Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985) was an American director, writer, actor and producer for film, stage, radio and television. He appeared in two episodes
Welles first gained wide notoriety for his October 30, 1938 radio broadcast of H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds. Adapted to sound like a contemporary news broadcast, it caused a number of listeners to panic. In 1941, he co-wrote, directed, produced and starred in Citizen Kane , which has been parodied by The Simpsons many times and is often chosen in polls of film critics as the greatest film ever made. The rest of his career was often obstructed by lack of funds, incompetent studio interference, and bad luck, both during exile in Europe and brief returns to Hollywood. Despite these difficulties Othello won the 1952 Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival and Touch of Evil won the top prize at the Brussels World Fair, while Welles himself considered The Trial and Chimes at Midnight to be the best of his efforts. Welles received a 1975 American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement award, the third person to do so after John Ford and James Cagney. Critical appreciation for Welles has increased since his death. He is now widely acknowledged as one of the most important dramatic artists of the 20th century, in 2002 being voted in a BFI Top Ten Directors poll by the British Film Institute as the greatest film director of all time.
In the "The Day the Earth Looked Stupid" segment of "Treehouse of Horror XVII", the citizens of Springfield circa 1938 hear Welles' infamous War of the Worlds broadcast. Thinking it to be a real invasion, they begin rioting and destroy the town. Lisa notifies the citizens that it was all a hoax and, angry at being fooled, the citizens of Springfield vow to not fall for such a trick again. Kang and Kodos decide this is the perfect time for a real invasion, and begin destroying what's left of the town. True to their word, the town does not believe that it is a real invasion and ignores it, although Welles comes to Springfield, admits it is not a staged act, and begs them to do something. Unfortunately, they do not, and the segment ends three years later with Kang and Kodos looking over the ruins, mulling on what went wrong and why they weren't greeted as liberators as they rid Earth of weapons of mass disintegration during "Operation Enduring Occupation".