the episode, Homer meets a homeless man named Leon Kompowsky who claims to be the famous pop star, even though the two look nothing alike. Although Jackson provided Kompowsky’s voice, he appeared in the episode uncredited, leading fans to speculate whether it was actually Jackson or a talented soundalike playing the part.
Simpsons creator Matt Groening confirmed that Jackson really did play Kompowsky in an interview in 2018, explaining that the late musician loved Bart Simpson but couldn’t officially appear on the show for contractual reasons. Instead, The Simpsons credited Jackson under a pseudonym, John Jay Smith.
For similar reasons, Jackson only provided Kompowsky’s speaking voice in “Stark Raving Dad.” Kipp Lennon, a Jackson impersonator, performed the vocals on “Happy Birthday, Lisa,” the song that Kompowsky sings in the episode.
In addition to (almost) every episode of The Simpsons, Disney+ contains over 600 movies and television shows from Disney’s eclectic catalog. A subscription costs $7 a month, and is available in a $13 bundle with Hulu and ESPN+.
- The best shows on Disney+ right now
- The best classic Simpsons episodes on Disney+
- Disney+: Everything you need to know about Disney’s streaming service
- The Simpsons is in the wrong aspect ratio on Disney+ and it’s cutting off jokes
- What’s new on Disney+ in January and February 2020