As the poker world waits on pins and needles for this week’s expected finalization of the acquisition of Full Tilt Poker by Groupe Bernard Tapie, we thought we’d lighten the mood and write an article about an upcoming episode of the hit FOX television series “The Simpsons.” What’s so buzz-worthy? According to Entertainment Weekly, poker pro Jennifer Tilly is slated to appear in an upcoming episode. Her role: teaching Lisa Simpson how to play poker.
The Entertainment Weekly report read in part, “The actress and poker expert will make a cameo appearance in an episode as herself, popping up in an instructional DVD that Lisa watches to brush up on her card skills.” The episode will reportedly become part of the 24th season of “The Simpsons,” which began airing in 1989 and released its 500th episode last month.
Speaking of the 500th episode of “The Simpsons,” the milestone broadcast featured a multitude of guest stars, including actor Kelsey Grammer, WikiLeaks Editor in Chief Julian Assange, and the country band Allison Krauss and Union Station. “The Simpsons” has welcomed a host of guest stars over the years, and Tilly will become part of the longstanding franchise next season in an episode entitled “Gone Abie Gone.”
As for the premise of the poker episode featuring Tilly, Entertainment Weekly explained, “It turns out that Homer doesn’t trust banks and has stashed Lisa’s college fund in an online poker site.”
Tilly (pictured) is no stranger to the animated world. Entertainment Weekly outlined her contributions to another famous series: “Tilly – the ex-wife of Sam Simon, who developed ‘The Simpsons’ with Matt Groening and James L. Brooks – frequently lends her voice to another animated FOX comedy, ‘Family Guy.'” If you’re not a fan of “Family Guy,” Tilly voices Bonnie Swanson, a neighbor of the Griffin family, on that show.
Tilly has also lent her vocal cords to a variety of animated movies, including the voice of Celia in “Monsters, Inc.,” the voice of Camille Stout in “Stuart Little,” and the voice of Grace in Disney’s “Home on the Range.” She’ll reprise her role of Celia in next year’s sequel to “Monsters, Inc.,” “Monsters University.” Other credits include ABC’s “Modern Family,” Nickelodeon’s “Hey Arnold,” 2004’s “Seed of Chucky,” and the 1994 Woody Allen flick “Bullets over Broadway.”
In the poker arena, Tilly is a World Series of Poker bracelet winner, having taken down the $1,000 Ladies Event seven years ago for $158,000. Three months later, Tilly won the World Poker Tour’s Ladies Night special for $25,000, defeating a group that included Marsha Waggoner and Isabelle Mercier. In mid-2010, Tilly won a $5,000 No Limit Hold’em event during the Bellagio Cup for $124,000. She’s also a regular in high-stakes home games.
Tilly has represented the poker world on the small screen, including appearances on “Poker After Dark” and the National Heads-Up Poker Championship, which formerly appeared on NBC. She’s recorded a second place, third place, and fourth place on the former and competed in the Heads-Up event five times, falling in the first round each time.
The comments on the Entertainment Weekly article included one that pointed out Tilly’s physical attributes: “But Lisa doesn’t have boobs to distract the male poker players. How can she win with Tilly’s strategy?” Another poster was looking forward to the episode: “Awesome, great concept… typical Homer. Love Jennifer Tilly. She’s always good.”
Simon has been a regular of the California poker world for at least the last 20 years. Last year, ESPN cameras hounded the co-creator of “The Simpsons” as he finished 500th in the WSOP Main Event for $23,000. According to the Hendon Mob, Simon’s largest live cash came by virtue of winning a $2,000 No Limit Hold’em event during the 2010 Winnin’ o’ the Green in Los Angeles for $57,000. Simon has also appeared on “High Stakes Poker.”