'Toon Up

Bret (Hitman) Hart hopes Simpsons role will help him raise his profile

By Anika Van Wyk

© Galgary Sun, April 17, 1997.

Bret (Hitman) Hart fans will have a real dilemma to wrestle with on Sunday.

The World Wrestling Federation star will be battling it out with Stone Cold Steve Austin on the pay-per-view WWF In Your House Live and, at the same time, Hart will also be making a guest appearance as himself on The Simpsons.

"I'm more excited about the Simpsons Sunday than my pay-per-view," admits Hart.

"One's pleasure and one's work."

Hart is a huge Simpsons fan, "the whole Hart family are Simpsons fans," says the local wrestler who jumped at the chance to star in the animated Fox series.

Originally, he was hired to play a generic wrestler named General Hillbilly. The wrestler was after Mr. Burns' house.

"It's only a brief scene, about 10 to 20 seconds, where I give Burns a hard time. "But it's more than I could ask for," he says, about the spot on his favorite show.

After Hart recorded his lines, the Simpsons staff were so impressed, they asked if they could use Hart's name and likeness.

"I called them up later and asked them what I was going to look like because I was dying to see myself. "They told me not to worry -- that I'd have big eyes and a fat lip."

The championship wrestler is happy with the way he has been drawn. "I wouldn't change a thing."

The only thing Hart would like to change is the timing. He fears he may be fighting when the Simpsons episode airs Sunday at 6:30 p.m. on HC and at 9 p.m. on c. The pay-per-view fight special runs from 5 to 7 p.m.

"I'll have to don the tights and wrestle.

"I'll have a TV set up somewhere and, unless I'm in the ring, I'll be watching."

Hart, who has also acted on the Lonesome Dove series, hopes this gig on the Simpsons will help raise his profile.

Outside the wrestling ring, Hart is not a household name. The Simpsons appearance could change that and put him in the same league as Hulk Hogan.

"The Simpsons is the biggest thing I've ever done."

"I'll probably get more respect for that than all the titles I've ever won.

"This shot on The Simpsons could give me immortality in wrestling."

The only disappointing aspect to the Simpsons is that, because of scheduling, Hart had to record his lines by himself. "I didn't get to meet Homer," he sighs.

Despite the solo recording session, Hart says it was a walk in the park. "It was pretty easy for me -- it was a breeze and I did it in about 10 minutes."

Part of the reason it was a simple task for Hart was the "lines fit my personality." Besides, getting in someone's face is something he's very familiar with.

Now, if only Sunday's fight could be that easy. "That'll be a tough day at the office," says Hart.

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Last updated on July 19, 1999 by Jouni Paakkinen (