Fans of the long-running hit cartoon, The Simpsons, have speculated about the voice actor for character “Leon Kompowsky,” who first appeared in the show’s 36th episode, “Stark Raving Dad,” which premiered in September of 1999. Though originally credited to “John Jay Smith,” recently show creator Matt Groenig confirmed that Michael Jackson actually served as the main voice for the character. In the episode, Leon is a Michael Jackson impersonator who has come to believe he is actaully Michael Jackson, and Homer Simpson meets Leon in New Bedlam Insane Asylum.As cited by Groenig in Australia’s The Weekly, “We really did have Michael Jackson. … He has a voice that sounds like someone doing a Michael Jackson bit.” Groenig also notes that The King Of Pop first called him out of the blue, and he hung up on him, not initially believing that Jackson was actually interested in the show. He also noted that Jackson explained that he “loved Bart [Simpson] and wanted to be on the show.”However, the show was forced to use the name “John Jay Smith” in the credits, as MJ was contractually obligated by his record company not to publicly participate. Groenig also notes that while Jackson did do the voice acting for Leon Kompowsky, all the songs sung by Leon were voiced by a Michael Jackson impersonator named Kipp Lennon. The show creator added, “When it came time to do the songs, he had a sound-a-like singer and he stood there and watched the guy—and he was so nervous—who had to sound like Michael Jackson.”You can watch part of Michael Jackson’s voice acting on The Simpsons—from the 1991 episode “Stark Raving Dad”—below. [Video: letsbepandas][H/T Consequence Of Sound]
___Seven Arkansas State athletes have tested positive for COVID-19 and are self-isolating for 14 days.Chancellor Kelly Damphousse said the seven athletes are from three sports, and all were asymptomatic Thursday. They learned of the positive results Wednesday night.The athletes who tested positive and are living off campus will self-isolate there or at home for 14 days. Those living on campus will self-isolate in their residence hall or at home for 14 days.Damphousse said contact tracing has begun, and anyone who has been exposed to any of the seven athletes will be required to quarantine for 14 days. They will adopt the temporary law change when the league resumes on June 17 amid the coronavirus pandemic.There can still only be three pauses to bring on substitutes.Premier League clubs have also agreed to temporarily increase the number of substitute players from seven to nine.___The Italian soccer federation is launching a fund of nearly $25 million to help clubs and their members following the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Valencia expressed “surprise” and a top health official in the Spanish region said Gasperini “lacked responsibility” for traveling to Spain with symptoms of the virus. He recently told Italian media he felt sick the day before the March 10 match in Valencia.Gasperini tells Sky Italia, “I know that I respected the protocols. I was in quarantine like everyone else until training resumed. I never had a test. It was only in May when (the entire team) had blood tests that I realized that I had had the virus.”Valencia said after the March 10 game that about 35% of its team had the virus.Gasperini adds, “Looking back, I think that was the period when I didn’t feel well. But I never had a fever or any sort of respiratory problems. When I left from Bergamo I felt fine. I had some problems that evening and the day after (the match).”Experts say the first leg on Feb. 19 in Milan was one of the biggest reasons why the virus was so deadly in Atalanta’s home city of Bergamo. The match has been dubbed “Game Zero” by Italian media. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___NASCAR is set to run its All-Star race on a Wednesday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway and added one more weeknight Cup Series race as part of its latest revised schedule through July. NASCAR has revamped its schedule in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and announced even more changes on Thursday.NASCAR will keep its scheduled twinbill weekend later this month at Pocono Raceway. The track is still scheduled to hold a Truck Series and Cup Series race on June 27 and an Xfinity Series and Cup Series race on June 28. The compressed schedule because of the pandemic has forced NASCAR to run races from all three national series multiple days a week. NASCAR crammed five Cup races on the schedule from May 17 to May 30.The rest of the Cup schedule includes a July 5 race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, July 12 at Kentucky Speedway, the All-Star race on July 15 at Charlotte, July 19 at Texas Motor Speedway and July 23 at Kansas Speedway. The new schedule wraps Aug. 2 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.The All-Star race is usually held in May and New Hampshire was bumped from its July date. Pocono, Indy and Kentucky stayed the same.NASCAR also scheduled five Truck races and six second-tier Xfinity races. The Cup Series races again Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The schedule for the rest of the season will be released at a later date.