Since Lisa Simpson became a vegetarian during The Simpsons’ seventh season, the character trait has served writers well, repeatedly popping up in jokes or as a plot device for the ensuing 20 years. (It’s been that long?! Aye caramba!) But according to a recent interview, permanently turning the precocious Simpson daughter against meat wasn’t simply a fun idea: It was a demand…made by guest voice actor Paul McCartney who reportedly only agreed to do the episode if Lisa gave up meat forever.
The revelation, recently published on The Huffington Post, stems from an interview Simpsons’ voice actor Hank Azaria had with the news site last month. According to HuffPo, to land the famous Beatle for their show, the producers of the show promised him that Lisa Simpson would not only become a vegetarian like he is, but also that she would never eat meat again.
Azaria, who prominently voice Apu in the episode, said, “I thought it was really cool that he stuck that [in],” speaking about the deal McCartney made with the show. He also mentioned, however, that keeping the deal hasn’t always been easy. “I can tell you, over the years, they were tempted a bunch of times to have Lisa break her vegetarian vow,” he added.
Of course, 20 years is a long time, and a lot has changed on The Simpsons. The whole show has gone high definition. The opening credits were altered. It’s gotten less funny. Would having Lisa nibble on some bacon really be a big deal? Azaria said he thinks the promise won’t be broken. “[The writers] probably have not because they made that vow to Sir Paul,” he said. “No, you don’t break a knight’s vow. As we’ve learned from ‘Game of Thrones,’ you do that at your own risk.”
If only Sir Paul had made The Simpsons promise to not run the entire franchise into the ground.