In “Yokel Hero,” Cletus (Hank Azaria) becomes a singing sensation, with the help of Homer (Dan Castellaneta). Then Cletus turns on his fans, ruining everything. Brooks makes a guest-voice appearance as the “Slick Manager” (that’s the character’s name) at “United Parasites Management Company,” eager to sign Cletus and make him a star. Scroll down to watch the first-look clip.
“Yokel Hero,” which airs Sunday, March 7 at 8 p.m. on Fox, is the first time Brooks has provided a guest voice on “The Simpsons” since 2015.
Executive producer Al Jean touted Brooks’ appearance this time out as longer than normal, “almost all of the third act… and of course, he’s always hilarious. It’s really funny to record him, both to hear what he talks about, it’s not the lines and then when it is the lines, what he adds to them.”
Brooks, who is always credited on “The Simpsons” as “A. Brooks,” has been a popular guest voice on the show from the very first season in 1990, when he appeared in two episodes: “The Call of the Simpsons” as Cowboy Bob, who runs Bob’s RV Round-Up; and “Life on the Fast Lane” as Jacques, the bowling coach who tries to seduce Marge.
Later guest spots include Season 5’s “Bart’s Inner Child,” in which he played self-help guru Brad Goodman, in an episode that also featured James Brown. And in Season 8’s “You Only Move Twice” he voiced perhaps his most iconic “The Simpsons” character, Hank Scorpio, the super villain who becomes Homer’s new boss. Brooks and Hank Scorpio made a cameo return on the title screen in Season 22’s “500 Keys.”
Among his other appearances, Brooks was on Season 16’s “The Heartbroke Kid” as Tab Spangler, a former junk food magnate with anger issues. And the last time he showed up was on 2015’s “Bull-E” as Dr. Raufbold, in an episode that also featured Johnny Mathis.
On the big screen, Brooks played a pivotal role as the villain in “The Simpsons Movie” as Russ Cargill, the head of the EPA who places a dome over Springfield.
“Yokel Hero” is “The Simpsons’” 698th episode. The show, which has just been renewed for two more seasons (its 33rd and 34th), will mark its milestone 700th episode on Sunday, March 21. That installment, “Manger Things,” flashes back to a previous Christmas and reveals a secret to Ned Flanders’ past — as well as a never-before-seen room in the Simpson home. The episode will also feature a new couch gag from Bill Plympton.
Here’s the clip featuring Brooks from “Yokel Hero”: