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The Heartbreakers Reunion Ray Liotta Had On His Episode Of The Simpsons

In the aftermath of the death of "Goodfellas" legend Ray Liotta, many fans of the actor are looking back on his lifetime of roles in the entertainment industry. 

His role as Morty Szyslak on "The Simpsons" probably won't go down as one of his best characters, but that doesn't mean it's not memorable to his fans, or that he didn't love doing it. In a BUILD Series interview from 2018, Liotta talked about how thrilled he was to finally be asked to do the show, remarking, "After 30 years, I was just glad they finally asked me, it seems like every other actor got a chance to do it, where was mine?"

Morty, the father of Moe's Tavern bartender Moe Szyslak, is introduced as a more heartless version of Moe in Season 29, Episode 16 ("King Leer"). In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, "Simpsons" executive producer Matt Selman described the episode as a "Shakespearean family drama, set against the backdrop of a fading mattress store empire." The episode sees Moe reconnect with his family, with Morty deciding to retire and give each of them their own mattress store. When the siblings fight and Moe threatens to release Hungarian mattress gnashers, destroying his brother and sister's mattresses, Morty ends up showing his true colors, telling Moe "Do it! Smash that jar! Take what's finally yours!"

Notably, Liotta's time on "The Simpsons" reunited him with a face from his past.

Ray Liotta reunited with Heartbreakers director David Mirkin on The Simpsons

2001's "Heartbreakers" sees Ray Liotta in one of the most iconic comedic roles of his career. In the film, he plays the hapless Dean Cumanno, a sad sap who mother-daughter duo Sigourney Weaver (Max Conners) and Jennifer Love Hewitt (Page Conners) set out to con. The film was directed by David Mirkin, who is probably best known for his role as a producer on "The Simpsons" ever since its debut in 1993. 

Reconnecting with his old friend and director probably made "The Simpsons" cameo even more worth it for Liotta. "It was a blast," Liotta said, recalling his time in the sound booth (via BUILD Series). "It was fun ... David Mirkin [is] a producer there, he's the one who directed "Heartbreakers," so I connected with him again." 

Apparently, Mirkin had been a longtime fan of Liotta's. In 2001, Mirkin told ABC News that he cast him in "Heartbreakers" as a direct result of his work in "Goodfellas." Mirkin said, "I wanted that sense of danger he can bring." Ironically, after "Heartbreakers" was released, Mirkin was asked by IGN if any of the cast would appear on "The Simpsons." While he admitted he'd love to have Ray on the show, it would ultimately take another 17 years before it happened. 

Upon Liotta's death, Mirkin took to Twitter to share a heartfelt tribute to the late actor: "Ray Liotta was one of the most brilliant actors — ever. As highly rated as he is — he is underrated. He was also a super-fun, lovely person who was one of my absolute favorite people to direct. He could play truly scary & funny at the same time. A very rare gift. Fantastic times."