___A day after announcing a deal with its players’ association to resume the season with a tournament in Florida, Major League Soccer says teams may resume training.MLS says each player and staff member must complete two tests for the coronavirus 24 hours apart, 72 hours ahead of the start of training. Every player also must have a test for antibodies and a physical.Once training starts, players, coaches and some staff must be tested for the virus every other day. An individual who tests positive would be isolated, tested again at least 24 houts later, and all close contacts would be tested. High-risk individuals must be cleared to participate by the team’s chief medical officer in consultation with the MLS medical staff. Borussia Dortmund has defended a group of players who were accused of breaking Bundesliga hygiene rules while getting haircuts.German newspaper Bild reports that some of the players were pictured without face masks during appointments at home with a celebrity barber. Forward Jadon Sancho was among the players.League rules during the coronavirus pandemic say players should minimize contact with people from outside their household. They have to wear masks for large parts of game days unless actually on the field.Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc says he spoke with the players about their behavior and adds that they only removed their face masks to pose briefly for pictures. Zorc adds that the 20-year-old Sancho is still “very young.”___ The IOC pays for insurance against the cancellation of an Olympics but it is unclear if its policy covers a one-year postponement.Cancellation policies detailed in IOC accounts cost $14.4 million for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and $12.8 million for the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.The IOC said last month it set aside $650 million to cover potential extra costs for the postponement.Costs for organizers in Japan are expected to run to billions of dollars.___ Michigan State athletes can begin returning to campus June 15 in preparation for voluntary workouts. Football, basketball and volleyball players will be the first to undergo testing.After testing, athletes will be instructed to self-isolate for a week, and those testing positive will be quarantined for 10 days. On June 22, athletes who initially tested negative will be given a second round of testing. Athletes who receive a second negative test will be cleared to begin voluntary workouts. They will be split into small workout groups based on people they live with.“The intent is that if we keep our volume, our number of athletes together in a small set, and their strength coach works with just that group when they work out, and somebody in that group is positive, then we can isolate that individual group as opposed to the whole team,” Kovan said.Common areas like locker rooms and lounges will remain closed. Athletes will be given masks and required to wear them while in facilities, except during workouts.___ A member of the Pittsburgh Penguins has tested positive for COVID-19.The team announced Thursday that an unidentified player has been diagnosed with the coronavirus. The team says the player was not in Pittsburgh at the time of test and has been at his home since first experiencing symptoms. The club said the player is “recovering and feeling well” and those who have been in close contact with him have been notified.The NHL’s season remains “on pause,” but the Penguins will participate in the approved playoff format whenever the season resumes.___Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini says the reaction from Champions League opponent Valencia after he acknowledged testing positive for the coronavirus is “really very offensive.” ___The European gymnastics championships have been moved to December after being postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.The men’s event will run from Dec. 9-13 and the women’s championships from Dec. 17-20 in Baku, Azerbaijan.Baku was originally supposed to host only the men’s championships but France couldn’t reschedule the women’s event after missing its planned dates in Paris in April and May.European Gymnastics president Farid Gayibov says the body will review the coronavirus situation and react accordingly “should the situation at a later date not be considered safe enough any more.” The Save Soccer Foundation will need definitive approval at a federation meeting on Monday.Federation president Gabriele Gravina says “it’s an initiative which doesn’t have precedents and represents a great assumption of responsibility which the (federation) is taking in favor of the whole soccer system.”The fund consists of 21,700,000 euros ($24,500,000). It will give up to 5 million euros ($5.6 million) to each of the two divisions below Serie A as well as the same amount to support clubs from the amateur soccer league.It will also give up to 3 million euros ($3.4 million) to soccer players and the same amount to coaches and their staff.The fund will also provide 700,000 euros ($800,000) to help women’s soccer clubs that are set to complete the season. There are also experiences such as training sessions and dinners with various athletes.Francis says “the true values of sport are particularly important to face this period of pandemic and especially the difficult restart.”The auctions will take place on the site Charitystars.com starting Monday for two months. There will be a new one every week and each auction will last 10 days.All funds raised will go to the Papa Giovanni XXIII hospital in Bergamo and Fondazione Poliambulanza in Brescia.___ All referees in Italy’s top soccer league have tested negative for the coronavirus.The Serie A referees and some from the second division were tested at the Italian federation’s training headquarters on the outskirts of Florence.They will remain there until June 10 to have further tests and continue training and preparing for the resumption of Serie A on June 20.