The Simpsons have animated plenty of celebrities, and Bret Hart has received that treatment. He almost didn’t appear as himself in the famous animated show, but things changed when the people in charge saw how big of a deal Hart was.
During Confessions of a Hitman, a paid video collection through his website, Hart discussed his Simpsons appearance. He was initially going to play a Mad Viking character and not himself. He wanted to be himself, but they told him “take it or leave it.”
“I think the funny story about the Simpsons cartoon is they initially were not going to draw me in it as me. But, I had just lost the title to Shawn Michaels at the Iron Man match in Anaheim. This is maybe a week or two later. They flew me in, I was just gonna be the Mad Viking or something like that. I was gonna be some other wrestling persona that was made up, a fictional one. I tried really hard to get them to draw me in as myself. They finally said, ‘It’s just the part for Mad Viking, take it or leave it,’ and I said, ‘Okay, I’ll still take it. It’ll be fun to go to L.A. and do the voice for the Mad Viking.’ But, anyway, I did the whole thing in about five minutes. I drove there in a big limo, went into the studio, and I did my lines in less than five minutes. Did it every which way you could think of. ‘More mad,’ ‘Okay, not quite so mad.’”
As luck would have it, Bret Hart’s limo driver needed to leave for a bit to refuel. During that time, Hart’s celebrity status dawned on the Simpsons director as he witnessed The Hitman surrounded by autograph seeking fans who worked at Fox.
“My limo driver had driven off, had gone to get gas, so I got stuck sitting there for about a half-hour ‘cause I got done so quick. All these workers that were working at FOX Studios came out of the woodwork. I’m talking over a hundred people came out and they had programs and pictures and figures. So, I just signed. I had nowhere to go anyway. So, I just signed all their stuff. I remember when I was sitting there after I’d signed for maybe 30-40 minutes, I remember the guy who was the director of my episode came up to me and he goes, ‘I had no idea you were this big of a star. If it’s okay with you, we’re gonna draw you in as yourself now. ‘Cause we had no idea.’”
“So, I always thought just by being a good sport and being nice, taking my time and being friendly with people and signing autographs, they drew me in ad myself. Never hurts to be a nice guy. I thought it was always an interesting story that it paid off. ‘Cause I think it was a much bigger deal being drawn in as Bret ‘the Hitman’ Hart and having caused Mr. Burns to go bankrupt and taking his house and all that.”
Bret Hart’s Simpsons cameo is remembered fondly by fans. It almost wasn’t as cool to see Hart in animated form, because those were not the original plans. It’s a good thing that Hart’s limo driver didn’t gas up before that day’s journey.
Thanks to Fightful for the quote