In the wake of Prince’s death, The Simpsons writer and co-showrunner Al Jean shared screen captures of several pages of the unproduced screenplay for the much talked-about “The Prince episode.”
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The first scene shows Lisa winning tickets to Prince’s concerts. Her celebration, however, is cut short as a spider disconnects the phone call between Lisa and the ticket broker.
Another scene features Marge’s sister Selma, who engages in a small chit chat with Prince. Selma tells Prince that she loved his movie “Under the Cherry Moon,” which she says is better than “Graffiti Bridge” but not as good as “Sign O’ The Times.”
There’s some controversy surrounding the origin of the script, especially as to who the writer really was. SBS reports that writer Mike Reiss claims the script was created by a group of freelance writers with rewrites by late night show host and comedian Conan O’Brien. Meanwhile, co-showrunner Bill Oakley contends the script was exclusively O’Brien’s work.
“The Prince episode” never made it on air, but it was intended to be a sequel to season three’s Stark Raving Dad episode in which Leon Kompowsky believes he’s Michael Jackson. The unproduced episode was supposed to be included in the season five slate, which ran from September 1993 to May 1994.
According to Vulture, Prince allegedly opposed the screenplay and asked it to be rewritten. Prince’s solo The Simpson episode was never produced, although the Purple Rain singer made cameo appearances in later episodes such as Treehouse of Horror XIX, in which Homer stabs Prince with his guitar.
Prince died on April 21 at the age of 57. The musician was found dead inside an elevator at his Paisley Park Studios in Minnesota. His publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure, said the cause of the singer’s death is still unknown. Although an autopsy has been conducted, it could take at least four weeks before results come out.