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The Simpsons Star Dan Castellaneta Ranked The Show's Rock Star Guests In The Most Novel Way

With "The Simpsons" having been on television for over 30 seasons, racking up such records as longest-running animated series, most People's Choice awards by a single series, most guest stars to appear on a series, and most liked television show on Facebook (via Guinness World Records) it's an honor for anyone to appear as a guest star. In fact, even in the cases of such music legends as Paul McCartney, The Who, and U2, it's hard to tell who should be more honored by the appearance: the show or the stars.

With all the rock stars that have appeared over the years, there's no shortage of fun stories about them. McCartney, for example, insisted that he would appear in the Season 7 episode "Lisa the Vegetarian" if the show's creators promised that Lisa would remain vegetarian for the rest of the series. The producers have kept their word to this day. Then there's the story about the time Bono mooned the show's music director over a comment about the U2 frontman being too pitchy. Of course, there's also the story of the Season 7 episode "Homerpalooza," which featured the Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth, Cypress Hill, and Peter Frampton. The episode almost featured another '90s rock mainstay in Hole, but Sonic Youth threatened to pull out of the episode if Hole's controversial frontwoman, Courtney Love, was involved.

So which bands are too cool to show up on time for their recording sessions? Dan Castellaneta, who voices Homer Simpson, amongst others, explained once on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" that some rock stars are too cool for the proverbial school.

The cooler they are, the later they show

The Season 14 episode "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation" is pretty popular for a 14th season episode. In the episode, which aired in 2002, Homer's family sends him off to a rock 'n' roll fantasy camp, where he can live out his dreams of being a rock star. The episode sports a huge roster of big-name musicians as guest stars: Keith Richards and Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, Brian Setzer, Elvis Costello, Tom Petty, and Lenny Kravitz. A few different publications have made lists of the best rock star appearances on "The Simpsons," and this episode appears in a few of them, including this one from Spin.

Castellaneta explained that you could tell which bands were coolest based on how late they showed up. "Well, it was very interesting. It was a particular rock 'n' roll hierarchy," he told O'Brien's audience. "First of all, in terms of lateness, you would have Mick Jagger and Keith Richards coming about 45 minutes late. And then like Elvis Costello, 30. Tom Petty, maybe 25. Lenny Kravitz, 23. Brian Setzer, right on time. Michael Bolton came early ... and he wasn't even on the show!" 

That's okay, though, as former Stray Cats frontman Brian Setzer is still plenty cool in his own right.