Historian Henry Gates Jr tells Jimmy Fallon he thought being invited on 'The Simpsons' was 'a joke'

Historian Henry Gates Jr tells Jimmy Fallon he thought being invited on 'The Simpsons' was 'a joke'
Renowned historian Henry Louis Gates Jr revealed on 'The Tonight Show' that his stint on 'The Simpsons' initially felt like a prank (The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: In a recent interview with Jimmy Fallon on 'The Tonight Show,' renowned historian and professor Henry Louis Gates Jr shared a surprising anecdote about his experience working on 'The Simpsons.' The unexpected opportunity left Gates Jr initially thinking it was a prank.

Fallon kicked off the conversation with a moment of excitement, saying, "Can I just show you something I think is really cool? Uh, you were on 'The Simpsons.'" The revelation prompted laughter from the audience, setting the stage for an entertaining exchange.

Henry Gates Jr's unforgettable journey into the world of 'The Simpsons'

Gates Jr, visibly amused, responded, "Oh, my God. I couldn't believe it. I thought it was a joke. I thought somebody was..."

The disbelief in his voice reflected the surreal nature of the invitation. The idea of a distinguished academic like Gates joining the cast of the iconic animated series seemed almost too outlandish to be true.

Fallon acknowledged the honor of being featured on 'The Simpsons', to which Gates Jr concurred, saying, "Yeah, it was a great honor. And it earned me some real cred with a 9-year-old girl named Eleanor Margaret Gates Hadley, who is my granddaughter."

Gates Jr went on to share a heartwarming story about his granddaughter's reaction when she learned about his cameo on the show.

"When her mother said, 'Pop Pop's going to be on 'The Simpsons', she sent me a picture, and it was like..." Gates Jr trailed off, leaving the audience to imagine the excitement and joy captured in that moment.

The connection between generations through the shared experience of 'The Simpsons' added a delightful touch to Gates Jr's unexpected venture into animated television.

Henry Gates' 'Simpsons' moment highlights universal appeal

Fallon, appreciating the sentiment, remarked, "See? That's the best." The exchange highlighted the universality of the impact of 'The Simpsons' and how even the most esteemed individuals, like Henry Louis Gates Jr, can be humbled and thrilled by the prospect of appearing on the show.

Moving on to another topic, Fallon transitioned to discussing Gates Jr's genealogy series, 'Finding Your Roots', which has been a tremendous success. Gates shared his enthusiasm, stating, "Let's talk about 'Finding Your Roots.' I'm obsessed. I love it. It is celebrating its 10th season."



The conversation continued, showcasing Gates' passion for exploring the diverse and fascinating family histories of various celebrities.

Share this article:  Historian Henry Gates Jr tells Jimmy Fallon he thought being invited on 'The Simpsons' was 'a joke'