• Candidates talk while lawyers tremble

  • Horatio Nelson Jackson's wild ride: Ken Burns breezily chronicles audacious 1903 trek

  • TV best bets

  • Rock star jumps into history

  • TV best bets

  • 'Alias' fans hang on despite twisting plots

  • Sweet 'Joan of Arcadia' wins viewers for CBS

  • 3 dads, class difference make predictable show

  • 'Karen Sisco': Female cop takes on Miami

  • From Elmore Leonard to the TV screen: Detroit crime novelist consults on new show

  • 'Frasier' writers aim for funny final season

  • Jessica Simpson I.Q. quiz

  • TV & RADIO

    Doh! Kid Rock hangs out with Homer

    Detroit rocker appears on 'Simpsons' tonight

    April 30, 2000

    BY MIKE DUFFY
    FREE PRESS TV WRITER

    Kid Rock's already a bit of a rockin,' hip-hoppin' human cartoon.

    'The Simpsons'
    8 p.m. today, WJBK-TV, Channel 2, Fox

    So why not go really animated on "The Simpsons?"

    It all becomes a supercool reality when the Motor City's own Kid Rock and his diminutive sidekick, Joe C., guest-star as themselves and get jiggy with Homer Simpson at 8 tonight on Fox, WJBK-TV, Channel 2.

    Well, all right.

    "Kid Rock and Joe C. have a lot of stage presence. Visually, they're a funny combination. And we thought they would be funny playing off Homer," said Mike Scully, executive producer of "The Simpsons."

    The episode's pleasantly deranged storyline has Homer and and his family heading off on a vacation trip to Florida. They're seeking relaxation. Instead, Homer, Marge and the kids wind up in the middle of spring break. Doh!

    "Homer mistakenly thinks Joe C. is a lost child," said Scully.

    But soon enough, Homer gets into his own special spring break groove and joins Kid Rock and Joe C. on stage for a rousing rendition of "Bawitdaba." Unhinged Homer naturally delivers his own looney-tune version of the hit song's lyrics.

    "They had a great sense of humor about it and about themselves," Scully said of working with Kid Rock and Joe C.

    "Kid Rock even asked if he could add a couple of his own lines. He wanted to introduce himself as 'the pimp of the nation.' We kept that in the show. It's quite a title."

    Over the course of its 10 years on the air, "The Simpsons" has frequently attracted rock stars as animated guests. Everyone from Aerosmith to the Ramones and U2 to the Who (who will appear on the series' 250th episode next season) have come to play the cartoon celebrity game.

    "We have a lot of fans who are musicians, who just relate to the cartoon world easier than the real world," joked Scully, who recently recorded members of the Who for their future appearance. "We've heard that a lot of rock bands keep episodes of 'The Simpsons' on their tour buses."

    Kid Rock spent 45 minutes recording his dialogue for "The Simpsons" during a visit to the Fox studios in Los Angeles. He did the rest in a follow-up telephone call.

    Joe C., on the other hand, did his whole performance over the phone, a practice that has become fairly standard for "The Simpsons," Scully said. Julie Kavner, the voice of Marge Simpson, phoned in her dialogue while she was doing a Broadway play last year. And Dan Castellaneta, the playful larynx behind Homer Simpson, did the same this year while on location in Toronto for a movie.

    Working with rock 'n' rollers isn't always a perfectly simple show business situation.

    "They're out of their element. They're not always comfortable," said Scully.

    "But Kid Rock took right to it. He looked like he was enjoying it.

    "And he was on time!" marveled Scully. "My first reaction to that was, 'What kind of rock star is this?' "

    Apparently Kid Rock doesn't kid around when it's time to get his cartoon mojo workin.'

    Contact MIKE DUFFY at 313-222-6520 or duffy@freepress.com

    Comments? Questions? You can reach us at The Freep
    All content copyright © 2000 Detroit Free Press Inc. and may not be republished without permission.