Tom Petty’s animated life
AS A SCREEN actor, Tom Petty, the Hall of Fame rocker who died on Monday, popped up in an array of eclectic places over the decades, from Kevin Costner’s apocalyptic The Postman to Garry Shandling’s comedy The Larry Sanders Show.
But Petty was especially entertaining in cartoon form, and seemed fond of animated storytelling.
In 1989, Petty made for a readily adaptable character in the animated music video for his hit Runnin’ Down a Dream, as the frontman hurtles through a surreal black- and- white world inspired by Winsor McCay’s classic comic strip, Little Nemo in Slumberland.
But a couple of years before that, he appeared as himself on The Simpsons in an episode titled, How I Spent My Strummer Vacation. Prior to that, Petty had approved the use of the Heartbreakers’ song The Waiting for a 1997 episode about gun ownership titled, The Cartridge Family.
Strummer Vacation, which aired on November 10, 2002, centred on Homer going to a rock ’n’ roll fantasy camp run by the Rolling Stones.
Tom Petty as a cartoon character in ‘The Simpsons’.