Ned Flanders vs The Ramones

It’s fair to say “The Simpsons” has shaped a lot of popular culture in the last 25 years.

This week, the longest running show in prime time history ventured into another area — heavy metal.

The band Okilly Dokilly dresses and looks like the overly religious next door neighbor of Homer Simpson who tragically lost his wife at the hands of a t-shirt cannon accident.

It could be said that the precedent was set by the Ramones decades prior.

The premise is the same.
The premise is the same.

The Ramones gained notoriety by creating catchy punk music at a time when the genre was still uncharted territory. Not only that, their schtick was to resemble siblings and share the same moniker.  Reality being, none of them were actually related.

Okilly Dokilly has adopted the same premise, meaning the Ramones’ appearance on the wildly popular cartoon may’ve set the stage for current events.

It also got me thinking about the potential for other “Simpsons”-inspired bands that could be formed.

1. “I’m Idaho” – A four-piece band comprised of people dressed in long-sleeved blue polo shirts and bowl haircuts. Their music would be similar to bands like Bright Eyes or Dashboard Confessional.  Their first album would be called, “Chief Wiggum’s Confessions,” exploring a man’s struggle with obesity and food addiction.

A flute worked for Jethro Tull.
A flute worked for Jethro Tull.

2. “The Bleeding Gums Explosion” – While the name might sound like an homage to GWAR, this would be a jazz combo instead.  Featuring a saxophone as the prominent instrument, the group would all adapt some manner of red dress and pearls.  They would also improvise quite a bit and invite audience members to come on-stage and incorrectly sing song lyrics.

"Oh Lord, I want to be in that rumba...when the Saints go over there."
“Oh Lord, I want to be in that rumba…when the Saints go over there.”

3. “Barney’s Beautiful Voices” – Irish folk music in four-part harmony.  One of the most memorable episodes of “The Simpsons” involves Homer joining a barbershop quartet with Apu, Chief Wiggum, and Principal Skinner.  Their manager decides to do away with Wiggum.  The group discovers a hidden gem in lovable town drunk Barney Gumble.

"Where's me toothpick?"
“Where’s me toothpick?”

In the end, Barney pulled a John Lennon-esque move involving a Yoko-like character who orders a “single plum floating in perfume served in a man’s hat” at Moe’s.

“Barney’s Beautiful Voices” would showcase four robust voices singing the songs of the Emerald Isle.  They would all be clad in ill-fitting red t-shirts and burp frequently.  Beer would be served at all shows.

The options are truly endless.


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