The full story, from ChimpanA to ChimpanZ
July 14, 2017 7:06 AM   Subscribe

Hi, I'm Horace Rumpole! You might remember me from such previous posts as "SLYT of Things Blowing Up in Slow Motion" and "That Listicle Everyone Hated". Today I'm here to bring you a tale about the making of a little toe-tapping musical smash called Stop the Planet of the Apes, I Want to Get Off.
posted by Horace Rumpole (29 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oh, I love legitimate theater
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:30 AM on July 14 [19 favorites]


There was alt.tv.simpsons but I’d stopped reading it before then because they hated everything and it was driving me out of my mind.

Say no more.
posted by traveler_ at 7:33 AM on July 14 [3 favorites]


One of my friends in college used to sing "I hate every chimp I see, from chimpan-A to chimpan-Z" whenever I started getting excited about primate things, and I never knew that that was a Simpson's quote. Jimmy was not as clever as I thought he was.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:35 AM on July 14 [11 favorites]


This FPP has everything!
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 7:36 AM on July 14 [19 favorites]


The fact that the musical wasn't in the first draft of the "A Fish Called Selma" script should be the first lesson of every screenwriting class ever.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:47 AM on July 14 [18 favorites]


That was delightful. And once again: RIP Phil Hartman.
posted by davidmsc at 7:49 AM on July 14 [6 favorites]


For Phil, it was about focusing on the show within the show. He’s not Troy anymore, he’s Troy playing Charlton Heston in this musical, so there’s all these layers of it. The proof is in the performance. He just nailed it, take after take, just getting the shading and the nuance — whatever nuance of this character. The nuance was, “Bigger! Louder!” But to still get the song down and get it right, was a great experience. It’s there forever.

Aw, Phil.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:51 AM on July 14 [17 favorites]


It's the post I was born to favourite!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:53 AM on July 14 [16 favorites]


Originally, the story read

The bit has so many disparate parts — ’80s German-pop parody, old-school-musical homage, Planet of the Apes, break-dancing, old vaudeville-style jokes

but in true Jeffrey Albertson fashion, I pointed out that Falco was Austrian not German and now the article has now been updated (Austrian-pop parody).

I am so proud.
posted by stevil at 7:58 AM on July 14 [17 favorites]


I hope somebody got fired for that...checks the actual link and sees you got it covered.

You should be proud.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:59 AM on July 14 [3 favorites]


Season three of The Simpsons — which we didn’t work on by the way — was the best season of any TV show of all time. When we took over, we said, “What was it about season three that made it so good?” We reverse-engineered it and said,

a-and right there begins the long yellow decline
posted by chavenet at 8:09 AM on July 14 [4 favorites]


I can't believe that it first aired 21 years ago.

Yep, I'm still old.
posted by brand-gnu at 8:34 AM on July 14 [2 favorites]


Season three of The Simpsons — which we didn’t work on by the way — was the best season of any TV show of all time. When we took over, we said, “What was it about season three that made it so good?” We reverse-engineered it and said,

a-and right there begins the long yellow decline
posted by chavenet


Yeah, that jumped out at me, too. And it's funny- I remember loving Season 7 when it aired, and I still think of that as the last of the Great Simpsons Seasons, but I also remember feeling, as it aired, that something had changed and was a little off. Felt like you could see them trying in a way that hadn't been visible before.

Also: how weird is it that they use the present tense to describe the writing room and it's technically accurate?
posted by the phlegmatic king at 8:36 AM on July 14 [4 favorites]


The greatness lies in the fact that every single one of us would happily go to see this musical.
posted by emjaybee at 8:51 AM on July 14 [14 favorites]


I've always been unhappy that there was never a full-length movie version.
posted by asperity at 9:01 AM on July 14 [5 favorites]


I'm glad they talked to the show's music composer, Alf Clausen, whose contributions to the show tend to be overlooked. But he's been with the show since the beginning, and as far as I know, The Simpsons is one of the last (if not the last) of the network shows to still use an actual orchestra to score each episode.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:09 AM on July 14 [8 favorites]


I'm glad they talked to the show's music composer, Alf Clausen, whose contributions to the show tend to be overlooked. But he's been with the show since the beginning, and as far as I know, The Simpsons is one of the last (if not the last) of the network shows to still use an actual orchestra to score each episode.

