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The Simpsons: Homer's Barbershop Quartet

At a swap meet, Bart finds a record that has Homer's face on it. While driving home, Homer tells the story of how he, Apu, Principal Skinner, and Chief Wiggum (later replaced by Barney Gumble) became music stars in the mid-1980s.

Episode Info
Episode number: 5x1
Production Number: 9F21
Airdate: Thursday September 30th, 1993



 
Special Guest Stars
David CrosbyDavid Crosby
voiced Himself
Recurring
George HarrisonGeorge Harrison
voiced Himself
Recurring

Guest Stars
Pamela HaydenPamela Hayden
voiced Various
Recurring
Main Cast
Dan CastellanetaDan Castellaneta
voiced Homer Simpson, Abraham Simpson, Krusty the Klown, Barney, Willy, Sideshow Mel, Mayor Quimby, Hans Moleman, Gil, Itchy, Various
Julie KavnerJulie Kavner
voiced Marjorie "Marge" Bouvier Simpson, Patty Bouvier, Selma Bouvier, Jacqueline Ingrid Bouvier, Various
Nancy CartwrightNancy Cartwright
voiced Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, Kearney, Various
Yeardley SmithYeardley Smith
voiced Lisa Simpson, Various
Hank AzariaHank Azaria
voiced Apu, Moe, Chief Wiggum, Carl, Comic Book Guy, Dr. Nick Riviera, Prof. Frink, Cletus, Sea Captain, Kirk Van Houten, Various
Harry ShearerHarry Shearer
voiced Mr. Burns, Smithers, Dr. Marvin Monroe, Ned Flanders, Seymour Skinner, Otto, Kent Brockman, Dr. Hibbert, Lenny, Rev. Lovejoy, Various
Episode Notes
Chalkboard

I will never win an Emmy

Couch Gag

The Simpsons run in, collide & shatter into pieces.



A clapboard enters frame and "Take 2" is heard.
The family runs in again, collides but this time meld together as if made of clay.



A clapboard enters frame again and "Take 3" is heard.
The family runs in again, collide & instantly explode.





Episode Quotes
David Crosby: And the Grammy for Outstanding Soul, Spoken Word, or Barbershop Album of the Year goes to...The Be Sharps!

Homer: Junk, junk, the airplane's upside down, Strad-i-who-virus?

Barney: Sure, why not? Now where's me toothpick?



Episode Goofs
While setting up the flashback for this episode, Homer mentions that Joe Piscopo left Saturday Night Live in 1985. In real life, Piscopo left SNL in May of 1984 (at the end of the 1983-1984 season).

The bodyguard on Quimby's right loses his pony tail when the shot goes into a close up.


The items on Herman's table are different from Skinner's POV & the wider shot.
The two large shells are further down the table, the arrows have doubled and are suddenly parallel with the edge of the table & the knife blade is gone.


Comic Book Guy takes the Melvin & the Squirrels album from Bart in order to play it, but when he removes the record from the sleeve and puts it somewhere unseen in the background, the record is once again in the display.


When Lisa finds Homer's album there is no writing on the back, but when Homer holds it moments later, the back is full of writing.



And at the end of the episode, there is suddenly a photo of the group where there wasn't one earlier.

When the family is laughing at Bart for not remembering anything from 8 minutes ago, Homer is holding the album with the red side facing the camera, when the scene cuts from Bart to the family again, suddenly it's the photo side facing the camera.


Lovejoy is seen off model with brown hair and whiteish skin in the wide shot of the Be Sharps singing in church.


Snake's shirt goes from buttoned to unbuttoned when he says he'll hit that cop between the eyes & after he hits Wiggum in the head.


When they hear singing in the bathroom and all say "Barney", Homer's hand is drawn over the beer glass when it should be behind it.


For one frame, Nigel briefly turns the same yellow color as the rest of the group (excluding Apu of course)


Marge's necklace is white before the crowd turns against Wiggum.


The majority of this episode takes place in a flash back before Maggie was born, but when Marge reacts badly to Homer's news of Nigel's suggestion the group keeps his marriage quiet, a photo of Maggie is on the wall of their bedroom.


During Barney's Q&A at the airport, his sleeves are briefly red when the group are all wearing sleeveless vests.


Marge presses the PLAY button which is the second button on the tape recorder, but when the tape messes up the next to last button is depressed on the recorder.


Johnny Carson does his Carnac the Magnificent persona however, Carnac wears a turban not a fez.
This may have been deliberately to avoid copyright issues.




Cultural References
The items Homer thinks are junk are actually, Superman's first appearance in Action Comics which sold at auction in 2014 for $3.2 million.


The second item is a sheet of the "Inverted Jenny" stamp. Only 100 are known to exist & single stamp can sell between $825,000 & $977,500. A block of four stamps once sold for $2.7 million.


The third was a violin created by the Stradivarius family. In 2011 one sold at auction for £9.8 million.

Moe creates clams to resemble the iconic comedic actress Lucille Ball (1911-1989)

Bart finds a 'Melvin & the Squirrels' album. This is a parody of Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Wiggum's costume is that of Doctor Dolittle from the same named 1967 American musical film that starred Rex Harrison

Homer's song lyric of 'Al Capone's vault but it was not Geraldo's fault' is a reference to a 1986 two-hour live event hosted by, then talk show host, Geraldo Rivera called The Mystery of Al Capone's Vaults.
This much hyped live event was a huge disappointment because after two hours of build up, when the vault was finally opened, it was empty aside from some bottles and random debris.

The Baby on Board sign was a real product developed in 1984 that initially was intended for a serious purpose but quickly developed into a fad in 1985 with parodies like 'Baby I'm Bored' & 'Mother-in-law in trunk'.

Former President & First Lady, Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) & Nancy Reagan (1921-) are seen in this episode.

Wiggum watches The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson as he does his Carnac the Magnificent comedy bit.

Wiggum also watches Joan Rivers (1933-2014) on her short lived talk show that aired opposite Johnny Carson, called The Late Show (1986-1988)

Wiggum shooting the TV is a reference to the time Elvis Presley (1935-1977) shot a hotel television when Robert Goulet (1933-2007) appeared on the screen one night.

One member of the famous British band, The Beatles, George Harrison (1943-2001) appears in this episode voicing himself.

The Be Sharps, aside from being an obvious parody of The Beatles name... Be-dulls Be-Sharps, both their album covers are based on actual Beatles covers.

'Meet the Be Sharps' was The Beatles first album, Meet the Beatles!
& their 'Bigger than Jesus' cover is based on The Beatles Abby Road album.




Homer comment about 'Bigger than Jesus' being the title of their second album is based on an actual comment made by John Lennon.
He said said 'that Christianity was in decline and that the Beatles had become more popular than Jesus Christ'. The comment was not controversial when he made it in England but became highly charged topic when The Beatles came to America in 1966.

Barney entering the studio with his new girlfriend is a allusion to John Lennon (1940-1980) and Yoko Ono (1933-).

The Be Sharps singing on top of Moe's bar is an allusion to The Beatles' rooftop concert which was the final public performance of The Beatles.
On 30 January 1969, they surprised a central London office district with an impromptu concert from the roof of Apple headquarters at 3 Savile Row.



Episode References
At the Grammy party, on the right, Spinal Tap can be seen. They voiced themselves on Season Three's The Otto Show.
On the left, also from Season Three, Aerosmith voiced themselves in Flaming Moe's.



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