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Sunday, 6 December, 1998, 10:35 GMT
Prof Hawking moves in with The Simpsons
Bart Simpson
Bart Simpson could learn a lot from Prof Hawking
One of the world's most brilliant men, Professor Stephen Hawking, has set up home with the world's most famous dysfunctional family, The Simpsons.

The mathematics genius has been given a part in the hit TV cartoon series and apparently loved every minute of his brush with Hollywood.

Professor Hawking, an expert on black holes, took a few days out from his job at Cambridge University to play himself in an episode of The Simpsons.

Prof Hawking and the Simpsons make strange bedfellows
He was called on to give advice to Homer, Marge, Bart and Lisa in an episode due to be broadcast in the US in the spring.

Filming took place last week and the series' producers told the Independent on Sunday that the whole Simpson family were "overawed" by the professor's presence.

Under achiever meets genius

But Bart, who dubs himself "under achiever and proud of it", was doubtless unimpressed by the doyen of academia.

The author of the best-selling Brief History of Time will be depicted in the comic strip's trademark yellow complete with "supercharged wheelchair".

The script was programmed into the physicist's computer and spoken with his distinctive electronic voice.

The programme's producer, Bonnie Patilla, said Prof Hawking's job was to make a commentary on the universe as a whole and intellectuals in particular.

She said: "He plays himself - it's a show that has to do with intellectuals and we don't know anyone more intellectual than him."

Invited back

The episode was filmed as an hour-long special but the show's producers are considering offering Prof Hawking a regular slot.

Friends said he "greatly enjoyed" the experience and would like to get more acting parts.

The Simpsons regularly plays host to actors, musicians and talk show hosts - including Kim Basinger, James Woods and a couple of Beatles. Its most distinguished guest was former US President George Bush.

But Ms Patilla said none compared to Prof Hawking, and added: "Everyone wanted to meet him. We are all huge fans - he was great fun."

See also:

01 Jun 98 | Entertainment
Eat my shorts, Godot!
01 Jun 98 | Entertainment
The world according to Bart Simpson
02 Sep 98 | Sci/Tech
Time travel theory 'full of holes'
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