My showbiz dreams are modest. For years I've yearned for just two things:
1. To be a body on "Law & Order: SVU": You know, the random corpse that sometimes gets tripped over in the show's opening moments, and soon has Olivia and Elliott or Munch and Fin snapping on their white latex crime-scene gloves? I could kill this part. Since it requires no acting, or even speaking, or, frankly, any talent at all, I'm eminently qualified to ace it.
2. To appear on "The Simpsons": Ah, the great scripts, the yellow skin, the look of chinless befuddlement — please, sign me up.
The "Law & Order" gig had always seemed the likeliest to transpire. The show is shot in New York. I live in New York. I frequently encounter their crews shooting around town. (Although Olivia and Elliott and Munch and Fin never seem to be in evidence. Probably all in their trailers calculating the hefty residuals that accrue for a show that's been on the air for nearly a decade.) However, despite my shining suitability to play a character of the deceased persuasion, I had yet to get that "L&O" call. You never know, though.
"The Simpsons," on the other hand, had always seemed an obvious long shot — no, let's be real: a complete impossibility. The show is based in "Springfield." Nobody even knows where that is. I had no connections to work, nobody I could call up and beg. To be honest, I'd pretty much given up on this dream.
But then, out of the blue last summer, I was contacted by "The Simpsons." They wanted me to be on the show. What a cruel prank, I thought. But then a script arrived by overnight express. Naturally, it was very funny. The concept was an episode about the '90s. I had had a show on MTV throughout the '90s. I was thus a '90s person. Well ... OK. What next?
Since "The Simpsons" is a show in which everyone onscreen is a cartoon, very little of a thespian nature was required of me. One afternoon, I made my way to a Midtown studio to record my lines. Snugging on a headset, I began receiving gentle direction from one of the show's writers in faraway L.A. I did what I thought was my very best to hit just the right tones and rhythms. Oddly, several takes of each line were required nevertheless. There were allusions to an imaginary '90s band called Sadgasm. A couple of improvised lines were tacked on at the end. And that was it.
How did the show come out? No idea. I haven't seen it yet. So I'll definitely be watching when it airs this Sunday night. Maybe you will too (8 p.m., on Fox). At the very least, I hope Dick Wolf or one of the other "Law & Order" execs is tuned in. Because despite being a cartoon, I think my cadaverous potential will be clear. I even look kinda dead.