Leon Kompowsky
Simpsons Simpsons

Leon Kompowsky

Comparision of the voice over actors who have been the voice of Leon Kompowsky with sound clips and images.
Franchise: Simpsons

Leon Kompowsky had a one episode guest spot on The Simpsons but the character is well known among fans and the history of the character's voice actors is an interesting story. Leon Kompowsky appeared in the episode "Stark Raving Dad" (season 3 episode 1). Leon was Homer Simpsons's room mate in the mental institution he was sent to. When they meet Leon claims to be Michael Jackson.

Jackson performed the speaking voice of Leon Kompowsky under the pseudonym John Jay Smith. Jackson was a fan of the show and called Matt Groening one night and offered to do a guest spot. The DVD commentary for this episode indicates that Jackson was not allowed to sing due to a contract obligation. Jackson also wrote the original song "Happy Birthday Lisa" for the episode. One of Jackson's conditions for guest starring was that he would voice himself, but a sound-alike would receive credit.

While he recorded the voice work for the character, all of his singing was performed by Kipp Lennon. Jackson thought it would be a great joke on his brothers and fool them into thinking the impersonator was him. Jackson's lines were recorded at a session by James L. Brooks. Lennon and Jackson recorded their parts at the same time, and Jackson found Lennon's impersonations hilarious. Jackson actually did record versions of the songs, and while there have been rumors that those tracks were the ones used in the final episode, Simpsons music editor Chris Ledesma says the Lennon versions were used. (To hear Michael Jackson's version of the "Happy Birthday Lisa" go to the youtube link provided below)


At the end of the episode "Michael Jackson" is revealed to be Leon Kompowsky and that he was only imitating the voice to make the world a better place.

The normal speaking voice of the character was voiced by VA Hank Azaria. The producers of the show were legally prevented from confirming Jackson guest starred at the time, although many media sources assumed it was really him. After this episode the producers decided that if a celebrity wished to guest star on the show, they had to be willing to be credited under their real name and not a pseudonym. Great secrecy surrounded the guest appearance for some time, and even Matt Groening, when appearing on the the Jay Leno show, did not openly reveal that it was Jackson (although he hinted strongly).

It wasn't until the episode "Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie" that a more open clue was given to viewers, when Lisa mentions that Dustin Hoffman and Michael Jackson made cameo appearances in the movie, stating, "They didn't use their real names, but you could tell it was them..." (Dustin Hoffman, of course, voiced Mr. Bergstrom in the episode Lisa's Substitute, and his guest appearance was similarly shrouded).

After Michael Jackson's death on June 25, 2009, "Stark Raving Dad" was dedicated in his memory. So to sum up everything I just said. Michael Jackson voiced Leon Kompowsky's "fake" voice. Hank Azaria voiced Leon Kompowsky's real voice. Kipp Lennon sang all songs in the episode for Leon Kompowsky ("Ben", "Billie Jean" and "Happy Birthday Lisa").
Created by Jackson_H on Dec 24 2009
The Simpsons (1989)
Leon KompowskyHank Azaria
Hank Azaria
The Simpsons (1989)
Leon KompowskyKipp Lennon
Kipp Lennon
The Simpsons (1989)
Leon KompowskyMichael Jackson
Michael Jackson


Add a Comment

said at 7:02 AM on Wed Nov 2 2016
 2 Shout Outs!
None of them are bad, but:

1. Michael Jackson
2. Hank Azaria
3. Kipp Lennon
said at 4:57 AM on Fri Aug 26 2016
 1 Shout Out!
Too close to be anyone other than Michael himself.
said at 7:56 PM on Wed Jan 27 2016
 1 Shout Out!
Michael Jackson, may he RIP.
said at 7:53 AM on Tue Oct 6 2015
 1 Shout Out!
... Question, why did MJ NOT sing? Was it that because his singing voice couldn't pass the copyright issue or too busy or what?

Also... I don't know who to vote for here :|
Nightmare Crusher
said at 10:30 AM on Tue Oct 6 2015
@Aussieroth There are two different atories I've heard.

1. His record contact wouldn't allow it.

2. He thought it was funny.

I don't know which is true.
said at 5:35 PM on Mon Jun 15 2015
 1 Shout Out!
This is one of those compares where there really isn't a wrong answer.
said at 10:34 AM on Fri Jun 20 2014
why do I have a feeling this thread is gonna have the finn the human effect where it was the number 1 VC for the longest time? Thank you Reddit...
NCZ (Admin)
said at 10:37 AM on Fri Jun 20 2014
@skeletonking1234 Myself personally, I can't really complain about free publicity.
said at 7:01 PM on Thu Jun 19 2014
 1 Shout Out!
I'm voting for Micheal, of course. Kipp's singing voice is pretty good, too, and he even went on to do Michael's singing voice in the minseries The Jacksons: An American Dream (which I recommend for anyone who is a fan of MJ).

Also, for anyone that is interested, I found a version of Happy Birthday Lisa on YouTube that was sung by Micheal rather than Kipp.
said at 2:21 PM on Thu Jun 19 2014
 1 Shout Out!
How did he get popular all of a sudden?
NCZ (Admin)
said at 2:26 PM on Thu Jun 19 2014
@Ghosty404 http://www.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/comments/28jpac/til_that_despite_rumors_and_debate_michael/
said at 10:50 AM on Wed Nov 6 2013
 1 Shout Out!
Michael Jackson is the better actor here though i'm surprised he didn't do the singing but Kipp was good at it but it wasn't the same.

Hank did not bad.
said at 12:18 PM on Sun Jul 15 2012
 1 Shout Out!
Theyr'e all really good. I didn't know Michael Jasckson actually voiced this character :)
Music Meister (Moderator)
said at 7:07 PM on Thu May 12 2011
 1 Shout Out!
Is anyone else have difficulty with the sound with this one?
said at 12:16 PM on Sun Jul 15 2012
@Music Meister yes
Faved by 11 BTVA Members

Support Behind The Voice Actors on Patreon
What is Patreon?
Who do you think has been the best from these Leon Kompowsky voice actors?
Michael Jackson
Kipp Lennon
Hank Azaria