Many fans of “Star Trek” are excited this week, as a new season of the animated series “Lower Decks” is set to launch on Thursday. The initial “Lower Decks” season was the first of its kind — a comedy set in the “Star Trek” universe. While not the first animated series based on Gene Roddenberry’s creation — that honor goes to “Star Trek: The Animated Series,” which aired in the 1970s — “Lower Decks” brought a lot of fun to the table.
Some might think that “Star Trek” was not seen in animation during the roughly five decades between “The Animated Series” and “Lower Decks.” This is not so. In those many years, Trek and its characters have been a frequent subject for animated parody, from sources like “Robot Chicken,” “College Humor,” and “Family Guy.”
‘The Simpsons’ Love ‘Star Trek’
None of these hold a candle to what the longest-running animation show in the history of television (in the United States) has done for “Star Trek.” In its 32nd season, “The Simpsons” has made so much fun of “Star Trek” that one could probably compile an entire 30-minute episode of the various clips.
While the show has never dedicated one full episode to “Star Trek” parody, “The Simpsons” have featured many one-off jokes, situations, and characters that razz the science-fiction franchise. Fans got to see what might have been had “The Original Series” actors continued making films in “Star Trek XII: So Very Tired,” and a look at Simpsons characters in a Trek-style end credits sequence.
Fans of “The Simpsons” know how much the Comic Book Guy loves “Star Trek.” But did you know that Homer loves “Star Trek” too? He even held a “Voyager” series finale party.
The following is a list of some of “Star Trek” stars who have appeared on “The Simpsons.”
Contrary to popular belief, Leonard Nimoy did not appear on “The Simpsons” as Spock. He appeared as himself — rounded ears and all. In the Season 4 episode, “Marge vs. the Monorail,” Nimoy visited Springfield and served at the grand opening of a new solar-powered monorail. Things eventually spiraled out of control, and Nimoy took credit for saving the day, just as he beamed away.
Nimoy would also appear in a Season 8 episode entitled “The Springfield Files.”
Nichols, one of the stars from “The Original Series,” lent her voice to an episode, playing herself. While it was just for a brief moment, the “Uhura” actress certainly changed Comic Book Guy’s life for the better.
Known the world over for his portrayal of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Stewart appeared on the Season 6 episode, “Homer the Great.” Stewart was the leader of a secret cult-like organization known as the Stonecutters. This was a parody of the Masons, and Homer was willing to do anything to get into this forbidden society. Interestingly, Stewart’s character was named “Number One.”
Years later, Stewart would appear as himself in the Season 24 show, “The Fabulous Faker Boy.”
The velvet-voiced George Takei has been on “The Simpsons” quite a few times, including as Akira Kurosawa (seen in the above clip), Wink the Quiz Master, a waiter, a sushi chef, and even as himself.
Just kidding. Shatner is the first celebrity to turn down a guest appearance invitation from “The Simpsons.” He wasn’t the last as he started an exclusive list including Tom Cruise, Clint Eastwood, and Anthony Hopkins.
While Shatner didn’t lend his voice to the animated show, this did not stop “The Simpsons” from poking fun at the star multiple times.
READ NEXT: Top 7 Best New Star Trek Toys & Collectibles