Before he died in August at the age of 68, Marvin Hamlisch recorded a brief cameo for “The Simpsons,” playing a version of himself in an episode involving Abe Simpson’s hidden past. On Sunday, the episode finally aired on Fox, making Hamlisch’s vocal role a posthumous performance for the late conductor and composer.
Sunday’s episode, “Gone Abie Gone,” focused on Abe’s past love affair with a sultry jazz singer. They meet at a restaurant called Spiro’s where Abe, Homer Simpson’s dad, is working as a busboy while aspiring to become a songwriter. Hamlisch plays himself as the restaurant’s resident composer who prefers to work as a busboy.
“Simpson! I pay you to clean tables, not to write songs,” barks the authoritarian restaurant owner. “And you, Marvin Hamlisch, I pay you to write songs, not clean tables."
Hamlisch replies: “What can I say? I like to pitch in.”
The scene from the episode is viewable on “The Simpsons” official website. Anika Noni Rose played the jazz singer who wins Abe’s heart, while Jennifer Tilly played herself as a poker guru in a subplot involving Lisa Simpson and an online poker site.
Hamlisch wrote the music for “A Chorus Line” and several other stage musicals. He also won three Oscars for his film work. Hamlisch was in the middle of his second season as the principal conductor of the Pasadena Pops when he died this summer in Los Angeles.
Michael Feinstein, who collaborated with Hamlisch at his last Pasadena Pops concert, will take over as the principal conductor of the organization.