The actor who plays Moe Szyslak and Chief Wiggum on The Simpsons has started a Bruce Springsteen tribute band

Hank Azariah onstage and a cell from The Simpsons showing Chief Wiggum and Dr Hibbert in Moe's bar
(Image credit: Hank Azariah / Gracie Films)

Actor Hank Azaria, best known for his multiple contributions to the long-running animated sitcom The Simpsons, has formed a Bruce Springsteen tribute band. 

Azaria, who voices many characters on the show including Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Snake Jailbird, Professor Frink and store owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon (the latter until 2020), made the announcement on Instagram.

"Ever since I was 15 years old, I worked up a talking impression of Bruce Springsteen," says Azaria, in a Springsteen voice. "But I decided for my birthday party to work up a singing impression. And it went so well that – by popular demand – we're playing our first ticketed gig."

The debut public performance from the EZ Street Band will take place at (Le) Poisson Rouge, a 700-capacity venue in New York's Greenwich Village, on August 1, and money raised from ticket sales will go to Azaria's Four Through Nine Foundation, which funds youth education, sports and social programs. Additional dates will be announced shortly. 

Azaria has also released a short video in which he can be seen performing as The Boss at his 60th birthday party at the City Winery in New York City, a show attended by E-Street band drummer Max Weinberg, who reportedly called the performance “the best Springsteen tribute" he'd seen. 

Springsteen, for his part, has never appeared on The Simpsons, despite having roles written for him on three occasions. In One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish (1991) his part was eventually taken by broadcaster Larry King, while his role in Radio Bart the following year went to Sting. And in 1998, Alec Baldwin eventually got the job on When You Dish Upon A Star.

Meanwhile, Springsteen has been forced to postpone four shows on his current European tour due to "vocal issues". After backing out of his show in Marseille, France, hours before doors opened, he's since done the same for the next three.

"Further examination and consulting has led doctors to determine that Bruce should not perform for the next 10 days,” he announced on social media. “With this in mind, additional postponements are required for Airport Letnany in Prague (originally scheduled for May 28) and San Siro Stadium in Milan (originally scheduled for June 1 and 3). New dates for these shows will be announced shortly. Those wishing a refund will be able to obtain it at their original point of purchase."

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.