___Premier League clubs have agreed to allow five substitutions in soccer matches. The team has also struggled on the field and hasn’t won a league game since January.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 German soccer club Schalke has apologized to fans for asking them to justify their refunds for games played in empty stadiums because of the coronavirus pandemic.Schalke had asked for evidence of financial hardship if fans wanted tickets refunded this year rather than waiting until 2022.Schalke says it used “impersonal formulations lacking empathy” and fans will no longer be asked to submit documentary evidence of their personal finances. But the club says the approach was legal under German law.The Bundesliga was suspended in March because of the coronavirus outbreak and spectators have not been allowed to attend any of the games since the league restarted on May 16.Schalke has been hit hard financially by the pandemic. Executive board member Alexander Jobst said in March the club faced an existential threat. Testing for antibodies will take place every three months. Testing providers must be authorized by the FDA or Health Canada.Training rooms and gyms will be restricted to a maximum five people, and lockers should be spaced a minimum 10 feet apart. Doors should be left open.Food is restricted to individual, prepackaged meals and individually wrapped utensils, and 10 feet of distancing is necessary while eating.Staff is to use appropriate personal protective equipment.___ Associated Press The European championships for rhythmic gymnastics will stay in Kyiv, Ukraine, but are now set for Nov. 26-29. That is six months later than originally planned.All three championships were supposed to be tune-ups for the Tokyo Olympics but that event has been postponed to 2021.___Pope Francis is promoting a charity auction of sports items and experiences in support of two of the hospitals hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic in Italy.The “We Run Together” auction includes a personalized bicycle given to Francis by world champion Peter Sagan, a team jersey and captain’s armband signed by former Roma forward Francesco Totti and a swim suit and hat from Olympic champion Federica Pellegrini. “This is a day that we knew would come, not just at A-State, but for colleges and universities across America,” Damphousse said.An Arkansas State spokesman said he didn’t know how many athletes have been tested since they began returning to campus for voluntary workouts.Oklahoma State and Marshall have announced they’ve each had three athletes test positive.___English soccer club Tottenham says it is expecting to lose more than $250 million in revenue with Premier League matches being played without fans and its stadium no longer being used for two NFL games this year. Michigan State says a student-athlete’s father died of COVID-19 and the athlete tested positive but remained asymptomatic.Athletic director Bill Beekman was part of a video conference with reporters Thursday to discuss the school’s plans to have athletes back on campus. When asked if any athlete or athletic department personnel had tested positive in the past three months, Beekman said nobody that he was aware of — but that he might not necessarily have all the information.Dr. Jeffrey Kovan, the school’s director of sports medicine, was also part of the video conference. He quickly said that one student-athlete had tested positive, his father died, and his mother and sister also tested positive. Kovan said the athlete was asymptomatic and retested negative a few weeks later.The school did not disclose the athlete’s identity or his sport.“We’ve had a couple others that have had symptoms, without testing positive that we know of,” Kovan said. The Korea Open in September is still on.The world tour is scheduled to resume at the end of August in Lingshui, China.___The International Olympic Committee is in talks with insurers over compensation for the postponed 2020 Tokyo Games.Olympic operations director Pierre Ducrey says there is “an open discussion” between the IOC and insurance brokers “to try and find the right level of compensation to help us bear the cost of having to wait another year.” June 4, 2020 NASCAR updates schedule through Aug. 2 Tottenham’s stadium opened last year and can hold more than 60,000 people. It is unclear when spectators will be allowed into events again.Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy says “it is imperative that we now all work together … to find a safe way to bring spectators back to sport and entertainment venues.”___Badminton tournaments in Australia, India and South Korea have been canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic.The suspended Australian Open can’t find new dates. The Hyderabad Open in August and Korea Masters in November were part of the revamped calendar announced last month but have now been put off.
