The Simpsons' most underrated musical numbers

In advance of live concert The Simpsons Take the Bowl, which will see an orchestra perform songs from the TV show, we consider the lesser-known interludes they should cover

US cable network FXX loves The Simpsons so much that it ran every single one of its 552 episodes in order recently. And now they’re planning to celebrate its upcoming special event in Hollywood, The Simpsons Take the Bowl, with a definitive run of its music-themed episodes.

Among others, the event will feature the following songs:

  • Monorail Song (Marge vs the Monorail, season four)
  • Baby on Board (Homer’s Barbershop Quartest, season five)
  • We Do – the Stonecutters’ Song (Homer the Great, season six)
  • See My Vest (Two Dozen and One Greyhounds, season six)
  • Señor Burns (Who Shot Mr Burns Part 2, season seven)
  • Dr Zaius and Chimpan A to Chimpan Z (A Fish Called Selma, season seven)
  • We Put the Spring in Springfield (Bart After Dark, season eight)
  • Minimum Wage Nanny (Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious, season eight)

Naturally, they’re all weighted towards earlier seasons, but here are a few later season delights they’ve missed.

Sadgasm (That 90s Show, season 19)

Homer’s 90s grunge band – whose best songs include Margerine, Politically Incorrect and Shave Me (sample lyric: “Razorblade of apathy/Shave me with your irony”) – reform briefly to get Marge’s attention. According to MTV VJ Kurt Loder, they originally broke up due to Homer’s drug addiction. In fact, it was just injectable insulin after Homer became diabetic from slurping one too many Frappuccinos.

Lurleen Lumpkin Returns (Papa Don’t Leech, season 19)

The now-destitute and on-the-run country singer Lurleen Lumpkin (voiced by Beverly D’Angelo) returns to Springfield after 16 years to find her ex-manager Homer. When she attempts to relaunch her career with a new song – Daddy’s Back – the Dixie Chicks steal it and change the words to America’s Back. Timely, considering The Chicks were facing their own country backlash at this point.

The American Idol Parody (A Star is Torn, season 16)

Lisa enters Krusty’s TV talent show Li’l Starmaker (where “all ballots were lost and vote totals made up”) with a version of Hush, Little Baby. But after she is upstaged, Homer steps in and writes a Springfield-baiting track that gets her through to the next round. Homer becomes Lisa’s manager, but things go awry, as he gets to Joe Jackson levels of power-hungry and corrupt.

Lisa Goes Glee (Elementary School Musical, season 22)

Lisa goes to art camp where she is tutored by some very familiar-sounding counsellors (Flight of the Conchords’ Jemaine and Bret) and meets some very familiar-sounding campers (Amber Riley, Lea Michele and Cory Monteith from Glee). Things go very ‘jazz hands’ and later, Lisa experiences a serious case of post-holiday blues. Heading to the hilariously titled Sprooklyn to find her counsellors, she discovers these self-professed “sandwich artists” are working in a Subway-like eatery. It’s at this point she realises that she doesn’t like hipsters.

The Sweeney Todd spoof (Treehouse of Horror XX, season 21)

The traditional Halloween episode contains an entirely musical final segment, There’s No Business like Moe Business. Based on Sweeney Todd, it sees Moe using Homer’s blood to create an amazing microbrewed beer. Also notable for aliens Kang and Kodos appearing at the end of the episode to sing a gruesome version of The Simpsons’ theme song.

What musical highlights would you include in the Hollywood Bowl show? Let us know below


Priya Elan

The GuardianTramp

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