Homer’s Barbershop Quartet
I will never win an Emmy
couch gag: In three takes, the Simpsons shatter, mould together and explode
Director: Mark Kirkland
David Crosby as himself
George Harrison as himself
The Dapper Dans as the singing voices of the Be Sharps
Synopsis: At a swap meet, Bart and Lisa find an old copy of Homer’s album featuring his barbershop quartet.
Discussion: As with most Simpsons musical episodes, this one has a catchy song that stays in your head and everyone knows the words. In this case, it’s Baby on Board, inspired by a sign Marge bought after Lisa was born so people would stop intentionally ramming their car.
There are multiple references to The Beatles within this ep. Even a casual observer can pick up most of them, but a true fan will be quite delighted with picking out all of them. It skips the controversial breaking up of the group and Barney’s girlfriend is never mentioned as a possible cause, although it’s clear she and Barney want to move into a different direction with their “music”.
One continuity error I picked up is their name. On the sign outside the church, the Be Sharps are advertised as performing that day, with original group member Chief Wiggum. However it’s not until he is replaced by Barney that the group decide on the name The Be Sharps.
As previously mentioned, I’m a big fan of the musical numbers in the show, and this one delivers. Barbershop isn’t a huge genre with the younger generation, certainly not anyone who has grown up with The Simpsons. I’m not a fan of barbershop myself, I find it quite monotonous, but I find myself humming Baby on Board even as I type this. This is the sign of a great ep. It’s a great start to season 5.