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“In the wake of Elmo’s terrible betrayal, the Simpsons puppets wish to announce they stand felt-shoulder-to-shoulder with Katy Perry”
——executive producer Al Jean

MIXED-MEDIA MASH-UPS: KATY PERRY, BILLIE JOE ARMSTRONG

Pop Diva and Green Day Auteur Bring Their Star Power to Network TV and Broadway
The mainstream music biz may be in decline, but high-wattage pop stars continue to light up other media, selling tickets and attracting eyeballs.

After getting run out of Sesame Street, Katy Perry has been welcomed with open arms (hubba-hubba) by the citizens of Springfield. The curvaceous California gurl will appear as herself, and as the girlfriend of Moe the bartender, on The Simpsons, in a live-action segment that will feature puppet versions of the Fox show’s characters, EW.com reported.

“In the wake of Elmo’s terrible betrayal, the Simpsons puppets wish to announce they stand felt-shoulder-to-shoulder with Katy Perry,” said Al Jean, an executive producer on the long-running animated series.

Perry had already completed shooting her segment of the Simpsons’ Christmas episode (set for Dec. 5) when news of the Sesame Street cancellation broke, and the show’s writers were delighted to double down on the headline-generating pop star.

Naturally, the writers of Saturday Night Live also jumped on the Sesame Street incident, featuring Katy in a tight shirt emblazoned with an image of Elmo. If it wasn’t already obvious, her  SNL appearance made it clear that she’s a natural as a comic actress. In another era, Perry would already have her own weekly network TV show.

Meanwhile, Billie Joe Armstrong is about to become a star on Broadway. The Green Day frontman will assume the role of St. Jimmy, a character he dreamed up, in the musical American Idiot, for eight performances this week, starting tomorrow night.

In the staging of the band’s 2004 multi-platinum Grammy-winner, St. Jimmy is a spiritual being who encourages the protagonist, an aspiring musician named Johnny, to do drugs. When it was reported that Tony Vincent, the actor/singer who’s been in the role since the show opened in April, would be leaving from Tuesday until Oct. 12 to deal with a family matter, rumors spread that Armstrong would fill in—making American Idiot a hot ticket indeed. The show’s producers made the announcement over the weekend. Understudies will cover the part when Armstrong heads to South American to kick off Green Day’s world tour in Caracas, Venezuela.

Armstrong, who will be making his Broadway performance debut, will sing such songs as “Know Your Enemy,” “Homecoming,” “Last Night on Earth,” and “St. Jimmy.” He co-wrote the book with director Michael Mayer.

And E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg, who became a mixed-media trailblazer when he took the job of bandleader for Conan O’Brien, has decided not to follow his employer to TBS, according to a story first reported in St. Louis’ Riverfront Times. Jimmy Viviano, guitarist in the Max Weinberg 7, who appeared on Late Night With Conan O’Brien and The Tonight Show during Conan’s brief stint, will take over as bandleader. Apparently, Max just wants to rock on stage and in the studio, without the need for make-up or fancy threads.

NEAR TRUTHS:
DEVELOPING STORIES
The kids are almighty. (8/3a)
LEADING OFF:
RON’S BIG RUN
Not your father's Columbia (8/3a)
ON THE COVER
Happier days are here again. (8/3a)
AN AUGUST HITS LIST
Look at the guns on these giants. (8/3a)
GRAMMY CHEW: SEEING BIEBER
It's high time for Justice in the Academy. (8/4a)
NEW & DEVELOPING ARTISTS
From tender shoots to mighty oaks.
MARKETSHARE MANIA
Let's do the numbers.
DELTA VARIANT
It is not the name of a Henry Miller novel.
IS IT TIME FOR ANOTHER ROCK STORY?
Could be. Dunno.
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