Associated Press September 17, 2020 Thomas Pieters stayed home for more than five months during the pandemic, skipped the PGA Championship and recently became a father.It hasn’t seemed to hurt his game at the U.S. Open.Taking advantage of ideal scoring conditions at Winged Foot, Pieters had five birdies to offset a bogey at the par-5 12th to shoot a 4-under 66. That puts him in a tie for second with Patrick Reed, one behind Justin Thomas.Pieters delayed his return to competitive golf after the coronavirus shutdown due to the birth of his first daughter, Florence. The Belgian returned to finished third at the Celtic Classic in Wales last month.4 p.m. ___7:30 a.m.Brandon Wu kicked off the 120th U.S. Open with a drive into the right side of the fairway at Winged Foot.That’s considered a great start.Hitting fairways is paramount at Winged Foot. For starters, it’s tough to advance the ball very far. But the greens are severe, and the bunkers are as much as 8 feet deep. That explains why only two players out of 750 who have started the previous five U.S. Opens at Winged Foot finished under par. Paul Waring holed out for a birdie from the fifth fairway after driving into the rough. Moments later, Patrick Reed made a hole-in-one on the seventh hole.Leading the way is an amateur, Davis Thompson of Georgia. He was at 3 under. Rory McIlroy wanted to get off to a good start for a change, and he was at 2 under.Tiger Woods was 1 over through seven holes.The course is forgiving enough that Jordan Spieth managed to recover from his tough start. With three birdies, he was back to even par.___ The Latest: Oosthuizen shoots 30 on front for 67 Will Zalatoris has the second ace at Winged Foot’s par-3 seventh hole.Patrick Reed had the first on the 165-yard hole early in the opening round of the U.S. Open. Zalaoris followed him into the cup on a 9-iron shot that landed in the middle of the green and trickled into the hole.Zalatoris, who led the 2020 Korn Ferry points list, moved back to even par with the ace after two early bogeys.The 24-year-old is competing in his second U.S. Open after a stellar junior career and playing at Wake Forest. Zalatoris won the 2014 U.S. Junior Amateur and played on the 2017 Walker Cup team. 2:35 p.m. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditMAMARONECK, N.Y. (AP) — The Latest from the U.S. Open (all times EDT):6:40 p.m.Benign conditions at Winged Foot have led to some rare low scores at the difficult course. Thompson was an All-American at Georgia and a finalist for the Jack Nicklaus Award given to the top player in college golf. He qualified as the No. 3 player in the World Amateur Golf Rankings and is making his U.S. Open debut. No amateur has won the tournament since Johnny Goodman in 1933.10:20 a.m.For a U.S. Open course that’s one of the toughest, and with no spectators allowed, there’s been plenty of cheering in the opening round Thursday.The cheers have come from the smattering of volunteers. And they had reason. Phil Mickelson opened his return to Winged Foot with two birdies but gave both shots back over the next two holes.Mickelson blew a one-shot lead on the 18th hole in 2006 for the most painful of his six U.S. Open runner-up finishes.Through the first four holes, he hasn’t found a fairway. He hacked out of the rough on the first two to get within birdie range but couldn’t salvage par after finding trouble on 3 and 4.The 50-year-old wouldn’t have qualified for the field under normal circumstances, and had said he wouldn’t ask for a special exemption. But when the USGA reset the qualifying standards because of the pandemic, it took the top 70 players instead of the top 60. Mickelson made it based on being ranked 61st.___ 1:20 p.m.Justin Thomas is leading the U.S. Open at 5 under par through 18 holes. Thomas arrived at No. 18 tied with Patrick Reed, who had already finished a round that included a double bogey and a hole in one. But Thomas made a 25-foot putt for birdie on the last hole to move into the lead by himself. Thomas had one bogey and six birdies, including three in a row over Nos. 9, 10 and 11. He was playing with Tiger Woods, who also birdied three straight holes while making the turn but then finished up with three bogeys and a double in the last six holes.Reed salvaged his round after taking a double-bogey on the fifth hole. He rallied with a birdie on No. 6 and then one-hopped his tee shot into the cup for a hole in one on the seventh. Three more birdies on the back nine left him at minus-4. Thomas sank a 9-foot putt on No. 11 to pull ahead of amateur Davis Thompson, who had been out to the early lead. The University of Georgia All-American bogeyed No. 13 to fall to minus-3. No amateur has won the U.S. Open since Johnny Goodman in 1933.Thomas’ best finish in the U.S. Open was a tie for ninth in 2017. He won the PGA Championship that year for his only major victory.___Amateur Davis Thompson is leading the U.S. Open through 13 holes. Thompson birdied Nos. 6, 7, 8 and 11 to drop to 4-under at Winged Foot. That’s a one-stroke lead over Justin Thomas. Rory McIlroy is among a trio that are two strokes back at minus-2. Rory McIlroy was in third at minus-3.___11:40 a.m.Tiger Woods is at even par after a bogey on No. 13 stalled his his move up the leaderboard. Woods made the turn with three straight birdies on Nos. 9, 10 and 11 and was at 1 under par after lipping out on a 17-foot birdie putt on the 12th hole. But he dropped a stroke on the par-3 13th hole after putting his tee shot in the bunker and then two-putting from 19 feet. Louis Oosthuizen’s 5-under 30 on the front nine is evidence of that.Bouncing back from a shaky start, Oosthuizen had an eagle and three birdies to close out the front nine, finishing with a 3-under 67 in the first round of the U.S. Open.Starting his round on No. 10, the South African shot 37 on the back nine to turn in 2 over. He opened the front with a 5-foot birdie putt on No. 1 and holed out for eagle from 148 yards on the par-4 second.Oosthuizen is two back of leader Justin Thomas.5:57 p.m. Woods was playing with leader Justin Thomas, who also birdied Nos. 9, 10 and 11. Thomas was the leader at minus-4 through 13 holes.The final groups of the morning round have all made the turn, with the second half of the field preparing to tee off just after noon at Winged Foot in Westchester County in New York.