Happy Halloween! I’ve been working a lot which is great, and I will fill you in via my upcoming blogs, but today wanted to let you know that this coming Sunday, Nov 2nd, I will be on The Simpsons! Last January I was invited to be the voice of Democratic Assemblywoman, Maxine Lombard who is secretly Mr. Burns’ girlfriend, a most unlikely pairing as you’ll see when you watch, and a fact that horrified my grandchildren. “No, Grandma, it can’t be! You’re not Mr. Burns’ girlfriend.” I loved it. I rarely get that much reaction from them when it comes to my work.

I had never voiced an animated character before and had always dreamed of doing it so you can imagine how excited I was at the prospect. I mean, THE SIMPSONS!

Here I am (below) with with Executive Producer Matt Selman and Producer/Writer Carolyn Omine in the recording studio on the 21st Century Fox Studio lot.


21st Century Fox—-that’s hard for me to write since I have a long history with the 20th Century version of the studio. My dad was under contract to Fox when he made many movies in the 30’s and 40s and I remember visiting him as a child on the lot when what is now the sky-scrapered Century City was the Fox Studio back lot with a gigantic cyclorama of sky (“Grapes of Wrath” may have been filmed against that “sky”–the scene with the preacher and Tom Joad–) and fake small town streets and western store fronts.

I made “9 to 5” on the Fox lot in 1980 and had an office there. So coming onto the newest iteration of the studio was fascinating. It’s a gorgeous studio, I must say, and there’s still the old city “streets” where tours are a regular presence now.

It was a blast voicing Maxine Lombard. I did it without seeing the animation. I guess that’s how it’s usually done — the artists do the animation after the voice is recorded. There was just a script and the director, writer, producer in a big recording studio with me, making sure I did it right. The episode is called “Opposites A Frack”, tune in to see why, this Sunday evening 8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT). I hope you’ll watch and let me know what you think. I will let you know what the Grandkids say.

After the recording, I asked to be taken on a tour of The Simpsons offices. Here’s a peek behind the curtain.

Outside is a Bart topiary and, behind that, you and see Homer’s hand.

Homer’s hand, holding a doughnut.

This is one of the writers’ rooms.

The Simpson’s version of Salvador Dali—hanging in their studio offices

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  1. Guess you can cross voicing an animated character off of your bucket list. I do not recall you ever even guest staring in an existing TV show before. What a great year you are having – starring with Lily in your sitcom, your AFI award, movies, your book which I used to great extent with my 12 year old son (thanks for that!). Looking forward to “hearing” you Sunday night. Love ya! Kate may have you on the Oscar count but I think you have her on the variety of your projects and the fat lady has not sung yet!

  2. You’re correct, the grands were super excited when they told me about you being on the Simpsons. Bet they will be super popular at school on Monday!

  3. I will be tuning in to The Simpsons on Sunday night…. congrats of your first voicing of an animated character! And how nice to literally go down memory lane on the once ‘back lot’ of past. Places and memories… keep enjoying.

  4. I will definitely have to watch it! Mr. Burns’s secret girlfriend! My goodness! What don’t you do?!?

  5. Super funny 😀 I loved it!!!!

  6. Synchronicity! I haven’t watched The Simpsons for years, but last night happened to tune in (‘hadn’t read your blog for a couple days). It didn’t take long to recognize your voice (who is that? whose voice is that?). Thanks for the laughs. I’m with the grandkids: Not Mr. Burns’ girlfriend!! (‘Loved it.) You’re an inspiration, and helped me stay in good shape over the years. Many thanks.

  7. Not buttering you up – but when Maxine Lombard first appeared, I had to go back to your post to double check she was the one you were voicing – had I not already known – I would not have thought it was your voice. Great job – plus the writers got in a lot of good digs on fracking. Maybe you can get your next two Emmy’s – one for the Simpsons and the other for Grace and Frankie, well why stop there, lets add another for the final season of the Newsroom. Regardless – very enjoyable. Love ya!

  8. Aaarrrgghhh! I missed it! Frack! Ah, well. I’ll just have to keep an eye out for when the re-run airs. I’m sure it was hilarious. I love that you did it and that you have so many projects that you are working on. I absolutely cannot wait until “Grace and Frankie” debuts on Netflix. I can promise you that I will be binge watching that right away! By the way, I just auditioned for a local production of “Agnes of God.” I’m up for both Martha Livingstone and Mother Mirium Ruth. I’d be happy with either role because they are both great parts…but Martha really speaks to me. So, I’ll just have to see what happens. Pretty stiff competition, too, so there are no guarantees. If I don’t get cast, I have another audition coming up this weekend at another local theater…they’re doing “On Golden Pond.” Kind of interesting that both of these productions are happening at the same time! Anyway, keep your fingers crossed for me. 🙂

    • Melissa, where do you live?

      • Lexington, KY. Actually, I live in Versailles which is the next town over but I work at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. Believe it or not we have a very healthy theatre community in central KY. Lots of very talented people around here.

        • Hey…I had forgotten about this post. Quick update…I didn’t get cast in either role I mentioned above. Which, at first, made my ego do a back-flip (Ha! I just saw that…no pun intended with the dive you made in OGP…seriously…that’s finny). Anyway, my friend Patti who is directing one of the shows I auditioned for had the decency to actually call me and tell me she wasn’t casting me (no one ever does that…but then again, Patti’s a class act). She told me I just didn’t look old enough for the role. To which I said…”Say what???” Because I am the age. Apparently, I don’t look 46. I’m told I look more like I’m in my 30’s. Then I promptly told my ego to settle down and get out of my way so I could enjoy my holiday downtime. So, that’s that. I hope you will have a little holiday downtime, Jane, and be able to enjoy some time with your family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂
          Rock on,

  9. I guess you no you really made it when you’ve lent your voice to The Simpson’s.
    Great Job.

  10. \\(O)// YES! <3 #InstantClassic

  11. Doh , I missed it …

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