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Yo-Yo Ma plays himself on 'The Simpsons' / Los Angeles Times

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The Simpsons" on Fox doesn't often feature cameo appearances by classical musicians. One of the most recent examples was eight years ago when tenor Plácido Domingo snapped a towel at Homer Simpson's buttocks in a locker room in the 2007 episode "The Homer of Seville." On Sunday, cellist Yo-Yo Ma made a cameo on the long-running animated series, playing himself and also performing "The Simpsons" theme over the final credits. The new episode, titled "Puffless," focused on sisters Patty and Selma Bouvier's decision to give up their beloved cigarettes. They make their resolution at a party celebrating their mother's birthday. Montgomery C. Burns crashes the celebration to make his affections for Mrs. Bouvier known once again -- he previously did so in 1994 -- and enlists the aid of Ma to serenade the old lady.

The cellist plays the prelude section of Bach's Cello Suite No. 1 in G major, one of his signature pieces. When asked how he persuaded Ma to make the cameo, Al Jean, the series' showrunner and executive producer, said via Twitter, "We asked and he said yes; lucky us."  READ THE FULL Los Angeles Times PIECE