What the hell are Family Guy and Walter Murphy? Scotch mist?
posted by Talez at 9:12 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


I swore I wouldn't comment in Simpsons threads, but you've finally (you've finally made a monkey) made a monkey out of me!

I love you Dr. Zauis
posted by nubs at 1:40 PM on July 14 [5 favorites]


I still sing musical bits from this era of The Simpsons. Indeed, my girlfriend has barely ever even seen the show, but has been exposed to so much secondhand Simpsons music that she can sing half of them too.
posted by mordax at 2:17 PM on July 14 [2 favorites]


Of course, my favorite Simpsons musical will always be their community theatre production of A Streetcar Named Desire, because of that time when I was a kid and stunned my parents in Trivial Pursuit by knowing what city it was set in.

"Well, I remember on the Simpsons when they did it they sang "long before the Superdome, where the Saints of football play", and I know that's the Louisiana Saints, and the capitol is Baton Rouge but think it's one of those states where the big city isn't the capitol and the only other city there I know of is New Orleans..."
posted by ckape at 3:02 PM on July 14 [5 favorites]


"'Ever hear of the planet of the apes?'
'The movie or the planet?"

This bit works with any proper noun that itself contains a noun. Just ask my nuclear family, my wife, my coworkers, or anyone else who has spent time with me since this episode aired.
posted by sy at 6:06 PM on July 14 [6 favorites]


I'm glad they talked to the show's music composer, Alf Clausen, whose contributions to the show tend to be overlooked. But he's been with the show since the beginning, and as far as I know, The Simpsons is one of the last (if not the last) of the network shows to still use an actual orchestra to score each episode.

My ringtone is "The Land of Chocolate" from Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk
posted by mikelieman at 6:30 PM on July 14 [2 favorites]


“What was it about season three that made it so good?”

Not abusing the edit window, I'll also note that Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk is S03E11...
posted by mikelieman at 6:32 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]


I'm glad they talked to the show's music composer, Alf Clausen, whose contributions to the show tend to be overlooked.

Songs In The Key Of Springfield is a fantastic album which highlights Clausen spectacularly, including a bunch of end theme arrangements (the Hill Street Blues one, the Tito Puente one, the It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World one) and the best musical numbers up to Season 7. This includes the Apes musical as well as the Streetcar musical, the Monorail song, the Amendment To Be song, Burns' "See My Vest", Bart and Milhouse singing "Springfield, Springfield", the Flaming Moe's song, "Baby On Board", oh geez but it's a glorious retrospective. It came out around the tail end of my mix tape phase and I would be lying if I said I didn't end several with Robert Goulet singing "Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg".

If you can find it, grab it and cherish it. If you have it, dig it out and listen to it again real soon.
posted by Spatch at 8:17 PM on July 14 [4 favorites]


The tunes of songs in comedy should not be inherently funny on their own. They're part of the joke, not jokes in and of themselves. Hence why this Dr. Zaius remix is goddamn amazing.

Beyond-a-joke remix examples from Rick and Morty: Get Schwifty, Human Music.
posted by BiggerJ at 8:52 PM on July 14 [3 favorites]


My college (circa 1999) had an annual lip-sync competition. My friends and I discussed, but never got around to, producing "An Evening of Legitimate The-ay-ter," to consist of excerpts from Stop the Planet of the Apes, I Want to Get Off and Oh! Streetcar.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:45 AM on July 15




There was alt.tv.simpsons but I’d stopped reading it before then because they hated everything and it was driving me out of my mind.

Say no more.


Which group I believe the writers referenced in the form of the Comic Book Guy typing "Worst. Episode. Ever." on at least one occasion.
posted by Philofacts at 6:31 PM on July 15


This is probably my second-most-quoted Simpsons episode, after Treehouse of Horror VII (where Kang and Kodos run for office). I end up singing these all the time when any of the antecedents pops up ...
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:34 PM on July 15


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