___11:20 a.m.Justin Thomas has moved into the lead of the U.S. Open with three straight birdies while making the turn to drop to 4 under par. 9 a.m.Jordan Spieth already is facing an uphill battle after only two holes at the U.S. Open.He first made bogey from the fairway when his shot rolled down to the bottom of the green and he three putted. And then it got worse.Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa were waiting on the second tee when Spieth in the group ahead arrived in a golf cart. His tee shot got caught in a tree and he had to return to the tee to play his third. He wound up with a double bogey and was 3 over after two holes.Spieth has not won in three years. He was eliminated after the first round of the FedEx Cup playoffs. And then he missed the cut last week in the Safeway Open. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will get an early start Thursday, though they begin on opposite ends of the West Course. The opening round began with cloud cover. The rest of the week is expected to feature plenty of sunshine and mild weather, unusual for a U.S. Open.Then again, it’s been 113 years since the U.S. Open was played in September. It was moved from its traditional June spot in the calendar when golf shut down for three months in America because of the COVID-19 pandemic.___More AP golf: https://apnews.com/apf-Golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Trying to address concerns raised by vegan and vegetarian students last semester, USC Hospitality has begun an initiative to increase the presence and awareness of alternative food options on campus.The project, called V2O — which stands for vegan, vegetarian and organic — has three goals: expanding healthy eating options, labeling food more accurately and giving free weekly cooking demonstrations for students.Got milk? · Sarah Kelly (left), a freshman majoring in cinema-television production, looks on as Thomas Moran (center), associate executive chef at USC, cooks a vegetarian dish at EVK Wednesday. The demonstration was part of an initiative that aims to increase the availability of vegetarian options. – Young Kim | Daily TrojanThe idea for V2O came about after a number of students ate tamales labeled “vegan” at Everybody’s Kitchen in April, later discovering that the tamales had been made with chicken. The incident highlighted the need for accurate marking of food in the dining halls.“I decided then to drive culinary initiatives and accommodate everybody’s needs,” said Thomas Moran, associate executive chef at USC, who is heading the project. “We are going to reach out to get more awareness of sustainability and vegetarians.”For the first phase of the initiative, Moran and his culinary team decided to create new vegetarian, vegan or organic menu items for EVK and Parkside Residential Kitchen. The dining halls have so far offered more than a dozen V2O dishes, including roasted eggplant, squash, organic wheat berries and different kinds of potatoes, Moran said.He added that there are more dishes to come.“The options are infinite,” Moran said. “We want to not just provide food, but food for people to eat.”Elizabeth Sandoval, a sophomore majoring in communication, said the new options were helping students make better decisions when eating at the dining halls.“In general, you want to eat healthy, but it’s harder in these buffet-style restaurants,” she said. “I think it’s a good thing to offer more options to students.”Even so, Sandoval said she is hesitant about how different the new food will taste.“You might be eating healthy but the trade-off might be the taste,” Sandoval said. “It’s not going to work if it’s unappetizing healthy food.”The second part of the initiative involved the creation of labels with the V2O logo to clearly identify food at the dining locations.“It was always being referred to [as] the vegetarian, vegan, organic initiative so we decided to simplify it to something that clearly identifies the initiative and is not a mouthful,” said Alex Maloutas, a graphic designer from the USC Design Studio who worked with the visual aspect of the initiative.Although the labeling process will include oversight from the director and the chef at the dining locations, Moran said the responsibility of accurate marking will ultimately fall to the staff at the dining facilities.For students like Shaila Nathu, a junior majoring in philosophy who said the only meat she eats is chicken, the labeling ensures they know exactly what is in the food.“It’s nice to know they are being proactive and doing something to reassure [us] that they care about health standards and hospitality,” Nathu said. “In general it’s very good to know what you’re eating.”Moran will also offer free cooking demonstration, to educate students about healthy cooking as well as provide an open forum with the chef. The demos alternate between EVK and Parkside every Wednesday.“The classes teach people how to cook and be a part of the culinary experience,” Moran said.Roxanne Striar, a freshman majoring in theatre who participated in the first cooking class, said she enjoyed the experience.“I love to cook so any chance to cook and eat healthy food I [take],” she said. “It was something to do on a Wednesday night that’s inexpensive, interactive and fun.”USC Hospitality plans to expand the V2O initiative to include other dining locations and food options on campus, according to Maloutas, who added they also have a long-term plan to label grab-and-go items.Moran said he wants to continue to increase the variety of vegan and vegetarian options offered.“I’m driving this initiative from a food perspective,” Moran said. “We want to provide people the most variety, and separate our university from others.”